Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

I got this recipe from a friend who said to me "So I stole the recipe from this blog smittenkitten.blogspot.com but again, I tweaked it according to what I had on hand at the moment. Like I didn't use the peanut brittle (although i do have some leftover from Christmas, weird, yes) and I didn't have corn syrup so I just left it out. So, enjoy, and if you have a leftover piece, I'd love to try it."

So thank you dear friend Heather, and blog smittenkitten for this wickedly sweet goodness!

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

French Toast

Note to self: the key to delicious french toast is to use real french bread and in the egg mixture add some vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg! Such a great lunch!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The kitchen sink muffins!


No these muffins do NOT taste like the kitchen sink. They are super versitile! Thanks to my good friend Beth for the original version.

Beth's Basic Buffin (wanted to use some illiteration)

1 1/4 c flour
3/4 oats
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1/3 c butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 any fruit-dried, fresh frozen

Combine dry. Add to wet. Mix Bake in greased muffin pans @ 400 for 15-20 minutes.
**Note- I made mine in paper cupcake liners and lost half the cupcake so greased pan may be best**

The muffin I made has some variations. No sugar, no butter, and a flour swap. Check it out!

Shay's Muffin Swap

1 1/4 whole wheat flour
3/4 oats
1/4 c flax seed meal
1/2 cup honey
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1/3 c apple sauce, all natural no added sugars
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins
1 banana

Combine dry. Add to wet. Mix Bake in greased muffin pans @ 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Which ones will you try??
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Freezer to table in 30 minutes!!

I needed some guidance for dinner tonight so I put it out to my facebook friends. Silly I know, I consider myself to be quite comfortable in the kitchen, but have been feel less interested in cooking and baking. Well, tonight I did both. Firstly, I'd like to thank my friend Linda who game the suggestion for tonight's dinner. And really it's just chicken and pasta but it was so fast and easy!

Here is exectly what she said:

"Cut breasts nice and thin, dredge in flour, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook in a pan with a little olive oil till crispy and serve over pasta drizzled with olive oil and sea salt... or just salt if you don't have it... easy!"

And that was my dinner, along with a side of lightly steamed spinach.




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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dinners

Yes, dinners....plural.

Reese requested squids for dinner and Blake obliged. I on the other-hand have a healthy indulgence!

Squids are made by simply cutting up a hotdog in thirds and sticking long noodles through completely. Boil until noodles are done, serve with melted cheese or ketchup. In honor of St Patty's Day I dropped some green dye into the biscuit mix and their applesauce. They thought I was the coolest mom!

I have now had this dinner 2 nights in a row!

2 Hand fulls of spinach
1/4 mandarin oranges
1 oz feta cheese, I use reduced fat
2-4 oz chicken
1-2 Tbsp pecans or walnuts
1 Tbsp poppy seed dressing

Here's the secret. I watered down my poppy seed dressing. A serving of the dressing (which it happens to be my most favorite) is 2 TBS but has more than 200 calories. Why even eat a salad. If you water down the 1 TBS of the poppy seed dressing you reduce the calories significantly without losing the taste. Try it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stuff I made....

Noodles made on my new kitchen-aid noodle maker
whole wheat pizza dough with super yummy healthy toppings
cinnamon rolls that taste as good as they look...if not better!
caramels, toffee, and cake truffles

What recipe do you want?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Picky Palate!

If you haven't already checked out this awesome website...she's a a genius with her recipes...and her pictures are almost edible!

Well, head over there for a chance at a giveaway to an awesome toy website!