Angel Food Cake Delight + 5 Retro Cakes for Spring!

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I turned to Betty Crocker for inspiration this week.  Every so often I find myself leafing through my Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, the cookbook my grandmother gave me after Bubba and I married.  “You’ll need this, it has everything.” she promised.  At first glance, I judged the cookbook for its lack of “healthy” recipes, horrible food photography and sexist illustrations of family life.  I tucked it away in our bookcase with the plan of donating it.  Years passed, but Betty remained on our book shelf.  I couldn’t part with her.  This dated, meant for “home-makers” cookbook gave me a glimpse of a time before social media, mommy wars, barre and kale smoothies, quinoa and hemp seeds.  As much as the Mad Men era illustrations of mom in heels baking a cake with 2 kids underfoot and Dad in a suit sampling her hard work with a smug look on his face enraged me, I couldn’t help but notice the common ground across generations.  Women ministering to their loved ones by making delicious food.  Homemaker or not, food is love, it was then and it still is today.

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Angel Food Cake Delight     

Light and airy angel food cake filled with honey whipped cream and fresh berries        

Serves 10-12

Recipe barely adapted from Baking Illustrated and inspired by Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook

Ingredients for Angel Food Cake:

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cups sifted sugar

12 large egg whites, at room temperature

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions for Cake:

Move an oven rack to the lower-middle position and pre-heat your oven to 325F.  Set aside an ungreased large tube pan with a removable bottom.  ( If you can’t remove the bottom, line it with parchment paper.)

Whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a small bowl.  Place the other 3/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-speed until they break up and begin to froth.  Add the cream of tartar and salt.  Turn the speed up to medium and beat until the whites form soft mounds.   Beat in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, just 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites form soft peaks and are shiny.  Next add vanilla and lemon juice and beat until just combined.

Turn off the mixer and sift third of the flour/sugar mixture over the whites.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold them in.  Sift the remaining flour/sugar mixture of the whites and gently fold.  Scrape the batter into your pan.  Smooth the top with a spatula.  Gently bang the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and the top springs back when you touch it with your finger, about 50-60 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and invert it onto the prongs of the pan or use the neck of a glass bottle.  Allow the cake to cool for 2 to 3 hours before removing it from the pan.

Once cool, run a knife around the edges of the pan.  Slice the cake out the pan and carefully slice off the removable bottom.   Set the cake golden brown side up on a cake platter or stand.

Using a serrated knife cut 1 inch the top of the cake off.  Set aside.  Carefully cut down into the cake, leaving a 1 inch border from the middle hole and cake “wall” and 1 inch base.  Scope out the inside of the cake and set aside. (Keep the scraps for nibbling!)

Fill the hollowed area of the cake with your honey whipped cream/berry mixture.   Place cake top on and press gently.  Cover the rest of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to over-night.  The cake, refrigerated, will last up to 2 days, but I doubt you will have leftovers.  Enjoy!

Honey Whipped Cream  + Fresh Berry Mixture

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook

Ingredients:

3 cups heavy cream

5-6 tablespoons of honey  (light flavored)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries

1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced in quarters

Directions:

Start with a chilled bowl and beater.  Add cold heavy cream to the bowl and beat until the cream thickens.  Add honey and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream creates stiff peaks.  Be careful not to overbeat!   Remove less than half of the whipped cream and place in a small bowl.  (Set aside remaining whipped cream.)  Using a rubber spatula fold in the berries.  Use the berry mixture to fill the cake and use the remaining whip cream to cover the entire cake.

**You can make the whipped cream (without the berries) ahead of time.  Be sure to store it in an air-tight container in the fridge.  It will stay fresh for up to 10 hours.  Whisk for about 10 minutes before using and then proceed with the recipe.**

5 Retro Cake Links for Spring

Love upside down cakes? Try Sally’s Baking Addictions Pineapple Upside-Down Cake made from scratch!

For the coconut lovers in your life make Coconut Queen Party Cake with Marshmallow Frosting.  Head to Mid-Century Menu for the recipe.

I just discovered the Lady Baltimore Cake today and apparently it is Martha Stewart’s’ favorite.  Check it out here.

