Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chewy, Chunky Blondies

This has got to be one of the easiest and rewarding recipes ever.  I made them Saturday morning before our Post sessions at Retrouvaille, and took them hot out of the oven to the car.  By the time I got there, they were the perfect temperature for eating.  Warm, soft, and chewy.  I will say they were devoured, and kind of funny to me, the middle ones went first!

I made mine with 2 cups of chocolate chips, 1 cup cookie sized walnut pieces, and 1 cup dried coconut.  I was thinking these would be good with some oats but I didn't have any or that would have went in.  I didn't use the brown sugar.  I use organic sugar, it already has a nice light caramel color from some of the natural molasses that is still in there, and they tasted great!  I ended up baking these for about 7 minutes more than she recommended. They came out perfect.

I also wanted to note, that I love my stand mixer.  I don't think I ever mixed anything long enough with the hand held type I used for years.  Even if I did mix it the recommended amount of time, it was never as fluffy as I can get it in my stand mixer, and that really seems to help with the consistency of my baking.

If you like easy delicious recipes, you should try these!  Look in Dorie Greenspan's book Baking from My House To Yours on page 109 or check Nicole's blog Cookies on Friday for the recipe posted online.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lots of Ways Banana Cake- Pudding!

I grew up with mom making banana bread.  It was best served warm out of the oven with lots of butter.  These are fond memories for me.  My mother is a wonderful cook and baker.  

When I first got married I made lots of fresh muffins and mom's banana bread for my new husband.  He really enjoyed them, the only problem was I made too many.  We got tired of them, and I haven't made them in a long time.  So, when I saw this recipe for banana cake, I was thinking to myself, what can I do with it?
Luckily Dorie Greenspan has lots of suggestions, but I couldn't find just what I was looking for.  My husband loves pudding, so I decided to put the two together.  This is a great combo!

I made homemade Stirred Custard, Fresh Whipped Cream, and layered it with fresh bananas and Banana Cake.  My husband was delighted!  
I had so much I made enough to bring to Girls Night In at Erica's house tonight!

The Banana Coconut Cake.  To me it tasted very similar to regular banana bread, I did add the coconut milk and toasted coconut.  It is very moist and has a wonderful texture.

Check here for the Banana Cake Recipe at Only Creative Opportunities by Kimberly who picked our recipe this week.  Or look in Dorie Greenspan's book Cooking From My House To Yours on pages 204-205.

Stirred Custard
by Better Homes and Gardens, New Cook Book.
3 beaten eggs
2 cups of milk or light cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a heavy medium saucepan combine eggs, milk or light cream, and sugar.  cook an stir over medium heat.  Continue cooking egg mixture until it just coats a metal spoon.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.  Quickly cool the custard by placing the saucepan in a sink or bowl of ice water for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour custard mixture into a bowl.  Cover surface with clear plastic wrap.  Chill until serving time.  Serve over cake or fruit.  Makes 3 cups (6 servings).

Fresh Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.  Keep your eye on the cream, you don't want to over mix it.  

Banana Cake Pudding
1/2 Banana Cake 
5 bananas
Fresh Whipped Cream
Stirred Custard (x2)
1. Cube banana cake and put about half of it at the bottom of a glass bowl.  2. Cut up 2 bananas and layer on top of cake.  3. Spoon Stirred Custard, that has been slightly chilled, over the top.  4. Next layer the whipped cream on top of the custard.  Smooth out the layers, then add another small layer of cake and bananas.  Repeat steps 3 & 4.  I crumbled some cake on the top and decorated with banana slices.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tarte Noire TWD

A chocolate ganache tart, with a sweet cookie crust.  
Beautiful, elegant and simple.  Serve with sliced berries and a dollop of whipped cream, or eat as is.  You won't be disappointed.  

Find the recipe in Baking From My House to Yours on page 351, by Dorie Greenspan, or find it on dharmagirl's blog bliss: towards a delicious life.