Barb Richards

Baked Beans

2 lbs dry white pea (Navy) beans 1 kg
2 onions, chopped 2
1 lb bacon (preferably smoked), chopped 500 g
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 125 mL
1 tsp salt 5 mL
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
1/2 cup fancy molasses 125 mL
1/2 cup ketchup or barbecue sauce 125 mL
1/2 cup pure maple syrup 125 mL
2 tbsp vinegar 30 mL
1 tbsp prepared mustard 15 mL

Rinse beans and pick through. Place in a large bowl and pour in enough cold water to cover by about 4 inches (10 cm). Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse.
Transfer beans to a large pot and pour in 8 cups (2 L) water (or enough to cover by 2 inches/5 cm). Bring to boil and boil until skins break, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat; do not drain. Stir in onions, bacon, sugar, salt, pepper, molasses, ketchup, syrup, vinegar and mustard. Transfer to large oven-proof bean pot or casserole. Cover and bake in 300ºF (150ºC) oven for 5 hours, adding more water, if necessary to keep from drying out. Uncover and bake for about 2 hours longer or until beans are very tender and sauce is thickened. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Molasses Oatmeal Bread

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats 250 mL
2 cups boiling water 500 mL
1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 mL
1/2 cup lukewarm water 125 mL
1 pkg (8 g) active dry yeast 1
1/2 cup fancy molasses 125 mL
1 tbsp butter 15 mL
2 tsp salt 10 mL
6 cups (approx.) all-purpose flour 1.5 L

In large bowl, combine oats and boiling water. Let stand for about 30 minutes or until thickened.
Meanwhile, in separate bowl, dissolve 1 tsp (5 mL) of the sugar in lukewarm water; sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for about 10 minutes or until frothy.
Whisk yeast mixture into oat mixture along with remaining sugar, molasses, butter and salt. Gradually stir in enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down and knead lightly. Divide dough in half and shape into 2 loaves. Place in two greased 9- x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake in 375ºF (190ºC) oven for about 45 minutes or until golden and hollow sounding when bottom is tapped. Let cool in pan on racks for 5 minutes; transfer to rack to cool completely. Makes 2 large loaves.

Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake

2 cups granulated sugar 500 mL
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 250 mL
1-3/4 cups water 425 mL
2 cups mayonnaise (not low-fat) 500 mL
2 tsp vanilla 10 mL
4 cups all-purpose flour 1 L
2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda 10 mL
Chocolate Butter Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease and flour two 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pans or one 13- x 9-inch (3 L) cake pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.
In large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat sugar, cocoa and water until blended. On medium speed, beat in mayonnaise until blended. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour in 3 additions, adding baking powder and baking soda with first addition.
Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 35 minutes for round or about 45 minutes for rectangle or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.
Assembly: For round layer cake, place one cake layer flat side down on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the icing. Top with second layer, flat side up. Spread remaining icing over sides and top of cake. Decorate as desired. Chill until icing is set. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate Butter Icing

1/2 cup butter, softened 125 mL
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 125 mL
Pinch salt Pinch
4-1/2 cups (approx.) icing sugar 1.125 L
1/2 cup (approx.) milk 125 mL
2 tsp vanilla 10 mL

In large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream butter until soft and fluffy. On low speed, beat in cocoa and salt. Gradually beat in icing sugar alternately with milk, adjusting amount of icing sugar and milk to make a good spreading consistency. Beat in vanilla. Makes about 3 cups (750 mL).