Spiced Pumpkin Scones

Spiced Pumpkin Scones
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Tender, healthy, satisfying scones for breakfast, break or dessert.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh (make sure fresh is drained)
  • 3 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • For Icing (optional):
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk or milk substitute
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch each of ground ginger and ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Grease a cookie sheet and dust with flour
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and pumpkin.
  5. Cut butter into dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, forks or your fingers, until there are no butter chunks left, and it is like fine crumbs.
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
  7. Form dough into a ball. Dough should be sticky, but not stick to baking sheet, so add a little more flour if necessary.
  8. Pat dough onto prepared baking sheet into 9x3x1" rectangle.
  9. Using a greased knife (spray with cooking spray), cut rectangle into thirds.
  10. Cut each third diagonally to form a total of six rectangles. (If you want smaller ones, cut these in half to form twelve).
  11. Gently pull each section apart so that there is a half an inch between each scone (for even baking).
  12. (Alternatively, form dough into large circle 1" high, and cut crossways into wedges, and pull slightly apart).
  13. For six large scones, bake 14 - 16 minutes until slightly browned; for twelve smaller scones, bake 10 - 12 minutes until slightly browned.
  14. Remove scones to wire cooling tray set over a plate or piece of foil, and cool completely.
  15. Meanwhile, mix together icing ingredients until smooth, if using.
  16. Drizzle icing over cooled scones and serve.
  17. Serve plain, with marscapone cheese, cream cheese or butter.

What to do with leftover pumpkin?  Here is the perfect thing, spiced pumpkin scones.  Hearty without being heavy, healthy without being icky, these scones are more than just a morning treat.    I used fresh pureed sugar-baby pumpkin, but canned pumpkin (unseasoned) works fine, too.  The dough is a little damp, so instead of cutting the scones and removing them to a baking sheet, it is easier to form the scone dough right on a floured baking sheet and then cut them.  The way I show how to do it makes large scones; you may cut them smaller and reduce the baking time.  The scones are great without the icing.  Eat them plain, with butter or best of all, with a smear of marscapone cheese or cream cheese.  They also keep well for the next day, and freeze beautifully.  Wrap them individually in foil and freeze, and when defrosted they are just as good as fresh.

Lemon Strawberry Jellyroll Cake

Lemon Strawberry Jellyroll Cake

Have you ever made a jellyroll cake?  It looks very fussy, but is extremly easy.  My daughter, home from college for a week, wanted a birthday cake that wasn’t “heavy and gunky like college food”.  So I made a Lemon Strawberry Jellyroll cake for her, and it was wonderful if I do say so myself!  You will need a jellyroll pan, which everyone should have anyway because you can do so much with it.  You can fill this basic sponge cake with whipped cream, custard, curd, or even… um… jelly or jam.  You can make a chocolate version with chocolate ganache, or even with pastry cream and mixed candied fruit to follow an Italian meal.  I’ve made one with whipped cream and mango.  This is the basic Yule Log, too.  This recipe is bright with lemon, which is saved from being too much by the fresh strawberries inside, and is very light.  Yum!

Lemon Strawberry Jellyroll Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
An easy and delicious cake that looks complex.
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • and ½ cup granulated sugar
  • One cup lemon curd (see recipes)
  • 2-3 large ripe strawberries, sliced, then halved
  • Sifted powdered sugar
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream, Lemon Icing (recipes follow) and Meringue Mushrooms (optional; see 'recipes' on blog)
  • For Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • For Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Add meringue mushrooms to complement the 'log' if desired (see 'recipes').
Instructions
  1. For cake:
  2. Line a 15x10x1-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper (not waxed paper, it will stick), or grease and lightly flour it.
  3. In a small bowl stir together flour and baking powder.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl beat egg yolks and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 3-4 minutes or until frothy.
  5. Gradually add the ⅓ cup granulated sugar, beating until sugar is almost dissolved.
  6. In another bowl beat egg whites with very clean, dry beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually add the ½ cup sugar, turning up the speed and beating until stiff peaks form and stop the mixer.
  8. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites.
  9. Sprinkle flour mixture over the batter and gently fold in until just combined.
  10. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  11. Bake 375 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched and is just golden brown.
  12. Lay a towel or piece of parchment that is larger than the cake pan on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.
  13. Quickly invert the hot cake onto the towel and peel off parchment that was on the bottom of the cake, if used.
  14. Roll up the towel and cake, making sure the cake doesn't touch itself, starting from the short side.
  15. Cool rolled cake on a wire rack. You can refrigerate the cake now for a day, slid into a plastic bag.
  16. When ready to fill (on the same day as being served) bring the cake back to room temperature and carefully unroll. I haven't had a lemon jellyroll that hasn't stuck a little to the towel because it's so moist. If it cracks, its okay. You can cover the cracks with icing.
  17. Spread with lemon curd leaving one inch around the edges.
  18. Arrange sliced strawberries across the cake in rows.
  19. Carefully re-roll cake without the towel.
  20. Place on serving plate.
  21. Spoon lemon icing along top of jellyroll cake; it will slowly drip down the sides.
  22. Spoon sweetened whipped cream on servings or into a frosting bag and pipe rosettes or other decorations around cake.
  23. Add meringue mushrooms to complement the 'log' if desired.

