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Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake

I am super excited for this post today.  September marks the 1 year anniversary for the #chocolateparty.  To help celebrate,  Roxana has lots of great stuff up for grabs.  Like seriously, you need to read the bottom of this post and enter the giveaways.  Kind of wish I wasn’t participating this month, so I could enter.

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Chocolate Meringue Cake (gluten free) #SundaySupper

Chocolate Meringue Cake | @dinnersdishesdessert

Today is the first #SundaySupper event of 2013.  We are starting off with a bang too!  The theme today is recipes that are on our bucket list.  You know, the list of things you always say you want to do….eventually.  I don’t actually have a written down list, but I have some things in the back of my mind that I have always wanted to do.  This is even inspiring me to make that list (on paper), and maybe share it with you later.  Maybe they will actually get made then :)

So for this week I picked a chocolate meringue cake.  I have Pavlova (which is a meringue) on my blog, but to be honest my husband made it.  So I wanted to tackle it myself, and do it up with chocolate, because we all know that is how I do things.  Plus my birthday was on Tuesday, so I wanted to turn it into a cake!

It did take 2 attempts for this to work out.  The first time I followed a different recipe, which I am sure was a good one, but there was melted chocolate involved and it just didn’t work out.  So then I started again, adapted the Pavlova recipe I know works, and went from there.  I used an almond flavored, freshly whipped cream as the “frosting”.  There is almond extract in with the meringue too, and it just pairs perfectly together.  It is sweet, light, fluffy, and the perfect birthday cake!  My 7 year old even asked me yesterday if I could make this again for his birthday.

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Pumpkin Dream Cake #ChristmasWeek

Pumpkin-Dream-Cake-


Welcome to day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita’s Cocina. Today’s theme for Christmas Week is “Christmas Cakes and Cupcakes”.

Just look at this cake! This is the first cake recipe I have ever shared on this blog, and I am so excited with how it turned out!  In my family, pumpkin does not stop at Thanksgiving.  We have pumpkin pie at Christmas too.  Plus, with how pretty it is, how could you not have this as part of your Christmas celebration?

I actually made this for Thanksgiving, in addition to pumpkin pie.  There were the traditionalist in the room that shunned it because it wasn’t pie, but everyone who tried it, loved it!  The frosting is a Cinnamon Butter Cream, and is just amazing.  You can see the flecks of cinnamon in the frosting, and it adds so much depth to the cake.  The cake itself is a little dense, but still light, and super moist (bad word, I know!).

This cake actually comes together very quickly.  The mixer does all the work for you.  Beware the batter is a little thicker than I was used to when baking a cake.  Then as soon as it comes out of the oven you put it in the freezer.  This stops the cooking process, and cools it quickly, so you don’t have to wait forever to frost.  Freezing the cake, made it so easy to get the cake to come cleanly out of the pan.  I will be doing this trick from now on with any cake!  I changed up the frosting from the original cream cheese based, because there was no room in the fridge for a cake.  And also, cream cheese frostings aren’t my favorite.  This cake would be perfect as the center piece of your dessert table this holiday season.

Pumpkin Dream Cake #ChristmasWeek
 
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
Pumpkin Cake topped with a Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tblsvanilla
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cinnamon Buttercream
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 (2 lb) bag powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup milk

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of 3 – 8 inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla, pumpkin and canola oil until combined. Mix in the flour and the milk, alternating between the two, until everything is well combined.
  4. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Once fully cooked, immediately remove the pans from the oven, and place them in the freezer for 45 minutes. This stops the cooking process, and makes the cake very easy to remove from the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer beat all of the frosting ingredients together. You can adjust the milk and sugar amounts to get the desired consistency. You want it a little on the thin side, but not so thin that you can drizzle it.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the pans from the freezer. Remove the cake from the pans, and begin to frost. Spread a layer of frosting between each layer of cake, and then spread along the edges and top.

