Posts tagged ‘fruit’

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.

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September 1, 2010

Peach Cupcakes, Brown Sugar Frosting

This recipe is nearly directly from Deb at SmittenKitchen.com. Oh, goodness. She might be my favorite food blogger out there. I usually try to twist and change recipes to my liking or for the sake of experimentation. However, her recipes…. How can you change a masterpiece??

I give it to you with minor adjustments based on what I had on hand (and I don’t like nutmeg). And I will also link you to her exact version of it.


Peach Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
3/4 cup (or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) Greek yogurt (I think I used half plain and half vanilla flavored.)
3 large peaches cored and chopped into fairly small bits (Not too small!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare about 28 muffin tins– line them with paper or spray them with cooking spray.**

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together, beating until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition, and then the vanilla. Gently mix in the yogurt. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach bits. (That’s a “b,” not a “p.” Be careful, people.)

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for five minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

**I have to cook muffins and cupcakes in batches, because we only have 2 six muffin pans. If you, too, can only bake twelve cupcakes at a time, cover the cupcake batter and place in fridge until you’re ready for it. Make sure that you wash your cupcake tin and use cool water to bring the pan back to normal temperatures before baking your next batch.

Brown Sugar Frosting (a.k.a. The Best Frosting Ever, a.k.a. The Most Dangerous Delicious to Have Just Sitting In Your Fridge, a.k.a. Dinner)

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth and light. Chill the bowl in the refrigerator about 30 minutes, then spread on cooled cupcakes.

[Deb, If you read this, then thank you for brown sugar frosting. And for peach cupcakes. Who would’ve thought?]

August 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries

I love oatmeal and chocolate chips. That combo screams to be eaten and enjoyed and loved. So. There.

My roommates don’t love oatmeal as much as I do, so whenever I make these, I always feel like it’s an extra-special treat for me. The roommates are good and stalwart, and still help me eat them. (Thank you, guys.)

Cookie Love

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c cranberries*

Beat together the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add oats, flours, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.

Bake at 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) for 10 – 12 minutes.

*Or blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries as pictured