Marble Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Sometimes it’s just nice to be in your kitchen. After a quick inventory I realized I had everything I needed to make a homemade marble cake with a light fluffy vanilla frosting. I literally had everything! Who can resist that!

This delicious cake is moist and not to heavy the vanilla and chocolate flavors are perfect together and the light marshmallowy frosting adds just enough sweetness. And I’m here to tell ya making a cake for no real reason other than just to have some cake is awesome!

Here’s what you need:

Cake

2 1/4c. Flour

1 2/3 c. Granulated sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder

2/3 c. Butter or Shortening

1 1/4c. Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla

5 egg whites

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F Grease and flour a 9 x 13in glass cake pan.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder in a large mixing bowl add butter milk and vanilla mix on medium speed till well blended. Add egg whites and mix on high speed 2 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl as you mix. In a medium bowl reserve 1 2/3c. batter. Pour remaining batter into the cake pan. Add cocoa powder and baking soda to reserved batter mix well. Spoon onto the top of the vanilla batter and use a butter knife to swirl together for marble effect. Bake 40-45 minutes.

Frosting

2 room temperature egg whites

1/2 c granulated sugar

1/4c. Corn syrup

2 Tbsp. Water

1 tsp. Vanilla

In a large mixing bowl mix egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan stir together sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat to a boil covered. Uncover and boil 4-8 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 240°F. On medium speed slowly pour syrup mixture into the egg whites and mix until glossy peaks form. Add vanilla and mix well. Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Cool cake completely before frosting. Enjoy!

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Oatmeal Cream Pies with a twist!

It’s week two of the Fall cookie series and I found a super simple delicious recipe that anyone can make and look like a cookie pro!

Oatmeal cream pies are a soft cookie with sweet cream filling. I’m pretty sure everyone has eaten the little Debbie version of this treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3/4c. Butter

2 LG eggs

1 box of spice cake mix

1 c. Quick cook oats

1 container of prepared frosting, this what I used…

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp pumpkin pie spice

Blend together the butter and eggs, add the cake mix and oats stir together well. Refrigerate mix for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile put frosting in a bowl and add spices stir and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 350F. Use a small scoop to scoop cookies onto greased cookie sheet, wet your hands and press cookies flat. Bake 12-15min. Cool and add filling. Enjoy!

Strawberry’s and Cream Jelly Roll

I haven’t done much baking lately so tonight I checked the pantry, enlisted a volunteer (my daughter) and we got busy in the kitchen making a Strawberry’s and Cream Jelly Roll! 

Jelly rolls are believed to be a product of Austria and consist of a sponge cake with a filling of jelly, whipped cream, or icing that is then rolled up. The cake itself is a sponge cake and not a crumb cake or birthday style cake. This is an important distinction because a crumb cake would never hold up to the process of rolling the baked caked. 

For our recipe we used a filling of both jelly and a homemade fluffy white frosting. It’s So Yummy! Here is what you need for the cake! 

3 lg eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3cup of water

1/2tsp almond extract

3/4cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4tsp. Salt

Powdered sugar

2/3cup of jelly

1 batch Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting , recipe here https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/white-mountain-frosting/df4dde06-abf9-4af8-9400-7e419564c50f

Preheat oven to 375°F line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl beat the eggs on high and slowly add granulated sugar. Beat in water and extract then slowly add dry ingredients. Beat well until batter is very smooth. Pour into pan and push it to the edges and corners. Bake 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Immediately loosen cake from the sides of the pan and turn upside down on to a kitchen towel generously coated in powdered sugar. Remove parchment paper, trim off any crispy edges, and while still hot roll the cake and the towel place on a cooling rack for 30minutes or until well cooled. Once cool unroll cake spread on jelly and frosting and roll up the cake! Sprinkle with more powdered sugar. Enjoy! 

Meal #2 And OMG That Cake!!

​Ok, recap…the BFF (Amber) and I are baking our way through a Betty Crocker cookbook. Two weeks ago we got started with a simple meatloaf meal, and the next weeks menu called for Chicken Piccata, Parmesan Rice and Peas with Bacon, Tomato Basil Crostini, and for dessert German Chocolate Cake.

