by spooning small amounts over the cake, it all gets absorbed.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
savarin recipe. first we mixed up a batch of baba au rum dough. it was ridiculously easy to do-a simple yeasted cake batter was placed in a pan and allowed to rise for a brief period.
tuesdays with dorie page.
Monday, July 22, 2013
recipe from daily delicious. i made a test batch, 1/4 of the recipe. in place of butter and oil called for in the recipe, i used only coconut oil. i also added a few extra chocolate chips (just to land at an even amount) and some walnuts because i like them in a chocolate chip cookie. they were good. not what i was hoping for, but still good. the memory persists so the search will continue...
Sunday, July 21, 2013
it's hot and humid out there. frying egg on the sidewalk hot-just ask my husband. he has been walking around with a hand held infrared thermometer taking surface temps on anything that doesn't move. cats, dog, me; you name it, he has probably read the temp on it. to find him something else to do, i suggested a trip to bobbie's dairy dip for a cone.
ice cream is one of my favorite things. especially chocolate ice cream. chocolate ice cream loaded with fudge and peanut butter and chunks of candy bars...but despite my chocolate obsession, i have always had a thing for a cone of soft serve. my preference is a vanilla soft serve and i do not mean yogurt, i mean the traditional vanilla flavored frozen treat-is it even really ice cream? not important. the rush to eat it before it is melting and dripping down my arm may give me a brain freeze, but i do not care. it is the tastiest way to beat the heat.
the pick up window
it was that good...
beat the heat-head to bobbie's dairy dip!
they do not have a website but do have a facebook page
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
to see what all the other participants made, check out the tuesdays with dorie page. interested in baking along? get a copy of the book and jump right in, we'd love to have you join us!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
first surprise was peeking into the oven at the half way mark and realizing that the crumb topping had sunk below the surface of the cake. that was a little worrisome. crumb topping needs to be on top to get that typical crunchy texture of a good struesel. when it sinks down into the cake, it can be gummy and oily. this recipe yielded a moist ribbon which was not at all gummy. the second surprise was that a small amount of the crumb topping actually remained around the edges on the top of the cake giving it a nice crunch.
the biggest surprise was in flavor. to flavor this cake, i chose a grade b maple syrup because they are supposed to have more flavor than a grade a. honestly, i didn't get a clear maple flavor at all, and i do not think anybody else did. perhaps the use of maple sugar would be better or a little pure maple flavoring or some combination of the three but that question will have to be answered on another day. in the mean time, if you are wanting a piece of cake to have with your afternoon cup, this is an easy cake to make and despite the results, a tasty way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
maple pecan cake
serves about 8
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup grade b maple syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk
crumb topping/ribbon recipe follows
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour a small bundt pan, approximately 8 cup capacity. toast the pecans by spreading them in a thin layer in a baking dish until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes. set the nuts aside to cool. place the flour, cinnamon and baking soda into a mesh strainer or a sifter and sift together onto a piece of paper. cream the butter with the brown sugar, vanilla and salt until it is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. add the syrup slowly while the machine mixes. scrape the bowl well. add the egg and mix in. add the flour in batches and alternate it with the buttermilk, folding gently until combined. scrape the batter into the prepared pan. sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the batter and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
place all of the ingredients into a bowl and rub together with your finger tips to make a crumbly struesel topping.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
buttermilk ranch dressing
yields about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
1 tablespoon freshly chopped dill
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon granulated (or powdered) garlic (dried, fresh will turn quickly in this)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup buttermilk
in a mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lemon juice, spices and herbs to make a thick paste. carefully whisk in the buttermilk to make a somewhat thin dressing. chill for an hour to let the flavor develop and the dressing thicken from the fresh lemon juice.
to make peppercorn ranch, add cracked peppercorns to your taste, a couple teaspoons should do it!
Sunday, July 7, 2013
over a year ago, a friend shared some kombucha tea with me. at this point, i should mention that my friend likes it plain-pure kombucha with nothing else in it. she also likes to let it ferment for a full 10 days. it is pungent to say the least. when i didn't flinch or spit it out, she offered to bring me a baby so i could brew my own. that is how my kombucha habit got started.
all through the summer and into the fall, i brewed it and i drank it. to make it more palatable, i mixed it into iced tea or juice. then the awful thing happened, i neglected my tea as the weather cooled. my poor scoby lived in the fridge and after a while, he just couldn't make fermented tea. this spring, i decided to get another batch going. my search for a scoby led me to countless websites. needless to say, i was not willing to fork over the $30+ dollars for a package of culture. there had to be an alternative. and there was! while going from website to website, i stumbled upon the blog, bonzai aphrodite and a detailed post on how to grow a scoby from a store bought bottle of kombucha.
the following week, i found myself standing in front of a cooler full of kombucha drinks in whole foods market. after purchasing a bottle of original kombucha, i set up my bowl and began growing my own scoby. it took the full 2 weeks and it has worked beautifully. so well that i now have 2 separate scobys, one plain green tea and the other green tea mixed with peach and hibiscus tea.
the peach-hibiscus kombucha is on the left, the plain green tea is on the right.
