Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Banana Chocolate Fudge

This is different. Some people really liked it, some didn't like it at all. Most people didn't like it, I probably won't make it again.

Banana-Chocolate Fudge

1 medium-ripe banana, mashed
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a saucepan, combine banana, chocolate, brown and granulated sugars, milk, salt and corn syrup. Stirring constantly, cook mixture over medium heat until the sugars dissolve. If sugar crystals form on the sides of the pan, wipe them off with a pastry brush dipped in water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring the mixture occasionally to prevent sticking, until it reaches the soft-ball stage (236 degrees F).

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter without stirring; cool the mixture until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add vanilla extract; beat fudge until it loses its gloss and starts to thicken. Pour it into a buttered loaf pan. Sprinkle the fudge with chopped walnuts, if desired. Gently press walnuts into the fudge with a spoon. When fudge is cool and firm, cut the fudge into 32 pieces.

GF Cinnamon Swirls

I just wanted a simple and quick recipe for something like cinnamon rolls. And, this is what I came up with. I tweeked the recipe for Buttery Cinnamon Cake, and made my own recipe. I made a glaze of powdered sugar, milk and flavoring. I didn't measure anything in the glaze except the extract. The second time, I used vanilla and almond flavoring and it was good.

When I first made these I made them with half corn flour (masa de harina), but they were a little dry. The second time I made them with GF rice flour, and they turned out great, not dry.

These are quick to make (probably about 45 minutes to an hour), soft, and good reviews from the family. I was aiming for something like a cinnamon roll, but I didn't call them "Cinnamon Rolls" because they're more like buns and not rolls. I came up with "Cinnamon Swirls" because I swirl in the cinnamon sugar and I thought that would be a good name.

GF Cinnamon Swirls       
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 TBLS baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup milk
about 1 TBLS lard, softened in the microwave
Cinnamon sugar
powdered (confectioners') sugar
1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract, or cinnamon

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease about two 9 x 13" cake pans.

3. Drop the mixture from two spoons about 1 inch apart onto the greased pans.

4. Spread a little of the lard on top of each one from the back of a spoon. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the lard on the buns.

5. With a spoon, swirl in the cinnamon sugar.

6. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, or until done (you can test with a fork or toothpick), and a little brown.

Butterflies on the Flowers

I saw these yellow flowers so I went to take pictures of them. I saw this Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly first, then the place was bursting with butterflies!

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Cool Flower & Tree Pictures