Thursday, May 21, 2015

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with a Rocky Road Frosting (for #bundtbakers)


Are you ready for a delicious bundt cake!?  How about one that is jam packed with mini chocolate chips within a lovely vanilla cake and then topped off with a chocolate ganache, chopped almonds and mini marshmallows?  This month the Bundt Bakers group that I am part of was given spectacular guidance by Laura of  Baking in Pajamas  to incorporate the flavors of "rocky road" into a bundt cake.  Chocolate, marshmallows and chopped nuts are all ingredients that make up "rocky road".  Dried fruit can also be featured in a "rocky road"  combination, especially when found in treats made in England. 



After much thought and exploring of different cakes and combos of the rocky road flavors I decided on a simple and decadent chocolate chip cake that is then drenched in chocolate ganache.  On top of the chocolate ganache I sprinkled chopped almonds and soft mini marshmallows.  All the flavors in an American version of rocky road.  I did consider sprinkling some chopped dried apricots too over the ganache but unfortunately forgot all about it until the cake was half way gone.   I love the idea of having dried fruit in a rocky road baked sweet.  I think that would be delicious!  Those bakers in England are smart cookies for sure!


Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with a Rocky Road Frosting 
(cake recipe found on Boston.com)

Cake Ingredients :
3 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
2 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet,  milk chocolate or dark 
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

Cake Directions -

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Pour mini chips into a separate bowl and toss with 2 Tbsps of flour mixture, coating chips well.  Set aside both bowls. 

In a large bowl beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add in sugar in 3 additions, beating for 1 minute with each addition.  Add in eggs and then yolk, one at time, beating well with each addition. Lastly, add in vanilla extract.

Put mixer on lowest speed and add into the wet mixture the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the with the 1/2 and 1/2, beginning and ending with the 1/2 and 1/2.   Add in flour tossed chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Pour cake batter into prepared bundt pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean and the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan.   Cool cake on a rack for at least 30 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. 

While cake is cooling, make frosting.  Pour chocolate chips into a medium bowl that can be covered tightly with either a plate or tin foil.   In a medium sauce pan, heat heavy cream over medium-low heat.  Bring cream to a gentle simmer, remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips and DO NOT stir but rather cover bowl with a plate or aluminum foil and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes uncover bowl and gently whisk hot cream and chocolate chips together until all the chocolate has melted.  Let mixture cool and thicken for at least 20-30 minutes before pouring over cake.  Finally, sprinkle chopped nuts and then mini marshmallows over the chocolate drenched cake.  Serve and enjoy! 



Happy Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with a Rocky Road Topping Baking!

Please take a moment to browse through my fellow Bundt Bakers "rocky road" creations.  All the links can be found below.


 
BundtBakers
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

EASY Applesauce Muffins


I have always enjoyed baking with applesauce.  I love how it can replace oil and still give a nice moist texture to what I am baking.  I recently discovered a beautiful recipe for muffins that uses 1 1/2 cups of applesauce.  This large amount of applesauce not only replaces some of the oil but it gives a wonderful flavor to the muffins.  





My girls gobbled up these muffins.  "Yum, yum",  they said.  They had them for breakfast heated up with a lovely pat of butter smeared on it and then again for snack after school with a layer of PB.  I had quite a few myself and found that I liked them best heated up with a cup of tea.  Whether you are looking for a healthy muffin for breakfast or a sweet treat for an afternoon snack this is the muffin recipe for you.  I altered the original recipe just a tiny bit by splitting the flour into 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 whole wheat.  I also added some chopped walnuts and an apple chunk to the top of each muffin to give it a special appeal to the aesthetics and texture of the muffins. 



Best part of this recipe.  It's EASY!!  Let's make some muffins friends!

EASY Applesauce Muffins
(recipe slightly adapted from Catch My Party)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs 
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 apple - peeled, cut into chunks

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 regular size muffin tins and set aside.   

In a large bowl combine well first 8 ingredients (all of the dry ingredients) and set aside.  In a medium size bowl combine eggs, oil and applesauce - stir well until thoroughly combined. 

Add wet mixture into the dry mixture - mix well all together with a wooden spoon.  Batter will be thick. 

Fill prepared pans 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle muffins with chopped walnuts and insert one apple chunk into the top of each one.   Bake for 20-22 minutes or until muffins are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly and serve. Store muffins in an air-tight container.  Enjoy!!! 




Happy EASY Applesauce Muffins Baking!

