Anyone who read the post on my go-to brownie recipe knows a vital ingredient is jammy bits. These are small pieces of sugar coated chewy raspberry jam. They add texture, moisture and flavor to the brownies, but they are time consuming to make. (You can buy them at King Arthur Baking.)
The California wildfires “smoked us in” this morning with the AQI over 300 (!) I decided to stay inside (except to walk Rosie while wearing a KN-95 mask.) This provided the time necessary to make jammies. (Full disclosure: I also baked some chocolate chip cookies and blueberry drop scones from frozen doughs I made previously. I had to do something as the jam was reducing!)
Once the jammy bits are cut put them in an airtight container, add several tablespoons of caster sugar and toss to coat the bits. If some stick together break them apart and re-coat. If some to stick together when you go to use them, just cut them apart.
Fruit Jammy Bits
• 2 cups Berries • 2 Tbl Fruit Pectin • 2 cups sugar • Caster sugar (Extra Fine) for coating
Heat puree to barely boiling and add pectin
Once pectin is incorporated, add the sugar
Continue boiling until mixing marks stay 7-10 seconds or about 235-240F
Pour mixture into a fine sieve to remove seeds. Press firmly to squeeze as much seedless puree as possible through the sieve. I let the drippings fall on the caster sugar coated silicone mat trying to keep the thickness to 1-2mm.
If necessary, spread mixture on caster sugar coated silicone mat and freeze
Remove the sheet of fruit from the freezer and coat top with caster sugar
Flip coated over onto a cutting board and coat the now top surface with more sugar
When the fruit sheet is pliable cut into small squares (1/4” across) with a knife
Toss the jammy bits into a bowl of sugar then store in an air-tight container in the freezer
So what is a person to do with two very over-ripe bananas? Throw them out? I think not! Being both thrifty and whimsical I found an easy recipe for banana bread and at QC’s request added some raisins. In hindsight, I should have added more raisins. Next time I will use a whole cup instead of half. (Below recipe modified)
The recipe called for two tablespoons of sugar to be sprinkled on the top of the loaf prior to baking. This added a nice crunch and caramelization to the loaf. However, one tablespoon would probably be adequate. (Below recipe modified.)
Banana Raisin Bread
INGREDIENTS • 2 cups flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1 teaspoon salt • 3⁄4 cup sugar • 2 eggs • 1⁄4 cup oil • 1⁄4 cup milk • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 2 ripe bananas, mashed • 1 cup raisins • 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 350F
Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Mix wet ingredients in another bowl.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Pour in loaf pan sprayed with baking spray with flour and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
Sometime around my birthday our Florida BFF send me a packet of recipes she culled from a selection of magazines. This Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake caught my eye, however, the first attempt hit the bin after QC rated it thumbs down. (Mfg agreed.)
I modified the original recipe from FoodNetwork by swapping out the AP flour for cake flour. This reduced the gluten to make a softer, lighter cake. Pound cake is not expected to be light and airy, but let’s be honest, dense, wet, stodgy cake is not terribly pleasant. I also substituted caster sugar for the cane sugar, reduced the oven temperature from 350F to 325F, increased the number of egg yolks by 2 and eliminated the almond extract. (QC and I do not like almond extract.) The final result was deemed presentable!
Raspberry-Swirl Pound Cake
INGREDIENTS Cake • 226g (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan • 198 (1 ¾ cups) cake flour, plus more for the pan • 6-oz fresh raspberries • 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam • 248g (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) caster sugar, divided • 3 large eggs, plus 3 egg yolk, at room temperature • ¼ cup heavy cream • 1 1/8 teaspoons pure vanilla extract • 4 drops red gel food coloring (or enough to make an intense pink color) Glaze • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar • 2 tablespoons heavy cream for topping (more to thin if necessary) • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla • Crushed freeze-dried raspberries, for topping
Make the pound cake:
Preheat the oven to 325˚. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with Baker’s Joy, then line with parchment paper in two overlapping strips, leaving an overhang. Butter the parchment and lightly dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Combine the fresh raspberries, jam, 2 tablespoons cane sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring and smashing the berries with a wooden spoon, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula. Let cool.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl until slightly foamy; set aside.
Beat the butter and remaining 1 cup caster sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and increase the mixer speed to medium high. Beat until pale and fluffy, 6 to 7 more minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour until just combined.
Gradually add the egg mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl, increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, 15 to 30 seconds.
Scoop 3/4 cup batter into the bowl with the raspberry sauce and stir in the red food coloring. Transfer half of the remaining plain batter to the prepared pan and top with half of the raspberry batter; swirl together with a knife. Repeat and swirl the batters together again.
Bake until the top springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. (205 F internal temperature)
Transfer to a rack and let cool 15 minutes in the pan. Lift the cake from the pan and remove the parchment; return to the rack to cool completely.
Make the Glaze
Combine the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each vanilla and almond extracts in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth; thin with the remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream, if needed.
Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake and sprinkle with freeze-dried raspberries. Let set at least 20 minutes.