Cola in my Cake!

cola-cake

This week I got to make a friend of mine a birthday cake!  We were having a good Southern Shrimp Boil for dinner so I decided to go a little southern with dessert and I made a Double Fudge Coca Cola Cake.  This cake made famous by one of my favorite restaurants, the Cracker Barrel.

I have to start off by telling you that this is a very odd recipe and I had a few doubts going in.  First you mix the flour and sugar, which is just about the opposite of most cake recipes, and then add the wet ingredients to that.  But I followed the directions and the batter came out beautifully. Bake for exactly 30 minutes and the cake was perfectly done.

The “frosting” was also a little odd and I would call it more of a glaze than a frosting.  You melt down butter, cocoa and milk and while that’s hot add the powdered sugar.  Now this mixture was way too thin to be called a frosting as I know it.  And the directions said to pour it over the warm cake.  Well, I feel like that was a bit of a mistake.  The frosting just ran all over and most of it ended up under the cake.  Which as it turns out wasn’t all together a bad thing because when we ate it it was like their was a chocolate sauce under the cake.

Overall it was a yummy cake.  I only got a little hint of the coke flavor but that’s okay with me cause I’m a Diet Dr. Pepper girl anyway. And I thought it was going to be overly sweet but I didn’t think so.  I served it with French Vanilla Ice Cream on the side and it seemed to me like everyone enjoyed it.  Would I make this recipe again…maybe.  It was pretty quick and simple and sometimes it’s nice to have a sheet cake instead of layer cake.  And I do like to mix things up like that.  So, I give this recipe a thumbs up but I would have to put it in my maybe file for making it again.

 

Lots of Berries!

berry-bars

This week I made Blackberry Pie Bars. Well, to be honest I actually made Triple Berry Pie Bars cause the frozen triple berry mix was on sale and raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are all delicious and I’m cheap so it makes for a good combination.  And as it turns out it doesn’t hurt the recipe one bit to change-up the berries a bit. I’m actually glad I did cause this thing has a very thick filling and I think just having blackberries would have been a bit too much for me.  I like the contrast that using multiple berries give it.

This is a pretty simple recipe and if making homemade berry pies scares you some I think you should give this a try since you don’t have to roll out a traditional pie crust.  You just have to press this into the pan. Although a helpful hint from me here, whenever I do a crust like this I always freeze my butter for several hours first.  It helps make it easier to cut the butter into the other ingredients and if you work quickly the butter won’t have time to melt.

The filling I found to be very interesting and tasty!  It’s not a traditional berry pie filling.  It has the addition of eggs and sour cream and I think it gives it a great richness and keeps the berries from being to sour.  Sometimes when you’re making a berry pie it’s hard to know if you’re adding too much or not enough sugar to the berries.  This addition of sour cream made the filling creamy and just rounded out everything nicely. The recipe said to bake for 50 min but I had to add another 15 to that. But all ovens are different so just keep an eye on it.

berry-bars-1

In the end I would highly recommend this recipe, it’s delicious.  I cooled mine and then let it sit in the fridge over night so it would set up well.  There’s nothing worse than cutting into a berry pie that hasn’t rested and the filling just runs all over the place. When I pulled it out this morning it sliced really well and then I just popped a piece in the microwave for about 30 seconds, topped it with vanilla bean ice cream and had the breakfast of champions!  That’s right, pie bars and ice cream for breakfast…I’m hitting the proper food groups there…berries and milk!  I’m not on trial here!!!!!

Do You Like Lemon?

lemon pie 1

This is a great summer dessert…introducing the Lemon Sour Cream Pie!  It has been a little hotter than normal here in San Diego so I’ve been trying to pick nice cold desserts and sweet treats to make and I think this pie may stay on my list as a go to recipe.  It’s pretty simple to make and if you follow the directions pretty fool proof.

You’re basically going to make a lemon curd and while I know that kind of freaks some people out, let me tell you that it’s easier than you might think.  The only thing that makes it a little difficult is the constant stirring.  You can’t walk away from it once you get started.  If you burn it, there’s no saving it…trust me.  So make yourself comfortable, snag your favorite whisk and prepare yourself to go to town on this thing for about 8 to 10 minutes.

I made two slight changes to this recipe.  First, I doubled the amount of lemon zest.  With the addition of sour cream I felt like the lemon might get downplayed a little and I like a nice tart lemon taste.  The extra lemon zest just gave it a little more zip but it didn’t make me pucker up all sour like.  The second change was for the whip cream topping.  I sometimes take issue with homemade whip cream because it taste a little, well like nothing to me.  So when I make my own I add a little extra sugar, about a 1/4 tsp of vanilla and a pinch of salt.  It just gives it a little extra something that I enjoy.

I chilled the pie for about 4 hours, sliced it up and Anthony and I enjoyed a nice refreshing piece of pie last night to help cool us down.  So a thumbs up for this one, if you’re looking for a good summertime dessert I would highly recommend this one.

lemon pie

 

It was a weekend of Cake!

