Wow, so where on earth did this week go??? Let alone this month? I need a vacation stat, eventually we shall make it down to Florida but that is a ways away. I have had these food photos worked up for like 2 weeks now so I figured though it is late tonight I would finally share them.
First and foremost one of my favorite creations recently. When I asked my boss what he wanted me to make for him for his birthday he said pound cake. I said okay, simple enough right? But you know me, I am picky about the quality of my baked goods, and there are soooo many types of pound cake out there I was skeptical I could find something special. I set my sights on finding a good vanilla bean pound cake since I have quite a stockpile of beans to use up. Anyway I am thrilled with this recipe, I did not have the correct flour so the lift was not as good but hey who cares??
And because I love this recipe so much, I am also going to share it with you… once again foodgawker came to the rescue, found on this blog post.
Ricotta Pound Cake
(makes one 9-inch cake, about 10 servings)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups fresh whole-milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 vanilla bean (I added a whole one)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I added another 1/2 tsp)
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter, dust it with flour (I prefer to coat with sugar), and tap to knock out the excess.
In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour , baking powder, and salt and set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream togther butter, ricotta, and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds with blunt side of a small knife, then beat them into batter along with vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients to combine them, scrape down sides of the bowl, and beat batter for 30 seconds on medium speed.
Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Give the pan a few gentle whacks on the counter to remove any air pockets. Bake cake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan 180 degrees to ensure even browning. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until the cake springs back lightly when touched, the sides have begun to pull away from the pan, and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes more. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully invert it onto the rack to cool completely.
Dust cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving it; the flavor is best on the next day. Any leftover cake may be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days. The cake also freezes beautifully, wrapped in plastic, and place in a large, sealable plastic bag.
From “Dolce Italiano”
~*~ So what this critic thought…. the flavor was awesome, must be the ricotta and vanilla bean. The texture was great overall, kinda hard to go wrong there… and boy was it moist. One thing I hate about typical store pound cake is the processed overly sweet flavor, and often they are dry too. This cake has none of those problems. Give it a try, don’t let the ricotta scare you it is so worth it, I would so be making this again today if I was not out of Ricotta.
Other things I have been making lately, the old standby… pizza night
Resulted in more white pizza for mwaaah, this one had apple butter as it’s base, a favorite of mine. I topped it with any cheese I had in the fridge including some sharp vermont cheddar and asiago. MMMMmmmm
Something new I learned this time around is the crust bubble. When I rolled the dough out with a rolling pin on some parchment paper and placed it on the pizza stone, it turned out wonderfully. A good crispy crust that has a great bubbly rise (a huge plus for this pizza crust loving girl). I think I might finally break down and buy a pizza peel as it would make all of this much easier to carry out.
What do you think? Have you ever tried to make your own pizza dough? It really is not hard, and heck can you really go wrong when you get to pick your toppings? I love knowing what goes into my pizza, all the way down to the flour in the crust.
Had to share my
ugly chocolate covered strawberries with you from this valentine’s day. The day turned into quite a bust as the Mr. came down with some sort of bug and was in no mood for a nice dinner. I ate most of these myself but he did come around eventually and have a few too
Once I figured out how easy these were to make, I will never go back to buying them (
though I wouldn’t stop someone else for buying them for me ). Can’t wait till the real (farm) strawberries come in so I can do this again. I plan to hit up the same PYO farm for strawberries this year as I did last year for peaches and apples. Maybe Luna will even get to go with me, she likes to eat my strawberry tops.
This was not the only thing made in my kitchen over the past couple weeks (I should hope not)… tonight I made Tuna Noodle Casserole (something I really should make more of considering how simple it is), also made some Chukar and Dumplings in the slow cooker, which sadly ended up too salty (a downside of not eating 95% of what I make is can’t taste as I go). I have also made several batches of caramel and also my favorite brown butter chocolate chip cookies. Hopefully as my training clients clear out of the kennel I can get back to actually making dinner more than 1 night a week, I know my husband would be happy about that too.
Anyway my work week is not over yet so off to bed I go. Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.