Tag Archives: Sweet tooth

Hallow’s Eve Chocolate Bark

Can you all believe that the month of October is pretty much over?

Where have all the days gone?

The days just flew too quickly! I swear it was my sister’s birthday, then my uncle’s, my dad’s, and my close family friends (aka my other uncle’s) birthday just one after another. It was a “bam, bam, bam” scenario when it comes to their birthdays. Well more so for my oom (uncle in Dutch), my dad, and dear Bruce as they are within a few days of each other. But still!

And tomorrow is the eve of Halloween!

Are you all set for the festivities that come with the thirty-first?

I’m not! I still need to get more latex and other special effects for my boyfriend’s face! I’ll show you a photo of what I will be doing to him.

Two Face Harvey Dent

And if you don’t know what exactly is going to be done, here is a little instruction demo about what you can do with liquid latex. I did this to him to figure out what I am doing:

His mom called frantic!
His mom called frantic!

I don’t even have anything for my own costume! We also haven’t even carved out pumpkins!

BUT I did make a cool and spooky bark for this afternoon for work. I don’t work on Saturday so I thought I’d spice up the work day with some candy corn and black and orange sprinkles.

I got the recipe for the bark from Family Fresh Meals. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though.

I tried to follow the recipe. Well actually I did, I just couldn’t for the life of me find tiny candy eye balls! All I can think of is that Americans must be odd with their candy eyes on normal shelves in stores.

Though I am rather sad that none of our Oreo cookies have an orange or yellow filling to go with the season. They are all white and boring!

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 225g bags white chocolate chipits
  • 8 Oreo cookies, broken up into chunks
  • 1 cup (112g) pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup (1,248g) candy corn
  • 1 teaspoon black sprinkles
  • ½ teaspoon orange and black sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Melt the white chocolate at a low heat until smooth. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

  2. While chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cover with cookie chunks, pretzels, and candy corn.

  3. Once chocolate has completely melted, pour over cookie sheet. Spread with a spatula to ensure chocolate is evenly distributed over everything.

  4. While chocolate is still sticky, scatter candy corn on chocolate, sprinkle sprinkles, and pop in refrigerator until hard.

  5. Break into chunks and enjoy!

Halloween BarkHalloween Bark

The black sprinkles are too cool for words. They have a bit of a sparkly sheen to them! I got them at a special baking store actually! The baking store is attached to a bakery that sells classic French pastries, like macarons, croissants, and éclairs! How lovely, right?

Black Sprinkles

I found out that I love lavender madeleine’s though! I even bought a mold to try and make them myself.

We’ll see if I will be able to make madeleine’s! I hope I can!

Black and Orange sprinkles

As you can see these are my other sprinkles! I have a feeling I will be decorating everything in orange and black for a good while! I may make a funfetti cake with orange and black sprinkles. That would be neat. Or a chocolate funfetti cake, you know as the orange would be the only thing sticking out? Actually do people ever do that?

Whatever! That was my masterpiece and I cannot wait to bring it into work! Even with the big boss lady coming in. I’m sure she will enjoy it!

Hope you all have a spooky Halloween!

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Authentic Sweet & Tart Lemon Meringue Pie

Growing up, my absolute favourite dessert to eat was lemon meringue pie. I remember desiring as my birthday cake even! But when I think of a lemon meringue pie I think of a light fluffy meringue which is browned from the heat of an oven, you know with those beautiful browned tips? Well I recently tried a lemon meringue pie here and I was so incredibly put off. My friends who are both South African told me that what I had was what is South African but I even googled photos of what I know as the pie and was told off that that isn’t what is known here.

They use meringue cookies as a meringue topping!
They use meringue cookies as a meringue topping!

So I thought I would make a lemon meringue pie as I know it to show my friends. Last night I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch to test on my parents and if it turned out amazingly I would later make another one for my friends. Thankfully mom and dad both loved the pie that I will most definitely be making another one!

Though I am never whisking my egg whites to make a meringue again. It took me probably more than thirty-five minutes to make a meringue. My right arm was ready to fall off. I was even wishing Austin had hands instead of paws so he could have whisked for me. If he could speak he would have told you that too.

