Hey– Happy Father’s Day! Why not do something nice for pops and make him a Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake today?? It’s super easy, I promise. You can even make it by hand without breaking a sweat. I’d make it for my dad, but he lives clear across the county.
This cake is nothing fancy…plain, but soft and good. It reminds me of a blueberry muffin, which made it perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.
Here’s a printable link to the recipe. Or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I made a couple of tiny tweaks…a little spelt flour in place of some of the AP, and a bit of lemon zest for extra flavor. Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our blueberry cakes this month!
If I’ve learned anything from this week’s TWD, it’s that I make lousy biscuits. Well, let me clear that up…these Sweet Cream Biscuits (chosen by Melissa of Love At First Bite for TWD) tasted good, especially topped with some homemade strawberry-vanilla bean smoosh, but they were not the high, flaky biscuits of my dreams. Overworking must have been the culprit, although after seven years of baking professionally, I like to think that I know when to stop.
But I won’t let you get me down, biscuits. No, no…I will master you yet. You just wait and see.
I am finally starting to see a few leafy green things (look out ramps and asparagus!) at the Greenmarket, but where the heck are the fruity things? Yeah, rhubarb, you may technically be veg, but I’m talking about you. It’s still nothing but the same sad apples I’ve been seeing for the past six months…which of course I bought last week. And because they tasted like apples from six months ago, they sat in the fridge for another week, until a feeling of guilt swept over me and I had to think of ways to use them up.
R’s mum gave us a waffle iron for Christmas. A great present (it makes two at a time!), but I’ve no place to put it in our little kitchen, so it lives in its box in the back of the coat closet. Most of the time it’s out of sight, out of mind, but once in a while I like to pry the iron from its styrofoam protectors and switch-up the pancake routine. Why the heck not make apple waffles?
I didn’t have it so together that morning that I was able to make waffles and saute apples to go on top…instead I simply poured a little cider and a little maple syrup into a sauce pan, and let it reduce for a couple of minutes. Voila…cider-maple syrup atop a golden spiced apple waffle. Perfect for spring– hehe.
Apple Waffles- makes about six 6.5″ round waffles
from a recipe in Waffles: From Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan
Steph’s note: The recipe halves wonderfully if you don’t need six. You can also individually freeze any extra waffles for later breakfasts.
3 T unsalted butter
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
2 t double-acting baking powder
1 t cinnamon
¼ t allspice
pinch of nutmeg
¼ c sugar
¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ c milk
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
1 medium-sized apple, peeled and grated
maple syrup, or applesauce, and butter, for serving
-Preheat waffle iron. If you want to hold the waffles until serving time, preheat your oven to 200°F.
-Melt the butter; reserve. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and sugars (make sure the brown sugar is free of lumps). In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, whisking until they are just combined. Fold in the grated apple and melted butter.
-Lightly butter or spray the grids of your iron, if needed. Brush or spray the grids again only if subsequent waffles stick.
-Spoon out ½ cup of batter, (or amount recommended by your waffler’s manufacturer) onto the hot iron. Spread it over the grids with a metal spatula or wooden spoon. Close the lid and bake until browned and crisp. They are soft, so you may have to gently peel them off the iron with a fork and spatula.
-Serve immediately with suggested toppings, or keep the finished waffles, in a single layer, on a rack in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.
Yesterday was the messiest, snowiest, slushiest day New York City has seen all winter. A yucky day outside makes for the perfect day to hibernate inside (luckily, I usually have Wednesdays off from work)…and the perfect day to make homemade pancakes! Ummm….have I told you that I love pancakes? I may have mentioned it a few times, right?
I’ve been noticing a lot of buckwheaty recipes lately, so I picked up a bag of buckwheat flour at the shop the other day. I put it to quick work in my first batch of buckwheat pancakes. Normally when I think of buckwheat pancakes, I imagine little yeast-risen blini with caviar or smoked salmon, but these guys are more in-line with buttermilk breakfast pancakes. The buckwheat flour gives them an earthy color and slighty nutty taste. These pancakes are hearty and delicious, and just the thing to make you feel cozy on a snowy day.
