Fresh Strawberry Cupcake

Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Cupcakes
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Oh, strawberry.
I adore you.
Usually, I don't bake with strawberries. I just eat them straight from the pretty green cartons.

But here, I made some fresh strawberry cupcakes.

Strawberry Cupcakes
White cake surrounds the strawberries.

Strawberry Cupcakes
I topped these with a quick frosting of butter, powdered sugar and strawberry jam. Of course, you can put a lot more frosting, but I'm sorta an anti-frosting gal.

Strawberry Cupcakes
It's Summertime. It's Strawberrytime.

Recipe:
Find the recipe for Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes on JustJenn recipes

Frosting: 1/2 stick butter, 3/4 c powdered sugar, 1 T strawberry jam
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Olive Oil Muffins - Giada De Laurentiis

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Olive Oil Muffins - Giada De Laurentiis
Olive Oil Muffins

Sorry I've been MIA lately. A few things came up, but I hope to get back to blogging and baking. Wishing you a great Memorial Day weekend! :)

Here is fellow UCLA Bruin Giada's Olive Oil Muffins. Giada has a BA in Anthropology - just like me! Goooo Bruins!!!!

Olive Oil Muffins - Giada De Laurentiis
Easy to make, they include extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Give them a try with a nice espresso or coffee.

Olive Oil Muffins - Giada De Laurentiis
Recipe:
Click here for printable recipe
Adapted from Olive Oil Muffin recipe from Food Network - Giada De Laurentiis

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Powdered sugar, for sifting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 12-muffin tin.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes (I used the whisk attachment of my KitchenAid mixer)
4. Beat in the vinegar and milk.
5. Gradually beat in the oil.
6. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended (I did this with a rubber spatula).
7. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir until mixed.
8. Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners.
9. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes.
10. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes.
11. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve.
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Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Strawberry Shortcakes
California strawberries are exploding all over the Farmer's Market. A three-pack of deliciousness runs $5 - $8. Yum!!

So what to do to showcase these lovely fruits?! Strawberry shortcake!

I used the Tartine (delicious San Francisco bakery...a must-go on any trip up North) recipe for the biscuits from their cookbook, Tartine.

Strawberry Shortcakes
These biscuits come together in no time! Cut in some butter, mix in heavy cream, pat out the dough, cut and brush with sugar. Easy peasy!

Strawberry Shortcakes Strawberry Shortcakes
I split the biscuit, layered in some strawberries (macerated in sugar for 15 minutes), and some whipped cream (with a little sugar and vanilla).

Strawberry Shortcakes
The Tartine recipe makes 6 four-inch biscuits but I used a small circle cutter and got 15 minis. Serving them in cupcake liners makes it easier for my co-workers to grab (I did put out forks).

Strawberry Shortcakes
Mini strawberry shortcakes. Summer fruit delights. And isn't this cake stand awesome? I'm borrowing it from my cousin...who may never see it again! :)

Recipe:
Click here for printable recipe
Adapted from Tartine, page 116 (Amazon or WorldCat)
Mixed-Berry Shortcakes - Be sure to pick up the book to get their berry-caramel sauce!

Biscuits
2 1/2 C + 2 T (12 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 c sugar
3/4 t salt
7 T unsalted butter, very cold
1 C heavy cream, very cold
Extra cream and sugar for the tops

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. Cut butter into small pieces, and cut butter into dry ingredients. I used a pastry blender, but you can use 2 knives or your fingers to get pea size pieces of butter.
4. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream. Gently mix the dough together with a wooden spoon or your hands. Don't overmix...it'll look shaggy.
5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to 1-inch thick. I didn't have time for a roller so I just patted it out. Tartine uses a 4-inch circle cutter (for 6 circles). I used a small 2-inch circle cutter and got 15 biscuits.
6. Place biscuits on baking sheet (I placed on a Silpat) and brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

For my shortcakes, I cut about a pint of strawberries and macerated them in some sugar - amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of your strawberries. I whipped some heavy cream (about 1 1/2 cups) and with sugar and vanilla (to taste). Assemble and serve immediately or within a few hours. I assembled mine at 6:30 am, drove to work, stuck them in the fridge and served them at 11:00 am for a coffeebreak/pre-lunch treat. :)
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Apple-Apple Bread Pudding

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie
Apple-Apple Bread Pudding

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Elizabeth of Cake or Death? decided on Apple-Apple Bread Pudding on pages 408 and 409 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours. Have you visited Liz's blog? It is filled with lovely, absolutely beautiful yumminess. See the wedding cake she made for her brother's wedding!

Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie
Layer of brioche, layer of caramelized apples and more brioche. Did I mention the custard infused in all this? Yeah. It's like apple pie AND bread pudding. I know...Shut up! It rocks.

