Monday, January 30, 2006

Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins

I made these blueberry muffins for the chorus new-members mixer. And partly to use up some sour cream that was taking up space in the fridge. The recipe is from a new book I just got for the holidays (thanks, JP!), Baking by Flavor by Lisa Yockelson. The recipe selection looks great and this recipe in particular was good, but something about the tone of the writing struck me as a little off. Dunno. I'll pick it up again later and try something else.

I also used this recipe as an excuse to try out my new silicone mini-muffin pans. I've never used silicone pans before (or made mini muffins). They work about as you'd expect. The muffins didn't brown on the outside as much as in a regular pan, but they popped right out without any sort of butter or nonstick spray, and cleanup was super easy. This recipe might not have been the best one to try to miniaturize. The individual blueberries looked huge in those little cups. You really could only fit a couple in each muffin. Also, the batter was pretty thick and difficult to measure evenly into such small ammounts. I also made a few regular-sized muffins. In the book, the recipe actually calls for extra-large muffin tins.

Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins - ingredients Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins - liquids, drys, blueberries, topping Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins - batter Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins - mini muffin pan Sour Cream Blueberry Muffins - mini and regular

Monday, January 23, 2006

Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake

Searching for a recipe to use up some buttermilk (from the lemon bundt cake) and some pumpkin (had frozen and then thawed it. didn't want to refreeze), I found a Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. My parents got me this book years ago and it's favorite "old standby" recipe source. It's got a solid recipe for just about every American standard. Once, I found the edition from the year I was born and it was a trip. Hello, '70s earth tones!

Anyway, the spice cake... perfectly good. But what was interesting was the frosting, a browned butter and powdered sugar mixture. My friend Will brought over a block of creme fraiche caramel he had made and we mixed it right into the frosting. You can see pictures of us melting and blending the caramel below. Man, did that change everything. Of course, all of the comments I got from people who tried the cake were about the frosting. Oh, was there cake in there too?

Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake - mis en place Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake - mixing Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake - baking Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake - baked Browned Butter Frosting with Creme Fraiche Caramel - ingredients browning butter melting caramel Browned Butter Frosting with Creme Fraiche Caramel - mixing Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake - frosting Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Cake

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Candied Citron

Entrog-variety Citron Candied Citron - ingredients Citron - sliced open Citron - large dice Candied Citron - simmering Candied Citron - almost up to temperature Candied Citron - cooked and drained Candied Citron - cooked and tossed in sugar

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lemon Bundt Cake

I signed up to bring dessert to chorus rehearsal this week and decided to make the Lemon Bundt Cake recipe from a recent issue of Cook's Illustrated. Very lemony, although a little denser than I'm used to. Almost like a pound cake. Anyway, no one complained. Had a little bit of a panic when I ran out of powdered sugar making the icing. The recipe calls for you to pour on the icing in specific timed intervals and I didn't want to run out to the store and leave the cake to burn in the oven. I took the cake out of the oven, drove the 4 blocks to the nearest grocery and made it back only 90 seconds late. Cake drama.

Lemon Bundt Cake - mis en place Lemon Bundt Cake - baked Lemon Bundt Cake - frosted and ready to eat

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Cocoa Butter Pastry Experiment

Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 1a Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 1b Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 1c
Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 2a Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 2b
Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 3a Cococa Butter Pastry Experiment 3b

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Downtown Bakery Brownies and Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies

When my friends Joe and Curtis (miss you guys!) were getting ready to move to Colorado, they asked for "something chocolate" for the road. I pulled out The Great Book of Chocolate and settled on recipes for Downtown Bakery Brownies and Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies. Chocolate chip cookies for their homey comfort and the brownies for their bittersweet chocolate ganache-covered dark chocolate brownie chocolatiness. Did I mention they have chocolate? Of course, I had to sample everything for quality-control purposes. My camera ran out of batteries right at the end, so that last faded picture is from my cell phone. Nifty bakery box, huh? I bought some more in anticipation of belated holiday baked-good gifts.

Downtown Bakery Brownies - ingredients Downtown Bakery Brownies - melting butter and chocolate Downtown Bakery Brownies - going into the oven Downtown Bakery Brownies - baked

Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies - ingredients Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookie dough Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies Downtown Bakery Brownies and Blue Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies