Tuesday, April 17, 2012

truly scrumptious

heck, i know its been forever since I last posted and I was going to post about my ever-so-exciting life tonight, but then I found the recipe for "Pull apart lemon coffee cake" and I can't not share it (so much happiness could be brought to the world through this cake)
Pull Apart Lemon Coffee Cake (Bread):
Sweet Yeast Dough
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (You might not use all of this)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope)
instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
2 ounces unsalted butter
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Lemon Sugar Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugarZest of three lemons
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Tangy Cream Cheese Icing
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Make the dough:1. In the microwave heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly. While it is cooling Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Then add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract
2. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixer and stir until combined. Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined. Add another 1/2 of the flour and the salt and mix till combined.
3. Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with the dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
Make Ahead Tip: If you want to make the dough the night before you bake it just gently deflate the dough after its first rise, place back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. Stick it in the fridge overnight (it will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. Plus you get added flavor in the bread from the benefit of a slow, cold rise) The next day take the dough out and bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the next steps. I like to cover my dough with a damp piece of paper towel and stick it in my oven at the lowest temperature until it is room temp.
4. Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.
5. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray
6. Forming the loaf: Deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle. This part is a lot easier with a ruler on hand! Use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter
7. Use a pizza cutter, pastry cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes). Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.
8. Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles (each should be 4″ by 2″.) Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.
9.Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn't browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking. My loaf took a little over 40 minutes to bake completely. When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread (you might want to put some plastic wrap or parchment paper under the bread to catch the drips)

[This is perfect for winter- I can't wait to make it!] found at:seddy5.typepad.com/blog
have a goodnight x

Saturday, April 14, 2012

an autumn post

The best thing to have for breakfast in Autumn? Home made porridge with honey.

An Autumn Evening:
Dark hills against a hollow crocus sky
Scarfed with its crimson pennons, and below
The dome of sunset long, hushed valleys lie
Cradling the twilight, where the lone winds blow
And wake among the harps of leafless trees
Fantastic runes and mournful melodies.
The chilly purple air is threaded through
With silver from the rising moon afar,
And from a gulf of clear, unfathomed blue
In the southwest glimmers a great gold star
Above the darkening druid glens of fir
Where beckoning boughs and elfin voices stir
And so I wander through the shadows still,
And look and listen with a rapt delight,
Pausing again and yet again at will
To drink the elusive beauty of the night,
Until my soul is filled, as some deep cup,
That with divine enchantment is brimmed up

-Lucy Maud Montgomery

When else would it be acceptable to wear something like this? all the brown clothes in my closet lie in wait for this season.

[a side note: the confusing thing about Autumn in Cape Town is that we sometimes get very hot days, with hot winds, an experienced Capetonian would understand that this means cold weather is on its way. yesterday was like that, hot and windy, and I felt like the princess in 'Prince of Persia'. today its raining]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

a jumbled up week

The crisp autumn mornings are upon us. This week I hauled out my winter clothing and (at the excitement of seeing them again) have been innapropriately been lounging around the house in my stockings and jumpers. Which is fine, because they hide the fact that Ive eaten chocolate easter bunnies for breakfast every morning this week.

In other news, two of my friends got engaged [and i am over-the-moon happy for them] so it feels like the universe is rubbing my lack of engagement in my face.okay, im being a bit dramatic, but its difficult, anticipating something for such a long time and then seeing other people get it while you're still [maybe not so patiently] waiting.

But its been a good week, all in all, and we should celebrate with some cake

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the happiest of days

Happiest of wednesdays!today is beautiful because he is home. yes folks, i can now function as a normal human being again. After a long and happy day yesterday we went to tour the new blueroute and my goodgrief there are some lovely dresses in forever new. [secretly iv'e always wanted to dye my hair pink or purple]

looking forward to another wonderful evening tonight and we have begun the upward climb to easter-a womans worst nightmare: do i partake in the chocolate eating which i want so badly to do or do i remain un-fat and unhappy because i have eaten no chocolate? these are the questions that plague us.