If you need a simple, old fashion cake make Betty’s Banana Layer Cake.  I love all things banana so this is going on my must make list.

My grandmother use to make this delightful and tasty chocolate cake roll all the time.  Thanks for reminding me Smitten Kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream + 5 Must Try Ice Cream Recipes!

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My birthday was last month and Bubba gave me an ice cream maker. I usually give him a couple of gift ideas when my birthday rolls around. My first idea was a full day of peace and quiet. My second suggestion was this ice cream maker. I guess he knew a full day of peace and quiet wasn’t realistic with three kids, six and under. When I opened the ice cream maker I felt excited and anxious to try one of the million recipes for frozen sweets I see on Pinterest. Then my excitement turned into fear. Make ice cream? Why not just call it a day and buy some Breyer’s. Ice cream sounds complicated. My grandmother made ice cream. Standing in front of the kitchen window, the light highlighting her eyebrows, her wrinkles, her beautiful face, she poured this and that into an ice-cold container, surrounded the container with salt, lots of salt, and churned it. Several, long hours later we ate her delicious, creamy ice cream for dessert. Witchcraft!

Last week I said what the hell, and made ice cream: blueberry chocolate chip ice cream. We received extra farm fresh blueberries in our fruit share and they were incredibly sweet. I quickly googled blueberry ice cream and found an easy, egg-less recipe. I made the base in about 20 minutes, including cooling time and refrigerated it over-night. I churned it for about 30 minutes and popped it into the freezer. The next day, I taste tested my first batch. Creamy, sweet and a bit tart with chunks of chocolate throughout, this was a strong first attempt at homemade ice cream. Bubba and the kids loved it and I learned ice cream making is not witchcraft! Now, I just need to get my hands on my grandmother’s recipes.

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Blueberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

recipe slightly adapted from Driscoll’s

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

3 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup whole milk

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped (I didn’t chop my chips enough, so give them a good chop!)

Directions:

Using a heavy saucepan , set over medium-high heat, combine blueberries, sugar, and salt. Stir occasionally until sugar completely dissolves. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, puree in a blender. Pour puree into a large bowl. Add heavy cream, milk and lemon juice and stir together. Transfer to air-tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Pour base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.  About 15 minutes before the ice cream is done, add 1 cup of chocolate chips. Continue to process ice cream according to the directions. (I processed mine for about 30 minutes.) Transfer to an air-tight container and freeze for several hours or overnight. (I froze my ice cream overnight and it was perfect the next day.) The ice cream will last frozen in an air-tight container, for up to a week. Enjoy!

5 Must Try Ice Cream Recipes

August is corn season, so why not use some of your sweet summer corn and make sweet corn and black raspberry ice cream! You can the find this creative recipe on Annie’s Eats. Yum!

If you love coconut be sure to check out Edible Perspective’s homemade coconut milk ice cream. It’s vegan, dairy-free and promises to change the way you look at vegan ice cream. I’m fascinated!

Looking for a sweet and savory ice cream? Check out The Tart Tart’s recipe for honey thyme ice cream. I can’t wait to try this!

Bubba loves chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. I might need to make this ice cream for him very soon!

Bon Appetempt is one of my favorite blogs. Amelia is so funny and I love recipes. I also love blackberries, so her blackberry ice cream recipe is on my must make list!

 

Classic Ice Cream Cake + 5 Ice Cream Cake Links

 

cic0028I turned 36 last week and suddenly it feels like I am on a fast train to 40. One of my best friends called to wish me a happy birthday and said “I can’t believe we are 36.” I hear ya, Bethie. Didn’t we just turn 30? Part of me would love to be 30 again; mainly because I looked a hell of a lot less tired. At this point, my exhaustion feels like a chronic illness. My 36-year-old self has dark circles under the eyes which, luckily, a good Laura Mercier concealer hides. Each baby has left their mark on my body. C-spider veins. G-bulging belly button. N- thinning hair, and I’m anticipating breasts that point due south once I stop nursing. My stomach and butt are less taut than they were six years ago despite running religiously several times a week and eating quinoa. (Thanks for nothing super grain! Somehow, I thought eating gobs of quinoa and kale would make my ass tighter. No such luck!) Despite my physical changes over the last six years, I’m much happier in my skin today. I get know myself a little more every year. I have things to work on, things that will never change and I ok with it.

