Saturday, October 10, 2009

Banana Cake Scratch Made

Extremely light and moist, this banana cake rocks!
I topped it with a chocolate glaze.

2 large ripe bananas (1 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 cup + 2tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

1. In a food processor process the banana and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla and process until blended. I used a regular hand mixer, it worked the same.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and blend or sift together. Add the butter and 1/2 the banana mixture. Mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to develop the cake's structure. If using a hand mixer use the highest speed.

3. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the remaining banana mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and develop the structure.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes depending on your oven or until the tester inseted comes out clean.

5. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to completely cool. Enjoy!

Chocolate Glaze:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1. Bring 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of butter to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Stir in 1/2 cup cocoa. Remove from heat and slightly cool. Graudually add 3 cups confectioners sugar. Stir with wire whisk until smooth.
3. Stir in 2 tsp of vanilla extract.

Makes about 1 1/2 cup glaze.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Old World Lemon Pound Cake

I have been searching for a lemon cake recipe that is made from scratch and has a very strong lemon flavor, along with a flavor reminds you of your grandmother's cakes. This cake is very lemony and soft. If your not use to a heavy cake well this will be your first. Its heavy and rich.
I would have had pictures but by the time I turned around slices were M.I.A and I don't even think the cake was completely cool:) But I promise I will post pic when I make it again. Also, great for cupcakes!

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted buteer, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest ( 6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room teperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Cream butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and lemon zest.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.

3. Pour the batter into prepared pans and smooth tops, then bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tester inserted comes out clean.

4. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugars dissolves. When cake is done, let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and set on a rack over a try or sheet pan. Spoon the lemon syrup over cake. Allow the cake to completely cool.

2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Combine the confectioners sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, with a wire whisk, mix until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Best Homemade All American Chocolate Cake

The Best All American Homemade Chocolate Cake is soft and full of chocolate flavor. This was a trial for me being that most of my chocolate cakes have had some issues, (not realizing how important baking soda is when using cocoa other than Dutch-proccessed cocoa) but this came out perfect.

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp (lightly spooned into cup) unsweetened cocoa (Dutch-processed)
1 cup boiling water
3 large eggs
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups + 2 tblps sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1. In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
2. In another bowl lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and vanilla. In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low until the dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Increase to medium or high if using a hand mixer. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes to develop the cake's structure. Scrape down sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to strengthen the cake's structure.
4. Scrape the batter into prepare pans and smooth the top. Bake for about 25 to 45 minutes depending on your oven and the type of pan you use, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then loosen and invert onto greased wire racks.
Simple Syrup (keeps cake moist)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
flavoring of your choice

1. Bring water to a boil and add sugar, whisk constantly until completely dissolved and add flavoring. Let cool and brush onto warm cake.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Featured: Spring Cupcakes! by Sarah Duzon

Photos by Sarah Duzon
Lets begin the Spring season with these delicate delicious mini cupcakes. Thanks to Sarah, we all can attempt to recreate these beatiful little cupcakes that brings us right into the spring season.

For those who would love to make these cupcakes, it all starts with a basic pound cake recipe.
Followed by whipping cream cheese, lemon filling and icing sugar together and piping it on top of the cupcakes.
I have included a link to a Pound cake recipe from by Paula Deen Mama's Pound Cake Recipe

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tres Leche: Quick and Easy

After visiting a great restaurant called "Little Havana" on 12727 Biscayne Blvd in North Miami, Fl and trying their Tres Leche I was inspired to recreate such a light sweet dessert. When I was younger I attended a birthday party and the only cake they had was this tres leche cake and at that time I just thought something must have went wrong. Maybe someone spilled milk or water on the cake. It was horrible! But I guess with age, your palette matures over time. Over the weekend I made a quick and easy Tres Leche cake with Pillsbury White Cake mix, Condensed milk, Whole milk, Whip cream and I tossed in some roasted pecans (my personal touch). So here's the recipe to make this quick and easy Three Milk Cake.

