Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lime and Blackberry Who Knew



Like most Food Bloggers I check out a lot of other food blogs on a daily basis. So while looking around I saw this on Peabody's blog. And I thought to myself really lime and blackberry together, very interesting. So since I have been on a baby cake kick this month and I had some fantastic looking blackberries, baby cakes it is. I get really inspired by other people's blogs, what they make, their stories, what flavors they use. The ideas and combinations some people come up with amaze me. I was a food blog stalker for a while before I started my own blog. I decided to make my own blog after being inspired by a lot of other blogs. I only hope that some day that some one will be inspired by my blog to make something. But these were definitely an experiment on my end as I was having a hard time try to imagine this combination in my head. But they were fantastic a great combination of sweet and tart. The cake texture was great as usual, and the jam glaze gave a nice change from the regular glaze I normally use.


Lime Blackberry Baby Cakes

1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of AP Flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Zest of 3 limes, finely grated, plus the juice
12 Blackberries
1/3 cup of Blackberry jam - seedless
1 cup of powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick baking spray (the kind with flour). In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl mix together the buttermilk, vanilla, lime zest, and juice of the limes. Set both of those aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light in color. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer on low add in the flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and ending on the flour mixture. Fill the muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Add 1 blackberry to the middle of each cup and bake for 20-25 minutes. There will be batter left over. Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a rack. In a small sauce pan heat the jam until melted and then sift in the powdered sugar and stir until combined. Drizzle over the warm cakes and let cool until set about 30 minutes.

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Glazed Lemon Cakes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When life hands you lemons make madeleines


As I say in my profile I bake and cook to relieve the stress of a technological world. And the last few days have been really stressful at work. Really, Really Stressful. Those days where you just want to pull your hair out or scream, that is where I was. These are the days I wish I didn't have to work and could nap and cook all day. Wouldn't that be the life. P has been sick so yesterday I spent my night taking care of him. Tonight, however I was able to bake something. Ever since my first attempt at madeleines I have been dying to make more. I wanted to make lemon ones because that flavor normally goes over well and I had a few lemons that needed to be used up pronto. I looked all over for a recipe and when I found this one I knew it would be good. It seems like a lot of work to do the chilling and letting the batter rest but the end result was pretty fantastic. I sent these home with my Mom for my Dad who loves lemon. I hadn't made anything for them in a while and she was stopping by for some tools anyway. I have a feeling more citrus is in my future for tomorrow night as well.

Lemon Glazed Madeleines
3 large eggs
2/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
zest of one lemon
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the glaze -
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of water

Spray madeleine mold with non stick baking spray and place in the fridge. Whip the eggs, sugar and salt in a mixer for 5 minutes or until frothy and thickened. Slowly sift the flour and baking powder over the whipped mixtures and fold in slowly with a spatula. Add the lemon zest into the cooled butter and slowly add the butter into the batter. Add it in 5 or 6 additions and fold it in until just incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill for atleast 1 hours but it can be done up to 12 hours ahead.

To bake preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a dollop of batter in the center of each indentation so that it would be about 3/4 of the way full. I used a tablespoon cookie scoop and it was to much so I think next time I would do 1 or 2 teaspoons instead. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes are just set. Make the glaze while the cakes are baking. Remove the cakes from the oven and tilt out onto a cooling rack, as soon as they are cool enough to handle dip them in the glaze. Turn them around in the glaze so that they are coated on all sides. After they are coated place them back on the cooling rack until the cakes are cool and the glaze is firm.

This made about 12 madeleines for me, but I think I would get closer to 18.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

If Snickers were a Bar Cookie


Today is the NFL Draft which means P and friends will be over to enjoy the draft and to eat. P takes care of all of the food for the most part but I thought I would make something sweet for them. I asked P for suggestions and he let me have free reign. So that means trying a new recipe. So while perusing my cookbooks I decided to make Dorie Greenspan's Snickery Squares. Mainly because I had purchased dulce de leche for an ice cream recipe I never got around to making. So when the only thing that had to be baked was the crust I was all over this recipe. It was pretty easy to assemble. The squares turned out great and the only problem I had was getting them out of the pan but once I got the first one out the rest came out no problem. They were really good but what is there not to love chocolate, shortbread crust and dulce de leche. I could eat a can of dulce de leche by itself, and you have about 3/4 of a can left over after making this recipe so watch how fast it disappears!

