Ciambellone 2

I posted a recipe for this Italian Breakfast Cake a couple of weeks ago, but this is the version that my son cannot get enough of.

This cake is still lemon flavored, as we have some really good, fragrant lemons in the backyard right now. For this recipe though, I make use of the lemon juice as well as the zest. Double lemon goodness!

The sun was out when I was preparing the batter so I got out the #SunOven to bake it in. I had nowhere to be so I just enjoyed preparing this cake and being in the moment instead of rushing because I had to be somewhere soon.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar to garnish, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray the a 10 – 11 inch donut/bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and sugar using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the oil, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until well.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Level the batter with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Run a plastic knife along the edges and the middle tube, and carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  • If desired, turn cake over onto a serving dish, and dust top with powdered sugar and serve.

Swedish Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

Have you ever seen a Swedish Cinnamon Bun? I mean, we love the cinnamon buns/sticky buns I regularly make(with raisins and pecans!), but Kanelbullar is like a little, round, braided babka. It is just so pretty that I vowed to make it at home one day so we can have/eat/devour as much as I want.

I bought a couple of “Fika” cookbooks to figure out how to make it and learned along the way that “fika” is the essential coffee break that Swedish people take. A time to reconnect with friends, or a little “me” time, over coffee and some little snack. I do wish we take our breaks as seriously as they did. They have a lot of little delicious looking morsels to go with coffee and I do intend to bake my way through both cookbooks.

An instagram account I follow, The Invy Baker, makes these buns regularly for sale and I was always wishing he lived close by so that I could just order some every weekend morning.

I ordered the Pearl Sugar needed to top these beauty online since I couldn’t find it locally. After the sugar came it took me a the usual few more months to find time to actually make it. Time is always short, unfortunately!

As for making the sugar stick, I used maple syrup/pancake syrup instead of eggwash as I figured I will sprinkle the sugar after baking so that I’m sure it’ll retain the crunch and I just love maple syrup. I also added the ground almonds since the recipe posted by The Invy Baker had some in the filling.

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Ingredients for the dough:

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/2 cup sugar

4 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon salt

100 grams unsalted butter, softened, cut into little cubes

Ingredients for the filling:

1/3 cup finely ground almonds

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 tablespoons water

100 grams unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon maple/pancake syrup with a drop of vanilla extract

For the glaze/topping:

1/2 cup maple/pancake syrup mixed with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pearl sugar

1. For the dough: In a Thermomix bowl or food processor, combine all the dough ingredients and mix for 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and well blended.

*If using a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Add in the flour, salt, cardamom, and butter and knead using the dough hook, until the dough is smooth, about 5-8 minutes.*

2. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours. Or you could also refrigerate it for 4-6 hours, up to overnight, if you need to.

3. For the filling: place all the ingredients in a food processor and whirl until combined.

4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 12 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick. Spread the filling to cover the entire dough evenly.

5. Fold 1/3 the dough up and the other 1/3 down, like folding a letter. Gently roll out the dough into a 12 inch long rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.

6. Cut the dough vertically into 1 cm strips, 12 inches long.

6. Roll the dough around your left 3 fingers 3 times and tuck the end in. Place on a large baking pan, tucked end down.

7. Let rise 1-2 hours, until puffy and about doubled in size.

8. Bake at 450F for 12-14 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

9. Brush with syrup mixed with vanilla while hot and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar.

10. Serve warm and enjoy!

Ciambellone 1

First off, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom!!!! Found time to type this up to greet her here with a cake delicious enough to be served on a birthday!

Breakfast Cake!

I mean, that totally got my attention! Italian food is one of the best food in the world, hands down, but did you know they actually have a breakfast cake? As in a cake traditionally eaten for breakfast?? 😋 The few Italians I know who grew up in Italy remember eating a citrusy cake for breakfast. Must be so nice!

I can’t wait to try this as when I mentioned it to my son, he was equally excited to try it too. He said “why can’t WE eat cake for breakfast too?” And I told him I’ll make sure we will have it for breakfast one day!

So here! I actually made a whole cake to take to work for my coworkers at Quest on my last week there too. It was good enough to be next to my famous Rum Cake https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/05/29/bacardi-rum-cake/

You’ll need a tube pan, and for this one, I used a traditional tube pan used for angel food cake as I’m quite sure most bakers have this pan.

