Friday, February 28, 2014


This cake takes time, don't even think this is a quick recipe. Bobby won a throwdown with this cake but remember he has a whole team!

2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (for the pans), + 12 tbsp cold butter, cut into 12 pieces (for the cake)
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for the pans
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, at room temperature (reserve 4 egg yolks for the coconut custard)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the 2 1/3 cups flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running on low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time, and continue beating until the mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of the milk mixture; beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.  With mixer on low speed, add remaining milk mixture. Increase speed to medium and beat another 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for another 20 seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees 22 to 24 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the insides of the pans and invert cakes onto the wire rack. Remove parchment paper; allow to cool completely - around 45 minutes.

3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe below)
3/4 cup heavy cream, cold

Combine both ingredients in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out, bean and seeds reserved
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp coconut rum
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine the milk, coconut milk and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan; bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the pan, set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape mixture into a bowl, remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let the custard cool to room temperature; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup coconut custard
pinch of salt

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard and salt; beat until buttercream is smooth.

1 tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups water

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes but up to 4 hours.

Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Coconut Simple Syrup (recipe above)
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted, for garnish

To Assemble Cake:
Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally into two cakes. Reserve one of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer on a cardboard cake round (or cake plate), cut side up, and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake, and suing a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake. Repeat with two more layers. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup. Place layer, cut side down,  on the top of the cake. Frost sides and top with the buttercream. Pat the toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle some on the top.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


1 box Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 cup milk or water (I do 1 cup water and 1/3 cup milk)
1/3 cup orange infused canola oil
1/2 tsp orange candy oil OR 1 tsp orange extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.

In large mixer bowl beat all ingredients together at medium speed until combined.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full of batter and bake at 350 degrees approximately 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening

Combine all filling ingredients together in mixer bowl and cream together until well mixed. Make a hollow in centers of cupcakes and fill with the filling mixture.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 to 4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 4 tbsp cream or milk (start with one and add more as needed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange candy oil or 1 1/4 tsp orange extract

Beat butter with electric mixer using paddle attachment; add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix on lowest speed until sugar in incorporated. Increase speed to medium and add the salt and 1 or 2 tablespoons of the milk or cream. If frosting needs to be thicker, add more powdered sugar. If it needs to be thinner, add more of the milk or cream.

Divide frosting into two bowls. Add the vanilla extract to one bowl. Add the orange flavoring to the other bowl. Add orange food coloring to the second bowl, if desired. If you wish to make swirled icing, put each of the icings into separate piping bags then together side by side in a large piping bag.

This recipe is my small changes to a recipe original to Christine of LoveonCloudCupcake


1 quart whipping cream
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 lb granulated sugar
1 orange, zested (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
kosher salt, optional

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a very large saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup, sugar, and orange zest (if using). Cook over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let mixture boil over as mixture is very frothy.  As the mixture cooks down and starts to thicken, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.

At this point you want to stir the mixture constantly. Mixture will eventually turn golden brown and become thick and bubbly. When the mixture reaches 240 degrees add the pecans and stir constantly. Be sure you are stirring all over the pan and be careful not to splash much on the sides. When temperature reaches 248 degrees remove from the heat.

Using two spoons, scoop mixture out onto the parchment-lined pans. Sprinkle with a small sprinkling of kosher salt, if desired.

When completely set (almost a fudge-like texture) pralines may be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
Note: This recipe is from Our Best Bites. I have never made them as pralines are not a favorite in my house and I cannot eat them because of my diabetes.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving about 1 inch of foil hanging over ends of the pan.  Grease the foil; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the first two flours above and the brown sugar.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the 1/2 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the 1/3 cup chocolate pieces. Press into the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

