Before we talk cake business, I want to share some wonderful and unexpected news with you. Yesterday, early in the morning, I received some news from my friends that Season was nominated as a finalist by the James Beard Foundation Awards in the Best Photography category for Cookbooks. I was shocked to say the least, cried a lot, my hands started to shake when I texted M to tell him the news.Read More
It’s here, it’s finally here! It took me two years to get to this day and I’m so happy and excited that today, SEASON comes out worldwide in bookstores! Coincidentally, today also happens to be the wedding anniversary of my late maternal grandparents and I think they’d be proud to see become an author. I learned all I knew about Goan cooking and cooking in general from my grandmother, so it would have been amazing to have her see this day.Read More
When you have a craving, at least in my mind, you should satisfy it, if not you'll be thinking about more and more and more. Madeleines were on my mind all week, they go superb with tea and coffee. They're exceptionally simple to make and cute. This is a recipe from Julia Child's book which really needs no changing and the only thing I did was introduce new flavors. I've been wanting to play with perfumes more and more this year and this heavenly mix is hard to pin down as one scent so I'm going to go with "scented Madeleines". I used a metal mold that I found at a thrift store in North Carolina many years ago.Read More
This week has given me many reasons to be happy.
First and foremost, my pup Snoopy whom most of you know was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, he is now on chemo and doing much better.Read More
This is my birthday week and it's been off to a wonderful start! But there are lots of recipe updates for you!!!Read More
Bananas and I have a curious relationship. I can eat a little but of the fruit but not a lot by itself. I find the texture extremely mush and overwhelming when it starts to get a bit ripe. I prefer the fruit seasoned or thrown into desserts or shakes. In this upside down cake, the fruit is thrown into the cake batter and also used to line the surface of the cake with a combination of sugar and maple syrup. I've also added a little bit of ghee for its wonderful nutty aroma and a bit of ground green cardamom to add a little pop to the fruit.Read More
Before we dive into this cake, there's some crazy good news! My column, A Brown Kitchen is a finalist in the year's IACP awards in the Best Writing: Food Focused Column. There are lots of Bay Area authors in the mix too which is exciting and I'm also pretty stoked to be in NYC later this month at the conference to talk about photographing and writing my cookbook with my lovely friends: Deb at Smitten Kitchen, Yossy of Apt2B, Baking and Michael Harlan Turkell (who is also nominated for his new cookbook on Vinegars!).Read More
We're a few days away from Halloween. And I've baked this masala chai pumpkin cake for West Elm that has a good dose of pumpkin seeds and crystallized ginger bits embedded in it. I've also plastered this cake with a spiced maple syrup buttercream frosting and adorned it with fondant black cats all over to make it spooky. You could even serve this at Thanksgiving and leave out the cats and get creative and make a border of pumpkins if you have a pumpkin shape cookie cutter.
Happy baking and Happy Halloween!!!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by West Elm, however all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Folks, I'm back from Alaska after an amazing trip to Cordova where I learned all about salmon and the thriving fisherman community but more of that to come soon this week. But before we talk about fish, let's talk about Alaskan sourdough. I had no idea until the past week that Alaska has a thriving sourdough culture community. Many families can trace their starters to the first settlers! How cool is that!
I've always found it interesting that sourdough bread culture is historically popular in countries where the weather is cold like the ones in the Scandinavian region. So when I met Diane Wiese, a matriarch of a prominent fishing family in Cordova, I was fascinated and eager to learn what I could about the local food. We talked about fish (mostly salmon), cooking it, smoking it and among other things, sourdough. So how did the first settlers keep these cultures active and growing when the weather is so cold for the better half of the year? According to Diane, they used to treat their starters like gold (and rightly so) and often slept with their starters in little jars, to keep them warm at night.
Diane gave both Molly and me, each a jar of her starter the day we left along with a couple of recipes. But one of them stood out immediately and it was a recipe for a cake upon which this recipe is based. I do deviate a little bit from Diane's recipe by letting the batter ferment a little before it goes into the oven to bake. The cake has a soft pudding like texture while still being airy and has a sweet thin crust that reminds me a little bit of sourdough bread but a little softer.
My kitchen notes:
- Sourdough - some of you might have your own sourdough starters, you can use that here if you have it trained to ferment all-purpose flour. I prefer to train the sourdough starter with different types of flour, so they adapt well to the nutrients in the flour.
- You can make your own starter at home by using my recipe here but substitute with whole-wheat flour with all-purpose flour.
- Hydration - 100% - equal quantities of flour and water added to an equal amount of starter (1:1:1). Example - 100g starter to which 100g flour and 100g water are added. Use filtered water because it is free from Chlorine and other potential chemicals that can inhibit growth of the microbes. I usually keep it overnight at room temperature before using.
- Flavorings - I used vanilla besides cardamom here and they both work great with the cherries.
sourdough cherry cardamom cake
(adapted from Diane Wiese)
Makes one 9 - inch cake
3 oz (65g) unsalted butter cubed at room temperature plus a little extra to grease the baking pan
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
seeds of 2 green cardamom pods, cracked and ground
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (113g) sugar
141 g 100% sourdough starter [See notes above]
2 cups fresh or frozen cherries, halved and pitted
2/3 cup (85g) all-purpose flour plus 2 teaspoons flour
In a medium-size saucepan melt the 3 ounces of butter on medium-high heat and cook until it starts to brown. Remove immediately from the stove and pour it into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk followed by the yogurt, and cardamom, by hand. Then whisk in the eggs and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the sourdough starter and 2/3 cup of flour until smooth. Cover the bowl with the cake batter with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a dark, warm spot of your kitchen to ferment for 2 hours.
One hour before baking, place a wire rack at midlevel and a pizza stone or baking steel and preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a circular 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper cut to size and grease lightly with a little butter. Keep covered in the refrigerator.
After two hours of letting the batter ferment, toss the cherries with the 2 teaspoons flour and fold them into the cake batter. Transfer this batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour until the center is firm to touch and the surface is golden brown. A skewer/knife when inserted should come out clean through the center of the cake. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. Then run a flat knife between the outer edges of the cake and the pan to help release it and let it cool on the wire rack for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.