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Pecan Pie – A small batch


Since it was the filling I was testing, I chose to use store-bought pie crust this time around. Half a sheet, divided into three, for the 5-inch pie plates used here. The pie dough was pushed into the plates using my finger tips, no need to roll out the dough. And yes, I plan to revisit a small-batch pie dough recipe at a later date.

1/4 cup corn syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F

Mix together corn syrup, egg, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla
stir in the pecans
pour filling over crust
place pies on a baking sheet
bake for 30 minutes
remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours

December 22, 2019 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake


aka Kladdkaka

This cake has a very similar consistency to brownies, but different enough to be enjoy on its own. =)

1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
extra butter or oil for greasing the pan (I just use the wrapper from the stick of butter)
extra cocoa powder for coating the greased pan

Preheat the oven to 350°F

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until the mixture is pale yellow in color (I’d use a hand mixer)
sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt (I’m usually not fussy, but cocoa powder tends to be lumpy, so don’t skip this step)
fold until fully incorporated
mix in the butter and vanilla

Grease the cake pan and sprinkle cocoa powder to coat
pour in batter and smooth out (batter should be pretty thick)

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes
Once the top hardens it’s kinda hard to tell if the center is done enough or not, so some trial and error will have to happen. The 9 inch aluminum cake pan (shown) was perfect at 20 minutes, but the one I made last night in a pyrex pie plate was under done.

Garnish with powdered sugar, berries, ice cream, and/or whipped cream.

Note: This batter is very forgiving. I removed 1/2 cup of batter to bake in a smaller pan (pictured) and the baked consistency was the same as the larger version. So, I’m concluding that the batter can be easily divided to make smaller-batches then frozen.

December 16, 2019 at 6:53 pm 2 comments

Quick Breads, Pan Sizes, and Baking Times


Have a great recipe for a quick bread, but it’s for a loaf and you want to divide the dough to make muffins? Here’s a guide that may help.

Pan size
Baking time
one 9x5x3 inch pan 60 to 75 minutes
one 8x4x2 inch pan 50 to 60 minutes
two 7.5×3.5×2 inch pans 40 to 45 minutes
three 5.75×3.25×2 inch pans 35 to 40 minutes
six 4.5×2.5×1.5 inch pans 30 to 35 minutes
twelve 2.5 inch muffin cups 15 to 20 minutes


via Quick Breads, Pan Sizes, and Baking Times

November 24, 2019 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

Banana Bread

banana bread

via Banana Bread

November 3, 2019 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Wild Plum Jam


Jam making isn’t hard, but to keep the jars shelf-stable, you’ll need to process them in a hot-water bath. There’s lots on the web about canning and jar sterilization, so please be sure to do your research before you dive in.

6 cups plums, chopped and pitted
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups granulated sugar
1 (3-ounce) package fruit pectin

Cook the plums and water in a large pot over medium heat until it comes to a boil
stir in the sugar and bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil
add pectin and lemon juice and return to full boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly
turn off the heat

Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head room at the top
wipe the rims and threads of the jars clean and seal with lids and bands (be sure not to over tighten the bands)
lower the sealed jars into the boiling-water bath
process the filled jars in boiling water for 10 minutes
remove jars, tighten the bands a little bit (be careful, they are hot)
now listen for the distinctive and satisfying pop the lids make when the vacuum forms in the jars

Label with flavor and date before you store in your pantry

August 26, 2019 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Artisan Boule


The original recipe comes from an episode of Martha Stewart Bakes on PBS. I have changed a few things, so I’ve included a link to the original post just in case you’re interested in checking it out. I recommend a stand mixer for bread baking, but doing it by hand is fine, just takes a bit more effort. This style bread loves a steam oven, to create one at home, use 2 cups of ice cubes tossed into a preheated cast-iron skillet before baking.

Poolish (French), Biga (Italian), Sponge (English)
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup AP flour

Stir together yeast, water, and flour
cover with plastic wrap, or use a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, and let stand at room temperature 8 to 12 hours

Dough – large loaf
1 teaspoon yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Dough – small loaf
1/2 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Pour the poolish into mixer bowl
fit mixer with a dough hook
add flours and water
mix on medium speed until well combined
add salt
allow the dough to knead for 8-10 minutes

Move the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours

When dough is doubled in bulk, move to a lightly floured surface
pat dough into a 12×10 inch rectangle, approximately
fold into thirds, then in half
flip so seams are facing down
gently shape into a ball

Return to an oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 450°F
place cast-iron skillet in oven to preheat along with a pizza stone (I recommend a stone for bread baking, but baking on a cookie sheet should give you great results)

After the second rise, on a floured surface, repeat the folding process
gather the corners and pinch together, and shape into a tight ball
transfer dough, seam-side down, to a piece of parchment paper
adjust shape as needed
loosely cover with a dish towel
let rise for a third time, about 45 minutes

Lightly dust surface of bread with flour
with a very sharp knife or razor, score surface in a decorative pattern
carefully slide parchment onto baking sheet, then into the oven, or straight to the pizza stone

Carefully add ice to heated skillet
bake for 45 to 50 minutes
when bottom is solid when tapped and you get a hollow sound, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving
(I know it isn’t very scientific, but it works. You can always use an instant-read thermometer; bread is fully cooked when it reaches approximate 200°F.)

July 30, 2019 at 8:06 pm Leave a comment

Asian-style Baked Egg Custard Buns – A small batch

bun 1

More dim sum favorites. I was skeptical when I read a small-batch custard recipe that was made in a microwave. But to my surprise, it worked perfectly the first time. If you are wary, then by all means, the custard can be done on the stove top.

1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Combine flour, sugar, yeast, warm water, and melted butter
mix to combined, the dough will be a shaggy mess at this point

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface
knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes
allow dough to rise in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour or until doubled

bun 2

Custard filling
1 whole egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whisk egg and sugar together
mix in flour and cornstarch
add milk, salt, and vanilla extract
whisk well to remove the lumps

Cover bowl with plastic wrap
heat in a microwave oven on high for 3 minutes total
whisk well after every minute
cover and cool before use

Makes 1 cup of pastry cream

Preheat the oven to 400℉

Punch down dough and knead briefly, about 5 minutes
roll the dough into a log
divide the dough into 4 portions
flatten and shape each portion into circles
spoon about a 1/4 cup of prepared custard filling into the middle of the flattened dough
gathering the edges together and gently twist to seal
place the bun, sealed-side down onto baking sheet
brush buns with egg wash

bun 3

Immediately after putting baking sheet in the oven, reduce the heat to 350℉ for 20-25 minutes, or until buns are golden brown

These freeze and defrost beautifully. Once fully cooled, wrap in plastic and store in the freezer.

July 24, 2019 at 4:16 pm Leave a comment

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