I was really good at math growing up. The only part of chemistry that I liked was converting kilograms to whatchamacallit-grams. I've spent years doing accounting work so Microsoft Excel and I are good friends. But this recipe? I just winged it. I think I made 1/8 or 1/12 or 1/4 of the recipe, but I'm not sure. Anyway, this is yummy so I suggest you make the full recipe! :)

Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie
(left) I'm sure some bakers made their own brioche or challah bread. But me? Pressed for time and I really can't have that much bread lying around the house. I picked up these brioche buns at Trader Joe's. (right) Caramelized apples are the filling of this bread pudding.

Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie
Apple butter is spread on the bread to give the second "apple" in the Apple-Apple Bread Pudding. Los Angeles Farmer's Market shoppers may recognize Ha's Apples. Ha's Apple Farm of Tehachapi has great apples and pears. And the son looks like a clone of his dad...seriously! Have you seen them? Anyway, you won't be seeing Mrs. Ha dragging anyone on the Maury Povich show.

Apple-Apple Bread Pudding - Tuesday with Dorie
I knew I wanted to make one large serving in this cute Kings Arthur Individual Pie Slice pans. I got these for my birthday and this was my first time using them! Thanks J for these awesome cute pans!

Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

Recipe:
Check out Liz's blog:
Cake or Death?
Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 408
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SoNo Bakery Brownies - John Barricelli

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SoNo Brownies
SoNo Brownies

The nice guy on Everyday Food and Everyday Baking, John Barricelli has a new cookbook, The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook, named for his South Norwalk, Connecticut bakery.

My friend, Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet has even been to the bakery! Since it is a little far for me to drop in, I made the SoNo Brownies on page 86 of his book.

SoNo Brownies
This is a really easy recipe. Quick and easy. You make it in a pot, not a KitchenAid. I love making stuff on the stove. It makes me feel like I'm actually cooking...since I do very little real cooking. :)

SoNo Brownies
Made with cocoa and chocolate chips, this is a nice and rich brownie.

SoNo Brownies
These were a big hit at work. I really liked them and will make them again for sure.

Recipe:
Click here for printable copy
Adapted from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook: Amazon or WorldCat (see if your library has it)

SoNo Brownies
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Penzy's Dutch cocoa)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
Pinch of baking soda
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 c sugar
1 T light corn syrup
2 large eggs, room temp (To bring them to room temp quickly, place in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes)
1 T vanilla extract
1 C semisweet chocolate chips (I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips)

1. Use an 8-inch square baking pan. Butter or spray. I lined mine with parchment paper.
2. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
3. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda.
4. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the sugar and corn syrup, whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk in vanilla.
5. Fold in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don't overmix.
6. Pour into pan, smooth the top. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
7. Cool in pan and then eat!! Enjoy!
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Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes & Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting
Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Sweet Valley High books started in 1983. I was 13 years old and made my mom buy countless books for me. Yeah, I've always been into chick lit and the RomCom. Anyway, in these novels, there is often the, as I call it, "electric moment." You know, when the girl sees the guy and it is electrifying. Or when their hands touch and she can feel the deep connection.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting
Well, I had that deep emotional connection. No, not with the Sweet Valley High guy, but with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting.

We celebrated two birthdays at the library earlier this week and I made some mini cupcakes. The cupcake is Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate cake with added espresso, and JustJenn's Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting
The Mascarpone Frosting was divine. I'm not a fan of super sweet, buttery frosting, so this was heaven. It is light, slightly sweet and did I mention light? One of the birthday people said she could eat a whole bowl of the frosting. It is dangerous and delicious. Make it. You'll find that electric moment too.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Frosting

Recipe:
1. Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake - Make the recipe here, but add 1 T instant espresso powder (I use this brand) to the warm water to dissolve. It isn't overpowering, but it brings out the chocolate flavor. I baked the mini cupcakes for 10 minutes.

2. justJENN recipe for Mascarpone Frosting. Make this. Save some for the cupcakes and grab a big spoon and eat the rest.
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Old Recipes in the Kitchen - Los Angeles - Sat, May 8th

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Old cookbooks are filled with history and deliciousness. When I open an old cookbook, I instantly think about the people who created the meal. How in the heck did they do this without a Kitchen Aid? Did they wear a frilly apron? Did the children help? And, how did it taste?! Los Angeles peeps, I hope you can make it to this discussion on Saturday! - mary

This Saturday, you can explore the world of antiquarian cookbooks with a program of the Culinary Historians of Southern California.

