Hawaiian Carrot Cake from the Cook Islands

Sue Carruthers' “The Flame Tree Cookbook — Pacific Recipes for the New Zealand Kitchen”, 1993, is one of my favorites. And this is one of our favorite cakes. We bake it, finish it off and then bake another one aboard ADAGIO. It keeps well in the fridge and re-heats deliciously. I have modified the recipe slightly, and bake it in a 12-cup Bundt cake pan. Try it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canned crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated coconut, perhaps lightly toasted
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, whole
  • 3/4 cup raisins, sultanas or dried cranberries

Instructions:

1 – Butter a 12-cup Bundt cake pan or two 20 cm round cake pans.
2 – Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
3 – In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. I do not bother to sift the dry ingredients.
4 – Stir together the oil, vanilla and eggs until well combined. Stir into the flour mixture with the carrots, pineapple, coconut, dried cranberries and nuts.
5 – Bake for 1 hour to 1-1/2 hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
6 – Invert the cake on a cooling rack, and allow to thoroughly cool before removing the pan. Then turn it right side up into a sealed cake keeper and keep it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

 

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Minh Thu’s French Apple Delicacy

Minh Thu was born in Vietnam, and raised in France. She and her husband, Alan, have sailed for many years aboard their catamaran NOUVELLE VIE II. In New Zealand, they invited us aboard for a delicious Vietnamese meal. For dessert, she served this French delicacy. It is very easy and quick to make — perfect for cooking aboard a boat.

Special Equipment:

  • A pot or skillet that can be used on the stove top and in the oven
  • Pastry brush for painting the egg wash onto the top of the puff pastry

Ingredients:

  • A small package (400 gm) of frozen Flaky Puff Pastry, defrosted according to package instructions
  • 6 large cooking Apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Mixed Citrus Peel
  • 1 egg, beaten with a fork

Instructions:

  1. Place the apples, brown sugar, cranberries, butter, salt and citrus peel into an oven-proof pan, on the stove top.

  2. Heat the apple mixture, tossing continually, untill the apples are mostly cooked, but not mushy.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C (for convection oven) or 220 C for normal oven.

  4. Cut the puff pastry into four strips and roll each strip out to about 1/4 inch thick.

  5. Cut each strip in half, and lay the strips over the top of the apple mixture, creating a large “lattice” appearance.

  6. Paint the egg wash over the tops of the puff pastry strips.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove and cool.

  8. Serve warm or cold with Yoghurt, Ice cream or Cream.

Enjoy!

 

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

From: The Gourmet Cookbook, Edited by Ruth Reichl, 2004
with a few modifications by Dorothy Darden

The word biscotti comes from a verb meaning “to cook twice,” which refers to the way these cookies are made: first the dough is formed into a log and baked, then it's cut into slices and baked again until golden, crisp, and perfect for dipping into coffee or milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cups (4 ounces) dried cranberries
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) shelled natural pistachios (not dyed red)
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tsp water, for egg wash

Instructions:

  1. Soak cranberries in boiling water to cover in a small bowl until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, then pat with paper towels, or press into the strainer with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the liquid. (Save the soaking water and drink. It is delicious.)

  2. Put a rack in the middle of oven and preheat oven to 325 F (200 C). Butter and flour a large baking sheet, knocking off excess flour.

  3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat with a strong electric mixer at medium speed just until a dough forms. I use my big KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment.

  4. Add cranberries and pistachios and mix at low speed. If the dough is too stiff for the electric mixer, use your hands to knead in the pistachios and cranberries.

  5. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead several times. Halve dough. Using floured hands, form each half into a slightly flattened 13-by-2-inch log on baking sheet, spacing logs about 3 inches apart. Brush logs with egg wash.

  6. Bake until golden, for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool logs on baking sheet on a rack for 10 minutes. (Leave oven on.)

  7. Transfer logs to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices cut sides down in one layer on baking sheet (it's fine if slices touch each other). Bake, turning once, until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes (or 13 minutes on each side). Transfer biscotti to racks to cool.

Tip: You can freeze or refrigerate the logs after first baking, through step 6., then slice and bake the slices when you need them, step 7. I sometimes make a double batch, and refrigerate half of the logs before step 7.

Enjoy!

