Monday, October 26, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

It is beginning to feel a lot like fall in Southern California... psych! It is still pretty warm, but I have got to believe that cooler weather is on its way.

This is the perfect recipe to set the stage for all of those cool autumn evenings!

Simple and delicious... simply delicious!

Apple-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake
Serves 6 to 8

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

8             tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1/2          cup plus 2/3 cup sugar

3             7- to 8-ounce Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into eighths, cored

1             cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/4          cup yellow cornmeal

1/2          teaspoon baking soda

1/4          teaspoon salt

1             large egg

1/2          cup buttermilk

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Generously spray 9-inch diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup sugar and stir until sugar melts and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add apples and sauté over medium heat until apples are just tender and coated with caramel, shaking pan occasionally, about 12 minutes. Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan; distribute apples and caramel evenly over bottom of pan.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add half of flour mixture; stir in buttermilk. Add remaining flour mixture and mix well. Drop batter by spoonfuls evenly over apples and spread gently with offset spatula.

Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together and turn over. Gently lift pan off cake. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bon Appetit Desserts: Cranberry-Maple Pudding Cake

Cranberry-Maple Pudding Cake

Pudding cakes form two wonderful layers all on their own as they bake- the pudding layer settles on the bottom, and a spongy cake forms on top. Serve this warm for breakfast or dessert.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2             cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1             cup pure maple syrup (Grade B or Grade A dark amber)

2/3          cup heavy whipping cream

3/4          teaspoon finely grated orange peel

               Pinch of salt plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3          cup unbleached all purpose flour

1/3          cup yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)

1-1/2      teaspoons baking powder

1             large egg

3             tablespoons sugar

1/2          cup whole milk

1/2          cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1             teaspoon vanilla extract

               Creme fraîche, softly whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream

Postion rack in center of oven and preheat to 400ºF. Combine cranberries, maple syrup, cream, orange peel, and pinch of salt in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Whisk egg and sugar in another medium bowl. Whisk milk, melted butter, and vanilla into egg mixture. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; whisk to blend.

Pour warm cranberry mixture into 11x7x2-inch or 8x8x2-inch glass or ceramic dish. Pour batter over. Bake cake until golden and cranberry mixture bubbles at edges, about 28 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Spoon warm cake with cranberry mixture onto plates. Serve cake topped with creme fraîche, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Florence and the Machine!

About a month ago, I won tickets to see Florence and the Machine, at the Hollywood Bowl. Well, last night, my mom and I went to enjoy the show. It was great. What a powerful voice Florence has. Did you know that she is a dancing machine??! She spins, runs and dances across the stage for the entire concert. She's wild! And she never seems to be out of breath!

You wouldn't get this from Florence's singing voice, because it is so forceful, but her speaking voice is quiet and delicate. I think that if she was born a few decades ago, she would have fit perfectly in the 70s. I mean, at the end of the concert, she told everyone to take their clothes off (some people actually listened to her) and then she tore her shirt off and ran through the audience. She's very free. Ha, ha.

It was enjoyable to look around and see people enjoying the music, in a common space. Music and the arts are a great unifier. One young man in particular LOVED Florence. He did a lot of first pumps and he also shouted 'I love her', 'She's so good', and 'She's perfect', a few times. I always embrace the love of the arts and how they bring joy to lives.

My mom and I had a good time! I've been a fan of Florence and the Machine for a while, but only had one of their albums. Their new album, 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' is lovely. Check it out!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Over the last month, I have moved and I am mostly unpacked. I just got internet and TV set up at the end of September. Not much has been going on here and because of that, it is my hope to get back to baking!

It is my wish to get some new Bon Appetit recipes posted post haste!

Until I get new recipes up, just know that I am enjoying much more free time in my life, as I only have to drive 30 minutes to and from work instead of an hour and a half both ways. I love it!

Also, tomorrow, I bring home two kittens! I am overwhelmed with excitement. I have been waiting for this moment for over fours years now. I am rejoicing over the fact that my new landlords allow small pets. I love animals!

I shall leave you with one more random piece of information. The city that I now live in has a lot of peacocks that roam the streets. So, I get to see them as I drive to and fro. A bunch of the birds like to gather near my apartment. I was able to capture two of them the other night, via photograph.

Due to the fact that peacocks are rampant in these parts, I decided to learn a little about these birds.

Males are Peacocks.
Females are Peahens.
A grouping of both sexes is called Peafowl.
Despite their large tail feathers, these birds are still able to fly!

And now that you know, here are two of my newest friends!

Aren't they lovely?! If only they sounded as great as they look! They sure do make some horrible sounds!

Thank you for reading this random post! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and may you have a glorious week!