Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bowl Cake

I have come up with a simple, delicious solution to leftover cake and icing. I cannot seem to master making just the right amount of icing when making cakes, so I always either don’t have enough or have some leftover. Also, when decorating cakes sometimes they need to be trimmed (a lot). So, as I absolutely hate to waste anything, I came up with a clever solution to my problem. I’m not sure if I’m the first one to do this, but I have never heard of it before. I call it “Bowl Cake.” Here’s how to make it:

1.      Put the leftover cake pieces in a bowl (size depending on how much leftover cake you have). It’s okay if there is some icing stuck on the cake (in fact, it’s even better). Squish the cake down lightly.
2.      Dollop any leftover icing on top of the cake pieces. Spread it to cover. If cake crumbs lift on to the icing when you try to do this, it’s perfect. If you want, you can put dabs of icing in between the pieces of cake under the top layer of icing.
That’s it! It’s that simple!

I love bowl cake because it is very moist, and you get enough icing with each bite of cake. If you want to make the bowl cake look more sophisticated, you can decorate it with piping, shaved chocolate, whipped cream, etc. This cake isn’t meant to look sophisticated though, since it is the leftovers from the sophisticated cake. If you want, save the entire bowl cake for yourself; you’re the decorator – you deserve it!

Here is a picture of double chocolate bowl cake from when I made Death By Chocolate Cake in my July 24th post.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ice Cream Flavours

In honour of summer, I decided to take part in a little challenge. I am going to see how many different ice cream flavours I can name in five minutes. I promise not to search the internet or the freezer or anything if I get stuck, this is entirely on my own. I am going to time myself for five minutes. Before you read any further, you should try this yourself and see if you can beat me. Okay, here goes.!

  • Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Hoofprints, Death By Chocolate
  • Tiger, Bubblegum, Cotton Candy, Orange Pineapple, Moon Mist
  • Udderly Divine, Heavenly Hash, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Grasshopper, Blueberry, Caramel Cups, Peanut Butter
  • Butterscotch Ripple, Cappuchino, Coffee, Fudge Crackle
  • Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate Caramel, Cherry, Black Forest
  • Strawberry Banana,Caramel Chocolate Swirl, Wowie Cowie
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Eruption
  • Birthday Cake, Gooey Mooey, Funky Monkey, Half-baked
  • Cherry Garcia, If I Had 1000 Flavours, Maple Walnut, Butter Pecan
  • Almond Crunch, Chocolate Almond, Nutty Crunch,Cookies and Cream
  • New York Cheesecake, Cherry Cheesecake, Banana Split, Hawaiian
  • Tropical Treat, Butterfinger, Reese, Smartie, Oreo, Pina Colada
  • Key Lime, Lemon Meringue Pie, Banana Cream, Coconut Extreme

Whew, I've got 56 in five minutes. Can you beat that?

PHOTO CREDIT:"Ice Cream!" .allkpops, n.d. Saturday, July 30, 2011.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Banana Bread

Ahh, the old classic, Banana Bread. So simple, yet oh so good! I haven't met anyone who doesn't like banana bread. Banana Bread is the perfect solution to use up all those ripe bananas. Here is the recipe we always use in our house. It is from Company's Coming "Muffins & More." I line the pan with waxed paper, and usually leave out the nuts and chocolate chips - it is just as good without.

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (3 medium)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Add mashed bananas and blend in.

In second bowl, stir flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt, nuts, and chocolate chips. Add to banana mixture stirring only to moisten. Transfer to greased 9x5x3 inch (23x12x7 cm) loaf pan. Bake in 350F oven for about 1 hour until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan and place on cake rack to cool. Wrap to store.

Paré, Jean. "Banana Bread." Recipe. Muffins & More, Edmonton Alberta: Company's Coming Publishing Limited, 1983. 40.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Squares

Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake Squares are rich, creamy, chocolatey squares on a coconutty shortbread base. I really liked the base because I love shortbread, and although I am not a huge coconut fan, the coconut in the base made the squares different and interesting. The chocolate cheesecake topping was dense and delicious. Any cheescake lover will devour these squares. They were fairly easy to make, and didn't take too long. One thing that surprised me about these squares was that the base did not have to be baked prior to adding the filling, which was a major convenience. The crust was firm, and although the cheescake was quite soft (it might be due to the heat) the squares cut very easily and stayed together very well. These squares really hit the spot and satisfy a hankering for sweets!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese

Tonight for supper I prepared the classic Macaroni and Cheese with my mother. Today was a lazy, rainy day, and Macaroni and Cheese was the perfect comfort food to have to lift the spirits a bit. This recipe is nothing special, just the standard macaroni with a cheese sauce made from cheddar cheese, onion, milk, and butter. Sometimes the simplest dishes end up being the tastiest. It's a quick, easy meal to prepare when you don't know what else to make. And it can always be jazzed up to suit your own tastes.

