Sweets on Saturday

Fun is defined as trying some new dish in the kitchen. Funner is defined as trying it with friends – even though these friends are MILES away!!! That is what TwitterBakes are all about. Kayte and Phyl decided to make Nick Maglieri’s Old Fashioned Sweet Potato Tart from his newest book – Bake! which they both have copies of and they let me join in.

I have always loved Sweet Potatoes. Eating them instead of a baked potato or making sweet potato fries (baked) or sweet potato bread. So the idea of making a sweet potato tart appealed to me. It is very simple to put together. (Altho’ you will have to buy the book to find out what the recipe is.) At this point don’t think this will be a repeat. The dough was hard to work with. I finally had to press the dough into the pan rather than rolling it out. And the filling was awfully bland. I was rather disappointed. Especially since all the other goodies I have made with Nick’s recipes have been sooooo good.

But I will play with the filling and see in increasing the spices helps. It should.

NaBloPoMo Day 13.

    “Tarek Malouf came up with the idea for The Hummingbird Bakery in 2002 when he spent Thanksgiving in North Carolina. After indulging in cupcakes, banana cream pie, and apple pie, he wondered why he’d never seen a bakery in London which excelled in treats like these.

So, in 2004 he opened one.

And in 2009 he published a cookbook with many of the recipes for his cupcakes, brownies, pies, cakes, muffins, and cookies. Everything in the book looks delicious. While he believes in simplicity of looks he believes in complexity of flavors. I decided I HAD to have this ‘sweet’ book so I stole, eh, took, eh borrowed it from my Mom. And started with something simple.

    Traditional Brownies

      6 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
      1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
      1 2/3 cups sugar
      1 cup AP flour
      3 eggs
      Confectioner’s sugar, to decorate.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated.
Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared 9 x 13 inch baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes {I only baked for 25, but then I like them a little soft inside}, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy.
Leave to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar, to decorate.

These don’t have nuts, but you can add them in if you wish.

Let me put this simply. These. Are. Good. A good traditional brownie. If you want a simple recipe try these.

And if I am ever in London again, I will visit one of the Three locations of The Bakery.

In 1978 we moved into a house built in 1926. It was a frame house. Nothing fancy. It is located in an old Czechoslovakian community and was built by one of the early settlers. It wasn’t so much the house that we bought it for, it was the trees everywhere. Oak. Elm. Apple. Plum. Fig. Peach. Pear. Many of the fruit trees are gone now. They were old when we bought the place. We have replaced some of them, but not all. The first year we lived here I picked enough apples to put up 22 quarts of applesauce. That was the last year we had apples. We still have the pear trees so every year we pick and give away plenty of pears.

Why am I telling you all this?? Because of the recipe this Saturday.

    Cinnamon Apple Pear Bread

It is supposed to be apple bread, but we have a bumper crop of pears this year and I hate to see them go to waste.

      3 eggs
      1 cup veggie oil {I subbed applesauce.}
      2 cups sugar {used 1/2 sugar 1/2 splenda}
      1 tsp vanilla
      3 cups flour
      1 tsp cinnamon {Used 3 tsp.}
      1 tsp salt
      1 tsp baking soda
      3 cups raw pears, chopped
      1 cup nuts, chopped {this makes two loaves so used pecans in one and walnuts in one}

Beat together eggs, veggie oil (or apple sauce), sugar and vanilla
Sift together flour, cinamon, salt, and baking soda.
Add toegg mixture
Stir in pears and nuts.
Pour into 2 greased regular size bread pans.
Bake at 300 degrees 90 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and wrap with foil or plastic wrap while hot.

I wondered about this last step, but it gave the loaves a nice sweet topping as the sugar melted into the cake.

The quickbread is NOT real sweet but the pears add sweetness to the loaf.

This recipe came from our local electric company cookbook –
The Power of Good Food

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