Posts Tagged ‘bundt’

Baking Math – Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Today in school we spent a day learning about how to teach Math in school, what new approaches we can take to make it more engaging for the students in elementary school, and how to look at math in a whole new way to get even the most math-averse interested (like myself). My experiences with math are not so great – I always felt like I was never fully getting it. I struggled through school with math, and luckily I was able to do quite well in the only math class that mattered for my career, “Math for Elementary School Teachers,” so that I never have to take a math class again.

That is, until I myself am a Teacher, and have to actually teach math to students. Me – the person who greatly dislikes the subject more than any other subject in school. I’ll have to be responsible for instructing and helping students understand math concepts.

The only math that actually makes sense to me is in baking and cooking. If I could have just become a Home Economics teacher I would have, but I wasn’t sure about whether or not a position would up somewhere, I would probably have to become an English teacher first (which would have been ok). So, I am becoming an elementary school teacher, something that I have wanted to become since I was little. Math is being used in the kitchen constantly, it is in every recipe, and at every table (think, how much do I need per person? Will I have enough?) Many people wouldn’t even think about math while cooking or baking, but if you look carefully there are a lot of math skills involved. I think that my love of cooking and baking has greatly helped my math skills. I have probably been cooking since I was about 13, putting roasts in the oven while my parents were at work so dinner would be ready when they got home, meaning I would have to measure out the oil, spices, and put it in the oven at a certain time so it would cook for long enough. I highly suggest allowing your kids to help in the kitchen!

You might be amazed at how many math skills you actually use on a daily basis while you are in the kitchen.

Math In the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • Measurements – fractions, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup etc.
  • Dividing recipes, half, thirds, doubling recipes
  • Equivalents (ingredients, measuring, substitutions)
  • Number of ingredients needed (How many eggs, how many ingredients total?)
  • Money – how much money will it cost, how much money will I need, How much will it cost Per Person?
Conversions:
  • Conversions from tablespoons and teaspoons to cup, to millilitres to grams, ounces to litres etc.
  • Converting temperatures from fahrenheit to celsius (degrees)

Oven:

  • Time
    - how long will each dish take, how long will a batch take, when should you put on the next ingredient etc.
    - how long it will take to cook, time vs. weight (pounds per hour etc)

Temperature:

  • What is the boiling point of water? The melting point of butter? How do you temper chocolate?

If you don’t know the correct measurements, a great meal can quickly turn bitter (literally), if you have too much salt, or not enough sugar.

Cooking/Baking also helps children with literacy! Think: Reading the ingredients, reading instructions, new vocabulary (Sauté, Barbecue, Boil, Braise, Sear, Separate, Kneed, Chop, Grate, Incorporate, Beat, Simmer, Add, Mix, Pre-Heat)

How about learning about cultures? History: World food, Ethnic foods – Where do certain ingredients come from, what type of Food do Italians eat? Japanese?

Problem Solving?

“We are going to make a half batch of cookies. This recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of flour. How much flour do we need?”

Becoming a teacher has allowed me to think outside of the classroom – learning takes place everywhere, and everything you do can be a learning experience (Already sounding like a teacher!) I will definitely be throwing in some baking themed equations into the curriculum once I’m a teacher, and sharing my baked goods with the staff, of course.

I really think some of my math skills have been helped by my love of baking and cooking. Next time you look at a recipe think of all the math involved in the making of it – You’ll be pleasantly surprised that you’re learning math!

Speaking of baking and measuring, I put together a new Fall recipe, my first of the season. I had to do it – pumpkin is Everywhere! I can’t get away from it, so I may as well embrace it. I love pumpkin in all ways, sweet or savoury. You can make it a regular pumpkin bundt cake, but I decided to give it a little drama with a marbled chocolate effect. Welcome Fall!

Marbled Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs – room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, or whole wheat
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 or 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or your own blend)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (if using fresh, make sure excess liquid removed)
  • 2 tbs. cocoa

In a large bowl, of a stand mixer preferably, combine sugar and oil until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time – beating well after each addition.

In another medium sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda. Add to egg/sugar mixture alternating with pumpkin, beating until thoroughly combined. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and make it as spicy as you like.

Reserve 1 or  1 and a 1/2 cups batter, and place the rest evenly into a greased bundt pan. With reserved batter, whisk in the cocoa (more or less depending on how chocolatey you want it) and drop by spoonfuls on top of batter in the pan. Using a knife, cut the chocolate batter into the batter below swirling as you do it.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before inverting on to wire rack. You can turn it right side up, or leave it ‘upside down’ to see the marbling effect.

Sweet Lemon Rhubarb Bundt

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I have a confession to make, I’m addicted to Seinfeld. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, my dog Lainey is named after Elaine, and I pretty much related anything and everything to the show every day. So when I began making this bundt cake for dinner at my boyfriends house I couldn’t help but remember the episode about serving dessert after dinner.

GEORGE: Thank God that’s over.
ESTELLE: The mother seems to hit the sauce pretty hard. I didn’t like that.
FRANK: And who doesn’t serve cake after a meal? What kind of people? Would it kill them to put out a pound cake? Something!
GEORGE: So, they didn’t give you a piece of cake? Big deal.
ESTELLE: It is a big deal. You’re supposed to serve cake after a meal. I’m sorry. It’s impolite.
FRANK: Not impolite…it’s stupid, that’s what it is. You gotta be stupid to do something like that!
ESTELLE: Your father’s absolutely right. We’re sitting there like idiots drinking coffee without a piece of cake!

I’m going to have to side with Frank and Estelle, especially when I’m a guest at someone’s house. I always love to bring something sweet for after dinner. So today I was thinking of making another strawberry buttermilk cake but I had seen rhubarb at the store last week and had really wanted to use it. I don’t think I’ve ever used it in baking before – I think I found it tricky or hard to use it. So I had stayed away. Not that I didn’t like it, I definitely love strawberry rhubarb pie. So When I saw it I knew I wanted to bake something with it soon. And today when I decided I wanted to bake something I knew it was going to involve rhubarb.

*Also! I just recieved an e-mail from POM Wonderful asking if I would like to try their products! I’m super excited to recieve a case of their juice and create a recipe with it! Keep following to see what happens =)

I found this recipe from Good Things Created.

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Spiced Up Sticky Toffee Pudding


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Now that it’s been over a two weeks since i’ve tempted you with the sticky toffee butterscotch sauce, it’s time for the rest of the recipe!

This has become a definite favorite of mine since I tried it for the first time last year! I didn’t really know what it was, but after trying it at a restaurant a couple time I just had to try it!

It’s the perfect holiday cake to serve this year. It’s warm, gooey-sticky sweet and tastes even better with whipped cream. I made it for Christmas last year and I’m debating on whether or not making it again this year. I made it last week for a family dinner we went to, but this time instead of using a regular cake pan I used a bundt pan and I added a little spice to it! Otherwise, it doesn’t call for any spices and it was just missing that hint of flavor.

If you’ve never eaten sticky toffee pudding, or have been meaning to bake it, do it now. Now! It is so so so so good. I serve it warm with whipped cream on top. Mmm… I wish it were last week all over again!

I’ve also finally found a place to live in Victoria while I’m at school, and lucky me! I even basically get my own little kitchen on the bottom of the house, as most of the roommates don’t use it. I’m just happy I can bring over my baking dishes!! (more…)

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