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Monday, August 31, 2015

Carrot cake

adapted from the joy of baking

This was the other cake I made on my Sunday baking
this one was for the head painter Ryan.  For some strange reason I couldn't find the Carrot Cake that I know I had posted here several years ago.  Guess it's out there is space somewhere.  Carrot cake is one my all time favorites too.

1 cup pecans or walnuts toasted and chopped
3/4 pound (340 grams) raw carrots (about 2 1/2 cups finely grated)
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) safflower, vegetable, or canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla  extract
3/4 golden raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups (230 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla  extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest or a bit of fresh lemon juice

  Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray two - 9 x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with a circle of parchment paper. I made this is a tube pan.
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
Peel and finely grate the carrots.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3 - 4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 10 minutes invert the cakes onto the wire rack, remove the pans and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting. 
To assemble: place one cake layer onto your serving plate. Spread with about half the frosting. Gently place the other cake onto the frosting and spread the rest of the frosting over the top of the cake. If desired, garnish with toasted nuts on the top of the cake. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves 10 - 12.
Frosting: In bowl of electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese and butter, on low speed, just until blended with no lumps. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and beat, on low speed, until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, and lemon zest or juice.

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do all the things YOU L♥ve.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Blueberry cake with glaze and crumb topping

 One  Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago I spent the day baking.  My job this time of year is very intense and a bit overwhelming at times.  There is a company that we use that does all the painting and Sheetrock work and they are the best people you would want to work with.  The owner is an awesome man that would do anything for you.  His head painter is also a terrific guy, who goes out of his way to make sure things are done right.  The sheet rock guy is just an all around sweet guy, always covered in sheet rock dust.  LOL  These group of guys make my job so much easier so for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you.  I decided this year to make them some treats.  Last week I made Ryan *(the head painter) some banana bread.  Funny one day he came in and said ya know I love banana bread, but carrot cake is my favorite.  Had nothing to do with the conversation we were having.  Think that was my hint!  So this Sunday I made Ryan his carrot cake, which will be on another post.  I made Rick, the dry wall guy brownies *that's what his boss said he would like*.  And for Darrin the boss I made this cake.
For me baking and cooking is a sign of love and it also calms me.  I think I am going to make them some homemade white bread too,  as just ad added bonus.  I have a thought in mind for that and will share in another post.
I adapted this recipe from here
cake without the icing
For the cake
1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted real butter, softened to room temp.
2 cups sugar
3 large Eggland's Best eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp. lemon extract*
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound fresh blueberries

For the crumble topping:
2 tbsp. real butter, slightly softened
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. oats (quick-cooking is fine)

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 tbsp. milk

and the cake in the background with the icing.  sorry forgot to take the picture by itself.

Preheat your oven to 325F degrees.

Spray your bundt pan with nonstick baking spray (the kind with flour added.)

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  It should look nice and fluffy when combined.
Then beat in eggs, vanilla extract and lemon extract into the sugar/butter mixture.
Next, in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir together with a fork until combined.  
At this point, you are going to alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk. Add a little flour,
 then a little buttermilk, a little more flour and a little more buttermilk...until it's all incorporated. Don't overmix it. You want to stir just until it's all come together.

Gently stir in HALF of the blueberries. Be very careful when stirring so you don't bust open all the berries. Just gently fold them in.
Add batter to pan and top with remaining blueberries.

Bake for about 65-75 minutes. Oven times do often vary for baked goods. So be sure to test for doneness by using a toothpick. It should come out clean when you insert it into the cake. Cake should be golden brown and shouldn't be jiggly. Don't turn off oven after you take out cake. And don't even think about releasing the cake yet. It has to cool COMPLETELY. This could take an hour and a half or more.

While the cake is cooling, make crumble topping. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl using a fork or your fingers. Mix until crumbly.

Then spread mixture into a small baking pan and bake in 325F degree oven for about 8 minutes. Then take it out of oven and allow it to cool completely. 

Once cake has been allowed to cool completely, you can release the cake from the bundt pan. This is the key to getting the cake to come out clean. The pan needs to be totally cooled, then it should release easily.  
Make the glaze, whisk until smooth then  drizzle over the cake *if too thick just add a bit more milk*.  Gently sprinkle the crumb topping on cake.  Serve..YUM!

thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things YOU L♥ve.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scratch Brownies

adapted from here
These are the brownies I made that Sunday for the drywall guy Rick.  I decided that I should make the recipe from scratch so went searching and came up with the one.  I made some changes and hope he likes them.  Won't be able to try them cause then I'd have to have one missing from the pan.  :)
Well I was told these were "ridicilous" and I'm guessing that's a good thing.  :)....and I've already been asked to make more.



1/2 cup (115g) salted butter1
8 ounces (228g) coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (80g) all-purpose flour (measure this accurately)
2 Tablespoons (11g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans and then 12 or so 1/2 pecans for top

Milk Chocolate Frosting (optional)

1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
salt, to taste


  1. Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x9 inch square baking pan3 with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.
  5. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.
Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and always Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things YOU L♥ve.

Monday, August 10, 2015

carrot peach bread

At work we have what's called Turn which was the end of July 1st week of August.  I haven't made many things for work lately but thought that since there are a couple of new people helping us this year it might be nice for them to have a pick up treat.  They work really hard and fast during this time, which consist of about 4 hard days.  I wanted to make some sort of quick bread but also wanted something with carrot.  I found this recipe and adapted it a bit.  I am going to make a banana bread next for the head painter, have to keep him happy.  :)

3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups canned peaches, drained (can use fresh)
3/4 cup freshly grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt (or milk)
2 large eggs, lightly beatenDirections:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.
  • Stir together flour, sugars, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl; add peaches, carrots, vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and toasted pecans, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 350° for ~1 hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely
Hope you try this, it sure is yummy.  Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week and Always remember to Find the time To DO ALL the things YOU L♥ve.
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