Thursday, April 24, 2008

Marble Pound Cake

Marble cake always looks so pretty, so I've been tempted to try this recipe for a while now. Unfortunately, I've made another slightly dry cake! I tried my best to follow the directions, but the cake still turned out a bit on the dry side for me. Looks like I will have to add a bit of liquid (2 - 4 tblspns) on my attempts at pound cake. Although...I did halve the recipe, it's possible that I overbaked the cake.
Marble Pound Cake
1 cup + 2 tblspns cake flour (scooped & leveled)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1 stick (8 tblspns) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
**2 - 4 tblspns milk/heavy cream/buttermilk

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted & cooled

  • Melt 2 ounces of chocolate over a double-boiler & set aside to cool.
  • Preheat oven to 325F. Grease & flour baking pan (I used 8X4).
  • Whisk together, flour, baking powder & salt.
  • With a stand mixer & the paddle attachment, beat butter & sugar till light & fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape as you go to fully incorporate mixture.
  • With the mixer on medium, slowly add one egg at a time, beating for about 1 minute after the addition of each egg. Scraping the bowl & beaters as you go.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Reduce the mixer to low & slowly incorporate the flour. (**Alternate between flour & few tablespoons of milk/heavy cream, end with flour.) Do not overmix.
  • Divide the batter into half, add the melted chocolate to one portion of the batter.
  • Alternate large spoonfuls of white batter & chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Run a knife through the cake in a zigzag pattern & smooth the top.
  • Place the pan on a heavy baking sheet, & place in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 45 - 50 minutes - bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, a few crumbs are ok. If the top gets too dark, cover slightly with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Remove the cake from the oven & allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Loosen cake, remove from pan & allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Tightly wrap cake to store at room temperature for a few days or freeze for longer storage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vegan Cheesecake

Vegan orange cheesecake - added orange zest & orange extract - but added a little too much. Made two small containers. Recipe from Nicole on baking bites.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Lemon Raisin Pound Cake

Lemon Pound cake from Veganomican. Dense & moist, but a little too wet. Texture tasted like steamed asian cake. Did not mix batter for 1 - 2 minutes as instructed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chocolate Mint Melties

My boyfriend wanted a wheat-free cookie with dark chocolate + he loves mint! Dreena's chocolate mint melties seemed like the perfect candidate to satisfy his craving. I didn't have mint chocolate, so subbed regular dark chocolate chips - gave them a whirl in the food processor, although next time I'm just going to give them a semi-rough rough chop. Although I omitted the dry sugar, the sweetness level was perfect for me. Since I needed more mint flavor, I went with 1/2 tsp vanilla extract & 1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract - next time I will try 1 1/4 tsp peppermint** to see if there's a better balance between chocolate & mint. The cookies are a little crumbly & more cake-like to me, I want to try them again using egg replacer + a little more flour to see if they would result in a slightly denser & chewier cookie texture.
Chocolate Mint Melties
3 oz/85 grams dark chocolate
1 1/8 cups whole spelt flour
3 tblspn cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt

¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tblspn agave nectar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp peppermint extract**
¼ cup organic coconut oil (a touch generous)
  • Preheat oven to 350F & line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Give chocolate a thorough chop, leaving small & medium-small chunks.
  • Transfer chocolate to a bowl & combine with dry ingredients, sifting in flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & baking soda, & whisk to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine syrup, agave nectar, vanilla & mint extracts + oil & stir until well mixed.
  • Add wet mixture to dry, & stir until just combined (do not overmix).
  • Spoon/scoop batter onto baking sheet, spacing evenly.
  • Place 1 to 2 chocolate chips on top of each cookie & press down slightly to flatten.
  • Bake for 11 - 12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
  • Remove from oven & allow to cool for a minute or so on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Makes about one dozen/12 cookies.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bread Pudding Muffins

Bread pudding muffin recipe from My boyfriend took me out on a date this past Friday & part of our doggie bag included some leftover bread! The waitress was even so kind to get me a fresh loaf from the oven! What a perfect excuse to make some bread pudding once the bread got a bit stale! I only made a half batch, which yielded about 8 muffins, instead of apples (cause I was too lazy to chop it), I used raisins, semi-sweet chocolate chips & toffee chips. I was also afraid the apples would add some unnecessary moisture, but if your bread is truly stale, the added moisture seems a worthy addition. I reduced the sugar just a bit & I decided the muffins definitely needed a generous dusting of powdered sugar. The original amount of sugar in the recipe, or even an addition of a little extra may have been a good idea - although maybe bread pudding isn't supposed to be sweet? I have no idea - this was my first time. I bet this would be tasteful using brioche and/or croissants - although I've never had brioche before.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cookie Cupcake

What a cool concept - easy & no plates or napkins required really. These chocolate chunk cookie cupcakes from taste better the next day once the dough has had time to settle & harden up a bit. The batter is a bit buttery & rich, but still somewhat light & airy. In addition to dark chocolate chips, I added peanut butter chips, toffee chips & pecans. Because the dough isn't very dense, although I coated my filling with some flour, the chips sunk to the bottom of the cookie cupcake.

