Posts Tagged ‘Baking’


Do a lot of you still use Pinterest? I do and I have over a thousand pins. Some of them are things I’ve made but a lot of them are things I like and would love to make or have. The downside is I hardly ever look through all of the older pins. I just keep pinning. Which is good for inspiration I guess, but incredibly over whelming. 

So I’m starting a new series called I pinned this, now I’m going to make this. TL;DR- pinned it,made it. I plan on going through all those pins and make the things I feel I’m able to make. 

At first I planned on following everything exactly but after today’s post I’m going to be more liberal with how I make things. 

Today’s Pinned this; Made this is banana bread! It comes from Cocoa and Ash. I pinned this because I had a lot of bananas. Rohan has boycotted eating bananas. And because it has a cinnamon crumble. Can’t resist a crumble. 

I followed her recipe exactly. 

My crumble looked more sugary and less cinnamon than hers. But I pushed forward. I was thinking sugar is good, I like sugar. The whole thing came together really easy.  It all looks good. But holy sweetness batman. That sugar crumble is overpowering. The rest of the loaf is great. And the second layer of crumble is cleaver but I’m totally omitting it next time. And possible making the crumble with brown sugar. 

Cocoa and Ash calls this the best banana bread recipe and you know what I might just agree with her. The bread part is really moist and delicious. I’m excited to keep this series going. I feel pretty inspired and happy that I’m actually going to make things that I’ve pinned. I’ll try to keep the Pinned this; Made this posts to Thursday. So keep an eye open! 


Rhubarb Almond Tart

Growing up we always had a huge garden and that garden always had a growing rhubarb bush. I never appreciated the rhubarb bush. Me and my sister would always have to pick a bunch for canning and the rhubarb jam or whatever it was that my dad made was always super sugary and never tasted very good. As we became older it became more of a joke to eat the tart stalks. And as an adult my dad would always offer me a good bundle but I always thought of them as a weed. I’m allergic to strawberries so making a rhubarb pie was never a high priority of mine. 

I just never jumped on the rhubarb bandwagon until a few days ago. Instagram user Vibrantandpure made a rhubarb cheesecake brownie with rose water.  I wanted to make the cheesecake brownie but Mr Porcupine thought it was a bit complex and couldn’t decide if the flavors would go together. So we went for something simpler rhubarb and almond. The rhubarb lattice was what originally caught my eye and I was for sure going to make that part. I really like making pretty and cute things. 

To make this rhubarb almond tart you’ll need:

Puff Pastry– mine measured 12x 12 in. A sheet of premade puff pastry would work too. 

For the frangipane filling:

2 Tbls butter 

3/4 cups almond meal 

3/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract 

Punch of salt. 

Rhubarb lattice top:

5 long rhubarb stalks 

1 cup water 

1/2 cup granulated sugar
To prepare the rhubarb lattice slice the rhubarb length wise with a mandolin slicer or to the thickness of 1/16inch. 

I tested my lattice pattern before cooking the rhubarb slices. I wanted to make sure I cooked the pieces I was planning on using. I also used this time to even my edges. 

Add the sugar and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add a few slices of rhubarb and cook for 30 seconds. The rhubarb will be like undercooked pasta. Remove the rhubarb and place on a paper towel to dry. 

Instagram user NorthDixieKitchen has a cute video on how to do your rhubarb weave. Set the rhubarb weave aside and work on your frangipane filling. 

A frangipane filling is an almond pastry cream perfect for tarts and other pastries. Usually there is rum in the mixture but we don’t have rum in the house. So no rum in the filling. 

In a small sauce pot over medium heat melt the butter and cook until brown.  Mix together the almond meal, egg, sugar,almond extract and the brown butter. Transfer your filling to your puff pastry sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. At this point I took mine out and placed my rhubarb lattice on top. Pressed in a bit and baked it again for another 5-7 minutes. I’m sure it would be just fine if you waited till the puff pastry and filling were done baking to place you rhubarb lattice on top. 

Let cool for an hour before enjoying. 

The color of this rhubarb tart is so bright and vivid I’m sure this dessert would wow anyone. 🙂 

Vacation starts soon. And we are counting down the hours. I’ve got us almost all packed, the house is clean and the puppy sitter is all set to watch our babies. We are excited! 


Soft Pretzels

You know how Facebook has a On This Day feature where it shows what happened in the past. Some people don’t like it but I usually love it. It shows me all the things I’ve made that weren’t blogged. A lot of food items. A lot. 

4 and 6 years ago I made pretzels around this time. Of course I was all like I gotta make pretzels.  

I used Alton Browns soft pretzel recipe. The only variation that happened was I used less flour. I used 3 3/4 cup flour instead of the 4 1/2.  I’m not surprised. Flour is one of those things that’s hard to get right unless you are weighing it. And at this point I don’t have a scale so everything is by cups not weight. If I had added all of the 

Every measuring cup holds a different amount. So you have to deal with that too. So much to think about when it comes to flour! 

My dough set to rise. 
  To make the pretzel shape I cut my dough in equal size bits. I was just eyeing the size of my dough bits but you can weigh out each one if you want a precise pretzel. I like my pretzels different sizes. Some times you want a small one and other times you want all the carbs. 

Roll out each dough bit into a rope. I usually roll until it starts looking like a worm. A long thick worm. 
  Hold each end and cross over each other. Press gently into the pretzel dough. 