Monday, May 4, 2015

{SRC} Breakfast Quesadillas


Do you ever find yourself stumped as to what to feed your kiddos?  I am constantly on the hunt for new meal ideas for my girls that are not only appealing to them but also healthy and well balanced.  This month my wishes were granted for a fantastic breakfast/snack to offer the girls.  It was through my fantastic Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of May that I discovered, Breakfast Quesadillas on My Hobbie Lobbie


Trisha of My Hobbie Lobbie has a wide variety of recipes on her blog.  They range from a vast amount of delicious Goan food from India to healthy options for breads and even sinfully rich dessert recipes.  A well rounded collection of recipes. Honestly, it really wasn't easy for me to pick a recipe from Trisha's collection.  Just as soon as I picked one I would then find yet another one that I wanted to make.  But, as I stated above I am constantly keeping my eyes peeled for new, fun and healthy recipes to make for my precious girls. Breakfast Quesadillas won!  Winner for me and winner for the girls too.  They LOVED these delicious wedges of yumminess.  



The recipe calls for a tortia that is slathered with peanut butter and then layered with banana slices and sprinkled with dark chocolate chips.  Once the tortia has been folded in half it is then cooked in a frying pan on both sides until the insides become all warm and melty and the tortia is a pretty golden brown. Delicious.  And yes, healthy. 

I had lots of fun with this recipe as the second time I made it I switched it up a bit and made my own variation.  I made a scrumptious almond butter, maple cream and strawberry version.  Devine.  Deliciously devine.  


The possibilities are endless with these breakfast quesadillas.  Imagine making one with Nutella, almond butter and banana slices or even cream cheese and green olives for a savory version. Yum!  What version would you like best? 

Breakfast Quesadillas 
(recipe from My Hobbie Lobbie)  

Ingredients:
1 tortia - white or whole wheat
3 Tbsp peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1/2 banana, sliced
10-15 dark chocolate chips 
non-stick spray, butter or coconut oil - for greasing your frying pan 

Spread peanut butter on 1/2 or all of tortia.  Place banana slices over PB and then sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.  Fold tortia in 1/2 and place in a heated medium size frying pan that has been greased well.  Lower heat to medium-low and cook each side until golden brown, about a minute on each side.  Cut into wedges and serve.  Enjoy! 

Happy Breakfast Quesadillas Making!

Friday, May 1, 2015

ONE Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


My girls love being in the kitchen with me.  Stirring, measuring, rolling and mixing are all skills that they have become comfortable with and are quite good at doing.  Yes, there is often a thin layer of flour or sugar on the counter when all is said and done but the smiles on their faces and confidence in their step makes the mess worth every inch. 


Recently my girls and I decided that we really should make a chocolate cake.  We had already made a lovely chicken dinner all together so why not finish it off with a fantastic chocolate cake!  I grabbed this recipe from Taste of Home and within 15 minutes the girls and I had placed our cake into the oven.  Boom! The hardest part was waiting for it to bake....and then of course cool so we could frost it. 


We all agreed that this cake was THE. BEST. ONE bowl chocolate cake we had ever made (even though it was really the first one we had ever made).  It was moist, chocolaty and very tasty. A chocolate perfection.  The frosting and sprinkles made it extra special as it really could be eaten without such decadence but who eats chocolate cake without frosting?  Not our household.  Cake and frosting are always paired together. 




Grab your kiddos and have some fun in the kitchen baking up this cake.  It is truly simple to make.  And of course delicious too!   Definitely well worth the wait for it to bake, cool and frost.  



ONE Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting 
        (recipe from Taste of Home)

Cake Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup hot water 

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 TBSP milk - to get desired consistency
Sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips - if you wish to make your cake extra special


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together first 6 ingredients.  Add in eggs, oil and buttermilk.  Mix well all together and then add in hot water and mix to combine.  

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

Make frosting by beating butter until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes.  Add in powdered sugar and then cocoa and vanilla.  Add in milk 1 TBSP at a time to achieve desired consistency. 

Frost cake and sprinkle with sprinkles, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips etc.   Enjoy! 

            Happy ONE Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Baking! 






Monday, April 20, 2015

(SRC) Nutella Peanut Butter Braid

Every. Single. Morning.  My beloved youngest daughter, Colette has Nutella and peanut butter on whole wheat bread. On one half of the bread I spread the Nutella and on the other is the PB and then I gently fold over the bread and (kindly) cut off the crust.  I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. Hey, if it's going to make my morning that much calmer and smoother I will cut off those silly crusts any day! Needless to say we go through a LOT of Nutella and peanut butter in our house.  I wonder if I could buy stock in Nutella?? 




