Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Nutella Glaze

 

Fall is here, time to use one of my favorite seasonal ingredients, pumpkin.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Nutella Glaze

1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree

1 c canola or vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 T vanilla

2/3 c water

3 c sugar

3 1/2 c flour

2 t baking soda

1 1/2 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1/4 t cloves

1/2 t ginger

1 c chocolate chips

1/4 c Nutella spread

2 T powdered sugar

2-4 T milk

 

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large bundt cake pan. In a large mixing bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, oil, water, vanilla and sugar. In a medium bowl stir together, flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add dry ingredients to wet gradually stirring until smooth.

 

Add chocolate chips and pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.

 

Let cake cool in pan. Meanwhile make Nutella glaze by whisking together Nutella, powdered sugar and milk. Add milk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. When cake is cool invert onto a plate or cake stand. Drizzle glaze over top and serve.

 

 

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Lemon Curd: The Most Delicious Way to Use Up Egg Yolks.

The other day when I made dark chocolate mousse in the blender I found myself with 6 left over egg yolks, what was I going to do with that? I googled recipes and found one for lemon curd, which was funny because I also had an abundance of lemons. I went ahead and made it, it was super easy, and I was surprised at how delicious it was, I found that I wanted to put it on everything. The recipe I found was on about.com from John Mitzewhich. I will be making this again.

Classic Lemon Curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
  • 2 T grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into 1/8-in slices
  1. Add 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. In a medium metal bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined.
  2. Place the mixing bowl on top of saucepan (the bowl should be wide enough to fit on top of the saucepan, but shouldn’t be touching the simmering water). Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir, until it begins to thicken, and will coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the butter, one slice at a time. Wait until each piece almost disappears before adding the next.

 

We served it on pancakes with blueberries for a sunday breakfast, also try it on scones, muffins, biscuits, pound cake or as a filling for layer cakes.

 

Hunker Down and Eat Cake : Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with Strawberries

It’s that time of year here in Florida, hurricane season. Tropical Storm Isaac is making his way into the Gulf of Mexico and even though we are not in the direct path (yet) we will still have some wind and rain. They even canceled school tomorrow, my kids are really disappointed (yeah right ). So I am posting a favorite cake recipe, I find I like to bake on rainy days. This one is dark and decadent, a favorite from my Southern Living Cookbook.

Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake with White Icing and Strawberries

8 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chopped

1 16 oz can of chocolate syrup

1 c butter softened

2 c sugar

4 eggs, large

2 1/2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1 c butter milk

1 t vanilla extract

For Frosting

2 c powdered sugar

3-4 T milk

1 t vanilla extract

Garnish:

1 c halved strawberries

 

Pre heat oven to 325. Melt chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. stir in chocolate syrup and stir until smooth.

In a large bowl or stad up mixer, beat butter on med speed until creamy and add sugar, then eggs 1 at a time. In a med bowl mix together flour baking soda and salt. add 1/2 to butter mixture  mixing on low speed. Then the buttermilk then the rest of the flour, mixing the whole time. stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake for 1hr and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 min then turn pan and invert cake on to the wire rack, cool for another 30 minutes.

For frosting, stir together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour over cooled cake and top with strawberries.

 

A Nod to My Northern Neighbors: Peach Pecan Pie

 

It’s that time of year here in Florida where you can’t drive on a major road and not see a sign for fresh Georgia peaches. We are lucky to be a neighboring state. Georgia also grows delicious pecans so I decided to try to use them both in a dessert. My oldest son’s favorite dessert is pecan pie which he usually gets only once a year at Thanksgiving, so I decided to lighten it up with the fresh peaches and make it into a summer dessert. Turned out delicious and best of all this recipe doesn’t contain any corn syrup.

Peach Pecan Pie

1 9″ ready to bake pie crust

2 eggs

1/2 c melted butter

2 T flour

1 c brown sugar

1 T milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t salt

3/4 c pecans

1 c fresh peeled and diced peaches

Beat eggs with a whisk in a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and continue whisking. Stir in flour, sugar and salt. Add milk and vanilla and then stir in peaches and pecans.

Pour into pie shell and bake 45 minutes. Tent with foil if crust starts to get too brown.

