Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot chocolate crumb cake ~

Hot chocolate crumb cake ~

Oooooo…this was a hit with the Round Table Taste Testers. It’s a diverse group, I tell ya. A six year old is honest without awareness of manners and the twelve year has had an adult palette since he was a wee one. That ten year old, well, she’s silent in her opinion if she doesn’t love something, but there is no mistaking the results by the amount of food left on her plate. This was recipe got a score of Three Clean Plates. Hey. I like that. I’m going to use it again. Where can I find how to get make a rating gif/photo like that? Anyone?

The original recipe is attributed to a Woman’s Day holiday magazine edition. I cannot find the original online. I played with changes of pan size and leavening because I wanted a higher rise than the original, a white sugar instead of brown because I didn’t want the molasses to come through, a little more sugar, added instant espresso to kick up the chocolate flavor, my favorite streusel recipe and pecans, because I want ‘em.

Why did I name it Hot Chocolate Crumb Cake? Because we cut into it less than ten minutes out of the oven and it was melty-yummy. I knew it’s consistency would be soft, but not airy because of the warm temperature. It is dense and soft the next day, but served warm….definitely worth the timing to make this particular recipe to serve soon after it comes out of the oven.

Start with the streusel ~

4 T. butter, melted and cooled slightly
¼ c. flour
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. finely chopped pecans

Mix and set aside.

Hot chocolate crumb cake ~

4 oz. butter
1 c. chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. instant espresso
1 ¼ unbleached flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

  • Melt the butter and chocolate on low. Set aside to cool a bit.
  • Prep an 8” springform pan with with a bottom round of parchment and sides greased.
  • Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Set aside.
  • Mix the sugar, eggs and instant espresso until espresso is dissolved and starting to lighten. Slowly add chocolate and butter mixture.
  • Mix in the flour mixture until just combined without lumps.
  • Add a ½ c. of chocolate chips and ½ c. of chopped pecans.
  • Put batter into pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 40-55 minutes. Start checking at 40, remove when just barely any crumbs cling to the toothpick.
  • Let sit about ten minutes, slide a knife around the edges and release from pan. Serve warm.

Toodles ~

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Simply pictures with Pumpkin pound cake recipe ~

Fall Art Hop dessert table at Thump, October 2nd. Always such a joy to be a participant.

  • Pumpkin coconut layer cake dressed in caramel Swiss meringue buttercream - truly yummy.
  • Pecan cake dressed in caramel Swiss meringue buttercream - again, truly yummy.
  • Cocoa-spice cookies
  • Nutmeg sugar cookies
  • Banana bread
  • White spice pound cake
  • Pumpkin pound cake
  • Pumpkin-chocolate tart

I don't remember where I picked up the pumpkin pound cake recipe or if it was one that I adjusted to it's current stage. Either way, there are variations galore on the web, give or take an egg, buttermilk or sour cream, butter or oil. It's a good keeper and very easy to put together. Drizzle it with some maple glaze or dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy.

Sour cream pumpkin pound cake

3 cups all-purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice (or a combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and hints of clove and allspice)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Combine flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
  • Cream granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla extract; mix well.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes if using a decorative pan before inverting.

Toodles ~

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Boysenberry whole wheat muffins ~

Cultus Lake muffins ~

Easing the guilt of sweets, whole wheat muffins. Boysenberry muffins. Pretty muffins. Tasty muffins.

I never cared for whole wheat muffins until I tried one at a lovely place in Redmond, One Street Down Cafe. Inside are gorgeous Venetian plaster walls that I could not stop touching, even though my friend t
old me to stop stroking the walls. I didn’t listen. It was such a warm place, that doesn’t come from decoration, but from the owner of a place. I’m kicking myself at the moment, because I’m horrible at remembering names, but I do remember how someone makes me feels. The owner is genuine friendly.

I don’t often order baked goods or buy them. When I’m in the mood and do not want to bake one thing, I order them as a treat.
Sometimes it’s purely out of sheer curiosity to see the consistency of an item that has been baked by another. From a bakers point of view, the muffins were gorgeous at One Street Down. After I heard they were whole wheat, I just had to find out what they tasted like, what was the interior. I took a muffin back to my table and proceeded to take it apart, see the crumb, the softness. It’s a curious exam, never a judgment. It was a plain muffin, no add-ins. The taste was wonderful, the moistness was there in a whole grain product. I was enamored with the muffin as much as their walls. You see, whole wheat could ease some guilt of feeding muffins to my kidlets.

I complimented the owner, as deserved, for a light, moist, whole wheat muffin that wasn’t too sweet. She said she would share the recipe. !! Turns out, I have the very same cookbook. I’ve had it for over 20 years.

Now my muffins have never turned out as gorgeous as hers, I get a lip and height, but not a perfect dome as found in her restaurant. I add berries because they are the family favorite. I’ve done slight adjusting to the original recipe, as I add frozen berries to the mix, making them bake longer, berries also holding moisture.

Makes 9-12, depending on your add-ins and how you scoop.

1 stick butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar, packed

1 egg
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ - 1 c. buttermilk - play with this
½ tsp. vanilla

1 c. chopped frozen boysenberries
Zest of one lemon

  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add egg.
  • Add flour and buttermilk alternatively.
  • Fold in any additions you might have.
Bake at 375 degrees, 25-35 minutes. This depends on what your additions are, if using frozen berries, it increases the bake time.

Toodles ~