Love Triangles. Or, herbed mushroom marsala phyllo yumminess.

Finger food season is coming. Or, maybe I need to think that because I love the buttery flaky crunch of little tidbits wrapped in that miracle dough.

We were at Caravan two weeks ago, so of course I got a couple packages of phyllo for the freezer.
Only when we got home, I threw one in the fridge on a whim, intending to make some spanky. Well, that didn’t happen. Then when I woke up this morning and opened the fridge, there was this package of mushrooms staring at me. Right next to some thyme, and the phyllo. Like they planned it or something.

This came together slowly, with me futzing on the internet and getting up to stir when the timer went off. It’s not a fast recipe, but it doesn’t require a lot of attention, either.
You could totally make the filling for this one day, and then assemble up to a couple days later. I just had a leisurely Saturday morning.

These are SO LOVELY. I am concluding that himself enjoyed them, as I gave him a sample to take a bite and when I turned around the whole thing was gone. I had them with some bubbly, but am thinking now I bet they would be great with some Amontillado. I’m also wondering how that phyllo would do brushed with layers of that fantastic thyme oil from IKEA instead of butter. That would seriously amp up the herbaceous flavor. Hmmm….. anywho. These are yum. Invite some friends over for a bite and a glass, and make these. You will be sooooo very happy you did.

Herbed Mushroom Marsala Phyllo Triangles

2 medium white onions, sliced in ¼” crescents
2 Tbsp butter
Sprinkle salt
8 oz button mushrooms, washed and sliced into ¼” slices
2 tsp fresh thyme
¼ c. good dry sherry or marsala
½ c. chopped toasted walnuts
¼ c. grated parmesan or pecorino romano(even the green can stuff would be fine)
(4 oz. fresh goat cheese. optional)

½ pkg.-ish of #4 phyllo dough
6 Tbsp. melted butter

Caramelize the onions. Melt the 2 Tbsp butter in a saute pan on low, add the onions, sprinkle with salt and cover. Cook on low, stirring every 20 mins or so until they are reduced and golden. Push the onions to the side, add the mushrooms, thyme, and little more salt. Cook covered, on medium, until the mushrooms are cooked. Remove the lid, pour in the marsala and cook a few more minutes until practically all the fluid has evaporated. Remove from the heat. Stir in the nuts. Check for seasoning, add S&P to taste. Set aside to cool. Once it’s coolish, stir in the cheese.

Preheat oven to 375*. Layer three sheets of phyllo, brushing butter between each. If you’ve never worked with phyllo, don’t be escared. See how here!

Using a pizza cutter or knife, slice the prepared sheet of dough into four strips (with the phyllo in a landscape orientation in front of you. So, four short strips, not longways. In the bottom right corner of each one , place about 2 Tbsp. cooled filling, dot with a little noisette of the goat cheese if using, and triangle fold your way up the dough until you have a little triangle packet. See how here!

Roll ‘em all up till you’re out of patience or filling, whichever comes first. . Brush all the tops with the last of the butter. Bake 375* for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and delicious. Serve warm or room temperature. These are lovely with a buttery icy cold white, or even better, a dry prosecco or sparkling rose like Gruet’s Jacqueline Leonne pink label. Alas, I had a bottle of prosecco open at shooting so we’ll have to wait for a rose pic down the road. But that Leonne is my current fave, and it is from FREAKING ABQ NEW MEXICO.

Enjoy. We sure did.

Pumpkin. And Bread.


Happy October, Betches! It’s pumpkin baking time!

You know I love to roast and purée a big squash for the freezer. This is not any cheaper than buying canned pumpkin, but it makes me happy. So, this year I tried a completely different variety and I think it is THE ONE. I have no idea what this is called – it’s the kind you get at the Mexican supermarket and poach like camotes in piloncillo syrup for the kids. But my Goddess, the color! I wish you could see this in real life – it is the most deep, gorgeous, vivid orange. Almost vermillion.
And once it’s baked? Even deeper with just a tinge of brick red. It’s fantastic – and made the bread this luscious pumpkin-y color. I’m so pleased with this I can’t contain myself. I cannot wait to try making a pumpkin pie. The only down side was the yield – this was a six pound pumpkin. I cooked half and got 4.5 cups of strained purée, but almost six in water. Lawdee lawd but that puppy was loaded with water. But I digress.

