Monday, March 28, 2011

Ciabatta Pizza

Ciabatta Pizza of course isn't a dessert but it is delicious. We usually make a lovely honey wheat crust but it has to be made the day before. In a crunch I found this recipe and we've made it one time since. The picture above is from the second time I made it. It is a recipe that will stay in my recipe box though for a long time. It's relatively quick and easy, just a little sticky. It takes about two to three hours from start to finish depending on the temperature it's in while rising and the yeast and other random factors. This dough doesn't seem like it will come together but it will eventually. It mixes for a full 10 minutes in an electric mixer. Don't even try to mix it by hand. The recipe is here. I thought it would be helpful to take pictures along the way of making the pizza.

 I did bake the pizza on a pizza stone and used a pizza peel to form the pizza on. I completely disregarded the part about the parchment paper because I had no need for it. I believe anyone who wants to bake their own pizza should have a pizza stone. They help make pizza crust crunchier and it bakes better in my opinion. 
Happy baking!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes

I was a vegetarian for many years and decided maybe a year ago that I missed fried chicken. You just can't fry tofu the same as chicken. During my vegetarian years I found this recipe for Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes. I've always wanted to make it but never got around to it for some reason. My husband looked at me like I had lost my mind so that may be part of the reason. I have recently started working at a cupcake shop and so I decided now was the time. I made these little bites a joy a few days ago and they were lovely. I did make a traditional chocolate buttercream for the top because the glaze it's supposed to have has tofu in it. I'm obviously not afraid of tofu and even really would have liked to try it but my son can't have soy and I wanted him to be able to eat them. I don't buy tofu anymore needless to say. I actually had to tell my husband to stop eating them before I could get them iced. I finally got them iced and he ate a few more. They are minis that I made. I made 27 minis instead of 12 standard size. They are a lot fluffier than I thought they would be for some reason and extremely moist. I don't think you can taste the avocado which I think is the point but one of my friends said she tasted at the end. We also toyed with the idea of an avocado buttercream but decided it would brown to easily. It has already been requested of me to make this version for a friend who has a soy allergy and a milk allergy. I'm going to make it with rice milk instead since that's what my son drinks already so we always have it. I feel confident that they will be a hit :).

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes Recipe

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

I made a quarter of the buttercream recipe and still had about half left over so account for that if you decide to use that recipe. Happy Baking!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Caramel Pear Butter

I thought Caramel Pear Butter sounded delicious. I found the recipe on Epicurious here. I made it for a party to go on biscuits. It was relatively easy to make although it took a while. I halved the whole recipe except accidentally put in the full amount of nutmeg. If you know anything about spices I find nutmeg to be a rather strong one. I decided that maybe the strong flavor might blend in and so decided not make another batch without nutmeg then mix the two together. Nobody asked for the recipe but people said it was good. That's something at least.

This picture is still in the saucepan after pureeing all of the delicious pears but before it fully setup. I feel like this "butter" has a lot of potential and if I would have made it right the first time it could have been a hit. Obviously, I'm sure this recipe would also work with other types of fruit. I bet peaches would be awesome :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Almost French Bread

This recipe makes rolls that taste a lot like French Bread but just misses the mark in my opinion. It's still a great recipe though, especially since I've made it twice since early last week. If you have a spray bottle of water and can spray them in the oven every few minutes I think you may be able to achieve a nice crisp crust. I keep forgetting to buy an extra spray bottle so mine we crusty for all of 10 minutes out of the oven. Then they were soft and delicious. We actually used them for hamburger buns for dinner and they were great that way so I might make them like that again. Or I might get crazy and make the rolls a little more flat on my muffin top pan and see if I can make better hamburger rolls out of them. Add some fresh garlic? or finely diced onion? Yum...

Almost French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour

1. Stir together the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit about 10 minutes, or until it is creamy.
2. Add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture in the large bowl. Stir in the other 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together and begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 7-8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the down in the bowl, turning to coat it completely. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 
3. Punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, then form into balls. Place the rolls on cookie sheets (lightly greased if not using a Silpat or parchment) about 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls and let rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled. While the rolls are rising preheat the oven to 400F.
4. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Candied Bacon Ice Cream

I found a recipe for Candied Bacon Ice Cream last week here. I decided I had to make it for my husband. I don't eat pork but my husband loves it so much it makes up for me not eating it :). For Valentine's Day I made him Bacon Bourbon Jam. He loved it so much I made it again about 2 weeks ago. That's for another post. His birthday was last weekend and so I decided to surprise him with the ice cream. I followed the recipe a little differently because my ice cream maker started leaking the salt mixture and I had to get rid of it. I purchased some Edy's Slow Churned Vanilla to mix with the bacon mixture and it worked wonderfully. My husband found out about my plan and so I let him pick the rum. He chose a Bacardi dark rum. Overall this recipe came together really easily, especially since I took out the making ice cream aspect although I'm sure that would have made it better. He has assured me that I can make this any time I want to. I will keep that in mind but probably keep looking for more fun bacon recipes. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Cake

This is the cake I made for my two year old son's birthday. We had his party last weekend even though his birthday is this week. As you can see we had a farm theme for the party. It is a Sweet Potato Cake with a Brown Sugar Frosting. All of the animals and decorations are made from rolled fondant. The inside of the barrel is Rice Krispies treats that I stacked and cut into the shape I wanted. It's only 2 levels high. I made the mud out of cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, and water. It came out to a perfect dark brown for the pigs to "roll" in. The carrots weren't in the original plan but I really liked them when I added them. I also had a little cake for Grayson to have himself. He's so cute because he wouldn't eat it until we gave him a fork to use. The cake was delicious though. I really wanted to do a cake flavor that was a little different and he loves sweet potatoes so I thought it was a natural fit and all of the guests loved it. I doubled the recipe to yield 2 10" cakes and a small one layer 4" cake.

Sweet Potato Cake
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the position of the rack to the center of the oven. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) pans or 3 (8-inch) pans. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granulated sugar. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar on low speed, and then increase speed to medium and beat until well-combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg and scraping down the sides of the bowl after the addition of each egg. Add vanilla and sweet potatoes and blend on low speed until thoroughly mixed.
4. Pour batter into pans and smooth the surface with a metal spatula. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; when you touch the center of the cake, it should spring back. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until fluffy.
2. Add brown sugar; beat until well blended.
3. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup (scant) at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Beat in orange juice concentrate and vanilla. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...