Archive for the ‘Baked Yums’ Category

Citrus Baked Salmon En Papillote

It seems the trendy way to cook fish this spring is en papillote! I totally threw this together for a caribbean inspired meal! And I am so proud. 🙂 

 

img_79741

 

All of this is approximate depending on the size of your fish. My fish was about 24 oz, 

Rub

Mix the following:

Orange zest

Melted butter (about a Tbs max)

Few shakes of cinnamon

Few shakes of oregano

Sea Salt – not too much.

A bit of squeezed orange juice, so that your rub isn’t completely dry.

 

Rinse the fish, then pat dry. Place the fish on a ~12×12 inch piece of foil or parchment paper, and lavishly spread the rub all over the fish.  Throw some wedges of the orange that you zested around the fish and some parsley just to make it pretty.  Place another piece of foil the same size on top and roll each edge to close the fish.

Bake for ~17 minutes at 400 degrees (bake time depends on size of fish). Make sure to open your papillote away from you so you don’t get doused in hot steam! Use  a fork to make sure the salmon flakes. If it doesn’t flake it isn’t ready yet (wrap it back up and send it in for a bit longer)! 

This was DELICIOUS !

 

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Banana and Chocolate Chip Bars

I love banana bread but a little deviation from the norm never hurt anyone! I found this delicious recipe over at my favorite sweet treats blog, Cookie Madness! If you haven’t checked out her blog you are REALLY missing out!

These bars are really simple and are just the right texture. Try them next time instead of bread when your ‘nanas are extra ripe!

img_7815

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.25 oz)
2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ oz banana, mashed (a little less than ¼ cup if you don’t have a scale)
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter (cooled) – I used salted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (I used walnuts and forgot to toast)
1/3 cup chocolate chips or chunks (use more if you want)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl.

Stir mashed banana, syrup, melted butter and vanilla in a second bowl. Pour flour mixture into banana mixture and stir until well mixed. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Mixture should be goopy, but not too runny. If it’s runny, chill it for an hour.

Empty the goopy banana mixture onto the parchment lined sheet and shape into a rectangle about 9×2 inches. The best way to do this is with damp hands.

Bake on center rack for 15 minutes. Pull from oven and quickly score the long bar into 1 ½ to 2 inch wide bars, but don’t separate. If you have a sharp pizza cutter, this will work awesomely! Quickly return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on tray, then carefully separate the bars and let them sit on a cooling rack to finish cooling. They should develop kind of a crispy shell.

Makes 6

Next time and I am doubling this recipe because I think a lot of the kiddos I babysit would love these guys!

Sweet Potato Experiments

For the longest time, I would wander through the produce section and look dreamily towards the sweet potatoes wondering why they were there if it wasn’t November or December. What a waste.

But guess what?!

I have two amazing, quick, and EASY options for your sweet potatoes! I am always looking for meals/sides I can prep on Sunday and munch on throughout the week. Every week I have the hardest time deciding which of the two following spices to use!

Littlest over at The Schell Cafe loves sweet potatoes cubed and tossed with olive oil and cinnamon in a ziploc, and that was the original go-to snack of mine.

Until the fabulous guys over at the The Bitten Word posted a slight variation. They claimed that cubed sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and fajita seasoning (I use the chicken variety) would please anyone.

img_7475

 

I decided to try these out one night when I had a group of my favorite guinea pigs over for dinner! 3/5 of us supposedly disliked sweet potatoes. I told them that it was hypothesized by the chaps over there that anyone would love them.

 

After observing and collecting data, the conclusion of this experiment supported our hypothesis! Not only did all 3 of them totally dig the potatoes, a few beers and games of wii bowling later they were digging through my fridge looking for the remaining cubes.

So try them I say, you will be pleasantly surprised (and so will your guinea pigs).

 

Disclaimer: If you have guinea pigs, I wouldn’t recommend dropping the leftovers in the bowl, don’t know how the olive oil would do in their squeaky little systems!

kittenandguineapig

Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cupcakes

Before I begin, let it be known that this was on of the most intricate recipes I’ve ever followed. If that doesn’t scare you away, maybe the fact that a dog ate more of the cupcakes than humans did will, but that is a story for another time.

