Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category
I love cake. I particularly love cake on the day it’s baked, and fortunately, I love baking too. My grandmother was a wonderful baker, and whenever I make a cake I feel her spirit in the kitchen with me. Admittedly, sometimes her spirit is wondering what on earth I’m doing when I accidently swap teaspoons for tablespoons or burning the pecans when they’re meant to be lightly toasted, but it’s still there, cheering me on!
I was nervous when I started making skillet cakes. My skillets were GREAT for searing meat, or frying eggs, but I wasn’t sure whether the non-stick surface would still work with baking cakes. I also burned the first couple of muffin batches I made, so I was a bit worried about making a mess.
To get around this, I started using parchment paper (baking paper to some) sprayed with a little Pam to line the skillets. I never had a problem with a sticking cake and there was minimal washing up! The only downside is that the cakes were a little uneven, but that didn’t matter when you could cover them in icing!
After a while though I wanted to start making layer cakes, and for that you need a more consistent shape, so I decided to use the old fashioned method of rubbing butter on the inside of the pan, and then dusting with flour. It took a little more attention getting it out of the pan, but it worked perfectly too!
So what should you use? Frankly, it doesn’t matter – try both, and pick what works best for you! Cast iron is nothing if not versatile!
Your cakes will taste great, regardless!
A hidden gem of vintage cast iron is the small pan. Everybody understands the need for a good sized skillet that you can cook for your family in, but sometimes people will look at their small pans, like their No. 3’s, and scratch their heads.
We did a whole lot of baking over many weeks to give you some ideas. Small pans are incredibly versatile, and once you’ve read this you’ll be brimming with ideas of how you can use yours. For this article, we used four Wagner #3 skillets. A Skillet Size Search will show you all our No. 3’s, right here.
We also took a lot of our inspiration from the 2017 edition of “Cast Iron Baking” magazine, which was written by Hoffman Media, the folks behind Southern Cast Iron and Taste of the South magazines. To get your own copy of Cast Iron Baking magazine, just click here, or to get a subscription to Southern Cast Iron, click here.
Firstly, the easy one – Eggs for one! If you’re making yourself one or two eggs, you don’t want a big 10″ or 12″ pan. These smaller pans are just perfect for when you’re frying up some breakfast just for yourself. They are small, light and take about 10 seconds to clean afterwards.
Second, Mac & Cheese! Whether it’s from a box, or made from scratch, mac & cheese is perfect for the #3. Best of all, you can serve it directly in the skillet. The one pictured was made using Cracker Barrel “Sharp Cheddar & Bacon”, and it was good.
Of course, there are also Desserts! You can bake mini skillet cakes in #3’s. We used this Strawberry Pound Cake recipe from the cover of the 2017 edition of “Cast Iron Baking” magazine.
We think that maybe the cakes are a little large for one person, but they are perfect for two! Our friend Bonnie was a taste tester and liked them so much she took all of the cakes home!
Please note that the recipe produced 4 x #3 skillets of cake, so adjust the quantities if you don’t have four #3 skillets.
Who doesn’t love a warm skillet cookie? This is something you can eat right out of the pan!
The recipe we used was from page 86 of the magazine, that we adapted from one big skillet, to 4 smaller ones. The recipe was perfect for either, but when cooking in the smaller skillets, take them out of the oven at the earlier end of the suggested cooking times. It tasted even better than it looked!
Cast Iron Baking also gave us permission to share the recipe, which is at the bottom of the page.
If you love the crusty edge pieces, then the smaller pans give you all that!
Cobblers are PERFECT for a single serving in the #3’s. We celebrated our first spring meal on the deck with a cobbler!
TipsAll the recipes produced 4 skillets of food The original baking times were perfect, just stick to the lower end of the recommended range The original cooking temperatures in the recipes were perfect.
Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
Reprinted with permission from Cast Iron Baking Magazine 20175 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened) 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 1 large egg 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 0.5 teaspoon kosher salt 1.5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels Vanilla Ice Cream – to serve
First Preheat oven to 350’F. Spray a 10″ cast-iron skillet (or four No. 3 skillets) with cooking spray
Second In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 – 4 mins, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add egg and vanilla, beating to combine.
Third In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add cream. Fold in chocolate morsels. Press dough into prepared skillet.
Last Bake until golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes (20 mins for No. 3 pans). Serve with ice cream.
Never being one to turn down something involving chocolate, I just happened to run across a recipe for chocolate waffles, which somehow made it into waffle testing! Unless you’re planning on going into diabetic shock, I would recommend that you save this for dessert rather than breakfast.
Mmmmm, chocolate chips. This batter was fun and easy to make, and it was inspired by our Valentine’s Day post. The recipe, from Joy the Baker, is here. It seemed thickish, but workable. As usual, I made this before heating the waffle iron.
The Cast Iron
In honor of both my love of chocolate, and Valentine’s Day, I used this lovely Antique Andresen Cast Iron Rosette Heart Waffle Iron. This particular iron has since been snapped up, but I will share that there is another in the restoration process, so if your heart longs for this heart design, it will have a second change. I substituted the base from my EC Simmons Waffle Iron from Round 2, as it was a better fit for my particular stove. The iron didn’t fit all that well into the temporary base, and it was a bit of a chore flipping it, so if you want to mix and match, try and stay within the same brand.
Wary of overcooking in Round 2, I heated the iron 4 minutes on either side. I didn’t have all the smoke from Round 2 when I opened it up to add batter, so things were looking good.
Somehow, I managed to overcook my first waffle again! Is anybody sensing a theme here? Still – the heart shaped waffles look pretty impressive.
