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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

(are you drooling yet?)

I have been craving peaches like nobody’s business lately. It seems like every time I walk past the produce section of a market, all I can smell are peaches. It’s heavenly.

Since we’re housing out of town guests for the week, I decided that a tasty “peachy” dessert was an absolute necessity for this week’s menu. At first, I was toying with the idea of baking a peach pie..but then I realized that I don’t like peach pie (and what fun is baking something that you, yourself, don’t like? Answer: No fun at all). Then it hit me, PEACH UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (and yes, I did in fact YELL that in the middle of the grocery store while looking at peaches…like a crazy person).

There was only one (minor) detail: Not only had I never baked an upside down cake from scratch before; but I had never baked a single cake (of any kind) from scratch before (aside from flourless chocolate cake). Isn’t that just the wildest thing ever! Sure, I’ve baked pies, cookies, breads, and brownies..but never a cake. I’m just not a big cake person. I like it when it’s REALLY good…but I’ve had way too many REALLY bad cakes to call myself a cake fan. Such is life.

After a wave of shame washed over me, I decided that this very serious character flaw needed to be amended…ASAP. So I bought 5 pounds of peaches and went on my merry way.

I adapted this recipe from a Plum Raspberry Upside Down Cake recipe by Martha Stewart (Oh Martha, You’re just so fabulous). The cake, itself, is moist yet crumbly; almost like a scone. It’s very lightly sweetened, yet has a hint of spiciness to it. The peaches and raspberries are absolutely perfect together. In a word: Ah-Mazing!

Needless to say, I was thrilled with the way it turned out. Go me!

Did I mention how ridiculously easy this was to bake? Seriously, I think the most difficult part was slicing the peaches. I’m not even joking.

What You’ll Need:

6 ripe peaches; uniformly slice 4 of the peaches and chop the remaining 2 peaches.

1 and 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter; 8 tablespoons at room temperature and 2 tablespoons melted

1/3 C light brown sugar

half a pint of fresh raspberries

1 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 C raw cane sugar

3 egg yolks

1/2 c organic sour cream

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4  tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

Pre heat your oven to 375°. In a greased springform pan, coat the bottom of the pan with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the melted butter. Place the sliced peaches on top of the brown sugar, in whatever pattern you see fit. I chose a nice spiral pattern. Fit individual raspberries between the cracks of the peaches (spreading them out somewhat evenly). The bottom of your pan should be completely covered with fruit. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine your flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together remaining butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until thoroughly blended. Now, add half of your dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla to the bowl and mix (slowly) until combined. Add the other half of your  dry ingredients. Once the batter is combined, fold the chopped peaches into the batter.

Using a wooden spoon, drop spoonfuls of the batter on top of the peaches and raspberries in your springform pan. Smooth out the surface of the cake before putting it into the oven (unless you want a lumpy bottomed cake…then by all means skip this step). Bake for 60 minutes.

Serve warm or cool. It’s especially tasty with a big ol’ dollop of natural vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Makes 12 servings.

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I’m a big fan of anything associated with chocolate; especially of the “baked goods” variety. Whether it’s Chocolate Cakes, Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate Bars,or Chocolate Cookies…you name it; and chances are I’ll love it (and eat it).  However, I do NOT love the way I feel after eating 2,3,4,5+ of these tasty chocolate treats. The guilt always ruins my evening. I feel compelled to do 100 sit ups and run around the block; but instead I usually just eat another slice of whatever it was that made me feel guilty in the first place. Is this a sign of self-loathing behavior?

Fear not! I think I’ve found a solution for my chocolate-guilt: These Brownie Bites. They are made with No Sugar, No Milk, No Butter….AND still taste awesome! I decided to make them in a muffin pan so I could have individual brownie bites. That way, it’s easier to keep track of how many I’ve had (and I can’t cut a GIANT piece and say “oh, but I only ate ONE”…hahaha I’ve totally done that before). Also, by making them into “bites” I can freeze half **and just pop one in the microwave (for 15 seconds) when I NEED a chocolate fix. Genius!

I found this recipe on Jillian Michael’s website; I just love Jillian. (Is anyone else BEYOND distraught that she’s no longer going to be on The Biggest Loser? I’ll still watch the show…but it won’t be the same.)

What you’ll need:

-1/2 c white whole wheat flour

-1/3 c cocoa powder

-1/2 c unsweetened applesauce

-2/3 c honey

-2 tbs olive oil

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/4 tsp baking soda

-3 tbs ground flax

-1/4 tsp salt

-1 egg

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1/2 c 60% cacao chocolate chips

First things first: Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine your dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground flax. Mix everything together with a fork (or a whisk). Set aside

In a large bowl, add the honey and cocoa powder. Stir these two ingredients together until well incorporated. (make sure your honey is room temperature or warmer..it makes stirring much easier)

To the cocoa-honey, add applesauce, oil, egg, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until everything is mixed together nicely. Add the “dry” ingredients to the bowl; stir until a nice lump-free batter has formed.

Fold in your chocolate chips to the batter (you could also mix in some nuts at this point as well….if you’re into that sort of thing).

Distribute your batter evenly among the 12 “cups” of your greased muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Do the old “toothpick test” to make sure they’re done.

Serve warm; with a scoop of natural vanilla ice cream…or homemade whipped cream…or fresh berries. They store very nicely in an air tight container for up to a week. However, they probably wont last that long.

**To freeze: wait until the brownies are cool. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place cooled brownies on paper, place in the freezer until they are frozen (roughly and hour). Once frozen, remove from baking sheet and store in a zip top freezer bag or freezer friendly air-tight container; up to one month (but you’ll be lucky if they last more than a week).

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