New Favorite

Yogurt Cake with Pear and Dark Chocolate

Fresh, sweet pears have always been a favorite of mine. Rarely have I baked with pears but this recipe sounded too delicious to resist.  It has a wonderful texture and so very moist!
Yogurt Cake with Pear and Dark Chocolate

YOGURT CAKE WITH PEAR AND DARK CHOCOLATE

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large pear, ripe but still firm, cored and cut into small pieces (leave the skin on)
1/2 cup bittersweet (dark) chocolate chunks.

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch loaf pan with butter (I found the recipe made too much for one loaf pan–I made an 8 inch loaf and a small loaf pan).
  • In a small bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Then, stir in the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, until well blended. Finally, use a rubber scraper to fold the oil into the batter until it is fully incorporated.
  • Pour about one-third of the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle 2/3s of the pear pieces and the chocolate chunks all over the batter. Then, scrape the rest of the batter on top of this and gently spread it smooth. Sprinkle the rest of the pear and chocolate over the top of the loaf and gently press all the pieces down into the batter to partially submerge them.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean – 55-60 minutes or so. Then, take the cake out of the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Carefully turn the cake out of the pan, and then put it upright on a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The cake will keep for several days (refrigerate if it’s more than 2 days), and slices are delicious lightly toasted before eating. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
Slightly adapted from FiveandSpice.com

 

 

New Favorite

Fresh Pear Bread

Pears, pears, pears!  I’ve overrun with pears thanks to my CSA shares this fall. They have been absolutely delicious but more than I can eat.

This recipe was simple and resulted in a moist, delicious bread great for a breakfast treat with a cup of hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate.  Due to family tastes, I omitted the nuts, but it would be delicious with walnuts or pecans!

Fresh Pear Bread
Fresh Pear Bread

FRESH PEAR BREAD

3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4 medium)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. Toss pears with lemon juice. Stir pears and walnuts into batter (batter will be thick).
  • Spoon into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Garden · New Favorite

Chocolate Zucchini Cake…good for you, right?

Zucchini has been plentiful this year and I was craving a chocolate fix.  I found this recipe and LOVED the cake. The glaze turned into chocolate globs which I did try to spread on top of the cake.  Next time I’d either just skip the glaze, or make my own.

The cake is moist and delicious…a keeper!

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE

Unsalted butter, for the pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or allspice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed dry
1 teaspoon honey

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-square cake pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
  • Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Whisk the remaining flour, the cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside.
  • Beat the sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour-cocoa mixture; beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes (the batter will be thick). Add the zucchini and beat until combined, about 2 more minutes. Fold in the flour-coated chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
  • Make the glaze: Combine the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon olive oil and the honey in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Spread over the cake, then cut into pieces.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chocolate-zucchini-cake-recipe.html?oc=linkback

NOTE:  I made this recipe again and used a different glaze that was perfect:

GLAZE
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave at 15 second intervals and stir each time until mixture is smooth. Pour over cake.

Family Favorites · My Roots

Chocolate Poke Cake

Here’s a blast from the past…chocolate poke cake.  The recipe can be altered to any cake and pudding flavor. Get creative with your favorite flavors.  I remember when Poke cakes became popular in the ’70s.  Easy, kid and adult-friendly, and a walk down memory lane.

CHOCOLATE POKE CAKE

1 package (2 layer) cake mix, any flavor
2 packages (4 serving size) Jello Instant Pudding, any flavor
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 cups cold milk

  • Prepare cake mix as directed on package baking in a 13×9″ cake pan.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Poke holes quickly down through cake with round handle of wooden spoon at 1″ intervals (or use plastic straw).

  • Only after poking holes, combine pudding mix with sugar in a large bowl. Gradually stir in milk. Then beat at low-speed of electric mixer for not more than 1 minute (do not overbeat).
  • Quickly, before pudding thickens, pour about one-half of the thin pudding evenly over the warm cake and into the holes to make the stripes.

  • Allow remaining pudding to thicken slightly; then spoon over the top, swirling it to frost the cake.
  • Chill at least 1 hour. Store cake in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap.
Family Favorites

BBQ’d Chicken Breasts…marinated, moist and scrumptious

SUMMER = BBQ and it’s time to get this summer started! Several years ago a co-worker shared this recipe, from Creme de Colorado Cookbook, and it has become a summer staple.  The chicken is so moist and flavorful. I liked to marinade for 24 hours, but a minimum of 4-5 hours will do.

Typically I grill several extra chicken breasts to have the next day(s) in salads. So delicious!  Get ready for some yummy chicken for your 4th of July BBQ!

BBQ CHICKEN MARINADE

2 whole frying chickens, cut into pieces (or skinless/boneless breasts)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed

  • Mix all marinade ingredients. Pour into large plastic ziplock bag. Add chicken and assure chicken is coated. Marinate 2-4 hours. Can also freeze in marinade to enjoy later.

Recipe from Creme de Colorado Cookbook

Family Favorites

Pound Cake…with strawberries for me!

Pound cake is one of the recipes I make ‘once in a blue moon’ but enjoy it as long as it is dense and moist. No dry pound cake will match up!

As you probably can see, cakes are often the base pedestal for the fruit I really want. Once again, strawberries and whipped cream top this cake. I truly didn’t realize until I started this food blog, that almost every cake I make MUST have syrup or fruit on top. Hmmm…this blog may turn into a self-realization confessional.

Pound cake with strawberries

POUND CAKE

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 grated lemon peel
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Cream butter & peel; gradually add sugar, creaming till light, about 6 minutes at medium speed on electric mixer.
  • Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  • Sift dry ingredients together; stir together with egg mixture.
  • Grease bottom only of 9x5x8 inch pan; turn in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or till done. Cool in pan. Optional:  Sift confectioner’s sugar lightly on top.
  • Mandatory for me:  Fruit on top!