scrumptious

scrumptious

by chef judi leib

Recent Posts

Apple Season!

Apple Season!

Apple season doesn’t seem to care how hot or rainy it is. They have their internal clock and when it sound “Apple Season”, it’s go time. Apples are everywhere and so good! I have definitely embraced the season this year and have some great recipes…

Do As I Say … Butterscotch Cake with Cream Filling

Do As I Say … Butterscotch Cake with Cream Filling

I had a misstep with a cake this week. I made a Butterscotch cake with Cream Filling this week. I was so excited for the creaminess and flavors to come together. I always advise you to take the cake out of the oven whether are…

Summer Stone Fruit Cornmeal Cake

Summer Stone Fruit Cornmeal Cake

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.

Please be sure to send me your pictures, comments and suggestions.

If you like what you read here, please be sure to follow me on instagram @whiskinthesouthern

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Apricot Cornmeal Cake

making cakes with cornmeal adds an interesting texture and flavor profile. It really makes the sweetness of your fruit shine.
Course: Endings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apricots, cake, cornmeal

Ingredients

Apricots

  • 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

Cake

  • 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

Instructions

Apricots

  • 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.

Cake

  • 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.
Carrot Cake- Have your cake and veggies too!

Carrot Cake- Have your cake and veggies too!

In my world Carrot Cake strikes the perfect balance!⁠ ⁠ It’s not too sweet, but it’s not savory. My cream cheese frosting is sweet but has a tart finish. And it’s carrots so you’re really eating a vegetable!⁠ ⁠ My family can be finicky and…

The end of Cherry Season – Cherry Cupcakes!

The end of Cherry Season – Cherry Cupcakes!

If it hasn’t already ended where you are, Cherry season is coming to a fast end. I love cherries and will get them as long as I can and in any form I can, So even when the season is winding down and the cherries…

Rocky Road Rice Krispy Treats

Rocky Road Rice Krispy Treats

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?

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Rocky Road Rice Krispy Treats

One of the things I love most about rice krispy treats, is their versatility. You can use a different cereal or add-ins and create a totally different treat.
Course: Endings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almonds, cereal, chocolate chips, marshmallows, rice krispy treats

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Granny’s Fudge

Granny’s Fudge

I think fudge was a standard recipe in the time of my great grandmother, because it was fast and the ingredients were readily available. It also helped that Mamie Eisenhower was publishing the recipes she made for her family and housewives across the country were…

Pudding Elevated – Chocolate Budino

Pudding Elevated – Chocolate Budino

Many years ago I was win Chicago and had dinner at RPM Italian. The food was excellent but when they brought the dessert, I fell in love. Yes, it was a pudding, but it was also like a cold creme brûlée. It was rich and…

Sparkling Donuts

Sparkling Donuts

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Sparkling Donuts!

Course: Endings
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 donuts

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 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

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups Confectioners' Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Sparkling Wine
  • Gold Dusting Sugar

Instructions

Donuts

  • 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.

Glaze

  • In a small bowl, whisk sparkling wine into Confectioners' sugar to desired consistency.
    Spoon glaze over donuts and sprinkle with dusting sugar.
Those Grocery Store Cookies

Those Grocery Store Cookies

My kids love those cookies from the grocery store. You know the ones. The seem to have no flavor. The cookie is more cake than cookie and you just know that the vibrant colors of frosting are filled with chemicals. It pains me to buy…

Mixed Berry Jam

Mixed Berry Jam

There is a point when you look at the berries in your refrigerator and they just aren’t the same. I used to get really frustrated. I am always so ambitious when I buy fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market, and disappointed when we cant’t get…

Margarita Cake

Margarita Cake

You know I love cake. I am always looking for new ways to eat cake and different cakes to make. This Margarita Cake is a delicious way to imbibe.

If you want o make it alcohol free, substitute margarita mix for the tequila.

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Margarita Cake

This cake was fun to develop. I took pieces from a lot different recipes and made it my own.
Prep Time1 hr
Course: Endings
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, lime, margarita, tequila

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2-1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 Tbs. Lime Flavored Gelatin
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups Granulated White Sugar
  • 3 jumbo Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups Buttermilk, at room temperature

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Nellies, Key Lime Juice, can order from Amazon can substitute fresh Lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. Tequila, Remember if you wouldn't drink it don't cook with it.

Buttercream

  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 6 cups Confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tbs. Heavy Cream
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • pinch Kosher Salt
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 3-4 Tbs. Tequila

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
    Butter, flour and line with parchment paper, 3 8" round cake pans.
  • In a small bowl combine all dry ingredients.
    In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter unitl ight and creamy, about 3 minutes.
    Gradually add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
    Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined, after each egg.
    With mixer on low add dry ingredients to butter, alternating with buttermilk. Beat only until just incorporated, Do not overwork. Start and finish with dry ingredients.
    Beat in vanilla.
  • Divide batter evenly between three pans. I use a large ice cream scoop to make sure it is even.
    Bake 27-30 minutes. You want your tester to come out with just a few moist crumbs.
    Allow to cool completely, on rack, before removing from pans.

Simple Syrup

  • Combine sugar, lime juice and tequila in a small sauce pan.
    Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Then bring to a low boil.
    Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature

Buttercream

  • In bowl of a stand-up mixer, beat butter until light in color and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
    With mixer on low, add vanilla, salt, zest and tequila.
    Then add confectioners sugar about a cup at a time.
    Change attachment to whisk and beat in cream, on high. You are basically gettting the cream to soft or medium peaks, to hold up frosting. This could take 5-7 minutes.
  • To assemble cakes:
    With a pastry brush, "paint" each layer with simple syrup. You don't want it drenched but you want it coated on all sides.
    Spread enough frosting to cover the top of first layer across the top. Add another cake layer and repeat. For third layer, frost all three layers on the sides and work towards the top. Be generous with frosting. Then smooth tops and frost top layer.
  • Garnish cake with a rim of Flake salt, like Maldon. I like to srpinkle more lime zest over the top and then place a lime wedge for decoration.

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