Meringue Held Up

Anyway, I got the recipe from the Spiced Blog. I did look at multiple lemon meringue pie recipes but this one seemed the easiest to read and make. The direct link for the recipe can be found here.

Fresh Lemon Meringue Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of phyllo pastry, store bought
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) white sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (9.38g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cups (315ml) water
  • ½ cup (118ml) lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (19g) white sugar
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions:

Pie Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 218ᵒC (425ᵒF)
  2. Roll the pie dough into a 9” (23cm) pie pan, press pie crust into dish and poke with several holes from a fork. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until shell is a golden brown color.
  3. Remove pie crust from oven and allow to cool.

Lemon Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, slightly beat the egg yolks and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Bring mixture to a boil on medium-high heat.
  3. Once mixture begins to boil, gradually stir about ½ cup into the bowl with the egg yolks.
  4. Transfer egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining lemon juice mixture. Whisk until combined and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in butter. Transfer filling into the cooled pie crust.

Meringue Topping

  1. Preheat oven to 176ᵒC (350ᵒF)
  2. Using a medium bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Whip until foamy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until meringue is stiff and glossy (this took me 35+ minutes, so use a mixer)
  4. Spread the meringue on top of the lemon filling, dust pie with powdered sugar and bake for 8-10 minutes or until meringue turns light golden brown. Allow pie to cool to room temperature and then cover lightly and place it in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve chilled.

Lemon Meringue Slice

Although my arm (and back) hurt from overworking, the pie came out PERFECTLY!

Though personally I wouldn’t have dusted the pie with powdered sugar, so next time I’ll probably omit that, though it did turn out quite well.

It is just a shame that as of today both mom and dad are on a diet of only meat and veg meaning no more pie for them. Luckily our housekeeper will be coming in tomorrow and she has quite the sweet tooth. So much that I’ve notice she even at my homemade baked dog treats I made last month! Thankfully they were vegetarian and more like a sweet treat with agave and honey in it with cinnamon. That wouldn’t have been good if they were non-vegetarian with ground beef in them – YUCK.

So hopefully Lizzie will eat more than enough of the lemon meringue pie! Someone should and I’d rather it not be me! Anyway I hope you all enjoy this recipe and make it yourself!

Happy eating!

Apple and Cinnamon Pastry Roses

I made the best breakfast/dessert ever!

I’ve recently started a new diet which I will get into another day, but with my new diet I make new things which suit me better.

Less sugar and yet more heavenly.

This is the first time in two weeks that I have actually had something legitimately sweet. You know what though? This wasn’t even all that sweet. It was as I said: heavenly.

Pre-Baking

Last night I made a quiche for the first time ever and had so much extra puff pastry, so rather than toss it out as mom would have done, I saved it. I looked up some great desserts and breakfasts which utilized the puff pastry and found something amazing.

I got the recipe from trusty ole Betty Crocker, however the direct link to the recipe can be found here.

As for the ingredients, the recipe says to use 3 medium apples, I however used 5 small apples. Because in Africa there seem to only be 3 types of apples at the grocery stores. Green ones, red ones, and small ones. Where I’m from the green one is usually a Granny Smith apple, the red one is a Red Delicious apple, and the small one? I’m pretty sure it is a small Jonagold but I can’t be too sure.

apple-types

Anyway here are the ingredients:

  • 3 medium (450g) apples
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Flour for sprinkling
  • Puffy pastry dough (leftovers from previous meal work)
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 204ᵒC (400ᵒF) and grease 9 silicone muffin cups. (Silicone is less likely to stick to your cinnamon apple roses)

  2. Wash and core apples and slice thinly, leave on the peel.

  3. In small saucepan, fill with four cups (a thousand mL) water, four tablespoons sugar and two tablespoons lemon juice. Bring water to boil and blanche your sliced apples for three minutes or until soft.

  4. Drain apples from water and allow to dry in paper towel.

  5. Sprinkle flour on work space and roll out dough sheet. Sprinkle four tablespoons sugar and two tablespoons cinnamon on dough and slice with pizza knife. Each line of dough should be an inch wide.

