Tags: baking, cake, dessert, fruit
No big story here…some apricots that needed using up led me to rifle through my cookbook collection for inspiration. I found this Apricot and Cinnamon Cake in Bill Granger’s Every Day. When we lived in Sydney, visiting one of the bill’s restaurants was always a special treat, and I think he is a master of simple cakes and baked goods (and he makes the best pancakes!).
This is a cinnamon-spiced cake with halves of juicy apricots baked in. A crumb topping with more cinnamon gives it a perfect morning coffee cake vibe, but if you add a scoop of ice cream, it suddenly seems more like dessert. I used small apricots, but I think peaches or nectarines would be equally delicious (if they are large, they may need to be cut into thick slices, rather than simply halved, though). This cake smells wonderful in the oven.
Apricot and Cinnamon Cake– makes one 8″ cake
adapted from Every Day by Bill Granger
Steph’s Notes: The cinnamon is front and center in this cake. If you’d rather have it little more subtly spiced, I’d suggest leaving the cinnamon amount as-is in the cake portion and reducing it by half in the topping. If you don’t have self-raising flour to make the cake, you can use 140 grams of all-purpose flour combined with 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
for the cake:
140 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
1/2 t ground cinnamon
50 g (1 3/4 oz) sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 T milk (or 3 T Australian)
1 t vanilla extract
85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
350 g (12 oz) apricot halves
for the topping:
40 g (1 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1 t ground cinnamon
35 g (1 1/4 oz) sugar
pinch of salt
35 g (1 1/4 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
-Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
-To the topping, put the flour, cinnamon, sugar and pinch of salt in a bowl. Rub the butter with your fingertips until crumbs form. Chill while you assemble the rest of the cake.
-Grease and line the base of an 8″ (20 cm) round springform pan. (You can use a regular 8″ cake pan, greased and lined with parchment, instead, but you will need to flip the cake out and reinvert it if you want to serve it out of the pan.)
-Sift flour and cinnamon into a large bowl and stir in the sugar.
-Make a well in the center and pour in the egg, milk, vanilla and melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth, then spoon into the cake pan.
-Arrange the apricots, cut-side up, evenly over the batter and then press gently down. Scatter the topping evenly over the apricots.
-Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is light golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave on a rack to cool before removing from the pan.
Tags: baking, dessert, fruit
This was supposed to be a Tropical Crumble with mangoes and bananas, but like I mentioned when I made jam, I have apricots and plums up the wazoo right now. So this became a Stonefruit Crumble instead, with apricots and yellow plums (look, I kept the colors similar!), and a little red plum ice cream for good measure. I tried to keep my version along the same lines as the original, flavoring the fruit with ginger and citrus, but since my fruits were small and soft, I didn’t pre-cook my filling before baking the crumble and I added a sprinkling of flour to the fruit mix to help thicken the juices.
Does anyone know if theree’s technically a difference between a crisp and a crumble?? Maybe there is, because my topping wasn’t as crunchy as I thought it would be. It had pecans, brown sugar and butter (cut back from the original recipe by a couple of tablespoons), so it wasn’t bad, but it did just kind of meld into the smooshiness of the baked fruit.
Tags: dessert, sorbet
Yes–my week to pick again for TWD!! I am crazy-excited! My first turn came way back in March of ’08, when I chose Caramel-Topped Flan. I think a lot of folks skipped that week. Turns out flan is a love-it-or-hate-it thing (I’m a lover, btw). We’ve made sooo many good things in the three+ years since then, and I’ve only missed out on a handful of them. There are still a lot of good things left, which made my choice this month a hard one, but I hoped Dorie’s Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet would be a hit with most everyone (sorry, Kayte!!).
This sorbet really is creamy and intensely chocolaty. It’s also super-melty. Like, don’t blink or you’ll have a chocolate puddle where your sorbet once stood. Of course, that can more than possibly be chalked up to triple-digit temps in NYC and no A/C in my house! No matter…eaten with a spoon or just slurped up out of a bowl, it’s delicious. And so freakin’ easy. I have a plan to work around the meltiness with the rest of my batch, and it looks something like this…
Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet- makes about 1 1/2 pints
recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Steph’s Note: I added a pinch of salt to the mix. Milk with any fat content will work.