Snickery Squares

Crust -
1 cup of AP Flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

Filling -
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 cups of salted peanuts
1 1/2 cups of store bought dulce de leche

Topping -
7 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, cut into pieces at room temperature

Crust Directions -
Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8 inch baking pan with non stick spray, place the baking pan on a cookie sheet. In a food processor place the flour, sugar, powdered sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add in the chilled butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Add in the yolk and pulse until the dough forms clumps and curds but stop before the dough comes together to form a ball. Turn the dough out into the pan and gently press it evenly across the bottom of the pan . Prick the dough all over with a fork and slide the cookie sheet into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust starts to brown around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.

Filling Directions -
Place parchment paper or a Silicone mat in a cookie sheet. In a medium saucepan add the water and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves. Once it has dissolved stop stirring and cook until it just starts to color. Then toss in the peanuts and immediately start stirring. Keep stirring to coat the peanuts with the sugar and within a few minutes they will be covered with the sugar and will turn white. Stir them until the sugar turns back into caramel. When they are coated with a nice deep amber caramel, place them on the prepared cookie sheet and spread them out as evenly as possible. Cool the peanuts to room temperature. Once they are cool break half of the nuts into large pieces and set aside. Take the other half of the nuts and finely chop them and then set those aside for the topping.
Spread the dulce de leche over the cooled crust and sprinkle the reserved large pieces of candied peanuts over the dulce de leche.

Topping Directions -
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler once melted remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Stir until it is fully blended into the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the dulce de leche, smoothing it with an offset spatula. Then sprinkle with the reserved finely chopped peanuts. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes but if you want to serve them cold (and in my opinion make them easier to cut) chill them at least 3 hours. Cut them into 16 bars and serve.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Grand Marnier Glazed Orange Baby Cakes


I'm not a big drinker, neither is P. We joke around that most of the alcohol in our house is used for cooking. But its really true. I was brainstorming something to make that was orange since I had purchased some oranges and they were nearing the end of their life. I walked over to the wine cabinet and surveyed my choices. Grand Marnier jumped out at me as the bottle hadn't even been opened yet. That is another thing that I purchase before I know what I am going to do with it. I see a theme recently with impulse buys. So I decided to redo the Lemon Glazed Baby Cakes I had done previously to see which flavors I like better. I think they are both good but I prefer the lemon ones but I'm going to venture to guess that P will like this ALOT. The Grand Marnier adds a nice sweetness and depth of flavor.

Grand Marnier Glazed Orange Baby Cakes

1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of AP Flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated, plus the juice of 1 orange and then 2 tablespoons of juice for the glaze
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick baking spray (the kind with flour). In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl mix together the buttermilk, vanilla, orange zest, and juice of one orange. Set both of those aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light in color. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer on low add in the flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk mixture and ending on the flour mixture. Fill the muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full and bake for 20-25 minutes. There will be batter left over. Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a rack. Once cooled completely mix together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and Grand Marnier until smooth and and pour over the cakes and spread with a knife and let set until firm about 30 minutes.

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Glazed Lemon Cakes.

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms


Yesterday was my 2nd wedding anniversary. So P and I decided to make a nice dinner. Mostly because anyone can go out to dinner, and making dinner for someone is more special. But, the fact that gas prices are out of control didn’t help matters either. So P was in charge of the protein as usual, so I decided to try a new appetizer. While at my local warehouse store where I bought my blackberries, I also purchased some great looking baby Portobello mushrooms. So I figured I would stuff them with something. But days went by and I didn’t have a clue of what to do with them. When we went shopping for the protein and little extras Monday night, I saw that bacon and my favorite blue cheese was on sale. Needless to say the light bulb went off. So once those were purchased I felt confident in my appetizer for dinner. These were easy to make and the filling I think would even be good if you mixed it and then chilled it as a chip dip. I can say that it was good on pretzels. Don’t judge me! I was home a lot earlier than P, and was hungry. The blue cheese just melted into the cream cheese so it was just hinted with blue cheese tang, it was a perfect balance.


Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

18 baby Portobello mushrooms - this is all we had left in the container
6 Pieces of Bacon – cooked
1 Medium – Large Scallion – finely sliced
1 8oz. Brick of Cream Cheese – softened to room temperature
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup Crumbled Blue Cheese – I use a very soft Mountain Gorgonzola
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil and lightly oil the foil. Clean and remove the stems of the mushrooms. Place the cleaned mushrooms on the cookie sheet. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and crumble the bacon over it. Add in the sliced scallion, parmesan cheese, blue cheese and garlic powder, mix until thoroughly combined. Place a teaspoon into the cavity of each of the mushrooms. You want it to be mounded on top so if your mushrooms are bigger adjust accordingly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the filling is starting brown slightly. Serve hot or at room temperature.

It is really helpful if the mushrooms are all the same size. There were a few bigger ones in our package and those weren’t totally done by the time the rest were. The mushroom should still hold up but taste earthy not raw once cooked.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Blackberry Streusel Muffins

While shopping at my local warehouse store, I happened upon a large container (20 oz) of fantastic looking blackberries for only 4.29. And in the Midwest in the middle of April that is a great price and they were in perfect shape. So I bought them on the spot not really knowing what I would make with them. At first I thought a peach and blackberry pie but my week was busy and I didn’t have time to make pie. So while reading one of my many cookbooks I found this recipe only it called for blueberries or raspberries. So blackberries in my mind would be a fine substitute. I will tell you that these muffins were really good, however the streusel was out of this world I could eat it uncooked by the gallon. These had a nice lightness to them and the lemon zest added a great balance with the sweetness of the berries. I will be making these again especially with spring coming I think just about any berry would work in these.

Blackberry Streusel Muffins

1 ¾ cup AP flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup of unsalted butter slightly firm
2 teaspoons lemon zest
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of buttermilk
1 ½ cups of blackberries, washed and well dried
Small Recipe of Streusel - see recipe below

Preheat the oven to 375. Prepare a regular size muffin tin with 12 paper liners. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda until combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and lemon zest, on medium speed until smooth and light in color. About a minute. Add in the sugar and mix once that is combined add the egg and vanilla. Once combined scrape down the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add in flour and buttermilk in an alternating patter. Starting with 1/3 of the flour then ½ of the buttermilk, so that you have 3 additions of flour and 2 of the buttermilk, ending with the flour. Mix until just combined. I added the last flour mixture and let it mix a few times then finished mixing by hand.

Put half scoops of batter in the bottom of the liners. I used a tablespoon cookie scoop but basically fill the liners between 1/3 and ½ way up the liner. Place 4-6 blackberries on top of the batter, then place a dollop batter on top. It is ok to have the berries showing. Place a handful of streusel on top and pat it down with your hand. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the streusel is starting to brown and then cool on a rack completely.

Small Recipe of Streusel

6-7 tablespoons of butter
1 cup AP flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt

Melt butter in a sauce pan and let cool to room temperature. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together, add in the cooled butter and stir with a fork until blended. When it starts to form crumbs, squeeze it with your hands to form larger lumps and then break them apart. Let sit for 10 -15 minutes before using.

Adapted from Zach’s Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins with Streusel Topping by Carole Walter in Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More


These were entered in Snack Shots #3 Muffins. Check it out here.

Texas Sheet Cake


Texas Sheet Cake, I don’t know how it got its name but I do know it’s pretty tasty. Whenever I make this cake people always ask how it got its name and I really only have one theory on why. Maybe it is because it is so large, that is the one I normally go with. But if you know why it is called that by all means please let me know. It was my bosses birthday on Wednesday. So I made this for her. Now when I eat something chocolate I like it to be really intensely flavored. This is not one of those cakes. It has nice mellow chocolate flavor and people here at work really ate it up. It is very light and moist even a few days later. It would be a nice addition to a potluck or block party as it makes a lot and doesn’t take that much time.

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups of AP Flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of butter
1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup of buttermilk
1 cup of water
2 cups of sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla

Frosting –
¼ cup of butter
3 tablespoons of buttermilk
½ teaspoon of vanilla
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
2 ¼ cup of powdered sugar

Grease a Jelly Roll pan or a 13x9x2 inch baking pan, set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium saucepan combine the 1 cup of butter, 1/3 cup of cocoa, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and beat into the dry mixture until blended. Add in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat for about a minute, then pour the batter in to the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for the Jelly Roll pan and closer to 35 for the 13x9 pan. While the cake is baking make the frosting.