When I came across this recipe for Nutella Peanut Butter Bread Bread on sweet Stephanie's blog, Dessert Before Dinner I was smitten right away.  I really tried to pick a different recipe for my Secret Recipe Club assignment but I kept coming back to this one.  I even tried to convince myself to make Stephanie's delicious looking recipe Breakfast Crescent Roll and her Sand Dollar Almond Cookies - but nope, my self-c0ntrol for Nutella and peanut butter together as one was very low.  I had to do it.  If not for me for my youngest daughter for all of you. Yes, I strive to bring all my precious followers only the best.  And Nutella is truly only the best.




I loved the technique and process that it took to create this bread.  It starts with a simple sweet dough along with making a sheet of Nutella and peanut butter.  The two are brought together after the dough rose and the sheet froze (goodness, that could be a song!!).  The sheet of N and pb is placed in the center of the rolled out dough.   The dough is folded over the chocolate sheet and then gently rolled to be repeated multiple times to create this marriage of amazing-ness. After feeling satisfied with the layers of Nutella, PB and sweet dough all as one,  then you divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid them together.  Viola! - a masterpiece! A sweet, beautiful and delicious masterpiece.




I thank you, Stephanie for sharing such a treasure of a recipe with me.   And now I pass along this gem to all of you.  Enjoy! 

 Nutella Peanut Butter Braid  
          (recipe from Dessert Before Dinner

Ingredients:
1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsps)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature or heat in microwave for 25 seconds
2 TBSP butter, melted
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour 
2 TBSP Nutella
2 TBSP peanut butter

Directions:
 In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter, sugar and vanilla.  Sprinkle yeast over this mixture and stir together gently.  Allow for mixture to sit for about 10 minutes and then pour into a large bowl.

Add in flour to wet mixture 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms.  Set dough in a warm draft-free location and let rise for at least 45 minutes.  

While dough is rising spread Nutella and peanut butter on a sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle of about 9x5.  Place into freezer while dough is rising - at least 45 minutes.

Roll out dough into a 11x7 rectangle and then flip the N and PB sheet into center of dough.  Fold sides of dough over N and PB pinching the ends.  Fold dough into 3rds starting at each end making a square.  Gently roll out your square and then repeat folding dough into 3rds on top of one another to form a square.  Do this sequence as many times as you can - the more layers you make the flakier your bread will be. 

Roll dough into  12-16" long strip and then cut into three long strips, keeping one end in tack. Braid the strips together.  

Allow braid to rise for 45 minutes before baking in a 350 degrees F oven. Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool slightly and dig in! 

 
 

 Happy Nutella Peanut Butter Braid Baking!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Triple Lemon Bundt Cake #BundtBakers


It is with great honor and delight that I present to you my first post as being part of a lovely group of food bloggers called, #BundtBakers.  #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. http://www.pinterest.com/flpl/bundtbakers/ Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page. http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/p/bundtbakers.html


We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.  This month the lovely Anshie from SpiceRoots  has chosen the theme as "Hidden Surprise" - Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices. The only requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside.  Thank you so very, very much Anshie for all the work you put into hostessing this group this month.  It has been so much fun for me!  This month there are about 36 participants who have baked up a bundt cake with Anshie's theme of "Hidden Surprise" in mind. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to see the links to every one's cakes.  I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with.  I choose to bake a Triple Lemon Bundt Cake.  I have always loved baking with lemon.  It's fresh and light and has a lovely fragrant flavor. 
 

 If you are a lemon lover this is the cake for you as it is packed with lemon goodness both inside and out.  The cake starts off with the simplicity of a lemon pound cake that surrounds a decadent tunnel of lemon curd.  The cake is then topped off with a delicate lemon glaze. 



The beauty of this cake not only comes from it's visual presentation but also because it can feed quite a lot of hungry lemon loving mouths.  I shared the cake with my family, multiple friends and even my knitting group and I still have a nice size portion remaining.


I loved every one's happy reaction to the discovery of the surprise of the lemon curd that was slightly swirled within the cake.  The pound cake had a perfect texture that held the lemon curd enough so that it didn't fall to the bottom of the cake. If the cake had been lighter in texture it would not have worked as well. 




Grab some lemons and join me in baking up a wonderful cake that is sure to please and surprise all your lemon fans. 


Triple Lemon Bundt Cake 
(recipe slightly adapted from The Christan Science Monitor)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2-3 large lemons 
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lemon curd (I used Dickinson's - homemade is fine too)  
1 cup powdered sugar


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan - set aside. 

Beat butter until light.  Add in sugar and beat together until light and fluffy -  about 2-3 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time - beating well in between each egg.  

