Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sno-Ball Cupcakes

In the mood for a Sno-Ball but you don't want to run out to the store? I found a great little recipe over at Leite's Culinaria but decided to make them in cupcake form (the recipe made 12 regular sized cupcakes). The cupcake itself is amazingly dark, bittersweet, fine-crumbed and very rich. I filled it with a marshmallow frosting, topped it with pink marshmallow frosting and drenched them with pink coconut. The sweet frosting contrasts perfectly with the barely sweet cupcake and the coconut was the perfect foil to the pillow-y frosting and soft cake. You'll find the recipe for the cupcakes HERE and the frosting below.

Marshmallow Frosting

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites
1 seven ounce jar marshmallow creme

Combine sugar, water and egg in medium saucepan over low heat, beat with hand-held mixer until soft peaks form, making sure to keep cord away from the heating element. Remove from heat, add the marshmallow creme and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide in half and set one bowl aside. Tint the other half pink with red gel food coloring, beating on high to make sure the food coloring is mixed in completely.

Use white frosting to fill cupcakes, then top with pink frosting. Cover with pink coconut and press lightly to help it adhere. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Steamed Chocolate Pudding

It might be springtime but we've had a sudden spate of cold weather and to me, cold weather is the perfect time for a nice steamed pudding. I also had a craving for chocolate and this recipe combines them both perfectly. This is a very moist, velvety smooth, intensely chocolate steamed pudding that stands alone very well but I can't ever leave well enough alone, so I like to top it with chocolate whipped cream. You can top it with regular whipped cream, ice cream, creme anglaise or go crazy and smother with with a dark ganache glaze. It tastes equally good hot or cold but I prefer it warm enough that it melts the whipped cream on delicious!

Steamed Chocolate Pudding

2 1/2 cups (150 grams) dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
2 cups soft fresh white bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a pinch of table salt
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Fit a deep stockpot with a steamer rack and place your pudding tin/bowl onto rack, fill the pot with water until it comes 3/4 up the side of your pudding mold. Remove the pudding mold and set the water to boil over medium high heat.

Generously butter a 2 Liter capacity pudding tin or pudding bowl, making sure to get each crevice (this is key to un-molding the pudding) . Freeze bowl/tin for one minute and remove from freezer, then set aside while you prepare the pudding.

Melt the chocolate and milk over gentle heat and mix well so that no lumps remain. Add the bread crumbs to it. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar in a bowl till light and fluffy, beat in egg. Add the condensed milk, vanilla extract, walnuts and dark chocolate mixture and mix well.

If you're using a pudding tin, snap on lid and place the pudding on the steamer rack in the pot of boiling water, cover with pot lid. If you are using a bowl, take a double square of foil and a square, the same size, of parchment paper and grease the bottom . Make a pleat in the center and fix it over the pudding, tying it securely around the rim with string. Lower the bowl onto the steamer rack in the pot of boiling water and cover with pot lid.

Steam the pudding for 60 minutes, check water level and replenish if necessary. Steam 25-45 more minutes. A cake tester will not test clean, it should hold it's shape but still look very moist. Remove the pudding mold from pot, let rest 1 minute and then turn out onto serving dish.

You can serve this warm or cold, it's soft and squidgy when warm and as it cools, it firms up to a nice consistency. I had mine warm with softly whipped cocoa cream which melted immediately into a wonderful sauce.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Raspberry Jelly Roll

My favorite kind of desserts are the simple ones....rice pudding, carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake, chocolate pudding and one of my most favorite and one of the easiest to prepare is a jelly roll. All you need is a good jam and a recipe for a nice sponge cake and there you have it....easy peasy!

I used the Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Sponge Cake for the jelly roll and some seedless raspberry preserves for the jam but you can use any flavor you like (even Nutella makes a great, if not somewhat decadent, cake roll).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gâteau Surprise Chocolat Pistache

Gâteau Surprise Chocolat Pistache

Spring Is In The Air.....

And here in the South that means a lot of gloomy rainy days, but I have just the recipe to brighten a rainy day. My favorite springtime flavor is lemon and this cake is full of it! This was one of the very first cakes I ever made as a child, it's incredibly simple to make and so very delicious.

A tip: The lemon syrup can be made very quickly in the microwave if you'd rather not dirty a pan, and this cake is very tender, so slice it thick!

Sweet Lemon Loaf
The New Doubleday Cookbook, 1985


1 1/2 c. sifter flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon


Juice of one lemon
1/4 sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour with baking powder and salt, set aside. Cream butter in large bowl until light, slowly add sugar and cream together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the dry and adding about one-third of the total at a time. Add lemond rind and juice and beat just until smooth. Pour into greased 9"x5"x3" loaf pan or three mini loaf pans.

Bake 1 hour (or about 25-30 minutes for mini-loaves) or until golden, springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean when insterted in the center.

Let cool upright in pan on wire rack while you make the glaze.

Heat lemon juice and sugar in nonreactive pan on stove over low heat until sugar dissolves. Pour evenly over the top of cake(s) and let cool thoroughly in the pan before turning out. Wrap tightly and store overnight before cutting.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chips second favorite cookie (only to Girl Scout Tagalongs). I use the Nestle Tollhouse Original Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe with a few minor changes...comes out perfectly every time!

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco (1/2 stick)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Just testing the new layout.