*Stands up at the front of the room and clears my throat* Hi there. My name is Janet and I’m a slacker. I mean, how else can I explain away an absence of almost a month? Sure, I could give you a line (truthful though it may be) about being under the weather in recent weeks. I could say that life has been busy, which it has. No one with a seven year old, other kids, a spouse and a household to care for can deny that one. But none of that is good enough. Had I really TRIED, I could have found the time and energy to post here. You ladies and gentlemen deserve nothing less than my all. In my defense, I made something (a chocolate/peanut butter bundt cake) about a week ago that I was going to post, but it turned out so badly even the kids didn’t like it. So no go. I won’t post less than delicious foods.
But I’m back. You can now be frightened. :-p
It’s been an interesting few weeks. Lots of snow, missed school days due to said snow because we live in the south, lots of cussing when the fire goes out in the house and we start to freeze to death (I died four time during the last month, but then my husband remade the fire and revived me. 😀 My toes, however, are still frozen.) and many moments of “The Momma” (that would be me) verging on insanity when no one could go outside and I got no alone time.
So what am I back with on this snowy Valentines Day? Well, anyone who likes sweet foods has heard of Tres Leches Cake, correct? It is a sponge cake that is soaked in three different types of milk. Theories abound as to where it originated, but generally, it is seen as a treat stemming from South and Central America. While I like the typical one just fine, I wanted to play with the soaking liquid a bit, so I used Rumchata in place of some of the milk.
About a year ago, I discovered the liqueur called RumChata. It’s a creamy liqueur based on Horchata, the delicious rice and milk beverage (the origins of horchata are also disputed, so I am so NOT going to get into where it came from) that is enjoyed in Mexico and has become a trendy drink in the states now, too. While we all know I tend to balk at trendiness, I bought an airplane sized bottle of the RumChata on a whim one day and absolutely loved it. I describe it as alcoholic liquid rice pudding. That is truly what it tastes like.
This cake is pretty darn easy. It’s a sponge cake, so yes, you have to separate your eggs and whips up the whites, but I have complete faith in your egg beating abilities. :-p Then all you do is whisk together the milks for the top, poke some holes in the cake and pour. Top it with the easily mixed together topping and voila, a delicious, somewhat boozy dessert (obviously just for the adults). This is the perfect treat to bring along to a book club, a dinner for adults (bring some cookies for the kids), and cut in half, makes enough for you and your sweetie with some left over. The original tres leches cake recipe that I adapted comes from Bon Appetit.
You know the drill… 🙂
RumChata Tres Leches Cake With A Creamy Cinnamon Mascarpone Topping
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Rumchata
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- Mascarpone topping-
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup RumChata
- Soaking liquid-
- 1/2 cup RumChata
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks (save the rest for something like creme brulee)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13×9 inch pan, preferably glass.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
- In a large, scrupulously clean bowl, beat the egg whites at medium to high speed (I tend to start out lower and speed it up as they get firmer) until firm peaks form, about 6 minutes or so.
- Gradually add in the sugar, beating well. Then add in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition..Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture, alternating it with the 1/2 cup RumChata, starting and ending with the flour (flour, Rumchata, flour, Rumchata, flour).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 and continue baking until the cake is golden brown and the center springs back if gently pressed.
- Let it cool in the pan for ten minutes, then invert it onto a rack that has been placed over a rimmed cookie or baking sheet.
- Whisk together the milk ingredients. Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer and pour about half of the liquid slowly over the top of the cake. Let that soak in for ten minutes.Invert the cake over a large platter and drizzle the rest of the milks over the top of the cake.
- For the topping, simply beat together those ingredients until creamy. Dust the cake with powdered sugar, slice and serve with a dollop of the creamy topping.
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Old Fashioned Fruitcake
A couple of weeks ago, I asked on the blogs facebook page if the readers liked or hated fruitcake. I was fully expecting a lot of “ewwww, I HATE fruitcake!”. But to my surprise, the vast majority of the responses were people saying they either loved it or had at least learned to appreciate it. Yep… fruitcake. Candied peels, unnaturally dyed cherries and pineapple, the whole kit and kaboodle.Â I was totally tickled since I have always loved fruitcake.
