Posts tagged ‘fall’

September 4, 2011

Chocolate + Pear Cake

I wasn’t sure how this combination would work or if it would or if it could. I love the individual ingredients. So much. Juicy pear. Dark chocolate chips. They’ve never even crossed my mind as a combination. Never. And that is saying a lot.

So, of course, when I read about this cake over here at a LOVELY blog written by an incredibly witty and inspiring lady named Deb, I had to have it.

Chocolate and Pear Cake
inspired by smitten kitchen

1 c white whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 eggs, room temperature
8 T (1 stick) butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 lb (about 3 medium or 2 large) pears, peeled and diced
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Prepare pan (I used a 9 in round cake pan. The original recipe called for a springform pan.) by swiping butter all over the bottom and sides. Then, sprinkle a little flour and powdered sugar into the pan, tipping, turning, and tapping to cover the entirety of the pan.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Beat the three eggs with the whisk attachment on high for a really long time. But have no fear, during this time, I’ll give you something exciting to do! Ten minutes should get the eggs to go from eggs…

… to lightly colored and pretty thick froth.

Then, beat a little longer until it’s custard consistency.

(Next time, I’ll actually use the whisk attachment instead of my regular beaters. It turned out fine. So you should be relieved to know that this is a forgiving recipe.)

As promised, something exciting:: Browning butter!!

What’s better than butter? Browned butter. And even though I was pretty frightened of this process when I first heard of it, I love it. It adds a richness, nuttiness, and depth of deliciousness. Oh, man. Okay. So. Put your stick of butter in a medium sauce pan and leave it on medium-ish heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally especially a lot in the last couple of minutes so the browning happens all over not just for the first bits to be browned. And yes, those bits are okay. They’re good and welcome, even. Once the butter’s browned, take it off the heat, but keep it in a pretty warm place.

Now, that your eggs are fluffed and your butter browned, add the brown sugar to your egg mixture. Mix until incorporated.

Add flour mixture to egg fluff mixture. Now, get a spatula and fold the flour into the eggs to try to maintain the fluffiness. Add browned butter; fold.

Pour into prepared pan.

Add peeled and diced pears and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Don’t take the cake out of the oven until your doneness tester comes out completely batter-free. I used my Doneness Tester (butter knife) to go around the edge of the cake just inside the pan to make sure it was separated before turning it out on a cooling rack.

Let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

If I can wait that long, you can, too. It’s possible.

And enjoy.

Every single bite.

November 9, 2010

Chicken Brunswick Stew

It’s that time. Of life or of year. Both, really. When we need comfort food– its warmth, “everything will be okay”-ness, and deliciousness. The slow cooker comes out and awaits direction.

Here, slow cooker! Go this direction!!!

Chicken Brunswick Stew
Inspired by Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker

2 large onions, chopped
3 chicken breasts
1 (14 3/4 oz) can cream-style corn (no salt added)
1 (12 oz) package frozen corn
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes (no salt added), undrained
1 1/2 c organic turkey broth (chicken or vegetable broth would work fine, too)
1 can tomato paste*
1/4 minus 2 T granulated sugar*, **
2 T molasses*, **
2 T vinegar*
dash of cinnamon*
dash of cloves*
1/4 c butter, cut into small pieces
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T cider vinegar
2 t ground mustard
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t hot pepper sauce
Freshly ground black pepper

*Or 1 (12 oz) bottle chili sauce.
**Or 1/4 c brown sugar.

Place chopped onion into slow cooker.

Top with chicken. Add corn,tomatoes, broth, chili sauce (or the ingredients for your own), butter, cider vinegar, ground mustard, and black pepper. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to low, and cook 6 hours until chicken is tender.

Go stare out a window. It’s a nice thing to do, and it aids in time’s passing.

Once it has cooked for 6 hours, fish out the chicken (Ironic, huh?) one by one. And go to town, shredding the chicken with two forks. Like so. Before::

Post-shred::

Add the chicken back to the stew, and stir.

Then, serve one bowl at a time adding hot pepper sauce (the kind with whole yellow peppers in vinegar) and freshly ground black pepper to the dish.

Definitely serve it up in a bowl. It’s up to you whether you want to use a spoon or a fork.

Might I recommend a spork??

September 7, 2010

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons

I really like fig newtons. I forgot how much I do until I made these from scratch.

They remind me of my childhood and visiting my grandparents. I knew the difference between kid bread (white)  and grown up bread (multi-nutty-grain), but I never considered these as grown up cookies. Lucky me.

I adjusted this recipe since I made it. I used all whole wheat flour, but next time, I will most certainly use a mix.

Figgy Netwon

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons
Inspired by CatesWorldKitchen.com

for filling:
6 ounces dried black mission figs, chopped
1/2 c boiling water
1/4 c evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)

newton dough:
1/2 c softened butter
1 T milk
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c A-P flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Soak the figs in the boiling water for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the sugar then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, or until it has a jam-like consistency. Set aside to cool.

Cream the butter in a stand mixer, then beat in the egg, vanilla, and milk. Gradually add the sugar and mix well. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and stir just until combined. Divide the dough in half.

Working on a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap, pat half the dough into a long, thin 18″ x 3″ rectangle. Spread the fig filling down the center. On a separate sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap, make a similar rectangle and carefully place this on top of the dough with the fig filling. Press the edges together, then cut crosswise into 1″ lengths.

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.