Almond cherry cake

It’s been a while since I have blogged and baked. I’ve been busy moving house. It’s nice to be finally settled and I am very much enjoying my new kitchen.

This almond cherry cake was the first baked offering for ourselves and our first guests to our new home.

It really is quite nice and I feel like it might be another ‘go to’ cake. Just need to by myself a cherry pitter!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 12 ounces cherries (about 2 cups), pitted, rinsed, & dried
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9- or 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the almond extract.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Transfer the batter to prepared pan. Scatter the cherries and almonds over the top of the batter.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reference: https://bakeorbreak.com/2013/05/almond-cherry-cake/

Hot cross buns

It’s Easter Sunday today.

I made some hot cross buns.

They turned out ‘nice’, needing a little more cooking than 20 minutes as the recipe stated. I also added in the tangzhong technique

There are many things I would do differently, if I made these again, perhaps I’ll share when I do make them again…

Ingredients

Buns

  • 1/4 cup (57g) apple juice or rum
  • 1/2 cup (78g) mixed dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup (78g) raisins or dried currants
  • 1 1/4 cups (283g) milk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (save the white for the topping)
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup (53g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (11g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 1/2 cups (539g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Topping

  • 1 large egg white, reserved from above
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) milk

Icing

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (128g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the rum or apple juice with the dried fruit and raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to “shrink wrap” itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Note: If you worry about using plastic wrap in your microwave, simply cover the bowl with a glass lid.
  3. When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients (including the eggs and the egg yolk from the separated egg); hold out the fruit for the time being. Knead the mixture, using an electric mixer or bread machine, until the dough is soft and elastic. It’ll be very slack, sticking to the bottom of the bowl and your hands as you work with it (greasing your hands helps). Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.
  4. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.
  5. Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You’ll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.
  6. Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.
  8. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, carefully turn the buns out of the pan (they should come out in one large piece), and transfer them to a rack to cool.
  9. Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make these buns a day or so ahead of time? Try the tangzhong technique, a Japanese method for increasing the softness and shelf life of yeast rolls. Begin by measuring out the flour and milk you’ll be using in the recipe. Now take 3 tablespoons of the measured flour and 1/2 cup of the measured milk; put them in a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and forms a thick slurry; this will take about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer the cooked mixture to a bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, then combine it with the remaining flour, milk, and other dough ingredients. Proceed with the recipe as directed. Well-wrapped and stored at room temperature, your finished hot cross buns should stay soft and fresh for several days.

Reference: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/easy-hot-cross-buns-recipe

Vegan burger

A few weeks ago Ignacio made some vegan burgers. He bought some burger patties from Beyond Meat, this product is called Beyond Burger and is among other things, made of pea protein.

The final product was quite tasty, it’s clearly not meat but the texture is convincing enough.

Magdalenas de desayuno

Some breakfast muffins…

I had some bananas I’d been keeping all week for banana bread. I changed my mind and decided to revisit an old muffin recipe. This time I made a few alterations, added more dates (just to finish of the packet rather than having some left behind), I didn’t have crunchy peanut butter so I added 50g of crushed walnuts. I also decided I did not want to add sugar but changed my mind and added 2 tablespoons of black treacle.

The muffins turned out very nice, sweet and soft and went very nicely with a glass of (oat) milk.

Given that I have adapated this recipe, I felt that I could give it another name. I had initially started with ‘banana, date, walnut and peanut butter muffins’ . Ignacio pointed out that I had basically just given a list of ingredients. He then told me that the Spanish name for muffins was magdalenas, which I may have known before, but became an interesting fact for Sunday morning. Coupled with the fact that we ate these for a late breakfast, the name magdalenas de desayuno (breakfast muffins) was born.

Ingredients

500g ripe mashed bananas (about 4 large bananas) 

125ml sunflower oil 

1 teaspoon vanilla paste 

125g smooth peanut butter 

50g crushed walnuts

1 egg beaten 

350g plain flour 

2 tablespoons black treacle

1 teaspoon of baking powder 

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 

250g chopped dates or figs 

Methods

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/gas 4. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cases. 

2. Mash the bananas in a large bowl with the sunflower oil, vanilla bean paste, peanut butter and beaten egg. 

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and raising agents. Add the chopped dates and crushed walnuts

4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the banana mixture, mix until combined.

5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cases. Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

The original version comes from: Have Your Cake and Eat It, Mich Turner,

My previous offerings:

Banana, date and peanut butter muffins

Bananas back

Fig, banana, peanut butter muffins