The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Irish Soda Bread

isb1I couldn’t let a St. Patty’s go by without writing a post on Soda Bread. I don’t know what about it makes it so great. I am not a fan of raisins usually, but without them in soda bread, would make it feel incomplete. Even if more traditional recipes do not have rains, my traditional soda bread has them.

Most recipes are about the same, varying every so slightly. I used a great one with caraway seeds and no sugar; it was a great hit, but I lost the recipe. Unable to find the original, I found another recipe and used what I could remember from the other post. The original recipe that I followed mainly for portions is from Cooking Bliss.

isbINGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cup bread flour
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 TBS caraway seeds
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk

I make my own buttermilk using regular milk and a tablespoon of vinegar. It is a 1:1 ratio (1 TBS vinegar for every 1 cup of milk). Have isb2it sit for 10 minutes and you have buttermilk. Rinse the raisins in a coriander and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining parchment paper on top. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Add raisins and caraway seeds and mix well. Create a bowl shape with the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well. The dough will be a wet, sticky consistency. On a floured surface, knead the dough about ten times. Place the dough on the pan and score the dough with an “X” on top. Bake for 60-65 minutes until lightly browned. Cool and Serve.


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Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

St. Patricks Day is almost here, and I usually would make some sort of Guiness/Baileys creation. I was in the mood to branch out, and I found this recipe for the Key Lime Bars off of Confessions of a Cookbook Queen’s blog. I looked at the list of ingredients and I thought, “Perfect, these should be easy…” Now, I have mentioned before how important it is to look at a recipe before you begin so there are no surprises. Obviously, I need to listen to my own advice because I did not know what I was entirely in for.

crustFrankly, I almost forgot to make them until 8pm at night, and I had no idea how much was involved. I confess I was a bit lazy with the crust. The graham crackers were chunkier pieces rather than a powder. I think it makes for an interesting surprise. It’s definitely chunkier than your normal crust, but my guinea pigs didn’t seem to mind one bit. I doubled the recipe to an extent; I used a 9 x 13 inch pan over the 10 x 10 in the original.

THE LIME CURD

  • 16 TBS unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice

In a standard mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at time, fully incorporated before adding the next. Add in the lime juice, and mix until well combined. Over barsmedium heat, put the mixture in a medium sized sauce pan until smooth. Increase the heat slightly, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Using a thermometer, cook until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.  Transfer the curd to a bowl and press plastic wrap on the surface of the lime curd to keep a skin from forming. The curd will thicken further as it cools in the refrigerator.

THE CRUST

  • 16 oz graham crackers, roughly crushed
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter very softened

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line the pan with parchment and make sure it overhangs the edges.  Mix the butter and graham crackers together and press into the bottom of the pan evenly.  Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool completely.

THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • bars34- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus one large egg white
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  •  1 cup sour cream
  •  2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup prepared lime curd
  • green food coloring
Tint the 3/4 cup of lime curd with the liquid food coloring until lime-rind green. Set lime curd aside. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a standard mixer on medium high speed until smooth.  Beat in eggs on low speed, 1 at a time.  Beat in sour cream, vanilla, then flour until just blended.  Remove 1 cup of batter and set aside.  Pour the rest of the batter over the crust.
Mix 1/2 cup of tinted lime curd with the 1 cup of reserved batter.  Place spoonfuls or dollops of this mixture on top of the plain cheesecake.  Dollop the remaining 1/4 cup of lime curd  across the previous mixture.  Use a knife or tooth pix to swirl the mixtures together to create a marbleized effect.  Bake for 35 minutes at 325 degrees.  Let cool completely in pan then refrigerate.  Lift cheesecake out of the pan with parchment overhang.  Cut into bars before serving.