Posts filed under ‘baking’

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Joanna from Lost in the Kitchen posted a low-fat banana bread recipe that I had been wanting to try.  I don’t have a loaf pan (yet), so I thought I’d give the recipe a little twist and make it into muffins instead.  Then, I realized I had some mini chocolate chips on hand and decided to throw those in as well.  Unfortunately, it’s no longer a true low-fat recipe, but it’s the taste that counts, right? Trust me, these are very, very good!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

(Inspired by Joanna and Cooking Light)
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

To Make:
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl beat together sugar and butter.  Gradually add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed.  Add banana, yogurt and vanilla.  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients gradually until moist.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Place muffin liners in muffin pan and fill with batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  Muffins are done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Yield:
10 muffins 

Advertisements

June 2, 2008 at 10:48 am 2 comments

Pear & Raspberry Mini-Cakes

I’m not very good at baking.  I admit it.  I just don’t have the patience to measure everything out exactly to guarantee the results.  I like to experiment and try new things, but in my experience, baking doesn’t lend itself to that very well.  Recently, I discovered I was wrong.  There are so many people out there who do experimental baking really well – among my favorites to follow in the blogosphere are La Tartine Gourmande, Bake & Destroy and Cannelle & Vanille (among others).  These cakes were inspired directly from a recipe for an apple cranberry cake by Béa at La Tartine Gourmande.  I didn’t have apples on hand, nor do I actually own the right sized cake pan to make the tasty-looking cakes.  Nevermind though, I am turning over a new leaf and starting to experiment with my baking!  I made mini-cakes in a muffin pan and used some pears and raspberries that I had on hand.  They turned out great!

Pear & Raspberry Mini-Cakes
Ingredients:
1 tsp. baking powder
8 Tbs. flour
3 pears, peeled and cored
1 container of raspberries
3 eggs
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, sift together baking powder and flour.  Set aside.  Dice pears into 1/4 in. pieces.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and salt together until light.  Mix in butter and flour mixture.  Next, stir in pears until just combined.  Line muffin pan with cupcake papers.  Pour in mixture to each muffin cup and top with raspberries.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield:
8 mini-cakes 

April 26, 2008 at 10:45 am 3 comments

Polenta Bread

I actually don’t eat bread that often, it really doesn’t agree with me. Some days, however, the idea of fresh baked bread is just so appealing, I can’t resist making a loaf to have with dinner. I’ve been thinking about corn bread recently and how good it tastes with a sweet, honey butter. I don’t really like the grainy texture of traditional cornbread, so when I ran across this recipe for polenta bread, I just had to try it. It’s a mix of white flour with a small amount corn meal added in. It’s got a light, crumbly texture with just a hint of the typical corn bread flavor. It has a beautiful soft yellow color, too. It’s a new favorite of mine!

Polenta Bread
Adapted from “marabout chef – pain maison, Cathy Ytak”
Ingredients:

1 cup water
3 cups flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1 egg, beaten
2.5 tsp. instant yeast
1.5 tsp. salt
1 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice

To Make:
Add ingredients according to your bread machine instructions. Settings: Normal or White Bread. Medium color and size.

Yield:
1 Loaf

February 12, 2008 at 6:12 am Leave a comment

Gâteau de Ménage

A specialty of the Haut Doubs (Franche-Comté) region of France, the gâteau de ménage (cake of the home) or galette comtoise is a very simple cake that is prepared throughout the year. It has the similar consistency to shortbread with a buttery taste finishing in subtle sweetness and a hint of orange. It is described as a “cake that tastes of Sundays and celebrations.” Who wouldn’t want to try that? It’s not very sweet so makes a nice light finish to the end of a meal. It would also be wonderful served for brunch or taken on a picnic. This cake freezes well if you can’t eat it all at once!

Gâteau de Ménage (Recipe for Bread Machine)
Adapted from “marabout chef – pain maison, Cathy Ytak”
Cake Ingredients:

1 oz. milk + 1 T. rum
1/2 stick (or 5 T.) butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups cake flour or pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp. instant yeast

Garniture Ingredients:
1 egg, beaten
1.5 T. heavy whipping cream
2 T. crystallized sugar
1 T. orange peel
1 T. butter, cut into pieces

To Make:
Add all ingredients to bread machine according to directions. Place setting on dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough from machine. Lightly flour a tart mold. Place dough in mold and lightly press to fit. Let rise 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover the dough with crystallized sugar. Then, in small bowl, whisk together egg, cream, and orange peel. Pour over cake and scatter butter pieces all over surface. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cake is golden brown. Remove from mold and leave to cool on a rack.

