Pumpkin Sauce

I made this to go on top of the sugar free Cheesecake. I think it turned out pretty good. May have to edit this because I can’t exactly remember what I put in it…

Ingredients:

  • 1 C pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 C brandy
  • 1/2 C cream
  • 1/4 C Xylitol
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice

Procedure:

Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until warm.

Malted Milk Ball Cake

Got this recipe from here and made it for Dad’s 74th birthday. It’s essentially a giant Whopper cake. I think everyone agreed it was pretty much one of the best cakes ever.

For the Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups malted milk powder
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the cake pans
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped

 

Process:

  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour, and tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the malted milk powder, measured flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, sugar, measured oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Add a third of the flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Add half of the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and milk, alternating between each and whisking until all of the ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each and turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  6. To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round, a tart-pan bottom, or a cake plate. Evenly spread about a third of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer and evenly spread another third of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake. (Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a base coat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.) Place in the refrigerator until the frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible. Press the malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake and serve.

 

For the Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Procedure:

  1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  2. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and return to low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until frosting is evenly combined and light, about 3 minutes. Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

whopper_cake

Vanilla sauce

1 cup water
1 Tbs corn starch
3 Tbs butter
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbs vanilla
1/2 cup xylitol

Boil the water, corn starch, and xylitol, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and stir in rest of ingredients.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Straight from here

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
Dust cake with additional cocoa powder and serve with sorbet if desired. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

Cobbler

Another favorite that’s been in the family for a while. I remember having peach cobbler as a kid and just eating the cobbler part. Now we make it with blackberries, blueberries, apples, mixed fruit – you name it!

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs

Procedure:

  1. Mix all the topping ingredients together on a large bowl (it will be crumbly).
  2. Spread the fruit evenly over the bottom of a pan. If you have a fruit that needs to be sweetened a bit, sprinkle a bit of sugar over the fruit.
  3. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. For a little extra oomph, melt a few tablespoons of butter and drizzle it over the topping before putting it in the oven.
  4. Cook @ 375 for about 30 minutes.

Salted Caramels

This is taken pretty much verbatim from an Alton Brown Recipe. I’ve played with some different stuff, but really the only difference is the amount of soy sauce I use. Also, I dip mine in chocolate before I sprinkle salt on top.

Ingredients

14 1/2 ounces sugar (~2 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1.5 teaspoons soy sauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and cream of tartar in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and put over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream and soy sauce in a liquid measuring cup. Have this and the butter standing by.
  4. Remove the lid from the sugar mixture, and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. When the sugar mixture reaches 230 degrees F, reduce the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is a golden color and is approaching 300 degrees F, about 6 to 7 minutes. At this point, there is less likelihood of any crystallization, so gently swirl the pan to break up any hot pockets.
  5. When the temperature approaches 350 degrees F, it will turn deep amber. Remove the pan from the heat, and gently swirl again to break up all of the hot pockets. Cool for 2 minutes.
  6. Carefully incorporate the cream and soy mixture and the butter into the pan. Stir to combine. Return the caramel to medium heat, stir until the butter is completely melted, and continue cooking until it reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from the heat and pour into the parchment-lined pan, tap gently to release air bubbles.
  7. Cool on a cooling rack for a couple of hours and then cut into 1-inch pieces ( I use a pizza cutter).
  8. Now you can dip them in chocolate! Here are some good resources on tempering chocolate.

The quick version:

  • Bring the chocolate to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C) for dark chocolate or 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C) for milk or white chocolate.
  • Seed the remaining chocolate and cool to 90 F (32 C) for dark chocolate or 87 F (30 C) for milk or white chocolate

S'more Cake

S’More Cake

So Chase this year wanted a cake shaped like a giant s’more. This is what I came up with.

 

Graham Crackers

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • Cream these together and then add
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. chill for 30 minutes before rolling out.
  2. Roll out dough on parchment paper about 1/4 inch thick and cut at 12″ square.
  3. Transfer each cracker to a cookie sheet and poke with a wooden skewer to give it that “graham cracker” look.
  4. Bake each cracker for 30 minutes each at 350 degrees. You might need to play with this a bit. You just need to make sure it is firm enough that it doesn’t start to bend when you set it on top of the cake. If it does, just throw it back in the over @350 for another 20 minutes or so.

