Friday, November 20, 2009

Burnt Sugar Cake

This month with the Cake Slice Bakers, we baked up our second cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. This time around it was a Burnt Sugar Cake, which I thought just sounded amazing! I heard a lot about this icing being very sweet but I wanted to make it exactly how the recipe called it so I could test it out. My cake seemed to take a little longer than the directions called for so I think mine could have been a little more moist, but all in all I like the cake and I would definitely make it again. Perhaps as cupcakes or even a bundt cake with a lighter frosting or drizzle.

Burnt Sugar Cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

Burnt Sugar Syrup:
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar

Burnt Sugar Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs

Burnt Sugar Frosting:
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup Burnt Sugar Syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 tablespoons evaporated milk or milk

To make the syrup: Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or in another heavy pan with broad bottom and high sides, over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts into a clear, brown caramel syrup about the color of tea. Carefully add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you'll be protected. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water joins the caramel in a brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar until needed.

make the cake: heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir with fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with a mixer at high speed for 2 to 3 mins, until they are very well combined, stopping now and then to scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in 1/2 cup of the Burnt Sugar Syrup and beat well. Add about a third of the flour mixture, and then about half of the milk, beating at a low speed just long enough, after each addition, to make the flour or the milk disappear into the batter. Mix in another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and then the last of the flour the same way.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 mins, until the cakes are golden brown. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup of burnt sugar syrup, the butter, and the vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk and continue to beat until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth, and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if its thin and a little more evaporated milk if it seems too thick.

I wasnt a huge fan of this icing, its very sweet and I could never seem to get the perfect texture, it was either too funny or too thick. I think this cake would be better with either no frosting at all or a very light glaze!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

My sister called me last week to see if I could make a dessert for her. She was bringing dessert to celebrate a fellow teachers birthday. She said she thought she wanted something with chocolate chip cookie dough, so I got home and started looking through my recipes. There were a few I showed her but this one was the clear winner! I have never made it so I was a little nervous shipping it off without a taste....but from what I hear it was a huge hit!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars seen on Bake or Break from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

(I doubled this recipe and used a 13 x 9 inch pan instead of the 9 inch square it calls for)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups all purpose flour

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Making the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square pan (I doubled recipe and used a 13 x 9). Line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough room to extend over sides. Butter the parchment paper. (Pam with flour works fine)

Combine graham crackers and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and 1 inch up sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool.

Making the cookie dough: Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside

Making the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.

Pour batter into baked crust.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.

Bake about 30 mins, or until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

For chocolate drizzle, just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bag in the microwave and drizzle over the top! Cut into bars and serve!

If you are a cookie dough fan this recipe is for you! My sister said everyone loved it, and now I wish I had a small piece to at least try it out. My guess is I will be making this recipe again soon! Print This

Cinnamon Sugar CoffeeCake Muffins

I made these a few weeks ago just on a whim craving something sweet. I was flipping through my recipe and these just leapt from the page at me. After reading the recipe and glancing at the pictures I realized when I printed out the recipe I didn't get which blog it was from. So as I was making them it was stressing my out trying to figure out where they were from.

After a while I was starring at the page long enough to realized, duh...I've seen this font many times, it's from Monica at Lick the Bowl Good! Once I realized they were hers I knew these were going to be delicious!

Cinnamon Sugar CoffeeCake Muffins from Monica at Lick the Bowl Good which she adapted from Ina ( Makes approx 10 muffins)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces sour cream
1/8 cup milk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Filling
1/3 sugar brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Topping
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place 10 paper liners in the muffin pan or spray generously with Pam. ( I actually 11 muffins out of this recipe)

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Mix and set aside. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Mix and set aside. I also placed the butter in a small bowl so it could be melted when I was ready for it.

In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, and 1 egg at a time, then add vanilla, sour cream and milk.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the mixer on low. Mix just until combined.
Scoop about a tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Evenly spoon the brown sugar filling into each muffin cup. I swirled the batter and filling around just a little bit to combine.

Spoon the remaining batter evenly into the muffin cups. Fill till just under the top.

Bake for 25-30 mins. ( Mine were ready in 24) Bake until the muffins tops are golden brown or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes. Try using a tooth pick around the edges to loosen them if needed.

Melt the butter and set aside. After the muffins have cooled for about 15-20 mins remove them from the pan. Dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter and then roll into a cinnamon sugar mixture.
Enjoy for a snack or with a cup of coffee.

My boyfriend is pretty good about sticking to a healthy diet but these he said were pretty tempting. We shared one that night and let me tell you, I could have easily eaten 3 or 4 more. They were that good!

So thanks Monica...we loved them!
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

I have been so busy lately I have yet to make a single Halloween or even fall recipe. What a horrible baker! I think my work friends have been slightly disappointed. :(

So last night I decided it was time to get into the fall spirit. It is finally getting a little cooler here in Houston, so that helped a little too! I have been seeing all kinds of Pumpkin recipes all over the blogs so I thought I would start there as well. My boyfriend has been requesting pumpkin cheesecakes but I didn't have all the ingredients on hand. Instead I saw this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt cake on Two Peas and Their Pod and went straight home to get started. I have never made anything with chocolate and pumpkin together, but apparently I have been missing out! Man was this cake ever good! I think I might have to make it again for the holidays. It comes together so quickly and you can add variations as you would like. I originally wanted to do white chocolate chips but didn't have enough on hand. So I used both mini and regular semi sweet chocolate chips and added a cream cheese drizzle to add some flare.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod which was adapted from Epicurious, Gourmet

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground all spice
Pinch of fresh nutmeg (ground nutmeg works too)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 canned solid packed pumpkin ( I used Libby's 15 0z can)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
Chocolate Chips of Chunks ( I used a combination of regular and mini semi sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with Pam with flour.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ground nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

All whisked together

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at a medium speed until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, while mixing on low. On low, add flour mixture and pumpkin mixture in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined, be careful not to over mix. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon cake batter into pan, smoothing top. Pound the pan on the counter to settle the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean in center of cake, about 45-50 mins. (Mine took about 43 mins)

Cool the cake, on a rack, for 15 mins. Invert and re-invert to cool on wire rack. Cool completely before decorating or serving.

Cream Cheese Drizzle
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1 tablespoon butter, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk (Add more if needed)
Melt in microwave in 15-20 second intervals. Stir and drizzle on the top!

This cake was really awesome! Have it for breakfast with some coffee, for a snack or serve it up for the holidays you will not be disappointed!
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