Showing posts with label molasses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label molasses. Show all posts

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Culture Confusion Rocky Road Bundt #BundtBakers

This Bundt is a riot of cultural influences and flavors and colors that somehow come together to create one of the richest Bundts I’ve ever baked: Turkish delight, dried apricots, syrupy stem ginger, pistachios, dried cranberries and date molasses, in a Jamaican ginger batter, finished off with a decorative flourish of American marshmallow fluff.

This is the TCK or third culture kid of cakes, feeling the pull of the Far East, Middle East, Jamaica by way of the British Isles and the United States as well. This month our Bundt Baker host, Laura of Baking in Pyjamas, challenged us to bake a Bundt with the flavors and ingredients of Rocky Road. For those unfamiliar, rocky road is an unbaked confection that usually contains nuts, fruit, chocolate and marshmallows, sometimes cookies, but a little research soon revealed that the combinations depend greatly on where one lives.  I was intrigued by a recipe on for a Turkish Delight Rocky Road and decided to use those basic ingredients, but baked in cake batter. (And substituting a North American ingredient, cranberries, for the glacĂ© cherries because glacĂ© cherries? Just no.)

Ah, but which cake batter? Sure, I could have done a plain cake but if you’ve been reading along here a while you know that I don’t often take the easy way out. I like a challenge. So I started looking for a cake recipe with Turkish delight and came across this moist and beautiful ginger loaf baked with fond memories of her English childhood, from my fellow UAE blogger, Sally of My Custard Pie. Now Sally’s ginger cake was already loaded with flavor and the only thing Turkish delight about it ended up being a gorgeous pink rose flavored icing. But I could already taste all of my added flavors baked in that fabulous batter. It’s a gift.

To finish it off Rocky Road style, I piped on some marshmallow fluff. Only after it was baked did I realize that, with so much going on, I forgot chocolate. Sorry, Laura!

For the cake batter:
1/2 cup or 90g dried apricots
1 cup or 150g unsalted pistachios, divided
1/2 cup or 85g dried cranberries
 3 1/2 oz or 100g Turkish Delight
1 knob of stem ginger
2 cups or 250g flour plus a little extra for flouring Bundt pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground (powdered) ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
1/2 cup or 113g unsalted butter
1/2 cup or 120ml golden syrup
1/3 cup or 80ml date molasses (Normal molasses can be substituted.)
1 generous tablespoon syrup from jar of stem ginger
1 large egg
2/3 cup or 155 ml milk

To decorate:
1/2 cup marshmallow creme or fluff or use a thick glaze of your choosing
Cranberries and pistachios, amounts as per the instructions below

Finely chop about one quarter of your pistachios in a food processor. You are looking for a lot of pistachios dust, very fine crumbs and some small pieces.

Roughly chop the rest of your pistachios with a knife and set aside about one quarter of them to decorate the Bundt after baking.

Cut your cranberries, apricots and Turkish delight into small pieces.  Using scissors is easier than the knife. Mince your stem ginger.  Set aside about one quarter of the cranberry pieces for decorating the cake after baking.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and liberally butter and lightly flour your 10-cup Bundt pan. In case you are curious, mine is the Nordic Ware Fleur de Lis.  <affiliate link

Now sprinkle the finely chopped pistachios around the side and middle of the Bundt pan. The bigger pieces will not stick and will fall into the deep grooves of the pan. This is a good thing.

Sift the flour for the cake into a large mixing bowl and add in the baking powder, ginger, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Add the cut apricots, Turkish delight and the bigger pile of cranberries to the flour mixture and use your hands to make sure they are all well coated and not sticking together.

In a large saucepan, gently warm the golden syrup, date molasses and the ginger syrup with the brown sugar and butter till the butter is just melted and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Measure your milk into a measuring jug, add in the egg and whisk well with a fork.

Pour your barely warm molasses mixture into the flour bowl then add the milk with egg and the minced stem ginger. Mix lightly.

Fold in the larger pile of chopped pistachios.

Pour the batter into your prepared Bundt pan.

Bake on the middle shelf in your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. The cake should be pulling away from the sides slightly.

Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then use your wooden skewer to loosen any bits of cake adhering to the sides or middle of the Bundt pan, before turning the cake out.

Allow to cool completely before decorating.

To decorate, put your marshmallow fluff in a piping bag and follow the contours of your cake. My initial plan was for fuller coverage but the diamonds that appeared on top because of the pistachios were too cool to hide, so I ended up not using all the marshmallow fluff. If you have a traditional Bundt pan, just pipe that sticky stuff all over.

Poke bits of cranberry and pistachio all over the cake until you think there’s enough or you run out. Over the past 20 years I’ve had a couple of good friends who have baked and decorated with me and they will tell you that I often need to be stopped when contemplating the addition of just one more thing. But more is more, I say.

A note on marshmallow fluff: It’s not the best medium to stick stuff to a cake, even a cold cake, because it starts to slide. If you aren’t trying to mimic rocky road ingredients, feel free to substitute your favorite glaze. Perhaps even Sally’s pretty in pink Turkish Delight one or her alternate option, flavored with fresh lemongrass.

Many thanks to Laura from Baking in Pyjamas for this great theme. I know you all are going to enjoy the variety of flavors and cakes we have for you today! Remember, just because it's called Rocky Road, doesn't mean it's all the same inside!


