Friday, July 8, 2011

Apple-Strawberry Buckle

BUCKLE is a tender yellow cake with a fruit and streusel topping.
I adopted the recipe from the "Fine Cooking Annual" book. The original version is Apricot-Raspberry Buckle. But since I still have some strawberry left I better use it before it goes bad. I also use some diced apples that I sauted with some butter, fresh vanilla bean, cinnamon and sugar. Smells amazing!!
When hubby came home yesterday I asked him to taste it, and he just could not stop ...he even skip dinner. Need I say more??

Recipe adopted from the Fine Cooking Anual, modified by ME.
Serves eight to ten.


For the Streusel :
1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use cane sugar)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fresh vanilla seeds from 1 bean (then I use the bean string to saute the apple)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small piecies

For the cake :
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (I use cane sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I use vanilla beans)
1/4 tsp pure almond extract
3 large eggs
3/4 pound apple (diced, sauted for 5 minutes with 1 tsp of butter, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and vanilla beans)
2 cups of fresh ripen strawberries


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 370F, butter a 9 inch square pan.

Make the streusel :
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold butter and cut it in with a pastry blender or two table knifes until the butter pieces resemble small peas. Refrigerated until needed.

Make the cake :
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl
With a hand or electric mixer (use the paddle attachment) beat the butter on a medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and the extracts. Beat for 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar while beating on medium speed. Stop and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and batter. Beat on a medium high speed until pale and slightly fluffy (the sugar will not be dissolved), about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing it until the batter is smooth each time.
Stop and scrape the bowl and the beater. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated.
The batter will be thick. Add half of the apples and half of the strawberries to the batter and fold them in gently with a large rubber spatula. Some of the strawberries will be break when baked, the pinkish cast will disappear.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan and distribute the remaining fruit evenly on top. Sprinkle the streusel over the fruit. bake until the cake springs back in the center when lightly pressed and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Strawberry Syrup

Still about strawberry .... :P ..I just don't like wasting that's why! :D
The boys got about 12lbs of strawberries last weekend when we took them for strawberry picking. We ate it freshly, made some smoothies, strawberry jam, and there are still so much left.
So this afternoon I made some strawberry syrup. I know my family would enjoy it with some pancake or waffle for breakfast.
The strawberry I use are very ripe and sweet, so I don't add some water to the recipe, as soon as the sugar dissolve the strawberry producing so much juices. LOVE IT!!!


4 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups of superfine sugar (I used cane sugar)
1/4 cups of fresh lime juice (lemon juice would be great but I only have fresh lime)


In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice. 

Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.

Remove from the heat and let it cool. Strain the mixture and transfer into a bottle or syrup dispenser.


This is my first time making scones, and I am quite pleased with the result.

To be honest I did not have any plan to make scones until one of the boys told me that we're out of bread, and they wanted to enjoy the strawberry jam I made yesterday.
So I go trough my cooking book collections and found out this scone recipe from one of the book. Then I checked the pantry and seems like I have everything needed. So here we go....

I have this book call THE HOME BAKER for a long time, but I never really pay attention on what's in it. If I am not mistaken the only recipe I have tried from this book is some butter cookies. But that was like 5 years ago .. LOL


4 tbsp butter, diced and chilled, plus extra for greasing
1 lb/450 gr all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsbp baking powder
2 tbsp superfine sugar
generous 1 cup milk, plus 3 tbsp for glazing

To serve :
clotted cream
Strawberry jam (recipe suggested strawberry jelly)


Preheat the oven to 450F/220C. Grease a cookie sheet.
Stir the flour, salt, and baking powder together into a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar. make a well in the center and pour in the milk.
Quickly mix with a round-bladed knife to form a soft dough.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly.
Roll out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch/1cm. Don't be heavy-handed, scones need a light touch.
Using a plain 2 1/2 inches/6cm cookie cutter, cut out 10 - 12 circles and transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.
Brush with the milk to glaze and bake in the preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes until well risen and golden.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool. Split and serve with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

To make fruit scones, add 2oz/55gr mixed dried fruit with the sugar. To make whole wheat scones, use whole  wheat flour and omit the sugar. To make cheese scones, omit the sugar and fruit and add 1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese to the mixture with 1 teaspoon mustard.

Strawberry Jam

Last week I took the boys for strawberry picking at Barbie's Berry Farm in Ferndale. Oh boys they have so much FUN and picked loads of strawberries.
We ate it fresh and it was like the best thing EVER!! it was so sweet!! the next morning I made some strawberry and banana smoothies and the boys love it so much.
Do not want to waste any I decided to make some strawberry jam yesterday.

A good friend of mine let me know that you don't really need a recipe for a jam, you can just mix whatever fruit or berries with sugar and that's it. The composition is 1:1.
I however reduced the amount of sugar by 50% and I add some fresh lime juice as well. Turned out great!!


4 cups of fresh strawberries hulled
2 cups of superfine sugar (I used cane sugar)
1/4 cups of fresh lime juice (lemon juice would be great but I only have fresh lime yesterday)


In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lime juice. 

Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. 

Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). 

Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate. Powered by Blogger.

"Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure LOVE" ~ MILDRED B. VERMONT ~

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...