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Even here, in Los Angeles, you can feel the end of summer in the air. At the Farmers Market’s the summer fruit is getting to be less and less.
Last week I grabbed the last few apricots. I immediately came home and made a cornmeal upside down cake. The apricots were amazing and jammy. I added some lemon zest and tarragon and it gave it the freshest flavor!
I used apricots and some of my homemade apricot brandy. You can use any stone fruit and change up the liquor. How about plums and cassis? Or Peaches with Grand Mariner? The possibilities are endless.
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Apricot Cornmeal Cake
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
- 3/4 cup Dark brown Sugar, packed
- 2 Tbs. Apricot Brandy I make my own. You can use store bought or Grand Marnier.
- 2 pounds Fresh Apricots, sliced in half and pitted
- 1-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Good Quality Cornmeal
- 1-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Fresh Lemon Zest
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup White Granulated Sugar
- 2 jumbo eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract almond extract would work here too.
- 1/4 tsp. Fresh chopped Tarragon
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- In a 10" skillet, melt butter, over a medium heat. Add brown sugar and brandy. WHile constantly stirring, bring to s slow boil.Remove from heat and let cool slightly.Arrange the apricot halves in concentric circles, covering all the sugar/butter.Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is fully incorporated.Add in vanilla and tarragon.
- Turn mixer to low speed and add flour mixture, alternating with milk, in halves.Be careful to not overwork the batter. You can gently finish with a spatula. The batter will be thick.Carefully, spread the batter over the apricots, in pan. I use an ice cream scoop to place the batter and then gently spread and smooth evenly over fruit.Work gingerly so as not to move fruit around too much. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes. You want your cake to just be starting to pull away from the side of skillet.I recently started "listening" to my cakes. If they are bubbling too loud, they are still cooking. You want the center to feel set in the center. You can also check internal temp. It shold be around 195°. Remeber it will still bake a little when out of oven.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes, then run knife around edge to loosen cake from pan.Carefully, turn cake out onto platter, slightly larger than the pan.Garnish with some fresh tarragon or mint.Serve while still warm.
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Who doesn’t love a good rice Krispy treat? It was one of the first things I made without adult supervision!
They are the epitome of a “treat”. They are sweet and gooey and taste so good.
Recently, I tried a new spin on the recipe and made Rocky Road. It has all the elements of the ice cream; almond, marshmallow and chocolate. It is also a traditional rice cereal treat with marshmallows, cereal and butter. How do you vary your treats?
Rocky Road Rice Krispy Treats
- 4 Tbs. Unsalted Butter
- 1 10-ounce pkg. Marshmallows
- 2 cups Mini Marshmallows
- 1 cup Chopped Almonds
- 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
- 6 cups Fresh Cocoa Krispies cereal
- Butter, heavily a 9x13 pan.In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter. I use a dutch oven.Add regular marshmallows and stir until melted.Remove from heat.Add the cereal and stir to coat evenly.Stir in almonds, mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Carefully, with buttered hands and spatula, pat into prepared pan.Cool completely then cut in to 3 inch square.You can serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrao and store at room temp for up to 2 days.
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- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar you can use light or dark
- 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
- 3 Tbs. Canola Oil
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Fine Sea Salt
- 2/3 cup Whole Milk
- 2/3 cup Sparkling Wine
- 1 1/2 cups Confectioners' Sugar
- 1/3 cup Sparkling Wine
- Gold Dusting Sugar
- Preheat oven to 400° and spray 2 donut pans with non-stick spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar butter and oil. Add eggs and combine well. Whisk in vanilla.
- In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.Alternating with milk mixture, stir flour mixture into sugar/butter mixture. Start and finish with dry ingredients. Do not over work.Stir sparkling wine in, just to combine.
- Evenly distribute batter between donut pan openings.Bake at 15-17 minutes, until golden brown and tootpick comes out just clean.Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out and cool completely on rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk sparkling wine into Confectioners' sugar to desired consistency.Spoon glaze over donuts and sprinkle with dusting sugar.