Here are the details:

Culinary Historians of Southern California (CHSC)
present Ann Willan
Old Recipes in the Kitchen

Saturday, May 8th, 10:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles Public Library
Downtown Central Library, 630 W. 5th St. - Free and open to the public

Internationally renowned cooking authority Anne Willan and her husband Mark Cherniavsky have been collecting antiquarian cookbooks for many years, and theirs is a vibrant working collection. Speaking at the Los Angeles Public Library on May 8th, Anne will bring these cookbooks and their recipes to life, discussing how she tests historical recipes and adapts their instructions for the modern kitchen. Old cookbooks “are windows into the kitchens of great lords, kings, even popes,” Anne says. “Recreation of these recipes in a modern kitchen can bring many delights. The dishes are often delicious but sometimes disastrous; usually quite strange, and fascinating.”

A reception with refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30.

The Culinary Historians of Southern California (CHSC) is a not-for-profit organization that supports the culinary collections at the Los Angeles Public Library.
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Burnt Sugar Ice Cream - Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream - Tuesdays with Dorie
Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

For this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection, Becky of Project Domestication chose Burnt Sugar Ice Cream on page 432 of Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream - Tuesdays with Dorie
You make a caramel by heating sugar and water until amber. Then you add in milk and cream and trap a huge mass of caramel on your whisk. You wonder if this is a disaster in the making. Then it smooths out like magic. Temper the mixture into eggs, put back on the stove and heat.

Refrigerate to cool down, then whiz in the ice cream maker. Whoo hoo! Ice cream delight!

Burnt Sugar Ice Cream - Tuesdays with Dorie
This glass is super small...the spoon is there for scale.

Thanks Becky for letting me dig out my ice cream maker! Be sure to check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers!

Recipe:
Project Domestication blog, or
Dorie's book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.
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David Lebovitz's Fresh Ginger Cake

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz
Fresh Ginger Cake

Ginger is awesome. It can help prevent nausea, settle your tummy, makes an awesome tea, and is delicious candied. Oh, ginger, you rock.

So, when my Ready for Dessert book by my favorite blogger and pastry chef, David Lebovitz came in the mail, I immediately decided to make this Fresh Ginger Cake first!

Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz
The cake uses 4 ounces of fresh ginger. You can chop it by hand, but I pulled out my mini-processor and whizzed it around. I guess that made about 1/2-3/4 cup of fresh ginger.

Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz
This is a pretty strong ginger cake. Probably not for children...but great for adults with a taste for ginger.

A nice scoop of whipped cream would be lovely! That would provide a nice balance to the strong ginger flavor.

Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz
Epicurious recipe says to use a 9 x 3 inch pan, but David's book says 9 x 2. You need a 9 x 3 or a tall springform. I believe this will come over the edge on a 9 x 2 pan, and you would lose lots of yummy cake. Look how tall this cake is!

Fresh Ginger Cake - David Lebovitz
I drank ginger tea while eating ginger cake. Yes, I love me the ginger.

Please pick up David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert, and try this recipe! I have a bunch of other recipes marked and can't wait to try them.

Recipe:
Fresh Ginger Cake
Click here for printable recipe
Adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz, page 42, or Epicurious

4 ounces fresh ginger
1 cup mild molasses (I used Grandma's original molasses)
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut (I used canola oil)
2 1/2 cups flour (I used King Arthur unbleached AP flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used Penzy's cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I used Penzy's ground cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (I used Shillings black pepper rather than fresh cracked pepper because it is finer)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 eggs, at room temperature

1. Preheat over to 350°F. Put rack in the center of the oven. The Epicurious recipe recommends a 9 by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9 1/2 inch springform pan (bottom lined with parchment), but Ready for Dessert says 9 inch springform or 9 x 2-inch round cake pan. However, based on the size of the cake, I don't recommend a 9 x 2 inch pan...it'll be too small.
2. Peel, slice, and chop the ginger very fine with a knife, use a grater, or food processor. I used my mini-food processor for quick work.
3. Mix together the molasses, sugar, and oil in a large bowl. I used a whisk.
4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper and set aside.
5. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, stir in the baking soda, and then mix the hot water into the molasses mixture. Stir in the ginger.
6. Gradually whisk the dry ingredients into the batter.
7. Add the eggs, and continue mixing until everything is thoroughly combined.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I checked mine after 50 minutes, and it was done at 55 minutes.
9. If the top of the cake browns too quickly before the cake is done, drape a piece of foil over it and continue baking.
10. Cool the cake for at least 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. I let mine cool completely overnight and removed it the next morning. Remove the cake from the pan and peel off the parchment paper.
11. I think a nice dollop of lightly sweetened whip cream would be lovely with this cake. David recommends whipped cream, ice cream or fruit compote. His book has a recipe for a raspberry plum compote.
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