Monday, February 27, 2012

Daring Bakers: Pineapple Upside-down Quick Bread

This month on the Daring Bakers our host was our wonderful leader - Lis.  Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

So it turns out this is going to be another fairly simple challenge like the last few challenges.  I do like these - seeing all the creativity from the other Daring Bakers and Cooks but I have not really been very daring myself - I have just cooked one of the recipes given in the challenge.  It was hard not to do the same this month since Lis gave us some wonderful recipes to try - Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cream Cheese filling sounds especially good to me.  Well - not this time - I decided I was actually going to try to be at least a little daring myself.

I had a few thoughts but finally decided to turn one (or two ) of my favorite cakes into a quickbread.  I have always loved Pineapple upside-down cake and it seemed like a natural.  For a little twist I also added a bunch of toasted coconut to a fairly standard Pineapple upside-down base (or top).  I then used the basic quick bread recipe that Lis gave us - only I added a bunch of chopped pineapple to it.

I have to say I loved it - the cake was nice and soft and moist.  The topping worked great - just like a pineapple upside-down cake - but the addition of the coconut was very good - I love the texture and flavor it added.

Pineapple Upside-Down Quick Bread
Makes one 9" x 5" loaf
Recipe from A Cooking Dad

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut, toasted*
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 slices canned pineapple
  • 3 maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk or soured milk*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pineapple (approx 3 slices)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Pour melted butter into non-stick 9"x5" loaf pan.  Brush onto sides of pan and allow extra to coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. Sprinkle toasted coconut evenly across the bottom of the loaf pan.  Next sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the bottom of the pan.  On top of this arrange 3 pineapple slices and place 3 maraschino cherries in the center of the slices. Set pan aside.
  4. Sift flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and set aside.
  5. Lightly whisk buttermilk or soured milk, egg, oil, and vanilla to combine.  Pour into well and mix into a batter.  Before totally combined add chopped pineapple and mix until just combined.  Batter will still be lumpy and may show a few streaks of flour.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto plate and remove pan.
Note: To toast coconut - place raw coconut into skillet over medium heat.  Stir frequently until browned (about 3-5 minutes).
Note: To make soured milk, combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Sara Schewe - Basic Quick Bread

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Daring Bakers - Flipping Fried Patties - Potato Rösti

February 14th - hopefully I will have come up with an elegant meal plan for my lovely wife (and son) by the time this blog post goes live.  Now on to something a little less elegant though - patties!

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

I love these open challenges - it inspires so much creativity and also allows people to show off regional foods from around the world.  Of course I only like the creativity in other people - I have not been feeling very creative myself.  Especially when Audax posts so many good recipes that I would like to try.  I decided to try his recipe for Potato Rösti
If you don't know Potato Rösti is a dish from Switzerland and is similar to hash browns.  It was typically a breakfast food but is also served at other meals.  Part of the reason I decided to make the rösti is because my wife and I traveled to Switzerland several years ago so I thought it might be a nice memory of that.  I have not had a lot of rösti (and I understand there is a lot of variation) but if I had to say what the difference between them and hash browns is I would say the rösti is typically more of a patty - and the rösti is probably made a little thicker.

I looked at several rösti recipes and Audax's recipe was a little different.  None of the recipes I found had egg or flour in them.  I decided to go with Audax's recipe since he has not steered me wrong yet.  I did make one change to the recipe - I added a diced onion to the potatoes for a little more flavor.

The rösti came out just like I remembered them.  They were wonderful.  I think the secret to good rösti  is to cook it low and slow.  That way they turn out nice and crispy on the outside but nice and creamy on the inside.  

Thanks to Audax and Lis for this months challenge and all the patty recipes - there are definitely some interesting looking recipes I would like to try in the future.  If you would like to try out the rösti or any of the other patty recipes from this month check out the Daring Cooks recipe archive.