Category Archives: cake

Food Coma

I like to eat. It’s probably visible in my appearance; I’m a bit of a fluffy person. It really doesn’t bother me, I can do all the things I like and I watch what I eat. I know I’m healthy; I can climb up the stairs in my house about 5 billion times a day and not go into cardiac arrest. I enjoy my fluffiness and it drives the husband wild, so we are good to go. 😉 About 4 years ago while in Hawaii with my husband I coined a term… food coma.

Being a young military family you realize that celebrating Valentines on February 14, Christmas on December 25 or my birthday on November 26 (Hint: I ❤ Le Creuset. 😉 ) isn’t all that important. My husband and I began to celebrate holidays and birthdays whenever we were together and near the original date. One of “our” dates is January 16, 2008. Yeah it’s usually the day after pay day for some or just the middle of the month for others, but for us it’s Valentines day! 😀 It’s also the day that my husband proposed to me. October 10, 2003 we got married and he officially proposed to me January 16, 2006. Funny, I know but that’s a story for another dish. 😉 My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary with a day at the beach and some junk food. He knew I wanted an iPod and decided to see how bad I really wanted it but throwing out a wager for it. He said if I had a #7, large with a pumpkin shake from Jack in the Box, I could get it. I thought in my brain “Yum, I can do that. I like all aspects of that bet.” But I failed to realize how LARGE a LARGE is from Jack in the Box. Not only is the hamburger the ultimate but I also had to eat a LARGE milk shake AND curly fries. Crap. I enjoyed most of it and it was delicious. I went almost into a euphoric state. I had a nice full belly from the hamburger but I had to finish that milk shake. I started sippin’ slowly but the bottom of the cup wasn’t getting closer. But I wanted my flippin’ iPod! I wanted it! LOL I eventually finished but went into a food coma, which includes laying in a fetal position to not stretch out the bulging stomach and cause awful pain, I was taking short breathes due to the fullness of my stomach cavity. It wasn’t a happy site but guess what? I got my iPod! There aren’t many things I will willingly eat myself into a food coma… except… cornbread-anything.

Guess that happened last night? I was in a cornbread-ish cake induced food coma and I’m paying dearly for it today. LOL

This weeks TWD was a great cake. I used corn meal because I could not find polenta and I also substituted dried cranberries for figs. We aren’t much of fig fans here. This is a great cake and was very moist. I will say it tasted more like a pound cake then anything to me. But you all know how I feel about anything corn bread-ish. 😉 haha!

Check out other TWD bakers here.

Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

5 oz dried cranberries

1 C medium-grain polenta or yellow cornmeal

½ C all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 C ricotta

1/3 C tepid water

¾ C sugar

¾ C honey (if you’re a real honey lover, use a full-flavored honey such as chestnut, pine, or buckwheat)

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 large eggs

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 10 ½-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Toss blueberries into a small pan of boiling water and steep for a minute, then drain and pat dry.

Whisk the polenta, flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the ricotta and water together on low speed until very smooth. With the mixer at medium speed, add the sugar, honey, and lemon zest and beat until light. Beat in the melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time, beating until the mixture is smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are fully incorporated. You’ll have a sleek, smooth, pourable batter.

Pour about one third of the batter into the pan and scatter over the cranberries. Pour in the rest of the batter, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, if necessary, and dot the batter evenly with the chilled bits of butter.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The cake should be honey brown and pulling away just a little from the sides of the pan, and the butter will have left light-colored circles in the top. Transfer the cake to a rack and remove the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes. Cool to warm, or cool completely.

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Filed under cake, corn bread, fruit, honey, Tuesdays with Dorie

We like cartoons.

I like cartoons, always have and I know I always will. I’m sure when I’m 45 I will still love to watch all sorts of cartoons… correction… I KNOW I will.  🙂  This last weekend I was fortunate enough to have my family out for the husband’s birthday; by the way, we had a blast! Initially it was my mom, Andrea (little big sister), Linda (big sister), her husband and daughter. We got things ready for a little birthday party for the husband while he was out taking a police officer exam. [Wish him luck! 😀 ] We did a Bee Movie theme, it’s his new favorite movie. My husband and I signed up for a Hollywood Video membership for $29 a month and get unlimited movie rentals a month. The second we signed up I told him I wanted to see Bee Movie. He rolled his eyes and said I was lame. 🙄  I’ve seen the previews and thought it looked too stinkin’ cute to pass up. After about 4 weeks, I FINALLY got a copy and we saw it as soon as we got home. The movie is SO cute and funny. I definitely recommend it to anyone.

