Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time for a Dream....

That is a Dreamscycle..Cake I may add...

The cake:
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 eggs
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add juices and peel; mix well (mixture may appear curdled). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour with baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into two greased and floured 8-inch springform  pans. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Poke holes in cake with a meat fork.  Pour jell-o over cakes.  Refrigerate for about 2 hours.  Then remove from pan..

The Jell-o:
Make a small box of Orange Jell-o according to directions.

The filling:
1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until fluffy.  Spread between the  layer of cake.

The frosting:
1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, thawed

Whip on high speed until firm.  Spread over cake and sides. 
Refrigerate cake at least 1 hour.  Store cake in refrigerator..

This cake reminds me of the hot summers at my grandma's when she would give out dreamsycle bars or fudge bars.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Light and Delectable Dessert

Raspberry Sponge Roll
Serves 6

Sponge Cake:
1/3 cup sifted cake flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
For Sponge Cake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven.   Butter, or spray with Pam, a 17 inch  x 12 inch  baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and then butter and flour the parchment paper.  Set aside.
While eggs are still cold separate two of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another bowl.  To the two yolks, add the additional yolk, and the two remaining eggs.  Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the sifted cake flour and cornstarch.  Set aside.
Once the eggs are at room temperature, place the egg yolks, along with 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar, in your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on high speed for five minutes, or until thick, pale yellow, and fluffy.  (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.)  Add vanilla extract.
Sift half the flour mixture over the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula, just until the flour is incorporated.  Sift the remaining flour mixture into the batter and fold in.
In a clean mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Sprinkle in the remaining one tablespoon granulated white sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, evenly spreading the cake batter with an offset spatula or knife.
Bake for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean and the cake, when lightly pressed, will spring back.
Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the sponge cake onto a clean dish towel that has been sprinkled with confectioner's sugar.  Carefully remove the parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, and roll up the sponge, with the towel, while it is still hot and pliable. Place on a wire rack to cool. 
Raspberry Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 cup lightly sweetened puree(recipe follows) or 1/3 cup raspberry jam
In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Then add the sweetened raspberry puree or raspberry jam, a little at a time, and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. Taste and fold in more sugar or puree, if needed.
1 - 12 ounce bags of frozen raspberries(unsweetened)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
Raspberry Puree (if using): Thaw the unsweetened frozen raspberries in a large fine meshed strainer suspended over a large bowl.  (This may take a few hours.)  Once the berries have completely thawed, force the juice from the berries by gently pressing the berries with the back of a large spoon.  All that should remain in the strainer is the raspberry seeds.  Throw away the raspberry seeds and, to the strained juice, stir in the lemon juice (if using) and 1/4 cup of white sugar (add more if needed).  The puree can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for up to a year.
To Assemble: Remove about 1/2 cup of the raspberry whipped cream to use as garnish.  Then unroll the sponge, spread with the remaining whipped cream filling, and reroll.  Transfer to your serving platter.   Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  Just before serving, place the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe rosettes in center of each slice.  Place fresh raspberries on the rosette, if desired. 
Try a Chocolate Sponge Roll with the Raspberry Filling or Substitute strawberries for the raspberries

Red Velvet...WHAT?

I have been told by MANY…Red Velvet’s yummy.   Do you realize HOW MUCH RED FOOD COLORING it takes to make a Red Velvet WHATEVER????  Crap!  I should buy stock in McCormick. 
Mary, my daughter choose dinner last night..she wanted pancakes.  So I thought I’d try our my very own recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes.  What a hit!  We did Red Velvet Pancakes, Peach Crisp Pancakes, Fluffy Chocolate Pancakes, & Waffles.  ALL MY VERY OWN CONCOCTIONS!  The Red Velvet Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese and Buttermilk Syrup…  need I say more.  I even threw in some White Chocolate Chips for a few.  I would have to admit..they would probably be FANTASTIC with Vanilla Syrup.
Unfortunately, I can’t print my recipe for ya…I’m trying to get it published!  I think it is about time I get paid for my creations..Don’t you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some Day I Will Learn to Say "NO!"

Brownies anyone?  Anyone?? 150 box stuff from me.  When someone tells me "Oh we will just buy them." I just can't keep my mouth shut.  Oh no, I have to pipe up and say, "Oh please let me make them."  LUCKILY, I LOVE to bake.  So be it..just for the Springville High School Orchestra Reception and Concert...
Brownies Galore...
Easy Double Chocolate Chip Brownies (and variations)
Yields - 2 dozen bars

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided (can sub other flavors for the 1 cup  mix in)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

MELT 1 cup morsels and butter in large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla extract and baking soda. Stir in remaining morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Variations I did.....

Ooey Gooey Messy Brownies
Sprinkle 2 cups mini marshmallows over hot brownies.  Let cool for about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips - milk chocolate, white chocolate...whatever.  Drizzled some of buttermilk syrup (which really is caramel) over cooled brownies. In a medium saucepan, combine one 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 cup butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Drizzle over brownies. Let stand for 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate.