I’ll be sharing a couple of recipes with you as I did make several but was happy with 2 experiments. This is the first one.

I hope you’ll like this cake as much as we did! It’s easy to make and will bring a bit of sunshine to your breakfast menu!

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Ingredients:

4 eggs

250g sugar

5g salt

Zest of 1 large lemon

120ml vegetable oil

75ml milk

300g all-purpose flour

7g baking powder

Procedure:

1. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a clean, medium sized bowl. Set egg whites aside.

2. Place the yolks into a large bowl.

3. Add in the sugar,

4. the salt,

5. and the lemon zest.

6. Beat well, using a hand mixer or a wire whisk.

7. It’ll look like bight yellow granulated sugar.

8. Add in the vegetable oil,

9. and the milk. Beat well.

10. Add the flour,

11. and baking powder and mix everything together until it is well combined.

12. Go back to the egg whites we set aside earlier. Using a clean hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

13. Fold in half the egg whites into the yolk mixture.

14. Fold everything together carefully until blended.

15. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until well mixed.

16. Pour the mixture into a greased 10-11 inch(28 cm) ring-shaped baking pan (a bundt pan or angel food cake pan will do in a pinch) and bake at 350F for about 40-45 minutes.

17. Leave the cake to cool before removing from pan.

18. Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea!

*can also bake this in the #SunOven!

No Knead Focaccia

Focaccia, specially when fresh from the oven, is one of my favorite things to eat! The topping can be as simple as rosemary and smoked sea salt, or elaborate with za’atar seasoning, olive oil, tomatoes, mint leaves, and cucumbers! 😋

I also tried focaccia with salty, dry cured olives and sun dried tomatoes on it. And to make my son happy – ones with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and lots of pepperoni!

Feel free to top it anyway you like! That’s the fun part of making your own food!

My usual sourdough focaccia (https://athomewiththeresa.com/2021/06/09/sourdough-focaccia/) takes about 8 1/2 hours from start to finish if you used an active sourdough starter, but a bit longer if it is made with a dormant starter. I usually follow the timeline I typed up, preparing it after breakfast and baking either before or after dinnertime.

I got a few requests for an easier, faster recipe. And I totally get it! There is never enough hours in a day! So after a couple of weekends trying to make an easier focaccia recipe without compromising the taste, here we are! It still takes a bit of time, but you need time to allow the dough to develop flavors by slow fermentation.

This recipe makes use of instant yeast and can be done in a little less than 6 hours of mostly hands free time. I use a brand called SAF instant yeast, see photo below.

You’ll just mix everything together until it forms a shaggy dough and set it aside, covered, for about 4 hours. Then, you’ll transfer the dough into a generously greased pan and set it aside for about an hour. After which it’ll be drizzled with more olive oil, dimpled all over, and topped with whatever topping you like. Then it’s going to be baked for 20-25 minutes. Ta-da! Delicious, crisp, and super soft focaccia!

You can also get this ready at night: prepare the dough before dinner, let it sit on the counter while you eat and clean up and let it rest overnight in the fridge. Take out the next day, transfer to an oiled pan, let rise until doubled(about 2 hours or so) and bake. Or reverse it, preparing it in the morning and baking it at dinner time.

Perfect partners! Found this delicious dip at Trader Joe’s.

You likely have all the ingredients needed as this is a very simple recipe: flour, yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, salt and rosemary(or whatever you like) for extra flavor.

I usually make 2 pans at a time to make better use of the oven’s heat. If you like to do that too, just double this recipe and divide the dough into two 13”x9” pans. Bake times and temperature remain the same.

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Ingredients for dough:

1 2/3 cups water

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1-2 tablespoons good quality olive oil

3 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for topping:

Extra Olive oil

sea salt

rosemary

Whatever else you like(pickled jalapeño and cheddar, mozzarella and pepperoni, olives, etc)

Procedure:

1. In a large bowl (specially if you’re doubling the recipe), mix together the water, yeast, and sugar.

2. Add the olive oil and give it a stir.

3. Pour in the flour and salt. I use a Danish whisk to mix everything together until you have a rough dough. As long as there is no dry patches of flour, you’re good. *Remember, we do not need to knead this dough!

4. Cover the bowl and set aside for about 4 hours. I use a clean shower cap to cover the bowl – it’s reusable unlike a sheet of plastic wrap. The dough should double in size in this time.

