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Casserole Night and Marble Cake

Sometimes when Friday rolls around, I’ll have renewed energy. Maybe it’s the thought of it being the last day of the week before the weekend! So today I made a casserole for dinner and baked a cake, that’s me being energetic. Winking smile They both need an oven temperature of 350F so I put one in after another.

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The casserole was from a food magazine I picked up last Sunday. It was Baked Risotto with Sausage and Artichokes (I left out the artichokes) and got a “Best casserole ever!” comment from picky Big Kid. It truly was very delicious. The risotto was creamy and tasty and the flavours of the Italian sausage, fennel and thyme so good!

The marble cake is a new recipe for me and after trying it, I’m making it my favourite marble cake recipe! I used to favour Donna Hay’s recipe but after a while I found it too ‘milky’. Dorie Greenspan’s recipe was alright but not fantastic. This one from Sarabeth, however, is a delight! It has a nice crust, moist inside, not too buttery, and the chocolate batter has a touch of almond flavour. If you like marble cakes, you got to try this one. I’m thinking here of my mum, my sisters and my cousins (SM H and SY H)! Thanks to Kitchen Flavours for posting this recipe.

Baked Risotto with Sausage and Artichokes
From Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Casseroles 2011

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1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 cup chopped fennel (1 medium bulb)
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup arborio rice or long grain rice
2 9-oz packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained and halved (I left this out)
1 cup coarsely shredded carrots (2 medium)
2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (I used broth)
1/2 cup panko or soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
Parmesan cheese shards (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a 12-inch skillet combine sausage, fennel, onion and garlic; cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned and vegetables are tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Add uncooked rice to meat mixture in skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute more.

2. Add artichoke hearts, carrots, thyme and pepper. Stir in broth and wine. Bring just to boiling. Transfer to an ungreased 2-1/2 quart casserole. Bake, covered, about 1 hour or until rice is tender, stirring once. (I forgot to stir and it was fine. I stirred only at the end of the hour.)

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine panko, Asiago cheese, butter and lemon peel. Top casserole with crumb mixture. Bake uncovered, for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon into individual bowls. If desired, garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese shards. Makes 6 to 8 servings. (My family of 2 + 2 finished it up!)

Marble Cake

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Full recipe here: http://goddessofbakedom.com/sb/sarabeth/2011/01/welcome-back-marble-cake.html

(Note: I used only 1 cup + 3 tablespoons of sugar)

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9 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Baking, Cooking, Food

 

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Basic Marbled Loaf Cake and Happy Birthday

It was Hubby’s birthday on Friday and he said he didn’t want a cake. Say what? No cake? On your birthday? And he has a person who loves to bake for a wife?? He said he didn’t want a cake because it’s fattening. I know where he’s coming from. We had been eating out more than usual lately and he’s feeling the effects on his waist!

Well, a cake doesn’t always have to be rich and calorie-laden. I looked for a simple cake to make and settled on Dorie Greenspan’s Marble Loaf Cake. Marble cake is one of Hubby’s favourite cake anyway. I brought it to our friend’s house where we had a simple dinner of pasta and salad and dessert was the marble cake with coffee. The cake was served plain – no glaze, no sauce, no ice-cream, no unnecessary addition of calories – just what Hubby wanted. There were also no candles and no song, just birthday wishes, as he likes his birthday quiet! Happy Birthday, babe. Love ya!

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Basic Marbled Loaf Cake
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours)

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons/ 170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan (I used a 9-x-5-x-2 3/4-inch loaf pan), dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Don’t be concerned if the batter curdles. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2, mixing only until each addition is incorporated.

Pour half the batter into a medium bowl and stir the melted chocolate in, mixing gently until combined.

Drop spoonsful of plain and chocolate batter randomly into the pan, then plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag the knife through the batter, making 6 to 8 zigs and zags.

Bake the cake for 1 hour and 20 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for about 15 minutes before unmolding, then cool the cake to room temperature right side up on the rack.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Baking, Food

 

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