week 8: strawberry pound cake

•March 16, 2011 • 3 Comments

I promise, I don’t work for Williams-Sonoma.  I re-visited the pound cake recipe for a friend at work, but adapted the recipe to make it strawberry pound cake instead of mango.

A couple of things were different about this version: I subbed 1 cup of chopped fresh strawberries, macerated in 1 tbsp powdered sugar and 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream, for the mango. 

I mixed the batter less, and that resulted in a lighter cake.  It’s still a bit on the dense side though, so I served it with whipped cream and sliced fresh strawberries.  It was a big hit, even without the glaze, but next time, I will probably add even more strawberries and bake it 55 minutes–60 minutes made for a pretty brown crust.

week 7: glazed mango pound cake

•March 6, 2011 • 7 Comments

I’m on the hunt for the perfect mango cake.  After tasting a unique homemade wedding cake (coconut layers, mango mousse, and chocolate sponge), I got it in my head that somewhere out there is a recipe for something that tastes like you just bit into a ripe, juicy fruit.  My first attempt is the BHG glazed mango pound cake, with a few tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2  cups  butter
  • 6    eggs
  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1-1/2  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2  teaspoons  vanilla
  • 1  cup  finely chopped, peeled mango
  • 1-1/2  cups  sifted powdered sugar
  • 3  to 4 teaspoons  mango nectar or orange juice

1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside. Stir together flour and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar to butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on medium to high speed about 6 minutes total or until very light and fluffy. Add vanilla and almond extract.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each, scraping bowl often. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low to medium speed just until combined. Fold in the finely chopped mango. Pour into the prepared fluted tube pan.

3. Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool thoroughly on wire rack.

4. For glaze, in a small mixing bowl stir together powdered sugar and enough of the mango nectar or orange juice to make of drizzling consistency. Spoon glaze over cooled cake, allowing it to drizzle down sides. Serve cake with mango slices. Makes 16 servings.

As you can tell, I had a piece before the glaze went on–it is a really nice, moist cake, not too sweet, but not very fruity.  I was surprised, given the doubling of the mango (the original recipe calls for just 1/2 cup chopped).  I went to town with the glaze, not only drizzling it but also spreading it on all of the flat surfaces.  Hopefully it will help seal in the moisture as this recipe made a really big bundt.  Bottom line, this is a great recipe for a fruit pound cake, but I think I may end up using it as a base for my final mangolicious creation.

The original recipe for the cake can be found here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/cakes/glazed-mango-pound-cake/

FFWD: savory cheese and chive bread

•March 4, 2011 • 19 Comments

savory cheese and chive bread

from around my french table by dorie greenspan

I had grand plans for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe.  When I saw the Heritage Bundt Pan in a blog, I knew I had to have it. 

I was a little worried about whether this super-cheesy quick bread would come out in one piece, but it popped right out.  This recipe is a lazy cheese lover’s dream.  It took less than 20 minutes to put together, and smelled amazing while it was baking and cooling.  I doubled it so I could use the bundt pan, and baked it for 42 minutes. 

BTW, the platter is something I painted on Valentine’s Day weekend with my boo… yes, I make him paint pottery with me.  :)

To see what other people are doing with this recipe, check out www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com

Week 6: chocolate covered strawberries

•February 19, 2011 • 2 Comments

This week’s post isn’t technically about something baked, but it’s definitely a dessert.  A friend of mine is getting married, and somehow plans on feeding everyone herself–thank goodness it’s a small, intimate wedding!  I offered to bring one of her favorites, chocolate covered strawberries.

Ingredients:

12 large strawberries (the bigger, the better)

1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wash the strawberries and pat them dry carefully.  Prepare a cookie sheet with waxed paper or nonstick aluminum foil.  Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave them, 30 seconds at a time, until you are able to stir the mixture smooth.

Carefully dip and swirl each strawberry in the chocolate, lifting and twisting at the end.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a plate to be kept in the fridge.

Experiment with a white chocolate drizzle, sprinkles, or nuts.  Everyone will love these!

FFWD: Orange Almond Tart

•February 10, 2011 • 12 Comments

Orange Almond Tart

from around my french table by Dorie Greenspan

The picture for this recipe is what got me.  Who doesn’t love a beautifully composed tart with swirls of fruit and a golden buttery crust? Unfortunately, my almond cream swallowed up my oranges, so you’re getting a somewhat abbreviated view:

I thought it would be pretty to use blood oranges as well, and I’m really glad I did.  I love the way the colors pop against the pale almond cream… next time I’m definitely going to space the oranges better and aim for bigger supremes.  I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s instead of the requisite almond flour, so my cream is a bit rustic looking.

Overall, this recipe wasn’t too difficult, just time consuming.  It was much easier to pull together with the crust already baked, and making the orange supremes didn’t take long at all.  Do not skip the drying step!

To see how other tarts turned out, visit http://www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com/

Week 5: Birthday Cupcakes

•February 4, 2011 • 4 Comments

My sister is a flight attendant and she travels all over the world every month.  She comes home with anchovy-stuffed olives, chocolate from France, and stories of amazing meals in outdoor markets.  The one thing she always wants on her birthday though, is yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  She would be just as happy with box cake and canned frosting, but I like to make them from scratch for her.  A hand mixer is ideal for this recipe–it makes the frosting nice and light, and the batter comes together in a pinch.

The cake is the sour cream cake from the pineapple upside down cupcakes, and the frosting is a simple cocoa buttercream.  The chocolate fans are just a little flourish, these are just as good with sprinkles or plain.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 -1 cup chocolate chips (for decorations)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the sour cream, vanilla and eggs, mix well.  Add your dry ingredients in 3 steps–do not overmix, just make sure everything is combined.  Put one heaping tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner and bake for 18-20 minutes.  You should end up with 22-24 good sized cupcakes.

While the cupcakes are baking, melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time.  Stir after each 30 seconds until the chocolate is all smooth.  Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic sandwich bag and snip off the tip.  Pipe small shapes onto a sheet of aluminum foil and store in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

Frosting Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 oz butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
3 Tbsp hot milk

Mix all together and whip until fluffy.  Spoon the frosting into a sandwich bag, snip off the end and swirl onto each cupcake.  Double the recipe for 20+ cupcakes if you like alot of frosting.  This is a crusting buttercream, so add sprinkles quickly before it dries.

Frosting is from here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/357091

Week 5: Birthday Cupcakes

•February 3, 2011 • 1 Comment

This week, we’re going to be making birthday cupcakes for my sister, Toui.  I’m doing away with the detailed shopping lists for now–they seem to be a bit redundant.  The cake batter will be the same sour cream cake from the pineapple upside down cupcakes, and the frosting will be a cocoa buttercream made with butter, cocoa, milk, and powdered sugar.

 
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