Extra-Special White Chocolate and Almond Cake

yesterday evening we celebrated Monica’s 30th birthday… I decided to try out this special recipe for Mon’s big day – after all, you only turn 30 once…

I’ve been saving this recipe for a while… in theory I knew this recipe should work – white chocolate chunks, slivered almonds… and the secret ingredient…Limoncino :0) The result is a moist yellow cake… not too sweet or heavy.

Monica – I’ll bake this for you any day. I’m just thrilled you loved it. Happy Birthday!

White Chocolate and Almond Cake
3/4 c. butter (room temp)
2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp Limoncino (or almond extract if you don’t want to add the alcohol)
2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. b. soda
zest of a lemon (optional)
3/4 c. white chocolate disks or block, roughly chopped
1/2 c. slivered almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 F

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating them in individually. Add the Limoncino and combine well.

In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, b.soda and lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients combine well. Add in the chocolate and almonds – stir to just combine. You don’t want to over mix the batter.

Now, this is your choice – either use a large bunt cake pan (spray with cooking spray) or do as I did – use mini bunt pans (I have 10) and mini muffin pan (makes 12). I sprayed the pans with cooking spray.

Bake in the oven for between 25 – 32 minutes (depending on your oven, and whatever pan you use).

Let cool in the pan.

Now – I tried out two different “icings”…

Limoncino Syrup

2/3 c. water
6 tbsp white sugar
3 tbsp Limoncino

In a sauce pan over high heat dissolve the water and sugar. Stirring constantly. Once the mixture is rapidly boiling, cover the pan and remove it from heat. Allow the syrup to cool completely.

Once cooled, add the Limoncino, stir to combine.

I took my cakes, poked holes in the tops with a fork and then dunked the cake into the syrup. Place on a cooling rack (which should be over a cookie tray to catch the dripping syrup) and then placed the rack into the freezer to completely chill the cakes and syrup… all I can say is WOW

Limoncino Sugar

1 c. powdered sugar (divided)
2 – 4 tbsp Limoncino

In a bowl combine 1/2 c. sugar and 2 tbsp Limoncino – stir well, the sugar will thicken. Add more sugar and more Limoncino (go according to the flavour and however much you need).

Pour the liquid sugar over your cake. DELISH. Allison ate it on it’s own… so good.

i heart peanut butter and honey… so let’s make a loaf!

yes… I know – another post – another peanut butter recipe. I’m obsessed. I know – so forgive me for always using peanut butter in my baking – you can always use regular ol’ butter – I’m sure the loaf will be lovely… but this is REALLY lovely ;0)

Deb and Brynn again assisted me with putting this together – and we learnt an important thing… changing ingredients does change bake times. Because I used clover honey instead of brown sugar -I should have decreased my baking time by 15 minutes and I should have turned the oven down a little… lesson learned – the final product still tasted great – and I’ll make this recipe again.

I’d also like to thank Deb for her photos – she not only helped with the baking, but she also took pictures of the goods. All pictures on this blog (except the pb&j cookie one) are all thanks to Deb. Thank you!

Peanut Butter & Honey Banana Loaf
3 x bananas, mashed
3/4 c. clover honey
1/4 c. peanut butter (use crunchy if you like)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. oat bran
1/2 c. oats
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. b. soda

heat your oven to 325 F (this is the new temperature, Deb and I baked the original loaf in a 350 F oven)

beat the peanut butter and honey together. Add the mashed bananas, eggs, buttermilk & vanilla. Beat until well blended.

combine the oat bran, oats, flour and b. soda together. Add this to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.

pour into a loaf pan (we baked 2 loafs with this batch)

Bake 55 minutes (again, new time) until the top is springy to the touch.

bean cookies… seriously

I got to spend this afternoon with Deb and Brynn Ransom… it was awesome. Let me tell you, the best little helper in the kitchen is Brynn… and Deb isn’t half bad either ;0)

I decided to re-create these cookies – made many years ago and sort of forgotten… I have to admit, I dipped into the batter… I love this batter – and I know that Deb agrees… Brynn on the other hand, not so excited about pureed white kidney beans and chocolate chips… but I swear – give this recipe a try.

BELIEVE ME (actually, US – Deb and I) – they are worth it! simple to make, and delicious to boot. A great way to get some protein and fiber… but if the health benefits don’t tempt you, the taste of these sure will!

I dare you! (and I bet you can’t eat just one)…

Kidney Bean Cookies (with other goodies thrown in)
2 c. oats
1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (as per usual, I use pastry flour)
1 tsp. b. soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 x 14 oz (398 ml) tin of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut chocolate chips (thank you bulk barn)
1/2 c. raisins
1/3 c. slivered almonds

Heat the oven to 350F

Place the oats in a food processor and pulse the oats into a corse flour. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients: oat bran, flour, b. soda and cinnamon. Combine the whole lot together. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the empty food processor, add the white kidney beans and pulse them to smooth. They’ll get thick. So add the vegetable oil, the egg and vanilla and blitz it all together. The mixture should end up looking like a thinned out cake frosting… easy to pour into the dry mixture.

Combine the kidney bean mixture with the dry ingredients and give that a good stir – combine everything. Once you have your dough, add the peanut chocolate chips, raisins and almonds. The easiest way to get these into the dough is to use your hands (Brynn was really good at this part). Get your hands dirty and everything will blend well.

Place large scoopfuls of the dough onto your cookie sheets (I line my sheets with wax paper, and eliminate the need for greasing the trays)… Once you have your cookies on the tray, dampen your hands and flatten each one down a little…

Bake the cookies for about 14 – 16 minutes. You should be able to get at a minimum 2 dozen cookies, we got 44 cookies out of this batch.

***If you can’t bake them all at once, cover your dough with cling-film so that it doesn’t dry out… otherwise the result will be crumbly cookies…

this would also make a KILLER BAR… next time I bake them I’m going to bake them more like brownies – and then cut them up. Deb and I also think that these would make incredible toppings for ice cream… I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Enjoy – and Deb & Brynn – thank you for a wonderful Sunday afternoon…