baking

You So Fine-Apple Upside Down Cake

I'm ready to cook the pineapples from last week's workshop. I've been very patient while they ripened. Today, pineapple upside down cake - tomorrow, pineapple tea. I'm thinking pineapple ginger popsicles and maybe some kind of savory to follow. It can't all be cakes and sweets, ya know. 

Ingredients

Cake
7 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

Caramel
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp water
1/2 pineapple, cored, sliced (or diced)
2 Tbsp apricot jam

Directions

Make the caramel: Cook the sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved into a dark amber color. Pour the caramel into a round nonstick cake pan. When the caramel has cooled, arrange the pineapple on top of the caramel. 

Preheat the oven to 350. 

Using an mixer, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour and mix well. Pour cake batter over pineapple. 

Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for an hour, turn cake out onto platter. 

Heat apricot jam with water and then brush evenly over cake. 

Watercolor Tableware Workshop #2 and Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Photos from my second Watercolor Tableware Workshop at The Lemon Bowl! I had a great time, not that the first workshop wasn't amazing, but I streamlined things a bit, packed a little smarter (and lighter - those plates are heavy!) and was a little more at ease. Like the first time around, everyone's painting skills were mind-blowing - the Lemon Bowl space breeds creativity. Looking forward to my third and final watercolor workshop at the end of the month. Keep an eye out for a picnic class in the spring! I've also attached the recipe for the brown butter chocolate chunk cookies with French grey sea salt as a sweet thank you! 

See the full photo album hereThe Lemon Bowl


Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies with French Grey Sea Salt 

An amazing recipe from one of my favorite blogs - all recipe credit goes to Joy the Baker. I even forgot a couple of key ingredients the second time around (molasses + granulated sugar, though I remembered the sugar eventually) and they were still amazing. My only changes were I used a bittersweet chocolate bar (Scharffen Berger), no pecans, and a French sea salt that my aunt from Torcy brought for me the last time she was in town. Enjoy! 

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

- Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning.  Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

- Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses. Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.

- Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.

- Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.

- Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.

- Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.