  • Add-ins: chicken, ham, ground beef, tuna, chopped veggies.
  • Cheeses: Use a different kind, or a combination of several different.
  • Flavours: Add different herbs, spices, or sauces.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and butter, cracker crumbs, hot sauce.
The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Barbecued Everything

It's summertime, and for many people that means cooking on the barbecue as often as possible; lunch, supper, and even breakfast and dessert?! Grilling has certainly gained  popularity over the past few years, with food items going where they have never gone before. For example, until recently I had never heard of grilling grapefruit, radicchio, or pound cake. And did you know you can grill pizza, sandwiches, and meatloaf? Biscuits, muffins, and breads can also be cooked on the barbecue. 
Just recently, I came across a recipe for chocolate cake on the barbecue while reading a cookbook dedicated to barbecues. The book also included recipes for bananas caramel, apple pie, and dessert pizza on the barbecue. It turns out that when it is just too hot to turn on the oven and heat up the entire house, the barbecue can be used to cook just about anything! Barbecues can be used as an oven to cook anything in a pan, simply by placing the pan on the medium grill over indirect heat to cook, and rotating the pan at half time. It will take about the same amount of time to cook as it would in the oven at 350F. This works for cakes, muffins, bread, and even cookies. Isn't that neat? Now you can bake anytime through the summer, no matter how high the temperature is!
PHOTO CREDIT:"bbq.jpg" .Change My Plate, n.d. Saturday, February 2, 2013. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chocolate Crunch

Today I made Chocolate Crunch from the Company's Coming Cookbook "Sweet Dreams" in the Focus Series, by Jean Paré. This is a quick, easy, and tasty recipe that does not require an oven. I have included the recipe. The only trouble I had was dipping the slices into the melted chocolate. I found the chocolate was too hot, and when dipped, the slices fell apart because of the heat. It would not work if the chocolate was allowed to cool, because then the chocolate would not be of dipping consistency. So instead of entirely coating the slices, I just used a small spoon to spread the melted chocolate over the top of the slices. This seemed to work out well. The slices are not quite as chocolatey as if they had been fully coated, but that just means you can eat more of them :)

Chocolate Crunch
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
4 semi-sweet chocolate baking squares (one ounce or 28 grams each)

Combine peanut butter and corn syrup in small bowl. Add cereal. Mix well. Roll into 8 inch (20 cm) long log. Chill. Cut with sharp knife into 1/4 inch (6 mm) slices.

Heat chocolate in small heavy saucepan on lowest heat, stirring often, until almost melted. Do not overheat. Remove from heat. Stir until smooth. Place 1 slice on fork. Dip into chocolate until coated, allowing excess to drip back into pan. Place on waxed paper. Repeat with remaining slices and chocolate. Let stand until set. Makes about 32 pieces.

Paré, Jean. "Chocolate Crunch." Recipe. Sweet Dreams, Edmonton Alberta: Company's Coming Publishing Limited, 2007. 16.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Death By Chocolate Cake

Well, here it is, the Death By Chocolate Cake. For this cake, I decided to focus on the taste and flavour of the cake rather than the piping and decorations, so it is more of a simpler-looking cake. The cake begins with my trusted moist chocolate scratch cake, to which I added one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sandwiched between the two eight inch round layers of cake are a layer of hot fudge sauce, chocolate chocolate chip filling, and a second layer of hot fudge sauce. The cake is finished off with chocolate buttercream and milk chocolate piping. I stuck a few regular sized and miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips on the side of the cake for decoration and extra chocolate.
To serve this cake, slice it into wedges, top with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, drizzle with more hot fudge sauce, add some chocolate curls for decoration, and enjoy with a tall glass of chocolate milk. This truly is a chocoholic's dream!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Welcome to my blog! Although I have been cooking and baking for a long time, this is the first time I have decided to blog about it. I am excited to share all of my delicious creations with you. As it is summertime, I am anticipating having more time to bake and blog, although the hot temperatures may prevent me from turning on the oven quite as often (time to crack open my book of no-bake desserts). For those days that I do not bake, I will write up a post of culinary interest. I do not have a food item to share with you today, I am merely submitting a note of welcome and appreciation for taking the time to read my blog. However, you can anticipate a post tomorrow, as I am in the midst of preparing a "Death By Chocolate" birthday cake, so be sure to check back at the blog for the upcoming post!