Secret Recipe Club: Honey Maple Cake

Honey Maple Cake

This recipe ticked off a lot of “to-do” boxes this week.  First I had to create a dish for the next reveal from the Secret Recipe Club.

Second I had to appease DH and his complaints that I haven’t baked anything sweet in a while.

And thirdly it allowed me the chance to try a new bottle from my Pure Infused flavored Maple Syrup sampler pack I purchased recently.   Oh and cover a “something Spring-like” recipe.

My last post I talked about my bad habit of having good intentions but accomplishing nothing.  Isn’t it wonderful how quickly I turned it around this week. Yeah me!

I was assigned Sara’s blog Cupcake Muffin and wow what an index of recipes. After spending a couple of days scrolling through my heart and stomach finally settled on her adaptation of The Food Librarian‘s Honey Maple Cake. I used these cute little bake and serve loaf liners to make tiny single serve treats.

Honey Maple Cake

After coming back from my weekly grocery excursion and realizing that of course I was missing an ingredient I had to substitute vanilla yogurt for the sour cream.  I omitted the vanilla and used my anise, clove and cinnamon flavored maple syrup.  I’m not a fan of glazes either and because I had this amazing syrup I decided to pour a little over top to enhance that maple flavor. These cakes were so moist and tasty I will be using this recipe a lot in the future.

Honey Maple Cake

Yields 10-12

Honey Maple Cake
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • Maple syrup for pouring on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl cream the butter. Beat in the honey, maple syrup, and sugar.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Alternating between the flour and vanilla yogurt, mix them into the butter mixture until batter is smooth.
  6. Pour batter into small loaf pans, large loaf pan, muffin tins or what ever you want the final shape to be.
  7. Bake for 25-40 minutes depending on size of container. Cake is done with toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are browned.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
270

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Honey Pecan Cookies

Honey Pecan Cookies from The Tasty Gardener

These cookies taste like honey.  Not slightly like honey, but like giant spoonfuls of honey.  They are awesome.  However the dough for these cookies is probably the yuckiest dough I have ever worked with.  It’s sticky and gritty and boy am I glad the cookies turned out or I would have lost my mind.

They are simple enough to make too.

In one bowl combine the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.

Honey Pecan Cookies from The Tasty Gardener

 

In another bowl beat together the sugar, honey and egg.  Mix in the dry ingredients.  These is the dough.  This is what it looks like.  You may want to have a warm wash cloth nearby cause things are about to get sticky.

Honey Pecan Cookies from The Tasty Gardener

 

Grab some of the dough and roll it into 1 1/2″ balls. Place on baking sheet.  Press a pecan half into the top which secures the but as well as slightly flattens the cookies.
Honey Pecan Cookies from The Tasty Gardener

 

That’s all.  Bake until they start to brown and enjoy.  Honey Pecan Cookies from The Tasty Gardener

 

Yields 6-10 dozen depending on size

Honey Pecan Cookies
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp honey
  • 4 eggs
  • pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
  3. In another large bowl beat together the sugar, honey and eggs. Add the flour mixture and combine.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and place on prepared pans.Press a pecan half onto each ball and bake until golden 6-10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.
Recipe Type: Dessert
7.6.8
280

 

A Film Festival Adventure and Fig, Prosciutto and Walnut Pizza

The Epic Christoper Walken

The Epic Christoper Walken

It was this time last year that I was enjoying my first ever Toronto International Film Festival experience.  Being the biggest in the world and known as the one ALL the stars love to come too I had always wanted to participate however busy schedules, friends unavailability, lack of money always saw me watching it pass by season after season.Last year it seemed the stars had aligned just perfectly and I finally had my tickets in hand.  A close work friend and I had decided since it was going to be our first and considering we still had to go to work each day that we would start light.  The sheer number of movies (100 plus ) can be completely overwhelming so to make things easier we let TIFF do the picking.  By purchasing the TIFF choice Special Presentation package of 3 movies we were guaranteed some celebrities and some potentially great films.

The Gorgeous Catherine Keener

The Gorgeous Catherine Keener

I had read plenty of FAQ’s about the festival, on times to arrive, what to wear, what to expect but nothing could prepare me the utter madhouse downtown Toronto becomes.  We had arrived several hours before our showtime to pick up our tickets but still found ourselves in a line with hundreds in front of us.  Thoughts of hotdog carts rolled over the idea in our heads of grabbing a nice dinner before the show.

I’m the type of person who is aware of everything going on around me.  It is probably a control issue thing but it has never failed to be a benefit in my life.  Case in point as we stood there in line, and I mean stood since it was barely moving I overheard a TIFF volunteer telling people in the crowd behind us that if they wanted to purchase a membership they could skip this line.  Much like the know-it-all I was in school up shot my hand with a “woohoo over here! Tell me more”.  I will tell you I had already been considering a membership, they are reasonably priced and have great benefits, but when the volunteer mentioned that it would be 13 months to cover the end of film fest for the price of 12 (plus the whole skipping the line thing) I was sold.

Two men too gorgeous for words, Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron

Two men too gorgeous for words, Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron

So we jumped out of that line, trotted happily after her like puppies to the members only line consisting of about 5 people ahead of us.  Twenty minutes later we had our tickets and were off to dinner.

After a wonderful and leisurely meal we headed to the Scotia Bank theatre for our first film.  Once again we were greeted by lines of people.  Several different lines in fact so I had to ask another volunteer which line was for the people who already had their tickets.

