Orange glazed Cantaloupe and pecan mini cakes (gluten free)

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I am a food lover and I admit it! The weirdest the flavor combination is,the better for me! People who see me,cannot believe I love food so much,because I do not eat big portions,but I dream about food pretty much every minute and I am not joking!  Getting inspired by those little things,besides,these everyday little things make the difference. Could be a book,an idea that someone can give me or a recipe from Greece.

We eat a lot of melon  in Greece,and probably one of the few I really enjoy eating! I remember sitting in the balcony of our apartment with my younger brother,a kid back then but now a grown up man, eating melon and watermelon with feta cheese. It may sound weird combination but it really works!  We have a melon cake,but is slightly different from the one I made,but It was definitely my inspiration for these little beauties!

My husband,was making fun of me,but I proved him wrong.The cake is dreamy! Light,fluffy and moist. The cantaloupe melon makes its presence perceivable and the pecans give that depth of flavor and the right crunch. A scrumptious summer dessert!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter,softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cantaloupe melon puree
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pecan,coarsely ground

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Grease a muffin tin,or a mini cake molds,like I did.
  2. In a medium bowl,beat with a hand mixer at medium speed,the butter and the sugar until creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour blend,baking powder,salt and baking soda.
  4. Add the egg and the vanilla.
  5. Add the cantaloupe puree,orange juice and orange zest and mix until completely incorporated.
  6. Gradually,add the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Finally,add the pecans and mix.
  8. Fill 2/3 of the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. To make sure it’s done,insert a toothpick,if it comes out clear,cakes are done.

To make the glaze:

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Cantaloupe pecan mini cakes

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Focaccia with sun dried tomatoes and feta

 

feta and dried tomato focacciaFocaccia is an Italian version of flatbread often used as pizza dough,a totally addicting and blissful bread that I am utterly obsessed with! You can add any kind of toppings. Imagine that your focaccia is your blank canvas! In Greece we call it Ladenia and it’s pretty much the same. ,we add tomatoes and yellow onions as toppings.

The idea of making homemade bread can be daunting and can also sometimes feels like something only done in decades past.Truth is,the only thing that requires is  patience. I found this exceptional recipe and it got me inspired.  I haven’t eaten focaccia for a long time and I was very excited I finally made it from scratch. What a joy! Slightly crunchy on the outside, fluffy and airy on the inside.The sun dried tomatoes make their presence very potent, the tanginess of the feta cheese and the aromatic olive oil and fresh thyme, the flavors I grew up with! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey (or agave or sugar)
  • 1 1/4 c water, heated to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 3 1/2 cups Artisan gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes(I used homemade)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese,crumbled

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Oil a half sheet baking pan (12 x 17-inches) and line it with parchment paper. Then oil the top of the parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, dissolve the sugar into the warm water. Add the yeast, stir briefly to moisten the yeast, and set it aside for 5 minutes. If your yeast is fresh, bubbles will form on the top. If not, start over with fresh yeast.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the gluten-free flour, onion powder, and salt together and set it aside.
  4. Add the eggs, oil, and vinegar to the yeast mixture and beat on low-speed just until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Scoop the dough into the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula dipped in water, distribute and smooth out the top of the dough. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature, about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, for about 30 minutes. Once the dough reaches the top of the pan, using a finger, press several dimples into the dough. Brush the top with oil and add the sun-dried tomatoes,feta cheese and thyme.
  7. Place a rack in the lowest portion of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Bake your gluten-free focaccia for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer the bread along with the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice the focaccia with a serrated knife and serve it warm.