One minute I was slicing up veggies to make lunches for the week and the next thing I knew there were two carrot cakes in the oven. I blame the carrots. I was chopping away and I started thinking about how sweet and delicious those carrots were going be be when they were all roasted up with the broccoli and the cauliflower. They were begging me to make them into a dessert. So I may have accidentally on purpose left that one really big carrot in the sink and then packaged up all of the other veggies. And the apples were out too, waiting to be baked into oatmeal breakfast muffins, so I needed some of that in there too. [Read more...]
I didn’t realize that I had a pumpkin “thing”. I guess maybe I did. I knew that I was buying a lot of pumpkin. I guess I thought it was a new development. And then I started looking at this and seeing all of the pumpkin related posts. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I love that big orange squash. It’s just so versatile and yummy! Sweet, Savory it can be anything! Bread, pasta, cakes…yay! So now that Thanksgiving has come and gone and you still have an extra can of pumpkin puree hanging around, why not use it sooner then later. Here is a round up of some of my favorite pumpkin treats you can try!
If you haven’t tried it already, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are my new favorite treat. They are delicious with chocolate filling.
Or just as delicious with a cream cheese filling. They are also delicious on their own, with no filling, if you’d like to pretend you’re starting a holiday diet.
If you are tired of Turkey leftovers you could make a delicious vegetarian lasagna with this Pumpkin Lasagna recipe. It’s one of my favorites, but please forgive me! I took the picture with my Iphone! I promise it taste much better than this picture does justice.
If you’re interested in trying something new, try pumpkin ravioli. These combine sweet and savory for a delicious autumn dinner.
If it’s cold outside, whip up a Pumpkin Latte and snuggle up on the couch while all those crazy folks head out for black friday deals. If you live somewhere were it isn’t cold out (like me, in Singapore where it’s muggy and rainy!) turn up the AC, grab a blanket and pretend that it’s cold out while you curl up with one of these.
I know. I already shared the recipe for mouth watering, delicious, can’t believe that I ate four of these pumpkin whoopie pies. So why are we talking about them again? They are just that good. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but in this case, toot toot! I made these little treats originally for J and I. And they were so popular that I made them again for a Canadian Thanksgiving gathering with friends. (Did you know those Canadian’s celebrate Thanksgiving in October? Before Halloween? Whaaat? Some excuse about it’s colder up north…) And then I made them for my family when I went home to visit and even my super picky 4 year old nephew loved them. So I’m sharing them again for you, with a little Thanksgiving twist.
Make these delicious treats a little more festive by shaping them like tiny little pumpkins and filling them with cream cheese frosting. Follow the original recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie pies but to make them this cute pumpkin shape just spoon the batter into a piping bag (or a big ziplock bag with one corner cut off) and pipe them onto a pan. You can do it free hand or if you want to make sure they are all the same size make a template. [Read more...]
Did you know that you can make cake in your microwave? Yeah, really. Now I told you before that I’ve been looking for a replacement for J’s favorite chocolate cake. But it was a quest I thought I’d have to put on hold until after we’d moved, seeing as we’ve said goodbye to the oven. But then it occurred to me that I still had a microwave…there had to be a way to make a small cake in there, right?
Have you ever wondered how marshmallows are made? Looking at the white, puffy sugar sweets, I never thought “ Now this is something I can and should make at home.” It’s not that I don’t like marshmallows. Although, I truly prefer jars of marshmallow crème. Eaten directly from the jar perhaps. I know I’m not the only person who does that, btw. I know that you’re out there. You fellow marshmallow crème lovers, who will sneak a spoonful (or three) from the jar during baking. And it’s not as if you can do this discreetly, right? I mean, you can’t exactly hide a mouthful of marshmallow crème. I digress. Recently, while trying to figure out how to make marshmallow crème filling or frosting for some chocolate cupcakes, it occurred to me that I might actually be able to make marshmallows at home. I still haven’t found that perfect marshmallow crème recipe. However, I was impressed by the relative ease of making marshmallows at home.I was surprised by the number of marshmallow recipes that called for egg whites. I suppose that I shouldn’t really have been. You whip up egg whites to that fluffy, white texture for meringues and other such desserts. But I’m a little apprehensive about using egg whites. I have a real serious fear of giving people food poisoning. That’s just not a gift people are going to enjoy, you know? So I made these sans egg whites, for now. And I’m happy to report they turned out delicious (especially toasted in s’mores!) And now that I’ve accomplished this milestone, perhaps in the future I’ll get more adventures and try them with egg whites. I’ll keep you posted!
