Friday, December 3, 2021

Weekend baking project

Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Now, some aspects of ”normal” life are beginning to resume. More shopping centers are reopening, some outdoor activities are being planned and even movies are being shown at the drive-in theaters and other large outdoor spaces. But, not all aspects of life have resumed and there are also areas of the world that remain under strict quarantine rules. So, if you find yourself in lockdown or if you simply want to reduce the amount of time you spend outside of the home then you may find yourself interested in baking! Here are some weekend (or quarantine) projects!

Weekend baking project

French Apple Cake Recipe

A Weekend Treat: French Apple Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup (204g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 to 6 regular size apples (a mix of varieties of what you have on hand)
  • Note: If you want the ratio to be apples to cake then use 6 apples if you want it to be more cake to apples then use 4 apples.
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup (250g) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) (170g) butter, salted or unsalted, melted and cooled to room temperature
Weekend baking project
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven.
  2. Heavily butter an 8- or 9-inch springform pan.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Peel and core the apples, and slice them into wedges.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy then whisk in the sugar, then rum and vanilla.
  6. Whisk in half of the flour mixture, and then gently stir in half of the melted butter
  7. Stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter.
  8. Fold in the apple slices until they’re well-coated with the batter.
  9. With a spatula scrape the batter into the prepared springform pan and smooth out the top so it is even.
  10. Bake the cake for 35 minutes to 1 hour (This will vary depending on your oven).
Weekend baking project

Baked French toast casserole with streusel

Baked French Toast Casserole with Streusel

Ingredients

For the Streusel:

  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cups salted butter, sliced (1 stick)
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Casserole:

  • 12 to 13 cups cubed, hearty bread (I use hearty wheat)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp good vanilla extract
  • Pure maple syrup for serving
Weekend baking project
Instructions
  1. Make the Streusel: Combine all streusel ingredients in a bowl, mixing well until it resembles chunky, damp sand. Cover and keep in the fridge to chill.
  2. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter on bottom and upsides. Place 12 cups of bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla, whisking to thoroughly incorporate. Pour egg mixture evenly and slowly over the bread cubes. Gently toss to ensure even coating of all bread cubes. If there seems to be too much excess liquid, add another cup of bread cubes until the liquid seems mostly soaked up (there will be a thin layer of excess liquid at the bottom, which is ok.)
  3. Cover and place in the fridge to chill overnight, if making ahead of time (gently toss soaked bread cubes again before baking.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Sprinkle chilled streusel evenly over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and bubbly. If it starts looking too browned at the 45-minute mark, loosely tent with foil and continue baking as needed.
  6. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes, and serve warm with maple syrup.

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