Carrot Cake Bread

18 Nov

November 18th, 2015

Thanksgiving is around the corner and I’m sure pumpkin everything is popping up everywhere. To change it up a bit I made carrot cake bread. In my opinion, the time consuming part of this recipe is peeling and shredding the carrots, but luckily, the reward is eating the super moist finished product.

The carrot cake bread can be served as is or topped with a cream cheese glaze. Since I had some cream cheese frosting left over I used that. I added a little bit of milk to make the frosting pourable. (The recipe below is for the cream cheese glaze and not the frosting). With or without the glaze, the carrot cake is equally as tasty.

We have about a week left before Thanksgiving…what are you baking for the holiday this year?

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Cake
1 ½ C shredded carrots
6 oz sugar
¾ C vegetable oil
2 eggs
6 ¾ oz AP flour
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

Y= two 4×7 inch loaves

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, paddle sugar and oil together.
  2. Add the eggs. Mix to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add the dries to the wet mixture.
  5. Add shredded carrots and mix to incorporate.
  6. Divide into loaf pans (I used paper loaf pans, which worked great).

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 ⅔ C powdered sugar, sifted
¼ – ½ C milk

Directions

  1. Paddle cream cheese and powdered sugar together until fully incorporated.
  2. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.


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Raspberry Profiteroles

17 Sep

September 17th, 2015

When I posted a picture of these pre-baked profiteroles on my Instagram feed, I got a few questions asking what exactly are profiteroles? Many people know them as cream puffs, a French choux pastry, slightly crispy on the outside with a hollow inside typically filled with some type of cream, custard, or ice cream. The more well-known counterpart are eclairs, which uses the same choux dough, but are piped in an oblong shape.

Instead of filling these profiteroles with whipped cream, custard or ice cream, I used leftover raspberry mousse that I had when I made these raspberry mousse cups. Since choux dough isn’t really sweet, I finished them off with a bit of sweetness by coating them with a raspberry glaze.

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Profiteroles
6 oz butter
¾ C milk
¾ C water
½ tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1 ½ C AP flour
5 eggs

Y= 62 1.5-inch profiteroles

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix together sugar, salt, flour. Set aside.
  2. Crack eggs in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter on medium heat.
  4. Add the milk and water. Let mixture come to a boil. Reduce heat.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture.
  6. Using a wooden spatula, quickly stir the mixture to incorporate everything, making sure there are no lumps of flour. Continue to stir; be careful to not let the bottom burn.
  7. Stir until the batter looks ‘dried-out’, about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a mixer bowl. Use a paddle attachment and paddle on medium speed to cool.
  9. Carefully add eggs, one at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate.
  10. Using a piping bag, fitted with an Ateco 809 round tip, pipe 2-inch rounds on parchment-lined sheet pans
  11. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 340F and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.
  12. Remove profiteroles from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  13. Once cooled, use an Ateco 820 star tip to make holes at the bottom of the profiteroles. At this point, profiteroles can be stored in the freezer for future use.
  14. Fill profiteroles with your choice of filling.

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Raspberry Mousse

13 Sep

September 13th, 2015

I played with berries again and this time it’s for raspberry mousse. I made something very similar awhile back, but with strawberries. With a little bit of tweaking, I substituted strawberries with raspberries and the results were still the same- phenomenal.

Folding in fresh raspberries with the mousse gives it more texture but you can also omit them if you prefer a smooth consistency. The mousse is thick enough to use as a filling for cakes, which I’ll try next time. For this occasion I opted to use mini jars for individual servings for a dinner get-together. 

