Wednesday, August 22, 2012

easy peach cake

This is definitely the most deliciously 'easy' cake I have ever made. I got the recipe from a co-worker and have made it several times. It takes only five ingredients and an hour to make, all of which you probably have lying around in your kitchen anyway. I bet that if you make this cake, you'll probably eat the whole thing in one day.

Easy Peach Cake
1 [or 1/2] stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of self-rising flour
1 cup of milk [I use 2%]
1 can of sliced peaches [drained]
First, heat your oven to 375. Melt a half stick of butter [or a whole stick if you want it to be extra delicious] and pour it into the bottom of a a 9x9 pan, or similar size.

In a bowl, mix together one cup of sugar, one cup of self-rising flour and one cup of milk [I use 2%, but I'm sure whole would be delicious. I would probably stay away from skim milk though]. Pour it over the melted butter – don’t stir it, don’t try to pour it carefully, don’t mess with it at all, just dump the lumpy batter on top of the butter. 

Next, open the can of sliced peaches [or lite sliced peaches] then drain and dump them on top of the batter and butter, but don’t stir it or mess with it. Now bake the whole mess for 40-50 minutes. It’s best served warm, with a bit of [Bluebell] ice cream!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

meatball parmigiana sliders

Well it's been over three years since I last wrote here, but I've decided to get back into cooking and baking in the last few weeks so I'm going to give this blog one more try. I'm doing all of this on a budget so the recipes are adapted for that.

Meatball Parmigiana Sliders
(makes six sliders)
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living
1 slice of white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup 2% milk
~.75 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
coarse salt
1/4 jar of marinara sauce
1/2 dozen slider rolls
2/3 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
Make the meatballs: Soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. Gently mix bread and milk with meat, Parmesan cheese, oregano, egg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll mixture into twenty-four 1-ounce balls (each about the size of a golf ball).

Heat sauce in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Drop meatballs into sauce, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Make the sandwiches: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Working in batches, arrange rolls, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball, a spoonful of sauce, and 1 tablespoon mozzarella on bottom halves. Bake until cheese melts, about 3 minutes.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

candy sushi

So, I stumbled upon not martha’s Candy Sushi, and I couldn’t resist. My friend Jenna’s birthday was Friday (see cupcakes!), but the celebration continues tonight. She’s treating our closest friends and I (“the hodgepodge”, as we like to say) to dinner at Saffron, a Moroccan restaurant here in Houston, and I wanted to give her something other than cupcakes! Since food is one of the principal reasons for our being friends, especially foreign food, I thought that the candy sushi would be the perfect gift. The only problem was, I didn’t like any of the recipes or results of the candy sushi I found online. Thus, I made up my own recipe! Also, I'm sure you could adjust the recipe for other gummy candies, but this was what I found in Central Market's bulk candy section yesterday.

Candy Sushi (makes enough for 10 pieces of sushi)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, chopped
1 box green Fruit by the Foot
crystallized ginger, sliced for crab
green Swedish Fish, thinly sliced for cucumbers
mango fruit leather, thinly sliced for tuna, larger rectangles for tamago
black and red raspberry candies, outer layer sliced for roe
gummy cola tigers, halved for sea urchin
yellow and red gummy sharks, for shrimp or fish
Chop the mini marshmallows fairly finely, about the size of rice. This will be sticky, and that’s exactly what you want. Roll out the Fruit by the Foot, and place a small amount of the chopped marshmallows to cover about 2 inches down from the start of the roll.

For maki sushi (rolled sushi), place crystallized ginger with either the sliced Swedish Fish or fruit leather. Roll up, and wrap Fruit by the Foot around a few times, making sure it stays in place.

For gunkan-maki (roe sushi), add a little more marshmallow, then roll the sushi; cover marshmallow with sliced raspberry candies.