P.S.: My friend Lauren and I met up with Dorie Greenspan at her pop-up CookieBar today. She is nicer that I even imagined her to be, and her cookies are damn good, too! I was so excited that I forgot to tell her I’d made (and devoured) these pancakes…the recipe is hers!
Winter Buckwheat Pancakes- makes 4 servings (about 12 pancakes)
from a recipe in Pancakes: From Morning to Midnight by Dorie Greenspan
Steph’s note: You can reduce the butter in the recipe (I used 3T) if you’d like. The recipe halves wonderfully if you are just feeding two.
3/4 c buckwheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 c milk
3/4 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
4 T unsalted butter, melted
3 T honey
maple syrup or honey and butter, for serving
-In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In another bowl, thoroughly whisk the milk, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and honey together. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk, stopping when everything is just combined (don’t worry if the batter is a bit lumpy). You will have a thick, dark batter that looks as though powdered coffee has been sprinkled through it; as the batter sits, it will become thicker, stickier and more elastic—that is fine.
-Lightly butter, oil or spray your griddle or skillet; preheat over medium heat or, if using an electric griddle, set to 350°F; if you want to hold the pancakes until serving time, preheat your oven to 200°F.
-Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, allowing space for spreading and use a spatula or the back of your spoon to lightly press the batter into rounds. When the undersides of the pancakes are golden and the tops are speckled with bubbles that pop and stay open, flip the pancakes over with a wide spatula and cook until the other sides are brown.
-Serve immediately with suggested toppings, or keep the finished pancakes in the preheated oven while you make the rest of the batch.
Wow–super-busy week at work. If I hadn’t made this Cocoa-Nana Bread, chosen for TWD by fellow Steph of Obsessed with Baking, early last week, it just wouldn’t have happened for me. The bakery I work for was featured in a segment on national TV a few days ago, and it sent mail orders pouring in all weekend. Terrific for business, but the owners neglected to give the kitchen the heads-up that it was airing! Saying we we’ve been in the weeds would be an understatement, and my arms are about to fall off from so much brownie mixing. Anyway, back to matters at hand…
A healthy dose of cocoa powder makes this loaf pumpernickel-dark. And bananas make it moist. It’s really much more cocoa than nana….and also more loaf cake than bread. Dorie intends it to be for breakfast, but we thought it made a fine dessert. Leftovers are a yummy trifle base, BTW.
To all my Aussie friends–happy Australia Day! I’ll be celebrating here with homemade sausage rolls, a Cooper’s Sparkling and some good tennis!
The Cake Slice Bakers have shifted gears, and we’re now baking from the book Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I’ve actually had this book for quite sometime, so it will be nice to do more than just admire its words and pictures. Although I’ll miss making a fancy layer cake each month just for the heck of it, this book has cakes of all types– like this here Cinnamon-Pecan Coffee Cake, for instance.
This was a nice cake to wake up to (it freezes well, so you really can make it ahead and save it for a weekend morning). It has a whopping amount of cinnamon and pecans, so you know right there that it’ll be tasty. I replaced the raisins in the recipe with dried wild blueberries (they came from TJ’s and I was surprised at how flavorful they were!), and subbed in a bit of whole wheat flour for some of the AP. Makes me feel better about eating cake in the morning if there’s a little whole wheat in there! And it didn’t seem to harm the nice texture of the buttery crumb at all. So that I wouldn’t be tempted to gobble up too much cake, I made a third of the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan.
Here’s a printable link to the recipe. Or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our coffee cakes this month!
These biscuits have a bit of brown sugar in them, but I wouldn’t really call them sweet (although maybe that’s because I didn’t use the canned sweet potatoes in syrup that the recipe calls for…I used a unsweetened organic mashed purée instead). They’re just as tasty with turkey bacon and eggs as they are slathered with maple butter. Trust me on the bacon and egg thing…this little sandwich was one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve made in awhile…if you are a fellow HP addict, don’t forget to bring the bottle to the table!
I’m pretty slow-going in the morning, so don’t do that much breakfast baking. That being said, I was happy to have the lovely Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table chose Allspice Crumb Muffins for TWD this week. It’s good to have my routine switched up every once and awhile. And it’s hard to not like having a fresh, homemade muffin (especially one with streusel topping!) with my morning coffee.