  6. Arrange cooled apples (skin-side down) on cinnamon covered dough and roll up to make a rose.

  7. Bake for twenty-five minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.

  8. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Pastry Roses
Apple Cinnamon Pastry Rosess

These were fantastic! Absolutely fantastic! Best of all when Daddy came home from running errands he said he didn’t know that cinnamon rolls came like that, I told him that they didn’t, that this was all me! He was very impressed. Then he bit into one and was even more impressed.

Only issue I had with this recipe was that my oven sucks. Does anyone else have trouble reading the dials on their oven? This house I live in has been a company house for the last five years and before that was lived in by the owner. Because of that there is a lot of wear and tear to it. Like on the oven! UGH

Dials rubbed off

Overall great recipe! A must try for each of you and something I’ll have to make again one day!

Happy eating!

Homemade Dog Biscuits for a Melancholy Day

Pets. Pets are the children you always wanted but never had. They may usually walk around on four legs and be on the hairy side of things, but they are your everything and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Austin, although somewhat devious and aggressive, is the light of my eye. On some days he is my own baby and on others he is the little brother I never had. His nose is the only nose I will allow to get up in my business when I am asleep on the couch. I really do not mind his kisses when I sleep even. He is my perfection.

Austin looking handsome!
Austin looking handsome!

Today mom and I went to a memorial for Jasmine, a doggie friend of Austin’s who had recently passed away. I wasn’t sure what to bring to such a gathering that I quickly made a batch of dog treats. I of course tested them on Austin the previous night which he thankfully enjoyed and then brought a box of them to the Dog Run to share with the recently deceased’s “brother” and other dog friends. Every four-legged friend loved the treats (as did the humans!) as the biscuits were human-friendly!

So for today’s Sweet tooth Saturday I’ve got dog treats for you all!

I got the recipe from this dog treat book that my ten second ex-boyfriend gave me for Christmas. It is a lovely book with a variety of recipes for your furry friend. The book is called ‘What a Dog’s Life!!’ and has some truly lovely recipes!

Dog biscuits before being baked!

Dog biscuits and recipe book

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon cardamom
  • 1 Tablespoon clove powder
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup (250g) honey
  • 2 eggs

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients with 1 egg until you have a dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and leave to stand in refrigerator for a half hour. Preheat oven to 160ᵒC (320ᵒF).

  2. Once firm, remove dough from fridge and roll dough out on flour covered surface. Cut out shapes and cover them with egg wash (used with other egg).

  3. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

  4. Remove from oven and serve to animals once significantly cooled down.

This was a great recipe! Honestly, pretty taste for a human too!

Not all that sweet. Though mine were less sweet because I actually ran out of honey half way in the recipe and used some agave nectar in addition to the honey! Now usually my agave nectar is on the thick side like honey, however the most recent brand of agave nectar is more like water that it made my dough very runny. I had to add a lot of extra flour to this batch to this dough. No idea how much more, but quite a decent amount!

So, after our lovely time with the dogs, Jazzie’s “mom” introduced us to what was Jazzie’s favourite treat and some dog-friendly popcorn – have you ever heard of that? Doggy popcorn? I’m thinking they have a special seasoning that dogs actually like. Though I did once try some dog popcorn that no one else would try.

Dog treats

I thought “what’s some dog popcorn when I used to eat dog food as a kid?” well the doggy popcorn wasn’t all that unique. Did have a dried dog food taste though.

Well this popcorn that we got for Austin looks like it does have a beef flavouring and as I do not eat beef I will not be tasting this one. It is all for Austin this time!

We also got these “inspiration cards” which were lovely notes from Jazzie. Notes that we can keep with ourselves for when we really need it. If you need some inspiration too, this is the note I got from Jazziebelle:

Inspiration Card from Jazzie

Anyway, if you have furballs of your own that you would like to treat to with something you know is good, then I hope you make them these lovely treats!

Give my love to your furballs for me and happy baking/eating!

Peanut Buttery Goodness and some Funfetti Drama

A few weeks ago I made choco chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for our housekeeper as a treat for the weekend. I’ve sort of made it a ritual to make something sweet for her as her one daughter who was the baker of her family passed away.

The Tuesday she came in, I asked her how the cookies were and she said they were wonderful. One of her daughters even asked for the recipe as her own daughters birthday was just around the corner and she wanted to make those cookies for her. I gave the recipe to Lizzie for her daughter but also had an idea up my sleeve to make a funfetti cake for Lizzie’s granddaughter for her birthday. What child wouldn’t want a funfetti cake to brighten up their day!?

