fat bottom

fat bottom

Monday, November 30, 2009

when the chocolate craving attacks...

sometimes without warning, BAM! things just come and knock you down... for example... today, while grocery shopping i got a nose full of chocolaty goodness... i mean extreme chocolate overload... now... i could have simply walked over to the bakery section, took the easy way out and bought a cake right there... problem is, i just can't do that...
now i've had cakes and confections made from grocery store bakeries before, and yes, they are good... but... why pay money for something that is totally full of chemicals and preservatives when i can make something totally full of butter and fat... a-ha ha ha...

so... as for the sudden chocolate craving... i felt like i was pregnant again... except this time it wasn't ricotta cheese and tomatoes like with jack, or seltzer by the gallon as with ben... it was chocolate and i needed it... i needed it bad...
so when i got home, i inventoried my pantry and gathered all my ingredients... and that's when i had my "what a dork" moment and realized while at the grocery store earlier i forgot to buy some buttermilk, so my favorite chocolate cake recipe went out the window...
so while sitting there scratching my head, i glanced at the container of hershey's cocoa powder, and low and behold there was the recipe for their "perfectly chocolate- chocolate cake"... and i figured hey, why not try a classic... and man... it was pretty awesome! literally with out bite i was sucked back in time... instant nostalgia... it was if i was back in grandma's kitchen...
i cannot believe i had never ever tried this recipe before... it really satisfied my craving... the cake itself was moist and tender, and the bonus yummy frosting complimented it so nicely... now it isn't my number one chocolate cake recipe, but i was damn good... no wonder it's a classic...
cake ingredients:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup hershey's cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
"perfectly chocolate-chocolate cake" frosting(recipe follows below)
1. Heat oven to 350. grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans
2. stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl
3. add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes.
stir in boiling water (batter will be thin)
4. pour batter into prepared pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks and cool completely

perfectly chocolate-chocolate frosting recipe:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. melt butter then stir in cocoa
2. alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to desired spreading consistency
3.add small amount additional milk, if needed and stir in vanilla

happy baking everyone!

thanks for dessert!!

a family favorite... pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon sugar vanillabean butter-creamcheese frosting...

homemade napoleons... a crowd pleaser for sure... i should have made more cause they went in a flash!
cinnamon sugar dream cake... one word... amazing
it's a decadent crossbreed between a coffee cake-pound cake- yogurt cake... soft and moist and buttery...
bourbon pecan pie... what would thanksgiving be without pecan pie...

just some of the yummy desserts my family and i shared over this past thanksgiving holiday... i'm so thankful for everyone in my life an all the love that surrounds me...

happy baking everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

simply delicious

so, being that i was going to have some company this weekend i wanted to be the good little hostess and have some treats upon their arrival... now, as you might already know, i am a sucker for cupcakes, and i usually bake them up, but i was feeling a little rebellious and wanted to change it up a bit... i had seen this recipe on a fellow blogger's site, and they immediately appealed to me...
they seemed simple yet perfectly delicious... and i knew i had to make them... who doesn't love sugary buttery cookies, and bonus! slathered in awesome cream cheese frosting... hard to resist right?!

sugar cookie bars:

1 cup butter; room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda


1. cream butter and sugar until fluffy
2. add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg, then add vanilla & mix well
3. in a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine
4.add to wet mixture and mix just until combined, then spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan).
5. bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

they really were delicious... easy to make and even easier to eat :-)