Allspice isn’t a spice that I usually have on hand. In fact, before I made this recipe I had to pay a visit to my most favorite tea and spice shop, Two for the Pot in Brooklyn, to score some. Allspice in hand, I subbed just a bit of whole wheat flour for the AP in both the streusel and the muffin itself. I also added in the optional lemon zest…this muffin doesn’t have bits of fruit in it, so I think the zest went a long way towards amping up the flavor a bit. They baked up with kinda flat tops, but I can overlook that in favor of their ease and pleasant simplicity.
P.S.: I’m taking a quick trip out of town on my days off this week. I won’t be in front of the computer for a few days, so please forgive my lack of comments!
Despite my love of oats, muesli has always had bit of a negative connotation for me. Why would I ever want that dry, sawdusty stuff when I could have deliciously toasted granola instead? It wasn’t until we were living in Sydney, where it’s a café breakfast staple, that I finally discovered Bircher muesli. Oh, Bircher muesli…where had you been all my life? Better late than never, I guess.
With Bircher muesli, dry oats are soaked for at least a couple hours (overnight’s best), eliminating the whole sawdust thing. While you could use any number of liquids (such as OJ, milk or water) as your soaking medium, I prefer the light, neutral sweetness of apple juice. Next you add in lots of tasty bits…yogurt, fruit and nuts. Here I used grated red apple, along with strawberries, blackberries, sliced almonds, hazelnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes, but it’s really anything goes with the fruit and nuts. (Sliced peaches are incredible in this, as is rhubarb compote!) To me, the grated apple is the only really essential fruit, both for moisture and texture, so I would definitely not omit that. I’ve used all types of apples in the past, though, red or green..whatever you have…grate them skin-on.
This is such an easy and and satisfying breakfast, and a great way for oat lovers to get our fix when it’s hot outside. Thank you Maximilian Bircher-Benner!
Bircher Muesli- makes 2 large or 3 small servings
1 cup rolled oats (the “old-fashioned” kind)
½ cup + 2 T unsweetened apple juice
½ of a coarsely grated apple
5 oz plain yogurt
pinch of ground cinnamon
handful of toasted nuts and/or coconut flakes
handful of fresh berries and/or sliced stonefruit
honey or maple syrup for drizzling
-Put the oats and apple juice in a lidded container and leave in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
-The next morning, stir the grated apple, cinnamon, yogurt and half of the toasted nuts and/or coconut into the soaked oats. Spoon into bowls and top with fruit and remaining nuts. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
I usually have three days off from work each week (ahh, the luxury!), and you can bet that on one of those mornings I will be making pancakes. I do love them so, and as much as I like to go out to eat, when it comes to pancakes, homemade rules. I have a go-to buttermilk recipe that is the standard (and I will share with you one day soon), but I keep my eyes peeled for something different every once and awhile. You know, no need to be boring, even if you are still in your PJs.
A recipe for fresh corn pancakes the July issue of Gourmet was whispering to me from the pages. It didn’t have to say much, though– the corn is so good and sweet right now, that I felt like this was kind of time-sensitive. I rushed to make them the first time, and have whipped them up two more times since! Pureed corn gives them an overall sunshine-yellow tint, and whole kernels are little bursts of sweetness. Even though I drastically reduced the butter when I made them, they browned gorgeously.
Apparently, you can serve these pancakes with salsa and sour cream for a savory take, but I’ll have mine drenched in maple syrup!
Fresh Corn Pancakes- makes 4 servings (about 12 pancakes)
from a recipe in Gourmet (July 2009)
Note: You can reduce the butter in the recipe (I used 2T) if you’d like.
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 to 4 ears corn
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
-Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
-Cut enough kernels from cobs to measure 2 cups. Using back of a knife, scrape pulp from cobs and transfer to a blender with milk and 1/2 cup corn. Purée until smooth, then strain through a sieve into another medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in eggs, oil, and butter.
-Add to flour mixture with remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and whisk until just combined.
-Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then lightly brush with oil.
-Working in batches, pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute more. (Reduce heat if pancakes brown too quickly.) Lightly oil griddle between batches if necessary.
-Drizzle warm maple syrup on the pancakes for breakfast or serve them as a side dish with salsa and sour cream.