Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Once per year we have a statutory holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and/or friends and expand our waistlines.  I do hope everyone reading this has an opportunity to hug or be hugged by someone they care about whether it’s a friend, co-worker, family member or a loved pet.

For me, baking is my hug to everyone.  Hopefully you will pass on a hug by giving today’s recipe a try and sharing it!

Use real lemons not bottled lemon juice for this recipe for the freshest flavours.  Room temperature lemons will provide more juice than those straight from the fridge.  When zesting make sure to only grate the yellow not the bitter white (the pith) underneath.  If you have lemons you won’t use up quickly, zest them and put the zest in a ziploc bag in the freezer and squeeze out the juice for future use.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes 2 9×5-inch loaf pans.  Grease and flour loaf pans and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

Lemon Glaze:

Mix approximately 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 cup of icing sugar until pourable consistency.  Add a bit more lemon juice or icing sugar until desired consistency reached. Drizzle over cooled loafs.

Method:

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, using 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Don’t overmix just beat on low until smooth and combined.

 

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.  Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted centre comes out clean.  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely on a rack.

If desired, when cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake


Key IngredientsThis drab and dreary weather calls out for something sweet and fun to help fight the urge to stay in bed and hibernate.  Who wouldn’t want to get out of bed for a piece of delicious coffee cake combining not only peanut butter and Nutella but having the added crunch of praline nuts and a peanut butter crumble topping!

Whether you stay up to binge watch your favourite shows on Netflix while enjoying this moist and flavourful coffee cake or hop right back into bed to relax against your propped up pillows, I think you’ll agree this is a delicious addition to your morning.  Or afternoon or before dinner pick-me-up or…

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This recipe is from the Bake from Scratch ‘One Layer Cakes 2017’ issue and I made a couple of slight modifications.  Mostly because I didn’t follow my own advice to do the one thing you should always do when trying a new recipe…read it through thoroughly and pay attention!

I must say my slight modifications, which were layering the warmed Nutella in the middle and on top of the cake batter and using Praline Mixed Nuts instead of roasted salted peanuts did not detract in any way.  I also subbed in cream for the whole milk as I had some in my fridge.  Now you have options! Follow the original directions or switch it up like I did and enjoy.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-round or 9-inch square cake pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole milk

3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella), warmed

Peanut Butter Crumble – in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  Using your fingers or a wooden spoon mix in 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter.  Mix in 1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts.

Method:

Prepare peanut butter crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar, until light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, until combined.

Adding top layer of PB Cake
PB Cake batter atop warmed Nutella

Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Top with chocolate-hazelnut spread, making sure to spread to edges.  Top with remaining cake batter, smoothing to edges.  (A small offset spatula works great for this.)

Sprinkle Peanut Butter Crumble evenly over top of batter.

PB & Nutella cake topped with Praline Nuts and Streusel
PB Crumble and Praline Nut topping bf baking

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Note: If edges begin to brown quickly loosely cover cake with foil until completely baked to avoid excess browning.

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PB-Nutella Coffee Cake with PB Crumble & Praline Mixed Nuts sweetenufblog.com
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Pretty In Pink – Just Because Cake

Pretty In Pink – Just Because Cake

Today’s pretty in pink cake is a “Just Because” cake.

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It’s a “Just Because” cake… because the almond meal I needed for my almond torte was expired and the dozen eggs I thought I had were non-existent and the other recipe for the orange pound cake is tucked away in the “good”, (well obviously far too good) spot so I cannot locate it and the butter is frozen!  And, because after visiting Florida, where I made sure to hit a grocery store to see what baking tidbits were available,  I had this pretty in pink cake mix waiting in it’s pretty pink box.  Ace of Cakes guru Duff Goldman put his name on an assortment of baking and cake decorating products including this nifty pink camouflage mix.

Just Because Cake

No Pink or Green Camouflage cake mix in your cupboard, no worries.  Mix up any variety of white cake mix or from scratch recipe and divide the batter into 3 smaller bowls.Just Because Cake 4 (2)  Leave one bowl of batter white, add a little pink food colouring to the 2nd bowl and even more pink food colouring to the last bowl.

To your greased 8-inch round pans add spoonfuls of the different batters randomly to each pan, layering colours on top of each other, until the batter is evenly divided in both pans.  Bake per your recipes instructions and let cool before frosting.

Ice and fill with your favourite icing.  I strongly suggest making a from scratch recipe as it seems to always make any home baked cake or cupcake (whether from a box or not) taste just that much better.  My icing was 3/4 cup of room temperature salted butter, approximately 4-5 cups icing sugar, 1/4 cup whipping cream and a mix of Raspberry Seedless Jam and Strawberry Jam because I needed to combine them to make 1/2 cup in total.  Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes with a mixer, add in half the icing sugar and mix on low, add in a couple tablespoons of cream or milk and mix, add in the remainder of the icing sugar and the cream.  Add in a little more cream if it is too stiff or more icing sugar if too wet.  Add in the jam and mix on low until the icing is nice and smooth.  Adjust with more icing sugar or cream if needed.

