Maple Apple Loaf

I was doing a bit of (ehem) light spring cleaning in the kitchen when I found a small bottle of maple syrup in one of the back cabinets… it must be years old, but it was still sealed.  I took a chance that it was still ok and it looked, smelled and tasted fine.  So I figured I was going to bake a loaf with it!  (I was a bit envious of brother E’s Maple and Walnut Loaf)

But I couldn’t find my walnuts!  (The fridge and freezer got reorganized and crazy me, I forgot to put labels!)  What I did find was a lonely apple in the fridge.  Goodness knows how long it’s been there but it was still firm and crunchy soooo….

Hello Maple and Apple Loaf!!!

Of course I had to do a bit of adjusting… for instance I added apple pie spice to the dry ingredients… reduced the sugar a bit more (from 1/3 cup to 3 tablespoons, keeping in mind that there’s still maple syrup to sweeten it, as well as the apple) and grating the apple (kinda like grating carrots of carrot cake… the apple yielded about a 1/2 lightly packed shredded apples.  Oh, I also omitted the heavy cream, because I thought, the shredded apples would take its place.

The house smelled absolutely heavenly while the loaf was baking.  The little girl even ran from her room to the kitchen exclaiming what yummy smell is that??!?!

The loaf baked nicely with a texture that’s much softer than the other variants.  But it was definitely delicious!!!!

The adjusted recipe (but still based on the “master loaf” recipe)

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
3 tablespoons sugar (reduced from the original 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup

1 apple, peeled, cored, and shredded

Mix together the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix until just blended. Don’t over-mix. Fold in shredded apples.

Place batter in a greased and lined medium-sized loaf pan (our standard size locally is 7×3 inches but the batter reaches almost to the rim edge)

Bake in a preheated 325*F oven, about 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool completely before slicing.

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Peanut Butter Banana Choco Chip Loaf

I was already a young adult when I discovered the fantastic combination of peanut butter-banana-chocolate… and I was skeptical at first, but WOW!

So it was a no brainer that I would add peanut butter to our regular banana choco-chip loaf (the master loaf recipe variant).  In theory it was easy to say just add, say, half a cup of peanut butter to the recipe but as brother E discovered, it was easier said than done.  His first try at the combination was not as expected.

The good thing about his experience was that I could learn from it and adjust the recipe… it seems that the batter had a bit too much fat, especially since local peanut butter was used.  (The local peanut butter is a “natural” type, with a layer of oil sitting on top of the peanut butter.)

In my case, I also used a local peanut butter, a homemade one by one of hubby’s associates.  I have to admit I am not used to (or fond of) the local peanut butter, since I am quite turned off at the copious amount of oil that I see, but who am I to turn away a gift?  I just poured the oil out and tasted it.  Truth is, the peanut butter is delicious (now I want to know where I can buy the stuff!!!!!)

Anyway, to make a long experiment story short, I adjust the recipe by reducing the butter to 1/4 cup, adding 1/2 cup peanut butter and 2 mashed bananas.  The batter was so thick that I added 2 tablespoons water.  The batter was still thick but I didn’t want to mess up the proportions further (besides if this experiment was a failure I could try again!)  For the procedure, I mixed the wet ingredients together, added the mashed bananas before stirring in the dry ingredients.  The chocolate chips (semi-sweet chips and mini dark chips) were folded in last.

The resulting loaf was good.  It wasn’t oily, and the texture was ok.  The top was quite brown though but it did not burn…  As for the flavor, both peanut butter and banana were there.  As for the aroma… the kitchen smelled heavenly!!!

Mix together 1/4 cup soft butter (reduced from 1/2 cup originally), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Add 2 mashed bananas and 2 tablespoons water.  Stir in 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar (reduced also), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into a 7×3-inch loaf (our local “standard”) pan th.at has been greased, lined, and re-greased.  Bake in a preheated 300*F oven for about 40 to 45 minutes.  Ten with foil if the top gets too browned.

