As regular readers know, a few months ago I was the fortunate recipient of some sourdough starter that’s older than most college students. Historically, sourdough starters were a precious family legacy, a means of making yeast-risen bread without relying on little store-bought packages. You can make starter yourself, but getting it from a friend makes it much easier! My friend sent my starter with three pages of instructions (including feeding it every single day), which I read thoroughly and then filed for safe keeping. (No, really, I know exactly where they are.) Then I started messing around with it, seeing how long I could go without feeding the starter (when the storms hit and work got too busy, I went close to 4 weeks without feeding it) and how many recipes I could modify to use it. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘baking’
Posted in baking, bread, breakfast, buttermilk, comfort food, Cooking And Baking, Food, frugal living, history, pizza, vegetarian, whole grains, tagged baking, Food, history, recipes, vegetarian, whole grains on May 22, 2011 | 12 Comments »
Posted in appetizer, Arkansas, baking, bread, breakfast, Cooking And Baking, Food, frugal living, garlic, health, history, organic food, recipes, whole grains, tagged baking, bread, Food, recipes, vegetarian on March 28, 2011 | 20 Comments »
Since my long run on March 6, I’ve been recovering and trying to get caught up on life. Unfortunately, I did have a Lyme relapse, but it was manageable–and a sign that it’s just not time to stop fighting. I also, however, received a gift that has taken a bit of my time, another microscopic form of life that’s much nicer than Lyme spirochetes. I got a preview of the gift, a.k.a. my new pets, a week before the race when this showed up in my office mailbox:
Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a huge half-loaf of homemade sourdough bread. You see, I had to attend a weekend conference back in February, but out of that loss of my weekend I got to talk with a colleague (a lot) on four long plane flights. We discovered that his wife and I share a love of baking. First came the bread. Then not quite two weeks ago I got the holy grail: her sourdough starter, now almost a quarter of a century old. Sourdough starter saves you from buying little packages of yeast, some with chemicals added. You can use it to make baked goods with all organic ingredients. Sourdough starter really is magic.
My benefactor sent with the starter her own sourdough recipe. It looked good (and I know it tasted good, because we’d gotten the first gift!) but used handmade proofing baskets and a 24-hour rising period. The starter also (apparently) needed to be fed once a day. Well, you know me. I can’t stand to throw stuff out, so I determined to test refrigerating the starter to delay feeding (which definitely works) and reduce how much starter I had and to use the starter in other ways. Since I got the starter, I’ve made several loaves of whole-grain bread, pancakes, and even pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins. Yes, the recipes will all follow, and I promise to post them with alternatives for making them without sourdough starter.
The votes are in! Whole-wheat sourdough and whole-wheat bread are now posted here. Next up will be pumpkin-chocolate chip bread!
Do you bake with sourdough? Did you create your own starter, or did you receive it as a gift? How long have you kept a sourdough starter going?
Copyright 2011 Ozarkhomesteader.
Posted in appetizer, baking, bread, breakfast, butter, camping, cast iron, Cooking And Baking, dinner, dinner, Food, frugal living, herbs, organic food, recipes, seed, vegetarian, walnut, whole grains, tagged baking, bread, breakfast, family, Food, recipes on January 23, 2011 | 14 Comments »
Nothing smells like home-baked bread on a cold winter afternoon–or any time, now that I think about it! Thank goodness making bread at home is easy and even quick, if you just leave the dough on its own as it rises (and why wouldn’t you?). Today we’re going to make a remarkably soft but also hearty, healthy whole-wheat and oatmeal bread that makes great breakfast toast, super sandwiches, and even tasty croutons. You can add walnuts or seeds for a bread fit for the Woodstock generation, or try using herbs or garlic to turn it into rustic supper rolls, as I did with a little of the dough the last time I made this bread. You can even make fresh, hot homemade glazed doughnuts for breakfast and still have enough dough left for a good-sized loaf of the bread in the afternoon.
