Baking


Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs means we can make any recipe we want from any past, or present, chef we choose. I like that. It means that if there was a recipe in the past that didn’t fit a theme and you REALLY wanted to make it, or you just found a new one you really like, you can make it now. Excellent!!

So for this week’s potluck I went with Donna Hay and the Chocolate Pear Cake from my new book, FLAVOURS.

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It is exactly what it says it is – a chocolate cake topped with pear halves that have been cooked in butter and brown sugar.

    80g (2 3/4 oz) butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons water
    4 small small pears, peeled, halved and cored
    CAKE:
    185g (6 oz) butter
    1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    3 eggs
    2 cups self-raising (self-rising) flour
    1J3 cup cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In a skillet mix the butter brown sugar and water and heat until the butter has melted. Add the pears to the pan, cut-side down, and cook for about 2 minutes. {I cooked mine longer because they were larger and just off the tree.}
Place the pears, cut-side down, in a 23cm (9 inch) round cake tin that has been side- and base-lined with non-stick baking paper. Pour the syrup from the skillet over the pears.

CAKE:
Mix the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and stir through.
Carefully spread the cake mixture over the pears in the cake pan.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate and serve the cake in wedges with cream.
Serves 8-10. {Recipe is on page 116 of Flavours}

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I would advise checking the cake before the lower end of the required cooking time. Mine was a little dry. Tasty, but dry. The Hubs liked the pears. Me, not so much.

Want more potluck? Then visit us at IHCC for a buffet of goodness.

I had this brilliant Idea for this month’s Bundt Bakers’ SPRINKLES theme. Instead of going with a regular cake with colored sprinkles I decided to make a cheese cake ‘sprinkled’ inside with mini chocolate chips. In my head it would come out beautifully. 6 little perfect cheese cakes. Dotted with chips. Little sprinkles of cookie on the top.

    The angels would sing. The unicorns would dance.
      I would be the Belle of the Ball!

    Did. Not. Happen.

Instead I ended up with 6 stuck in the pan, partly collapsed, but great tasting, mini bundts. So much for brilliant ideas and head pictures.

    Cue the little Elves of Mischief instead!!

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What you need:

    1 cup finely chopped chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs.


    Filling
    3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 eggs
    1/4 cup whipping cream
    1 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300. Spray pan and sprinkle the cookie crumbs springly into 1 10 or 12 cup Bundt” Pan. {I used mini-bundt pans and it was enough for 7 small cheesecakes.}
Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla until very light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Add eggs one at a time. Mix on medium-high speed for about two minutes.
Add cream and mix well, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon mixture into prepared pans til they are about 3/4 full.
Bake at 300 for 55 to 65 minutes or until set. Cool upright in pan 30 minutes. Refrigerate 2 hours.

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Recipe adapted from Bundt Classics page 78

While I used the recipe in the book, you could use your favorite cheese cake recipe and just add in some mini chocolate chips.


Here are this month’s “Sprinkles” Bundts:

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest Board.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.

I discovered quinoa a couple of years ago and now I always have a bag in the house, I often use it subbed for rice and sometimes pasta. It is so good and so good for you since it is high in protein and cooks us so easily.

I am always looking for new ways to fix it so when I saw this recipe I knew I would have to pick it this week for Eating with Ellie.

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This dish is so colorful with the corn kernels, red bell pepper and grape tomatoes. And healthy since it is made with chicken or turkey sausage.

In less than 30 minutes I had a delicious, healthy lunch. Thanks, Ellie!

Check on our website for the other’s quinoa dishes and how they liked it.

Want to join us? We are cooking out of Ellie’s newest book – Weeknight Wonders. ALL the dishes take less than 30 minutes to make so they are perfect for those busy nights/days/weekends when you don’t have a lot of time.

FIRST I want to thank Peggy for her pick this week. I needed a quick and tasty dessert and this one was just perfect. SECOND – thanks to Donna Hay for the quick sweet treat. SHE is the reason I keep puff pastry in the freezer. It is good for just about anything from desserts to pot pies to savory tidbits.

This is pear season and ours are just beginning to ripen. I picked one, just one, and it was plenty for three galettes.

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I made mine with apple.

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This is super simple to make. Cut your puff pastry into squares. Sprinkle on some ground almonds. Layer some thin pear slices. Brush the whole thing with melted butter and then just bake at 350 until the pastry turns golden brown. No measurements. Put as much or as little of the pears and almonds as you like. This dessert is all about YOU!!

The ‘recipe’, if you want to call it that, is on page 160 of Donna’s off the shelf. I bet the other members of Wednesdays with Donna Hay liked this one, too.

Back in early July Gaye chose a cobbler from Donna Hay to make. I didn’t quite get to it. After reading all the very positive reviews I knew I had to make it. Full of apples, blueberries – which meant we had blue apples – coconut it was WONDERFUL!

And you will have to believe me on how wonderful it looked with the streusel topping. My pictures all seem to have gone BYE!

This was Gaye’s Pick and you can see their cobblers HERE!!It is from Donna’s book – Seasons on page 206 but you can also find it online at Hannah’s blog.

YOU need to make this NOW!!

    There is just something about the texture of ricotta…

It is NOT a cheese I would pick to use for anything. But there are a lot of recipes out there that contain it and when it’s IN something it’s not bad. Like in these little puff pastry pies!

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What you have here is puff pastry filled with a ricotta, Parmesean, dill, spinach mix. And it is wonderful!

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Using puff pastry instead of Filo is genius. I love spanakopita but it is just takes so long to make with the Filo. I might make these more often just because of the Puff Pastry. Oh, and the flavor! Thanks, Donna!

You can click on over to the website and see if the other’s liked Chaya’s pick for this week.

Here in the Deep South the Figs are ripe. And there are plenty of them with all the rain we have had these last couple of months. I usually pick them and give them to my neighbor but I found this easy recipe for a Fig Cake so decided to give it a try before I gave them away. I have to admit I am NOT a fig lover. I just don’t care for them. I did try one again this year but still not my thing. Different thing, though to put them in a cake – with pecans.

I was just about to make muffins instead of cupcakes and then I remembered this month’s Bundt Bakers’ Theme – Fruits and Nuts. Let’s see. Figs. Pecans. Yep – that qualifies. So back in the pantry went the cupcake pan and out came the bundt pan. Close shave!!

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For the Cake:

    2 cups AP flour
    1 1/2 cups sugar {I used 1/2 cup sugar. 1 cup Stevia in the Raw and 1 large Dash plain stevia}
    1 cup buttermilk
    3 eggs
    1 cup oil
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup chopped figs
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.
Sift the flour, salt, soda, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add oil and beat until well blended. Add the eggs, figs, nuts, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix well
Grease and SUGAR your bundt pan. {I used a small one and made 4 muffins as well.} and pour in batter.
Bake for 45 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.
For the Glaze:

    1 cup sugar
    1 stick butter
    1 Tbl corn syrup
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup buttermilk. 1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 3 minutes
Pour over cake while still warm.

What a great, sweet cake. The figs basically melted into the cake and the pecans added just the right amount of crunch. I used the glaze but I also sprinkled powdered sugar over the cake.

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This one is definitely in the cake rotation. Hope the fig tree lives a long, long time.

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#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

BundtBakers

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