Saturday, July 19, 2014

big sur scones

I liked the idea of pressing the dough into the form, different for me and I think added to it's unique texture.  They were well liked here but maybe not as much as our go to scone recipe.

Big Sur Bakery Scones
1 cup fresh huckleberries, blueberries or other fresh ripe fruit
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup well-shaken cultured buttermilk
2 to 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar

About 2 hours before making the scones, scatter the berries or fruit on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer. (If using large berries, cut them in half.) 
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and drop in the cubed butter. Put the bowl in the freezer and leave it there for 30 minutes. 
Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set it aside. 
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, work the chilled ingredients together in the bowl until the butter cubes are the size of peas. Make a well in the center. Combine the vanilla and 3/4 cup buttermilk in a separate bowl, and pour the mixture into the well. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy, slightly crumbly mass. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to let the flour absorb the liquid, then fold one more time. If the dough seems simply too dry to come together, add 1 tablespoon buttermilk at a time until it just barely comes together. The dough should not be too wet; the scones will spread too much. 
Add the frozen fruit and gently mix them in, trying not to crush them. 
To shape the scones, scoop a small handful into your palm and press it into a tall, fat puck and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, leaving enough room for the scones to double in size. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with the turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown around the sides but still tender in the middle. 
Carefully transfer the scones to a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cool completely before storing in a loosely covered container. Store for up to three days. 

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

lemon yogurt cake


I have made this cake (or the way I prefer to think of it as "bread", less guilty feeling if I enjoy it for breakfast and it does have yogurt in it!)  countless times.  With an abundant lemon tree in our yard it's quite easy to pull together.  The only change I make to the original recipe is to add lemon zest to the glaze.

Barefoot Contessa Lemon Yogurt Cake
via Barefoot Contessa

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
½ teaspoon kosher salt 
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt 
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided 
3 extra-large eggs 
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons) 
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
½ cup vegetable oil 
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 

For the glaze: 
1 cup confectioners’ sugar 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 2 ½-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan. 

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside. 

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool. 

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice/zest and pour over the cake.

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

stone fruit galette


Super simple...needed  a little inspiration (moral support) and headed to Dash and Bella for some confidence. Pretty much followed her ques using the assortment of store fruit we had picked up at the farmers market. The fruit which was pretty but wasn't quiet at its peek of flavor and benefited from this recipe.  And made for a happy breakfast eaters.

Galette of Nectarines and Foraged Plums
via Dash and Bella
Store bought (always) {mine stocked up at Christmastime from Trader Joe's} puff pastry. Macerate pitted stone fruit with lemon juice/zest, salt, vanilla, and a vigorous sprinkling of turbinado sugar. Maybe a splash of Grand Marnier? Paint the edges with a mixture of 1 egg + 2 tablespoons heavy cream. For extra crunch, coat glazed edges with more turbinado sugar. Bake at 375°F until fruit is bubbling and puff pastry is crisp and lightly browned. Eat the galette for breakfast topped with crème fraîche. Or ice cream. Ice cream for breakfast.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

lemony lemon curd



Super tart lemon curd is perfectly described here at Cannille et Vanille where I followed the recipe exactly.  It was some how indulgent without feeling overly sweet which allowed me to enjoy it more (often) than I normally would have with other lemon curds.  I'm anxious to try this with other citrus as well as a component to lemon bars.


Lemon curd

1 cup (250 ml) lemon juice
2 eggs
2 yolks
1/3 cup (70 g) natural cane sugar (you can use up to 1/2 cup or 100 g if you prefer it less tart)
Zest of 2 lemons (you can peel the zest instead of grating as we will strain the curd after)
Pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and left at room temperature
Cook the lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until it has reduced in half. This will concentrate the flavor and make the curd much more intense. Let cool.
Fill a medium saucepan with about 3 inches of water and bring it to a simer. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar, zest, salt and reduced lemon juice. Place the bowl over the pot with simmering water and whisk the mixture until it thickens. Immediately strain the curd through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Keep whisking the curd until it cools down a bit. You want it to feel about body temperature.
Whisk in the pieces of butter so they melt into the curd and create an emulsion. Keep whisking. The curd will be shiny and smooth.
Pour in a glass jar and refrigerate. Store in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.

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Sunday, June 1, 2014

chocolate & date granola bars


I've made these twice now.  The first time, they were fantastic, sweet and chewy as I followed the recipe as written.  I placed them in a loaf pan which when set made it easy to cut into uniform sized granola bars to rival any store bought.  The second time they went into a 8x8 pan with a little less dates and honey but a little more oats, probably up to 2 cups of oats.  Both were tasty!