However, if I made this as a cake, as it was intended to be, it would have cut approximately 1 hour of prep time down. The fact that I got the recipe from David Lebovitz, one of the most well known pastry chefs of our time, doesn’t help either. If I can’t be honest here, where can I?
All in all, they were deliciously light and fluffy and… delicious.

I decided to make the recipe into cupcakes because it was for a late night birthday celebration, which means booze. Basically, I didn’t want anyone to handle a knife or forks. I plan on making the cake for my father’s birthday in May, and perhaps I will make an addendum to this post (if you remind me).

img_7412 

I am posting the original cake recipe. For cupcakes I filled the cupcakes wrappers, in a cupcake pan 2/3 full then dress each individual cupcake with syrup and icing. This recipe yielded approximately 36 cupcakes.

Cake:
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons water
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup + ¼ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
3 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted

Syrup:
1 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum

Chocolate Icing:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream

1. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment or wax paper. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. Melt both chocolates together with the 6 tablespoons of water. Use either a double-boiler or a microwave. Stir until smooth, then set aside until room temperature.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and 1 ¼ cup of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate, then the egg yolks, one at a time.

4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. Mix in half of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture, then the buttermilk and the vanilla extract, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

6. In a separate metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold soft, droopy peaks. Beat in the ¼ cup of sugar until stiff.

7. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites just until there’s no trace of egg white visible.

8. Divide the batter into the 2 prepared cake pans, smooth the tops, and bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake layers completely.

While the cakes are baking and cooling, make the filling, syrup, and icing.

 

To make the filling:

1. Mix the cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Put the 3 ounces butter, salt, toasted coconut, and pecan pieces in a large bowl.

2. Heat the cream mixture and cook, stirring constantly (scraping the bottom as you stir) until the mixture begins to thicken and coats the spoon (an instant-read thermometer will read 170°.)

3. Pour the hot custard immediately into the pecan-coconut mixture and stir until the butter is melted. Cool completely to room temperature. (It will thicken.)

 

To make the syrup:

1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and water until the sugar has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the dark rum.

 

To make the icing:

1. Place the 8 ounces of chopped chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and 1 ½ ounces of butter.

2. Heat the cream until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stand one minute, then stir until smooth. Let sit until room temperature.

 

To assemble the cake:

Remove the cake layers from the pans and cut both cake layers in half horizontally, using a serrated bread knife.
Set the first cake layer on a cake plate. Brush well with syrup. Spread ¾ cup of the coconut filling over the cake layer, making sure to reach to the edges. Set another cake layer on top.

Repeat, using the syrup to brush each cake layer, then spreading ¾ cup of the coconut filling over each layer, including the top.

Ice the sides with the chocolate icing, then pipe a decorative border of chocolate icing around the top, encircling the coconut topping.

 

 

David says to use all the chocolate icing at all costs and you won’t be sorry, and I definitely look forward to using it all for the cake I make for my father, because I used about a third for the cupcakes and left so much good quality icing! I definitely think that each bite would benefit from an ample amount of icing.

Enjoy!

Easy Granola!!

I’ve been known to be a follower, a copy-cat, a _____. But when there something this delicious, yes I am a follower. However!! I did tweak the recipe a bit, well found a new one. Just because I’m not a huge fan of maple.

img_7359

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in the vanilla.

Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15×10 inch baking pan I actually had to spread in 2 different pans.

Bake 20 minutes, check (some granola makers advise flipping sections over like cookies, but I didn’t. Cook 20 more minutes. 
Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Then sprinkle cranberries, raisins, or anything else that tickles your taste buds over the top. Break your granola into pieces and you’re done! Yum!

Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months. (I doubt mine will last this long)!

Overall, I was really surprised at how incredibly easy this was; I’ve been putting it off for so long. Addendum to New Years Resolutions: Never buy granola again!

Enjoy!