February 2016 - Buttered Side Up

Seed Cake


This post was originally published on May 4, 2010, on Cooking for Seven
Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

“I don’t mind some cake – seed-cake, if you have any.”

“Lots!” Bilbo found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off…to a pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.

When my sister read those words from The Hobbit, I could almost taste the seed-cakes. They sounded like a wonderful blend of sweet and savory. A perfect companion to tea.


Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

Nearly ten years after listening to that timeless tale, I decided to try my handing at baking up a beautiful seed-cake.



Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

The ingredients and process are very simple: Mix together the dry ingredients. Cream butter, sugar, orange zest, and vanilla. Beat in eggs & stir in dry ingredients & milk. Fold in the caraway seeds. Bake & enjoy with butter or cream.


Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

Notes:

Need I say that I made my usual substitutions? I used approximately half whole wheat & half all-purpose flour. If you’re feeling brave, you could use all whole wheat flour.

For the sweetener, I used our newly made maple sugar. You can use granulated sugar, rapadura, demerara, or whatever you wish!

The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of orange zest. The amount scared me a bit, so reduced it to about a teaspoon. My mistake. Another time I would add the complete amount.


Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

Caraway Seed Cake

Adapted from Rosa

Printable Page

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons caraway seeds

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan & line with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, salt, and almonds. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter & sugar until light colored and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the orange zest & vanilla extract and mix.

4. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately, a little at a time, until it is fully incorporated. Fold in the caraway seeds.

5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 50-60 minutes or until lightly golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Let cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Pull the cake out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with butter, cream, or whipped cream.

Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf cake


Seed Cake | Buttered Side Up

How to Make Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

How to Cook Soft Boiled Eggs 01
I first learned about soft boiled eggs from my grandma. She showed us her special egg cups. She talked about cooking the eggs for the perfect amount of time.

Inspired, I decided to try my hand at making soft boiled eggs. To my dismay, it was impossible for me to get consistent results. I threw in the towel and decided it wasn't meant to be.

After see a tutorial online, I decided to experiment more. To my delight, I was able to get perfectly soft boiled eggs every time.

Let me show you how!


How to Cook Soft Boiled Eggs
Begin by filling a pot with enough water to cover your eggs. Bring it to a full, rolling boil. Gently slip your cold eggs into the water. Cover, turn the heat down a bit, and allow to boil for your preferred amount of time (more on that in a bit).


How to Cook Soft Boiled Eggs 04
Remove egg from pot and place in a bowl of ice water for a minute or two to stop the cooking process. Enjoy with butter and salt.


How to Cook Soft Boiled Eggs 05
So, what's the proper amount of time to cook your eggs? Well, that all depends on how you like them. Above is a display of eggs cooked for various amounts of time.

From left to right: 5 minutes | 6.5 minutes | 7 minutes | 8 minutes | 9 minutes

My personal favorite is 6.5 minutes. The white is solid, but the yolk is quite runny. 5 minutes is WAY too soft for me: I don't do the slimy white thing.


TO SUM UP THE PROCESS:

  • * Fill your pot with enough water to cover your eggs. Bring it to a full rolling boil over high heat.
  • * Place your COLD eggs into the water carefully. Cover, set your timer, and turn the heat down a bit.
  • * When the time is up, immediately place your eggs in a bowl of ice water for a minute or two, or run them under cold water. This stops the cooking process. 
  • * Serve with butter and salt. Mmhmm.


How do you like your boiled eggs?



Organizing My Kitchen


NOTE: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own. 
Organizing My Kitchen
I don't believe I've ever shown y'all my kitchen!

I really like it. There's so much counter space, and it has a very open layout. 

However, being a cooking enthusiast, I collect Many Things. Food props, appliances, ingredients, utensils...the list goes on and on (as Reuben could tell you).

This past year I've been into organizing my kitchen more efficiently. I've picked up a few products here and there that have helped me to keep my kitchen less cluttered. Let me show you what I've done so far!

Plus, I show you the parts of my kitchen that aren't so organized... 

Organizing My Kitchen
Reuben recently installed some open shelves above my low counter. Now I have a place to store my cookbooks and a few miscellaneous items.


Organizing My Kitchen
A week or so ago I purchased this over-the-door trash bag dispenser. It's handy to have the trash bags right there where you need them. Anything to keep a pregnant lady from having to bend over and claw in the cabinet for a new trash bag. ;)


Organizing My Kitchen
I know, I know, this drawer could still use some help. But after purchasing a few little boxes from the dollar store, I've been able to keep this drawer LESS chaotic.


Organizing My Kitchen
I also got these wire racks from Walmart (similar) to save space in the cupboard.


Organizing My Kitchen
They're great for storing plates.


Organizing My Kitchen
Reuben recently picked up this larger rack for bigger items. LOVE it.


Organizing My Kitchen
I was getting really tired of trying to store my plastic wrap/parchment paper/wax paper in a drawer, so I bought this holder on Amazon. Loving it so far!


Organizing My Kitchen
And now for some areas that could still use work...like this corner cabinet. Ugh.


Organizing My Kitchen
And my OTHER corner cabinet. Avert your eyes!


Organizing My Kitchen
And my silverware drawer - ew! It makes me crazy just looking at it.

Do you guys have any tips for organizing corner cabinets and/or silverware drawers? I really need to tackle them...


Egg-Free Dark Chocolate Mousse


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
Can I be done being pregnant yet?

It feels like this baby has been inside of me FOREVER. I'm excited to meet our little bundle of joy. And to be finished with this big belly. My due date is only a week and a half away! My midwife thought I would go into labor soonish, but my chiropractor thinks it won't be this week. 

By the way, if you'd like to read about my pregnancy, you can stop by my personal blog HERE. In my latest post I shared a GIF of my growing belly...

But about this mousse. 

First, let me say that I didn't go for egg-free because I'm pregnant. I know it isn't recommended that you eat raw eggs during pregnancy, but I try to source quality eggs, so I'm not concerned about making my own mayonnaise and the like.

I first made this mousse for a cousin's bridal shower. I'm not squeamish about raw eggs for myself, but I didn't feel right serving it to a large crowd. So I searched out a recipe for eggless mousse. 

Honestly, I didn't think it would turn out that well. But it was delicious and quite simple to whip up. Here's the process:


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
Melt some dark chocolate chips. I like to use a double boiler (or, my make-shift double boiler). Set aside to cool a bit.


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
Whip up some cream and a bit of sugar until stiff peaks form.


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
Drizzle in the melted chocolate and quickly beat until well incorporated. 


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
And there you have it: super easy, egg-free chocolate mousse.

Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
As you can see, Helen really likes it. 


Egg Free Chocolate Mousse | Buttered Side Up
This mousse is really best served immediately, but you can also refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Just make sure to let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften. 

It goes great in crepes, or piped into little chocolate cups topped with whipped cream and fruit.



Egg-Free Dark Chocolate Mousse
recipe adapted from Wonky Wonderful | makes about 3 cups | PRINT

Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces cold whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In the top of a double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), melt the chocolate chips. Set aside to cool a bit.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), whip the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the melted + cooled chocolate. Beat until combined. 

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Make sure to allow the mousse to soften at room temperature after being in the fridge, or it will be too hard.


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