On my 36th birthday we went to the beach; me, Bubba and the kids. We played in the water and we looked for treasures. I left them at the shore and took a swim in the ocean and it felt so good, 62 degrees good.  I swam to the sand bar that had formed and stood up. I took a big, deep breath of the salty, warm air and stared out at the horizon for a minute. I always think at moments like this, alone, staring out at the ocean, I’ll have sort of epiphany about life, but I never do. I turned back to see my sweet family waving from the shoreline, calling me back. I swam back feeling exhilarated from the freezing, take your breath away, cold water. We left the beach tired and happy. Bubba made fish tacos for dinner and they were awesome! He offered to make me a cake, but I insisted it wasn’t necessary. Cake not necessary? I know, it sounds crazy. I said that, because I wanted to make an ice cream cake to share with you. I can’t handle to much cake in the house. I just don’t have that kind of will power.

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Just like a Carvel ice cream cake, the center is a thick layer of crunchies.  My “crunchies” are a combination of dark chocolate and chocolate wafer cookie crumbs. This my favorite part of the entire cake. In fact, I could eat just this layer and be happy. The cream frosting tastes just like the frosting you find on store-bought ice cream cakes, except fresher.

This cake is so easy to make and the flavor combinations are endless! I used a combination of vanilla and strawberry ice cream. The only down side to this cake, as with many cakes, you need to plan ahead of time. So plan ahead, be creative and enjoy!

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Classic Ice Cream Cake

barely adapted from Kinfolk Magazine

Serves 10-12, makes a nine-inch cake

Ingredients:

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 recipe Chocolate Crunches (see recipe below)

9 ounces  chocolate wafer cookies, crushed

1 quart  of a different flavor ice cream, whatever you like ( I used strawberry.)

1 recipe Cream Frosting (see recipe below)

*This cake takes time to freeze so plan ahead before serving!*

Directions:

Place a 9-inch cake ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes or until a bit soft. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the container and using a spatula spread it evenly across the bottom of the chilled ring.  Freeze ice cream in its ring until completely hard, about 2 hours.

Place 9 ounces of chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and seal the bag. Using a rolling-pin crush the cookies. Place the wafer crumbs in a medium bowl and stir into the chocolate topping until the crumbs are completely damp.

Remove the cake ring from the freezer and spread the chocolate crunchies over the vanilla ice cream. *Remember to work quickly!* Freeze for another hour.

Remove second ice cream flavor from the freezer and allow to soften a bit. Remove the ice cream from the container and spread quickly over the chocolate crunches. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to freeze overnight or for a few days.

When ready to serve, remove the metal ring from the spring form pan.(If it is really hard to get off you could use a blow dryer for a few seconds to loosen the ring.) Freeze the cake for another 30 minutes. Decorate your cake with the cream frosting. You can place it back in the freezer until ready to use or serve it immediately. Run your knife under warm water and then cut into the cake. Enjoy!!

Recipe for Dark Chocolate Crunchies

chocolate sauce recipe adapted from This Homemade Life

Ingredients:

2/3 cup good quality dark chocolate chips

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1, 9 ounce box of chocolate wafer cookies, crushed

Directions:

Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals. Stir after every ten seconds until melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. When ready to use, stir in chocolate wafer crumbs. Spread evenly over vanilla ice cream layer. (**Do not place sauce in the refrigerator because it will harden!** Can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for several days.)

Recipe for Cream Frosting

recipe from Kinfolk Magazine

makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. powdered gelatin

2 tbsp. milk

food coloring – optional

chocolate jimmies or sprinkles optional

Directions:

Chill your mixing bowl. Once the bowl is chilled beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in the chilled bowl until firm peaks form.

Using a small saucepan, soak the gelatin in the milk. Once all the milk is absorbed, heat the gelatin over low heat until it melts. Gently but quickly fold the gelatin into the whipped cream. Use immediately or tint it with a food coloring. Spread over entire cake. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate jimmies. Enjoy!

