Banana Bread

Banana Bread

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Banana Bread – sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

Banana Bread, such a simple and easy recipe, with variations abounding.

Sarah Kieffer’s recipes never disappoint and her Banana Bread recipe is no exception.  The light texture, not to sweet flavour, dark flecks of ripe banana and the moistness of this bread are sure to make it’s way into your heart and belly.  It is now my ‘Go To’ recipe and after you give it a whirl I bet it will be your ‘Go To’ as well.

Sarah’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup of toasted and chopped pecan halves but I subbed in 1/2 cup butterscotch chips plus 1/2 cup of walnuts.  If you prefer chocolate chips go ahead and add them in or leave out any additions.  Make sure your bananas are nice and ripe and have your butter and eggs at room temperature for best results.

This delicious recipe is from Sarah’s The Vanilla Bean Baking Book.

Banana Bread

Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and line with overhanging parchment paper for easy removal.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 3)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

Method:

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and pecans.

In a medium bowl combine bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium until creamy.  Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.  Add the eggs and mix on medium until combined.  Add the flour mixture and mix on low until almost incorporated.  Add the banana mixture and mix on low until combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl and finish mixing with spatula until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 to 55 minutes until the top is dark brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool 20 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.

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Banana Bread – sweetenufblog.ca

 

 

 

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Once per year we have a statutory holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and/or friends and expand our waistlines.  I do hope everyone reading this has an opportunity to hug or be hugged by someone they care about whether it’s a friend, co-worker, family member or a loved pet.

For me, baking is my hug to everyone.  Hopefully you will pass on a hug by giving today’s recipe a try and sharing it!

Use real lemons not bottled lemon juice for this recipe for the freshest flavours.  Room temperature lemons will provide more juice than those straight from the fridge.  When zesting make sure to only grate the yellow not the bitter white (the pith) underneath.  If you have lemons you won’t use up quickly, zest them and put the zest in a ziploc bag in the freezer and squeeze out the juice for future use.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes 2 9×5-inch loaf pans.  Grease and flour loaf pans and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

Lemon Glaze:

Mix approximately 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 cup of icing sugar until pourable consistency.  Add a bit more lemon juice or icing sugar until desired consistency reached. Drizzle over cooled loafs.

Method:

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, using 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Don’t overmix just beat on low until smooth and combined.

 

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.  Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted centre comes out clean.  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely on a rack.

If desired, when cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

Caramel Pecan Cake

Caramel Pecan Cake

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Caramel Pecan Cake – Getting Started!

In the brilliant book BakeClass they refer to today’s recipe as a ‘cake’, perhaps becuase it is so light and airy, but I’d classify it as more of a loaf or bread.  Mostly because it bakes in a loaf pan and has a drizzling of icing not a layer of icing piled on top.

Looking for quick, easy and minimal dishes plus light, moist and sweet, here is a winner.  No mixer required and you can make it at the last minute and not worry about room temperature butter since you use a saucepan!  Yup, a saucepan!

If you have self-rising flour in your pantry you won’t even need a measuring spoon.  No self-rising flour??  No worries, measure 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt into a dry 1-cup measure and top with all-purpose flour.  Make sure to give a good mix before adding to the recipe.

This comes together quickly so make sure your oven is preheated to 325F and your 9×5-inch loaf pan is greased and lined with parchment paper (with an overhang for easy removal).

Pecans would be my first preference for this loaf but walnuts would work great or a combination of pecans and walnuts.  Just bake it up next time you require a simple tea cake or a suppliment with your afternoon coffee.  Oven’s on you say?!  Then let’s get started!

Caramel Pecan Cake
Caramel Pecan Cake – sweetenuf.ca

 

Caramel Pecan Cake

Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and line 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 3/4 ounces butter, cubed

1/2 cup milk

1 egg, room temperature

3/4 cup, rough chopped pecans

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 toasted whole pecans – for garnish

1 tbsp golden corn syrup – for garnish to drizzle

Caramel Icing:

Mix together: 1 tbsp water, 2 tbsp golden corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar until thick but pourable.  Add a little more water if necessary.  Set aside for cooled cake.

