Ultimate richness – Spiced orange & grand marnier pound cake

Spiced orange and grand marnier pound cake

 

I don’t know what it is about pound cakes that’s so good….maybe it’s the in between-ness of a cake and a pastry, or the soft texture that just goes so well with milk or tea, or the variety of flavors…I don’t know. I just know that its great. And you know what else I know is great? Grand Marnier. I know this because its given me plenty of fun, in margarita shape. And because crepes suzette will always hold a special place in my heart. And because creme brulée is also one of my top-choice desserts. So a grand marnier pound cake? Why yes please! And mix it up with a ton of spices, and a dense, springy texture which will soak up the liquored up syrup, and you’ve got the richest, most delicious drunk pound cake. Which will also keep over a week, ( I know because as usual I overdid it and made two) making it a great treat for guests, or to accompany a cup of black tea, with a dash of milk. Sounds interesting? Read more for the recipe.

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Caribbean muffins? – Banana rum coconut muffins

Banana coconut crumble muffins

Bananas are one of those foods that hardly anyone dislikes. They’re sweet and mushy, one of the friendliest textures ever. But the truly great thing about bananas is that when you mix them with butter, flour and eggs and then bake them to produce banana bread, no one, not even that one person who claims to hate bananas, will refuse to eat them. So I took my go-to banana bread recipe, which I found eons ago on Deb’s Smitten Kitchen (yet another great recipe from her!) and turned it into muffins. But wait, I thought, it’s not enough to have delicious bites of banana bread. I should definitely add coconut flakes, because they’re so crispy…. and bananas and coconuts together make me think of monkeys and palm trees and caribbean islands. Which of course makes me think of pirates…and well from pirates to rum it’s only one small jump right? So why not add a small splash of rum…or maybe a not so small one?  So I did all of those things, and the result is an insanely delicious breakfast muffin, which packs a whole punch because of all the flavors, and because it’ll make you think of Jack sparrow. (And who doesn’t love thinking about Jack sparrow right?).Ok, ok..I’ll stop rambling about all the crazy things I think about when presented with coconut flakes and jut tell you to read more for the recipe.

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Things I’ve kept – Best ever lemon pound cake

lemonpoundcake0

So I know that almost the entire blogosphere is talking about the New Year, and their resolutions, and what they learned in 2012, etc. And I know that those who aren’t talking about it are either writing about how everyone is talking about the same thing (like me) or just plain fed up. I know. But I’m still going to go ahead and get my newyearism off my chest. But don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with deep reflexions and the importance of life and the answer to everything! Instead I’m going to give you the best ever lemon pound cake recipe. Yup, best ever. I’ve been sitting on this recipe since Christmas Eve, when I made it for my mom as her present…yes, my mom is one of those people impossible to give gifts to, the only think that makes her truly happy is pound cake. She’s absolutely crazy for it, and she’s always begging me to bake her a couple. Because one just isn’t enough. But lemon pound cake holds a particularly special place in her heart, because eons (seriously, like 20 years) ago she baked one for my birthday party and it was the best cake she had ever made. Everyone complimented her, it was gone within seconds, the texture was perfect, the flavor unsurpassable…you name it. In her mind, the cake was something only angels ate, and she had been blessed with the recipe. Which she of course proceeded to lose. Because that’s what she does. She keeps things so well, they get lost. And I think there’s a little bit of that in all of us… as humans, we tend to keep things, emotions, experiences and feelings so well we end up forgetting where we put them. Be it that spare cash for emergencies you hid god knows where in your house to the memory of that horrible recurrent nightmare you had when you were five, tucked neatly away in your unconscious, the things we keep make us who we are. Just like that lost recipe holds for my mom that part of herself where she used to bake for her kids. So here’s to long lost recipes, memories, things and emotions. Here’s to finding them, organizing them, and eventually forgetting all over again where they were. Here’s to having a year full of new things to keep, and lose. And to looking back into the year gone by, to recognize what we’re made of, even if we’re made of recipes, lost or found.
On a side note: this recipe comes from Dozen Flours, it’s Julia’s recipe for a better than starbucks poundcake, and trust me, it’s waaaaay better. Even if it’s not food from heaven. All you’ve got to do is ask my mom.

Read more for the recipe

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Baking Frenzy Part III – Blueberry cream scones

Blueberry Scones

I haven’t forgotten the third installment of the baking frenzy. I was just saving this to be posted on monday, when you can look at it, then think about it on tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday….nevermind. You should just stay up late and make these today. Seriously (Imagine your breakfast tomorrow morning). The recipe comes from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, who very aptly puts it, has occasional dreams of scones (and so do I) and hence has provided us with this heavenly heavenly recipe, originally from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (which I’ve already made a mental note to get, if all the recipes turn out like this one!). They truly are scone perfection, especially because of all the recipes from the baking frenzy, these were the easiest and fastest to make. Only bad point to them is that they don’t keep well (do any scones ever?) – but don’t fool yourself, they’ll be gone before you find yourself reaching for the tupperwares.
The original recipe called for currants, but I substituted with blueberries, which where slightly crushed as I was forming the dough and gave the scones some moist and sweet purple spots. Read more for the recipe.

Butter in Cubes

Blueberry sour cream sconesCrumble Continue reading