It’s Tuesday Again! Off to Finland!

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Finnish Pulla Bread

Everyone knows I’m a bread nut. Flour water yeast  & I’m good to go. Anytime. At all. Add butter and eggs? Oh ho ho. You got me, Baby.

This recipe is the 2nd monthly bakealong recipe from Baking with Julia on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog. The richness of this bread, loaded with butter and a couple eggs that were pulled warm, from the nest, seconds before being added, is seriously over the moon. Not just the top. The. Moon.

My #1 taster is not home yet, so the bread remains uncut, waiting. I am going crazy with the smell.

I crushed seeds from about 15 green cardamom pods for the teaspoon of spice the recipe requires. Penzey’s is my friend. What an aroma. Organic almonds and little shards of sugar, strewn across the glaze, smell so incredibly appealing that I have had to take a very long walk to stop myself from plunging in face first.

Yes, I’m a bread nut. I haven’t met a dough I don’t love. And I’m also the mom of Jam Baby Jam, which is sort of known for homegrown fruit jams and ginger jams and marmalades. This bread is screaming “Gimme a smear of grapefruit-ginger!” But I don’t have any – til tomorrow. Gonna have to settle for pear-ginger. Maybe the pear-ginger conserve. That has bits of chewy pecan and orange…oh yes. Oh yes.

Come home, taster! The bread is still warm!

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Finally, Gingerbread with (enough) Oomph!

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Gingerbread Baby Cakes

Been awhile since I baked with a group, but, when I saw that Tuesdays with Dorie was still doing the Bake (along) with Julia, and this month’s recipe was gingerbread, well, I got into the swing. Again.

This is not your grandmaman’s gingerbread. The recipe calls for hefty additions of coffee, cocoa, black pepper, and fresh ginger. Suggested presentation is with sweetened whipped cream and candied lemon peel. Now, I did add those ingredients to the batter. I did. But I took a short left turn. Rather than espresso powder, I used freshly brewed strong coffee to replace some of the molasses. I also used some maple syrup to replace some of the molasses. Not that I don’t like molasses. But the brand I buy comes in a 12 fl oz jar, and I “needed” 16 oz.

Since I don’t own “baby cake pans” I used a combination of muffin tins and a 5″ springform pan. Fine. Perfect. Just had to pay attention to the ol’ time. The muffin sized cakes took 28 minutes. The 5″ cake took 37 minutes. The cakes are perfectly baked.

The crumb is fine and delicate. The taste is shockingly delicious. Shocking! Truly! For anyone who happens to love the heat of gingery goodness, this gingerbread is just the ticket.

Sorry to say, I didn’t get a photo with the full blown presentation this evening. I’ll be plating this cake with unsweetened whipped cream laced with some of our in-house Jam Baby Jam in Pear-Ginger . So, I will add a sexy picture. I mean, the crummy photo up above truly does not do justice to these fine cakes.

Now, I know, you want the recipe. Here’s the deal. Only the Host of the party can post the recipe. Something to do with copyright. If you have to have the recipe, and who wouldn’t want it, really, then go to Karen’s Kitchen Stories and knock yourself out. If you would like to join the bake-along, sign up at TWD. We bake 2 recipes from Baking with Julia every month. The Rules state that you must own the book to join. So, do it. Just go get the book; it’s eminently readable, and the recipes are all knock-outs. Baking with Julia, written by Dorie Greenspan. Yum.