5 Ice Cream Cake Links

If you love Chipwich ice cream sandwiches, you should make Bon Appetit’s ridiculously good chocolate chip cookie ice cream cake with butterscotch sauce. I made it last summer and it was a huge hit!

Want to make go all out and make an ice cream cake your loved one will remember for years? Check out Heather Cristo’s recipe for Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake! Chocolate brownies, strawberry cake and cookies and cream ice cream all covered in chocolate ganache frosting-wow!

I love Oreos and so does Bubba. For Bubba’s next birthday, I am making the Ktchn’s frozen chocolate oreo ice cream cake. Yum!

Brownies and ice cream are so good together. Zoe Bakes makes an ice cream cake that incorporates brownies and 3 different layer of ice cream. Her cake looks beautiful and I bet tastes even better!

So your best friend is a vegan and she prefers to eat only raw food. Making a birthday cake for her may sound impossible, but thanks to This Rawsome Vegan Life, it’s not. Emily created a beautiful banana chocolate caramel ice cream cake that will make your friend swoon! Check it out!

Blackberry Shortcake Cupcakes + 5 Summer Cupcake Recipes You Can’t Miss!

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“School is over in one month Mama!” C excitedly announces the other day. “No, you have longer than that until summer break.” I assure her. “No! We! Don’t! Summer is coming!” I hurry over to our calendar, flip to June and realize she is right. School is almost out. Summer is almost here. Oh f%4#2! I’m not ready! I love summer, but after a few weeks of fun in the sun I am ready for a routine. I know: routine and summer just don’t sound right together. Your right. I need to embrace the freedom that comes with summer. No, I need camps. Camp makes everyone happy, including me. A few weeks of camp for C and G mixed in with family beach time and leisurely mornings sounds like a good summer. Right?! Hopefully, baby N will become that go with the flow, mellow third child everyone with 3 kids told me he would be; so far they are wrong. I think he still has a chance to turn it around!

Oh and I need a cupcake, one that celebrates summer. This blackberry shortcake cupcake will get me in the summer spirit…

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Yes, a cupcake does make everything better. This cupcake has a tender, and moist crumb. I mixed fresh blackberries into a basic frosting turning it a beautiful shade of purple. The blackberry flavor is subtle and the single berry on top is a treat, much like summer. Even as I lament about keeping C and G happy this summer, I must remind myself that summer is a short-lived treat. Like everything when you have little people ruling your life, it won’t last. Love it for what it is, now.

Blackberry Shortcake Cupcakes

cupcake recipe adapted from Food & Wine

Frosting recipe adapted from Heather Cristo

makes about 12 cupcakes

Ingredients for Shortcake Cupcake:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. of unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp.  salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

Ingredients for Blackberry Buttercream Frosting:

½ cup butter, at room temperature

3 cups confectioners’ sugar (you may want to sift your sugar or at least whisk it a few times to get out any lumps.)

2 tbsp. whole milk

4 blackberries, chopped

12 ripe blackberries for garnish

pinch of kosher salt

Directions for cupcakes:

Pre-heat your oven to 350°.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and kosher salt.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar with the eggs and vanilla extract at medium-high speed until smooth and thick , about 3 minutes.

Add the butter and oil and beat until combined. Be sure to  scrape the bottom and side of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and milk in 3 batches, mixing well between additions. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan about 2/3 the way full.

Bake the cupcakes for about  20 to 23 minutes. Check your cupcake at 18 minutes.  The cupcakes are done when they are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Directions for Frosting:

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for a few minutes or until smooth. On low-speed, add the confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of salt. Add the milk and chopped blackberries and beat at medium speed until thick and smooth.

Pipe or spread frosting on each cupcake and add a blackberry for garnish. Enjoy!

5 Summer Cupcake Links You Must Check Out!

When I think of summer food I think lobster salad, fried clams and s’mores. Sally’s Baking addiction has a recipe for s’mores cupcakes: chocolate cupcakes stuffed with marshmallow filling, topped with milk chocolate frosting, crushed graham crackers and a toasted marshmallow. Amazing! I can’t wait to try it.

