Friday, June 27, 2008

Mmmm... Sweet, Sweet Canada


Oh, okay eh? What does Canada taste like to me? Awh geez, I dunno. Back bacon and maple syrup I guess, eh?

All right. I do realize that my two responses to "What does Canada taste like to you?" are the most obvious Bob and Doug answers that I could have come up with but hey - there are reasons for the stereotypes. We love maple syrup. IT'S ON OUR FLAG! Well, not the syrup, but the maple. I'm not talking about table syrup, that sugar water/high fructose corn syrup confection that you find at the grocery store and keep buying because it is only $3 and the kids don't know any better. Real, dark, maple syrup that tastes deep and alive like a sweet, sweet Canadian forest.

For my offering for Sweet Canada I give you Mini Maple Cakes, adapted from a maple bundt cake recipe from Martha Stewart. These cakes are the reason why if anyone called my house earlier this week they would have been told that I was busy trying to make a muffin look like the Canadian flag. This is my life.

I baked them in my Nordic Ware autumn leaf pan. Some of you might have noticed that I am a bit of a Nordic Ware fanatic.(just the platinum collection, mind you) I don't actually work for them but if they would like to start sending me product for raving about them I wouldn't say no.....

But I digress.

The Domestic Goddess has posed this Sweet Canada challenge for Sugar High Fridays and all you Canadians or people who wish you were Canadians (I know you're out there), I believe you have one day left. The round up will be posted on Canada day.

Mini Maple Cakes

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup packaged dark-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions - as this pan has a small capacity, this recipe filled it twice. It would fill a regular 12 cup muffin tin once.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with pam or something like it, I use President's Choice canola spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg, beating well. Beat in 1/4 cup maple syrup and the vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt, beating until just combined after each addition. Scoop batter into prepared pan 2/3 full.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto rack to cool completely.
Just before serving, beat cream with a mixer or a whisk until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and beat until soft peaks return. Spoon whipped cream over cake, and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve immediately or rewarm plain cakes slightly in the microwave and add cream and syrup.

Click here for the Sweet Canada round-up and prepare for some Canadian style sweetness.