Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate and strawberry bliss! My Mom’s “magical” jello popped into my mind. She used to make jello squares and pour heavy cream into the jello mix (including water); placed them in the refrigerator and a couple hours later, 2 tone jello… creamy on top and jello on the bottom. Our family and friends used to think it was pretty neat!

I love the color contrast! Poured into 4 stem glasses for a charming, Valentine style. It’s meant to share or not. Lol! 

Ingredients: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, cut into pieces/chopped – 3 ounces 60% Ghiradelli – 1 cup cold heavy cream, – 3 egg whites 

Strawberry – 3 oz strawberry jello  (follow jello directions) – 2 cups heavy cream – allow jello to cool before adding whip cream/cool whip. At least 30 minutes. Whisk together the strawberry jello and whip cream until smooth. 

Fill a medium saucepan with 1-2 cups of water and bring to medium heat. Place chocolate and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a heatproof bowl. Put remaining heavy cream back in the refrigerator. Place bowl over the saucepan (bowl should not touch the water). Melt chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. I suggest medium low heat. Carefully remove bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool. Place egg whites in a separate medium/large bowl and whisk (you may use electric whisk) for 3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Place the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream into a third medium bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold half of the whipped cream into melted chocolate. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Thoroughly combine. Spoon mousse or pipe it from a pastry bag. 

Diagonal inspiration TipBuzz on Pinterest.

Homemade Whip Cream – 1 1/2 cups heavy cream – 2 tablespoons sugar – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste 

Angel Food Cupcakes

Cupcake-a-licious! You can’t be sad while holding a cupcake : ) 

I have never made angel food “cupcakes”.  It was an interesting experience with a sweet outcome. Angel food cake is a delicate & soft dessert, especially as a cupcake. It’s important not to over fill the cupcake liner. I lost a few that were filled slightly below the liner. My suggestion is to use foil liners as well. Be gentle with these little suckers. 

 The strawberries were roasted and smelled amazing … with a splash of maple syrup and granulated sugar. A summer scent that always makes me smile! 

#haveyouhadyourcupcaketoday #berrysweet

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted – 1 1/2 cup granulated white sugar – 1 1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature – 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice – 1 tsp cream of tartar – 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – 1/4 tsp salt – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract – 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced,  1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons maple syrup – 1 teaspoon granulated sugar  – 1 1/2 cup heavy cream – 2 tbsp sugar – 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract – 2 cups fresh strawberries – 2 tbsp maple syrup – 6 oz strawberry jam; preserve – 2 tsp granulated sugar  Optional: red swedish fish valentine heart candy decoration

Pre heat the oven at 350 degrees. Do not spray or butter the pan. In a large bowl, sift together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and all of the flour. In your mixer or another large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. About 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar, lemon juice and vanilla extract and salt. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar. Scrape sides if necessary. Sift the flour mixture (gradually, 1/4 cup at a time), gently fold into the egg whites. Spoon into pan/liners. Reminder: fill 3/4 or slightly less, use your discretion. Bake 350, 12 – 15 minutes. Allow to cool. 

Glaze: Place sliced strawberries in a single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle maple syrup evenly followed by sprinkled sugar. Roast strawberries, 400 degrees 10-12 minutes. Berries should be tender and release juices. Place strawberry jam into a bowl, spoon roasted strawberries on top and mix together using a fork. Optional: add a few teaspoons of warm water if the glaze is too thick. 

 

 

 

Layered Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Winter layers, not clothes… dessert!

Chocolate lovers dream. I wanted to try a no-bake; flourless cheesecake. Thanks to Yummiest Food on Pinterest — the texture reminds me of mousse. The layered combination is delicious! ❤️🍫

8 ingredients

Vegetarian

Baking & Spices

16 oz
Bittersweet chocolate

1 tbsp
Granulated sugar

1 cup
Powdered sugar

2 tsp
Vanilla extract

Snacks

2 1/2 cups
Oreo cookie crumbs

Dairy

6 tbsp
Butter, unsalted

4 (8 oz.) packages
Cream cheese

2 3/4 cup
Heavy cream

To make crust:
  1. Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, add melted butter and blend until it’s all moistened.
  2. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared 9-inch springform pan by lightly greasing the edges of the pan with cooking spray
  3. Place in the freezer while you make the filling
To make cheesecake filling:
  1. Melt 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate and set aside to cool
  2. In medium bowl, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth
  3. In separate bowl, mix 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form, add vanilla extract and continue mixing until stiff peaks form
  4. Add cream cheese mixture into beaten heavy cream mix on low speed just to combine
  5. Divide mixture into 2 equal portions in separate bowls
  6. To the first half of the mixture add melted chocolate and mix on low speed to combine then pour the filling over the crust then second half of the mixture carefully spoon over the top of the chocolate mixture
  7. Place the cheesecakes in the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least one hour
To make chocolate topping:
  1. In a medium saucepan stir together cream, chocolate and sugar on low heat until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Cool and pour over the cheesecake.
  3. When the topping is set and cooled again run a thin knife around the sides and remove the springform pan sides.
  4. To serve cut the cheesecake into slices using a sharp, thin, non-serrated knife. Drizzle chocolate sauce if desired.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

As a kid, I used to help my Mom and Grandmom make chocolate chip cookies. We always looked forward to licking the beaters or spoon …. fast forward 30 plus years it’s highly recommended not to eat raw batter….Sigh. Cookie dough is super delicious! When my son was younger, of course he would help stir and pour chocolate chip morsels into the mixture. I’m grateful for the ‘believe in the magic’ memories from my son’s childhood. He always helped prepare milk and cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa too! 

