The Newbie Cook
- 16,971 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This is based on the banana cake recipe here, just modified to make it more moist and suitable for little cups. I love crunchy cinnamon sugar-topped muffins and I took the opportunity to use it here. It’s very easy to prepare so this is something that you can bake with your kids.
This simple but yummy muffin is appropriate for breakfast, snacks, picnics, children’s parties and the occasional guilty midnight snack.
Recipe afer the jump. Enjoy. 🙂
I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since I posted. It must be my lazy gene at work. I’ve tried a lot of new recipes since the last post but, being Ms. Forgetful, didn’t always have my camera with me so I was only able to document a few. And one of those precious few is the apple cinnamon cake. 🙂
It’s Smitten Kitchen’s mom’s apple cake. But I added a lot of cinnamon and lessened the sugar to suit my taste. I also used yellowish-red gala apples because by the time I realized that there were small green apples that’s probably excellent for baking, I already had the gala apples weighed and priced. Another example of the lazy gene at work.
I left the apples unpeeled so I just washed them thoroughly. My aunts always told me that the nutrients are close to the peeling. And it tastes sweeter the way it is.
Instead of sifting the dry ingredients, which would take forever and a day, I used a whisk to mix them all together. I got that tip from Serious Eats. Besides, I don’t have a sifter. 😉
One creates four layers: dough, apples, dough, then apples. Please use a tube pan for this cake, just like Smitten Kitchen did. It’s actually the second time for me to make this and I used a regular square pan the first time when I made it for my girlfriends. It took a long time to bake and, even when the sides were already crunchy, the center was still uncooked. It was then that the usefulness of a tube pan dawned on me.
It hasn’t even been baked but it already looks beautiful. I did use too many apples for my cake. I also had a smallish tube pan and the dough ran over as it was baking. Put a baking tray under the pan like I did to prevent messing up your oven. (Chewing on the crunchy, fallen bits was also fun.)
I brought this cake home to Apartment #1 where my parents and siblings are currently staying. The kids liked it, so did the adults. I set aside a few slices to bring to work before The Terminator (aka Jiko, the younger brother) finishes everything. Luckily, Tita Edith and Layali both liked it. I guess this is one cake that I am going to make again.
Be careful with slicing and serving because the cake can get crumbly. It’s also a bit heavy for dessert and is probably more suited as a snack with your favorite coffee or tea.
Last week, we held Ina’s surprise bridal shower just a few days before her wedding. Being the forgetful friend that I am, I completely forgot about it until Jovett texted me that morning as a reminder. (See, my friends know me very well.)
It was a potluck dinner and I didn’t know what to bring! I expected that most guests would probably bring dishes so I opted to bring the dessert. And who else do I turn to for dessert-related emergencies like this? Dear old Smitten Kitchen. ♥
I chose the recipe based on Ina’s love for the wholewheat apple cinnamon muffins I used to make for her. Of course, I didn’t have applesauce on hand. I don’t think I’ve ever bought applesauce in my life. After a panicky mini-shopping spree in my company’s tiny Safeway, I finally had what I needed.
The cake and the frosting were relatively easy to make. The only hitch was that I was strapped for time, having only 1.5 hours to make the cake. Since there was no time to properly cool the cake, I was afraid the frosting would melt and be absorbed by the cake and I’d end up with a mess. I popped the cake in the freezer and hoped for the best.
Though the cake was still warm when I left, the frosting didn’t melt. (Not too much anyway.) And we were still able to enjoy the gooey, moist cake on our white plastic plates. 🙂
For last night’s potluck, I had to think of something that wouldn’t require me to go out and buy ingredients. The first thing I thought of was cinnamon. I had lots of cinnamon! I browsed through recipes of various cinnamon rolls and breads but due to my previous efforts, I knew that any sort of bread would take forever and a day.
I needed something quick because I only had a few hours. Plus, I was distracted by The Walking Dead as I was trying to find time to watch all 5 episodes in one afternoon on top of all the stuff I had to do. Yep, zombies. Very appetizing.
It’s my first time to try out a recipe from King Arthur Flour. It requires lots of oats on the streusel topping, which was a big selling point for me. (I LOVE oats!) The muffins require 3-4 layers and I’m sure this first effort was a bit messy as the supposed creamy filling just managed to make it look marbled. I opted against a sugar drizzle since the streusel was already loaded with brown sugar. I also used chopped walnuts instead of pecans.
I used paper liners at first but the muffins ended up looking untidy. Pieces crumbled away and the the paper kept on separating from the muffin. Results were much better with a lightly-greased muffin pan. The muffins didn’t stick to the pan and I had no problem taking each one out. The caramel will ooze over the top of the muffins so place a baking sheet beneath your muffin pan to avoid drips.
The muffin is sturdier than I expected. It’s a solid snack and is more appropriate for brunch or teatime than as a dessert. But that didn’t stop Dad from finishing two right after lunch.
Is it yummy? Yes. But it’s not too sweet either. If you’re hoping for sugar overload, better pour confectionery sugar drizzle over it. I like it as it is and it tastes great with Japanese green tea. Thanks for the tea, Cris. 😀
I’ve been wanting to try the pumpkin rolls from The Kitchn ever since I saw the recipe last week. I’ve never made bread before and I figured I may as well start with yummy cinnamon rolls with a vegetable mixed in.
I had a lot of time in my other kitchen (I live in 2 apartments) after I did the laundry. I didn’t have pumpkin so I used butternut squash. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree but I don’t think we have that in Saudi Arabia, or at least not where I go food shopping, so I just peeled, chopped, boiled and pureed the squash. I wished I had roasted pecans but I would have to add that the next time I make this. The amount of butter and sugar required to make this made me feel guilty so I substituted around half of of the flour with whole-wheat flour and added a bit more squash.
There was a minor incident with regard to the yeast. I used active dry yeast and though I’ve seen my mom use this ingredient so often in the past, I never paid attention. After one hour, the dough refused to rise as promised so I Skyped my mother and asked her.
Mom: Did you use lukwarm water?
Me: Er… very hot water.
Mom: You killed the yeast! It’s ok, the dough can be salvaged. Just add the yeast again. Mix it in a cup of lukewarm water first and if it rises in the cup, work it into your dough.
I did exactly what she said, added more whole-wheat flour, and covered the dough. I had enough time to go to the gym and clean up. After an hour an half, the dough had doubled. The rolling pin was in my other kitchen so I just beat the dough with my well-floured fists into a rectangle over a clean, floured counter. I thought 2 tablespoons of cinnamon wasn’t enough so I added more cinnamon and used less sugar for the filling. Rolling the dough into a cylinder was harder than I thought as the dough was so sticky!
After around 25-30 minutes, the rolls were fragrant and ready. I left a tray to my roommate and a couple of friends and brought the other tray to my father. They all liked them, especially with tea or coffee, but Dad felt bad we didn’t have pecans. All I had were the leftover chopped almonds from the cake that morning so I used that instead.
The original recipe used sugary drizzle but I opted not to. For the sake of those who want to risk the calories, I’ll include the drizzle recipe here.