Last week Tuesday I baked that cake for Lizzie’s granddaughters birthday which would be the following day. I will honestly say that I will not be making that cake again. It was far too brittle. But I iced it up and wrote “Happy Birthday” on the tin so that Lizzie can give it to the birthday girl the following day. It was pink and playful, perfect for any girl!

Pink and Girly Funfetti Cake

The following Tuesday Lizzie came in and she told me how her weekend went. She then told me that she added on the tin “Lizzie” so that it said “Happy Birthday Lizzie”. I was shocked. I asked her why she had done that when it was specifically for her granddaughter. She told me that she deserved it as she was the one working. Can you believe how selfish that is!? She also said that her daughter would have seen the tin saying “Happy Birthday” and immediately would have known it was for the birthday girl so Lizzie had to make it seem like it was for her.

Happy Birthday

I was so appalled. That’s a whole new level of greed if you ask me.

BUT I couldn’t stop my ritual because of her greediness, so today I made some peanut butter cookies. Simple and easy. I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (65g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (96g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, for coating

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF). Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until combined. Add an egg and vanilla extract and combine until creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together flour and baking powder. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until combined.
  3. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a small plate place 2 Tablespoons sugar on to coat cookies before placing on baking sheet. Roll a spoon full of cookie dough into balls and roll each ball between your hands. Roll balls in sugar to coat completely.
  4. Place cookie balls 2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet. Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly (about 12 minutes) when cookies begin to just brown around edges and crackle on top they are ready to be removed. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for ten minutes before transferring onto rack to cool completely.

Pre-BakingPost-BakingGrowing up there were two types of cookies mom would always make: 1) Peanut butter cookies 2) Oatmeal Raisin cookies.

To me, any cookie that has an indent of a fork and is a light brown color MUST be a peanut butter cookie! Because that is how mom would do them when my sister and I were young. These cookies I made today are very different in appearance to what we had growing up. The scent however is much the same.

This recipe is so very easy that I may have to make these cookies again for mom. She has a keen love for peanut butter anything. It is a shock she doesn’t stick a spoon into the peanut butter container like I do.

The container for Lizzie to take home today looks like this:

Peanut Butter Cookies to Go

Quite a small batch, this is why you didn’t get any, Mom! – she was pretty bummed she didn’t get any.

Anyway, I hope y’all enjoy the recipe as much as I hope Lizzie will!

On Friday’s We Bake

“On Wednesday’s we wear pink!” – Yeah? Well on Friday’s we bake.

And we all know that baking is greater than wearing pink. Who doesn’t love a bit of sweet-tooth lovin’? My housekeeper definitely doesn’t.

Usually I make her a cake of some sort but I thought to change it up a bit for yesterday. It was a cookie day yesterday. And you know, every time I think about baking cookies I think of the Cookie Dance. Not heard of it? You probably shouldn’t listen to it if you are one to get music stuck in your head often. I am one of those people.

Made with Love

Anyway, I made enough cookies for both Lizzie’s family AND our family. Plus mom gave some cookies to the pool guys after they cleaned our pool. Talk about a lot of cookies.

We also reheated a meal from the freezer for lunch.

A few weeks ago I made a fabulous meal of Chicken Tortilla Soup, though I made too much. Not surprising. We froze the remainder of it and pulled it from the freezer for lunch!

So today is a blog about baked goods and spicy Mexican soup! Not the best of combinations, but hey!

The cookies looked like this:

Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

And I got the recipe from here, but I followed the recipe to a tee.

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE COOKIE DOUGH

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (128g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100g) + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (almond, cow’s, soy, or half-and-half)
  • ½ cup (87g) dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (100g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup (190g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and ¼ cups (160g) all-purpose flour (careful not to over measure)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (87g) dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate)

Instructions:

  1. *Make the chocolate dough:* Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly mix it into the wet ingredients. The dough will be very thick. With a spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the milk and then fold in the chocolate chips.

