Redeeming the Table

sharing stories, hospitality & food with friend & stranger

Redeeming the table shares stories of faith & life around the table, while utilizing real food focusing on the Paleo diet and extending hospitality to welcome others to it.  Kamille Scellick is the voice behind Redeeming the Table, and she speaks candidly and openly of her own story, struggles, and triumphs in sharing the table.  She is a mom to three girls, one who has special needs.  She is the wife to Ben.  She loves Jesus.

Filtering by Tag: cream cheese

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake

I just love food magazines, but what I love even more is having an excuse to buy one. We went to Vegas for my sister-in-law's wedding and if traveling with two children under the age of four isn't excuse enough--I have no clue what is. We spent the night in Seattle to make it easier to catch our morning flight; however, when you have a little girl who comes in at 4:45 to see if it's time to go on the airplane...you know you're in for a rough morning. There was one point of the boarding process where both girls were crying (rather loudly), while I made it a point to not look at the faces on the other passengers & simply survive.

I was waiting for those precious words from the pilot, "we're now at 10,000 feet, so you can turn on any electronic devices...cell phones, music, LAPTOPS (I think only Ben & I heard it this loud)." That laptop was never pulled out so quickly or a My Little Pony DVD popped it so rapidly. I think we made record time.

The day before I had the girls with me on an errand to Target to get the coveted 'headphone splitter,' which was about the best investment for $4.99 one could make with an upcoming airplane ride (& two little kids). I'm definitely not above videos at a time like this, so if you're that mom who has a special bag full of toys, crayons, paper & other distraction keepers...well, bless you! Once the headphones were on, two girls comfortably (and rather quietly) sitting next to each other watching Ponies--Ben and I gave a nod of approval (wondering if parents were approved to get complimentary liquor).

That's when I pulled out the Fine Cooking Magazine and read each article, because I could. I fell in love with this cake and dreamed of when I could make it. And since I still have pumpkin puree in my freezer from the late Autumn of last year--I knew it was destiny. It should be yours too, and that's why I'm sharing it, because I care about your destiny when it comes to Autumn desserts and not wanting to look bad when you bring a store-bought pumpkin pie. Your friends & family will rave, as mine did with, "mmmm.....YEAH. that was killer. awesome," or "It was dangerously delicious!"

A Year Ago:

My Roots (Machaca)

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cake (printable recipe)

This is adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine. The original recipe calls for adding candied ginger to the nuts (1 1/2 Tb chopped) after the nuts have been thoroughly coated, but I didn't have any, so I sprinkled in ground ginger instead. This cake probably takes about 2-3 hours to make from start to finish and should be made the day of or cover in a cake dome for up to 2 days. The nuts will not be as crispy the second day. When you are browning butter, it is even more essential that you use your olfactory senses (smell) than your eyes. It will go from a popcorn smell to a nutty (walnut, hazelnut) smell.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

6 oz (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, more for pans

9 oz (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour, more for pans

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

3/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 cups Sucanat sugar

2/3 cup Rapadura sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, (how to roast & puree pumpkin)

For the Topping:

1 1/2 Tb unsalted butter

2/3 cup pecans

1/2 cup unsalted, raw pumpkin seeds

2 Tb Sucanut sugar or light brown sugar firmly packed

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the Frosting:

4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

5 oz (1 1/4 cups) powdered sugar

Directions:

Make the Cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the bottom & sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Melt the butter in a 1 quart heavy bottomed pan, stirring occasionally until the butter turns a nutty golden-brown (around 4-6 minutes) and when it smells nutty. Pour the butter into a small bowl and allow to cool, but not set for about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, add all of your dry ingredients and whisk them together (flour, spices, salt, & baking soda). In a large bowl, combine all of your wet ingredients, except the butter (note: sugar is almost always considered a "wet" ingredient) and thoroughly mix (Pumpkin puree, eggs, both sugars, buttermilk). With a rubber spatula, stir in the dry ingredients from the medium bowl until just combined. Now, whisk the brown butter until completely incorporated. Divide the batter equally between the two pans.

Bake the cakes for 28 minutes (again make use of those olfactory sensors during baking as I baked my cakes for 27 minutes, because the cake smelled done), or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool 10 minutes in the pan. Using a butter knife, run it around the outside of the cake to loosen and then turn it onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Topping: Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans & pumpkin seeds and cook until the pecans brown slightly and the pumpkin seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar/Sucanat & salt and stir until the sugar melts and the nuts are glazed, about 2 minutes. Stir in ginger. Remove from heat and cool nuts in pan.

