Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

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Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake



This is going to be a short post because I want to get this up before the three or four people who read me, all of whom probably found me while bored at work, leave for the day and never realize I made them a delicious cake. I know, I know, you’ll miss my rambling, but I promise to ramble even more than usual when I come back.

I USED to love Starbucks lemon pound cake. So did my husband. Then they changed how they made it. I have no earthly idea what the Starbucks people thought they were doing when they changed up their recipes and added others. Their pumpkin bread is still good, but in my humble *looks humble* opinion, that’s about it. I tried their new salted caramel bar, all happy because salted caramel and was completely disappointed. And my husband, the man who happily ingests cans of overly processed, heavily salted orange stuff marketed as cheese dip, thinks the lemon cake is kind of yucky now too *she says as tactfully as she can*

So I made my own. I used an old lemon cake recipe I hand copied from food.com a billion years ago when it was recipezaar dot com and played with it. Dare I say it turned out better than the new Starbucks? I DID however accidentally overcook mine a tad so the edges (my favorite part) were a bit dry, but farther in, not at all and the flavor was delicious. This has the sweet lemon taste in the actual cake that the old Starbucks cake had and the tangy glaze. I upped the ante a little bit by doing the old trick of soaking the cake with some lemon syrup. I know; not technically like Starbucks, but that’s why I have the word better in the title :-P

You know the drill….

Love you guys! <3

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temp
  • 1/4 cup lemon zest
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons worth, depending on size)
  • 3/4 cup milk, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lemon oil (I like Boyajian brand) (you can sub lemon extract, but lemon oil is so much better in flavor with none of the chemically taste the extract can have)
  • Syrup-
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and two cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy and the sugar has had time to dissolve, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon oil.
  6. Add the flour and the milk mixture alternately to the butter, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating just until combined after each addition.
  7. Pour into the prepared pans; bake at 350 until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cover lightly with foil near the end if it seems to be getting too brown.
  8. When done, let cool in pans for ten minutes, then turn out onto a rack that has been set over a large cookie sheet (to catch drips).
  9. While the cake cools, make the syrup- combine the water and lemon juice in a small pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the syrup evenly over the still warm cakes, letting each spoonful soak in before using more.
  10. Let the cakes finish cooling completely before glazing.
  11. To make the glaze, simply combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl; start with just the lemon juice as liquid and add water as you need to to get a pourable but not too thin glaze (mine was a bit thin… don’t follow my example :-P )
  12. Let the glaze sit to harden a bit after you’ve used about half, then follow up with the rest. Then…. eat. Laugh at the Starbucks people.

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Better Than Starbucks Lemon Cake

 

 

White Chocolate And Lime Mousse Tart

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White Chocolate And Lime Mousse Tart 4



Most of my strongest memories of my father center around food. Dad was an….interesting cook, to say the least. I mentioned once (maybe twice or more… I’m getting old and forgetful) before that dad used to make things like chili or spaghetti sauce and besides adding jalapenos to both (yes, even the spaghetti sauce) and when I say adding jalapenos, I mean making it so hot, your tongue fell out of your mouth in protest, he also never ever drained the grease from his ground meat. So there you’d have some otherwise lovely (and mouth burning) dish, swimming in a pool of grease. But no one wanted to hurt his feelings or incur his wrath, so no one ever said anything. I got my opening one day however a couple of years after I moved him next door to me. He asked me why my spaghetti sauce was so much better than his and also, did I drain the grease off for some reason? I did a cheer inwardly and said that yes, I drained the grease off my ground beef and that that may be why mine was better, because too much grease makes it (I said politely) a bit heavy on the stomach. I didn’t mention that burning the stomach lining of people may not be smart. I knew when to shut up. :-D

Dad also loved jello. My kids though, as much as they loved Gramps giving them unlimited amounts of sweets when I wasn’t looking, weren’t jello fans. So he would make it for himself and me, just the same way he did when my brother, sister and I were kids. No plain jello for dad. Nope, nope, nope. He would drain some sort of canned fruit or a jar of maraschino cherries, use the juice from it as the liquid and then add the fruit when it was almost set. Then he would top it with about 4 pounds of Cool Whip and we were good to go on calories and sugar for about a year. It was utterly delicious and still how I like my jello. I think of him every…single…time I eat jello.