5. In the meantime, grease a 13”x9” pan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Smear it all over the bottom and sides of the pan.

6. Pull the dough in from the sides of the bowl using a spatula and transfer into the prepared pan. Touch the greased pan with your finger tips to pick up some oil, and gently stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan.

7. Cover the pan and let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 450F about 20 minutes before second proofing is over.

9. Uncover the dough and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using your fingertips, poke the dough multiple times, touching the bottom of the pan each time. The oil will pool into the little grooves you created.

10. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves and smoked sea salt. This is my favorite topping. Feel free to use what you have or what you like!

11. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.

Perfectly crisp bottom!!!

12. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Enjoy warm!

Taho (Philippine Tofu Pudding)

“Taho….taho….taho….”

Early mornings in the Philippines, you’ll normally hear the man selling this warm, caramel tofu pudding calling out these words. He would have two metal pails balanced by a bamboo rod on his shoulders. Hard work for sure, but surely, it made our day.

Kids and adults alike would wait patiently, holding their little cups, glass containers, and tumblers, for the taho vendor to come by their home. I remember a few times our nanny got a whole Coleman cooler (a gallon one I believe) for us. It’s that delicious!

Everyone asks for extra caramel, as it is the highlight of this sweet dessert/breakfast in a cup.

So…it’s been a while since I’ve had that taho that you can purchase. Taho here in the US is mostly an anemic cousin of the real stuff, flavor wise and texture wise. What to do but make it yourself, right?

I had been making soy milk and sometimes tofu for a while now but I never made a super soft, silky tofu like taho should be. It literally disintegrates when jiggled. I tried to make it but it just curdled, not really forming any solid you could scoop up. Oh well…

My co worker Lisette gave me this tofu mix a few months back. She said they use it to make taho, and you just need the sago pearls and the caramel and you’re good to go. Since my “from scratch” tofu pudding failed, I reached for the box and tried it.

It worked beautifully! See my photo below! And it’s super easy to make!

All you’ll need are the following:

For the tofu pudding:

1 box (6.06oz) Tofu mix

10 cups water mixed

For the caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

For the tapioca pearls:

1/2 cup Tapioca pearls

5 cups water

To make the tofu pudding:

Mix 10 cups water with the tofu packet mixture in a large saucepan. That is the big envelope in the tofu box. Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Stir constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and for 3 minutes.

Add the coagulant, which is in the smaller white envelope, into the mixture, slowly. Give it a quick stir. And stop.

Remove from heat. Cover. Set aside to set. Do not touch or move it while it is setting. I just left it to set in the saucepan I cooked it in. 😊

In the meantime, prepare the Caramel.

Place 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.

For the Sago Pearls,

Bring 5 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup sago. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until translucent. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl of water until ready to use.

To assemble your “taho”

Using a spoon, carefully scrape thin layers of the warm tofu pudding into a glass, cup, or bowl. You only want a few spoonfuls as we will be layering this with the other ingredients.

*If the tofu is getting watery, scoop out and discard the excess water.*

Next, place a spoonful or two of the cooked tapioca pearls in.

Then a spoonful or two of the caramel(I always add more when no one is looking! It’s super delicious!).

Continue layering until you fill the glass almost to the top. I am stopping midway as I might eat everything at one go.

Remember to wipe of any caramel that dripped outside the glass! It will be a sticky mess if you don’t!

You can eat this with a spoon, as we do, or stir itup and drink it like I saw some folks do.

Either way, it is a nutritious and very delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.

I hope you all like this!

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Electric Lunchbox #97: Pistachio Cake

I’m back after not posting for a long time. Have you tried a beautiful, green colored Pistachio Cake?

My coworker (Jonnielyn Rivera) shared this super easy recipe with me a few years ago and I just had to adapt it to the ELB! It did take some time because I sometimes ended up with a cake that is too dense or tasteless, because of the amount of pudding. After a few tries, I think I finally nailed it. 😊 Look at the crumb of this cake in the photo below! Light yet moist and flavorful! 😋

And so here is an easy to make yet delicious recipe to try if you have time. All you’ll need is a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a box of yellow cake mix, a little box of pistachio pudding mix, a bit of sour cream, an egg, some canola oil, and some water!

I hope you’ll try out and of course, I do hope that you’ll like it!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cake mix

3 tablespoons Pistachio Pudding Mix

1/4 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 egg

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure :

1. Spray the big or medium ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

2. In a bowl, place the yellow cake mix,

3. pudding mix,

4. sour cream,

5. water,

6. Oil,

7. and egg.