For nigiri sushi (normal sushi), form a rectangular piece of marshmallows, then top with gummy sharks, cola tiger, or fruit leather; wrap a thin slice of Fruit by the Foot around the middle, securing the sushi.
For pickled ginger, thinly slice the crystallized ginger.

lemon raspberry and coconut banana cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for my friend Jenna's birthday. She doesn't like chocolate (and lots of things<3) but she told me that she loves lemon, raspberry, coconut and banana. Knowing that, I tried to come up with something that she would like, but wouldn't be to strange of a flavor combination. Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes are amazing, and I figured that they would be the best for this task. The raspberry curd was incredible; maybe the best ever. The banana cream filling was a big hit too, but wasn't too banana-y (I don't know if that was good or not, but I like very banana-y). The frosting was good; I added lots of flaked coconut to the original recipe. I had some problems with the lemon frosting, but I think it was because I didn't beat the original frosting enough, so when I added the lemon juice, it became way too watery to use. I had to start over, gave up, and sunk to the lowest level of baking-dom: storebought icing. Really, I was ashamed, and it actually didn't taste too good (I added lemon juice) because it was too sugary. I liked the cupcakes, but there was a little too much going on. If I had to do it again, I probably would have just made the cupcakes and frosted them with the coconut frosting and filled them with the raspberry curd. I think that combination would have been better. Maybe it's just because I didn't like the lemon frosting I ended up with. Anyhow, the birthday celebration was a success, as were the experimental cupcakes.

Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes
(makes about 30 cupcakes)
recipe from
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add egg mixture to flour mixture in three additions, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about half to two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.

Raspberry Curd (makes enough to fill over 15 cupcakes)
recipe from
2 half pint baskets fresh raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
Stir 1 basket raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat until thickened and beginning to bubble at edges, about 5 minutes. Strain raspberry curd into medium bowl, pressing on solids in strainer. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Banana Cream Filling (half recipe makes enough)
recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 large banana, mashed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat milk in a heavy bottomed pan until hot but not boiling. Mix the sugar, flour and salt together in a bowl, stir in the hot milk, and beat until well blended. Pour back into pan and continue to stir vigorously over heat for 4-5 more minutes, until thick and smooth. Add the egg yolks and cook for a few more minutes. Cool, stirring from time to time. Add banana and lemon juice.

For filling cupcakes:
Using a small pairing knife, cut off the inside top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Then, cut off the bottom part of the cone. Fill each cupcake with about a teaspoon of filling and replace the tops. Frost the cupcakes with frosting.

Seven-Minute Frosting for Cupcakes (half for each flavor frosting)
adjusted from recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/3 cup water
Mix sugar, cream of tartar, salt, egg whites and water in the top of a double boiler. Beat steadily over medium heat with a hand mixer until (very) soft peaks form, about 5-7 minutes, no more. Remove from heat and continue to beat the frosting until thick enough to spread. Divide frosting in half. Thoroughly mix in following ingredients:
for Lemon frosting:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
few drops yellow food coloring

for Coconut frosting:
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Generously frost cupcakes; coconut frosting on the banana filled, lemon frosting on the raspberry filled. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

lady baltimore cupcakes

adapted from a Lady Baltimore Cake recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham, aka. the holy grail of cookbooks

Lady Baltimore cupcakes, you say? That’s right. I had never actually made a Lady Baltimore cake before, much less cupcakes, so all I could do was follow the recipe and see what happened (but with Fannie Farmer/Marion Cunningham as my guide, I wasn’t too worried). Last night I felt like a little kid who can’t sleep on Christmas Eve, I was so excited about baking these this morning, just to see how they would turn out. The actual cupcake-baking was pretty straightforward, ignoring my crazy attempt to make mini cupcake cups. I had some problems with the consistency of the frosting, so I ended up spending about 10 minutes with my mixer on medium after I took it off the double boiler; other than that, it was fine. The biggest problem was cutting the cupcakes to fill them. The knife kept picking up cake debris because the cupcakes were very moist, and not really meant to be filled. My ingenious conclusion: you need to dip your paring knife in a small cup of flour, and it won’t stick or tear the cake. And those were my only problems (besides my spending four hours on this project, and having my mom yell at me to hurry up so I could write my Cornell essay...). Anyway, I’m really proud of how amazingly these cupcakes turned out. The cakes were perfect, light and fluffy with a slight hint of vanilla, and were perfectly matched with the almond-y date, pecan, and raisin filling and vanilla frosting. They took a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it.

