Blueberry Buckle - King Arthur Flour

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blueberry Buckle

Oh man, the buckle is one of the most awesome baked good ever. It's a fruity coffee cakey delight. I've made a nectarine buckle, lemon blueberry buckle, peach blueberry buckle - all delicious.This time, I made King Arthur's Blueberry Buckle.

Blueberry Buckle collage
I bought a big box of fresh blueberries and knew I had to bake something with them! Although the recipe doesn't call for this, I recommend adding 75% of the blueberries to the batter. Spread the batter into the pan, and then sprinkle the remaining 25% blueberries on top. Follow that with the crumb topping. Leaving some blueberries on top guarantee that the little blueberries don't all fall into the cake.

Blueberry Buckle
It was really early in the morning when I made this and forgot to add the lemon zest! Be sure you add that for a fresh taste.

Blueberry Buckle
Um, nothing like warm cake for breakfast!

Blueberry Buckle
I dropped this box off for my former co-workers. I got a message back from one of them saying they did their buckle dance. :) That's why baking for others is just awesome.

King Arthur Flour: The Baker's Companion
Blueberry Buckle (page 132-133)

3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup (3 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/3 tablespoons (2/3 stick) butter (I only used 1/2 stick of butter because I didn't want a leftover 1/3 stick. The batter uses 1/2 stick so I used a total of 1 stick of butter for the whole cake. It turned out fine with the 1/2 stick in the topping).
2 to 3 teaspoons lemon zest, or 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil (I skipped this part because I forgot to include it!)

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk (I used low-fat milk)
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups blueberries (fresh or if frozen, unthawed) (I used fresh blueberries)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prep (grease and flour) a 9-inch square or 9-inch round pan. I like to line the pan with a parchment paper sling for easy removal.
2. Topping: Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Cut or rub in the butter with the side of a fork, two knives or your finger tips until it reaches a crumbly state. Set aside.
3. Batter: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter. Then add the egg and vanilla. Alternately add the milk and the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, ending with flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Assemble: Pour batter into cake pan. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester or knife comes out clean.
5. Let the buckle cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Cool on a wire rack.

King Arthur has an online Blueberry Buckle but it is a little different than the one in the printed King Arthur Flour cookbook. Here it is though:

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Brodard Vietnamese, Garden Grove, CA

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brodard Restaurant, Garden Grove
Brodard's Vietnamese Restaurant

I went to Brodard's Vietnamese Restaurant in Garden Grove, CA on Friday. The American Library Association's (ALA) annual conference is in town at the Anaheim Convention Center. Some 10,000+ librarians come to town with lots of cardigans.

We went to Brodard's Vietnamese in nearby Garden Grove. If you come to visit Disneyland or have a conference in Anaheim, you really need make your way to Little Saigon in the Santa Ana / Garden Grove / Westminster area of Orange County for something other than conference food. It was our first time at Brodard's. Reviewers either love or hate the sauce that accompanies their famous spring rolls. The spring rolls were very good and very tightly sealed (when I make them they are a floppy mess), but I found the sauce too sweet and used the basic fish sauce instead.

The service gets pretty ripped in Yelp, but I felt it was pretty typical of a fast-paced Vietnamese restaurant. We ordered, got the food and never saw the waiter again. If you want something, just raise your hand and get someone's attention. We talked for a long time and nearly closed down the place so it was great for us! :)

Vietnamese Restaurant (Cafe next door)
Inside the Mall of Fortune
9892 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844
Gastromony post (Thanks Cathy! Your post really helped us pick dishes!)
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4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jello

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jello

One of the top posts on the Food Librarian is Broken Glass Jello. I've made Valentine's Day, Laker's, and Christmas Jell-O in the past. Today, it's something perfect for the 4th of July. Can you believe it's almost July?!??!

My twitter feed is blowing up with hot tweets - "It's so hot!" "I'm melting" and "I can't turn on my oven." This is the perfect recipe for you! No oven...just some time chilling in the refrig!
4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
Only a few ingredients are needed to make this crowd pleasing treat. Kids LOVE it. If you want to make a pie, check out JustJenn's pie!

4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
This recipe is sooooooo easy...but be sure to plan for it. You'll need time to chill the colored Jello and then the whole thing - it's a two-day project. First, make blue and red Jello blocks. Second, make a milk mixture with unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk, and combine with the blocks.

