Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Adapted from Joy of Cooking

3 tablespoons warm water
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm milk
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
* * *
1/2 to 1 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted
* * *
1 egg
pinch salt

1. In a large bowl, mix water and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved. Stir in milk, melted butter, sugar, egg, and salt.
2. Gradually stir in flour until dough is moist but not sticky.
3. Knead 10 minutes then transfer to oiled bowl. Cover losely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
* * *
4. Place raisins and water into saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain raisins and let cool. In a small bowl mix together cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar.
5. Grease 9x5" loaf pan.
6. Punch down dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll into an 8x18" rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter.
7. Sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar over dough. Sprinkle raisins over cinnamon sugar.
8. Starting from 8" side, roll dough up like a jelly roll.
9. Place into greased loaf pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in bulk.
* * *
10. Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk egg and salt, then brush over top of loaf. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.
11. Bake 40-45 minutes until deep golden brown, and when the loaf is tapped on the bottom, it sounds hollow.
12. Cool, slice & serve!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Trifle

2 to 3 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons peach chardonnay
10 giant lady finger cookies (you can substitute for cake or any sponge cookie)
raspberry jello (10g)
cherry jello (10g)
2 cups boiling water
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup Bird's custard powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1 250ml carton whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
handful of fresh raspberries
chocolate shavings

I went raspberry picking this week!

1. Toss raspberries and strawberries with sugar and peach wine.

2. Layer lady fingers along bottom and sides of bowl.

3. Pour fruit mixture over lady fingers.

4. Mix together strawberry and raspberry jello powder. Stir in boiling water until crystals melt, then stir in cold water. Pour jello mixture over fruit and cover dish with tin foil. Place in fridge until jello has set.

5. While jello is setting, prepare custard. In a large sauce pan, whisk together custard powder, sugar, and milk over medium heat until thickened. Pour custard over set jello. Let custard set in fridge.
 6. In a large bowl whip whipping cream, icing sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Top trifle with whipped cream, raspberries and chocolate shavings.

7. Serve & enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strawberry Chesscakes

Is it a cupcake? A tart? No. It’s a chesscake!
Shortcrust Pastry:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1” pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water
Strawberry Puree:
2 1/2 cups fresh, ripe, strawberries
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup strawberry puree
10 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2/3 sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Strawberry Buttercream:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup strawberry puree
2 1/2 to 3 cups sifted icing sugar
Prepare pastry in advance. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter using pastry blender or two knives until butter is pea sized. Gradually sprinkle in 1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water until the dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
Prepare strawberry in advance also. Puree strawberries in a blender and add sugar. Pour through a sieve and keep mixture in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease muffin pan. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out 3” round circles. Press the rounds into the bottom of the muffin pan.
2. Spoon 1 teaspoon strawberry puree into the bottom of each tart shell. Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and stir in vanilla and milk. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt until batter is light and fluffy. Spoon heaped tablespoon of batter over strawberry puree, filling 3/4 full.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. 
5. For buttercream, in a large bowl, cream butter and shortening until smooth and stir in strawberry puree. Blend in icing sugar until desired consistency is met. Frost chesscakes & serve!
Makes 24. Frost chesscakes right before serving. For best kepping, store buttercream in airtight container in the fridge.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cream Horns with Chocolate Topping

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, for brushing
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
Chocolate Topping:
1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon shortening
Cream Filling:
1 250ml carton whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup icing sugar

1. Preheat oven 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and brush cream horn molds with melted butter.
2. Roll out crescent dough carefully, and pinch seams together, creating one large rectangle. Starting from short end, cut into six 1.5" thick stripes. Wrap dough around cream horn molds, starting with the pointed end. Place seam side down onto baking sheet.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes until dough is puffed and golden brown. Let cool completely before removing molds.
4. Melt dark chocolate and then stir in instant coffee powder, vanilla, and shortening. Stir until smooth. Spoon 1 tablespoon of chocolate over each pastry, place in freezer until chocolate has set.
5. For the cream filling, pour cream into large bowl, along with vanilla, and icing sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Place cream into piping bag and pipe cream into horns. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 6 cream horns. For best keeping, store cream horns in airtight container in the fridge.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

3/4 cup brown sugar
pineapple rings
glace or maraschino cherries
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8x8" dish well. Sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of dish. Arrange pineapple rings and cherries over brown sugar. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk.
3. Pour batter over fruit and bake 40-45 minutes until golden brown on the bottom and sides, and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
4. Let cool exactly 5 minutes, then turn out onto serving plate. If you let the cake cool too long, the sugar will set making it impossible to turn out nicely!

Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the size of large peas. Using fork, still in milk until dough forms.
2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about a minute, and roll until 1" thick. Use cookie cutters and cut out desired shapes. Place biscuits on lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Bake 10-12 minutes until biscuits have puffed up and bottoms are golden brown.
4. Serve warm with butter and jam!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Simple Apple Crumble

4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used Gala)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
custard, to serve (I used Bird's custard powder)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8x8" baking dish or pie dish.
2. Place sliced apples into dish and pour over water. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together butter. sugars, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour until mixture becomes crumbly. Sprinkle crumble over apples and bake 35-45 minutes until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.
4. Serve warm with custard or cream!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup blueberries
2/3 cup buttermilk*
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
1/3 cup blueberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8x8" baking dish.
2. In a large bowl combine, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and blueberries. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, extracts, and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Pour batter into dish.
4. For the topping, mix together blueberries, sliced almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over batter. Bake 35-38 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Let cool in dish. Slice and serve with a dusting of icing sugar! Or pour over glaze and let glaze set then serve.

