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Tag Archives: baking

Cherry Chocolate Trifle

13 May

I experimented on some friends a week or so ago and made them Cherry Chocolate Trifle. It was a spur of the moment thing, mostly I came up with it because I needed to do something with a bunch of left over chocolate cake.

The cake was also a bit of an experiment…what can I say, I was in an experimenting kind of mood, shrug.

So the trifle!

I’ve never made a trifle without alcohol in it but the only alcohol I have ever used in a chocolate trifle is either Baileys or Kaluha and since I don’t like either of those, nor have them on hand, these trifles ended up being non-alcoholic.

I ripped the left over chocolate cake in to small-ish pieces then mixed in cherry pie filling. This is normally where the alcohol would be added, instead I just used all the cherry pie filling, which full disclosure, I was lazy and bought a can of pie filling instead of making some. Hey, don’t judge! We’ve probably all been there at some point!

Once the pie filling and cake are well and truly mixed I put equal amounts in to these clear plastic cups I had on hand. I bought them from the dollar store for a different layered dessert I was going to try and commandeered them for this instead. You could put the entire cake & pie combo in to a large serving dish, preferably one with clear sides so the layers can be viewed, but I wanted these to be easy for my friends to take home, hence the individual cups.

The next layer is chocolate pudding – fairly self-explanatory.

The final layer is whipped cream, which yes I whipped myself, I didn’t buy the stuff in the can or use cool whip. Not that I am dissing cool whip, I love the stuff! I know that not everybody does though so I went with whipping cream instead, seemed easier, even though I swear eons pass while you are beating the stupid stuff and turning it in to, ya know, whipped cream.

I was going to finely chop some chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream, more for the visual than taste, but I was running late (thanks to how long it takes to whip the cream!) so it didn’t get done. Ah well, not everything can be perfect every time!

I forgot to take any pictures of the final product so my amazing friend kindly sent me a couple that she took. It is hard to see the different layers, but trust me, they are there! The feedback from all who ate it was two thumbs up, so I’m labeling it a keeper!

I would say don’t make your A-Level chocolate cake when doing this trifle, after all, the cake gets mixed with so many other things it stops being the main part of the dessert and becomes one of many parts. One of many yummy parts. Mmm! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in case it didn’t work out I made my A-Level chocolate cake for the same night…and not to be all braggy or anything but it turned out amazing, as it always does. For such a delish cake it sure has an easy recipe…which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much lol I however didn’t have anything summery to decorate it with so the red and green sprinkles got pulled out and well, made it look a bit Christmas-y. Ah well, who says you can’t channel some Christmas vibes in May? Not me! After all, there are only 226 days until Christmas (as of May 13th)…not that I’m counting or anything. πŸ˜‰

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Triple Berry Cobbler

25 Mar

Last week I went to a pot luck and me being me I took a dessert.

The only rules were not to bring too large of a dish as it was a smaller sized gathering and to bring something healthy.

A healthy dessert. That soooo isn’t how I bake lol One of the other people going suggested cobbler and that was the end of my hunt for a food idea. Of course it immediately started a hunt for a new recipe, but hey, who doesn’t like scouring through recipe ideas online until they find the right one?

I didn’t want to spend a lot on fruit, unfortunately for me it is not optimal fruit season so all fruit is expensive, all fruit except frozen! Well, to be fair some frozen fruit is stupid expensive, it should be illegal how much I spend on one bag of frozen raspberries. *sigh* WalMart came to my rescue though and I was able to buy a bag of frozen berries in a family pack size, which means I now have frozen berries for the rest of my life…or a month or so…ya know, if you want to get technical. πŸ˜‰

The recipe I found is from Pinterest and is specifically for frozen berries. Yay for cobbler recipes that are specifically for frozen berries! Way to make my life easier lol

I’ll leave a link to the original site but fair warning, her post goes on forever about her dog and school and vacation and omg it takes her ages to get to the recipe *rolls eyes* To save you scrolling through all that I’ll write the recipe here…says the lady who wrote forever about potlucks and online recipe searches πŸ˜›

Berry Filling:

4 cups frozen mixed berries, not thawed

3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 Tablespoons all purpose flour

zest from one lemon

pinch of salt

Oat Crumble Topping:

1 Cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 Cup brown sugar

6 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 Cup salted butter, cold, cut in to small cubes

The Deets:

Preheat oven to 350C

Make the berry filling by combining all ingredients and tossing.

