fat bottom

fat bottom

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

chocolate cinnamon rolls... amazing

do i really need a reason to want to make cinnamon rolls... no.. i don't... now, how about cinnamon rolls with chunks of bittersweet chocolate... umm, yesss please!!

so, i'm gonna keep it short and sweet and share this amazing recipe... so i hope you enjoy :)

cinnamon buns taken from "ezra poundcake"
adapted from peter reinhart’s “the bread baker’s apprentice”
*makes 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller buns

6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract or zest
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature

4 tbsp. butter (softened to spreading consistency)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 ozs. coarse chopped bittersweet chocolate
sprinklings of cinnamon

1. in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, salt and shortening on medium-high speed...beat in the egg and lemon extract until smooth... then add the flour, yeast, and milk... mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball...switch to the dough hook, and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is tacky but not sticky... lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to cover it with oil... cover bowl with plastic wrap.
2. let the dough rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size
3. mist the counter with spray oil, and transfer the dough to the counter.... roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour... roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns... spread the dough with the butter, then sprinkle with the brown sugar, chocolate and the cinnamon sugar...then roll the dough up into a log, creating a spiral as you roll... with the seam side down, cut the dough into even pieces
4. line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment... then place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart
5. proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size
6. preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf
7. bake the buns for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown
8. cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then glaze the tops... then remove the buns from the pans, and place them on a cooling rack

now to slather them in sweet cream cheese frosting... oh yea... you know you're thinking what i'm thinking... mmmmm.....

happy baking everyone :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

welcome back summer and saying a sad goodbye...

hey everyone :) and a big hello to you too summer...

this is going to be an interesting summer for me... for many reasons... #1... this is our last summer here in cape may... as of august 28th we will be out of here and on our way up to portsmouth, new hampshire... i cannot believe how fast the 4 years here have gone by... i am truly going to miss this place...

#2... it is going to be an extremely busy summer... we have a lot planned and a lot to look forward to like, jack's 6th birthday, or annual family vacation to l.b.i and ESPECIALLY the arrival of my nephew william... i cannot wait to meet the little sprout...

#3... my hubby isn't here to spend the summer with us... BOOOOO!!! he transferred up early to new hampshire because as of right now he is aboard the USCG cutter Tahoma for a 2 month deployment... i am extremely proud of him, and i know why he does what he does... but i can't help but dislike everyday he is gone from me and the boys... i guess i'm selfish, i just want my hubs here with me... is that so wrong??

so to make myself feel better, and also to welcome summer back into my life, i treated myself to a fresh fruit taste sensation... a lovely fresh fruit and vanilla pastry cream tart... it sure did put a smile on my face...

this was a wonerful taste of summer... crisp fresh fruit, and creamy vanilla pastry cream... i even spoiled myself some more by enjoying a glass of champagne while i savored each sweet bite...

i can't put into words how much i am going to miss my hubby... it saddens me to know that the boys and i will be spending our last 2 months here in cape may without him... but once he's back in the end of august we are off to a new home and a new adventure...

wishing my hubby safe travels along calm seas... come home to me and the boys soon... we love you...

welcome back summer... and happy baking everyone :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

a sweet pick me up

good morning ladies and gents... i hope you are as excited as the weekend finally being here as i am... this has been one tough week for me... and i am just looking forward to relaxing with the hubby when he gets home today... maybe we'll order in some sushi, and pop that bottle of bubbly that has been waiting patiently in the fridge :)

so yesterday was just one of those days, i was feeling a bit blue and down and i was in need of a pick me up... so while i was checking out some of my favorite blogs, i stumbled across a post by
the kitchn... and a fabulous sounding cake... a dulce de leche banana cake...

ummm, yes please...

the recipe came from another blog,
bakers royale and not only was this cake delicious, it was super simple to make... the cake had a nice moist, tight crumb and was just sweet enough even without the added yumminess of cream cheese frosting...

dulce de leche banana cake (makes one 9 inch round or square cake)
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 1 ½ large bananas)
¾ cup dulce de leche

1. place sour cream in a bowl and add baking soda; set aside
2. mix butter and sugar until light and creamy
3. add eggs in one at time and beat until combined, add vanilla and beat until combined
4. mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside... then mix together the bananas, dulce de leche and the sour cream mixture

5. add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with banana mixture
6. mix after each addition until just combined
7. pour mixture into a greased and lightly floured cake pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean

8. cool cake for 5 minutes in cake pan, then remove cake and continue to cake completely on a wire rack

top the cake with a delicious vanilla cream cheese frosting, and if you're feeling adventurous drizzle with a little more dulce de leche... just go bananas!

and not only did this cake give me a wonderful pick me up, but i got a beautiful surprise from my little sister meggie... this lovely bouquet of flowers... i love her so much, she really made my day :)

happy baking everyone :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

blueberry crumb bars

hey people! how is it going on your end? it's one gorgeous weekend over here in our neck of the woods, but it's also been a little stressful over here... my little man hasn't been feeling well for a while and we're really trying to figure out whats going on in his little system... we have lots of doctors appointments coming up, and we're just hoping to get some answers... and i don't know what you do when you get stressed, but i like to either online shop or bake... and since my closet is looking oretty goos for summer right now, and i had a big ol' batch of blueberries that needed to be used... so... this is what i got for you...

blueberry crumb bars (adapted from smitten kitchen)
*this is the full recipe, but i halfed it and added in the oats*

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wuick rolled oats
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 9×13 inch pan
2. in a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder, and mix in salt and lemon zest... use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg... the dough will be crumbly
3. pat half of dough into the prepared pan
4. in another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice, then gently mix in the blueberries... spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust
5. crumble remaining dough over the berry layer
6. bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown... then cool completely before cutting into squares

and here it is all baked up... nice and golden brown and bursting with blueberry juice

happy baking everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

rich and creamy risotto rice pudding :)

i use to only associate rice pudding with old people who like weak tea, or being on the menu at hospitals when they ran out of lime jello... but in my growing up i've come to realize that though i am certainly right that rice pudding is a gem amongst the senior community, it is also a delicious dish... especially when it's done right! and this recipe is all kinds of right... it may take a bit of time, but the outcome is simply amazing...

the rice pudding comes out creamy, tender, and oh so rich with highlights of vanilla and cinnamon... now, this dish is great all on it's own... but being a glutton, i decided to top mine with some more goodness... salt caramel :)

but be warned... your mind might go blank for a few moments while you indulge in sheer goodness on a spoon...

rich and creamy risotto style rice pudding
( taken from the book "sticky, chewy, messy, gooey" by jill o'connor)
1/2 cup arborio (risotto) rice
8 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
* freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

1. combine the rice, milk, sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and salt in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to combine
2. bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly... then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes as the mixture starts to thicken, this will take about 30 minutes
3. continue cooking until the rice is tender but not too mushy, about 15 minutes longer... the milk will be thick and the rice tender, but the mixture will still be very soupy, which is what you want (it will thicken as it cools)
4. in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream together and stir into the rice pudding
5. continue cooking the pudding over medium-low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through and pudding is creamy and glossy, but still fairly soupy
6. remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla... grate some nutmeg, if you like, into the pudding... and remove the vanilla bean pod
7. pour the pudding into a serving bowl or individual serving dishes and press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming (yuck) and refrigerate until cold, about 2 to 3 hours

i served mine with a few thick gobs of salt caramel (if you haven't noticed i am a sucker for salt caramel), a big ol' dollop of sweetened vanilla whipped cream and a few shakes of some saigon cinnamon... all in all... it's heaven :)

happy baking everyone!