*Buttermilk substitute: 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes then measure out amount required in recipe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Baked Mini Doughnuts

2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 tablespoons softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
Toss In:
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line or grease mini muffin pan or place mini cupcake liners directly onto baking sheet.
2. In a small bowl mix together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In another small bowl mix together milk and vanilla.
3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Blend in egg. Add dry to wet ingredients, alternating with milk mixture. Scoop batter into piping bag, cut a small hole for more control when filling liners.
4. Pipe batter into liners, filling 2/3 full. Bake 10-12 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove liners, place warm doughnuts into cinnamon sugar and toss with hands to coat. Serve & enjoy!

I wanted mini doughnuts, (who doesn't?), but I didn't want to fry anything. I'm not a big fan of frying, I know nothing can ever compete with the perfectly fried doughnut, but these were tasty! Personally I thought there was too much of a nutmeg flavor (I used 1/2 teaspoon), but everyone assured me they thought they tasted good as they were. I developed this recipe when I saw a few baked doughnuts and doughnut cupcake recipes. I ended up using a vanilla cupcake recipe but altering it by adding nutmeg and baking the batter in mini cupcake liners, and then of course rolling the cupcakes doughnuts in cinnamon sugar. This recipes makes approximately 35-40 mini doughnuts!

These were really mini cupcake liners, I would say about 1/2 the size of  regular mini liners.

Fresh from the oven and nicely coated, yummy!

Baked Mini Doughnuts

Bakewell Tarts

Yummy yummy Bakewell tarts! Being from England myself, these have always been one of my favorite things to eat when I go back to visit. This is a small and basic recipe, the ones I usually have are made with shortcrust pastry and have a lovely icing and 1/2 glace cherry on top, however these are perfect just for a simple treat!

8 frozen tart shells
1/4 cup jam raspberry jam (I used seedless)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
3 tablespoons flaked almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place tart shells on baking sheet.
2. Place 1/2 teaspoon jam into each tart shell.
3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Blend in egg and extract. Stir in ground almonds. Place 1 tablespoon batter over jam. Sprinkle with flaked almonds.
4. Bake 25-28 minutes until crust is golden brown and center is set. Cool & serve!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

1/3 cup softened butter or margarine or golden crisco shortening
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 heaped tablespoons grape jelly
icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in muffin pan.
2. In a large bowl cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
3. In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet mixture along with milk. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cool completely then fill with jelly. To do this, place regular star tip into piping bag, then place jelly in and squeeze out any air. Press piping tip into the tops of each cupcake and fill.
6. Dust with icing sugar before serving and enjoy!
Dust with icing sugar before serving!
Store in airtight container in fridge for best keeping.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coffee Layer Cake

1 8x5" loaf, cooled
3/4 cup chocolate mousse (I used Dr.Oetker's mix)
1/2 cup vanilla buttercream
Coffee Buttercream:
1/2 cup butter or 100% vegetable oil solid margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder or granules
1 tablespoon boiling water

1. In a small bowl mix together instant coffee powder and boiling water. In a large bowl blend together butter, icing sugar, vanilla and add coffee mixture.
2. Slice loaf into 3 layers. Place vanilla buttercream into a plastic bag or piping bag and pipe a border around the first layer. Spread chocolate mousse within the border. Place next layer on top.
3. Pipe another border of vanilla buttercream and then spread coffee buttercream within border. Place last layer on top.
4. Using remaining coffee buttercream, frost the top and sides of cake.
5. Slice & enjoy! Store cake in fridge.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, softened OR 100% vegetable oil solid margarine*, softened
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons milk

1. Cream butter or margarine until smooth. Stir in salt, vanilla, and milk along with 1 cup icing sugar. Blend in remaining icing sugar.
2. For best keeping, store in airtight container in fridge.

*I've been using margarine lately in my buttercreams, I find it not only tastes just as good, but also it's cheaper and as great to use as butter.

Campfire cupcakes! Super cute and fun to make.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Orange Yogurt Fruit Tart

Sweet Crust Pastry or 9 thawed tart shells*
3/4 cup (two 100g cartons) orange or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 eggs
Fruit Topping:
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Press pastry into 8" (20 cm) round tart pan. Let firm up by placing in freezer 5-10 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and eggs until smooth. Pour into tart shell. Place tart shell on baking sheet.
3. Bake tart 35-38 minutes until just jiggly in the center. Let tart cool and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours until firm.
4. While tart is cooling, prepare fruit topping. In a small bowl mix together chopped strawberries, blueberries, sugar and orange juice. Keep in fridge until tart is ready.
5. Slice tart and top with fruit and whip cream if desired!

Serves 6, 210 calories a slice!

*I cheated and used thawed tart shells, you could also use the pastry from Peach & Apple Half-Moon Pies or any sweet crust or shortcrust pastry recipe you have. The pastry needs to cover the base and sides about 1/4" thick at the most.