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Ricotta Vanilla pound cake…

I found this recipe/blog through foodgawker and I kept going back to it because it looked so good!!

I tweaked it a bit by adding more vanilla than called for because it was just telling me to add more and I am so glad that I did because the end result was a creamy, buttery vanilla goodness that I just couldn’t get enough of !!! This is not a dry pound cake, that’s for sure!

Ricotta Pound cake

Ricotta Pound Cake

(makes one 9-inch cake, about 10 servings)

1 1/2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1/2 vanilla bean (I added a whole one)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I added another 1/2 tsp)

Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust it with flour, and tap to knock out the excess.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream togther butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with blunt side of a small knife, then beat them into batter along with vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down sides of the bowl, and beat batter for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Give the pan a few gentle whacks on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake cake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes more. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto the rack to cool completely.

Dust cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving it; the flavor is best on the next day. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake also freezes beautifully, wrapped in plastic, and place in a large, sealable plastic bag.

From “Dolce Italiano”

Twice baked Potatoes…

We usually don’t eat that many potatoes… but with Spring here finally we decided to BBQ some steaks the other day and Simon made a special request for these…

twice baked potatoes

Twice baked potatoes are delicious and so versatile…

Here is the way I make them….

First… bake the potatoes….

my favourite way of doing that is by coating the potatoes with olive oil (put some oil in my hand and rub the potatoes) then prick them with a fork and bake at 350 for about 45-50 min… Even if you are not making twice baked potatoes, this is my favourite way to make baked potatoes because the olive oil makes the skins crispy…

then you cut the potato and carefully scoop the inside out into a bowl…. (leave enough potato for the skins to hold their shape and I use a cloth or my baking mitts to hold the potato while it is hot…)

Mash the potatoes in the bowl with whatever you like (I added butter, sour cream, green onions, salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder) then scoop the mashed potatoes back into the skins… (add a bit of cheese on top if you wish) and then bake again until the tops get bits of brown…

So easy and just a great way to make a baked potato more interesting…

Vegetable and teriyaki stuffed sole …

I had no idea what I would do when I started this recipe…

but  I knew it would have something to do with stuffing some filets of sole with some veggies…

When I saw the filets all lined up and ready,  I had an idea to add more flavour…

so I quickly made a teriyaki sauce with some tamari, fresh ginger, garlic, sugar, garlic powder and water and then thickened with cornstarch…

(really great sauce btw… next time I will try to figure out the amounts so I can share)

brushed it on the fish…

making teriyaki stuffed fish...

Added a layer of green onions…

making teriyaki stuffed fish...

Red and yellow peppers and asparagus…

making teriyaki stuffed fish...

And then rolled it all up and placed in the baking dish…

stuffed fish

Added another brushing of teriyaki…

teriyaki stuffed fish...

then baked at 350 for about 30 min…

teriyaki stuffed fish...

I served it with some Basmati rice and an extra drizzle of teriyaki…

teriyaki stuffed fish...

This is definately something I will be making again…

Black Magic…

What an amazing cake!!

Black Magic Cake with buttercream frosting


Simon loves chocolate… ok… the whole family loves chocolate but it was Simon’s birthday on Thursday so I had to make this…

This recipe comes from Hershey’s and it is rich, dense but light at the same time…

I think that this is going to be my cake recipe from here on in… it is just perfect…

and the frosting… another perfection… a really simple Chocolate Buttercream frosting…

For the cake…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (2 tbsp of vinegar with added milk to equal 1 cup)
  • 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water (I used 2 tsp of Cocoa in instead of instant coffee)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan. (I used 2 8-inch square pans)

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.

For the Frosting…

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 2/3 cups icing sugar, sifted with
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

cream the butter… sift together sugar and cocoa… add to the butter with the cream and vanilla… start with 1/3 cup of cream but you might need more… beat with mixer for at least 2 min…

Black Magic chocolate cake...

Chocolate Oatmeal Chocolate chip…

These have been a favourite around here lately… they are chocolaty and satisfying but not too sweet…

I make them big enough that one is often all that you need…

chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip!!

In one bowl… mix together the dry ingredients…

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups Oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

In another bowl…

Cream togther

  • 1 cup butter (softened or melted… melted makes the cookie chewier)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar (I use demerrara)

In a small bowl mix together

  • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed and
  • 6 tbsp of water

and add that to the butter and sugar..

    and then mix in

    • 2 tsp of vanilla…

    Mix the wet and dry together until well combined (but don’t overmix)

    Bake at 350 for about 14 min…

    I make 2 dozen big cookies with this recipe…


    chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip!!

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