Saturday, October 23, 2010


This one is actually a recipe from pre-blogging days that I decided to try to with a different kind of beer. We used to make this in the height of our poorness with pbr because I would feel the need to bake and these ingredients would be the only ones we had around. When you make it with a really nice wheat ale or something it ends up being really sweet and awesome but when you use pbr, it tastes exactly like pbr. Which pleased Benny quite a bit. There was also an incident in which we used bacon fat instead of butter and let me tell you, it was the manliest tasting thing I can imagine. Like drinking a can of bacon-flavored pbr. Delicious.

Anyway, I'm having trouble locating the actual recipe we used to use and we had some nice dark beer around our house a couple days ago that I think is local to the Pacific Northwest, (Or at least I've never seen it in Chicago) so I decided to hunt for a new beer bread recipe. This one was good, but I doubled the butter and next time I'll be adding a bit more sugar, maybe a bit more honey, and I might want to spice it up a little. We'll see.

Recipe soundtrack: "Pastora Divine" by White Flight

from Gimme Some Oven


3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1 stick butter, melted (The original recipe called for 1/2 a stick, so this is after the doubling.)


(Makes 1 loaf)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer and honey into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan. Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter. It will be kind of gross-looking, like so:

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick/knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve immediately.


I have been desperately craving fruity desserts lately. Which is usually somewhat typical when fall comes around. Especially here in Seattle, there are so many farmers markets and its so easy to get amazing ripe local fruit. Last year around this time, I heard about the pumpkin shortage and bought about 10 cans of pumpkin. By the time winter was over I swore I'd never look at another can of pumpkin as long as I lived. Of course, I lied, seeing as how I've already made two pumpkin pies this season and I just bought two cans of Libby's yesterday. Either way, I am generally less excited about pumpkin now. I am however, getting a little bit giddy over stone fruit and apples.

Whilst staying with my sister, I had a sudden hankering for a peach and plum tart, which is how this little recipe came to be. It turned out to be just a peach tart, as my plums were kind of.. well. duds. Farmer's markets only for me from now on. Anyway, this is crazy simple. Here ya go:

Recipe Soundtrack: "Make You Mine" by The Drums (I recommend you go out and listen to this asap. It'll make your day.

Partially adapted from

pastry crust
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water

4-6 Firm but ripe Peaches or nectarines, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Ground Ginger
(and any other spices you think you would be good!)

To Make the Crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Add butter; pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add water and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough together, flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Roll out dough disk on floured surface to fit tart pan. Press dough into pan

To Make the Filling and Bake:
Toss fruit, and sugars together in a large bowl. Add spices and honey to taste. Arrange fruit in crust. Bake tart for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking until fruit is tender and beginning to bubble and crusts are golden. Transfer tart to rack and cool completely.

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!


So I am officially in Seattle! Weird feeling. We've been here for a week and I figure that's plenty of time to start baking, so I am currently whipping up a basket of goodies for my new neighbors. In the meantime, I figure it best to take this boring time before I find a job to update the ol blog. I managed to actually find quite a bit of time to bake over the course of the last month, especially considering that I was staying with my fabulous sister and her roommates who love baked goods as much as I do and were more than happy to let me test a few things out on them.

It turned out to be a lovely month living with the ladies on Evergreen Ave and I got to bake even more than I planned. There are a couple of things that won't show up on the blog, including an excursion in Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pie for a peanut-butter-lover of a friend of mine (which turned out surprisingly delicious) and a Garlic Cream Penne with Shrimp that I can't remember how I made. There were also quite a few challenges in the equipment department and my pictures suffered, but I'll do my best to catch up.

So let's start here. With my favorite recipe of the last few months, by far.

While I was in San Fran, I bought a fruit salad at a little cafe in the Haight. The apples in said fruit salad tasted like they had been steeped in Earl Grey tea and they were absolutely amazing. I haven't been able to get them out of my mind for quite some time, so when I saw this recipe for Caramel Earl Grey Apple Cheesecake, given my current constant desire for apple-y baked goods, I absolutely could not resist.

I made it twice, first a double recipe in a huge springform pan at my parents house, and then mini ones in a cupcake tin for my dear friend Lisa's birthday. When I made the mini version, I tried to use ginger snaps for the crust by just putting a gingersnap at the bottom of each cupcake cup. Turns out I probably should have ground them up because ginger snaps don't respond ideally to being baked whole. It still tasted good, but I wouldn't recommend it.

So here it is then:

Recipe Soundtrack: "Glass Concrete and Stone" by David Byrne

Adapted from Yue's Handicrafts

Caramel & Earl Grey Apples
4 apples
100g sugar
100g unsalted butter
4 teabag of earl grey tea (The original recipe called for 2 - I used 4)
4 tbsp of lemon juice

Peel, core & slice apples into small slices.
Combine butter, sugar & teabag in a small saucepan, cook until golden colour.
Reduce the heat, add in apple slices & lemon juice, cook until apples soften.
Remove from heating & set aside for cooling.

140g graham cracker crumbs
80g unsalted butter (melted)

Mix the ingredients & press into a springform pan. (I used a 9 inch)
Arrange the caramel & earl grey apple slices at the bottom, refrigerate before use.

Cheesecake filling
400g cream cheese
2 egg (slightly beaten)
140g whipping cream
120g light soft brown sugar

Whisk cream cheese & sugar until smooth. Gradually blend in whipping cream & egg. Pour into the prepared pan & wrap the pan with double layer of aluminium foil. Bake in a hot water bath for 40-60 min in a preheated oven at 300ยบ F
Remove from the oven & cool in the pan to room temperature. Cool further in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving, if you can do it overnight, it's much better.

My Mini's caved in a little bit, but I've decided not to worry about it. They were delicious.

Anyway, this recipe is totally going in my arsenal. This cheesecake is awesome. Make it. You won't regret it.