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Leith Hall Sour Cream and Chocolate Coffee Cake

Leith Hall bed and breakfast teatime vanilla

I made this teatime treat this past weekend and four different guests asked for the recipe. I’m happy to share it.

 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperatureLeith Hall bed and breakfast teatime vanilla

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)cape may bed and breakfast teatime chocolate chips

350 agrees F.

line a 9×13 baking pan with cooking parchment

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at aa time. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and add to butter mixture in parts, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Turn about half of the batter into the baking pan.Cape May bed and breakfast teatime

Top with cinnamon chocolate mixture.

 

Mix together:

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp. flour

1 Tbs. cinnamon

1/4 cup Dutch cocoa (I use Droste’s or Rademaker)

1 Tbs. melted butter

 

Top with dollops of remaining batter.

Sprinkle with (60% chocolate) chocolate chips

Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares for Bonnie

Leith Hall bed and breakfast lemon squares

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares for Bonnie

Bonnie stayed with us last weekend and had these lemon squares for Leith Hall bed and breakfast lemon squaresteatime. I always serve something chocolate and something non-chocolate at teatime. Otherwise the guests rebel.

These are very easy to make. You could also use two or three packages of cream cheese, which will make lemon flavored cheesecake. You can sprinkle the squares with powdered sugar to serve, or you could decorate them with candied violets or rose petals.

preheat oven to 350 F.

Crust

1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cups flour

Mix the crust ingredients together and turn into an 8”x8” or 9’x9′ metal baking pan, lined with cooking parchment. Press the crumbs into an even crust on the bottom of the pan. A small measuring cup works well for this.

Filling

1 8 oz. Package of cream cheese

4 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup flour

2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice.

Grated zest of ½ lemon

Directions

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer, scraping the sides regularly, until the cream cheese is soft and smooth. Beat in eggs, ,one at a time, beating well after each addition, to avoid lumps. Then beat in all of the other ingredients and pour the mixture on top of the crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until just colored around the edges. Do not brown.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate ’till cold. Loosen the cooking parchment. Turn the cake onto a cutting board, peel off the cooking parchment, then turn again onto a serving plate,

Cut into squares with a small knife dipped into water between cuts.

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Little Chocolate Cakes for Tea

This recipe is for Jackie. I serve these little chocolate cakes for teatime, using two silicone baking pans that make small straight-sided cakes. It would work as well in cupcake pans, or in two nine-inch cake pans, or in a Bundt pan. I like to soak cakes in a little simple syrup (one third cup sugar and one third cup water, brought to a boil plus a little vanilla) but it isn’t necessary.

Chocolate Cakes for Tea

2 cups flouralmond pound cake

2 cups sugar

¾ cup Dutch process cocoa (I use Droste’s or Van Houten)

2 tsp. Baking powder

1 ½ tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

1 tsp espresso powder or coffee extract

1 cup milk

½ cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 Tbs. Vanilla extract

1 cup water.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract together. Beat the flour mixture into the liquid mixture. Beat in the water. Pour into greased pans. (greased and floured if not using silicone pans).

Bake 30-35 minutes for 9” layers, or about 12 minutes for cupcakes or mini-cakes, about 40 minutes for a bundt pan. I test them before the estimated time. Cake will spring back when touched if it is done.

I top each little cake with chocolate icing made of 1/3 cup butter melted with 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate.

If you’d like to sample our teatime treats, give us a call at Leith Hall bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. 

We look forward to seeing you.

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Easy to make cream puffs

cream puffs

Very easy to make cream puffs

This recipe is for Jiheon. We had cream puffs for teatime yesterday. I filled them with sweetened whipped cream and iced them with very strong bittersweet chocolate icing. This paté à choux recipe is the simplest one I’ve ever seen, and it works perfectly.cream puffs Leith Hall

1 cup water
1 stick (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1 cup flour
pinch salt
1 heaping Tbs. Sugar
4 eggs

cream puffs Leith HallHeat the water, butter, salt and sugar in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Don’t keep boiling the water as this will change the amount. Take the saucepan off the fire and dump in the flour. Mix vigorously with a whisk until the flour is incorporated. Put back on the fire and continue mixing for a minute. The dough will stick together a little and leave the sides of the pot. Take off the fire and dump into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Beat. Then beat in one egg. Then a second. Then a third. If the batter falls from the beaters when you lift them, you’re done. If it sticks, beat in the fourth egg.

Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Or, use a large spoon to make even sizecream puffs Leith Hall mounds.
Preheated 425 F. oven.
Bake for ten minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 F. and bake for twenty minutes more. The cream puffs should be brown rather than tan.