4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
The milk mixture combines unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk (don't get evaporated milk).

4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
Happy Summer to you and yours!


6 ounces (one big 6-oz box or two small 3-oz boxes) of "Red" Jell-O such as strawberry, cherry, raspberry, strawberry banana

6 ounces (one big 6-oz box or two small 3-oz boxes) of "Blue" Jell-O

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (don't get evaporated milk)

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (that Knox stuff) (each envelope is approximately 1/4 ounce)

4 cups boiling water (for colored blocks)

1/2 cup cold water (for milk mixture)
2 cups boiling water (for milk mixture)

Step One: Making the Blocks

In separate bowls, dissolve the Red and Blue Jell-O in boiling water by adding 1 cup of boiling water to 3 ounces of Jell-O. Therefore, you'll need a total of 2 cups of boiling water for the 6 ounces of Jell-O (one big box or two small boxes). Mix to dissolve and pour into a container and chill until firm (overnight is probably best, but I have chilled it 3-4 hours until firm).

Note: Only add 1 cup of water per 3 ounces of Jell-O. Ignore the instructions on the box of Jello (they say to use 2 cups of water per 3 ounces). You need to use less water so the Jell-O is firm and can be cut into blocks.

Step Two: Cutting Blocks and Making the Milk Mixture

Prep a 9 x 13 pan by wiping a very, very thin layer of flavorless oil (such as canola) in the pan with a paper towel. You'll wipe off 99.9% of the oil...leaving just a very, very thin film.

Cut chilled colored Jell-O into small blocks.

Carefully mix the blocks in a 9 x 13 pan.

In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup cold water. Sprinkle 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin on top of the cold water. Wait a few minutes for the gelatin to bloom (soak up some of the water), then add 1 1/2 cup boiling water and mix to dissolve. Add the can of condensed milk. Stir and cool. Pour cooled milk mixture over Jell-O. If you wish, skim off any bubbles from the surface of the Jell-O. Chill overnight until set.

4th of July Patriotic Broken Glass Jell-O
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Mitsuwa "Umaimono Gourmet" Food Fair

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mitsuwa Torrance Food Festival

I woke up this morning to a tweet (via my friend @JustJennDesigns, and Jitlada lover @MyLastBite) about the Mitsuwa Food Fair happening this weekend. Garrett Snyder of the LA Weekly called it, "It's sort of like the "Comic-Con" for Japanese cuisine."

I went to the Torrance store (also happening in Costa Mesa) this afternoon. I was too late for the special Ichimonji-style tonkotsu miso ramen, but picked up a croquette, crab sushi and these amazing waffle custard filled yummy things from Kobe Fugetsudo.

This is only happening until Sunday, June 17th so if you are in the area, stop by! Also, it's coming to Chicago and New Jersey next week.

I'm bummed I missed the rice ball event that happened earlier...I'm going to follow @Mitsuwa_SoCal so I don't miss the next one!

(Top photo: Crab Inari 4 for $7.90; Ikameshi Croquette $2.50 each (filled with a squid and rice mix), and lots of different fried fish cakes are available)

Other items include a Seafood Bento Box (crab, sea urchin, salmon roe, squid) for $15.90; Roe for $78.99 a pound!!! (holy smokes...but I imagine you don't need to buy a pound of roe unless you really have thing for roe); fish, lots of croquettes (filled with things such as cheese, green onions, pumpkin, potato) and fried fish cakes.

Mitsuwa Torrance Food Festival

These waffles are filled with custard, green tea custard, or chestnut custard with a whole chestnut inside! Kobe Fugetsudo has this great waffle iron that spells out their name and a chef is standing all day making the waffles. (Japan-based Kobe Fugetsudo is not to be confused with Fugetsudo mochi in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.) These were definitely my favorite! If you are in the South Bay or OC, stop by Mitsuwa tomorrow to pick these up!
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Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Frosting

Chocolate sheet cake with Biscoff cream cheese frosting.

Dude, is there anything better?

Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Frosting
My friend Agnes gifted me Biscoff spread over a year ago and I have been eating it straight from the jar. Trader Joe's now has a version too. I also picked up these Belgium made chocolate sprinkles at Surfas. They are very thin and way better than regular jimmies. 

