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Posts Tagged ‘walnut’

I got a bag of organic dried sliced plantain bananas from Costco just to give it a try, but found out they are quite chewy and dense. Great... now I’m stuck with a big bag of chewy dried bananas! What can I do with it? What can I do with it??… I know! Banana chocolate scones! It’s quick and easy to make, and a new flavor for the family.:-)

Results: Even I added 1 tbsp of rum to soften the bananas, I could’t taste any alcohol at all after baking. I didn’t want the taste of bananas take over the overall taste of the scones, so I just coarsely chopped. As a result, there are bites of the scones that comes with the sweet fragrance of banana, but no bananas in those bites at all… interesting!

Banana Chocolate Scones

Banana Chocolate Scones

Banana Chocolate Scones (makes 12 small scones)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
1/2 cup bitter-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried banana slices– chopped, and soak in 1 tbsp golden rum for at least 1 hour– see note below
2 eggs
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut, chocolate chip and chopped dried banana. Toss to mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and milk (or cream) in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for glaze. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, then cut into 6 small wedges, for a total of 12 wedges.
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Dried banana slices: The banana I used are dried sliced plantain banana that I got from Costco. They are a bit sticky, chewy and a bit dense in texture, so I added 1 tbsp of rum to soften up a little (and rum makes it more flavorful, you can’t taste the alcohol at all after baking). you can substitute rum with water.
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What to do with overripe bananas, besides banana bread, banana muffins and banana waffles? Richard suggested banana nut pancakes, and here they are! This was my first time making banana nut pancakes. Since I didn’t have time searching for the “perfect” banana nut pancake recipe, I use my fresh corn pancake recipe as a reference. And, I’m happy the pancakes turn out well– fluffy and happy 🙂 I froze some extras, and they taste pretty good too after warming up in microwave.

Banana Nut Pancakes

Banana Nut Pancakes

Banana Nut Pancake Recipe (makes 15 pancakes)

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter– melted and cooled
2 eggs
handful of chopped toasted walnuts

Method:

  1. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a big bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add in milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and eggs. Hand whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture all at once. Stir until the batter just combined. The batter will look lumpy– DO NOT overstir. Add in chopped walnuts and stir once to incorporate walnuts into batter.
  4. Cook as you will with regular pancakes. Serve hot with butter, maple syrup and whipped cream.

Regina’s Note:

  • Cooked pancakes may be frozen for quick breakfast, just heat up in the microwave.

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I am experimenting this new recipe while corn is still in season. The corn was sweet and juicy, and to prevent the liquid from the corn drawing out during baking and thus creating dense scones (lesson learned from the disastrous Banana Scones), I roasted the corn kennels in a dry clean pan first. I can smell the corn from the scones, and they taste quite mild just like any classic scones, although I would probably add another 1/2 teaspoon of sugar next  time. Walnut, as usual, adds texture to the bite. The scones taste better if served with butter, otherwise it’s a little plain on its own.

Corn & Walnut Scones

Corn & Walnut Scones

Corn & Walnut Scones Recipe (makes 8 pieces)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
2  1/2 tbsp sugar— will use 3 tbsp sugar next time
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
corn kennels of 1 ear of corn– roast in clean dry pan until slightly char, let cool
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, milk powder, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut and roasted corn kennels, mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for egg wash. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, and cut into quarters, for a total of 8 wedges.
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

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tCoffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones-- the tiny black dots are finely ground coffee.

10/15/10 update: I made these coffee scones again. This time they looked much prettier and not as dark... see note below.

10/15/10 update: I made these coffee scones again. This time they looked much prettier and not as dark... see note below.

When these scones fresh out of the oven, you can smell the coffee in the air. Take a bite and you’ll taste chocolate!… This is why I love these scones!

Coffee Cream Scones Recipe ( makes 8-12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tbsp very finely ground coffee (1/2 tbsp if light coffee flavor is preferred)
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, coffee, sugar, baking powder  and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut, chocolate chip and cranberries and mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and cream in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for egg wash. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, and cut into quarters, for a total of 8 wedges (for smaller scones cut each disc into 6 triangles, for a total of 12 pieces).
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

I made these scones the second time using whole milk and only 1/2 tbsp coffee powder. The dough was pretty wet and required more dusting of flour during kneading/shaping. However, the scones turned out beautifully after baking and not as dark as first time. The aroma of coffee is light. Personally I would stick with 1 tbsp of coffee powder to give the scones more flavor.

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Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix

Yes, I made this again with some changes–  increasing ingredients portions to1.5 times of original recipe to fit my tart pan. I also remembered to toast the ground almond this time; it does make a difference. I found the tart tastes much better the next day with the rum adding depth to the flavor.