 

  1. *Make the peanut butter dough:* Cream the butter and sugars together with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom as needed. Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides as needed. Slowly mix in the baking soda, flour, and salt. Do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

 

  1. Chill both doughs for at least 1-2 hours. 2 hours is preferred.

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC). Line cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Measure 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Take 1 Tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Press the two balls together and roll them into 1 large ball. Repeat for each cookie. The chocolate cookie dough will get onto your hands, so wash/wipe them after you roll each cookie. It is important the chocolate cookie dough is chilled or else it will be even messier.

 

  1. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, not exceeding 13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft, puffy, and almost undone. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet and they will continue to “bake” and set up. As the cookies cool, they will firm up. Cookies remain fresh (and soft) for up to 10 days in an airtight container.

 

My kitchen lacks certain tools to bake…. Well even cook, so I did not roll my cookies together. I tried to with an oiled long drink glass but that made a massive mess. Instead I decided just to press the cookies together then to press them into the lined cookie sheet. This still worked well. At least for me. If you actually own a rolling pin, I am sure that will work just as well as my fingers did for these cookies.

Pressed Cookies

I can tell you I ended up making like 7 batches of cookies on a tray. A lot of cookies. Although I did only fit like seven or eight per tray, so not THAT much. But still quite a lot as I do not

Okay so I cannot find the tortilla soup recipe that I used OR the one from a few years ago that ended up using my soup photo! I guess this means I will need to make the soup again sometime and share it with you immediately. Not a few weeks later. UGH.

Oh well. Sorry y’all!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the cookies as much as we did!

Blue Blue Blueberry Fun

What is your favourite color? For me it is aqua.

Oh how I wish I could make an aqua colored cake. For now I just enjoyed a blueberry blue velvet cake and cupcakes. What a great way to get some color in a dessert. Blue food coloring AND blueberries. Oh man I love colores.

So I made my beautiful blueberry cake and had additional batter so I also made some cupcakes. Or can I call them muffins? What makes a muffin a muffin and a cupcake a cupcake? I always differentiated a muffin from a cupcake because of the fruit in it. Well here is how you know what is a muffin and what is a cupcake.

The recipe I followed can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature if possible
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature (feel free to use buttermilk)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ pints blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC).

  2. Grease a loaf pan as preparation of cake begins.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

  4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy, about a minute or so.

  5. Slowly add the sugar, and cream (beat with the mixer) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

  6. Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.

  7. Add the vanilla, and fully incorporate.

  8. Add the blue food coloring as you like. I just add some, mix it, and then see if I need to add more. Keep in mind that we still need to add the flour and milk, so color it a little darker than you want it in the end. It will lighten up once we add the remaining ingredients.

  9. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the addition of milk. So you’ll add flour, then milk, then flour, then milk, then flour last. Make sure to incorporate each before adding the next.

  10. Mix in the blueberries gently with a spatula.

  11. Pour cake mixture into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. (If you baked in two cake pans then you could bake for 35 minutes)

On the original recipe it said to make an icing with powder sugar. When I saw that I was 110% disgusted and had to find another icing of choice. I searched for a less sweet icing online and found this fabulous website where there is a guide to icing. I went for option two “Whipped Cream Frosting” except I did it wrong. Oops. I did however make blue whipped cream.

So because of my disaster I decided to make buttercream frosting after all. I found one cylinder of powder sugar consisting of 250g and used maybe a third a cup of butter to make the icing. I’ve learnt that if you use your spatula to blend the two before blending with your electric mixer you do not make as much a mess so I did just that. Then because of that super strong sugar taste I added a couple spoons of my ruined whipped cream and blended the two together. This made the icing less sweet, but still super sweet. Does anyone know an icing which is not as sweet as a powder sugar something?

Iced Cupcakes

Before I actually baked my cake and cupcakes, I mixed the dry and the wet as the recipe said above. Although I did it incorrectly. I added the wet to the dry rather than the dry to the wet. In doing this I can tell you that the original color of the batter was pretty shitty. It literally looked like poop. But once adding the final third of the wet to the dry I got a very green looking batter. This with 20 drops of blue hoping it would be klein blue. It didn’t happen. I added four drops of the opposite color of red and finally a bit of blue showed up!

Gross Colors

Adding Red to BlueThose red drops really look dark blue don’t they?

Ready to Bake!