About ten years or so ago, I started making my own. I got the recipe from The New Doubleday Cookbook, one I used to have, but have since lost *sobs* (excellent cookbook btw… if you can find it, get it). Luckily, a few years ago, I was able to find the exact recipe on an about.com site. Yay! This is a typical fruitcake recipe, similar to what one would get at a higher end grocery or through mail order. But even though the fruits are expensive, this is still cheaper than buying one prebaked, plus you know the ingredients going in and the biggest plus, it tastes ten times fresher. ANDDDDDD, you soak this bad boy in a rum or brandy soaked cheesecloth (you can sub apple juice) to up the drunken goodness lol.
This isn’t at all difficult. But you DO need to get this made now for it to be ready for Christmas eating. It is a two day process to make it then it ripens in the soaked cloth for 3 weeks. Could you eat it immediately? I suppose so, but trust me, it tastes far better as it ages. Also, the original recipe calls for making this in a ten inch tube pan. I use two loaf pans; one large, one 8 inch. It works perfectly and that way I have one cake I can soak in rum and one I soak in juice to be kid friendly. Otherwise, I have changed this recipe very little. I add a bit more dried fruit, more vanilla and almond extract, less nuts, no currants and that’s about it. Ok, so maybe I’ve changed it more than I realized lol. Regardless, I’m going to write this as I make it.
You know the drill…. 🙂
Old Fashioned Fruitcake
- Fruit Mixture-
- 1 1/2 lbs fruitcake mix (found this time of year in any grocery store, usually near or in the produce section)
- 8 ounce container candied lemon or orange peels (your preference)
- 8 ounces raisins
- 8 ounces golden raisins (can use a full lb of one or the other if you prefer)
- 8 ounce container candied cherries
- 8 ounces finely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
- zest of 2 large lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup brandy, rum or orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- Cheesecloth for wrapping
- Rum, Brandy or Apple Juice for soaking
- Place all the fruit mixture ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well to mix. Cover the bowl and let it sit overnight at room temp.
- The next day, preheat oven to 250 degrees and grease and flour the bottom of either a 10 inch tube pan or two loaf pans.Â Put a large shallow baking pan filled with boiling water on the bottom rack of your oven.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ones. Beat just enough to thoroughly blend. Now, carefull spoon the fruit mixture into the bowl of batter. Stir well to combine and make sure all the fruit is covered well in batter.
- Pours into the prepared pan or pans. Bake at 250 degrees for approximately 4 1/2 hours, until the cake has shrunk slightly from the sides of the pan and/or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it. MOIST, not liquidy.
- Cool in the pan on a rack for one hour. Loosen the edges with a butter knife then carefully turn out onto the rack to finish cooling. When completely cooled, wrap the cake(s) in a rum, brandy or juice soaked cheesecloth, then wrap tightly in foil. Let ripen for at least 3 weeks. This can be aged even longer. Just make sure to redampen the cheesecloth every three weeks. Just remember, the more you soak this, the more alcohol is getting into it, so don’t eat and drive! 😛
Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission
Today is my one year blog-iversary. Yep; I am a year old today. That won’t come as a surprise to most of you whom I sure often think that I have the maturity level of a one year old. Though truthfully, that may be an insult to the vast majority of one year olds, now that I think about it.
But yep… From Cupcakes To Caviar is one year old today. Now I can get one of those cool widgets that shows recipes from a year ago without the widget looking at me and saying “Whatchoo talkin’ bout Janet? You can’t use this yet.” And yes, in my little world, widgets talk. So do animals, both real and stuffed, my computer keyboard, various fruits and vegetables, my ceramic pigs and my toes. This could be why no one else ever wants to enter my little world. But that’s ok, because going by the above list, I already have tooÂ much damn company for my own good. Oh yeah… and Twinkies. They talk to me. Lots. Usually they just say “eat me… NOW, wench!” and I am so frightened I obey. Twinkies are Demi Gods.