Grate rind of 2 lemons (1 will be for the cake batter, the other for the glaze) and juice enough lemons to equal 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP of juice (set aside for glaze).  Add rind of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup lemon juice to the butter, sugar and egg mixture.  Mix well all together.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.

Pour 1/2 of cake batter into prepared cake pan.  Spoon lemon curd into center of batter and then carefully run a butter knife through the curd and batter to slightly incorporate.  Spoon remaining batter over curd.  Smooth batter evenly with the back of a spoon or an off set knife. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes - the top will be golden brown and will not wiggle when shaken.  Cool cake for at least 30 minutes before inverting to a serving plate.  

While cake cools completely make glaze by combining powdered sugar, 2 TBSP lemon juice and 1/2 of the remaining grated rind. Add in more lemon juice if you wish to have thinner glaze.  Spoon glaze over completely cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining rind over glaze.  Slice and serve. 


Happy Triple Lemon Bundt Cake Baking!

Please enjoy the links below to see what my fellow #BundtBakers have created too! If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com

Sunday, April 5, 2015

(SRC) Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake


Happy Monday!  It's always nice to start off the week on a happy note.  It sets the mood for the rest of the week I believe.  Setting the mood for the week on a delicious note is not a bad idea either.  And I've got just the treat for you - Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake.  A delicious cake layered not once but twice with a surprise sweetness and then topped off with an almond crumble. There is a cinnamon sugar layer and then a layer of precious raspberries in this coffee cake making it extra special. 




Speaking of extra special, the blog I discovered this recipe on is more than extra special - it's SUPER DUPER extra special!! I found this recipe on Inquiring Chef - my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club this month.  What an absolute gem Jess is from Inquiring ChefJess lives in Bangkok, Thailand (YES, Bangkok, Thailand) with her hubby and twin baby girls.  She whips up gorgeous, gorgeous dishes and sweets that make your heart pitter patter and your mouth drool.  She writes her posts with simplicity yet with details that bring you right into her world.  And best of all she allows you to follow the growth of her beautiful, beautiful girls Molly and Clara.  In fact she updates their pictures and developmental progress every month.  I am on the edge of my seat for their 1 year old update coming up at the end of this month.  Please make sure you check out Inquiring Chef not only for Jess' cutie pie girls but also for all her fantastic recipes.  Jess' blog is not to be missed. 



 The next time you are looking for delicate yet delicious cake to serve for brunch, a snack or simply as a dessert please don't hesitate to whip up this very cake.  It can be made in a 9" spring form pan (as both Jess and I did) or you can use a 9x13 pan.  Either size pan would be just fine.  And for the raspberry layer, fresh or frozen berries can be used.  I actually used a combo of both as I didn't have enough fresh to fully cover the batter as I wanted to do and it came out just fine.  I would also like to point out that this cake is really not overly sweet as often cakes can be.  Only 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar is used in the batter.  The almond topping also call for sugar which gives a perfect pairing with the "not too sweet" cake.


With a lovely cake recipe in hand and the promise of Spring to arrive soon I wish you all a fantastic and fabulous week ahead of you! May it be a happy, successful and easy week each and every one of you. :-)

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake 
   (recipe from the lovely food blog, Inquiring Chef)

Topping Ingredients - 
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (my addition
1/2 cup silvered or sliced almonds
6 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes

Cake Ingredients - 
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 TBSP cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt 
3/4 cup granulated sugar + 3 TBSP sugar, divided 
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen 
1 TBSP cinnamon 

Directions - 

Make topping mixture by whisking together the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon until well combined.  Add in cold butter cubes and mix into dry ingredients with your fingers or pastry cutter.  Butter should be incorporated into the dry ingredients until large crumbs form.  Refrigerate topping mixture until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9" spring form pan and set aside.  Make the cake batter by using a medium bowl to combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set dry ingredients aside.  Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add in eggs one at a time - beat well with each addition. Add in vanilla extract too. 

 Add in dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 separate additions - alternating with the buttermilk - starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Once all has been mixed well together pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. 

Combine 1 TBSP cinnamon and 3 TBSP sugar in a small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly over 1/2 of cake batter layer.  Spoon remaining batter over cinnamon & sugar layer.  Carefully spread with the back of a spoon or an off set knife if need be.  Sprinkle raspberries over this layer and then the topping mixture.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cool cake, slice and enjoy! 



Jess has stated that this cake is great as a "make ahead" cake as it only gets better each day.  Store in an air-tight container at room temp for best results. 



 Happy Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake Baking!




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