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by Heather Harris Brady

I have a feeling this is a pretty old recipe, I found it in one of my vintage Farm Journal Pie cookbooks and tweaked it. They call it Rhubarb Popover, which is kind of true, but I like the name clafouti because that sounds more like a dessert.

Either way, it goes together really quickly and comes out of the oven as a lovely crusty amalgamation of fruit and a custard-like center.I think you could successfully sub in blackberries, raspberries, black cherries or pineapple for the rhubarb. I served it warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries on top, but you could also just give it a quick shake of powdered sugar and call it a day.

This is so easy you can slide it in the oven when you sit down to dinner and it will ready by dessert!

Rhubarb Clafouti, Makes six generous servings

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1-1/2 c. diced fresh rhubarb
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 425. Put the butter in a 9″ pie dish and put it in the oven to melt.

Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl, add the flour and beat it until smooth.

When the butter is bubbling, pull the pie dish back out of the oven and pour the batter into the hot dish.

Put the fruit in the center and return it to the oven. Bake about 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

Cut into wedges and serve. This is best eaten straight away, any leftovers should be covered and refrigerated, then rewarmed.


Four years ago: Fallen Chocolate Cakes
Three years ago: Lemon Ginger Cake with Saskatoon Berries
Two years ago: Sunday Night Cake with Chocolate Sauce
One year ago: County Fair Lemon Pound Cake


candycake7_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This cake is something you’re going to want to bookmark for the times you need to throw a dessert together in a hurry. The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax. It’s an amazing book and the fact we lost Richard Sax at such a young age is a huge loss to those of us with a passion for cookbooks.

I had to tinker with the recipe, because I didn’t have the chocolate, Grand Marnier, or jam on hand he called for in the original. But it still turned out great. I served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries on the side, but it’s very versatile. The flavor is actually better the next day.

Quick Chocolate Candy Cake, About eight generous servings

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. apricot preserves
  • 1 T. Grand Marnier
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 c. almond flour
  • Zest from one orange

1/4 c. soft fresh bread crumbs (regular or gluten free)

Preheat the oven to 375. Butter the sides of an 8″ round pan. Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the jam and Grand Marnier with one of the eggs.

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Then beat in the remaining two eggs, followed by the melted chocolate, almond flour and bread crumbs.

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Lastly, add the zest.

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Spread the batter into your pan and bake about 25 minutes.

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The center should still be a bit shiny.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I cut this slice after the cake had been out of the oven for about 30 minutes. It was still warm.

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Serve with whipped cream, berries or both. The cake keeps several days covered at room temperature.


Three years ago: Fresh Ginger Carrot Muffins
Two years ago: Quick Caramel Apple Cake
One year ago: Chocolate Cake-Truffle Petits Fours


minicheesecake8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

This is a nice recipe if you feel like cheesecake but would rather forgo having extra tempting servings sitting around. This gives you four polite-sized servings for a dinner party with no leftovers! I used orange and mini chips, but feel free to vary the flavorings however you wish. I bake these in ceramic ramekins because they’re easier to put in the water bath. Plus, they go together really quickly and with no crust you’re not only cutting calories you’re cutting down the gluten free as well.

Mini Cheesecakes, Makes four 3-1/2″ servings

  • 4 oz. 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 2/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • One egg
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the first three ingredients in a food processor.

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Add the egg, flour and sugar.

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Blend until smooth.

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Fold in your flavoring and addins, in this case I added 1 t. orange bakery emulsion and 1/3 c. mini chocolate chips.

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Lightly grease four ramekins and divide the batter between them. Fill an 8″ baking dish one-third full with warm water. Set the ramekins in the dish and put them in the oven.

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Bake for about 30 minutes, until the centers are set and the sides start to pull away from the dishes.

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You could serve these warm but I put them in the deep freeze to cool them quickly for dinner.

