Nectarine Golden Cake - Gourmet Magazine

Friday, August 31, 2012

Nectarine Golden Cake - Gourmet Magazine
Nectarine Golden Cake

Oh, Gourmet Magazine. I miss you. But its demise has freed up former editor-in-chief, Ruth Reichl to judge Top Chef Masters. I love her and the show...her love of food and eating is contangeous. I was lucky enough to see her speak at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles soon after Gourmet was closed in 2010.

Anyway, we still have the Epicurious website to browse the Gourmet recipes. This one, the Nectarine Golden Cake was published in 2009.

Nectarine Golden Cake - Gourmet Magazine
As summer winds down, give it one last shout out with this easy cake. It's perfect for Labor Day brunch...right before you turn on the BBQ.

Nectarine Golden Cake - Gourmet Magazine
Sweet fruit. Light cake. Simple recipe. It's summer on a plate.

From Gourmet MagazineSeptember 2009 by Maggie Ruggiero

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Pan: 9-inch springform pan
1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly butter or spray the springform pan with Pam with Flour.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
3. Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in extracts.
4. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined. Don't overmix.
5. Spread batter evenly in pan, then scatter nectarines over top. Stir together nutmeg and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over top.
6. Bake until cake is golden-brown and top is firm but tender when lightly touched (cake will rise over fruit), 45 to 50 minutes (mine took 45 minutes).
7. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool.
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King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts

Thanks to King's Hawaiian, I received lots and lots of bread at the end of the tour (see post here). I normally purchase the original round bread and rolls, so I was excited to try the new products. For this treat, I used the King's Hawaiian Sliced Bread (but you can use the other Kings products - just slice it). This bread is delicious with cold cuts for lunch, french toast, and some homemade jam.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
I wanted to make a super easy treat you can throw together in a flash. Just cut King's Hawaiian bread into shapes, toast with butter, and top with a sweetened mascarpone cream mixture and fresh fruit. How easy is that?! I used some Ateco rounds and scalloped edge cutters.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
I toasted the bread pieces in my cast iron pan with butter. You can adjust the amount of butter to suit your only takes a few minutes. A simple mixture of mascarpone cream, sugar and cream is spread on the toast pieces.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
Top with any fruit you have available... a slice of peach, nectarine, pear or kiwi would be nice too.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
I used a mascarpone, sugar and chilled heavy whipping cream mixture on top of the toasted Kings Hawaiian bread similar to this one I used to fill pastry shells for a wedding.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts

King's Hawaiian Bread - sliced and cut into bite size pieces
Fresh fruit
Mascarpone Cream Filling
4 ounces (half an 8 ounce tub) of  mascarpone cream (I used Trader Joe's)
2-3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (to taste)
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream, chilled (to taste)

Toast the cut bread in butter. Let cool. Combine the Mascarpone cream mixture with a whisk. Spread on the toast and top with fruit. Serve and enjoy!
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King's Hawaiian Behind-the-Scenes Factory Tour

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
King's Hawaiian Behind-the-Scenes Factory Tour and Lunch

King's Hawaiian Bread has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles, where founder Robert Taira set up his factory on the mainland. My auntie and uncle live within a mile of that factory, and I have fond memories of driving by and smelling the King's bread baking...always wondering what was going on inside. My mother even remembers friends bringing back King's round bread from Hawaii as omiyage (gifts & souvenirs) in the 1960-1970s.

My mother immigrated from Okinawa, Japan in the 60's. Every single time we eat King's Hawaiian bread or visit the restaurant, she says, "You know, the family that founded King's - Taira? They're Okinawan." Every. Single. Time. (If my mom tweeted, she could hashtag #okinawanpride!)

Yes, King's is the bread for my family. Even now, my mom's Thanksgiving shopping list includes three 24-roll packages...for about 8 people - that's 9 rolls per person!

So, when King's Hawaiian invited me for a special behind-the-scenes factory tour and lunch?! The entire west coast heard me scream with delight.

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
Mark Taira, son of founder Robert Taira spoke about his dad founding the bakery in Hilo, Hawaii in the 1950's. Mr. Taira's neighbor would bake a Portuguese round sweet bread that only lasted one day. Mr. Taira perfected the recipe to last much longer and an industry was born. After setting up in Honolulu in 1963, on King Street, his bread became known throughout the state. Then, in 1977 they opened the factory in Torrance, California. We visited the second factory in the South Bay. What was even more exciting? It was the very first time non-family and friends of the founders were allowed to tour the facility!