This weekend was all about cake and cupcakes!  Going away from my Pinterest list this weekend for a very special birthday and for the 4th of July.

First up was the birthday party for my niece, the adorable little Boo who turned the big 1 this year.  I love that I get to do the birthday cakes for her and her big sister.  Since she was turning one we had the regular birthday and the smash cake!  Her birthday party was butterfly themed so I immediately jumped on line and ordered a Butterfly shaped pan from Wilton.  This is a very cute pan and came with the decorating designs already shaped into the pan.  But here’s the problem, once you put your crumb coat of frosting down you pretty much lose the design and just have to free hand it.  Luckily for me, I live with an artist that is much more skilled and steady handed than I when it comes to the decorating. While I did do the purple sparkling center and the outline of the wings he did everything else.  Thank goodness!  And since I had some batter left over I made a few cupcakes as well.

DSCF3558I used just your basic vanilla cake recipe and a simple cream cheese frosting.  I always add about a half a lemons worth of juice in my frosting just to give a little extra zip.  And then I dipped the cupcakes in different colors of sugar sprinkles.  The picture doesn’t do them justice cause they really shimmered in person.

DSCF3557For her smash cake I used the same recipe in a 6 inch cake pan and once again I had my trusty friend Anthony do the writing for me.

Next up was the 4th of July!  I think cupcakes are always a good thing to bring to a large party so I did red and blue cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  Now with these I used a box mix…go ahead…be shocked.  But I am not a snob of the box mix.  In fact I look at it as pre-measured dry ingredients.  It’s what you do with them that makes a difference. The first thing to remember when using a box mix is to NOT over beat the batter. I know the package says to beat the batter for 2 minutes but to me that is just way too long. And even if you see small clumps they will cook out. Next, I substitute milk for the water, melted butter for the oil and I add an extra egg.  From there I mix in different flavors, a little dry instant pudding mix or just same plain old vanilla. And lastly, watch the time and rotate the pan half way through cooking. Most ovens don’t cook evenly and temperatures can vary so much, so keep a good eye on them.

4th of July

I covered them in the classic sprinkles and they were pretty damn tasty! And patriotic…see…red, white and blue…see what I did there!

So, next week I’ll get back to trying new recipes off of my Pinterest list but for now I’m going to sit back and enjoy a classic cupcake…or two.

The first of many!

If you know me at all you know how much I love a good list and checking things off.  It is one of the most satisfying things EVER!  I still do a good old fashion grocery list every week and my Thanksgiving Battle Plan is pretty amazing and then of course we have my book list where for the past 8 years I’ve read 538 books.  But now I’ve decided to start going through all the dessert recipes I’ve collected on my Pinterest over the last couple years and I have a feeling that this is going to be a lot like my book list…I’ll continuously add things and it’s going to be never ending!

Cooking has always been one of my favorite things to do and I kind of like this little challenge I’ve set for myself here.  Baking is very therapeutic for me and I do enjoy sharing my yummy baked goods with other people.  I mean, what’s the fun of baking a cake if you can’t share it with people.  So, once a week I’m going to choose a recipe off of my Pinterest, make it, share it and then talk about it.

So, this past weekend I made a Nutella Crunch Ice Cream Cake!  I’ll let you soak that in for a second cause yes it was just as delicious as it sounds.  It was also super easy to make.  Ice Cream Cakes can seem a little tricky but they’re actually pretty simple to make and they are just beautiful and can really trick people into thinking you’ve made this really elegant and expensive looking dessert.

First off, I have a particular hatred of recipes that use cereal because the recipe will call for an amount, and in this case it was 6 cups of Rice Krispies, and how in the hell are you supposed to know what size box to get.  I mean 6 cups is a lot!  So, if you try this recipe I will warn you now not to buy the big family box like I did!  Thank goodness I have The Boy here who will hopefully polish the rest of this box off for me. Next up was the Nutella and being the thrifty girl I am I purchased the Von’s brand cause I see no taste difference but I do see a $2.00 difference. And then I used a gallon of French Vanilla Ice Cream and again I used the one that was on sale.  That was it, three ingredients! I followed the recipe as is and it turned out perfectly.  Just to add some tips to the recipe, I left my ice cream out for about 15 minutes on the counter and then took it for a spin in my mixer with the paddle attachment just to help soften it up a bit.  This helped when it came time to stir in the cereal bits. And I will confess that I had a handful of the crunchy topping left over and that alone made a nice little snack!

I took it over to a friend’s house to share while we watched the Tony Awards last night.  It traveled really well and it was easy to slice and serve and everyone really loved it.  I got a lot of “yummies” and “this is awesome”.  It makes me so happy to see everyone enjoying something I made. It makes me excited for this whole challenge!  I haven’t chosen my next recipe yet but I can’t wait to make something else.

ice cream cake 1