Summer CAKE

Refreshing Summer Cake….

Refreshing Summer Cake

Beautiful. Delicious. Refreshing.

and Healthy!

This beautiful tiered cake made of watermelon and decorated with fruits and a few veggies offers a delicious, refreshing and healthy dessert …. or is a fruit salad?

A Fractured Prune

Fractured Prune . . . Whaaaat?

Fractured Prune

While eating a delicious brunch ‘al fresco’ one morning, we had a lively discussion about a nearby shop called the Fractured Prune.  Fractured PruneBefore wandering back to our car we stopped to see what this intriguing shop was all about  Discovering a curiously creative doughnut shop, we HAD to go in – add a dessert on top of brunch!

Similar to the fun of watching my  Krispy Kreme “comfort-food” doughnuts formed, raised, and cooked, the Fractured Prune offers an entertaining view of the doughnuts being made and cooked.Fractured Prune

Fractured PruneBut then – it all goes different!!

Once these light and airy ‘cake’ style doughnuts are cooked (which occurs much faster than the raised Krispy Kreme doughnuts) they are custom frosted and decorated to order. Fractured Prune Fractured Prune
“Nobody else is doing what we’re doing. Where others offer rows of preconceived doughnut flavors, we’re offering infinite choices.  Why? Because we believe in the individual and that there’s no wrong way to make your delicious.”
You may create an exotic taste like the VooDoo doughnuts (bacon-maple or cereal-sprinkles) or remain conservative. Fractured Prune
Initially, I was really conservative and had a plain one – no fancy fixings because … I LIKE plain cake doughnuts!  Oh my goodness …. the freshness and ‘plainness’ brought back fond memories of eating fresh cooked ‘plain’ cake doughnuts at the top of Pikes Peak.  (I hope they are still selling fresh cooked doughnuts up there – it makes the experience at that oxygen-deprived altitude even more fun!)

Fractured PruneFractured PruneThe Fractured Prune® Doughnuts were SO fresh the box was almost too HOT to hold! We had to wait for the doughnuts to cool off enough just to pick one up, let alone eat it. The wait was worth it! Just plain is just Fine!

 

 

And the choices beyond the ‘plain’ seem almost infinite:Fractured Prune

” there are 155,648 different combinations of doughnut awesomeness available at stores offering 19 glazes and 13 toppings – and that doesn’t even include our limited time offer glazes and toppings! Bottom line, Fractured Prune offers some tasty possibilities.”

Fractured Prune

 

Fractured Prune® Doughnuts originated in Ocean City (Maryland) and is named after the spunky Prunella Shriek, known as “Fractured Prunella” for the broken bones she suffered competing in traditionally men’s sports even into her 70s. Fractured Prune® Doughnuts celebrates her legacy with a doughnut as individual as the person ordering it!

Fractured Prune® Doughnuts are expanding their market with franchise stores. Watch for one near you!!

Let’s Eat CAKE! Easter Lamb Cake

Easter Bunnies and Lambs

Here is an adorable variation of a special cake for Easter.Let's Eat CAKE! Easter

This little Lamb cake was made by a friend in memory of her mother who always created this special holiday treat for the family.

Last year’s special Bunny Cake is a good design creation that can be adapted for this Lamb Cake.

Easter Bunny Cake

Use a 7-minute cooked frosting for the smooth glossy (and crusty) finish.  Shredded coconut over soft fluffy frosting like the Bunny would make an adorable ‘fluffy’ Lamb too!

Thanksgiving with Julia & Friends

Thanksgiving with Julia Child…& Friends

– what could be more fun?

Thanksgiving with Julia

This cute illustration by Adriana Gallo along with the list of ‘greats’  caught my attention.  This suggestion hooked me right in:

 “IF – Julia Child, James Beard, and Mollie Katzen threw a potluck Thanksgiving, you’d want to go, right?”  

Of course I’d want to go!

