|April 1, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Breads|
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter however you may celebrate it, or not. I have to say though, I am thrilled it is now April 1st!! Time is moving and in a few short months we will be picking orders to a new base in a new place, very exciting.
Yes, today is April Fools Day, not sure if you participate in all the silly things but usually today passes us by like any other day,lol. It’s Monday…it’s a crappy day, Monday’s always are,lol! Today was a super busy day though and actually the whole weekend was kind of busy.
You see that beautiful bread up there? Yeah. Ahhhhhmazing. On Saturday night I got a bright idea to make something tasty for Easter breakfast. Actually how it started was I wanted french toast. Then I started to think about Cinnamon Swirl Bread and how I’ve not made one that calls for yeast in forever. Then I searched and found.
I will have you know, this is not a quick bread. It is rather a process but I will also have you know that it is worth every waiting moment!! Do not let the waiting & rising time stop you, please. This bread is heaven. It is soft, pillowy, buttery, just perfect amounts of cinnamon & sugar, although more would be awesome too! You have to make it & while you are at it, you may want to make two loaves. It will go super quick!
There is a total of 4 hours of rising time, so plan well. I woke up Easter morning at 5am, made the dough and had it in the oven and out all by 10am. So worth the wait folks! I could talk about the bread all day and I could find many words to describe how wonderful it is but instead I will leave you with the recipe in hopes that you will try it for yourself
|Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Bread||
- 1 Cup Milk
- 6 Tablespoons Butter
- 2½ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- 3½ Cups Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ Cup Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
- 1 Egg & Some Milk, Combined Together For Brushing
- Softened Butter For Greasing & Smearing
- In a small sauce pan melt butter with milk. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove from heat and let it set till just warm to the touch.
- Sprinkle yeast over mixture. You can stirl gently if desired but I just let it sit. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour and salt, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs with your paddle till just combined. Do not over beat!
- Pour in the yeast mixture and stir enough to combine. Add half of your flour mixture then beat till combined.
- Add the rest of the flour mixture till combined.
- Remove your paddle and switch to your dough hook.
- Put on medium speed for at least 10 minutes. You may find after that 10 minutes that your dough may still be too “wet”. A little sticky is fine. If it is wet, add ¼ cup flour and put it back on medium to high speed for 5 more minutes.
- Warm or heat a metal or glass mixing bowl, so it is warm to the tough, not hot.
- Coat bowl with oil, I used Vegetable. Toss the dough in the bowl to make sure it is lightly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.
- On a clean work surface turn out dough. Make sure to roll your dough no wider than the loaf pan you will be using. Try as best you can to roll it into a nice long rectangle.
- Smear with 2 tablespoons of butter or you can just take whatever amount of softened butter and smear that on the dough as well.
- Combine cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over dough.
- Start rolling at the far end, keeping the roll nice and tight and contained best as you can. Pinch the seam to seal the roll.
- Grease the loaf pan with softened butter, use a good amount!
- Place dough in loaf pan, seam down. Cover again with plastic wrap and allow it to rise again for about 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush the loaf with the Egg/Milk mixture.
- Bake on middle shelf for 40 minutes.
- Allow baked bread to sit in pan to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. If you can, let it finishing cooling before cutting into it.
- To keep leftovers, if there are any…place in a ziplock bag.
|March 28, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Candy|
Hard to believe that March is just about over! Are you happy? Is it Spring in your neck of the woods? I can not say with 100% certainty that it is Spring just yet here in Japan. I am ok with that too. Anyone who has been with me from the start of this blog knows how horrid the temps get here in the Summer and how there is no AC and therefor no baking for a few months time.
I have to tell you though, today I actually opened half of my balcony to let in fresh cool air! It was perfect and had me longing for Spring till thoughts of Summer came along,lol. So things could be warming up here or I could also wake up tomorrow with a few inches of snow on my doorstep…just how it is here in Northern Japan!
March 27th was National Nougat Day. Yeah, Nougat is a candy, some recipes call for baking or simmering and others call for “set -up” time in the fridge. I don’t know how most feel about Nougat. There are many varieties and variations out there and if there are none you like, take a basic recipe and make it your own. That’s pretty much what you see here.
