Sunday, January 30, 2011

BAKED Sunday Mornings: Double Chocolate Loaf

Welcome to another installment of Baked Sunday Mornings! I'm sorry I haven't been baking/posting very much- I've been busy with work and then all the snow we've been having here hasn't put me in the baking mood. I was excited to try the double chocolate loaf as it seemed like an easy recipe and I love chocolate and peanut butter together. This is a pretty basic recipe to make- you pretty much just stir everything together and it doesn't take very long. I didn't make the peanut butter cream cheese spread that went along with the recipe. Instead, I put in a combination of chocolate chips and peanut butter chips so that the loaf would have the peanut butter taste. I also halved the recipe and made them in two mini loaf pans.

I also sprinkled some extra peanut butter and chocolate chips on top of the loaf before baking for some extra peanut butter taste. In the mini loaf pans, the loafs baked for about 40 minutes before they were done. These tasted nice and chocolatey!

If you want to see how everyone else's chocolate loaves turned out, or you want the recipe, head on over to Baked Sunday Mornings. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BAKED Sunday Mornings: Farmstand Buttermilk Doughnuts

Welcome to another Baked Sunday Mornings! I have only ever made donuts one other time- pumpkin donuts a few years ago around Halloween. They tasted good but they looked like big globs of fried dough. I also seem to remember that they were yeast donuts. I liked that these donuts were not yeast donuts. They came together so easily and I had all the ingredients on hand already. I halved the recipe and I'm glad I did because it made 8 full size donuts and I don't know how I'll eat them all! There was a note on the recipe that you can use these donuts in a bread pudding, so I think that I might do that with my leftovers!

Dry ingredients

First you whisk together all of the dry ingredients. I loved the smell of the nutmeg and cinnamon! I also used buttermilk powder because I find that so much easier to keep on hand because it lasts a lot longer than buttermilk. I put the buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients and then added the water to the wet ingredients, which I didn't get a picture of.

The dough was sticky when I stirred it all together and I had to add a bit of flour when I was spreading it out on my cutting board because at first the dough stuck to the board and fell apart when I tried to cut out a donut.

I used a glass to cut out my donuts because I don't have a round cookie or dough cutter. I also used a small flower shaped fondant cutter to cut out the donut holes and it worked out perfectly! By the way, in the picture above you can also see the stack of my beautiful flower measuring cups from Anthropologie that I mentioned in my previous post.

After adding some more flour and kneading it into the dough lightly, my donuts cut out beautifully! After I chilled them for awhile in the refrigerator, I fried them up.

I paid careful attention to the color of the donuts to make sure that they didn't burn, as the recipe notes that they can burn quickly. They fried rather quickly and were probably done on both sides in under two minutes.

The recipe gives three different options for toppings- chocolate glaze, vanilla glaze and cinnamon sugar. The recipe says that farmstand donuts are usually sold with a cinnamon sugar topping and that seemed easy to me, so that's what I did for most of the donuts.

I also made a chocolate glaze for some of the donuts and also used some chocolate sprinkles. The three chocolate glazed donuts above I actually baked in the oven at 375 F for 12 minutes because I wanted to see how baked donuts would taste compared to the fried donuts. They taste pretty good to me but I definitely like the fried ones, which of course are even more unhealthy!

These donuts were not as intimidating to make as I first thought and the flavor was delicious! Head on over to Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe and to see how the other member's donuts turned out!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Grapefruit Cake

I have always loved grapefruit, but this winter, I've become seriously obsessed. I've been eating a grapefruit a day (will that keep the doctor away?) My grandma used to send our family a grapefruit and orange basket each winter when I was younger. Those Florida oranges and grapefruits are so delicious! They are also so expensive though- I thought about ordering one for myself but it came out to about $3.50 per grapefruit! Instead I bought a 5lb bag of red grapefruit at the supermarket for like $3. The quality isn't as good (the grapefruit are pretty small) but they still taste delicious to me! I've made this cake a few other times before. It's from the Ad Hoc cookbook. I halved the recipe because the original recipe made two loaf pans and I didn't think I needed that much cake. This is one of the few things I bake that my mom just loves and requests more of! She doesn't have a big sweet tooth, which is why she doesn't normally eat the things I bake, but she loves this cake, which isn't too sweet.

This cake also gave me the opportunity to use the awesome Christmas gift my sisters got me- these florist measuring cups from Anthropologie! They are so adorable!

Here's the recipe:
(Slightly adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home cookbook)


2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 tbls grated pink grapefruit zest
1 tsp vanilla
Grapefruit Syrup:
1 cup strained fresh pink grapefruit juice
2/3 cup sugar
Grapefruit Icing:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbls + 1 tsp fresh pink grapefruit juice.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 10 by 4 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Sift flour and baking powder and stir in the salt.
Combine sugar and eggs in stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat at medium speed for about 3 minutes until whisk leaves a trail. Beat in the milk, then the oil. grapefruit zest, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate.
Spread batter in pan. Bake 30 minutes, turn pan around so cake will color evenly and bake another 30 minutes.
Combine grapefruit juice and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar and simmer for 1 minute.
As soon as you remove cake from oven, use knife to poke holes in it and immediately pour in grapefruit syrup. Let cake cool for 10 minutes then unmold. Cool completely. Stir powdered sugar and grapefruit juice together in a bowl and drizzle over the top of the cake.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

BAKED Sunday Mornings: Almond Joy Tart

Wow, where have I been? I can't believe I haven't baked in so long- I baked so much for Christmas and there were so many leftover cookies that I was trying to eat instead of baking something new. I also ran out of butter but finally got to the supermarket yesterday. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Happy New Year 2011 too : ). I know that 2011 will be an awesome year and one of my goals is to bake and cook more and to continue to blog what happens in my kitchen!

I wasn't sure if I was going to find the time to bake this almond joy tart, but boy am I glad I made the time! I have always loved the almond joy candy bars. This tart tastes divine and really reminds me of the candy bar. Once again, I halved the recipe and since I didn't have any mini tart pans, I made a free-form tart on a cookie sheet. As usual, my presentation needs to be worked on, as you can see from the pictures, but I kind of like the rustic look. I think my chocolate glaze didn't cover as well because there was so much coconut cream filling on the tart. For this tart, I followed the recipe pretty closely. I used almonds for the tart crust and for on top of the tart that were already roasted and that were maple coconut glazed. I used Malibu coconut flavored rum for a little extra coconut flavor. I also used only milk chocolate because I didn't have any dark chocolate and milk chocolate is my favorite anyway. I used unsweetened shredded coconut that I found at Whole Foods and I'm really glad I used that (like the recipe called for) and not the easier to find sweetened shredded coconut because I think that would have made it too sweet and the unsweetened coconut really reminds me of what is in an almond joy candy bar.

I was surprised at how easy this tart was to make, since it included several steps. You do have to be prepared in advance to make this, because the tart dough and the white chocolate mixture require substantial chilling time. I made the tart dough and the white chocolate mixture yesterday and refrigerated them until this morning. The tart dough began to crumble a little when I was rolling it out, but I just gathered it together in a ball again, re-floured and rolled it out and it came out perfect.

My free-form tart, in the oven.

The white chocolate coconut cream

Milk chocolate glaze

The almonds I used for the tart dough


Be sure to head over to Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe and to see what the other members thought of this recipe!