Attempting to “honor the forefathers and mothers of American cooking” here is a menu full of favorite recipes from the Food52 community and staff, and blogosphere at large.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Julia

Among other ‘greats’ here are a few recipes to tempt you:

Julia Child’s Brussels Sprouts with Braised Chestnuts

James Beard’s  Rich Pumpkin Pie

Mollie Katzen’s Mushroom Yogurt Pie with Spinach Crust

Who are your favorite forefathers and mothers of American Cooking?

What are your favorite recipes?

 

 

More Than A Recipe

More than a recipe from Orange Peel Bakery

As usual – the photo caught my attention – a delicious, mouthwatering baked something or other – This one looks berry, juicy and baked brown nutty … some sort of tart – oh yum!

Berry - Nutty Tart

Curious (and hungry!) –  I checked out the article hoping for a recipe. Lucky me – it was there! Then, I read the accompanying article and got more than a recipe.  The article is a great read and offers a fascinating profile and insight of an interesting baker with an intriguing bakery to investigate – wood fired oven – Martha’s Vineyard…and an honorable mission, as well as.

Orange Peel Bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit– Not just to sample the baked goods which sound (and look)  amazing – but to experience the setting and support the admirable mission of the baker, Juli Vanderhoop.

Read the article  for yourself and learn more of what I am referring to:

Trained by a Medicine Man on Martha’s Vineyard, One Baker Gives Rise to an Honest Community

More than a recipe More than a recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than a recipe

Let me know if you have a chance to visit Orange Peel Bakery – located at 22 State Rd, Aquinnah Martha’s Vineyard, and share your experience with us!

Here is the recipe.  BEWARE:  it is enough for a Bakery production– it makes EIGHT tarts!  Looks easy to reduce. I’ll let you know if I manage it.

Raspberry Bars with Almond Crust

Yield: Recipe is for EIGHT 8" TARTS

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups slivered almonds, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 tablespoon and one teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (four sticks) cold butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. 1. Sauté ½ cup of the almonds in a pan until golden brown and set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, remaining almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 3. In another bowl combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the almond extract and eggs and blend.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix until well blended. Press the mixture into eight 8? tart pans, onto the bottom and up the sides, leaving enough room for filling.
  5. 5. Bake the tarts at 360 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove them from oven and when cool, fill the shells with raspberry jam and top with the reserved toasted almonds. Bake the tarts for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, until the crusts are a rich, golden color.
  6. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut each tart into pieces and serve.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2015/09/06/more-than-a-recipe/

 

 

It’s A WINNER!! Let’s Eat CAKE!

Yes! A Winner! Finally!!

Let’s Eat CAKE!!

Banana Chocolate-Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSCN1132

The cake batter went together super easy – and once the sour cream and mashed bananas were mixed in it was one of the Best tasting cake batters I’ve ever snitched at!

The peanut butter frosting was also very easy, and actually ended up like it was supposed to –  very light and whipped.  With a super good flavor!

To be honest I’m not a great peanut butter fan when it comes to peanut butter cookies, cakes, frosting, etc.  (I LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, however!!)

And I certainly wasn’t sure about the flavor of banana and peanut butter.

So, I hedged a little, and instead of frosting between the layers with the peanut butter frosting (although there was certainly enough of it) I made a light, whipped chocolate frosting.  We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The cake batter has mini chocolate chips in it, but other than using chocolate chips/candy for decorating the top, that’s the only chocolate called for in the recipe.  So I wanted a little more chocolate and a little less peanut butter.

I also made the recipe in three 9″ cake pans rather than two 8″ pans as the recipe calls for  – well, actually they say to use two 8″ square pans, which I don’t have, anyway.  The recipe makes a Lot of batter, and heeding Julie’s experience with her disaster cake I thought it best to use three pans instead of two.  Good thing I did – all three pans were close but not quite over the edges of the pans when the cake was done baking.

The cake itself was nicely moist and very flavorful.

The recipe suggests using chocolate chips and chocolate candy such as Hershey’s Kisses to decorate the top (see their photo).  I didn’t want to buy a whole bag of kisses – and a whole bag of chocolate chips, for that matter – just to use a few on the cake, so I scoured through the store to see what else was available.