It is wonderful when enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee!!!!

 

Lemon Kiwi Loaf

It was raining like mad, and the flood waters outside the gate have been steadily rising.  When I looked a few minutes ago, I saw some men wading in the flood waters.  The water was almost knee level.

Some of the neighbors, the ones on lower ground, had already left their houses and were huddled under the roof of the sari sari store.  I actually asked hubby if they would like to seek shelter inside our house.  A-te J gave them some shirts because they were soaked.

I am still nervous about flooding, but somehow less now than before.  Still, I always try to distract myself.

Enter this Lemon Kiwi Loaf!!!

Still a variation of the master loaf recipe that I shared with brother E… but with something special…

Kiwis are readily available now in the supermarkets and I had some stuck in the fridge for a while.  So I decided to make kiwi filling and then thought that I could make a loaf out of it…

to make the kiwi filling –

1 cup diced kiwis (about 4 to 5 kiwis, depending on the size)
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (I actually used 3 because the kiwis were quite tart)
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (keep the zest for the loaf!)
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Place the diced kiwis, sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan; heat over low heat until sugar melts (stir gently). Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons water.

Using a slotted spoon, take out half of the diced kiwis and leave as much liquid as possible in the saucepan. Using an immersion blender, whiz the kiwi mixture in the sauce pan until smooth. Return the removed diced kiwis back in the pan and continue heating until softly boiling. Give the cornstarch water a quick stir then pour into the kiwi mixture. Stir gently until thick. Remove from heat and cool.

I reserved half cup of the homemade filling for the loaf.  I set aside the excess to make kiwi glaze/syrup to garnish the loaf.

To make the loaf, I used the master loaf, adding the lemon zest to the dry ingredients and reducing the sugar by a third (because the filling already has sugar).  When I mixed everything together, however, I felt that the batter was more like dough so I added 1/4 cup of milk, until I felt the consistency was better…

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup homemade kiwi filling

Stir the dry ingredients together.  Add the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Fold in the kiwi filling.

Bake at 325*F for about 40 minutes, taking care that the top does not brown too much (I got distracted and my loaf has an almost blackened top!)

To make glaze, I used the excess kiwi filling.  It went back into the pot with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3 to 4 tablespoons of water (use your best judgement when adding water to thin the filling, too much could ruin it).  Heat the mixture until the sugar melts, the filling should be less thick and more syrupy in texture.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum.  Brush the top and sides of the loaf.  If you still have extra, drizzle over slices before serving!

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

E’s Maple-Walnut Loaf

Remember brother E who came over a couple of weekends ago because he wanted to learn how to bake a loaf?  Well, he’s a fast learner and now he has baked his own Maple Walnut Loaf.

The recipe is (still) a variant of the (now quite popular) basic loaf recipe.  A few minor adjustments and a new flavor appears!

The recipe, adjusted

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar (reduced from the original 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup neutral cooking oil or melted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream

First, preheat the oven to 325F. Grease, line and re-grease a medium loaf pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Spoon batter into the prepare loaf pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cover with foil if the top gets too browned. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

 

THE Best Waffles, Ever!

The little girl woke me up. I was rather surprised to discover that I had, in fact, overslept.

Anyway, the little girl had not eaten breakfast yet and was (apparently) hungry (which is why, presumably, she woke me up); moreover, she had something in mind…

Nope, not her (usual) favorite pancakes. Instead, she wanted waffles.

She was under the impression that pancakes and waffles were the same, except in form. I explained that they were somewhat similar but really quite different.

The recipe I used is a good one, producing waffles which were crunchy on the outside but fluffy in the middle. But it is unlikely that I will make waffles again.

Why? you may ask.

