Bakers Formula: December 2010

Brandi Cowen
November 11, 2010
Written by
As we reported in last month’s edition of Bakers Journal, California’s walnut industry is booming. The state’s walnut harvest, which accounts for approximately three-quarters of global production, is expected to increase by 19 per cent over last year’s harvest. The United States’ National Agricultural Statistics Services predicts a total harvest of 510,000 short tonnes for the 2010 growing season. In other words, there’s no shortage of walnuts in the world.

That’s good news for bakers who want to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers. Almost three-quarters of the fats in walnuts (72.4 per cent) are polyunsaturated, or good, fats reports the California Walnut Commission. Polyunsaturated fats are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3s. Walnuts are also rich in protein, magnesium, folacin, zinc, vitamin B6 and thiamine. A single serving of walnuts can provide eight per cent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fibre.

Green tea is currently a big buzz word in antioxidants. Our matcha green tea cupcake recipe shows you how to incorporate this functional ingredient into your goodies. Recipe courtesy of the AOI Tea Company www.aoitea.com.  For more information on green tea’s antioxidant effects, see this edition’s Final Proof column by Jane Dummer.

WALNUT COATED CHEESE TRUFFLES
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INGREDIENTS
cream cheese, softened 340 g 12 oz
crumbled feta cheese
355 ml
1-1/2 cups
sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
22 ml
1-1/2 tbsp
lemon rind, finely grated
7.5 ml
1-1/2 tsp
fresh oregano, minced 
7.5 ml
1-1/2 tsp
pitted Kalamata olives
  36
walnuts, toasted
355 ml
11/2 cups
     
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon rind and oregano. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. Scoop one tablespoon of cheese mixture and pat around one olive to form a ball. Repeat for remaining olives.
  3. Chop walnuts in food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a shallow pan.
  4. Roll each ball in walnuts to coat. Keep refrigerated.
Makes 36 truffles.
Recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Commission.
www.walnutinfo.com

MATCHA GREEN TEA CUPCAKES
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INGREDIENTS
all-purpose flour
250 ml
1 cup
cake flour
250 ml
1 cup
matcha powder
20 ml
4 tsp
baking soda
5 ml
1 tsp
salt
5 ml
1 tsp
white sugar
300 ml
1-1/4 cups
vegetable oil
250 ml
1 cup
eggs   3
vanilla extract  7.5 ml 1-1/2 tsp
sour cream  250 ml 1 cup
     
 FROSTING    
 confectioner’s sugar 600 ml 2-1/2 cups
 matcha powder
20 ml 4 tsp
 cream cheese, softened 168 g
 6 oz
 butter, softened  60 ml  4 tbsp
 vanilla extract  5 ml  1 tsp
     
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, matcha powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat well.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  4. Bake in a 177 C (350 F) oven for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  5. For frosting, sift together confectioner’s sugar and matcha powder. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla on medium speed for five minutes. Reduce the speed and add the sugar and matcha. Increase speed and beat for five more minutes.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Makes 12 cupcakes.

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