Tuesday, March 24, 2009

TWD: Blueberry Crumb Cake

This week's Tuesdays with Dorie is from Sihan of Befuddlement. She chose for us to bake the Blueberry Crumb Cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe can be found here. It's a simple cake to put together. I made a few substitutions, first, I used plain nonfat yogurt instead of buttermilk because I had that on hand. I substituted one of the cups of flour in the cake with whole wheat pastry flour. Also, I used cinnamon almonds in the crumb mixture instead of walnuts.

I really liked this one. The crumb topping forms a nice crust on top of the cake, and the cake underneath is light and moist. The cake is chock full of berries, and I bet that it will taste even better tomorrow. I will definitely make this again. I think that this cake would also taste great with cranberries, huckleberries, or cherries.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Easy Roasted Potatoes

This is one of my favorite side dishes. It is extremely simple, and it tastes great. Any potato would probably work in this recipe, but I like to use fingerling or small new potatoes. They are not as starchy as other types of potatoes and remain creamy on the inside while the outside develops a crispy crust. I am just posting the simple base recipe for roasted potatoes, but you can also mix things up by adding smoked paprika, parmesan cheese, or herbs such as rosemary and thyme. They are all wonderful variations on a great dish.

Easy Roasted Potatoes
serves 3-4

  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the potatoes out on a baking sheet and scatter the garlic cloves amongst them. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to evenly coat every piece with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread the potatoes back out into a single layer. Place the potatoes in the oven and roast until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, but give easily on the inside when pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Guinness is probably my favorite beer, and I have been happy to see lots of recipes for Chocolate Stout Cake on the blogs lately. I decided to make cupcakes using this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. It is a simple cake recipe that combines stout beer with cocoa powder to give the cake a really interesting flavor. The stout adds a depth of flavor to the cupcakes without changing the chocolate taste. Instead of making the chocolate glaze that went with recipe, I decided to make a cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes. It was a nice balance to the chocolatey cupcakes. I halved the recipe and still came out with 24 cupcakes. Make sure to only fill the cupcakes about two-thirds full because they really do rise quite a bit.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting makes 24 cupcakes

  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups sour cream

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1-8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake tins with paper liners. Bring 1 cup of stout and 1 cup of butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally among cupcake tins. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For the icing:
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it is completely incorporated into the butter and cream cheese mixture, then mix in the vanilla extract. Once the cupcakes have cooled, spread the icing on top.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TWD: Lemon Cup Custard

It has been awhile since I have posted a Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. There has been a few that I've wanted to make in the past month or so, but I have been very busy, and some of February's recipes were a bit involved. Fortunately the lineup for March looks great, so I hope to make most of the recipes this month. This week's selection is from Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles. She chose for us to bake the Lemon Cup Custard from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. It is a very simple recipe that involves infusing milk with lemon zest then mixing it with eggs and sugar to form the custard. You can find the original recipe here. Many of the bloggers over at Tuesdays with Dorie said that the custard was too "eggy" and that it didn't have enough lemon flavor. I was planning on halving the recipe this time, so to enhance the lemon flavor, I kept the lemon zest and the lemon extract at the original amounts in order to double the lemon flavor. My custards took about 50 minutes to bake, and they had a really beautiful yellow color due to the egg yolks. I think that doubling the zest, and the extract really enhanced the lemon flavor, and it was eggy, but it is a custard, so I expected that. If I were to make it again, I would try infusing some fresh ginger in the milk as well to give it an extra kick.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hash Brown Egg Bake

I made this dish for a brunch I hosted a few months ago. I adapted it from a recipe from Taste of Home magazine. I made quite a few changes in adapting this recipe. I decreased the amount of potatoes and bacon (I know, crazy, right?), and increased the amount of eggs that was in the original recipe. I also added some spinach, which really went well with the rest of the ingredients. This recipe is extremely easy, and you can even make the night before and pop in the oven the next morning.

Hash Brown Egg Bake

Serves 8
  • 1 package (32 ounces) frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed (I removed 1 cup of hash browns from the package and saved them for another use)
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach (packed), chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Dash paprika


In a large bowl, combine hash browns, bacon, 1/2 cup cheese, spinach, salt, and pepper. Spoon into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. In a bowl, beat eggs and milk until smooth; pour over hash brown mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for about 45 minutes until golden. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 5 minutes more.