1 pkg Pillsbury White Cake Mix
1 cup (14 oz) Condensed milk
1 cup Whole milk
1 cup Whipping cream
4 eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Follow cake mix directions- (beating cake mix, oil, water, eggs and vanilla with electric beater on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl. Pour into pan.
3. Bake for 30 or 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, then poke top of warm cake with a long-tined fork.
4. In a large bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, and whipping cream. Carefully pouring evenly over top of cake. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour or until all milk is absorbed. Frost and enjoy!

Whip Cream Frosting;
1 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
whole cherries (optional)

1. In a large bowl, beat whip cream on low speed adding a tablespoon of sugar at a time until light peaks start to form, add vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. (Make sure not to over beat)
2. Spread over completely cooled cake.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Gone Wrong

Valentine's Day and the V-Day weekend means chocolate chocolate chocolate! So here's my rendition of every ones favorite chocolate cake with The Ultimate Chocolate Cake. Using a ready made cake mix from the box is always quicker and easier, but sometimes we would like to try baking desserts from scratch with equally the same quickness and ease. This chocolate cake took no special ingredients nor did it take hours in the kitchen. However for a finer quality cake, you can buy gourmet chocolate powder from brands such as Guittard, Callebaut or Scharffen Berger.

Heres what to do and not to do. The only difficulty I had was forgetting the baking soda, and in doing so; as you can see the cake did not rise as it should nor was it light and fluffy. It was more dense. Using baking soda, requires acidic ingredient in order to work properly and to avoid an alkaline flavor in the cake. The acidic ingredient can be natural cocoa (which is Not Dutch-processed and is lighter in color), orange juice, lemon juice or sour cream. And that is why some chocolate recipes ask for Buttermilk. In making this mistake, I learned what ingredients to use when making a chocolate cake. Chocolate cakes can be made with cocoa if your wondering, but also a combination of chocolate and cocoa may produce better results.

2 cups boiling water or (1 cup boiling water & 1 cup buttermilk)
1 cup unsweetened Hersey cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
2 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour or (2 1/2 cups of cake flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups of white sugar
4 eggs
1 cup of butter, softened or ( 1 cup of vegetable oil)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Pour boiling water over cocoa powder, whisk until smooth and let cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, then stir in vanilla.
3. Add flour mixture alternately with cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between 3 prepared pans.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup cocoa or three 1 0z unsweetened chocolate squares
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
4 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
3-4 tbsp milk
(Makes about 3 cups of icing)

1. Cream butter and shortening together with an electric mixer. Add vanilla and cocoa. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time beating well on medium speed and add milk one tablespoon at a time until light and fluffy. For a thin consistency add 3-4 more tbsp of milk, water or light corn syrup. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to use. Re-whip before using.
Refrigerate in an airtight container. Icing can be stored for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentines Day Carrot Cake!

Baking couldn't get any easier then this. I wanted to make a cake but something quick and easy, where I can hype the mixture up with my own flavor; so I bought Betty Crocker's Super Moist Carrot Mix and Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting. I don't think there is any other icing better then cream cheese icing when making carrot cake. Plus, if you can get a guy to eat carrot cake then you know its good, cause my guy friend loved it and that was a surprise because most guys I know hate carrot cake. So lets begin creating this super moist and slightly crumbly cake.

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist carrot cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineaaple in juice, undrained
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped cherries (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven 350F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans or 13x9-inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat water, oil, eggs, vanilla and pineapple. Sift together cinnamon and cake mix, then add to the mixture beating on medium speed. Stir in nuts, coconut and carrots. Pour into pans.
3. Bake for about 50-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 (8 0z) pkgs of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter until creamy.
2.Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in sugar until well blended.

My Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 0z) pk of cream cheese
1/2 container of Pillsbury or Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix all ingredients together. Enough for two layers, sides and top.

*Recipe can be found on the back of the Betty Crocker carrot cake mix.

