Nutcake Take 2

Nutcake Take 2

I wasn’t intending on repeating and improving recipes this early, but frankly, it had to be done.  Ever since I posted that Nutcake recipe I’ve been upset and embarrassed by it.  Not because anyone said anything bad about it.  Simply because I hate it.  I don’t think it tastes very good.  It’s dry and crumbly and nothing like a nice, cakey quick bread should be.  So I’ve improved it.  And trust me when I say that it is improved!  So much better than the last recipe that I just want to pretend it never happened.  Plus, this one feels like a happy medium between a rich, winter cakey bread and a fresh, springy cakey bread.  Perfect for this time of year!

Nutcake Take 2header and time

toasting the walnutsWe start by toasting the walnuts.  This step, while seemingly tedious, is what gives the cake the most delicious flavor.  It brings out all the nutty sweetness that you crave in something like this.  Place the whole walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer (none on top of each other).  Toast at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Then take them out and let them cool.  It’s an easy way to take your recipes to the next level and you should definitely get in the habit of doing it every time!

whisk together dry

The next step is mixing together the dry ingredients.  Flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Give it a few stirs with a whisk to incorporate some air into the mixture.  It’s almost as good as sifting but it’s half the effort!  Make a well in the center of the mixture.

stir in wet

Let’s add all the wet ingredients to the top of the dry ingredients.  Now, you can be fancy and mix your wet ingredients away from your dry ingredients and then add them at a later date, but who wants two bowls to clean instead of one?  As the queen of baking-and-hating-dishes-so-they-pile-up-forever I never use more bowls than I absolutely have to.  Once the wets are on top of the drys simple whisk the wet ingredients together without incorporating any of the dry.  It’s that easy.

When the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed switch to a spoon and start stirring together all the ingredients.  When it’s all together and no dry bits remain let it sit for a minute.  We don’t want to overmix it so as soon as the dry stuff is all wet you’re done!  Think of it like charging an attack.  You want to charge it enough to be effective but overcharging won’t give you more power, it’ll just take Link out of control and exhaust him before the next strike.  Overmix now and your nutcake will turn out flat and dense and not ready for consumption at all… (yeah, I know that was a stretch… but I feel like there’s a definite lack of Zelda references in my posts lately and I’m trying to make it work).

chop the nuts

Let the batter sit while you chop the cooled walnuts.  I like mine to be in half’s but if you want smaller pieces, simply chop them more.  Lay them on a cutting board, and roughly cut them with a large knife until they’re the perfect size for you!

Add the nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg to the batter and stir gently until everything is mixed together.  But again, no overstirring at this point! Just until everything looks even.

butter and flour a tin

Butter and flour a loaf tin.  Rub the butter in the pan until all the cracks and surfaces are slathered.  Then sprinkle in flour until all the butter is covered.  Tip the tin over and pat the bottom to remove excess flour.

Add your batter and smooth it out with a spoon.  It’ll be thick and gooey and oh, so delicious-looking.  Add some more walnuts (the chopped but not toasted ones) on top and bake!  A cake tester should come out clean when it’s done.  Baking time is so fickle based on your oven and the will of the goddesses.  Mine took about 45 minutes.  I’d start watching it closely at 40.  The top will crack and everything will look set, no wobbly bits.  Wait until the cake is completely cooled before removing it from the pan.  If it’s still warm it may be annoying and stick.  Serve with whipped cream (which you can find a recipe for in the fruitcake recipe) and enjoy!

Link’s Nutcake

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter
    • Any Nut

Nutcake Take 2

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
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Another look at Link's Breath of the Wild Nutcake recipe, this time much improved!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts for toasting
  • 1/2 cup walnuts for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. Toast the walnuts. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt.  Give it a few stirs with a whisk to incorporate some air into the mixture. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  4. All the wet ingredients to the top of the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients together without incorporating any of the dry.
  5. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed switch to a spoon and start stirring together all the ingredients.  When it’s all together and no dry bits remain let it sit for one minute. Be cautious not to overmix the batter at this point. Stir only until there are no more dry ingredients visible. The batter will be slightly lumpy.
  6. Chop the cooled walnuts by laying them on a cutting board, and roughly cut them with a large knife until they’re in rough halves.
  7. Add the nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the batter and stir gently until everything is mixed together.  Don’t overmix! Just stir until everything looks even.
  8. Butter and flour a loaf tin.  Rub the butter in the pan until all the cracks and surfaces are slathered.  Then sprinkle in flour until all the butter is covered.  Tip the tin over and pat the bottom to remove excess flour.
  9. Add your batter and smooth it out with a spoon.  Add the untoasted, chopped walnuts to the top. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean from the center, about 40-55 minutes. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Omelet

