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


*Adapted from Joy the Baker.

Easy Vegetarian Lasagna

I have to say I’m feeling good. You know why? Coz I made lasagna. And not only that I did it without my usual OCD way of following a recipe so closely that I have a breakdown anytime something doesn’t go exactly, according to plan.

Veggie Lasagna

I have been jonesing for lasagna for awhile but was also feeling like I didn’t want to eat dairy OR meat (no idea why – I call it “temporary veganism”) so when I came across this dairy free pasta recipe at the Minimalist Baker I was like hells yes. But then I couldn’t find the oversized shells the recipe called for and that’s how the idea of a lasagna version of this pasta was born. It’s also why I was forced to actually change a recipe. *Breathe in*

8 sheets of no precooking lasagna sheets (I used Barilla but I bought them before I found out about certain homophobic comments their CEO recently made – so I helpfully suggest you choose another brand)
1 1/2 block of tau kwa/tofu
2 Tbsp basil based pesto
2 pearl eggplants cut into 1/4 inch rounds
olive oil
2 cups of spaghetti sauce (I bought Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce)

Sprinkle eggplant rounds with sea salt and rub with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes (turn over after 10 minutes) until brown on both sides. Set aside.

Combine the tofu and pesto in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. In this recipe the tofu acts as the cheese.

Using an 8 by 8 inch pan, generously ladle like half a cup of spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Put two sheets of lasagna on top – then top with a layer of the tofu/pesto mixture and then top with some eggplant. I suggest using about a third of the mixture and eggplants since that’s the number of layers you’re gonna do.

Ladle some of the spaghetti sauce on top of the topping. I have no idea exactly how much BECAUSE I DIDN’T MEASURE. So use your judgment and be generous since these no pre-cook lasagna sheets need a decent amount of liquid.

Repeat with the lasagna sheets – tofu/pesto mixture – eggplant until done. After putting on the two sheets on top with spaghetti sauce and not the mixture and eggplant because you should have finished it by now.

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

*This lasagna isn’t SUPER tasty since it’s a little bland. But it hits the spot and it’s somewhat healthy. And it’s vegetarian! YAAY!