But sometimes I like to get a little fancier and not use the sugar laden flavored kind of gelatin and go back to the plain old fashioned gelatin that you flavor yourself. I have been, like most people, waiting not so patiently for Spring. Speaking of which, we are supposed to be getting an ample amount of snow here in Kentucky again tomorrow. But I’ll save that whining for later.

I have been heavy into anything citrus lately. It’s both my favorite sort of fruit, plus it makes me think of Spring. Spring…warmth…my garden.. warmth… fresh produce… did I mention warmth? Sorry. I’ll stop now. So, when I saw some pretty limes at the store, I got to thinking about what to do with the ones that jumped into my shopping cart. I got home and saw some white chocolate sitting out. I had bought it for something else, but who cares? When an idea hits, you run with it. :-D I had seen a recipe for white chocolate mousse elsewhere that I couldn’t find now, so I improvised and completely messed around with using a mousse recipe I found elsewhere. What I ended up with was a delicious tart with both lime and white chocolate sharing the limelight (hehe… LIMElight) equally. This is rich and creamy and a small slice will do you just fine. Unless you’re a teenage boy. Then… make two. I originally planned on using graham cracker crumbs as the crust, but all I had were Oreos. And I love the way it turned out with them.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake, who is sobbing over the thought of more snow

White Chocolate And Lime Mousse Tart

  • Crust-
  • 14 oreos (NOT Double Stuffs)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Filling-
  • 8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lime zest (from about 3 limes)
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin (sold with the other types of flavored gelatin in packs of 4, usually on the bottom shelf)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Make your crust- put your Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and process them down to crumbs. Add in the melted butter and pulse until it is combined. Pour the mixture into a buttered 9 inch tart pan (the kind with the removable bottom) and press it down onto the bottom of the pan.
  2. Bring 1/2 of the cream to a simmer. You can use a small pot or just do it as I do in the microwave.. When it comes to a simmer, remove from the heat and dump in the chopped white chocolate. Let sit for about five minutes, then stir until it is smooth. Let the mixture sit until it’s just barely warm.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the lime juice in a small pot. Let it sit for about ten minutes to soften up, then stir it over low heat just until the gelatin dissolves. Let cool, then fold the gelatin mixture into the white chocolate/cream.
  4. Whip the remaining one cup of cream with the vanilla extract until it has soft peaks. Fold the white chocolate mixture into the cream, then pour this all into the prepared crust. Smooth the top and refrigerate for at LEAST 6 to 8 hours, but preferably overnight. Gelatin takes a few hours to set firmly anyway and the addition of a citrus juice in this one makes it set slower.
  5. When done, gently push it out from the bottom (it always helps to have someone else there to grab the pan bottom. Otherwise, you have this tart in one hand with no way to remove what looks like a huge cream covered bracelet dangling from your other arm. Don’t ask… just don’t ask.
  6. Garnish with more whipped cream and some lime slices.

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White Chocolate And Lime Mousse tart 3

German Chocolate Cake

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German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Cake



A while back on my facebook page, I asked my followers there (why is it that every time I say “followers”, I feel like Jim Jones holding up a pitcher of kool-aid? Come to me, my pretties… I’ll make life allll better!) what they wanted me to make- sweet, savory, specific flavors? I was having a brain dead day. I have a lot of those. Most people came up with suggestions fitting this blog, i.e., fattening, high calorie, etc. A few however, seemed to forget where they were. I got suggestion for… *GASPS*…. low calorie foods and I was told in email that I needed to start blogging more low cal, even diabetic friendly recipes and that I should also post some vegan ones more often.

Ummmm…. no. I don’t. Have to, that is. Or even need to. There are plenty of other bloggers covering that territory. Those of us willing to put our blood sugar count on the line for you are getting harder to find, however. Appreciate us while we’re still alive and don’t have to be buried in piano cases. :-p

I can appreciate that people want those type of recipes and I will happily guide my readers towards some wonderful blogs and web sites that do that type of food, but unless I make something that just HAPPENS to fit that criteria, I won’t be posting that style of food. There are 900,000 blogs out there cooking under many different topics. Mine is a baking/comfort food blog. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant that specializes in home cooking, things like meat loaf, mashed potatoes, cream pies, etc and say, “Hey, I want you to make me a nice vegan lentil dish. This other stuff just isn’t what I’m looking for and you need to stop serving it.” Same thing here on my little corner of the internet.  I love you all more than pizza (fully loaded with extra cheese even) and if I make a recipe that is Vegan or low cal or wonderfully good for you, you’d better believe I’ll post it. But will I actively search for or make those kinds of recipes? No. I enjoy baking, I enjoy comfort foods (and big hips and thighs obviously). However, believe it or not, I make healthy foods sometimes But I do it because I like the sounds of a recipe or want to try making something differently or because I had to turn sideways to fit my hips through a door and can’t afford new jeans and am getting tired of sitting around the house in a Muumuu.

