Thursday, October 9, 2014

Root Beer Bundt Cake

The sweet flavor of root beer is uniquely delicious.  The aroma of root beer takes me back to my childhood days when I could not get enough, especially if it included vanilla ice cream.  Being from a large italian family, huge family birthday parties brought out all the distant cousins of all ages who would gather at a local park that had those awesome shelters with electricity.  The birthday parties always included root beer and vanilla ice cream. 

It is amazing what memories the awesome aromas of food and drinks bring out in us.

The recipe comes from the kitchen of the Food Network.  If you haven't checked out the website and you are a serious foodie, you must check it out! The link to the website follows the recipe.

Wouldn't this cake be awesome served warm with some ice cream?  I think so!!!


1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 cups root beer
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
3 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan; tap out the excess flour.

Heat 2 cups root beer, the cocoa powder, chocolate and 1 stick butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the granulated and brown sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Combine 2 cups flour, the baking soda, allspice and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the root beer mixture, then gently fold in the dry ingredients (the batter will be slightly lumpy).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer to a rack. Gently poke the cake all over with a skewer and pour 1/4 cup root beer over the cake; let cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving plate and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup root beer, a pinch of salt, the confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.

Photograph by Kang Kim

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christmas Cannoli Cake

What can I say about one my favorite desserts in the form of a cake?

Can't wait to make this!


Sponge Cake Roll

    • 4 cup(s) eggs, at room temperature
    • teaspoon(s) granulated sugar
    • 1 cup(s) vanilla extract
    • tablespoon(s) flour
    • 1 freshly grated orange zest
    • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Cannoli Filling

    • 1 tub(s) (16 oz) 73% or 75% moisture ricotta cheese (we used BelGioioso; see Note)
    • 3 tablespoon(s) orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, Triple Sec or Strega)
    • 1/4 cup(s) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup(s) heavy (whipping) cream
    • 1/2 cup(s) coarsely chopped mixed candied fruit
    • 1 1/2 ounce(s) dark or bittersweet chocolate, grated on large holes of box grater

Sweetened whipped cream, melted chocolate and chopped mixed candied fruit


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Spray bottom and sides of a 1 51⁄2 x 10 1⁄2-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Line with wax paper and spray paper.

Cake Roll: 
Beat eggs and sugar with mixer on high speed 5 to 6 minutes in a large bowl until very thick and tripled in volume. 

Add vanilla with mixer. 

Sprinkle flour over top and add orange zest. 

Fold in gently with a rubber spatula just until blended. 

Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 13 to 15 minutes until golden around edges. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Lay a smooth kitchen towel on work surface and sift confectioners' sugar. Invert cake on towel, remove pan and peel off wax paper. 

Roll up cake and towel from a narrow end of cake. 

Cool completely on rack.

Beat ricotta cheese, liqueur and sugar in a medium bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. Pour cream into a large bowl; beat until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Fold ricotta mixture and candied fruit into cream

Unroll cake and spread evenly with ricotta-cream mixture. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Roll up as tightly as possible and decorate. 

To decorate: Put cake on serving plate. Garnish with whipped cream, melted chocolate and candied fruit. 

Refrigerate until serving (up to two days). 

Slice with a serrated knife.

Note: Tips & techniques

If 73% or 75% moisture ricotta cheese is unavailable, drain a 15-oz tub whole-milk ricotta in a coffee filter–lined strainer set over a bowl 24 hours in the refrigerator. Proceed with recipe, omitting orange liqueur. 

Planning Tip: 

The cake can be made through Step 6 up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate in a ziptop bag. 

Prepare and refrigerate filling up to 1 day ahead. 

Decorate refrigerated cake up to 4 hours before serving.


Womans Day

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dulce de Leche Swirl Cheesecake

Cheesecake recipes always get my attention!

This recipe comes from Martha White.  I've never been disappointed with any of their recipes that are on the packages of flour, cornmeal, etc.  In fact, some of them have been in my collection since I was a teenager. Check out their website for awesome recipes!



    • 2 (7 oz.) packages Martha White® Apple Cider Flavored Muffin Mix, or Cinnamon Sugar Muffin Mix
    • 1/2 cup very soft butter


    • 3 (8 oz.) packages Neufchatel or 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2/3 cup Smucker's® Caramel Flavored Topping


HEAT oven to 325ºF. 

SPRAY bottom of 9-inch springform pan with no-stick cooking spray.

For crust: BEAT muffin mix and butter on low speed of electric mixer until a dough forms. Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

For filling: BEAT cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl on low speed of electric mixer for about one minute. Add the eggs and mix until well-combined.

SPREAD cream cheese mixture evenly over crust. Pour caramel topping onto cheesecake layer. Swirl through mixture with knife several times for a marbled design.

BAKE for 45 to 55 minutes or until center is set and edges are light brown. Cool for 45 minutes at room temperature. 

Chill overnight or at least 3 hours before serving.

Nutritional Information Per Serving

Serving Size (1 slice, 1/12 of cake), Calories 460 (Calories from Fat 230), Total Fat 26g (Saturated Fat 14g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 110mg, Sodium 470mg, Total Carbohydrate 49g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 33g), Protein 8g; Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 20%, Iron 10%.

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Source:  Martha White

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fiesta Smothered Chicken


    • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (5 ounces each)
    • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1/4 cup chopped onion
    • 4 teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
    • 6 teaspoons butter, divided
    • 1/4 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
    • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder in a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the chicken. 

Seal bag and coat the chicken; set aside.

Saute the mushrooms, onion and jalapeno in 2 teaspoons butter until tender in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Remove and keep warm.

Drain and discard marinade. 

Place drained chicken in remaining butter in the same skillet.  Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 170°. 

Spoon vegetable mixture over chicken breasts.  Sprinkle with cheeses. 

Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Yield: 2 servings.

Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Originally published as Fiesta Smothered Chicken 
in Cooking for 2 Spring 2009, p28

SeaBear Dungeness Crab

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