Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Baking From Scratch

It was my husband's birthday last week, and we had his party this Sunday to celebrate.  We had eighteen guests, which makes for cramped quarters in my small house, but as usual, everybody had a good time.  It is after all, mostly about the fellowship.

Of course the star of the party was the cake(s).  I baked two:  Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Sourdough Brandied Cherry Cobbler. The Carrot Cake was the sugared version, and I made the Cobbler with Splenda, as I am diabetic. 

Both of these recipes are easy and NOT fussy, so would be a good choice for a beginning baker.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the first 5 ingredients
2 C Cake Flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
In another bowl combine the following until well mixed: 
2 C sugar
1 1/2 C oil
4 whole eggs
Add this to the batter:
2 C grated carrots
1 8 1/2 oz. can crushed pineapple drained
1/2 C raisins (dusted in a little of the 2 C of flour to prevent them sinking to the bottom of the cake).
Add in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan, and bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
1/2 C butter softened
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pound of confectioner's sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese, and add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until soft peak stage.

Sourdough Brandied Cherry Cobbler:
2 cans/ pints cherries in water
3 T cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C Splenda ( or sugar)
1/3 C Brandy (or so, )
In a cold saucepan, combine the liquid from the canned cherries with the cornstarch with a whisk.  Add the cherries, and the cinnamon and sugar.  Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.  Add Brandy, and cook a couple minutes more, and then remove from the heat.  Place filling in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan and top with the following cobbler batter:
1 C pancake or biscuit mix
1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C Splenda brown sugar
1 stick of melted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C sourdough starter (can omit, just increase buttermilk by 1/2 C and baking mix by 1/2 C)
1 C buttermilk
2 eggs

In a large mixing bowl, mix the above ingredients until batter is uniform.  Pour over cherries, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Top with chopped pecans if desired.  Serve with a big spoon, and add ice cream or whipped cream.

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