Posts tagged ‘summer’

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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July 4, 2011

Happy. Go Forth.

This flag cake stands the test of tradition and time. I hope you enjoyed a fourth of July that stood up to such things as well.

August 28, 2010

Guacamole

I’m toying the idea of a cake: Lemon Poppyseed with an accent of Raspberry or Something Jam or Preserves or Jelly. That will have to wait for another day. Today, I have guacamole!!

It’s really simple, but I didn’t realize how much I love it until I made it myself. I usually keep mine chunky, because I feel like it highlights all of the really good ingredients put into it.

Chunky

Guacamole

1 (or 2) avocados
1/3 (or 1/2) red onion, chopped
1/2 (or 1) T lemon juice
1 (or 2) small, from-the-vine tomatoes
1 (or 2) t ground cumin
optional: jalepeño, small and chopped very finely, seeds removed for less heat

Chop onion and tomatoes. Split avocado, remove seed, cut the avocado while still in the skin, and scoop out chunks with a spoon. Add lemon juice, cumin, and chopped jalepeño, (if you’re using jalepeño).

Mix together, squishing some of the avocado chunks, if you’d like. Enjoy.

The parenthetical amounts will serve about four hungry people armed with tortilla chips while the lesser amount is good for about two.

Scooped

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

August 25, 2010

Gazpacho

It’s summer time. Everybody needs a gazpacho recipe; I believe.

I didn’t know I needed gazpacho in my life until this summer, then, bam, delicious. It was as though someone handed me a spoon and said, “Why, yes, you CAN eat salsa from a spoon. Oh, but did I mention this is even more delectable than house salsa??”

Ah, gazpacho.

There are many ways to adjust this recipe, and the one I’m sharing with you isn’t exactly the one I used for the photos, but it’s a good one. I like recipes that adjust to what you have on hand or what you’re craving, and I encourage you to add or take away amounts (and some ingredients, but the more, the better) as you please.

Onions

Gazpacho

inspired by The Grit Restaurant Cookbook

1 sm or 1/2 large red onion, finely minced
6 large ripe tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
1 scant t minced fresh garlic
1/2 medium green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely
1/4 medium jalapeno chile, finely chopped
2 c spring or filtered water
1 (12 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 small or 1/2 large seedless cucumber, finely shredded
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
3 T cider vinegar
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t hotsauce, or more to taste
2 T chopped fresh basil or 2 t dried
2 T chopped fresh parsley or 2 t dried
2 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
3 pieces bread (country white, baguette, or whatever is on hand)
1/4 t cumin powder
1/4 t chipotle powder

Place 1/2 of prepared onion, 1/2 of prepared fresh tomato, garlic, green pepper, and chile in a food processor and puree until liquified, adding water if necessary. Add bread toward the end and pulse until the bread is incorporated into mixture. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large, non-metal bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve very cold in chilled bowls.