Sunday, September 24, 2006

Harvest Muffins

Harvest Muffins
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
This is a standard in my house for fall - you might think that pumpkin and chocolate chips don't go well together - I humbly beg to differ.

Definitely don't add the pumpkin until the end. I tried combining it with the creamed mixture at the beginning once and the end result just wasn't as good!

Harvest Loaf Bread

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 ½ cups flour
15 ½ oz (whole can) pumpkin
11.5 oz bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix in spices and then add flour to creamed mixture. Add pumpkin and chocolate chips.

Pour 2 big loaves – bake at 350 for 1 hour or 7 little loaves for 40 minutes or muffins for 22-25 minutes.

Categories: Chocolate, Muffins, Pumpkin

German Apple Oven Pancake

German Apple Oven Pancake
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
My first official dish of fall, made for yesterday's breakfast! My husband and I love almost any version of the puffy oven pancakes - most of the time I make them plain with lemon juice/curd and powdered/granulated sugar, but for the first day of fall, apples were added. This recipe is adapted from a few that I use.

German Apple Oven Pancake

2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 apple, peeled
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Slice an apple thinly. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a castiron or ovenproof skillet on medium heat. * Lay apple in one layer, in circular pattern. Sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

While the apple cooks, beat two eggs. Pour in milk, vanilla, salt, and flour and mix lightly with whisk, just until items are barely blended. Batter should still be lumpy!

Turn apples over, and pour batter over the top. Put pan in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until pancake is puffed and set. Serve by turning upside down onto a serving plate immediately (if you wait the carmelized sugar will turn hard!).

* This can be done by melting butter and placing apples and then batter into pie plate, but the butter and sugar won't have the same flavor opportunity as they do cooking first on the stove.

Categories: Apple, Breakfast, Pancake

Friday, September 08, 2006

Chocolate Buttermilk Mocha Pound Cake

This is a rich, dense cake. Slice it thinly for your guests! Goes well with tea or a spicy hot chocolate.

Chocolate Buttermilk Mocha Pound Cake

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp instant coffee, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture, alternately with dissolved coffee and buttermilk. Pour into tube pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

This recipe was posted with permission from Elmwood Inn. You can order the cookbook this recipe came from by visiting their web site, or visiting many of the tourist shops in Kentucky.

Categories: Cake, Chocolate

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
This past weekend we stayed in, and I made afternoon tea. The menu:

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
Chopped Egg and Scallion Tea Triangles
Curried Spinach Rolls
Giverny Scones

All the recipes except the chopped egg sandwiches are from various cookbooks from the Elmwood Inn. I highly recommend these cookbooks for afternoon teas - they have recipes for all themes, including some creative ideas I didn't even have on my radar. I was hoping to hear back from them in order to post one of their recipes, but if I do I'll edit the post later. In the meantime, some of their recipes are also available online, although not the ones I chose.

I would like to criticize my menu slightly - if you notice, everything I made includes some form of a bread. Ideally I would have had something like stuffed tomatoes or something with eggs, just to make everything slightly lighter! Also making two recipes with buttermilk (this scone recipe called for it) seemed like overkill.

I have decided I should feature a favorite tea or tea company from time to time. For this afternoon tea, I used the Assam Mangalam tea from Scent by Spirit Teas. The tea was a nice black blend, malty but not overpowering.

I have enjoyed ordering from Scent by Spirit Teas - the business is a woman-owned company in the northwest; the owner is known as the "Head Genie" on the forums and throughout the web site. Visitors to the forums can read reviews of the teas, interact with other customers, get recommendations, and find out about special deals and new additions.

I am a frequent consumer of teas and what I like best about SBS Teas is the variety and creativity in the teas. Lately I tried the Chocolate Flame Chai, which is the best chai I have had. The other recent highlights are the green rooiboses (if that is plural for rooibos!), especially the Green Rooibos Haiku. Green rooibos teas are my favorite to make iced. I haven't nailed down a favorite yet, but if I had to pick one it would probably be the Mexican Spiced Rooibos. If you have a tea company you love, let me know!

Categories: Cake, Chocolate, Savory, Scones, Tea, Tea Sandwiches