Hints-
1 -When you make the mounds of batter, don’t leave little points on top, as these will burn before the cream puffs are crisp.
2 – When you take the cream puffs out of the oven, pierce each one on the side to let the steam escape so they don’t get soggy. You can also return them to the turned-off oven for a few minutes to crisp them.
3 – You can make them without an electric mixer by beating in the eggs, one at a time, with a whisk.

cream puffsFor the whipped cream, I used a cup of heavy whipping cream and a quarter cup of confectioner’s powdered sugar. Confectioner’s sugar has a little bit of cornstarch in it which helps stabilize the whipped cream. When it is whipped, add a teaspoon of the best vanilla extract you can find. I use vanilla bean paste which has bits of vanilla seed in it. I fill them using a pastry bag fitted with a small pastry tube, but you can use a plastic zip-lock bag in a pinch, or even cut them and use a small teaspoon to fill them.

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Cape May B&B Pumpkin Apricot Cake

Cape May B&B

CAPE mAY B&BThis is another recipe for Millie and her family. We served this pumpkin apricot cake for teatime while she was here last week, and she asked for the recipe.  I always like desserts that include two ingredients that are similar colors but different flavors, like honeydew and green grapes, chocolate and coffee, and this pumpkin and apricot cake.

 

Cape May B&B Pumpkin Apricot Cake

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flourcAPE mAY B&B
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon
1 1/2 c. each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar
1 c. oil
2 c. canned pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups dried apricots, cut up

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the sugars, mixing well.

Mix dry ingredients with the oil and pumpkin, stirring until well combined.

Cape May bed and breakfastAdd eggs, one at a time, blending thoroughly. Stir in apricots. Pour into 2 greased and floured bundt pans. (I use small-ish silicone pans)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake springs back when prodded with your finger.. (I start testing after 35 minutes) Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Place on wire rack to cool.

So come visit us at our Cape May B&B and have some of my teatime treats !Cape May b&b

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Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe for Millie

Cape May b&b

This recipe is for Millie, She and her family had these cookies at teatime this past week.  I make these chocolate chunk cookies or cookie bars all the time. Sometimes, I vary them by using just white  chocolate, lemon extract,  and perhaps some pignoli, or some pistachio nuts. The dough is endlessly versatile. If you add a few tablespoons of water to the dough, it will rise and be cakier. If you add butter and bake it a little darker, it will be crisper.

Ingredients:Cape May b&b
2 1/’2 cups of all purpose flour
1 ¾ cups of sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ cup powdered milk

1 stick, ¼ lb., unsalted butter, melted
1 egg.
¼ cup molasses
1 Tablespoon orange extract

½ cup 72% chocolate, chopped
½ cup 60% chocolate, chopped
½ cup white chocolate, chopped
(I don’t really measure the chocolate. I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% bars, Ghirardelli 60% cholcolate chips, and Ghirardelli white melting wafers

Cape May b&bMix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the molasses and orange extract into the melted butter. Add the melted butter mixture and the egg to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until you form an even dough. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a pat or two of soft butter.

Fold in chopped chocolates until just mixed. If you fold too much the chocolate will melt. (Not a tragedy)

Scoop (with a small scoop) onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake at 4oo F. for 9 minutes. Cool on sheets for 10 minutes then on cookie racks. You can also bake these by pressing the dough into a parchment-lined jelly roll pan (mine is the insulated kind), then sprinkling the chopped chocolate on top and baking the same way. Then cut into cookie bars after it has cooled for 10 minutes.Cape May b&b

You can decorate these cookies with random squiggles of chocolate by melting some 74% chocolate, and a little butter. Squeeze this out of a ziplock bag with the corner snipped.

An alternate way to get these cookies is to come stay with us at Leith Hall. Just give us a call or make a reservation online.

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Leith Hall Mexican Wedding Cake

Cape May bed and breakfast

 

We recently had two sisters as guests, Phoebe and Joann, who were a delight to talk to. Phoebe told me about a cake that she makes that isCape May bed and breakfast incredibly simple to make, very rich, and pleases all of her guests. She was right. She knows her stuff. It’s called Mexican Wedding Cake, though I suspect that it has nothing to do with Mexican weddings. It is made with an entire large can of crushed pineapple, and it looks like the batter will produce a light-colored cake. But it doesn’t. It produces a very dark, caramelized cake that is delicious when served with cream cheese icing.

Our recent guests, Erik and Lisa, had some and Lisa asked for the recipe – so here it is. Thank you Phoebe and enjoy it Lisa.