In a separate bowl make the oat crumble by combining all ingredients. Use your fingers to pinch the butter and incorporate it with the dry ingredients. Keep pinching and mixing together with your hands until evenly combined. You will have some pea sized pieces of butter in the mixture, that’s ok.

Pour the berry filling in to a 1-1/2 quart baking dish (or 8×8 baking dish, a pie baking dish, basically anything that can go in the oven). Top with the oat crumble topping, and spread to an even layer.

Bake uncovered until the berry filling is bubbling, and the oat crumble is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let cool for 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temp with ice cream. It will keep covered at room temp for about 3 days…if it isn’t all eaten by then.

The berry mixture I used had strawberries, blackberries and blueberries but really, you can use whatever fruit you want.

I’d love to be able to tell you how this dish turned out but I didn’t actually get to eat any of it. I had to leave before we got to the dessert section of the evening so I left it with the group and crossed fingers it was edible. I did tell them to feel free to compost it if they wanted, I wouldn’t be offended.

I got a text later that night that all but one serving was gone and three people were eyeing it and by the next day I had a text saying it was gone. I guess it can’t be all that bad if it was eaten in under 24 hours lol

I baked it the day before, let it get to room temperature for an hour than covered it and put it in the fridge over night. We left it on the counter at the party so it could come back up to room temp but I’m sure you could warm it in an oven so you could serve it warm with some ice cream melted on top, yum!

It was super easy to make, which means I’ll probably end up baking one again, if only so I can try a piece!

 

Here is the link to the original recipe:

https://www.tasteslovely.com/triple-berry-crumble-made-with-frozen-fruit/

A Little Bran

3 Mar

Bran muffins, I love em! I never make them, but I love em. When they are warm, fresh from the oven, ripped in half with a bit of butter melting on the soft middle. Mmm!

Since I love them, and most of the ones you find for sale have raisins in them, and I hate raisins more than any other food on the planet, I figured why not bake some?

I asked my mom for her recipe, and she sent me three. I had, unfortunately, already found one online before she sent her three so I stuck with the one I found, figured I’d give it a try, and next time I bake a batch I’ll try one of hers.

Really, I should have just tried one of her recipes, mom’s always know best, am-I-right?

It isn’t that there was anything wrong with the bran muffins, they just weren’t amazing, they didn’t live up to my expectation. They were a bit dry, kinda bland, I guess they perfectly fit the stereotype of a bran muffin…you know, created by those poor souls who have never gotten to eat a good bran muffin.

This recipe had such potential, sigh. I’m thinking that I should have replaced the raisins with some other fruit. The recipe clearly said I didn’t have to add the raisins and it would be fine…I think it lied to me…rude! πŸ˜‰

I won’t actually type out the recipe, since it didn’t turn out all that great, but I will bore you with some pictures of the finished product…

Ignore the different colours of the muffins, that is my poor kitchen lighting lol

Something fun that came from this little bran muffin experiment was that I got to use this lovely new tool…

IMG_0564

My new fave gadget!

I got this for Christmas and I love it! I’ve wanted one for a while but couldn’t justify buying one. I could of course justify putting it on my Christmas wish list! lol

So far I’ve used it for scooping cookie dough and the bran muffins and it is perfect. Everything being the same size without as much eye balling as in the past, I’m getting much more uniform batches of baked goods. Which is probably making you non-bakers roll your eyes but to me it matters. πŸ˜›

I believe the above one is from Michael’s, but don’t quote me on that. I found the same one, Wilton brand, on Amazon.ca and have put a picture just below. If you click on the picture it will direct you to the item on Amazon so you can check it out and purchase if you so desire.

So yeah, Bran Muffins: 1, Me: 0. But never fear! I will try again, and I will conquer the bran muffin challenge!

Accidental Brownie

21 Feb

Sooooo, I sorta made a brownie-in-a-mug this evening when I thought I was going to be making hot chocolate.

Oops?

Although, are brownies ever reeeally an accident? πŸ˜‰

My mom received a cute little jar with dry ingredients layered in it and instructions as to how to turn the contents in to a brownie-in-a-mug. She oh so sweetly gave it to me…mostly she gave it to me because she has stronger will power while I tend to go off the rails a tad more often, so really, I think it was to get temptation out of her pantry and put it in mine lol

For some reason when I read the tag I thought it said it was to make hot chocolate, which confused me because the instructions say to add melted butter, and why would I put melted butter in to hot chocolate? So instead of, oh I dunno, re-reading what it was, I just assumed it was some sort of fancy hot chocolate deal and tucked it aside for when I wanted fancy hot chocolate.