 

Fabulous Figs and Blue Cheese Appetizer

While cruising in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, we were hiking ashore and came upon an ancient fig tree, laden with beautiful figs, many of which were ripe enough to pick. I filled my small backpack with 31 of the ones I could reach. Back on the boat, we treated ourselves to figs, stuffed with Blue Cheese and melted in the microwave. The following week, we harvested another 31 figs from the same tree, and served them to six of our fellow cruisers in ADAGIO's cockpit. We have found that the melting of the cheese creates a gooey appetizer. So we serve the figs cool or at room temperature, garnished with a dab of cold Blue Cheese, as follows.

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh Figs per person
  • Good quality Blue Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Check each fig for serious blemishes, but no need to wash the figs.
  2. Cut off the stem, then cut each fig into 4 pieces, slicing from top to bottom.
  3. Place the 8 fig quarters on a small plate and garnish each piece of fig with a 1/2 tsp of Blue Cheese.
  4. Serve immediately as finger food.

Enjoy!

 

Easy French Pear Cake

Once in blue moon, a batch of pears fails to ripen properly. They are fine and white all the way to the core, but are still hard, even if you have left them in a sunny window for a week. They haven't become soft and sweet. The best and easiest way to preserve and enjoy these pears is to cook them up in a French Pear Cake. I have adapted this recipe from my 1972 copy of The Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker. The original recipe says to use apples or peaches. I think pears are best here.

Equipment:

A deep, 8-inch pie pan, or equivalent, buttered or brushed with Canola Oil

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 1 large Navel Orange
  • Zested Rind from 1 large Navel Orange
  • 3 cups peeled, cored and sliced Pears
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) or 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tb Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tb Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Milk

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 deg F (220 deg C).
  2. Put the Orange Juice and the Orange Zest into the pie pan.
  3. Add the Pears and Dried Cranberries, and toss to coat with the Juice and Zest.
  4. Sprinkle the 1 tsp Mixed Spice and 2 Tb Brown Sugar over the fruit .
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the Flour, 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the Eggs, Canola Oil and Milk.
  7. Pour the Egg mixture into the Flour mixture and beat together with a spatula until blended.
  8. Pour the batter over the fruit.
  9. Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot or warm, with Milk or Cream to pour over the top of each serving.

Enjoy!

 

Berry Pie with Frozen Fruit

From The Joy of Cooking, first published in 1931. My edition was printed in June, 1972.
Sometime during the 1990's, The Joy of Cooking was re-written. I found it a big disappointment. The new Joy of Cooking omitted numerous recipes that are not available in other cookbooks. This is one of those recipes.

I usually make a woven lattice crust top, so that the juices can ooze and bubble up between and over the lattices.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz frozen berries or cherries, defrosted enough so that the fruit separates easily
  • 3 Tb Quick-Cooking Tapioca
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tb Melted Butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix the ingredients listed above and let stand for 15 minutes:
  2. Make dough for a double-crust 9″ pie.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 ° F (230 ° C).
  4. Line a pie pan with pie crust dough.
  5. Fill the pie shell with the berry mixture.
  6. Cover with crust or lattice and bake in a preheated 450 ° F (230 ° C) oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat and bake at 350 ° F (175 ° C) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Cool on a rack until comfortable enough to handle.
  9. Serve warm or cool.
  10. Store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!

 

Dessert — ADAGIO’s Fresh Apple Cake

This is based on a recipe from the Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl, 2004. I have made modifications. I have always baked this cake in a Bundt cake pan, but I would expect it to do well as two round cake layers, with the cooking time reduced to about 45 minutes. I like to substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup of the Canola Oil, as described below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose white Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1-1/2 cups Canola Oil (or 1 cup Canola Oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon dark Rum or 1-1/2 tsp Rum extract
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 medium-sized Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup whole Almonds

Equipment:

A 12-cup Bundt cake pan

Instructions:

  1. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 ° F (175° C).
  2. Thoroughly butter and flour the Bundt pan, knocking out excess flour.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk together the Oil, Eggs, Sugar, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Rum/Extract, Vanilla (and applesauce if you are using it), until just combined.
  5. With a large spoon or spatula, fold in the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in the Apples, Cranberries and Almonds.
  6. Spoon the batter into the pan.
  7. Bake in a preheated 350 ° F (175° C) oven, until a knife or a wooden toothpick inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean — about 1-1/4 hours.
  8. Cool the cake upright in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cake upside down onto the rack to cool completely.
  9. Remove the pan from the cake after it has cooled.

Serve plain or with Rum Sauce and Whipped Cream.

Enjoy!

 

Dessert — ADAGIO’s Boatmeal Cookies

An old family recipe was the origin of this cookie, to which we have made many changes. We like to bake 1/3 of the dough, and refrigerate the remaining dough for baking later. The refrigerated dough makes a crunchier and crisper cookie.

