September 1, 2015

German Chocolate Cake


Don't be fooled by its name because German Chocolate Cake has nothing whatsoever to do with Deutschland.   This yummy dessert consisting of layers of moist, chocolate cake filled with coconut-pecan icing is actually American in origin and named after chocolate-maker Sam German.  Apparently he formulated a dark baking chocolate that was used in the original recipe.  See, you learn something new every day! 


I find that most versions of German Chocolate Cake have cloyingly sweet frosting.  Not my cup of tea at all.   When I saw that the Cook's Illustrated recipe called for less sugar I knew I had to make it.    The cake is super moist (with the addition of sour cream) and the coconut-pecan icing provides a delicious, chewy and nutty contrast.  



 What I really like about this cake is that it doesn't require any decorating skills at all to achieve a beautiful finished product.  If you're a novice baker this is a great recipe to try.  No need for a decorating bag or fussy decorating tips.  Simply split the cooled cakes in half and fill with the icing.   It couldn't be easier!  This recipe works great as cupcakes as well if you want a different twist. 


August 25, 2015

Snickerdoodle Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich


I was inspired to make these ice cream sandwiches after a recent work event where treats from CREAM were brought in.  They weren't the typical sandwiches you'd find pre-packaged in the ice cream aisle at your local market.  Rather, they sandwiched ice cream between two fresh-baked cookies.   I loved the concept and had to try and make them at home for myself.   

I posted the recipes for the snickerdoodles and strawberry ice cream on my blog earlier this week.  Don't feel limited to these flavors.  The cookie/ice cream combinations are endless: e.g., chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream, peanut butter cookie with chocolate ice cream, etc.   Let your imagination run wild!


August 24, 2015

Strawberry Ice Cream


After making these yummy strawberry cupcakes recently I still had quite a lot of fresh fruit left over that I didn't want to go waste.  What better use for it than in some ice cream?  You'd be amazed at how easy it is to make really delicious ice cream at home.  I do use an electric machine - I have a Cuisinart similar to this model - and it works like a dream. 


It literally only took the machine about twenty minutes to transform the custard base in to soft serve.  After a couple of hours in the freezer to firm up I had premium quality ice cream that would rival any from Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry's.   Give it a try for yourself...you won't regret it!


Stay tuned to see how I use this delicious ice cream for a yummy summertime treat!



August 23, 2015

Snickerdoodles


Oh Snickerdoodle...your name is so strange but your taste is so delicious.  I have no idea where the moniker for this cinnamon and sugar coated, crackly chewy cookie came from but it's so good.  A true American classic and one that  I actually prefer over the ubiquitous chocolate chip.  

I remember making snickerdoodles in my 7th grade Home Economics class.  Back then the only fat called for in the recipe was vegetable shortening (aka Crisco) but this upgraded version from Cook's Illustrated  includes butter which really amps up the flavor.   

A sign of a really good bake are cracks on the tops of the cookies.  I don't know the science behind those fissures but I think it probably has something to do with the combination of cream of tartar and baking soda that's used as leaveners.   Try not to over bake the cookies because you want them to be crisp on the outside but still soft and chewy on the inside. 

For the ultimate summertime treat I sandwiched homemade strawberry ice cream between two snickerdoodles - pure bliss!    Stay tuned on this blog for the recipe for the ice cream.


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