Monday, October 19, 2009

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Reese's Cake

Ok so I am a little late posting this but things got a little hectic and busy before I left for vacation. My sister's birthday was a few weeks back, I called her a few days before her bday dinner and asked what dessert she wanted. She isn't the greatest with decisions so I brought her my recipe book and collection of desserts I have been waiting to make and let her thump through it. She picked a few but several of them had to do with peanut butter and chocolate. So I knew that's really what she wanted. You see I HATE peanut butter....not a little but literally the smell makes me gag! Haha so she was a little hesitant to ask for this combo. But since I am a wonderful sister I went ahead and made this for her! Also another way to not eat or even try a dessert....bake something you don't like!

I got most of my inspiration from Annie's Eats but went with a different peanut butter frosting. I decided to take it up a notch and make Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. (When I told my sister, I think she started to drool :) )

Chocolate Peanut Butter Reese's Cake inspired by Annie's Eat's, cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan and Frosting from Sky High

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey's)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled ( I used Ghirradelli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2, 9 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper and butter again. I used Pam with Flour here and it worked out perfect!

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Place aside.

In the mixer bowl (using the paddle attachment), beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and soft. Add the sugar and beat for about 2 mins, until thoroughly combined with butter. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating after each addition for about a minute. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2. (Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix each addition only until blended . Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, folding in using a spatula.

Divide the batter between the cake pans.

Bake for 26-30 minutes. (Mine was actually ready in about 23 mins) The cake feels springy to the touch and starts to pull away from the sides. Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake, pull off paper liners. Cool to room temperature.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting from Sky High

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2/3 cups smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand. ( I used Jif)

In a large bowl using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy for about 3-4 mins.

Add the peanut butter and beat until blended.

For decorating: I used Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, cut in halves and cut into pieces. Freeze about 30-45 mins prior to use.

Adding the halves to the top and bottom of the cake.

A view from the top during decorating

Add cut up pieces of the Reese's to the top of the cake
This picture isn't very good, but it was the last slice I had leftover. So since I don't like peanut butter, I didn't taste this cake. But everyone else seemed to love it! I guess it was a hit since I didn't have much leftover to take a picture with. Enjoy! Print This

Sugar & Spice Cake

My boyfriend requested a Sugar & Spice Cake for his birthday this year. I have made this cake in the past for him and he just loved it! It's a tradition in the Houston Fire Department to bring cake for any special occasions for everyone at the station to enjoy. So this is what he wanted to bring. It's super easy and since it is based on a box mix, it is all thrown together very quickly!

This is a recipe my aunt passed on to me from Southern Living Magazine. So if you are interested go to Southern Living.

Just combine all the ingredients and mix!

Here is what the batter looks like...I might have licked the spatula once I was done :)

The recipe calls for 3 8 inch pans but I used 2 9 inch pans and it was fine!

All baked up! I used the awesome little bake even strips with these cakes! Look how even :)

Starting to ice the cake...

And finally, the finished product! I sprinkled a little edible glitter on top.

Everyone should definitely try this cake! The cake box came home empty...not even a crumb left :)

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Tres Leches

My mom's soon to be husband was asking me the other day if I had ever made a Tres Leches Cake. When I stopped and thought about it, I realized I hadn;t. So I went home that night and searched a recipe, and found the perfect one to test out on Pioneer Women!

He has a tough week ahead of him as he starts radiation this week. So I thought this would help lift his spirits! I didnt get a chance to taste it so hopefully it turned out ok :)

Tres Leches Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 pint heavy cream, for whipping

3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Spray 9 x 13 inch pan liberally until coated.Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer on, pour in 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.Fold egg white mixture into other mixture very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out surface.Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and allow to cool.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a small pitcher.When cake is cool, pierce the surface with a fork several times.

Slowly drizzle all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. Look its all gone!Whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.

Spread over the surface of the cake...


Add some decoration...

Pioneer Woman decorate with cherries, I thought strawberries looked just as cute. But decorate however you wish! Enjoy :)
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Cinamon Pecan Coffee Cake

This was my first time baking along with The Cake Slice Baker's from our new book, Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. While I am what some would call a picky eater, I figured this group was a way to try baking new things that normally I would never pick. So this first one what I really wanted to do was omit the pecans and raisins and have a lovely Cinnamon Coffee Cake. However since I am leaving for Mexico in 2 days and will be in a bathing suit on the beach, I decided to leave everything as the recipe called for so I wouldn't touch it! (Clever huh?)

Anyways this recipe calls for a lots of different bowls, but from what I hear the results are totally worth it! Everyone thought this cake was delicious, and I actually plan on taking the leftovers to my aunt;s house tonight so she can enjoy the rest! As I was assembling the layers I thought I would leave one section without nuts and raisins just for a sample tasting. However, it was late and once I added the second layer of batter I forgot which side was without, turns out I have one side bottom layer without and one side top layer without! Genius...right? :)

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake from Southern Cakes
(Makes a 13 x 9 inch cake)

For the cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

For the Cinnamon Raisin Filling:
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 inch pan. (I used Pam for Baking)

To make the filling, combine the light brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix everything well. Combine the raisins and pecans in another bowl and toss to mix them. Place the cinnamon mixture, nut mixture and melted butter but the pan for later use.

To make the cake, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir the vanilla into the milk. In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on high speed until pale yellow and evenly mixed, about 2 mins. Scrape down the bowl to ensure a good mix. Add the eggs and beat for another 2 mins, scraping down the bowl now and then, until the mixture is smooth and light.

Use a large spoon or spatula to add about a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir only until the flour disappears. Add a third of the milk and mix in. Repeat twice more until all the flour and milk mixtures have been incorporated. Stir just enough to keep the batter smooth.

Spread half the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture over the batter followed by half the melted butter. Scatter half the raisins and nuts over the top. Spread the remaining batter over the fillings, using a spatula to smooth the batter all the way to the edges of the pan. Top with leftover cinnamon, butter and nut mixture, covering the cake evenly.

Bake for 45 to 50 mins until the cake is golden brown , fragrant and beginning to pull away from the edges of the pan. (Mine I took out about 40 and I think it was a little more brown than I wanted.) Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before serving in squares right from the pan. The cake is delicious hot, warm or at room temperature.

The cake recipe makes an entire 13 x 9 inch cake and I would totally recommend for a family holiday gathering!
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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ghirardelli White Chocolate Blondies

After I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie I still had some time so I thought I would try out the Classic White Chocolate Blondie Recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli White Chocoloate Baking Bar.

Classic White Chocolate Blondies from Ghirardelli

2 bars (8oz) ghiradelli white chocolate (broke into 1" pieces)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, then grease the paper.
Melt white chocolate and butter in a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water.
Stir mixture occasionally until smooth. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until foamy.
Add sugar, vanilla extract, melted chocolate and butter slowly.
Fold in flour, salt and chocolate chips until well combined.
Spoon mixutre into the prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes.
Cut and serve warm or at room temperature.

These were super easy to make and tasted delicious! I think the tops of mine were starting to brown so be careful. I took mine out at exactly 20 minutes.

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