The Carriage House Inn B&B

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At the Bed and Breakfast

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

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Photo of finished Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

This recipe is a great sweet to follow our savory breakfast entrées or as a delicious and different coffeecake dish.  Apples are still abundant in Central Virginia, even though our fall was very dry.  We like to serve local fruits and vegetables whenever possible to our guests so this dish fits that criteria very nicely.  And since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, why not impress your family and friends with this dish that works for breakfast or dessert?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup apple butter (without pectin)
  • 3 cups finely chopped apple (3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 14-oz. can dulce de leche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour two 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter with a mixer 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating until combined.  Scrape bowl; beat 2 minutes more.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add flour mixture and apple butter alternately, beating on low after each addition until well combined.  Fold in apples.  Divide batter evenly between pans, smooth tops.
  4. Bake about 40 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans.  Place top sides up on wire racks.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke 1/4- to 1/2-inch holes three-fourths of the way through cakes about 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
  5. Meanwhile, in a bowl gradually whisk milk into dulce de leche until smooth.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the dulce de leche mixture for the whipped cream topper, and set aside an additional 1/2 cup.
  6. Slowly spread remaining 3/4 cup dulce de leche mixture over cakes, allowing mixture to seep into holes.  Let cool completely.  Meanwhile, in a chilled large bowl beat heavy cream, the 2 tablespoons reserved dulce de leche mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla on medium until stiff peaks form.  Before serving, top cakes with whipped cream and drizzle with reserved 1/2 cup dulce de leche mixture.  Serves 16 generously.
Caramel Apple Poke Cake, poke holes into cake when cooling

Poke holes with a wooden spoon into the cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake-spread the topping onto the cake

Make sure the dulce de leche topping goes into the holes.

Helpful Hints:

Room temperature eggs are easy!  Place your eggs into a stainless steel bowl.  Put the bowl into a larger pan filled with warm water, about an inch deep.  Stir the eggs periodically over the next two minutes.  Test the temperature of the eggs with your finger.  When they have reached room temperature they will not feel cool or warm.

Since the eggs have been combined, when adding to sugar mixture add about half of the room temperature eggs at a time.

I used Granny Smith apples, as we like them since they hold their shape and crunch when baking.

Apple and Brown Butter Blondies

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photo of Blondie with powdered sugar

Apple and Brown Butter Blondies

It’s that time again….time for fresh, crunchy, delicious apples from Virginia.  This month’s recipe features just that, apples.  And who would have thought you could make a Blondie “healthy” just by adding apples to the recipe?  As most of our readers know we serve a “sweet” dish as the final course of our 4-course savory breakfast.  We have served these Apple and Brown Butter Blondies to rave reviews, with guests asking for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced

Instructions:

  1.  Heat butter in a large skillet over medium eat until light brown, then pour into a large bowl.  Cover and chill 30 minutes, stirring once.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, beat together browned butter, white sugar brown sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.  Beat in the flour mixture until well combined.  Fold in apples, then spread batter evenly in prepared dish.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs clinging, about 45 minutes.  Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool.

Helpful Hints:

  • It took about 25 minutes for the butter to melt and brown, when cooking on low.
  • I added the dry ingredients mixture little by little into the wet ingredients when combining the two.
  • Serve the blondies topped with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with caramel sauce.

 

Cloud Bread

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Cloud Bread

The newest sensation on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook…..Cloud Bread.  Light, airy and grain-free this nearly no-carb, gluten-free dish can be enjoyed by everyone.  At The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast we are always on the lookout for delicious, easy gluten-free recipes as we seem to be receiving more and more gluten-free guests.  We serve this entré as you would serve pancakes, with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit topping.

Ingredients and Directions:

  • Separate 3 eggs.
  • In a bowl, combine yolks, 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1 tablespoon honey until smooth.
  • In another bowl, beat egg whites and ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar with a hand mixer to stiff peaks.
  • Carefully fold yolks into whites, then scoop onto 2 baking sheets coated with non-stick cooking spray, flattening into ten 4-inch rounds.
  • Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.

**Sometimes to change things up a bit we have roasted sesame or poppy seeds and sprinkled them on top of the cloud bread.  They add an extra dimension of texture and taste.

Cloud Bread with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Blueberry-Ginger Clafoutis

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Photo of a tray of Blueberry-Ginger Clafoutis

Blueberry-Ginger Clafoutis

A scrumptious, three-bite, custardy mini-pancake filled with fresh, bursting blueberries and zingy bits of crystallized ginger will have you delighted and amazed that there’s a “new” pancake on the block!  They are quick and easy to make and even good for you.  Made with whole wheat flour, a touch of honey for sweetness, a tiny portion of butter and low-fat milk you will feel indulged and healthy.  We purchase our fresh blueberries at the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg, VA.  Blueberries are now in season so they are especially fresh and juicy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted & slight cooled plus more for the pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat milk (one percent)
  • 1/3 cup mild, light-colored honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Brush the wells of a standard-size, 12-count muffin an with butter.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, honey, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter, the lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. Gradually whisk in the flour to form a batter, which will have small lumps.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pan, then add equal amounts of blueberries and crystallized ginger to each one.
  5. Bake, on the middle rack, until puffed and golden and the centers are set, about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes (the Clafoutis will sink, slightly, as they cool.)
  7. Run a knife around the edges to release them from the pan.
  8. Serve while warm with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top.

Easier to make than pancakes!  Can be refrigerated for up to 2 days and re-warmed in the microwave oven for 20-30 seconds each.  We serve these to our guests, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, with blueberry syrup, on the side.

Noodle Frittata

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Noodle Frittata

Noodle Frittata

For our loyal readers here is another unique and tasty savory breakfast or brunch idea.  A delicious, special breakfast or brunch treat that is best prepared just before serving.  The ingredients, though, can be prepped ahead of time and then you just need to combine them before cooking.  Who thought they had enough frittata recipes?  We, at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, love them as do our guests.  I’m confident you will also love them.  They are nutritious, easy to prepare and combine standard grocery store ingredients in a special way.  Enjoy!

Add some ground hamburger or Italian sausage to the mixture for additional protein.

Ingredients:

  • salt
  • 2 1/2 ounces dried egg noodles
  • 2-3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 3 1/2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 large eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil over medium-high heat.  Add a pinch of salt and then the noodles; cook according to package directions or until al dente.  Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drain, then coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and the spinach, keeping them separate.  Trim the scallions, then cut the white and green parts on the diagonal into thin slices.
  3. Heat half the oil in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil shimmers, add the sun-dried tomatoes, then sprinkle them lightly with the smoked paprika.  Cook for about 1 minute, stirring once or twice, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.  Add the contents of the skillet to the noodles and toss to coat.
  4. Return the skillet to the stove over medium heat.  Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, then add the chopped spinach and stir-fry just until wilted.  Transfer the sun-dried tomato/noodle mixture into the skillet, along with the scallions.  Cook for 2 minutes, without stirring until heated through.
  5. While that’s cooking, beat the eggs in the now empty mixing bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper.  Pour into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed.  Dollop the crème fraîche around the outer edge of the frittata, along with the remaining tomato paste.  Transfer to the oven.  Bake on the middle rack for 5-7 minutes, or until puffed and just set.
  6. Coarsely chop the parsley and scatter it over the top.  Serve warm, cutting into wedges.

Bacon and Spinach Quiche

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spinach quiche

Spinach Quiche

Winter and early spring months do not provide many fresh fruits or vegetables that are made into yummy breakfast dishes.  But who doesn’t like a warm piece of quiche on a cold morning filled with delicious bacon, melty cheese and good for you spinach?  We serve this dish as a spinach quiche or as a frittata (without the pie crust–which makes it ideal for our gluten-free guests at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast.)  And we have served this dish as a lunch or dinner entré along side a fresh fruit or green salad. Check out the hints below to see how this dish can be a very flexible alternative to those picky eaters in your family by adding or deleting ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed tightly
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch glass pie plate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the eggs, cream, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender.
  3. Layer the spinach, bacon and cheese into the bottom of the pie crust.
  4. Pour the egg mixture on top of the spinach mixture.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the egg mixture is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cut into 8 wedges and enjoy!

Helpful Hints:

  • We have made this into a frittata.  Just eliminate the pie crust.  It takes less time to cook as a frittata, watch it carefully.
  • We have added artichokes, sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, Parmesan cheese or sausage bits to the egg mixture, either in addition to the ingredients listed above or in place of.
  • Making a spinach quiche or frittata gives you the opportunity to go through your refrigerator and get rid of some of those vegetables before you have to throw them out.
  • Here is the BEST TIP.  When we make this as a frittata, we make them in silicone muffin cups. They are super easy to remove and if you have someone who can’t eat cheese you can leave it out of their fritatta. Likewise if you have a vegetarian leave out he meat in their breakfast. It is an easy answer when you are dealing with multiple dietary restrictions.