Archive for the ‘Quick Bread’ Category


While I have not been writing on my blog, I have been accumulating large amounts of zucchini from my community garden plot. We  never tried this before and all I can say is , this is the plant to grow for people who want to do as little as possible in the garden and get amazing results. I might not be inspired to write about something, but I am always inspired to bake something.

This picture does not include the 5 other ones I have already baked bread with, or the countless smaller ones which got sliced and grilled on the BBQ, or diced and tossed with pasta, or baked into whoopie pies…..

This recipe is so simple and yet so tasty. It’s a nice change from the lightly spiced zucchini bread that we are all familiar with in one way or another.  The addition of cocoa powder takes this to a whole other level. That’s if you like chocolate.Which I do. This makes two loaves so you can be generous and give one to a friend, or freeze it for up to 3 months for a later date. If you know someone who shies away from veggies, just don’t tell them – they will never know!

Now, I hate sounding like a chocolate snob, but when using cocoa powder as your sole chocolate, it really is important to use the best cocoa powder that you get afford.  I personally like Cocoa Barry Extra Brute with a little black cocoa mixed in, but I also like the Rodelle gourmet cocoa powder (sold at Costco), Freys, and Hersheys Dark. With all that being said, use whatever you like or have on hand. If you only have a generic brand of cocoa powder then add a cup of mini chocolate chips to boost the chocolate flavor. Or add them even if you use the best cocoa powder….. I also add a little orange oil to my  batter since I love the flavor of orange. If you don’t own this, just skip it. Or add 2 Tablespoons of orange juice concentrate instead. What I’m trying to say is that you can always improvise. Don’t let little things stop you from baking something. Don’t have oranges? Okay, leave it out and fill your pans 1/3 the way with the chocolate batter. Scatter 1/2 cup frozen raspberries tossed with 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Put the remaining batter in the pans. Scatter another 1/2 cup of berries of the tops. That’s 1 cup berries total per loaf. Easy right? Let your imagination flow and work with what you have in your kitchen. Bake on!


Makes two loaves

4 eggs
2  1/4 Cups granulated  sugar
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil  vegetable oil
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
3 cups flour (750 mL) flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups zucchini , finely grated
Zest of 2 oranges
1/2 Teaspoon orange oil (optional)

1/4 cup candied orange peel, divided  (optional, but really nice)

Raspberry loaf

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside.
Beat eggs well, then add in sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add oil, then cocoa to the eggs and sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add into egg mixture. Mix in zucchini ,orange zest. and orange oil (if using)
Pour into two pans and sprinkle each loaf with some candied orange peel.  Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool on racks before removing from pans. Thoroughly enjoy!

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This months Daring Baker challenge, which was hosted by Lisa (Daring Kitchen Co-Founder & Owner/Holder of Super Kitchen Powers ), was fun and quick… and by quick I mean quick breads! 

Bread that is quick to make because it doesn’t require kneading or rising time. That’s because the leavener in such bread is usually baking powder or baking soda, which, when combined with moisture, starts the rising process immediately. In the case of double-acting baking powder, oven heat causes a second burst of rising power. Eggs can also be used to leaven quick breads. This genre includes most biscuits, muffins, popovers,  and a wide variety of sweet and savory loaf breads.

We all have our favorite banana bread, and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without some pumpkin bread and of course, cranberry walnut bread. They can be made with buttermilk, yogurt, cream cheese, oil, or sour cream for moistness (or beer). Nuts, no nuts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, or chocolate; or how about bacon, chives, cheese, jalapeno pepper or sun dried tomatoes? Anything goes when it comes to quick bread.Really, your imagination is your cookbook here, well, that and a basic recipe to start.  For this challenge, Lis asked that we only try muffins or loafs. I make quick breads/muffins quite often since they are an easy snack for school and freeze well so I was happy about this challenge. Whole wheat banana bread was one of the first things I baked, but it was eaten before I remembered to take any photos. Typical. I also have a bag of meyer lemons on hand that I want to use for a lemon loaf. Soon. What I did have on hand, and used, was a butternut squash. You can never get too many vegetables into your diet and this is one squash that loves sweet as well as savory. In the middle of the bread? a swirl of cinnamon paste . Mmmmm… so moist, so good. Bake on!

