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Archive for the ‘Breakfast-Brunch’ Category

The early summer days have yielded figs galore.  I’m lucky enough to have received two different types of figs from family and friends this week.  What am I to do with so many figs?

Fig Cake

Adapted from Open-Faced Plum Cake, Martha Stewart

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 large black figs, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Grease two round cake pans (8-inch or 9-inch diameter) and set aside.

Cream 6 tablespoons of the butter with 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat in the egg and then the milk.  The mixture may look a little curdled, it will be fine.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.  Add this mixture to the wet ingredients.  Gradually increase the mixing speed to make a smooth batter.

Divide the batter between the two greased pans and smooth it out to cover the bottom of the pans.  Lay the fig halves on top of the batter in a pretty pattern.

Mix the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the figs and cake batter.  Dot the fig halves with the remaining butter.

Bake until the edges are golden and the cake has puffed around the figs.  Serve warm with coffee or tea.

The kids loved this cake and polished off their first slice before I had a chance to eat mine!  They both had a second piece before we headed to the park to enjoy a brief reprise from the 100 degree weather.

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I’ve seen other bloggy friends make their own granola.  I like crunchy cereal but there’s always the dreaded note in bold on the labels at the store: may contain traces of tree nuts.  A few times I thought I had found a pure and nut-free granola, take the box home and crack it open.  Taste a few clumps and feel a lingering numbness at the back of my throat.  It’s hopeless!

As part of feeding myself and the family better, I gave homemade granola a try.  This was the answer to my nut-free quest.

I took condensed milk as the binder as seen on A Recipe A Day’s blog when she made granola bars.  The only thing needed was a fresh bag of rolled oats.

Here’s what I tossed together and baked on a greased cookie sheet at 200 ºF for about an hour:

  • rolled oats (not the instant oats)
  • wheat bran
  • dried cranberries dried with blueberry juice
  • raisins
  • dried apricot
  • crystallized ginger
  • sweetened condensed milk (about 1/2 can)

Chop the ginger and apricot in tiny pieces, leave the raisins and dried “blueberries” whole.  Keep adding a little milk at a time and mix it in, about half a can was enough for the amount of oats in the bowl.  Bake and toss every 30 minutes trying to keep some chunks whole.

Store in an airtight container, such as an empty mason jar.  I’m putting mine in the fridge to hopefully keep longer.

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These were inspired by a winning recipe on Food52, Salvadoran Breakfast Cakes.  The original recipe was tested a while ago and I found it very greasy.  I played with the ingredients and found a good combination that is springy, moist, and now has blueberries added.  I love blueberries so it was inevitable they would make an appearance in these otherwise plain cupcakes.

  • 1 1/4 cups rice flour (white or brown)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 8 ounce container of low-fat sour cream (1 cup)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried

 

Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF (dark metal pan) or 350ºF (light metal pan).

Sift or whisk the rice flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the buttermilk, sour cream and lemon zest, beating well.

Fold in the blueberries.

Fill each cup of a metal muffin tin almost full of batter.

Bake for 25 – 28 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  This batter is very moist so it’s hard to over bake these, the blueberries only add to the moisture factor.  Just keep an eye on them after the first 20 minutes.

 

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With or without raisins these mouthfuls will invite you to devour more than one tart.  But hey, they’re mini for just that reason!

Also fixed up the bakery website with a more permanent address: cardamombakery.com I’m still making slight tweaks here and arranging there, but it’s functional.  Menu expansion will be the next task, which really means baking a bunch of stuff that I don’t have photos for.  And what happens to all those goodies after the paparazzi are finished?  Well, let’s leave that between me, you and the birds.

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We all love a freshly made doughnut, no matter how unhealthy they may be. However, it can be a pain making that trek to the grocery store or bakery every morning. Fortunately, doughnuts can be easily made at home. Then, you can sit down with your hot doughnuts and coffee as you study for your online courses.

Here is a simple, easy-to-follow recipe for basic doughnuts:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for topping
  • Granulated sugar for topping

Mix two cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a bowl.

Combine the butter or margarine and milk into a different, medium-sized bowl

Add eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat the ingredients together until they’re thick.

Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture and beat the ingredients together. Combine with the dry mixture. Add the last cup of flour and mix well. Cover and chill the dough for two hours.

Roll the dough out a half-inch thick on a floured surface and cut it with a floured doughnut cutter.

Fry the doughnuts in oil at about 375ºF. Cook until each side turns a golden color. Drain the doughnuts on a paper towel and let them cool on a rack.

You can decorate the doughnuts with either powdered sugar or granulated sugar by placing warm doughnuts in a bag filled with sugar and shaking them. You can also enjoy them plain if you desire.

To learn more about online education, such as online culinary schools, check out www.onlinecollegedegrees.net.

Sources

eHow (2012)

HubPages (2012)

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Delicious things do come in small packages.  Take these dainty bread pudding cups for instance.

Apple Pear Pudding Cups

Makes 1 dozen

  • 1/2 loaf sliced bread, cubed
  • 1/2 can (about 1/2 cup) sweet condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large pear
  • 2 braeburn apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • pinch sea salt

Peel and dice the pear and apples.  Toss with cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix in the bread cubes.

Combine the eggs, milk, condensed milk, salt, and vanilla in another bowl.  Pour over the apples and pear and bread.  Toss until well distributed, don’t worry if the bread disappears.  It’s more of a structural component anyways.

Fill muffin cups, preferably silicone for easy removal, and bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes.  Let the cups cool slightly and firm up before popping them out of the muffin cups.

Serving size portions of warm, soft apple/pear bread pudding should be accompanied by ice cream and dulce de leche (see plating above).  And yes, that is a chip in my ceramic knife!  I wish everyone was a little more careful in the kitchen.

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Remember how I was trying to think of ways to use up my bag of Teff flour?  Well, I did it again.  This time I made muffins with a boost of fiber from the sneaky addition of Teff to the batter.  The neat thing about Teff is that in small portions it is easily incorporated into any recipe with all-purpose flour, including these lemony blueberry muffins.

Look good enough to eat, eh?

Here’s another tip for you… If you are like me and don’t like soggy areas of muffin around the fresh berries, use dried blueberries instead.  Dried berries are always in season and you won’t have to wait for them to thaw.  The best part is no soggy muffins!

  • 1 cup dried blueberry flavoured cranberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Teff flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 12 paper muffin cups
  • turbino sugar for sprinkling

Note: My typical recipe includes 2 or 3 mashed bananas, the lack of extra moisture should have been more apparent to me.  This recipe would be improved with the addition of a 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or applesauce.  I didn’t have anything else on hand.

Pre heat the oven to 325ºF.

Mix the wet ingredients with the lemon and blueberries and set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (except the turbino sugar) in a large bowl.  Make a well in the dry mix and pour in the wet mix.  Stir until the flour disappears, the consistency should be lumpy but evenly moist.

Divide the batter between 12 regular sized muffin cups in a metal tin.  These would also be cute as mini muffins for a brunch or coffee table.  Top with about 1/2 tsp of the turbino sugar.  Turbino sugar is coarse and will not completely melt during baking, this leaves a crunchy topping to the muffins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotate the pan half way through.  The middles should be set and the edges lightly golden brown.

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