Tarte aux Noix Recipe (makes 1 tart of 9.5 inch diameter)

Ingredients:

Tart shell:
1 cup cake flour
5 tbsp ground almond (with skin)– toasted
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
2 tbsp beaten egg (see note below in almond cream ingredients)

Almond cream:
2 tbsp cake flour
1 cup ground almond(with skin)– toasted
1/2 cup brown sugar
9 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 1/2 beaten egg (I beated 2 eggs in a bowl, scooped 2 tbsp for tart shell and used the remaining for almond cream)

4-5 tbsp raisin– soaked in rum, drained but keep the rum
4-5 tbsp chopped walnuts– toasted
2 tbsp rum (I used the ones that I soaked the raisin with)
extra almond flakes to sprinkle on top

apricot jam for glazing

Method:

Make tart shell:

  1. Combine cake flour and ground almond then set aside. Using a whisk, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg, whisk to combine.
  2. Sift in 1/3 of flour mixture. Using a spatula gently mix the flour on the top, then press down the flour to the bottom of the bowl to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 batches. When all mixture starts to form a dough, take it out and shape it to a ball with both hands (avoid kneading the dough!).
  3. Put the round dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, roll it out large enough to fit tart pan. Remove plastic wrap and transfer the dough to tart pan and fold inwards any extra dough so all sides have same thickness.
  4. Brush the edge with egg wash, prick the bottom of tart and blind bake at preheated 350°F oven for about 15 minutes. Cool the tart in the tart pan.

Make Tarte aux Noix:

  1. Cream butter and brown sugar with a whisk until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg and whisk to combine.
  2. Add ground almond. Using a spatula, mix until all incorporated. Sift in cake flour and mix gently until just combined.
  3. Add raisin, walnuts and rum and mix gently.
  4. Pour filling into baked tart shell. Smooth the surface and sprinkle almond flakes on the top.
  5. Bake at preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes until almond cream is nicely browned. Cool in the pan on the rack. When completely cool, glaze tart with apricot jam.

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Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix

I searched tarte aux noix online but couldn’t find out much about it because a lot of search results show the websites are not written in English. All I know is that it is a French tart. A lot of pictures online shows the tart is made with walnuts, but the recipe I followed uses almonds. Maybe there are several versions of tarte aux noix??…

Anyway, this recipe is from one of my cookbook titled “Oishiixtu!! Yakikashi” by Ikuko Omori (mine is Chinese version). When I was making the tart shell, I made a boo boo: I thought all tart pans are pretty much standard size, it’s only until I rolled out the dough that I realized my tart pan is quite larger than the suggested 18cm diameter by the recipe. Since the dough could barely cover the bottom of my large tart pan, I opted to use 2 small personal size tart pans instead. Next time when I make it again, I will increase the original recipe portion by 1.5. One thing worth mentioning: the tart shell recipe is very easy and doesn’t require chilling at all, and yet it is crispy and full of almond flavor even the next day. I think I might keep it as my default tart shell recipe.

Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix

Tarte aux Noix Recipe (makes 1 tart of 18cm diameter, or 2 small personal tarts)

Ingredients:

Tart shell:
2/3 cup cake flour
3 tbsp ground almond (with skin)– toasted
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 tbsp beaten egg

Almond cream:
1 tbsp cake flour
2/3 cup ground almond(with skin)– toasted
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp.)
1 beaten egg

2 tbsp raisin– soaked in rum, drained
2 tbsp chopped walnuts– toasted
1 tbsp rum
extra almond flakes to sprinkle on top

apricot jam for glazing (I didn’t have apricot jam, so I brushed the tart with remaining beaten egg from tart shell before baking)

Method:

Make tart shell:

  1. Combine cake flour and ground almond then set aside. Using a whisk, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg, whisk to combine.
  2. Sift in 1/3 of flour mixture. Using a spatula gently mix the flour on the top, then press down the flour to the bottom of the bowl to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour in 2 batches. When all mixture starts to form a dough, take it out and shape it to a ball with both hands (avoid kneading the dough!).
  3. Put the round dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, roll it out large enough to fit tart pan. Remove plastic wrap and transfer the dough to tart pan and fold inwards any extra dough so all sides have same thickness.
  4. Brush the edge with egg wash, prick the bottom and side of tart and blind bake at preheated 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool the tart in the tart pan.

Make Tarte aux Noix:

  1. Cream butter and brown sugar with a whisk until fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg and whisk to combine.
  2. Add ground almond. Using a spatula, mix until all incorporated. Sift in cake flour and mix gently until just combined.
  3. Add raisin, walnuts and rum and mix gently.
  4. Pour filling into baked tart shell. Smooth the surface and sprinkle almond flakes on the top. (I brushed the top with remaining egg wash before baking since I don’t have apricot jam for glazing)
  5. Bake at preheated 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes until almond cream is nicely browned. Cool in the pan on the rack. When completely cool, glaze tart with apricot jam.

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Moist Banana Nut Bread

Moist Banana Nut Bread

Tired of making same old same old banana waffles so I gave this recipe a try, and it turned out to be a keeper! This recipe is from Martha Stewart. The bread is very moist (even the next day) because the use of sour cream. It is sweet but there’s also a hint of saltiness which makes it very flavorful. I like extra crunch so I added some more (well… alot more 🙂) walnuts on the top, mmm… yum! No doubt the bread will make it back to our kitchen whenever we have overripe bananas.

Moist Banana Nut Bread-- see chunks of bananas in there?

Moist Banana Nut Bread-- see chunks of bananas in there?

Moist Banana Nut Bread Recipe (makes 1 loaf 9x5x3 pan)– Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I used 2 large bananas)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I used toasted chopped walnuts to mix with the batter, and some extra untoasted walnuts to sprinkle on top)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, coconut, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle extra nuts on top if using.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Regina’s tips:

  • Bake the bread on medium low rack so it is position at the center of the oven.
  • Rotate the pan half way through baking to ensure even browning. If the top browns too quickly, cover with foil.

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