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Three years ago: Finnish Teaspoon Cookies
Two years ago: Lemon Poppyseed Scones
One year ago: Brigadeiro


quickorangerolls8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These rolls are something of a guilty pleasure from my childhood that I’ve passed on to my kids, I made them to mimic the ones that come in the can with the little plastic container of orange icing. This recipe is nearly as quick, and they’re delicious without all the extra “stuff” that allows those cans to live on the grocery store shelf for ages. If you put the butter out on the counter the night before you can have warm rolls in less than 40 minutes.

Quick Orange Cinnamon Breakfast Rolls, Makes nine servings

  • 4 T. soft butter
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. sugar mixed with 1-1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. orange extract or orange bakery emulsion
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. milk
  • 1 t. orange extract or orange bakery emulsion

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the flour, granulated sugar and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

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Add the cubes of butter and cut it in.

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Stir in the milk and extract in with a fork. Depending on your flour you may need another tablespoon or so, just enough so that all the flour is moistened.

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Knead it six-seven times in the bowl.

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Flour your counter and roll the dough out to an approximate 1/3″ thickness.

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Sprinkle it with the cinnamon mixture and dot with butter.

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Roll it up like a jelly roll and cut it into nine pieces. I scoop up any cinnamon that falls out and sprinkle it over the top.

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Bake for about 15 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned.

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While the rolls are baking stir the powdered sugar and milk together with the extract. Drizzle in another 1/2 t. of milk if you need it to achieve the right consistency. Spoon the icing over the hot rolls and serve.

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Store any leftovers lightly covered at room temperature. These are best eaten the day they’re made.

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Three years ago: Calzones
Two years ago: Marbled Peanut Butter Pie

One year ago: Ginger Chocolate Scones

pannacotta5_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Panna cotta is quick, easy, delicious and hard to photograph. From all accounts it just appeared sometime in Italy in the 1960’s, first thickened with egg whites like a custard and baked in a water bath, until someone hit on the idea of adding gelatin. If you have a cold refrigerator you can start it about 90 minutes before a dinner party and it will be ready when you are. It would be a great choice for any friends on a gluten-free program.

In this version I’m using a combination of buttermilk and heavy cream. The finished dessert is a lovely balanced cream that doesn’t hint heavily at either main ingredient. I had the pears and caramel already, but you could use any fruit sauce you like – a combination of dried and fresh apricots would be especially good I think. I unmolded these, but you could stick with the ramekins if it makes things easier.

Panna Cotta, Serves four

  • 8 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. cold water
  • 2 T. sherry
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • One small can dulce de leche (optional)
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling (optional)
  • Two ripe pears, washed, cored and sliced (optional)

Combine cold water and sherry, stir in the gelatin to soften and set aside.

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Mix the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan, heat over medium, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

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Once the sugar is dissolved remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin well. Then whisk in the buttermilk. The mixture will start to thicken a bit.

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Pour it into ramekins.

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Put them in the refrigerator for an hour, until set. Cover them with plastic wrap if you are making this recipe ahead. If you’re unmolding the panna cotta to serve it, run a knife around the outside of each one. It should unmold easily, but if it doesn’t gently ease it out with a spoon, holding the ramekin just over the serving plate. Spread the caramel on the plate, sprinkle with salt and add 1/4 of the pear slices to each serving. If you’d like a mix of textures a tuile cookie would be nice on the side.

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Three years ago: Chocolate Ganache
Two years ago: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
One year ago: Chocolate Sheet Cake

applebutter6_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

My Aunt Blanche (actually my grandmother’s cousin but that’s neither here nor there) was in her mid-90’s when she passed away earlier this year. She was a small bubbly woman who married a tall quiet man from North Carolina. Whenever they would come for summer visits she was like the Energizer bunny, no matter how hot it was, she would still make her banana pudding and other delicious and strange (to us) things.

So in memory of Aunt Blanche I decided to attempt this apple butter, something I have always loved but never got around to trying. She made it in the slow-cooker, which is genius because it can cook down slowly while you go about your business. If you start it at breakfast it should be done by dinner.

I knew we would be eating this up right away, so I made it sugarfree, sweetened with nothing but the apple cider. You can run it through a foodmill or processor at the very end if you want it super-smooth like the kind you can buy in jars. I’m sure this same method would work for other soft fruits as well, like plums, pears and peaches.

