Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lemon Rosemary Scones

I like baking with whole wheat as much as possible to try and sneak in as many nutrients as I can for myself and for my kids.  Pastry flour lightens the scone a bit but you still need the all purpose flour for the body of the scone.

I was truly inspired by my yard to find a recipe for the abundance of lemons

and rosemary.

Lemon Rosemary Scones Recipe
Barely adapted from Ree Drummond


1 1/2cup All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2/3 cups Sugar
5 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 sticks (1/2 Pound) Unsalted Butter, Chilled And Cut Into Pieces
1 whole Large Egg
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Fresh Rosemary
Zest Of 1 Lemon

5 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/2 cup Whole Milk, More If Needed For Thinning
Zest And Juice From 1 Lemon
1 teaspoon Finely Minced Fresh Rosemary
Dash Of Salt
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Mix cream with egg, lemon zest and rosemary and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes to steep.

Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter pieces into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs. Mix wet mixture with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork until combined. Mix should be crumbly, but if it's too crumbly to work with, splash in a small amount of heavy cream.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary. Final rectangle should be about 18 inches by about 10 inches.

(This is where my hands got too messy to snap pictures.)

Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form smaller triangles.

Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


To make the icing, add lemon zest, lemon juice and rosemary into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.

One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Maple Apple Upside-down Cake

It was time for the annual "Friendsgiving" Potluck and this was my contribution!  So good, so moist, so seasonal.   At this time Pink Lady apples are in season and they are delicious.  I know most people say to only use Granny Smith however I like to use a blend.  Different apples give you different flavors and I like using what is ripe.  It's true that Granny Smith are the best to hold up to baking at high temperatures but they are also very tart.  Providing a mixture of apples gives your product a better taste and something special by being seasonal and local to your region.

Maple Apple Upside-down Cake Recipe
Barely adapted from Food and Wine

1 cup pure maple syrup
2 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, cut
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and cut into eighths
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan. In a large saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over high heat, then simmer over low heat until very thick and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Pour the thickened syrup into the cake pan. Arrange the apples in the pan in 2 concentric circles, overlapping them slightly.
In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the dry and wet ingredients in 3 alternating batches until the batter is smooth; scrape down the side of the bowl.
Scrape the batter over the apples and spread it in an even layer. Bake the cake for 1 1/2 hours, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack for 45 minutes.
Place a plate on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the plate; tap lightly to release the cake. Remove the pan. Let the cake cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with ice cream.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pumpkin Tiramisu

I may have spoiled my son because when I was making this dessert for Thanksgiving he said to me, "Mama, you're using CANNED pumpkin?!"  It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish but in the case of pumpkin...it is one of the rare times I will say to use the pre-made puree.  My reasoning for this is simple.  You actually get a better product from the can.  The pumpkin puree is darker in color and intense in flavor.  Of course you could buy a sugar pie pumpkin and gut it, roast it, flesh it and puree it yourself.  But why would you want to go through all that trouble if it tastes the same or better pre-made?  Now we are talking about 100% pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling. These are two different products that will give you different results in your final dessert!  Try buying one that doesn't have any preservatives or added colors and artificial ingredients.

I have to say our Thanksgiving dinners are never traditional.  We always make things from scratch but we try different recipes and try following a theme.  This year we had an Asian theme.  The turkey was cooked with soy, honey, ginger and sesame.  Cranberry sauce was mixed with orange and ginger for a kick.  Orange chicken, stir fry beef, egg rolls for appetizers...I'm making myself hungry again.

So you're thinking what does tiramisu have to do with our Asian theme.  It doesn't.  It was simply a lighter end to a heavy meal.  Filled with pumpkin mousse and cut with the bitterness of coffee soaked ladyfingers.  It was perfect.

Pumpkin Tiramisu Recipe
Barely adapted from Food and Wine

One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups brewed coffee, cooled
Two 7-ounce packages dry ladyfingers
Mini chocolate chips, for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree with the brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. Add the mascarpone and 1 1/2 cups of the heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin mixture at medium speed until soft peaks form; do not overbeat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the brewed coffee with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar until it’s dissolved. Dip both sides of 6 ladyfingers in the coffee and arrange them in a single layer in a 4-quart trifle dish. Spread 1 cup of the pumpkin mousse on top. Repeat the layering 5 more times, ending with a layer of the pumpkin mousse. Cover and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop the whipped cream over the tiramisu, garnish with chocolate chips and serve.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lego Surprise Cake

It was my son's birthday and he really wanted this surprise cake for his 7th birthday.  However, I surprised him by making the theme lego.

For more information about specialty cakes please email maryyums@gmail.com or visit www.maryyums.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nutella mug cake

There are just some great pleasures in life.  Amongst the top contenders is a cake for one... that can be made in under two minutes.  Don't like baking? No problem.  Just zap it in the microwave.  Life doesn't get any simpler than this.  Microwave on people.

I didn't have self-rising flour so I made my own!  It is just baking powder, salt and flour.  If you do end up making your own you may need to increase your liquid amount to compensate for the all purpose flour.  Self-rising flour usually has pastry flour containing less proteins which allows for a lighter cake.  The almond milk and egg whites was just to make me feel better about eating that much chocolate.  I used raspberries to cut through the richness of the chocolate and to balance out the flavors.

Nutella Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

4 tablespoons self rising flour (see recipe below)
4 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons egg whites
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons almond milk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread

Chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream:  
Find the recipe here.

1. Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 – 3 minutes. (Time depends on microwave wattage. Mine took 1 1/2 minutes.) 

2. Core out the cake and remove center.  Fill with nutella.

2. Top with buttercream. Enjoy!

Note: Depending on the wattage of your microwave, you may have to increase cooking time.

Self Rising flour recipe:
Whisk the following together thoroughly:
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Today I went to a great gelato place in downtown Los Angeles and they had a pumpkin spiced affogato.  YUM.  I realized after making these cupcakes that I should have added a couple of teaspoons of espresso to make this a pumpkin spice latte cupcake.  Oops.  Well that is my next inspiration.

This time of year makes me so  happy.  It's not just the pumpkins.  It's the pomegranates and butternut squash and soups that excite me.  I have a pomegranate tree with fruits just almost turning a beautiful red.  So excited to pick those!  Anyhow back to the pumpkin...  It doesn't feel like autumn here in sunny SoCal so I thought I would make it fall with these beautiful leaf cupcake liners and sprinkles.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes Recipe
Adapted from Georgetown Cupcake

2‑1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1‑1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons mango honey
1/3 cup hot water
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two standard cupcake pans with twelve paper baking cups each, or grease pans with butter if not using baking cups.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; then beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition. Mix in the pumpkin puree and honey. Reduce the speed to low. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the hot water. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and mix slowly until just combined. Take care not to overmix the batter so the cupcakes will bake up light and fluffy.

Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Frosting:
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed for at least two minutes at the end to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.

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