So there you have it. If you want foods that have enough calories to feed a small country or that will make you feel better on a day when all you want to do is eat your emotions, I’m your gal. If you want foods that will trim your waistline or lower your blood sugar, I may not be the blogger for you. I’d hate to see you leave, but I fully understand. :-)

On that note….. cake. With calories galore.

This is my husbands favorite cake and I kinda like him, so I thought I’d give it a try. This recipe came from Southern Living. It’s moist chocolate cake, smothered in a thick and rich coconut pecan frosting

Because…cake. Chocolate….

FYI- This recipe makes a TON of frosting. I still had some left over and you can see how heavily iced this cake is. I can see cutting it in half and still having enough for the cake, easily. I have noticed in the past that Southern Living recipes can lean towards a bit of inaccuracy in amounts, as much as I love them.

You know the drill…

German Chocolate Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
  • 7 ounces of finely chopped semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Frosting-
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped pecans, lightly toasted and cooled
  • 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 cups (10 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 9 inch cake pans with a baking spray that combines oil and flour. Wilton makes a good one.
  2. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each one, until chocolate is fully melted. Set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla extract and beat just until combined.
  4. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour (flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour). Fold in the melted chocolate.
  5. Scrape batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops of each pan of batter.
  6. Bake at 350 until a wooden skewer inserted in each comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in the pan, on a rack, for five minutes, then turn out carefully onto the rack to finish cooling.
  7. While the cake cools, make your frosting- In a large pot, combine the butter, sweetened condensed milk and brown sugar. Cook over low heat, whisking often, until mixture is smooth. Don’t let it get extremely hot; you’re just getting it all melted down and combined. Add a little of the mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine. You’re just trying to heat the yolks so they don’t cook unevenly when you add them into the milk mixture.
  8. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the milk one. Let cook over low heat, whisking often, until it has thickened up, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer it to a large bowl and add in 3 cups of the pecans, the coconut, vanilla extract and salt. let this cool. It will thicken more as it cools down.
  9. Place one cake layer on serving plate. Frost with half the frosting. Lay the other cake layer carefully on top; frost with the rest of the frosting. Garnish withe the rest of the pecans.

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Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

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Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Yesterday was….interesting. Russ and I had to go get some grocery shopping done so we decided to brave the snow and hope for the best. Mannnn, were we naive! First off, my car (his is totally snowed in and not going anywhere) was parked 1/2 mile away at a little general store that let him park it there. Why was it there, you ask? Because, the other day when he tried to get up our 1/4 mile driveway, he got stuck. Some kind strangers pulled my car back out to the road and he drove to the store and asked to keep the car there. Thank God for small town hospitality. Anywhere else would have had it towed, but they let him leave it there.

Sooo… we traipsed through the foot high snow, me in just a long sleeved shirt and a sweater, because I don’t own a coat and I don’t have gloves because the boys played with them and lost them. Did I forget to mention that it was 6 degrees with a wind chill of -2 out when we did this? You may now groan and feel pity for me. I’ll take the sentiment gladly. :-P So, we got to the car, got to the main road, which was clear and made it into town, about 20 minutes away. Did our shopping and headed home. It was dark by this time. Now, the stupid part was our hope that we would be able to get the car up the driveway. Why did we think this when not a darn thing had changed since last time? I have absolutely no idea. Call it hunger induced idiocy… cabin fever induced idiocy. Whatever.