In a medium saucepan, combine ¼ cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 3 tablespoons buttermilk. Bring that to a boil and then remove it from the heat and add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Once the cake is done baking spread the warm frosting over the warm cake and spread it evenly. It will be more like a glaze than a real frosting consistency. Let it cool in the pan on a rack until completely cool.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Perfection


I have a few strange things that really bring me joy and this is one of them. The very first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar, breaking that perfectly smooth top and consuming it slowly. I have been doing this blog for a while now so here is one my favorite things. The smooth and creamy texture is magnified in that first bite, its almost as if they churn the top layer a little more.

Sea Salt Carmels


Once again, I had a surplus of heavy cream due to being over zealous in what I thought I could do over one weekend. So while running out of ideas, I decided carmels would be a great option. It would be easy, requiring a small amount of time to make, and gives me more practice in making them. So I picked this recipe because it not only made a large amount, but it also used a large amount of heavy cream. Now I like carmels, I used to sneak them at the supermarket, out of the bins. My mother did not approve. That was before the days of the 5 cent donation box for 1 piece of candy. But I would take one and savor it for the majority of the shopping trip. It would make the trip go by so much more quickly. These however, are much, much better than the supermarket carmels I would eat. They melt in your mouth and have a great balance of sweetness.

Sea Salt Carmels


1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt - I used Fleur de Sel
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature

Line the bottom and sides of a 8 or 9 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Let the sides of the foil or parchment hang over the sides of the pan so that it is easier to remove the carmels. I had a hard time getting them out of the foil so I would spray the foil next time with non stick spray.
In a large saucepan atleast 3 quarts and combine the corn syrup, honey, sugar and sea salt and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cook until it reaches 305 degrees. During this time place the cream in a small saucepan and warm on the stove until it is just at a simmer. Turn off the heat and cover it so that it stays warm. Once the carmel is at 305 degrees, take it off the heat and add in the butter, stirring until its melted and combined. Then add in the cream slowly so that it won't bubble up violently. Once you have added all of the cream, stir the mixture until combined. Return the pan to the heat and cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches 250 degrees. Pour the carmel into the pan and let it set overnight before removing and cutting into individual pieces.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My First Dorie Recipe


I have owned Dorie Greenspan's cookbook 'Baking from My Home to Yours' for probably 4 months. During my 'kitchen is getting remodeled' phase, I bought a lot of cookbooks because I was dying to cook. This is the first thing that I made out of the cookbook. I was looking for something easy and did not need to cream butter. I have been sick for the past week and I'm just starting to get better. If you are wondering why I didn't want to cream butter, its one, because I didn't leave any butter out to come to temperature. Secondly, its less bowls for me to wash! So this was perfect. I know P's work will like it because they like the other Rum cake I make. This was really easy to make, and the long bake time gave me a break to eat dinner.

Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes - Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours

For the Cake -
2 2/3 cups of AP Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste
6 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup of heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoon of rum
1 stick + 7 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the syrup -
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rum

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2, 8.5 x4.5 x2.5 inch, loaf pans with non stick baking spray. Place the pans on a insulated baking sheet, or on two regular sheets, stacked one on top of each other. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Combine the sugar and eggs until they are thoroughly incorporated, whisk in the vanilla bean paste. Add in the cream and rum, stir to combine. Fold in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions until the batter is smooth and thick. Then fold in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. As soon as the cake go into the oven, and make the syrup. After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color. If they are browning too much, cover them lightly with foil tents.