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
Nothing like seeing thousands of fresh hot dog buns whirling along conveyor belts...from rolling out, proofing, baking and packaging. We saw the new hot dog buns being produced as well as the delicious honey wheat rolls. At the end of the tour, they lifted a few boxes off the belt and served them up with butter. Literally, hot from the oven!

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
After the tour, we were treated to a wonderful lunch. King's brought in the best food trucks to make special meals on King's Hawaiian bread. Lobsta Truck rolls with butter on the new hot dog bun? delicious! The Buttermilk Truck made french toast sticks with King's bread for a sweet treat. The Ludo Truck makes crispy, perfectly seasoned chicken, and the Kogi Truck short rib sliders on King's rolls were amazing. In addition, the King's family made delicious tail-gate treats - great ideas for the upcoming football season!

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
Three generations of Taira's work at the King's Factory and Restaurants including the founder's brother (not pictured) who rises everyday and works in the bakery. With so much of our food made by large multi-national conglomerates, it was special to see a successful, Southern California family business. And, as my mom would say, "Okinawan too!"

King's Hawaiian Tour & Lunch
The dessert buffet was outstanding...including two types of bread pudding made with King's Hawaiian bread. Have you been to the King's Hawaiian Restaurant and Bakery in Torrance? Another reason to visit the cool ocean breezes in the South Bay of Los Angeles. I love the Paradise cake, and blogged about it here and here.

King's Hawaiian Mascarpone Toast Tarts
I went home and opened the largest swag box ever. It contained every one of King's products, an apron, Hawaiian coffee & candies - oh my! I made a simple dessert with mascarpone fruit toasts - find the recipe in the next post.

Thanks King's Hawaiian and the Taira family for a great day!

With nationwide distribution, you can find King's in a grocery store near you. This Labor Day holiday, you should try the new hot dog buns! More information here.

FCC Disclosure: I was invited for the tour & lunch and received a gift basket from King's Hawaiian. I did not receive compensation. Opinions are my own...I'm seriously this crazy about King's Hawaiian bread.
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Blondies - Alice Medrich recipe

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blondies - Alice Medrich recipe

Blondies are so often overlooked in favor of their cousin the Brownie. But blondies rock! Without all the chocolate, you really taste the brown sugar and nuts. I might get pelted for saying this, but sometimes you need a break from chocolate (well, not a big break because this blondie has chocolate chips)!

Blondies - Alice Medrich recipe
Do you have a copy of Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies? It's very well written, like all her books, and this Blondie recipe is a winner. In the back of the book, she has helpful lists - such as lower fat cookies, dairy-free, cookies that keep at least 2 weeks, and cookie doughs that freeze well. Love that she took the time to make these lists for the reader. I just wish that the publishers used grams as well as ounce measurements. I like "counting" in grams because it is easier to halve recipes. In addition, the book uses decimal measurements (my Salter scale uses fractions) such as 6.125. I love math, but I have a hard time remembering that .125 is 1/8 of an ounce at 4 am in the morning. :)

Blondies - Alice Medrich recipe
Super duper easy to make. Melted butter is combined with brown sugar and many basic ingredients - you probably have everything you need in your pantry right now. Don't need a mixer...just a wooden spoon. Can't get easier than that. Make some today and your family and friends will thank you.

From Alice Medrich's Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-Mouth Cookies, page 174 (find it in your library)

1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup plus 2 T (6.125 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp dark rum or bourbon (optional, I did not use it)
2/3 cup walnut pieces (I used Trader Joe's Walnut baking bits)
1/2 cup (3 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 8 x 8 pan by lining it with parchment or foil.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the egg and vanilla. Gently stir in the flour mixture followed by half of the walnuts. Spread the batter in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts and the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the nuts look toasted, the top is golden brown, and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pan on a rack. Lift the ends of the parchment or foil and transfer to a cutting board for cutting.

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Banana Streusel Snack Cake

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Banana Streusel Snack Cake
Banana Streusel Snack Cake

Costco sells a bag o' bananas for less than $2. You can't pass that up! But then you have to eat the bunch o' bananas and... you always find a few that never make it into the lunch bag. I freeze a few for smoothies, but love to make banana breads too.