Yield:
8 – 10 Servings

February 4, 2008 at 1:17 am Leave a comment

Chocolate Bread

There is a famous bakery in the Twin Cities called the Turtle Bread Company. They make the best chocolate bread in the world! It’s made with cocoa, so it’s not too sweet and has chunks of chocolate in it that stays just the slightest bit crunchy and melty. It’s perfect. I haven’t been able to find anything quite like it in Brussels, but have recently tried to make my own. It’s not quite the same as we have different flours and chocolate over here, but I thought it turned out pretty good for a first attempt! I make the bread just so I can make French Toast out of it later and then freeze the rest for another time.

Chocolate Bread
(For bread machine)
Ingredients:
1 package instant yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 unsweetened cocoa
1 egg, unbeaten
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

To Make:
Add ingredients according to your bread machine instructions. Chocolate morsels are added half-way through kneading process. Settings: Normal, White, or Sweet. Medium color and size.

Yield:
1 Loaf

February 2, 2008 at 3:52 am Leave a comment

Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

I first saw bread like this in a market in France and I thought it was absolutely beautiful! It looked like it would be very difficult to make, but in fact, it is simple cuts in the dough that make the pretty leaf-like pattern appear as it bakes. The bread is most associated with the region of Provence, but it is fairly common in other regions with variations of additional ingredients. You can make it plain, with sea salt, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fruit, cheese, nuts or any combination of these items. To eat, you just pull it apart with your fingers and enjoy. It can be served hot or cold. I make the dough in a bread machine for easy clean-up.

Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse
Ingredients:
8 oz. luke-warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp. crushed sea salt
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 Tbs. sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated)

To Make:
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bread machine according to your manufacturer’s directions. Set to dough cycle. After 30 minutes of rising in the machine, remove dough. Fold dough in half, turn a quarter turn, and fold again. Repeat this process three times to ensure a well-kneaded dough.
Spread the dough into an oval on a non-stick baking sheet. To form the pattern, notch the dough with a knife in a diagonal slices and stretch the dough to enlarge the cuts. Leave the dough in the pan to rise slightly for an additional 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Here’s a little trick I learned for making bread. In French, it’s called a “coup de buée.” Add about a cup of boiling water to the broiler pan in the oven and quickly close the door. Let it rest for just a minute before adding the dough. This allows steam to gather in the oven and makes the golden crispy crust on the outside. Be careful not to burn yourself! Lower heat to 400 degrees and place bread in oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yield:
2 loaves

January 23, 2008 at 4:37 am Leave a comment

Twisted Tapas

(Originally published by www.createmyevent.com, by me, on May 23, 2007)
Today’s recipe is inspired by the some of the mainstay ingredients of Spain. I call it Twisted Tapas. Made with salty serrano ham, mild manchego cheese and sweet quince paste, these bite-sized pieces are a delicious delight for your taste buds. Twisted Tapas are very easy to prepare and can be made up to 3 days in advance of your party and kept in the refrigerator. The day of the party, just slice, heat, serve and enjoy!

Twisted Tapas
Ingredients:
3/4 cup finely grated manchego cheese (about 3 ounces)

1 tsp. spanish smoked paprika (optional)

2 tsp. quince paste (spanish membrillo)

1 puff pastry sheet (from one 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry
sheets), thawed

1 large egg, beaten lightly

2 ounces thinly sliced serrano ham

To Make:
In a bowl combine manchego and paprika. On a lightly floured surface arrange pastry sheet with a short side facing you and cut in half crosswise. Arrange one half of sheet with the long side facing you and brush edge of far side with some of the beaten egg. Place half of serrano ham evenly on top of pastry, avoiding egg-brushed edge, and top with half of the manchego mixture. Starting with side nearest you, roll pastry jelly-roll fashion into a log and wrap in wax paper. Make second log the same way. Chill pastry logs, seam sides down, until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, pre-heat oven to 400°F. and lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
Cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange, cut sides down, 1 inch apart on baking sheets. Bake in batches in middle of oven until golden, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly. Serve warm.

Yield:
About 30 – 40 pieces

January 8, 2008 at 3:29 am Leave a comment


Categories

Recent Posts

Flickr Photos