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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spiced Ginger Roll

The recipe says to trim each end on a sharp angle. And I love the instruction that comes next: "Save the ends for a baker's treat".

It's certainly not a dark secret that I'm terribly fond of Anything Ginger. I'm sure I could take care of this entire cake myself. But I'll share, because that's much more fun.

Spiced Ginger Roll from The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge

[edits: 1) what a dumb-ass! i left a key ingredient out of the filling! 2) the flavors deepen and meld after chilling in the fridge for a day]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls

I am a morning person. I love morning-time. I am happiest in the morning and, as a rule, it's rare for me to be unhappy in the morning. As the adage goes, there's an exception to every rule.

Today I woke up annoyed and got progressively more annoyed as I went through my morning routines of coffee, checking email, and MMWI. Yesterday, I had prepped everything so that it would all be ready for me to pull together for an early morning treat. Sadly, the thought of dealing with it annoyed me along with everything else.

Until I started playing with it. The dough, which had been in the refrigerator overnight, had the satiny smooth texture that enriched dough should have. I rolled it out, sprinkled it with butter, sugar, & pecans, and rolled it into a log. I used my kitchen shears to cut the log into 8 nice even buns. They went into a cake pan that had been schmeared with more butter, more sugar and more pecans. I had time to clean the kitchen while they rested and rose. A good use of my time, since the damn newspaper wasn't here yet -- and I thought I was done being annoyed for the morning!

It was hard to wait for them to come out of the oven. Of course when they did, the caramel was scorchingly hot, but it was so seductive that I couldn't resist. I took the risk and dipped my finger in for a lick. I love that first little taste.

Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls, using Challah dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mocha Rum Cake

I know how much you like chocolate, and I'm sorry that of all the Rogue coaches' meetings, you had to miss this one. No, really. I am.

Mocha Rum Cake
Gourmet Magazine, January 1994

cocoa powder for dusting
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup dark rum
2 cups strong brewed coffee
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
confectioners' sugar for dusting (I did not)
lightly sweetened whipped cream (I did not)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a 4 1/2-inch-deep (12-cup) Kugelhupf or bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.

In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove chocolate from heat and stir in rum, coffee, and granulated sugar. With an electric mixer beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down side, and beat in eggs and vanilla until batter is combined well. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack and turn it out onto rack. Cake may be made 3 days in advance and kept wrapped well and chilled.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

English Muffins

Pre-made dough from the fridge. A quick rise on the counter before a short visit in the oven, and...

Whoa! What could possibly be better after a GREAT run workout, than getting back into bed with a yummy delicious toasted homemade English Muffin, homemade lemon-ginger marmalade, coffee, laptop, and two newspapers?

English Muffins, using Buttermilk Bread, page 207 of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chocolate Banana Swirl Cake

This morning I brought a post-run snack for Team Rogue. Being one of the least fast runners on the team, combined with the fact that my run was one of the longest anyone was doing (16 miles) meant that both most of the people and also most of the cake were long gone by the time I got back. I guess that means they liked it?

Chocolate Banana Swirl Cake
from The Weekend Baker by Abigail Johnson Dodge

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolate Heart Cake

Chocolate Heart Cake with Grand Marnier Buttercream Filling

Friday, February 13, 2009

Carrot Cupcakes

Every now and then, a person deserves to get exactly what he asks for.

Classic Carrot Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting, from Fine Cooking #97

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Italian Shortbread with Apricot Jam

Exactly the type of thing I like to have with coffee in the morning. Too bad it's all gone. Good thing there's more where that came from.

Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes

These were recently re-published as one of Food & Wine's "Best Fast Recipes EVER". I don't know because I didn't get one, but I'll go ahead and assume that the description is true.

Mini Black-Bottom Cheesecakes
, Food & Wine Magazine

Prosciutto Ring

Maybe I'm biased, but DAMN! I think that is one handsome loaf of bread.

Prosciutto Ring
, The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Lemon-Ginger Marmalade

Recently someone asked if there is a "girl card", like there is a man card. I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know that if there is, I missed out on several of the genes that would entitle me to one. For one thing, I don't like to shop. And I'm not all that crazy about chocolate. Chocolate is good, don't get me wrong, but I certainly don't crave it like many women do. If I were choosing, I'd choose citrus.

Last year, a friend made lemon marmalade, and I was the lucky recipient of a jar. I was torn. It was so yummy that I wanted to eat it by the spoonful, straight from the jar, then and there. On the other hand, it was so yummy that I wanted to savor it forever.

Fast forward to the arrival of the most recent issue of Fine Cooking a few weeks ago. In it was a recipe for Lemon-Ginger Marmalade. If Anything Citrus is my favorite, then Anything Ginger is my next favorite, and Anything Combo is scary good. As in, I have no self control, can't hold me back, one spoonful becomes two, two become four, four become... well, you get the idea.

Before I got a chance to try the recipe myself, Jess left a jar of it on my front porch, a swap of Yuck for Yum. I definitely got the better end of that deal.

Yesterday I made a batch. And when I run out, I'll make it again. And again. And again.

Lemon-Ginger Marmalade
from Fine Cooking #97