Friday, June 20, 2014
Cantaloupe and capers. Those are the two ingredients Dawn from Spatulas on Parade chose for this month's Crazy Ingredients Challenge. When you read cantaloupe and capers, what comes to mind? Because absolutely nothing came to my mind when I heard those ingredients. Nothing. I was completely blank. I was just going to sit this month out. I have a lot going on anyway. But the truth is, these cooking groups are my little escape. I look forward to making my dishes and reading about everyone else's. I started thinking.
Add pepperoni somehow?
I went back and forth. The truth is, all of those had these would have pretty similar ingredients so even up to the point when I was peeling the cantaloupe, I was still unsure about what I would make. It ended up being this salsa and I have to say that I am glad this was my final choice. I like it. It all works together. Nothing seems strange. It's like cantaloupes and capers were always supposed to be together in a salsa.
This is a pretty simple recipe and I encourage you to adjust to your specific tastes. It will all work well in the end. Somehow. Onions would go well but I don't like biting into raw onions and wasn't in the mood for the extremely fine dice that it would take for me to like it. I think this would go great with fish. I just had it with my eggs one morning.
2 cups cantaloupes, diced
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Toss together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust ingredients, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I've been staring wistfully at my neighbour's guava tree for the last few weeks, wondering when it will start to bear fruit. I have lived here for years but I can never remember when to expect the fruit to be hanging over the fence. It's always a surprise. It was the same way when I was growing up in Jamaica. We have a guava tree at the back of the property but we rarely ever went that far so it was always a lovely surprise when one of us ventured way down and realised that the guava tree had fruit.While I knew exactly when was mango season coming, I had no idea when guavas were in season. For all I know, that tree bore fruit all year round.
In lieu of fresh guavas, this impossible cake uses guava paste. Impossible cake (or pastel imposible) is a cake topped with flan. It's so-called because you pour the cake batter in the pan and then the flan batter on top. The flan batter seems to sink down and mix into the cake batter. However, when it's baked, the flan is at the bottom and the cake has risen to the top. Take it out the bundt pan and you have a cake topped with flan - no mixing.
I've only seen (and made) chocolate cakes with flan (chocoflan) so I was crossing fingers and toes that adding guava paste to the flan mixture and pineapples to my cake batter wouldn't completely throw off the densities and the magic would still happen. I am happy to say that it did.
The pineapple cake is moist and not too sweet. It's perfectly complemented by the sweet guava flavoured flan. I could not be happier. My waistline and MyFitnessPal are, however, very upset with me. I was actually on my way to meet with some friends when I inverted the barely cooled cake onto a platter. I knew it would be better if I let it chill for a while but I could not resist cutting it. I tasted it, and realised that there was no way I could leave the cake at home. I packed it on ice and took it over. We happily stood by the kitchen counter devouring thin slices. Yes, thin slices. If you read the ingredients, you will see that this is really high in calories. I know that no one wants to think about calories while they're enjoying cake. But my friends are all on a fitness binge and they look amazing! I can't help but think about what I'm eating. Do yourself a favour, eat thin slices. I won't tell if you have 3 of those thin slices. I understand. I had several.
This lovely cake is my contribution to this month's Bundt Bakers. Our theme this month is tropical and our host is Lauren at From Gate to Plate. Look at the other tropical treats we made this month:
|Guava and Pineapple Impossible Cake|
|Recipe by: Kelster|
|Yield: 24 servings|
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
7 oz guava paste
4 oz cream cheese
14 oz can condensed milk
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup of pineapple, blended
Hot water for water bath
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Find a large pan that the Bundt pan can be placed in (like a roasting pan). This will be used as a water bath.
Place the 3 tablespoons of butter in a standard 12 cup Bundt pan and place pan in the oven that is preheating. When the butter has melted, remove pan from the oven. Swirl the butter around and ensure that the entire surface is coated. Add the brown sugar evenly to the pan. Place it in the oven a few minutes until just melted.
