Tag Archives: chocolate

More birthday baking

30 Oct

Well it’s been a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Sorry about that. Life and lots of crafts are getting in the way.

I have been busy making cakes, making quilts, sewing dresses, knitting and getting ready for Halloween. More about the crafts in the next post. First up Kizaiah’s birthday cake. He requested a chocolate cake with fudge cookies on top.  ki's cake ki's cake top

I used this chocolate cake and this ganache  that you use for the Snickers cake recipe. Baked it in a bundt pan and crumbled broken up fudge cookies on top. He loved it. That’s all that matters. I can’t believe how fast kids grow. ki's cake candles ki's cake candle blowing

 

My friend Donna had a birthday this month and requested the Snickers cake but with one slight modification. Instead of the nougat filling she requested vanilla ice cream. I have to tell you that modifications WAS FREAKING AWESOME. I don’t think that I will make it the original way again. The pictures don’t do it justice. I’m telling you, YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE NOW!!! I lined the same size cake pan with parchment paper, filled the pan with vanilla ice cream and froze it over night. When I was ready to assemble the cake I put a layer of cake on the bottom. I dunked the sides of frozen cake pan with the ice cream in a bowl of water just enough to loosen the ice cream, pop it out of the pan and place it on the bottom layer.  Next top ice cream with some caramel sauce and nuts, then the second cake. Put it back into the freezer to make it solid again. After and hour or so, pull cake out of the freezer and top with the frosting and ganache just like the original. So freaking good I tell ya!

snickers ice cream cake

snickers ice cream cake cutI will be posting about all the crafty goodness that has been going on in this house soon. Hope that everybody has a Happy and safe Halloween!

 

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It’s Birthday Season

23 Jul

It’s birthday season here in the Goodwin house. My son D’Andre celebrated his 11th birthday while we were in California on vacation. He wanted red velvet cheesecake for his birthday cake, so I obliged. I have made this cake 2 times June…that’s how good it is.

 

red velvet cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

source: Stuck at home mom

Ingredients:

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring***I DON’T USE THIS MUCH!, I used gel coloring and it doesn’t take this much I just added enough to turn the batter red****
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer.

red velvet cheesecake sliced

I will be celebrating my birthday this Thursday but we celebrated this past Saturday. I wanted Brown Eyed Bakers Snicker Cake for my special day. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint either.

snickers cake

Snickers Cake

source: The Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

Cake
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped *I used Milk Chocolate Chips*
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
Chopped peanuts *I used salted peanuts*

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

snickers cake side

snickers cake sliced

I didn’t have all the right ingredients to make the Brown Eyed Bakers Salted Caramel sauce so searched Pinterest for another one. You can add a tad more salt to yours if you’d like but I suggest you taste it before you do.

salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

source: Recipe Girl

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and shake/swirl the pan very often (don’t stir it while it’s boiling) until it turns a medium amber color (should take 12 to 15 minutes). If sugar crystals gather along the sides of the pan during the cooking process, you can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar down the sides of the pan so that it becomes incorporated into the boiling mixture.

Remove the pan from heat and pour in the cream. It will bubble up like crazy. Give it a whisk, then add in the butter, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk again until everything is nice and smooth. It should be the color of caramel. Cool it in the pan, or pour it into a large measuring cup so that it will be easier to transfer to jars when cooled.

Divide the sauce evenly among the four jars. Place lids and labels on and refrigerate until ready to use or gift to friends. The sauce must be kept refrigerated and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

 

I will be posting 2 more cakes in August, my son Kizaiah and daughter Cierra will be celebrating their special days. Happy Baking.

 

A Happy Birthday and a Pillow

2 Sep

Just a quick post to say that I am busy sewing away getting things ready for my etsy shop :). But we did celebrate a birthday in this house. My middle boy turned 9 last week. He requested a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting just like his brother but it had to be blue. Okay no problem I can do that. I used this cake and frosting recipe again, it never fails me.

I also finished up a little project for my daughter. A while back I embroidered this sweet strawberry shortcake with plans on making it a throw pillow. Throw pillow forms can be pricey so I went to the goodwill and found an ugly throw pillow but it was in great conditions. It still had the tag on it but I bought it for $1.99. I used some fabric that I had in my stash. I love the way it turned out!

The back is minky dot fabric, oh so soft but a pain to sew. It’s so slippery. Oh well not perfect in the back but I don’t think that Cierra will care.

Happy Birtday D’Andre

17 Jun

10 years ago I became a mother to the most outgoing, intelligent, athletic and funny little boy. Mom and dad love you buddy.

He requested Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. So of course I had to oblige. I originally wanted to make the icing red but duh when you add red food coloring to whitish frosting it turns pink and I didn’t think that my now 10-year-old (man where does the time go) boy would appreciate a pink cake. We will save the pink for his sisters cake. So with a little Lot of mixing I endend up with vanilla frosting that looked like chocolate. But I do have to say that it did taste amazing. This will be my regular chocolate cake recipe for sure.

One-Bowl Dark Chocolate Cake

Yield: 2 8″ cakes

Serves: 8+

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup (60 g/2 oz) dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2.5 liquid oz (75mL)vegetable oil

5 liquid oz (140mL)buttermilk

4.5 liquid oz (130 mL) espresso or strong, hot  brewed coffee

2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C. Prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans with  butter, parchment paper rounds, and cocoa powder. Tap out excess.

2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add  all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle  attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the  plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. If possible, use digital kitchen scale and weigh pans for even layers. Batter  will be liquidy.

3. Bake for 15 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick  or skewer comes clean–approximately 25-30 minutes. Try not to over bake.

4. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until  completely cool.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

3.5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

Method

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).