1 cup milk
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
-Stir all the ingredients together in a 3- to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the ingredients to a boil, stirring frequently.
-Lower the temperature and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping a close eye on the pan- as the ingredients bubble and roll, the potential for boil over is high.
-Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl and refrigerate until chilled before churning the sorbet.
-Scrape the chilled sorbet mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack the sorbet into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours, until it is firm enough to scoop.
Serving: Unlike ice cream, with could be served as soft custard straight from the churn, this sorbet needs time in the freezer to firm.
Storing: Packed tightly in a covered container, the sorbet will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Playing Around: 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract added to the cooled base will give you chocolate-peppermint sorbet. You can even add crushed candy canes a couple of minutes before churning is complete.
Tags: dessert, ice cream
A hot, sunny summer holiday weekend is all the reason I need to indulge in a few of my favorite treats. To celebrate Canada Day here in Brooklyn, R and I had smoked meats and Labatt Blue for lunch today at Mile End. For the Fourth of July, we’ll eat chicken slathered in my favorite homemade BBQ sauce and Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream for dessert.
I’ve made this ice cream several times before, and I gave it a quick nod a while back when I made an equally tasty Blueberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream. Tangy sour cream really makes the sweetness of summer berries pop. The little splash of almond extract in this version is a subtle but nice touch. And…it’s pink…super-pretty pink! While, of course, you can stash ice cream in the freezer for several days, I do think this one is best eaten within several hours of making it, while it’s soft and the dairy has the freshest taste. (The base is uncooked, and the ice cream will get quite hard as it continues to freeze.) So get a quart of berries while they’re still in season, invite a few friends to come around and enjoy!
Strawberry-Sour Cream Ice Cream- makes about a quart
adapted from Sunset Magazine (May 2001)
2 1/2 cups strawberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
-Hull strawberries and place in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pinch of salt and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until mixture begins to bubble, three to five minutes.
-Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and nest pan in a bowl of ice water and stir often until cold, about ten minutes. Remove pan from ice water. You can store this in the fridge (covered) for a day or so before continuing on, if you wish.
-Add sour cream, half-and-half, vanilla, and almond extract to berries; stir until blended (mixture will be streaked). At this point, you can store the base in the refrigerator for several hours before churning.
-Pour into an ice cream maker (1 1/2-qt. or larger capacity). Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions until mixture is softly frozen, dasher is hard to turn, or machine stops.
-Spoon out and serve softly frozen or, to scoop, freeze airtight about four hours; store airtight in the freezer up to one week.
Tags: baking, custard, dessert
Remember those ultra-luxe little custards called “Pots de Crème“? Lucky for my taste buds, we are making them again, but instead of chocolate, this time I have Caramel Pots de Crème. I like to take my caramel fairly dark, so it’s not too sweet and has a just a hint of a bitter edge.
It was only after I baked these that I realized the recipe doesn’t include any salt. I solved that by sprinkling a little of my precious Aussie pink salt over the whipped cream I heaped on top (as though there wasn’t enough cream in the custards!). I fired up the oven to bake these off a few weeks ago, when it was still relatively cool out…but if I were making them in the mid-80s humidity-a-thon we in the middle of now, I think pots de ice cream à la Mike would be the ticket.
Tags: baking, dessert, tarts
Thinner than your typical apple pie, this double-crusted Tourtely Apple Tart has a gently spiced, chunky applesauce sandwiched between layers of sweet tart dough. Since sweet tart dough is a cookie-like crust, the damp filling makes it soften up over time– in a very appealing way. Something about it reminded me of the Cranberry Shortbread Cake we made a while back. I think the way bumpy top crust drapes over the apple chunks is just beautiful. I look forward to making this again in the peak of apple season.