This one, from wonderful cookbook author Flo Braker, is moist and the streusel topping takes it over the top. When I ate it warm, the flavors weren't settled yet, but it got better as it cooled and it was tasty the next day. Flo says it keeps and freezes well too.

Banana Streusel Snack Cake
The cake is really simple to make. Bananas, butter, and a streusel topping. Yummmmy!

Sage Aug 2012
I made this when friends Jun, David (remember the wedding dessert buffet?) and baby Sage came by for a visit. OMG. So cute!! Sage has these long curls in his hair and the most adorable pre-sumo wrestler arms. He had his first bit of cake too...Banana Streusel Snack Cake!

Banana Streusel Snack Cake
Banana Streusel Snack Cake
From Flo Braker's "Baking for All Occasions" (page 157)

6 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces/50 grams) all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons (2 3/4 ounces/75 grams) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I ran out of cinnamon (how did I run out of cinnamon?) and use 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger instead)

2 cups (8 ounces/225 grams) unsifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup ripe mashed banana (2 large or 3 medium) (I used 3 medium bananas)
3 tablespoons whole milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (1 stick/115 grams/1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 ounces/200 grams) sugar
1 large egg

Prep: Prep a 9 x 5 loaf pan or 8 x 8 square pan by butter and flouring it, or spraying it with Pam with Flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the streusel: Using your fingertips, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon until lumpy; set aside.

For the batter: Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt onto a sheet of parchment or wax paper (save the paper to help you invert the cake onto a rack later). Mash bananas in a medium bowl, then add the milk and vanilla extract.

Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg until completely incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled, that's OK). With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (9 x 3 loaf pan) or 35 minutes (8 x 8 pan), until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert onto a rack covered with parchment. Place another rack on top and invert again so the streusel is on top. Let cool.

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Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake - NY Times Recipe

Friday, August 10, 2012

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake - New York Times
Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake
New York Times recipe

I have an affair with nectarines every summer. My little summer romance. I adore the nectarine. I like the peach too, but I love the nectarine's smooth skin. It also makes it easier to bake with since I don't bother peeling nectarines.

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake - New York Times
Here's the third nectarine recipe I've posted in the last couple months...and I have one more in the hopper. Yes, I love the nectarine!

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake - New York Times
This recipe, from the New York Times, is super duper easy! You don't need a mixer and you don't have to mix much of anything! A layer of brown butter is placed on the bottom of your pan and a batter goes on top, followed by the nectarines that have been cooked on the stove top for just a bit. Although you might be tempted to mix the butter into the batter, don't...and you'll be rewarded with a yummy dessert.

Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake - New York Times
Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler Cake from the New York Times
A version of this recipe appeared in print on July 27, 2011, on page D5 of the New York edition with the headline: Brown Butter Nectarine Cobbler/Cake.

3 cups fresh nectarines or peaches in 1/2-inch slices, or a combination (about 1 pound) (I used 4 medium nectarines)
5 ounces sugar (about 3/4 cup) - Divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces flour (about 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I used Trader Joe's sliced almonds)
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons Demerara sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the fruit slices, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer, then take the pan off the heat.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until it smells very nutty, turns golden, and flecks of dark brown appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the brown butter into an 8 by 8 baking dish. (I did mine in reverse order, using the same pan. First, I made the brown butter and poured it into the baking dish. Then, I rinsed the pan and used it to cook the fruit a bit in step 1).

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Scrape the batter on top of the brown butter, use a spatula to even out the batter but be careful not to mix it into the butter. Scatter the nectarine slices and juice on top of the batter without stirring. Sprinkle with the almonds, nutmeg and Demerara sugar. Bake until golden brown, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.
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Yamashiro Farmer's Market, Hollywood

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Yamashiro Farmers Market - Hollywood
Yamashiro's night time Farmer's Market in Hollywood
April - September 27

My friend (and I'm sure distant relative) JustJenn and I met at the Yamashiro Restaurant Farmer's Market in the Hollywood hills last week. The weekly Santa Monica farmers market may have heirloom everything, but this farmer's market has the best view.

Operating only from April - September from 5-9 pm, you should visit if you are in Los Angeles! There are some produce stands, but many people attend to eat dinner and relax. On our night, there were 3-4 food trucks, Yamashiro's slider stand, Takken skewers, crepes, french fries, and some other yummy things we couldn't fit in our bellies.