8. mix well until blended.

9. Pour into the prepared ELB bowl. Cover with foil.

10. Place bowl in the ELB base, pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should come out clean.

12. Cool completely on a wire rack.

13. Carefully unmold the cake and serve.

14. Enjoy!

Sourdough Focaccia

We have been making homemade pizza for a few years now and it’s become a staple that I have 2 outdoor pizza ovens at the moment.

I also make our sourdough bread every week and need to switch it up with a few varieties using different flours, inclusions, or liquid to flavor the bread. Marshmallow stout instead of water for a chocolate chip sourdough batard anyone??

Between bread and pizza, there’s also focaccia! And here is a very easy recipe complete with a timeline to guide you!

You can split this bread in half crosswise to use for sandwiches, or just cut into squares, or rectangles to eat as is! Dip in olive oil, Trader Joe’s Garlic dip, hummus, baba ganoush…..It’s crunchy and soft, salty and herby…just delicious specially when still warm from the oven.

I use really good olive oil and salt as I believe it contributes to the overall taste of the focaccia. The olives are dry cured from Trader Joe’s, tomatoes and rosemary are from the backyard.

I doubled the recipe and made 2 13”x9” focaccia to eat and have enough to trade with a dozen home grown eggs. So please don’t be confused by the discrepancy between the instructions and the photos. 😊

I hope you will like this recipe as much as we did!

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Ingredients:

423 grams all purpose flour

181 grams bread flour

460 grams water

11 grams salt, plus more for sprinkling

115 grams starter, I used one straight from the fridge

12 grams good quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Toppings of choice, chopped herbs, olives, tomatoes, etc.

Procedure:

1. 10 am to 11 am

In a large bowl, mix flours, water, salt and starter. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough comes together.

Set aside for about 15 to 30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water.

Then mix the dough thoroughly, drizzling in the olive oil and pulling the dough up until well mixed. Use a plastic bench/dough scraper to help you pull up the dough and mix the oil in.

Cover (I use a clean, unused plastic hair cover!) and set aside for 30 minutes

#1

2. Bulk 11:15-1:15

#2
#3

Perform 4 sets of stretch and fold every 30 minutes, for 2 hours.

Photos 1 – 4 are the stretch and fold in the first 30 minutes, #2 at an hour, #3 at an hour and thirty minutes, and #4 was after 2 hours, the last of 4 folds. See how stretchy and smooth the dough looks after?

#4

3. Proof 1:15- 5:15

Pour some olive oil in a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Transfer dough to the pan and cover.

Every 30 minutes on the first hour, uncover the dough and stretch gently to fill the pan.

Cover and let rest for the remainder of the 4 hours.

4. 5:15 Preheat oven to 450F.

5. Drizzle the dough with about 2 -3 tablespoons of good olive oil.

6. Wet your finger tips and dimple the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan, multiple times.

7. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, etc.

*I used halved cherry tomatoes, chopped rosemary, olives, and Maldon sea salt. The other focaccia had the same toppings except it did not have tomatoes, as I only got a handful from the garden.*

8. Sprinkle with good quality salt.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.

*After baking, tops should be golden and edges crusty.

*Bottom should be toasted. This looks perfect!

Cut for sandwiches, this is what the crumb look like on my bake. Yummy!

Electric Lunchbox # 96: Creamed Corn Cornbread

Good morning everyone!

After posting the Jiffy Spoon bread recipe for the ELB, I got a few requests for a “from scratch” recipe as Jiffy is not readily available where they live. I had that problem once in a while too, so I am more than happy to accommodate that request.

The texture if this is not as soft as the spoon bread recipe, but it is close. I hope you try it both and decide which one you like better!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1/2 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 cup canned creamed corn

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. Spray the big ELB bowl with nonstick spray. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, place sour cream,

2. Egg,

3. Cornmeal,

4. Canola oil,

4. Creamed corn,

5. Salt,

6. Baking powder, and sugar.

7. Stir everything together until just mixed.

8. Pour into prepared bowl and level the tops.

9. Cover with foil and set on the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base, cover, and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

10. Carefully open the ELB and check the bread for doneness by inserting a skewer in the middle. It should have little moist crumbs attached to it.

11. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving plate and serve warm.