Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Summer Fruit Spelt Cake

When your farmers' market haul is on the brink of too-ripe...its time to make a cake wholesome enough that you can eat it for breakfast with plain yogurt, or dress it up with lightly sweetened whipped cream for a late summer dessert.

1/2 cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) melted butter, plus additional for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces or 190 grams) spelt flour
2 teaspoons (9 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
Pinch of allspice or cinnamon (optional)
1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup whole milk yogurt
1 1/2 pounds peaches/nectarines/plums/strawberries/etc
Cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Prepare you pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan parchment paper and butter the paper and rest of the pan generously

Make the cake: Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and allspice in medium bowl to blend. In a large bowl, whisk together butter (set aside remaining 1/4 cup for topping), sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Stir in yogurt. Stir dry ingredients into this wet mixture; mix until just combined and spread batter in prepared pan. Toss nectarine wedges with lemon juice and arrange them in a single layer on top of the batter.

Bake until top is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing from pan. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Zojirushi Whole Wheat Flax & Oat Bread

Sometimes you run out of bread three days before a scheduled trip to the grocery store. Your two year old is standing at your feet saying "Toast. Toast. Toast," while the dulcet tones of Dwayne Johnson sing "You're Welcome" in the background for the umpteenth time this morning m. So what do you do? Throw that toddler atop a step-stool, let him help dump ingredients into the bread machine and tell him he can have toast after his nap. And yes, we can listen to Moana again then, too. You can't win 'em all, but you can definitely have bread.

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 1/2 cups  Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

To make bread in the bread machine: Put all of the ingredients into the bread pan in the order listed. Program for basic white bread (or for whole wheat bread, if your machine has a whole wheat setting), and press Start. Keep in the machine until it stops flashing "keep warm" so that it does not deflate. Then remove, put in some ear plugs, and enjoy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Dirt Cake

Six years and two kids later I'm back with the perfect cake for a two year old's birthday party.

Malted Milk Dirt
3/4 cup (60 g.) milk powder, divided
1/4 cup (40 g.) flour
2 tablespoons  (12 g.) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (25 g.) sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped, divided
3/4 cup (60 g.) malt-flavored Ovaltine

Fudge Sauce
1 ounce bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 g.) sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. refined coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Fudge Sauce
1 1/4 cups (155 g.) cake flour
1/2 cup (70 g.) unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the fudge sauce:
Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in the bowl of your mixer. Over high heat, bring the maple syrup, sugar and heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let sit for 1 minute.

Using the whisk attachment, whisk on low speed till ingredients are combined. Increase speed to medium and whisk till sauce is glossy and smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you have any leftover that is...you probably won't.

Clean and dry the mixer bowl and whisk attachment.

Make the chocolate cake:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Spray two round 9in cake pans with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and set aside. I also have two tiny 3 in cake pans that I used to make the mound of dirt, but the batter could have easily just filled the two normal pans.

In the bowl of your mixer, combine butter and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high  for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, add the eggs and beat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.

On low speed, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add the fudge sauce and mix on low speed till fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.

Add cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Beat on low speed for about a minute, scrape down the sides and beat again for just another minute.

Pour the batter into your prepared pans and spread evenly, using a small angled spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or till cake bounces back when lightly pressed and is no longer jiggly in the center.

Cool cake in pans on a wire rack. Remove from pan and use immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Clean and dry the mixer bowl and whisk attachment.

Make the malted milk dirt:
Pre-heat oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup (40 g.) of the milk powder, flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium blow. Toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss till the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.

Spread clusters on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Crumble any clusters that are larger than 1/2″ in diameter and place in a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup (20 g.) milk powder and toss till it is evenly distributed.

Melt 3 ounces of the white chocolate in a bowl set over barely simmering water. Pour over the crumbs and toss till the clusters are completely coated. Continue tossing every 5 minutes, until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky.

Add the Ovaltine and toss till evenly coated. Melt the remaining 3 ounces white chocolate and pour over crumbs, tossing till clusters are completely coated. Continue tossing every 5 minutes, until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process just until smooth and somewhat fluffed. [Don’t have a food processor? Beat butter, powdered sugar and salt, if using, in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Pour in chocolate, milk and vanilla, beat until combined, then one more minute to whip it further.]
Assemble the cake:

Turn first layer out onto your cake stand, top with half of the fudge and then a layer of frosting  then sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the dirt before topping with the second layer. More fudge, more frosting, finishing the sides. Then create your dirt heap and decorate with your favorite trucks. Your two year old will thank you.