Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake

ccran cake

This Christmas one of my biggest issues (aside from going broke from buying presents) is not buying the cranberry pound cake at Starbucks. That thing calls my name every time I pass by. It’s all “Dini – I look so good. You know you want me. You know I’m worth a ridiculous $4 per slice.” The thing is. It’s not.

But two weekends ago, when the temptation was just proving to be too much I decided that I had to make a GODDAMN cranberry cake.

I followed Joy the Baker‘s recipe and can I just say WOW. It was actually amazing, even if my version (see below) looks a little burnt. Because it kinda was…

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into medium chunks
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (It’s a little less than 3 oranges worth)
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries (Joy said to chop this – but I overlooked this and it was fine)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Topping:
2 Tbsps unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsps granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 175 C/350 F.

Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Grease the parchment paper with butter and dust with flour on all sides. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add chunks of butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers. Blend the butter into each bit of the dry ingredients. The mixture will resemble a coarse meal.

In another bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir together to incorporate. Add the cranberries and pecans and fold into the batter.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.

Pour the cake better into the loaf pan and sprinkle with the topping. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. Insert a skewer into the center of the cake to ensure that it’s cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the pan and allow to cool further on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and milk together. Drizzle over the cake.

whole cake

SERVE! EAT! ENJOY!

*Adapted from Joy the Baker.

Banana Bread

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I haven’t done a post in while not because I haven’t been cooking. Au contraire I’ve been slaving away in the kitchen!

That also means when I’m done cooking I can’t be assed to take pictures or share recipes.

This is banana bread I made a week ago. I ate half the loaf and froze the other half for breakfasts on the go. Here is frozen slice defrosting on top of my hot tea. I am A GENIUS.

2 (big) or 3 (small) very ripe bananas
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

In a bowl mash bananas. Stir in eggs, yogurt, coconut oil, sugar, honey and vanilla.

In a another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture. Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into a greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.  Bake for 55 mins to 1 hour.

*Adapted from Barbells and Bellinis.

Pumpkin Chocolate Squares

2013-11-13 08.43.36 (1)

I made this last night in like 25 minutes. That includes the prep and baking. And it’s tastiness was extremely unexpected because it was such a half assed attempt to use up my leftover pumpkin. I’m so excited that I couldn’t wait to share and took a picture of it on plastic wrap next to my office phone…

Bad food blogging decisions aside it’s probably the tastiest baked good I’ve made this year. It’s a cross between a bread and a blondie and its suuuuuper moist. And there’s chocolate.

I KNOW – I have to make a vegetable soon. My pants will also thank me. But for now make this coz dayamn.

1/2 cup flour (any kind)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of nutmeg (I bought the actual nutmeg fruit and grated it. It smells bananas good almost so that its kinda gross)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 egg
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or cooked, pureed pumpkin)
2 tablespoons milk (any kind)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (other oil can be used)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ heaped cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

In one bowl combine flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl whisk together the egg, sugar, pumpkin, milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

**Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie and Handle the Heat.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

I’ve been eating this all day, err day.

pumpkin bread

Actually I’ve been eating this for breakfast. Occasionally.

BUT! It’s really quite good and the texture is fantastic. This bread came to be because I bought a tin of canned pumpkin and a jar of pumpkin spice. I made a pumpkin latte and then stared at both ingredients and realized I had made a fatal error in judgment and was not going to be able to finish either. Ever.

I also realized I had greek yogurt in the fridge because I had been on a smoothie making frenzy over the weekend and decided I needed to use that up. And all the bananas I froze for the smoothie making frenzy. I found this bread online and voila!

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees celcius.

Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice in a bowl.

Whisk the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs, yogurt and vanilla extract in another large bowl. Mash the bananas separately, first.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes.

Toothpick/knife will have a bit of gunk on it but its fine.

*This bread isn’t very sweet so I like to spoon a tsp of maple syrup on it and let it soak in before eating.
**Adapted from Closet Cooking.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Granola

Too close?
Too close?
Still too close?
Still too close?
We all good now?
We all good now?

I wanted granola and this is what I had leftover in my fridge/pantry/life. BOOM! Awesomeness in a bowl.

2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 Tbsps cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon (I think this helps bring out the taste of the chocolate)
3 Tbsps + 1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup dessicated/flaked coconut
2/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and it makes ALL the difference)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with foil (other people say parchment paper, I don’t have any).

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients (oats, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon).

In another bowl mix and then whisk the wet/binding ingredients (coconut oil, maple syrup, light brown sugar, vanilla extract).

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. I usually use a spoon and then my hands.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet. Spread it out evenly.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and flip and add the coconut. Bake for another 10 minutes. It should smell like it’s done. I know these instructions are subjective.

Remove from the oven and when still hot pour chocolate chips over. Carefully mix with a spoon so that the chocolate chips melt a bit.

Wait until its completely cool before storing in a container. Should keep fresh for a week.

*I owe my granola making prowess entirely to Shutterbean and base my granola recipe on her Nutty Cranberry Granola. However I did adjust baking times and I find that you really just have to watch the granola and figure out what temperature and time works for your oven.

I make ugly food & it TASTES SO GOOD

The food I make is partly inspired by my Mom’s cooking, partly inspired by the contents of my refrigerator and sometimes inspired by THE INTERNET. Here’s a rundown of some dishes I’ve cooked from recipes found on some of my favorite food blogs and websites. I’ve also included the pictures and links to the originals JUST so you can see how desperately I need a new camera. Mine are first. Obviously.

Nutty Cranberry GranolaShutterbean

granola

This actually turned out really well except that the oats got a bit too overdone. But honestly, they taste kickass with any kind of milk and are super filling and good for breakfast.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Vegan)Top With Cinnamon

pancakes Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Pancakes-049-18

This recipe make super heavy pancakes but they’re quite good and you feel weirdly healthy when you eat them. What the recipe doesn’t tell you is that it sticks to the pan like crazy if you use normal vegetable oil. So you know that’s cool if you don’t mind destroyed pancakes. Or you could use coconut oil which is recommended.

Pineapple Upside Down CakeNigella

pineapple cake

This cake is a classic. It is easy and always turns out good. Mine looks a little different because I don’t do maraschino cherries and it also tasted different because I used pineapple slices in syrup. Don’t do it. Get pineapple juice and use that instead.

Green Chili ChickenSingapore Shiok

green chilli chicken

Okay this was ugly and it didn’t taste so good. Was it something I did? Personally I think it wasn’t a very good recipe.

The Reset Button SaladShutterbean

salad

I HAD to make this salad when I saw it. Unfortunately my version didn’t have spring onions because Fairprice decided to run out. Wow the contrast of how bad my salad looks next to the original is shocking. But it tasted awesome!

So get cooking this weekend and make some ugly, tasty food!