Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guava Cake


Guava Cake

My dad celebrated his 59th birthday this weekend and I came across this Guava Cake recipe that I knew would be perfect! My dad's family is originally from Hawaii (though we're not native Hawaiian) so part of his heart lives in San Francisco where he grew up and another part of his heart lives in Hawaii. We don't really have any Hawiian food here in Albuquerque, so we don't usually get our hands on Hawiian grub very often. Whenever we go out of town, my dad (and now my brother, ha!) always try to find an L&L Hawaiian BBQ restaurant to get their fix.

My dad always asks for malasadas, ever since one of my aunts gave me a family recipe, but I have yet to venture out and make it. There's something about yeast and deep-frying that scare the heck out of me. My dad also has a cheat version using canned biscuits that he used to make when I was little, which is easier but I still haven't made that version either. One of these days I will make both!

In the meantime, I found this great Guava Cake recipe that is delicious and wonderful! I got this recipe from the Polynesian Kitchen and made only minor adjustments. I poked holes on the top of the cooled cake and then drizzled guava juice on top of the cake to add a little more pronounced guava flavor. I used about half a cup of juice, but you can add less or more to your liking-- just be sure not to add too much juice to where it becomes soggy. Also, there are several types of guava juice and some may not be pink in color, so if you want that pretty pink color, feel free to add a couple drops of pink food coloring to the glaze. I couldn't find the guava juice that I normally buy at the supermarket (I like Kern's), so I bought Jumex (which wasn't pink) so I added pink food coloring to the glaze.

This cake got the approval from everyone in my family! I ate three slices-- one before while I was taking pictures (the perks of a food blog!) and another two at family dinner. :-) I think this recipe will be around for awhile and I'm already thinking of some different ways to adapt the cake. Can you say sweetened condensed milk? :-)


My dad with his Redskins jersey I got him for X-mas (Go Royster!)









Guava Cake
slightly adapted from The Polynesian Kitchen


Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 package yellow or strawberry cake mix (I used strawberry)
1 c. guava juice (replace the amount of water called for the package with guava juice-- this varies depending on the brand, so just adjust it accordingly)
1/2 c. vegetable oil (or however much is asked for on the box)
3 eggs (or how many is asked for on the box)
1/2 c. guava juice (this is for drizzling on top of cooled cake for extra guava flavor!)

Cream cheese mixture:
8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. package of Cool Whip, thawed

Guava glaze:
2 c. guava juice
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. corn starch
pink food coloring (optional)


Instructions:

Cake:
Bake cake according to package directions, substituting guava juice for water. I used a 9x13 pan for this recipe. Once cake is cooled, poke holes on top of the cake with a fork. Drizzle with guava juice and set aside to let the juice seep into the cake.

Cream cheese mixture
In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with hand mixer until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and beat in. Slowly fold in the Cool Whip and refrigerate until ready to use. (I added a couple of tablespoons of guava juice to the mixture as well. You can do this as well, but it didn't add much guava flavor.)

Guava glaze:
In a medium sauce pan, bring the 2 cups guava juice and sugar to a boil. Make a paste out of the cornstarch and a small amount of water. Once the guava and sugar are boiling, remove saucepan from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and bring back to a boil and boil for one minute. Add a couple drops of pink food coloring. (Some types of guava juice aren't pink in color, so if you'd like to get the pink color, you can definitely add  some pink food coloring to get that pretty pink guava color. I used "soft pink" from AmeriColor.) Cool in refrigerator.

To assemble cooled cake:
Thickly ice the cake with the cream cheese mixture. (Make sure there's enough room on the top for the guava glaze-- if you don't think there will be enough room, reduce the amount of the cream cheese mixture so that there's room for the glaze.) Glaze the top of the cake with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve



Monday, January 7, 2013

Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting


Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting