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Granola Bars {or  Chocolate & Date Granola Bars}
via Minimalist Baker
  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup honey (sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (if unsalted, add a healthy pinch sea salt)
  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (such as pecans and almonds) {I used sliced almonds}
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips (dairy free to keep vegan)

  1. OPTIONAL: Toast oats in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes to give a toasted flavor. Not necessary but recommended.{I did not do this}
  2. Place dates in a food processor {or this, just chopped them finely} and mix until small bits remain and they form a ball. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add oats, nuts, and chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking down the dates so they disperse fairly evenly throughout the ingredients. Small chunks are OK.
  3. Warm honey and almond butter in a small saucepan and pour over dry ingredients. Stir quickly to evenly coat. The chocolate chips will get a little melty - that's fine and even desirable.
  4. Transfer to a shallow pan (such as 8x8 or loaf pan) lined with parchment or plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap and use your hands to form the mixture into a tight square (keeping in mind you want them about 1/2 thick and you'll cut them into 10-12 bars) with a uniformly flat top. This will take a little work but the warmth of your hands will work well to shape them.
  5. Still covered, pop them into the freezer to set for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into 10 bars. Store in an airtight container or bag in the fridge to keep fresh, or in the freezer for longer term storage.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

candied orange peel {baking with my girl may}


My girl goes to such an incredible school, we count our blessings all of the time.  One of the many great aspects in the garden!  There are numerous citrus trees and stone fruit trees, they grown their own pumpkins for October and there are various vegetables being grown at any given time.  The abundance of citrus is so much that we had the idea of candying some of the orange peels to sell at the yearly carnival.  My girl helped me by washing the oranges, cutting them in to quarters and peeling our the pulp.  And possibly the best part, mixing the peels in lots of sugar.  She told people "they are soooo good!"  I'm really curious how the lemon peels would taste and possibly even grapefruit!  They are quiet tasty on their own but we were super impressed when we minced them up with some candied ginger and stirred them into our go to scone recipe!

Candied Citrus Peel
via Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America
3 Naval oranges or 4 large lemons (I used 5 medium sized assuming Valencia variety oranges)
2 Cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 Cups water
1/3 Cup light corn syrup
3 Cups superfine sugar

Cut the citrus into quarters.  Remove the pulp, leaving as much pith on the peel as possible.  Place the peels in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, then drain the water.  Repeat this process 3 more times, or until the peels can be easily pierced with a knife.  Drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, combine the granulated sugar, water and corn syrup in a large, heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring from time to time until the sugar is completely melted.

Add the blanched peels to the sugar syrup and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until the peels appear somewhat shiny and slightly translucent.  Transfer the peels and syrup to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Remove the peels from the syrup with a slotted spoon.  Pat dry with a cloth towel and cut into slivers about 3/8 inch wide and 2 inch long.  Toss the peels in superfine sugar, transfer to baking sheet and let them air dry for a day.  Store the peels in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

baguettes - baking with my girl {april}


There is only this one picture from this baking day which is a disappointment.  I wish I had documented it better because the girl was so into it!  Her expression when we sat down for dinner and she realized that this amazing baguette in front of us came from her own to hands, that was pretty incredible.  The process is simple and straightforward, I believe we will be making many more of these!  The pictures on food52 that accompany this post is worth taking a look at before/during.

Homemade Baguettes
via Food52
Makes 3 baguettes

  • 1 1/2cup (12 ounces) tap water, heated to 115° F
  • 1teaspoon (1/8 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4cups (14 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3teaspoons (3/8 ounces) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (note: if using a fine-grained salt like table salt, fine sea salt or other brands of kosher salt, you will need to use a smaller volume)
  • Canola oil, for greasing bowl
  • 1/2cup ice cubes
  1. Whisk together water and yeast in a large bowl; let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour, and stir with a fork until dough forms and all flour is absorbed; let dough sit to allow flour to hydrate, about 20 minutes. Add salt, then transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough ball to a lightly greased bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place bowl in a cold oven or microwave. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and shape into an 8-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Fold the 8-inch sides toward the middle, then fold the shorter sides toward the center, like a T-shirt. Return dough, seam side down, to the bowl. Cover with plastic again, and return to oven. Let sit until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Remove bowl with dough from oven, and place a cast–iron skillet on the bottom rack of oven; position another rack above skillet, and place a baking stone or upside down or rimless sheet pan on it.
  4. Heat oven to 475° F. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and cut into three equal pieces; shape each piece into a 14-inch rope. Flour a sheet of parchment paper on a rimless baking sheet; place ropes, evenly spaced, on paper. Lift paper between ropes to form pleats; place two tightly rolled kitchen towels under long edges of paper, creating supports for the loaves. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let sit until it doubles in size, about 50 minutes.
  5. Uncover; remove towels, and flatten paper to space out loaves. Using a sharp razor, knife, bread lame, or scissors, slash the top of each baguette at a 30–degree angle in four spots; each slash should be about 4 inches long. Pull out the oven rack with the stone or baking sheet on it and, using the corner of the parchment paper as a guide, slide the loaves, still on the parchment paper, onto the baking stone or pan. Place ice cubes in skillet (this produces steam that lets the loaves rise fully before a crust forms). Bake the baguettes until darkly browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes; cool before serving.

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