A Vegan's Dream: M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Being that my mind was completely blank today, having no idea what I should bake I decided to surf the web and look for chocolate recipes. However, I realized that I do not have any eggs and not wanting to go to the store; and wanting to try something different, I began my search for recipes with no eggs or egg substitutes. I have now come to realize that there are many people in search for egg less, flourless and etc.. recipes due to allergies or looking for no cholesterol recipes. So I found one egg substitute recipe for eggs when baking cookies and cakes. Now you might be wondering why candied fruits? Well, they were on sale after Christmas and have been sitting in my freezer ever since plus I had half a bag of Nestle Toll House Chunks, two fun size bags of M&Ms and thought that I would make Candy Cookies! I do not know if vinegar will have a bad effect for some but these cookies are great! Its weird, they almost taste better then when I make chocolate chip cookies with the egg. But do not fair, I will make other cookies or cakes without eggs using other methods of egg substitutes.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 or 1/2 cup of Nestle Toll House Chunks, roughly chopped
1/3 cup of Candied Fruit, roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup walnuts (optional)
Egg Substitute as follows:

1 tbsp water
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
(recipe for each egg)

Preheat oven to 350F.
1. In a large bowl beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. In a seperate bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. Then add eggs (egg substitute) to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.
3. Beat in flour into butter and sugar mixture, then stir in chocolate chunks, walnuts and candied fruit.
4. Teaspoon small amounts of batter onto a ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let cool and enjoy. Store in an air tight container. Makes about 3 dozen

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apple Cinnamon Tart

Since I had so much apples and cookie dough left over, I just throw some cookie dough onto the bottom of the pan, place the apples on top and rolled out the rest of the dough. With a leaf cookie cutter from Wiltons, I was able to make these 3 leaf cut outs and place them on top of my apple tart. Also, being that I ran out of vanilla extract, I just used rum instead. This is just something that's warm, easy and simple to make on a nice cold day.

Sugar Cookie Recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Beat butter for 30 seconds, add sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. Beat in egg and vanilla
3. Beat in as much flour as you can with a mixer.
4. Divide dough in half, refrigerate for an hour or 2, wrapped in plastic.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
6. Roll out dough onto a well floured surface, and use any cookie cutter to cut out the shapes desired.
7. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes when using the dough as topping and crust for your pie. Let cool and Enjoy!

*This cookie dough recipe is different then my other sugar cookie recipes, this one requires more butter and the out come is more fluffy, soft and cake like. Rather then crispy and hard.

Apple Filling:

2 Granny Smith Apples- peeled, cored, and diced/chopped small
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Rum (dark or light)

1. Peel, core, and dice the apples into small pieces. Place medium saucepan over low heat and place apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum into the pot. Stir all ingredients together for about 1 to 2 mintues until well coated, then cover and let cook for about 8 mintues or to your liking.
2. Once done to your taste and texture, remove from heat and let completely cool.

Apple Cinnamon Biscotti Cookies

What can you do with 5 Apples? Well with 2 apples I made these Apple Cinnamon Biscotti like cookies. I peeled, cored, and diced 2 apples, and by doing so I was able to make 3 mini Apple Cinnamon Rum Loafs and these Apple Cinnamon Biscotti Cookies. I actually wanted to make pinwheel cookies, but after rolling out the dough into a rectangle and spreading the apple filling evenly throughout the rectangle and rolling it into a log, I decided to just bake it as is and cut them after they bake. This is very easy, and all I did was use a basic cookie recipe. So really its more cookie then biscotti, just with a biscotti shape. If you would like to try, this is a recipe from my other post called Mini Apple Sugar Cookie Pie. I used lefted over cookie dough to make these cookies.

Apple Filling:

2 Granny Smith Apples- peeled, cored, and diced/chopped small
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Rum (dark or light)
1. Peel, core, and dice the apples into small pieces. Place medium saucepan over low heat and place apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum into the pot. Stir all ingredients together for about 1 to 2 mintues until well coated, then cover and let cook for about 8 mintues or to your liking.
2. Once done to your taste and texture, remove from heat and let completely cool.