Monday, February 22, 2010

Tiramisu Bundt Cake

I got this recipe from Baking Bites and it turned out really well [although I overbaked it a tad...stupid altitude still gets me! :-( ]. The frosting is fantastic, and the cake is good too, though the coffee and kahlua flavors weren't quite as strong as I thought they might be. The recipe I'm listing here accounts for how I might alter it some to intensify those flavors for next time:

Tiramisu Bundt Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup espresso or very strong coffee*
1/3 cup Kahlua

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking power and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Working in two or three additions, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk large bowl, ending with an addition of flour, and mixing just until everything is incorporated.
Remove 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Remove another cup of batter into a second small bowl. Add espresso to one of the small bowls and whisk until well-combined. Add Kahlua to the second small bowl and whisk until well combined.
Pour half of the plain batter into the bundt pan and spread into an even layer. Pour the Kahlua batter into an even layer on top of the plain batter. Pour espresso batter on top of Kahlua batter. These batters maybe slightly thinner, but do not mix or stir them. Carefully spread all remaining plan batter into the bundt pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan for 15-20 minutes, then turn cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

* To make coffee taste strong enough, I would dissolve one whole packet of Via (or other instant coffee) into 2oz of water

[Altitude adjustments: Add ~2Tbsp flour, decrease baking powder/baking soda by ~25%, and bake at 310 for 40-45min, checking at 30min]

Serves 16.

Kahlua Mascarpone Frosting
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4-oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and beat at medium-high speed until very smooth and fluffy. Use a butter knife or spatula to apply the frosting to the bundt in a thick, even layer.

Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Carmelized Onion

Super-easy and healthy side dish that I threw together for Sunday night's dinner:

Quinoa, cooked and fluffed per container instructions
Butternut squash, cubed (I used frozen to save even more time, although the trick is finding it in stores)
1/2 onion, cut as desired
Asiago/parmesan cheese blend

Saute squash and onion over medium heat until onions are caramelized. Season as desired (I used garlic salt and red pepper flakes).
Sprinkle cheese onto cooked quinoa, top with squash and onions.
Sprinkle more cheese on top if desired.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vegetarian Sausage and Cheese Beer Bread

This was a recipe that I more or less just came up with for a Super Bowl party last year and decided to do it again tonight for an IPA tasting at Scott's friend's house. I actually didn't get to taste any before he left (I stayed home to work?!), so I'll have to hope for leftovers as it smelled and looked pretty tasty!


3 cups all purpose flour (+2Tbsp for alt)
2 tsp baking powder (-1/4tsp for alt)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
12-oz beer (we used Upslope IPA)

1/2 cup diced onion
1 package soyrizo vegetarian sausage (available at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section)
2/3 cup shredded cheese, divided (we used sharp cheddar)

1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 8x8 inch pan.
Heat onion and soyrizo over medium heat on stove, until onions are slightly browned. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Make a well in the center and add in vegetable oil and beer. Mix.
Stir just until no streaks of flour remain, then quickly mix in 1/3 cup of cheese and the onion and sausage mixture; pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 25-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
While still hot, pour melted butter over top, sprinkle with remaining cheese (and a bit of garlic salt if desired).
Bread should be light or medium gold.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caramel Toffee Chocolate Layer Bars

I've been on a serious bar-making kick...this was another good idea in theory but next time requires some tweaks. Really just to the caramel -- I used a microwaveable dipping type of caramel, and next time I think I'll just go the ice cream topping type of route, and decrease (or eliminate) the sweetened condensed milk. These were just ridiculously gooey...tasty, but hard to cut and a little messy to serve. I think a less-water-based caramel like the sauces would solve part of that.
1 box Ghiradelli double chocolate brownie mix
1 stick butter

1 bag toffee pieces/Heath/Skor bar pieces
1 bag (12oz) semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 10oz container caramel/caramel sauce
~ 7oz (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk

1. In a 13x9 pan (or a Baker's Edge pan) melt 1 stick+2Tbsp of butter, then sprinkle brownie mixture over top.
2. Layer chips, toffee, and chunks over top.
3. Drizzle caramel and condensed milk evenly over pan.
4. Bake at 350 for 30-40min, until bubbly and golden brown on edges.
5. Let cool *completely* before cutting; drizzle with chocolate or caramel frosting/drizzle over top for decoration if desired.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Bars

Threw these together the other night on a whim -- idea was good but cake mix not the best -- bubbled up over edges, and was crust stayed too dry in places. Edges also baked way before the insides did, so probably better for Baker's Edge pan. Next time I'll just make a good butter-cookie-like crust and then following the remaining steps...

1/2 cup + 2Tbsp butter
1 box white cake mix

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
12oz (1 bag) white chocolate chunks
1 cup coconut
14oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk

1. In a 13x9 pan (or a Baker's Edge pan) melt 1 stick+2Tbsp butter, then sprinkle cake mix over top.
2. Layer cranberries, chocolate chunks, and coconut evenly over top.
3. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over pan.
4. Bake at 350 for 30-40min, until bubbly and golden brown on edges.
5. Let cool *completely* before cutting; drizzle white chocolate frosting/drizzle over top for decoration.

Champagne Cake

I adapted this recipe from a rum cake recipe on Gimme Some Oven. I still had champagne leftover from those cupcakes and god forbid I just throw it away.
I honestly have not tasted it myself yet, but it has gotten good reviews from my officemates so far. It makes a relatively pretty cake, as the outside is sugar-dusted to begin with, but kinda boring-looking on it's own. (The pics on the original recipe look a lot shinier than mine, so maybe I should have done more with the glaze, or at least upped the butter content?) To improve the aesthetics, I drizzled a vanilla frosting very lightly over the top, and dumped a berry medley into its center before serving. Unfortunately, it was gone before I got a picture of that!


Cake Ingredients
1 (18.25 oz.) package yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup champagne (sweeter the better!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
extra sugar for pan

Glaze Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup champagne


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (I did 315F). Liberally grease (either way cooking spray or butter) a bundt pan, and then pour sugar into it and swirl around until the entire inside of the pan is coated in sugar. (Discard any remaining sugar.)

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup champagne. Blend well. Pour batter into pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes [Mine only took 50 min, tops!!], or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto serving plate. Spoon glaze over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.

Glaze Instructions:

In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup champagne.

Tip: At the suggestion of other readers of the original recipe, I removed the cake from the pan, poked holes all in the cake then poured a little glaze in the pan and then put the cake back in the pan and pour the glaze all over the cake in the pan. Let it sit awhile then shake the cake loose carefully and plate it -- better the next day after giving more time to soak up the glaze flavors!