Lady Baltimore Cupcakes (makes 24 regular cupcakes/18 regular and 15 mini)
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
3 egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line cupcake pan with fluted paper baking cups. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and sift them together into a bowl; set aside.

Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth and well blended. Stir the vanilla and milk together and add to the butter-sugar mixture in two additions, alternating with the flour mixture, and beating until the batter is well blended and smooth after each addition.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff but moist. Gently stir one-third of the beaten whites into the batter, then scoop up the remaining whites and drop them into the batter, then fold them in.

Spoon batter into pans, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning cupcakes out on a rack.
Seven-Minute Frosting (half for frosting, half for filling)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix sugar, cream of tartar, salt, egg whites, and water in a pot or bowl over simmering water. Beat steadily over low heat with a rotary or electric hand beater until the frosting stands in (very soft) peaks, about 5-7 minutes, no more.

Remove from the heat and continue to beat until thick enough to spread (this could take a while). Add the vanilla. Divide frosting in half to make the filling.

Lady Baltimore Filling
1/2 recipe Seven-Minute Frosting
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup dried dates, in bits
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Fold the pecans, dates, raisins, and almond extract into the frosting. Mix well.

To fill cupcakes, use a small paring knife, lightly floured, and cut the inside of the top out to make a cone. Remove the cone, fill the cupcake with about 1/2 teaspoon filling, and cut off the bottom cone part of the top, leaving only a slice to cover the filling.

To finish, frost with the remaining plain frosting.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

chiffon cakes with raspberry drizzle icing

adapted from a Martha Stewart Living Magazine recipe

I adjusted the recipe slightly from the original, using cake flour (Martha’s used all-purpose) and the lemon juice and vinegar (I had to substitute cream of tartar, since I didn’t have any; if you do, use 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar instead.) Also, I used a mini bundt pan instead of a large 6-tin muffin pan, and made raspberry icing instead of violet (that called for violet flavoring, which I didn’t even attempt to look for). I don’t know about the original, but these cakes were amazing; not too sweet with a subtle citrus taste. The icing was a bit sweet for my taste; I think I would probably leave out a 1/4 cup from the second addition of sugar (also, if you do, use less milk, since I only used extra to mellow the sweetness.) The original called for 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar for the second addition, so maybe that made the difference. Nonetheless, the combination of the light, fluffy cakes and the sugary sweet icing was perfect. Definitely something I’ll make again.

Chiffon Cakes (makes 6 small cakes)
you will also need a 6-cake bundt pan. i got this one at williams-sonoma.
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks, plus 4 large egg whites
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 325°. Butter each bundt cup (this might take a while to get all the corners, especially if its detailed, but that’s what I did, and the cakes came out great); set bundt pan aside. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside.

Whisk 1/3 cup water, egg yolks, oil, lemon zest, and vanilla in another bowl. Whisk into flour mixture until combined.

Put egg whites, vinegar and lemon juice into a bowl; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter, then fold in remaining egg-white mixture. Divide evenly among buttered cups.

Bake until golden and puffed, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely in tin on a wire rack. Once cool, turn the pan out onto a serving plate or container, mindful that the cakes will fall out.

Raspberry Drizzle Icing (makes about 1 1/3 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whole milk, plus 1/3 cup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons Splenda Baking Blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pint fresh raspberries, well mashed (with juice)
Bring granulated sugar, 1/2 cup milk, and butter to a boil in a medium pan over medium-high heat, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes. Whisk in Splenda blend, salt, and mashed raspberries. Stir in 1/3 cup milk (or more, to taste, because without it, its very sugary.) Use to top chiffon cakes. The icing will keep for several days if stored in an airtight container and refrigerated.