Thursday, March 10, 2011

When California grows you lemons...

...bake Baby Lemon Angel Food Cakes!  

The Little Rabbit is preparing for a visit to the golden state.  

The timing couldn’t be better.

As I lay out my lightweight jacket, short sleeved shirts, flips flops and even a pair of shorts, I look out my window and can’t help but laugh at the three feet of snow Vermont was recently slammed with. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the snow.  But when mother earth teases you with sunny days in the high 40s, you start to believe Spring is right around the corner.  As you consider packing away the hats, mittens and scarfs galore you've been cocooning yourself in everyday,  it starts to snow again. 

And it keeps snowing.

And snowing.

Three feet of snow later, Spring is but a distant memory. It's reminiscent of C. S. Lewis' never-ending winter in Narnia.  Would someone defeat the evil White Witch already?

Understandably, nothing delights me more than planning and packing for a trip to sunny California.  Perhaps while I'm gone the snow will melt as Spring nudges the winter away with warm temps and afternoon showers.

In preparation for my upcoming trip, I thought I’d bake with one of California’s leading food products, the lemon.  California is the leading citrus producer for the US, producing 87% of US lemons.  This equates to 745 million tones of lemons annually.

That’s a lot of lemons.  I’d better get baking.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boozy Cranberry-Prune Custard Tart

I know what you’re thinking. 

You're wondering why anyone would want to eat a dessert with prunes. 

Well, let me assure you, these aren’t your Grandmother’s prunes.

These prunes are soaked in orange liqueur and black tea, then baked into a creamy custard and enclosed by a spiced tart shell.


The inspiration for this tart came from a recipe in The Art of the Tart by Tamasin Day-Lewis.  This was my first time baking a custard filled tart, as I usually bake tarts with fresh fruit and frangipane.  My only words of advice are add the hot milk and cream to the egg mixture very, very slowly to temper the eggs.  Otherwise you'll end up with half scrambled eggs and half custard.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Matcha-Red Bean Swirl Loaf

After baking a delicious loaf of cinnamon-swirl bread, I was inspired to investigate other types of swirl bread.  I've compiled a long list of flavors to experiment with, but I was most eager to bake a matcha-red bean swirl loaf. 

The inspiration for this loaf came from the blog Cosy Bake, where Honey Boy baked a beautiful matcha-red bean swirl loaf.  

This was my first time working with Matcha.  Matcha can be found at your local Japanese market or online.  Luckily I recently visited my family in Massachusetts where there is a nearby Japanese market.  Otherwise I would have ordered matcha and red beans online, as there certainly aren't any Japanese markets nearby in Vermont!

I also picked up some other treats for myself. Yum!


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