We have enjoyed this wonderful “snack” cake on a couple of occasions this fall. It is dangerously easy to make and was incredibly moist and very tasty. I forgot to drizzle the top with maple syrup on both occasions. Not necessary!
The recipe was adapted from Bake from Scratch magazine, via the Washington Post. The frosting is a little bit salty- which we liked- but the salt level can be adjusted to taste. We ate it chilled. Great.
Yield: One 9×9-inch cake, about 16 pieces
For the Cake:
cooking spray or unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan
2 1/2 cups (344 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (240 milliliters) pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) canola oil
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
1/4 cup (50 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade, plus more for drizzling
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, with the rack in the middle.
- Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. (I used cooking oil spray.) Line the pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over the sides of the pan (the overhang will give you handles to lift the cake out after it’s baked). Lightly spray (or butter) the parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the maple syrup, oil, milk, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla, and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined and no streaks of flour remain. (There will be some lumps in the batter; this is okay.)
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the counter eight times to release air bubbles.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until deep golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, covering with foil after 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. (It may dip in the middle, don’t worry.)(I baked mine for 30 minutes but would add 2 minutes next time to decrease the amount of dipping.)
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using the parchment overhang as handles, remove from the pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make the Frosting:
- In the same (cleaned-out) bowl you used to make the cake, beat the butter with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. (You can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, if you prefer.)
- Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating until combined.
- Add the sour cream, maple syrup and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. (Add 1/4 tsp salt, taste and add the additional 1/4 tsp, to taste.)
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake. Drizzle with additional maple syrup, if desired, and serve. (I preferred to serve it slightly chilled.)
Posted in Baking, Cake, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Quick, Recipes
Tags: autumn, buttercream, cake, dessert, easy, fall, maple, maple syrup, quick, snack, sour cream, vanilla
I am going to take a break from my quick weeknight dinner posts (I have several more) to post a few sweet treats. Back to school treats are very important in our house. 🙂
This cake can be served for dessert or as a very special snack or breakfast. We ate it for breakfast. I recommend eating it as soon as possible 😉 , but, it should keep fresh for several days in an airtight container at room temperature. I made it in a standard loaf pan this time, but I plan to make it in my fluted loaf pan on the next occasion.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sarah Jampel. I weighed the dry ingredients and reduced the baking time. Just as yummy as a farmstand apple cider doughnut!
Yield: One 9-inch loaf
For the Cake:
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sour cream or buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plus 2 T (172 g) all-purpose flour (can substitute 63 g with whole wheat flour)
2 T (15 g) cornstarch
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
For the Topping:
- big pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 T unsalted butter, melted
- 1 T reserved reduced apple cider (from above)
- Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°, preferably on convection.
- Lightly butter an 8½ x 4½” or 9×5″ loaf pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on both long sides. Lightly butter the parchment. (I used cooking oil spray and a metal loaf pan.)
- Bring cider to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cider is reduced to ¾ cup, 8–10 minutes.
- Pour ¼ cup reduced cider into a small measuring glass or bowl and set aside.
- Transfer remaining reduced cider to a small bowl or glass measuring cup and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and vanilla and set aside.
- Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in same saucepan (no need to clean) over low heat. Let cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a medium bowl to combine.
- Vigorously whisk eggs and 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar in a large bowl until pale, voluminous, and frothy, about 2 minutes. (I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.)
- Whisking constantly (with the mixer on low-speed), gradually add melted butter in a steady stream; continue to whisk until fully combined and emulsified (no spots of fat should remain). Reserve saucepan (no need to clean).
- Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture in 3 additions, alternating with reserved sour cream mixture in 2 additions; whisk just until no lumps remain. Batter will be thin.
- Scrape into pan and set on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until deep golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–80 minutes. (I baked mine for 55 minutes.)
- Transfer pan to a wire rack and poke top of cake all over with a toothpick.
- Spoon 3 tablespoons of the reserved reduced cider over; let cool 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the topping: Mix a big pinch of salt, remaining 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a small bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in reserved saucepan and mix into remaining 1 tablespoon reduced cider.
- Using parchment paper, lift cake onto rack and set rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Peel away parchment from sides.
- Brush warm butter-cider mixture over top and sides of cake.
- Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture to coat every surface (use parchment to help rotate cake and collect any excess sugar).
- Remove parchment and let cool completely before slicing.
Do ahead: Cake can be made 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped or in an airtight container at room temperature.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Coffee Cake, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: apple cider doughnut, autumn, breakfast, buttermilk, cake, cinnamon, coffee cake, dessert, donut, doughnut, fall, loaf, nutmeg, sour cream, whole wheat
These scones were absolutely fabulous- very tender and flaky. Half of the butter is fully incorporated into the dough, making them tender, and the remaining butter is kept intact and only dusted with flour, as in a traditional scone, resulting in flakiness. I loved that they were sweetened with maple syrup and incorporated whole wheat flour.
This recipe was adapted from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café in Boston, via The New York Times, contributed by Dorie Greenspan. I drizzled the glaze and modified the size and baking time. Amazing.