Apple Butter, Makes about four cups

  • 16 cups chopped apples, a mix of varieties is best
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon

Put the chopped apples into the slow cooker and pour in the apple cider. Turn the slow cooker to high and put the lid on.

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After two hours the house will smell amazing and you will have a lovely applesauce.

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After four hours it will keep cooking down and getting darker. You can see how mine has reduced by over half, but that will depend on your slow cooker, they all seem to cook a little differently.

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Stir in the cinnamon at six hours. After eight hours it should be really thick and dark. You should see very little liquid when you stir. I spooned it into a metal pan to cool it down quickly.

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Store the apple butter in a covered container in the refrigerator and use within a week. A magical thing happens when apple butter meets homemade bread and butter, toasted or untoasted.

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Three years ago: Basic Bread
Two years ago: Malakoff Torte
One year ago: Chocolate Oatmeal Caramel Bars

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friedrice12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

We headed into this week coming off a grueling 18-hour roadtrip so easy comfort food has been the order of the day all week. This fried rice is amazing, adaptable and it makes the house smell great. I used brown rice, but you could also use jasmine or basmati. I chose vegetables that are nice with the ground pork, but change it up for whatever you have lying around – that’s the beauty of it!

The crumbled potato chips are a tip I picked up from Bon Appetit, a standin for the wonton crisps I suppose, but they will surprise you on how well they blend in to the whole. I like to cut the vegetables into different shapes for pretty. I used zucchini in place of bamboo shoots.  This all goes quick, so make sure you have everything ready to go before you turn on the heat.

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Fried Rice, Four servings

  • 3/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1 T. ground gingerroot
  • 3 c. cooked rice
  • 1/2 c. sliced onion
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 c. celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, cut in thin slices
  • 2 baby zucchini, cut in matchsticks
  • 1/2 c. crushed potato chips
  • Ponzu and chili paste to taste

Brown the pork with the garlic and ginger. When it’s cooked through, set it aside.

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Heat the sesame and olive oil in a cast-iron (or other non-stick) pan. Add the onion.

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When the onion is fragrant, add the eggs.

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Scramble softly.

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Add the rice, cook for a minute or so, stirring occasionally.

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Then add all the vegetables except the zucchini. Toss until the rice starts to dry out, 3-5 minutes.

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Add the seasoned pork. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, tossing every so often. More tossing means softer rice, less tossing means some crunchy crust mixed in – however you like it done.

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Stir in half the potato chips, the ponzu and chili paste.

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Top each serving with some zucchini and a sprinkle of potato chips. Serve warm, hot or cold if that’s how you roll.

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Three years ago: Sweet Corn & Green Chili Tamales
Two years ago: Berry Crumb Cake
One year ago: Icelandic Almond Rolls

 

 

cakeandsauce14_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

Hopefully everyone’s out enjoying their July days – here’s a simple butter cake if you like to celebrate a weekend meal with dessert like I do. Without the sauce the cake would be lovely topped with sliced fresh fruit but with the sauce you have options. You do the cake and the sauce warm, cold, or one of each. The simple flavors of the butter and flavorings come through in the soft, sliceable yet delicate cake, and the velvety chocolate sauce can be casual or elegant. You decide.

Sunday Night Cake with Chocolate Sauce, Makes about nine 3″ servings

For the cake:

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. vanilla or orange extract
  • 2/3 c. nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 T. sour cream
  • 1-3/4 c. all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

  • 1 14-oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate (chopped, chips, etc.)
  • 1/2 c. dark cocoa
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325.

Cream the butter and sugar together well with a spoon.

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Best in the egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and flavoring.

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Then the yogurt, sour cream and flour.

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Stir well for about 30 seconds, until the flour is hydrated and you have a thick, creamy batter.

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Spread the batter into a greased 8″ square pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the center is baked through.

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While the cake is baking make the sauce. Combine the milk, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat.

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Stir until the chocolate melts, then whisk in the cocoa powder.

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Let boil for five minutes.

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Beat the egg in a bowl, then add some of the hot chocolate mixture to the egg.

