Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

When I was younger, one of the first "cakes" I made was a coffee cake recipe by Martha Stewart. Well, with a new recipe, a better appreciation for food and many years later, I make a coffee cake that takes me back to the beginning.

Thinking about it now, I used to keep a booklet that contained printed recipes such as the one for the coffee cake. It came to the point where the splatters of vanilla extract, sights of chocolate smears and the dusting of flour just gave it a bit too much character.

Back then, I thought I perfected so many recipes in that little booklet only to find out there were better ones out there. All I have to say is, move over Martha Stewart because Ina Garten is here to stay.

This coffee cake is moist, fluffy, crunchy, nutty and not too sweet which is perfect. It takes me back to the beginning and then some. This is definitely a must make!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Recipe by Ina Garten

For the cake:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners' sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

-Aaron John

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jalapeno Cornbread

Cornbread is something I've really come to enjoy, especially Honey Cornbread Muffins. But today, it is all about Jalapeno Cornbread. Cornbread is something that I've found difficult to get just right. With different recipes out there with more cornmeal than flour, less cornmeal than flour and equal parts cornmeal and flour, which do you choose?

With this recipe that I found on All Recipes, it seemed pretty good in terms of ratings but sometimes you can't really trust the ratings unless you make it yourself. As I began, I measured out all my ingredients only to find I only had 3/4 cup of cornmeal left! Instead of halving the recipe, I decided to just increase the flour  to 1 1/4 cups.

This cornbread looked perfect when it came out of the oven; an evenly baked, golden crusted cornbread got my hopes up. It had just enough texture from the cornmeal which I think would have been overkill if I followed the recipe exactly. However, this cornbread was not spicy at all and was BLAND! I would have increased the amount of jalapenos to 4 or left in the seeds because I was not able to taste them. I would have increased the salt just a bit as well. So much for that 4.5 star rating. So what's my choice on the proportions for cornbread? A little less cornmeal than flour or even equal amounts cornmeal and flour. This gives it the right amount of texture without feeling like your eating sand, in my opinion.

Jalapeno Corn Bread
Recipe from Archie Timmons

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup olive oil
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in jalapenos. Pour into a greased 9-in. square baking pan.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares or wedges. Serve warm.

-Aaron John

Monday, August 6, 2012

Instagram Quickie: Orange Sherbet

After receiving a gift card from my friends on my 21st birthday to Williams Sonoma, I went ahead and bought myself a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. All of my close friends know that one of my guilty pleasures has always been ice cream so why not start making ice cream at home.

I have to say, finding a good recipe for ice cream is hard to do. When it comes to baked goods, I can rule out certain recipes just by the way something looks in the pictures. Ice Cream on the other hand is a totally different monster.

For this recipe on Orange Sherbet, I went ahead and chose one from Alton Brown. Fairly simple to make with minimal steps, just the way I like it. As of the moment, I literally just pulled it out of the Ice Cream Maker 20 minutes ago and it is in the freezer hardening up. Fingers crossed that it will be delicious!

Update: This was a bit too sweet for my taste so I would definitely reduce the sugar. Other than that, it tasted like a frozen orange julius.

Orange Sherbet
Recipe by Alton Brown

7 ounces sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, approximately 2 to 3 pounds oranges
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups very cold whole milk

In the bowl of a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the milk and process until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and whisk in the milk. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees F or below, approximately 1 hour.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process until it is the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You may serve now or transfer to a lidded container and place in freezer until firm, approximately 3 hours.

-Aaron John

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Instagram Quickie: Mexican Food Trucks

I saw this "Instagram Quickie" type posting over at Wit & Vinegar and thought it was a genius idea. It's something quick, something simple and something easy to do in order to keep readers up to date on what us bloggers are eating and doing. Thus, this will be my first Instagram Quickie!

Food Trucks have been very popular over the last couple of years. Specifically in Seattle, Mexican Food Trucks seem to be popping up around every corner just like Starbucks. There is now one in a parking lot where I catch the Light Rail to work. These trucks are probably the closest thing to authentic Mexican Cuisine you can get in Seattle. It may not be SoCal Mexican food but it's close enough. This Carne Asada meal was on Rainier Ave and was uber delicious.

Moral of the story? Get out and try food from a food truck. Who knows, you might start being a regular there!

-Aaron John


Related Posts with Thumbnails