Bread is really easy , as long as you remember three keys for making good yeast bread. The first key to baking any yeast bread is to remember that yeast is a living organism. It’s going to be happiest (and help your bread rise best) if you start with fresh (live) yeast and wake it up in a nice warm (not hot) bath. The second thing you need to know is that yeast likes to eat, but it doesn’t like to binge; keep your yeast feed slow. The third key is remembering that wheat gluten is your friend when it comes to yeast bread. Wheat gluten is the substance that helps build structure to work with all the gas produced by your happy yeast. Put together happy yeast and wheat gluten, and you’ll have great homemade yeast bread.
Remember to use organic when you can!
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water (comfortable for your skin)
- 1 cup old-fashioned (not quick cooking) rolled oats (a.k.a. oatmeal before steel-cut Irish oats and Scottish oats invaded the US)
- 1 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional: if you don’t have flax seeds, try using another tablespoon of butter)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/4 cup whole-grain oat flour (or just add another 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour if you don’t have oat; I keep both in my pantry, and the oat flour helps provide softness)
- 1/4-1/3 cup wheat gluten (Gluten has gotten a really bad rap in recent years, but it’s a must if you want to make whole-grain bread and still get the flexibility that contributes to sustaining the rise. Gluten, by the way, also raises the protein content of the bread, so if you’re not sensitive to it, use it!)
- 1/2 cup more warm water (same as before–like a nice hot bath but not so warm that it hurts you or the yeast)
Begin by dissolving the yeast and sugar in the 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl (preferably 4-quart, although a 2.5 quart will work in a pinch). You’re proofing the yeast. If it’s good, in a few minutes you should have woken up your yeast, and they should have started making a foamy mess in your bowl. That’s what we want to see!
Meanwhile, pour the 1 1/4 cup boiling water over the oatmeal. I use a 2-cup heat-safe pyrex measuring cup for the oatmeal, and then I can just add everything else except the flour.
Next scald the milk by bringing it to the edge of a boil, until tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pot. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the butter, salt, and honey until they dissolve. Add them to the oatmeal.
As soon as the oatmeal mixture reaches that good bath-water temperature, add the oatmeal to the yeast mixture in your really big bowl, add the flax seed, and start working in your flour, baking powder, and wheat gluten, alternating so that they all three get thoroughly mixed. Knead the flour in until you think you can’t add more, then do the easy thing and add the last 1/2 cup warm water–yep, bathwater temperature again. Knead a few minutes more, until all of the flour is incorporated. Then cover the bowl and set it in a warm place to start rising. Thanks to the extra water, it will keep developing the gluten on its own, without too much kneading from you.
For the next twenty-four hours or so, let the dough rise. When you notice that it’s doubles, form your hand into a fist and slam it into the middle of the dough. Punch it down. Give it a few good kneads. Re-cover it and walk away again.
When you’re ready to bake, you’ll need at least two hours with the dough. Start by punching down and kneading the dough one last time. Then put it in a warm (not hot), buttered bread loaf pan, 9×5. (You can use an 8×4 if you’ve taken a bit out for other purposes–see below.) Let it rise for an hour in a warm (not hot) place for an hour. Start pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees F. The dough is ready for the oven when an indentation you make with your finger still bounces back but just barely. Put the dough in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The bread is done when you knock on the bottom and it sounds hollow. Cool in the pan a few minutes and then cool on a rack.
The Bonus: Rolls or Doughnuts!