Omelet

Let’s start with the basics.  A) because in order to make a good omelet in the future it’s good to know the basic skills from the start, and B) because it’s the end of the week and I still haven’t done a recipe for the week…. Hey, at least I’m being honest, right?

This recipe is super easy to get right and super easy to get wrong.  Eggs are notoriously easy to overcook and you really want to pull them off the heat before they’re completely cooked.  Since they continue cooking after you take them off the heat you can prevent overcooking simply by following that one rule.  So, let’s make sure you get it right and get right down to the recipe!

Omeletomelet meter

Let’s start with prepping everything.  Since eggs cook so quickly it’s important to keep everything right at hand at all times.  A few seconds can be the difference between rubbery, overcooked mush and a perfect, fluffy, delicious omelet.  So gather your eggs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter and let’s go!

omelet ingredients

Heat your heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.  Now, the pan size will make a difference with how many eggs you use.  This recipe calls for 3 eggs and an 8 inch-ish pan.  This will make for a fluffier, thicker omelet.  If you use 2 eggs, you obviously use less butter, but it will make a big difference to the final product to use a smaller pan, as well.  The second thing to note is that we cook eggs on medium.   This is an important step.  Yes, it takes longer to cook things on medium but cooking eggs any higher runs the risk of burning, overcooking, cooking too quickly, and a sub-par breakfast.   Who knew a pan could make such a big difference with something as simple as eggs, right?  Lightly oil the pan by pouring some oil in and using a paper towel to sweep it around the entire pan and mop up any if you happen to pour in too much (as I usually do!).  Add the butter and gently tilt the pan to coat the pan with melting butter.

While the butter is melting crack your eggs and whip some air into them with a fork.  Just break the yolks and keep whisking until well-mixed.  There shouldn’t be any long stretches of any yolk or albumen remaining.

Once the butter is bubbling add the eggs all at once.  Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the eggs and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Every once in a while gently tilt the pan to distribute the egg that hasn’t set yet.

When the eggs are nearly set add the salt and pepper.  Now, when I say nearly set I mean there’s a bit of a wobble to them.  There shouldn’t be any raw-looking bits but it shouldn’t be stiff or completely cooked through yet.  This is that all-important step I mentioned in the beginning.  Overcook at this point and your omelet won’t impress.

As soon as you add the salt and pepper tilt the pan away from you and, using a spatula, fold the edge closest to you over the rest of the omelet.  Once the omelet is flipped it won’t unstick from itself but who cares what it looks like as long as it’s delicious!  And with practice, flipping will produce perfectly shaped omelet’s every time!  Now, one last thing, when you add the omelet to the plate don’t get any of the butter.  It’ll just make the omelet taste like butter instead of eggs.  So gently lift the omelet out of the pan, leaving all the butter, and place it on your plate.  Enjoy with toast, muffins, fried tomatoes, whatever your heart desires and enjoy!

final omelet

Link’s Omelet

    • Bird Egg

Basic Omelet

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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A basic omelet with salt and pepper


Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. For three eggs a good size pan would be 8 inches. Lightly oil the pan by pouring in the olive oil and sweeping it around the entire pan using a paper towel.
  2. Add the butter to the pan and gently tilt the pan to coat the pan with melting butter.
  3. While the butter is melting, crack your eggs and whip some air into them with a fork.  Whisk until completely mixed.
  4. Once the butter is bubbling add the eggs all at once.  Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the eggs and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Every once in a while gently tilt the pan to distribute the egg that hasn’t set yet.
  5. When the eggs are nearly set add the salt and pepper.
  6. As soon as you add the salt and pepper tilt the pan away from you and, using a spatula, fold the edge closest to you over the rest of the omelet. Serve with your favorite breakfast foods!