Cake Source: Sweetapolita

Frosting source: Sweetapolita

I put mini chocolate chips on the side of the cake but you can add anything or decorate any way you want. Here is one way I want to make it in the near future.

Cheap and good

13 Jun

Just a quick post. I whipped up a batch of granola today for the kids…oh yeah and me. This is a really easy recipe. The kids love it and it can be altered pretty easily. This picture is of a batch I made in February. I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand so I added plain M&M’s. I don’t think the kids will mind do you?

Banana Peanut Butter Granola (adapted from Annie-Eats)

3 1/2 c. rolled oats, not quick oats

2 1/2 c. puffed rice cereal, I used rice krispies

2 TBS honey

1/3 c applesauce *

1/3 c mashed bananas

1/3-1/2 c. creamy peanut butter, warmed slightly

3/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon **

Add-ins: any combo works well

1-1 1/2 c. dried banana chips

1/2 c honey rosted peanuts

3-4oz. bitter sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or chocolate chips (any flavor) or M&M’s)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. In a large bowl combine oats and rice cereal. In a small bowl or 4 cup measuring cup, combine honey, applesauce, bananas, warmed peanut butter, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir mixture til smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Spread mix evenly onto baking sheets. Bake for 35-45 mins turning granola with a large spatula. Also rotate baking sheets and move the top sheet to bottom rack and visa versa, every 15 minutes or so. If edges of granola are becoming brown remove them and place baking sheet back into oven. Be careful not to burn. I’ve burnt almost a whole batch because I had forgotten to set the timer. Not good. Makes the house stink. Place baking sheet onto cooling rack. Once granola is cooled add in the goodies.

I separate granola into snack sized ziplock bags so that they are ready for snacking or yogurt. Enjoy.

* a single serving size of applesauce snack pack is about 1/3 cup.

** omit cinnamon if you use cinnamon flavored applesauce.

 

Heartbreak and a headache

25 Mar

Well I can’t believe that this happened. This is going to be a very picture loaded post, only because I am so sad. Last week I was asked to make some cupcakes for a little girls 10 year birthday party. Of course I said yes and was going to get paid for all my efforts to make what she requested, Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Long story short we never got to taste these beautiful cupcakes. I dropped all 24 completely frosted cupcakes 30 minutes before I had to deliver them to the party. UGH! I could have cried. Instead my mind went into “how to I fix this mess” mode. I didn’t have enough cocoa powder to make a full batch of chocolate cupcakes I had to resort to making vanilla with chocolate frosting. I called her mom and told her what had happened and said that I was going to be about 30 minutes late to the party. I had to whip up 24 more cupcakes and a batch and a half of chocolate frosting. Impossible, almost. I thought about “Cupcakes Wars” and what those bakers have to do each episode and I thought that this is definitely possible. I baked the cupcakes in record time, put them in the freezer to cool before  frosted and ran out the door with 24 vanilla cupcakes. This time being WAY more careful transferring them to the car. If you try this recipe let me know how it tastes haha just kidding I have made this chocolate cake recipe before and it is good. Nothing fancy, just your basic chocolate cake made by the wonderful people in Hershey land.

Lucky Leprechauns

16 Mar

Happy St. Patty’s day to everyone. Not like I need a reason to make baked goodies for my family but it doesn’t hurt when you are inspired by the very talented bakers in the blog kingdom.  I originally saw these cute little leprechaun hats posted on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle if you’ve never checked out her blog you should. Her cookies look so awesome. She is a very talented cookie decorator. The post about the leprechaun hats was originally posted by Lila Loa. She has inspired me too. I will be making Irish Beef Stew tomorrow for dinner and eating a few of these chocolate sugar cookies, which by the way I won’t be making plain sugar cookies for a long time. These are by far the best sugar cookies I have made. I do have a plain sugar cookie that I like but these are almost like small yummy brownie tasting cookies. A must try.  I will make sure I post all the details here after we enjoy our stew. Don’t forget to wear your green.

The End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe
1 cup butter

1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cocoa
3 or 3 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add baking powder and salt and mix again. Stir in the cocoa until well blended. Add flour 1 cup at a time. IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE COOKIES RIGHT AWAY, ADD 3 1/2 cups flour. If you are going to “chill” the dough, or just wait for another day to make your cookies, STOP AT 3 cups. It will be totally soft and look all wrong, and you will want to ignore me completely and add more flour, but I’m telling you — DON’T DO IT. Practice self-restraint. You will be glad you did, and I will be proud of you. Roll out on lightly floured surface. Bake at 375 F for 6 1/2 minutes. (I roll my cookies 3/8″ thick.)

These are the perfect chocolate taste plus you don’t have to refrigerate before you cut, a definite plus if you want yummy cookies the same day 🙂

Source: Cookie recipe Lila Loa

Quick Dessert

4 Mar

For the most part I try to make my cakes and cupcakes from scratch these days, but with the small stockpile of cake mixes I’ve acquired I’d better use them right? Plus they come in handy in a pinch. But I’m not talking about making cupcakes according to the box….oh no that just wont do. How about a twist?

Box Cake Up-Do

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 box devil’s food cake mix (I used Dunkin Hines)

1 small package Jello instant chocolate pudding  mix

1 cup buttermilk, (you can also use sour cream if you don’t have buttermilk)

1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola because that’s what I had on hand)

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup  milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl of a mixer put together everything  except chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop batter into cupcake pan lined with cupcake papers or silicone cupcake liners. Place in oven and bake according to package. Check with a toothpick. If cupcake needs a bit more baking then check after another 3-5 min. Cool in pan a few minutes before completely cooling on wire rack.

Frost and enjoy 🙂

 

 

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