Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Cake Slice : Cranberry Cake and a late Cinnamon Pudding Cake

Lately I've been working much more and posting less, or better not posting at all.
This doesn't mean I'm not baking so here you go for December and November The Cake Slice cakes.
I cannot tell you how this Cranberry /Wildberries tastes because it just came out from the oven ! But it looks and smells terrific ! I wish I hadn't let the top brown so much ...

December’s Cake: Cranberry Cake

(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

Makes one 10 inch round cake
For the Streusel
1 cup sliced almonds (I used pinenuts)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp light brown sugar

For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries (Iused frozen berries)
Method – Streusel
Heat the oven to 300F. Grease a 10inch round springform pan.
Combine the butter, almonds and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Work the mixture between your fingers to form large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Method – Cake
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Combine the eggs and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium high speed until the mixture is lightened and increased in volume, about 5 minutes.
With the mixer on low speed, add the butter in a slow stream. Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla.
Gently but thoroughly fold in the flour mixture, half a cup at a time. Then stir in the cranberries.
Scrape the butter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the streusel over the batter. Bake the cake until it is golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1hour 10minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Release the sides of the pan and use a large spatula to slide the cake from the pan bottom onto the wire rack. Cool completely before cutting into wedges and serving.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Then comes the Cinnamon Pudding Cake I'm sure I did somthing wrong with it and the cake looked loke the moon... but it wasn't bad maybe not the best but not bad at all !

November’s Cake: Cinnamon Pudding Cake
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

Makes one 8 inch square pudding cake

For the Caramel Topping

1 cup plus 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
¾ cup water
1 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp salt

For the Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder
2½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Method – Topping
Heat the oven to 350F. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
1) Combine the brown sugar, water, butter and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally, then set aside to cool.
Method – Cake
1) Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sakt in a medium mixing bowl.
2) Combine the butter and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3) With the mixer on medium-low speed, add a third of the flour mixture to the bowl. Add half of the milk and the vanilla. Add another third of the flour, followed by the remaining milk and the rest of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
4) Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Pour the topping over the batter (the pan will be very full). Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes.
5) Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, invert it onto a large rimmed serving platter and serve warm.
6) Let any leftover cake cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Stollen and some lost challenges..

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

The fist time I heard about Stollen it was about 25 years ago... I was visiting my friend's Jakob's family in Bonn and, knowing I loved baking, they explained me about this wonderful Christmas bread and I even received a recipe for it. I learned it is traditional to bake quite a few Stollen and keeping them and Jakob's mother told me of when they where living in Moscow and as spring arrived and the snow melted they discovered a hidden Stollen in the balcony !

So I was more than happy to bake Stollen this month thanks to Penny.

I made it as directed but diminished the yeast to 1 teaspoon and used 250 grams of sourdough and 500 grams of flour, I didn't use the cherry nor the candied peels but increased the amount of raisins.

I really loved it and the neighbours did too !!!

You will find a printable recipe here


Stollen Wreath

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people


¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.


Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

To make the dough

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

This was before I pinched it together

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea….mmmmm

The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

As for November:

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Ichose to make a rice and custard mini crostatas called budini di riso the pastry shop and famous gelateria near my mother's house (it's called Giolitti and if you have been to Roma I'm sure you have eaten their ice cream !) sells them but they are typical of Florence.

Now I kow I'm really bad enough already but Anita wants coccole and I can't say no so I'll add the budini recipe tomorrow !

You can find a printable version here.

As for October:

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I did make both yeasted

and buttermilk for the joy of my children...not only !

You can find a printable version here

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TWD : Apple-Coconut Family Cake and I am finally back !!!

Ciao a tutti my dear friends ! I feel really guilty having abandoned my blog for so long and even if I baked almost all our recipes I wished to come back with some wonderful and stunning post.. but it is almost midnight and I'm dyeing some fabric I need tomorrow and maybe I'll just post my Apple- Coconut Family Muffins hoping in your friendship as always ...

This recipe was chosen by Amber of Cobbler du Monde and it was a very pleasant surprise for me as it is simple and fast but also healthy and super delicious ! Please visit Amber for the recipe.
I toasted the coconut and made it as directed even if I really did't understand how i should have cut the decoration apple !
I made it in this small form as I can share it easily and I must say everybody loved it as much as I did !
I added a photo of a part of one of the two mitre I had been working in the last month. It is from the Duomo of Orvieto dating from the 1700 century. I hope to be able to show some more pictures soon !

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sourdough Baking Wednesday: Italian Bread with Hazelnuts

Since I baked this bread the first time I made it lots of times using sourdough instead of biga, halving the recipe, ad using my bread machine for mixing and after waiting for some time, baking it.
I find this recipe fantastic, the bread is soft as my children like it and it uses lots of my sourdough that I always try not to waste.
This time I had 100 gr of ricotta hanging around and some toasted hazelnuts so I added them to the recipe, adding a little more flour.


