Ode to a spatula …


Dear Spatula,

You have served me through all my children’s birthdays, holiday baking, special occasions, as well as every day meal preparations in the last 28 years. But now, your whipping, mixing, and stirring days are drawing to a close. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Sigh.




Piernik – a Polish Christmas cake

Piernik – a Polish Christmas cake
Ingredients

Ingredients (for the cake)
140 g unsalted butter
300 g honey
100 g light brown sugar
365 g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3 large eggs
Ingredients (for the filling and the ganache)
250 g plum jam
225 ml double cream
140 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
3 tablespoons clear honey

Method
1. Method Grease and line the base of a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
2. In a saucepan, put the butter, honey and sugars, then cook over a medium heat until fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 140C.
4. Sieve all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.
5. Once the butter mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs, then pour that into the flour and spice mixture and mix until fully combine. Careful not to overmix the mixture of you will end up with a dry cake. Pour into the cake tin and cook for about 1 hour. Check whether the cake is done with a skewer, then remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
6. In the meantime, prepare your ganache by putting the chocolate, honey and cream into a saucepan and melting over medium heat, mixing to combine the ingredients together. Remove from the heat and let it cool and slightly thicken. Mix it from time to time.
7. Once the sponges have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the cake into three equal layers. Position the bottom layer on your a wire rack, then spread half of the jam on. Top with the second layer and cover that with the rest of the jam, then position the remaining layer on top.
8. Put a sheet of baking parchment/foil under the wire rack, so that it collects any extra ganache which will drop off the cake. Once the chocolate ganache has reached a slightly denser consistency, pour that over the cake and let it completely drip down the sides, so that the whole cake is covered. Leave to cool and harden.
9. When ready, use a palette knife to transfer the cake onto a serving dish/platter.

Notes
Made for Melissa’s birthday, 2019!
Source: Baking with Attitude (Servings: 12 | Yield: 1 cake)




Smells delicious!

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Cast Iron Cinnamon Swirl Bread

In progress …

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Tasty Rye!

I made a loaf this morning!

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Busy day in the kitchen …


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Gluten-Free Fudgy Teff Brownies

Gluten-Free Fudgy Teff Brownies

Whole-grain teff flour (made from a tiny ancient grain) has a nuance of cocoa flavor to start with, making it a natural choice for brownies. These gluten-free brownies are moist and satisfying, intensely chocolaty and have a tender texture.

Ingredients

6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cold large eggs
½ cup teff flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

Method
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray, allowing it to slightly overhang opposite edges.
2. Bring 1 inch water to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine chocolate and butter in a metal bowl large enough to rest in the pan without touching the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat.
3. Add sugar and salt and stir until combined. Let cool until barely lukewarm, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, whisking briskly after each. Add flour and whisk briskly for 30 seconds to thicken the batter. Stir in nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 1½ hours. Lift the overhanging ends of paper or foil to remove from the pan. Cut into 16 brownies.

Notes
To make ahead: Store airtight for up to 2 days.

Prep
• Prep: 20 Minutes
• Ready in: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

Source: Eating Well (Servings: 16 | Yield: one 8-inch pan of brownies)




Peach and Bourbon Cobbler with Almond Spoon Cake

Peach and Bourbon Cobbler with Almond Spoon Cake

You know those sweet, drippy peaches you dream about all year? When you’ve had your fill standing over the sink, bake up the rest with dark brown sugar, booze, and a tender topping. And if you see them in late summer, try the recipe with O’Henry peaches: Firm yet satiny, they have a perfect sweet-acid balance and freestone flesh, meaning they’re a cinch to pit.

Ingredients

2 ¾ lbs juicy, firm-ripe peaches
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon each cornstarch, quick-cooking tapioca, and lemon juice
3 tablespoons bourbon
Topping
¾ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup almond paste
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 large egg
3 tablespoons whole milk
⅓ cup sliced almonds

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375° (350° if using a glass baking dish). Make filling: Immerse a few peaches at a time in a saucepan of boiling water until skin loosens easily with a knife tip, 15 to 30 seconds. Peel fruit.
2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and tapioca. Stir in lemon juice and bourbon. Cut peaches into 1/2-in.-wide wedges to make 6 1/2 cups. Stir peaches into bourbon mixture and let stand 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, for tapioca to begin to soften.
3. Meanwhile, make topping: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a food processor, whirl almond paste and granulated sugar to break up. Add butter; whirl until no lumps remain, scraping bowl. Add egg, milk, and flour mixture and pulse just until blended. Transfer to bowl used for flour.
4. Scrape fruit mixture into a 10-in. cast-iron skillet (2 in. deep) or an 8-in. square baking dish. Drop batter in 8 large spoonfuls over fruit and scatter all over with almonds.
5. Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes (50 minutes for a glass dish). Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes.

Prep
• Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Source: Sunset (Servings: 8 | Yield: 1 cake)




Banana Bundt Cake

Banana Bundt Cake
This recipe simply repeats a mistake I made trying to follow the Banana Banana Bread recipe with a deliciously moist result, turning a banana bread into a banana cake. Big banana flavor without a lot of time or effort!”

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
6 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 ¼ cups mashed overripe bananas

Method
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour a fluted tube pan (such as a Bundt(R).
2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
3. Place butter and sugar in a blender; process until sugar is almost completely dissolved; pour into a bowl. Stir in mashed bananas and egg until well blended; pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until batter is just combined. Pour batter into prepared tube pan.
4. Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting cake onto a plate to serve.

Prep
• Prep: 20 Minutes
• Cook: 30 Minutes
• Ready in: 1 Hour

Source: All Recipes.com (10 servings)




French Macarons

My first attempt. Labor intensive but tasty!