Tag Archive | Cooking

Orange & Ginger Baby Bundts with Maple Glaze

SONY DSCThis week I am back to cake recipe inventing.  I am really enjoying learning more about the why’s and how’s of baking and recipe building, but I admit I do find it all rather overwhelming.  My admiration for pasty chefs continues to grow the deeper I dive into my baking adventure.  The more I learn about baking chemistry, the more certain I am I will never be a pastry chef.   I shall never again watch another episode of Food Network Challenge the same way!  I am in awe of what they do!

The inspiration for this latest recipe came in my mailbox.  I was excited to discover the March 2013 issue of Saveur Magazine was all about donuts!  But it wasn’t the donut recipes that had me so excited.  It was the glazes for the donuts!  It occurred to me that I could use these decadent looking recipes to dress up my baby bundts.  Yay!  The recipes all look so incredibly fabulous: Dulce de Leche Glaze, Amaretto Cherry Glaze, Irish Cream Glaze, White Chocolate Cardamom Glaze, Marshmallow Glaze… My mouth was watering as I gazed upon the incredible glazes!  There were over a dozen fabulous glaze recipes and each and every one has already been added into my cookbook software.

But it was the maple glaze recipe really caught my eye.   I recently purchased a number of Boyajian oils and flavorings for my cake recipes, and maple was among the newest of the flavors to hit my pantry.  I was itching to try it out.  So, with the first flavor component in mind, I consulted my trusty Flavor Bible for other complimentary flavors.  There, among all the flavors listed were orange and ginger.  Bingo!  Ginger was already in the fridge and I had a brand spanking new bottle of orange oil in the pantry.  Perfect.

The next stop was the web site I have been using to develop my recipes.   I put together the recipe and got to work.  I gathered the ingredients and grated the ginger.

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First, I creamed the butter, then I added the sugar and beat it until it was light and fluffy.

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Then I added the egg yolks and egg one at a time, beating between each addition.

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Next, I added the grated ginger and orange oil and mixed well.

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I sifted the dry ingredients…

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And mixed up the buttermilk.  I love having dehydrated buttermilk on hand.  I almost never have real buttermilk so I always keep a container of Saco buttermilk in the fridge.  Just mix it with water and, voila!  Instant buttermilk!

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Then, alternating the dry ingredients with the buttermilk I incorporated it all into the batter.

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My original recipe started with half a cup of buttermilk, but ended up adding an additional 1/4 cup to thin the batter a bit.   I was a bit concerned that this might ruin the cake, but the batter seemed a little too thick so I took my chances.

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Here it is after I thinned it.

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I like working with small batches for my test recipes in case the recipe is a disaster.  This one filled almost 2 baby bundt pans.

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I used my convection bake feature and baked these on two different shelves.  The bottom shelf baked faster and I ended up taking it out at 11 minutes.  The cakes were browner than the top shelf pan, perhaps due in part because the pan was only partially full of batter.

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Here they are cooling on the counter.  The ones in the back were baked on the lower shelf.

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While these cooled I mixed up the glaze.

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I just dumped all the ingredients in a bowl and whisked them together.   I deviated from magazine recipe by using half and half instead of whipping cream because I didn’t have any on hand, and adding 1/2 teaspoon of maple flavoring, 1/4 tsp at a time.  The glaze didn’t have quite enough maple flavor to my liking so I decided to try the maple flavoring (or maybe it was just an excuse to use my new flavoring 🙂 ).  Now that the glaze has had a chance to sit a bit, I think 1/4 tsp would have been enough.

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It took all of my will power to wait to eat this until after I snapped the photos!  I thought the cake really was good.  I think it was the right move to add the additional buttermilk although I think I will adjust the final measurement down a bit because I did have some difficulty getting a couple of the cakes out of the pan in one piece (you wouldn’t know that from my photos because I ate the evidence!)

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This recipe is getting moved from my “Test Recipe” cookbook into my keeper recipes.  I loved the combination of orange, ginger and maple.  I would love to hear from you if you try my recipe or if you’re an experienced chef.  I would love to have your feedback, good and bad, so I can make improvements wherever possible.  Thanks for stopping by!

Orange Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp orange oil (or 1/2 tsp orange extract)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat convection oven to 300 or regular oven to 325.

2. In a small bowl sift together dry ingredients.

3. Cream butter then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

4. Add egg and yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.

5. Add grated ginger and orange oil and mix well.

6. Beginning and ending with the flour, mix 1/3 of the flour into 
the wet mixture at a low speed, then 1/2 of the milk, alternating 
until all ingredients are mixed.