Well, we made it home. I had Russ let me off at the edge of the driveway so that I wouldn’t make him nervous gripping the dashboard and whimpering as he tried to get up the driveway. Then I slogged through to the house, and since I heard NO car following me, I grabbed a flashlight and went straight back out. By now the temp was about -1 with a wind chill of “Oh, crap, I can’t feel my face.” I made it back down to the car, which was stuck (gee, imagine that) about 30 feet in. We tried to get it out; no luck. So Russ went over to our neighbors house (the driveway belongs to both of us, with their house being up front near the road and ours way back). he has a truck, so we begged for him to chain us up and pull us home. He agreed. BUT… of course there is a but here…. he managed to get us about 35 yards or so from the house and that was it. He was afraid of getting stuck himself if he went farther in. So there we were; a trunk and back seat full of groceries at a distance that, at that moment, seemed like far enough to qualify as being in another state, with about 352,000 bags of groceries to get in. Uphill. Both ways. Did I remember to mention that it was about -400 with a wind chill 0f -2000? It seriously is uphill getting to the house though; thus one reason the neighbor was afraid of getting stuck. So we managed, after about 4 trips each, crawling on our hands and knees, as polar bears snapped at our heels to get the food and the blizzard raged around us (Yes, yes I AM planning on writing a nice fantasy story. Why do you ask?), to get the groceries back to the house.

I have never been…so cold…in my life. Sweater, hat, no gloves, sneakers that held out not one bit of snow or cold. My poor feet and hands threatened to divorce me and find another body to live on if I ever did that again. I didn’t blame them.

And…. we have another storm on the way that will bring either significant amounts of snow or significant amounts of ice. Woo….hoo…

These quesadillas were nice and warm however. Both heat wise and spicy wise. Right now, I so love the words warm and heat. If I had a raw habanaro in front of me, I’d eat it just to embrace the inner heat. These are crispy crunchy on the outside, cheesy and chickeny (think I’ve used enough c words now?) inside with wonderfully browned onions and peppers. Plus, there is a touch of heat from the jalapeno. Nothing major though. These are also extremely easy.  I have it set for three servings but this is simple to change amounts on.

You know the drill….

Love…. Mrs. Cupcake… who will never be warm again.

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced chicken breast (I made it easier and used the store bought chicken for tacos and the like, found in the lunch meat section. Feel free to use what makes you happy.)
  • 6 8 inch flour tortillas
  • vegetable oil
  • 3/4 to 1 cup shredded Colby jack cheese.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice your onion in half, then cut it into thin half moon slices. Do the same with the green pepper.
  2. Pour the 2 tablespoons oil into a medium non stick pan. Add in the onions, green peppers, jalapenos and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onions and peppers have gotten soft and browned, about 5 minutes. Put in a bowl, cover and set aside.
  3. Heat the sliced chicken in the same pan and heat just until warm. Set in the bowl with the veggies. Leave the pan over the heat while you prepare the tortillas.
  4. Brush one tortilla lightly with oil. You don’t want it dripping but you want enough on there to help crisp the tortilla. Lay it in the hot pan and immediately top it with a third of the veggies and meat and the desired amount of cheese. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Top with another tortilla and carefully brush that one with oil. Carefully slide a spatula under the bottom and lift to see if it is as browned as you want it to be. If so, carefully flip it over (hold the top one lightly with your hand as you flip) to brown the other side.
  5. Cook to desired doneness, remove to plate and cut into 4 wedges.
  6. Repeat with the other tortillas; serve with sour cream, salsa or picante sauce and some green onions.

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Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping



Oh….my….gosh. I never thought I’d be one to say this, but I’m ready for Winter to be over. Normally, I love Winter. I have said before that I love the coziness, the enforced couch potato-ness because you can’t go outside. But, right now, here… in Kentucky, we have an expected low of -14 for tomorrow with a high, a HIGH, of 6. Hello? God? This is Kentucky. I just wanted to throw that out there in case You’d forgotten. Thank you.

The last few days we’ve had all of our outside cats penned up in the garage to keep them safe from the cold. The garage now smells like the elephant cage at the zoo… after it hasn’t been cleaned for three months. FYI… it is impossible to keep a garage clean with five male cats locked up in it *shudders* We have ONE cat we haven’t been able to catch and I have been worrying myself silly over her. She was dumped here at some point (people just love to dump their unwanted animals in the country) and is almost completely feral now. She comes out to get food and water and pals around with one of my male cats (who is in the garage) but won’t come near us, so I couldn’t get her into the garage. So what have I been doing? Shoveling fourteen times a day to make paths to the porch for her, setting out food and water bowls in strategic places, changing the water bowls every time they freeze (like once an hour) and fretting myself into a nervous breakdown over her safety.

Lately I have been all about the creamy foods. I know, I know… I can hear some of you out there saying, “how is this different from every other day for you, Janet?”. But it is. Yes, I absolutely love my creamy foods, I completely admit that little fact. :-D But recently, I’ve been craving things like rice pudding, meats with creamy sauces, and puddings like this one. I like to tell myself that it’s an attempt by my prehistoric brain cells to add a layer of fat to my body to keep warm. The problem being that if I add another layer of fat, I’ll have to turn sideways to get my hips through the doorways.

