Saturday, March 26, 2005

Two Scones: One Sweet and One Savory

Scones are quick breads that are traditionally served with afternoon tea in England. They are easy to make, and taste great when served warm from the oven. I felt that the sweet scone recipe might use a boost from chocolate, so I added 1 cup of chocolate chips to the dough. I would add grated orange peel as well, but we did not have oranges at home. The second recipe is a scone with olives, a Turkish twist to a British classic. I cut the dough into circles instead of the more traditional wedges. I recommend these rich savory scones as the perfect accompaniment to feta cheese and a cup of tea.

Cream Scones

 Posted by Hello

2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c plus 1 1/2 tsp sugar
4 tbs cold butter, cut up
1 large egg
2/3 c plus 1 1/2 tsp whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400F. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 c sugar. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir egg and 2/3 c cream into flour mixture just until dough holds together. Transfer dough to ungreased large cookie sheet. With lightly floured hands, shape dough into into 8-inch round. Brush remaining 1 1/2 tsp cream over dough and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tsp sugar. With floured knife, cut round into 8 wedges, but do not separate wedges. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden. Separate scones and serve warm, or transfer to wire rack to cool. (Makes 8 scones)

Olive-Rosemary Scones

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3 c flour
4 tbs cold butter, cut up
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, or 1/4 tsp dried, crumbled rosemary
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c plus 1 tbs olive oil
1 c milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease large cookie sheet. In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, rosemary, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup oil until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, mix milk and egg with fork. Pour mixture through feed tube and pulse just until dough forms. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. With floured hands, press olives into dough. Place dough on prepared cookie sheet. With floured hands, pat dough into 10-inch round. With floured knife, cut round into 12 wedges, but do not separate wedges. Brush tops with remaining 1 tbs oil. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden. Separate scones and serve warm. (Makes 12 scones)

Friday, March 25, 2005

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

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Since I still had some sour cream and cream cheese left over from Zeynep's weekend baking project with her friends, I decided to make this coffeecake. I made it many times before, so the preparation went smoothly. Unfortunately, once I put it in the oven, I got caught up with other things and totally forgot about it. When it finally came out half an hour too late, the crust had turned almost brown, and the beautiful layers of cream cheese and jam were dispersed in the batter. I am thankful that it still tasted good. I took many pictures of the cake, but since none of them did any justice to how it could turn out if it were not for my carelessness, in the end I scanned the picture from the Pillsbury booklet the recipe came from. You'll see it at the bottom of this post.

2 1/4 c flour
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c (12 tbs or 1 1/2 sticks)butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c dairy sour cream (or yogurt)
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 raspberry preserves (I used strawberry preserves)
1/2 c sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 9 or 10-inch springform pan. For the cheese filling, combine cream cheese, 1/4 c sugar and 1 egg in small bowl; blend well. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour and 3/4 c sugar. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 c of crumb mixture. To remaining crumb mixture, add baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, almond extract and 1 egg; blend well. Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up sides of greased and floured pan. [The batter should be 1/4 inch (0.65 cm) thick on sides.] Pour reserved cheese mixture into batter-lined pan. Carefully spoon preserves evenly over cream cheese mixture (This is easier if you warm the preserves a little). In small bowl, combine reserved crumb mixture and sliced almonds. Sprinkle over preserves. Bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes or until cream cheese filling is set and the crust is deep golden brown (but never until it is really brown :-) ) Cool somewhat before you remove the sides of pan. Equally delicious served warm or cool.

 Posted by Hello

Raspberry Muffins

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This recipe also comes from "The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking" cookbook by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer and Ethan Becker. I really love baking muffins. They're easy and fun to prepare. Enjoy!

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the over to 400 F. Grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper cups.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Whisk together in another bowl:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • ⅔ cup sugar or packed light brown sugar
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons (½ to 1 stick) warm melted unsalted butter or vegitable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Add to the flour mixture and mix together with a few strokes just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold into batter 1½ cups of frozen raspberries. Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin a few sliced almonds before baking. (I didn’t have any. Instead I sprinkled each muffin with cinnamon.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in 1 or 2 of the muffins comes out clean, 12 -15 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan. If not serving hot, let cool on a rack. Serve as soon as possible, preferably with a few baking hours.

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Did You Say "Spring"?

