Learning As I Chop

Update

Posted in Uncategorized by R @ Learning As I Chop on June 30, 2010

This coffee cake definitely needs to rest and cool before serving. I just cut myself a slice for afternoon snack and it’s MUCH better. Here’s a more detailed picture.

Bloo-berries

Posted in Baking/Cooking, Farmers Markets by R @ Learning As I Chop on June 30, 2010

Yesterday I happily visited my local farmers market and stocked up on some goodies. Among them was a box fresh blueberries. Geek that I am, the “blueberry scene” (as I like to call it) from The Sound of Music immediately came to mind. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the scene, it’s where the children tell their father they were picking blueberries when they were actually visiting Maria. In response, Christopher Plummer says “bloo-berries?”. Very pronounced, indicating disbelief. It’s a classic scene from my childhood. But I digress…

I knew that I needed to do something creative with those blueberries. Though I could eat the whole box in one sitting, I thought that would kind of be wasteful. I wanted to put those babies to use, though create something more complicated than my previous summer tart (seen here). At the same time, I had also been craving some kind of cakey dessert. After pondering my options, blueberry coffee cake came to mind. Having no idea if such a thing existed (and I’m not at the point where I can create a recipe myself), I went to my favorite culinary website and typed it in. Voila, there it was!

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 12-ounce package frozen blueberries, unthawed, or 2 1/2 cups fresh

Directions:

Combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, coconut, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Mix until moist and crumbly. Set topping aside.
Preheat oven to 357°F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sift remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Mix dry ingredients into batter alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Fold in blueberries.
Transfer cake batter to prepared baking pan. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool cake slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Due to a busy afternoon, I decided that tomorrow would be the day. In the meantime, I gave H strict “no eating” instructions and set the blueberries in the fridge. Then sometime around 8pm the craving overwhelmed me. Fresh fruit, combined with watching “The Last Food Network Star” on DVR, overtook me and I knew I needed to bake. Luckily, I had everything but the coconut. So H and I discussed and decided we could ditch it. If anything, we’d know better for next time. So I got to work.

About 1 hour later, bluberry coffee cake came out of the oven. Unfortunatley, it’s not the most photogenic baked good  but picture above. After 2 pieces for H and 1 for me, we decided to rate the recipe. H said “better than Drake’s!”and I agreed. However we both thought the cake wasn’t sweet enough. While reading the recipe feedback, someone suggested adding vanilla, which I might try next time. In the meantime, the cake turned out light and fluffy and the crumb topping is especially delicious. I recommend this dessert if you plan on having company and need a simple crowd pleaser. And of course make sure to use fresh blueberries!

Pancake Kind of Morning

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on June 29, 2010

This morning, I woke up starving. Normally I eat 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast (an easy way to sneak in some protein), but today I needed more. I suppose that’s what running for the first time in ages will do to a girl. So I racked my brain. I briefly considered regular oatmeal with milk, almond butter and raisins, but that idea bored me. Then I remembered something I had been reading on other blogs – oatmeal pancakes. I love this concept – yummy yet healthy. So I googled “oatmeal pancake” and found this recipe. It won for two reasons 1) nothing needed to soak overnight and 2) I had most of the ingredients in the house. It also let me use my new favorite gadget – my Cuisinart food processor. So I went for it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Place flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, oil and egg in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Blog friends, this recipe is so simple, easy and delicious! It took me about 10 minutes to make the batter and fire em up. I didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted with regular milk and it seems to have worked fine. These cakes also cook much faster then regular ones – about 1 minute total – and fluff up quite nicely. My only note is that a breakfast for one might call for tweaking the measurements. H wasn’t home and I wound up wasting some of the batter (though in hindsight, perhaps I could have fridged it). As is, probably a better breakfast for two.

Wanting to keep with the healthy theme, I topped my cakes with macadamia butter rather than syrup. I had considered almond butter but macadamia is so creamy and melted quite nicely over my cakes. It was a risk but I’m glad I took it – absolutely perfect! Sweet but not too sweet and added a little bit of protein to the dish. Will definitely be making this brekkie again!