Tonka Beans

I don't have access to tonka beans, but still wanted to try Tartelette's Tonka Bean White Chocolate & Apricot Cake. This cake is dense & rich, if you ask me, they taste like pound cake. Instead of tonka beans, I used pure vanilla extract & pure almond extract. I didn't get the chance to add slivered almonds, but I'm sure that would have been a nice crunchy addition. Apricots don't have a lot of strong flavor to me, so I couldn't say they're the star of this cake.

Whole Grain - no Refined Sugar Cookie II

White chocolate macadamia cookies from Eat, Drink & be Vegan.
(Chocolate chips, coconut, peanut butter & white chocolate chips.)

Whole Grain - no Refined Sugar Cookie I

I made a half batch of chocolate chip cookies from a recipe in Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake from Great Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan. My sister got me this book for my birthday this past January. How fitting that I found a new chocolate cake recipe that I wanted to try. The cake was moist, dense, not too sweet with a tender crumb & the chocolate was definitely the star. I halved the recipe & I added 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips, 1/4 tsp of instant espresso powder & reduced the amount of dry sugar by 2 tablespoons. The cake wasn't quite sweet enough, so maybe the original 4 tablespoons is best. Next time, I think I will try the addition of orange zest or extract. I didn't have time, but a nice thick ganache or frosting between layers would have been a welcomed addition for a more decadent dessert/snack. Definitely hit the spot for the craving of a traditional vegan chocolate cake.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pineapple Yogurt Cake

Pineapple Yogurt Cake from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

White Chocolate + Green Tea

White Chocolate & Matcha Green Tea marbled cake. My cakes came out a little on the denser side. Next time - spoon & level flour/sift before measuring, undermix before adding white chocolate & green tea.
**Chocolate & Matcha Green Tea Cakes

*04/03/08 - I baked another mini-loaf today - I tried not to overmix & also used cake flour instead of all-purpose, I'm not sure why my cake still came out a little dry. It may be the decorative mold/loaf container I used, too high heat? Or does the batter need some milk, buttermilk or sour cream? I need to try this flavor combo with another recipe.

Friday, March 14, 2008


The best ever tapenade recipe! Although I've never tried another, Yummy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Peanut Buttery Goodness

These are peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies from The fat to flour/oat ratio seems a little off - but after some refrigeration, the soft dough dough was manageable when shaped by a small/medium ice cream scooper. The baked cookies look very similar to the picture on her website. The cookies are a little crisp, very peanut buttery & remind me more of a granola bar. As my boyfriend asked - are you making granola?...well, lets just call them peanut-buttery granola cookies. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dried Fruit Foccacia

At Central Market, they have this wonderfully delicious white chocolate apricot bread. It's fluffy, ever so slightly sweet & simply divine to the taste buds - sweet breads have always been appealing to me. Other than sampling a slice here & there at the store, the challenge was not eating it, but recreating this bread at home. I spent most of Friday looking for a recipe, but it's difficult to search for a recipe which will replicate the texture & taste from the store...especially since I can't sample the online recipes, plus I lack bread making experience. The bread is soft, light, moist & yeast is listed on the ingredients. I did find a bread recipe that contained dried fruit - I figured that was as close as I was going to get. Dried fruit focaccia on Martha Stewart & Baking Bites. I baked mine in a 9-inch cake pan & the bread came out moist, but I'm not sure if that's what it's supposed to taste like. Mine didn't look like the pictures on the other websites. I used extra-virgin coconut oil, added lemon zest & nutmeg.

**Concord Grape Focaccia

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Zucchini Muffins

Susan's vegan zucchini muffins. I reduced the amount of granulated sugar & slightly increased the amount of agave nectar - the muffins did not come out sweet enough. :( I used brown sugar for the crumb topping. The muffins were moist, tender & embodied a distinct zucchini flavor.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

St. Valentine's Day

Valentine's is's mostly about flowers, chocolate & everything sweet. What a great day for florists, candy corporations like Hershey's & whoever markets Valentine goodies. Although all the sweets can make you sick to your stomach, I still like to participate. :)
It's not economical to be giving out flowers to everyone, but chocolate, cookies & candy can be quite affordable. So on Valentine Eve, begun my quest to making shortbread sandwiches & easy peanut butter cups. The peanut cups were so easy to put together, unfortunately I can't say the same about the shortbread sandwiches. They were so labor intensive, I had to forgo trying the chocolate sandwiches. The variety would have been nice, but the work, probably not so nice. Because the shortbread dough was so buttery & delicate, I had to stick it in the fridge in between rolling & cutting to allow the dough to firm up enough to handle.