21 June 2016

Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

Our berries have been stolen by chipmunks ... the little beggars have plucked any with even a bit of color and I am left with apples in my fridge. Instead of fresh biscuits and strawberries, I have been reduced to making an apple cake ... ah well. It's a pretty cake loaded with small diced apple bits and golden raisins soaked and puffed to perfection. The last of the maple syrup was added to butter and cream cheese to make a frothy bowl of frosting and voila! Another beautiful cake ...

Let those little thieves have the berries for the time being. We have apple cake with maple frosting !

This is a dense and very moist cake that is reminiscent of carrot cake. It has a big soft crumb and super moist chunks of fruit that are spread throughout the cake. It's a good keeper of a cake in that it stays terrific for a couple days ... sorry no photos of cut pieces, as it went to the little white church for fellowship time  ... it's a very good cake. Trust me.

Apple and Olive Oil Cake with Maple Frosting
an Ottolenghi recipe

Cake Ingredients:

4 tbsp. water
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c.olive oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, small dice (1/2 inch)
zest f one lemon
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks

Maple Frosting Ingredients:

7 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
a scant 1/2 c. Muscovado sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 

Making the Cake:

1. Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch spring form pan and line it with parchment paper.
2. Place the water and golden raisins in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Let the raisins soak until cool.
3. Sift together in a small bowl the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. Beat the olive oil, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
5. Turn in the diced apples, raisins and any residual fluid, and lemon zest. Mix well.
6. Turn in the dry mix and stir to a thick batter.
7. Turn in the egg white meringue in two additions, gently turning in until incorporated.
8. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours. A cake tester should come clean.
9. Cool the cake for five minutes and then release the outer band of the spring form pan. Let the cake, then, cool completely.
10. Use a serrated knife to slice the cake into two even layers.
11. Whip the frosting ingredients in a deep bowl until perfectly smooth and frothy.
12. Place half the frosting on the bottom layer. Top with the second layer and frost the top of the second layer.
13. Chill the cake before serving to set the frosting.

18 June 2016

Chicken with Olives and Capers

Boneless chicken thighs with green and black olives, capers, tomato chunks, and a white wine and chicken broth sauce. Need I say more ?

06 June 2016

Green Herb Quiche and Cucumber Dill Salad

Tonight's supper is a fresh green affair!

14 May 2016

Orange Creamsicle Bundt Cake

I'm off to deliver a beautiful fresh citrus treat to the little church for a fund-raising dinner that will be held this evening ... but first, I must blog this cake! It's an orange yogurt cake - made with three small containers of whipped orange creme yogurt. It also has a healthy amount of orange zest and orange juice in the batter, a froth of egg white meringue turned in to fluff the batter up, and tons of sugar and butter - not to mention all those egg yolks! Of course, this makes for a bright yellow cake that has a crumb like a pound cake.

11 May 2016

Spring Green Vegetables

Last week's rain and grey have given way to this week's bright sunshine and the greening of the back yard! There are violets and wild strawberry blossoms, soft velvety grey pussytoes, and yes, the first dandelions blossoming out back! And the grass has greened up !

09 May 2016

Asparagus Frittata

Asparagus Frittata made for an easy and really pretty pillow of eggs and vegetables for my Mother's Day brunch. Sprout Sara came out of Boston for the afternoon, bearing a beautiful Austrian Rose wine and beauty products for her Mom. After cups of hot coffee and chatter over making frittata and crusty toast, we sat for a late breakfast and chatted it up. So relaxing! Thanks Sara for making my day!

06 May 2016

Lentil and Roasted Tomato Soup

The past few days have been grey and misty. We've actually burnt more wood in the past couple weeks than we did for the entire month of April. The damp, raw chill has put me off a bit. I haven't walked as much as I'd like. The soil isn't warming up, as it should so that we can get to planting. Everything seems to be in a state of suspension, while we wait and wait for Spring to show her colors. Even our daffodils have been cheated this year! The first blooms were snapped off or flattened by that snow storm we had a few weeks ago. The stalwart buds that came after the melt have been slow to develop and less showy without their neighboring blooms.

We are in need of color!

05 May 2016

Go Red Sox !!! A Boston Cream Pie for the Boys of Summer

Like all self-respecting Boston Red Sox fans, I keep my hopes for the team under wraps at the beginning of the season. It's always an education to watch the team get their playing style together during the first few home stands and their bull pen sorted out as the season develops.  I love seeing who the new boys are and where they have come from, agonize over the aches and pains of the 'old guard', and root for my personal faves ( Hello, Pedroia ! Hello, Big Papi! Hello JBJ ! Hello Mookie!) The start of this season has been such a pleasant surprise that I decided to celebrate it with a real Boston treat.