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Entries in recipes (688)

Monday
Oct312011

Bake a Cake In It: Cake Baked in a Pumpkin Recipe for Serious Eats

It's been proven time and time again that stuff is better when it's baked inside of a cake. For example: cupcake-stuffed cupcakestruffle-stuffed cupcakes, the entire website Bake it in a Cake.

But what happens when you do the reverse, and bake a cake inside something unexpected? Like a pumpkin?

The original idea here was to make mini cakes in cored-out small pumpkins, but the baking was irregular; baking a batch of cake in one large pumpkin yielded a far more delicious (and good-looking) result.

The moisture of the pumpkin yields a cake that had a texture something like a baked pudding—very dense and flavorful. To keep things from getting too pumpkin-heavy I tried this recipe with carrot cake; the flavors and spices worked beautifully with the pumpkin scent and flavor. It's even better when generously frosted and served with ice cream.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Thursday
Oct272011

Smear Campaign: Smearcase Recipe for Serious Eats

If you ask me, a baked good had better be great to get away with an exceedingly unappetizing name like Smearcase.

And happily, it is—this little-known Baltimore specialty, introduced to me by Rachel Rappaport of Coconut & Lime, is sort of like a thinner-crusted cousin to the pride of St. Louis known as Gooey Butter Cake. A dense, cakey crust encases a big ol' smear of gooey cream cheese-based custard filling; when sliced into squares, it's sort of like cheesecake condensed into a bar cookie form.

Note: While not strictly traditional, I added a handful of lightly roasted walnuts to the top of my Smearcase, with delicious results.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Oct262011

Creepy Cute: Zombie Graveyard Cake Recipe for Serious Eats

Zombies don't eat cake—they eat people's brains. But this Halloween, here's a way to turn the tables: Zombie Graveyard Cake.

This is just about the tastiest graveyard you'll ever come across. Starting with a generous amount of grass green-tinted frosting, the cake is then lined with cookie crumbles to resemble the residual grave-escape dirt, dotted with cookie "graves", and decorated with zombie cutout cake picks (printable illustrations to cut out can be found here) to form a delightful dessert that is creepy and cute all at once.

For the full entry, visit Serious Eats!

Tuesday
Oct252011

Sweet Fancy: Chocolate Paprika Cake Recipe from Kim and Jake's Cakes, Boulder CO

Photo: Kim and Jake's CakesThere is a song called "Daylight" by a band called Matt & Kim. I like this song. And I liked it even more when I learned that the Matt and Kim in question went to the same college as me, Pratt Institute.

But then I learned that they were several years younger than me and were kind of big deals in the music world, and then I kind of stopped liking them so much. In fact, my eyes kind of narrowed every time that song came on the radio. Stupid-younger-than-me-overachievers.

So now I turn to another duo, Kim and Jake, who run Kim & Jake's Cakes. Ahh, that's better. And they've offered up a recipe to share, for this delectable Chocolate Paprika Cake! An unexpected but delicious fall treat. Lucky us. Here's the recipe.

Image: Kim and Jake's CakesChocolate Paprika Cake

Ingredients For the Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dark cocoa
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp Urfa chilies
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 ¾  cups strong brewed coffee

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Line two 8 inch pans with oil and flour or spray down with Baker’s Joy
  3.  Combine all ingredients except for flour and coffee into a six qt. mixer bowl.  Using the whisk attachment put on speed 2 and mix until the batter is shiny and everything is incorporated.  Alternately add flour and coffee a cup at a time starting with the flour. When everything has been added, scrape down sides of bowl and mix on speed 3 for one minute.
  4. Pour contents into prepared pans and bake for 55 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool.

Ingredients For the Icing:

  • 2 lbs butter (room temp)
  • 4 lbs powdered sugar
  • 1 Table spoon milk
  • 1 table spoon vanilla
  • ½ tsp  each: sweet paprika, salt, black pepper

 To make the icing:  Whip butter on high for 5 minutes.  Scrape sides and repeat.  Add powdered sugar a cup at a time with mixer on speed 1.  Add milk, vanilla, and spices.  Whip on speed 3 to incorporate everything fully. To assemble Cake:  Level the tops of the layers, Apply a thin layer of icing to the top of one layer and set the remaining layer on top of it.  With a spatula use the rest of the icing to evenly cover the cake.   Serves 12.

 

Tuesday
Oct252011

Boo-Meringues: Meringue Skulls Recipe for Serious Eats

What do you get when you combine spooky skulls and sweet meringues?

Boo-meringues, of course!

If you need a moment to groan at that joke, I completely understand. But what's no joke is that these ghoulish meringues are simple to make, but even more fun to serve: personalize your skulls with funny faces to add some sweet charm to your Halloween fete.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
Oct232011

Chocolate Peanut Butter HalfPops Clusters Recipe

When I recently received a sample package of HalfPops ("the crunchy heart of popcorn"), I knew what I had to do.

