Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Apricot Coffee Cake - Is It Summer Yet?

About a week ago, I saw fresh apricots first time this year at a local grocery store. It was like the first sign of summer. Then I was intrigued to make an apricot dessert.
Between fruit tart, cookies and other dessert ideas, coffee cake was chosen.

The original recipe came from here.

Apricot Coffee Cake
Prep time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Serves: 6-10

- 1 lb ripe apricots ( Make sure they smell good before you buy them), washed and quartered
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 10 tbsp butter, softened
- 1 dash of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg

- Preheat the oven to 360F and grease a 9"  springform cake pan.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and butter.
- Add in the sugar, mix well.
- Add in 1 egg and the milk. Mix until just combined.
- Move the batter into the pan. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. 
- Arrange the apricot slices on top in a circular pattern.

- In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients: sour cream, sugar and egg. Beat the mix with a fork and pour evenly over the cake batter.

- Bake for 40 mins or until the edge is golden and apricots are tender.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cake in the over for 10-15 mins.

** The bottom of the cake is crusty and the center is moist. The tartness and freshness of apricots work perfectly with the dense and buttery cake. Definitely worth a try!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rainbow Cookies

It's been a while since I updated the blog. I had a 2-week vacation in Asia in April, then was busy moving into the city. Now I am all settled down, it's time to write about food!

Spring time is the perfect season to make some rainbow cookies: colorful and delicious. It was my first time making rainbow cookies, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated when I was mixing the dough. The result was better than expected. Yes it requires some work, but it yields a lot of deliciousness.

This original recipe is from here.

Rainbow Cookies
Prep time: approx. 2 hrs (allow overnight for refrigeration)
Yields around 50 cookies

- 10 oz almond paste
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- red food coloring (4-6 drops)
- green food coloring (4-6 drops)
- 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

- Separate egg whites and yolks.
- In a large bowl, break apart almond paste with a fork. Add in butter, sugar and egg yolks. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Stir in the flour. 
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Then fold egg whites in the dough mixture. 

- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Mix one portion with red food coloring and one other with green food coloring. Gradually mix in the food coloring. (The amount of food coloring depends on the food coloring you are using.)
- Line three 9x13 inch baking pans with parchment paper.
- Spread each portion of dough on the baking pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Bake 10-12 mins until the edge is lightly browned.  Cool completely on wire racks. Be careful when moving the baked dough from the parchment paper to the cooling rack.
- Cut out a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all three layers. Place the plastic wrap on top of a baking pan. Place green layer on  the plastic wrap. Spread raspberry jam on the green layer and place the uncolored layer on top. Spread with apricot jam and top with pink layer. 
- Wrap all three layers with plastic wrap. Place a heavy pan on top of the wrapped layers. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

- In a small pot, melt chocolate chips. Spread the melted chocolate on top of the layered cookie. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate is firm.
- Cut the layered cookie sheet in small squares.