I picked up some Chocolate Peanut Butter from Nuttin Butter (bottom left photo) and we ended our meal with a snickerdoodle cookie with strawberry mojito sorbet sandwiches from the Cool Haus truck (bottom right photo).

Yamashiro Farmers Market - Hollywood
Top: Takken sweet BBQ corn and filet mignon skewers. I had these when I went to the 626 Night Market in Pasadena and loved them. They don't have a restaurant, but appear at several farmer's markets in Los Angeles.

Bottom: Yamashiro has their own stand selling alcohol and sliders (menu). Oh dear. These sliders were delicious! We bought the Kurobuta Pork Carnitas ($4) with Hoisin & Honey Mustard, and the Alaskan Crab ($5) with 5 spice corn salsa, bell pepper mayo. The pickle bar is the BEST (I should have asked if they sold containers of these pickles) - Wasabi Ginger Mango, Green Bean, and Cucumber pickles. Perfection!

Yamashiro Farmers Market - Hollywood
They had several vendors selling produce...but I didn't notice too many people buying veggies...hopefully they hit up the farmers on their way out.

Speaking of going in and need to ARRIVE EARLY and take the shuttle. There is no parking in the area (it's a neighborhood with a narrow road). You can valet park your car at a church parking lot, then a van shuttles you up the Yamashiro's. Before you freak about the valet, the lot is tiny so they need to stack the cars super duper close to each other. My friend suggests parking at Hollywood & Highland complex and walking up to the front of Yamashiro's...might try that if your legs want to make that hike.

You have less than two months remaining for this year's festivities... be sure to head up the hill!

Yamashiro's Farmers Market - April 5 to September 27, 5 pm - 9 pm
Info: Yamashiro's website  ||  LA Farms website (with shuttle info)
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Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco
Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco

I just got back from a mini-break to San Francisco. I have a lovely time visiting friends and family...and eating and eating. I'm going to post about my visit shortly, but wanted to highlight a new place in the Mission: Craftsman and Wolves.

Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco
Located within walking distance of veteran Tartine in the Mission, this place adds to the major food scene in the Mission. It's near a cheese shop, soon-to-be chocolate shop, and Abbot's Cellar. Top right is a Cocoa Carrot Muffin - it's really moist.

Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco
My friend Sumi and I got six things...for TWO people! :) We just had to try as much as we could! Look at the beautiful pastries and baked goods. Besides, calories on vacation don't count, right? (Don't worry, we boxed up the leftovers)

Chocolate chip cookies (for the flight beats airline peanuts) - don't remember the price, but the peanut butter one is $2.00. The Pain au Cochon $3.75 with cheese and ham is a flaky happy place.

Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco
The first thing you notice upon entering the simply designed cafe is the friendly staff. We went very early in the day before the breakfast crowd. Yes, I wake up early for bakeries. We picked our choices and they were plated. Seating includes a long table with stools and a bar (see first photo). The tisane tea $2.50 includes freshly picked spearmint and peppermint can see the plant on the counter. Bottom right is a lovely Passion Sesame Croissant $3.50 - super delicious!

Craftsman and Wolves - San Francisco
The brownie has caramel in the center. Oh, shut up and sit down. It's hella rich. My favorite was the tomato, strawberry and pistachio scone. Perfect combo of a bit savory and sweet. (Sorry, I don't remember all the prices and Sumi treated so I don't have the receipt, but most items were around $3-4 I believe. The Sandwiches are $9 and savory plates are $8-$11.)

Next time, we'll sample the sandwiches and savory plates...if we have any room left after eating pastries!

Craftsman and Wolves
Website : Facebook : Twitter
746 Valencia St (between 19th St & 18th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
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Puppy Sitting

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nash the Puppy and Cidney the Girl Dog
As if this post needs any words... my cousin and I are puppy sitting cute little Nash the Goldie. Isn't he adorable? Cidney the Girl Dog has been totally patient and is letting this little 12 week old ball of energy jump, bite and climb all over her. She is even sharing her toys!

Puppy says, "I can walk myself, thank you very much" #puppysitting
Puppy wants to walk himself.

Nash the Puppy and Cidney the Girl Dog
So my week has been filled with Olympics, puppy duties and very little sleep. Awesomeness!
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