Spiced Nectarine Cake from Bon Appetit

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spiced Nectarine Cake
Spiced Nectarine Cake

It's a delicious time of the year. Stone fruits. Cherries. Strawberries galore.

Make this cake.
Go to the Farmer's Market, buy stone fruit and make it. You probably have all the base ingredients in the house right now!

Spiced Nectarine Cake
It doesn't make much batter (only 1 1/4 cup flour) so the fruit really shines. The batter is simply a delivery device for warm fruit. :)

Spiced Nectarine Cake
The original recipe from Bon Appetit has lemon juice and zest. Um, I totally forgot to add them, but I did take the suggestion of the reviewers and added some vanilla extract. I also baked it in this glass pie plate - the recipe calls for a 9" springform pan.

Spiced Nectarine Cake
You can serve it on a plate with some coffee, tea or even a scoop of ice cream. Or, you can be like my co-workers, cut a slide and use your hand eat it like a pizza during the meeting.

Spiced Nectarine Cake
Wow. Two blog posts in two days. And I served this cake this morning, and I'm posting it tonight. Finding my camera again has given me lots of inspiration!

Take care, Mary the Food Librarian

P.S. Make this cake!!!

Spiced Nectarine Cake
Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2005

Difference from the Original Recipe on Epicurious:
1. Totally skipped the lemon juice and zest. Totally skipped it because I totally forgot to add it.
2. Added vanilla extract.
3. Did not have self-rising flour, used a mixture of flour, baking powder and salt
4. Only needed 3 nectarines - recipe calls for 5.
5. Baked mine in a glass pie tray (because my springform pan was in use).
6. Forgot to sprinkle the topping on the cake before placing in oven...pulled it out after 15 minutes of baking and sprinkled on top. Yes, I was a bit tired when I made this!
7. You can substitute peaches, apricots or plums.

Cake Batter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (175 g) all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 medium nectarines, sliced, not peeled

3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9" springform pan or pie tin.
2. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk in the salt.
3. Using a paddle attachment, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until blended. Add the vanilla.
5. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just blended. Don't overmix.
6. Spread into the pan.
7. Arrange a layer of nectarine slices.
8. Mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle over the cake.
9. Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.
10. Serve at room temp or warm from the oven.
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Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

Monday, May 26, 2014

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins
Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

All in a muffin.

Let's do it. I found this recipe on The Novice Chef's blog. I had some very sad looking bananas in the fridge and wanted to use them up...and I had a new jar of Nutella. Match made in heaven!

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins
The recipe is easy to make. Normal muffin blending with a dollop of Nutella on top. I ran about 1/3 cup of Nutella through the microwave for about 15 seconds. That made it easier to scoop and swirl. I also did not include the chopped pecans in the original recipe.

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins
By the way, I found my camera! It's been "misplaced" for several months now...and I almost gave up hope. You know when you place something in a super SECRET place...so secret that you forget where you put it? That's me.

I could blame the fumes from the floor refinishing or paint, but I was trying to be clever...and so failed. The camera was put in a bin of kitchen equipment, with other stuff on top. I've lifted the lid on every box in the house and missed it. Yesterday, when I was putting away loaf pans in that box, I found the camera! Whoo hoo!

Note to my family and friends: Because I seem to forget this kind of stuff, I don't "hide" money around the house. Don't bother opening every book in the house looking for money when I'm gone... :)

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins
All the muffins are unique based on your swirl pattern. Because of the Nutella, the top can get a little messy. You might want to serve them with a napkin (or you can just lick off the Nutella from your fingers!)

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

Find full recipe on the Novice Chef's Blog here:  http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/01/nutella-banana-swirl-muffins/
My changes: Did not include pecans.
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Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips

I was going through my chocolate stash and found some white chocolate chips that I forgot about. Thus, chocolate scones with white chocolate chips!

Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips
I'm such a fan of scones. They are easy to make in the morning and are perfect for a morning meeting. My department has a standing weekly morning meeting, and I bought these to share.

After the meeting, I placed the "leftover" scones on a table for other staff to eat. I ran into a colleague later that morning holding one of the scones. As she walked by, she said, "I'll eat anything you bake. You can make mud pies and I'll eat 'em." Hee hee.

Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips
The dough comes together very quickly. Remember - don't overmix scones. I like to make smaller scones (more to share) so I made two circles and cut each into 8 pieces. Brush some cream on top and finish with a sprinkle of sanding sugar. (I totally use sanding sugar on everything...well, except a chicken dinner, but pretty much all baked goods!)

See you soon - I'm going to try and blog more...life has been really busy! Also, my nice camera is still MIA so these photos are from my Samsung phone.

I hope you make these scones someday. They make people happy. - mary

Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Scones with White Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup of heavy cream (plus a little more to brush on the scones)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (25 grams) Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Callebaut)
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 Tablespoons (75% of one stick of butter) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Sanding sugar (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix together in the measuring cup or a small bowl the cream, egg and vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingers until the butter is pea-size.
5. Add the white chocolate chips to the mix and stir to blend.
6. Pour the cream mixture over the batter and mix until just blended together. Don't overmix and it's okay if you don't get it all incorporated because you'll knead it a bit in the next step.
7. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead to pull everything together but try to handle the dough as little as possible.
8. For mini scones: I split the dough in half and made two circles and cut each into 8 wedges. If you want larger scones, you can press it into one circle and cut into 8 wedges.
9. Place the scones on a baking sheet (I use parchment paper for easy clean up) and brush the top with a little cream or milk. Sprinkle sanding sugar on top.
10. Bake for 17-20 minutes (depending on the size of the scones and your oven) until they are firm around the edges.
11. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!
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