Pumpkin bread. For the past few years, every time I make it the color is so pale you can’t even tell there’s any pumpkin in it. Not this year – it’s totes gorgeous.

I found a new recipe to tweak, too. I was intrigued because it uses water and not milk. I used the strained pumpkin water since I had it. And added some whole wheat flour. But this was truly one of the best pumpkin breads I’ve ever made. Himself, the gals at the office, and the folks at Himself’s office all loved it. So, go make this right now. Use canned pumpkin – it will still be freaking delicious.

Ingredients
The Dry
2.5 c. sugar
2.5 c. AP flour
1 c. Whole Wheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda (yes, really)
1.5 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

The Wet
2 c. pumpkin purée (or, one 14.5oz can – which is about 2.25 c.)
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water

The Topping
Melted unsalted butter
Cinnamon sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans (or line two twelve-unit muffin tins).
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
In a second bowl, whisk together the wet. Then, with a large spoon or spatula fold the wet in to the dry. You want a barely homogenous batter, not activated gluten. Divide into the pans.
Bake for about 55-70 minutes in the preheated oven, until they pass the toothpick test.(I’d start testing the muffins a the half hour mark.)

Once they’ve cooled on the rack about ten minutes, brush them with the melted butter and generously sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar. After about an hour – they should be blood warm – run the dull side of a butterknife along the edges of the pan and then give it a few whacks to make sure the loaf is loose enough to come out. You can let them cool in the pan overnight if you’re making this in the evening, or on the counter until they are wrappable cool. Don’t wrap before they are completely and totally cool, or the top will become a sticky mess.

I wish we could do dairy, because a schmear of plain cream cheese on these thick luscious slices would have been absolute heaven.

Ok – go make this right now. You’ll be sooo happy.

Apple Ginger Walnut Bread


We’re back, bitches. Where have I been? It’s a long story – I’ll post it after the goodies. In the mean time, it is Fall! Time for apple recipes. Himself loves candied ginger, and today I was thinking about making a chutney with apples and ginger, and then changed direction and decided on some breakfast cake. Because breakfast. And cake. And y’all already know how I feel about that.

Spicy Apple Nut Bread
Makes two 9×5 or four 8×4 loaves

Cream method:
In your mixer bowl, add:
4 c. AP flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp. cinnamon

Turn on low until mixture looks like fine crumbs.

Meanwhile, prepare the fruity nutty bits:
Peel and cube 3 medium tart apples (granny smith, pippin)
Toss with 1 Tbsp. sugar and about another ½ tsp. Cinnamon to keep them from browning.
Chop ½ c. candied ginger into pieces about the size of a chocolate chip
Chop ½ c. walnuts
Soak ½ c. raisins in 1 c. hot water and a couple drops of vanilla (or rum)

Grease and line with baking parchment your loaf pans. Preheat your oven to 350*.

Once the dry ingredients look like crumbs, turn off the mixer and add in:
1 c. buttermilk
4 eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla extract

Start low and go to high and let it go a couple minutes until the mixture is fluffy-looking and about a shade lighter in color. While that’s going, drain the raisins. Once it’s fluffy and lighter, add all the fruity nutty bits, and give it a couple whirs just to stir them in.

Divide between your pans and bake about 50-60 mins (larger loaf=longer time, obvs) until it passes the toothpick test.

When the loaves are mostly cool, remove from the pan to finish cooling on a rack. You can brush with melted butter and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar at this stage, if you’re feelin’ it. Or a simple water/powdered sugar glaze. Just something to hold in the moisture. Once it’s cool, prepare the drizzle.

The Drizzle:
In a microwave-safe bowl (or 4 cup pyrex!), put:
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbps. water
Microwave until it is bubbling. (Mine took about 30 seconds). Stir in:
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar.
Stir. It should be the consistency of crepe batter. Put it in a pastry tube to drizzle over the cooled bread.

That drizzle is one of my favorites – it’s the salty, almost caramel taste that I just love.

Ok – enjoy! And thanks for coming back after my unplanned three-month hiaitus. Our Cindy dog fell ill back in June, and passed in July. She was our good girl for thirteen years and I was devastated. Right now writing this two months after she passed and I’ve got tears blurring the screen. Then something went wrong with the air conditioner and water got underneath the oak floor and we’ve been dealing with contractors and insurance and…..sigh. It’s sucked my will to create. I did not have enough joy for me, so I couldn’t find any to share. But ya know, that damn sun just keeps coming up every morning. Take care, y’all. And if you have puppers, give them a big hug because our time together is finite.