There is a candy company out there that makes what they call a “Jelly Bean Nougat” candy. You can search the internet high and low for a recipe but you will not come across one that is like it at all, sadly. It is my favorite and really the only Nougat I’ve had in my life. I had to try and recreate it as best as I could. I am in Japan so there is no other way for me to get that candy unless I purchase it online and sometimes I don’t feel like that bother. Now I can just make my own, any time. The only downside is this recipe I adapted from calls for a 24 hour set up time in the fridge..and it’s needed so don’t try to skip it. They also need to be kept in the fridge to store, you can keep them out for a while but just keep that in mind. Also these are incredibly delicious and the gumdrops are awesome with it, exactly how I was hoping!
I am also thinking that these would be great to bring to a family gathering like on Easter Happy Easter!!!
- ½-1 Cup Gumdrops, Chopped
- ⅓ Cup Butter, Softened
- 4 Cups Powdered Sugar
- Some Flour Up To ½ Cup
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- Mix butter, sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Add very little flour, till dough is formed and not sticky. I actually did not need any flour.
- Knead in the chopped gumdrops.
- Line an 8×8 pan with plastic wrap.
- Press mixture into pan, cover with foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Slice them however you would like and wrap in wax paper then store in fridge.
|March 26, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Cheesecakes|
Happy Easter Week!
Happily I’ve been baking more, still racing against time, trying to get in all the baking I can! So far it is still cold, we’ve even had a few days of random snow recently.
It is Easter week. Not sure if or what you may celebrate about it but one thing I think most of us can agree upon is, it’s family time! Easter day has always been a huge family day. It’s hard being away from everyone but I am so thankful I am here with Daniel.
We recently had an Easter Party and I made these gems! These are amazing and you should make them this week for your family, friends or even just for you! They are even yummy right out of the oven, all warm and gooey.
I got nothing but positive feed back and intend on making these again soon!
So, what are you making for Easter desserts?
|Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes||
- ¾ c Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Melted Butter
- Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- 16 oz (2 8 oz packages) Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
- 1 Cup Sugar
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
- ½ Cup Chocolate Chips, Not Minis
- 2 Teaspoons Shortening, Divided Between Both Chips
- Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees.
- Place a liner inside each muffin tin.
- Mix graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Place a tablespoon of mixture into each cup and press down flat with a small glass.
- Place 1 unwrapped miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the center of each.
- Beat the cream cheese until nice and fluffy. You could always use light cream cheese but I prefer regular.
- Add in the sugar, flour and vanilla and continue beating until well combined. Add in the eggs one at time making sure they are well incorporated. Don’t over beat!
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the Reese’s, evenly dividing the mixture among the 12 cups. I used about ⅛ cup of the mixture for each cup but the original recipe calls for ¼ cup but I found that to be too much. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheesecakes are set. Make sure to watch them good, your oven may take less time!
- Let your cheesecakes cool. Melt ½ cup Peanut Butter Chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening in the microwave. Use a fork to drizzel mixture over each cheesecake. Do the same thing with the Chocolate Chips.
|March 16, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Cakes|
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I used to enjoy celebrating this day but over the years one thing or another has stopped us from it. Usually it’s my husband having to work or something work related, weird hours…any number of things. So normally it just passes us by without much thought.
Since my husband and a good handful of his coworkers actually had to work today, I decided to bake them a St. Patrick’s Day treat!
For Christmas my husband bought me a Mini Whoopie Pie pan. I normally use a scoop and a cookie sheet to make my whoopie pies but I love having all kinds of different pans to make fun things. I decided to try it out. I have to say at first, it really was an experiment.
I was using a recipe I’ve never used before as well as a pan I had never used. I have made Red Velvet cake before but it was a different recipe. So I followed the recipe to a T. It was an epic failure. The batter rose pretty high and looked like mini muffins instead.
On the second batch I decided that 1 Tablespoon of batter was too much for this particular recipe, so I cut it down to 1 Teaspoon of batter. The smaller amount of batter did the trick and came out great I think!
Of course cream cheese frosting goes with any kind of velvet cake and while most people like to use pounds of powdered sugar…I don’t really ever use more than a few cups, personal taste of course! I also never add milk to my frostings! I always end up with a light, fluffy and delicious taste and you can still taste the cream cheese in it.
What were your plans for St. Patrick’s Day?
|Mini Green Velvet Whoopie Pies||
- 2¾ Cups Flour
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Cocoa
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Oil
- 1 Cup Buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 oz Green Food Coloring
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1 Package Softened Cream Cheese
- ¼ Cup Softened Butter
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Pound Bag Powdered Sugar
- Milk If Desired & As Needed
- Preheat Oven to 350, You could possibly get away with 325 with this pan!
