Thursday, June 25, 2009

Does this look like your cake?

DSC01360 I made this cake one afternoon and was very surprised at how lovely it was.  It was  light, fluffy, and delicately moist but here’s my dilemma I don't know who to give credit for it.  I know I didn't find it on one of my regular haunts and I've lost my print out of the recipe.  I want to say that the words sour cream were in the name but when I googled sour cream coffee cake a gazillion links pop up.  I can’t remember if the recipe called for cinnamon sugar to be sprinkled on top or if that was my own addition and I know I cut back on the chocolate chips.  I baked mine in 3 mini loaf pans and 1 small ramekin.


Please, if this looks or sounds like your cake by all means speak up.  I think it has tremendous potential and would like to make it again with a few tweaks. Instead of chocolate chips ( I cut back on those the first time) I'd love to add in some cinnamon ones and toasted nuts are always a wonderful addition. By the way you should know that your recipe doesn't specify when to add the butter.  Luckily I saw it on the counter just before I poured the batter into my pans.  I admit my first thought was uh,oh, I goofed but no, I read and re-read the recipe, you left it out. I went ahead and added it in, fortunately it was very soft and mixed in fine. So, please, if you recognize this cake let know and can I have the recipe? (Abby, I need to try the coffee cake you raved about!)


Note:  I made this almost two months ago so this photos are quite as nice as my more recent ones.  I’d like to think I’m improving! :) 

Here’s a little of the first “B”, baseball!  My brother Joseph (in the white shirt) took most of these photos of the Twins.  Devon is #4 and Jalen is #13.  The other man in the photos is Papi, my father.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Banana Caramel Cake

DSC01674 Yes! It tastes as good as it sounds!  Better really!  This is another one of those recipes that was so good I made it twice within a two week period.  As a matter of fact I bought bananas that were past their prime so I could make this again.  As I’m typing this the photos are taunting me.  I had no intentions of baking tonight but find myself  eyeing up the the bananas on the counter and checking out the clock. 

DSC01677 I have to tell you. This is my favorite banana cake.  All of the ones I’ve made (except this one) to date I have been very good but for me, this is it.  While I won’t stop trying other recipe this is the one I’ll turn to when there’s bananas that need using up and no new recipe to try.

DSC01696 I found the recipe on Technicolor Kitchen after seeing a photo of it on Tastespotting.  The cake on its own is moist but the homemade caramel that is soaked in makes it even more so.  And, I just love the warmth of the cloves, cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg that are added to the batter.

Banana Caramel Cake

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1 ¼ cups (300ml) vegetable oil (or canola oil as in the original recipe)
1 ¾ cups (350g) sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (75g) coarsely chopped walnuts (omitted)
85g (3oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (size of chips)(omitted)
3 ripe bananas, diced (I pureed them in my mini food processor & mine were small)

½ cup (88g) firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Butter and flour a tube pan or a bundt pan that can hold 12 cups*; preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. (I used a tube easier for me to get out)
Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, oil and sugar. With the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that the sugar has been incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix for another 30 seconds. (I added in the pureed bananas)
With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients a bit at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then to ensure everything is incorporated.
Once the dry ingredients have been added, remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the walnuts, chocolate and bananas. Gently fold them in with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Don’t over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes and then test the cake to see if it’s done by poking a toothpick or cake tester into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake the cake for another 5 to 10 minutes. In Ivonne’s oven, this cake took 55 minutes; in mine, 1 hour. (Mine was done in 45 minutes, I find more often than not everything is done sooner rather than later in my oven.  Adjust accordingly for yours.)
About 5 to 10 minutes before the cake is done, make the caramel by combining all the ingredients in a small pan. Bring to the boil and stir occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Once the cake is out of the oven, poke holes all over the cake with a skewer. Immediately pour the caramel over the cake, stopping every now and then to let the caramel sink in. If the caramel pools in spots, poke more holes to allow it to sink in.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack. Once it’s cool, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and then unmold it onto a plate.


The Twins have been out of town playing baseball in Cooperstown, NY since last Saturday which is why you haven’t seen me around.  I thought I would have a break but except for Sunday’s games all of their other games have been broadcast over the internet on the Cooperstown site! Of course that meant instead of having a baseball free week and blogging (& commenting) I’ve been watching and cheering on the boys and their team. 

They just lost making it their last game of the tournament. It was also their third game of the day.  A day which started off with warm ups at the field at 7:30am (after winning and finishing up last night at 9:30pm) in cold rainy weather.  Though they lost they have a lot to be proud of.  Out of a 102 teams they made it to the final four and were seeded third!  Not too shabby.  It’s back to work next week as they have the Elite 24 at Disney in July!  Go Fire!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ice Cream!

I love ice cream!  I mean, l-o-v-e it! BUT I don't love writing about it or even photographing it.  (It may be harder to do than savory foods.)  For the past several months I've been making ice cream along with the other desserts I've blogged about but have been unmotivated to share my experiences.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I tried writing this post, starting and stopping, starting and stopping.  So, instead of telling about and giving you one recipe I’ve decided to make this a three for one.  :)DSC01253

I’m pretty sure you won’t be shocked to read that the first ice cream of the season I made was snickerdoodle ice cream.  I found recipe over at Our Best Bites.  My only changes were to cut back on the cinnamon and use ready made snickerdoodle cookie dough from the store.  A bit of  advice? Make your own cookies or better yet make your own snickerdoodle bars.  :)


Snickerdoodle Ice Cream

1 1/2 c. 2% milk

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 c. heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp.)

About 1 1/2-2 c. chopped high-quality sugar cookies, *snickerdoodles, or shortbread cookies

Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium until bubbles form around the edges.  Remove from heat.

In a small mixing bowl (or really big cereal bowl), whisk eggs thoroughly.  Very slowly, add 1/2 of the hot milk mixture, whisking the eggs constantly.  Return pan with remaining milk mixture to stovetop and then whisk the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly.  Add whipping cream.  Over medium-low heat and stirring constantly, continue heating the custard mixture to 160 degrees.  It will start to thicken quickly; remove from heat when your finger leaves a track on a spoon coated in the custard mixture. 

Add in cinnamon and vanilla.  Place the custard in an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator several hours. 

When ready to make ice cream, pour chilled custard into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.  When the ice cream is almost done (like maybe the ice cream maker's struggling a looks like really firm soft-serve...), add chopped cookies.  Remove from ice cream freezer and place in another air-tight container and freeze an hour or two (at least...but not longer than a couple of days) to allow it to firm up.

*I used the grocery store’s ready made snickerdoodle cookie dough but would suggest that you make your own.  They really weren’t that good.


This next one isn't going to be much of a surprise either.  I made banana fosters ice cream which I found on Cafe Johnsonia. The texture of this ice cream wasn’t as smooth or creamy as others and I think it may be due to the homemade caramel that is mixed with the custard but we loved it.  DSC01514

Bananas Foster Ice Cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream (not ice cold)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups whole or 2% milk (I used 2%)
2 whole eggs or 4 egg yolks (I used 4 egg yokes)
1-2 ripe bananas (depending on how big they are) (I used 2.)
2-4 tablespoons dark rum (optional--can use 1 tsp. rum extract, too.) (I used 1/2 tsp. of rum extract.)

In a 2-quart pan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook without stirring until the sugar becomes a deep amber color. Add the heavy cream and stir well. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, butter, and salt. (It may clump up, just keep stirring and it will smooth out.)

Transfer caramel to a heat proof bowl to cool.**
Once caramel is cool, whisk in the eggs (or egg yolks).
Prepare an ice bath. (You will need it to quickly cool the hot custard.)

In another pan, heat milk until very hot.** Gradually add the hot milk to the caramel/egg mixture. Whisk well and pour it back into the pan. Cook over medium heat until the custard reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool.

Peel the bananas, break them into chunks and put them into a blender. Add some of the custard and puree until smooth. (I didn’t puree the bananas.  I just smushed them with the potato masher.) Add the puree back to the bowl with remaining custard. Stir well. Add the rum, if using.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until very cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer directions.
Makes 1 quart.

**Alternatively, you could add the milk to the caramel while it's still hot and then add it to the eggs that have been whisked in a separate bowl. It just depends on how you want to do it. It will work just as well either way. My caramel just happened to be cold, so I added the eggs to the caramel.**


Lindsey has this post on making custard base ice cream which I found very helpful. Per Whitney at Rookie Cookie, Lindsey is Utah’s very own ice cream whisperer.  If you’d like to see another recipe of Lindsey’s I’ve made please visit here.



This last recipe is for banana ice cream which I found at Spork or Foon.  (On a side note Teanna is attempting to recreate Top Chef recipes at home which I think is quite impressive!) I really, really liked this recipe which put to good use the overage of ripened bananas that I had on hand at the time.  Best thing?  No cooking!

Banana Ice Cream Recipe:

makes 1 quart

You will need:

2 cups of half and half (I used 1 cup 2%milk & 1 cup of heavy cream)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 very ripe bananas

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

Mix together the first four ingredients until combined, making sure the condensed milk is well blended with the other liquids.* Chill until cold.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze accordingly.

Mash the bananas with the lemon juice and add to the ice cream maker 2 minutes before it's finished. Transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container, cover and freeze for at least 3 hours.

*I didn’t wait to add the mashed bananas.  I added it into the milk mixture and chilled it as well.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Guess Blogging

DSC01562-1 Last month Whitney sent me an email asking if I’d be interested in being a guest blogger on her blog, Rookie Cookie.  Well, on Friday it published.  Click here to read it. Please be sure to let me know what you think.  Oh, and while you’re there take a look around!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Triple Berry Ripple Tea Cake & Thanks

****The original photos that go along with this post are HERE!

THANK YOU for all the sweet comments you left on Babygirl's post. I forwarded on the comments to her email (she emails our out of town family). She was so excited and happy to read each one. She sent me this email for you....

Dear mommy,

Please tell them for me thank you and I really appreciate the the things they said.




What to make when you have berries that are on their last leg? Here is, Mixed Berry Ripple Tea Cake. It could also be blueberry ripple or blackberry if you have blackberries that need to be finished up. I'm pretty certain that, which ever berry you use you'll be pleased. This was originally supposed to be a raspberry ripple tea cake but I didn't have enough raspberries, so in went some blackberries and for good measure a few strawberries to get me to the required 12 ounces.

This was one of those desserts that was not only good but left me with a DSC01623sense of accomplishment. I admit. I really, really like those quick and easy recipes but when there's time it's nice to get into the kitchen and make something that's a little more involved. With that said, please don't be put off. This IS easy, just not the easiest or quickest but if you're fond of berries, don't mind moist, delicately flavored cake, and you're not pressed for time, give this a try.

Raspberry Ripple Tea Cake (my changes)
for the filling
1 (12 ounce) package frozen raspberries (I used fresh raspberries, blueberries, and a few strawberries totaling 12 oz. I did use more raspberries though.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
for the batter
2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, sliced into thin pats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10″ round tart (I used two 4" springform pans) pan that has a removable bottom; set aside.

To make the raspberry filling: in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Push raspberry mixture through a fine, mesh sieve, discarding seeds and pulp. Set filling aside to cool slightly; alternatively you may store airtight, refrigerate and use within 3 days.

To make the tea cake batter: in a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. *Measure and set aside 1/2 cup of this flour-crumb mixture and reserve for crumb topping. To remaining flour mixture add baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well to combine. Make a well in the center of flour mixture to accept wet ingredients.
In a small mixing bowl, beat egg; stir in buttermilk until combined. Add all at once to the well you just created in the center of the flour mixture. Stir gently until just moistened; batter will be thick. Spread two-thirds of this batter over the bottom and up 1″ of the sides of prepared tart pan, using fingers to pat into place if necessary. Next, carefully spread the prepared raspberry filling on top of this batter. In small, irregular mounds, drop remaining batter on top of filling, spreading ever-so-gently with fingers or back of spoon if necessary. Allow mounds of batter to rest atop raspberry filling without pressing into bottom layer of batter. Sprinkle entire cake with the *reserved flour-crumb topping.

In the center of a preheated oven, baked tea cake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30-35 minutes (I checked mine at about 25 minutes and they were done. Use your best judgement if you're not using the 10" tart pan) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean (filling will turn toothpick red). The cake should appear lightly browned (baking times may vary from oven to oven, so keep a close eye on your cake after 30 minutes). When tea cake is properly baked, remove tart pan from oven and allow to cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. When time has elapsed, remove cake from tart pan and place on cake stand or serving plate.


Oops, I almost forgot to tell you I initially saw this beauty on Buff Chickpea and followed the link over to Sandies' Inn Cuisine which is where Hayley first saw it. Please be certain to both blogs. They have both wonderful foods and photographs.

Today my blog is one year old. Hard to believe it's been a year. I wanted to do a special post with a giveaway and all that but things have been so hectic. Stay tuned....I'll be reading and commenting more and will announce a giveaway to celebrate 3B's b-day!

***Please see my previous post that has the photos that go along with this one. For some reason Windows Live Writer does not like those photos. Weird! Go figure!

These four are my problems...........


The program doesn't like my photos.....What the heck is up with that?  Why would it NOT like a certain set of photos?  Is that not weird?  I didn't do anything different?  HELP, anyone?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is a test...

Okay this is a test. The computer (????) kicks keeping back my post with the response below...

The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden.

whenever I try to publish a new post written through Windows Live Writer. What the heck does that mean? Help! Juuuuuuliiiiia! Somebody, anybody?

Update: This posted so it must be that individual post! Rats, I guess I'll need to mess around with it!