Now, I happen to know that this dough makes an ample loaf, so ample in fact that you can pull out a bit of dough for something else and have enough left. Let’s say that you start this bread Sunday afternoon. How about if you take out dough about the size of two or three chicken eggs that very night? Turn that into three dinner rolls, let rise for about an hour in a warm spot, and then bake them for dinner, about 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Or you can do what we did this morning, having started the dough yesterday. Make doughnuts! Take out a scant 1/2 cup dough. Add 1/2 a chicken egg (or one bantam egg), beaten with a sprinkle of sugar (no more than 1/2 teaspoon) and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Knead it together until the egg is well incorporated. You’ll have a very soft dough. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of flour on a bread board and then pull out three or four balls of dough. First form rounds, and either cut out the middle or use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke through a hole and enlarge it. Use flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Let the doughnuts rise for a half hour. Heat oil of two or three inches to 350 to 375 degrees F in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Drop doughnuts in one at a time and fry until almost done on one side, and then flip to the other side. Remove, drain, and drizzle with glaze. Glaze: three tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk, by the drop, to make your glaze. Take it slow with the milk and stir with every addition; you can easily go from not enough to too much.
Posted in almonds, baking, butter, chocolate, Christmas, Christmas food, dessert, Food, ice cream, nuts, recipes, sweet things, vegetarian, tagged baking, dessert, Food, holiday, holidays, recipes on December 12, 2010 | 8 Comments »
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is making offerings from kitchen and heart for friends and family. A consistent favorite among recipients not just for gifts but also gatherings is my cashew bark, a confection of chocolate, salty nuts, butter, and sugar. Heat transforms the butter and sugar into a crisp toffee. The chocolate and nuts encapsulate everything. The combination is genuinely addictive. Thank goodness the recipe is simple!
Before you get started, make sure that you have a heavy-bottomed pot (stainless steel is good), a candy thermometer, and a jelly roll pan. You can do without the latter, but the first two are absolute necessities.
I was able to get every ingredient listed in organic form.
- 3 cups chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks (dark chocolate or semi-sweet; milk chocolate is too sweet for me for this recipe)
- 3 cups roasted, salted cashews (option: try other nuts, like almonds, for a toffee more like those candy bars that shall not be named)
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) real butter (no, you may not use margarine; it will not work)
- 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chop chocolate chips or chunks in a food processor, pulsing on and off to avoid the chocolate melting, until they are just bits of chocolate. (You may, of course, do this step by hand.) Transfer the chocolate bits into a big bowl and then chop the cashews roughly, pulsing again. They should retain some characteristics of cashews, not be pulverized into nut butter. Mix the chopped cashews with the chocolate bits and set aside.
Now put the butter and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided pot. (Electric burner users: you may want to use a wire diffuser to avoid burning.) Let the butter and sugar melt together at first over medium heat, stirring to combine. As the mixture combines, hook the candy thermometer over the side of the pot, making sure to keep the tip submerged but well away from the bottom of the pot. Make sure that all of the sugar crystals are melting, and then increase the heat a bit, stirring regularly.
Meanwhile, grease the jelly roll pan (about 17×11 inches) and use half of the cashew-chocolate mixture to coat the bottom lightly but evenly. Just gently sprinkle it on. Now go back and stir the butter and sugar, which should be starting to resemble rising, molten lava. Add the vanilla. Be very careful, as the mixture will feel like molten lava if it gets on your hand!
Keep stirring while you watch the thermometer edge toward 300 degrees F, also known in candy making as the hard-crack stage. Increase the heat if you must, but watch that temperature! As soon as it hits 300 degrees, pick up the pot and quickly drizzle the butter-sugar lava over your cashew-chocolate mixture, leaving gaps that the lava will mostly fill in for you. If any sections are left uncovered, smooth out the lava with the back of a metal serving spoon. You need to move fast, as the mixture will start to harden almost immediately. (No, sadly I do not have pictures, as I never have time for photographing at this stage.) Now quickly sprinkle on the rest of the cashew-chocolate mixture, making sure to get to the edges. Press the cashew-chocolate mixture into the pan with the back of the same metal serving spoon you used above. The chocolate will start to melt and hold everything together.
Let the pan sit for a couple of minutes and then put it in the refrigerator or freezer, depending on how much time you have. Be sure that it is relatively flat or the cashew bark will be thicker on one side than the other.
