Since we arrived in China, I have been craving pancakes. Pancakes are hard to come by in China, so if you’re craving them, you have to make them at home. In my opinion, pancakes should be everywhere in the world, because they are sweet and scrumptious. I don’t eat or make them often, but when I do, I like to try new flavors.
Due to my limited knowledge of spices that are available in China, and ones that would go well with pancakes, I chose to use my favorite spice, cinnamon. Cinnamon is a very versatile spice, and it reminds me of Fall. In my opinion, cinnamon just adds positive notes to a dish.
So, why glazed pears for this dish instead of apples? Well, yesterday I went to the grocery store, and I was set on buying some “apples”. I don’t really eat apples here, because they are a little pricey. While at the grocery store, I saw some “apples” on sale for less than a dollar per kilo. Little did I know that they actually weren’t apples. They were Hosui pears. The pears were light in color, so I thought they were Golden Delicious apples. Anyway, I had to change my original recipe from ” Glazed Apples” to ” Glazed pears”. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. The pears added a flavor the was crisp and sweet.
Growing up, I used to love french toast. I looked forward to eating it at school and at home. However, when I would help make it at home, I despised how long it took to make. Waiting for the thick slices of french bread to soak up the sweet, eggy milk took hours. Actually, it didn’t take hours; it only took half an hour, but I was a kid and had no clear sense of time.
Even as a grownup, I still love french toast. I get excited to place two thick slices on my plate, top it with syrup and unsalted butter. I cut it up into small squares to make it “last longer”, but it never does. However, I don’t like making it. I think it’s a little time consuming. I have to stand over the stove and wait for a slice of bread to thoroughly cook.If you take it off too early, then you’re going to have a stomachache. If you leave it on for too long, then you’ve ruined your breakfast.To me, it’s a waste of time.
When I moved into my second apartment in China, I got an oven and began making casseroles. This was something that I never really did in the states. I saw it as being lazy and wasn’t something that “good cooks did”. My perspective changed the more I worked and read about cooking. This leads us to me discovering the french toast casserole. It has to be one of the best breakfast dishes to make. It’s easy, sweet and, because it is moist, keeps well for about three days.
1/2loafwhite breada whole baguette is okay too. make sure to slice it into small pieces.
1cupmilkdairy milk, soy milk and nut milk are all okay to use
1/2cupunsalted buttercut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the bread into small square squares. They should be about an inch, or two and a half centimeters, long.
In a mixing bowl, whip the eggs and milk together. Next, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and salt
Then, take the bread and fold it into the milk and egg mixture. Allow the bread to soak for five minutes.
Next, pour the bread into a well-greased casserole dish and disperse the cubes of butter on top.
Optional: Add the sliced banana after adding the butter.
Bake the french toast casserole for forty-five minutes. Start checking on the casserole at the thirty minute mark. To ensure that it's thoroughly cooked, place a toothpick through the middle and pull it out. If it comes out without any residue. then the casserole is finished. If there is residue, then allow it to cook for another fifteen minutes.
A fluffernutter is a sandwich made with marshmallow cream and peanut butter. I really like fluffernutters. I think they are better than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are definitely sweet, but I think it’s worth trying if you’ve never had one.
There isn’t an amazing story to why I chose to make these cupcakes. I had peanut butter frosting and two bags of mini-marshmallows leftover from Christmas. I hate wasting food, and I don’t eat marshmallows that often. So, I thought why not create a cupcake that tastes like one of my favorite sandwiches.
1/2cupcake flourPlus two tablespoons of cake flour
2tablespoonswhite granulated sugar
3tablespoonsoilI used sunflower oil. The oil should be flavorless.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
1/2cupcreamy peanut butter
Preheat your oven to 177 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
First, place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine them with a spoon. If your brown sugar clumps in the mix, separate it with your fingers.
Next, push your dry ingredients to the side of the bowl creating a well for your wet ingredients. Add the oil, egg, milk and extract to the dry ingredients. Mix them together with a whisk.
Take a well greased muffin tin, or place six cupcake liners in your muffin tin, and pour three spoonfuls of batter into each cup or liner.
Top each cup of batter with three to five mini-marshmallows.
Place the tin in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. To know if the cupcakes have been fully baked, insert a toothpick in the middle of each cupcake, pull it out and if it comes out "clean", meaning no batter is left on the toothpick, they are ready. If it does not come out clean, bake the cupcakes in two minute intervals until they are thoroughly baked.
Allow them to cool for about ten minutes before frosting them.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
*Mise en place your ingredients.
Add the butter, peanut butter and half of the sugar to the bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until they begin to cream.
Next, add a little milk and sugar. Continue to whisk the ingredients together. Repeat this step until the buttercream is your desired level of texture and sweetness.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe it onto the cupcakes.
Optional: Add a mini-marshmallow on top of each cupcake.
* Mise en place is a French culinary term. It means that you should measure out your ingredients and place them in separate bowls or containers. This will allow you to work quickly and efficiently.
* Make sure to place your egg and milk on your counter about ten minutes before you start cooking. This will allow the batter and buttercream to have even textures. You can learn more about this here .
Baking is slowly becoming a hobby of mine. I’m learning more about how to properly bake and how to master simple recipes. I’ve been trying to create new recipes that could become my go-to recipes when I need to make something for a gathering, or just for myself. One thing that I’ve learned about myself through baking is that I love to recreate flavors or make colorful baked goods.In this recipe, I paired two familiar ingredients together( peanut butter and chocolate) to create a fluffy and salty-sweet cupcake.
Caramel sauce is bittersweet. It can be simple to make, but it can also be difficult if you do not have the right ingredients. I found this out while making the Mini Icebox Pies. My friend brought home some extra whipping cream, and I placed it in the fridge for about an hour so that it could cool. Well, while making the whip cream, I noticed that it began to curdle. I freaked out a little bit and got a little frustrated. I strained out the curdles, and whipped it twice more. It began to separate again so I knew something was wrong. After doing some research, I discovered that the cream had began to separate into curdles and I was making butter. At first I thought ” WOW! I am making butter!”. Then I thought “Crap! I am making butter not whip cream.” The grocery store was closed, so I had to make lemons into lemonade, or curdled cream into butter. After a few minutes, of pacing around the kitchen, I decided that I should make a milk based caramel sauce.
The sauce turned out better than I expected, and it was very delicious. The only suggestion I would give is to make sure you use good butter. The only butter that is available in my town is yellow, unsalted butter from New Zealand. This kind of butter is very different from the white butter I used back in the United States. I used a mixture of that and the butter I accidently created. It was still sweet and very good, but there was a little bit of a difference in taste from a normal caramel sauce.
***I consulted Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Caramel Sauce recipe when I was making my version of caramel sauce. It was pretty easy to follow and I highly suggest using it if you want to try to make your own caramel sauce.***
On medium-low heat, warm the sugar in a saucepan. The sugar will form clumps, but continue to warm the sugar until it is a brown in color. To prevent the sugar from being burned, make sure to consistently stir the sugar while it is warming in the pan. This part of the process can take up to seven minutes.
Next, add in the butter and allow it to melt.
Then add the milk . Stir the milk into the sugar and butter mixture. Allow it to boil for one minute.
After the caramel has boiled for one minute, take the pan off of the stove top and stir in the salt.
Before serving, allow the caramel to cool for about five minutes.