Vanilla Strawberry Jam…..and orange scones

It’s almost spring, kind of a pre-spring really. I say this because Sprouts had quarts of strawbabies for 97 cents, and I was all over that. But…..although they were red, they were not really flavorful or sweet. So, what to do with a ton of non-optimal berries?

Then I remembered this awesome book I checked out from the library about small-batch canning, Food in Jars. I’d checked it out to read while planning a fig-onion-jam-making party, only it’s winter and the onions are all shite and not yet worthy of jam making. That mother is still totally happening, but once the onions are fat and sweet and not stringy and hot. But I digress. So, strawberry jam was now on the agenda. Last time I made it, I added some vanilla and it was awesome. So, there we go – I now had a plan.

I did this granny-style, 1:1 by weight fruit to sugar. Plus a 3″ piece of already scraped vanilla pod.

It is really yummy, but quite sweet. And a little heavy on the vanilla (I guess I was expecting a miracle and the cooking to make the berries have more berry-ness?). This is the kind of jam for crostatas, or afternoon tea, or sandwiched in a white layer cake. We had it with some orange scones (the usual recipe, with the zest of half an orange added, and just a little egg wash and sparkle sugar on top.)

This was a fun Friday morning off project, only took a couple of hours. If you’ve never canned before, I can highly recommend Marisa McClellan’s book, or The Spruce has a great visual beginner’s guide. It’s not hard, but there are some safety bits that are essential.

Ok – Here’s the recipe for Vanilla Strawberry Jammy Jams

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh strawberries; washed, stemmed, cut in half
2 pounds sugar
3″ piece of vanilla bean pod that’s already had its seeds scraped out. (or a one-inch piece of whole pod)

In a big stock pot on a very low flame, mix the berries and sugar. Use a potato masher to smoosh it up. Toss in the vanilla bean pod. Check on it and stir it every ten minutes or so at the beginning to make sure the sugar isn’t burning. Once it’s liquidy, let it barely bubble away for about two hours, then start to stir it every 15 minutes or so, again to make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch. When it sheets on a spoon, it’s ready (What the hell does that mean? Read on, baby!) At that point you can can it in a water bath, or put it in to freezer jam jars. Or just refrigerator jars. With all that sugar, it’ll stay good for quite a long while. Take some to the neighbors – mine loved it!

I’ll post about those scones later; I tried a Nigella trick and tossed the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting the dough. THAT was amazeballs and I am definitely doing THAT again.

Ok, go make some jam. It’s easy.

Coconut Almond Tart

Coconut Almond Tart
GF and deelish, betches.

I was scrolling through some of my old Pinterest boards, and saw this French Coconut Pie recipe I’d saved a long time ago. My my, but it just looked so damn delish – crunchy sugary top with a buttery chewy coconut filling. It had a LOT of sugar, though, so I cut it by a third in this version. I’ve been wanting to try a tart with a gluten-free crust, too, since one of my favorite ladies at the office can’t have wheat (like, seriously, an illness not a fad diet thing), and I want her to be included in the goodies. I had some almond flour in the pantry, and found a decent recipe to riff over at Craftsy.

Ok, so this is insanely rich. When I made it I decided to use a 4”x13” tart pan instead of the 9” round, so I had about ¾ c. filling left over. Which of course I baked in silicone cupcake cups because *hello*, pie filling, and that meant we could taste it and still get pictures of a whole tart. Win/win! I gave himself a taste of the filling and he says, “Oh. Ok. Don’t make this again.” Now, in husband-speak that means if you make this I will want to eat the whole damn pie so please save me from myself. (Oh, I *do* love this man, is he not the best??) The thing that surprised me the most was how yellow the filling is; but, with three eggs and half a cup of butter it makes sense.

The crust if very fragile once baked (look at one corner that crumbled as I removed the tart from the pan.) I’ll be looking for a different one to try. But it’s tasty.

