Baking


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

It’s summer. Officially. Although, here in the deep south our summer started about 2 weeks ago when the rains FINALLY stopped and the sun came out. Talk about HUMIDITY!!

Summer means lots of cold drinks, cool salads, BBQ-ing, and Strawberries. And if you have strawberries then you absolutely HAVE to make Strawberry Shortcakes. I mean, its like a law or something…..

In the US this means using those little round sponge cakes that soak up all the juices. Or using a sweet biscuit. But the star of the show is always the berries. Sweet. Red. Juicy – if you are lucky enough to find them. It doesn’t matter what you serve them on. This weekthe Doristas are using Lady Finger cookie disks. It’s different.

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But different can be good. As these French style sweet treats were. Dorie says we should call the Ladyfinger Disks Indies: Celebrate Independence Day in the US and Bastille Day in France. I’m just gonna call them DELISH!!

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Layers of Indies with sweet berries and sweet cream. Cannot beat that on a hot day in the Deep South.

Check out the other Shortcakes on the Tuesdays with Dorie website where we leave our links for this week’s “assignment”.

The recipe is on page 338 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi.

What is Rocky Road? Well, if you are ice cream lovers, like we are, you would know it is Chocolate Ice Cream filled with nuts, and marshmallows. Invented in 1929, William Dryer named it Rocky Road to give the population, during the depression, something to smile about in the Depression. Rocky Road. Clever. And tasty, too. Originally it had walnuts. Those were replaced with almonds. And it did not have chocolate chips. Today, the ice cream has changed and is one of the most popular flavors in the US.

You can even find vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds.

I found out that in some other countries it isn’t necessarily an Ice Cream Flavor, it’s a cupcake or brownie with additional ingredients: coconut, cherries, raisins, biscuits. Interesting! I always knew this group could be not only delicious, but educational as well.

But, I digress….. on with the cake!

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    1 3/4 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Stevia in the Raw and 3/4 cup sugar}
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 2/3 cups milk
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    2/3 cup mini marshmallows, frozen
    2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon baking powder.
    3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan. If using a 10 cup pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until very light and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon 3/4 batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa powder to remaining batter. Add the cocoa batter to the top and gently swirl through entire cake.
Bake at 325″ for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely.
Drizzle with chocolate glaze, and if desired, marshmallow cream.
16 servings.

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I was disappointed that the marshmallow melted into the cake even tho I started with frozen minis. But they did add a great texture and a lot of moisture to the cake itself. Maybe small ‘globs’ of marshmallow fluff would have worked better. But all the ingredients are there, so…… I chopped some minis into small pieces and scattered them on top but the cake wasn’t as pretty with them on it.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Third Monday in May.

The end result – meeting a new foodie and cooking something or things from their collection of good things. I have found over the years that cooking just one thing is not a good way to learn about what makes a person tick. Or in the case of my ‘assignment’ this month – people. This month I was matched with Feast on the Cheap which is run by Mother and Daughter Duo Mary Ann and Mariel. Mary Ann is caterer and Mariel is writer with extraordinary culinary skills learned at her mother’s side. Between the two of them there is an awesome collection of great recipes.Not only that – the cost of every recipe is laid out for you with the ingredients. Thus the name “FEAST ON THE CHEAP”!! It was great to see how much each dish would cost.

I usually make three different treats. Usually a side and an entree and maybe a sweet treat. But it seems everything I went looking for something I was in need of something sweet. So here are two desserts – unusual for me – and a nice little quinoa dish.

I had a quart jar of pears in the pantry. We have a couple of trees so I put up pears every year. Finding this…

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was perfect. It is easy to make and yummy with the Maple Brown Butter Syrup and Pecans on top. Merial called for walnuts but we aren’t big fans and I always have lots of pecans in the freezer. Another change I made – I subbed out 1/2 of the AP flour for Whole Wheat. This is a grown up {what we used to call} Poke Cake. After the cake is cooked and cooled a bit holes are poked all over which lets the lovely syrup soak into the cake. Oh, Yeah!! Since I used my canned pears I skipped the “boil the pears, cinnamon, and water” part and just heated the pears and their juice with the cinnamon (and a little extra). Make this cake!!

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The next time I wandered through the site I found another sweet treat and since I was completely out of cake I deemed it absolutely necessary to make another. This time…

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Our garden yielded a lot of butternut last year. We could not eat all of them or give all of them away. There is just so much butternut one can eat. So I had cooked up quite a few, scooped out the good part, and froze packages of butternut squash. Lucky me to have found this cake, also from Merial.

This is supposed to be a quick bread but I changed it up just a tad and made ‘brownies’ with them. I poured the batter into a 11″ x 7″ pan and baked them for about 24 minutes. Merial made a Ginger Apple Butter for her bread but I chose not to use a ‘frosting’. But I did use some Sweet Potato Butter on some and they were wonderful!! Slicing these was a cinch since I had Mom’s special brownie pan (she loved gadgets like I do)

P1060546 PRESTO!! 18 perfect snacks!!

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Okay, I just couldn’t make another sweet treat. I HAD to go along another path.
For Lunch:

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Quinoa Salad with Sweet Bell Peppers, Dried Cranberries and Turkey Bacon

    1 cup organic quinoa
    2 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
    ½ Teaspoon salt
    1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    ¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped –
    ¾ cup dried cranberries
    4 scallions (green onions), white and green parts thinly sliced
    5 ozs. Montrachet or plain goat cheese (NOT Feta)
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

    For the dressing:
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    1 Teaspoon Turmeric or dry mustard
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    3 Teaspoons honey
    ¾ cup olive oil
    salt and pepper

If not using organic quinoa, rinse in a fine mesh strainer under cold, running water.

In a 1½ quart lidded saucepan, combine the quinoa, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff the grain with a fork and set aside. Allow to cool to about room temperature.

In the mean time, prepare the remaining ingredients and dressing. Set the dressing aside.

Toss the peppers, cheese, nuts, cranberries, cucumber, onions, cilantro, and crumbled bacon with the quinoa. Season the Pilaf with salt and pepper. Add the dressing if serving all at once, combining well.

This was definitely a hit with me. The sweet cranberries and pecans mixed with the sweet pepper and green onions was a nice contrast. The tangy sweet dressing brought it all together. I made 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two light lunches (with cake!). And so colorful which means lots of good things in the dish that are good for you.

So many recipes, so little time. I did make the Whole Wheat Parmesan Drop Biscuits. I couldn’t pass those up. Now I want to go back and try

And that’s just my short list.

Visit with Mary Ann and Merial – you WON”T be sorry!!

And visit the rest of the Secret Recipe Club Members and see what they cooked/baked this month.

I have to admit the first glance at the recipe name I read Nutella BOTTOMS so I was thinking cookies. I was very glad to find out the recipe read BUTTONS and they were little cup cakes.

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These Bouchées, or ‘mouthfulls’, are filled with nutella. Just enough to give a quick sweet taste.

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Dorie’s Bonne Idee was to dip them in some chocolate ganache. DONE! I don’t think you can ever have too much chocolate. I only made 1/2 of the recipe which gave me 12 little mini cuppys. I will be making them again.

These are on page 188 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi.

Check with the other bakers and see their BUTTONS!

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