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Chocolate, sugar, eggs and butter…Need I Say More?!

Chocolate, sugar, eggs and butter…Need I Say More?!

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis
Baked up and ready for Coulis. Yes, it's supposed to look like this.
Baked up and ready for Coulis. Yes, it’s supposed to look like this.

All you need to prepare this easy, fudgey, chocolate delight is a springform pan, some good chocolate-1 1/2 cups of chips or 8 ounces by weight, I used Guittard in this recipe, 6 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and 6 tablespoons of butter. The raspberry Coulis is a bag of frozen raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar.

This recipe came from an old issue of Everyday Food and I believe it is also in Martha Stewarts Cakes book.  Yes her finished cake looks crackly like mine!

Preheat oven to 275F.  Yes 275!  Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line edge with parchment.

Separate 6 large room temperature eggs….actually it is easier to separate them when right out of fridge and then bring to room temperature!

Put 6 tablespoons of butter and 1 1/2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments until melted.  Stir until smooth.

In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Gradually addd in the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and beat until stiff glossy peaks form.

Into the slightly cooled and melted chocolate mixture whisk in the yolks.  Now whisk 1/4 of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites and then GENTLY FOLD remaining chocolate mixture into the whites.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.  Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes or until sides pull away from pan and cake is just set in centre.  Cool completely.

Sprinkle with icing sugar or prepare the Raspberry Coulis and serve with the cake or serve the cake with ice cream and Coulis or whipped cream and Coulis…

For Raspberry Coulis:

Add frozen bag of raspberries to medium pot on medium-low heat and add about 1/2 cup granulated sugar and about 1/3-1/2 cup of water.  Cook until sugar is dissolved and berries are thawed.  Let cool slightly and pour through sieve, discarding seeds.  Refrigerate until cold.  Can be kept for several days.

All ready to serve.
All ready to serve.

For a nice presentation add a dollop of sauce to side of dessert plate, place cake in centre with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and drizzle a little more of the Coulis over the cream.  Garnish with a few fresh berries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rose Bridal Shower Cake – Love is Like This!

Rose Bridal Shower Cake – Love is Like This!

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Ahhh weddings. Such a wonderful time of happiness and love, fun and fanciful hopes and dreams of the future with the person you see yourself growing old with. In this day and age who knows why some of us are successful in the forever after department and others are not.
For all the reasons and issues that seem to exist, other than abuse and drug/alcohol dependency, I think it is really quite simple…you must LIKE the person you commit to. Maybe that is just way to simplified but if you look around at the solid couples, no not the ones faking to the world how great they are together, how much they have in common and all the over the top displays of affection, but the ones who go through every day and every issue and seem to just be. You know, maybe your parents, or your sister-in-law or a good friend. The one thing I see in all of the couples I know with happy successful marriages is how much they like, as in respect each other and truly care for each other. At the end of the day or week or month, whether it was filled with stresses at work or home, happy occasions like a birthday, or even a week of vacation, despite having differences and different likes, these couples are with the person they WANT to wake up beside every day. There is no magic formula and every couple has a different dynamic but, to me anyway, these loving couples seem to have one simple thing in common. Despite not being perfect and having little traits that annoy one another they still want and choose to be with each other and other options never seem to enter their minds. And that is true love! It might be different than your love was for one another at 18 or 32 but I think it is a deeper more heartfelt love.
Life is full of wonderful times, challenges, changes, happiness and sorrow. Knowing you are married to the one you love and like is something many folks take for granted and many others do not have. I hope your are one of the lucky ones, if not today then someday.

So today this pretty Chocolate layer cake with Vanilla Icing decorated with Roses is in celebration of Melissa and Chris. Wishing you both many years of wonderful life together. May you travel the road of life, bumps, pot holes and smooth highway always together.

This cake looks impressive and is popular judging by the hundreds, maybe thousands, of Pinterest pictures posted. But it is actually a pretty simple process to make the roses adorning the sides and top of the cake. I would recommend you have the cake premade and ready to split and fill, have the icing ready to go and tinted to the colour of you choosing.

Double-Chocolate Espresso Cake with the Yummiest Fudgey Icing

Double-Chocolate Espresso Cake with the Yummiest Fudgey Icing

I must admit I did miss the mark.  The Valentine chocolate recipe mark.  While most recipe bloggers were filling their pages with yummy looking chocolate desserts I was planning how to have 14 young kids make cake pops, bake up cupcakes and decorate a giant heart shaped cookie in a couple of hours.  So needless to say upon finishing up with them I had no desire to test out any type of chocolate recipe.

