I just love cornbread! I have eaten a lot of cornbread and most of it just hasn’t been that good. I like cornbread that’s moist and just a little bit cakey! After reviewing the recipe that came with my food processor, I made some changes – instead of sugar I used honey. Since I don’t drink cow’s milk, I used Silk Coconut Milk (but any milk will do). The cornbread turned out great and definitely something I can eat!
Pound cakes have been around since the 18th century. Originally, they were made from a simple recipe – one pound of each main ingredient – butter, flour, sugar and eggs. This combination, gave a much heavier version of the pound cakes that we know. Today, because we are more health conscious, the ingredients have been changed to use less flour, butter, sugar and eggs.
I remember when my mom and older sister would bake pound cakes, the days before electric hand mixers and KitchenAid, we would take turns helping to mix the sugar and the butter (the creaming method) until it became a smooth and light batter. My mom would be so worried that her cake would “fall” or deflate in the oven, if the batter wasn’t just right.
When I decided to bake this cake (my first), I was very intimidated because I remember all the things my mom said could go wrong when baking a cake. But my using this simple recipe, I baked my first pound cake yesterday and it baked up moist, light and delicious!
(Recipe from Joyofbaking.com)
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
13 tablespoons (1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) (185 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake’s structure.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the cake browning too much as it bakes, cover with a piece of lightly buttered aluminum foil after about 30 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a lightly buttered wire rack.
The Pound Cake can be covered and stored for several days at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated, or it can be frozen for two months.
As I continue to experiment with my baking, my biggest challenge so far as everyone knows, has been creating beautiful looking bread. It is simpler to bake white or whole wheat bread. However, when making grain bread, you need a little extra help because the grains tend to make the bread heavier. This week I have made a 3-grain whole wheat bread with Flax seed, Wheat Germ, Rye and Whole Wheat. As I mentioned in my post couple weeks ago, with the help of Vital Wheat Gluten, it baked up just beautifully! As a foundation for all of my breads, I use the recipe that came with my food processor, and tweak it as I go along. (Ignore my slicing skills)…
3-Grain Whole Wheat Bread
1 package active dry yeast
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flax seed (ground)
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tbsps Vital Wheat Gluten
3 tbsps unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt or kosher)
1 cup warm water
Vegetable oil or cooking spray (to prepare baking pan)
In a 2-cup liquid measure dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit until foamy (about 5-7 minutes).
Insert dough blade into food processor. Add flours, butter and salt and process until combined (about 10 to 15 seconds).
Add cold water to yeast mixture
With machine running, add liquid through feed tube until absorbed by flour. (You may need to stop and clean the sides of the container). Dough will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. When this happens, process for about 45 seconds to knead dough. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured, clean surface. Knead dough for about 3 to 5 minutes. This activates the gluten in the flour.
Place dough into a slightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Allow to sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (I usually place it in the oven, in the off position).
Spray or flour an 8×4 inch loaf pans. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead dough for about 1 minute, roll into a rectangle and beginning with the short end, roll up the dough jelly-roll fashion. pinch the seam and ends tightly to seal. Place dough into greased pan and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let rise until dough is just above the tops of the pans, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes before baking.
Bake until tops are browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf (can make 2 loaves if dough is divided in half)
I love red velvet cake and cheesecake. Putting them together is like heaven in my eyes. I found this recipe on Baking Bites and decided to try this lovely brownie. It came out perfectly! They are easy to make, bake up moist, not too sweet and delicious to eat!
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
(originally from Baking Bites)
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil andlightly grease.
- In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
- Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
- Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 16 large brownies or 24 smaller brownies
I am so psyched today because I had a great baking success last night.
So, for the last couple of weeks I haven’t baked any bread because my last attempt was somewhat of a big FLOP! Every week instead of getting better my homemade bread was getting heavier and denser. Plus, it wasn’t rising as it should, so my loaves were much smaller than expected. Anyway, about three weeks ago, I baked and this was the result:
My bread hadn’t risen and I could use it to bat for the NY Yankees! Just horrible. It was all inedible. This failure inspired me to start researching homemade whole grain bread. The more I read, the more I realized that I was missing a key ingredient to making my homemade grain bread rise and be lighter. The answer to my problems Vital Wheat Gluten flour (yes the same thing used to make seitan)! Just a few tablespoons of gluten flour made my bread rise beautifully and my loaves are light and moist. YAY!
Tonight I decided to finally try my hand at baking some brownies. Once again I got the recipe from my favorite baking website, The Joy of Baking. It was actually much simpler than I imagined. I tempered chocolate for the first time and I didn’t use the hand mixer. It was all done by hand, in one bowl. The finished product is moist, chocolatey and very scrumdiddlyumptious! See for yourselves…
(Slightly altered from original recipe found on The Joy of Baking)
5 ounces (150 grams) semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
1/2 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a nonstick cooking spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using).
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out witha little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.
Makes 16 brownies