Friday, July 5, 2013
strawberry ribbon cake
photo by lindsay of love and olive oil
styled by teresa blackburn of food on fifth
learning to use a digital camera can be challenging. my suggestion, take a few classes. seriously, check out community colleges or art schools and take a few adult/community education classes on digital photography. personally, i took basic classes during last summer and then again last fall and having the knowledge of the different camera functions has made a world of difference in my photos.
even so, i am by no means an expert but at least i have a better idea of how to go about things. just as tricky is making the food look good enough to eat. another big challenge. staging a shot, picking props, lighting and so on. it helps if you have the chance to watch and work with a pro. when i wrote my first book, i had the chance to watch a very talented food stylist during the photo shoot. but watching wasn't enough. when i wrote my second book, i had to actually prepare all of the food to be used in the photo shoots. even with all of that experience, it still wasn't enough. but that hasn't stopped my from trying.
then came an opportunity to take a class with a successful food stylist. as a member of the nashville food bloggers, i learned about a workshop to be put on by local food stylist, teresa blackburn; i quickly signed up. we watched in awe as she quickly arranged a salad in a plate. sounds goofy doesn't it? but it was how she did things that made it so amazing to watch. she arranged the salad, leaf by leaf, garnish by garnish. a drizzle of dressing, addition of background props. it all came to a beautiful shot.
well beautiful when taken with something besides a cellphone camera! however, i think you get the idea. and the next time i try to photograph a salad, i will know exactly how to arrange the components so that it looks good enough to eat!
one of the other tricks we learned was how to make the perfect dollop of cream. first of all, it has to be non dairy whipped topping. something no pastry chef wants to hear...but the technique was so simple, that i will have to practice it till it's perfect. but even so, we all had fun smoothing it out, creating furrows across the top and then scooping out the perfect dollop.
everyone's plate arranged on the table for a group photo
teresa liked mine enough to use it to demonstrate adding a whole berry so that it will not sink into the cream. it was all good fun and informative. hopefully, there will be additional opportunities like this-i love learning something new. if you are interested in seeing more of the photos, the nashville food bloggers website has a complete album of the photos that lindsay took during the workshop
since this was a class centered around food, we were all invited to bring along a snack to share. i brought my strawberry ribbon cake and if you go back to the photo at the top, you can see how wonderful it looked by the time teresa styled it and lindsay shot it. and as always, when i go to the garden on sunday mornings, i take a cake. this time, i took the leftover strawberry ribbon cake and tried to use some of the tips and tricks to get a good photo. it was a challenge. the lighting in the garden wasn't the greatest and i was unable to bring any props. but i must say, i at least know how to go about this better.
strawberry ribbon cake
makes 1 (8") square cake
adapted from the cake bible by rose levy beranbaum
(sour cream coffee cake)
crumb topping1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts-your choice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour an 8" square baking pan. to make the crumb topping, place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop the nuts and continue pulsing until it begins to clump. don't over do it or it will be one large clump rather than free flowing smaller lumps. set this aside while you prepare the cake.
in a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with 1/4 of the buttermilk and the vanilla, set aside. place the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and with the machine on low, allow it to mix to combine the ingredients. add the butter and the remaining buttermilk and mix on low to combine. scrape the bowl and turn the mixer to medium and allow it to cream until a little light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. add the egg mixture in thirds and mix to combine. be sure to scrape the bowl. scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. spread the preserves evenly over the top of the cake. add the remaining batter and carefully spread it evenly over the preserves-this is a little tricky so take your time. top it all off by sprinkling the crumb mixture over the top. bake until a pick comes out clean, about an hour. allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. turn it out and invert it onto a rack to cool completely. just before serving, dust it generously with the powdered sugar.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
what's in a name? when it comes to a menu or a recipe title, everything. the title "baked yogurt tart" just does nothing for me. a picture would help sell it but the publisher must have decided not to include one, too bad, it might have helped. might being the key word.
so shy would i bother to make one? curiosity and a husband who never fails to ask me, "what's for dessert?" after every dinner we have together. the catch, neither one of us eats much dairy. sure a splash of half and half in coffee or a little butter on toast, maybe the occasional slice of cheese but a slice of a yogurt filled tart? not likely. while i tolerate it better than my husband can (physically-as in gastrointestinal abilities), i still prefer to avoid it since i generally feel better if i do. the only way i could make this would be to use a soy or coconut yogurt. honestly, neither one is something i eat much of just because of the long list of stuff they add to it to give it a texture similar to real dairy yogurt. but since i want to bake along with the tuesdays with dorie followers and i know my husband will ask that burning question, i baked the tart.
the recipe is easy to follow. it calls for 1/4 of the pie dough recipe. i cheated. i had two prebaked mini pie shells in the freezer; i thawed them for the recipe. to make the filling, i mixed up 1/3 of the recipe which resulted in the perfect amount for 2 little pies. for the fruit, i topped one with peach slices and the other with strawberry slices. the baking time had to be reduced to 25-30 minutes and they came out of the oven a tiny bit jiggly in the center. they set up just fine. the only criticism, they look rather dry and a little leathery on top. i may have to brush a little warm honey over them before serving.
to see the full recipe, check out this great website from a la carte communications. and as always, to see the what the other bakers came up with, be sure to visit the tuesdays with dorie page.
i love that the recipe was so easy to divide. i just needed one egg.
yeah, it was a lazy day in my kitchen; the hand mixer came out for this recipe.
i love summer fruit, i was able to control myself and slice enough of it for the tarts.
fresh from the oven-pretty!
if my husband is lucky, i will let him have a bite or two...