Baking

How to kill a chocolate craving

Have you ever been sitting at home and suddenly had the urge to eat a smallish piece of cake? Specifically chocolate cake. I was craving some chocolatey goodness but I had no cake and it was almost midnight and I wasn’t about to bake an entire cake to satisfy a craving. I looked up mug cakes and found this recipe. Well, I found many recipes but this one sounded the best to me and I had all the ingredients on hand.

The results were delicious and I was very impressed. I love to bake and I do plenty of it but this is the cake recipe you want when you’re in a pinch. I would recommend using a mug larger than you think you will need. You don’t want to lose any precious batter to spillage.

I have made this mug cake twice now. Once with peanut butter and a leftover chocolate easter egg in the center the other with almond butter instead of peanut butter. Both times I added a generous squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the batter. The cake was moist, with a runny sauce in the middle.

Try it!

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Lemon Blueberry Cake

A friend forwarded me a link to a list of must-try cake recipes and this lemon blueberry one from Sally’s Baking Addiction caught my eye. The only thing I did differently was using less lemon than the recipe called for. I prefer a subtler lemon flavor. The cake was easy to make and delicious but I have to say that this cake does not store well at all.

I stored this cake like I do all other cakes and the next day it was hard and very dense. Nothing like the moist, light consistency of the day before. I left it out for a couple of hours and this did little to improve the texture, in my opinion. This cake is best made and served on the same day. I might try making it again in the future to see if I have similar results. I measured my dry ingredients by weight for better accuracy so I know this is not an issue of too much flour.

Regardless of my experience with storing it I give this cake a thumbs up. It’s got that lights citrusy flavor that feels like you’re eating sunshine.

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A slice of cake after being refrigerated overnight.

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Cinnamon Rolls (with cream cheese glaze)

I just can’t help myself, even though I had sworn off baking the sweet stuff I have been sucked back into the kitchen once more. This time I made these cinnamon rolls. I wish I could explain how delicious they were.

I browsed a lot of recipes and settled on the one I found on Epicurious. I don’t think I had ever tried a recipe from this site before. I made the dough using my stand mixer. I also made one teeny, tiny mistake. I forgot to add the egg! Once I had set the dough aside to rise I started cleaning up a bit and that’s when I saw the lone egg still sitting on the counter.

I panicked briefly and wondered if I should throw out the dough but then I thought, cinnamon rolls are bread and plenty of bread is eggless. So I proceeded. They turned out great! I do want to eventually make them again, this time adding the egg. I should probably do this sooner rather than later so I don’t forget what these eggless ones tasted like…

Cooking from scratch is one of my favorite things to do. For one thing, it challenges me. I love attempting something that intimidates me. I also like know exactly what goes into my food. These are by no means  something we should be eating everyday but because they’re labor intensive to make I know that I won’t be eating them frequently.

These are best fresh. They will keep for a day or two (covered) at room temperature.

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Fresh burger buns

I have always bought burger buns from my grocer’s bakery. We don’t often have burgers but when we do we do it the easy way. What’s not to like? It’s convenient to purchase ready made breads. Since I’ve made the decision to eat cleaner I’ve been learning how to make more of what we eat at home. When you make things from scratch you know exactly what is in your food. You also know that your food is free of any unpronounceable preservatives etc. I also happen to enjoy cooking from scratch, but whatever the reason you decide to make them these buns are delicious.

I found this  recipe by Chef John on Allrecipes.com and since I had already made another one of his bread recipes I decided I couldn’t go wrong.  I highly recommend that you try this recipe. For a complete list of ingredients, instructions and a video demonstration click here.

I don’t really have much else to say. This recipe makes eight generously sized buns. You could easily get ten buns out of it. In order to get equally sized buns I weighed the dough and figured out how much each of them should weigh. They are best the day you bake them but they will keep for a day or two in a zip bag.

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My taste tester!

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Also good in a BLT.

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Delicious Banana Bread

There’s nothing worse than having food go to waste and in an effort to avoid doing just that I found myself in the lucky predicament of needing to use up some bananas. Naturally, I made some banana bread.

Joy of Baking has what I consider to be the best library of recipes around. Coupled with the Youtube videos demonstrating most of them and you have a fabulous resource. Stephanie Jaworski has the grace and poise of an experienced cook and she makes you feel like you can do it too. Even though she makes it all look effortless don’t be fooled, she has serious skills.

The banana bread recipe I used is from her website and you can find it here. 

I was all out of nuts so I omitted those and I sprinkled some oats on top of one of the loaves. I liked the oats on top, it added some nice texture.

I baked the loaves in paper molds. These were smaller than a regular loaf pan which is exactly what I wanted. These are great for gift giving as they are greaseproof and the paper is a pretty brown with gold print. I picked these up from Sur la Table for 75 cents each.

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