Ultimately, you want pieces that one could eat in one to three bites, since the toffee is incredibly rich. Any smaller bits will make a wonderful topping for ice cream!
Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or the freezer for a bit longer. You can package the cashew bark for gift-giving too, as you long as you forewarn the recipient to keep it cold, or simply set it out as your offering for the next potluck or party. Just be sure to save some for home, or you’ll find your family protesting!
This cashew bark has become a holiday favorite among my friends, family, and co-workers since I started making it almost two decades ago. Do you have a favorite sweet treat you share for the holidays? What’s the dish or treat you look forward to at holiday gatherings and in gift baskets?
You may also be interested in last year’s chocolate gift recipe, chocolate chip gingerbread.
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.
Posted in baking, bread, breakfast, Cooking And Baking, cranberries, dried fruit, Food, fruit, ginger, health, recipes, whole grains, tagged baking, breakfast, holiday, holidays, recipes on November 25, 2010 | 2 Comments »
I love cranberries, so I stock up when they appear in markets in autumn. (I’m ordering some plants for the homestead, so by next Thanksgiving I may have my own!) I, of course, like making cranberry sauce, but this year I’m not home, so I decided to use my first bag of cranberries for cranberry-gingerbread pancakes. You may enjoy their spicy, tart taste with warm maple syrup for breakfast this weekend.
This recipe makes 6 medium-sized fluffy pancakes. To make the pancakes a bit thinner, use a tablespoon additional buttermilk, or just use all milk instead of buttermilk, with the original measurement.
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, macerated for a few hours or overnight with 1 tablespoon brown sugar OR 1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- OPTIONAL: chopped pecans or black walnuts
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk or milk (milk will make pancakes less fluffy)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
- 1-2 tablespoons molasses
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR part whole oat flour (Oat flour will make a softer pancake with no crisp on the crust.)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of allspice
- tiny pinch of cloves
Mix together the egg, buttermilk, butter, and molasses. In another small measuring cup, mix the flour and other dry ingredients. (You can do these steps the night before, if you want to make breakfast really easy.) Heat a large fry pan or griddle over medium heat until drop of water dances on the surface. Grease with oil or a butter and oil mixture. Mix together the wet and dry pancake ingredients and stir in the cranberries and optional nuts. Drop pancake batter on greased griddle and immediately spread mix slightly with back of spoon. (You won’t need to spread if you used the thinner batter recipe.) Cook on one side until little bubbles start to form. Depending on your heat source, you may need to slip your spatula under the pancakes and rotate them before you flip, if it looks like they are cooking more quickly on one side than the other. Flip when the bubbles are even dispersed across the top and the edges start to look cooked. Cook the other side. You can keep cakes warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Serve with maple syrup or a dollop of cranberry jelly.
Ingredients for a dozen medium-sized pancakes, for bigger families or bigger appetites!
- 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, macerated for a few hours or overnight with 2 tablespoons brown sugar OR 1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- OPTIONAL: chopped pecans or black walnuts
- 2 medium eggs or 1 extra-large egg
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk (milk will make pancakes less fluffy)
- 3 tablespoon melted butter
- 2-4 tablespoons molasses
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour OR part whole oat flour (Oat flour will make a softer pancake with no crisp on the crust.)
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
- pinch of cloves
Do you have a favorite holiday breakfast? Do tell!
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.
Posted in apple, baking, bread, butter, cake, comfort food, Cooking And Baking, cranberries, dessert, frugal living, fruit, walnut, whole grains, tagged baking, dessert, Food, recipes on November 22, 2010 | 2 Comments »
I’ve recently been on a mission to re-organize and clean out our freezers. I know we have things that have been in the arctic depths too long. The other day on a clean out I found some sweet bread (coffee cake remnants?) that I had frozen in chunks. I tasted it. Hmmm. It was okay. But it had been frozen a while. What to do? Bread pudding, of course!
