Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Root Beer Bundt Cake

A cake between friends:

Have you ever met somebody and instantaneously hit it off? You just connected immediately? I am not referring to a romantic situation, but the same logic applies. This past year I made an incredible friend, Elyse, who found me right here on this blog. It started out simple enough. We just commented on each others blog, which then turned into emails, followed up by daily conversations on Gchat. She and I were lucky enough to finally meet in person this past Labor Day weekend when I went to visit another friend in San Fransisco. Elyse is a wonderful friend and an amazing baker. If you have not visited her blog yet, then take a break and go right now. Since Elyse and I can not actually get together to bake since she is on the west coast and I am on the east coast, she and I decided we would do a bake-along a couple times a month. This month I was pressed on time, but we wanted to make a cake. Elyse mentioned this cake and I thought it would be great. I thought this cake was really delicious and the frosting was incredible, but I honestly did not taste a bit of the root beer flavor. The recipe suggest using root beer schnapps, which I recommend if you want to taste the root beer.

Root Beer Bundt Cake
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

For the bundt cake:
2 cups root beer (not diet)
1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with nonstick spray, or butter and flour it.

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy—do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small knife (or toothpick) comes out clean.

Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.

Root Beer Fudge Frosting
2 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup root beer
2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Put all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth. (Note: I do not have a food processor so I just used an hand mixer which worked fine.)

Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the bundt in a thick layer.

Let the frosting set before serving. Serve with ice cream on the side (I recommend Vanilla).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Terrifying Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle

More Spooky Treats

I hope you enjoyed the "Trix"ster Treaters I posted last week. I think they were adorable, but as you all know I am a chocolate peanut butter person so this week's post it more my taste.
This trifle is for all the chocolate peanut butter lovers out there. Layered with moist brownies, rich peanut butter mousse, and crunchy Reese's Puffs, this dessert is not for the faint of heart. This trifle incorporates an element of terror for your guests when they dig in and find a gummy work or eye ball mixed in with their mousse.

Terrifying Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix, prepared
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 cups Reese's Puffs Cereal
Assorted Halloween Candies (i.e. gummy worms, gummy eyeballs, spiders)

Prepare Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie Mix as directed and let cool.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside. Divide brownies, peanut butter mousse, and Reese's Puffs Cereal into thirds.

In a trifle dish or large bow, layer one third of the brownies followed by the peanut butter mousse and the Reese's Puffs Cereal. Place assorted candies in between layers making sure they are visible from the outside of the dish. Repeat layers two more times, finishing with Reese's Puffs. Decorate top with remaining Halloween Candies.

Halloween "Trix"ster Treaters

I love Halloween!

For those of you who know me, you know that I love pretty much every Holiday, but Halloween is one of my favorites. One would think that I would hate Halloween since I scare terribly easily and I hate being scared, but I love it. Don't get me wrong, I won't go in a Haunted House and I am not about to watch a scary movie, but I still love Halloween. I love dressing up and I love the decorations. Zack fears that I am going to be one of those people that decorates every corner of the house. I keep telling him that he does not have to worry...but maybe he should :)

You may think it is a little early for me to be posting about Halloween, and ordinarily I would agree with you. This time there is a special exception. I was contacted by the BettyCrocker.com and asked to create some Halloween recipes using a selection of General Mills Cereals. Since I love Halloween and I love cereal I jumped at the opportunity. The little guys pictured above were actually the last of the four recipes I created. I had a lot of fun making these recipes. This recipe in particular would be perfect to make with kids. The first step in the recipe is to sort an entire box of Trix by color so you can make the treats any color combination of your choice. It is important an adult melts the butter and marshmallows, but when the treats are cool let the kids help decorate. The possibilities are endless!

"Trix"ster Treaters
recipe from Baked Perfection

3 tablespoons butter
10 oz. package regular marshmallows
6 cups Trix cereal (colors separated)
Assorted Candies
Betty Crocker Cookie Icing

Multi-Color instructions:

Coat a 9 x 13 x 2 pan with cooking spray

In a saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove from the heat. Add Trix cereal and stir until completely coated. Using a greased spatula, evenly press mixture into the prepared pan. Cool completely and decorate with assorted candies and sprinkles. Use icing to attach candies.

Color Variations:

In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 12 marshmallows over low heat, stirring occasionally until completely melted. Remove from the heat. Add 2 cups of desired color Trix cereal and stir until completely coated. Using a greased spatula, evenly press mixture into the prepared pan. Cool completely and decorate with assorted candies and sprinkles. Use icing to attach candies.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Key Lime Bars

Summer is at an end...

Sorry I have been gone so long, but I am back. I hope you have missed me as much as I have missed you. If you saw my last post then you know a lot has been going on. Since then, we moved into our new house (which is amazing), I went to visit some friends in San Francisco, and we began wedding planning. For those of you are interested in the wedding details I want to tell you we picked our date and venue! We are getting married May 22nd, 2010 in Alexandria, Virgina at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. I am still on Cloud 9 and I imagine I am going to be for a long time. We still have a ways to go when it comes to furnishing and decorating our house and wedding planning, but I am loving every minute of it. Thanks for all the nice things you had to say and if you have any tips or advice for weddings I would love to hear it. In the mean time I have a recipe for you. Like many of my recipes, I got this from my future mother-in-law (have I mentioned how amazing a baker she is lately). These key lime bars are absolutely amazing. They are the perfect summer dessert, but are really good anytime of year if you ask me :)

Teresa Miller's Key Lime Bars

2 1/4 c Flour
2/3c Powdered sugar
1 tsp Baking powder
1 c Butter Softened
5 lg Eggs
2 c Sugar
1/2 c Key Lime Juice

Preheat over to 350 degrees

Grease 13 x 9 baking pan

In a bowl, combine 2 cups flour, powered sugar, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Cut in butter with 2 knives until crumbs and press into baking dish. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until slightly browned.

In a second bowl, combine eggs, sugar, lime juice, 1/4 c flour, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Pour mixture over hot crust and bake 22 - 25 minutes until lightly browned. When completely cooled dust with powdered sugar.