Friday, March 26, 2010

Soy Source and Me

Yes, Soy Source, not Soy Sauce.   Soy Source is the name of a local Seattle newspaper published for the Japanese community. Nice play on words I thought.

Why do I bring this up. Well because I met the editor for the paper, Teruyo, and she wanted to do piece on men who cook for her paper. I agreed and she and a photographer came by the house one day and I made Cinnamon Swirl Bread while they interviewed me. The bread literally translated is Shinamonroru.

Anyway, it was published today and although totally in Japanese, is kind of cool I thought. It's not The Food Network, but gosh, I never thought about being published in anything.

Here's the link:  Soy Source

I'm kinda liking this blogging thing, ya know?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nutella Swirl Poundcake

I've not cooked much using Nutella but intend to in the future as I've been coming across interesting sounding recipes. With that in mind I tried this recipe I found, changed it a bit, and was very pleased with the results.

It's simple, straight-forward and delicious.

1 1/2 cups flour (I used bread flour, but all purpose works just as well)
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 softened sticks of butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 jar Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325°. Lightly grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl combine butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and combine thoroughly. Add vanilla, salt and baking powder and mix well. Add flour and mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and level it out with spatula. Drop 4 heaping tablespoons of Nutella onto batter and use spatula to smooth out as much as possible. (It's thick so don't worry if it's not perfect, you're going to swirl it around anyway)

Pour another 1/3 of the batter over the Nutella, spread smooth and add 4 more heaping tablespoons of Nutella and smooth out. Top with remaining batter. (You will not use the entire jar of Nutella)

Now, here's an important part of this recipe. When I made this the first time, I made a mistake which was I didn't swirl the Nutella enough. Plus I used a thin implement to do so. The Nutella is thick and wet, and when I baked it, although most of the loaf was done perfectly, the large pockets of Nutella kept the dough around it from baking fully, so it was doughy.

I made it again, and this time, I used a spatula, and sunk it into the layers of batter and Nutella and swirled quite a bit to evenly distribute it throughout the dough.

Bake at 325 degrees for at least an hour and as long as 1 hour 15 minutes. Check it carefully but fully inserting a toothpick and ensuring it comes out clean.

Let cool for 15 minutes, remove from loaf pan onto wire rack and cool thoroughly.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lemon Sponge Pie

We've been having some amazing Spring-like weather in Seattle and I noticed some really nice looking lemons in the grocery store produce section. I suspect they are from South America and are really fresh. So I decided a springtime dessert was in order.

An interesting recipe I found online. It's essentially a lemon pie, that while baking forms it's own layer of lemon filling with a fluffy topping.  With a touch of whipped cream I found it to be light and delicious. 

Source: The Food Librarian


1 9 inch pie crust (unbaked)
3 eggs separated
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 3 lemons)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 cups sugar  (add 2 more tbs if you'd like it not quite so tart)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour

Separate eggs, reserving whites. Beat egg yolks and sugar together. Add lemon juice, milk, salt, and lemon zest and beat thoroughly.Mix in flour.

In a separate chilled bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the lemon mixture until incorporated.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees and bake until golden brown, approximately 45 minutes.(You can tell I slightly overbaked mine.)

Let cool completely and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.  Store in refrigerator.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Irish Brown Bread

I have a post for Irish Soda Bread (here) which contains the usual ingredients as well as an egg, butter, and currants and I really like the recipe.

However, I was reading the March 2010 issue of Bon Apetit and it has an article called a Slice of Ireland. It's a quick story regarding Andrew McCarthy searching the Irish Countryside for the perfect slice of brown soda bread.

From Dublin at Fallon & Byrne to Moran's Oyster College. He winds up at Ballinalacken Castle Country House and Restaurant where we discover Mrs. O'Callaghan's Irish Brown Soda Bread which she has been making for 45 years.

I admit I'm a sucker for old, time-worn recipes so naturally HAD to make this.

The author's description of it says it best:  "There's a firmness to its texture, but there's an elasticity as well. It's coarse, but there's a surprising softness - a gentleness to its taste. And it has that telltale sweetness that lingers."

This bread is simple, straight-forward, and absolutely delicious. Do give it a try soon.


Nonstick oil spray
3 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick chilled butter, but into small cubes
2 to 2 1/2 cups buttermilk. (It called for 2 but I had to use 2 1/2 to get the dough to form a ball)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in bowl to blend. Add butter and cut into flour thoroughly. Add buttermilk; stir until a sticky balls forms.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead briefly until dough comes together, about 5 to 10 turns. Shape into a round ball and place on baking sheet. Cut a large X, 1/2 inch deep across the top of the dough.

Bake until the bread is deeply browned (45 minutes to 1 hour) and sounds hollow when tapped on the top. This bread will "look" done well before it is, so prepare to generally bake for the full time shown.

Let cool and serve with fresh butter. Oh man, this is the best.