Snacks, and Desserts

Raspberry Sweetheart Cake

Raspberry Sweetheart Cake

  To be completely honest, before I made this AWESOME, AMAZING, DELICIOUS, GORGEOUS (sorry, did I just toot my own horn a little too much?) dessert, I really didn’t know what crème fraîche was. I mean, I was positive it involved dairy (like 99% positive) and was pretty sure it involved cream. I’m a simple kind of girl, you know. I cook with basic ingredients, usually the ones that are in my fridge and need to be used up before they start growing fuzz. I don’t like a lot of extra steps when I am cooking and baking and I HATE doing dishes, so the less involved, the better. But we’re talking Valentine’s Day here, a day to show the ones you love just how much you really love them – like “I love you so much, I had to do the dishes THREE times while making this for you.” (This recipe is not anywhere near that bad, but you can play it up.) Or “I love you so much, I used these really fancy ingredients that I’m not even sure how to pronounce.” (It is pronounced “krem fresh,” right ?) Anywho … back to my confession of ignorance – I didn’t know what crème fraîche was, but standing in front of the specialty cheese section of the Hannaford Supermarket, there it was. It had a romantic ring to it. Perfect for a Valentine’s recipe, right? So I googled it on my smart phone. Yes, I was one of THOSE people using her phone in the grocery store. Actually, I stood there so long, studying, debating on how to use it, that the deli girl, whom I have known since childhood, asked with a concerned voice, “Uh, can I help you find something, Jami?” Well, by then I had found out that “crème fraîche” is a super fancy-sounding name for something super simple. You can easily make your own crème fraîche with buttermilk and cream (you can also easily buy it). So, I left that department empty-handed (I did have to return later for the mascarpone cheese though). Most sites I found compare crème fraîche to sour cream or say it is somewhere between yogurt and sour cream. All the recipes said to mix 2 tablespoons of buttermilk into 1 cup of heavy cream in a glass container, cover with a cheese cloth or something else that is breathable (clean dish towel) and let it set at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours (some said 12-16 hours), during which time it will thicken. Stir and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. It should stay good to use for 10 days to two weeks. The cake part of this recipe is not what is really important. It doesn’t even have to be chocolate if you’re loved one does not like chocolate (weirdo). Use whatever recipe you like, though I will share mine with you. I actually started with the recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa bag and made a few adaptions. One change was using 3/4 cup of sugar rather than 1 3/4 cup. I like dark chocolate, but if you like things sweeter, you might want to go by their suggestion. I also added coffee because I love putting coffee in any chocolate baked goods, and I used yogurt in place of butter. I also baked the cake so that I could layer it. You could make a sheet cake or round cake and just use the same raspberry/crème fraîche/mascarpone frosting. Whatever you do will be great. The topping is what makes this dessert. Chocolate Cake 2 cups flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 3/4 cup sugar...

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Kentucky Butter Cake Done the Maine Way

Kentucky Butter Cake Done the Maine Way

Butter Cake popped up in my Pinterest finds the other day, and my interest was immediately piqued. And then I get a text from my mother saying, “Don’t buy butter. I just made some.” This also meant there would be buttermilk. Coincidence? I think not. Obviously the universe wanted me to make a butter cake. It’s not my style to do things by the book though, so I took this original recipe for Kentucky Butter Cake (http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/7479/kentucky-butter-cake/) and mixed it up a bit. This is Maine Butter Cake. This is Maine Blueberry Butter Cake, and because I am a sucker for alliteration, this is Maine Blueberry Buckwheat Butter Cake. The berry part of the recipe took a bit longer than I anticipated. The birds and deer have eaten their share of our wild blueberries. It took a great deal of time to fill my bucket. Actually, I didn’t even half fill my bucket, and then I cheated. We also have high bush blueberries. I know they aren’t quite as tasty as wild blueberries, but they are still good and fill up a pail a whole lot faster. I also discovered quite a few blackberries were ready for picking also, so in the end, this became a Maine Blueberry Blackberry Buckwheat Butter Cake. I suppose you can over do alliteration, but I am willing to take my chances. I am a fan of buckwheat flour and its nutty flavor. You can also easily find Maine-grown buckwheat flour, but if it’s not your thing (or you find the gray color unappealing), you can follow the original Kentucky Butter Cake recipe, which uses 3 cups of all purpose flour. I added an extra teaspoon of baking powder because buckwheat tends to get heavy. Also, if you are put off by the fat and calories of butter, you could easily switch it out for yogurt. Of course if you use regular flour and yogurt, the alliteration will be ruined. The original also calls for two cups of sugar, where I use 3/4 cup maple syrup. There’s no need to use homemade butter or buttermilk either. Both can easily be found at a local grocery store. Maine Blueberry Blackberry Buckwheat Butter Cake 2 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (3 cups of all-purpose flour) 2 tsp baking powder (1 tsp if using all-purpose flour) 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 eggs 1 cup butter 1 cup buttermilk 3/4 cup maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla 2 cups mixed blueberries and blackberries Mix ingredients. Bake at 350 in a buttered bundt cake pan for 60 minutes or until you can stick a knife in and have it come out...

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Haymaker’s Banana Bread

Haymaker’s Banana Bread

      Packed full of dates, bananas, walnuts, yogurt and buttermilk, this banana bread will keep you going for hours....

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Lemon, toasted coconut, almond yogurt cake (wheat free)

Lemon, toasted coconut, almond yogurt cake (wheat free)

Probably my favorite cake I have ever made, and it doesn’t even have chocolate in it! Super moist and fluffy. Not super sweet but flavorful.   1 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in your coffee grinder) 1 cup buckwheat flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tsp almond extract 1 1/2 cup buttermilk 1 cup yogurt 2 1/2 cups toasted coconut 1 cup sliced almonds 2 lemons – zest and juice 1/3 cup honey   Toast your coconut in a low pan in the oven. Put it on 325 and flip often with a fork every couple of minutes. Will take about 10 minutes or less. Heat your oven to 350. Mix your dry ingredients and then add in everything else. Bake 20-30 minutes in a bundt pan (until top starts to crack slightly, edges are golden and you a knife comes out clean). If you want to serve this with ice cream, yogurt or a scoop of Ricotta as pictured, add a little lemon zest to top it off.  ...

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Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Frosting

For the cupcakes: 1 cup buckwheat flour* 1 cup oat flour* 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp nutmeg 1-2 tsp ginger 2 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup applesauce 1 ½ cups shredded carrots (3-4 carrots) 1/3 cup maple syrup   For the frosting: 2 sticks butter 1/2 cup maple syrup (still tastes good if you want to use a little less) 3/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar or if you like me and use sucanat – just grind it into a powder with your coffee grinder) ½ cup ricotta ½ cup whipping cream or heavy cream   Prep your frosting first so that you can put it in the fridge while you’re making the cupcakes. Use a beater or your fancy stand up mixer if ya got one. Make sure the butter is soft – room temperature, beat it, and then add your other ingredients. Mix until smooth.   For the cupcakes: Set your oven to 350. Mix your dry ingredients, followed by the wet. Place your cupcake papers in the cupcake tray and spoon in your batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until you can stick a toothpick or knife into the cupcakes and it comes out clean). *You can use regular all-purpose flour for this, but I would halve the baking powder....

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More Latte Love

More Latte Love

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