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Raspberry Mousse, I modified the strawberry mousse from Miette’s book, in which I made here:

1 bag of frozen raspberries
⅓ C sugar
juice from half a lemon
1 T cold water
2 tsp powder gelatin
¾ C heavy cream
fresh raspberries

Y= enough to fill five 5-oz jars

Directions

  1. Heat raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, water in a saucepan. Let it come to a boil then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  2. Bloom gelatin in the cold water by mixing the two together in a small bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, strain the raspberry mixture into a clean bowl. Discard the raspberry pulp.
  4. Return the raspberry juice back to the saucepan. Add the gelatin mixture.
  5. Heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
  6. Strain into a clean bowl.
  7. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  8. In a clean mixer bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  9. Fold raspberry mixture and fresh raspberries into the cream. (If the raspberry mixture solidified overnight, slightly heat until it becomes a liquid state. You want the mixture to be melted but not super hot, otherwise this will melt the whipped cream. For a more intense flavor, fold in more raspberry mixture.)
  10. Divide into serving cups. Garnish with more raspberries. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Rocky Road Mousse Cups

26 Aug

August 26th, 2015

Rocky road is one of my favorite fun flavors when it comes to ice cream. My ultimate go-to flavor is either coffee or cookies ‘n’ cream, but when I’m feeling a little out of the ordinary I will choose rocky road ice cream if it is available. Thus, that is how these rocky road mousse cups came about. I originally planned for chocolate pudding, but switched it up by adding some toasted, chopped almonds and marshmallows. I couldn’t help it but I had to torch the marshmallows for some added effect. 

My only regret is not making a double batch of these!

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Rocky Road Chocolate Mousse

¼ C sugar
1 ½ tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
⅛ C cocoa powder
1 C milk
2 yolks
2 tsp butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ C heavy cream
½ C crushed almonds, toasted
½ C – 1 C mini marshmallows

Y= enough for four 3-oz cups (Recipe can be doubled)

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder.
  2. Add the milk and yolks. Whisk to combine.
  3. Cook on medium heat, while constantly stirring and whisking.
  4. Continue to cook until the mixture starts to bubble and thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Strain into a clean bowl.
  6. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  7. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  8. The following day, in a clean mixer bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  9. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled chocolate mixture along with the toasted almonds and marshmallows.
  10. Divide into serving cups. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Berry Mousse Cups

10 Jul

July 10th, 2015

This post is a few days late, as I made these berry mousse cups for the 4th of July weekend. Our friends invited us to a bar-b-que and I offered to bring desserts. I envisioned a festive dessert and knew I had to incorporate the red, white, and blue patriotic colors. I opted for vanilla flavored mousse with alternating layers of blueberry and strawberry compote. The mousse by itself tastes good, but the compotes add some dimension.

The beauty of making compotes is that you can eyeball the ingredients, as you can adjust the sweetness along the way.  The measurements below are rough estimates. The different components should be made a day ahead to allow adequate time to cool and can be assembled the following day. I used 5 oz shiny plastic cups, but feel free to use any type of glass jars. Since I was serving these at a bbq, I wanted the convenience of an easy cleanup.DSC_0428

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Vanilla Mousse

⅔ C sugar
¼ C cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ C milk
4 yolks
2T butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 C heavy cream

Y= enough for twelve 5-oz cup

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk and yolks.
  2. Cook on medium heat, while constantly stirring and whisking.
  3. Continue to cook until the mixture starts to bubble and thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Strain into a clean bowl.
  5. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  6. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. The following day, in a clean mixer bowl whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  8. Fold in the whipped cream into the chilled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

Compote
1 bag of frozen blueberries (For the strawberry compote, replace blueberries with strawberries. You can also use fresh strawberries, which I did)
⅛ – ¼ C sugar (if you like a sweeter compote add more sugar)
2 T water
1T cornstarch

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar and water.
  2. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the berries.
  4. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and a little bit of water to dissolve.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture to the berries and simmer for a few minutes, while stirring.
  6. Transfer compote to a clean bowl and allow to cool for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Compote will thicken as it cools.
  7. Repeat above steps with strawberries.

To Assemble

  1. In 5 oz plastic cups spoon alternating layers of strawberry compote, mousse, and blueberry compote.
  2. Chill mousse cups until ready to serve.