Today was the perfect day for hot chocolate! It was snowy, and chilly but not cold, a great day for being cozy inside with a cup of hot chocolate and a book. πŸ™‚

Again, without re-reading the name of what I was making I poured the dry ingredients in to a mug, added the milk and melted butter, popped the whole thing in the microwave and eagerly awaited my hot chocolate.

Now, the instructions say to let it cool because it will be very hot but you can’t let hot chocolate cool too much or it becomes not as yummy, plus I have noooo patience lol. So it was out of the microwave maybe 30 seconds and I took a spoon to it – I’m that weirdo that likes to drink my hot chocolate by the spoonful instead of sipping from the side of the cup.

I dipped my spoon in and came up with some mighty thick hot chocolate *rolls eyes at self* Not to be deterred, and hello, it is chocolate so no matter what it is going to be good, I tried it and oh man was it good!

Definitely not hot chocolate though! πŸ˜›

It turned in to a fudgey, gooey, chocolate brownie….that just so happened to be in a mug.

There were milk and dark chocolate chips in it, which did not melt, but they were soft so when you got one on the spoon that bite had a little extra Mmm! to it. The bottom part of the brownie was a bit more dry than the top part, but still delish.

I did go take a second look at the instructions that came with the jar and only then noticed that is clearly says “Double Chocolate Mug Brownie”…hey, I never claimed to be super observant…

cake in mug 2

How I thought “hot chocolate” after seeing this I do not know.

cake in mug 3

The little jar it came in. The doily was on top of the lid to make it cuter.

cake in mug 5

Trust me, it tastes better than it looks!

cake in mug 1

The back of the tag – who doesn’t go “awww” when seeing those two hug?

So yeah, not quite the treat I was expecting, but lovely all the same. Now if only I could figure out exactly what was in the dry ingredients and the quantities so I could make it again! I can figure out the basics, but I’ve had cake-in-a-mug before and it was never as good as this one so something is different here…just not sure what.

Looks like I’ll be forced to taste test experiments until I figure it out – oh what a hard life! πŸ˜‰

A New Cookie

1 Feb

A found a recipe for a cookie I wanted to try and oh boy were they a hit! I made them for someone at work as a going away present (so she got all the really pretty ones lol) and the rest I gave away, most of them to other people at work and some to my landlords.

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It’s actually a pretty easy recipe, which I will put right here…

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

1 Cup Butter

2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

2 tsp. Almond Extract

4 Cups Flour

1 tbsp. Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

1/2 tsp Salt

Cream together the butter and sugar until blended.

Add in the eggs, mix well.

Add in the rest of the ingredients.

Don’t panic! The batter will be very thick!

Add in a few drops of red food colouring and stir through for a pretty pink colour. You don’t want to over mix at this point, you want the batter to have pink swirls in it, not be entirely pink.

Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Roll into balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly before baking. Or do what I did and use your snazzy new cookie dough scoop (think ice cream scoop) so your hands don’t get messy and your cookies are all the same size.

Bake in a Preheated 350 degree oven for around 10 to 12 minutes. Careful, they burn easy! (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything πŸ˜‰ )

Once removed from the oven, glaze the cookies with the following glaze recipe, make sure to do this while they are still warm.

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 to 3 Tbsp. milk

1 to 2 drops red food colouring – you want a pretty pink glaze

When making this glaze, if it is quite thick, add more milk or if too runny, add more powdered sugar, until you get it to a spreading consistency.

I don’t recommend topping with sprinkles, I tried that and they melted, making the cookie look like it had smeared drops of blood in the glaze (I used red sprinkles) lol When I tried topping a different cookie with sprinkles, once it and the glaze had cooled a bit, it was too late and the glaze wouldn’t hold the sprinkles. Finicky little things!

The recipe makes a huge amount of cookies, I burned one entire tray (oops!) and still ended up with more than I knew what to do with.

