Saturday, January 21, 2012

White Texas Sheet Cake

Don't let the fact that you're not from Texas stop you from making this white sheet cake-it's delicious! Last week, I wanted to bring in a cake for my fellow hard working soldiers, and so Saturday night, I whipped this up. This cake is a one bowl adaptation of the southern classic that is all over the internet. It comes courtesy of A Piece of Cake! which is slowly earning back its favor in my eyes, and it really can be whipped up in no time. To be honest, it was gobbled up in no time, too. Everyone kept cutting off small pieces and then going back for more. Nothing makes me happier :) The texture was nice and moist and the frosting was delicious- the sour cream gives the frosting really good flavor-it reminded me of Duncan Hines, but better. I love the way the sprinkles make the cake look-- youthful and fun while adding some crunch and color. As you can see, I baked the cake in a jelly roll instead of the called for 9x13 both because a jelly roll is more traditional and who needs such thick pieces of cake? I also cut the amount of almond extract in half, but it was still strong. I think I would omit it next time and just use vanilla, which is what I did for the frosting. Up next? Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake! Oh- and Happy birthday, Ma! This one's for you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chocolate Cream Pie

I was asked to make dessert for dinner this past Shabbat and after shooting down a request for chocolate chip cookies (too typical!) I immediately decided to make chocolate cream pie. (The decision for what to make for dessert has never been easier!) I flipped through some books and settled on the recipe from Martha Stewart's latest on pies and tarts. (My love affair for pies has returned... stay tuned!) I've long been wanting to try out cream pies and brush up on some custard making skills and it seemed there was no better time to make one than for that Friday night. I must say, the pie was a big hit; almost all of it was devoured as dessert, and the last piece was breakfast for one of the guys. Watching the custard thicken on the stove was fun and I'm really glad my first try was a success- here's to more cream pies! I used soy milk, to keep it parve, and I was really happy to finally find out that soy milk works for these pies. I used chocolate biscuits here because chocolate wafers are non-existent on Israeli supermarket shelves and I didnt have time to make my own.They need slightly more butter than regular chocolate wafers, but otherwise, they make a fine substitute. I also didnt use sweetener to sweeten the cream; I find that non-dairy whipping cream is flavored enough already. Do as you please, but if you've never before made a cream pie, make one this weekend!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Basic Hearth Bread

Last week, we observed a fast day and as tradition holds, I decided to bake a loaf of bread to break it on. I had just bought a brand new round baking crock and thought it would be the perfect time to break it in. After alot of internal debate (what was I thinking making a last minute baking decision?!) I decided to go with Rose's Basic Hearth Bread. I kind of sped up the process a bit so that my bread would be ready somewhat on time, and the result was really delicious. My bread came out singing a bit, which made me so happy. It would have sang more had I sufficiently heated the crock, but a little crackling is better than none! The bit of whole wheat flour in the dough gave the final loaf a nice creamy crumb. All in all, a basic but delicious loaf of bread at its peak when piping hot. Accompaniments? None necessary, take my word for it. I made this dough in the mixer and used all purpose flour, instead of bread flour. I also skipped the second rise because I just didnt have time for it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Easy Chocolate-Vanilla Mousse Cake

This past Shabbat was nice and low key. Shabbat day, I cooked for myself, my roommate and a friend of ours. Although it was just the three of us, I made dessert, because no meal is ever complete without it. (I think that's a function of my childhood- we rarely, if ever, had dessert growing up, so I'm making up for it now!) I wanted something quick and easy but delicious. I remembered this recipe from the Israeli book More Chocolate and thinking that I'd never make it because it's technically semi-homemade and I hate those. But, I changed my tune and put together my shopping list. I picked up the ingredients late Thursday night and put it together quite easily the next day. The base is made of whipped eggs and sugar with chocolate pudding mix folded in. It's then baked and when it cools forms a sort of cakey crust. Whipping cream is then beaten with vanilla pudding mix and then poured in. A simple glaze of chocolate, margarine and milk is made and spread on top. Done, done and done. Seeing as it was a huge cake, we barely made a dent in it. I sent it to my army base with friends and when I myself got there, I was pleased to see not a crumb left. Success.