Cut the guava paste into small pieces and soften for 15 – 30 seconds in the microwave. Be careful not to burn it. Add softened guava paste to a food processor along with cream cheese and process until completely blended. Scrape down the food processor if there are bits of guava paste sticking to the sides. Add the two milks, vanilla and salt. Process until completely blended. Add the eggs and process until just mixed.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, pineapple juice, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Stir in the pineapple.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Pour the flan mixture on top. Place the Bundt pan in the larger pan. Place in the oven and pour an inch of hot water into the larger pan.
Bake for 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. When the cake has cooled, invert onto a serving platter. Chill for several hours before serving.
Impossible cake may be eaten cold or at room temperature.
You can substitute caramel or cajeta for the butter and sugar mixture placed in the pan. However, still be sure to still completely grease the Bundt pan.
#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. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Whenever my friend visits Miami, I try to destroy her diet..er.. bake her a treat. It's usually brownies and once I made cookies but I am not the best cookie-baker. In the last several months, she has become quite the baker herself. So what do I make for someone who bakes? How do I one-up my previous treats and the ones that she has made? I really had no idea but then I remembered that I do make a decent bread and she doesn't make that. Yet. That thought led to these amazing guava, coconut and cream cheese rolls.
I made similar rolls back in 2012 when I took part in Willow Bird Baking's baking challenges. However, I used white chocolate cream cheese spread and no coconut. I don't see those cream cheese spreads in my supermarket anymore. But that's probably a good thing. They were extremely delicious and it was way too easy to eat way more than my fair share in one sitting. Goodness. Now I am craving that stuff. I need to check if other stores nearby carry them.
For these rolls, I adapted Pioneer Woman's cinnamon roll dough. I added more flour and used less sugar and less yeast. It's a really sticky dough even with the additional flour so chilling it is a must. I chilled it after adding the filling and chilled it again before slicing. It's just less stressful (for me) that way. There's a stiffer dough that I have used to make rolls in the past but I wanted to try this one.
This recipe makes 24 rolls. If you don't want that many rolls, freeze half the dough and use it at a later date.
Coconut and Cream Cheese Rolls
Recipe by: Kelster Adapted from: Dough adapted from Pioneer Woman
Yield: 24 rolls
2 cups milk
½ cup oil
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 ½ cups flour plus ½ cup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
14 oz guava paste
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
Combine milk, oil and sugar in a large pot. Heat until bubbles just start to form around the edges (but before boiling) and turn off burner. Allow the mixture to cool for an hour.
When the mixture is warm (approximately 110 degrees or lower), add the yeast and 4 ½ cups of flour. Stir mixture to thoroughly combine. Ensure that all of the flour is moistened. Cover and let sit for 1 to 2 hours or until mixture has doubled.
Add the remaining ½ cup of flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir thoroughly once more. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Grease four 8-inch baking pans or two 9 x 13- inch pans.
Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Slice or grate the guava paste into small pieces. Remove dough from fridge. On a floured surface, roll out half the dough to approximately 12 x 16 inches.
With a 12 inch side facing you, spread half the cream cheese mixture over the dough, top with half of the guava paste and a cup of shredded coconut. Leave approximately half an inch of dough on the opposite 12 inch side without filling. Tightly roll up the dough then slice into 12 pieces. Place the slices into the prepared pans. Cover and let rise for approximately 20 minutes.
Repeat with remaining half of the dough.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.
After rolls have risen/doubled, place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove. Cool slightly, eat.
If you don't wish to cream the butter and cream cheese, you can spread them on the dough individually.
Guava paste is very sticky. If you find that it's hard to slice, you can always soften it slightly in the microwave.
If at any point the dough becomes hard to work with, place it in the fridge for a few minutes.
I don't add a glaze to this because I think there is already enough sugar here. However, feel free to add a cream cheese glaze/frosting.