- about 2 cups of bread, torn in chunks
- an apple that I cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
- two eggs whisked with half a cup of milk
- about 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- cinnamon and nutmeg
- a crumb topping that I had also frozen when I had a bit too much for a previous recipe
- black walnuts leftover from breakfast (topping for oatmeal)
Layer the bread in a buttered dish (or cast iron pan like I used). Sprinkle on a tiny bit of nutmeg and a bigger bit of cinnamon. Add the apples and cranberries. Drizzle on the syrup with more cinnamon. Pour on the egg and milk mixture. Let the pudding sit for about an hour to start absorbing the liquid. Add the crumb topping if you’re feeling really decadent.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Serve warm.It’s just some old bread, some fruit, eggs, milk, and spices, but it is ooohhhhh so good! Mr. Homesteader kept asking for more and practically whimpered when I told him that there was no more.
What’s your favorite freezer clean-out ever? Or are you organized enough that you never need to clean out your freezer?
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader.
Posted in cheese, Community Supported Agriculture, Cooking And Baking, CSA, farmer's market, Food, gardening, garlic, greens, herbs, Italian, leeks, locavore, spinach, vegetarian, whole grains, tagged baking, cooking, dinner, Food, kids, photography, recipe, recipes, vegetarian on April 7, 2010 | 2 Comments »
Spring is spinach season, so today I offer you spinach lasagna. Chances are if you grow or if you buy veggies through Community Supported Agriculture, you’ll have spinach soon, if you don’t already. We’re going to just barely wilt the spinach before we bake the lasagna, so it will remain as green as Spring, with no bitterness!
Some people think they can’t get their kids to eat spinach, but with no bitterness in this recipe, you may find it’s easier than you think. If they’re still not believers, tell them that you’re serving “Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts,” and teach them the song! (Yes, there really is a song. Just Google it.) Given kids’ desire to gross out other people, you’ve just made spinach lasagna a hit.
- 4-5 whole-grain lasagna noodles (you may need to trim them to fit the pan measurements)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- several leek leaves (green part): about two loose cups–If you don’t have leek tops, use 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped.
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup (or a little less or more) milk–start with about 1/4 cup and go up to 1/2 cup
- about 8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
- 1-2 ounces parmesan cheese (I use real Italian parmesan cheese. Even though it’s not local, it’s so special that nothing else compares.)
- optional: select fresh oregano (about two teaspoons-1 teaspoon dried) or basil (2 tablespoons fresh, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Remember: try to buy organic and local if you can.
Prepare whole-wheat lasagna noodles according to package directions. (I used 5 noodles for this recipe, prepared in a 6-cup Pyrex dish, about 6 inches by 8 inches.)
Slice the leeks very thinly across the grain and saute in the olive oil. Crush the garlic and add it too. Let the leeks and garlic sweat but not caramelize for about 5 minutes. Now add 1/4 cup milk and heat gently. Add in about half of the spinach and start to wilt it. Add the rest of the spinach. Cut the parmesan into small pieces. Using a food processor, process everything you’ve prepped up to this point, pulsing to chop the spinach. Add a bit more milk if you need it.
Lightly grease a baking dish. Spoon some of the most liquid of the spinach mixture into the bottom of the pan to cover it. Now put down layer one of lasagna noodles. Spoon on spinach mixture and spread out. Dab on ricotta cheese. Sprinkle on grated mozzarella. Repeat twice more, so that you have three layers. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Let sit for a few minutes before you slice and serve. Enjoy–and be sure to sing the song!
Do you want to make lasagna while camping? You can do it!
Do you have a favorite variation on lasagna you’d like to share with readers? How about a special way to prepare spinach? Share in the comments section.
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader. Tweets and short excerpts are welcome, as long as you include the full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader. Please contact me for permission to use photographs.
