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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Monthly Archives: October 2012

My mom and I are constantly searching for new recipes, and coincidentally, we both sought out the same side salad last week.  I took that as a sign that it would be delicious, and I was right — this salad is not only delicious, but also it’s a beautiful, colorful addition to any plate (and it’s perfect for fall, as the colors of the salad mimic the colors of the changing fall leaves)!

Beet and Pomegranate Salad – LA Times

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate or molasses
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 small, dried red chile peppers, crushed
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup lightly flavored olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook the beets in a covered medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool, peel and cut into very small dice. Place in a medium bowl.

2. Add the pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, peppers, one-eighth teaspoon sea salt, or to taste, and combine. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

3. Toss the beets with the cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Each serving: 118 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat;0 cholesterol; 24 mg. sodium.

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A long time ago, I posted a recipe for biscotti.  I raved about how good they were, and encouraged all of my readers to make them, as well.  The guilt has been eating me up, and I think it’s finally time for me to come clean — they were terrible.  I was VERY new to blogging at the time, and I was so embarrassed by what a catastrophe they were (my mom swears she almost broke a tooth) so I did what any immature teenager would do: lie.  Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since that post.

When I was home for fall break last week, it was only natural for me to bake something, and this time I knew exactly what it was I was meant to bake.  I re-attempted the biscotti (albeit a different recipe), and this time, I can assure you that they were FANTASTIC!  My family could not stop raving about these delightful coffee dunkers… so much so that I had to make a second batch (in the same day).  These were MUCH easier to make than I expected, and I know I will be making these again soon.

Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti – Gourmet Magazine, 1994

yield: 30

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (I omitted these)
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate for more of a flavor contrast)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

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I was convinced that I was the only person (apart from maybe my parents) that really, truly tracked the progress of my blog.  I wrongly assumed that no one really followed my culinary escapades; much to my surprise and excitement, these past few months, I have received SO many requests for new posts from so many different people.  I apologize for the unnecessarily long hiatus, but I’m back (for now) with some great recipes to share.  I’d highly recommend this cake — it’s delicious, easy-ish, and really impressive.

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle – One Girl Cookies (via Epicurious)

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

Hazelnut Brittle

  • 1/2 cup whole unsalted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

Salty Dulce de Leche

  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preparation:

Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 10-inch round cake pan by greasing it with cooking spray and then lining the bottom with parchment paper.

2. To make the cake, pour the hot coffee into a medium bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until it dissolves. Stir in the brown sugar, followed by the yogurt and the vanilla. Stir thoroughly to ensure that all of the ingredients are incorporated.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light-yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture and half of the coffee mixture. Scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the flour mixture and all the remaining coffee mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment, and turn the cake back over onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.

Brittle

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking constantly until the syrup is a rich amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the hazelnuts and then pour the contents of the pan onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer. Let the brittle cool completely.

Break the brittle into 2-inch pieces. The brittle will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Composition:

6. In a food processor, pulse the brittle pieces 3 to 4 times until the brittle is powdery.

7. Put the cooled cake on a serving dish. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the dulce de leche on high power for 30 seconds, or until it is just liquid. Spoon the dulce de leche over the cake, and then sprinkle the kosher salt over the dulce de leche. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the ground brittle around the outer edge of the cake as a delicious decoration.

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