7. Fill prepared baby bundt pans 1/2 full with batter.  Tap pan on 
counter several times to release air bubbles and even out batter.  
Bake in convection oven for 11-13 minutes or until toothpick inserted 
into cake comes out clean.

8. Cool cakes for 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack.

9. Cool completely.  Top with maple glaze and enjoy!

Maple Glaze (I halved this recipe since it was a small cake batch)

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp maple flavor
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp kosher salt1. 

Whisk sugar, syrup, cream and salt in a bowl until smooth.

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Valentine’s Day Projects From the Studio and the Kitchen

SONY DSCIt’s Valentine’s Day here and I have been busy making all sorts of fun things for my family and my little one’s classmates and teachers.  Now lest you think I am Wonder Woman, I must say I didn’t do all of this today.  I’ve been working on this over the past week and wrapped up the last task, a most delicious one, after spending most of the day working on my dratted taxes.  I can’t think of a better way to unwind after that unpleasant task than dipping strawberries and pretzels in chocolate!  Yum!

My little guy had his very first Valentine’s party at preschool this week.  He was so excited, though I don’t really think he knew what a Valentine’s party was all about.  But we had a great time selecting the treats and making the treat boxes and Valentine’s for each of his classmates.  You can’t see it in the photo, but we had a different Angry Bird character on each of the little Valentine cards.  I printed them up, but my little one colored them all by hand!  Don’t you just love the little french fry boxes?  I found the svg file online and cut these using my digital cutter.  I used some Stampin’ Up! punches for the hearts and tag.

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For his teachers I made a special coffee mug and some really delicious Vanilla Orange Instant Cappuccino.  I plan to do a post with the recipe in the near future as it is out of this world yummy!

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This adorable Valentine’s card idea came from Pinterest.  I totally cheated and copied the design concept for the front of the card!  I used Photoshop to create the card and my Big Shot to emboss the background.  I love the font for this card!  There are tons of fabulous handwriting fonts here.  I am addicted to downloading fonts and this is one of the best sites I’ve found for fabulous FREE fonts!

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Here’s a look at the inside.

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And the back…

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And a close-up…

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Here’s what was waiting for my sweet Valentine’s when they returned from school: Chocolate dipped strawberries and pretzels and a Valentine’s card.

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I can’t think of a better way to show my family how much I love them than with some delicious handmade treats!

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I hope you have a blessed Valentine’s Day and are able to spend it with the ones you love most!

Jalapeno Poppers

I am FINALLY the proud owner of my very own deep fryer!  Gadget queen that I am, I find it utterly remarkable that I waited this long to acquire this fantastical kitchen appliance.  In the few short days I’ve owned said gadget I have made drop donuts, fried bread, fried chicken, and now some jalapeno poppers!

My new fryer hasn’t made if off the counter into a yet-to-be determined storage spot.  I figured what the heck.  I waited this long for this bad boy, I am going to really break it in before storing it away.

So today when I went to the garden and found lots of jalapenos ready for harvest I just didn’t have the heart to make jelly, or dehydrate or pickle them.  It was lunchtime and I was hungry!  So I did what any self respecting deep fryer owner would do: I fried ’em!

As lunches go, I don’t usually put this much effort (or calories for that matter) into it.  But I had a craving and I succumbed.  Even still I think it took me about 45 minutes from the time I cut into the first pepper until I was enjoying the my first (of many) poppers.  It’s a good thing I ran this morning!

Here’s what I collected from the garden.

I sliced off the tops, cut them lengthwise, and used a spoon to deseed and devein them.

I didn’t even bother to measure the stuffing ingredients.  I mean really, how can you go wrong with cream cheese, cheddar and bacon bits?

Just mix it all together…

…and stuff the peppers.  I just pinched off a bit of the cheese mix and stuff the pepper halves.  Pretty easy really.  I ran out of the cheese mix before I finished stuffing all the peppers so I just stuffed the balance of my peppers with plain cream cheese.

Each stuffed pepper was then dipped in milk and rolled in flour.

Next they went back into the milk and then rolled in some Panko bread crumbs.  Regular bread crumbs would have worked just fine, but I am fresh out.

I put the plate of peppers in the freezer while I waited for the deep fryer to heat the oil.  Then I fried them up at 365 degrees for a couple quick minutes.

With my hunger satiated and my craving satisfied, my deep fryer has earned yet another gold star for most beloved kitchen gadgets!  What did I ever do without this thing?

Jalapeno Poppers

Ingredients:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon bacon bits
12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 quarts oil for frying

Directions:

1.    In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar cheese and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.
2.    Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.
3.    Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated.
4.    In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F ( 180 degrees C). Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown.