Squashberry Cake

This cake is kept moist with Squashberry sauce from the Dark Tickle Company

Moving house is interesting.  We recently picked up sticks and moved to be closer to work.  Now, instead of a thirty minute drive to work, it’s a couple minutes walk.  There’s less wear and tear on the car, on the environment, and on our pocketbook.  So it’s good all around.  Because we had to pack up everything, I realised that there’s so much stuff we’ve collected over the years.  This time moreso than other times we’ve moved because this time we did everything ourselves.   The last time we have the benefit of a moving company, so it was a little harder to see all the crap stuff we’ve got.  We’re slowly starting to declutter (again) and get rid of things we haven’t used in months, if not years.

One thing I did find, though, was a small bottle of syrup we were given a few years ago as a Christmas present: Squashberry sauce from the Dark Tickle Company.  The Dark Tickle Company takes Newfoundland’s fresh berries and makes wonderful jams, jellies, syrups and spreads out of them.  They even have tea, coffee, and chocolates.  Perfect for any gift giving or as a treat for yourself.  When we go back to visit, we always pick up a jar or two to savour later.  They ship worldwide, so check them out.  I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll like.  You get your own bottle of Squashberry sauce here.

Squashberries similar to high bush cranberries and are part of the honeysuckle family.  Squashberries thrive in low to middle elevations in Newfoundland’s moist forests, rocky slopes, and along margins of wetlands. It is a decidous shrub which reaches heights ranging from 2 to 12 feet. The plant has smooth gray bark and shallowly lobed, sharply toothed leaves.The autumn frosts turn the reddish berries a glistening red. The tart, clustered berries are often picked in late summer and early fall as well as after the first frost. Squashberry bark was often chewed and juice swallowed to cure such ailments as lung colds. The Haida Indians considered these berries food for supernatural beings.

I found this recipe in one of my bread cookbooks and thought it would be perfect for using the sauce.  The original recipe used a rum sauce to soak the sponge, but any sweet syrup will do.  You could use lemon and add some zest to the batter for a tart dessert.  As this is a yeast product, the end result comes out more like a soaked bread than cake.  There’s only a little sugar in the recipe, so most of the sweetness comes from the sauce soaking in.  Serve with a nice vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to compliment the cake nicely.

Squashberry Cake

Print Recipe
Squashberry Cake
This yeast cake is closer to bread than cake, and is kept moist with delicious Squashberry sauce from the Dark Tickle Company.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Measure cake ingredients into your bread machine's baking pan in the order listed. Select Dough cycle.
  2. Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. With floured hands or a rubber spatula, remove dough from baking pan and pour into a prepared bundt pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 to 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
  3. Bake cake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Tip the cake onto a large plate and leave upside down. Immediately with a long skewer poke numerous holes in the cake. This is where the sauce will soak into the cake, making it moist. Slowly spoon the sauce over the warm cake, letting it soak in. I used a pastry brush to make sure all the cake was covered. Let cake sit for two hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

It may seem like a lot of sauce, but it gets soaked into the cake very quickly.  If you like, warm the sauce slightly in the microwave.  This will help it absorb faster.

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Turkey pizza with Cranberry BBQ sauce

It’s the new year and you might have a few leftovers from your feastings.  I’ve finally finished off the last of the Christmas turkey (except for the carcass) and have scoured the tubes and wires of the interweb for recipes.  I found this one for turkey pizza and it is delish, I must say.  Over the past week or so I’ve made turkey stuffin muffins, turkey chili, and even turkey sautéed with Brussels sprouts.   Each and everyone tasted wonderful, but I particularly like the pizza.  And who doesn’t like pizza?

So, I hauled out my breadmaker.  Yes, I still use it fairly regularly, about once a month or so and got started on the pizza dough.  What, you say?  You didn’t buy it from the store?  Do you know me?  I’m cheap frugal. So I thought “Why buy it when I have the stuff to make it at home?”  It’s the holidays and I have some time.  Yes, you can get one of those pre-made crusts in the deli section of the store if you don’t have the time and I really won’t judge you for it.  Much.

Kidding.

If you have some spare time before all the kids are going back to school or you have to get back to work then here’s a nice quick way to use up some of those holiday leftovers.

First, the pizza dough.  This is easy.  Just throw everything in the bread machine and walk away.  Walk, I tell you!  The lovely machine does all the work for you and you get nice, fluffy, risen dough to work with about 90 minutes later.  Once the dough is ready, let it rest for a bit and then gently press and stretch the dough into a circle about 14 inches (35 cm for you metric folk) in diameter.  You can use a rolling pin, if you prefer, but it goes fairly quickly by pressing the dough into a circle while reaching underneath to stretch it out.

PRO-TIP: When you are stretching your pizza dough, always reach underneath to pull the dough from the center to the outside.  This cuts down on possible tears.  And your fingers can feel where the dough is thicker, so it can be stretched more evenly.

Preheat your oven to 400F.  You’re going to partially cook your dough.  This will keep your ingredients from making the crust soggy later when you make the pizza.  Place the dough on a pizza pan sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 10-12 minutes.   It should be slightly browned.  Once the pizza crust is done remove it from the pan and let it cool.  Now, you can make the crust earlier in the day and then add the toppings just before supper.  You can even make the pizza crust earlier in the week and freeze the crust for later.  Crazy, huh?  Just take the crust out about 30 minutes to thaw, then add your toppings and bake.

Now, on to make the pizza.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.  The combo is a nice blend of sweet and smoky.  Spread that on the crust.  Add a little cheese so things don’t slide around.  I used a blend of cheddar and mozza.  Add turkey, shredded or cubed.  I sautéed some peppers and onions for colour and flavour.  Then I added a little more cheese, a handful of stuffing (bread on bread action) and sprinkled some summer savoury on top.  Bake for about 15 minutes and you’re done.  I love the extra flavour from the savoury.  Truth be told I could eat just stuffing for dinner sometimes.

The pizza I made was cut into eight pieces and was amazing.  Sorry for the blurry photo.

pizza, leftovers, turkey, christmas, cranberry, bbq, stuffing, savoury, newfoundland
Turkey Pizza with cranberry BBQ sauce

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

This wonderfully easy crust is the base for my leftover turkey and cranberry pizza.
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Instructions

  1. Measure ingredients into the baking pan as listed. Insert pan in chamber and choose the Dough cycle.
  2. Remove dough to a slightly floured board. Cover and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Spray pan with cooking spray and set aside. Roll and stretch dough and then transfer to the pan. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Before adding your toppings, preheat oven to 400F. Add your toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  5. Serves four (or one teenager).

Twelfth Buns

And so it ends, Christmastide.  The twelfth night, or Epiphany, has passed and we’re going back to our daily lives.  The kids are back in school, and most of us are back to work.  I just wanted to get one last Christmas post in before the season is over.   Here’s a clip from This Hour has 22 Minutes about mummering:

As I said before Old Christmas day was a big thing in Newfoundland, more so for my parents and grandparents than now, but there are still traditions of mummering and celebrating throughout the province.  Depending on what part of the province you were from sometimes it was called mummering and sometimes called Janneying. The term “mummer” was derived from the fact that those who were mumming remained silent (mum) to prevent those for whom they performed from guessing their identities. The origin of the word “janneying” is uncertain, but some believe it was derived from “jannies,” referring to young boys who disguised themselves to perform mischief during the Christmas season. It’s also thought as another form of Johnnies, a common name for young boys.

I was reading an account about Old Christmas day and there was a mention of Twelfth buns.  This is taken from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English: “Those twelve nights [of Christmas] we’d be at it, and the last night we[‘d] make a pan of sweet buns, twelfth buns, and give ’em to the people. Every house we’d go to we’d give ’em a bun for Twelfth Night.”

I was talking with my father the other night and he remembers going Janneying when he was a boy. Like mummering, the group would go in the house, play a bit, stay for some cake and then move on.  Here’s a great recount of those times taken from the Southwest Arm Historical Society: “Where we lived in St. Jones, Christmas was good because we’d be Jannying for the twelve days of Christmas. We’d go to people’s door and knock. When they come out you’d say, “Any Jannies ‘lowed in?” They’d say come on in now. They’d try to guess who we were. Then they’d give you a piece of cake and a drop of syrup. Sometimes the people would want you to dance.

On Old Christmas night, we’d go around to the different houses. Around 11:00 pm a number of young people would get together and make an old twelve cake. Everyone would bring something to put in the cake like figs, fat pork, berries and whatever you could get. When it was baked, we’d all share. Somebody would bring partridge berries and we’d steep it in the kettle and remove the berries and drink the juice. This was how we made berry ocky.”

So I got to searching about buns, and cakes.  Unlike now sweet bread was considered a treat.  Sugar and raisins were not something you would throw into bread; too expensive.  Bread usually was the plain white loaf, made into the three bun loaves, used for everyday meals.  Sweet breads were for special occasions like the holidays.  Breads such as raisin loaf were only made a few times a year.

A sweet bread is an enhanced dough, usually with eggs and sugar.  Then you can augment the dough by added ingredients like fruit or nuts.  My grandmother’s cinnamon raisin bread is always a big hit when we go visit.  I like it toasted with a slathering of butter. This recipe I have is done in the bread mixer, so I can mix it and walk away and do other things while the bread is proofing (like write blog posts).

This recipe makes a two pound loaf and will be separated into twelve buns.  In the bread maker place the following ingredients in this order:

  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter (room temp)
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup raisins

Put machine on dough cycle and mix.  I like to have my water a little warm, just to give the yeast a bit of a head start.  The trick is that if you can leave your finger in the water for five seconds comfortably then it’s warm enough.  Longer than that the water is too cool.

Once the cycle is complete remove dough and shape into twelve buns.  I noticed the buns were about 80 grams each.  I measure them because I like to have all the buns about the same size, but you can eyeball it too. Place the buns in a greased 9X13 pan and leave to rise again in a warm place.  About 30-40 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350F and once risen again, bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool on the rack for 20 minutes.  Enjoy with a nice warm cup of tea or coffee, and a little bit of butter.

Cinnamon Raisin Buns

This raisin bun is perfect for a sweet treat in the afternoon.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups warm warm
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 3 3/4 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Measure all ingredients into baking pan in the order given. Insert pan into the oven chamber. Select "Dough" cycle.
  2. When dough is done in bread machine, remove from pan and shape into twelve equal sized balls. Place into a greased 9X13 pan. Let rise in a warm space for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Place pan in oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the tops of the buns are a golden brown. Once done remove from oven and brush with melted butter (optional). Let cool for 20 minutes on rack.