This pudding is oh so good. Very chocolatey, but not overly sweet, being as it’s a dark chocolate flavor. It definitely hits that “I need something creamy and chocolate” spot. And the topping I made? Oh, my. There was some left over after I topped the puddings and I may or may not have stood over the sink eating the rest of it plain. It’s creamy, yet surprisingly light and not too sweet or too over the top cocoa flavored at all; the perfect foil for this pudding This is originally from The Food Network, with the topping being mine and the addition of the Kahlua being mine.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake; who is sick of shoveling snow.

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua Liqueur
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • Topping-
  • 4 ounces Mascarpone, room temp
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. I just shake it through a fine mesh strainer. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk it, forming a thick paste. Whisk the beaten egg yolks into the mixture.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepot, combine the remaining milk and the cream. Bring them to just barely a boil, then take off the heat. Slowly pour about half a cup of the hot milk over the cocoa mixture to temper the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk in the rest of the milk/cream.
  3.  Pour the pudding back into the pot you used for the milk. Whisk in the vanilla and the Kahlua. Cook over not quite medium heat, stirring constantly (a wooden spoon or silicone spatula works best), making sure to get to the edges of the pan. When the mixture starts to thicken up, about 5 minutes or so, remove from the heat. You want this to almost, but not quite, come to a boil. Drop the chopped chocolate into the hot pudding, stirring until it melts.
  4. Now you have a choice. If you’re not worried about a few little lumps (I wasn’t) you can go ahead and divide this among your serving dishes now. If you want it lump free (truthfully, if you made sure to stir well while cooking, you really shouldn’t have any), you can pour this through a mesh strainer into a bowl and then put it into serving dishes. Do whichever makes you happy. This makes 4 8 ounce servings, 8 4 ounce servings, 16 2 ounce servings, 32…. sorry. I’ll stop now.
  5. Cover each dish of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, make your topping. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, cocoa and sugar. Whisk to combine well. Pour in the cream and whisk gently (so you don’t wear cream) until combined. Then, whisk more vigorously until it thickens up to firm peaks, about 4 minutes.
  7. Serve the pudding topped with the mascarpone cream and some shaved or grated chocolate.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

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Mini Apple Cinnamon Pound Cakes With Crunchy Streusel

 

Apple Cinnamon Pound Cake

Apple Cinnamon Pound Cake



I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus recently. I HAD been trying to post Monday through Friday, but some minor health issues have prevented that much posting. But… God willing, I’m back. Ok, so it’s not Monday yet, but I didn’t feel like waiting. Because I love you. And I wanted cake. Now. On a totally unrelated note, who had an awesome Valentines Day!? Neither my husband nor I are big on the whole “show your affection one day a year” thing, so I live vicariously through the roses and chocolates of others. I do however, tend to get small gifts for my kids on Valentines Day. I got the boys little boxes of chocolates for a buck apiece at Wal-Mart. Only young males could get those and then say “wow, this is awesome chocolate, momma. And it smells so good!” It takes a 5 pound box of Godiva to get that reaction from me.

I’ve said before that when it comes to cake, pound cake always tops my list. It’s buttery…since most of the recipes for it use about 42 sticks of butter. It’s rich; that could be that whole butter thing again. Yet, it’s not heavy and overly sweet as cakes with frosting can be. Which means you can eat more.

I got the original recipe for this from a Southern Living Magazine. No idea what month or year since it’s just a torn out recipe now. But it’s quite tasty. It didn’t turn out particularly pretty, nor did it rise as high as I’m used to pound cake rising, but it tastes really good and ultimately, isn’t that all that matters? This has a lovely apple cinnamon flavor and those yummy, crispity (yes, that’s now a word. Welcome to “Janet Language”) edges everyone loves. Plus, you get streusel and we all know how much I love streusel. it could be that whole butter thing with that, too. Butter is love. Butter is also big hips, greasy fingers and hardened arteries but I prefer to think of it as love.

You know the drill…. :-D

Mrs. Cupcake… who needs more pound cake.

