Friday, May 31, 2013

Whole Orange Cake

I absolutely love getting together and baking with my mom! She taught me so many skills in the kitchen growing up, how important it was to cook dinner every night, and even allowed me to test out different and new things. For example, random hand pies with left over crust... :)
She has been sweet and supportive in everything I do in the kitchen and always encourages me to try new things.
When she asked to create this whole orange cake she had found in the Sunset magazine, I knew we had to make it!
Plus, any excuse for baking and wine right?
For the Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2-3 oranges, cut into quarter sized chunks
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange juice plus 1 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly spray a 10" bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, pulse the orange wedges until mostly smooth, with some chunks, and not pureed. Set aside.
With a hand mixer, in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add in the eggs and beat one at a time until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the orange mixture in with the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Add in the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and mix until combined.
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with very little crumb.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto serving dish.
Let cool completely. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over cooled cake, slice and service.
The whole oranges gives the cake the taste of orange marmalade and makes it oh so moist.
This is a delicious breakfast cake! Enjoy everyone!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Andes Mint Chocolate Cake

My very best friend Amy from Cats, Cakes and Crafts came to visit me this weekend all the way up from sunny San Diego. I finally got to meet her gorgeous baby girl! It was so great to have girl time! I look for any excuse to make a yummy dessert so not only was it because my friend was visiting but it's also her birthday on Thursday!

I found myself drooling when I came across the recipe for this cake at Bird on a Cake.

I'm really not a mint fan... Too strong mint toothpaste, or even super minty candies are dreadful. But I absolutely love the mix of chocolate and mint... The cool mint plus dark rich chocolate just pairs so well.

Trust me, even if you are a novice in the kitchen this cake will impress just about anyone! What a fun cake for your next birthday, BBQ or even father's day.

Let's go on to the recipe shall we?

For the Cake:
1 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped Andes Mints

For the Mint Butter cream:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon mint extract
6 cups powdered sugar
5 drops green food coloring
1/2 cup whole milk

For the Ganache:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2-9" cake pans with cooking spray and line with a round piece of parchment paper, spray the parchment as well. Set aside. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a small sauce pan and keep it simmering while you start on the cake batter.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low just to combine. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with mixer, scraping down the sides when needed, until well combined.
Carefully add in the 1 cup of boiling water to your batter, and mix on low speed until incorporated (the batter will be very thin). Pour carefully into your prepared cake pans, making sure the layers are evenly filled with batter.
Shake your 1 cup of Andes Mints in a Tablespoon of flour and sprinkle over the top of the batter in the pans. Carefully swirl with a knife to incorporate into the batter.
Bake for 23-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Place finished cakes on a cooling rack, still in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Invert onto a parchment lined cooling rack and let cool completely.

Meanwhile start on your buttecream. In a large bowl, with your hand mixer, beat the butter, vanilla and mint until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. Slowly add in the 1/2 cup of milk until you reach your desired butter cream consistency. Add in the 5 drops (or more if you like a more vibrant green) of food coloring and beat until combined.
Place on layer of cake on your serving platter and frost a thin layer of butter cream in between (this becomes the filling). Top with the second layer of cake and frost the top and sides with buttercream.
Don't worry so much about the top as it will be enrobed in ganache. Place the cake, covered, in the fridge.

Start on the ganache. Place your chocolate chips in a medium heat proof boil. Bring your heavy cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once it begins to bubble, remove from heat and pour over your chocolate chips. Let stand for 1-2 minutes. After the time is up, stir until smooth and glossy. Add in the vanilla. Allow the ganache to cool in the refrigerator until thickened.

Remove your cake from the fridge, and slowly pour the ganache over the center of your cake, spooning it outwards as it drips down the sides. Sprinkle the top with extra chopped Andes Mints.

*Cutting the recipe in half will still leave enough ganache for the cake but the leftovers are great for ice cream or dipping fresh fruit!*

Place your ganache covered cake in the fridge to set up, then slice and serve!

The cooling mint, plus oober moist chocolate cake and rich chocolate ganache is TO DIE FOR! Please make this recipe if you are a chocolate and mint fan! And even if you aren't... Take my word for it, this cake will convert you!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Strawberries and Cream (Cheese) Pie

Well, Summer is fast approaching. The weather here in Northern Nevada has been wild! One day its 50 degrees and raining and the next its high 80's and we have to turn on the A.C. You would think I would be used to it by now.

But, whether (or weather, ha!) it's 50 degrees or 80 degrees, nothing makes a fabulous dessert quite like strawberry pie! There are so many fun and easy recipe ideas for this delicious dessert, here's mine.

This pie really mimics the flavors of a strawberry shortcake, its just.... BIGGER! Which I have no complaints about... Lets get to the recipe shall we?