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Aaaaand, if you happen to have extra marshmallow fluff and a willing pooch (and by willing I mean he sits patiently waiting for a taste whenever I fill a green piping bag - he knows!) then by all means, give him a mustache and let him lick it off.  Hey, it's his 8th birthday on Saturday. Special treat.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Muffins #MuffinMonday

Nothing says Christmas like the delightful aroma of gingerbread baking.  Nothing.  These muffins combine gingerbread batter with melted semi-sweet chocolate for an even richer muffin.  

These past couple of days have been hectic but I can happily report that I am back in the States for the holidays and both of my girls are with me.   I flew into New York, just as the storm hit and managed to get one of the last flights out to Boston on Saturday.  Then yesterday, my younger daughter and I drove back to New York to pick up my elder daughter and all of her worldly possessions.  I am thrilled to say that she has accepted a job offer in Boston and will be moving there in the new year.   1. Her dream job and 2. Only 50 minutes train ride from her sister in Providence.  Both things make this mother very happy!

I knew I’d be on the road so I actually baked these muffins before leaving  Dubai, but I was definitely channeling snow and cold and winter and Christmas.  Make you some!  The whole house smells cozy.

1/2 cup or 110g sugar
2 1/4 cups or 280g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4  cup or 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup or 120g butter
1/2 cup or 120ml molasses or treacle
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing with butter or non-stick spray or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon and stir well.

Set aside a generous handful of chocolate chips to use for decoration later.  Put your butter and the rest of the chocolate chips into a microwaveable bowl and zap for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted.  Allow to cool slightly.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and molasses.

Pour your melted chocolate/butter into the milk/egg mixture and stir well.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Top each with some of the reserved  chocolate chips.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Rich Gingerbread Muffins with Honey Ginger Glaze #MuffinMonday

Rich Gingerbread Muffins are perfectly complemented by a honey ginger glaze and decorated with crystallized ginger. These are a treat for autumn, Christmas or anytime! 

When my girls were still living at home, we had an afternoon routine.  When they got back from school, I had a snack ready for them.  Sometimes it was simple and healthy like apples cut into little boats with sweetened yogurt in which to dip them.  Often it was cookies or muffins or a cake that I had baked.  We’d sit around the coffee table and they would eat their snacks and we would talk about the day, anything interesting that happened at school or something they learned.  Then we’d move onto what they had for homework.

This took as little as 15 minutes or sometimes as much as half an hour but I loved the time reconnecting with them and fueling them for the homework ahead.  Around this time of year, one of the favorite treats I would bake was gingerbread.  I’d usually double our favorite Good Housekeeping recipe to make a big pan and it didn’t take more than a day or two for the whole thing to disappear.

We lived in the tropics so there weren’t any seasonal hints that Christmas was coming.  But the rich, spicy aroma of gingerbread baking in the oven was enough to get us all thinking Christmassy thoughts.

When I got this week’s Muffin Monday email, I was delighted to see a gingerbread recipe.  I haven’t made any yet this year and my Christmas spirit could sure use a boost.  In usual Holiday Series pimp-my-muffin fashion, I have added in mincemeat pie filling, a honey ginger glaze and some chopped crystallized ginger for topping.  

Rich Gingerbread Muffins with Honey Ginger Glaze

The house smelled like old times and I am grateful that my girls will be home soon for the Christmas break, because it made me miss them even more.  

For the muffins:
1/2 cup or 110g sugar
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup or 120ml molasses or treacle
1/2 cup or 155g mincemeat pie filling
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 120g butter, melted and cooled

For honey ginger glaze:
1/2 cup or 120ml honey
Small slice fresh ginger
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch salt

For sprinkling on top:
1/4 cup pieces of crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases or butter your muffin pan liberally.

Mix your sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger and cinnamon in a big bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix your molasses, mincemeat pie filling, milk, eggs and melted butter.
Whisk well.

This stuff looks black and, frankly horrible, and it made me burst into a song from my childhood.  Which is still circling in my head like an earworm so permit me to share.  After all, an earworm shared is a gift that keeps on giving.  Merry Christmas!  No need to thank me.

“When up through the ground come a bubbling crude.  Oil, that is!  Black gold!  Texas Tea!”   Sorry, sorry!  Back to the recipe at hand.  Like Jed’s find, your black gold is going to make you rich.  A rich gingerbread muffin, that is.

Pour your wet ingredients, here on out to be known as black gold, into your dry ones and fold until just combined.

Told you it was black!  Everybody, sing with me! 

Spoon or scoop the batter into your prepared muffin cups.   I could have managed to just squeeze all that batter into 12 cups but my dear husband was taking these muffins in to his office to share and I figured 16 was better than 12 for those purposes.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick or wooden skewer comes out clean.

Meanwhile, chop the crystallized ginger into little bitty pieces and set aside.

Remove the muffin pan from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Once your muffins are cool, you can make the glaze.  Measure out your honey and butter into a small saucepan, adding the one slice of fresh ginger and the pinch of salt.

Let it come to a boil and then continue to boil for a couple of minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and then, using a spoon, start drizzling your glaze on the muffins.

Top each glazed muffin with some crystallized ginger and then drizzle a little more glaze to make sure the ginger stays on.

If your glaze starts to get too thick as it cools, just warm it gently on the stove until it is drizzling consistency once more.

This one is for Cecilie.  The cut of wood off the bottom of our Christmas.  Mmm. Pine.