Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Texas sheet cupcakes

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light
This recipe nabs the award for "most requested cake" in our family. My Mom, in particular, must not think much of anything else I have ever baked because it is this cake that time and time again I get asked to bring.
I'm not sure why this cake is called Texas Sheet Cake, a friend from Texas claims he has never tasted this--the mystery deepens.
A friend of mine asked for this recipe and made it into cupcakes for her daughter's birthday, I thought it was a great idea so I made these for my Mom's birthday.
Texas Sheet Cake/Cupcakes
For the cake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Preheat oven to 375°.
Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray, and dust with 2 teaspoons flour. Set aside.
Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl (or Kitchen-Aid), stirring well with a whisk.
Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add to flour mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs; beat well. Pour batter into the prepared pan (or cupcake liners). Bake at 375° for 22-28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.
Prepare the frosting while the cake is baking:
Combine butter, milk, and cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in powdered sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle cake with pecans (I usually stir my pecans into the icing). Cool completely on wire rack.
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

That's rich

This recipe courtesy of Hershey's

This cake makes me wonder if Betty Crocker went to a remedial baking school. Alright people, step away from the box mix! This recipe is easy and only uses one bowl.

If you would just try this cake you would understand.

So moist, so decadent, so perfectly chocolate.

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and while you're at it...grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (and if you really want to be sure your cake will slide right out then I suggest lining the bottom of your pan with wax paper--you know, just in case).

In a large bowl (or your Kitchen-Aid mixer) stir together:

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons each baking powder and baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Then you will add:

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

And beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Then stir in:

1 cup boiling water (I use a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 2 minutes while the mixture is beating--two birds, one stone...)

The batter will be thin, it's okay. Pour into your prepared pans, try to get an even amount in each pan while trying to hold off the voracious kids that are trying to snatch the bowl and spatula from you.

*13X9 pan directions* Prepare as above but bake 35-40 minutes.

Pop 'em in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and remove (hopefully in one piece) from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting while being careful to guard your cooling cakes from wandering fingers.

Please, you've come this far--do not, I repeat, do not use premade frosting!

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

1 stick of butter, melted

2/3 cup of Hershey's cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl stir the cocoa into the melted butter. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add a tiny bit more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla.

Once your cake is cooled: Place one cake on a plate or cake pedestal and frost the top generously. Place the other cake on top of the frosting, frost the top of that cake and then finish the sides. I find an offset spatula makes the job a little easier.

This cake seems so nostalgic to me, it reminds me of the cakes that are in Pollyanna when she is at the fair and the ones that are involved in the Hayley Mills vs. Hayley Mills fight in The Parent Trap...

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Comfort me

This recipe courtesy of Cat Cora (Iron Chef)
I'm sorry to report that I did not grow up with very many "comfort foods"; but I am thrilled to have stumbled upon this recipe, for it became an instant classic for me and I hope my kids will enjoy it as they grow up. Plus, it's a perfect use for my leftover rice...
I love the texture of this rice pudding and how good it feels in my belly when it is warmed.
This can be eaten hot or cold, morning or night.
Place 2 cups cooked brown rice in a large bowl and rinse with cold water, drain well.
Pour 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla and bring to a low boil.
Turn the heat down to low and whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and the zest of one lemon. (If you don't have a lemon lying around, just skip it.)
Crack one egg into a small bowl and beat. Pour about 1/4-cup of the hot milk slowly into the beaten egg, whisking constantly. This will "temper" the egg and prevent it from scrambling.
Pour your tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and stir. Add the rice and stir continuously over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. (Next time I think I'll bribe one of the kids to do this step for me.)
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter and stir. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and serve.
*Serving Suggestion* Top with granola and a drizzle of honey. Serve warm with milk in bowls.
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