Last week, I made a roasted strawberry frappe that tasted so, so good. Not up for a frappe aka milkshake ? How about a strawberry milkshake cupcake? Hummingbird High has the recipe for you. Yum!

If you love blueberries, you should make the ultimate blueberry cupcake by Oh Sweet Day! I wish I could eat this cupcake now!

I have a friend who loves key lime pie, but I am pretty sure he hasn’t tried key lime pie cupcakes. Tracey’s Culinary Adventures has the recipe. Next time I head to Duxbury I might just bring a batch.

Raspberry Cheesecake Cupcakes– sounds like a perfect summertime dessert! Adventures in Cooking has the recipe and Eva’s photos are beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lime Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berries and Whipped Cream

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Happy almost 4th of July! This is by far my favorite holiday. I love summer food, fireworks and warm weather. When I was a kid, my dad had a huge collection of fireworks. Every 4th and even sometimes on our birthdays he would light a bunch in our back yard. I loved sitting on the deck with my brother and sister watching the night sky light up. To this day I need to see fireworks sometime around the 4th or it just doesn’t feel like summer. While thinking about our plans for the 4th, I started to think about the perfect summertime dessert. For me that dessert is angel food cake

I love angel food cake. I especially love it with seasonal berries and a bit of whipped cream. I have attempted to make this cake many times but not all my attempts have been successful. One time it didn’t rise, another time it was tough and sort of flat and most recently I forgot to set the timer and it burned.  Bubba and kids love angel food cake so I was determined to make one that actually tasted good! I found a recipe for it on the blog Joy the Baker. Check out this fantastic food blog if you haven’t already! I adapted the recipe only by adding lime zest and lime juice. I love lime in cakes and cookies. Also, we have a bunch of limes in the house because Bubba likes a gin and tonic especially in the summertime.

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I added the zest of one lime to half of the sugar mixture. (Blend with your fingers any citrus zest with sugar before adding it to a batter and the citrus flavor will be more pronounced. The oils in the zest are released when you blend them with the sugar.)

_KH10010I love how sifted flour looks like freshly fallen snow.

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When you beat the egg whites be sure not to over beat them. You do not want stiff peaks. The egg whites should double in volume and look glossy.

_KH10014Fold the flour mixture into the egg whites in 4 batches. Over mixing will cause the egg whites to deflate. Once incorporated, pour batter into an ungreased tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.

_KH10020 While your cake cooks, combine 1 pint of mixed berries in a bowl with 2-4 teaspoons of sugar depending on how sweet your berries taste. Set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until the berries release some of their juices. The fruit can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to a day.

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This how my cake turned out. Not bad, not perfect but it did taste great. The lime zest and juice is a nice addition but the fresh, local berries really stole the show. Have a very happy 4th!

Lime Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berries and Whipped Cream

Slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

makes 1 cake

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cake flour, sifted

12 large egg whites, at room temperature

1/3 cup warm water

zest of one lime

2 teaspoons of lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 pint of mixed berries ( I used a combination of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)

2 to 4 teaspoons sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle.

In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the blade attachment, grind sugar for about 2 minutes.  (This will make  a super fine sugar that will absorb easier into the egg whites.)

Place half of the sugar in a small bowl  and add lime zest. Blend the lime zest and the sugar together with your fingertips for about a minute.

Sift together the remaining sugar, salt, and cake flour.  Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the egg whites, water, lime juice, and cream of tartar at medium speed. Increase the speed to medium high, gradually adding the sugar from the small bowl, until medium peaks form. You do not want stiff peaks.

Sift in one-quarter of the flour and sugar mixture and gently fold with a spatula. Do not over mix or it will deflate the egg whites!   Add the flour mixture in three more batches.  Fold until completely incorporated. Spoon batter into ungreased tube pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes but start checking with a skewer at 37 minutes. Once the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.  Remove cake from the oven and place it upside down on a cooling rack for at least an hour. Gently remove from pan once cool.

Mix berries with 2-4 teaspoons of sugar and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the berries release their juices. Lightly whip cream in a cold bowl , adding a bit of vanilla extract and sugar, if you like your whipped cream that way.

Slice cake and serve with berries and whipped cream. Store cake, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Enjoy!