- Grease your mini whoopie pie pan.
- Lightly whisk eggs in medium bowl.
- Add rest of wet ingredients, whisk until blended, set aside.
- Place all dry ingredients into your mixing bowl and stir together well.
- Place 1 teaspoon of batter into each cavity.
- Bake 9-10 minutes. Move to wire rack and let sit in pan for 2-3 minutes before removing cakes to completely cool.
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream together cream cheese & butter. Add vanilla unitl smooth.
- Using a sifter, gradually add in powdered sugar till it is your desired taste and consistency. Add milk if desired.
|March 15, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Quick Breads|
Well, I hate the fact that I have fallen behind in my baking & posting! It is almost that time around here to hang up the apron for a few months, since it will be too darn hot to bake here in Japan….at least without AC. We don’t have that here on base.
So I am now feeling the crunch, the count down…and now I am wanting to bake like crazy of course. I mean, I’ve been wanting too anyways but I have been busy and doing other things and baking has taken a little bit of a back seat around here.
The last week or two I’ve had a hankering for Pumpkin Bread…I guess I am thinking ahead, about not being able to actually bake in the Fall, so I should get to it now, while I still can,lol.
I’ve been using the same recipe my mother has for Pumpkin Bread for years now but decided to try something a little different and found this recipe. It is wonderful and perfect for all year round!
What do you like to bake all year round, even if it is considered “seasonal”?
|Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread||
- 1¾ Cups Flour
- 1 Cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
- ¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Preheat Oven To 350 Degrees
- Grease 9×5-inch Loaf Pan
- Combine flour, pumpkin, brown sugar, butter, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, baking powder. Beat on medium/high speed for 1-2 minutes making sure to scrape sides of the bowl.
- Pour into or spoon into prepared pan.
- Bake 45-55 Minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove to wire rack to cool completely.
|January 15, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Ice Cream|
This week I have finally jumped head first into making homemade ice cream! It is break from all the normal sweet treats I make weekly. It is a welcomed change up too. Those of you out there that own an ice cream machine understand me.
I received the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker for Christmas. Given to me by my love. I will write more about this ice cream machine another time, for now I want to focus on the ice cream.
I had originally planned on making a different ice cream for my first time but sadly I had forgotten an ingredient and had to wait 2 days to be able to get it. Daniel loves chocolate ice cream so I decided this recipe would be perfect, or at least I’d hoped it would be!
I have to say I am very pleased with this recipe. It is rich, it is dark, it is decadent. It is a perfect pick-me-up and especially fun to eat while sitting and watching the snow fall on a nice wintry day.
I will say that for me, I had to place the ice cream in the freezer to let it set up more to my liking. It has excellent texture. I highly recommend letting the mixture “rest” in the fridge for several hours before churning it. I had it chilling for about 7-8 hours.
|Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream||
- 2 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
- ⅓ Cup Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder ( I Used Hershey’s Special Dark )
- 1 & ½ Cups Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- ½ Cup Smooth Peanut Butter ( I Used Jif )
- Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water. Melt the unsweetened chocolate. Gradually add the cocoa; the mixture may clump up in the whisk…that’s ok. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking with the chocolate mixture until combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool several minutes.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the sugar has been added, whisk 1 minute more.
- Add the cream and vanilla; whisk to combine.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and stir. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
- Before transferring to an ice cream maker, remove 1 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth.
- Add this back into the main mixture and stir. Process in an ice cream maker. Once the freezing cycle finishes, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze a few hours to firm up.
|January 7, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Rolls|
Winter has seemed to have settled in just nicely now here in Northern Japan. You know it is either going to be bitterly cold or snowing or both on any given day. I enjoy it! As I type it has started to snow again.
I hope the first week of 2013 has treated you well and if not, eat some bread, with butter too!! This cold weather has us eating different soups daily this week. What goes better with soup then bread? I can’t think of anything else so I’ve been making different breads here daily!
These rolls are pretty darn good! Incredibly simple to whip up too, especially if you use your bread machine and use the dough cycle! I enjoy making yeast breads/rolls in many different ways. Some days the bread machine method is most easiest and if you are busy but want something tasty it is great to use.
This is a great dough to work with and I am sure you could easily make it into baguettes as well if you desire. Do you enjoy making bread at home?
|Crusty French Bread Rolls||
- 1½ Cups Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 4 Cups Bread Flour
- Cornmeal For Dusting
- If Using Your Bread Machine, Place All Ingredients In The Order Your Bread machine Says. Put On Dough Cycle. Then Continue On After Removing The Dough By Making It Into The Rounds.