 Add each pretzel to boiling water for about 30 seconds. Alton says to do it one by one but I’ve totally done three at a time and they’ve come out just fine. You can just call me a rebel. Remove from the water and brush with an egg yolk wash and sprinkle with salt. I decided to get creative with my salt. From left to right I used saltcream sea salt, red Hawaiian salt and black lava salt. Honestly the salts didn’t change much. It still tastes like salted pretzel. 

  Alton baked his for 12-14 minutes and I had to bake mine for 20 minutes. 

And perfection. I ate mine with Dijon mustard but if I had horseradish I would have used that too. I love that spice.   Just the right amount of crunch on the outside and the inside is so soft and delicious. I might have to make more soon.  

Apple Pie

I had good intentions when I bought that bag of apples. I had plans to snack on them whenever I was craving sugar or going in for a mindless snack. Instead they sat there and now they all needed to be eaten.

Eating ten apples at once is eating healthy, right?

I used William-Sonoma’s basic pie recipe. I like this pie recipe. It is quick and easy. I usually don’t change anything about it but this time I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. I also added about two tablespoons extra of sugar. There is no good reason on why I did this except that what was left in the bag. I don’t think it made the pie taste more sugary or anything like that.

I doubled the dough recipe. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough and would have to make more and I didn’t want to waste time making a second batch. 

To make the apples I peeled and thinly sliced 10 apples. I coulda gotten away with only using 8 but like I said, I had 10 apples and had to use them.

Most recipes with apples call for mixing it with lemon juice but I was out of lemons. I had a few cara cars oranges and just decided to go with it. From this point on I followed Martha Stewart’s recipe.

The pie bird helps vent the steam and helps keep the juices from boiling over. I’m sure the bird was overkill and there were probably enough holes in the top for ventilation but it’s cute and I wanted to use it.

After I placed my apples in a cute way Mr Porcupinestew was all like- why did you make it so pretty you know you’re just going to cover it up. My response was – but the picturessss!  I cut strips of dough for the lattice. I wasn’t worried about keeping my lines straight/even, I just went with it. To make the lattice you lay the strips of dough down and weave in the other strips by folding and unfolding the dough. 

So pretty!

For the outer ring I made the braid and brushed the top with egg. I would have sprinkled sugar on the top but I used the last of it in the pie crust. I was not thinking ahead. Oh well.

In Martha’s recipe she bakes her pie for 20 minutes at 450 F and then reduce heat to 375 F and bake for another 50-60 minutes more. By the time my pie had gone through those first 20 minutes it was looking pretty done. I left it in for another 15 minutes and crossed my fingers that the bottom would be cooked before the top gets burnt. I think in Martha’s she uses a clear glass pie dish and my is porcelain and not see through. I think that has something to do with the baking time differences.

Martha recommends to let the pie cool for at least 6 hours. This household make it two hours. This pie also only lasted a few days. We ate it for dinner two nights in a row. Being an adult is hard. Pie is easy.

The pie turned out perfect for being rushed in the time. The bottom was perfect! Phew!

 Basic pie dough adapted from William- Sonoma

1 1/4 Cups Flour

3 Tbs. Sugar

8 Tbs (1 Stick) Butter. The colder the better.

3 Tbs Very cold water

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Allspice

pinch of salt

To make the dough stir together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, salt and the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Cut the butter into the flour mixture. I use my hands to do this but you can use a pastry cutter or a fork. Mix until mixture resembles corn meal or small pea size. Add the water and mix with a fork or your hands until blended and dough pulls together.

Apple Pie filling adapted from Martha Stewart

8-10 Apples. Thinly sliced. I used Granny Smith

2 Tbs Orange Juice. I used two Cara Cara oranges

1/4 Cup Flour

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Allspice

pinch of salt

Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. In a large bowl add the apples to the orange juice. Add the sugar, flour and spice mixture. Mix well.


A taste for cake

Whenever there is a worry in my life I either clean or bake. Something that I can just jump into and finish. Not a lot of thinking involved just going through the motions.

My mom has been diagnosed with cancer. The outlook is just ok. It could go good or very bad. Currently it’s just going ok. I’ll take just ok over bad anyway though. Ive never been super close or had a good relationship to my parents and because of this my feelings on the whole situation are very conflicted. It feels weird to say that. I believe in karma. For every cause there is an effect. 
So for now I’ll have a super clean house and lots of baked goods.

The cake is a German chocolate cake. The exact recipe is on the back of those German chocolate packets you get in the baking aisle. Same with the coconut pecan filling. I followed the recipe exactly. Just like the last time I make German chocolate cake.

To assemble my cake I did the normal cake/ frosting layers. For the top and the outside instead of using frosting I used a chocolate ganache followed by a ring of pink coconut.

Ganache is quick and easy to make. It can be used for icing or glazing a cake to truffles. The difference is how much cream/ milk is in the mixture. The more milky or the more cream you add the thinner the ganache will be. The thinner it is the easier it is to spread. For the top of this cake we want to go with the smoother thinner ganache.

The general ratio is-

For thick glaze or layer cake filling- 1:1. Equal parts of milk and chocolate.

For truffles- 1:2. One part milk to two parts chocolate.

For pourable ganache like what we used in this cake- 2:1. Two parts milk to one part chocolate.

For the pink coconut I poured a handful of coconut and a few drops of pink food dye into a ziplock baggie and mixed it all together. You could keep mixing for a more even look but I loved that some of my flakes were brighter pink. I sprinkled a small ring along the edge of my cake. But it would look great if you decided to cover the entire cake. 

Pink Coconut

 This cake freezes well. For this time I froze more than half the fully assembled cake. Any time I wanted a few bites I took it out for a few minutes. It tasted more like eating ice cream. Yum! 



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