Friday, April 27, 2018

Rosie Makes Banana Bread.

I don't care much for bananas,
but I love a good banana bread.
Usually, when I have extra-ripe bananas,
I use the recipe out of my Joy of Cooking,
but today, I'm trying something a little different.
 And I think it's better!

Rosie Note:  I used almond milk in this recipe, instead of regular milk,
because I happened to have it in my fridge and needed to use it up.  Youngest Hawthorne uses almond milk and prefers Almond Breeze Original, but the good people at Silk make an Almond Milk Original and package it in a very similar carton and I mistakenly bought the Silk instead of the Almond Breeze and Youngest Hawthorne does not like the Silk. 
Hence the overstock of Almond Milk.  

You can use regular milk if you don't have the almond.


Rosie's Banana Bread
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp vanilla 
3 ripe bananas, sliced
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted until fragrant

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream butter at medium speed
and gradually add in sugar,
beating until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating.
Whisk in milk and vanilla.
Add bananas to batter.
You can mush the bananas for a smoother batter
if you like,
or just leave the slices whole.
Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.
Fold in nuts.
Pour batter into a buttered 9 x 5-inch loaf pan,
smoothing the top.
Bake at 350° for about an hour
or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Baking time varies depending on the sugar content
and moisture of the bananas.
Start checking at 50 minutes.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.
This helps the loaf solidify
and makes it easier to remove from pan.
Remove from pan and let cool another 10 minutes before slicing.

Buttered and toasted.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Rosie Makes Ice Cream. Peach And Strawberry! And Pizzelle!


It's that time of year again.
I'm cleaning out my freezers
(Yes, freezers.  Plural.)
in preparation for filling them back up.

I had frozen strawberries and frozen peaches.
What to do...
What to do...

Make ice cream.
Ahhh...  Ice cream.
  The answer to so many questions.

Is that not luscious?

Strawberry and Peach Ice Cream
14 oz. skim milk
2 oz. heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 TB vanilla
4 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream

1 cup chopped frozen strawberries
1 cup chopped frozen peaches

In a medium sauce pan, combine 14 oz. skim milk, 2 oz, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Heat over medium heat until mixture simmers.

Rosie Note Here:  Watch this mixture as it simmers, because it can go to a boil and overflow the pan in a heartbeat and flow all over the hot stove top and make a holy mess.  Not that that's ever happened to me.  Ever.

Beat yolks with mixer until light and thickened.

Slowly pour a cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, beating constantly, to temper the yolks.
"Tempering" means to bring up the temperature of the yolks.  You want to heat the yolks, not scramble them.

Pour the tempered yolk mixture into the sauce pan with the remaining milk mixture.  Return to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes.

Remove from heat, pour into a large bowl, and whisk in remaining pint of heavy cream.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled throughout.  This will take about 2 hours.  Or you can just leave it overnight and finish it off the next day.

As if the strawberry/peach ice cream wasn't enough by itself,
I had to crank it up a bit.
I made edible serving bowls for the ice cream-
in the form of pizzelles.

What is pizzelle, you ask?
(Pizzelle is plural.  Pizzella is singular.)
A pizzella is a classic Italian crisp, buttery waffle-like cookie,
typically flavored with anise.
And they're baked on a pizzelle iron.
And wouldn't you know,
Rosie just happens to have an antique pizzelle iron.
I found it hanging in Mama Hawthorne's kitchen pantry
a lifetime ago.
I believe it belonged to my great grandmother.
Wish I knew the history.

The word "pizzelle" comes from the Italian pizze, 
meaning round and flat (like pizza)
and the elle ending means small.
They are made by cooking batter
between two iron plates with decorative patterns on them.
 When the pizzelle come right off the iron, 
they're soft and pliable and you can mold
them around a tube to form a cylinder (like cannoli)
or drape them over a small inverted bowl,
to make a bowl shape.
Once cooled, pizzelle become brittle.
Originally, pizzelle were made in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
Often, families would have specially-made pizzelle irons
with the family crests on them.

1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the egg until it is thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the butter and vanilla. Gently stir in the flour. Do not overmix. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature at least 15 minutes.

Heat up the  pizzelle iron first.

Pour the batter.

Messy Rosie.

I don't think it's supposed to catch on fire.

Immediately drape the pizzelle over something to make a bowl shape.
I used popover tins.

Rosie needs to work on her pizzelle-making.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rosie Makes A Lemon Tube Cake.

I'm always on the lookout for a good dessert.
I want something that's simple to make
and outrageously good.
And I don't want a slew of pots and pans to clean up.

This lemon tube cake takes the cake! 

Lemon Tube Cake

For the cake:
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
 zest of 2 lemons

For the glaze:
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

For cake:
Heat oven to 325°.
Butter tube pan and lightly flour.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cream butter.  Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Fold in dry ingredients alternately with milk.
Stir in zest.
Pour batter into prepared tube pan,
smoothing out top of batter.
Bake about 50 minutes,
or until toothpick comes out clean.

While cake is baking, make glaze.
Combine sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan
and heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.

When cake is done, immediately unmold onto cake rack.
Slowly brush glaze on top and sides until all is absorbed.

Glazy goodness!

I wanted more fruity goodness,
so I made a blackberry sauce for the cake.

You could substitute blueberries or strawberries instead.
I just happened to have blackberries
since they were on sale for 99¢/pint.

Blackberry Sauce
1 cup blackberries
2 TB sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
Combine all in a small saucepan.
Cook about 5 minutes over low heat,
stirring, until sugar is dissolved.

Slice of lemon cake.
Vanilla ice cream.
Blackberry sauce.
Loved the texture of this cake.
Very much like a pound cake.
Excellent lemon flavor.
Doesn't get much better than this.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Rosie Makes Gruyère-Stuffed Loaves.

I never buy bread.
I always make my own,
be it a sandwich loaf, baguettes, ciabatta, or penis bread.
There's no excuse to actually BUY bread.
Make it yourself.
It's an amazing thing - flour, water, yeast, and a little salt.

Today, I'm making Gruyère-stuffed bread loaves,
adapted from King Arthur flour's website.

If you're making these, start the night before.
You need to make a starter.

I'm starting my starter.

 1/2 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 1/4 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
For the starter, 
just mix all ingredients together -
the flour, water, salt, and yeast.
Mix until well combined.
Then place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover and leave it.
Let it rest overnight
It'll grow and get bubbly.

Make the dough:
all of the starter
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp kosher salt
1 package yeast
3 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached bread flour (thereabouts)

Combine the risen starter with the rest of the ingredients
and knead until you get a smooth dough.
I used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid.

After the dough all comes together,
I put it on a lightly floured surface and...
...knead it by hand until it's nice and smooth.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl,
cover, and let rise until doubled in size.
Takes two hours or more.

Ta daaaaa!
Dough is a beautemous thing.

Gently deflate and place dough 
on a floured sheet of parchment paper.

Working with your fingers,
stretch it and pat it out until you get a rectangle,
about 9" x 12".
Lightly brush with olive oil.

Next, I sprinkled the dough evenly with 2 1/2 - 3 cups
grated Gruyère cheese.

Starting at the long side,
roll the dough into a log,
pinching the seam and ends to seal.

Place log seam-side down.

Gently cut log into 4 even pieces.

Place dough pieces on lined baking sheet,
cut sides up.

Let loaves rest while you heat the oven to 425°.
Bake 25-35 minutes or until cheese is melted
and the loaves are a nice golden brown.

We loved these loaves.

Next time (And there will be a next time.)
I think I'll divide into eighths instead of fourths.

So yummy with a little truffle butter spread on it.

Loved those cheese pockets!