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Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Cake

November 10, 2009

 

AppleUpsideDownCake

Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Cake

What you will need to create this beautiful cake!

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 apples, Empire or Gala, about 1 1/2 lbs, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour, spooned & leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Vanilla Ice cream for serving on the side

Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease a 9″ round pan with 2 tbsp of butter and coat the bottom with the brown sugar.  Each of your apples should yield about 8 slices.  Toss these in the lemon juice and lay them in the bottom of your baking pan in a concentric circle.  Keep in mind this will be the top of the cake so take your time and make it look good.  You may not use all of the apples so pick out the best looking slices and use those first.  Snack on the rest or making apple muffins!

Apples in a row

Apples in a row

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set to the side.  Using a stand or handheld mixer beat the sugar and remaining butter until you get a light and fluffy consistency.  Gradually add the eggs to this mixture and also the vanilla extract.  Turn your mixture down to low speed and add flour and milk alternating between the two.  It’s very important to begin and end with the flour as this will make your batter nice and smooth.

Beat the Batter

Beat the Batter

Spoon the batter over the apples and smooth the top.  Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown, about 45 – 55 minutes or when a cake tester comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.  Before removing the cake to a platter run a pairing knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides.  Invert your cake onto a platter, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

 

 

This recipe yields about 8 servings but sometimes if I’m serving a large crowd I’ll double the recipe and make it in a large square pan and instead of making concentric circles with the apples I lay them in straight rows top to bottom.  It was just as well.  I like to serve the cake with a scoop of pure vanilla ice cream.

 

A Slice of Heaven!

A Slice of Heaven!

 

 

 

The Best Tres Leches Cake, EVER!

November 9, 2009

 

It’s funny how people volunteer their ‘best’ recipes with me when I tell them I write a food blog, including my friends.  My good friend Eddie told me he had the best recipe for Tres Leches cake, which if you understand Spanish, you know it means 3 Milks Cake.  It’s a fluffy scratch cake soaked in 3 kinds of milk: whole milk in the batter, sweetened condensed & evaporated milk pour over the cake after it’s baked.  You think that’s rich?  Eddie then frosts his Tres Leches cake with a yummy homemade whipped cream frosting.

 

 

Tres Leches

Tres Leches

I knew it was the best Tres Leches cake ever when we converted my cousin Michelle from a die hard vanilla frosting fan into a Tres Leches Fan!  When I presented her with a slice she immediately turned her nose up and admonished me for trying to pass off a cake with whipped cream for frosting.  “That’s not frosting!” she exclaimed.  But I convinced her to take one little bite, after that she had 3 servings and called me the next day to tell me she was craving Tres Leches! YES!!! We did it!

 

The Tres Leches is best served after sitting for several hours or overnight in the fridge so the milks have time to permeate every single crumb in the cake.  I classify this cake as a comfort food for the simple fact that when you eat it you feel all warm and gooey inside.  Exactly what a comfort food should do.  I encourage you to double this recipe as one will not be enough and you’ll be a Dessert SUPERSTAR!

Preheat your oven to 350.

For the cake:

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix in a separate bowl and set aside:

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

Eddie Making Tres Leches

Eddie Making Tres Leches

Start off by greasing an 9 inch cake pan with butter then dust it with some flour.  Separate the eggs and beat the whites in a mixer and slowly add the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks to this mixture and blend until well combined.  Sift the flour together with the baking soda and add it the egg mixture alternating with the milk.  Be sure to start and finish with the flour.  Add the vanilla extract to the batter and pour into your cake pan.  Bake the cake in the oven for about 35 – 40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

 

In another bowl combine the evaporated and condensed milks and set in the fridge until your cake is out of the oven.  For the frosting I recommend putting the cream and a glass bowl in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.  Chilling the cream and the bowl help the cream beat up faster and fluffier.  Eddie mixes his frosting by hand and the flavor and texture that he achieves is well worth the effort.  He uses a hand mixer and starts off by slowly beating the cream and gradually adding the sugar.  Superfine sugar is best to use in this frosting because it dissolves quickly.

Eddie ladles milk onto the cake

Cool your cake for about 15 minutes then take a skewer or a toothpick and poke several holes into the top of the cake so the milk has somewhere to go when you pour it all over the cake.  Be sure to use a dish with a rim to set your cake in before pouring the milk over it so that you don’t get milk all over your table and floor.  Eddie uses a ladle to slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake. Do this until the milk is all gone.  You can now frost your cake with the whipped cream.  And as I mentioned earlier, for best results let your cake sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.  Overnight is best.

 

Eddie Frosts the Tres Leches Cake

Eddie Frosts the Tres Leches Cake

If you are looking for a new dessert to add to your holiday table this year, this is it!  I can assure you it will be the hit of the night and so will you!  Enjoy.

 

Roasted Apple & Butternut Squash Soup

November 8, 2009
ButterNutSquash

Butternut Squash Halves

I love butternut squash!!! It’s so darn yummy and so easy to prepare.  Most people you mention butternut squash to seem to think it’s one of those foods you only see during the fall season.  No way Jose! These bad boys are easy to find at your local grocery store all year round so you don’t have to wait for the fall to enjoy their sweet, buttery flavor.

My favorite way to prepare butternut squash is to roast it in the oven until it’s tender and then puree it with chicken stock (or veggie stock), whisk in a little cream and voila! Roasted Butternut Squash Soup!  But why leave it at that?  Here’s my recipe for Roasted Apple & Butternut Squash Soup, my ode to Fall!

