Archive | June, 2010

father’s day frozen mousse cake

21 Jun

My dad loves cake and my dad loves ice cream. But I’m trying to broaden my baking horizon, so I took his loves and decided to make this, with a twist of course.

I made the cake part exactly how the recipe told me to, and my only issue was that I didn’t have time to completely cool it, so I had to use the fridge, which I think made it s a little crumbly, but it was just what it needed to be.

Next was the mousse, which takes a LOT of whipping. Whipping egg whites, whipping egg yolks, whipping cream and making sure things are the right temperature and then more whipping, it was a lot of work and made me super nervous. Also, my dad doesn’t like Kahlua desserts, so I swapped it for Bailey’s Irish Cream. But, I really don’t know if that was a suitable swap. In the end, flavor-wise, it was good, but consistency wise, I’m not sure that it functioned the same… and I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be as “mousse-y” and fluffy as it was supposed to be. I also took out the espresso powder and used cocoa powder instead, again to steer clear of the coffee flavors he didn’t really want.

Then I said a prayer to the mousse gods and went to work for 11 hours Saturday night and 5 hours Sunday morning. When I finally got home I took the frozen concoction out of the freezer and prepped the ganache, where I used Creme de Cacao instead of the Kahlua. I love using ganache so I’m always happy to find a new recipe for it – this one is a winner!

And so was the rest of the dessert, all about eaten in an hour, like always. Even my relatives that proclaim they didn’t want any dessert gobbled their share. But my dad did have to have some ice cream on the side, some things can’t be swapped 🙂 Happy Father’s Day!

gotta throw an oatberry in every once in a while

21 Jun

It’s been a few months, so I had to throw some oatberries in the oven… and it was a co-worker’s birthday and he loves them so I felt the need to make them. Always delicious, always fantastic.

Everyone loves an Oatberry.

amish friendship bread

16 Jun

“Michelle! I have something for you! Have you ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread?”

“I’ll bring you a bag tomorrow, but you gotta promise to mush it everyday and then when you make it to bring it in to work for us to eat.”

That was a conversation I had with a co-worker a few weeks ago. He swore this was one of the most delicious things he’d ever eaten and as I wrote, made me promise to go through with the procedure and to bring the bread into work. I did and he was right, it was amazing.

Amish friendship bread is kind of like a baking chain letter. You receive a bag of starter bread from a friend along with instructions and then you must follow the instructions for the next week or so and in the end you have four more starter bags in addition to two amazing loaves of friendship bread.

Although it sounds like a lot of work, it’s actually incredibly easy. Aside from two days (one of which is the final baking day) the instructions only tell you to mush the bag, which results in the bag needing to be burped a bit and takes about four seconds. Other than that you add 1 cup each milk, sugar and flour about halfway though the week and then again the day you bake the bread. Then you divide the batter into five parts, four of which you pass along to a friend (with a set of instructions of course) and the last portion of batter you use for your loaves. To that you add more sugar, flour and milk, instant vanilla pudding and a few other ingredients before sending your creation to the over and about an hour later you have amazing friendship bread. I liken the bread to a cross between a pound cake and a coffee cake, almost a banana-less banana bread. It was so good I had to stop myself from eating an entire loaf. What held me back was that I knew the ingredients and was mesmerized by how much sugar was actually in the batter. I know, I’m a baker and I always use sugar, but this just felt like so much! I think I had to brush my teeth three time after that immense indulgence, but it was so worth it and I hope everyone gets the chance to experience this fun chain recipe. I hope I get it back someday!

Brownie cookies

8 Jun

Sometimes you want a brownie really fast, ok, i mean sometimes you want brownie batter  but don’t feel like having to cut brownies after a half an hour of baking then at least that long of cooling…. at 11pm. So instead, you google cookie recipes using brownie mix because, well that will get you to chocolate faster!

Basically to make brownie cookies instead of brownies you minimize the wet ingredients added to the batter, that way the result is scoop-able dough instead of runny batter. So you use 1 egg and a few tablespoons of water and oil, scoop them out and pop the cookies in the oven for 15 minutes. Ta-dah, brownie cookies. I added 4 peanut butter chips to each cookie so I wouldn’t eat them (I don’t eat peanut butter) and then ate the extra dough-batter and was sufficiently satisfied, yum, brownies in any form are always amazing.

purple pony cake

2 Jun

Happy 3rd Birthday to my niece, Madeline!

She requested (and received) a purple pony cake FILLED with lots and lots of chocolate chips. She didn’t really request any specific flavors, just colors 🙂 so I took the rest of the choices on myself.

I chose to make two layers: a brownie base and a vanilla cake layer, both filled with a combo of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and a layer of chocolate whipped cream and chocolate chips in between, all covered in purple buttercream.

As you’ve read before, I always use boxed brownies, so this was no different. However, I mixed flavors and brands for my giant square pan – Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate and Pilsbury Milk Chocolate.

It was interesting to mix these two boxes, I found that the Pilsbury brownies were thinner than the Betty’s, but combining them made for a different chocolate flavor with each bite.

Next I whipped up (literally) my own whipped cream and added cocoa powder in at the end for the filling, again with chocolate chips.

And finally I used my tired and true Paula Deen basic cake recipe as the final layer, again with a few handfuls of chips added in.

I stuck with my buttercream this week also, tinting it purple as Madeline requested and adding pink for the writing.

I ended up loving what it looked like even though it was simple and silly, couldn’t be more perfect for a 3-year old! And everyone loved it, so that was great too 🙂 After a giant cupcake for her first birthday and a 4-tier princess cake last year, I can’t wait to see what she asks for next year!

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