I found the perfect things!  One was a a Nestle Toll House chip called “DelightFuls” – I’d never heard of them but maybe you guys have?  They are basically regular-sized chips that are filled with peanut butter – they also have ones that are filled with mint, or raspberry, etc. – and they come in a small bag.

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The other thing I found was Reese’s Pieces “Mini” peanut butter cups – they are unwrapped and only about a half-inch tall, and also come in a small bag.

So those are what I decorated the cake with!  Turned out really good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most of these kinds of cakes that we’re making, this one is Very rich.  

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

Finally –  a cake good enough to share with neighbors! And I’ll also take some into work on Monday!  YAY!!

 

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/banana-chocolate-chip-cake-with-peanut-butter-frosting-51117350

 

Hippity Hoppin’ Easter Fun

Have Hippity Hoppin’ Happy Easter FUN!

Natural Dye-d Eggs and Tie-Dyed Eggs, Bunny Buns, Deviled Chicks, and Bunny Cake

 

 And All I Need to Know…

. . . I Learned from the Easter Bunny!

HAPPY  EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Easter Bunny Cake

 Perfect for Easter:

Bunny Cake

 

Make this adorable Bunny Cake for Easter dessert.

 

What you will need:

1 layer of an 8 or 9 inch cake
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Green Food Coloring
Assorted Jelly Beans
1 sheet of plain white paper
Pink Colored Marker
2 toothpicks

 

Here are step-by-step directions for this Easy-to-make Easter Bunny Cake:

Bake a two layer cake using your favorite recipe. We like Chocolate but it could be a white or yellow cake if preferred.  You will use only one layer, so wrap the other layer a freeze for a quick dessert another time.

  Using a single layer of a baked cake slice in half diagonally.Easter Bunny Cake

Stand the two halves upright on a platter, cut sides down.Easter Bunny Cake

 About 2 inches up from one end, make a 2 inch wedge cut.

Easter Bunny Cake

Place this ‘wedge’ piece at the opposite side for the tail.Easter Bunny Cake

Slather frosting between the layers, including the tail and head pieces; then frost generously all over, giving a nice thick coating. We like a gooey boiled frosting such as Betty Crocker’s Fluffy Frosting but any butter cream, marshmallow, or egg white frosting will work. Easter Bunny Cake

Place shredded or finely flaked coconut in a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a fork, mix the coconut with a few drops of green food coloring.Easter Bunny Cake

Sprinkle, shake and pat plain white shredded coconut all over cake. Add the green ‘grass’ around the edges of the cake. Easter Bunny Cake

 Add dark jelly beans for eyes and a pink jelly bean for a nose.

Scatter additional jelly beans around in the grassEaster Bunny Cake

 Cut ‘ears’ from plain white paper and color in the centers with a marker. Poke a toothpick gently through the bottom edges of each of the ears

Easter Bunny Cake

 Insert toothpick into the ‘wedge’ cut behind the head

Easter Bunny Cake

HAPPY HOPPY EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wonderful World of Pi(e)

Circumference? Diameter?  Who cares–

We’re talking’ about pie here!

Forget all that Math stuff – THIS is my idea of Pi(e)!! 

Wonderful World of Pi(e) Thanks to  The Dish by Restaurant.com for this wonderful and delightful view of today’s Pi Day and

THE WORLD OF PI(E):

The Wonderful World of Pi(e) March 14th is National Pi Day. For those of you who can’t remember that junior high math lesson, here’s a refresher.  It has to do with circles, and lines, and distances and lengths. For our purposes, all you need to know is Pi (?) = 3.14 aka March 14.   So in celebration of all things nerdy and delicious, we’re celebrating this circular holiday with a few delectable circles of our own, and diving into the wonderful world of PIE!The Wonderful World of Pi(e)