Crust:
2 c. almond flour
½ c. GF AP flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. butter

Filling:
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
½ c. butter

Preheat oven to 350*.
In the food processor, whir briefly to combine:
2 c. almond flour
½ c. GF AP flour
¼ tsp. salt
Add:
8 Tbsp. butter (a stick, cut up),
and pulse until it looks like soft cookie dough.
Smoosh this out and up the sides your tart pan until it is an even width and looks like a pie crust. It helps to oil your hands before you start; this stuff is sticky. (And – this could be a good job for house munchkins.)
Parbake it for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, make the filling.
Melt ½ c. unsalted butter, set aside.

In your mixer bowl (whisk attachment), beat on med-high until lemon-colored and fluffy (about a minute):
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Add to the mixer:
1 c. shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
and the melted butter.
Whip on med-high for another minute.

Take the par-baked shell out of the oven, pour in the filling and put it back in for about 50-60 minutes. When is it done? It will be puffy and golden and not jiggle when you jostle the pan. (Mine was done in 40 because it was smaller and narrower than the 9” round.)

This begs for a pineapple compote or a Kahlua ganache with some whipped cream and a macamademia praline sprinkle. But, ya know, I’m trying to simplify and whatnot.

Enjoy. I’m not going to calculate the nutritional value on this one – come one, you can tell it’s a fat-laden sugar bomb of indulgence. Just have a small piece and then walk an extra mile tomorrow.

Share if you try it!!!

Post Script on the crust – it firmed up a tidge over night. My favorite office lady told me to go 50/50 with the almond flour and GF flour, and add a tiny bit of binder – I have guar gum. So, I’ll try that next time. The office folks all enjoyed the tart, or at least said they did. Yeah!

Crostata di Marmellata di Fichi

It all started with a jar of jam. A beautiful, urn-like, Costco-sized jug really, filled with sparkling fig jam. Fig is my favorite, next to apricot, and the best brand is Tuna’s (which Caravan stopped carrying!) I was so sad until that moment in Costco. That is, until I got home.
Because, you see, this gorgeous golden Greek jug of hope held a horrible, horrible secret that only revealed itself when you took your first bite. Vanilla. They put FUCKING VANILLA in the jam. It tasted like my father’s pipe tobacco smelled. So, great. Now I had a Costco-sized jug of inedible fig jam taking up precious refrigerator space. And it stayed there for several months while I decided what to do. Then it occurred to me: crostata di mamellata!! Of course. Found a nice nonna recipe on The YouTube. It used oil and eggs in the crust – intriguing! I tried it and took it in to the office. It was lovely, and consumed with glee.

But overall the feedback was that it was too sweet – I’d made the layer of jam too thick. Everyone loved the vanilla now that it was in a tarte. I thought the crust needed a pinch of salt, and would taste better with butter than oil. General consensus was that it tasted like a giant fig newton. I’m cool with that. And realized essentially this is like those stained glass cookies you make for the winter holidays.

Fast forward to Saturday morning, time to try those adaptations. This time the dough mixed in the food processor, and I used melted butter instead of the oil. I thought this was a good idea. Oh, lawdee lawdee lawd. Do not ever do this. Ever. For reals. Learn from my pain. What an awful, greasy glob it made. I hoped by putting it back in the fridge for an hour, it would become useable. It was. Whew, dodged that bullet.

For the sweetness, the second batch which (THANK GAWD) finally ends that damn jar of fig jam, I stirred in the juice of one lemon. That did the trick, and balanced out the sweetness nicely. If I could do dairy, a dollop of mascarpone or plain Greek yogurt would be absolute heaven on this puppy.

The next time I make this, I will use either apricot or bosenberry jam. And I shall feast, betches!

Let’s make this – and I hope you check out the nonna video – I love the Italian technique, whether it is pasta for noodles or for pastry you beat that egg then slowly add in the flour. With your damn hand, dammit. Because centuries of practice going back to the Roman Empire cannot be wrong.