Cherry Swirl Brownies
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped well-drained maraschino cherries
1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
1 egg

I did substitute 1 cup of the chips for white chips in the final addition.  Thought it would be better with the cherry.  And I was correct!
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, cherries, cherry juice and 1 egg with spoon; set aside.
Spread half of the brownie batter in pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over batter. Carefully spoon remaining batter on top; spread gently to cover as much as you can.
Bake 43 to 47 minutes (51 to 55 minutes for dark pan) or until toothpick inserted 1 inch from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours, before cutting. Store covered in refrigerator.  

For are some more variations of the original recipe....

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Swirl
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/8 cup white sugar
1 eggs
In small bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. 
Make brownie batter. Spread 3/4 of brownie batter in pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture by tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter over filling. Cut through mixture with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Bake 40 to 44 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownie 1 inch from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Store covered in refrigerator.
For a variation - top with chocolate frosting
Bring to simmer:
               1/2  stick butter
               3 TB  milk
               2 TB cocoa powder
Add and stir until smooth:
               2  cups powdered sugar
               1/2 tsp vanilla
Pour over hot brownies.   Top with chopped peanuts immediately.

And yet there is more...

Peanut Butter
Replace half the butter (1/4 cup) with 1/4 cup peanut butter.  Add 1/2 cup chopped peanuts to the batter.  For a topping - after brownies are cooled - In a medium saucepan, combine one 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Drizzle over brownies. Top with additional chopped peanuts.

Turtle Brownies
In a small saucepan, melt and stir 20 caramels and 1 TB milk over medium-low heat until smooth. Drizzle over cooled brownies. (I use my buttermilk syrup instead). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.  In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Drizzle over the top. Let stand for 2 hours before serving.

I don't know what to tell ya if you are not brownied out by now.  I have more but I don't want to overload your try one of these out and get back to me.  I PROMISE you will not be disappointed.  If you must have done something wrong with the recipe.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dessert Time Anyone

OK!  It is Sunday and time for dessert...what do I an idea...  Well, I made a cake for my friends at work for their birthdays.  After trimming this delectable cake, I didn't have the heart to throw the trimmings away.  So I made TRIFLE!
Coconut Cake
Makes one 9-inch square layer cake.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Coconut Cake1 cup packed sweetened, shredded coconut
2 2/3 cups sugar
4 large whole eggs, plus 4 large egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut extract (if you have it)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350°F degrees. Butter two 9-by-9-by-2-inch cake pans; line bottom with parchment paper. Butter parchment and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Place shredded coconut in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Stir chopped coconut into flour mixture until combined; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add whole eggs, egg whites, and extracts; beat until fluffy and combined. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the coconut milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment paper. Re-invert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of the cake layers to make level and trim sides. to Martha Stewart's recipe, I did a slight modification - I added coconut extract which she did not use in her recipe.  And I didn't use her advice on frosting it.  Just so you know - I made a very scrumptious lemon mousse frosting for this cake.  AMAZING. Nor did I cover with toasted coconut.

Oh, but let's get on with the Trifle....
So using the trimmings and the following recipes, I layered it all in a trifle bowl and refrigerated for at least two hours.  AMAZING - that is all I can say...Simply AMAZING! can just bake 1/2 the cake recipe and use that.

Lemon Curd:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg
1 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 2 lemon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth.
Stir in lemon juice, zest and butter.
Cook for one minute intervals on high, stirring after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Cover the curd with cling film placed directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate until set.

Lemon Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup lemon curd
Beat whipped cream until almost stiff, add lemon curd and whip until blended.

Lemon Mousse:
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup lemon curd
Beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar.  Set aside. Whip the cream.  Add lemon curd to the whipped cream.  Add the cream cheese.  Whip until blended.

Assemble Trifle:

If using the cake, cut into 1 inch pieces.  Start by placing cake pieces on bottom of bowl.    Use the Cream, Mousse, then curd  and just layer.  Start all over with cake and keep going until everything is used up.  Each layer can be different - leave the curd off one layer..etc.  But you should end with the whipped cream.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  To serve, sprinkle with toasted coconut, optional

Oh yeah!  The frosting for the cake -
Whipped Lemon Mousse Buttercream
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed for 1 minute.   Add 3/4 cup Lemon Curd and beat until fluff

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday is Pancake Day

Tell me what you think of these pancakes...

Fluffy Chocolate Mint Pancakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/4 cup cocoa 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp mint extract, can omit
1 cup buttermilk 
1 egg, beaten 
3 tablespoons melted butter 
1/2 cup mint chips or Andes mints broken
Whipped topping 
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, egg, butter, extracts  in separate bowl; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.  Fold in chips.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto preheated, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side, turning to cook second side when pancakes have a bubbly surface. Serve warm with whipped topping, if desired. Makes 8 to 10 pancakes. 

