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.
This is a recipe that’s caught my eye many times while flipping through BFMHTY, partly because it is directly opposite one of the things I most want to make (that would be Oatmeal Breakfast Bread for those in charge of next month’s selection…hehe), and partly because it just sounds a little wacky. Well, since Kelly of Baking with the Boys picked it for TWD, it’s time to try this wacky stuff out.
When mangos are cheap and easy to find (like they are now), I usually have one on my counter…they’re great for smoothies. So, without even having to make a trip to the store, I was good to go on the star ingredient here. The supporting player, raisins, on the other hand, don’t usually have a place in my home, so I thought I’d play up the tropical flavors of this bread and swapped in a little chopped candied ginger instead. Each piece was a sweet and spicy bite.
So guess what? Mango bread is really not so wacky after all. It’s moist and well-spiced…quite like a muffin, but in loaf form. No pat of butter or slather of jam needed with this bread– just a big cup of coffee, and you’re good to go.
Homemade crumb cake for breakfast is something I definitley could do with more often. One small problem…I don’t know about you, but it’s awfully hard for me to put together a cake in the morning that takes almost an hour to bake! Solution…make it the night before, have some for dessert and heat the rest up for breakfast the next morning.
Why am I going on about crumb cake? Well, Sihan of Befuddlement chose Dorie’s Blueberry Crumb Cake for TWD this week. It is loaded with berries (I went with the standard blue ones, but next time I just may try cranberries), and has a crumb topping that is sweet, nutty and crisp. I swapped out a little bit of AP flour for whole wheat in both the crumb and the cake. How healthy, right?! Also, I made a half recipe and baked it in a loaf pan. It’s just perfect with coffee.
Did you know that this Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, a.k.a. Pancake Day? Thought I’d post this tonight in case anyone is interested in celebrating with me! To be honest, most Tuesdays are Pancake Day in this apartment. As anyone else in the food business will understand, the work schedule can be a bit weird. My days off are right smack in the middle of a “normal” workweek. I don’t mind so much…while everyone else is off to the grind, I get a luxurious sleep-in, and exactly what I want for breakfast.
This recipe for Oatmeal-Raspberry Pancakes comes from Sunset Magazine, but I actually saw these beauties first on Joy the Baker last year. As soon as I saw Joy’s post, I thought, “That’s brilliant!” Pancakes and oatmeal are my two favorite breakfast foods…I most often enjoy them separately, but a combination sounded positively intriguing. You might think oatmeal would make the cakes heavy and gunky, but they’re actually fluffy and high. I’ve made these a few times now…half a recipe gives two generous portions.
If you’re tired of the maple syrup thing, serve these with a berry coulis instead. I never tire of the maple syrup thing, and here I gently heated my syrup and tossed in a handful of frozen raspberries, just as I turned off the heat. As the berries thawed in the warm syrup, they gave off their lovely pink color.
Want pancakes but don’t feel like these? Check out the Bill’s Ricotta Hotcakes I made awhile back!
Oatmeal-Raspberry Pancakes- makes about 12 pancakes
adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine (May 2002)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen (but not thawed) raspberries
oil or butter for the pan or griddle
-In a bowl, mix oats and buttermilk. Let stand for 15-30 minutes.
-Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
-In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, and vanilla to blend. Stir in flour and oat mixtures just until evenly moistened, then gently stir in raspberries. Let the batter sit while you prepare your griddle or pan.
-Place a griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat (350°F). When hot, coat lightly with oil or butter and adjust heat to maintain temperature. Pour batter in 1/2-cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula and brown other sides, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer. Coat pan or griddle with more oil or butter as necessary to cook remaining pancakes.
-Serve the pancakes as cooked, or keep them warm in a single layer on baking sheets in a 200°F oven for up to 15 minutes. Stack and serve with berry coulis or syrup.
Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake chose Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins for TWD this week. I love months where we get a savory or breakfast recipe…one less dessert to squeeze in. I made six muffins. We had a couple for breakfast with scrambled eggs, and a couple with a Mexican-ish tortilla casserole I made for dinner. They were the perfect accompaniment for both.
These muffins are wonderfully spiced from the chili powder, and have lots of good add ins, like corn kernels, jalapeños and red pepper. While I know some people can’t stand the stuff, I am a cilantro fiend and always use a heavy hand with it. If you’re a cornbread purist, you may not go for these. I’m not, so I did…I thought they were best warm.
It’s spring-time warm here, and pumpkin would be the last thing on my mind if it weren’t for the fact that Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp chose these muffins for TWD. I’d actually better get used to the idea of cool weather foods, and quick, because come Friday, I’ll be back in the States! That’s right–this is my last TWD from Oz…I’ve already done next week’s recipe, but I won’t be able to post “early” anymore. Boo.
I’ve never noticed canned (or tinned) pumpkin in Australian grocery stores. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong aisle, I don’t know, but I assume it’s just not popular here. I would have had to roast and mash my own if I hadn’t had a can of Libby’s that I brought back from home. As an aside, which my American friends may or may not find interesting, all the hard-skinned gourds are referred to as ”pumpkin” here (not just the orange ones that I think of in the US). For instance, I’ve gotten used to calling butternut a pumpkin, not a squash.
So, armed with my Libby’s, I was ready to tackle Dorie’s muffin recipe. I started by dividing it half (to make just six) and replacing the raisins with dried cranberries. Then I decided to skimp on the butter a bit, leaving out one tablespoon and replacing it with an additional tablespoon of buttermilk. The baked muffins were moist and soft, so I never even noticed that bit of butter was missing. What was missing, though, were the nuts! I had the exact amount of walnuts needed for this…they were right there on the counter…and that’s where they stayed. Oops! Early morning baking is apparently not my forte. Oh well–they found a new home in a spinach salad instead.
I can’t say that I ever crave pumpkin muffins, but I liked these a lot. I’ll make them again if I have an open can that needs to be used up. Next time, I’ll be sure to remember the nuts!