Tags: baking, dessert, fruit
We’re in that weird in-between time of year when there really isn’t any good fruit here. The rhubarb has still not made its long-awaited (for me anyway) appearance at my Greenmarket, and the leftover apples just look like they’ve been banging around in storage for the last few months. This Strawberry-Rhubarb Double Crisp is so tasty that I wanted to make it again this past week before TWD posting, filled with whatever, but I couldn’t find any fruit that really spoke to me. Luckily, I do have a crisp to show you…one that I made at the end of last May, when the rhubarb was still around and the strawberries were red through and through. The combination made for an intensely colored and flavored fruit filling.
If you’d like to know what the heck a “double crisp” is, it’s a crisp with a topping AND a crust…so that makes it double good. In addition to the usual suspects like oats and nuts, this crisp mix has a gingery zip to it, which I king of dug, but if it’s not your thing, simply leave it out.
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on NPR’s site) or read Teapots and Cake Stands, as it was Sarah’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
Tags: baking, cake, dessert
We’ve had a long, cold winter here, but for two days this week we got a little peek of spring. The temperature has gone back downtown, but two days of melting snow and no jackets required has left me feeling less weighed down and in the mood for something fresh and light. I have heaps of citrus in the fridge right now, and have had my eye on this Olive Oil Citrus Cake from a sweet little book called Rustic Fruit Desserts for a while. It is bright and sunny in flavor (kind of reminded me of Fruit Loops!) and moist and springy in texture. It puts me in the mood for more things citrus.
The recipe calls for a whole cup of fruity extra virgin olive oil, so I broke out my special bottle. To be a little more thrifty in terms of both dollars and calories, next time I may experiment with 2/3 cup of oil and 1/3 cup of low-fat yogurt. Sounds like it would work here, no? The recipe calls for grapefruit, lemon and orange zests, but these can definitely be switched up. I didn’t have a grapefruit on hand, so I subbed lime zest in the cake and orange juice in the glaze. I’m sure this cake would be excellent even made with only lemon or orange.
Olive Oil Citrus Cake- makes a 9-inch cake
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson
Steph’s Note: Use a fruity olive oil here rather than a peppery one. Feel free to mix up the citrus, depending on what you have at home.
1 1/4 c unsifted (5 oz) cake flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t fine sea salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 T plus 3/4 c (5 1/4 oz) granulated sugar
zest of 1 grapefruit
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 t lemon oil (optional)
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
¾ c powdered sugar
2 T freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
-Preheat the oven to 350° F. Using a paper towel, coat a 9-inch by 2-inch round baking pan with olive oil (I also lined mine with a parchment round), then sprinkle it with about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
-To make the cake, sift flour, baking powder, and salt together twice. Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and zests on high speed for 5 minutes, until the eggs are thickened and lighter in color. Add the vanilla and lemon oil. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and drizzle the olive oil into the batter, pouring slowly along the edge of the bowl. Add the flour and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
-Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden and domed slightly in the center. Cool to room temperature.
-To make the glaze, sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the grapefruit juice, and whisk to combine. Pour the glaze over the cooled cake.
-Wrapped in plastic wrap, this cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Tags: baking, dessert, pudding
My husband has been out of town for the last few days at a work conference. This was the first time in many years that I have not had to endure the Super Bowl (although apparently I missed a good rendition of the anthem). I spent Sunday night with four hours of “Emma” on Masterpiece Theater instead (dorky, but so good!) and this big fat slice of Bourbon Bread Pudding. Hellooooo alone time!
Dorie has taught me how to make bread pudding at home. You need lots of the good stuff (cream and egg yolks) for it to come out lush and soft. Now, here’s where I admit to you that I did cut back on the cream by a third (and upped the milk by a third in its place)…but not to worry, there was still plenty of cream and yolks in there. And I used challah bread, which is pretty rich in itself. You can see that I added almonds and dried cherries to mine. You can’t see that I quadrupled the bourbon, but trust me on that. My custard base tasted like eggnog! This was a mighty fine bread pudding, not to mention a most amiable television companion.