Archive for January, 2015

A nod to brunches past – Orange-Scented Chocolate Chunk Muffins

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Guys, remember that time I went to brunch? I mean, yes, I’ve gone to brunch more than once, so maybe you don’t, but this time was standout, so please try your hardest to remember that time.

It was L.A. At Huckleberry. There was bread pudding involved.

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So after that brunch made of dreams, I spent the next half-year trying to forget about brunch. And then Huckleberry came out with a cookbook, so there went that goal. I didn’t buy it, but I did scan the Internets for recipes from within and found this chocolate chunk muffin recipe on Yahoo!

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Y’all know I be all about muffins these days, and these were just the next in a long line. I like the method was a little more cake-like than regular muffins; the batter was thick and creamy instead of runny. I switched out the sour cream for Greek yogurt because I had it and added orange zest because it is winter and orange and chocolate are a match made in heaven.

They were so good that I may end up trying this recipe again. Full size and strictly to their recipe instead of tweaking it. Or, you know, I could try another recipe from the book. Whyever would I not do that?

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Mini-fying,

Lauren

Orange-Scented Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Adapted from Huckleberry

The recipe below is for 12 full size muffins. If you want to make mini muffins, decrease the baking time.

3⁄4 cup/170 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup + 2 Tbsp./165 g sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
1 1⁄4 cups/160 g all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup/25 g almond flour
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
3⁄4 cup/180 ml plain greek yogurt
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract + zest of one orange
2 1⁄4 cups/210 g mini chocolate chips

Position a rack toward the top of your oven and preheat to 350°F/ 180°C. Line one 12-cup muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Incorporate the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well with each addition. Pause mixing. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, vanilla, zest and chocolate. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated.

Fill the muffin cups with batter all the way to the top, even a little over. Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes,until the muffins are brown and just spring back to the touch. Do not overbake.

Pipe Dream #314: To Say Knackered – Checkered Chai Cake

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I half-tried to make a checkerboard cake like this. Kind of like I half-tried to make a lattice pie crust once. It sort of got at the idea of what I was trying for. But I wasn’t really trying. I was knackered, meaning ‘checkered’ wasn’t going to happen.

That’s a fun bit of British slang for you. ‘Knackered’ means tired, like “I’m beat.” I wanted to laugh with joy the first time I heard my friend say it like it was nothing, but I tried to play it cool and act like that was a totally normal crazy word to say. What a great expression.

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I was thinking about Chai because I had this box of Chai concentrate for over a year and eventually it expired and I’m sorry to whoever ate this cake you didn’t know it’s ok you’re not dead. It’s possible that I have a pretty good immune system because I don’t really care about germs and don’t care to care other people’s concerns about germs.

I’m sorry for the grammar of the above paragraph as well as the truth of my heart that inspired its creation.

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Anyway, if you want to make a checkered layer cake, it’s actually fairly simple. See the tutorial I linked above. Or just follow my amazing picture tutorial below to make a cake that might cut up into different flavors. I topped the white cake with vanilla cream cheese filling and the chocolate cake with Nutella cream cheese filling. No issues with that part.

checker cake 1

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Overall, the taste was average. I replaced the milk with the concentrate for Chai flavor, but it could have used even more cardamom/cinnamon goodness. Try adding a teaspoon or two of some Chai spices for a bolder kick.

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Knackered,

L

Checkered Chai Cake

An LH Original

For the two vanilla cake layers:

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup  Tazo chai tea concentrate

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.

In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add flour, chai concentrate (or milk), oil, baking powder, and vanilla and beat for another minute, just until the batter is smooth and creamy. Don’t overbeat. Pour batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick poked into the center of the layer comes out clean. Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan with a thin knife, then turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Let cool completely before covering with frosting.

For the chocolate layer:

Split the above recipe in half, swapping in 1 cup cocoa powder for 1 cup of flour.

For filling:

Beat 8 ounces cream cheese with 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until well-combined. Fold in 1 regular-sized tub of Cool Whip. Section out 1/3 of this mixture and fold in 1/2 cup Nutella. Spread between layers as desired.

Favorite Shots: The Reason I Attend Weddings

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Dancing + cake. In that order.

And like, supporting my friends in their lifelong marriages and celebrating with them.

But really, cake + dancing.

L


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