I had to dessert-ify them by coating them in chocolate and peanut butter, naturally.

I went about this experiment not necessarily knowing if it would work, but happily, it did, and what I ended up with were unattractive but extremely tasty haystacks of sweet-and-salty deliciousness. Want to make this magic happen at home? It's beyond easy. Here's how you do it.Chocolate Peanut Butter HalfPops Clusters

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 heaping spoonful peanut butter
  • 1 package (7 ounces) HalfPops in the Sea Salt flavor

Procedure

  1. Get ready: Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate chips over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep from scorching, until the mixture is creamy and melty. Add the peanut butter and stir until incorporated.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the Halfpops, stirring until completely coated. Place a heaping spoonful into your prepared cupcake liners. Makes about 12.
Thursday
Oct202011

Walnut Macarons with Maple Bacon Bourbon Filling Recipe

Image: Les Petits MacaronsLet's talk about macarons, those fancy little French sandwich cookies.

In general, my thoughts are that they taste so much better when someone else makes them (especially if that someone is Pierre Herme, for instance); however, the newly-released book Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home might just be the book to change my mind. The recipes at first glance seem long and daunting, but really, they're just full of informative tips and are ultimately quite user-friendly. The book covers various methods of macaron-making in great detail, so you can choose your own adventure--sweet! Plus, they have all sorts of fun flavor combinations in their recipes--here follows a recipe, which is very international as it employs the Italian Meringue method of macaron-making and contains all-American bacon in the filling: Walnut Macarons with Maple Bacon Bourbon filling. As the French would say, "Le nom".

Walnut Macarons with Maple Bacon Bourbon Filling

Makes 40 macaron sandwiches

For the macarons

  • 1 1/4 cups walnut flour
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup aged egg whites from 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

For the filling

  • 12 ounces bacon, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed and strained orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • pinch freshly ground pepper

Procedure

  1. Place the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse 4 times for 3 seconds each to combine. Scrape the bowl in between pulses with a spatula. Sift with a fine-mesh strainer onto a sheet of waxed paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. While the egg whites are whipping, heat the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. If sugar crystals stick to the edges of the pan, use a small pastry brush dipped in water to remove them. Cook until the sugar reaches 235 F (use a candy thermometer). 
  4. When the candy reaches 235 degrees F, quickly and steadily pour the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl, with the mixer running on medium speed. Rest the lip of the saucepan on the side of the bowl so the sugar does not hit the whisk attachment and splatter all over. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form and the meringue is lukewarm and glossy, about 4 minutes. Do not overwhip the meringue or the "feet" won't form correctly (although they will still taste good, so don't fuss too much!). Turn the bowl upside down to check that you have reached the right stage: the meringue should not slip in the bowl.
  5. Place the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl and push them toward the sides to form a well in the center of the bowl. Spoon the lukewarm meringue into the center. With a rubber spatula, stir the meringue from the center out in a circular motion, as if you were making a pasta dough. The meringue will pick up the dry ingredients from the inside to the outside of the bowl; this process should take about 1 minute.
  6. Spoon the batter in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip (or, simply cut a 1/2 inch opening in the bag). Fill the bag halfway, leaving the rest of the meringue in the bowl while piping; cover it with plastic wrap while a batch is in the oven. If you overfill the bag, you'll not be able to squeeze it hard enough to pipe even shells. Twist the top of the bag to close.
  7. Pipe into quarter-sized mounds, about 1/4 inch high, on a silicone or parchment-lined sheet, with 1 1/2 inches around each. Bake at 200 degrees F for about 15 minutes; increase temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 9 more minutes, or until the shells feel firm and just come off of the paper or silicone. repeat until all of the batter is used.
  8. Once all of the macarons are baked and cooling, prepare your filling. Line a large plate with paper towels. Cook the bacon in batches in a saute pan over medium-high heat until it is crispy, 8-10 minutes. Remove the strips to the lined plate and let cool enough to handle, then chop finely.
  9. Cook the orange juice, maple syrup, bourbon, and bacon in a wide saute pan over medium heat until warm, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure that nothing sticks to the pan. Remove from heat, and immediately spoon the filing onto 40 macaron shells, evenly dividing it. Top with another shell, twisting slightly to secure the filling, and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Monday
Oct102011

Pop and Corn: Candy Corn Popcorn Balls Recipe for Serious Eats

Legend has it that Candy Corn is named for its coloring, which is inspired by the gradient of a kernel of corn. Sweet as this story may be, I've got to squint really hard to see the resemblance.

