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Posts Tagged ‘Cake Recipe’

Here’s a dessert I really enjoy and is simple to make.  While this site usually advocates using produce in season, here’s a recipe that is fairly forgiving if the strawberries are not at their peak – though of course, in season tastes better and costs less.  Also remember to clean your strawberries well as they are listed among the fruits with the highest levels of residual pesticides.  Beginners: slice off and discard the tops.

This is recipe is a mild variation on another web recipe but this time the changes are few but significant.  The original recipe calls for ¾ cup of vegetable oil.  Here I cut the oil in half and compensate by increasing the amount of strawberries.  Strawberries when they bake give off a lot of water so do not be concerned that your batter will be barely moistened when you add in the strawberries.  A note for dieters – even with cutting the oil in half, the entire recipe is about 2700 calories – which per serving (no matter how small you serve) is not slimming.IMG_0318

The other change is that I use an 8×8 pan rather than a loaf pan.  The best parts of this recipe are the top and the sides (the rest is very good too).  Also cooking in a flatter pan also reduces baking time and you do not get that gooey middle that sometimes forms when oil based breads take a few days to eat.  If you want, a 7×11 pan should work well too.  I find that many dessert breads turn out better in an 8×8 pan than a loaf pan.

Oatmeal Strawberry Bread – 1 Rolling pin

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup oats (I have not tried the quick variety)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound strawberries roughly chopped (about 3/8 “ dice +/-)

Cook:IMG_0314-2

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8×8 glass pan.
  • Stir together in a large bowl: flour, outs, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and the eggs until well mixed
  • Stir the oil-egg mixture into the dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are moist
  • Fold (stir) in the strawberries
  • Place batter in the pan, spreading it out evenly
  • Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes (check out 45 minutes if using a 7×11 pan).
  • Cool on a wire rack.

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I like to search for recipes on the internet.  One of the advantages of many internet recipes is that you can read the comments made by those who have already tried the recipe.  Not only do they tell how good the recipe is, but they also talk about changes or variations to the posted recipe that they have made.  And then there are the comments seconding or reviewing those changes.

The banana chocolate chip cake recipe posted here today epitomizes finding a well received recipe and adjusting it significantly based on the recommendations and feedback to the recommendations as well as my own experience baking.  The ingredients and/or quantities listed below vary from the original recipe so much that I have no trouble labeling the recipe my own.   Only 3 of the 11 ingredients are unvaried from the original recipe; even the pan is changed.

Now on to what matters: the cake.  Although I often try to make cakes recipes that use canola oil rather than butter, I cannot deny that butter makes a better tasting cake and this recipe uses butter – but not quite as much as the original recipe called for.  I also use low fat buttermilk, but you can substitute any variety of milk you prefer.  Since this cake is not frosted, you are not getting the overdose of saturated fat most cakes have.  As to the chocolate chips, try it with standard sized chips or the minis and please let us know which you enjoyed most.   All pertinent feedback is welcome.  You’re even welcome to guess which 3 ingredients are unaltered from the original recipe (and no, flour is not one of them).

Some cooking hints: I find the best way to mash bananas is to place them in a wide soup bowl and mash them with a fork.  Of course, this depends on how overripe your bananas are and the strength of your fork.  A nice feature of this cake is being able to visually tell when it is ready to come out of the oven.  Since the cake is not frosted you want the top to appear golden in color.  Yes, the toothpick may come out clean sooner but the extra minute or two to get that nice appearance is worth it and does not impact the result.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cake – 1 Rolling pin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda (1.5 teaspoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup low fat buttermilk
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cook:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt
  • In a separate bowl, combine bananas, egg, melted butter, buttermilk, and vanilla extract
  • Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended.  Be careful not to over mix.
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Pour into 9 inch round pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (see cooking hints above).
  • Remove cake from oven and allow the cake to cool before removing it from the pan.

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Here it is again, that line between breakfast and dessert.  Just earlier this week we were discussing at work how muffins are really just cake in a funny shape. It’s true that many breakfast sweets really are just desserts in a poor disguise.  I like that this recipe is honest about what it is.  It’s a cake.  That you eat for breakfast.  I also like that its pumpkin, a lot.

Now not everyone owns ramekins, so there are some possible substitutes.  One option is to use a large muffin tin (one that would make huge muffins).  Another is that you can use oven-proof mugs or bowls.  These should be made of stoneware, as traditional coffee mugs may not hold up.  It’s important to note that just because a mug is microwave safe it does not mean it is safe to use in the oven.

I did also make one change to the recipe regarding “topping” the cakes.  The original recipe calls for a glaze made with powdered sugar and maple syrup.  I decided to just use straight maple syrup and cut back on the sugar, but you can still do the glaze if you’d like.  The cakes are not too sweet so the additional sugar won’t overwhelm them.  Just make sure to use real maple syrup and not that nasty corn syrup stuff that comes in a bottle shaped like grandma.

 I need a new camera

Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Cakes – ½ rolling pin (Adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin (the plain canned kind)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I used a combination of nutmeg, ginger powder, cloves and allspice)
  • Maple syrup

Prep:

  1. About an hour before you plan to bake, take the butter out of the fridge so it can warm up to room temperature.
  2. Right before you prepare the recipe preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  3. Grease the inside of two ramekins.

Bake:

  1. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until well mixed.
  2. Add the egg and stir well until the mixture is combined.
  3. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and stir until the pumpkin is completely mix in.
  4. Add in the two kinds of flour, baking powder, salt and spices.  Stir the mixture well until everything is evenly mixed and no flour remains on the edges of the bowl.
  5. Pour the mixture into the two ramekins, making sure they have even quantities.
  6. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and then bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the middle comes out clean.  Mine needed to bake for the whole 35 minutes, but it can’t hurt to check the cakes after 30 minutes.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before carefully removing them from the ramekins.
  8. Place the cakes on plates, drizzle with maple syrup (as much or as little as you like), and enjoy!

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