Make the Frosting: Melt the butter in a heavy-duty 1 quart pan over medium heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally (just like before for the batter) until it turns a nutty golden-brown, about 4-6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a bowl and allow it to sit on the counter for 5 minutes to let the solids settle. Carefully transfer bowl to the freezer and chill until just firm, about 18 minutes. Using a spoon, carefully scrape the butter from the bowl, leaving the browned solids at the bottom; discard the solids. Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese & brown sugar on medium-high speed until light & pale and brown sugar has dissolved, 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the powdered sugar until it is nice & fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Assemblage: Get a large cake plate and place one cooled cake top side down. Spread about 1/2 -2/3 cup of frosting on the cake. Take your other cake and place it top side down. Frost the top and sides with remaining frosting. Top the cake with glazed nut/seed topping. Serve immediately. **If you'd like, you could take 1/2 cup of the nut mixture and sprinkle it over the first layer of frosting to sandwich it between the two layers. Then, use the remainder for the top.

Zucchini Walnut Anise Sandwich Cookies

Before I get to these lovelies, (which I'm sure you're dying to try) I have been reminiscing of high school gym class.  Worst yet, first day of gym class as a freshman.  Oh, and it's co-ed.  For me, nothing could have been worse.  I wasn't uncoordinated or even the last to be picked for teams in gym, so it wasn't about that portion.  It was about the vulnerability.  That ever-present reality of who you were standing there in rows, waiting for warm up in that all too often awkward gym uniform, while  sizing up who could be below you.  It wasn't like your academic classes, where you could hide your test scores or become the shadow on the wall (at least you were in your full clothing to say the least).

But gym class.  For the dreadfully modest, awkward body shapes, and lack of strengthened muscles--it was like watching the "all humiliation channel."  And for a person who has never been the "jock," I think that's what working out/exercising can be like at times.  So when I was considering joining Jogo Crossfit, it was as if all these fears of 9th grade gym class flooded my system.  Was I going to be able to keep up?  How out of shape am I?  What if I can't do the exercises required?  What if people are sizing me up?  Oi Vye!  The night before my first class I got those butterflies in my stomach (along with the multiple questions).

Yet, what I found was something so different.  When we were set up doing running warm ups, I was without a partner, which meant I would run by myself.  I was fine with this, but so surprised by one of my fellow Jogo teammates, that he came back to run every single warm up with me.  He did double time.  Everyone was encouraging me saying, "Good job!"  But not in that, "we're saying this because we have to" way, but in the, "I've been there, we've all been there..and you're honestly doing a good job," way.  I never thought you could be hospitable in a gym setting, but I feel like I found it here.  It's community being embraced.  It's working as hard as you can without sizing someone up and encouraging others toward the goal.  It's vulnerability and allowing others to see my weaknesses, while embracing where I'm at without comparison.

It's hard, really hard, but good.  In fact, I think it was due to me getting some hardcore exercise that gave me energy to make these here cookies.  I've had them on the dock in my memory bank for a while and I think I hit a home run with them.  They make use of the ever abundant summer zucchini (so why just use it for zucchini bread?).  The honey-anise cream cheese brings it together with great harmony.  I love the soft taste of zucchini with the licorice-fennel taste of the anise and crunch of the walnuts.  And if you just exercised a bit, then these whole wheat & unrefined sugar treats won't make you feel like it was done in vain.  So what are you waiting for?

A Year Ago: My Soul Finds Rest

Zucchini Walnut Anise Sandwich Cookies (printable recipe)

These cookies have an ever so subtle hint of anise, which pairs lovely with the summer zucchini & honeyed cream cheese. Use a box grater for the zucchini and be sure to squeeze out the water, as zucchini is full of it.

Zucchini Walnut Anise Cookies:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened

1/2 cup Sucanat sugar

1/4 cup rapadura sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 tsp anise extract flavoring

1 1/4 cup grated zucchini, squeeze out the additional water

2/3  cup toasted & chopped walnuts

Honey-Anise Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounce cream cheese

1/4 cup honey, mild flavor

2 tsp anise extract

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Combine all the dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Beat the butter for 30 seconds on medium speed in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Add in both sugars & beat on medium speed for another 30 seconds.  Scrape the sides down.  With the mixer on low-speed, add the egg & anise extract.  Mix until combined.  While the mixer is still on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until completely combined.  Squeeze out the water in the zucchini before you add it to the dough. Add the zucchini and mix until it is evenly distributed.  Then, add the walnuts and briefly mix just until they are combined.

On parchment lined sheets, drop one tablespoon of dough at a time, 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Put on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to foil or parchment sheet.

Make frosting: Put cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 30 seconds on medium speed.  Add honey & anise flavoring, beat for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Putting together: Put about 2 Tb of frosting on one upside down cookie and take another cookie (without frosting) and sandwich together.  Makes about 15-20 cookie sandwiches.

I'm Kamille-Welcome!

Wife to Ben. Mama to three beautiful girls. I cook, bake & eat. Food, hospitality, & sharing our stories just might change the world. 

Wife to Ben. Mama to three beautiful girls. I cook, bake & eat. Food, hospitality, & sharing our stories just might change the world. 

 

 

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