Chocolate Cake Biscoff Frosting collage
I made Hershey's Perfect Chocolate cake in a 9 x 13 pan. It's a really easy cake made with, of course, Hershey's cocoa. It is an oil-based cake, with 1 cup of milk. I might try it with soy milk for a non-dairy version one day. The frosting is a mixture of cream cheese, Biscoff, vanilla and powdered sugar. Yummmmmy. 

Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Frosting
I brought these pieces (in all different sizes...I wasn't a very good cutter!) to my current workplace and my former workplace.

Gave my former coworkers some treats and got back this poem! #sweet
Two co-workers were celebrating a birthday. When I picked up my carrying case (love these Snapware cases), they left me this poem written on a plastic plate. Ahhh. So cute!

Chocolate Cake with Biscoff Frosting
You can make these into cupcakes, but you will need to double the frosting if you want to pipe the frosting. The cake is moist, and the frosting is light and tasty.

Chocolate Cake (from Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
2 cups sugar (I used 400 g)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 245 g)
3/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa (I used 72 g)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup milk (I used low fat milk, room temp)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking pans (see Hershey's recipe for various sizes such as rounds, cupcakes, bundt, and sheet cake). I used a 9 x 13 pan.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer with paddle attachment.
3. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 minutes.
4. On low speed, mix in the boiling water. Batter will thin out.
5. Pour batter into pans and bake.
6. 9 x 13 pan bakes for 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then remove onto wire racks to cool completely before frosting.

Biscoff Cream Cheese Frosting (from Biscoff website)
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened (Biscoff uses Neufchatel)
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

With a paddle attachment, mix all ingredients together until smooth.
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Milk Chocolate Chunk Muffins - Donna Hay

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Milk Chocolate Muffin (Donna Hay)
Milk Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I need to get more organized. Um, it's June (how can it be JUNE?!?) and I've been saying this "New Year's Resolution" all year (and the year before that!)

I love to bake and should have an organized system of recipes to make. I've tried Pinterest, Google Bookmarks, calendars, "starring" things in Google Reader, printing out recipes and putting them "in a special place" (read: perhaps in a box or folder on my desk that quickly gets covered up...) to try to get organized.  I would like to have a calendar, shopping list and plan of action so I can prep the ingredients the night before. Right now, I roll out of bed and flip through some cookbooks or scraps of paper. This morning, I found milk chocolate chunk muffins from an old favorite, Donna Hay's Simple Essentials Chocolate cookbook and went into the kitchen for an early morning baking adventure.

Anyone have a good system of organization? If so, let me know! :)
Milk Chocolate Muffin (Donna Hay)
This recipe is made with oil, milk and eggs as the liquid. I didn't have vegetable oil and used olive oil. I topped the muffins with some reserved milk chocolate chunks.

Finally, this has nothing to do with these muffins, but I wanted to share this photo of Cidney the Girl Doggie. She spends a lot of time, um, rolling around in the dirt in the backyard. When she comes back from the groomers, it looks like she got highlights in her blond hair!

Milk Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Adapted from Simple Essentials Chocolate by Donna Hay (on Amazon and in Libraries)

2 cups (300 g/10 1/2 oz) self-rising flour, sifted  (I didn't have self-rising flour - not a common item for sale in Los Angeles - so I used 284 grams all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and a dash of salt)
1/2 (40 g / 1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder (see note above)
1 cup (220 g/7 3/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar (I did have superfine sugar from C&H)
2 eggs (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160 ml/5 fl oz) vegetable oil (I ran out of vegetable oil so I used light olive oil)
1/2 cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) milk (I used low-fat milk)
1 cup chopped milk chocolate (I used Trader Joe's block of Milk Chocolate, about 6 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners or spray with baking spray.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla, oil and milk.
4. Mix liquid ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.
5. Fold in the chocolate (reserve some to put on top)
6. Scoop into muffin tins. (Top with a few pieces of chocolate)
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (My muffins took much longer...don't know if it because I made several changes to the recipe, my oven or what.)
8. Makes 12 (I got 14 muffins).

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New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, June 4, 2012

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, I'm a little slow to jump on bandwagon. I was hesitant to get a digital camera (what was I thinking on that one?) and haven't gotten an iPad yet. I remember reading about these cookies in the New York Times back in 2008 but can't believe it has taken me so long to make them!