“This one”, she said indicating the long group of people snaking their way up Yonge Street. “Or if you have a Scotia Bank Visa you can go in this line.”

A much shorter line that would be entering the theatre ahead of the first line she showed us.  Well lo and behold what was in my wallet but a handy dandy Scotia Bank Visa card. This night keeps getting better and better.

I think we stood in that line for about 10 minutes when another volunteer comes up asking the Scotia Bank Visa line people if any of them have a certain Visa (you known one of those hoity toity high limit thingies).  Nope looking down at my card (which is actually my DH’s), I just have the plain old…..wait, what does that say in the corner.  When did we get all high and mighty I think showing them the card they were asking about.  Next thing you know we are pulled out of the line with other like carded members of the public and escorted into the theatre down to a special lounge where cocktails and chocolate were being served and where the select 50 or so people would be allowed into the movie first.  Even without seeing a single movie or celebrity I was enjoying the best TIFF experience ever being  THAT person for just a brief moment.

All three movies we saw that week were outstanding, and as you can see by the pictures a few celebrities were seen but I’ll never forget that initial moment of line jumping feeling like I was “someone”.  But isn’t that what the film festival is all about.  Letting everyone have a chance to be a star.

Not to be forgotten was the most amazing pizza we ate for dinner that evening.  An authentic wood fire crust with toppings of figs, walnuts and honey I thought about that pizza for many weeks after.  Here is my attempt to recreate it at home.  Next time I think I will omit the garlic and drizzle even more honey over top.  Or I’ll just save it for film fest week and eat it there.

Fig, Prosciutto and Walnut Pizza

Use a homemade or premade crust for this pizza

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Ingredients

  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 cup dried figs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 5 slices prosciutto

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl stir the olive oil with the the garlic. Brush onto the top of the pizza crust.
  3. Sprinkle with basil, figs, walnuts and drizzle with 1/2 of the honey.
  4. Top with cheese and drizzle with remaining honey.
  5. Top with prosciutto.
  6. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is browned.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.8
250

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a small bowl stir the olive oil with the the garlic. Brush onto the top of the pizza crust.

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Sprinkle with basil, figs, walnuts and drizzle with 1/2 of the honey.

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

 

Top with cheese and drizzle with remaining honey.

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Top with prosciutto.

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust is browned.

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Pizza with mozzarella, figs, prosciutto, walnuts and honey from The Tasty Gardener

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken

Sometimes you just look at chicken and say “now what?”  I’ve fried it, baked it, BBQed it in a phethora of sauces, sauteed, stirfried…. You get my drift.  Chicken is one of those things that you can do a million thing to and they all taste great but coming up with something different can be frustrating.  Everyone has their tried and true ways of cooking chicken so when you feel the need to get out of that rut the endless options out there can be mind boggling.

I’d like to say my recipe solves that problem.  It doesn’t.  In fact it just adds yet another way to cook chicken to the never ending list.  But I can tell you this.  This is a perfect way to BBQ chicken.  The marinade is simple yet subtle.  It flavors the chicken but doesn’t become the center piece that takes away the smokiness you want which is the reason you are BBQing in the first place.

The sauce all begins with the mustard.  Maille makes a great sweet and tangy honey mustard along with their classic Dijon that blends well with the oil and maple syrup resulting in a great chicken marinade.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

The recipe is simple.  I took one whole jar of the honey mustard, whisked it with 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/4 oil.  I use the oil to help keep the chicken from sticking to the grill.  I placed the marinade in a resealable plastic bag along with a ton of chicken legs and let them marinade in the fridge overnight.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

My father in law had this handy chicken leg cooker I had given him a while back and it worked perfect for the chicken.  We placed the rack in a foil baking dish, added a cup of orange to the bottom and cooked the chicken for about 30 minutes on med-high.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

The orange juice steams away keeping the chicken moist, the leg pan keep the chicken off the grill and sticking, and because of their upright position they self baste making them fall off the bone juicy.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty GardenerOnce the juices no longer run pink it’s time to serve them up.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

My father in law created this amazing portable buffet table out of an old BBQ.  Perfect because it can move anywhere and provide extra space when having a large feast or to just keep your dining table less cluttered.  Great way to salvage an old BBQ frame.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

Thanks to the great marinade your chicken is super moist and has a wonderful sweet and tangy flavor.

Maple Honey Mustard Chicken from The Tasty Gardener

 

*I received from Maille coupons to try any of their products free of charge.  All the opinions in this post as solely mine though Maille mustard has been in  my fridge long before receiving these coupons. 

Saucy Honey Chicken

My DH loves dishes that have an asian flare but are saucy enough to cover rice or noodles.  This is a great dish to take bland chicken and make it stellar.

Honey Saucy Chicken
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Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 green onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place chicken in the bottom of a greased square casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.
  4. Cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes until is cooked and sauce is bubbling.
  5. Serve over your choice of rice or noodles.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.8
253

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in the bottom of a greased square casserole dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Chicken in a soy sauce, ketchup, honey sauce

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken.

 

Chicken in a soy sauce, ketchup, honey sauce

Chicken in a soy sauce, ketchup, honey sauce

Cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes until is cooked and sauce is bubbling.

Serve over your choice of rice or noodles.

Chicken in a soy sauce, ketchup, honey sauce