June 19, 2020

Hummingbird Cake

Can you believe this is the first time I've ever made a Hummingbird Cake?  I'd heard of this Southern dessert before but never actually got around to trying it for myself.  Ironic if you think about it because it contains so many things that I love: bananas, pineapple and pecans.

I found a no-fuss recipe from Cook's Country and decided to turn it into a bundt cake rather than the traditional layer.  I adore anything pineapple and what I love about this recipe is that the pineapple flavor is really amplified by reducing the juice to a concentrate. 

To finish the cake I made a simple icing using powdered sugar, pineapple juice and a drop or two of yellow food color.  It definitely has a technicolor effect, but I actually kind of like that!

June 13, 2020

Mango Mousse Cake

My friends recently commissioned a cake to celebrate their son's graduation from MBA school.  When I asked what kind, they responded, "something with mango."  The first thing I thought of was a light and refreshing Mango Mousse Cake.  The profile I was after was something that had intense fruit flavor without being overly sweet and a mousse cake fits the bill perfectly.

I searched the internet for inspiration but to be honest none of the cakes I saw particularly captured my fancy. In the end I went the Frankenstein route for my mango mousse cake, i.e., I took components of different recipes to come up with my creation.   I'm pretty thrilled with the results!

Here's the recipes I used:

Vanilla Chiffon Cake
Mango Mousse Filling
Mango Gel Topping

Now I'm inspired to use other fruits to make mousse cakes.  I'm thinking raspberry for next time.  Plus I also want to try my hand at wrapping the cake in a joconde imprime, an almond flavored sponge with a piped design.  Or maybe I'll finally get around to attempting a mirror glaze cake.

June 2, 2020

Homemade Nutter Butters

Oreos may be the store-bought cookie of choice for many in the world but I'm proud to be in the minority with my preference for Nutter Butters, the delicious peanut butter sandwich cookies.  I'm a huge peanut butter fan so these cookies are right up my alley.  When I saw that Stella Parks had included a recipe for a homemade version of Nutter Butters in her fantastic cookbook, BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts, I bookmarked the pages for a future baking project.  No better time than the present, especially when we're still under shelter in place orders for the next few months, at least!

The cookie is a thin and crispy peanut flavored shortbread, but in my opinion the real star is the whipped peanut butter creme filling.  Made with butter, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar, the creme is a peanut lover's dream!  I could seriously just eat the creme on its own and it would also be amazing as a frosting for cake or cupcakes.

The sandwiched cookies are pretty darn close to the original from Nabisco, if I do say so myself.  In all honesty I won't be making homemade Nutter Butters frequently because it's much easier to just buy a small pack at the store, but it was a fun project!

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