Posts tagged southern
Louisiana Syrup Cake - American Cake - Yum
Moist, delicious, gingerbread cake.
There's a piece in the American Cake book with this recipe that talks about Steen's Cane Syrup. Steen's can be found in the south it says. Just about the time I got to this section of the book a co-worker said he was heading to Louisiana to work with his mom on her house that was devastated in the Baton Rouge floods 6 months ago.
I can't imagine the loss. 
But being the opportunist that I am I asked for him to pick up some syrup, you know, if he could. Well he did and I'm grateful. 

This is a variation on gingerbread. The syrup taste like lighter molasses than corn syrup but you know if you don't have Steen's just make a different cake. 

And interestingly, dissolving the baking soda in hot water is a rare thing, but I've seen it a few times and it makes me think "old fashioned".

1.5 cup granulated sugar
.75 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Steen's cane syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup water boiling hot
2.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon ginger
0.5 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon cloves
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Butter or oil spray a 13x9 pan thoroughly. Parchment is tricky with this one because it is a sticky cake.

In a big old bowl whisk the sugar and oil together. Add the syrup, stir it in. Dissolve the baking soda into the hot water. Add that to the sugar/syrup mixture. The heat and water loosens the batter. Dump the flour, spices and salt into the mixture. Add the eggs.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 45 minutes to an hour until a testers comes out cleanly. Top with powdered sugar and serve warm.

So Mr. Louisiana said the cake reminded him of home. There can't be a better compliment.


Best Biscuits-Southern US Biscuits
Quick and delicious biscuit!
I love a quick bread. Mostly because it's bread and it can be made quickly then I can pop it into my mouth.
We were talking about the ability to whip something up out staple ingredients in the kitchen being a blessing or a curse. You know if you can make a delicious biscuit or cookie with what is on hand, how do you not give into that whim and make yummy stuff all of the time. It's a curse! The real answer is you control what you eat like everyone else.
It really is a blessing to be able to cook. This recipe should be in everyone repertory. The basic cutting flour into fat is good thing to know how to do. See pie crust.

Biscuits
2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Start making these 30 minutes before you're going to eat them.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2401/2038698008_257432eabf.jpg
Pastry Cutter
In a bowl combine the dry ingredients, toss briefly. Cut the shortening into the flour mix. I use a pastry scraper, you can use a pastry cutter, which most people have kicking around in the back of a drawer. If you have neither you can use two butter knives to get the job done. Two knives will take a little more time. If it's cool outside and your quick and light with your touch you can rub the butter into the flour. All of these techniques do the same thing, which is evenly incorporate the fat into the dry mixture. 

Create a well in the mixture and pour all of the milk in at once. Quickly mix together. The dough will be fairly soft. Fold it onto itself 6 or 7 times. Do not knead like a yeast bread. Dump onto a floured surface, fold one last time in half. (This is where your biscuit will split with a fork once it's out of the oven.) Pat it into a disc that's one inch thick and cut. Use a round metal cutter (or a glass with a very thin lip) or if you don't mind squares and want to be even quicker, cut with a knife. Put them on a parchment lined pan, spaced about an inch apart, and pop the pan into the oven for 25 minutes.

Make 6 giant biscuits or 9 modest sized ones.

This is a good recipe to riff from. Add chives and parmesan cheese; brush with garlic butter.  Add sugar and cinnamon and call it a scone. Use buttermilk instead or use part sour cream for your milk. The ratio of flour, fat and milk is what you want to keep as closely to as possible.

What are your "whip it quickly together" recipes?