Fast forward to this week and I come across a beautiful photo of a luscious looking cake covered  in a thick layer of chocolate frosting among my ‘going to make’ pile.  This was it! It was time  to test out this recipe I had torn from the pages of Chatelaine magazine.

Before sharing the recipe a couple of notes:

1. The title is a misnomer – the cake is chocolate and only the icing is Chocolate Espresso.

2. I guess it’s double chocolate because there is chocolate icing on the chocolate cake not because there are 2 types of chocolate in the cake.

3. This cake will make a nice sized 15 x 11-inch cake instead of the 2 round layers.

3. I love this icing and will use it again on cupcakes or another cake.

4. I used less icing sugar and about 1-2 tablespoons of milk to get a nice spreadable consistency with the icing

5. Not sure this is a keeper chocolate cake recipe….

Why am I posting a recipe I’m not sure is a keeper you may ask.  Well I figure this blog is about sharing my experiences and sometimes what I think is just o.k. others love.  I did have about 20 people sample this cake and they all said they liked it.  A good review, well yes, but if I make a cake I want it to taste so good that I know I will definitely be baking it up for the next occasion that arises.

Now the icing, that is a different story.  A hint of coffee and a thicker consistency make this icing a keeper.

So give it a try and see how you like it.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup lightly pack brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and parchment line the bottoms of 2 8-inch round cake pans.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

Turn mixer to low and alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Scrap down sides of bowl and divide evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops.

Bake 30-35 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO ICING

1 cup butter, room temperature

225 gram package unsweetened chocolate (I used a package of Baker’s, 8 squares in total), MELTED and cooled slightly

1 tbsp vanilla

6 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee

Milk – you may need a couple tablespoons of milk or cream to thin frosting

Beat butter for about 1 minute in large bowl of mixer until creamy.  Add in the melted chocolate, vanilla and about 1 cup of the icing sugar and mix well.  Add in the remainder of the icing sugar alternately with the espresso until well mixed and creamy.  Spread over your cooled cake.

Snicker’s Cupcakes

Snicker’s Cupcakes

Snickers 006It has been a few weeks since I have had a chance to get into my kitchen and try out something new.  My house has been put up for sale so that has meant it has to look like no one lives in it during the open houses and showings.  Hide the knife block, the cupcake tins, the mixmaster, the dogs and the kids!

So during this time of exile how did I pass the hours?  Why, by looking at more and more food porn everyday.  I must say you do get a little tired of the ‘same old’ day after day.  I don’t get the same tingle from the candy sprinkled chocolate iced cupcake that I used to.  Show me more, show me something I haven’t seen before. Luckily I was saved from going to far by the return of my kitchen.

And people tell me I need to get out more!!

These ‘cheater’ recipes I keep coming across all seem to have one element in common…the cupcake or cake starts from a mix.  And they are raved about.  I think most of us are used to store bought cakes and cupcakes and want that light, airy texture that is not quite there in a scratch cake.  Although I think a cake from scratch is more flavourful it usually is a little denser and people just don’t understand all the real ingredients make it this way.  Well, that is my opinion.  But as most of us are in a rush these recipes are pretty much fool-proof and do get great reviews!

In these quick, easy recipes it seems to not matter what type of cake mix you use, vanilla, devil’s, chocolate (I have noticed the American’s use Devil’s food and call them chocolate yet chocolate mix does exist…not sure why they do this) you just add the same ingredients: 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup oil, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1-2 tsp. of vanilla.

What sets these little darlings apart is the icing and the embellishments.  So here are some pictures and the recipe for Snicker’s Cupcakes.  Easy, peasy, really!  You only need a mixer for the icing!

Snicker’s Cupcakes

You will need 1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix (or chocolate)

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 18 muffin tins with liners.

Whisk together all the ingredients except the cake mix until well combined.  Stir in cake mix and mix until combined.

Fill prepared muffin tins about 3/4 full and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.  Set aside and cool.

Peanute Butter Icing – I WOULD DOUBLE THIS IF YOU LIKE TO HAVE NICE FULL PILLOWS OF FROSTING!

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth

3-4 cups icing sugar, possibly more

1 tsp vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons milk or cream (as needed to get spreading consistency)

Snickers bar or 2, cut into pieces to garnish tops

Peanuts, whole or chopped to garnish tops

In a medium bowl using electric mixer beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth and combined well.  Add in the vanilla and mix together.  Add in icing sugar a cup or two at a time and beat until smooth.  Add in milk as needed to get nice smooth spreadable consistency.

Use a knife or an icing bag with a star tip to ice these moist, yummy little cakes and top each with a piece of the chocolate bar and a sprinkle of peanuts.

Want even more….chop another couple of Snickers bars and fold into the cupcake batter.

These are certainly sweet enuf for this Thanksgiving’s dessert table.