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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

You know it’s not going to be fat free if it’s got Paula Deen’s name on it. Just make sure you share this treat so it doesn’t all end up on your backside. Wonderfully dense and super moist, this cake’s richness is perfectly balanced when topped with fresh strawberries and a teeny dollop of vanilla cream. I still have a couple slices left, but you’ll need to hurry.

Southwest Georgia Pound Cake

Courtesy of Paula Deen

You’ll need:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (you may use lemon or almond flavoring instead)

Preparation:

Generously grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan. Do not preheat the oven.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and heavy cream to butter-sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in flavoring.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Put into a cold oven and set the temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes without opening the oven door. Bake for an additional 15 minutes if necessary. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert cake onto cake plate. For a real treat, serve yourself a slice while it’s still warm.

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This gooey rich slice of heaven has to be one of my all time favorite treats. Chocolate goodness oozing out the moment your fork hits it….

Just across the water from downtown Portland, there is a pint-sized cozy restaurant serving fresh, local and organic dishes known as The Farm Cafe. Countless nights I’ve made my way over there squeezing in at the teeny weeny bar (they don’t take reservations) just to order this yummy chocolaty treat. Their version is a cross between molten cake and a traditional soufflé – more like a fallen chocolate lava soufflé (and I mean that in the best possible way). They make each pot of deliciousness to order so be prepared to kick it for twenty minutes over a glass of wine. It’s SO worth it. Check this review.

This last weekend I prepared dinner for just under thirty guests at the golf and country club and wanted to serve a deliciously memorable meal. I started with baked halibut in saffron broth over mashed potatoes with a tomato and black olive ragoût followed by this to-die-for chocolate molten cake – recipe by Dave Lieberman.

My apologies; in my haste to keep the hot – hot and the cold – cold (remember – I was plating for over a couple dozen peeps!) I totally spaced taking a snapshot of the final product and only took a few pics of the prep. The good news is I will probably be making some more of this loveliness tomorrow and may be able to grab a decent photo.

Molten Chocolate Cake

Courtesy of Dave Lieberman

You’ll need:

7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 6 (6-ounce) ramekins. (I dusted them with sugar instead of flour).

Place 5 1/2 ounces of the chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler, and melt them over simmering water.

Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick, about 8 minutes. Reduce speed and add flour. Add the chocolate mixture and continue beating until glossy, about another 5 minutes.

Divide half the mixture into the ramekins. Divide the remaining chopped chocolate among the ramekins, making a little pile in the middle of each one. Top with the rest of the batter.

Bake until just set around the edges, but the center still jiggles. About 10-12 minutes. DO NOT overcook. (I found they didn’t need the full time – so keep your eye on them carefully).

Cool just a few minutes and un-mold each cake onto a plate.

Raspberry Coulis

You’ll need:

1 (10-ounces) package frozen raspberries (if available with syrup)
2 tablespoons sugar – to taste (sometimes I use vanilla sugar)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice – to taste

Preparation:

Puree raspberries with syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.

Alternatively, you can throw the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 8 -10 minutes, puree with a hand held mixer, and pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.

Either option should be chilled before serving.

You can also use fresh raspberries if available and in season – just increase the amount of sugar.

This dessert really does plate up so pretty and of course, you can take your own creative liberties, but this is how I prepared it: I placed the cakes upside down on the plate (the sugar coating/dusting works better than flour if this is how you intend to serve them) then lightly dusted them with icing sugar, added a bit of the home-made raspberry coulis – so the upside down dome appears to be wading in the sauce, and finished with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

It turned out freakishly good…One of the ladies commented, “That was the best thing I have ever eaten. Would it be possible to have another?”

I promise – your guests will love you.

Bon Appétit!

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As a kid, I flipped when my parents received food as gifts.

close up

You know, jars of unbelievably scrumptious homemade jams made with love by your great-grandmother, those baskets of specialty foods presented so beautifully, the warm baked bread, sweet mouthwatering fudge, freshly harvested homegrown produce from my grandfathers garden, and oh, the heavenly assortment of cookies at Christmas time!

Not only is it a fantastic present for someone that truly enjoys tasty treats (and my parents certainly did) it’s also such a gracious and thoughtful gift. Giving a little piece of yourself to the recipient.

shredded

Of course, it’s almost impossible for a kid to really appreciate these homegrown and homemade goodies. So, now as an adult I understand my parents hesitation in sharing these eats with the 3 greedy vultures in their home who were completely oblivious and ignorant of the muscle and devotion that has been poured into picking the fruit, growing the tomatoes, or kneading the bread.

But I secretly did appreciate the effort and love that went into making each treasured snack and someday wanted to grow up to be the giver of these yummy gifts.

baked bread

Feeling nostalgic for those days and remembering the taste of my Great Aunt Freida’s famous freshly baked bread (well it’s more like sweet cake), the bread that as teen-agers my brothers and I would devour in one sitting, I knew I just MUST get the recipe from her and bake some straight away.

Baking this deliciously moist bread warms your kitchen with such a marvelous aroma and sends me right back to begging my mom if we could crack into yet another cherished loaf.

Great Aunt Freida’s Fabulous Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 loaves

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, shift flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together.

In a separate bowl whip eggs until foamy, add in oil and follow with zucchini and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry until well combined. Fold in nuts if using.

Divide batter equally in 2 standard greased loaf pans. Bake for 45 min – 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean. Alternatively, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes or 24 muffin tins for 20-25 minutes.

This bread stores and freezes well.

sliced

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If you like bread pudding, you will LOVE this recipe. It’s absolutely devoured every time I make it. The sauce is amazing….This is the ultimate comfort food.

Steve’s Killer Bread Pudding courtesy of the Foodnetwork

breadpudding

You’ll need:

1 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum (recommended: Myers’s)
1 1/2 loaves stale French or Italian bread, torn into pieces
3 cups milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rum Sauce:
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 ounces evaporated milk
4 tablespoons margarine
1 egg, beaten
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons dark rum (recommended: Myers’s)

Preparation:

Place raisins in a small bowl with rum and soak for a couple of hours. Drain raisins and reserve soaking liquid.

Place bread pieces in a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Add raisins to dish. In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, heavy cream, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, lemon zest, and salt, and mix well to ensure the sugar has been dissolved.

Add the reserved raisin soaking liquid to the milk mixture and pour over bread. Let sit until bread has soaked up all of the milk mixture for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place baking dish in another large pan and add water about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour or until bread pudding has set. Remove bread pudding from oven and let cool to just warm.

While bread pudding is cooling, make Rum Sauce:

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, margarine, egg and yolks in the top of a double boiler and cook, stirring well, until thick. Do not let sauce boil. Keep warm until serving time. Whisk in rum just before serving.

Serve bread pudding drizzled with sauce.

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I’m not sure which one is tastier – the chef Tyler Florence or his recipe for these delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Must be a reason he was named, “Sexiest Chef Alive” by People Magazine.

You decide.

Tyler Florence

My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies
courtesy of Tyler Florence, Food Network

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks using the spatula.

To form the cookies, scoop about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into your hands and roll it around into a ball; place them about 3-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets; you should get about 4 cookies on each pan. Press down the tops of the dough slightly and bake until the cookies are light brown, 12 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 15 minutes for crispy cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough/cookie sheets.

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