Magic Custard Cake

Ingredients:

4 eggs (whites separated from yolks), room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk lukewarm
powdered sugar for dusting cake

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
Grease and Line 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish with parchment.
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and beat egg whites stiff.
Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks & sugar until light.
Add butter and vanilla.
Beat for two mins.
Add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.
Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake for approx 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
Cool and dust heavily with powdered sugar.

Source: http://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2014/04/magic-custard-cake.html

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Cook’s Illustrated Chocolate Chip Cookies

ingredients
1 3/4 cups of unbleached, all purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon of baking Soda
14 Tablespoons of butter ( that’s 1 and 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon of table salt ( I used 1 1/2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups of semi sweet chips or chunks (I used Ghirardelli’s bittersweet chips)
3/4 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

method
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking Soda. Set is aside.
Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.
Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

*Even though it wasn’t in the recipe,I refrigerated my dough overnight. The dough is a little bit greasy, and chilling it seemed to help them bake-up into a fatter cookie*

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)
Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Makes 16 cookies

Source: http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/2011/07/cooks-illustrated-chocolate-chip.html

Best Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients
4 cups half-and-half cream
2-1/2 cups sugar
Dash salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4 to 5 medium)

Directions
In a large heavy saucepan, heat half-and-half to 175°; stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from the heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream, milk and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Stir in bananas. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate remaining mixture until ready to freeze. When ice cream is frozen, transfer to a freezer container; freeze for 2-4 hours before serving. Yield: 3 quarts.

Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/best-banana-ice-cream

Macadamia Nut Butterscotch Cookie Pie

Ingredients

• 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3/4 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
• 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
• 9 inch Pillsbury refrigerated pie shell

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients and pour into pie shell.  Place on a cookie sheet and Bake 40-45 minutes. It will still be nice and gooey. If you prefer a firmer texture, let set for a couple of hours before slicing.

Serves 8.

Source: http://veryculinary.com/2014/03/01/macadamia-nut-butterscotch-cookie-pie/

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

ImageIngredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside. In a separate bowl cream together the butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar until nice and fluffy {about 1 minute}.  Add the dry to the wet and mix well.  Fold in shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.

Use a 2 tbsp cookie scoop and drop dough on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees.

Source: http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/recipe-zucchini-chocolate-chip-cookies/

The Verdict: I made these and they don’t come out looking as nice as the picture.  They tend to spread quite a bit while baking and I found that doing them in 1 tablespoon scoop size rather than 2 tablespoons as specified works better.  They have a good flavour and you can’t really taste the zucchini. I think they’re ok and I would make them again but only if I had a glut of zucchini and needed to get rid of it. They come out of the oven extremely soft, so if you are looking for a crunchier cookie then definitely bake them for longer. They’re also really sweet and could stand to have the sugar amount reduced.

Vanilla Pear Coffee Cake

ImageIngredients

1/2 cup butter, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3 cups canned pears, drained and chopped
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature

Directions

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper {or butter and flour your pan} and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add egg and vanilla. When combined, alternate adding reserved flour mixture and milk to the mixer, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Remove from mixer.  Gently fold in pears. Pour batter into prepared pan. To make streusel topping, mix cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and flour together; cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until fine crumbs are formed. Using hands, squeeze together most of the mixture to form large clumps. Sprinkle topping generously over batter.

Bake for about 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before removing sides of pan. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Source: http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/vanilla-pear-coffee-cake-ecipe/

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe

ImageCake:

2 cups cake flour
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups golden brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
Optional: 10-12 strawberries, sliced (for inside the cake and a garnish)

Frosting:

1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/3 cups sugar
16 ounces of cream cheese

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325° F. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Sift cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes. Cool completely.

For frosting:

Sift cocoa powder into large bowl. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over cocoa, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Add cream cheese to cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes.

Using pastry brush, brush off crumbs from cakes. Place 1 cake layer, top side up, on platter. Frost first layer, add a layer of sliced strawberries if desired, then cover with more frosting. Add second layer of cake and finish frosting. Garnish with sliced strawberries.