Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trifle for the Cure

While walking through the grocery store I found Strawberry Creme jello for sale. Not just any Strawberry Creme jello but one that was for the Pose for the Cure Campaign. I needed something to make a trifle with anyway so I figured why not, Strawberry and chocolate go well together and it gives to a good cause. I know a lot of people are doing pink things on purpose for breast cancer so I figured why not. So here is another trifle recipe.

Brownie Cheesecake Trifle

Left over Brownie Pieces from Never look back Brownies
1 box of Instant Jello Pudding, Strawberry Creme flavor
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of powdered sugar

Prepare the Jello according to the package directions. And set aside to thicken. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of mixer and whip on medium speed until it start to thicken slightly and then sprinkle in the powdered sugar. Turn the mixer to high and whip until you have stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pudding and stir to combine to lighten the texture of the pudding. Once that is combined add in the rest of the whipped cream and fold to combine. Once you have folded in all of the whipped cream, set it aside.

To Assemble In the bottom of your dish cover the bottom with the brownie pieces, then layer on the faux mousse. Repeat a few more times and you are done!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Breakfast for Work and a Side Note

I will start with the side note first, I made this breakfast on Friday, yes that long ago. I took pictures on Friday and everything, then I somehow lost the cord that connects my camera to my pc. And I know most of you are saying well just use a different cord because they are all the same. Well I’m afraid not my friends my great Sony Camera has a special cord that has to be used on it. So I spent what little time I had over the weekend searching for it. And finally last night thanks to the great work by P because I was tired of looking for it. He found it! So here we are. Ok now back to the real post. As you may or may not know at my work someone brings in breakfast every Friday. It doesn’t matter what you bring, it just has to be enough to feed everyone. Most of the time there are bagels and donuts but that just won’t do for me. I have to show off my culinary stylings. So that means I have to do a few old standby’s and some new stuff every time. So while perusing the internet for ideas I came across this cake and thought ok no way was I going to try to make Mini Bundt cakes, but I bet I could make a big cake out of this. And let me tell you that was a great idea, this cake tastes fantastic. Almost like apple pie but without the scary pie crust part. So after you hit up your local apple orchard make this cake with the over abundance of apples that you buy if you are like me and need to use up a few. I might just have to make this again when P’s sister comes into town with her family this weekend.

Apple Cake with Cider Glaze

3 cups of AP Flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 cups of sugar

2 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of half and half

2 cups of peeled, cored and chopped apples

Cider Glaze –

1 ¾ cups of powdered sugar

3 tablespoons of apple cider

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a Bundt cake pan with non stick baking spray. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs one at a time making sure to mix in between additions. Add in the milk and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until just blended. Fold in the apple pieces, this makes a thick batter (you are going to think there is no way this is coming out of the pan nicely). Spread the batter into the pan in a nice even layer and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Combine the powdered sugar and apple cider and drizzle over the cooled cake.

Adapted from Mini Apple Cakes with Cider Glaze.

Here is the picture of my completed breakfast.

The Menu was my Breakfast Casserole, Banana Bread, Apple Cake, Make your own Fruit and Yogurt parfait (with homemade granola, I’ll post that recipe at a later this week), and Mock Bellini’s and Mimosa. ( we aren’t allowed to have alcohol)

And on the same day as my breakfast you would not believe what was delivered. My order from Nordicware, I only ordered it on Monday and wow was I impressed with everything that I got. There was more on the bottom like cookie sheets and cooling racks but you get the idea.

Monday, October 13, 2008

First on a long list of choices

I have been working on what I should be putting in my Christmas baked goods box and ever since I have started to feel better it has been my mission. So these were first on the list to try, and boy were they a good start. They reminded me of these cookies that my mom made when I was little. They were just sweet enough and had just enough flavor and crispness to be a great holiday cookie. They also can be made in advance and keep so since it normally is a 3 day affair in making the boxes that would be nice. So I have a few more to try out and see if they should make the cut. I can't wait for Christmas, its my favorite holiday even though I really don't like snow or cold weather, go figure. So testing all of these recipes will just put me in the Christmas spirit.

Molasses Spice Cookies

2 cups of AP Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of sugar divided
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup of molasses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside. In a small shallow bowl, place 1/2 of the sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and the remaining cup of sugar until combined. Add in the egg and molasses and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low, gradually mix in the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Form tablespoon balls and roll in the bowl full of sugar. Arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart. They spread quite a bit. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the ends of the cookies are just firm. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet then completely on cooling racks.

Adapted from Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies by Martha Stewart.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bob Barker did not call my name

I am unfortunately not the Grand Prize Winner for Bundts Across America 2008. But I am allowed to finally post my recipe for my cake. So here is the Thanksgiving Holiday Winner, It is a great cake for this time of year and I hope if you try it that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bundt Cake

For the Cake –
3 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1/3 cup of buttermilk
¼ cup of bourbon
¼ cup of light molasses
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 ¾ sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 – 15oz can of packed pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

For the Pecan Layer -
1 cup of pecans, toasted and chopped
½ cup of light brown sugar, packed
¼ stick of unsalted butter, melted

For the Glaze -
1 ¾ cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of apple juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12 cup Bundt cake pan with non stick baking spray. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the pecan layer. Stir until all of the sugar is coated with butter and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. In a glass measuring cup or bowl combine the buttermilk, bourbon, molasses and vanilla together and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure the previous egg has been well incorporated before adding the next. Be sure to scrape down the bowl after all of the eggs have been added. With the mixer on low, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk mixture and half of the pumpkin puree. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the rest of the buttermilk mixture and pumpkin puree.

Turn off the mixture and stir in the remaining flour by hand. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan in an even a layer as possible. Sprinkle an even layer of the pecan layer over the batter. Put the remaining batter on top of the pecan layer and smooth the top. Tap the pan on the counter to break up any air bubbles that might be in the batter.

Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes on a cooling rack then turn it out and let it sit for 10 more minutes. While it is cooling combine the glaze ingredients and slowly pour the glaze over the warm cake making sure to evenly cover the cake. Let the cake cool for at least an hour before serving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

San Francisco And Bundts Across America

We just got back from San Francisco and my very first baking competition. It was so much fun, and everyone was really nice. A lot of people do this all of the time so I was definitely one of the newbies and I only entered in my one cake, many people had entered in multiple cakes.
It was my first time in San Francisco and I'm ready to pack up and move there, it is so nice and the weather was fantastic. The seafood was out of this world and the farmers market we went to made me swoon with all of the choices. I don't know who the winner of the bake off is and it is sworn to secrecy until National Bundt Day on November 15th! Of course I hope its me but whoever wins all of the cakes tasted great! I don't normally post pictures of myself or at all but I'll let it slide this time.

My Test Bake Cake.

Me at my Station on the Day of the Competition.

The Final Product.

I am on pins and needles waiting for the call to find out either way. Hopefully Thanksgiving will prevail.