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We are nearing the end of March, and my fellow bloggers Mine, Dilek, Hatice and Clothilde all posted pictures of beautiful flowers, giving glad tidings of spring on their sites. And the above picture was taken from our porch door this morning. It is still very much winter where I live. Yesterday, Mehmet had his class play at 7 pm and I walked back home after his performance (We live a few minutes walking distance away from his school). I must say that my night stroll in a landscape of virgin snow was breathtakingly beautiful, and took me back to my childhood years when snow was something to be celebrated. That said, I must also confess that we are all ready for spring now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Gâteau Surprise Chocolat Pistache

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This recipe is a Clothilde original. Since the day I invested in a 8 oz can of pistachio paste a while ago, I have been wanting to make this cake. Today, I saw that I also had sour cream nearing its expiration date. Perfect! This, then, would be the day for Gateau Chocolat Pistache. For some mysterious reason, my oven decided to turn itself off toward the end of baking, and before I could realize and correct this, the uncooked center dipped slightly. Since the shape was less than perfect, I did not bother to glaze the whole cake, but just poured the warm ganache on top of it and let it run down the sides. I must say that the cake tasted very, very good. I will definitely try this and its variations again. (I am already considering more economical alternatives to pistachio paste such as almond butter or hazelnut spread.)

I followed Clothilde's recipe verbatim except that I had to mix things with an electric mixer since I have a small food precessor. Also, I left my pistachios whole rather than chop them. I could have given a link for the recipe, but just for completeness sake, I will copy and paste it here together with the picture of her gateau.



270 g (2 C) flour
2 tsp baking powder (1 envelope)
1 tsp baking soda
150 g (2/3 C) butter, at room temperature
300 g (1 1/4 C) white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C (3 x 125 ml) plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
60 g (1/3 C) chocolate chips
2 Tbsp pistachio paste
60 g (1/3 C) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped


120 g (3 oz) baking dark chocolate
125 ml (1/2 C) whipping cream

Preheat your oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a 25-cm (10-inch) cake pan, preferably nonstick with a removable bottom. Prepare the chocolate batter. In a food processor, mix together half of the sugar and half of the butter until fluffy. Add in two of the eggs, one at a time, mixing between each. Add in half of the yogurts and all the vanilla extract, mix again. In a medium bowl, combine half of the flour with half of the baking powder, half of the baking soda and all of the cocoa mixture. Add the flour mixture into the food processor and mix again until just combined. Pour the batter into the cake pan, and reserve in the refrigerator.

Rinse the bowl of the food processor, and prepare the pistachio batter: mix together the rest of the sugar, the rest of the butter and the pistachio paste. Add in the two last eggs, one at a time, mixing between each. Add in the rest of the yogurts and mix again. In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the flour with the rest of the baking powder and baking soda, and all of the chopped pistachios. Add into the food processor and mix again until just combined.

Take the cake pan out of the fridge, and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the surface of the chocolate batter. Gently pour the pistachio batter on top, and smooth out the surface with a spatula. Put into the oven to bake for about an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let rest for five minutes on the counter, then turn out on a rack to cool completely.

Prepare the ganache. Melt the dark chocolate with the whipping cream in a double boiler (or in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring with a spoon regularly until completely melted and velvety. Let the ganache rest until it has thickened a bit, about 30 minutes, and frost the cake using a small spoon.
You can either wait until the ganache has cooled and set before serving, or frost the cake just before you serve it, but the cake itself needs to have cooled down completely, it tastes better that way.

Zeynep trying a slice after school Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Double Chocolate Mousse Banana Roulade

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Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter a jelly roll pan (15"x10") and line with buttered, floured parchment paper.

5 egg yolks
7 tbsp sugar
Beat the above until pale, approximately 3 minutes.
2 tbsp cake flour
2.5 tbsp cocoa
Sift flour and cocoa into yolk-sugar mixture and mix it well.
5 egg whites
1 tbps sugar

Beat white eggs with sugar in clean bowl until stiff.
Fold into above. Try not to mix too much, since the egg-whites
snow volume may quickly vanish in the above mixture.
Pour into pan and bake for 5-7 minutes or until tester comes out
clean. Cool on rack. Sprinkle with cocoa, place tea towel over
cake and invert onto large cookie sheet. Peel off paper carefully.
Set it aside.

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
3-4 bananas

Combine heavy cream and chocolate in a small sauce pan on the medium heat. Mix it well, until chocolate is melted and mixture is uniform. Leave it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or until the mixtures completely cools off. Then whip it until the mousse becomes of spreading consistency. Spread over cake evenly. Place 3 peeled bananas on the longer side of the cake, and roll up the cake like a jelly roll. Let it chill.

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine heavy cream and chocolate in a small sauce pan on the medium heat. Mix it well, until chocolate is melted and mixture is uniform. Leave it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or until the mixtures completely cools off. Then whip it until the mousse is thick enough to frost. Ice top and sides of the cake. Decorate with finely chopped almonds or walnuts.

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Caramel'n Chocolate Pecan Bars

Caramel'n Pecan Chocolate Bars Posted by Hello


2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

Caramel Layer:

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup Ghirardelli double chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350F. Combine all crust ingredients except pecans in a large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed and particles are fine 2 to 3 minutes.Press the mixture into an ungreased 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle pecans over unbaked crust. Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil until candy thermometer reaches 242F about 3 minutes. Pour evenly over pecans and crust. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until caramel layer is bubbly. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Swirl the chips with a fork. Cool completely and cut into bars. Yields 36 bars.