- In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
|January 1, 2013||Posted by imathomebaking under Bundt Cakes|
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
I hope you all had a wonderful New Years celebration in or out. Since Daniel is on duty, we had a very quiet night in. I think there was one New Year’s we actually got to go out and do something, have a few drinks…I believe that was like 12 years, ago,lol. He seems to get duty on it every year.
Today brings a quiet, low key day, the day before work starts back up for him! We are going bowling this afternoon. There will be a special New Years dinner tonight, not the traditional Corned Beef though, sadly. There was none to be found here this year. So, he is making us delicious steaks and fries instead! Of course, there will be cake!
There is no better way to start the New Year then by baking!! This cake smells amazing while baking. Orange zest and lemon zest blending and melding with the Brandy, yum!!! I will tell you the recipe originally calls for zest of only one orange but I wanted more and went with the zest of two! I know, how daring of me,lol!
Oddly, I am going to put this out there, while the cake was baking my husband said it smelt like corn dogs….Yeah, we are smelling differently. I believe he is hungry,lol. It is different but good.
I have to be honest, making this cake is now a new tradition for me, starting this year! So it will now be a part of our New Years yummies.
Do you make anything special or have family food/sweet treat traditions on New Years Day?
|New Years Vasilopita Cake (Orange & Brandy Bundt Cake)||
- 4 Large Eggs, separated
- 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 12 Tablespoons (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, melted, or a combination of butter and margarine
- 1¼ Cups Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- ½ Cup Brandy
- 4 Cups Flour
- 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- ~~Orange Glaze~~
- 1 Cup Confectionary Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
- ¼ Teaspoon Orange Extract
- Few Drops Orange Liquid Food Coloring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the butter or butter and margarine and beat for 1 minute more. Beat in the orange juice and brandy.
- Whisk together the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and the zests in another large bowl. Add to the yolk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until incorporated.
- In a large clean bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the pan and shake gently to even the top.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack before removing from the pan and serving.
- ~~Orange Glaze~~~~
- Combine all ingredients, add more sugar if its to thin or more orange juice if it is to thick.
|December 31, 2012||Posted by imathomebaking under Cakes|
Another year of baking almost done! I am floored as to how quickly 2012 has gone! My time here in Japan is fading fast! A little over 1 year left here, then we move along!
I appreciate each and everyone of you out there whom has visited my blog this year, commented, sent me emails! Keep it coming! I know at the start of a new year baking blogs tend to loose visitors and everyone is on a health kick! I want you to know that sweet treats are perfectly fine in moderation! Okay, leaving it at that. You will come back if you want & I hope you do!!
There will be many sweet treats in the coming year! Also…ice cream is “baking”…right??? We can pretend,lol. I was a very good girl this year and Santa brought me and ice cream machine and I will be putting it to good use and sharing it all on here too.
I have “goals” I want to accomplish this year, most of them have to do with baking of some sort, so I will work towards those this year and I would even be ok if I only got to one or two of them…Some of them I just can’t do to living in Japan.
I hope you all have awesome things to look forward to in the New Year!! Baking some new and interesting stuff is one of the things I am looking forward to.
I have to tell you, this Lemon Cake Roll is pretty awesome! It has great taste and the cake, while a tad on the dry side for my liking, is really good. I will admit my most favorite part is the filling. It is so delicious. The lemon flavors are wonderful! If you are a fan of citrus things or lemon in general, you will be a huge fan of this!
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!!!
|Luscious Lemon Cake Roll||
- 4 Eggs, separated
- ¾ Cup Sugar, divided
- 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract
- ⅔ Cup Cake Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- Confectioners’ Sugar
- ~~CREAMY LEMON FILLING~~
- 1 Can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- ⅓ Cup Lemon Juice
- 2 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Peel
- 7 Drops Yellow Liquid Food Coloring, divided
- 1-1/2 Cups Whipped Topping
- Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until lemon-colored. Gradually beat in ¼ cup sugar. Stir in oil and lemon extract; set aside.
- In another large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; fold into egg mixture.
- Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in towel, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a small bowl, combine the milk, lemon juice, lemon peel and 5 drops of food coloring. Fold in whipped topping. Unroll cake; spread half of the filling over cake to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a platter. Spread remaining filling over cake.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.