My dough ended up thicker and a bit dryer than the mixture I saw in the original recipe, and because of that my pink swirls ended up more like pink dots, which taste wise is fine, they were still good. But looks wise, could use improvement. I didn’t take in to account change in atmosphere, humidity, etc, when making the cookies. Next time I might make them a tad less dry so I can swirl the colour, see what result that gets me.

The cookie itself has a lovely soft middle with a slight crunch on the outside. The addition of the almond extract in both the cookie and glaze is what people love (I think), because it is different and not the flavour you are expecting when you bite in.

I think it would be a great cookie to make if you needed something to give away, say in a cookie exchange, or for presents, or even to take to a gathering, because it makes so many, isn’t overly sweet, and is pretty. πŸ™‚

Aaaaand because it is always important to give credit where credit is due here is a link to the YouTube video where I got the recipe from…

 

Dragon Cupcake Cake

24 Oct

The title says it all! lol

My dragon boat team had our season end party and I made a dragon cupcake cake for one of the desserts.

I would like to stress I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. I saw a video 6 months ago about making a pull apart cupcake cake in the shape of a unicorn and I thought it might be fun to make but instead of a unicorn make a dragon. About a month ago I googled “dragon cupcake cake” and found plenty of images of amazing looking dragon cupcake cakes. I took the two I liked best, and used their images as inspiration to make my own version.

He came out like this…

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You want to start out by making a double batch of chocolate cupcakes. I used 24 for the dragon, I had 3 that were throwaways because they were the first three I frosted, I don’t have experience frosting with a bag and tip and let’s just say there was a learning curve lol

I attempted to make red frosting as one of my team colours is red but even though I used a “true red” no flavour gel dye from Wilton the best I could get was pink. sigh. The frosting tip was borrowed from work and I have no idea what size or number it was, it was star shaped though…in case that is something that interests you. πŸ˜›

I baked the cupcakes on the Wednesday and waited until the Thursday for frosting and decorating, partly because of time constraints and partly because you want the cupcakes to be completely cooled before moving them around and frosting them.

To make the dragon it is just a matter of having an idea of the shape you want and placing the cupcakes down in that shape, moving and tweaking as necessary until you get a shape that looks right. Then frost the cupcakes, which I quickly learned is harder and yet easier than I thought it would be. Once I got the hang of things it was fairly easy, but it took a bit to feel like I knew what I was doing.

The frosting is a simple buttercream frosting, made to be a bit on the firm side, so it would hold its shape for a while – I was worried about what would happen during transport.

I wanted to distinguish the back from the legs and head so I put a bit of black frosting on those pieces. The claws are made from soft licorice that I cut in to triangles. The eyes are a marshmallow that I broke in half and then flattened, the pupils are brown mini m&m’s that are stuck in to the gooey side of the flattened marshmallow. The nostrils are also brown mini m&m’s, the mouth is made of white chocolate chips, and the whiskers are Twizzler Pull ‘n Peels that I pulled apart so I could get the red strips.

It was a lot of fun to make the face, as it came together it made me smile. Its kind of hard to resist a smiling dragon lol

For transport I dismantled the dragon, the cupcakes just barely fit in to my rectangular cake holder. Once at the party it was quick work to put the cupcakes back in order so the dragon was once again a dragon. I had placed marks on the tray he was going to be displayed on so I knew where some of the body pieces went, making it even easier to get him back together quickly.

The team seemed to like him, pictures were taken, comments were made about how cute he was, he was a hit! πŸ™‚

I’ve got to say, of the desserts I have made for the season end party over the past three years this one is my favourite, and I think the easiest to make…I would have thought he’d be harder, or more work, because it seems a more finicky thing to deal with – all those cupcakes and the decorating and the placement of them, but nope, super easy, and fun! Makes me wonder what other shapes I might try making…

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

13 May

Note to self:

When you decide to make your banana chocolate chip cake in to muffins check to see how many muffin trays you have before committing to that choice.

I baked a double batch of my banana chocolate chip cake / bread last night after work but chose to make them in to muffins. Sounds great right? Well it would be except it turns out I have two muffin trays, each makes 6. The muffins take 20 minutes to bake. So at max capacity I was able to bake 12 muffins at a time.

A double batch of batter. Twelve muffins at a time. Twenty minutes for each dozen. I was baking for-freakin-ever!

I mean yeah, totally worth it, but eesh. *rolls eyes*

I think my next baking investment will have to be another muffin tray…

banana chocolate chip muffins

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