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1  Butternut Squash (about 3-4 lbs) , peeled, seeded and cut into one inch pieces
  • 4 medium apples, any variety works well, peeled, cored and cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 large or 4 medium carrots, cut into one inch pieces.
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground corriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, warmed, plus more if needed.

Preheat your oven to 375 and chop all the veggies.  On a large baking sheet toss all your veggies and apples with the olive oil, salt, pepper and spices until well coated.  Roast the mixture in the oven for about an hour or until the veggies and apples are tender and golden.  At this point your kitchen will smell like heaven!

 

Roasted Veggies

Roasted Veggies

 

 

This next step you can accomplish with a either a food processor or a blender.  Add about a cup of the roasted veggies to the food processor with a cup of the stock and puree.  As you puree each batch pour it into a soup pot and simmer over a low heat.  If you need to add more stock to the soup to thin it out this would be a good time.  Once you’re done pureeing the veggies and apples taste the soup for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Stir in the cream until well blended. That’s it, soups done!  I like to serve my soup with some finely diced apples and a sprig of cilantro.  Jalapanos are delicious too!

Besides the great flavor, I enjoy making this soup because it’s a great way to get your kids cooking and learning how to combine fruits and veggies in uncommon but wonderfully delicious ways.  The kiddies as well as the adults love the sweetness of this soup.  The squash, the apples, the carrots and the onion each lend their own sweetness to the soup and the great combination of spices pulls it all together.  I make many varieties of this soup, it all depends on what’s in my fridge.  I encourage you to do the same.  Enjoy!

 

Apple Crisp!

November 3, 2009

 

EddiePicksApples

Apple Picking

Yes, that’s lil ole me in my hoodie and bell bottoms surrounded by delicious apples waiting to be picked.  Fall has always been my favorite time of the year in New England.  The air is crisp, the leaves are vibrant colors of gold, red & orange and the apples, bountiful!  Apple picking was a tradition I always looked forward to as a kid.  My dad was a baker back then so when we brought all those glorious apples home we made apple pie or rather pies.

Unfortunately, we don’t go apple picking as a family anymore and my dad doesn’t bake but the apples are still everywhere and I have become the family baker.  As I was driving around the north shore with my cousin yesterday, all the beautiful fall foliage and chilly weather put me in the perfect mood for an apple crisp.  So I picked up some apples and headed to my kitchen.

 

Gala Apples

Gala Apples

For this crisp I used Gala apples, but varieties like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Winesap are excellent in this recipe too.  You want to use an apple that is crisp, sweet and tart.  Although if you’re in a pinch use what’s at hand!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 9″ pie dish
  • 4 Gala Apples
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. sugar plus 3 tbsp
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (fresh grated is best!)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced

Preheat your oven to 350.  Butter your pie dish and set aside.  Combine all the dry ingredients with the butter and rub this mixture with your fingers until it looks like coarse meal.  Next peel and core the apples and cut into 1 inch chunks.  Mix the apple chunks with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest.  Place the apples in your pie dish and cover with the oatmeal mixture.  Bake until the edges of the pie dish are brown and bubbly, about 40 minutes.

 

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp & Fresh Whipped Cream

 

By this time your house should be smelling like heaven.  While my crisp is cooling I chill a glass bowl and some heavy whipping cream in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  Pour the heavy cream into the bowl and using an electric mixer start beating the cream, slow at first then speed up.  As the cream is whipping up slowly add 3 tablespoons of superfine sugar to sweeten it up.  Beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks.

While still warm and gooey scoop the apple crisp into individual bowls and top with the fresh whipped cream.  Now that’s yummy!

 

Apple Crisp with Fresh Whipped Cream

Apple Crisp with Fresh Whipped Cream

 

 

 

 

November 1, 2009

DSC03975

Im now taking orders for the holiday season!

I am offering a selection of quick breads and desserts for your holiday table!  I will also work with you to create a menu for your holiday celebrations.  Send me an email with your requests and ideas.  Take some of that holiday stress off your shoulders with That’s Yummy!

 

Hors d’oeuvres, Holiday side dishes, Fruit Pies, Cakes, Fruit Crisps & Tarts and more!

Thatsyummy09@gmail.com

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2009
Jack-O-Lantern

Jack-O-Lantern

 

I thought I’d share my icy cold Halloween treat with all my little hobgoblins out there.  It’s a very simple to make and very fun to eat Jack-O-Lantern!   It even lights up!  All you need to make this Jack-O-Lantern is cereal bowls, lots of orange sherbert, chocolate chips and some candles.

First start by putting a large scoop of orange sherbet into each cereal bowl and round it out with the dull edge of a knife to form your Jack-O-Lantern.  One one side of the scoop use the chocolate chips to make the face.  It also tastes great with peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.  Hey, get crazy and use all sorts of chips!

After you have artistically assembled your chocolate chips to look like a scary face put your creation in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.  After the sherbert sets up nice and firm remove your Jack-O-Lanterns from the freezer to the table and insert a candle into the top of each one.  Light the candles, turn off the lights and BooooHoooo!  You have yourself a spooktacular treat! Perfect for any Halloween Party!

More pics from Heart of the Hub

October 29, 2009
MyTableAtHeartofHub

My table at Heart of the Hub

Carrot & Apple Spice Cakes

Carrot & Apple Spice Cakes

You can see more pictures from the Heart of the Hub Annual Fundraiser here at Flickr.