Happy Hannukah 2017: a cookie Menorah will light your night!

December 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

Busy kitchen this time of year, but we still want to post a few pictures for this Hannukah celebration; this year we made a cookie Menorah and some brownie “donuts” with some mini gelt in paper cups. All delicious and fun for a holiday party!!

 

and some chocolate-dipped pretzels:

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Halloween 2017

October 31, 2017 § Leave a comment

Another Halloween is upon us: tomorrow will be the parent-dreaded and kid-anticipated sugar overload!

SWEETTABLESCAPES is guilty as charged when it comes to adding fuel to the fire; we have baked quite a few spooky treats this year again and want to share them tonight! Better late than never!!

Bloody zombies!!

 

Candy Minis:

EEK and BOOs Minis

Fun favors inspired by some plastic cups:

Friday the 13th Kid’s Birthday:

More Halloween treats:

More favors:

Chocolate-covered sugar cookies:

A big crowd of little monsters:

The best Apple Crumb Cake..just in time for fall!!

October 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

As usual when I find a recipe and file it into my recipe folder, it can remain there  for quite some time…until the need arises to use some specific ingredients…If anything, Autumn is APPLE time, so this recipe originally found on Crunchy Creamy Sweet, was the perfect ending to a nice fall lunch (at a lovely restaurant in Wilmington, DE “Capers and Lemons”). And since it was my twin-daughters’ 21st birthday casual celebration, I had to add some decorated cookies!

Cake was delicious with a perfect crumb to fruit ratio. And there truly was not a crumb left!!

You’ll need:

for the cake:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 to 3 medium apples washed, peeled, cored and sliced ( I used Red Delicious and Golden Delicious)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
for the topping:
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Grease and flour an 8″ round springform pan. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
to make the topping:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together both sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add melted butter and fluff with fork until mixtures creates crumbs. Set aside.
to make the cake:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, vanilla, oil and egg. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.3. Do not over mix. Few lumps in the batter are okay.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together apple slices with two tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Arrange apple slices over the batter.
  6. Sprinkle crumb topping over the apples covering completely.
  7. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.
  8. Let cool completely in the pan.
  9. Transfer onto a serving plate or stand. Slice and serve.
  10. Keep in a covered container for up to 4 days.

Optional: add some cookies! 

Lime and Yogurt Loaf Cake

October 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

When it ain’t broke, dont’ fix it!! That is SWEETTABLESCAPES‘s motto when it comes to basic, favorite recipes. Loaf cakes are a staple of French family, easy baking and deliver much pleasure and taste for minimal effort. That is why this blog shares a lot of these recipes. So we return to one of our favorite sources: “French Desserts” for this Lime and Yogurt Loaf Cake.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 organic limes

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

4 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze: 1 organic lime, juiced and 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar – Mix the lime juice with the confectioner’s sugar. Add a bit of water if it needs to be thinner.Pour over the cooled cake and sides.

Candied Limes: 1 organic lime, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup granulated sugar – Cut the lime into rounds as thinly as possible and remove the pits. Slice the rounds in half to make half moons. Add the water and sugar to saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the lime slices and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the peel is very tender. leave to cool in the saucepan. To serve, lay half moon slices on top of the cake.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour the loaf pan.

Place the sugar into food processor. using the microplane, finely grate the zest of 1 lime over the sugar; process for 10 seconds and then let rest for 10 minutes so the lime oil flavors and scents the sugar.

Squeeze all 3 limes for juice. This should yield approximately 1/3 cup juice. Use all of it when asked.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the food processor and pulse 6 times. transfer this mixture into a mixing bowl.

Place the eggs, egg yolk, oil, butter, yogurt, vanilla and all the lime juice into the food processor and process for 5 seconds.

Add back in the dry ingredients and pulse just until combines, about 4 long pulses.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, wrap completely in plastic wrap to retain moisture, and allow the cake to completely cool. Dress it up with the glaze and candied lime (optional)

 

Chocolate-Coconut Pound Cake

September 26, 2017 § 2 Comments

Nothing like an old classic to bring joy and comfort! This pound cake is enhanced by the coconut oil and chips and some buttermilk and brings you the ultimate chocolate kick!!

The recipe is from “Bon Appetit” March 2014 issue.

You’ll need:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temperature

1 1/2 cups plus 1 Tbsp suagr

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup buttermil

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Butter an 8 X 4 loaf pan; line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on long sides. (we used a silicon pan which does not require any of this preparation)

Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil, 1/4 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until pale and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume, 5-8minutes. Add vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients (do not overmix: it will cause cake to buckle and split).

Scrape batter into pan and run spatula through the center, creating a canal. Sprinkle with coconut and remaining Tbsp sugar.

Bake cake, tenting with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done (it should be very dark and toasted), until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 70-80 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes before turning out. (Cake can be baked 5 days ahead. Keep tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Italian Zombies!!! Quid?????

September 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

It is probably the most fun part of decorating cookies and baking cakes for all occasions: getting requests that don’t necessarily make much sense to you and require some creativity!!

This birthday cake was originally celebrating a) the birthday boy and b) his summer trip to Italy….and then Italy took a second place to…zombies! With Halloween just around the corner SWEETTABLESCAPES was delighted to try and duplicate these cookies. We just loved the look so much!

So we went about decorating some sugar cookies and baked a cake in the shape of Italy, a couple of “signs” in Italian warning “Beware Zombies” and wishing “Happy Birthday” added to the authenticity!

What a fun project!!

Croque-cake: a new spin on the croque-monsieur

August 31, 2017 § Leave a comment

One of my favorite passtimes when I go back home (aka France) is to spend lots of time in a book store, browsing through recipe books. As a baker, my attention is mostly held by all sorts of “cake books” and this year, I discovered this tome which provides fun and easy recipes based on the “croque-monsieur” concept, using sliced bread (or brioche) to create delicious “croque-cakes” in minutes…

 

Well, let’s say there is definitely some wisdom in the expression ” the best thing since sliced bread”!! The recipes in this book simply require a loaf of sliced white bread (or brioche for the sweet recipes) and a handful of other ingredients to produce the most delicious loaves.

SWEETTABLESCAPES wasted no time experimenting with this easy-peasy recipe for a Hazelnut-Chocolate Croque Cake!!

You’ll need:

One 10 X 4 1/2  anti-stick loaf pan (or lined with parchment paper)

8 to 10 slices brioche (crust removed)

200 g shaved dark chocolate (we used 70% cocoa content)

5 Tbsp finely ground hazelnuts

20 g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

3 eggs

200 ml heavy cream

50 g sugar

Directions:

Whisk heavy cream, eggs and sugar in a medium bowl.

Mix shaved chocolate and ground hazelnut in another small bowl.

Cut brioche slices to fit into a loaf pan and line bottom of the pan with some of these slices.

Pour 1/4 of the cream-egg-sugar mixture over these slices and sprinkle with some chocolate-hazelnut mixture.

Repeat twice and finish with one last layer of brioche slices.
Pour the remaining cream-egg-sugar mixture and cover with coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Press top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven (350F) for 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.

Beware this rich chocolatey treat!!

 

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