 

It is done when sides are set and there is only the slightest jiggle in the middle

 

Let cool and serve with whipped cream if desired

 

Creamy Reese’s Peanut Butter Dip

Book club time again, this month’s selection was A Visit for the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I liked some of the book, but there were too many characters and writing styles for me to keep up with.  When I got to the power point presentation, I wanted to just skip it, I was reading, why was there what  looks like math in front of me. I was however excited for the chance to pull out my Doc Martens and old 80’s new wave/punk jewelry.  Have I mentioned I am in the best book club in the world, we go all out, costumes, food, etc…

 

This month’s food was a challenge though, 80’s punk rock food….hmmm. Luckily one of the characters, Lou, eats a lot of apples in the book, that was my inspiration. I have made a cream cheese and Heath bar dip for apples in the past but I wanted to put a little spin on it. I decided to switch up the candy and use Reese Peanut Butter cups instead, I liked this dip way more than the book.

2 8oz bricks of cream cheese, softened

1 8oz carton of cool whip

1/4 c brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

5 full sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Candy Bars ( a total of 10 cups, 2 in each package)

Add Cream Cheese, Sugar, Vanilla and 3 candy bars (6 cups) to a food processor, pulse until candy is chopped up and ingredients are combined.

CREAMY REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER DIP

Add mixture to a large bowl and fold in cool whip until combined.

Spread mixture into a large glass pie pan or other shallow dish. Chop remaining peanut butter cups and sprinkle on top. Serve with sliced apples, pretzel chips and graham crackers.

Pinspired: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

My Pinspiration this week was a little snack cake with a familiar flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate. I found this on Pinterest last week but the original recipe can be found here at Bake or Break. This was easy and delicious and not too sweet. Perfect for a mid morning or afternoon snack. It reminded me of the Snackin Cakes by Betty Crocker that my mom used to make back in the 70’s.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake, from Bake or Break

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 c brown sugar

1 c creamy peanut butter

1/2 c (1 stick) of softened unsalted butter

1t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 c milk

1 t  pure vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease or spray a 9×11 pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter using an electric mixer.

Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Mix in baking powder and soda, then add milk and vanilla mix until combined, and then add one egg at a time while mixing.

Pour batter into baking pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and reserved batter mixture on top.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Strawberry Balsamic Pie with Granola

It’s strawberry season, and this week they were on sale and ridiculously sweet. I made an easy and delicious strawberry pie for a midweek dessert.  I cheated and used a pre-made pie crust but it would have probably been even better if I would have made it myself, if only I had more time.  The filling would also be delicious topping over ice cream or yogurt.

One pre made graham cracker or shortbread pie crust ( make one yourself if your feeling up to it)

2 quarts fresh strawberries washed

2 T Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 sugar

2T water

2t cornstarch

1T fresh lemon juice

For topping:

whipped cream

granola

Slice about 12 large strawberries in half and cover bottom of pie shell ( use whole strawberries if they are small)

For filling: slice remaining strawberries, Place in nonstick skillet with balsamic vinegar over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl until dissolved, add this and sugar to pan and bring to a boil.

Heat for 1 minute stirring constantly, remove from heat and add lemon juice. Cool and pour over strawberries in pie shell.

Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 3 hours.

Top with whipped cream and granola.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Cookies: Lemon Cranberry Cookies

The leftover produce of the week was lemons. I do have a great Strawberry and Lemon muffin recipe, but this time I decided to make cookies. They came out more like a shortbread than a sugar cookie, delicate and crumbly with just the right amount of lemon. These would also be good with dried blueberries or cherries.

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1cup sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 T)

1 large egg

1/4 c fresh lemon juice

1 T lemon zest

1 c dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)

Preheat Oven to 375

In a med sized mixing bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl beat together room temp butter and sugar. Add egg, lemon juice and zest, then slowly add the flour mixture while beating on low/med speed. Stir in dried cranberries (or other fruit).

Roll into 2 inch balls and press flat on a an ungreased cookie sheet (use a silpat if available) with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar.  Bake until golden on the edges about 9-11 minutes.

Popsicles!: Cantaloupe, Lime, and Mint

Who can resist a tempting, colorful, icy treat ? Not anyone in my house. These low calorie, all natural, no sugar added, ice pops are perfect for after dinner of after school treats.

1 cantaloupe cut into chunks, seeds and rind removed

1T fresh lime juice

6 half lime slices

1t fresh chopped mint

Put the cantaloupe and lime juice into a food processor puree until smooth, add mint and pulse until chopped and incorporated.

Pour mixture into a measuring cup with a spout, fill popscicle molds almost to the top.

Put one half slice of lime into each mold ( not necessary but looks pretty)

Insert stick and freeze overnight.

Eat and enjoy this guilt free treat.