I dialed down the heat to medium low and cooked the waffles for about 4 minutes per side, and they came out perfectly! Once again, we had no sticking problems in the pan. If you’re going to err, err on the side of overcooking rather than undercooking. It may be a little crispy, but it will come cleanly out of the waffle iron. If there is uncooked batter, there’s going to be a mess.
I served with whipped cream and strawberries. The recipe provided also gives you the option to make chocolate sauce, but we found it perfectly balanced with the chocolate chips in the waffles, the cream and the fruit.
Lessons – Round 3Don’t be afraid to branch out into different waffle flavors, Expect to sacrifice a few waffles to the learning curve. You may need to play with your temperature and cooking times to find what’s right for your iron, Spray Pam on your iron between waffles, Err on overcooking rather than undercooking
Welcome to the Wonderful World of Waffles!
I’ve received quite a few questions recently about how to cook waffles in our irons, so I figured it was time for a blog that answers all the questions and lets you in on the secrets of making perfect waffles in a vintage waffle iron. I think that vintage waffle irons are some of the most unique and beautiful of the cast iron cookware. I love that they look nothing like waffle irons of today and I was excited that I could spend some time cooking with them!
First – a confession. I have never made waffles in my life. This wasn’t a matter of learning how to adapt normal waffles or waffle batter to the vintage iron, it was learning it all from scratch. Hopefully this will help me provide enough detail for all of you to be able to make your own vintage, but highly edible waffles!
Before we get into the equipment, it’s important to note that the conditions in your kitchen, such as temperature and humidity, will impact your results. My kitchen was kept at 70’F with dry humidity, as being winter in Minnesota, I run our forced air heating 24/7. I also cooked on a Viking gas range.
I used 3 different waffle irons for this testing, and 3 different batters!
Now for the fun part – the waffle testing!
My first batter was from allrecipes.com. It uses butter, not oil, and is rated 4.5 stars by nearly 2,000 people. I figured it would be pretty good! You can find it here .
I made the batter first, as a lot of people recommend that your batter sits for 10 minutes or so. It turned out pretty darn thick though, but for my first waffle, I was going to make it exactly as written!
My first waffle iron was this gorgeous Griswold American Waffle Iron No. 9, pictured below. The No. 9 is a bit larger than your average waffle iron, but this is a deliciously minty piece and I just couldn’t resist. It has since sold (not surprising) but you can find all our waffle irons here.
Here it is sitting on my gas stove, ready for a busy day!
So as with most cast iron cooking, the thing to always do is to heat your pan. When it comes to waffle irons, this means both sides. This is my biggest burner, and I had it set to somewhere between Medium and Medium-High. After about 4 – 5 mins I flipped the iron and heated the other side. Another 4 – 5 mins later I sprayed Pam inside the paddles, and after another couple of minutes I poured in the batter. As I suspected, it was way too thick. Batter had come over the sides, and I didn’t have a good feeling about this.
Next thing I did was turn down the heat! I went to just between Medium-Low and Medium. I let it cook for 4 – 5 mins on that side, then flipped it over and cooked it for another 5 mins. I opened the iron, and I was amazed. Perhaps a tiny bit dark, but it looked perfect!
It came perfectly out of the iron with no residue and was cooked perfectly all the way though. The proof though, was in the eating, and it turned out to be too dense. This waffle iron makes for thick waffles!
With a ton of batter left to test, I added water to the batter and tried another. It was better! I added again, until I’d put in about a cup or so, and it was perfect. I also tried using melted butter instead of Pam in between waffles, but it tended to make the kitchen a bit smokey and I didn’t notice a difference in the taste.
Here’s our finished waffle, after we added water (and butter and maple syrup, of course)!
The biggest surprise was how good this waffle pan looked after a morning of waffle cooking. All I did here was wipe off the dribbles of batter on the side. You can’t tell it had been used! I had zero sticking issues.
Lessons from Round 1Make your batter first so it can sit Heat your pan before cooking Always flip to heat both sides Turn down the heat once the batter is added If your waffle is too dense, dilute the batter with water. Always flip to cook both sides Don’t be surprised (like I was) if your waffles look awesome first go!
Stay tuned for Round 2.. a new waffle iron, and a new recipe!
Another Blue Apron meal, though admittedly not my favorite. Somehow, the mixture of beef and yellow raisins just doesn’t do it for me. If it does for you, however, perhaps you’ll love this one! If you’d like to see the original recipe, you can find it here.
Makes: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 25–35 minutesIngredients 1-1/8 lb. Ground Beef 8 Wooden Skewers 1 Egg 3/4 c. Jasmine Rice 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced 2 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, halved, sliced into 1″ slices 3 T Golden Raisins 1 T Red Wine Vinegar 1/3 c. Panko Breadcrumbs 1/4 c. Labneh Cheese
Make the rice: In a small pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the rice, a big pinch of salt and 11?2 cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork. Set aside and keep warm.
Roast & dress the squash: While the rice cooks, place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast 22 to 24 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. Top with half the vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil.
Assemble the skewers: While the squash roasts, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, raisins, egg and remaining garlic in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 8 oval-shaped patties, each about 1 inch thick. Transfer to a plate. Working one at a time, insert the ends of the skewers through the patties. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the skewers: While the squash continue to roast, in a large cast iron skillet (I used my Griswold Iron Mountain number 12) heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium until hot. Working in batches if necessary, carefully add the assembled skewers. Cook, loosely covering the pan with foil, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.
Season the labneh & serve your dish: While the skewers cook, combine the labneh and remaining vinegar in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.
Transfer the cooked skewers and roasted squash to a serving dish. Serve with the garlic rice and seasoned labneh on the side. Enjoy!