We gathered all of our ingredients and got started. We decided to begin with the cake as it needed the most time for baking and cooling etc… It is really important to look at the provided prep and cooking times so you can coordinate your meal properly otherwise your chicken could be cold by the time your rice is done.

Side note story, Amber texted me the day before to ask why there wasn’t any cake mix or frosting on the grocery list! Ummm…. Amber…. I love ya but this is supposed to be cooking our way through a cookbook… so that means we make it from scratch! LOL

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Anyway, the cake mix went together very easily, and we followed all of the steps precisely. This was the very first time Amber had ever made a cake from scratch, so it was a lot of fun! We talked about the difference between soft peaks and stiff peaks when beating egg whites, and once the batter was in the oven, we made the frosting from scratch as well. This was my first ever attempt at the coconut pecan frosting that German Chocolate cake is known for, and I have to say it was easy to do, although I was really relieved that it set up because the it was really, and I mean really runny when it came off the stove.

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Crostini went together very quickly, italian bread, tomato, basil, mozzarella, and capers. I have had capers before and remembered them to be very salty, but I figured the cheese would help balance it,  and lastly the chicken piccata! I was also skeptical of the “sauce”for the chicken. Once coated and pan seared you’re supposed to pour a mixture of broth and lemon juice over it. It sounded awful to me and I was certain it was going to make the chicken breading soggy. Much to my amazement it didn’t and it really added a brightness to it.

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I had a lot of concerns about this meal as I was going… was the frosting going to set up, were the capers going to be too salty, was the chicken going to be soggy…

Now let’s talk about the rice, this was the easiest, and most delicious recipe I have had in a long time,and to make it even better you prepare it all in one pan! It was creamy and light, simply delicious!

With our meal ready, and the cake layers complete with frosting we sat down with the boys to enjoy it! The chicken was juicy with a nice crispy coating, and the rice amazing, I found the crostini to be a little dry but still very flavorful, and now let’s talk about this cake.

I have NEVER, and I mean never had a chocolate cake this good. And that’s saying a lot! I have blogged my own recipes for other chocolate cakes and I’m telling you this was heaven sent! It was moist and delicious, melted in your mouth! The frosting was sweet and buttery… I could have eaten the whole thing… and to make sure I didn’t I sent the rest home with Amber! Who now believes that homemade cake is the only way to eat cake!

We’ll be taking a week off for vacation, and then we’ll have another great family meal from Betty Crockers Red Book! We’ll keep ya posted! Thank you!

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 Here is the link for this to die for recipe!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/german-chocolate-cake/17f6f6d1-2a74-4626-a51a-dd1cd5fc22fd 
Enjoy!!

Marshmallows Are Such A Happy Food

​Reposted from October 2012

I was added to the google+ world recently (within the last year), and although I’m still not entirely sure how to use it, I did manage to become a follower of  +Zagatand I find that some of the articles etc… provided by this site are really interesting. Like the fact that it was toasted marshmallow day recently.  I did not toast a single marshmallow on toasted marshmallow day but I did start researching/writing this blog post on that day so I feel as though I toasted many marshmallows in notion.

Marshmallows are such a happy food.  They’re sweet, squishy, and bring back fun family memories from childhood.  They are much more versatile than what you may think too.  For many the first thing you think of when you hear marshmallow is of course S’Mores!! Yay!! but, there are so many more delights that come from marshmallows.  Hopefully I can enlighten you about the diversity of a happy marshmallow and how you too can enjoy it in some new ways 🙂

The marshmallow was originally created from the root of the “Althaea Officinalis” plant also known as the marshmallow plant and was used as a medicinal confection by the early Egyptians.  When mixed with honey it was found to help cure sore throats and coughing. The french used the root extracts mixed with Rose water and egg meringue; calling it Pate de guimauve; this version more closely resembled the modern day marshmallow. Eventually the root extracts of the marshmallow plant were eliminated and the marshmallow became more of a candy or treat.  Although I love the idea of candy for health!

Modern marshmallow recipes all call for similar ingredients.  Sugar, corn syrup, water, gelatin, dextrose, and vanilla.  Recipes containing gelatin are not vegetarian friendly, however there are ovo-vegetarian friendly, and vegan friendly recipes for marshmallows available online. So no one will miss out on the goodness that is the marshmallow!

Here’s a sweet treat for your cupcakes, courtesy of Marshmallows 🙂

Marshmallow frosting:

1 c. Sugar

1 c. Water

1 Tbsp. Karo Syrup

2 egg whites

Boil the sugar water and karo syrup together until strings form when you pull out the spoon.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and then slowly add the sugar mixture beating on high until stiff and glossy.  Frost cooled cupcakes immediately, and store at room temp in a sealed container if cupcakes are not cool enough to frost right away, refrigerating this frosting can cause it to become overly sticky and difficult to use.  This is a great recipe to top off a fantastic chocolate cupcake.

For an added treat, use a small kitchen torch to toast your marshmallow frosting once piped onto your cupcakes! Yum!!

Enjoy!


Yellow Butter Cake

​Back to baking!  I believe I was talking about cakes. Ah yes, wonderful, sweet, melt in your mouth cakes. There is just something about a good cake that can take you back to your childhood.  All the delicious colorful birthday cakes, homemade or store bought, I never met a cake I didn’t like, and some of them I have LOVED!

The process of cake making started in ancient Egypt, as an unleavened, unsweetened variety. They were “baked” over hot stones, and were hand blended and shaped. Usually only prepared for special occasions.

By the late 1800’s chemical leaveners were introduced (baking powder, and baking soda). As these products became more refined cakes developed into what we think of today.  There are two basic types of cakes. There are sponge cakes, aptly named for their sponginess, these cakes contain very little fat, and rely on the beating of  a high proportion of eggs to flour to get the light texture that they’re known for (remember our “angel” of a cake a couple of posts ago?) .  The second basic type of cake is a butter cake. Can you guess what these are made of?  You bet, a high proportion of fat (butter, margarine, or shortening) coupled with a chemical leavener either baking soda or baking powder to help them rise. Butter cakes are a more dense cake, that have a moist texture. It stores well in the refrigerator, is easy to frost and fill, and is a quintessential cake in American baking. None other than the “birthday cake”.

There are many types of butter cakes, yellow butter cake, white butter cake, chocolate butter cake, and even the gooey butter cake made famous in St. Louis MO. So what are the differences in these cakes? Some differences are obvious, chocolate cake contains chocolate for example. But some are a little more difficult to discern. The difference between yellow butter cake and white butter cake is that yellow butter cake contains only egg yolks, providing that beautiful golden color, and white butter cake contains whole eggs.  But both are super yummy!

I thought I would share with you my recipe for Yellow Butter Cake, so let’s get started.

Here’s what you’ll need.

6 large egg yolks

1 c. whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla

3 c. sifted cake flour

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar

1Tbsp. + 1tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

12 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature. (microwaving does not count, leave your butter out the night before you bake.)

In traditional recipes for butter cake you would use a creaming method where you blend the butter and sugar together first then add eggs, flour, and milk.  This method does work well, but it can cause a gluten affect in your flour, and your cake may not rise to the heights that you know it can.  So I prefer a one bowl method.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour 2- 9 inch cake pans lining the bottom with parchment paper, and set them aside.  In a medium glass bowl blend egg yolks, 3/4 c. of milk,  and vanilla.  In you mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients, and blend together on low setting, add butter, and remaining milk and blend until moistened, mix on medium setting for another 1-2 minutes then begin to add the egg mixture continue beating as you go. Add slowly over about 3 minutes. Once well blended with out lumps, pour evenly into your prepared pans, and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pans on a wire rack.

Do Not frost until cakes have cooled completely or you’ll melt your frosting and make a mess. Trust me I have melted more frosting than I care to admit, I’m so impatient. Make your frosting while you wait for your cake to cool.

For Chocolate Frosting you’ll need

8 oz. semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 c. milk

1/2 c. unsalted butter

3 c. powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a double boiler add chocolate chips, milk,  and butter.  Stir over heat until smooth, add to mixer and beat in the confectioners sugar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth if lumpy run through a strainer.  Refrigerate for at least one hour, then beat for 1-2 minutes before using.

This is one of my favorite cake recipes, it melts in your mouth. The chocolate frosting is the perfect compliment, a sure fire success for birthdays or other gatherings. Enjoy!

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Red Velvet Cake

Here it is… The first post I ever created on “Baking It Real”. This is still one of my favorite recipes and I tweaked it a thousand times before I felt it was ready for it’s big debut. I hope you enjoy it again!

 

So I decided that in order to solidify my place as a note worthy blogger I would share with you; a favorite cake recipe.  Not just any kind of cake though, “Red Velvet Cake“, also known as “Devil’s Food Cake”!

I find this recipe particularly interesting because, it has a great story, it’s easy to make, and tastes really good. It’s also a fun one to impress your friends and relatives with so go ahead give it a try!

There are a number of websites out there claiming to know the history of red velvet cake but it remains a little enigmatic for me. Although, the story is funny so I’ll tell it anyway. In the early 1920’s a women tried red velvet cake for the first time as a guest at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Before leaving the hotel she decided she wanted a copy of the recipe and requested a copy from the hotel’s head chef explaining that she would like to purchase a copy of their recipe.   She received a copy of the recipe before leaving and upon checking out she also received a bill from the head chef for $200.  Furious over the fee for the recipe she quickly shared it with everyone she knew, even passing out copies on the train on the way home!  Guess she got her revenge because red velvet cake did become very popular over the next several decades, and is now a staple in bake shops and cupcakeries all over the world.

Many of the recipes for red velvet cake call for obscene amounts of red food coloring (and I mean obscene 4-5 BOTTLES in some recipes!) others call for far less, and some chefs believe the original recipe had none at all!  So where does that beautiful red color come from? … Drum roll please….

Simple chemistry. I know a little anticlimactic right?

Early forms of cocoa powder contained large amounts of anthocyanins (natural red pigments).  This naturally occurring acid reacts with the acids in the buttermilk, and vinegar to produce a bright red color! Ta Da! Red velvet Cake. Like wise these anthocyanins will react with bases like baking soda to produce a rather unappetizing greyish green color so beware the baking soda when working with cocoa.  Commonly found cocoa powders  today are known as “Dutch processed” cocoa’s, some of their anthocyanins have been stripped away and so they do not provide such a profound color change; so the modern day chef began helping it along with a little or a TON of red food coloring.

Almost all of the recipes you will find today contain the same essential ingredients,  Butter or shortening, flour, cocoa, sugar, buttermilk, and vinegar.  Most of these ingredients are common pantry items, and you should have just about  everything they need to make a great red velvet cake.  I have a hard time finding Buttermilk though, it’s not a common ingredient in most kitchens anymore so here are two ways to make your own buttermilk, or at least a suitable substitute.

Real Buttermilk:

2-3 pints Heavy Whipping Cream

Place cream into an air tight container and shake. It will form into whipped cream and eventually butter solids will form.  Remove the butter solids and voila! the remaining liquid is none other than the ever elusive buttermilk you’ve been looking for!

Image courtesy of joepastry.com

Option 2: Buttermilk  Substitute

1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice

1c. whole milk

Start with your vinegar in a 1 c. measuring cup and add the whole milk allow to stand for about 5 minutes and use interchangeably as buttermilk.  Easy and less expensive.

O.K. now that we have all of our ingredients lets make some cake! This recipe calls for the following ingredients:

1/2 c. shortening

1 1/2c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

1.5 oz. red food coloring

1 tsp. salt

1tsp. vanilla

1 c. buttermilk or buttermilk substitute

2 1/4 c. flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside.  mix shortening and sugar together once creamy add the eggs blend well.  In a separate bowl mix the food coloring and cocoa together into a paste, and then add to the shortening mixture.  Mix salt, vanilla, and buttermilk together, add alternately with the flour starting with the flour first until all well incorporated ( yes it will have a Willie Wonka red coloration don’t worry) Mix baking soda and vinegar together in a separate bowl and then fold into the batter. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will give your cake a little lift making it light and fluffy.  Pour evenly into the two prepared baking pans and place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely then split the layers, stack with cream cheese frosting in between the layers and frost the outside.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. unsalted butter softened

4 oz. Cream cheese

2 C. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix together until smooth. Refrigerate for about 30minutes before using for best results.

Enjoy!!

image courtesy of pinchmysalt.com