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Mageirocophilia

Rhubarb Pound Cake

Rhubarb Pound CakeSoft rhubarb in a soft pound cake. It’s heaven, people. I have been utterly in love with this cake this summer and have baked it no less than four times now. I found the recipe at Stacy’s With Great Joy blog, and the only difference here – besides the metrification – is that I like to omit the lemon zest: I think the soft vanilla cake works beautifully with the feisty rhubarb. If you make the cake, do swing by at Stacy’s too to say hi!


Rhubarb Pound Cake


700 ml rhubarb slices
50 ml sugar


Batter:
115 g butter, softened
225 ml caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
350 ml all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
100 ml sour cream


Place sliced rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture begins to simmer. Cover and cook until the rhubarb is just softened – keep an eye on it so that you don’t end up with jam! Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170 C. Butter and flour a 26 cm (9″ x 5″) loaf pan.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla sugar.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream.
Drain the rhubarb slices to get rid of extra juice (mix the juice with water for a glass of lovely drink!). Stir rhubarb slices in the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.


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Chocolate Chip Cookies With Fresh Mint

It is time to cocoa again with We Should Cocoa, a challenge co-created by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog, and Chele over at Chocolate Teapot. For June, Victoria of A Kick At The Pantry Door is hosting, and the theme is a classic: mint! I recently made a new discovery at the grocer’s: in addition to fresh mint, spearmint, and chocolate mint, they now carry fresh strong mint, which really is pleasantly potent. I immediately took a liking to it and decided it would have to feature in my chocolate & mint recipe.

 

The recipe is based on this wonderful recipe for soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies – which I have to modify a little anyway as I can’t get light brown sugar here (I complain about this weekly to anyone who will listen); I also find I need to add a tablespoon or two of flour or reduce the amount of butter slightly in order not to end up with a totally flat cookie (flours differ around the globe in protein levels). So, here it is: soft chocolate chip cookie with fresh, strong mint!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Fresh Mint (makes 32-36 cookies)

 

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

150 g unsalted butter, melted & cooled

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

150 g dark chocolate chunks

½ cup fresh strong mint leaves, chopped

 

Combine flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together until combined and no lumps remain.

Whisk in the egg, then the egg yolk. Whisk in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together. The dough will be soft. Fold in the chopped chocolate and chopped mint leaves.

Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours. (Yes, you must chill.)

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into 2,5 cm (1”) balls.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes; the cookies should still look slightly moist on top.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Waited for three days for the sun to make an appearance so I could have taken photos in warm, sunny light, but no luck! By day 4, the sun was out but the cookies were gone. :-)

 

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Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee CakeTLSO likes rhubarb. A lot. I like baking, a lot, so this makes for a very happy rhubarb + baked good union. I bake rhubarby stuff, ask TLSO what he thinks, and what he invariably thinks is “could have more rhubarb”. This coffee cake was my most recent attempt at minimising batter and maximising rhubarb, and it turned out pretty darn good. I asked TLSO what he thought and he said that this contains “a fairly appropriate amount of rhubarb”. Woohoo!

 

Rhubarb Coffee Cake


45 g butter, softened
100 ml sugar
1 egg
225 ml all-purpose flour
1,5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
125 ml light cream
500 ml sliced fresh rhubarb


Topping:
100 ml packed brown sugar
30 g butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 175 C. Butter a 23 cm (9”) square pan. (A 20 cm (8”) square will likely work well too – as you can see, my cake is on the thin side! Adjust the baking time accordingly.)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla sugar. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with light cream, beating well after each addition.
Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle rhubarb slices on top.
Combine topping ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle haphazardly over rhubarb slices with a spoon.
Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


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Blackcurrant Muffins

Black Currant Muffins

A particularly pleasant muffin recipe born out of the need to use up plain yogurt and last year’s blackcurrants, which we still have copious amounts of in the freezer. Very happy with how these turned out! Note that the muffins are not very sweet; if you prefer a decidedly sweet muffin, increase the amount of sugar to 1 cup or use white, granulated sugar instead of brown. If you can’t get hold of black currants, or don’t care for them, I’m sure other berries will work just fine too!

 

Blackcurrant Muffins

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup soft brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup plain yogurt

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups frozen blackcurrants

Topping (optional):

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Preheat oven to 225 C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin liners (or grease).

Mix all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and the spices together in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix brown sugar, vegetable oil, plain yogurt and eggs together with a whisk.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined and there are no more floury spots.

Blot blackcurrants with paper towels to remove excess moisture (and under no circumstances add ice and frost that might have gathered on the berries – it leads to excess moisture and stops the muffins from rising properly in the oven. This is the reason why the muffins in my picture do not dome beautifully, you see!!). Fresh berries will, of course, work too! Add blackcurrants into the batter and stir until combined.

Divide batter between muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with sugar and cinnamon.

Put in the preheated oven and reduce oven temperature to 175 C. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until browned on top and test done with a toothpick.

 

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