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Archive for April, 2011

A quick “frosting” perfect for strawberry cake… using dessert topping

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Unfortunately I don’t have pics, but I can tell you that if the chef is still licking the bowl after applying the frosting, she is in full approval.

So let’s say you just baked an awesome strawberry cake. Ready made frostings tend to be very very sweet. If you don’t want your teefs falling out from so much sugar, try this on a cake that’s cooled completely:

  • 1 container Cool Whip or other dessert topping, thawed
  • 1 3.5 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk (whole is preferred)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3.5 oz package strawberry gelatin.

Directions:

Stir gelatin, vanilla pudding, milk and extract together in a large bowl. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread on cake. Enjoy.

Nice, easy, and light. Perfect for Spring dining.

If you want to use this topping on other types of cake, just omit the gelatin. Works well on chocolate without it.

Categories: Desserts recipes

Chocoflan… yum (recipe with revisions ahead)

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Ready for eating!

I’d been wanting to make something more authentic for a while, and so combining that with a massive sweet tooth one day made me go out in search of something that would satisfy both wants. Enter: Chocoflan. Marcela Valladolid has a great recipe that I used, but I’ll discuss a few things I changed up after posting the recipe for all to enjoy:

Ingredients

  • 12-cup capacity Bundt pan
  • Softened butter, to coat pan
  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce

For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the flan:

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For garnish:

  • 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta and put it in a large roasting pan. (The roasting pan will serve as a water bath during baking.)

For the cake: Add the butter and sugar to a bowl and using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture, and 1/2 of the buttermilk into the egg mixture. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Blend until well incorporated.

For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds.

Scoop the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and spread evenly. Slowly pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. Cover with foil and add about 1-inch of hot water to the roasting pan.

Carefully slide the pan into the oven, and bake 1 hour, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. When cake is done, remove from the water bath and cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Invert a large, rimmed serving platter over the Bundt pan, grasp tightly together, and flip over. Remove the pan and scrape any remaining cajeta from the pan onto the cake, garnish with chopped pecans and serve!

Cook’s Notes: The batters may appear to mix when you pour them into the pan, but they completely separate while baking, with the flan ending up on the bottom when it’s inverted. I like eating it warm, but traditionally, it is chilled 24 hours before serving.

Cajeta is a thick and creamy spread or paste made with caramelized sugar and milk. It is used as a desert on its own or as a topping. Also known as “dulce de leche,” it is sold in many supermarkets, Latin specialty markets or online. It can be substituted with a thick caramel sauce. Heaven on top of vanilla ice cream… just saying!
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Apparently you can also make your own cajeta. Throw in about 4 cans of sweetened condensed milk into a crockpot, set it on the lowest setting, and let it cook overnight. In the morning it’s ready to go. Typically it’s made from goat’s milk, but cow’s milk should be fine also if you don’t have the traditional stuff handy.
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Now… on to my revisions:
  • I’m not really a big fan of traditional flan per se. However, in this case, I liked it because it incorporated the use of cream cheese, which I am a complete sucker for. I might actually step up the cream cheese next time from 4 oz to 8 just for giggles.
  • Also, I didn’t use a water bath. I do think it’s important because the cajeta kind of solidified on top of the cake when I flipped it over. Not that it takes away from the flavor at all, but using the water bath would keep it a bit more creamy.
  • If you look at the reviews on the Food Network website, some folks were complaining that it took up to two hours in the oven. For me it took about an hour and 15 minutes. I checked it using the toothpick test, and that’s when it decided it was ready. Traditionally, it’s supposed to chill for up to 24 hours before serving, but hey, if you’re hungry, you’re hungry, right? No sense waiting 🙂
  • And one more thing… instead of using just regular old drab pecans, try these out:

Look in the salad aisle for these babies... soooo tasty

So if you’re looking for a great Cinco de Mayo dessert, I highly recommend this recipe.

Categories: Desserts recipes

Want a great way to get rid of stress?

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment
  1. Get access to a punching bag and some boxing gloves.
  2. Punch and kick it until you’re tired.

You’ll forget whatever’s bugging you right away. Trust.

Or, go the calm and more relaxed route with some mind lifting and purifying Yoga. Breathe. Breath. In. Out. All through each pose, breathe.

When you're in this pose, the last thing you're thinking about is having to fix dinner later

The calmest of all: Get into a tub filled with water infused with essential oil and milk, get a good book, and soak soak soak. Revel in the scents and sounds of the water splashing around.

And then, get a good nights’ sleep. The new day looks so much easier with the essential 8 hours. Hell, even 6 or 7. That’s at least a couple of full REM cycles.

Strange things are afoot…

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Reasons why:

  • The wind is blowing fierce.
  • People are seeing the face of Jesus in tortillas.
  • My cat has been starting to say “Mama”.
  • I’ve developed a taste for ‘Tang’.

It could be all in my head, as in most things. Except yeah, around these parts, folks call into the local news station because they see the face of Jesus in a tortilla, or the Virgin Mary appears in a tree. I’m not sure what type of ganja they’re smoking on, but I’m sure it’s quite good.

Haven’t heard this track in a long time, but it came on the radio as I was cruising home. Enjoy:

We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we…

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Fight for the Maroon and White!

I’m a Fightin’ Texas Aggie, class of 1998. Always been proud of my alma mater, even through the dark days of football suckiness.

The Old Days

If you don’t know the history behind A&M, it’s been around since the late 1800s, starting out as a military school that local farmers would send their sons to for education and military excellence. In fact, women weren’t even allowed in until 1963. That’s not to say though that it’s a purely sexist environment. Far from it. I had the best time there getting my bachelor’s degree, great friends, interesting people. All at a former little military schools folks could only get to by train in the old days (hence the name, College Station).

The Newer Days

Saw Varsity's Horns Off! Short! A!

As in other large schools, sports is a big deal at A&M… with no sport bigger than football. Since A&M started allowing civilians to enroll, football has been a part of daily life, and with reason. It brings in a lot of money, and a lot of little fans who see the games and say to themselves “That’s where I want to go to school some day.” I know I did.

So, because A&M is a pretty football-centric, predominantly male school, there isn’t a lot of attention paid to the women’s athletic program. Or that was the case… until now. It took a women’s basketball team to bring the first National Championship title to Texas A&M in school history last night, with a 76-70 victory over Notre Dame.

 

Whooop!

And there you go… women brought home the glory. I am so proud 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized
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