Nutcake

Nutcake

You know those weeks when you’re sure you’ll have plenty of time to do X and Y and everything in between?  And then reality happens and you wind up accomplishing absolutely nothing?  Well, folks, that week was this one for me.  I felt like, for the first time in a long time, I would have plenty of hours to get done my forever-long list of tasks.  And I didn’t finish any of them.  I wish there was a super-cool, trendy and fancy reason that would put me in the good graces of anyone and everyone and make me the super-star of the gathering.  But no… it was simply the fact that it’s been nearly two years since I’ve re-read Lord of the Rings and I can’t put it down!  I really love that book.  And I really love eating desserts while I read at night.  So this week I made a really easy, but awesome recipe.  Something I could throw in the oven and eat piping hot while engrossed in the Mines of Moria.  And after last week’s intense recipe I figured you could all use as much of a break as I did!  So let’s take it with this simple take on nutcake.

Nutcake
header and time

So I wanted to make this easy.  So easy you could do it in one bowl (though I used two).  So instead of making this an actual cake recipe it became a quick-bread.  What’s the difference between a cake and a quick-bread you ask?  Well, according to my friend, with whom I’ve had this debate several times, nothing.  So instead of arguing the point we’re just going to close our eyes and go with it!

nutcake ingredients

First we add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.  Whisk them well to blend them together.  Just use a hand whisk.  This recipe isn’t fancy, remember?

dry ingredients

Add the eggs to a separate bowl and whisk with a fork until they are slightly beaten.  Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all the liquids at once.  Stir until just combined.  We don’t want things to get over-mixed or it’ll be a bit dry and tough.  So stir, I used a spoon, until the dry ingredients are all moist and homogenous.

liquids and drys

Chop the walnuts into quarterish pieces and add most of them to the batter.  Stir until they are evenly distributed.  This recipe is super complex, I know…

Grease a 9×5 loaf pan well with butter.  If you use anything else I cannot vouch for your loaf coming out of the pan in once piece.  I’ve tried other methods and for me, nothing works as well as butter.

Add all the mixture to the pan.  Now let’s make the pseudo-candied walnuts.  Chop the remaining walnuts and mix them with the maple syrup.  Stir them together until the walnuts are completely coated.  Gently spread them over the top of the batter.

buttered pan with batter and nuts

Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  See?  After a rough recipe last week this one is a walk in the park!  It’s so easy I added an extra step – let’s make honey butter to spread over this wonderful bread/cake.

Add the softened butter and honey together in a bowl.  Whip or beat until well combined.  Done.  Now spread it over the nutcake/bread and enjoy!

bread in a pan

Link’s Glazed Veggies

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter
    • Any Nut

Nutcake with Walnuts and Spices

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
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Nutcake quick bread with Walnuts and spices


Nutcake

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1.75 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Honey

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 5-6 tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.  Whisk well to blend together.
  3. Add the eggs to a separate bowl and whisk with a fork until they are slightly beaten.
  4. Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add all the liquids at once.  Stir until just combined and there are no more dry parts.
  6. Chop the walnuts into quarters.
  7. Add 1 1/4 cups to the batter and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  8. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan well with butter and add all the mixture to the pan.
  9. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup quartered walnuts and the maple syrup together and stir until the walnuts are completely coated. Gently spread them over the top of the batter.
  10. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 55-75 minutes.
  11. To make the honey butter, add the honey and softened butter in a bowl and whip until thick and completely combined.

Wildberry Crepes

Wildberry Crepes

What seems like an eternity ago my husband and I went to Paris.  This was easily one of the best experiences of my life and I brought back a serious love for french pastries.  I set out determined to master every single one I had eaten.  The easiest to master was the crepe.  My high school french teacher taught me how to make his secret recipe, weaseled out of the corner crepe stand proprietor while he was living in France.  I already had a lot of experience making them before my trip but I was able to perfect it after watching the way the locals made them.  So when I accidentally made a crepe in Breath of the Wild I was so excited!  Link could make crepes!  It felt so cool to make something in the game that I love making in real life.  This made the decision of which recipe to create first simple.  It had to be the crepes that had brought me so much joy.

Hylian Wildberry Crepes:Difficult and Time for this recipe

The equipment for this recipe is pretty straight forward: a bowl for the batter, a whisk, measuring materials, a piping bag if you’re feeling fancy, and a frying pan or crepe pan.  I make crepes so often it was worth every penny to buy a really amazing crepe pan.  I use Le Creuset.  I love their cast iron quality and the spatula and rateau (spreading) tools are perfect.

