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Posts Tagged ‘quick bread’

It’s rhubarb season!  And as my friend Susan will tell you, “everyone should eat more rhubarb.”  Why not, when it’s so easy to make this sweet little cake highlighting summer’s best?

I’ve seen this described as rhubarb “tres leches” cake, and although it actually only contains dos leches, the fruit and cream do sink to the bottom and create a delectable custard.  We demolished several slices with friends recently and continued picking at pan scraps and “shaving” off corners to make the rest “more uniform.”  I take that as a good sign.

When the sight of neon pink and green stalks at the market finally proves irresistible, be sure to make this cake.  Enjoy!  And happy summer!

Yellow cake:

-1 1/4 (scant) c. all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-3/4 c. sugar
-1/4 c. oil
-1 egg
-2/3 c. milk
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fruit & custard layer:

-2 c. chopped rhubarb (about 3 large stalks)
-1/2 c. sugar
-1 c. whipping cream

1.  In a medium bowl, toss rhubarb with the 1/2 cup sugar.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour an 8-in. round baking pan or large glass/ceramic baking dish.

2.  Prepare cake batter: whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.  In a larger bowl, mix eggs, vanilla extract, oil, and milk.  Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet until thoroughly combined.

3.  Pour cake batter into prepared pan.  Scatter chopped rhubarb and juices evenly across the top.  Pour the cream over top.

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What in the world makes these “Avatar” muffins,  you ask?

Let’s just say that if James Cameron’s blue characters were looking for the perfect camouflage muffins to eat on the go, they needn’t look further.   Oh, alright, fine: I made these muffins with weepy frozen blueberries, which dyed the batter a swirly blue.

Image via thefilmtalk.com

But I like to think these blueberry muffins are lovable in their imperfection.  Just like your best friend or that favorite chipped coffee cup you refuse to toss out. You know which one I mean.  Simple, straightforward, and good.

These blueberry muffins are homey and comfortable—ideal for savoring over a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. They’re moist, fluffy, and just sweet enough without veering into dessert territory.  Plus, they’re loaded with lots of bright fruit (you know how I feel about getting color into our diets).  If you want to ramp up the nutrition even more, you could substitute whole wheat pastry flour or quick-cook oats for a bit of the white flour.  Should you prefer non-Pandoran muffins, just use fresh blueberries, which bleed less than frozen.

(Adapted from Alton Brown via Thyme for Food)

-11 oz (2 1/4 c.) all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/8 tsp. salt
-3/4 c. sugar (I used demerera/raw)
-1/2 c. vegetable oil
-1 egg
-1 egg yolk
-1 c. plain yogurt (approx. 1 3/4 containers)
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. almond extract, optional
-2 c. blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 12-count muffin tin.  Alternately, you could fill the muffin tin with liners and then spray those with baking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Remove 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture and toss with the blueberries in a separate bowl.  (This reduces sinking while baking.)

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and yolk, yogurt, and extracts.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring just until barely combined. Do not mix completely, or your muffins will be tough and flat.

Stop stirring!

5. Fold in the blueberries and any residual flour just until evenly dispersed. Do not overmix.

6. Drop the batter into the 12 muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake 17-20 min., or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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banana-bread

Brooke’s mom, Bev, knows her baked goods. She grew up in the Midwest with lots of siblings and did her fair share of baking from scratch. I hope I’m not betraying any secrets by sharing her classic recipe for banana bread. I suggested adding cinnamon and vanilla extract, but they threatened to kick me out of the family.

Those of you with less to lose should feel free to adjust to your tastes. (more…)

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Credit: Chow/Amy Wisniewski 

This recipe, a variation on one I originally found on Chow, is a nice change from the traditional pumpkin bread.  The sweet potato gives it a subtle earthy flavor.  And pecans?  Well, what don’t they improve?  This would be awesome with a maple syrup glaze or cream cheese icing.

-1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
-2 tsp. kosher salt
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
-1 c. sweet potato flesh scooped from 1 lg. sweet potato, cooked in the microwave
-2/3 c. granulated sugar
-1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
-4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
-1/4 c. plain yogurt
-2 large eggs, at room temperature
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 c. whole milk
-1/2 c. whole pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1.  Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9x5x3 in. loaf pan with butter and flour; tap out excess.

2.  Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and pie spice in a medium bowl, set aside.

3.  Beat sweet potato flesh, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until well combined. Add butter and yogurt and mix on low speed until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated, then mix in vanilla.

4.  Gradually add 1/2 of the flour mixture, then 1/4 cup of the milk. Continue alternating until just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in nuts.

5.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

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