Do you use cake mix? Or make it from scratch? I’ve always been a fan of the cake mix. I add things to it. I make fancy frostings and decorations. I make piggy pop cake pops. But I usually stick to the mix for the basic chocolate or white cake. It’s a little funny I suppose because I insist that everything else must be homemade. I don’t particularly like to take shortcuts. But usually I’m using cake as a part of something else and not making cake for the sake of cake so I look at the cake mix as an ingredient more so than a mix. Plus I can never remember to buy cake flour (easy substitute, btw if you’re forgetful like me, swap two tablespoons of corn starch for two tablespoons of all purpose flour for each cup of flour a recipe calls for).
And I found this amazing cake mix. I mean really, it is the moistest, most delicious chocolate cake ever. And it comes from a bag. J loves it. I make something with this cake mix every week almost. It’s gotten so bad that we make excuses to make cake. And then stand in the kitchen and eat it while it’s still cooling on wire racks. No big deal, right? Why mess with what’s already perfect and delicious, right?
But we’re moving and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to purchase that cake mix still. And I use it all the time. So I have to figure out something that tastes similar. And is hopefully just as easy. Okay, well I’m probably not going to get a chocolate cake recipe that’s as easy as just adding eggs, water and oil, but a girl can dream right?
My first attempt at making my own version of this cake turned out really good. But the chocolate isn’t quite right. It’s more like a semi-sweet chocolate taste and I’m going for a rich cocoa taste. Not that this recipe isn’t worth sharing with you. It’s a dense, slightly brownie like cake. It just means I have more tinkering with chocolate cake to try. I’m not quite sure how to modify it to get that taste that I’m looking for. Oil instead of butter? A different brand or more cocoa? More eggs? Any suggestions are welcome!
In the mean time, try this the next time you are craving a chocolate cake and enjoy!
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 cups cake flour, sifted,
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- In a small bowl, sift cocoa powder and add boiling water. Mix until well combined and set aside to cool.
- In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and stir to mix the ingredients well.
- In a third, larger bowl (I know, this already has three bowls, it’s definitely not as easy as cake from a mix, but it’s yummy, I promise!) beat the butter until fluffy, about three or four minutes and then add the sugar and continue to beat for another three or so minutes. Add the vanilla and one egg at a time, beating each egg until it is well combined (it shouldn’t look slimy or shiny) before adding the next egg.
- Get that cocoa mixture that you set aside and resist the urge to dip your finger in it and taste! It’s bitter because the sugar hasn’t been added yet. I was bad and I let J try it. His bitter face was priceless! Bad Nikki, don’t let people try things you know don’t taste good! Now, add the yogurt to the chocolate and whisk together (I need a mini whisk, not that a fork doesn’t work just fine for this, but aren’t mini kitchen implements much more fun?!).
- Now, back to the butter and eggs. With the mixer on low add a scoop of the flour mixture and mix until well incorporated. Then add some chocolate mixture and repeat and scrape sides of the bowl. Continue alternating until everything is in one bowl.
- Scoop the mixture (about ¼ a cup) into lined muffin tins or pour into two greased and floured 8 inch round pans and bake on the center rack at 350F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 20-22 minutes for cupcakes or 30-35 minutes for cakes.
- Place on wire rack to cool completely and top with your favorite frosting (I made raspberry buttercream but just about anything goes with chocolate cake, right?)
I know, I promised you a recipe for pumpkin ravioli. It’s coming, I swear! I thought you would enjoy this more, considering it’s a more seasonally appropriate recipe. St. Patrick’s Day, besides being my parents anniversary, is really just an excuse to drink right? Well, how about a dessert that doubles as a drink? Yeah, now I’ve got your attention.
I’ve never been a fan of cheesecake. I love cheese. And I love cake. But separately! And I certainly don’t like cream cheese. Nor do I like it as a dessert. Not even if you try to sweeten the deal by adding chocolate. But hey, add some booze? I’m in. So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’ve got this delicious quadruple chocolate, cheesecake, cupcake, Baileys Irish Cream treat to share with you. [Read more...]