Nonetheless, I'm happy to bring the iconic tricolor treat together with popped kernels of its namesake, in the form of Candy Corn Popcorn Balls. These sweet marshmallow-based popcorn balls work beautifully when studded with candy corn; adding an extra shake of salt makes for a sweet, salty, crunchy, crispy, sticky, and overall pretty irresistible fall treat.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Saturday
Oct082011

Macrina Sweets: Molasses Ginger Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches Recipe

Image: Macrina BakeryThere's no doubt that Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches rule. But when they're made of Macrina Bakery's Molasses Ginger cookies, they reach new heights in the sphere of awesomeness. Here's the intro for Macrina's recipe of the month:

I think it's the fresh ginger that makes these cookies so special. They also have the perfect balance of chewy and crisp. Sandwiching two of them with ice cream makes an exceptional treat.

And here's the recipe:

Molasses Ginger Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Makes about 16

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Procedure

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt in a medium bowl. Mix with a whisk until evenly distributed and set aside.
  2. Combine shortening, butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add 1 egg and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add remaining egg and scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add ginger and molasses and mix on low speed for 1 minute. The mixture may look as if it's separating, but have no fear. It will come together once the dry ingredients are added. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and pour granulated sugar into a pie pan or shallow bowl.
  4. Scoop dough out of the bowl (I like to use a medium ice cream scoop) and roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Toss each of the balls in granulated sugar until evenly coated, then place 8 on each baking sheet, leaving 3 inches between each ball. Slightly flatten each ball of dough with the palm of your hand to keep the balls from rolling around. 
  5. Place 1 sheet of cookies in the refrigerator while baking the other sheet.
  6. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, on center rack of oven for 15 to 18 minutes each. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 4 minutes or so. The finished cookies will be golden brown and slightly puffed up but will collapse while they cool. Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. The cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
  7. Choose your favorite vanilla ice cream and  scoop a generous portion onto one cookie, place the other on top and voilá! A delicious treat to usher in fall.
Wednesday
Oct052011

Cake That Looks Like Pie: Blueberry Chocolate PiCake Tutorial

Photos: Cake Gumshoe SetiaCakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Setia, who just started blogging at cakesbysetia.blogspot.com.

I love cake. I bake cakes for many people and many occassions, and am constantly brainstorming my next cake project and an occassion to make it for. So, imagine my surprise when I happily tell my husband that I have a wonderful cake idea in store for his birthday, and he responds "I was actually thinking I might want pie". (Insert gasp of horror here). Pie? Seriously? You are asking a lover of cakes - a cake-artist-in-the-making, if I may be so bold, to make you a PIE?

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against pie. In fact, on occassion, I quiet fancy a slice; heated, served with a side of vanilla ice cream. I can even make a decent pie when I put my mind to it. Yet that is not the point, is it? The point, if not already apparent, was that I was desperately excited to come up with some wonderful cake creation for my husband's birthday. Sure, I knew he was probably teasing about the whole pie thing...right? However, I was now bound and determined to make something a bit tongue-in-cheek that would teach him a lesson, and yet give him what he wanted at the same time.

A cake that looks like a pie seemed like a pretty obvious solution! Why not? I'd never made one - it sounded like good fun! He'd get a good laugh! Perfect. Hmmm...yet it didn't seem quite perfect enough. More brainstorming required... Then I remember hearing of a place in Philidelphia that serves a dessert called "Pumpple Cake". It looks like a regular cake from the outside, but has an entire pie - two in fact - (apple inside vanilla cake, pumpkin inside chocolate cake, double stacked) on the inside. Now this got me thinking...What if I took that a step further? A cake disguised as a pie is great fun. But a PIE, disguised as a CAKE, further disguised as a PIE...well that is just genius!! (At least in my muddled little mind!)

My husband loves blueberries; fresh blueberries, blueberry pancakes, blueberries on cereal, and yes, of course, blueberry pie. And what goes swimmingly with blueberries - or any kind of berry for that matter, I asked myself? Why, chocolate of course! And so, I went forth and baked...And the results, in my opinion, were both pleasing to the eye and to the palate! Voila! A deep-dish blueberry-looking pie!

Here's how you make it happen.

Blueberry Chocolate PiCake Instructions

 

  1. Make favorite never-fail chocolate cake recipe.
  2. Pour enough batter into the cake pan to just cover the bottom.
  3. Insert pie onto batter.
  4. Pour remaining batter on top and around sides of pie.
  5. Bake the cake/pie as directed- takes considerably longer than regular cake-baking time. It seems like the top will never cook, but be patient, it will! Just keep watching it!
  6. Turn pie over onto work surface so it is upside down.
  7. Smother with a delicious chocolate ganache. Smooth ganache with hot knife to ready it for the fondant.
  8. Decorate to look like a deep-dish pie, using fondant. (I decided to do a lattice "crust" on the top).
  9. Use a little brown food colouring and vodka mixed together to 'paint' more colour onto the fondant, giving it a more "baked" look.
  10. Add fresh blueberries as desired.

 

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