I got the graham cracker recipe from here.

Chocolate

I decided for the piece of chocolate to not go with an actual giant piece of chocolate. I figured using cake would be much easier for the kids to eat so I made the Hershey’s Perfect Chocolate Cake (the same one I used in the Lightning McQueen cake) and cover it with chocolate ganache so it looked like an actual piece of chocolate that was melting. I think that worked out pretty good!

 

 

Marshmallow

So for the marshmallow part, I made a 3-layer cake (recipe from here) and covered it in white fondant. Underneath the fondant though is Martha Stewart’s 7-minute frosting. I used this frosting because it’s essentially a cross between frosting and marshmallow anyway, so I thought it might make it taste more marshmallowy. The problem though is that the frosting is very airy and with the weight of the fondant, it got pretty compressed. I think if I were to do this again, I’d just use buttercream.

Ingredients (cake)

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions (cake)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Ingredients (frosting)

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions (frosting)

  1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
  2. Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.

  

 

So after I frosted the cake, I covered the whole thing in white fondant. It’s a little tricky to get around the corners and stuff – the best advice I can give is to work very slow. It’s pliable enough to do it without creases, you just need to take your time.

 

And of course, Chase wanted transformers fighting on top.

Crustless Cheesecake

This makes 1 9-inch cheesecake.

 

IMG_4160

Ingredients:

  • (4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety, not light Neufchatel cream cheese) at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar (or use 1 1/6 cups xylitol for a sugar-free version. Or if you’re using swerve, I use 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit and generously butter a 9-inch springfoam pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.

Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.

Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Gently spoon the cheese filling into the springform pan. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheescake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springfoam pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Optional stuff:

Ingredients for the Macaroon Crunch

  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts (almonds, peacans, and/or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup angel flake coconut

 

Ingredients for the Strawberry Topping

  • 1 quart large ripe strawberries
  • 1 cup strawberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves

 

Directions for the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake

Macaroon crunch: Spread the nuts and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 F oven until golden and crunchy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set the crunch aside to cool.

To prepare the strawberries: Wash, hull, and sort through the strawberries, then pat them dry with paper towels. Starting at the outside edge of the cheesecake, arrange the berries on their sides, in rows, with ends pointing toward the edge of the cake. Continue until the top of the cake is completely covered by strawberries.

Now make the strawberry topping: Melt the strawberry jelly and apricot preserves together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Strain and drizzle the warm jelly over the berries. Sprinkle the macaroon crunch ina 1 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cheesecake, covering the berries around the outside edge. Loosely cover the entire cake with plastic wrap, being careful not to let the glaze stick to the wrap.

Refrigerate the cake until it’s completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the cake from the pan and serve it chilled. Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

ENJOY!!

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

 

Kristin had this one time at the Walk For Aidan and went gaga over it so I had to try and make it for her. This is basically a slightly modified version of a Martha Stewart recipe that I found.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or Xylitol)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, lavender, and honey. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving milk and discarding lavender.
  2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, return milk to a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add half of the simmering milk to the eggs. Stir mixture into remaining milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in cream. Strain mixture into a medium mixing bowl set in an ice-water bath (or put it in the refrigerator overnight), and let stand until chilled, stirring from time to time. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.

Buttermilk Pie

I first saw this on the food network – it’s from a cafe in Texas called Royers Round Top Cafe. It’s super rich and unbelievably good. This is from the Royers website: “When we took over the Café in 1987, the late, dear Garda Siptak, a local lady, would make one or two buttermilk pies a week for us.  As time went by, we wanted to make our own buttermilk and so we had to find a buttermilk pie recipe.  We finally stumbled upon this recipe that has a bit more sugar than a regular buttermilk pie, but we think that makes it all the better.  We hope you agree.”

Buttermilk pie is like a chess pie or a dense custard pie and is best served chilled. Yields eight servings.

Ingredients

  • a stick of butter (1/4 lb)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • a cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Tblsp vanilla extract
  • 10-inch pie shell
  • For extra goodness add a cup of each: chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and crushed pecans.

 

Directions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Add the eggs and the flour to the sugar mixture.
  3. Then add and mix the buttermilk, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  4. If you’re going to add the chocolate chips, coconut and pecans, add them now and just mix enough to distribute throughout.
  5. Pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees for an hour or until it is set.  Enjoy!