Source: Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker's Apprentice Page 107

Makes about 18 ounces

2 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1/2 teaspoon (.055 ounces) instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons to 1 cup (7-8 ounces) water, at room temperature

1. Stir together the flour and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the water, stirring until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball (or mix on low speed for 1 minute with the paddle attachment). Adjust the flour or water, according to need, so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff. (It is better to err on the sticky side, as you can adjust easier during kneading. It is harder to add water once the dough firms up.)
2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for 4 to 6 minutes (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook for 4 minutes), or until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. The internal temperature should be 77 to 80 degrees F.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, or until it nearly doubles in size.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly to degas, and return it to the bowl, covering the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze it in an airtight plastic bag for up to 3 months.

Italian Bread
Source: Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker's Apprentice Page 172-173

Days to make: 2
Day 1: 3 to 4 hours biga
Day 2: 1 hour to dechill biga; 12-15 minutes mixing; 3 1/2 hours fermentation, shaping, and proofing; 20-30 minutes baking

Makes two 1 pound loaves or 9 torpedo (hoagie) rolls

3 1/2 cups (18 ounces) biga (recipe above)
2 1/2 cups (11.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1 2/3 teaspoons (.41 ounces) salt
1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) sugar
1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
1 teaspoon (.17 ounce) diastatic barley malt powder (optional)
1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) olive oil, vegetable oil, or shortening
3/4 cup to 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 to 8 ounces) water (or milk if making torpedo rolls), lukewarm (90 to 100 F)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

1. Remove the biga from the refrigerator 1 hour before making the dough. Cut it into about 10 small pieces with a pastry scraper or serrated knife. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour to take off the chill.
2. Stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and malt powder in a 4 quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the biga pieces, olive oil, and 3/4 cup water and stir together (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until a ball forms, adjusting the water or flour according to need. The dough should be slightly sticky and soft, but not batter like or very sticky. If the dough feels tough and stiff, add more water to soften (it is better to have the dough too soft than too stiff at this point).
3. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead (or mix) for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed, until the dough is tacky, but not sticky, and supple. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77-81 F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
4. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
5. Gently divide the dough into 2 equal pieces of about 18 ounces each, or into 9 pieces of about 4 ounces each (for torpedo rolls). Carefully form the pieces into batards, or rolls, degassing the dough as little possible. Lightly dust with a sprinkle of flour, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and let rest 5 minutes. Then complete the shaping, extending the loaves to about 12 inches in length or shaping the torpedo rolls. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and dust with semolina flour or cornmeal. Place the loaves on the pan and lightly mist with spray oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
6. Proof at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until the loaves or rolls have grown to about 1 1/2 times their original size.
7. Prepare the oven for hearth baking, making sure to have an empty steam pan in place. Preheat the oven to 500 F. Score the breads with 2 parallel, diagonal slashes or 1 long slash.
8. Rolls can be baked directly on the sheet pan. For loaves, generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal and very gently transfer the loaves to the peel or pan. Transfer the dough to the baking stone (or bake on the sheet pan). Pour 1 cup hot water into the steam pan and close the door. Repeat once more after another 30 seconds. After the final spray, lover the oven setting to 450F and bake until done, rotating 180 degrees in necessary, for even baking. It should take about 20 minutes for the loaves and 15 minutes for the rolls. The loaves and rolls should be golden brown and register at least 200F at the center.
9. Transfer the rolls or loaves to a cooling rack and cool for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.

Mando questa ricetta a Zucchero & Canella per i suoi mercoledì.
Questo pane viene benissimo nella macchina del pane, faccio fare l'impasto poi aspetto un po' a seconda della temperatura e cuocio sempre nella macchina del pane.
Io sostituisco alla biga la pasta madre e dimezzo la ricetta, in questo caso ci ho anche aggiunto un etto di ricotta e un etto di nocciole tostate aggiungendo un po' di farina se serve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs : Potluck ! Hazelnuts Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm really enjoying our new chef Giada De Laurentiis and this week decide to try a cookie recipe.
This recipe calls for oats which are good for you and for toffee bars which aren't , so they balance...
We managed to eat all the cookies before morning came and I could take a better picture !



  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces English toffee candy (recommended: Heath or Skor bar), finely chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, and chopped
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper. Finelychop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the toffee, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 rounded tablespoonful of dough onto sheet, spacing 1-inch apart (do not flatten dough). Bake until the cookies are golden (cookies will flatten slightly), about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. (The cookies can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Dorie : Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good


On the occasion of our favourite cookbook author Holly of PheMOMenon had the great idea of inviting Dorie to a birthday dinner (unfortunately only virtual) cooked following some of the recipes from 'Around My French Table'.
I joined Tuesdays with Dorie, the group genially created by Laurie of slush, more than two years ago and it has been such a wonderful sequence of wonderful recipes I simply had to join French Fridays with Dorie too and it is a very promising experience having read the wonderful book we will be cooking from.