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Rustic Berry Galettes

30 Jun

June 30th, 2015

I can’t believe we are already half way done with the year, which means it’s almost the 4th of July. Usually for this holiday, I like to make pies for bar-b-ques and get-togethers. In fact, last year I made a classic apple pie for the holiday. However, sometimes pies can be a bit time-consuming, so an alternative is a galette, which still uses the same ingredients, but assembled differently. I made these berry galettes using the same go-to pie dough I always make and used a strawberry and raspberry combo for one galette and blueberries for the other galette.

These turned out amazing and can be paired with some vanilla ice cream.

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Pie Dough
12 oz flour
2 sticks cold, cubed butter
7T cold water
1T cider vinegar

Y= four galettes (I used only half the pie dough to get 2 galettes)

Directions

  1. In a food processor with the dough attachment, combine flour, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly.
  2. Add the water and vinegar mixture in thirds, pulsing in between.
  3. Finish mixing the dough by hand on a floured surface. Divide dough in two halves. Wrap, refrigerate and allow dough to rest for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
  4. At this point, you can also freeze the dough if not using immediately.

Strawberry/Raspberry Filling
1 C of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 C frozen raspberries
¼ C sugar
1 T cornstarch
¼ tsp vanilla powder

Y= enough to fill 1 galette

Blueberry Filling
1 – 1.5 C frozen blueberries
¼ C sugar
1 T cornstarch
¼ tsp vanilla powder

Y= enough to fill 1 galette

Directions

  1. Combine berries in a bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients. Mix to combine.

To Assemble

  1. Divide one half of the dough in half. Roll out both pieces of the dough to a circular shape on a floured surface.
  2. Spoon berries in the center of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch border.
  3. Carefully fold up the edges of the border over the fruit and gently pinch to create a crease, leaving the center of the berries exposed.
  4. Brush egg wash on the border of the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
  5. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes then rotate and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until browned.

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Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Flowers

26 May

May 26th, 2015 

I’m really excited to share these cupcakes because of how happy I am with them. I used fresh strawberries, which I picked up from the weekend farmer’s market, to flavor the cupcakes and buttercream. We usually get strawberries from our favorite stand, Rodriguez Farms, and I knew they would be a great addition to the cupcakes.

It was my first time in awhile to pipe flowers using buttercream, which I was a little nervous about. With the help of a few YouTube tutorials I went to work. After piping a few initial flowers, it became second nature. The overall process can be a bit time-consuming, but after assembling everything, it was very well worth it.

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Strawberry Cupcakes

16 oz sugar (I reduced to 14 oz)
½ C oil
2 eggs
1 C heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
7 ⅓ oz AP flour
7 ⅓ oz cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk
1 – 1 ½ C strawberries

Y = 34 cupcakes

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse strawberries. Strain strawberries over a clean bowl. Reserve the juice to flavor the buttercream. Set aside strawberry pulp.
  2. Combine oil and sugar together in a mixer bowl. Use the paddle attachment to mix to combine.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Alternate adding the dries and buttermilk, mixing in between. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Add strawberry pulp to the batter and mix to combine.
  8. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  9. Divide batter evenly into cupcake pan, filling a little over halfway.
  10. Bake at 350F for 15-7 minutes.

Strawberry Buttercream
3/4 C egg whites
9 oz sugar
1 lb softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ C strawberry juice

Directions

  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape down sides if necessary.
  7. Add strawberry juice to taste. (The juice will add a hint of color. I reserved about half of the buttercream before adding the juice as I wanted to use white as the base for the cupcakes.)

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To Assemble

  1. Divide buttercream and add food coloring if you are planning on having different color flowers.
  2. Pipe buttercream roses. I found this YouTube video and this quite helpful.
  3. Place flowers in the refrigerator and allow them to harden, about 30 minutes.
  4. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the frosted cupcakes.
  5. Carefully place flowers on top of cupcakes.
  6. Allow cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving.

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