Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morsel: Jeff Garlin

Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of these babies in a row to start having fun.
Jeff Garlin

Thursday, October 25, 2012

12th Stop: The Bahamas

This lovely chunk of bread goodness is called Bahamian Johnny Cake. It pretty much tastes like cornbread. That's a good thing! However, it has less actual cornmeal in it than a typical cornbread recipe would require. So the texture is more smooth than cornbread. Johnny Cake is best served hot from the oven. In The Bahamas, people will eat this for breakfast with butter and jam (yum!), or enjoy it as an addition to a meal.

The process to follow for this recipe was so quick, that I nearly forgot to photograph any of it! Then, fortunately, I remembered. The dough is sticky and a bit hard to spread into the baking dish (make sure your baking dish is greased as this is very sticky stuff!).

I also had to bake this for 40 minutes as opposed to the suggested 30 to get that golden brown color that makes for a wonderfully crunchy top.

There are many recipes for Johnny Cakes from around the Caribbean, but I liked this one best because it allows you to decide on how much sugar to add (and this recipe, apparently, is more exclusive to The Bahamas).

Since I made this Johnny Cake to accompany a weeknight dinner, I added less sugar (about 1/8 of a cup) and it was just fine. All Bakery Traveler family members gave it a buttery thumbs-up.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morsel

Mug Shot


We've been reunited after a long, hot season in which I favored iced drinks to hot ones. Our relationship is, as you might say, a very hot and cold one! We've been carrying on like this for 15 years. So, as irreverent as it may seem, it totally works for us. With a recent chill in the air, I have been compelled to break-out the Earl Grey tea, and hence, this glossy, speckled earthy guy. Don't fret. He uses me as much as I use him. Take, for example, how I must hand wash him as opposed to top rack machine wash him. That makes him pretty high-maintenance to me! And, yet, I give in. So, here it is - my favorite mug's official mug shot. So much more attractive than any mug shot of Lindsay Lohan, isn't it?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

11th Stop: Azerbaijan

The Zebra Cake from Azerbaijan - kind of looks like a cake-i-fied version of some continent, doesn't it?  Completely unintentional.  As was my over-baking the cake. Arggghh. Sometimes I over-bake. I'm learning. I followed the recipe from very helpful website and yet, another arggghhh, my cake looks nothing like the one from the link above. Nonetheless! My version does look like an intricate rendition of an unknown continent. Here's a close-up:
Too bad I couldn't make it look like the actual country of Azerbaijan! But I wasn't going for a continental or country shape, anyhow.  Just got lucky! Here is Azerbaijan, so you can see, not much of a resemblance...or is there...?
While I did over-bake it, the cake was really fun to make. Here a scoop of cocoa powder stands tall before being blended into the yellow batter:

Once the cocoa was blended into the batter, it was spooned in with its non-cocoa counterpart.

I would go back to this recipe to make it again. I wouldn't over-bake it, hopefully. 40 minutes at 350 was too long for my oven. Also, I would add some kind of icing (maybe a dusting of powder sugar) on top to make it sweeter. Maybe because I over-baked it, the cake didn't have much flavor. But I think an icing would make it a total winner.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Morsel: Dave Barry

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. 

So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. 

I feel better already.”

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10th Stop: Austria

Sacher-Torte Cookies + Sound of Music = Austria


The Hotel Sacher in Vienna:

For good measure, here's Austria (red arrow):

What is this Sacher-Torte anyway? From helpful site:, I learned that...

The story of the world-famous Original Sacher-Torte began in 1832, when the all-mighty "coachman of Europe", Wenzel Clemens Prince Metternich, ordered the creation of a particularly palatable dessert for spoiled high-ranking guests.
"Take care that you do NOT make me look a fool tonight", he warned. That very day, however, the chef was unavailable! The order was reassigned to a 16-year-old apprentice in his second year, the quick-witted chap Franz Sacher...
One thing was certain; the speciality which was finally presented to the masters and mistresses was a resounding success: a soft and fluffy chocolate cake with the tasty apricot jam under the icing. Franz certainly never forgot the great success of his ingenious idea within this exclusive circle. He spent his apprenticeship working for the Count of Esterhazy, first in Bratislava and then in Budapest.
When, as a fully qualified cook, he started to work on his own account, he offered his successful composition once again, this time on a large scale. He was successful and soon the "cake by this man named Sacher" was in great demand, and the victorious career of the probably most famous of all cakes began.

These cookies I share with you today are a yummy, and quite obviously, easy variation of this cake. My Bakery Traveling Husband (and dedicated Sacher-Torte aficionado) thought I was doing the glorious cake recipe a disservice until he tried the cookies. Absolutely bakery worthy! Honestly - I wouldn't have guessed a cookie with pudding in it could be so light, and perfectly textured. Yes, pudding. Pudding in a cookie? Check-out some of the main ingredients, but mostly check-out the pudding:


Here they are baking away:

Here they are all dressed-up:

Here is the recipe I followed:


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

9th Stop: Australia

Chocolate Crackle!

This is a super-easy and fun way to use good old Rice Krispies (toasted rice cereal). I've got to hand it over to the Australians - creating a kid-friendly, no-bake, rather regional Rice Krispie treat.

 Love that!

I can see why this is so popular down under.  

I'm guessing Chocolate Crackle is as famous as The Wiggles.

Yes, above is "down under."

And below are two of the main ingredients for Chocolate Crackle:

Right here (below) is what the mixture, pre-coconut oil looks like:

Post-coconut oil in little paper cups and being chilled in the fridge:

I was skeptical that these somewhat too gooey/runny cups would runneth over in bad flavor.  

That's right, I wrote that.

Hey - they were new to me. 

Chocolate Crackle after it'd been chilled for about an hour:

Mini-Bakery Travelers and their friends liked these a lot!  

Grown-ups liked these, too. They are awesome.

They are a light, coconut-y, chocolate-y, Rice Krispity treat. 

If you like these ingredients, you will love these wonders from down under!

That's right, I wrote that, too.

The recipe I followed is from here:



Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Morsel: Joan Rivers

"In 1957, Jack Kerouac published the classic novel, On the Road. Twelve years later, at age forty-seven, he was dead.

Moral of the story: Stay home."

Joan Rivers in her new book, I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me.


Nothing wrong with a little armchair travel I tell you.