Method:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, brown sugar and milk, until the butter just melts.  Make sure it is not too hot.  Remove from heat and let cool if necessary.

With a wooden spoon or whisk, stir in the egg and pecans.  Add the flour and stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface with offset spatula or back of spoon  Bake approximatley 35 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.  Once cool, spoon on with Caramel Icing then drizzle on syrup and garnish with remaining pecans.

 

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

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Carrots – the star of the show

Summer brings us wonderful fresh produce here in Ontario.  Roasting or cooking up a bunch of sweet carrots is a wonderful addition with any meal but baking them into a classic dessert is an even better use of this veg.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Carrot Cake

Today’s recipe for a moist sweet carrot cake with coconut and walnuts topped with a light Cream Cheese Icing will be a pleasant treat after any meal and an impressive dessert to take along to your next bbq!

This recipe is a perfect size as it bakes up in a 3-inch high 8-inch round cake pan in about 40-45 minutes.  You could also use 2 x 8-inch pans or use the larger height pan like I did and split the cake for an extra layer of icing.   Remember, if using 2 pans your baking time will be reduced.

Miette baking book is where I found this simple recipe and basically the only change I made was using the flat beater for all steps; Miette uses the whisk attachment for the first step of mixing the eggs, sugar and oil. Miette’s recipe also calls for using currents, walnuts and coconut but I opted for only walnuts and coconut as my add-ins.

I normally don’t add coconut to my baked items but in this cake with the carrots and walnuts it added another layer of flavour that blended together deliciously.  You could leave out the cocont and add in some dried currents or some raisins.  I toasted an additional 1/4 cup of coconut to sprinkle on top of the iced cake.

If possible pick up some fresh carrots at the farmers market as they truly are sweet and crunchy this time of the year and will make this cakes wonderful flavour just that much brighter.

Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs and sugar, and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes until well combined and light in colour.  Slow the mixer down, drizzle in the oil and then beat on high speed to emulsify the oi.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture in 3 additions mixing on medium after each until smooth.

Add in the carrots, walnuts and coconut and beat just until combined.  Remove from mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl to ensure everything is folded together well.

Scrape into prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool completely and ice with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe follows).

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese IcingCream Cheese Icing

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature

4 cups icing sugar

1-3 tsp. milk or cream

Beat butter and cream cheese together for several miutes until very well blended and smooth.  Add in icing sugar 1 cup at a time and beat on low to combine until spreadable consistency.  You many need a bit more or less icing sugar and if it’s too stiff beat in a teaspoon or two of milk.

Spread between layers and on top of cake.  Garnish with toasted walnuts or coconut.

Refrigerate uneaten portion and bring to room temperature before serving.

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes

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Butterscotch Cupcakes…sweetenuf.ca

The butterscotch flavour comes from the brown sugar and butter in these moist sweet cupcakes.  Did you know both butterscotch and toffee are part of the caramel family.  Butterscotch tastes similar to caramel but is sweeter and more butterty in taste which is most likely why I thought they were fantastic.

It is amazing the baking books I discover when I go on the hunt for a particular recipe!  I start looking for one thing and suddenly come across a recipe book or magazine tucked away (usually under several other baking related books or papers) and most often several pages are flagged with post-it notes awaiting a ‘bake-up’.

I’ve probably had this particular book “Caramel” by Carole Bloom for about 5 years and I guess this week it was time for Butterscotch Cupcakes so here you go!

Oh, a couple of things….this recipe calls for Cake & Pastry Flour which I didn’t have on hand.  You can substitite all-purpose flour BUT for every cup of all-purpose flour you use REMOVE 2 tbsp.  Alternately, if you had a recipe calling for all-purpose flour and you only had cake and pastry flour you would need to ADD 2 tbsp for each cup used.  For the batch I made I got 21 cupcakes not 16.  And I used my regular icing recipe and added some already prepared butterscotch sauce to it.  You could add some Dulce de Leche or use a plain vanilla icing.  These are definitely sweet treats but I bet you’ll be adding this to your recipe file.  Happy baking!