Mini Apple Cinnamon Pound Cakes With Crunchy Streusel

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Streusel-
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Glaze-
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of apple juice (can sub milk or water)
  1. In a small bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 6 mini loaf pans (the disposable foil ones are fine), set them inside a baking pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Add in the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients; whisk well.
  5. Alternately add the flour mixture and the apple cider (juice) to the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour (third of the flour, half the juice, third of the flour, rest of the juice, rest of the flour). Beat just until combined after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  6. Divide the batter between the 6 loaf pans. Sprinkle two to three tablespoons of the streusel over each pan (if you have any streusel left over, just bag it up and freeze it.).
  7. Bake at 350 until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick of wooden skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pans on a rack. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the pound cakes.

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Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas (Blogger C.L.U.E.)

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas



Hey everybody! Time for another month of Blogger Clue. You remember… it’s a group I’m a part of on Facebook where we peruse the blogs of one other member in the group and pick a recipe from their blog; one that fits a certain theme. This months theme was “Red”. I mean, Valentines Day and all; makes sense, huh?

I was having a hard time finding something to fit the theme on the blog I was given, which was Lemon And Anchovies run by a lovely lady named Jean. Jean’s blog is wonderful; lots of great recipes I wanted to try… just not many with red, lol. There was a gorgeous raspberry tart in her blog, but I couldn’t afford the berries right now and I will try that one in Spring when berries aren’t as high as a mortgage payment and aren’t shipped from another planet somewhere in a different solar system..

But lookee what I found! I know, chickpeas aren’t red, but these are Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas and anything buffalo style is red, right? Of course right :-p Other than in hummus, it was only fairly recently that I started using chickpeas in things. I may be weird, but to me, they taste almost exactly like boiled peanuts. Since I love boiled peanuts, that means I also love them. And they are, nutritionally, a wonderful source of protein and fiber. But who cares about nutrition. They taste good. :-D I’ve always loved buffalo wings. I have been known to make a complete glutton of myself with them. We won’t talk about the time my son Cameron and I had a wing eating contest at Hooters once. We’ll just leave it at I won by ONE wing.

But since I don’t want to weigh 500 pounds, I have to find alternate buffalo fixes. These fit the bill quite nicely. A bit spicy, a bit garlicky and with a nice crunch. I was out of olive oil, so I used all butter with this recipe. I think it worked well, as butter is what is usually used in wings. It made it a bit less healthy, but… ummmm… this is me. I also used a touch of onion powder and I increased the oven temp to 425. Jean mentioned that hers didn’t get as crispy as she’d like so I thought a slight jump in temp might take care of that. I think my theory may have been right, because these were wonderfully crunchy.

You know the drill…

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

(My changes in parentheses)

 

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas ,drained, rinsed and dried well.
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and no olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (garlic powder not garlic salt)
  • (1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
  • Pinch salt
  • 4½ tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 (425 is what I did). Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl; toss to coat.
  2. Lay in a single layer in a pan and bake for 40 to 45 (only took 30 in a 425 oven) minutes, until browned and crispy.
  3. Hide them from everyone else and eat them all.
  4. Go to Jeans blog and tell her she’s wonderful.

Here are all the participants in this months Blogger C.L.U.E. Go check out what they made. Somewhere in there you’ll find one that made a recipe form little old me. Be scared for them. Be very scared.

 

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Participating Bloggers:

Peanut Butter Banana Cake With Chocolate Chips And Streusel

Peanut Butter Banana Cake With Chocolate Chips And Streusel

Peanut Butter Banana Cake With Chocolate Chips And Streusel




Have I mentioned lately how much I adore all of you? Well, if nothing else gives it away, this post should. I have made absolutely NO secret of my distaste for peanut butter :-P I think I burned out on it as a kid cause I just don’t much like it now. I do however love weird flavored ones, like Jifs smores one or a few flavors from Peanut Butter & Co. And I even get a craving for a PB&J like twice a year. But do I have the love for it that I hear many people talk of? Do I have a spoon permanently stuck in a jar of Skippy? Do I make recipes and then rhapsodize over the intense flavor of peanut butter? Do I make plans for a secret wedding and honeymoon in the Bahamas with a jar of Kroger brand? Ok, so maybe I haven’t really heard of anyone doing that, but give it time… give it time. I have a few peanut butter loving friends who are single.

But I realized I was being unfair to you, my faithful readers, my glorious compadres, my pals, my besties, my… sorry. I’ll stop now. Many of you like peanut butter. I have no idea why, but nonetheless, you do. :-D And I love you in spite of this fatal flaw. So this is for you… and you.. and you. Out of my love for you, I suffered through the scent of baking peanut butter. I may now need intensive therapy (I’m pushing this, aren’t I?)

