Tuesday, March 29, 2011

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I have a friend. Let's call him "Pal". His birthday falls on December 31st, New Year's Eve. Instead of thinking that the whole world celebrates his birthday, he thinks the party is just NEVER about him. Also, his birthday falls during our winter break each year so no treats from his work buddies. When I became friends with Pal I told him that I would make him cupcakes one day. I thought about his half birthday, but darn! That falls during our summer break. (We're not constantly on breaks at Anoka-Hennepin, it just works out that way... Well, unless you visit me at school. I'm constantly on breaks then, right, Pal?) So anyway, running joke that I would make him cupcakes. FINALLY today I knew I was going to see my Pal. I surprised him with these German Chocolate Cupcakes. He once told me that they were among his favorite kind of cakes. The recipe is from David Lebovitz, AKA the Ice Cream God. He is also a trained pastry chef. He knows his stuff. The cake was wonderful- nice and fluffy from the whipped egg whites and tasty from the Dutch cocoa and coffee. The frosting? Not like a normal German Chocolate frosting. It was more of a topping. Chocolate, toasted coconut, pecans, and a quick custard of evaporated milk and eggs. Mmmmm. Gooey. A six pack! To take home and share. Happy Birthday Hal! Thanks for giving me an excuse to make one of my favorites too :) Click here for the stolen recipe for German Chocolate Cupcakes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce

The fresh basil really excited me. I can't wait to start growing basil again!

Jim really liked this dinner. I like when a new recipe really works. Some are duds and not worth repeating, but this one is a keeper. I think we're even going to add more vegetables to this recipe, or even switch up the chicken for shrimp. Yes, we are wild and crazy! The curry, the ginger, the jalapenos, the basil- all that came through and made a great dinner.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Repeat & Pie Crust

This is a favorite. I didn't realize until today how much time it takes to make this darn pot pie. I enjoy making it though because it's full of vegetables and today I was really excited because I made my own pie crust. I actually made the crust a week ago but I froze it. I am weary of Crisco but now I realize that it really does make a crust flaky and buttery.

So yup, I'll be making my own crusts now. It was quite easy and it's pretty handy having those in the freezer.

The pie crust recipe is from my Baking Illustrated cookbook but here is the recipe online-

Cinnamon Roll Bread

Seriously. One of the easiest recipes ever. This "bread" was a few ingredients mixed together, pour it in a pan, let it rest for 15 minutes, and then press in a brown sugar mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Drizzle with icing.

I think this is the lazy (wo)man's cinnamon roll recipe. This would a great recipe for breakfast guests- something you can whip together and serve with coffee.

I took this picture to show you the brown sugar crusty goodness when it came out of the oven. It was bubbling and the house smelled AMAZING.

I'm going to keep this recipe handy. I can also see myself whipping this up for work peeps and their coffee.


I keep telling myself that I'm afraid of yeast. I thought I conquered it but I still steer clear of some recipes because they contain yeast. I put aside my hesitations, dug out my baking stone, and bought a pizza peel. These are all the necessary tools, says my book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

The idea is to make a large batch of bread dough, refrigerate it, and tear off what you need for up to 2 weeks. I made a loaf and it was easy enough! It looks a little rough but it was good!! It was still warm when I buttered it up. YUM.

I can't wait to make another loaf for a dinner. I want Jim to try it right out of the oven!
Oh, and about my fear of yeast? I made THREE recipes with yeast in one day!! This bread, pizza dough, and then Cinnamon Roll Bread. Wow.

Am I Irish?

Irish food and desserts invaded the food blogs that I read like a week ago. The bloggers were all getting ready for St. Paddy's Day and making their goodies, with enough time for the rest of us to bookmark and then prepare their recipes.

Originally I was going to make Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes again but I wanted to try something new. So I went with the same idea but in cheesecake form.

The Oreo crumbs are mixed with the Irish Whiskey, the cheesecake is actually two kinds- one with chocolate and Guinness, and the other with Bailey's. So you have three different kinds of booze to make these extra special and boozey.

I also made Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream. This recipe was also circulating around the food blog world, and I was buying Guinness anyway so this ice cream was perfect. I make ice cream in this house and I usually am the one who chips away at it, James only likes plain chocolate and Jim is a fan but he's content with one taste and then moves on. I thought maybe maybe if this ice cream was good that Jim would have more than one serving.

I think he's going to have seconds :)

Click here for the stolen recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cheesecake.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Milk Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream. Originally from the Ice Cream God, David Lebovitz!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

White Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheese Poundcake

Yeah, that's a mouthful! I followed a recipe for Cream Cheese Poundcake and it suggested adding a cup of chopped white chocolate in the batter. So I found my new favorite white chocolate at Target today and chopped that up. I figured that since it was White Chocolate Coconut I'd substitute coconut extract for the almond extract. Oh yeah...

The cake is very good but it stuck to the bottom of my bundtlette pans. Darn. And then I finished the rest of the batter in my Williams Sonoma Sunflower pan, and I even sprayed the hell out of that thing, but it still stuck again. Oh well. I broke the cake into large pieces and froze them. I figured I'd find something to do with it- cake pops or trifles.

I really was just making this recipe for the hell of it, not for any specific occasion so I'm glad it was a semi-fail when it didn't count for much.

I broke a bundtlette into pieces and layered it with cheesecake pudding (Jell-o, not homemade) and blackberries. Pretty good :)

I told Jim they were healthy because of the berries and the fat free/sugar free pudding. Nevermind all the butter, chocolate and sugar that went into the poundcake!