Let’s start with the foundation. THE CRUST. First you have your flaky varieties, some are sweet, some are salty, some are made with butter. Others use shortening, some rely on cold COLD water, while still more call for distilled vinegar as the secret ingredient to achieve that perfect, tender, flaky base. Then there are the butter-crumb crusts. Smashed cookie or graham bits, mixed with sugar and melted butter that are then pressed into a perfect pie crust shape. THEN you add ooey, gooey, sweet or creamy fillings; perhaps you want to get wild and crazy and fill these shells with a savory mixture and call it…dinner. However you roll (get it, dough…rolling…), it’s clear that pies, in all their many forms, are awesome. Here are a few of our favorites:

Fruit Pie – Fruit is one of the most classic pie fillings and the possibilities are limitless. Wonderful World of Pi(e)Some people love berry pies, while others prefer pitted varieties like peach. Every fall, stores and counter tops are overrun with a plethora of apple pies with various and sundry toppings. Then there’s that crazy faction that recommends combining different kinds of fruit for a truly spectacular taste experience. No matter what fruit you’re using, a sugary filling of tender fruit and juices makes for a darn good slice. We’ll take ours a la mode! Custard Pie – Who knew combining sugar, cream and eggs and baking it in a shell could produce so much deliciousness. Well friends, that’s exactly what a custard pie is. Add a plethora of other ingredients like chocolate, vanilla, pumpkin, caramel or liquors and end up with a delicate slip of flavor that melts in your mouth (and probably your hand, too). The Wonderful World of Pi(e)Savory Pies – The savory pie is a popular European dish and is served as an actual meal, rather than for dessert. Most combinations include a mixture of meat (beef or lamb) and vegetables, like potatoes and onions. A more Americanized example of a savory pie is the chicken pot pie. This traditionally southern meal has the outside appearance of a pie, and the inside flavor of Thanksgiving dinner. 

Of course, you could combine all three and end up with something like this.

Mini pies – It seems like these days you can find anything and everything in mini form. Pies are no exception. We happen to love mini pies. They’re bite-sized and portable with all our favorite pie flavors still intact. We like to pretend that their small stature makes them a relatively healthy snack. Please don’t ruin it for us.

Pie on a stick – Everything tastes better on a stick. Enough said.

Pie in a cake – For our grand finale, we give you the turducken of desserts, the pie cake:

(really??)

The Wonderful World of Pi(e)Yes, someone somewhere decided that since pie is delicious, and cake is delicious, putting one inside the other and baking them together would be even more delicious. We’ve never been lucky (aka brave) enough to try a slice, but this mythical dessert is definitely on our foodie bucket list.

Okay…this one is a bit weird. Otherwise, it’s all good fun and yummy prospects!!

Let’s Eat CAKE! – mmm…CHOCOLATE!

 February – the month of LOVE – of Hearts…Flowers…Valentines and….

mmmm…. CHOCOLATE! 

Let’s Eat CAKE! 

A beautiful Chocolate Cake for this month of LOVE and Hearts and Flowers and Valentines and — mmmm…CHOCOLATE! This basic chocolate cake with sour cream fudge frosting is easy and also elegant — perfect for anytime: simple Sunday dinners or extra special occasions!Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE!

Starting as a recipe titled ‘Top Tier” Devils Food cake, this is anything but ‘devils food’ … the flavor is a bit light,  lacking the dark  richness one expects of a ‘Devil’s Food’ cake.

The ‘Top Tier” aspect apparently is to offer that delightfully sized ‘top’ of a wedding cake. We chose, instead to go full-on with three 9″ layers of chocolate goodness.  Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE! Doubling the cake recipe didn’t quiet fill  the larger pans, allowing the cake to become more torte-like.   To frost the entire cake including the sides, the frosting recipe, should also be doubled. As written, it is the perfect amount to finish off the “torte” look.

Overall, the flavor of the cake seems mild. Expecting a rich ‘Devils Food’,  we are disappointed. However, the recipe does call for ‘milk’ chocolate bars and only 1/4 cup of cocoa, so it is not going to be dark or rich flavored.  It IS an easy cake to make….so ‘top’ it with a lovely fresh rose, and ‘Voila?! Very Elegant!Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE!

 

Get the Recipe

 

Images: A. Perkins