It still looked very green. But I just hoped for the best. The best looked like this:

Baked CakeBaked CupcakesPretty blue in the crack, right? And the cupcakes look incredible. Nice blue tinge to cheer me up. I was then able to bake an additional seven cupcakes from the leftover batter. That is a lot of batter!

When you bake before dinner do you allow those in your family to enjoy the sweet or do you follow the rule that sweet treats are only allowed after dinner? When I was raised that was the case. Only sweet things after dinner.

Now though the rules seemed to have changed on me. Both my parents and my sister entertain the thought of either eating dessert between eating plates of food or eating dessert before dinner. Is this normal in your household? I can assure you when I have a family that rule will be one of the top ones in the game. It will have to be if I love to bake like I do.

If you make these I hope you love them!

Happy baking!

Peanut Butter and Banana “Quesadilla”

I feel fat. Full but fat.

I made an interesting breakfast today. Something that I may never make again for myself, but maybe one day when I have children this could be a “treat” for my children just as pancakes and waffles were for my sister and I when we were children.

I haven’t a clue where I got this recipe originally but when I looked for an attractive photo I found the recipe on here.

Peanut Butter Banana Quesadilla

The recipe is super straight forward as there are only 4 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • ½ Banana, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Lay out whole wheat tortilla and evenly spread peanut butter on tortilla.

  2. Place sliced bananas on 1 half of the peanut butter covered tortilla.

  3. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bananas and fold tortilla in half.

  4. Grab a frying pan and sprinkle the pan with sunflower oil (or butter) and turn heat to medium.

  5. Fry each side of tortilla until brown and then remove to cool.

  6. Slice “quesadilla” into thirds and enjoy.

Very very sweet. Yes, I like to bake and yes baking means sweet things, but I do not like über sweet things.

So the next time I make this will be maybe for my little sister or for my potential kids as a treat when they are… four or so. So that may be about ten years from now! Because I am too young to have a child at the age of twenty-one.

Plus, before children are had I think it is more ideal to be married first. I guess I am old fashioned like that.

Anyway, if you end up making this I hope you enjoy!

Bon apetito!

Mint Chocolate Cake to Celebrate the Year!

Hello two thousand and fourteen! What great things will come for us as we experience another year in the twenty-first century?

To start the year I thought to make a mint chocolate cake which we brought to my aunt’s house to give as a celebratory dish for 2014. That family has a wonderful sweet tooth which means I can experiment more in the kitchen and let them indulge in my sweet desires without actually eating such creations myself.

This cake is my most basic cake that I make every time we crave for something sweet but not THAT sweet. When you eat sweet things do you prefer to have a super sweet treat or something light but still good enough to hit the craving you lust? I personally cannot stand super sweet. I could never own a candy shop. If I did I would probably be ill all the time.

Mint Chocolate CakeThis was what the cake I made looked like. The recipe for the chocolate cake is super duper easy and very delicious! If you just exclude the mint extract you will find the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup room temperature water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF or 175ᵒC and grease a 9×5 rectangular loaf pan.

  2. In large bowl, sift all dry ingredients and mix. Then add all wet ingredients and mix well until all dry ingredients have become wet and liquidy.

  3. Pour chocolate cake recipe into prepared pan and place in oven.

  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes. When time is up check if cake is baked through with a toothpick, if not bake for additional ten minutes until cake is thoroughly baked.

  5. Once finished take out from oven and allow to cool. Remove mold from cake and allow cake to cool on plate or wire cooling rack.

  6. When cool, cut cake to make two layers. (I cut the cake just below the “crown” of the cake)

Next make the icing layer for both in between and on top of the cake. This I am not all too keen on, but it did the job.

Thick Mint Icing on Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powder sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix butter and powdered sugar together using a spatula. (Doing this will prevent the sugar to not fly up when later mixed with an electric mixer)

  2. Once the sugar and butter mix has made a very sandy-like texture, add vanilla and mint extract as well as milk and mix with electric mixer.

  3. Continuously add milk until at desired consistency (I prefer it to be able to still stick to the spatula, while being thick enough to spread well as a middle layer, – you can thin the icing out even more to make a glaze on the top layer of the cake)

** This recipe is enough for two of the loaf cakes above, so halve the mint buttercream icing if you’re making it for one cake!