Moving on now… I adapted this from a cake in my Bon Appetit cookbook. I know the combo of banana, peanut butter and chocolate is popular, so I thought we’d go there.  According to my husband, who likes peanut butter (and I also keep him too, in spite of this fatal flaw), this isn’t a heavy peanut butter flavor. I tried a bit (SEE how much I love you?) and I disagree. I tasted peanut butter, banana and then there’s the chocolate chips. I like chocolate chips. :-D This is a nice tender snack style cake, one of those that would go great at a church pot luck or t share with the neighbors. It has a nice texture thanks to the streusel.

You know the drill… :-D

Peanut Butter Banana Cake With Chocolate Chips And Streusel

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1 12 ounce package chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, peanut butter and butter. Use a heavy spoon to mix well until it is blended and crumbly. Scoop out one cup of this mixture and set aside.
  3. Add the eggs, milk, mashed banana,baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and banana flavorings to the bowl. Beat on low speed with a hand mixer until moistened. Then increase the speed and beat until well blended, about 3 minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Stir in one cup of the chocolate chips. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the reserved streusel, then with the remaining chocolate chips.
  4. Bake at 350 until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool in pan. Cut and serve. Store loosely covered at room temp.

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Cinnamon Sticky Buns

 

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

Cinnamon Sticky Buns



I always get confused when I see how nervous some people are about the idea of working with yeast. I mean no disrespect by that. I also get confused by at least 948 other things every day. It’s just that I started making yeast breads and pastries when I was still a fairly novice cook. Now I’ll look at recipes that seem pretty straightforward and they’ll have warnings about “Once you master this, you can move on to harder things like danish pastry and croissants”. Hmmmm… one of the first things I ever made were homemade croissants. I didn’t know that, as a beginner, I wasn’t supposed to be able to make them or that I was supposed to be scared to even try. I could read, therefore I could bake.

Point being, that’s what I want for all of you. If you can read and have any cooking ability at all (I qualify that because if opening a can of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee is beyond your skill level and you only come to blogs to send the recipes to your mom, I make no promises :-P ), you can make yeast raised baked goods with no problem. They take a little more patience is all and a little more with certain things, like the temps of liquids. Too hot and you can kill the yeast. Too cold and it won’t activate at all. But all you need is an instant read thermometer and you’re good to go. Bake enough and you won’t even need that. You’ll be able to test the temp with your finger and know if it’s right.

I first made these sticky buns in about 1990 or so and have been making them ever since. More or less. It occurred to me the other day that I have never made them for my husband and he and I have been together over seven years. Seven years with no sticky buns!!? What was I thinking?! So it was time. And I am so glad I did. Tender, slightly sweet pastry with a buttery, sweet and cinnamony filling, all smothered in a sticky, teenie tiny bit chewy glaze. These are wonderful fresh out of the oven. These are wonderful room temp. These are just wonderful; period. These are done with a stand mixer and I’ll give directions that way, but you can always, always do yeast doughs by hand.

You know the drill…. :-) and no fear is your motto!! Well, that and “I’m going to eat a pan of sticky buns all by myself!”