* two things to do before you get started

1. Cut your butternut squash in half and place, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet and roast at 400F until soft (about 35 minutes). Let cool, scrape out the flesh, and process until smooth. This will keep in fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

2. Brown your butter. Do this about 1/2 hour before you want to bake this so it can cool down a bit.

Browned-Butter Butternut Squash Bread with a Cinnamon Swirl

Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

1 1/2 Cups (192 g/ 6.75 oz)  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 Cup (2.6 oz/ 78 ml)  milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7 Tablespoons (3.5 oz/99 g) unsalted butter, browned, and cooled down to room temperature
3/4  Cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
1/3 (2.5 oz/73 g) Cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Cup (8 oz) butternut squash puree

Cinnamon Paste (optional)

1/3 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon cream

Make the cinnamon swirl paste: Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Set aside.

The loaf:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon,ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt . Set aside. Mix together the milk with the vanilla. Set aside.

In a seperate mixing bowl, beat together the browned butter and sugars. Beat in  the eggs, one at a time. Add the butternut squash puree and beat on low-speed just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Scrape half of the batter into the pan. Pour the cinnamon paste over the top as evenly as you can. Scrape the remaining batter into the pan and even out the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely. Enjoy.

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Here in Canada, Thanksgiving was celebrated well over a month ago, but since I will always be a New Yorker, the real Thanksgiving for me is this week. I was planning on doing a big dinner here since we have had requests from a few of our Canadian friends looking to get in on a big U.S. Thanksgiving foodfest, but I am getting to feel too rushed since I am leaving for NY next week. I won’t make it in time for the holiday, so here is my little tiny pumpkin treat. These are lovely at breakfast with a little maple butter.

Popovers are an American treat that are a direct descendent to Yorkshire pudding. the only real difference is that Yorkshire pudding is baked in one large pan that is coated with the drippings of roast meat, and popovers are individual portions with the pan coated in melted butter (or in this case, PAM). Popovers are crisp and puffy on the outside, custardy on the inside; truly a delightful treat, whether you serve it with coffee in the morning or with roast beef in the evening (just delete the sugar and spice)

Check out this recipe for popovers.  It is from 1877! Other than a few tiny tweaks that have been made in various cookbooks over the years, it is still essentially the same recipe that is still followed today. Talk about longevity! Or how about the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!.  Bake on…

Pumpkin Pie Scented Popovers

1 Cup  all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon if you prefer)
1 1/4 Cup milk
2 large eggs
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sift together the flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together the milk, eggs,sugar, melted butter and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated. The batter should still be slightly lumpy. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours. Don’t you just love make ahead recipes?). Okay, that was easy enough, now onto the slightly more tricky part.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.
You need to do this 30 minutes before you plan to bake your popovers. You need a good, hot oven for the “pop” in popovers.

Get you popover tray (or muffin tray, though you won’t get as much height) and spray the bottom of each mold with PAM. Place it in the oven for 10 minutes before baking.

After the popover pan has been heating up in the oven for 10 minutes, get a potholder and quickly take the pan out of the oven (close the door again). Quickly divide the batter between the six popover molds. It will sizzle when you pour in your batter.

Place the pan back in the oven and turn the heat up to 425F. Bake for 25-30 minutes . Do not be tempted to open the oven door to check on the popovers until the last 5 minutes to avoid deflating them. Remove them from the oven and unmold them onto a cooling rack. Puncture the side of each one with a small knife to let the steam inside them escape. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired. Enjoy!

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Well, the time has finally arrived. School. Kindergarten, that is. It’s sounds so cliché, but really, where did the time go? With out a doubt, the fastest (and best) five years of my life. We made it through the first week, and for us, the hard part wasn’t school itself, but getting up at 7am everyday. You see, we are a family of late risers. 8:30 is more like it for this bunch, so for us to be out of the house by 8am for an entire week is a big accomplishment. I guess this is the new me; an early riser. Maybe if I just  keep saying it I just might start believing it. I’ll keep you updated….

With school comes snacktime. Another new normality; no nuts. That is tough one for us since we all love nuts of every kind – but since we want to be kind to other little ones, a conscious effort will be made to make school snacks sans nuts. But….. if you wanted to add nuts to this recipe, by all means, please do! Add some for me! Walnuts are a great choice, but sunflower seeds (1/2 C) are truly perfect in this. I haven’t confirmed if they are okay yet to be in the classroom; I think they would be but I want to be polite and make certain before adding them to anything.

This falls into the healthy category while still being really tasty. Veggies, whole wheat, ground flax.. all good things. Oh, and dairy free. Once your veggies are grated it takes moments to get this whipped up and in the oven. So wish me luck with the whole early rising thing and, as always, Bake On!

Carrot Zucchini Bread 

Makes 2 loaves, or 1 loaf and 12 muffins

Eat your veggies!

