Let’s face it, there’s nothing like taking a bite into a home-made brownie. The guilty indulgence after the first bite, it’s so good that it’s almost sinful. You finish the first brownie and deep down you know that you really shouldn’t have a second piece, but you reach for another anyway making a promise to yourself that tomorrow you will run an extra mile (but of course you don’t, who are we kidding?).
Brownies, like the Chocolate Chip Cookie is a staple in North American households. It never disappoints, only comforts. It’s versatile batter, you can add nuts, peanutbutter, cream cheese or like I did, dulce de leche. Why not make something that is tooth achingly good event better?
I had a small container of dulce de leche in the fridge that I didn’t know what to do with and a craving for brownies, put them together and you have one kick-ass brownie. Want to make this brownie even more kick-ass, accompany it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I prefer downing my brownie with a cold class of milk.
For the brownies I used my go to recipe. In fact, it’s the only recipe I have ever used, the Fry’s Cocoa recipe found on the back of the can.
The Food Network, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways, well let me just count to one; Alton Brown. Thank you, thank you a million times over Alton Brown for giving us this creation we call the Cinnamon Roll. Seriously, if I could give each and every one of you one of these cinnamon rolls I would. Given that I can’t, you really and I mean really have to make these. I know, some of you may have a recipe that is tried and true but do me this one favour and give these a chance.
There are so many things that I love about this recipe, first and foremost, they can be made the night before and baked in the morning. Now tell me what’s better than the smell of baking cinnamon buns in the morning….can’t think of anything can you? This is another first for me, I’ve never made cinnamon buns before thinking that it was too labour intensive ..well yet again I was wrong. This recipe rocked in its simplicity. Most of the time spent on it was during the first rise, a little over two hours. You just have to remember to bring your eggs and buttermilk to room temperature and really, you’re ready to go.
The dough comes together rather quickly in no time. Please follow the recipe carefully, and if you have a scale I do recommend you use it. The more reading I do on baking the more I learn that baking with ingredients by weight is actually the most accurate. Scales are rather inexpensive and if you do a lot of baking it’s well work the investment. Now where was I, ah yes the dough. Be sure not to add too much flour, otherwise you’ll end up with tough dough. You can always add too little and if you need more add it in at the end. You should end up with a soft and smooth dough once kneaded.
And you better have butter on hand, as you will use it thrice. The first time in the dough itself, secondly in the filling and last brushing it on the dough once rolled out. Now to you get why these are so good, add butter to anything and it will just taste better. Which reminds me, I’m running a little low on my supply…I better replenish.
The most difficult thing about this recipe is the waiting, the first rise and then the overnight rise. I was so anxious during the first rise, worrying that it wouldn’t rise at all given how cold the weather has gotten. Paranoid me swaddled the bowl that held the dough in a table cloth and one blanket and place it near a chair by the radiator.
How’s that title for a mouthful? So I wanted to try something different from my usual, you know trying to step out of my comfort zone. This recipe is by no means difficult, it’s just that it has butternut squash which I have never baked with before…or cooked with either for that matter. As much as I like to think that I have a pretty unbiased palate, I do tend to stay away from the unknown. Like the other time when I baked the chocolate cinnamon cake, it was something different, I tried it, didn’t like and will never make it again.
Tonight I thought that I would give it another go with a recipe I saw in Fine Cooking, Sweet Cakes Holiday Baking Issue. I picked up the magazine the other night while I was at the Home Depot of all places. I pretty much studied all the mouth-watering recipes during my morning commutes to work, and this one just stood out. So when I stepped off the bus today I walked into the corner fruit stand and purchased myself a butternut squash.
I rushed home, quickly checked the mail and made my way into the kitchen and got my grater out.
Having never cooked or baked with butternut squash I was a little uneasy, first I noticed how difficult it was to peel and how much more difficult it was to cut. Man, that is one hard-as-a-rock vegetable. So t here I was breaking a sweat trying grating this squash thinking that maybe it’s not ripe enough and I’ll end of with a dense cake. I quickly banished that thought from my mind and got back to the recipe only to remember that I forgot to but buttermilk. No worries I thought, I can make my own. You see the problem is the only milk I have in the fridge is 1% so I was pretty sure the cream of tartar trick wouldn’t work…and it didn’t, nor did the adding vinegar to the milk trick. Instead I opted to use plain yogurt instead, hey why not, I’ve made many delicious and moist cakes using yogurt.
I love this time of year, the crisp cool morning air, the leaves change colour, the approaching holidays. What’s not to like, well aside from a bitter Canadian winter? I’m not quite sure if it’s embedded in our human genetic makeup passed down from the caveman, but as soon as the temperature dips slightly I feel the need to eat everything around me as if preparing for a long hibernation.
Here’s where it gets tricky for me. It’s been about a year now that I have been watching my weight, and I’m proud to say I have lost a significant amount. Funny enough I started this endeavour during the fall of last year, Halloween was difficult and then came the holidays. I told myself that if I can make it past the holidays and not give into temptation then I can really do this. And I did. You may be asking me, “Anna, why have a blog about baking, or how can you even bake at all?” Well the answer is actually pretty simple, I do it to test myself and oh yeah I love baking & cooking. Continue reading
What we have here is a cake, but not your typical cake or maybe it’s a pie…after all it does have a crust, but it’s also layered, confused yet?
This is a potato “cake”; I’ve been making this for years. It’s one of those recipes that’s been in my family for decades, my mom made it, my grandmother made it and now I’m making it. I learned not from a recipe but by watching my mom. The only difference between my version and that of my mom’s it that she puts the bread crumb crust on the top of the cake and I out it on the bottom.
This cake boasts two luscious layers of mashed potatoes, sandwiched in between is homemade salami (I’m Italian, is there any other kind of salami?) , mozzarella, hardboiled egg and parmesan cheese. It’s assembled and baked to delicious goodness in a 9-inch spring form pan. Continue reading