Well because it took me 2 hours to make 10 waffles! And seriously! I don’t recall waffles taking THAT much time before. Maybe it has something to do with the waffle iron? I used to have a waffle iron that was a large round (which I was told was Belgian-style, but I don’t really know). That one (a wedding gift) drowned in the big flood almost a decade ago and I was not inclined to buy another one (a single use appliance that uses a lot of space…). But I recently received a 3-in-1 waffle-sandwich-mini donut maker so when the young one asked for waffles I said why not (it was another recipe to try using buttermilk…)

Could it be that the round waffler cooked faster than the squarish one (which I was told was American style?)

Anyway, here is the recipe I used –

1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, separated

Begin by preheating the waffle iron.

Place all ingredients except egg whites in a bowl and stir using a wooden spoon or spatula. Mix until just combined. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold the batter into the egg whites.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter in each waffle square and close the cover.  Wait until the steam is gone before opening the cover again.  (I like to brush butter on the iron.)

Keep the cooked waffles warm in an oven while you finish the rest.

Enjoy with butter and syrup!  And coffee!

E’s Baking Day!

My brother E was intrigued when I told him about BFF’s baking day.  He knows BFF and decided that if BFF could bake then so could he!  So he came over and boom!  We baked Mango Loaf and Coffee Milk Loaf using the versatile loaf base (flavors were his choice).

To make the mango loaf, add 1/3 cup pureed mango and 3 tablespoons half and half.  If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon mango extract.  Fold in 1/4 chop finely diced dried mangoes.

To make coffee milk loaf, add 1/4 cup strong coffee (cooled), and 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract.  Add 1/4 cup heavy cream.

The coffee milk loaf was good but the mango loaf was fantastic!!!

B’s Banana Loaf

The little girl (though I think I should stop calling her little…) was so inspired by last weekend’s baking session that she wanted to bake her own banana loaf.  So I handed her the recipe and told her that she was on her own, except for the preheating of the oven and putting/removing the loaf pan in or out of the hot oven.

Of course I stayed nearby to keep an eye on her.  As it turned out, I shouldn’t have worried – in fact, I was quite impressed!  Apparently all those times when she showed an interest while I was in the kitchen and/or helped out as I cooked and/or baked, she was really paying attention.

She did everything by herself.  She got out all the ingredients, measured and mixed.  I was amazed that she could handle the hand mixer – one hand holding the bowl, the other hand on the mixer…she was great!

I was only called to help when she realized the mixing bowl with the batter was too heavy for her to lift with a single while the other hand held the spatula to coax the batter into the loaf pan.  And of course, to put the loaf pan into the hot oven.

She watched the oven and checked the progress of her banana loaf every 5 to 10 minutes.  When the timer dinged, I got summoned to take the pan out of the oven and she tested finished product with a cake tester.  The tester did not come out quite clean so she told me – 5 more minutes mommy!

Her banana loaf was beautiful!  And super yummy!!!

At the end of the day, hubby was impressed as well.  And he loved the banana loaf!

I was not surprised that there were none left the next day… a bit disappointed perhaps – simply because I thought I could enjoy a slice with my favorite coffee for breakfast!!!

For the recipe, see the blog entry Baking Day with BFF.

 

Baking Day with BFF

I always have a great time with BFF.  Today was no different, but what’s special is that today we… yes, WE, were baking!

But since BFF is a beginner and she wants something easy and doable, I gave her an easy, versatile recipe for a basic loaf base that can be made into several kinds.  For today it was banana chocolate chip loaf and carrot walnut loaf.

The recipe for the base –

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup neutral cooking oil or melted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First, preheat the oven to 325F.  Grease, line and re-grease a loaf pan (1 8×4 or 2 mini loaf pans – we used the 8×4 for the carrot walnut loaf and the 2 smaller loaf pans for the banana choco chip loaf).  Get everything ready – tools, bowls, ingredients…

We tackled 2 ways of mixing the batter – one bowl, dump style and creaming.

For the one bowl, dump style – Mix all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  The batter will look like cookie dough.