Mexican Wedding Cake

2 c. all [purpose flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2Tbs. Baking soda
1 tsp. Vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste)Cape May Bed and Breakfast
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple DO NOT DRAIN
1 cup. Roughly chopped pecans
9′ x13” metal baking pan, lined with parchment
350 F. 35 minutes

Cream Cheese frosting
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese
1 Tbs. Vanilla extract (I use vanilla paste)
3 cups powdered confectioner’s sugar

To make cake, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl by hand. Turn into the baking dish and bake.Cape May bed and Breakfast

To make icing – Beat all of the ingredients in an electric mixer in order, starting with the butter. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread onto completely cooled cake.

Try making this cake youirsself. It’s incredibly simple! Or, come visit us at Leith Hall and I’ll make it.

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Dale’s Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies

chocolate peppermint cookies

I’ve had a recipe for peppermint cookies on this blog before, but these are different from the earlier ones. Our guest, Dale, wrotechocolate peppermint cookies and asked me to post the recipe for last week’s peppermint sandwich cookies. They look like Oreo’s on steroids, but taste much better.

I make them medium size, then make sandwich cookies with the quick peppermint butter-cream.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

1 ¼ cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 cups flour
¾ cup Dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

chocolate peppermint cookiesBeat the butter and sugar together until they are fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Mix the flour, cocoa, soda and salt together and beat the mixture into the butter mixture. Drop by tablespoons full onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I use a scoop to get exactly even size domes. Bake for 9 minutes at 350F. Cool on cookie sheets, then again on cookie racks.

For the peppermint cream.

1 stick (1/2 cup)  unsalted butter, creamed in an electric mixer

4 cups powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon peppermint extract

a few tablespoons of waterchocolate peppermint cookies

Cream the butter ’till light and fluffy. Beat in the extract and powdered sugar, one cup at a time. If the mixture doesn’t make frosting, beat in water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is creamy and frosting consistency. You could add a tiny drop of red food coloring if you want the frosting to be pink. I seldom do.

chocolate peppermint cookiesWhen the cookies are thoroughly cold, put a dollop of frosting on one, then top with another and twist the sandwich to distribute the filling evenly. Keep cool ’till serving.

Or, the other wy to get these cookies is to come visit us at Leith Hall for a romantic weekend away.

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Chocolate Salami?

Yes, chocolate salami!

Usually I wait ‘till a guests asks for a recipe before making it a blog post, but this afternoon I’m making chocolate salami for tea, andalmond pound cake I can’t resist telling you how to make it. The idea is Italian, so it looks like a Genoa salami, though people make it all over Eastern Europe too, with slight variations.
I use a combination of Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips and some 70% Belgian chocolate from Trader Joe’s.

Chocolate Salami.

8 oz. unsalted butter
16 oz. chocolate
1 cup nuts, lightly crushed (Italians would use almonds and hazelnuts. I used pecans)
About 1 cup cookies, lightly chunked (Italians would use biscotti (cantucci) or amaretti. You could use any simple cookie like shortbread or digestives)
¼ cup rum, or coffee, or orange juice (I use rum)
Zest of 1 orange or ¼ tsp. orange extract.
1 cup raisins (Italians don’t often use raisins, but I like them)
½ cup powdered sugar for coating.

In Italy, the recipe includes raw eggs as they don’t have the salmonella problem that we do. This recipe has a little more butter tochocolate salami make up for leaving out the eggs.

Melt the butter, rum and chocolate together and mix. Mix all of the other ingredients together, then mix with the chocolate. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 ½ hours. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil on your counter. Then lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on the aluminum foil. Turn the cold mixture out onto the chocolate salamiplastic wrap. Wrap with plastic wrap and shape it into a roll. Wrap the aluminum foil and shape again into a roll. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, unwrap the roll and dust with powdered sugar. Cut some slices and arrange them like an antipasto plate with the remainder of the roll.

Next, I’ll have to figure out some other trompe l’oeil sweets that look like savories.

Come visit us at Leith Hall and join us to afternoon tea!

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Once Again – Eat Drink and be Merry, for Tomorrow we Diet!

Romantic Cape May

eat drink and be merryI haven’t used Eat Drink and be Merry, for Tomorrow we Diet for a year now. That’s because it’s been almost a year since the last Cape May Restaurant Week. I know that a lot of my guests come to town to eat in Cape May’s wonderful restaurants. From June 1 to June 8, you can do it for less! Once again, some of the best restaurants in town are participating.

410 Bank Street for Cajun Creole and Caribbean food  – Union eat drink and be merryPark for exotic ingredients like elk, bison, and fois gras –  Fresco’s for Northern Italian food – Cucina Rosa for Southern Italian food,  and several restaurants with a wide variety of dishes  –  Alethea’s, Tisha’s, and the Mad Batter. You probably already know that all of the best restaurants on the Jersey Shore are here in Cape May, but go to the website to see this once a year bargain.

Come stay with us at Leith Hall, so I can feed you my breakfasts and afternoon tea to complete your sybaritic experience.

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