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Thursday, January 28, 2010

This makes my life

The last time I had a Nutella and banana crepe was at some music thing in downtown Raleigh early last summer. I'm pretty sure my friends thought Rachel and I were crazy as we joyfully shared a crepe together with our diet cokes.

Tonight I went to the newest Salisbury eatery, Palm's Cafe, for my dad's birthday. They had a humongous menu but what immediately caught my eye on the chalkboard menu was Nutella and Banana crepes. It's a Salisbury first I'm pretty sure. And also they have Nutella and Banana waffles. I'm not usually a breakfast out kinda girl but I'm going to have to have this in the very near future.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Brownie Pudding

Brownie Pudding. Brownies and pudding. All in one. Brownie Pudding.

It tasted as amazing as it sounds. I'm sure if you don't have vanilla beans you can substitute vanilla extract. And make sure you have a really large glass of milk nearby.

Brownie Pudding
~Barefoot Contessa

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur, optional
vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise, if using, and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out 3/4 clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.

Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Caramel Cake

For the new year I've decided that I need to try out a new recipe each week. At least one. Last week I actually tried out 2 new recipes but being busy with so many other things (and because I didn't put that much into the recipes themselves) I never got around to blogging about them. I'll do better though.

So despite getting 5 new cookbooks for Christmas with hundreds of baking recipes, I went to my old Paula Deen Just Desserts for this one. I've always wanted to make it and think about making it all the time. I'm pretty sure that that makes me weird but that's okay. Surely other people walk around and constantly think about things to bake. I know they do.

Week One- Caramel Cake (technically "Bobby's Caramel Cake")
I can't remember ever having Caramel Cake before but that being said, this cake is pretty delicious. The filling was so good (I made a slight mistake of adding too much milk to mine so it wasn't as thick as it should be, but still very tasty) and there is more than enough for the cake. I just kept pouring it on so it ran all over the place. I put my cake in the fridge overnight and made the frosting the next day. The only problem with this was the frosting was warm and the cake was cold so when I was frosting it so it sort of hardened immediately and was difficult to make pretty. But prettiness aside, I took it to Heather and Ashley's joint engagement celebration and it got good reviews from everyone!

For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees. Grease and flour 3 (nine inch) round cake pans.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk, adding alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter and dropping it flat onto the counter. Do this several times to release the air bubbles and assure you more of a level cake. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling:

While cake is baking, in a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Remove cake layers from oven and allow cake to remain in pans as you prepare to stack and fill. Remove first layer and invert onto cake plate. Pierce cake layer with a toothpick over entire surface. Spread 1/3 of filling mixture on cake layer. Top with second layer, repeat process. Top with last layer and repeat process again.

For the frosting:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream is small amounts because you can always "add to", but you can't take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired.