Posts filed under 'Sweet Recipes'
If it is your job to bring dessert to the next neighborhood party, make this cake! I have been making it for years, ever since Amanda Hesser published Cooking for Mr. Latte in 2004.
The recipe actaully belongs to Amanda's mother who often baked at night which is one of my habits as well. The cake is made with pantry ingredients and the recipe is quite simple, no mixer required.
Unlike some cakes, this cake stores well in the fridge and it can even be served cold with much success. This is an added bonus for a summer cake. Divine and chocolately, it is one of my all-time favorites. The cake is so moist and lovely. The frosting is made by mixing room temperature sour cream and melted chocolate chips resulting in a glossy, slightly tangy decadent frosting.
Click here, for the original recipe is posted on Food52. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
July 11th, 2012
These Martha Stewart dandies were Mimi's Mother's day present this year and oh my were they ever good. Part cookie, part candy and full of coconut – what's not to love? Did I mention, 3, yes 3, sticks of butter?
As with most Martha recipes, these came together exactly as the recipe stated. I made them a little too large but it was no big deal. The egg-free dough was very interesting, soft and very pliable. The mechanics of the recipe were a bit tedious with all the dipping, coating and pressing but the end result was well worth the effort.
These are the perfect cookie for gifting especially for those who crave coconut and caramel. Since they are quite gorgeous and sturdy, one could also offer them as part of a dessert buffet for a party. For the recipe, click here.
Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
from Martha Stewart
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces), such as Kraft
6 tablespoons heavy cream
Large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll into 1 1/4-inch balls.
- Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press an indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove sheets from oven, and re-press indentations. Bake cookies until golden, 9 to 10 minutes more. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled.
June 27th, 2012
About two weeks ago, I arrived home to a large bunch of gorgeous, fuschia rhubarb delivered by a dear friend who knows of and shares in my love of rhubarb.
Three cheers for door to door rhubarb deliveries.
And as the cooking gods would have it, the lovely Alana over at Eating from the Ground Up had just baked this simple but excellent cake with rhubarb as the star ingredient. This is precisely the kind of rustic fruit cake that I adore. So Thank you Nigel Slater and Alana for this delightful, tender, sweet cake.
I was intrigued by the baking of the rhubarb before it became an ingredient in the cake. This step delivered attractive, tender, intact rhubarb pieces and bright pink cooking liquid that is spooned over the cake before eating – oh my. It is also delicious stirred into seltzer for a kid-friendly spring into summer spritzer.
With the use of a food processor, this cake came together quite easily. Do not let the polenta component confuse you, there is no polenta making involved, just coarse ground ground meal that adds a nice bite to the cake's texture.
My Mother's Day present to myself
Making the batter, I pulsed a few times too many but the recipe worked just fine.
Ready to bake!
Yum, yum, gimme some! Ready to eat.
Rhubarb Polenta Cake
Thank you to Eating From the Ground Up
Adapted from Nigel Slater, Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard
1 pound rhubarb
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
10 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large egg
2 to 4 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. turbinado or regular sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan or baking dish. Set aside.
2. Cut rhubarb into into 3-inch pieces. Put them into a baking dish, scatter them with the sugar and water, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until soft. Drain rhubarb in a colander over a bowl to collect the cooking liquid. Set aside the rhubarb and the strained liquid.
3. While the rhubarb is cooking, Add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add the orange zest and butter. Pulse again until the mixture is uniform with the butter approximately the size of small peas.
4. Whisk the egg with 2 Tbsp. of milk and add it to the processor bowl. Pulse a few times until you have a batter that is crumbly but comes together when pressed between your fingers. Add additional milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time until the right consistency is acheived.
5. Press 2/3 of the batter into the cake pan in an even layer. Make a layer of cooked rhubarb pieces. For the top layer, add clumps and crumbs of the remaining dough, leaving some places where the fruit can be seen. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the cake. Place cake onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the top is slightly golden.
6. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan. I left mine right in the baking dish. Serve this cake with some of the reserved cooking liquid and something creamy like ice cream of yogurt.
May 24th, 2012
If you are from the east coast then you might know about Ring Dings. I think west of the Mississippi they are called Ho Ho's, either way this cake was inspired by my favorite treat when I was a kid. This is a super easy cake to make and you don't even need an electric mixer.
This recipe is perfect for a round cake that feeds 10. The key is you want to have a proportionate amount of cake to whipped cream. You can even make it into a four layer cake by slcing the rounds in half. If you want to make a sheet cake, I recommend doubling the recipe.
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk (if you don't want to purchase butter milk, then make sour milk by adding 1 Tbsp. white vinegar to 1 cup milk and let sit for 20 minutes. Lemon jucie works well too.)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or coat 2 round cake tins with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. This will make it easier to get the cake out of the pan. You can also use a 9×13 inch pan as well.
In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup place all your wet ingredients and mix them loosely together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix well. Stir in the chips.
Pour into prepared baking pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out of the center clean, about 35 to 45 minutes for lage pan and 20 to 25 for the smaller round pans. Allow cake to cool completely. Remove from pan. If you are making a sheet cake and did not double the recipe, now you have to slice the cake in half accross the middle of the cake. With two large knives, gently lift the top layer and place on the side.
For the Cream center (you will need to double this if you are doubling the sheet cake version, or making your round cake into 4 layers)
1 pint whipping cream
sugar to taste
Whip the cream until nice, soft peaks form any way you wish. I like to do it by hand when only using 1 cup heavy cream. It doesn't take that long. Set the whipped cream in the refrigerator while you make the ganache. For that recipe, click here.
Once the ganache is made, spread the cooled whipped cream on top of one layer of the cake. Leave about 1/4 inch all along the sides. Now place the other cake half on top and press down ever so lightly. Take the warm ganache and starting right at the center of the cake, pour some of the ganache on top. With a flat pastry knife, spread the glaze right to the end.
Pour on a bit more and slowly bring is down towards the sides and spread it evenly all around the sides. Place the cake in the refrigerator or someplace cool for about 1/2 an hour (or overnight) just to let the ganache set. I use a can of prepared whipped cream to decorate the cake. You can them deocorate with raspberries of sliced strawberries. Enjoy!
April 15th, 2012
Our visit to New York City in February included a trip to Grand Central Station for lunch at the infamous Oyster Bar; my kids had their first oysters (and I'm sad to say one ran to the bathroom after a 5 minute valiant attempt to eat it, and the other just spit it out) We opted for dessert at Magnolia Bakery; their first piece of ice box cake was much more well received than lunch.
I had made it once for my eldest, before the others were born and had forgotten how simple and delicious it is. For my middle child's 10th birthday, a request was made for this to be his cake.
Easy to make and easier to devour. You can dress this up or down. Smitten Kitchen has a more beautiful version but this one, from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook – uses 3 cups of heavy cream and more packages of the wonderful wafers. Smitten Kitchen also offers a recipe for making the wafers from scratch. Someday, I will try that.
Nabisco wafers are indeed hard to find so if you find them, purchase several boxes as they also make the best chocolate crust for pies.
Click here for the original recipe listed on the back of the chocolate wafer box. Searching the web will give you any variations you might want, like mint, and alcohol scented whipped cream, a touch of brandy could create a Brandy Alexander Ice Box Cake.
Try it, you'll like it, we promise.
May 25th, 2011
Flavorista Eliza brought Paula Deen's Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding to our Mother's Day potluck dinner. She and I have been contemplating this specific banana pudding for quite some time; why oh why did we wait so long? All six born and bred yankee adults in attendance agreed that this dessert was crazy good.
Banana pudding certainly falls into the comfort foods category. It is a perfect party dessert because it can be made ahead and one recipe serves quite a few people, as it is very rich. During strawberry or raspberry season, you could easily replace bananas with berries.
Paula's banana pudding is reminiscent of a traditional, southern banana pudding made of Nilla Wafers, fresh banana slices and creamy vanilla pudding but her version is enriched with Chessmen Shortbread Cookies, sweetened condensed milk and yes, you guessed it, cream cheese.
Paula Deen's Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding
Serious, serious YUM. Eliza made the very good call of replacing Cool Whip with real whipped cream, ooh la la…
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8-oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 cups milk
1 (5-oz) box instant vanilla pudding
6-8 bananas, sliced
2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer banana slices on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
May 14th, 2011
The idea for these brownies came from Martha Stewart's Cookies Cookbook. I did not care for the texture of the brownie in that recipe as it was far too cake like, so like flavoristas tend to do, I came up with my own version.
Then I stumbled upon the BEST brownie mix ever – Ghiardelli's Double Chocolate. I like my brownies ooey and almost gooey and this mix delivers. They actually come out as pictured on the box. Lucky for me they sell it in bulk at Costco here in Boulder. I highly recommend that you have this in your pantry as they are quite simply delcicious.
The peanut butter topping does come from the Martha's book but I adapted it for these brownies. If you like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, these are for you.
Peanut Butter Swirl
I haven't tried it yet, but this filling might also be good as a sandwich cookie filling, think homemade nutter butters.
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (I prefer chunky but the kids don't)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. salt coarse sea salt
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
Make the brownies according to the recipe on the box and pour into your prepared brownie pan.
For the peanut butter swirls, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Using a spoon, (or as I prefer a small 1 oz. ice cream scoop), place dollops of the peanut butter just on top of the batter. Using a sharp small knife, place the tip in the center of one of the peanut butter dollops. Now carefully fan the peanut butter out into the batter. Do this on each dollop making longish type swirlies (as pictured above).
Bake for the time as indicated on the brownie box for the pan size you use. I like to use the larger sizes brownie pan as the peanut butter doesn't spread but sets up where it is on the brownie. The brownie batter also tends to rise up around the peanut butter.
It doesn't hurt to sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top as well.
April 18th, 2011
In a quandry of what to make for dessert one night I was inspired by a recipe on food52 by Merrill Stubbs. While recipes for this homey cake abound, many are filled with nuts, dried fruit and a myriad of different spices, I think this recipe takes the proverbial cake.
Just to be clear, it is nothing like my other two favorites Aspen Apple Cake or Upside Down Apple Cake. This cake is quite fast and easy to make.
If you are cleaning out your pantry this spring and come accross some homemade apple sauce or if you happen to have a jar of a really good quality, unsweetened apple sauce, this cake is simply delicious. Moist from all the apple sauce it doesn't need that much added fat.
You can play around with the spices; I've used freshly grated ginger; Merrill had 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper in hers (which frankly I didn't taste so omitted it the second time round). Smoked cinnamon would be interesting to try too.
Please sift your flour. If you don't you will simply be using too much. I made a few changes to her recipe, including adding 3/4 less powdered sugar in the caramel-like glaze. The glaze is optional but dresses up the cake nicely if you are having company.
Kimberly's dulce de leche would also be fabulous as a drizzle when serving. One little anecdote, I love the sound this cake makes when you take it out of the oven. If you make it, take a listen.
Apple Sauce Cake with Caramel Glaze
2 cups of sifted flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups apple sauce
2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients (after you have sifted the flour). Place all wet ingredients (applesauce, vanillas, oil and eggs) into a large bowl and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet 1/2 a cup at a time and stir well to incorporate before adding more flour. Continue until all the flour is gone. Pour into a prepared (greased and floured) bundt pan.
The cake Merrill features on food52 is far prettier than mine. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (or sprinkle some Maldon's salt flakes or fleur du sel on top of the glaze for a nice crunch)
Once your cake has cooked and cooled, you can make the glaze. Heat the butter until it is melted in a small sauce pan. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar melts. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and whisk in the heavy cream and salt. Allow to cool for a few minutes then whisk in the confectioners sugar. Pour on to your bundt cake after you've turned it out on to a platter and it has cooled slightly.
Serve alone or with caramel ice cream -YUM!
April 6th, 2011
During my vegan detox, one thing that I missed was ice cream. I come from a long line of ice cream lovers and knew that I would have to come up with a plan to fill the ice cream void.
Canned coconut milk is a luxurious ingredient, it adds an unmistakable richness to Thai and Indian currries and I am happy to report that coconut milk can be used very successfully as an "ice cream" base.
You could certainly make a straight coconut sorbet but my detox required no sugar so I opted for a version that used ripe bananas as a sweetener and almond butter for added texture and flavor. A little touch of vanilla extract and a small amount of agave pulled the recipe together.
Adjust the recipe to suit your preferences, add a bit more agave, almond butter or a touch of almond extract. Top your dish with some toasted almonds, shredded coconut or chocolate shavings.
This "ice cream" is certainly a healthier option to traditional ice cream which is loaded with butter fat and sugar. And here’s the good news: It is wholly satisfying (see pic below, if you don’t believe me).
I make homemade ice cream in my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It worked especially well with this vegan version because as it froze the ice cream it incorporated air, in effect lightening the finished product.
Banana Almond Vegan Ice Cream
1 (13.5) oz. can coconut milk (full fat is better than light in this recipe)
2 ripe bananas, sliced
2 – 4 Tbsp. almond butter (to taste)
1- 2 Tbsp. agave (to taste)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.
Give the mixture a good stir until it is smooth and pour it into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer instructions.
Serve immediately or transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until it’s time for dessert. When serving this ice cream straight from the freezer, allow it to warm up for 10 minutes so that it softens up a bit making it easier to serve and eat.
FMI on Meatless Monday, click here.
March 14th, 2011
The inspiration for this recipe came from the wonderful blog The Nourished Kitchen. I changed the recipe considerably and the end result is a delicious oatmeal-like cake.
Make it once and have a slice every morning for a few days or serve it to a crowd at brunch. With some warm maple syrup and a dash of whipped cream it is really delicious! Perfect for winter weekend mornings.
You can use any dried fruit and nut combination. A few suggestions are apricots and pistachios, dried plums, apples and pecans, raisins or currants or cranberries and walnuts. Regardless of the combination you choose, it is delicious.
Baked Oatmeal (inspired by the Nourished Kitchen)
This recipe is easily doubled but this serves 6 for breakfast.
1/2 lb. rolled oats (she uses steel cut but I loved using rolled)
2 Tbsp. buttermilk or yogurt
1/2 cup whole chia seeds (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste, or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 /2 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup almonds
butter or non-stick spray for the baking dish
Place oats into a large bowl and pour on enough water to just cover them. Stir in the buttermilk or yogurt and add a dash of sea salt. Let sit overnight (8 hours to 12 hours is fine).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oats in a colander and and push out any excess water. Transfer oats to a large bowl.
Butter a small square (9×9-inch) or rectangular baking dish, like one you would use for brownies. Beat together the milk, eggs and vanilla and brown sugar or maple syrup. Sprinkle the chia seeds and cinnamon into the drained oats. Add dried fruit and nuts then stir in the milk/egg mixture.
Pour into the baking dish and cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Pour warmed maple syrup and a dollop of freshly whipped cream and tuck in.
February 16th, 2011