Barefoot Contessa's Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
Barefoot Contessa's Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
Blood oranges.
Seriously pretty citrus.

I took Ina's recipe for her Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake and used blood oranges instead. Here's the recipe.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
I don't think I greased my pan very well...a bunch of chips stuck!

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
After baking, a mixture of orange juice and sugar is heated and brushed/poured over the cake.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
When cooled, a ganache of semi-sweet chips, heavy cream and instant coffee (I used instant espresso powder) is poured on top.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chunk Bundt Cake
I heart Ina Garten.
And her cake!

From Barefoot Contessa Parties! book (2001). You can find the recipe for the Bundt cake here or the mini-cakes here (this recipe from the Food Network is basically 1/2 the Bundt cake recipe).
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Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread (Tuesdays with Dorie)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, Heather of Sherry Trifle chose Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread on page 212 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Recently, I confessed that The Real Housewives of the OC (the original is best, and so scary close to my home in LA) is on my DVR.

There are two types of shows in my life: Live and DVR. I must watch Top Chef live because I need to discuss it with Kathy at work the next day! Okay, that one isn't embarrassing...but this next one is:

Randy Jackson's America's Best Dance Crew

Oh dear. I'm a 38 year old librarian and I craft my schedule so I can watch and VOTE (yes, vote) for America's Best Dance Crew. Am I a secret hip-hop dancer? No. This is the best description of my dancing abilities:

I have so little rhythm that I can't even do the rhythm method.

However, I just love this show. Those youths of today are pretty talented. Check it out - even if you are way too old for it. And don't forgot to txt in your vote. :) My favorites are Los Angeles based, Beat Freaks and Quest Crew. Whew, I feel better getting that confession off my chest. Alright, what's on your DVR? (Yes, Linda, I'm asking you! :)

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
Okay, back to the baking. Quite simply, it's yum. Not much else to say. If you like holiday spices, make this. If you like ginger, make this. And chocolate, well, you get the idea. I picked up this bittersweet chocolate at Trader Joe's...it's pretty inexpensive and good when chocolate isn't the center of attention.

Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread
Gotta run. House and The Closer are on tonight! :) Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!
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Martha Stewart's Zucchini and Cranberry Muffins

Friday, January 23, 2009

Martha Stewart's Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
Martha Stewart's Zucchini and Cranberry Muffins

The other morning, in my sleep deprived, inaugural euphoria, I pulled out Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook and flipped through a few pages. Since I only had about an hour before I had to leave for work, I skipped the twelve-tier cake and yeast breads...and went directly for the muffins and quick breads.

There it was! Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins on page 37! I have some cranberries in the freezer and a few zucchini in the refrig! Score!

By the way, if you don’t have Martha’s book in your collection, you should really consider adding it. The photos are great and Martha’s crazy OCD attention to details makes for good instructions.

Martha Stewart's Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
Flecks of zucchini green and pops of red cranberry...yum!

Martha Stewart's Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins Martha Stewart's Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
Dry: 1 3/4 c flour, 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t salt
Wet: 2 eggs, 1 c sugar, 1/2 c vegetable oil, 1/2 t vanilla, 1 c finely shredded zucchini
Combine dry and wet then add 1/2 cup cranberries (Martha says to keep them whole but I quartered mine). As with all muffins, don't overmix!! I topped mine with some sanding sugar too.
I baked them at 375 for 25-30 minutes, and I got 11 muffins (Martha says you should get 10). I always tip my muffins shortly after they come out of the oven so the bottoms don't get soggy.

Martha Stewart's Cranberry-Zucchini Muffins
Finally, these are muffins.
M-U-F-F-I-N-S.
No, not little cakes pretending to be muffins that you can find at Starbucks and Costco.
These are light and a bit tangy with the cranberries. And I must admit...if they were mini-muffins I could probably polish off ten of them. Or, perhaps a cool dozen!

Do you have some frozen cranberries stashed in your freezer? You should try this recipe! (hint, hint Mary Ann! :)
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Calamansi and Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake (inspired by Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Calamansi & Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
Calamansi and Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake

Recently, Cheryl, the Children’s Librarian, brought in a basketful of the most adorable citrus fruit from her aunt’s backyard! Have you ever met the CALAMANSI? Oh, you should! They are petite, perfectly round and have a sweet and sour personality.

According to Alan Davidson’s The Oxford Companion to Food (2nd edition, 2006) (oh yeah, I’m pulling out the reference books now!):
Calamansi (or kalamansi or calamondin/kalamondin) is a hybrid of the mandarin orange and the kumquat. It is a small citrus fruit of the Philippines which plays an important role in Filipino cookery.

Calamansi & Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
Aren’t these the cutest? They look like those little pumpkin candies – only these are real and have vitamin C!