happy baking everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

a little bit of NY flavor

sometimes the hardest part about not living in new york is all the food that i cannot have... i know, boo hoo for becky... but seriously, there's nothing better then a warm slice of new york pizza (i heart)... a fresh from the oven new york bagel (i swoon)... and not to mention, the overindulgent new york pastries ( i drool)...
so sometimes i have to take matters into my own hands... we do homemade pizza here at least once a week (the husband and i are pizza nuts), lately it's been a lot of thin crust, fresh mozzarella grandma pies... and as for bagels, i haven't found a recipe that really peaked my interest (if anyone knows any please let me know)... but as for pastries... that's something i will not shy away from trying to make... even if i have to simplify the recipe, or fail trying... nothings going to stand in my way of achieving pastry bliss... because honestly, i can't justify jumping in the car and driving 3 hours to buy some Italian style NY sweets... well... maybe i could, but the hubs certainly couldn't...
so being that i was in the mood for a taste of home i pulled out an old favorite... the homemade napoleon... i first made these about 3 years ago for a 4th of july party... and needless to say, they were a huge hit... i can remember my late uncle tommy insisting that they were the reason he gained weight that summer... whenever i would make them, he would look at me, smile and say "ahh, the dessert that made me gain 10 pounds"... as i was working on them today, i shed a few tears remembering my uncle tommy... he was truly an amazing guy

the recipe is fairly simple... if you have the patience, you could certainly make your very own homemade puff pastry, but as for me, i sucked it up and used the store bought kind... what can i say... as much as i hate to admit it, sometimes it's just easier to go store bought... the only real time consumer is making the vanilla pastry cream, which really isn't too bad...

1 sheet of puff pastry ( i thawed it and seperated into 3 equal sized sheets, and baked according to the directions on the box)
pastry cream (thanks to dorie greenspan):

2 cups whole milk
1 plump vanilla been, split and scraped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 3 pats

1. bring the milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow the milk to infuse for at least 10 minutes or for up to 1 hour.
2. if the milk has cooled, it will need to be reheated now.
3. whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. whisking constantly, drizzle one-quarter of the hot milk over the yolks. when the yolks are warm, whisk the remainder of the milk into the yolks in a steadier stream; remove and discard the pod.
4. put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, bring the mixture to the boil. keep at the boil still whisking for 1 to 2 minutes before pulling the pan from the heat and pressing the cream through a sieve into the small bowl. let the cream sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter. Cover the cream with a piece of plastic wrap—press the wrap against the cream—and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

as for the glaze, it was a simple milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar combination, and for the chocolate, all that was added cocoa powder to the vanilla glaze...

happy baking everyone!
and hey uncle tommy... "who has it better then us"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

banana caramel crunch pumpkin spice cake... a mouthful...

so... i can't get enough of anything pumpkin... it's like i'm pregnant... all i have been craving as of late is pumpkin spice cake, and hot wings drenched in blue cheese...

so, in order to satisfy atleast one of my cravings i whipped up a 6 inch 3 layer cake... just enough for me, the hubs, jack, and me again... i've come to the conclusion that 8 or 9 inch layer cakes for just me and the boys can... well... leads to that "oh why" moment... as in "oh why did i eat that third piece of peanutbutter double chocolate mousse cake..." and the inevitable "i'm going to have to run a marathon to burn this off"... but when your wrapped up in the ecstasy of every sinful bite, well... those thoughts just seem to float away...

anyways back to the fun stuff... CAKE...

i've used this recipe on several occasions... in one word it's incredible... except today i omitted the carrot in the batter...

now as for filling and frosting... i could not decide between caramel creamcheese frosting, or cinnamon spice creamcheese frosting... and i wanted to add a little bit of contrast in texture... so i was torn between toffee pieces or some nice thin slices of banana... hmmm... then i had an epiphany... why did i have to choose... couldn't i have it all?!

so... i got selfish...

the bottom layer had a nice smear of cinnamon spice creamcheese frosting, and lovely ribbons of salt caramel...

then for added texture... some toffee pieces...

but wait... it gets better...

the next layer was topped with yet another smear of cinnamon spice creamcheese, and topped with some ripe banana...

and for the finale...

covered with more yummy cinnamon spice creamcheese frosting... the darker frosting is in fact ultra cinnamon spice creamcheese frosting...

now to be a good wife and wait till the hubby gets home from work to dig in...

happy baking everyone!!