Notes
Adapted from The Novice Chef

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I have given you quite a few healthy recipes this week, today not so much!  I love this cake, and just had to share.  My birthday was last weekend, but we celebrated it last night with my parents.  This is what we had.  I first had a flourless chocolate cake on our honeymoon. and I immediately fell in love.  I have never made it at home though.  My husband gave me the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook this year, and this recipe was in there.  It was high time I make one!  It might be a problem now that I know how easy it is to do at home!

It is a very rich cake, and a tiny sliver is all you need.  And that is coming from someone who can never have enough chocolate.  With all of us  eating it we only ate about 1/4 of the cake.  I topped with fresh whipped cream and raspberries, but you could use strawberries or anything else you wanted.

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Flourless Nutella Cake

It’s that time of the month again…Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day!!  This is my second month being a part of this group, and it is lots of fun.  I have been introduced to new and wonderful blogs.  And this month…oh my was this month a yummy one!  Amanda does such a wonderful job organizing this group.  Want to join?  You can check out the Secret Recipe Club page for all the information. 
Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Ilke’s Kitchen.  Ilke was born and raised in Turkey.  She moved to the states to attend college, and has been here since.   I was excited when I was checking out her blog.  I don’t have any experience with Turkish food, and thought this was going to be fun to try something new.  But then I spotted this cake, and I immediately got side tracked.  I think by now, you all know my obsession with Nutella.  There was this, this, this, and this, and oh yeah this.  How could I not make this cake?  I kept searching, looking at her delicious breads and other authentic dishes, but this cake kept calling to me.  So I finally just gave in. 
Boy am I glad I did, it was so good!  I will go back and try something else from her site, something actually from Turkey, but for now you can check out this lovely, chocolately, amazing cake! 
Flourless Nutella Cake
Cake
6 eggs (separated)
¼ tsp salt
1 stick of butter (softened)
400 g of Nutella
1 tablespoon rum, Frangelico or water (I used Water)
100 g ground hazelnuts (I only had almonds, so that is what I used)
100 g melted dark chocolate
Beat the egg whites and salt until it forms stiff peaks. Around 2 minutes or so.Beat Nutella and softened butter in a different bowl until it combines. Add the rest of the ingredients (including the egg yolks) except melted chocolate and the egg whites.
Once everything is well mixed, stir the melted chocolate in and fold the egg whites into the mixture gently.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan (lined with parchment paper and greased) and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. When the cake is done, you will see that the cake will separate from the pan.
Unmold, cool the cake and get the icing ready.
Icing
75 ml heavy whipping
125 g dark chocolate
1 tablespoon rum, Frangelico or water (I used Water)
100g Hazelnuts, toasted and Chopped or 1 pint Raspberries
Mix the heavy cream, chocolate and your choice of liquid in a pan on the stovetop. Heat on moderate setting until the chocolate melts.
Turn off the stove as soon as the chocolate melts, and start whisking until the mixture thickens.   I added 4 Tbls powdered sugar at this point because it was too dark for me.  Still did not end up all that sweet. 
Spread/pour the thickened chocolate mixture over the cake.
Decorate with chopped toasted hazelnuts or raspberries

Pumpkin Madeline Cake Balls

First let me start by saying I love you guys!  All the well wishes for my sick little boy mean so much.  Well he is on the mend!  This new antibiotic seemed to do the trick.  After 24 hours he was like a new kid.  Now I just think this full day has him tired.  But I will take tired and crabby over sick and not moving any day! 

Now to these delicious treats!  I have never tried a Madeline before.  I know, sometimes it is like I live under a rock. I blame my Dad!  If it wasn’t chocolate, we didn’t have it.  And growing up in the midwest Madelines weren’t the norm.  So when the lovely people at Donsuemor contacted me to design a dessert for them, I was thrilled.  Thanks to Lizzy over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake for recommending me for the job!  A few days later, my lovely box of Madelines and French Almond Cakes arrived. I immediately set to work.  First I had to taste them, since they were new to me.  They were soft, tender, and delicious. 