Preheat your oven to 350 F

1 1/2 C finely grated carrot
1 1/2 C finely grated zucchini (or a combination to make 13 oz)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 C (3 oz) Orange Juice
4 Eggs
1 C (8 oz )Canola Oil
1 Vanilla Bean,seeds scraped (save your pods for the sugar bowl) or 2 tsp pure vanilla
1 1/2 C (6 oz) Whole Wheat flour
1 3/4 C (5.3 oz) All-Purpose Flour
1/4 C (1 oz) Ground Flax Seed
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 C (7 oz) Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 1/4 C (8.5 oz) Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, freshly ground if possible

Lightly grease 2 loaf pans or line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (or 1 of each as I did)

In a medium glass bowl, mix together  the zucchini, carrot, lemon zest/juice, eggs, orange juice and oil (the wet ingredients) until well blended.

In a separate large bowl, sift together the flours, the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder. Add the ground flax seed and the sugars. Stir together well, making sure to get out any brown sugar clumps that might remain. I usually just use my fingers to make sure there are no clumps.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly blended. This is one of those lovely recipes that an electric mixer is not needed, it comes together easily with a wooden spoon. Pour into your prepared pans. Bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes if using a loaf pan or 25 minutes if using a muffin tin. Either way, just bake until fragrant and golden brown.  A toothpick inserted should come out clean. Cool thoroughly before eating.


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Vanilla Yogurt Loaf

Simple, moist and perfect. I love anything vanilla. Don’t get me wrong, I crave chocolate as much as the next person, but the allure of vanilla will win me over everyday. This cake might seem plain, but it certainly does not taste plain. The triple threat of vanilla bean, vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt is vanilla heaven. If you use plain vanilla instead just use the seeds from 2 beans as opposed to one. This is ideal to bring to your next meeting and to have with your friends  over a nice cup of afternoon tea. Bake on…

1/2 cup butter, softened                                                                                                   
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch Bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter,  sugars and vanilla seeds and extract until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the yogurt. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the crown comes out clean.

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Bacon Biscuits

The latest recipe from “A World of Baking” is a simple biscuit but some of the best I have made in years (such a delightful book).  A great Sunday morning treat.  Remember to work them very, very lightly.


2 C sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C unsalted butter
2 large eggs
about 1/2 C milk
1/2 C crisp pieces of cooked bacon

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Sift flour, powder,and salt. Cut in the butter with a fork. Add the eggs and enough milk to made a dough that holds together and can be kneaded. Add the bacon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead very, very lightly- no more than 10 times. Pat the dough out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Cut into rounds (1,2, or 3 inch – whatever strikes your fancy). Bake on an unbuttered baking sheet for 12-15 minutes.


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I recently had the book The Craft Of Baking out from the library and had the chance to try a few of their wonderful recipes. The author is the former pastry chef from the NYC restaurant Craft (worth the visit if you are there). One of the best recipes in the book is the cream scones- really outrageous. This is my variation on their recipe….

You need some type of 7 grain oatmeal cereal. I am using Wheat Montana old-fashioned 7 grain cereal but I am sure something similar would do the trick. I ground some in my coffee grinder to make it a flour. While many people have a separate grinder for these type of things, I do not. So, I put a half slice of bread, torn up, into my grinder and whirl it a few seconds and then dump out the crumbs. This cleans out your grinder of any residual coffee grounds and/or odors. I do this step before and after I use it for something else.


1 C All purpose flour
1/2 C ground 7 grain cereal
3 Tbsp whole 7 grain cereal
1 Tbsp ground flax-seed
1 Tbsp whole flax-seed
1 /4 C + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted Butter, cut up into small pieces
1 C heavy cream (34-36%)
1 tsp real vanilla
1/2 C dried blueberries, soaked in water for 5 minutes then drained

To Brush on top of Scones: 2 Tbsp cream and 1 Tbsp sugar

Mix together the dry ingredients and then add the butter. Put the entire bowl into the freezer for 5 minutes. Take it out and mix on low with your stand mixer (or by hand) for 3 minutes, or until the butter resembles very small pebbles. Add the blueberries, vanilla, and cream and mix until it just comes together. Put it out onto a lightly floured counter and pat into a circle, approximately 7 inches round and 3/4 inch thick. Slice into wedges –  I usually make 12 but that is up to you. Place these into the freezer for 15 minutes while you pre-heat your oven to 375 F.  Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and lightly brush each one with some cream and then a sprinkle of sugar. Bake for 20 minutes.

You also have the option of not baking them and keeping a batch in the freezer. After about 45 minutes in the freezer just place them in a ziplock bag and bake when needed. Place the frozen scones right into a hot oven and add another 5 minutes to the baking time. This is a great option so you can always have some on hand. I have 3 different varieties in my freezer right now!

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