Mom and Grandmom would make Tollhouse cookie recipe. I used that recipe for years but eventually tried Crisco’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookie recipe. Note: I replace one crisco stick with a regular stick of butter.

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday and New Year! #milkandcookies #believeinthemagic

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST All Purpose Flour (I use 1 3/4 cup per their older recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Directions:

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

BEAT shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl with mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto baking sheet

BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Caramel Apple Pie

This is not your classic American pie —- a caramel apple pie with holiday cheer, rum! I couldn’t help but smile while simmering the apple ingredients together. Every room filled with this wonderful aroma. I was eager to try Williams-Sonoma’s salted caramel apple pie recipe.  Let me state the recipe does not call for rum but it should, Lol. The flavors are on point and scrump-a-licious! The salted caramel sauce was purchased on sale and it’s amazing! I’m not just saying that. For those non-sweet n’ salty people, do not let the salted caramel sauce fool you. It is delightfully sweet. 

I use Allrecipes buttery pie crust and replace regular butter with Irish butter. My apologies about the yellow tone photo as I forgot to photograph prior to egg wash. 

Happy Holidays! #baketheworldabetterplace #applelicious 

For the Filling: 4 lbs Granny smith (I combined granny smith & fuji apples) peeled and sliced – 1/2 cup light brown sugar – 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon – 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg – 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice – 3 Tbs. cornstarch – 1/2 tsp. sea salt Note: I added 3 tablespoons of Captain Morgan rum – 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar 

Salted Caramel recipe: 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar – 1/4 cup  water- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice – 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) heavy cream- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt OR purchase Williams Sonoma’s salted caramel sauce on line or in stores

 

 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Baking season is here! I love carrot cake ….who am I kidding I LOVE cake. Period. 

Did you know Fall is peak carrot season? I never cared for this dessert until my 30’s. The first recipe I made the icing was way too sweet. After an Oprah episode airing Patti Labelle’s Over the Rainbow Macaroni n’ Cheese, I purchased her recipe book. Her Heavenly Carrot Cake is just that …heavenly. 

The little decorative carrot chocolate melts are perfect on top. I googled these adorable carrots — practice and practice some more. I modified the icing with less confectioners sugar.

A cupcake is happiness with icing on top 🥕😋#bakemyday

Cake Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour – 2 teaspoons baking soda – 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon – 1/8 tsp ground allspice – 1/2 tsp salt – 2 cups sugar – 1 cup vegetable oil – 2 large eggs – 2 tsp vanilla extract – four 4 oz jars carrot baby food – 8 oz can shredded pineapple, well drained – 3/4 cup chopped walnuts – 1/2 cup raisins

Frosting Ingredients: 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature – 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature – 1 tablespoon half n’ half or milk – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (I modified to 3 cups)

Mini Bunny Cakes

Instead of dying eggs….I dyed cake.

My heart was set on baking carrot cake until I stumbled upon this dessert on Pinterest. It was so much fun to make and absolutely love the Spring colors!!

I was able to make four (4) mini cakes — purchased small boxes from Michael’s and shared these adorable cakes with a couple of my friends kids. Of course, I kept a mini for myself. It was moist & sweet! Hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend : )

 

IMG_0377

Ingredients:

  • 2 boxes white cake mix
  • buttercream frosting
  • Wilton food coloring
  • Jumbo marshmallows
  • pink sparkling sugar
  • parchment paper
  • round cookie cutter
  • pink jelly jeans
  • decorating tip
  • decorating bag
  1. Prepare batter from two boxes of White Cake mix and split into four equal portions
  2. Tint each portion a different color – pink, yellow, purple and blue
  3. Line a medium sized cookie sheet with parchment paper and pour batter onto cookie sheet. Let it settle on a flat surface for 15 minutes
  4. Bakes the cakes according to instructions on the cake box
  5. Let cool
  6. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the cake layers
  7. Make a batch of your best buttercream frosting
  8. Add a circle of frosting between each layer of cake
  9. Use a Wilton 2D or tip of choice with decorating bag and pipe a full circle onto each cake (as your layer)
  10. Make the bunny ears with marshmallows and sparkling sugar. Slice or cut two diagonal pieces of marshmallow. Lay the sticky part of marshmallow into the pink sugar.
  11. Stick the pink marshmallows into ear position and use a jellybean to make your nose.

