When people think of Durham, North Carolina, they generally think of Duke University. There’s good reason for that – between the hospital and the basketball team, who won the NCAA championship this year. Durham is known as the City of Medicine, but I think it could just as easily be called the City of Food.
My latest stops on the NC dessert tour were both in Durham. The first was Foster’s Market, a small, local market/cafe. My sister, husband, and I went for dinner, but we couldn’t resist staying for dessert. And yes, we got three different desserts. You know, for research.
I always thought that summer would stop going by so quickly when I wasn’t in school anymore, but I was wrong. The weather here in North Carolina is going to stay warm for a while still, but we all know that September is the unofficial end of the season.
In an attempt to hold onto summer a little longer, I used one of my favorite summer fruits to make this tasty treat – peaches. I actually pulled this recipe out of Southern Living last summer, but never got around to making it. I decided to make a few small tweaks to turn this recipe into my own!
The NC Bakery Tour continues! I met my sister at Gugulhupf, a German bakery in Durham. In case you were wondering, there are a whole bunch of bakeries in Durham, but most of them are closed on Sundays. Now I know!
Anyway, it was a beautiful spring day, so we chose our pastries and sat down at a table outside. Pictured above is Rachel’s choice, the mango mousse torte.
Ok, so I like baking with bananas. I bought a few to make cookies to send to my grandmother (that’s a separate blog post!), and I bought a few extra also. I told the husband that he could eat them if he wanted to, because last time I bought extra bananas, I nearly chopped his hand off when he went to take one.
By the middle of last week, none of the bananas had been eaten. Husband was working from home, so I told him to grab all my Baked books (yep, I have four) and pick a banana recipe for me to make. He chose a recipe from Baked Elements, which is a really cool dessert cookbook that has the recipes put into categories based on their main ingredient.
This is a recipe that could have gone in the banana category or the peanut butter category, but the Baked guys chose to put it in the peanut butter category. Bananas were definitely included, but the peanut butter is the reason that the husband chose it, so peanut butter is certainly an acceptable choice.
I got a bundt pan for Chanukah! It’s the Nordicware Anniversary bundt pan, recommended by the Baked guys (of course).
I wanted to make a bundt cake from the “Baked Occasions” book, but I also had to play to my audience for the particular occasion, which was Christmas. As someone else was bringing a chocolate dessert, that knocked out the particular bundt recipe I had in mind. So I went searching, and found the perfect recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction – Glazed Apple Bundt Cake.
Not only was it a flavor that everyone would love, but I still have some apples left from apple picking in October! So this cake was baked completely from scratch, including self-picked apples.
It’s time for another trip post! This time, I went to visit friends in Boston. My friend Shaina and I spent almost all Saturday baking!
First, we made a chocolate birthday cake! It was requested that I somehow merge chocolate and strawberry into a delicious cake, so I found a recipe online and tweaked it. I kept the cake recipe the same, but the middle layer was a strawberry puree. I changed that part, because I’m not a fan of fruit purees in cakes like that. I find that they rarely add anything taste-wise, although they do look pretty.
Growing up, my family went apple picking every fall, without fail. We went at the optimal time to pick Golden Delicious, our favorite variety. Despite the fact that there was an orchard in my hometown, we always drove about an hour north to a much larger orchard, where we picked bushels of apples before getting an afternoon snack of apple cider and doughnuts.
We picked bushels of apples, which were loaded into the minivan and taken home, where one bag was washed and put in the fridge and the rest were stored in the garage. One by one, each bag was brought upstairs and eaten, until they were all gone.
The apples were eaten individually of course, packed in lunches and eaten for after-school snacks. But the best thing to do with apples is to bake with them, and my mom always made the first apples of the season into apple crisp.
This is definitely the prettiest picture that a creation of mine has ever gotten, but for good reason! This cake is special.
Aunt Irma was my dad’s aunt, and this is her recipe. I don’t remember Aunt Irma herself ever making it, but my mom made it many times when I was a kid. She hasn’t made it in ages, and I had never made it. I believe it was my sister who randomly brought up this cake and asked me to make it. So I took the recipe from my mom, and I decided to do it.