Yield: 18 scones
- 1 ⅔ cups/240 grams whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup/170 grams unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- ½ cup/120 grams crème fraîche, Greek yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
- ½ cup/120 milliliters pure maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons/⅓ cup/80 milliliters buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 cup/125 grams fresh blueberries
For the Maple Glaze:
- ½ cup/60 grams confectioners’ sugar
- 4 to 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, briefly mix both flours, the baking powder, baking soda and salt on low speed.
- Add half the butter and paddle until fully mixed into the flour, 2 to 3 minutes. (This will coat the flour with butter so the scones are tender.)
- Add the remaining butter to the bowl of the stand mixer. Pulse the mixer three or four times to mix the pieces into the dough while keeping them whole. (This step will give you small pieces of butter in the dough, which will help the scones be a bit flaky.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, maple syrup, buttermilk and yolk until thoroughly mixed.
- Stir in the blueberries.
- With the mixer on low, pour the blueberry mixture into the flour mixture, and paddle on low for about 10 seconds to get some of the liquid mixed into the flour.
- Stop the mixer, and mix the rest of the loose flour into the dough by hand: Gather and lift the dough with your hands and turn it over in the bowl several times until all the loose flour is mixed in.
- Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 1 day. (This gives the flour time to fully absorb the liquid.)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and position a rack in the center. Line three rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop out 18 mounds of chilled dough, and place them on the prepared baking sheets a few inches apart. (I placed 6 per sheet.)
- Bake scones for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway through the baking time, until the scones are evenly golden brown and firm when you press them.
- While the scones are baking, make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and enough maple syrup to make a drizzle-able glaze. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Rewhisk before using.
- Remove the scones from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before drizzling with glaze.
- Using a spoon, drizzle with maple glaze. Serve.
Posted in Baking, Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: blueberries, blueberry, breakfast, brunch, buttermilk, creme fraiche, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, maple syrup glaze, scones, sour cream, summer, whole wheat
I have had my eye on a couple of easy sheet cake recipes. My indecisiveness led me to combine them. 😉 It was a successful combination! This cake was moist and delicious.
The simple vanilla cake is from Food 52, from their book Genius Desserts, contributed by Jami Curl. It was proposed to serve it topped with strawberry compote & butterscotch whipped cream. I included these original topping recipes below- just to keep my options open.
The frosting recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. It was originally from an easy sheet cake recipe with a “reverse creaming” technique. Of course, I’ll have to try this cake as well at some point. 🙂
For the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
- 3 1/3 cups (400 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1 T plus 2 tsp (20 g) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 g) kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (227 g) sour cream
- 1/2 cup (105 g) canola oil
- 1 T (18 g) pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) boiling water
For the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- sprinkles, for garnish, optional
To Make the Vanilla–Sour Cream Cake:
- Heat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs and sour cream with a fork, mixing until smooth. Add the oil and vanilla and use the fork to mix until they’re incorporated. The mixture will be smooth and creamy.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and continue to stir until the dry ingredients are mostly incorporated. The batter will turn very thick.
- Add the boiling water and stir until the batter is smooth and uniform with no traces of unmixed ingredients remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it evenly into the corners.
- Bake the cake for 35 (to be safe- check even earlier) to 40 minutes, until it’s golden, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.
To Make the Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Make icing while cake cools.
- Using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar, sifted cocoa powder, and salt and beat again, scraping down sides of bowl, until completely smooth.
- Add vanilla and continue to beat until fluffy and lightened in color, another minute.
- Smooth icing over top of cooled cake (it should not be at all warm to the touch, or else the icing will melt).
- Top cake with sprinkles, if desired.
- Cut into pieces and serve.
Posted in Baking, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: American, butterscotch, cake, chocolate, cream cheese, cream cheese frosting, dessert, easy, Food 52, frosting, fruit, quick, sheet cake, sour cream, strawberries, strawberry, summer, vanilla, yellow
I have been waiting almost a year to share my 2018 Thanksgiving recipes. 🙂
These mashed potatoes were so delicious, my son is planning to make them himself this year as his contribution to the feast. (…and to ensure that they make it back on the menu!) He has also requested scalloped potatoes.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I prepared the potatoes in advance, earlier in the day, and kept them warm in a slow-cooker until the rest of the meal was ready to be served.
The beauty of this recipe is that the potatoes can be made up to TWO days before Thanksgiving. The finished dish can be gently reheated with just a little more dairy. The science behind this is that because the butterfat coats the potato starches, it prevents them from becoming sticky or gummy. If you are apprehensive to make this dish so far in advance, the potatoes can be prepared through step 6 (riced) and the remaining steps can be completed just prior to serving.
Yield: 8 servings
4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
2/3 to 1 cup heavy cream
2/3 to 1 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
freshly ground black pepper
- Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover by 1″.
- Add a large handful of salt (water should taste briny, like the ocean) and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not crumbly, 30–40 minutes.
- Drain and return potatoes to warm pot to dry (off heat).
- Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup cream and 2/3 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium until just about to simmer. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to add to potatoes.