To make the syrup - Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes and then unmold and turn them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and using a thin skewer poke holes all over the cake. Brush the cake all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it all up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Cheese and Cake who doesn't love that


I love cheesecake of any kind. As a kid, if we had cheesecake, I would always talk my mom into giving me some as a treat for breakfast. It had to be on the grounds that it had eggs, milk, cream cheese and a crust = bread, so it was like a complete meal in one slice. And if it had fruit on it, then that was the final argument for my case. I normally got my way, but the piece was always smaller than the night before. In any event, I love cheesecake. The creamy texture that almost melts in your mouth, it's glorious. I would say my favorite is plain with a sour cream
topping. But honestly, if its cheesecake, Ill eat it. When I saw these cheesecake bars, I knew I had to make them, as they were easier to transport, and could serve as party food. I think if I were to do them for a party, I would probably cut out rounds with a cookie cutter so it
would be more of a bite size desert. I liked that they were 'cheesecakey', but not like a huge piece of cheesecake, so you could probably eat a few. Who cares about moderation? They were very good, but needed a little more vanilla flavor for my taste.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars
Crust
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups of AP Flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
Filling
½ cup white sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 (8 oz.) packages plain cream cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon of AP Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in your vanilla bean paste and stir to combine. Gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into pan and bake for 15-17 minutes.
While that is baking, combine sugar, heavy cream, and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time and wait until the last egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add in the Vanilla bean paste and flour and process
until smooth. Pour the filling over the hot crust and return to the over for another 13 - 15 minutes or until the filling is set and doesn't jiggle in the center.
Cool completely before slicing or refrigerate before serving.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pear and Cinnamon Madeleines

I shop at a lot of grocery stores weekly. Some people might even think too many. I shop at 4-5 stores and the occasional 6th. It might seem like a lot but I am kind of a picky eater, and very specific about my food. Not that I won’t try something, I just like what I like and if I have to drive around so be it. So while shopping a few weekends ago at one of my stores, I came across a jar of Pear Sauce. Needless to say, I was intrigued by this, and had to purchase it. So when I got it home, I took it out and just set it on the counter for a few days, trying to figure out what to use it for. I knew I wanted to use it to bake something, but what? So while thumbing through my large binder of recipes, I came across this one. I knew immediately that it would satisfy two needs. One, I could use my pear sauce to replace the pureed apples. Two, I could make madeleines for the first time. I bought a madeleine pan probably 6 – 8 months ago but have never used it. I tend to do that with baking equipment. I will have this need for something, then it gets stored away for a good few months until I finally use it. But Madeleines would be made and Pear sauce would be used.

Pear and Cinnamon Madeleines

150g plain all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, softened – a little less than a stick of butter
50g light brown sugar
75g white sugar
2 eggs, lightly whisked
½ cup pear sauce
granulated sugar for coating


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray madeleine molds with non stick spray. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and cinnamon, set aside. In a mixer cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and pear sauce and beat until combined. Stir in the flour mixture and fold until the flour has been incorporated in to the wet mixture. Place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in each mold and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the tray and then coat lightly with sugar. This makes 24 so
I had to cook mine in 2 batches.

These were wonderfully light and moist, and I am already thinking of other ways to create a new version.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lemon Baby Cakes


When I work my early shift at work, I try to bake almost everyday because I have the time and the light to take my pictures. However, yesterday I got stuck a little later and had less time to make something. So since my market had 10 cent lemons (and how can you pass that up) I now have 10 lemons to use up. So this looked like a perfect opportunity to use those and use the little time I had to work with. So on a very gloomy Monday, these were a little burst of lemony sunshine. Now, I had to change the recipe. I think now that I have made them, I would change them more.

Lemon Baby Cakes
1/2 cup of unsalted butter softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of AP Flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt (I used non - fat plain yogurt)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus the juice and then 2 tablespoons of juice for the glaze
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non stick baking spray (the kind with flour). In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl mix together the yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest, and juice of one lemon. Set both of those aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light in color. Add in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. With the mixer on low add in the flour in three batches, alternating with the yogurt mixture and ending on the flour mixture. Divide evenly among the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in muffin tins for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a rack. Once cooled completely mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and and pour over the cakes and spread with a knife and let set until firm about 30 minutes.

Now they were supposed to be 6 jumbo muffins baked at 350. I first tried to bake them at 350, but the sides rose above the centers, so I knew I needed to bake them at lower temperature the next time. So for the batch I made, I baked them at 350 for 10 minutes then 325 for 6 minutes. I think the finished product will come out better if they are baked starting at 325. Now P doesn't like lemon that much, however, I made him try just the cake part for textural reasons. He loved it because it was soft and dense at the same time, and very moist too.

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Glazed Lemon Cakes.