Note: I swirled one circle along the edge of each layer and one small dollop in the middle. Decorate top layer.

 

 

 

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Happy Holidays! I never cared for pecan pie for a couple reasons… always seemed dry, too sweet or too heavy. So, for years I skipped it at parties & holidays. Baked pies over the years but not this one. A huge fan of Food Network and The Cooking Channel, Dinner at Tiffani’s aired a holiday special. I immediately printed the recipe. OMG….delicious! Finally understand why people like pecan pie. Perfect balance and not dry : )

I always love making homemade whipped cream. Great for dipping fruit too… if you can refrain from eating it by the spoonful! 

IMG_8876

Ingredients

Pecan Pie:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 rolled frozen pie crusts, thawed according to package directions
  • 3 cups whole pecans
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten
Vanilla Whipped Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions:

Special equipment: two 9-inch pie plates

For the pie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the corn syrup, sugar, bourbon, salt and vanilla bean paste. Whisk until mixed and the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Unroll the pie crusts and press into two 9-inch pie plates. Trim the excess around the rims and then crimp the edges. Evenly divide the pecans between the pie crusts. Set the pie plates on a large baking sheet.

Whisk the eggs into the cooled sugar mixture and pour it over the pecans in both pie plates. Bake the pies until they are mostly set but still slightly jiggly in the center, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

For the whipped cream: Put the cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until foamy. Add the sugar and vanilla bean paste, and whip until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat, or the cream will become grainy.

Serve slices of pecan pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Banana Nut Cake 

If you like bananas, this cake is a must try. My son loves cream cheese frosting! Moist, nutty, bursting bananas + the homemade frosting. Scrumptious! 
Perfect dessert for any season!! Paula Deen’s Banana Nut Cake Recipe 

– 3 cups all purpose flour 

– 2 cups sugar

– 1 teaspoon baking soda 

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

-1/2 tsp salt

– 3 eggs, beaten 

– 3/4 cup vegetable oil 

– 4 ripe bananas, mashed 

– 1 cup chopped pecans (extra for topping) 

– 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract + tsp for frosting 

– 1  8oz package cream cheese 

– 1 cup butter, room temperature 

– 1 lb sifted confectioners sugar 

Preparation: 

Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the eggs and oil and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened; do not beat. Stir in the banana, 1 cup pecans and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake for 23 to 28 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake layers in the pans for 10 minutes, and then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. While the cake cools, make the frosting.

Frosting:

In a bowl, blend together the cream cheese and butter. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans, or reserve them to sprinkle over the frosted cake. Fill and frost the cake when it is completely cool.

Photo credit: Aimsherway

Recipe: Paula Deen

Cake Pop Flag

Perfect for Labor Day! This is the second cake pop dessert I’ve made. Patriotic and fun — perfect for little ones + the big kid inside us.

Practice and patience! FullSizeRender

Standard cake pop recipe, ingredients and things you’ll need….

  • Packaged cake mix (two boxes)
  • Canned frosting
  • Cookie dough scoop or small spoon
  • Candy/chocolate melts red, white and blue
  • Treat sticks, 6 inches length
  • Sprinkles ( I chose white crystal sprinkles and little star decorations)
  • At least 1 inch thick styrofoam
  • Rectangle tray, 10 inches x 14 inches
  • Tissue paper
  • Paramount crystals or vegetable oil (Note: I read oil can ruin the taste and/or color of chocolate melts. My preference to thin melts is paramount crystals)

 Directions: Bake cake according to package directions and may need to bake two (2) cakes depending on how many pops you need. You can choose any flavor, I chose vanilla. After cake is done baking, carefully use a knife or your fingers to remove brown edges on top and bottom. Removing the brown edging will help the cake pops with a consistent color. Crumble the cake into a bowl, appears like moist bread crumbs. Amount of frosting depends on how moist your cake is — I used 4 tablespoons. Blend prepackaged frosting into crumbled cake; knead mixture together. Small balls are better (size of a quarter or smaller); try to roll each ball identical. Place on wax paper and freeze for one hour to harden. 

Melt the candy in microwavable bowl; read package directions carefully! Stir candy after 30 seconds, you’ll see how quickly they melt. I used crystals to thin candy melts. Melt one color at a time. Remove cake pops from freezer, dip 1/2 inch or less of stick into candy melt and insert into cake ball. It’s like glue, helps keep it together. Place back in freezer for a few minutes to harden. Time to dip — I remove 3-5 cake pops from the freezer and begin dipping. Quick dip, spinning pop lightly to cover entire ball. Have decorations ready because frosting dries super fast. Sprinkle decorations onto cake pop, allow to set. 

I used a tray similar to serving tray. Measure and cut the styrofoam to fit inside tray; cover styrofoam with tissue paper. Insert cake pops thru tissue paper into styrofoam — arrange a flag style. Smaller cake pops are better for this design as they may wobble or tip. Display and enjoy : )