Let's do a Chocaholic Breakfast...

Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
Dash of salt
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together and let cook until sugar dissolves. Serve cooled, or pour while hot over pancakes or waffles.

No..let's really go crazy:

Rocky Road Pancakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups miniature marshmallows
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, egg, butter in separate bowl; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.  Fold in nuts and chips.
Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto preheated, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side, turning to cook second side when pancakes have a bubbly surface.
Top with warm chocolate syrup and marshmallows
Makes 8 to 10 pancakes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Looking Forward to Jess' Birthday

OK. Jess is someone I work with at Foote Insurance.  Young pup.  He thinks he has more muscle than me???  I think it depends on whose eyes you are looking through.  Anyway, he has been so ANTI dating/marriage and all of a sudden..MAY 14th is the big day for him.  See what happens when you find your soul mate!  Anyway, his birthday is coming up...March 23. Last year he wanted a chocolate cake. This year he asked for a coconut cake. Now, I am thinking...oh yeah!  So I found an incredible recipe for a fresh coconut cake.  However, I think I'm going lemon curd or lemon mousse filling and a fluffy lemon cream frosting.  I think it will be decadent.  I'll keep you posted.  If it turns out the way I dream, I will post the recipes.
I did post the recipe in another post!

Friday, March 4, 2011

CRAZY and Extremely Exhausting Week

It was GREAT to sleep in today!  Twelve hours of uninterrupted sleep for a body that reached its limits.  Three nights sleeping with a 10 year old who was very sick..snored the whole night, each night.  NO ONE can sleep through that!  I one.  Finally, she woke up Wednesday and felt human again.  She wanted the homemade Chicken parm I made the night before, but it was all gone.  The best I could do was a Banquet chicken patty with my incredible pasta sauce and some Grano Padano Parm cheese atop.  She loved it and enjoyed it.  But, I have to admit, my sauce can make anyone fall in love with what they are eating (of course, that is my opinion). 
The only thing I've been concentrating on lately is the  Pillsbury Bake -off Contest.  I entered for the first time!  I am so excited.  Just the thrill...doesn't matter what happens.  Just knowing that I, Dianne, created my VERY OWN ORIGINAL RECIPES..that is ALL that matters to me.  Well.... back to the is pizza night again.  Dough is rising.  I'm thinking BBQ chicken pizza too this time.   Not sure.  I do make my own BBQ sauce that is to DIE for.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another Day

Somewhat hectic...having a sick child at home, working, taking care of my can be overwhelming at times. But I did make sure they had breakfast (I do not believe in COLD cereal).  I served warm homemade apple muffins.

Apple Muffins

1 1/2 C. brown sugar
2/3 C. applesauce
1 egg 
1 C. buttermilk or sour cream 
1 t. soda
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. diced apple ( I used bottled apples slices)
1/4 cup cinnamon chips

Cream applesauce & brown sugar.  Add egg, sour cream, & vanilla. 
Combine flour, salt, and soda. Add to cream mixture. Fold in apples and chips. Spoon batter into cupcake holders, about 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F. about 18-20 minutes.
Use one of the following topping methods:

Sugar Mixture:                                   Cinnamon Glaze:
1/3 C. brown sugar                             1/3 C powdered sugar
1 TB flour                                            1 T. cinnamon
1T. butter                                            1 to 2 TB milk
1 t. cinnamon                                      Mix until smooth
Sprinkle on top                                  spread on top of  muffin
prior to baking                                  after baked,
                                                            while still warm

Not Such A Great Day Today...

OK.  So the morning started off great...I finally made it back to the gym after a two week break.  But, when I came home, my little one (well she is almost 11) was sick.  So I got started off a little later than I planned to head to work.  So off I go to RNA.  There I intended to work about 2 hours.  Ummm.... I left at 5 PM.  OK that put me behind even more.  So I made it to my second job and worked until after 10 PM.  Not to mention...I had payrolls to process for my clients when I got home.    LUCKILY, I made dinner this morning...hamburger stroganoff..and stuck it in the fridge for reheating.

Hamburger Stroganoff - THE Fast Way

1# hamburger
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp beef bouillon
1/2 package dry onion soup
1 cup sour cream

Brown the meat.  Drain, if needed.  Add all ingredients except sour cream.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add sour cream. Serve over egg noodles, rice, or in our case...elbow macaroni.

I didn't get to eat it, but I wouldn't anyway.  I very rarely eat my own cooking/baking.  I am always trying to get that LAST 15 pounds off!  It is so driving me CrAZy.  I don't eat fried foods..NEVER NEVER NEVER.  Don't even have a craving for them.  And yes!  I am talking your typical FRENCH FRY.  That one...loaded with oil, deep fried, YUCK!
However, chocolate or baked goodies in out. Once I start...I CAN'T stop.  So now it is mind over matter and I'm almost down 3 weeks without sugar.  It actually feels pretty good..