- Pass hot potatoes and butter through ricer into a large bowl (this will help combine them quickly; most of the skins should stay behind but pick out any small pieces that get through if you want); season generously with salt.
- Mix with a potato masher until butter is melted and combined.
- Mixing constantly, gradually add warm cream mixture to potatoes, then mix in sour cream.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Do Ahead: Potatoes can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. To serve, transfer potatoes to a pot and add 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup whole milk; reheat over medium-low, stirring often to prevent scorching.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Tags: cream, potato ricer, potatoes, riced, riced potatoes, side, side dish, sour cream, Thanksgiving, vegetarian, yukon gold
While my kids were away at sleep away camp over the summer (for one week), my sweet husband encouraged me to make dishes that were loaded with my favorite greens, etc. (dishes that may not have thrilled my kids!) Don’t worry, we also went out to eat. 🙂
I had wanted to make this dish after reading about how the recipe creates a faux burrata- genius! This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com, contributed by Abra Berens. I substituted my beautiful CSA chard for the kale. This dish would also be delicious using true burrata, of course. 😉 I used pre-sliced fresh mozzarella but would use torn pieces from a ball of fresh mozzarella next time. It would have improved the burrata hack. Any cooked grain could be substituted for the wild rice as well.
We ate this dish as a main course, but it would also be a nice side dish or salad course.
Yield: Serves 2 to 4 as a main course
- 1 small yellow onion or 1/2 large yellow onion, cut into thin slices
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine or rosé
- 1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight in 4 cups water (can substitute farro, quinoa, brown rice, etc.)
- 1 bunch (4 cups) red or rainbow chard or kale, midribs stripped, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons
- 1 ball (8 oz, 1/2 pound) fresh mozzarella
- 4 T sour cream (or yogurt or creme fraiche)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- Soak the wild rice overnight in 4 cups of water. (The soaking liquid is used to cook the rice.)
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Sweat the onion and garlic with the salt until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half.
- Add the wild rice and the soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, sprinkle the chard/kale with a pinch of salt. Massage until the greens are dark green, limp, and tender in mouthfeel.
- Tear the mozzarella into rough chunks.
- Combine with the sour cream, lemon zest and juice, a good pinch of salt, and a couple of grinds of black pepper.
- When the wild rice is cooked, drain any residual liquid and let cool.
- Toss the tomatoes, kale, and wild rice together with a couple glugs of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Dot with the creamed mozzarella and serve.
Note: The amount of time it takes to tenderize raw greens will vary depending on the age of the plant. The tougher the leaves, the longer it will take. Along the way, taste an individual leaf—once it is easily chewable, you’re done.
Posted in Greens, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: burrata, chard, dinner, easy, farro, grains, healthy, kale, mozzarella, quick, quinoa, salad, side dish, sour cream, summer, tomatoes, vegetarian, wild rice
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I typically enjoy our amazing Long Island summer corn simply on the cob after boiling it for two minutes in salted water. No butter, no extra salt. It’s perfect. 🙂 But, I must admit that both of these dishes brought sweet corn to another level and were absolute crowd-pleasers.
The first dish, pictured above, is Ina Garten’s Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn. It was buttery and indulgent. We ate it as a side with grilled chicken. The second dish, photo below, is Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream. I served it on a separate occasion as an appetizer with tortilla chips.
The Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn Recipe is from Ina Garten’s Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks via barefoot contessa.com. The Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food. The street corn had more of a spicy kick compared to the buttery chipotle corn.
Ina Garten’s Chipotle Parmesan Sweet Corn
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup shallots, halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced crosswise (3 large shallots)
- 8 cups white or yellow corn kernels (8 to 12 ears) (I used 9)
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime (about 2 T)
- 1 T freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Standing the cob upright inside the center of a medium to large shallow bowl, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. (This prevents the kernels from scattering all over the counter.)
- Heat the butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and fragrant.
- Add the corn, chipotle powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.
- Raise the heat to medium high and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the corn to brown lightly, until the corn is tender but still firm.
- Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and Parmesan.
- Taste for seasonings and transfer to a large shallow serving bowl. Serve hot.
Martha Stewart’s Mexican-Style Corn with Citrus Cream
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
- 8 ears corn, husked and silks removed
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- pinch or two cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro, or more, to taste
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled cotija or goat cheese
- tortilla chips, for serving
- Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Clean and lightly oil the hot grill.
- Grill the husked corn cobs, turning occasionally, until kernels are tender and charred in spots, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sour cream, lime juice, cayenne, chili powder, and cilantro in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut off the tips of the grilled corn cobs and stand in a wide, shallow bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cobs.
- Combine the corn kernels with the sour cream mixture.
- To serve, top with the crumbled goat cheese. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, as desired.
Note: This dish can be served warm or at room temperature
Posted in Appetizers, Grilling, Quick, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, chipotle, chipotle chile powder, cilantro, corn, Cotija, dip, goat cheese, grilled corn, Ina Garten, lime, Mexican, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, shallots, side, sour cream, street corn, vegetarian