Baking


On page 191 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi is a small cake that was a hit in the 1980s.  Every restaurant and good home hostess served them.  Sometimes with a little ice cream.  Sometimes just ‘molten’.  It was a soft cake that was still liquid in the center when it came out of the oven.  Chocolate Lava Cakes.  aka Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes.

I loved them in the 80s. I still love them so I was looking forward to making them.

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That doesn’t look like what I had in mind when I put them in the oven, however.

I decided instead of a chocolate center, since I was mainly making them for The Man, I would make the center liquid PB.  Unfortunately, all the little PB chips floated away from the center and didn’t melt like I had hoped.  Didn’t matter, The Man thought they were good and that was all that mattered.  I think making a small PB truffle to go in the center would work much better.

I let mine sit a little longer…P1080628

….so mine was more fudgy.  Just the way I like it.

I made 1/2 of the recipe and that resulted in two sweet treats.  I really didn’t need any extras sitting around!

Definitely make these again.  They were soooo good!!

Check out the rest of the Doristas and their baked goodies.  W had a choice of either one of this month’s selections so you will also see some Panna Cottas in the mix.  Looking forward to that one.

Admit it.  You have more cookbooks than you actually use.  You read them.  You mark recipes.  You intend to go back and make. each. one.  But you don’t.  At least not all of them.  And don’t you just hate that.  Well here is the solution!

Joyce of Kitchen Flavors and Emily of Emily’s Cooking {Makan2} Foray have started Cookbook Countdown to solve that problem.  They started in January but I didn’t find it until late that month so decided to start in February.  And here we are, the first week of February and I am actually following through with my resolve to join and cook from a single underused cookbook each month – which is what Cookbook Countdown is all about.

For February I am using Deb Perelman’s the smitten kitchen cookbook.  You may know of Deb already from her website – Smitten Kitchen.  I have book marked so many of her recipes and not gone back to many.  Having the cookbook in front of me is old school.  And that’s me – Old School!!

To start the month I made her WHOLE LEMON BARS.

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I don’t know about you but most of the lemon desserts I make just don’t have enough lemon flavor in them.  This one, however, blew me away with the deep and tart/sweet lemon flavor.  The reason for that?  Instead of just juice and zest Deb includes THE WHOLE LEMON!! Yes, the whole thing!!!

And it works.  Beautifully!  Tartly! Tastefully!

The lemons are sliced.  Extra pith is cut out and the rest of the lemon, sans seeds, is then processed into a puree with the sugar and the rest of the filling ingredients. What a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that when I was dissatisfied with wimpy lemon flavors??  Because I am not as creative as Deb. Which is why I love her cookbook.  So many flavors.  So many ‘out of the box’ {at least to me} flavor/ingredient combos.

Thanks Joyce and Emily for this easy solution to underused cookbooks.

The recipe is on page 217 of the smitten kitchen cookbook.  I also found it ONLINE.

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

cookbookcountdown

 

This weekend my ladies dinner group enjoyed High Tea at “Ortigo Abbey”.  We were celebrating the new, and last, season of  Downton Abbey.

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We started with soup.  Then came the sandwiches, including the mandatory cucumber ones.  Then we had some hot buttered scones, from an Edwardian cookbook, with Clotted Cream followed by the sweet treats.  This is where Donna comes in.  I needed something bite sized and chocolate.  Something decadent seemed reasonable.   I found her Chocolate Truffle Cakes in Flavours.

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They did not come out nearly as pretty as Donna’s but they were very tasty, very chocolate-y and now they are very gone.

  • 300g  (10 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 4 Tbl sugar

Glaze:

  • 200g  (6 1/2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1cup cream
  • 85g ( 3 oz) butter
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F (170C).
  2. Line base of eight 1 cup (8 fl oz) capacity non-stick muffin tins with non-stick baking paper. {Since I needed bite sized I used a mini-muffin tin.  I ended up with 32 minis}
  3. Place chocolate and butter in a saucepan (absolutely dry) and stir over low heat till melted and smooth.
  4. Place the egg, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat until thick and pale.
  5. Stir through the chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes are just set.
  7. Cool in the tins and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  8. To make the glaze, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat and mix till smooth.
  9. Chill the glaze til it is firm.
  10. Unmold the cakes onto serving plates and spread with the glaze.

My glaze wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked so I topped the mini mouthwatering treats with powdered sugar.  They were very rich. and no one complained that they were rather ugly.

The recipe is on page 124 of Donna’s flavours.  (and several places on the web)

BTW it was POTLUCK week for I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

We haven’t done sweets in a while with Wednesdays with Donna Hay so this week’s theme – Small Sweet Sensations – was just right.  Course I planned it that way by picking the theme.

Donna’s food-processor cookies were calling my name.  LOUDLY!!

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I’d like to say these were some of the best cookies EVAH! but I cannot.

They were easy to make.  All the ingredients, except the chocolate, in the food processor then add the chocolate chips  M&Ms in a separate bowl.  I found them to be rather tasteless except for the M&Ms.  Oh, well.

The recipe is a short order recipe from Donna’s off the shelf.  Page 160.

Want more sweet treats – Small Sweet Sensations – at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

There are a lot of peppermint and chocolate dessert recipes/posts floating in the blogasphere this time of the year.  When it came my time to pick for this week’s Donna Hay selection I knew I would be chocolated out so I went for something a little lighter and more refreshing – LEMON!

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This is an almond flour based cake with a really lemony curd filling.  Between the three layers!  Yes, we sliced this cake in thirds and then filled each space with lots of curd and then, because that wasn’t enough we topped it with more lemony flavor.

I would like to say this cake turned out nicely, but I found it to be rather dense (which is how the Hubs likes cake).  The curd, however, was perfect.  VERY Lemony (1/4 cups lemon juice in the recipe) and easy to make since it has whole eggs rather than just the yolks.

I will definitely make the curd again  – but maybe not the cake.

For make cakes visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay.  The recipe is from FLAVOURS  (page 50).

 

    ..of luck…

you get assigned to a blog for Secret Recipe Club that has lots of simple, and tasty, recipes. And that is what happened this month when my Secret Assignment was A Little Bit of Everything which is written by Julie WAY up in the plains Nebraska. And I mean way way up because I am WAY down in the Deep South of Louisiana. She has been blogging since 2009 and has a collection of recipes to prove it.

As usual, and we are all in the same boat each month, it was hard to find JUST ONE recipe for SRC so I tried several. And they were all good. And all simple.

It has FINALLY turned cool here which means I could enjoy a nice bowl of oatmeal {I don’t like oatmeal, or soup, in the summer. Just too hot! I know, I’m weird.} and lucky for me Julie had a Pumpkin Oatmeal on the blog.

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It is full of all those wonderful pumpkin pie spices, pecans, and maple syrup. It was just right. I wish I had made more than just 1/2 of the recipe.

There was also a recipe for Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins

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Talk about tasty. Ditto on the pumpkin spices and then add in the butterscotch chips and it was a definite winner.

    1 3/4 cup flour, sifted
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1 cup canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin and butter. Stir in the butterscotch chips. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. Fold together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not ove rmix.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Place on a rack to cool.

    Oh, yeah, and then I drizzled some with caramel. MAYBE a little over the top, but hey….

We eat a lot of ice cream year round. Or at least The Hubs does. So I had to make Julie’s Cake Batter Ice Cream.

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Okay, it wasn’t completely her recipe. I have fallen in love with the No Churn ice cream so I used her amount of cake batter {3/4 cup} in the no churn. What a great Idea!!! You can have your cake and ice cream at the same time. Add some sprinkles and it’s a party in a bowl!!

So here it is the weekend before the reveal and I still have about 10 items on my list from Julie’s recipes:

Which just happen to be the next three on my list. I cannot put my whole list so you bettr just jump on over to A Little Bit of Everything and check them out your self. AND, when you click on her lists they come up in PINTEREST!! Now why didn’t I think of that?

And for the rest of the SRC delights you can find them by clicking below:

…Brownies will always be in my top three desserts {along with Cheese cake and Bread Pudding}. And thanks to Ellie I don’t have to eat tiny little slices to enjoy them. {Theme this week was slices so brownies seemed to fit the bill}

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These are her Dark Chocolate Brownies and they are only 150 calories/piece. Well, it you cut them into 24 squares from a 9×13 pan. But I knew I didn’t need THAT many brownies so I made only 1/2 the recipe in a 6″ cast iron skillet. I’ve always wanted to do that! They always look so cute.

I only made a couple of changes from the original recipe. I used non-fat vanilla yogurt rather than the plain low fat she called for and unsweetened chocolate instead of the bittersweet. It’s what I had. And while most sites/blogs/people will tell you they are not interchangeable in baking so I added a just a tad of Stevia to make up for the loss of the 10% or sugar. Worked just fine.

I also baked them a little less than she did because I like a little gooey in my brownies.

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Her original recipe is on FOODTVso I’m not going to include it this time.

What else was sliced up this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs – go see!

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