Saturday, August 31, 2013

Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

Well, blog readers, I'm finally back! Back to the blog, and back to BYU!

My gorgeous roommates and crappy-yet-cute house

I forgot how much I love Provo. Seriously. Yesterday I went to SLAB Pizza (This awesome pizza place that gives you a quarter of a giant pizza and a drink for $5) and after I walked in, I saw Stephanie Nielson. I recently finished her book and I am in love with her story. She's one of the most inspiring people I've ever seen. You can see her story here

So I've made this cake many times over the past few years. I'm not sure exactly when I discovered the recipe, but it's been a favorite for quite some time now. 

The only reason I haven't blogged about it yet is because it's usually gone within an hour or two of baking it. Recipe tweaked from Butter Yum

Banana Cake

Yields: 8x8 cake

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream (or buttermilk)
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, softened
2-3 overly ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 for glass pan) fahrenheit.

2. Cream together sugar, sour cream, egg, and butter for about 3 minutes. Add mashed banana and vanilla and beat. 

3. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add them slowly to the wet ingredients.

4. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake. 

Brown Sugar Buttercream

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk, optional 

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and the brown sugar for 5 minutes, or until most of the graininess of the sugar is dissolved. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla slowly. If the frosting is too thick, add milk slowly. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Chocolate Nutella Banana Bread

No one really cared about hazelnuts before Nutella was invented, right? They were just like any other average nut. They were as inconsequential as a cashew.

Nutella reinvented the hazelnut. Aren't we glad Nutella happened? I am. 

Chocolate Nutella Banana Bread

Yields: 1 8x4 loaf

3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup veggie oil
2 eggs
3-4 mashed bananas (the browner the bananas the better)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp Nutella 
1/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a 8x4 loaf pan. 

2. Mix sugar, veggie oil, and eggs. Add bananas and vanilla. 

3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and mix in. 

4. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Melt Nutella in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour in on top of the batter and swirl in. Pour the other half on top and swirl a little more. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

5. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the baking pan. 

Bon app├ętit!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Copycat Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam

We've all seen the Bonne Maman (pronounced "bun mahmah") jams and preserves at the fancy supermarkets, right? It's so good. It's the stuff of dreams. When a loaf of hot bread comes out of the oven, the first thing I do is reach for the raspberry jam. Bread and jam are one of the quintessential combinations in life.

We had 3 containers of raspberries in the fridge and I wanted to use them up so they wouldn't go bad. I had only tried to make jam once in my life before and I had a bad experience.  I made it so thick it wasn't even spreadable! That's hardly appetizing.

I looked for a simple recipe. I found one that has 3 ingredients. Simple enough! Best part? NO PECTIN! That stuff is expensive!

Copycat Bonne Maman Raspberry Jam

Yields: 2 pint jars or 4 half-pint jars

4 cups raspberries
4 cups sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Sterilize your jars, lids, and rims in simmering water.

2. Put your raspberries in a 2 quart pot on medium high heat. Stir constantly. Let the juices come out and add sugar and lemon juice. Let it boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Ladle it into your jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top of empty space. Put the lids on and return to hot water bath on high heat with at least 2 inches of water on top of the tops of the jars. Boil for 15 minutes and remove from the water.

4. Let the jars sit out on the counter for 24 hours. If the tops on the jars popped in, they should be sealed correctly. They're good to sit out on the counter for up to 1 year!