Posted in baking, brownies, cake, chocolate, dessert, eggs, Food, organic food, sweet things, whole grains, tagged baking, chocolate, dinner, family, Food, health, kids, recipe, recipes on April 6, 2010 | 10 Comments »
I’m going to keep this simple. It’s dessert time. This recipe makes a small pan of lower-fat brownies. We’re starting with cocoa powder in lieu of chocolate. Instead of butter, we’re using peanut butter and yogurt. How about some whole-grain oat flour? Put them together and you have an easy sweet treat that’s much healthier than a traditional brownie–but the kids will never know it. You can also get all of these ingredients in organic form.
Pan: I used a 3-cup rectangular Pyrex to create 6 servings, each about 2 inches square. You could double this recipe and bake it in an 8×8 pan. If you double the recipe, you’ll need to increase baking time by 5-10 minutes. (Thanks to Shoopee for reminding me about the increased time!)
- 1/3 cup whole-grain oat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional: handful of dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter, softened and mixed with
- 1/4 cup plan nonfat yogurt
- 1 egg (or 2–see variation*)
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, and grease (or use spray oil on) your baking pan. Mix together all of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, stir together the softened peanut butter, yogurt, and sugar. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add in the dry ingredients. Spread into prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.
This brownie is extremely rich and dense, so I like to serve it with a small glass of milk. Do you want a brownie with a bit less density? Try using two eggs instead of one egg.
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader. Tweets and short excerpts are welcome with full URL and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader. Please contact me for permission to use photographs.
Posted in cake, dessert, Food, organic food, sweet things, whole grains, tagged baking, cooking, Food, health, organic food, photography, pound cake, recipes, whole grains on February 26, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Apparently our household commitment to seasonal, local food hit its limits this week when my husband found some beautiful organic blueberries and I found some organic strawberries. We bought them. Tonight I served them with pound cake made from scratch.
Pound cake used to be a once-every-few-years kind of thing in our household, because with today’s smaller families and healthier outlook, we just don’t need a big heavy cake. That’s why tonight I set out to make pound cake in miniature, using really wholesome, organic ingredients. The concept is simple. You need a few things to make pound cake: (1) equal parts by weight of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs; and a tube cake pan, so that the heavy cake batter bakes all the way through to the middle. Hmmmmm. I can weigh and divide. I have two mini tube pans. Yes, this plan could work. I made not pound cakes but ounce cakes!
This recipe serves 4-8 people, depending on how hungry they are and what you serve with the pound cake. If you make it 8 servings, each serving will have a little over two hundred calories–much better than if you ate a big wedge of full-sized pound cake!
- two miniature tube pans, each of which will hold one cup of batter with room to expand as they bake (about 4 1/2 inches wide at the top)
Ingredients (as always, organic is best!)
- 1 stick of real butter, a little softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
- optional: 1 teaspoon brandy
- 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (use a 1-cup measure, and you can just add in the other dry ingredients instead of getting an extra bowl dirty)
- pinch of cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
- 2 shakes/grates of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Begin by creaming the butter with the sugar. Then divide the eggs into yolks and whites. Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar and mix until creamy. Stir in the vanilla and brandy. In the measuring cup, add the rest of the dry ingredients to the flour. Gradually add the flour to the butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Now, in a separate, very clean bowl and using very clean beaters, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Do you see those stiff peaks on the egg whites? That’s what you want. Fold about a third of the egg whites into the rest of the batter to lighten it. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spoon into well-greased miniature tube cake pans and bake at 325 degrees F for about 35 minutes. Let the cakes rest in the pans for about 15 minutes and then slide a thin knife around the outside edge of the cake and around the tube center. Turn the cakes onto a grid to finish cooling.Do you see those cracks on the top? That part has a delectable crispy crunch.
Mmmmmmmm. Real ingredients. Food like my grandmother used to make. Cake worthy of blueberries and strawberries. Enough to satisfy your taste for sweetness and richness. Small enough that you can indulge without guilt.Where’s my fork?
Copyright 2010 Ozarkhomesteader. Short excerpts with full URL for this site and attribution to Ozarkhomesteader are welcome. Please contact me for permission to use photographs.