Fresh from the Oven
made cute loaves in November and recently, Butter & Sugar made an Orange Yogurt cake. Both took inspiration from the Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Yogurt Cake.

I made a few changes to her recipe to use the Calamansi and Meyer Lemons. Click here for Ina's recipe!

Calamansi & Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
This cake has a lovely crumb!

Calamansi & Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
Dry ingredients, sifted together:
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, 2 t baking powder, 1/2 t salt

Wet ingredients, whisk together:
1 c low-fat lemon yogurt from Trader Joe’s (because I didn't want to leave the house to get the whole-milk plain yogurt, which is actually hard to find - they all seem to be non-fat or low-fat. Next time, I might use Greek yogurt since I always have this around.)
1 c sugar
3 large eggs
2 t grated citrus zest (I used 1 t calamansi and 1 t meyer lemon)
1/2 t pure vanilla extract

After mixing the dry and wet ingredients together, fold in oil:
1/2 c olive oil (Ina uses vegetable oil, but I thought adding some Omega-3s would be a good thing!)

Ina uses a loaf pan and bakes it for 50 minutes (350 degrees), but I used a 9" round and baked it for 40 minutes.

Syrup:
1/3 c freshly squeezed juice (I had 80% calamansi and 20% meyer lemon)
1/3 c sugar
While the cake was baking, make the syrup by dissolving sugar in small pan with lemon juice. After the cake comes out of the oven, let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and poke some holes in the cake with a toothpick. Pour or brush on the syrup.

Ina has a glaze of juice and powdered sugar, but I just dusted it with powdered sugar.

Calamansi & Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake
This cake is really delicious. It is light, very moist and wonderful for a breakfast or tea snack. As you can see by the many adaptations, you can make it any way you want. And now that there are lots of citrus around, there is no excuse for not making this!

Thanks Cheryl for introducing me to the wonderful world of calamansi citrus!
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Red, White and Blue "O" Obama Bars

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"O" Obama Bars
Ooooooobama! Our new president!!!!
Red, White and Blue OOOOOOOOOOObama Bars

"O" Obama Bars

I'm working today at the library...and bringing in my radio to hear Obama's inaugural speech. I've spent way too much of my three-day weekend watching lots of Leverage and Real Housewives of the OC (sooo embarrassed to tell you this) in order to clear out my DVR so I can tape all the inaugural festivities.

Here is the second Inaugural Celebration goodie: Red, White and Blue OOOOOOOOOOObama Bars made with lots of cereal "O"s, dried cranberries and dried blueberries. I got these delicious dried blueberries from Oh Nuts!

"O" Obama Bars

I took inspiration from Everyday Food (saw them make this while clearing out the DVR!)

1/2 c dried cranberries (the RED)
Cherrios or Trader Joe's O's or any toasted oat cereal - 6 cups (the WHITE)
10 ounces of mini marshmallows (the WHITE)
1/2 c dried blueberries (the BLUE)
1/4 stick of butter
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Hope. Our New President.

Obama Inaugural Cupcakes
Celebrating our new president!

Today, America's 44th President will take the oath of office.

Oh my gosh. I can't even begin to express my feelings. I am filled with pride, hope, happiness, and complete New Year Eve-type excitement. President Obama will have many challenges ahead, but I am confident that he will do what is right for the country.

Damaris of Within the Corners of my Kitchen is collecting inaugural celebration foods. Here's my first one: Obama Cupcakes!

Obama Inaugural Cupcakes
Here is the baking stuff: Cupcakes are Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes and the frosting is 1:1 blocks of cream cheese and cups of powdered sugar. I got these great star sprinkles at Surfas in Culver City, CA.

Obama Inaugural Cake
I made this mini cake (4", 3" and 2" rounds - sooooo cute!) It looks a bit more wedding-like than I wanted but I ran out of berries and didn't feel like tinting my frosting red and blue for a more "patriotic" looking cake. Oh well...you get the idea of a celebratory cake!! :)

Obama Inaugural Cupcakes
P.S. Did you see the Inaugural Concert "We Are One" at Lincoln Monument on HBO? Great concert. My favorite part was Barack's niece asleep for more than half the concert. Soo cute.
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Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie)

Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie)
Berry Surprise Cake

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen chose Berry Surprise Cake on pages 273-275 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Now, before I tell you about the cake, let me tell you about Mary Ann. Mare (as she signs her posts), is amazing!!! She posts practically everyday and her family eats GOOD. Everything she makes is fun, healthy (besides our tasty treats, but I'm sure everything is in moderation at her house), and yummy. If you don't subscribe to her blog, you definitely should!

Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie) Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie)
Based on the comments from other bakers, people had some difficulty with the whole egg genoise cake. I'm in the club!! I thought I treated my eggs like the divas they are, but alas, I got a sinkhole.

Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie)
Oh well, I made one 6-inch cake (froze that one) and two 4-inch cakes. I simply cut the sunken tops off the 4-inch cakes and stacked them together. I didn't have anything raspberry flavored so I just used a simple syrup of sugar and water.

Berry Surprise Cake (Tuesdays with Dorie)
I picked up some raspberries grown in Mexico at Trader Joe's. It was all very yummy! I'm interested in seeing what other fruits the TWD bakers used! Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers! And look for the recipe on Mary Ann's blog.
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Martha Stewart's Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
Martha Stewart's Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake

First, thanks for your well wishes for my sinus infection gone mad. Be sure to mark your calendars for my award presentation! Oh yes, I'm giving The Food Librarian Nobel-like Prize for Drugs to those mad scientists who created the Z-Pack of antibiotics. Bless you! (And don't worry, I wasn't abusin' nor creating the next superbug...it really was bacterial and I took the full-course of meds!!) Being able to taste food again is such a delight!

Here is something I made in December...before I got sick!

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
Whoo hooo! It's Meyer Lemon season!

The Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake has two layers of thinly sliced Meyer lemons with a massive, I mean massive, amount of streusel.

Zest and thinly sliced lemons make this cake lemon-centric. Five Meyer lemons are sliced and then simmered for 1 minute.

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
After two rounds of simmering in water, the slices are spread out on parchment. It was easiest to do this with chopsticks!

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
The sour cream coffee cake batter is placed in a tube pan and 1/2 the lemon slices are layered. Then the rest of batter, the remaining slices and the streusel.

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
Okay, the streusel... almost 2 c of flour, 1 1/2 stick of butter, and 3/4 c brown sugar. It makes a bunch. A bunch. You place it on top, and there is still a bunch in the bowl. You put more of that on and there is still streusel left. Finally, you just throw the rest on and say, "dude, that's a lot of streusel." The glaze is really tasty and integral to the overall lemon flavor of the cake.

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
As much as I wanted this coffeecake to the queen of all coffeecakes, it didn't rock my world. I think there was too much streusel and while lemon flavored with the slices, it was pretty much like a coffeecake having lots of zest.

Martha Stewart Meyer Lemon Coffeecake
Got Meyer lemons?
Try Martha's Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake! Recipe here on Martha's website.
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Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (Tuesdays with Dorie)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (Tuesdays with Dorie)
Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

My log of activities from New Years Eve to the present...

Honey and tea.
Salt water gargling.
Warm blankets.
Can't taste food.
Hand sanitizer.
Humidifier.
Kleenex (box #1).
EnergyC.
Zicam (via the nose).
Sudafed (the “meth” edition).
Heart races.
Go to work, go home early.
Still can't taste food.
More Kleenex (box #4).
Zicam (rapidmelt).
Mucinex.
Even more Kleenex (box #9).
Losing will to go on because I can't taste food.
Urgent care.
Z-Pack antibiotics.
Another box of Sudafed.
Crazy stomach stuff with antibiotics.
Make muffins for Tuesdays with Dorie to share with only myself.
Add extra jalapeno and chili powder so I can actually taste something.

Yeah, Happy New Year!

I apologize for not commenting on blogs since the new year and checking out all your yummies. I have been coming home and going to bed with my humidifier and cat. Seriously crazy amounts of sleep - like going to bed at 7:10 pm. I'm starting to feel a bit better now and am still in awe of those great scientists who created The Wonderful World of Antibiotics.

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (Tuesdays with Dorie) Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (Tuesdays with Dorie)

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie, Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake chose Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins on page 6. I love, love, love her blog!! Be sure to check it out for the recipe and for all her yummy delights.

Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins (Tuesdays with Dorie)
I can't really tell you how these tasted...since I'm not the best judge at the moment. But they certainly are more colorful than your regular corn muffin! Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers! And stay healthy!!!!
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French Pear Tart (Tuesdays with Dorie)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

French Apple Tart
Dorie Greenspan's French Pear Tart

Happy Anniversary Tuesday with Dorie group! We're one year old! I didn't start at the beginning (need to go back and make the recipes I missed) but I have learned so so so much! I tried different recipes that I would have (sorry, Dorie) completely skipped over! I just love this group!

And guess who picked this week's recipe?
Dorie herself!! How cool is that?!

So, go to Dorie's cool blog for the recipe of the French Pear Tart...or better yet, buy her fantastic book, Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 368-369).

French Apple Tart
This delicious tart uses Dorie's partially baked sweet tart crust, an almond cream made with ground blanched almonds, and canned pears (you can also use fresh or poached pears too). This is similar to the Partridge in a Pear Tart I made last month. Both are sooooo delicious. I'd like to poach my own pears in the future too. I decided to mix it up and use my rectangle tart pan!

French Apple Tart
Thanks TWD group for all the great baking fun! Looking forward to another year of recipes! Be sure check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!
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