Lemon Pound Cake

One morning I noticed a lemon in a ceramic cup. At first I thought there were multiple ones in the cup because it was a pretty tall cup, but I looked in and saw that it was one lemon. It was about the size of a baseball. I wasn’t really sure what to do with it, since it was a lot of lemon staring at me. Then it hit me, cake. I decided to make some sort of cake with the lemon.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, large at room temp.
  • zest of 1 large lemon (I will be using only half because my lemon is basically XXL)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F and wire rack in the center of the oven.

Step 2: Butter or grease a 9-in. spring form cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Step 3: In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and pale in color, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Beat in the vanilla extract

Step 5: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. (Note: Batter will look curdled it will smooth out after flour has been added)

Step 6: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.

Step 7: Add the flour mixture (in 3 parts) alternately with the lemon juice (in 2 parts)

Step 8: Mix until batter is smooth. (Don’t over mix)

Step 9: Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth the top with either the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. (Note: I dropped it against the counter a few times to remove air bubbles)

Step 10: Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step 11: Place pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Step 12: Gently remove the sides and bottom of the pan.

Optional:

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted (Note: I forgot to sift it, but it was fine)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Step 1: In a small bowl, add confectioners’ sugar

Step 2: Add 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and stir until it becomes a thick and smooth glaze.

Step 3: Add more lemon juice or confectioners’ sugar, as needed until it becomes a pouring consistency.

Step 4: Pour glaze over the top of the cake, allow it to drip down the sides.

Step 5: Let the glaze dry before covering and storing it. (Note: I served it with a dollop of whipped cream to cut down the tartness of the lemon glaze)

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Cream Puffs

While going through an old cookbook I found a cream puff recipe, but it seemed so confusing. Instead I figured out a easier and quicker way for making cream puffs.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Step 1: Preheat oven to 425°F

Step 2: In medium saucepan, bring the water and butter to a rolling boil.

Step 3: Pour hot liquid into a large mixing bowl

Step 4: Add salt, sugar, and flour

Step 5: Mix until a dough forms

Step 6: Add all eggs and vanilla extract; mix immediately on medium speed until dough is tacky and starts to stick to the sides of the bowl, (2-3 minutes) Or until it becomes thick enough to pipe out.

Step 7: Prep baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 7: Drop tablespoonfuls onto a parchment covered baking sheet

Step 8: Bake for 20 minutes

Step 9: Poke a small hole with a toothpick in the side of each cream puff.

Step 10: Cool completely on wire rack and fill with different fillings. I will be filling them with pastry cream

Optional Fillings and Toppings:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Custard
  • Ice Cream
  • Pudding
  • Pastry Cream
  • Chocolate
  • Confectioners’ Sugar

Garlic Naan

Since I was having curried chicken for dinner with the family I wanted to make a side dish that could absorb the curry sauce. The only thing I could think of was rice and naan. I’ve had naan before and I really liked it so today I will be attempting to make garlic naan. Let’s hope I don’t mess it up to much.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp white sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp minced garlic, (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted + 1 tsp minced garlic

Step 1: In a large bowl, bloom the  yeast in the warm water and 1 Tbsp sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy.

Step 2: Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. (How to Knead Dough)

Step 4: Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise.

Step 5: Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Step 6: Punch down dough, and knead in garlic.

Step 7: Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. [How to pinch dough (6:09)]

Step 8: Roll into balls, and place on a tray.

Step 9: Cover with a wet towel, cover tray with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Step 10: During the second rising, preheat grill to med-high heat.

Step 11: At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. (Since it’s been raining here randomly and I have no idea how to use the charcoal grill, I’ll be using a large pan for this)

Step 12: Lightly oil grill.

Step 13: Place dough on grill, cover with lid, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. (In pan, 20 seconds or until golden brown on both sides)

Step 14: Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over.

Step 15: Brush cooked side with butter, cover with lid, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. (or in pan, 20 seconds)

Step 16: Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Notes: I recommend using a rolling pin to flatten the naan.