For the Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoons shortening
2 to 3 Tablespoons cold water

Cream Cheese Filling:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Strawberry filling:
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup strawberry jell-o

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and lightly spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until it is crumbly and about the size of a pea. Slowly add in the cold water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, just until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a ball with your hands and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough out to a circle that is 2 inches larger than your pie pan. Fold into thirds and transfer to the prepared pie tin. Push down gently and trim the excess dough from the edges, decorate how you like. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust is golden. Remove from your oven and look cool on a wire rack.

While the crust is cooling prepare the cream cheese filling by mixing all ingredients together, with a hand mixer, until smooth and creamy. Spread onto the cooled crust.

Place your sliced strawberries on top of the cream cheese layer.

In a saucepan prepare the strawberry glaze. Over medium-high heat, combine the water, sugar, corn starch and jell-o. Whisk together until thoroughly combined.  Whisk mixture constantly while it comes to a gentle boil to avoid clumping. Remove pan from heat and allow the glaze to cool (I created an ice bath in my sink to quicken the process).

Pour the cooled glaze over the strawberries, making sure to get it into the nooks and crannies (your glaze should be thickened but still pourable).

Cover the pie and allow it to set in your fridge before slicing, about 2-3 hours.
Slice and dollop with fresh whipped cream... YUM!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bananas Foster Nom Nom Bread

We all know I have a bread addiction. But I thought this recipe would be a fun new twist on the typical boring banana bread.
I always have brown bananas on my kitchen counter. I typically like to purchase green ones just so the kids and I can enjoy them for a week. Unfortunately, the grocery store's bananas were looking pretty yellow this grocery trip so I knew I would have to find a recipe to use them in.
I then ran across this Bananas Foster Banana Bread from the Brown Eyed Baker blog and thought it would be perfect!

Here it is, in all of its naughty glory:

For the Bread:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

For the Streusel:
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9x5 loaf pan, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and vegetable oil. Add in the eggs, whisking after each addition. Add in the mashed bananas and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Alternate the flour and the milk mixture, whisking after each addition and ending with the flour.
Pour banana bread batter into your prepared pan and sprinkle with cinnamon chips.

Prepare the streusel in a small bowl by mixing together all of the ingredients, with your hands, until crumbly.
Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the bread batter and chips and place in the oven, on a cookie sheet, and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and sugar for the glaze. Bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat to low. Simmer, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the rum.

Poke holes all over the top of the bread with a toothpick or skewer. Slowly pour half of the glaze over the top and allow the bread to soak it up for 5 minutes. Finish with the remaining glaze and allow the bread to devour it.

This bread is best served warm. It has a small hint of rum with the crunchy streusel topping and buttery banana flavor. The bread is DIVINE with a scoop of ice cream.

Enjoy everyone!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

When I was in Las Vegas for a training this passed December we went to Holsteins and I tried their Bam-Boozled (alcoholic) Milkshakes...Ahh-mazing! I ordered the Campfire S'more which had Marshmallow vodka, marshmallows and a graham cracker crumble. It took all of the will power I had to not go back there every night and try every flavor.

Ever since I left, I wanted to recreate a kid friendly version at home...

I introduce you to the Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake; creamy with just a hint of vanilla and a toasty note. Delicious!

These milkshakes are super easy to blend together and would be a fantastic change to your typical Summer evening S'mores... Try these today!

For the Shake:
(makes one pint sized shake)
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
8-10 marshmallows
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream for topping

Either toast the marshmallows over a BBQ or place under your broiler, on a parchment lined baking sheet, being sure to keep an eye on them until they are golden brown.
Let cool slightly and add 6-8 marshmallows (reserving a couple for the top of your shake) and the rest of the ingredients into your blender. Add more or less milk/ice cream to adjust to your desired consistency.
Blend until smooth and pour into a glass.
Top with whipped cream and toasted marshmallows...enjoy!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Pizza

I hope you don't mind if I post a dinner blog.

Are you all ok with that? Trust me this pizza is totally worth it!

I thought since my blog IS called Morning Noon Night I could post some recipes for the noon and night time frame... Not that I have anything against cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I thought this would be a great week night recipe idea.

Or do any of you have pizza nights in your home? My boys LOVE pizza, my skinny mini can pack away 2-3 pieces!

This pizza is a delicious play on the classic bar food and the great part is you can make it as creamy or spicy as you like!

Heres my recipe:

For the Pizza:
Your favorite pizza dough
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 shallot sliced
1 1/2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 slices of bacon, diced, cooked, and drained

Preheat oven to 475 degrees and grease a pizza wheel with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with corn meal.
I used an already made dough from Trader Joes to make my weeknight dinner even easier.
Allow the dough to come to room temperature on a lightly floured surface and either roll or stretch to a ten inch round (or so).
In a small bowl stir together the jalapenos, shallots and 1 teaspoon of olive oil and set aside.

Spread the prepared dough with the 6 ounces of softened cream cheese.
Sprinkle with the cup of shredded pepper jack cheese.
And top with the shallots, jalapenos and cooked bacon.

Bake on the center rack of your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until very golden.
Let cool slightly and enjoy!