Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mini Perfect Party Cake -- Tuesdays with Dorie

Happy Birthday, Nummy Kitchen! I started Nummy Kitchen on June 28th, 2008. I can't believe it's been a year, and what a fun year it has been, I have tried so many new recipes and cooking techniques, joined quite a few fun blog cooking and baking groups, learned so much, and most importantly made so many wonderful food blogging friends! I would have never imagined I'd have as many visitors as I do, or get so many sweet comments on my posts as I do. Each one makes me smile and I am so happy to share with all of you. I joined Tuesdays with Dorie right after I started Nummy Kitchen and am happy to say I haven't missed a single Tuesday since then!

Now, on to Perfect Party Cake -- thank you to Carol of mix, mix… stir, stir, for picking this absolutely delicious cake! I am a cake fan, and my favorite is white cake, and I love jam and coconut (even thought I skipped the coconut on my mini), and I adore baked goods with buttermilk, so I had a hunch I would fall for this cake and I sure did.

I baked 6 mini cakes in my Baker's Secret Texas sized jumbo muffin pan. I halved the cake and frosting recipe.

I wasn't too sure about the frosting, but I went with it anyway, and it came together in the end. After the initial whisking of the sugar and egg whites over the simmering water, I have to admit I was kind of put off by the eggy smell, but after whipping with butter and lemon juice and vanilla, this frosting came together beautifully. Although I have to say that this one didn't knock my socks off quite like the frosting we made with the TWD cover devil's food cake, that one was amazing, but this one was still really good!

The cakes baked up perfectly in about 20 minutes, the flavor was mild, the texture nice and moist, what more could you ask for in a basic white cake? I will use this cake recipe again for sure! This was such a fun recipe to put together, and even more special since it has been a year since I started working on Nummy Kitchen. Thank you so much for visiting :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gazpacho -- Barefoot Bloggers

Our second Barefoot Bloggers recipe for June is Ina's Gazpacho, picked for us to try by Meryl of My Bit of Earth, thank you Meryl! I am not really a fan of cold soup but was excited to give this a try.

Ina Garten's Gazpacho

1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded (I used green)
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not over process!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

I halved this recipe and it still made a ton. Even though cold soups aren't my favorite, this soup was wonderful! I was so surprised to like it, I can't wait until it sits overnight and the flavors can mesh together a little more. My littlest loved it, the older two didn't want to try it, and I really can't blame them because I remember not wanting to try gazpacho when I was a child either. Now I am looking forward to trying more gazpacho recipes and experimenting with additional veggies, yum!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coconut Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise -- Tuesdays with Dorie

Ta-da! Here is my Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise, picked for our Tuesdays with Dorie treat of the week by Andrea of
Andrea In The Kitchen -- thank you! This dessert jumped out at me the first time I flipped through Baking From My Home To Yours, since I absolutely love coconut and pineapple and it looked like a fun little kitchen challenge.

I did make a few changes, I used macadamia nuts instead of almonds, and sadly ran out of coconut, I used the last up in the meringue but thought I had another bag for the outside, but didn't. I made four layers instead of three and my a last minute decision to skip the ganache and use vanilla ice cream instead, it's just been so hot lately and a freezer friendly dessert was in order. Not to mention that my husband does not like, pineapple, or coconut, or meringue, or macadamias (or almonds!) so I knew this would be a dessert for the kids and I to share, a little at a time, while picky husband can have a bowl of his favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Just a quick little post tonight, we haven't even tasted this yet, so I'll have to report some more after we do a taste test tomorrow, but I'm sure we'll love it. Here are some process photos...

All done, yum! I had a lot of fun putting this together, and I really can't wait to try this since the pineapple coconut combo is one of my favorites.

Update: finally got a chance to try this amazing dessert, all I can say is wow! I think this could be a new favorite TWD treat for me. I loved the chewy coconut in the meringue and the roasted pineapple and the vanilla ice cream worked really well with this. This would be perfect to serve at the end of a summer dinner party. The kids loved it too, my two year old called it "ice cream pizza" -- probably because we always have pineapple on pizza :) I can see making this again for sure, maybe even trying to do more layers, yum!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cranberry Orange Scones -- Barefoot Bloggers

Our Barefoot Bloggers bonus recipe for June is Ina’s Cranberry Orange Scones, picked by Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef. Thank you, Em! We love scones at our house and the kids and I really enjoyed these, of course picky husband didn't want any because he doesn't like cranberries. I actually forgot that he doesn't like them before I made this recipe, there are so many things he doesn't like that I think I just need to start a "picky husband won't eat" list :)

Cranberry Orange Scones
Ina Garten
with my minor changes in itallics

4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling -- I upped this to 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cold heavy cream -- I used 3/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cranberries
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice -- I used orange juice concentrate for a little extra flavor

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. I don't like baking scones higher than 375, they get too dried out at 400 for me so I dropped the temp 25 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold butter and mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy! This step I actually did in the food processor (14 cup), which I love for doing biscuit and scone doughs.

Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended. I kneaded these in by hand after removing the dough from the food processor.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn't stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

After one sheet of fluted circle scones I decided to try out my new Lodge cast iron scone/cornbread pan.

There was just enough dough left, and I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure if I had filled it too full or not.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, -- I only did the egg wash on my circle scones and skipped the sugar sprinkled on top -- sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked.

I was worried these would stick in the pan but luckily they didn't, yay! The bottoms are a little lighter than I expected, which is fine with me, they were fully baked and nice and fluffy inside. I was playing it safe with these and didn't want burned brown bottoms. Next time I know I can leave them in a little longer in this pan.

This recipe makes a huge batch of scones!

The scones will be firm to the touch. Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners' sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

Results: We absolutely loved these for breakfast and I would make this recipe again for sure, just leaving out the cranberries in half of the batch for my picky husband :) I think it is a great scone base and open to lots of adaptations.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Honey Peach Ice Cream with Mini Sugar Cones -- Tuesdays with Dorie

Thank you to Tommi of Brown Interior who picked Dorie's Honey Peach Ice Cream as our treat of the week. You can visit her site for the recipe. This was one of the recipes that really stood out to me in the book because I love peach ice cream and honey and couldn't wait to try the combo. The kids and I loved this recipe, my husband was again not interested in the TWD treat, he doesn't really like peaches, which makes me a little sad because they are one of my favorite fruits, oh-well, at least the kids like peaches.

Here are some process photos...

adding the peach honey puree to the custard base

starting to churn

just about done, ready to add the peach chunks

all done! ready to be packed up and put in the freezer

I thought it would be fun to get out one of my least used kitchen electrics, my mini waffle cone maker -- the Chef's Choice Petite Cone Express -- and make some cute little cones to go with our lovely peach honey ice cream...

If you have one of these or any waffle cone maker, you know you have to work really fast and roll those cones up quick, no time for photo snappin'

Here is the recipe for what I'm used to calling 'sugar waffle' cones here at the Chef's Choice website.

I personally love Denmark style ice cream cones, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, sometimes a cherry, sometimes jam. I'm always trying to recreate the ice cream treats I had there.

But plain works well too. We loved this recipe and it was so nice to get the ice cream maker out for the summer. What a fun pick for Tuesdays with Dorie :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegetarian Potstickers -- Daring Cooks

Welcome to the June Daring Cooks Challenge -- Chinese Dumplings / Potstickers -- picked for us to try by Jen from use real butter, thank you Jen! Chinese Dumplings (okay any filled dumpling) are one of my favorite foods, and I especially love Potstickers! About 5 years ago I started making potstickers at home using won ton wrappers and they were a constant when we made an Asian style dinner.

I am so grateful to Jen for sharing her delicious and simple dumpling wrapper recipe...

2 cups flour
1/2 cup warm water, adding more water a little at a time until the proper dough consistency

That's all, and as a bonus, you can do this in the food processor! Just turn it on with the flour and start pouring in the water, 1/2 cup first, and maybe a touch more...

The dough is surprisingly easy to work with, roll it out and cut out circles...or roll into a log and cut off rounds and roll them into discs.

Have your filling ready, I did a quick saute of chopped mushrooms, shredded carrots,

and tofu dices (1/2 block),

seasoned with Chinese Five Spice powder, ginger, garlic, and tamari soy sauce

and a little Sriracha just for fun

Some people prefer a raw filling but because the mushrooms give off so much water while cooking, I like to cook my filling and dry it out a bit first.

Drop about a tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper round, fold over the top and pinch pleat to seal. Now you are ready to fry!

you want to get your bottoms just slightly browned, carefully peek at them...

Pour in 1/2 cup water or stock (I always use vegetable stock for some added flavor), cover and steam for about 5 minutes, remove cover, and cook away the liquid, they your potstickers can fry a little more to perfectly brown and crisp up those bottoms.

Take them out of the pan, I find the best way to do this is with silicone tipped kitchen tongs.

Plate and serve with dipping sauce, yum! My favorite dipping sauce is 2 parts duck sauce and one part soy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Eat and enjoy! These were the best potstickers I've ever had, the wrapper really makes them amazing. I can't wait to try out some other Chinese dumplings with these wrappers. Thank you again Jen, I can't believe that I can now make my own potsticker wrappers at home, this recipe will be used a lot and I'm so happy you shared it with the Daring Cooks :)

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