Pumpkin Chocolate Strudel

Instead of making a time consuming pie I decided to make a strudel instead. This is basically using the same ingredients as a chocolate pumpkin pie, but with a few less ingredients and time.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk (plus 1 yolk mixed with some water for an egg splash)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box  refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Powdered Sugar (for dusting)
Step 1: Heat oven to 375°F.
Step 2: Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper
Step 3:  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin until blended.
Step 4: Stir chocolate chips into cream cheese mixture.
Step 5: Chill 10 minutes.
Step 6: On cutting board, unroll one pie crust.
Step 7: Sprinkle crust evenly with granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the walnuts.
Step 8: Spread half of cream cheese mixture in a strip across top of crust.
Step 9: Starting at filled edge, roll dough into a log.
Step 10: Place log on cookie sheet seam side down. Repeat with remaining crust and filling.
Step 11:  Mix 1 egg yolk with 2 Tbsp water. (Check out my Tips For the Kitchen on Egg Washes)
Step 12: Brush logs with egg wash; sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Step 13: Bake 40-45 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Step 14: Cool 5 minutes; slice ends off each roll.
Step 15: To serve, slice each roll into 1-inch slices and dust with powdered sugar.

Frozen Layered Dulce de Leche Dessert

After making my dulce de leche cake I wanted to make something simple. So decided to make a frozen version, but with less ingredients and a quicker time to make it.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 box of Nilla Wafers, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 2 pkg Jell-O White Chocolate Flavor Pudding
  • 8 oz of cold whipped cream
  • 1/4 cup Dulce de Leche

Step 1: Chop 8 of the wafers; set aside

Step 2: Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with foil, with the ends of the foil extending over the sides of the pan. (To fit the foil in the pan just fold the foil over the back of the pan and then place inside of the pan.)

Step 3: Arrange 14 of the remaining wafers in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan; set aside.

Step 4: Pour the milk into a large bowl

Step 5: Add the dry pudding mixes

Step 6: Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick)

Step 7: Gently stir in the whipped cream.

Step 8: Spoon 1/3 of the mixture over the wafers in the pan.

Step 9: Top with another 14 remaining wafers

Step 10: Top wafers with 2 Tbsp of Dulce de Leche

Step 11: Repeat the layering of pudding, wafers, and Dulce de Leche.

Step 12: Cover with the remaining pudding mixture

Step 13: Sprinkle with the chopped wafers and press chopped wafers gently in the pudding mixture.

Step 14: Cover the top of pan with foil and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

Step 15: Lift from pan, using the foil as handles, and remove foil

Step 16: Place dessert on a serving plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes to soften slightly before cutting it into 12 slices to serve.

Step 17: Store leftovers in freezer.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

No Thanksgiving meal is really a meal without a starch. In this case garlic mashed potato. Now in this recipe you can either use raw garlic or roasted garlic. I’ll be using roasted.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 3 pounds unpeeled red potatoes
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 oz. Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp and 2-3/4 tsp chopped garlic or roasted garlic
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

Step 1: Place whole potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

Step 2: Cook until tender but still firm, about 15-20 minutes; drain.

Step 3: Peel potatoes into a large bowl

Step 4: Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano.

Step 5: Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer. (do not over mix, make sure to have some potato chunks or else the mixture will become sticky)

Step 6: (optional: you can add milk, but only after the butter has been mixed in)

Dulce de Leche Cake

A sweet and lush cake I couldn’t stop eating it. The smooth texture and heady scents of milk captivated my mouth and senses. This cake may take time to make, but it was worth the wait for it.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. plus 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup whole milk
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp. dark rum (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  12-oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1  16-oz. jar dulce de leche (milk caramel)

Step 1: . Heat the oven to 350°.