Butterscotch Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line or grease 2 12-cup muffin tins.  Yield: approx. 16

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher or fine-grained sea salt

2/3 cup sour cream

Method:

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the brown sugar and beat until creamy.

In a small bowl, using a fork, lightly beat the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together.  Add to the butter mixture in 2 stages, beating well after each addition. Stop and scrap down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure well mixed.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt to blend.  Add half of this dry mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixure and combine thoroughly.  Add the sour cream and blend until smooth and then add the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.

Fill prepared cups 2/3 full and bake about 22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack for about 5-10 minutes then remove cupcakes to cool completely before icing.  Now share!!

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Fill muffin cups
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Sprinkle topped Butterscotch Cupcakes…recipe on sweetenuf.ca

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that doesn’t do much for me.  Truth be told, no vegetable really does that much for me but I know I need to consume them.  Other than potatoes that have been deepfried and I’m not sure I should count that?!  Zucchini does redeem itself fantastically when grated into a loaf or muffin and this recipe from ‘Bake Class’, a terrific baking book by Anneka Manning, is wonderfully simple, quick, moist and speckled with zucchini.

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I made it the first time using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour and it turned out great.  It didn’t rise as high as the ones made with all-purpose flour/whole wheat flour but the delicious taste and moistness was still there.  The gluten-free version was also a little denser but it was still all eaten within 48 hours!

A note to those of you purchasing the Red Mill Gluten Free Flour…I purchased the 1:1 bag which already has the addition of zanthem gum to it.  It is more expensive than their other gluten free flour, by about $3 where I purchased it, but you just measure and substitue in your recipes without having to fuss with additional ingredients.  A winner for this recipe anyway!

I skipped the pistachio’s in my bread as I didn’t have any on hand but feel free to add in some pecans or walnuts or even a few butterscotch chips.  Scumptious, moist and packed with flecks of zucchini the only improvement I made was slathering my slices with some sweet butter.  Mmmm Mmmm, fabulous with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Oh, a few more things…this recipe has no salt so ‘no’, I didn’t forget it; I used regular brown sugar instead of raw sugar and once I was short about 1/2 cup of zucchini so I added in some ripe banana and it was great.  Give this recipe a try and feel free to message me!

Zucchini Bread awaiting Butter
Where’s the Butter?

Happy Baking.

Zucchini & Pistachio Loaf

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a 5 x 9 1/2 with parchment paper to make sling for easy removal.

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup raw sugar

2/3 cup sunflower or light olive oil

Grated zest of 1 orange

2 1/4 cups coarsely grated zucchini

1/2 cup (approx.) unsalted shelled pistachios

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil and zest.  Stir in zucchini and pistachios.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add to the the zucchini mixture and stir with a spatula or large spoon just until combined.

Spoon into the prepared loaf pan and smooth top evenly,

Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let cool about 5 minues and remove from pan to cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewy Brownies

Chewy Brownies

Brownies are the quintessential sweet treat.  Chocolatey, sweet, chewy, portable and easy to make.

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Chewy Brownie – sweetenuf.ca

 

A chewy brownie with a fudgey consistency is my go to.  Others prefer a cakey brownie but I find they lack a depth of flavour I crave.  Today’s recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a sure fire winner with 3 types of chocolate plus some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavour even further.

With the freezing rain still falling on this Spring Sunday a batch of these baking would surely lift your mood and make you forget about the howling winds and the fact you still need your long johns.  Start your ovens people and beat back your sweet treat craving with a pan of these.

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Chocolate!  Sweetenuf.ca

 

Chewy Brownies (ATK)

Makes approx. 24.  Grease and parchment or foil line (make sure to grease the foil) 13 x 9-inch baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1/2cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

Method:

Whisk hot water, cocoa and espresso powder together in a large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in oil and melted butter.  Add in eggs and yolks and vanilla and continue whisking until mixture is smooth and uniform looking.  Whisk in sugar until fully mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and add into chocolate mixture combining with a rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in the bittersweet pieces.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatual to reach the corners and smooth top.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Remember to rotate pan half way through baking time!

Let cool and remove Brownies from pan.  Let cool further until firm and cut into squares.  Wrap leftovers well.

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