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Spiced Plum cake

By February 23, 2017 bread, desserts

Ikea has long been one of my favorite places to shop. Though the nearest one to our Cleveland area home is more than 2 hours away, I still make a trip there occasionally. When we visit my sister, in New Jersey at Thanksgiving, we all make the annual pilgrimage the next day, to the Philadelphia store. So, if you were to visit our home, you might decide that it is a sort of homage to Ikea, as our dining table, buffet, bed, dressers, not to mention many of our dishes, were purchased there over the last 25 years. And, needless to say, we never leave the store without visiting the food market.

So, the holidays are long gone, and I still have a few things left over. One of them is a half bottle of Glögg Saftglögg. Inspired by a spiced plum sauce, I decided to create a simple recipe using dried plums (AKA prunes….) infused with this tasty juice. The result is a moist, mildly spiced, not too sweet loaf cake, perfect for breakfast coffee, afternoon tea…or, how about now!

1 cup pitted prunes, cut in half
1 cup Saftglögg
zest of one orange (preferably organic)

Put these 3 ingredients in a small pot, over a medium flame. Bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat,  and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the following:

1/2 cup coconut oil (or unsalted butter, if you prefer)
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 eggs

In a small bowl, whisk or sift together:

1 1/2 cups all-purposr flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Stir this flour mixture into the sugar/egg/oil mixture until just blended. Take the prune sauce that you made earlier, and, using a rubber spatula, mash the prunes a bit. Fold them into the batter, along with:

1 cup walnut halves

and scoop it into the loaf pan, spreading it evenly into the corners of the pan. Optional: Sprinkle the top with a tsp or so of sugar and a few chopped walnuts, and place the pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until top springs back softly, when touched. Allow cake to cool slightly, before cutting into it.


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Einkorn Banana Bread sweetened with Dates

By January 24, 2017 bread, desserts, fruit

I have long been interested in using dates as a sweetener in baked goods, so I decided to try them out in my “go-to” banana bread recipe, from Martha Stewart’s Entertaining. This version is not as sweet as the original one, and has the lovely yellowish hue of einkorn. The dates contribute their flavor, as well as their sweetness and the coconut oil makes it deliciously moist. I like to eat it for breakfast, slathered with sunflower seed butter and just a bit of honey.

Mashed banana                         1 cup (about 1 1/2 bananas)
pitted dates                                1 cup plus 3 or 4 chopped ones for topping
eggs                                              2
coconut oil, melted                   1/2 cup  (or 50/50 butter/coconut oil mix)
whole milk plain yoghurt        1/2 cup
pure vanilla extract                   1 tsp.
einkorn all-purpose flour        1 3/4 cups plus 1 TBS  (7.5 oz.)
baking soda                                1 tsp.
salt                                                1/2 tsp.
ground nutmeg                          1/8 tsp.
ground cinnamon                      1/8 tsp.
walnut halves                              1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, soda and spices. Set aside. Place the banana and dates in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fairly smooth, with some flecks of date remaining. With a rubber spatula, scoop mixture into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the eggs, coconut oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Gently stir in the dry ingredients, and then the walnuts.

Use the rubber spatula to transfer batter to a greased and floured loaf pan. Press it into the corners and smooth the top. Sprinkle the reserved chopped dates on top. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, depending on your oven and the dimensions of your pan. You can tell that the loaf is ready if it springs back when lightly pressed.

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