So today for my blog-i-versary, I bring you brownies. No no, not just any brownies. C’mon how often do I do things the normal way? No, these are special “don’t feed them to your kids” brownies. No really; don’t. They have booze in them, on them, drizzled over them. These are a cocktail in fudgy form. I don’t want to be responsible for drunken kiddos.
I was actually rather proud of how these turned out. The brownies are thick, incredibly fudgy and have a nice chewy bite to them (have I mentioned that I love Cooks Illustrated in recent days?) The original recipe came from C.I. with just a few minor changes made by me. But the buttercream frosting and the Kahlua Caramel Drizzle (yes, you read that right. Thank me later) are all me. The Kahlua drizzle is absolutely amazing if I do say so myself. It is thick and chewy and intensely Kahlua-ish (hey, I needed a word! Don’t be hatin’)
But that’s not all. For sticking with me for a year (or in some cases, since you started reading this post because someone told you there was a giveaway… it’s all good) I have a present for you. But to find out what it is, you have to click that “continue reading” link hehehe. Continue reading
I was playing with the editing setting and liked the glowing look here. It fits for drunk fruit 😀
I like drunk fruits. I like the way they giggle and the way they look at their hands like they have just discovered the most amazing thing since sliced bread (especially since it would be hard to slice said bread w/out the hands). I like the way their cheeks get all red and glowy looking when they have become drunk fruit. I like the way they lose all inhibitions and start talking a mile a minute and are no longer timid and shy.
Wait. Fruits don’t have hands do they? And they can’t slice bread. Nor do they giggle and I’m pretty sure that they have no inhibitions to lose. Sigh. I think…maybe…possibly that what I was describing is what happens when I get a hold of fruits that have been made drunk, i.e., shoved into a bottle of alcohol and left to get pickled… sloshed, tipsy…. totally and completely wasted.
But wouldn’t it be awesomeÂ if fruit could do all of those things?! It would probably be far more entertaining to watch a giggling talkative Apricot than it is when I am the one talking a mile a minute with red cheeks and looking at my hands like they are doing things that a disco ball can only dream of.
So in honor of drunk fruits…or a tipsy me; pick whichever makes you giggle more, I am sharing a recipe for a drunken Apricot. Many many of them as a matter of fact. And these little boogers appreciate it because they start out all dried and shriveled and end up looking like Meg Ryan after more collagen injections (can anyone please explain to me why she did that btw? ICK! She was cute before but now my apricots look better!).
I originally got this recipe off of food.com but have changed it quite a bit over the years. The bottle I have right now (it’s not the first I’ve made) is now over 2 years old and as smooth as a babies bottom. Ok, maybe equating the booze I’m trying to get you to drink with a baby tush isn’t the greatest analogy but you know what I mean 😀 Give this a try. the longer it sits, the smoother it gets. Just don’t be fooled; this packs a punch. The sweet mild taste can be deceiving. Believe me… I know. 😛
- 4 cups decent quality vodka
- 1 cup sugar
- rind from one small lemon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces dried apricots
- Mix the sugar with 1/4 cup hot water to dissolve it somewhat.
- In a large scrupulously clean bottle (I have used bottles I have found at yard sales, a large glass crock and what actually worked best was an empty gallon wine glass wine jug.), mix together all of your ingredients. Shake well and then cap or put lid on if using a crock.
- Store in a dark cool place for at least one week. Remember, the flavor will get more intense and the alcohol bite smoother the longer it sits so if you’d like to make this as say, gifts for Christmas, I’d say to start now to give it time to pick up flavors.
- You can strain this through cheesecloth if the little tiny bits of fruit in it annoy you aesthetically but to be honest, I’ve never bothered. There isn’t actual fruit in it and there is not even to notice. You can only see it in bright light like what these photos were taken in.
- Serve in SMALL glasses (lol) or use in baking. It goes wonderfully in an apricot pound cake.