Crostata di marmellata
2 eggs, beaten
½ c. butter, cool-ish
½ c. sugar
1 tsp bkp pwd
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp. salt
2 c. AP Flour
sparkle sugar
Filling: a jar of jam (about 1.5-2c)

Set aside 2Tbsp. of the egg. Preheat your oven to 350*. In the bowl of your food processor, put the dry ingredients and briefly pulse to combine them. Add the butter, pulse til it looks like fine crumbs. Add the liquid, and pulse again to combine.
You will wind up with a crumbly mass. Turn it out on your floured board and gently knead a few times. Cut off 1/3 and set it aside. Roll out the larger piece to fit the bottom and sides of your pan(s). Fit it in the pan and trim the edges. Roll out the remaining dough to the same thickness (about 1/4″) in a big rectangle-ish shape and using a swirly-edged pasta cutter, slice it in to ½” wide strips. place these in the lattice style of your choice on top of the jam, and pinch them in to the dough at the edge. You’ll have many strips left. When that is done, smoosh down the dough at the sides of the pan with your finger, it should be about ¼” higher than the jam. Take the remaining strips and place them around the circumference. Gently brush all the dough with the reserved beaten egg, and sprinkle with the sparkle (or normal, or turbinado) sugar.
Bake 350* for 40m. Cool completely before slicing. Then have with your afternoon caffe with the neighbors.

Pecan Brown Sugar Scones

This is the second attempt at these babies. I’ve been trying to capture Himself’s favorite dessert, pecan pie. Although these are not quite there, they are quite tasty. Hopefully a future post is coming that can be called the pecan pie version. Not today, though. If I make one more batch of these this weekend, I am afraid Himself will have my head.

This version is just sweet enough, with a nice crunch from the nuts, and a little hint of salt in the special icing.

These are a little more fussy than my usual, but don’t be scared off. It’s not hard, there’s just a couple extra bits. But hey! That’s what makes these so special. And pretty enough to get rid of the leftovers to the neighbors!
Shall we?

Pecan Brown Sugar Scones.
yield: 16 mini or 8 large

Scones:
2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. dark brown sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling
¼ c. toasted chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c. ice cold butter
¾ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg separated, with the whites lightly whisked until foamy.
8-16 pretty pecan halves.

Icing:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbps. water
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar.

Preheat the oven to 375*.

For the Dry, in a medium-sized bowl mix together:
2 c. AP flour
¼ c. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Mix, then cut in with a pastry cutter:
½ c. ice cold butter
Set aside, and a small bowl mix the wet:
¾ c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk.

Mix the wet in to the dry genty until it is shaggy-looking. Turn on to your board/counter, and gently flold and knead until the tough barely holds tegether. With your board knife, cut the dough in to four equal parts, and gently shape and flatten each in to a disc about 6” across and ½” high. On two of the discs, sprinkle:
¼ c. dark brown sugar
¼ toasted chopped pecans.
With your board knife, gently lift one of the plain discs and set it on top of the nuts/sugared disc. (Do the same for the other) Gently press down, they will kind of stick together. Smooth the outside edge so there’s no brown sugar poking out. (Otherwise, the top half will just slide off the bottom half during baking.) Use your board knife to slice each disc in to 8 wedges. (I do halves, quarters, then eighths). Place about ½” apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss the pecan halves in the foamy egg whites. Brush the backs and tops of the wedges with the beaten egg white, and place a pecan half on each. (Why not the sides? I don’t know the chemistry of it, but essentially it’ll seal the sides so there’s no where for the scone to rise and expand in the oven.) Sprinkle the moist tops with a little more brown sugar. Bake about 15 – 18 minutes until deep golden. Remove from the oven. and place the scones on a cooling rack. When they are just barely still warm, drizzle with the salted brown sugar icing. (And ermehgerd, this icing! I wanted to just eat it with a spoon. This would be amazeballs on a coffee cake. Soooo yummy.)
The Icing:
In a microwave-safe bowl (or 4 cup pyrex!), put:
2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbps. water
Microwave until it is bubbling. (Mine took about 30 seconds). Stir in:
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
1 c. powdered sugar.
Stir. It should be the consistency of a thick icing. Put it in a pastry tube to drizzle over the almost-cool scones. Serve and eat!


Remember to take some to the neighbors!

For the 16-scone version, the nutritional info per scone calculated using the verywell.com site is:
Calories 256
Fat 18.8g
Sodium 132mg
Carbs 19.6g (fiber 2.3g, sugars 5.7g)
Protein 4.3

Green Chili Corn Cakes

Creen Chili Corn Cakes

These are so tender, savory, spicy and sweet, with just a little tooth from the corn kernals. I highly recommend making these immediately for dinner or breakfast. We spread ours with butter and a little drizzle of agave syrup. Total yum. Himself considers them very tasty.