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

  • dough- 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (between 110 to 115 degrees)
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to about 120 degrees
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 5 to 6 cups flour (it will vary each and every time due to weather, humidity, moisture content of the flour, etc)
  • filling-
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • glaze-
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (whichever you prefer; I like to use dark)
  • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup (this provides the “sticky” part; don’t omit it. Corn syrup is NOT the same thing as HFCS)
  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans
  1. Sprinkle the 2 packs of yeast over the warm water. Let sit for 3 minutes or so to dissolve. When you go to get it, it should be bubbling and foamy. If not, your yeast may be dead and you should probably use different yeast. Better to do that than waste an entire recipes worth of ingredients.
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla extract and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on low just long enough to combine. Add in the yeast and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Change over to the dough hook and beat until smooth.  Add in 2 1/2 cups more flour. Beat until it is a shaggy mass. It may still be somewhat sticky. Add in another 1/4 cup of flour at a time if needed and beat to incorporate. You want a final dough that is SLIGHTLY tacky, but doesn’t leave dough on your fingers when you press into it. This batch took a full six cups of flour for me. Other times, I’ve used about 5 to 5 1/2 cups.
  3. Turn your speed up to 2 or 3 and let the dough hook do the kneading work for you. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes; work that gluten! :-P
  4. Turn dough out into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat both sides, then cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise. Let the dough rise until it is about doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, make your glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients and combine until totally mixed and no streaks of butter show. Divide mixture between 2 9 inch cake pans, using your fingers to pat it all the way across the bottoms of the pan. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Set aside and start your oven preheating to 350 degrees.
  6. When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Roll it into about a 24×12 rectangle. Don’t stress if it’s not perfect.
  7. Break up the 1/2 cup softened butter and scatter it across the dough. Use your fingers to spread it all over the dough, right to the edges. Sprinkle with the 2/3 cup sugar and then the cinnamon.
  8. Roll the dough tightly from a long end into a cylinder. Trim off the uneven edges (trust me; you’ll have uneven edges) and do what you want with them. You can bake them up in a small pan or I have heard that dogs adore raw dough. Go figure. Cut the dough into 16 pieces with a sharp knife. Lay the slices in the prepared pans, 8 per pan. Let rise again until just about doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes or so.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops of the rolls are golden brown and you can see the glaze bubbling around them, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes to set the glaze somewhat, then invert the pan onto a rimmed plate or serving dish.
  10. These are best warm and fresh, but if you don’t use them all, just wrap them tightly and store on the counter. You can reheat them easily in the microwave. For the record, you can let them rise in the pan, then freeze a pan for another time if two pans is too much. Just wrap the pan tightly with foil and freeze. When you want to bake them, let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw and bake them as directed above. They may take a bit longer is all.

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Easy Red Velvet Cupcakes- (Recipe Re-do)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes



Sometimes I look back on my old photos. Then, I start to cry. Followed by hysterical laughter, embarrassed under the bed hiding and vows to pretend I don’t know who I am if I ever meet myself in public.

Mind you, I’m still far from a world class photographer. Bon Appetit isn’t going to be printing any of my photos anytime soon. Heck, sometimes I refuse my own photos and send myself haughty emails saying “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. But all of that aside, I like to think I’ve gotten a wee bit better over the years. Aside from all of that though, I have a couple dozen more readers than I did back when I started. Maybe. On a good day. And some of the things I did back in the day were quite tasty, but one would never know it based on the photos. I actually bake some of the goodies I made back when I started. So I’ve decided to periodically redo some of my older recipes. If they need revamped, I’ll do that. If they don’t, I’ll simply remake them and hopefully give them better photos.

The latter is the case today. I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes Christmas and Valentines Day are the times when everyone goes Red Velvet happy. I didn’t do anything red velvet for Christmas, so Valentines Day it is. Chocolate is the perfect food for romance and love. I know, some say oysters are, but I want one person to explain to me how something that looks like a lump of snot is romantic. Wait… too blunt and kinda gross? Sorry. But seriously (heh… *I* used the word seriously. Me. Feel free to giggle.), chocolate is romantic.

Are cupcakes, though? I think that depends on ones manners. if you are the type to eat daintily and offer bits to your s/o. maybe. If however, you shove the whole thing in your face and then burp and giggle, you may want to make alternate plans for your Saturday nights. Just sayin’

These are yummy cupcakes and easy as boxed mix. Wait. They are boxed mix. Guess what. They can also use Cool Whip in the frosting. That one is optional. You can also sub real freshly whipped cream. I’ve done both and prefer the whipped cream because it makes the frosting less sweet. But these are intensely chocolatey cupcakes with a rich, creamy frosting. Chocolate…romance…love… just leave oysters out of it. And burps.

You know the drill… :-)

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 4 ounce box of instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup whipped cream or cool whip
  1. Preheat oven to temp suggested on cake mix box. Line 20 muffin cups with liners, or grease them well.
  2. Prepare cake mix as package directs, adding in the box of instant pudding and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Beat well for two minutes. The mixture will be thick. It will also be tasty…. don’t eat too much. :-D
  3.  Fill the prepared cups about half full. Don’t overfill; this batter rises like crazy. If you need to use more cups, just line more. But I got 20.
  4. Bake according to package directions. When done, turn out onto a rack to cool.
  5. While they cool, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter and remaining vanilla extract until light and fluffy looking. Add in the powdered sugar; here is where I usually stir it with the beater OFF, just to prevent being covered in sugar dust. When it’s mixed, turn the beater to high and beat until the mixture is thick and creamy, about three to five minutes.
  6. Spread or pipe frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Decorate as desired.

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