We were free to choose and this pumpkin which looks like a surprise present.
I got a Pumpkin called Mantovana (from Mantua where they make wonderful ravioli with it) and following Dorie's recipe I cut a lid, took the seeds out and filled the pumpkin with cheese, bread, thyme, bacon, and cream.

After the pumpkin has cooked in the oven VOILA' a wonderful dinner treat !

This little bobbin lace is a Binche Lace one of my favourite bobbin ones. I worked on it yesterday and wish to add it to my surprise present for Dorie.


Please visit the roundup on Holly's blog !

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mellow Bakers : Challah

Lately I'm always late for everything so when I read this recipe I thought it could be a good idea to prepare it for breakfast even if it was already 6 pm.
It was so good I had to hurry up taking a poor picture of it before it was gone !!
I divided the recipe in thirds (using a single whole egg) and made just one single (I was sleepy..) braid.
(Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread)

1 lb, 5.4 oz bread flour (67%)

10.6 oz high-gluten flour (33%)
1.8 oz sugar (5.5%)
2.4 oz egg yolks (7.5%)4
4.5 oz whole eggs (14%) 2
2.4 oz vegetable oil (7.5%)
10.2 oz water (32%)
0.6 oz salt (1.9%)
0.26 oz instant yeast (0.8%)

Mix all the ingredients in your stand mixer with a dough hook on low for 3 minutes. Then on medium for 3 minutes. Then knead by hand until you have a soft, smooth, stiff dough.

Let rest one hour, covered.

De-gas and put in a covered bowl in the fridge for the night.

The next day - divide the dough into 3, form into balls and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes.
Each ball will be a loaf, divide and shape into as many strands as you like for braiding. I did two different types of 6-strand braids.

Enjoy this recipe and visit Roz at la bella vita for many interesting and various ideas !

French Fridays with Dorie : Hacis Parmentier

I'm so happy about our new cooking group and my happiness increases every week after every new recipe from Around the French Table by Dorie Greenspan.We have to thank Antoin Augustin Parmentier who, between the many things he made, created this and many other dishes to convince Europeans to eat potatoes.
This dish was fantastic and I made the fast version using ground meat and sausages but even so it was to dye for, my husband told me to hide it or :'I'm going to hurt myself with it !' that is a typical roman phrase. Anita loved it all and Carlo the top... thanks to Dorie we were all happy that evening !If you wish to join us visit the site.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cake Slice : Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake


This month The CXake Slice Group is starting a new book from which we chose this cake as our first cake.
As a pose to a few others I baked with the group this is a very simple and fast cake to make, and it's very good too ! Please visit the other bakers as well.

October’s Cake: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake
(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)
1¾ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 350F. Coat the inside of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and
dust with flour.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a
medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on
medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or
twice as necessary.
With the mixer on medium low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of
the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir in the milk.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides
of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the
cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, 55
minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack and then
turn it right side up on a rack to cool completely.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator,
wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD : Caramel Pumpkin Pie

I'm really glad I made a double batch of All purpose crust last week so even if I was really without time and energies I just pulled out of the oven this wonderful pie !
Please visit Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs for the recipe which was great for what I can say about pumpkin pie !
Go here for more authoritative notes !

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Heart Cooking Clubs :Family Style - Crispy Zucchini and Potato Pancakes


This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are cooking Family Style ad from the Food network site I chose this recipe which had many positive aspects: I had zucchini and potatoes, my kids love all the ingredients and it was a simple and fast recipe to prepare for a week's supper.
I made some changes to the original recipe which you will find at the end of this post . I added a carrot and a leek when grating the vegetables, instead of two egg whites I used an egg (I hate to throw away a part of an egg) and I used cream cheese instead of mascarpone.
I must say I'm starting to appreciate Giada's cooking !
Right now Anita saw me writing this post and asked for these pacakes again !

(from Foodnetwork by Giada De Laurentiis)


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus leaves, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet, liberally, with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside

Lay the potatoes and zucchini on 2 kitchen towels. Bring the corners of the towels together and squeeze out the moisture from the vegetables. Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the garlic, chopped rosemary, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, egg whites, salt, and pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture to the pan. Using a spatula, press the mixture evenly into the pan. Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Cook for 8 minutes or until the edges of the mixture begin to brown. Slide the pancake, cooked side down, onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top of the pancake starts to brown and the edges are crispy.

In a small bowl, beat the mascarpone until smooth and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut the pancake into 1 1/2-inch squares and arrange on a serving platter. Pipe or spoon the seasoned mascarpone on top andgarnish with a few fresh rosemary leaves.

I'm sending this post to Roz at La Bella Vita for her Seasonal Saturdays !