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Return it all to the pan and whisk. Cook for another minute and set aside until ready to serve.

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Cut the cake into squares.

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And top each serving with a spoonful of sauce. If the sauce is cold it will be a little thicker, like so:

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If both the cake and the sauce are warm the sauce is a little thinner:

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Store any leftovers wrapped in the refrigerator.


Two years ago: Baby Back Ribs with Dry Rub
One year ago: Lemon Ginger Cake with Saskatoon Berries

bunelos8_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

These will be featured in a colossal sundae recipe yet to come, but I’m posting them now because they are a quick and festive thing for a Father’s Day breakfast or BBQ. They fry up light and pillowy on the inside, crispy and delicious on the outside. Plus, the house smells great with all that cinnamon. This recipe is a combination of ones from HomesickTexan and the Complete Book of Mexican Cooking by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.

I’ve never owned a deep fryer because it seems prudent not to. So, on the few times when I absolutely need something along that line I get around it with “shallow frying”. My sopas aren’t as all around puffy as the deep-fried ones but they taste the same – and I don’t have all that leftover oil to deal with later.

Sopapillas, Makes about 16 large 5″ pastries

1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
1 c. warm water
1 T. soft butter
2 t. baking powder
1 T. sugar
4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
olive oil
Cinnamon sugar: Mix 2 t. cinnamon into 1 c. granulated sugar

Combine the yeast, water, and sugar.

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Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. When the yeast bubbles stir it in.

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Knead it a few times in the bowl. It should only be slightly sticky but this depends on the moisture in your flour.

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Let rise until doubled in bulk.

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Punch it down and divide into sixteen ping-pong ball sized bits. This will go fast so it’s easier if you get all the rolling done ahead of time. Also, pour your cinnamon sugar onto a dinner plate and have racks or a brown paper bag ready for the finished pastries. Heat a saucepan to medium and add about 1/2″ of olive oil to the bottom. Roll out your first ball into a circle about 5″ across.

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Put it in the pan. Fry on each side for about 30 seconds.

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I turn them with a fork and transfer them right from the pan to the plate of sugar. Give them a turn in the sugar and place them on racks or papers to cool.

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These are best eaten right away, but we had a few leftover and they still disappeared at breakfast the next day.


Two years ago: Rhubarb Raspberry Crumble
One year ago: Raspberry Ribbon Ice Cream

quickfudgecake_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I thought I’d share this recipe now, because it’s a lovely way to showcase fresh summer fruit. You can have this in the oven in under 10 minutes too, leaving you more time for summer fun. I’ve shown a thick layer there but you could also do two thin layers, to sandwich together with berries and whipped cream (or cherries and whipped cream for a great black forest). No matter what the size this is one great, moist cake that also keeps well thanks to the yogurt.

This recipe is based on one of my favorite cookbooks, More Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin. She called it Happy Winter Fudge Cake, as she in turn adapted it from a children’s book called Happy Winter. I used an IKEA dark chocolate bar for this cake, but you can use any type that catches your fancy.

Quick Fudge Cake, Makes your choice of: one 3″ thick 8″ round and six cupcakes; 14 cupcakes; two 1-1/2″ thick 8″ rounds; one 9″ bundt

3 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
2 T. dark baking cocoa
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. soft butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the eggs, butter, vanilla, yogurt and melted chocolate in a mixer bowl and cream.

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The melted chocolate might turn into little bits but that’s okay! Keep going. Add the dry ingredients all at once.

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Mix on medium for about two minutes. You’ll have a thick creamy batter, that incidentally, is delicious.

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Spread it into your lightly greased pans. If you want flat layers be sure to make a depression in the center.

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Baking time will depend on your pans and your oven. This thick 8″ layer took about 25 minutes, thin layers and cupcakes take 12-15 minutes.

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Even fresh out of the oven it will cut nicely into neat slices. I like to serve it warm with fresh cold berries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

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Two years ago: Rhubarb Streusel Pie (a reader favorite!)
One year ago: Greek Chicken Pita Wraps

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  • Chef's Table (!)
  • Chocolat
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  • Ratatouille
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