• Bookish Bakes: Creme Brulee, inspired by The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Verant

    Bookish Bakes: Creme Brulee

    Yesterday my review for the book that inspired my Bookish Bakes posts posted, The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Verant. I love reading about food because it gives me so many ideas. In this book, chef Sophie has traveled from NYC where her dreams went up in flames back to her family’s chateau in France, which her grandmere Odette has transformed into two restaurants and a hotel. There, she rediscovers her love of food and finds a new purpose, all while making Odette’s favorite dessert, creme brulee. So, of course, I had to make creme brulee for this Bookish Bakes post. Never mind I’ve never eaten one, much…

  • Lemon Meringue Cake - making a yellow cake, lemon custard, and Italian meringue frosting using ratios

    Bookish Bakes: Lemon Meringue Cake

    On Monday I posted a picture of a slice of this cake accompanying my Kindle featuring my then current read The Baron of Magister Valley by Steven Brust, so I thought I’d share my ratio recipe for the lemon meringue pie. If you give me a choice between cake and pie, I’ll almost always pick cake. For whatever reason, pie is not one of my favorite things. Once in a while I crave a chocolate pie or, if it’s the fall, I’ll opt for one or two pumpkin pies. Very rarely will I pick a lemon meringue pie, though I would agree they’re quite tasty, especially if you like lemons. So,…

  • Simple and easy summery tart using Graham crackers, thick yogurt, and fresh berries.

    Berry Yogurt Tart (revisited)

    Wow, this one was from about 2 years ago, when my mom and I used to take my baby and toddler to the local farmer’s market and buy up some French-style yogurt. Now I’m too paranoid to go to farmer’s markets, but am really suddenly missing this yogurt, and the too good berry tarts I used to make with them. First published July 20, 2018 When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had to go in every week for a progesterone shot (thanks to my son who decided to be born early). Most days were fairly routine: get my son into the car, drive over, get (progesterone) shot. But,…

  • Raisin Buns: a ratio recipe - how to make raisin buns using a basic bread dough and a ratio

    Raisin Buns

    When I was a kid, my mom did the weekly grocery shopping at a local market, and my dad would go to the Chinese market about a half hour away to get all sorts of Asian goodies for all of us. We loved the chocolate filled Koalas, the big containers of shredded pork, spicy cracker mixes, and the chocolate Pocky. My favorite, though, was the raisin bread. Soft, sweet, buttery bread filled with raisins. It’s nothing like the raisin bread in these American markets with their cinnamon swirls. I like cinnamon, but don’t care to pair it with my raisins. I just loved that tall raisin bread, with it’s buttery…

  • Ratio Recipe: Toasted Coconut Custard

    Toasted Coconut Custard

    A few weeks ago, I discovered a can of coconut milk sitting in the cabinet, about to expire. I hate wasting things, so my mind started whirling about what I could do with it. Coconut cake! It was nearly perfect. I’m still tweaking it, so, one day, in the next few months, I’ll share that recipe. Anyways, after making the coconut cake, I discovered I still had coconut flakes left over. I spent days pondering what to do with it. I started thinking about toasting it and making it part of a trail mix, but then I started wondering if I could ratio bake something else and use up some…

  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake: A Ratio Recipe

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

    My mom developed an autoimmune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis almost 20 years ago. It was difficult for her to manage for the first few years, but she eventually found out that a gluten-free diet helps her manage her symptoms almost as well as her medication. It was a little devastating at first as my mom and I are huge bakers. Gluten-free flour is different from regular flour. It changes the texture and the shelf-life. Baked products have a tendency to get hard within a day or so and can also become quite crumbly. We were so cautious about baking with it to the point where we never actually tried. Since…

  • Ratio Recipe: Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Ah, October. A fine fall month complete with Halloween. It’s a time for pumpkins and apples, for sweaters and golden leaves ripe for crunching underfoot. So, uh, why have I chosen to post a ratio recipe for a Black Forest Cake? October is also the month for Oktoberfest. Since I grew up in Southern California, crunchy leaves were rare and the sweater was ditched before nine in the morning. It was kind of hard to get into fall. Fall in Southern California means cold mornings and nights and sweltering in between. Pumpkins and apples were kind of meh to my family and me. But I took German in high school.…

  • Funfetti cake - a ratio recipe

    Funfetti Cake

    Why have a plain yellow cake if you can have a funfetti cake? That’s the question my family asks. I don’t know why, but sprinkles always make things better. Or maybe my kids just like dumping sprinkles into the cake batter. But I must admit, as a chocolate cake lover, even sprinkles will make me excited to eat a yellow cake. Though, if you prefer a plain yellow cake, just omit the sprinkles. Just like last week’s recipe, this one is a ratio recipe. Feel free to play around with the ingredients (as long as you still use some kind of flour, sugar, fat, and eggs) and how much of…

  • Knock You Over the Head with Lemon Cupcakes - a ratio recipe

    Knock You Over the Head with Lemon Cupcakes

    The basic ingredients for a high ratio cake include flour, sugar, butter (fat), eggs, a liquid, and baking powder. Most of the time, I use milk as my liquid. A couple of times I’ve used some of the liquid that comes with maraschino cherries. One day I had a lemon, and wondered how lemony it would be if I used lemon juice as my liquid. Well, I am calling these cupcakes Knock You Over the Head with Lemon for a reason! And maybe my husband should buy fewer lemons. I can’t help it; I have a bad habit of walking into the kitchen on Mondays and wondering what we have that I…

  • Adventures in ratio baking: Chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Chocolate Cake With Whipped Cream Frosting

    I like to think I’ve finally mastered ratio baking a chocolate cake. A high ratio chocolate cake, that is. At least, one that I enjoy because my husband won’t eat chocolate cake, my son only likes to decorate, and my daughter is partial to the whipped cream. And my cat should absolutely keep her distance. Oh, well. More cake for me. Anyways, I thought that perhaps the pinnacle of my chocolate cake journey should be a recipe. So I set out to convert my ratios into measurements. Twice. The first time was a disaster, and even I didn’t want to eat it. The second time, thankfully, was a success. But…