School is back in session, so that means is it fall right?  Don’t pay attention to the fact that it was 95 degrees in Iowa today.  I am in the mood for some fall cooking, and pumpkin is the first thing that comes to mind.  So I turned these delicious Madelines into Pumpkin Cake Balls!  They were so good!  I used the French Almond Cakes too, so there was some crunch from the almonds….so good! 

Pumpkin Madeline Cake Balls
Printable Recipe

6 Traditional Madelines
6 French Almond Cakes
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 oz butter, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 pound white chocolate

Start by making a Cream Cheese frosting.  Blend together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until nice and creamy. 

Using your hands crumble the cakes into a bowl. Add the pumpkin, frosting, and all of the seasonings.  Stir until well blended. 

From into 1 inch balls.  Place on a lined cookie sheet, and refrigerate until hardened, approx 30 minutes. 

Melt the white chocolate in a large bowl.  One at a time dip the cake balls into the chocolate.  Put sprinkles on when the chocolate is wet, if desired.  Place on a lined tray, and refrigerate until hard.  Store in the fridge. 

Enjoy!

Blackberry Crumb Cake

Until recently I didn’t think that I liked Blackberries.  Not sure how I came to this conclusion, but I have been going off of it for years.  Then they were in a fruit salad recently, and I was feeling adventurous and thought what the heck.  I live on the edge, don’t I?  Well, I liked them!  So when I saw them on sale at the store, I bought a giant container of them.  I wanted to bake with them and quickly!  I sought advice on my facebook page and the answer was Cobbler.  Well…sorry guys I didn’t make cobbler.  Problem was, I needed something hubby could take to work.  And really, I think we all know what a guy would do when faced with taking serving dishes etc. to work.  It would not fair well.  I once sent him with cupcakes that sat in his HOT car for 3 hours while he went to a meeting.  I am sure they were just beautiful by the time his co-workers got them.  Amazing they still want me to send in stuff!

I finally decided on these bars/cake. Did you know aside from cobbler there aren’t that many blackberry recipes out there?  This recipe is super easy, and these were delicious.  Next time I think I might try this with raspberries!  I thought about mixing the berries for this, but thought that was a little to daring for this Blackberry Newbie.


Blackberry Crumb Cake
From Bake or Break
Printable Recipe

6 Tbls butter, melted
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
10 oz blackberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a 8 inch square baking pan with butter and flour.

Whisk together melted butter, brown sugar and 1/4 tsp salt.  Add 1 cup flour and mix with a fork until it is moist.  Put in the refrigerator.

Whisk together 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Set aside.

Using mixer beat softened butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well.  Add the flour mixture slowly.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Sprinkle with blackberries.  Top with the chilled topping.  Bake 40-45 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan, then remove and cut into squares.

Monthiversary!

Today marks the day I have had my blog for a month!!!  Wow, have I learned a lot in a month.  And boy, do I still have a lot to learn! I am choosing to live in denial right now that blogger went down yesterday, and my post from yesterday is just lost in cyber space right now.  I had awards posted, and passed on to other bloggers….but if I focus on that I might start to hyperventilate.  So today is all about having my blog for a month!!

I NEVER would have started this if it wasn’t for my sister friend Beth!  We have known each other for 9 years now, and she is just the best!  She is so supportive, and always there for me.  A month ago we were talking about what I should do with the rest of my life.  My son is in Kindergarten, so I want to find something more in my life, than staying home.  We were throwing around ideas, and she said I should do something with food.  She knows full well how much I love to cook and bake.  She suggested I start a blog, and immediately proceeded to forward me link after link to websites with information about starting blogs.  So the next day, I started my blog.  I am sure she was the first one to subscribe to my blog! 

