Saturday, October 17, 2009

Half-Scratch Apple Spice Cake

Half-Scratch Apple Spice Cake
Adapted from Jamie

1 spice cake mix
1 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cups water
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/4 tsp butter flavoring
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fiji apples, diced

Mix together dry ingredients. Measure wet ingredients (except for sour cream) and add all to dry (just like a regular mix). Mix until combined, then add sour cream. Mix on medium speed for two minutes. Fold in apples. Fill greased and floured pans 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake as usual for your pans and your oven. Generally speaking, an 8” round x 2” pan will bake at 335 degrees for approx. 35 to 40 minutes. Cakes are done when wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into center has a few crumbs when pulled out (no wet batter). If cake forms a hard surface on top or "cracks", lower the oven temperature 10 degrees for remainder of cooking time. Cool in pan 20 minutes then invert onto plate and then to wire rack lined with paper towel OR cool until room temp and then remove. Store cakes tightly wrapped in plastic overnight on counter or in refrigerator (chilling in refrigerator makes layers easier to torte/slice/carve).

Dulce de Leche Frosting
1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup milk, room temp
2 tsps vanilla or other flavor
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 can dulce de Leche

Combine all ingredients, mix on slow speed until smooth. Add extra sugar if you need stiff icing.
Keeps fresh for 2 days without refrigeration; keeps well in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Yield is "enough to fill and cover a 2-layer 9 inch cake

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from New York Times

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rolled Buttercream

Rolled Buttercream
Adapted from Cake Central

1 c light corn syrup
1 c shortening
1/2 t salt
1 t clear vanilla (you can also add any other flavoring to taste)
2 lbs (approx. 8 c) powdered sugar

In a large bowl, stir together shortening and corn syrup. Mix in salt and vanilla, then gradually mix in the sugar until it is a stiff dough. If you are using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. If dough is sticky, knead more powdered sugar until it is smooth. Store in airtight container in fridge or at room temp.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Sour Cream Bran Muffins
Adapted from Epicurious

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup oat bran (available at Trader Joes)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the egg, the sour cream, and the molasses, and stir in the raisins. In a bowl whisk together the flour, the baking soda, the salt, and the bran, add the mixture to the sour cream mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter will be lumpy.) Spoon the batter into 12 well-buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins and bake the muffins in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Aloha Bread

Aloha Bread
Adapted from Loma Linda University Medical Center's Cafeteria

1 c margarine or butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c mashed bananas
4 c sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 15.5 oz can crushed-pineapple
1 c shredded coconut

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, mix well. Stir in bananas. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture; mix well. Fold in undrained pineapple, coconut, and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9"x 5" loaf pans. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until tested for doneness. Remove from pans and cool.


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