Step 2: Grease a 9″ × 13″ baking pan with the butter and dust with 1 tbsp. of the flour. Invert the dish, tap out the excess flour, and set aside. (I recommend using a tin foil pan, because the ridges will keep the cake from floating)

Step 3: Sift the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Step 4: Put the egg whites into a large bowl and beat with a hand-held electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Step 5: While the mixer is still running, add the sugar in a gradual stream and continue beating again to soft peaks.

Step 6: Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Step 7: Alternately add the reserved flour mixture and the whole milk in 3 parts, beating until smooth after each addition.

Step 8: Add the rum and vanilla and beat again briefly until smooth.

Step 9: Pour batter into reserved baking pan and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Step 10: Set the cake aside and let cool slightly for 30 minutes.

Step 11: While cake is cooling, in a medium bowl whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

Step 12: Using a knife, poke the cake with holes all over, penetrating to the bottom of the pan.

Step 13: Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake and set aside to let cool completely.

Step 14: Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled and liquid is absorbed, at least 4 hours. (If the cake floats, place some weights on top of the plastic that’s over the cake, to keep most of the cake in the milk mixture)

Step 15: Spread the dulce de leche across the top of the cake and serve. (warm the dulce de leche for 1 minute in the microwave to spread easier)

Key Lime Cheesecake

With much deliberation with many of my friends. They finally hounded me into making a Key Lime Cheesecake. So I will be showing you how to make one in this post.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 packages (24 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

(Note: you can substitute the sugar, cornstarch, and eggs with a can of sweetened condensed milk, which I will be doing this time)

Step 1: Combine cookie or graham cracker crumbs with butter until all crumbs are moisten.

Step 2: Press into bottom and partially up sides of 9 inch spring-form pan with hands or a spoon.

Step 3: Refrigerate before use

Step 4: In a large bowl, beat with an electric mixer the cream cheese, sugar, lime zest, and cornstarch until smooth and fluffy. (or just the sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, salt, and lime zest, in which case step 5 is skipped)

Step 5: Beat in eggs one at a time, blending just until smooth.

Step 6: Add key lime juice and lemon juice by hand. (Do not over beat, or cake will crack during baking.)

Step 7: Pour batter into prepared crust.

Step 8: Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 55 to 65 minutes, or until set. (To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half full of hot water on lower rack during baking, or you could loosen the sides when it’s done baking which will allow you to skip step 9)

Step 9: Turn oven off, and let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes with the door open at least 4 inches.

Step 10: Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate cake overnight, and up to three days. (Can also freeze cake, will need to allow cake to cool down fully, cover with foil in cake pan, and place in freezer)

Step 11: Garnish with whipped cream and lemon/lime slices before serving

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is a traditional side dish in the Southern United States. It is often served during the American holiday season, especially at Thanksgiving, and is similar in many ways to pumpkin pie. Marshmallows are sometimes added as a topping, but this was adapted more in the Northern United States than in the South. I haven’t made one of these in 7 years. Let’s hope I can get it right.

Here are the ingredients needed in this recipe:

  • 1 lb sweet potato or canned unsweetened sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Step 1: Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of water.

Step 2: Bring to a boil with sweet potatoes whole in skin for 30-40 minutes, or until done.

Step 3: Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.

Step 4: Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. (You could place it in a blender to make it smooth)

Step 5: Add butter, and mix well with mixer.

Step 6: Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour.

Step 7: Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.

Step 8: Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust. (I strained the filling before adding it into the crust)

Step 9: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out partially clean. (Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.)

Step 10: When fully cooled garnish with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

Since I always make a cheesecake of some sort for the holidays I thought I should try something different for Thanksgiving.

Here are the ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Step 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Step 2: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Step 3: Blend in eggs one at a time.
Step 4: Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
Step 5: Add pumpkin, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended.
Step 6: Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
Step 7: Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. (Will puff up after baking, but will go down in an hour or so)
Step 8: Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Step 9: Cover with whipped topping before serving.
Note: You could layer as the bottom 1/2 cup of dulce de leche and when sliced it’ll look like there are three layers to the pie.

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