If you don't have time to prepare a proper breakfast, grab two or three of these cookies and a glass of milk, and you'll be happy. This is very useful aboard a boat, when events sometimes happen quite quickly and unexpectedly, even when it's time to eat.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 1 T Coconut Extract

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup White Flour
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 cup Soy Four
  • 1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Wheat Germ

Bulky Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Rolled Oats (large, regular oatmeal, not the quick cooking kind)
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies (Rice Bubbles) cereal
  • 2 cups Special K cereal
  • 1 cup grated Coconut
  • 1-1/2 cups Dried Cranberries
  • 1-1/2 cups Whole Almonds

Instructions:

  1. In an electric mixer, blend Oil and Brown Sugar for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add the Vanilla and Coconut Extracts.
  4. Add the Dry Ingredients, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix well. The batter will be stiff.
  5. Mix the Bulky Ingredients together by hand in a very large bowl. The bowl I use measures 13 inches (340 mm) in diameter.
  6. Using a large spatula, slowly fold the batter from the electric mixer bowl into the bulky ingredients. The mixture will be stiff, so take your time, and stir until the batter is evenly mixed.
  7. Coat a baking sheet with Canola Oil, or use a silicone baking sheet liner, and place large tablespoons of cookie dough onto the baking sheet.
  8. Bake in a 200° C preheated oven for 20 minutes, until browned.
  9. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  10. Store cooled cookies in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy!

 

Dessert — Berry or Cherry Pie Made with Frozen Fruit

From The Joy of Cooking, first published in 1931. My edition was printed in June, 1972.
Sometime during the 1990's, The Joy of Cooking was re-written. I found it a big disappointment. The new Joy of Cooking omitted numerous recipes that are not available in other cookbooks. This is one of those recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 20 oz frozen berries or cherries, defrosted enough so that the fruit separates easily
  • 3 Tb Quick-Cooking Tapioca
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tb Melted Butter

Instructions:

  1. Mix the ingredients listed above and let stand for 15 minutes:
  2. Make dough for a double-crust 9″ pie.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 ° F (230 ° C).
  4. Line a pie pan with pie crust dough.
  5. Fill the pie shell with the berry mixture.
  6. Cover with crust or lattice and bake in a preheated 450 ° F (230 ° C) oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce the heat and bake at 350 ° F (175 ° C) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Cool on a rack until comfortable enough to handle.
  9. Serve warm or cool.
  10. Store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!

 

Dessert — Chocolate Pear Cake

First made in Bay of Islands, New Zealand, May, 2010

This is a deliciously moist brownie, topped with poached pears. It can be made with or without butter, and tastes wonderful both ways. I substitute applesauce and oil for the butter.

Ingredients:

  • 5 Pears
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice or Vinegar or Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 4 oz (113 gms) unsalted butter at room temperatureor: 4 oz (113 gms) applesauce and 2 T Canola Oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
  • 4 large Eggs at room temperature
  • 4 oz (113 gms) Dark Chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup all purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Almond Meal (finely ground almonds)
  • 4 Tb unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1-1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp granulated Sugar

Instructions for Poaching the Pears:

  1. Peel the pears, then cut in half lengthwise, and remove the core.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup Water with the 1 tsp Vinegar or juice.
  3. Place the Pear halves flat side down in a microwave-proof dish.
  4. Add the Water and Vinegar mixture.
  5. Cover with cling wrap, and microwave for 5 minutes on High. Or you can poach the pears in the liquid in a covered pan on the stove top, until tender but not mushy.
  6. Drain the pears and allow to cool.

Instructions for Making the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F).
  2. Butter or oil a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. I sometimes use a round, silicone cake pan.
  3. Melt the Chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Do not burn. Or melt the Chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
  4. Stir together the Flour, Almond Meal, Cocoa Powder, Baking Powder and Salt. Set aside.
  5. Beat the butter (or Applesauce and Canola Oil) with the sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer, or with a wire whisk by hand.
  6. Add the Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Add the melted Chocolate and stir or beat until combined.
  8. Add the Flour mixture and beat or stir for one minute, or until just combined.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  10. Arrange the pear halves in a circle on the top of the batter, flat side down.
  11. Sprinkle the top of the pears with 1 tsp Sugar.
  12. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  13. Cool the cake in its pan on a rack, until cool enough to handle, then remove it and place on a serving plate.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or thick plain yoghurt.

Enjoy!