I made these a couple weeks back after I saw a Food52 Instagram post for these masa cakes with cheese and cilantro crema. They looked so very tasty; well, except for the cheese and crema parts in our lactose-impaired household. Modified a bit for our tastes, boy are these amazing. The recipe is brilliant with the addition of some corn starch to the flour – it makes these so very tender.

As always, this recipe needs Hatch green chili. Do not use the mushy tasteless canned things. If you don’t have Hatch, mince up fine a fat jalapeno without the ribs and seeds, but use about 30% less of that than the green chili. And, if you are lucky enough to be able to eat cheese, a sprinkle of cotija on this would be amazeballs.
I keep wanting to see how these would be as a bun for an eggie sammich on a weekday morning, but there are never any left by Monday morning….life’s tough, I know.

Alrighty then, let’s make these mofos:

Green Chili Corn Cakes
Time: 30 m
Yield: about a dozen 3” cakes
Heat your griddle to medium.

Dry – in a big bowl, stir together:
1 c. corn flour (masa harina like MaSeca, NOT corn meal)
3 Tbsp. corn starch
½ c. AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Wet – in a second bowl, whisk:
2 eggs
1 ½ c. buttermilk
2 Tbsp. oil (mild like Canola or light olive)
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. grated onion.
½ c. thawed frozen corn kernals
½ c. chopped Hatch green chili

Mix the dry with the wet until combined. You don’t have to be super gentle like with wheat flour, the masa doesn’t have gluten to toughen things up. (Don’t go nuts – there is a little AP in there.) Cook the way you do pancakes. Then happily consume them.

Bon apétit!

The VeryWell.com recipe nutrition calculator says each cake has:
cal: 135
fat: 3.9g
sodium: 366mg
carb: 21.9g (fiber: 1.3g, sugar: 6.2g)
protein: 3.7
and! 75% of your Vitamin C for the day (who knew? must be the chilis?)

Kahlua and Cream Triple Layer Cake

Quick share of a fun cake. We were invited to game night at a friend’s house, so of course I volunteered to make dessert. Because me.

I started to go Super-Karen and think of triple chocolate with a salted caramel, or orange-chocolate with Cointreau….and then told myself to calm the fuck down. Just a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting would be fine.

So, that is basically what we got. Three layers of Ina’s chocolate cake sandwiching my grandmother’s fluffy vanilla frosting and a little ganache to top it off. Since it was a naked cake, I brushed it with a Kahlua simple syrup. I wish I hadn’t garnished it with the swirled chocolate bits on top (it was a pain to slice that way) and the ganache was lovely by itself. But, ya know – live and learn.

This puppy got rave reviews (Ina’s cake always does), so I put the steps & the recipe links in a Google doc. Give it whirl. It is incredibly moist and chocolately, without being so treacly sweet it makes your teeth hurt. We all need a little choco indulgence now and again, and this baby fit the bill nicely. If you make it, I’d love to hear how it turns out, and how you adapted the recipe for your perfect indulgence.

Gateau aux Pommes

It’s good to fail. It gives perspective.
I know I should be posting about berries and springy things and asparagus, but I saw this recipe yesterday and made it this morning on a whim.

This is like a clafoutis, or even an apple pudding, if the pudding part were similar to a bread pudding. I hated it and thought it tasted like vanilla paste. Himself said it “wasn’t bad”, but might be better chilled. We’ll see. Maybe.

Do not think I will make this again. Or, if I do, I will make it thicker. I still want to try that Swedish version with the grated marzipan – that sounds much tastier.

Alrighty, here’s the receipt:

Heat your oven to 400*. Grease an 8″ springform and line the base with parchment.

In your mixer on high for three minutes until super fluffy light:
2 eggs
1/4 brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Peel and mandoline 6 medium apples.

Sift together
1/2 c. + 1 Tbp flour
1 tsp baking powder

Melt 2 Tbp butter

Once the eggs/sugar are super fluffy foamy, sprinkle the flour/baking powder over them, drizzle in the butter and
1/3 c. whole milk.

Mix to combine.

Reserve some apple slices to sprinkle on top, and hand mix the rest of the apple slices in to the batter, making sure they are all coated. Pour into prepared pan, put the reserved slices on top, and bake for 30-35 minutes until set.

Serve hot, warm, or cold. With vanilla sauce or sprinkled with powdered sugar.