I decided to add some dragees and chocolate chips for a design on top. With those candies I tried to design a firework. The final product ended up looking like this:

Firework Mint Chocolate CakeAfter baking this I then made dinner and attempted to make the blog entry for the meal. I ended up falling asleep for a bit too long of a period of time. Oops.

Luckily I was able to shower up and do my makeup just in time (45 minutes) to head to my aunts place at 10:30pm. We brought the cake and the ingredients to make some strawberry punch. Those ingredients are the following:

1 container of Strawberries, washed and sliced
1 Bottle White Zinfandel
½ a 2L Bottle of Lemonade
½ a 2L bottle of Ginger ale

If you like a sweet and slightly tart punch which looks very classy, this is definitely something for you!

I do not have a photo of the actual punch in the bowl, but I have a small photo of the punch in a glass. Not the best of photos, but you can see what it is like!

Strawberry PunchMom & I at 12:30am

If you make any of the above I hope you enjoy all!

Lets Celebrate with a Black Forest Cheesecake

Today it has been two years since I have undergone open heart surgery. So today, we celebrate. I decided the best way to do so is by making a delightful dessert. I am usually on the healthy side, but I can’t help but bake, it is after all my truest of passions. So I decided to try out mini Black Forest cheesecakes which are made in a cupcake form.

The idea to do a Black Forest cheesecake type cup came from Pinterest. And I know that my mom absolutely loves Black Forest, so what better way than to make something I am happy doing while she is more than happy to enjoy?

Black Forest Cheesecake

The recipe that I used is found here.

Crust
    • 12 Oreos
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp salted butter, melted
Cheesecake
    • 4.5 oz (3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened well (1 1/2 8 oz. pkgs)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
Topping
  • Store-bought (canned) cherry pie filling
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Finely chopped or shaved chocolate, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 325ᵒF or 170ᵒC. In a mixing bowl, using a fork, blend together crushed Oreos and butter. Divide mixture evenly among 12 paper lined muffin cups, adding a heaping 1 Tbsp to each. Press crumbs into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing filling.

  2. For the cheesecake filling: In a mixing bowl, whisk together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, cocoa and salt until no clumps of cocoa remain. Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour sugar mixture over cream cheese, then using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, whip mixture just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition and adding in vanilla with second egg. Pour in melted chocolate and mix just until combined, then add 1/4 cup heavy cream and sour cream and mix just until combined. Forcefully tap bowl against counter top, about 30 times, to release some of the air bubbles. Divide mixture among muffin cups (over crust layer), adding about a slightly heaping 1/4 cup to each. Bake in 325 degree oven 17 – 20 minutes until centers only jiggle slightly. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature 1 hour, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours.

  3. For the topping: In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 1 1/4 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form then add 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe or spread the heavy cream into an even layer over cupcakes then pipe a rim around edge over that layer (or if spreading whipped topping, just create a small well into the center). Spoon a heaping tablespoon (about 1 tbsp) Cherry pie filling into the center of each. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container (I preferred to let them rest about 10 minutes at room temp before serving. Also, preferably add topping within 2 hours of serving).

For once, I followed every bit of the recipe perfectly and this came out pretty damn good if I say so myself. I had a lot of extra cheesecake batter, so I made a couple small cheesecakes in a mini quiche dish. For those I decide to see what it would be like to go without refrigerating it. Honestly, do not go without refrigeration. It is necessary. If there is no cooling of the cake, it is just too wet. Almost as though the dessert hasn’t been cooked thoroughly, but with the cooling affect of the fridge everything works out perfectly.

When I was done every cupcake, I then had mom do the taste test (as always) and she loved it.  

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Taste testing and admiring the cheesecake

We also had a bit of wine to continue with our celebratory night for my anniversary. I tend to only drink sweet white wine. So my mom decided to spoil me with buying a bottle of bubbly sweet wine. She was not too keen of it, but I sure liked it.

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Sweet White Bubbly, Asti from Italy

It was quite the treat if I must say. And if you end up making a similar dessert I hope you enjoy it too!

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Daddy and I in our pre-op photo, Dec 7th, 2011

Here’s to many more years healthy! For myself and the rest of you.

Cheers to the future!