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
This cookie recipe uses cake and bread flour, as well as a 24-36 hour waiting period before baking. The waiting period allows the liquid to dry out and makes a happier dough. Toll House's original recipe says to refrigerate overnight. Flour Bakery's cookies rest overnight and I've been trying to do that with all my cookie doughs.

Chocolate Chip Cookies collage
Thank you Lori, Recipe Girl for this hint! After you roll out your ball of cookie dough, put 4-5 chips on top of the ball! Then, when it bakes, a few perfectly placed chips bake on top of the cookie! I can't tell you how many people said, "These cookies look perfect." I told them Lori's trick and now we'll have a bunch of perfect looking chocolate chip cookies in Southern California.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from the New York Times (from Jacque Torres), July 9, 2008

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, at least 60 percent cacao (I used 16 ounces (1 pound) of chips in the batter: 1/2 bittersweet Ghirardelli chips and 1/2 Nestle Semi-Sweet chips)
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. Mix in chocolate chips.
3. 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.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Scoop balls of dough onto baking sheet. The recipe suggests 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls). I made smaller cookies of 1 1/2 ounce (yes, I used the scale). I only put 6 cookies on a half-sheet pan as they spread. 3 1/2 ounce cookies will be large!
6. Place a few chocolate chips on top of the cookie (thanks Recipe Girl for this tip!) Bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack
7. The recipe states to sprinkle sea salt on the cookie before baking...but I totally forgot that step! Next time!
Full instructions from the NY Times here.
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Chocolate Chip Celebration!

Chocolate Chip Party
I volunteer at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles (definitely go when you visit Los Angeles) and a group decided to celebrate the freaking awesomeness of the chocolate chip. The chocolate chip is full of greatness and deserves its own party, right?!

Chocolate Chip Party
We had (clockwise) banana chocolate chip cake, espresso chocolate cookies (some with spice!), s'more bars, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We also had brownies and Trader Joe's chocolate chip dunkers. Oh yes, the chocolate chip was celebrated big time! I'm surrounded by really excellent bakers!

Chocolate Chip Party
Luckily, we had a delicious cheese, cracker, pickles, olives, dried fig and sausage course too. You always need some salt and protein with a plate full of sweets. The sausages were delicious! They were the JFC brand Berkshire Pork Coarse Spicy Sausage from Japanese supermarkets.

Chocolate Chip Party
One of the departments has this old school shave ice hand crank unit. The shave ice comes out very thin. One of the nisei volunteers was giving it away. Um, if your grandma or folks have one of these in their garage, please pick up it up for me, okay?                                                                                                  

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
I brought these New York Times cookies. The recipe is in the next post.

Thanks everyone at the museum for joining in on the fun...can't wait until our next food celebration! :) - mary
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Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcake

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcake

I always buy a three pack of strawberries at the farmer's market. It's always a deal, and I can eat a whole pint in one sitting!

I was heading over to my friend Racheal's house and her 2 1/2 year old son, Caden can sniff out sweets a mile away. His very first sugar was a bite of my chocolate cinnamon bundt cake!

I cobbled together a chocolate shortcake's more like a chocolate scone/biscuit. They are not very sweet on their own...they are waiting for the whipped cream, nutella and a bit of sanding sugar on top!

2 1/2 year old Caden gave me the best compliment...after eating his banana shortcake, he asked, "Where do you live?" (The left photo is Caden's teenage look!!)

My friends Racheal and Lee and their ultra cute family!

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
Chocolate Nutella Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberries + Sugar (if you wish) or Bananas
Whipped Cream (Whisk together 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream with 3 T sugar)

2 cup flour (280 grams)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used 20 grams of Hershey's Cocoa)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar (65 grams)

1 stick butter, cold
3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk
Sanding sugar

Prep: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
2. Cut butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, your fingers or two knives.
3. Pour in 3/4 cup of the buttermilk and combine together. I use a fork to lightly mix. If it's too dry, add a little bit more buttermilk.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a slab. Cut out circles.
5. Place on parchment paper. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
6. Bake, depending on your oven and the size of your cakes, about 15 minutes.

1. If you want, combine sliced strawberries with a few teaspoons of sugar (depending on the sweetness of your strawberries). Set aside for 30 minutes. (I didn't want to wait and just used fresh strawberries and fresh bananas!)
2. Cut shortcake in half with a serrated knife.
3. Spread Nutella one side...or both! :)
4. Place strawberries on cake, then top with whipped cream.
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