 

Baked sponge

 

Lay a towel or piece of parchment that is larger than the cake pan on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar.

Powder a towel

Quickly invert the hot cake onto the towel and peel off parchment that was on the bottom of the cake, if used.

Peel off parchment

Roll up the towel and cake, making sure the cake doesn’t touch itself, starting from the short side.

Roll it up

Cool rolled cake on a wire rack.  You can refrigerate the cake now for a day, slid into a plastic bag.

When ready to fill (on the same day as being served) bring the cake back to room temperature and carefully unroll.  I haven’t had a lemon jellyroll that hasn’t stuck a little to the towel because it’s so moist.  If it cracks, its okay.  You can cover the cracks with icing.  Spread with lemon curd leaving one inch around the edges.  Arrange sliced strawberries across the cake in rows.

Mine cracked because I was too hasty, but cracks be hidden!

Carefully re-roll cake without the towel.  Place on serving plate.

Rolled cake ready for icing

 

Spoon lemon icing along top of jellyroll cake; it will slowly drip down the sides.

Spoon whipped cream on servings or into a frosting bag and pipe rosettes or other decorations around cake.

Add meringue mushrooms to complement the ‘log’ if desired.

Yummy Slice

Makes 8-10 servings.

Easy and Incredible Buttermilk Chocolate Ganache Cake with Perfect Chocolate Frosting

Spread ganache on cake layers, leaving some in the bowl for licking!

A rare thunderstorm in San Diego, after days of 100+ degree heat.  A few drops of rain and enough crashing to make my dogs nervous.  They are happily taking advantage of my push-over self and are in the living room, while my cats are furious in the rest of the house.  The cooler fallish weather and darker skies makes me want to cook!

I bake for friends, and this is one of my most requested cakes.  It is easy, it is wonderful, it is satisfying: it is chocolate.  I don’t like wimpy chocolate cakes; if I’m going to invest my calories in a dessert, it better pay off in flavor and texture.   Making this cake a day ahead allows the flavors to meld, but it can be eaten right away in case of chocolate emergency.  This recipe does use dairy products, and the acid reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda helps it rise and makes the chocolate flavor be yum.   I have directions for a layer cake or sheet cake, but it makes great little bundt cakes, too.  I have a humongous sheet cake pan and I quadruple the recipe with complete success.  I’ve given directions for chocolate frosting, which is absolutely great, by the way, but feel free to use other colors for decorations.  Although I enjoy dark chocolate, I find semi-sweet is best in the ganache, although I’ve used extra-dark baking cocoa for the batter and frosting with much success.  Enjoy!

Easy and Incredible Buttermilk Chocolate Ganache Cake with Perfect Chocolate Frosting
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 - 12
 
My best and most satisfying chocolate cake recipe, without a lot of hassle!
Ingredients
  • Buttermilk Chocolate Ganache Cake
  • For Cake:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • cups powdered unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • For Ganache:
  • cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate in pieces
  • For Frosting:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • ⅔ cups powdered unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cups milk, water or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round baking pans, or one sheet cake pan.
  3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  6. Pour evenly into baking pan(s).
  7. Bake 30 – 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out cleanly.
  8. Cool ten minutes.
  9. For layer cake, or for the more adventurous sheet cake bakers, turn cake(s) out onto wire racks and cool completely.
  10. For ganache, combine heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  11. Turn off heat.
  12. Add the chocolate pieces and swirl around to cover them with the hot milk mixture, and then cover for five minutes until chocolate is melted.
  13. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  14. Pour into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ganache is thick enough to spread.
  15. For frosting, melt butter and pour into bowl.
  16. Stir in the cocoa.
  17. Alternately add sifted powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.
  18. Add more milk if needed.
  19. Stir in vanilla.
  20. Makes about 2 cups.
  21. To finish: If making a layer cake use the ganache as filling.
  22. Cake may then need to be chilled to keep ganache firm before and after frosting. Ganache can also be used both as filling and as a coating for the top layer, and the frosting spread around the sides of the cake and piped decoratively around the top edge as a barrier to contain the ganache.
  23. If making a sheet cake, spread thickened ganache on top of cooled cake.
  24. Pipe frosting decoratively around edge to contain ganache and, if you’ve managed to turn the cake out of the pan, spread the frosting around the sides.
  25. This cake is excellent if made the day before serving, to give the flavors a chance to meld.