Unfortunately we don’t live near each other, and haven’t for the last 4 1/2 years.  Quite the adjustment from working together in the same department for 5 years, and living 6 blocks from each other.  I have done what I can to try to get her to move to Iowa, but I have been unsuccessful.  So, she hasn’t been able to taste anything I have made so far, but hopefully some day soon she can.  When trying to figure out what to make for this special day, I had to make something I knew she would love.  I had to settle on a dessert, because her love of pot roast, bit o’honey, good & plenty, and beets just didn’t leave a lot to blog about :)   (Love ya’)  I settled on cake, probably her first love!  She is usually a frosting girl, but I also know how much she likes ooey, gooey chocolate.  Molten lava cake here I come!  This was my first time making it, and it was pretty darn easy!  Aside from it sticking to the pan, and coming out a mess :(  


Molton Lava Cakes
Adapted from Paula Deen
Printable Recipe

8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
10 Tbls butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate and butter together.  You can use a double broiler, or the microwave.  Just get it nice and smooth.  Add the flour and sugar.  It will be very thick. 

Stir in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla until smooth.  Divide the batter among the custard cups. 

This makes enough for 6 (6 ounce) cakes.  Grease them well!!  I also coasted them with sugar, because I have heard that works well for helping it rise and not stick.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for exactly 14 minutes.  Longer it will not be gooey in the center.  The edges should be firm.  Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.  Sprinkle on some powdered sugar, top with whip cream and enjoy!

Tip – I think if you let it sit in the cup for just a couple minutes before inverting it, you will have better luck.  I think I jumped the gun on turning it onto the plate.  This batter freezes well.  Make what you need, freeze the leftovers for later.

 

Margarita Cake

Friday was Girls Night In, as I wrote about earlier this week.  We had a fabulous spread of Mexican food – chips, salsa, guacamole, enchiladas and more!  To top off all of this great food, I thought we needed a yummy dessert.  This usually is not a problem for me!  But, there is a big But.  One of my friends is allergic to chocolate!!! This poses a problem for me, almost every dessert I make has chocolate in it, even if it is just a little.  So I had to get creative.  It was Cinco De Mayo week, so how about a margarita cake.  I mean, margaritas are part of the reason we get together, so why not put it in dessert :)  

Ok, I had a plan, now how do I execute it?  Well Betty Crocker had an interesting recipe, so why not turn that into my own.  They had a pretzel crust, white cake mix with margarita mix instead of the liquids, and cool whip on top.  Well, I couldn’t just do that but hhhmmm…..crust with cake? Why not!  The girls thought this was a hit.  The cake was a thick moist cake, and the lime flavor was just perfect.  The crust was really good.  You don’t normally have cake with a crust, so it was a unique twist.  Now, I just used plain margarita mix, without the tequila in it.  But you could easily use the premixed stuff.  I just knew my family would be eating the leftovers, and didn’t want my 6 year old eating cake with tequila in it!

Margarita Cake
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Printable Recipe

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup margarita mix
About 20 graham crackers (1 sleeve of them)
6 Tbls butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbls powdered sugar
1 Tbls margarita mix

Turn the graham crackers into crumbs.  I use my food processor to make quick work of it.  Mix in the melted butter, and press into a cake pan.  This makes enough for about a 9 inch cake pan.  I used a spring form pan, so I could get it out easily! 

Cream together the butter and sugar.  I “think” the fluffier you get this mixture the lighter your cake will be.  I am new to making cakes from scratch, so this is just a theory to be tested at this point.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture.  Mix well.  I also think next time I would use baking soda instead of powder.  In my research most cakes used soda, again I think it leads to a lighter cake.  Finally, stir in the margarita mix until the batter is smooth.  Pour into the pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, in a a 350 degree oven.  When a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, the cake is done. 

While the cake cools, you can make the topping.  It is basically a lime flavored whipped cream.  Whipped cream is really easy to make.  Start by putting your mixing bowl, and whip attachment in the fridge to get cold.  Once ready, about 15 minutes later, pour in 1 cup of heavy cream.  Mix until it starts to thicken.  Then add in the sugar and margarita mix until you get to stiff peaks.  Be careful not to overmix, it will turn to butter. You can fix it if you mix to far – just add more cream and mix again. 

Spread cream over cooled cake.  Top with some lime zest, and sliced lime!