For the creaming method – Stir the dry ingredients (except sugar) together; set aside.  Beat the oil/butter with the sugar for a couple of minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla; mix well.

Then add your main components –

for banana choco chip cake, mix in 2 to 3 mashed, over-ripe bananas.  Fold in 1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate chips (we overdid it with the chips… it was a tad too much.  1/3 cup is reasonable. 1/2 cup is pushing it… but the 2/3 cup we used – well, it was abusive!!! *smile*)

for carrot walnut loaf, mix in 1 cup shredded carrot.  Fold in 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped (toasted) walnuts.  (sorry I forgot to take a picture!!!)

Bake the larger loaf about 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  Rotate the pan midway; cover with foil if the top gets too browned.  Bake the smaller loaves about 30 minutes or so.

Leave in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes before unmolding and letting it cool on a rack completely.

(a bit of a lesson here… for some crazy reason I decided not to use greaseproof paper to line the pan – maybe because my smaller loaf pans were non-stick?  bad idea. though!  It is really easier and more convenient with greaseproof paper!!! our banana cake got a bit stuck and we had a crazy time trying to get it out.)

Anyway… for other variations –

butter loaf – use butter instead of oil.  Add 1/2 cup milk.  Increase vanilla to 1/2 tablespoon.  Optional but recommended – add 1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange extract.

chocolate loaf –  Add 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (sifted) to the dry ingredients, and 1/2 cup milk to the wet ingredients.  Optional but delicious – add 1/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.

cocomia loaf – use coconut oil, if desired (but optional), Add 1/2 cup coconut cream (coconut milk is ok too), and 1/2 cup desiccated coconut.  Fold in 1/3 cup coarsely chopped macadamias (lightly toasted) or sprinkle the macadamias on top of the batter (press lightly).

We had a great time (of course we chatted all the while…) but what I am happy about is that BFF did everything… I only offered guidance!

My proud moment?  I was going to show BFF how to fold the choco chips into the batter when B volunteered to demonstrate.  B folded the chips into the batter perfectly!!!  wooo hooooo!  I am ssoooooo happy that not only was she paying attention when we baked together, she actually remembered to do it right!  (super proud momma here!)

PS – she also made macaroons but more on that in the next post…

 

 

 

Lemon Cream Muffin

On a whim, and because our lemon plant has been busy, I thought of baking some lemon muffins.  But I knew the little girl would not want a “plain” muffin, I thought of adding her favorite (of the moment) blueberry jam to top the muffins.

The recipe:

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup soft cream cheese
1/2 cup 70$ blueberry jam

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 12 muffin cups with baking paper cups.

Mix wet ingredients together; set aside.  Mix dry ingredients together.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Stir until just about mixed.

Divide the batter and spoon into the baking cups.  Spoon a scant tablespoon of cream cheese on the center of the muffin batter, followed by a scant tablespoon of jam.  If desired, sprinkle a pinch of turbinado sugar on top for some crunch

Bake about 12 minutes or so until a tester comes out clean.

The muffins were a hit with the little girl, but not so much her 2 playmates.  The playmates’ parents, however, were quite impressed!!!

 

Banana-Choco Chip Muffins

I don’t get to bake often these days and when I do, I just use the small electric oven. The big gas oven seems overkill when all I want is half a dozen of muffins!

So anyway, I have been craving muffins for a while now. And finally, finally, I have some spare time! I dusted off my handy dandy mixer and scrounged up my measuring cups and spoons, and mixing bowl and spatula…

To begin, preheat the oven to 375*F. Line a 6-cup muffin tin with paper cups.

Mix together:

1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Add the dry ingredients:

1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons muscovado sugar **
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix until just incorporated.

Stir in mashed bananas (2 large pieces very ripe bananas). Portion the batter into the 6 muffin cups. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips in each muffin cup. Use a toothpick to stir and distribute the chips in the batter.

Bake about 20 minutes.

Muffins in an hour! Yum!