Back to the main topic… my sisters, mom and bro-in-law get the house decorated and began the enormous task of making food. We begin to make cupcakes, salsa, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, hamburgers and hot dogs.  😀  The party went off great! Everyone ate, talked and enjoyed the day to celebrate such a great man… my husband! We all sat and vegetated after filling our bellys with food and began watching UFC when the door bell rings. Koa flips out and I run to the door to tell whoever it is to stop ringing the door bell when I see my dad! WHAT! MY DAD! My dad didn’t come with my sisters and mom on Friday evening because he had to work on Saturday and was just going to stay home and wait for his girls to come home.  So while we were eating then beginning to vegetate he was getting out of an 8 hour work day, then driving the 4.5 hour drive for the husbands birthday. How awesome is my dad? I know, too flippin’ awesome.  🙂  On Sunday morning, I woke up at 7 am. BOO!  😐  and began to make breakfast for everyone. My dad wakes up and showers and plops on the couch. What is he watching you ask? SpongeBob SquarePants. Yup, SpongeBob SquarePants. He is a 48 year old dood that absolutely loves cartoons, which shows me what I will be like to watch at that age.

When I saw this weeks recipe was carrot cake, I secretly got excited! The husband loves carrot cake, but I don’t make it all that much because of the shredding. I am famous for my crappy shredding skills and shredding chunks of my fingers off. But I knew Dorie wouldn’t fail me with a fantastic recipe… and as usual, she didn’t. This is a great cake with an awesome flavor. I changed my version up a bit by making it like a jelly roll then cutting circles out to make mini cakes. I cut the sugar on the frosting but it was still delicious. Check out other TWD bakers here.

Bill’s Big Carrot Cake
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Yields 10 servings

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)

Getting ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.

To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.

To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.

To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.

Serving:
This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it’s good plain, it’s even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.

Storing:
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it’s firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

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Filed under birthday, cake, dessert, fruit, nuts, sugar, Tuesdays with Dorie, vegetable

Family is like chocolate…

Sometimes sweet, semi-sweet or bitter sweet! LOL My family is always sweet, treking across to AZ from CA to visit and sometimes unexpectedly.

My husband and I had planned on a quite, maybe a motorcycle, bowling-filled weekend. Lots of sleep sprinkled here and there. We got a call Friday afternoon that my sister-in-law and her brother-in-law plus families (11 people) would be in AZ that evening. I have no problem with having family over, it’s super fun to see my nephew Emilio and my sis-in-law Jeni, she is hilarious. But as my husband told me when I was driving home we would have company I remembered that I hadn’t finished laundry or washed all the linens. Crap! LOL

The weekend turned out fantastic and we had plenty of fun. We also had home made carnitas, salsa and beans. It was an extremely fantastic meal. I wanted to contribute something to the party, I didn’t want to be the person that the host’s feel are the “just there for the food”. I remembered that my Tuesdays with Dorie cake would be due soon.

I will say that I strayed from the pan and chocolate on this recipe. I am not a HUGE bittersweet chocolate fan and the majority of people I know aren’t either. I decided to use semi-sweet chocolate and used 8 ounces instead of 9 to make sure I didn’t send anybody into a sugar coma. I also used a 9 inch springform pan instead of the 8 inch because I couldn’t find the flippin’ bottom to the 8 inch pan. Oh well, it worked out well because I needed to feed a crowd. My sis-in-law said it tasted like a brownie, it kinda did but I think it was more chocolate-y than a regular brownie. It was a very simple cake and had a rockin’ taste. I didn’t add the chocolate glaze because I can’t handle that much chocolate or sugar at once. I get dizzy and a bad belly ache. Instead I added Cool whip and it was a hit with my nephew Emilio. He LOVED LOVED LOVED it. hehe!

I do have one question for my fellow TWD bakers. I baked the cake, let it cool a little and it looked nice and fluffy but I gave it a quick poke and it broke! It had a crispy outer shell filled with air. Does anyone know what I did wrong?

Check out the other Tuesdays with Dorie cakes.

Enjoy!
-M

Almost-Fudge Gâteau
5 large eggs
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons coffee or water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
For the Glaze (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar butter and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy, and that’s fine. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm, but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape the butter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn’t shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and cool to room temperature right side up. As the cake cools, it may sink.

To Make the Optional Glaze:
First, turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips.

Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.

Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charms. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gentle heat from a hairdryer.

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Filed under cake, chocolate, cool whip, event, Tuesdays with Dorie