Layout of crepe ingredients

Crepes start with some forethought because they are best if there’s very little air in the batter.  They make a smoother surface with no pockets or holes for the delicious insides to ooze out of.  Eggs, milk, flour, and butter are whisked together until there are no lumps.  This may take a minute or so.  The flour can get really finicky when added to the egg mixture.

Plastic wrap placed on batter

In order to get rid of all that pesky air a piece of plastic wrap is pressed down onto the surface of the batter, the bowl is given a few gentle shakes, and the entire thing is put in the refrigerator to rest for at least an hour.  Since I usually make crepes for breakfast I make the batter the night before, that way they are fresh and ready for the morning.

Gently cutting in any butter that may have come out of solution is key!  You didn’t let it sit for an hour just to ruin it now!  Pans should be heated on medium low and butter should be added to the entire surface.  Don’t skimp out on me now, we are making crepes not a salad!  Add the first half cup of batter, spreading it by tilting a frying pan or using the rateau with a crepe pan.  First crepes are a sacrifice to the Goddess: it’s meant to be made made and then promptly thrown away.  If your sacrifice has been accepted you won’t need to butter your pan again.

How to pour and spread the crepe

Every crepe is an adventure.  The amount of batter you add and your attention to spreading will produce different sizes and different shapes.  The challenge is to get each one perfect.  It’s definitely a super gut check challenge.  Easier with pratice, the right elixers, and the right gear.

Cut and cored strawberries

Only the best berries should be used, which usually means purchasing in-season.  These wildberry crepes feature strawberries, the current berry-of-the-month.  My favorite, however, are raspberries!  Use whatever feels right.  Wildberry is vague, allowing for some fantastic judgement calls.  To make them a little syrupy dip the cut side of the berry into sugar and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

You can pipe or dollop the whipped cream.  Honestly, after the pretty photo shoot was over, my husband and I stood over the crepe pan spooning on the cream and berries faster than I could make them.

Crepe with whipped cream and strawberries

Link’s Wildberry Crepe recipe:

    • Fresh Milk
    • Bird Egg
    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Wildberry

Hylian Wildberry Crepes

  • Servings: 6-8 crepes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Crepes with berries and whipped cream from Breath of the Wild

Crepes

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, any percentage will do
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 24-32 small strawberries, 3-4 per crepe
  • 1 cup whipping creme or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus a few pinches for dusting berries

Directions

  1. Whisk together eggs and milk until smooth.  Slowly add sifted flour and salt and whisk until combined.  Add butter and continue whisking until the batter is smooth with no flour lumps.
  2. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap down into the bowl to rest on top of the batter and cover it entirely.  Refrigerate and allow to rest for at least one hour.
  3. While the batter is refrigerating prepare the berries and whipped cream.
  4. Cut strawberries in half and lightly cover the cut side in sugar.  Allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to produce a little syrupy goodness.
  5. Whipping cream can be made three ways: a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, a blender, or a bowl and hand mixer with a whisk attachment.  For any of these options add the whipping cream to the blender or bowl and whisk on high.  Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form and the cream becomes shiny.
  6. When the batter is ready gently peel back the plastic wrap.  It is perfectly normal for some batter to stick to the wrap.  In fact, if it doesn’t, you may not have pressed the plastic down enough.  Some butter may have separated at this point. Using a knife or spoon gently cut and turn the batter until uniform.
  7. Heat pan on medium low until hot.  Add butter to cover the surface of the pan.  Add 1/2 cup batter to the pan and twist or spread using a rateau until the batter covers the bottom of the pan.  Allow to sit for about 1 minute until the bottom sets up.  Flip the crepe and cook about 1 minute more until lightly browned. Throw this first crepe away.  It usually has too much butter to taste really good.
  8. Continue adding 1/2 – 2/3 cup batter at a time to the pan without re-greasing the pan and follow step 7 for cooking instructions.
  9. Remove from pan and immediately pipe or spoon on whipped cream and strawberries.  Crepes are best enjoyed hot but are still delicious cold.  They do not store well so make and enjoy all your crepes that day!