While crust bakes, stir the granulated sugar, next two flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.  Using a wooden spoon or large spatula, beat until smooth.  Stir in the 1/2 cup chocolate pieces.  Carefully spread mixture over the baked crust in the pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes more. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack; cool completely. Use foil to lift brownies out of the pan to a cutting board. Cut into brownies.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This recipe is from gourmetcakes with the following note:
The key to this chocolately fudge icing is using Hershey's Cocoa. It is a very rich icing that crusts over very nicely. Make sure you sift the cocoa or you will have little clumps of cocoa throughout your smooth icing. Learned this from personal experience. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
  • 3 t. Pure Vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs. (8 cups) sifted powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 cup sifted Hershey's Cocoa
  • 1 T. Meringue Powder
  • 8-9 T. heavy whipping cream, divided
  1. Cream butter and shortening, add vanilla, cream until smooth.
  2. Sift together powdered sugar and Hershey's Cocoa.
  3. Add Meringue Powder.
  4. Add 1/3 of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended (keep bowl covered with damp towel while beating to keep powdered sugar in bowl).
  5. Add 1/3 of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended.
  6. Add 1/3 more of the powdered sugar mixture, beating well on medium speed until blended.
  7. Add 1/3 more of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended.
  8. Add remaining powdered sugar mixture and remaining heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  9. Cover with damp cloth until ready to use. Keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Can be refrigerated for 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
  10. When icing a cake, allow to crust over for at least 15 minutes.

Monday, February 24, 2014


2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites
1 cup milk
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup shortening
lemon curd for filling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

Sift together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Beat egg whites until stiff but still moist; gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form.

Add the milk, extract, and shortening to the flour mixture; beat 2 minutes, scraping down sides while beating.

Fold in the egg whites and pour the batter evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pans 5-10 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

After cakes are cooled, place one cake on cake platter and top with some lemon curd or lemon pudding as a filling. Place second cake atop the filling. Frost sides and top with a favorite frosting and decorate with fresh lemon slices, if desired.

Friday, February 21, 2014


1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup boiling water
2 lemons, juiced
2 cups apricot nectar
1 bottle sparkling apple juice, chilled
lemon slices for serving

Dissolve the honey in the boiling water; allow to cool.

Pour the honey water into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and apricot nectar; chill.

Before serving add the apple juice, stir to blend.

Serve over ice with the lemon slices.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature + more to grease pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons amaretto
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend.

Using a mixer, cream the butter, ricotta cheese, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs 1 at a time.  Add the vanilla, orange zest, and amaretto until combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture, a small amount at a time, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cake 45 to 50 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake pulls away for the sides of the pan.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Return cake to the pan and dust the top with powdered sugar.

For gifting, wrap a pretty bow around the pan.

Note: The Food Network's Giada has said this is one of her favorites. She continued to say, "It even makes a great breakfast."

Monday, February 17, 2014


This eggy yeast bread won a Food Network Magazine Contest in 2010.

2 pkts (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar, plus a pinch
2 cups warm water, divided
7 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tbsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the yeast, a pinch of sugar and 1 cup of the warm water in a small bowl.  Set aside while you measure out the other dry ingredients, or until frothy.

Whisk 3 1/2 cups flour, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Add 1 egg, the vegetable oil, and 1 cup warm water; stir until combined. Gradually stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour until the dough starts to come together. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 3 equal portions.

On a floured surface, roll each dough portion into a ball, then roll each ball into a 1 1/2 -to-2-inch-wide strand, about 16 inches long.  Lay the strands side by side on a sheet of parchment paper and pinch together on one end.

Braid the three strands by crossing the right strand over the middle strand, then crossing the left strand over the middle strand. Repeat braiding until strands are completely braided. Pinch the dough together at the end.

Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet.

Beat the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Brush over all the loaf.

Bake loaf at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until a golden brown.

Friday, February 14, 2014


For your Valentine:

Click on the pictures to enlarge for easier reading.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


1 can (15 1/4-oz) peach halves in syrup
2 individual round sponge cakes
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp raspberry OR strawberry jam
2 tsp chopped nuts, optional

Drain the peaches, reserving syrup.

Set aside two peach halves and 1 tablespoon syrup (refrigerate remaining peaches and syrup for use later).

To assemble, place each sponge cake on a dessert plate; drizzle with reserved syrup.  Top with a scoop of ice cream and a peach half, turned upside down over the ice cream.

In a small saucepan or the microwave, heat the jam until melted and drizzle over the peaches.  Top with the nuts, if using. Personally, I like almonds with this recipe.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, February 10, 2014


1 box (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 box (3-oz) cherry gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 brick (8-oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cups whipped topping, thawed
1 can (21-oz) cherry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water.

Allow the cake to cool for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Using a large fork, poke holes all over the cake and gradually pour the gelatin water over all.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes then cover and refrigerate cake for 30 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy; fold in the whipped topping and spread mixture over the top of the cake. Top with the pie filling.

Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting to serve.

Refrigerate any leftovers.