In a large bowl, add the water and the packet of yeast and whisk to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy. If it doesn’t become foamy, start over.
In another large bowl, add the milk, butter, sugar, flour and salt and whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the flour until there are no visible lumps. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit out overnight.
The next morning, preheat a waffle iron and grease with oil or cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, baking soda, and ham into the batter, scoop a 1/2 cup portion onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 3-5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with the warm maple syrup.
Tip: Freeze the waffles and place the frozen waffles in the toaster until crisped and warmed through for a quick breakfast.
Combine the syrup, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture simmers around the edges.
Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon for use again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more.
Attach the candy thermometer to the saucepan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered, without stirring until the mixture reaches 305° F. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and cover it to keep the cream hot. When the sugar mixture is at 305° F, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter chunks.
Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically. Put the pan back on the burner and adjust the heat so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 225° F (or 228° F for a sauce that thickens like fudge when poured over ice cream). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Serve the sauce warm or hot. Store in the refrigerator (it keeps for ages) and reheat it gently in the microwave or a saucepan just until hot and flowing. You can stir in rum or brandy to taste. If the sauce (after reheating) becomes too thick or stiff to serve over ice cream, it can always be thinned with a little water or cream.
14 ounces sourdough bread (crusts trimmed, if desired), cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups whole or low-fat milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 medium eggs (may substitute 3 large eggs)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/3 cup for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking oil spray.
Toss together the bread cubes, blueberries, rosemary and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Spread in the baking dish.
Whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla extract and salt in the same bowl you just used, until well blended. Pour over the mixture in the baking dish and stir gently to moisten all the bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and the nutmeg in a bowl, then sprinkle that mixture over the bread pudding. Bake for 1 hour or until nicely browned.
Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Put them in a rather shallow 1-quart casserole and sprinkle them with the water. Put them aside while you prepare the crust.
Sift together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until all is well combined. Sprinkle this mixture thickly and evenly over the apples. Don’t mix the two together.
Cover the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour, then uncover and bake another 1/2 hour. The crust will be crisp on top, and will have partly seeped down through the apples,
flavoring them and binding them slightly together.
4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
125 g (1 stick or ½ cup) unsalted butter, melted
115 g (4 oz or ¾ cup) of all purpose flour
500 ml (2 cups) milk lukewarm *
powdered sugar for dusting cake
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper so that it’s easier to get the cake out.
Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.
Add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until stiff peaks form.
Add the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold them in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to whisk them in to the cake batter, this is a lot faster and easier. Make sure you don’t fold the egg whites in completely, you still want to see some of the white bits floating at the top.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.
* To get the milk lukewarm I usually warm it in the microwave for about a minute.
The baking time can vary greatly for this cake. I’ve baked this cake in 3 different ovens and I’ve always needed different times which were from 40 to 70 minutes. The oven I have right now only requires about 45 minutes to get a nice golden color on the cake, whereas other ovens I’ve used required the full 70 minutes. Test if after 40 minutes to see what it looks like. The cake is done when it only jiggles slightly but feels firm to touch.
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Confectioners’ sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch diameter, 2 1/2-inch deep cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Put the granulated sugar and lavender into a food processor and whizz until the lavender has broken down. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl. Stir in the lavender sugar. In a pitcher, mix the eggs with the yogurt and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually stir in the wet ingredients. Add the lemon zest and juice, but don’t over-mix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cake is coming away from the inside of the pan and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn it out, peel off the paper, and set on a wire rack until cold. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving and decorate with sprigs of fresh lavender.
Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream. (To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)