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It’s the time of the season for…
We are certain that the hardy Dwarven men finished off one of these delectable mini-bundts in one bite – no forks required!
I tend to think of Dwarven women as clones of “Master Dwarf” Gimli. The Dwarf himself hinted at the similarities! But since we have met no Dwarven women, what can we know about them?
Well, if we consider the Dwarves’ artistry as creators of the ancient city Dwarrowdelf, then it may stand to reason the women were also artisans when it came to cave-keeping. One imagines great feasts would await the workers at the end of a day digging for Mithril. Gimli was expecting to celebrate with his cousin Balin with “red meat off the bone and malt beer!”
Certainly the Dwarven race was used to hearty fare, or how else to maintain those stout physiques? Not that the women were confined to the kitchens of Moria! Many surely took up a chisel and hammer along-side the men!
In honor of the creativity of the Dwarves I used a mini-bundt cake form with the result being a cake with an arch pattern and a hole in the middle for that important cave effect.
I further changed up the recipe by drenching the cakes in a ginger chai pear sauce with a dusting of powdered sugar. This recipe made six mini-bundts and one tort size cake which I topped with sliced fresh pears, then covered in the pear sauce made into a gel to hold it all together. That picture will soon appear on my other blog where you will also find the sauce recipe.
Second Breakfast is served!
Follow the link to the recipe for Breakfast Scones for Mr. Frodo! This recipe lends itself to any number of variations. I used plain greek yogurt instead of strawberry but only had a 6 oz container, so I added home-made ricotta cheese to make up the other 2 ounces. The triangle-shaped version uses dried figs, and the square has only fresh ground cardamom seeds. After feasting on these for a day or so I encountered an orange scone at Panera Bread and decided to do a comparison test. This recipe was equal to the bakery’s in flakiness and flavor! (Note: After trying this recipe several times I have found it to be a bit heavier product than most bakery scones. You might try adding one egg, or switching from yogurt to 3/4 cup of cream to improve the flakiness.)
I presume that either Sam or Rosie prepared these for their dear friend and host Frodo, or perhaps they began to affectionately refer to their son, his namesake, as Mr. Frodo! Either way, the sweet smell of these scones baking would be the best way to call the family to table for first or second breakfast!
This was my first time using cardamom. Wow! SO flavorful. Definitely citrusy. A bit tedious to remove tiny black seeds from the papery pod without leaving “chaff” behind, but the ground variety do not have nearly as much flavor. This spice is expensive but a little goes a long way! My secret? Penn Mac in Pittsburgh’s Strip District has 2 oz samplers for only 99 cents!
Our family favorite is blackberry, but peaches are in season. Use the link above to find the recipe. Best eaten warm a la mode.
The picture at right is just before baking — the last instruction is dot with butter and cover with very hot/boiling water. You might think it is too much water but this is important! This is what makes the bottom of the cake like a pudding – which is THE PRECIOUS – most irresistible!
I had to tweek the recipe, of course. Now that I’m more comfortable with the flavor of ginger I added a sprinkle of the spice all over the top – maybe a teaspoon all told. I also always grate fresh nutmeg over the top, about 10 swipes of the nut as you move across the dish if using a double recipe. This one was doubled in a 9 x 13 glass dish. I bake at a slightly lower temp than the posted recipe – 375 F- and check it at 30 minutes. The double recipe took a total of 40 minutes for the result pictured at right. Light brown is all you want on the cake or you will lose the moisture and that is what creates THE PRECIOUS. It can bubble over the sides and make a mess in the oven, so be sure to use a baking dish large enough to allow for about an inch and a half from the top.
I am certain that Rumble or Mrs. Rumble takes the blue ribbon at the Shire Folk Fair every year with this entry, barely edging out Rosie Gamgee’s Eldarberry tarts.
They must have stolen this recipe from my mother’s personal recipe box! Mom’s memory and organizational skills are a little challenged at age 89, so she cannot confirm nor deny the source! But I baked this at home since I was a little kid, and one day I lost that recipe. So I thought maybe I could google it.
To my amazement, there it was, almost exactly the way she had written it down in her book (we call it Somersault Cake) in the Middle-earth Recipes at The Fellowship of Middle-earth (formerly the Official LOTR Fan Club). Since there was barely color TV back in my mom’s day when she obtained this recipe, let alone a WWW, we’ll let you do the numbers as to who has the rights to this one! I believe it came from the Wallowa Oregon Grange Cookbook back in the 1940s. But come to think of it, if this recipe originated in Middle-earth, then it is quite ancient and far older than the internet or the modern age of men! (See the note on this coincidence on the “About” page!)
Suffice to say it is one of those “best things I ever ate” treats that will be gone in one sitting, even it you’re the only one at the dining table!