Best Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

This is a delicious moist, dark, spicy pumpkin bread. The whole wheat flour not only makes it a healthier choice, but also lends great flavor to the spices. It’s perfect on its own, or you can make “sandwiches” with cream cheese and thinly sliced apples. The cornmeal gives the bread a great texture.

Download Best Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread recipe

2 ¼ cups (10 ounces/300g) whole wheat flour

½ cup (2 ounces/60g) corn meal

1 ½ tsp. soda

½ tsp. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. cloves

½ tsp. nutmeg

¾ tsp. salt

2/3 cup (5 ounces/155g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups (14 ounces/400g) sugar

2 cups ( 15 ounces/500g) mashed or canned pumpkin

4 eggs, at room temperature

2/3 (5 ounces/160mL) cup water

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup (5 ounces/155g) raisins (or currants, dried cranberries or dried cherries)

½ ( 2ounces/60g) cup pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted, cooled. and then chopped

Pepitas or sanding sugar for top garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two medium sized load pans (8.5x4”)

2. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, soda, powder, spices and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars until blended, by hand or with a hand held mixer.

4. With large spoon, beat in pumpkin, eggs, water, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix together just until blended. Stir in raisins and walnuts.

5. Pour into the 2 prepared pans, sprinkle batter with pepitas or sanding sugar, and bake until wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about an hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Pumpkin Bread batter
Pumpkin Bread Baked


Maple Glazed Pecan Tart

Maple Glazed Pecan Tart 2

Pecan pie is always a favorite around Thanksgiving and the holidays, and this is a great alternative to a traditional pie recipe. It still has the rich caramel flavor, but the crisp, buttery crust is enhanced with ground pecans and the filling has notes of maple, bourbon, and vanilla. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, and just enjoy it on its own.

Download Maple Glazed Pecan Tart

 

Tart Crust

1 cup (5 ounces/ 141 grams) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces/48 grams) packed light brown sugar

¼ cup (1 ounce/30 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted*,

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

8 tablespoons/ 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces/113grams)

Pecan Filling

2/3 cup (4.7 ounces/135 grams) packed light brown sugar

¼ cup (3 ounces/82 grams) light corn syrup

2 tablespoons (1 ounce/40 grams) pure maple syrup (dark amber if possible)

4 tablespoons (2ounces/56 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon bourbon or dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

¾ cup (3 ounces/90 grams) pecans, chopped coarse, plus 14 whole pecan halves for decorating

1 -2 tablespoons of maple syrup for glazing the finished tart

FOR THE CRUST:

1. Grease or lightly spray an oblong tart pan (14”x4.5”) or four 4-inch fluted tart pans with removable bottoms; set aside.

2. Process the four, brown sugar, nuts, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle butter pieces over the top and pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, 8-10 pulses.

3. Sprinkle mixture evenly into prepared pan(s). Mixture will be dry and crumbly, press crumbs into an even layer over bottom and up the sides using the bottom of a dry measuring cup. (it helps to start with the edges using thumb and fingers to press dough in firmly, and then pat bottom down with measuring cup)

4. Wrap tart in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 week.

5. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 350°F. Remove tart from freezer and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Press a double layer of aluminum foil into the frozen tart shell, over the edges, and fill with pie weights. Bake until tart shell in golden brown and set, 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through baking. Carefully remove foil and pie weights and let shell cool slightly while preparing filling.

FOR THE FILLING:

Whisk sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Whisk in eggs to combine. Stir in half the chopped walnuts, and then sprinkle remaining chopped nuts over filling. Arrange 14 pecan halves, down the center of the tart shell.

1. Bake tart on rimmed baking sheet until filling is set and nuts begin to brown, 20-25 minutes, rotating tart halfway through baking. Move pan to wire rack and brush the center nuts with maple syrup. Let tart cool completely, about 1 hour.

2. To serve, remove outer ring from tart pan, and slide a thin metal spatula between tart and tart pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter or plate.

Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice
Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice
Maple Glazed Pecan Tart slice


Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi

Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi

Pasticceria Gollini in Vignola, Italy, not far from Modena, is home to a much-celebrated flourless chocolate cake known as torta Barozzi. Created in 1886 by pastry chef Eugenio Gollini and named for Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, a 16th-century architect, this much-loved sweet continues to be produced today according to a closely guarded secret recipe. This Torta Barozzi recipe is one interpretation found in the July-August 2021 issue of Milk Street magazine, as the original recipe has been shrouded in secrecy since it was created in 1886. With an ingredients list that almost always includes dark chocolate, nuts, rum and coffee, this cake is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that also happens to be gluten-free. Some important points before you begin: Use high quality bittersweet (70%) chocolate; beat the sugar and egg yolks very well; do not overbeat the egg whites; and most importantly, do not overbake the cake.

Download Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi recipe

Ingredients

141 grams (10 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into 10 pieces, plus more for the pan

134 grams (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (about 70%, like Lindt bittersweet), chopped

20 grams (¼ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

4 large eggs, separated, room temperature

160 grams (¾ cup) white sugar, divided

100 grams (1 cup) almond flour

½ teaspoon table salt

3 tablespoons dark rum

1. Heat the oven to 350°f with a rack in the middle position. Butter an 8-inch square pan, line the bottom with a parchment square and butter the parchment.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to soften, then whisk until the mixture is smooth; cool until barely warm to the touch.

3. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and 107 grams (½ cup) of the sugar until lightened and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk until homogeneous. Add the almond flour and salt, then whisk until fully incorporated. Whisk in the rum; set aside.

4. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 53 grams (¼ cup) sugar, then beat until the whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Add about a third of the whipped whites to the yolk-chocolate mixture and fold with a silicone spatula to lighten and loosen the base. Scrape in the remaining whites and gently fold them into the batter until no streaks remain.

5. Transfer to the prepared pan and gently shake or tilt the pan to level the batter.

6. Bake until the cake is slightly domed, and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 to 45 minutes; the cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

7. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert onto a platter; needed, peel off and discard the parchment. Cool completely. Dust with cocoa before serving.

Italian Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Cake - Torta Barozzi piece


Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup

Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup

This surprisingly delicious chicken soup is quick to prepare and requires only a handful of readily available ingredients. I store it in the freezer in individual serving size containers, and just grab one when I need a fast bite.

Download Fast Easy Delicious Chicken Vegetable Soup recipe

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

4-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 ribs celery, chopped

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, optional

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups good quality chicken stock

2 cups water

1 pound (the average weight of 1 package) chicken breast tenders, cut into 1” cubes

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

1. Place a large pot over moderate heat and add the extra virgin olive oil and heat until shimmering.

2. Work close to the stove, and add vegetables to the pot as you chop, in the order they are listed. Once all the vegetables are in, add optional diced tomatoes, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock and water to the pot and raise heat to bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken tenderloins, return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to moderate. Cook chicken 8-10 minutes. Remove soup from the heat. Stir in parsley and dill, remove bay leaves, and serve.


Easy Summer Peach Caprese Salad

20200805_154328 Fresh Peach Caprese Salad

A fresh twist on an old classic. This is one of the most popular summer dishes that I make. Everyone raves, but the key is not so much the recipe (which is simple and basic) but rather the availability of summer ripe peaches at their peak of freshness.

Download Easy Summer Peach Caprese Salad recipe

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1-pound ripe peaches, quartered and pitted, each quarter cut into 4 slices

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick

6 large fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, and a few basil sprigs for garnish

White balsamic vinegar (to drizzle, optional)

1. Whisk oil, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add peaches and gently toss to coat.

2. Shingle peaches and mozzarella on serving platter. Drizzle any remaining dressing from bowl over top. Sprinkle with basil and garnish platter with basil sprigs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, with optional balsamic drizzle.


Easy Fresh Summer Tomato Pasta Caprese

Fresh Summer Pasta Caprese

 I try to make this recipe (which I found years ago in a Cook’s Illustrated magazine) every summer when tomatoes are in peak season. Inspired by the classic caprese salad, this pasta uses just a few ingredients that depends on high quality ingredients – ripe tomatoes, great olive oil, and fresh buffalo mozzarella.

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 - 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, more if needed depending on tomatoes

1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)

1 small shallot, minced fine (about 2 tablespoons)

Salt and ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice

12 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 pound penne pasta or other short tubular or curly pasta such as fusilli or campanelle

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon sugar, if needed, depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes

1. Whisk oil, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella and gently toss to combine; set aside. Do not marinate for longer than 45 minutes.

2. While tomatoes are marinating, bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain well.

3. Add pasta to tomato and mozzarella mixture and gently toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.