Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lactose Free Pumpkin Bread

  • I've stocked up on my pumpkin puree. So I will definitely have enough puree to last a couple thanksgivings ;)Mike loves anything pumpkin and this is delicious and it doesn't have butter, cream or milk. So no need to pop that Lactaid. I always have a loaf of this or David Lebovitz's banana cake in my freezer for tea time. Enjoy, Julie.
  • Spiced Pumpkin Bread - Makes 2 loaves
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

    Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Great Make-Ahead Dessert!

Had a great time at a dinner party tonight and wanted to share this recipe from "The Best Make-Ahead Recipe" cookbook by the Cooks Illustrated people. I prepped them in the morning. Put them in my new basement freezer. Took the unbaked cakes out of the freezer, brought them to my friends house. They waited in the frig until we were done with dinner. Stuck them in the oven and the poofed up like mini souffles. They looked so pretty puffed over the edge of their white ramekins that I didn't have the heart to flip them out. The great thing about this dessert is that they can be premade and just sit in the freezer for up to a month. Pop just one in the oven at the end of dinner and you can enjoy your own individual homemade beautifully warm chocolate cake in 15 min. I know...danger.

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

The Best Make-Ahead Recipe: Cooks Illustrated Cookbook

  • Ramekin Prep:

  • 1 T. unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 T. cocoa powder

  • Cakes:

  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 t. vanilla extract

  • ¼ t. vanilla extract

  • ¼ t. salt

  • ½ c. sugar

  • 2 T. all-purpose flour

  • For the Ramekins:

  • Butter the ramekins and coat with cocoa.set aside.

  • For the cake:

  • Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or microwave until smooth. Set aside.

  • Using electric mixer, Whip eggs, yolk, vanilla, salt, and sugar together at the highest speed until the volume nearly triples, the color is very lights and the mixture drops from the whisk in a smooth thick stream 5-10 min depending on mixer.

  • Scrape egg mixture over the melted chocolate, then sprinkle the flour over the top. Gently fold the egg and flour into the chocolate until the mixture is uniformly colored. Ladle or pour the batter into the prepared ramekins.

  • To Store:

  • Cover each ramekin tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate for up to 8 hours or freeze for up to 1 month.

  • To Serve:

  • Preheat to 400 degrees. Unwrap the cakes frozen or refrigerated and place on rimmed baking sheet (do not thaw). Bake until cake has puffed about ½ in above the rim of the ramekins, have a thi crust on top and jiggle slightly at the center when they are shaken gently, 12-15 min if taken from freezer, 11-14 min if taken from the refrigerator. 10-13 if baking immediately from mixer.

  • *Freezer is the sure way of ensuring a gooey oozing center.

    I also made this butternut squash and spinach salad with slivered almonds that I saw on epicurious. I roasted cubes of butternut squash at 450 with diced red onion, bacon, sliced garlic, all tossed with olive oil and a little salt. The vinaigrette recipe was olive oil and lemon juice but I added more lemon juice, added dijon, s&p and a splash of maple syrup. I'd definitely make this again. A perfect fall salad. I only have a couple more days of fall cooking before winter arrives ;)

The Perfect Fall Muffins

I haven't found any yummy apple muffin recipes until I went to visit that smitten blog site that you guys love so much. You must try it. I used sour cream instead of buttermilk or yogurt. I used demerera sugar instead of brown sugar for extra crunch on the tops. You also must try Nigella's Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing recipe.
The freshly grated ginger definitely makes it extra special. It's so moist and sticky. Your guests will LOVE it!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour

  • 1 cup (4¼ ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • ½ cup (3½ ounces) granulated sugar

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream, buttermilk or yogurt

  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons of demerera sugar for crunchy top or brown sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

  • Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling demerera sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Makes 18 muffins

    Nigella's Fresh Gingerbread with Lemon Icing

    For the gingerbread:

    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar

    ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

    ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses

    2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

    2 large eggs, beaten to mix

    1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    roasting pan, approximately 12 x 8 x 2 inches, greased and lined with foil or parchment paper

    For the icing:

    1 tablespoons lemon juice

    ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted

    1 tablespoon warm water

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

    In a saucepan, melt the butter along with the sugar, syrup, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. Off the heat, add the milk, eggs, and baking soda in its water.

    Measure the flour out into a bowl and pour in the liquid ingredients, beating until very well mixed (it will be a very liquid batter). Pour it into the pan and bake for ¾ - 1 hour until risen and firm. Be careful not to overcook it, as it is nicer a little stickier, and anyway it will carry on cooking as it cools.

    And when it is cool, get on with the icing. Whisk the lemon juice into the confectioners’ sugar first, then gradually add the water. You want a good, thick icing, so go cautiously and be prepared not to add all the water. Spread over the cooled gingerbread with a palette knife, and leave to set before cutting.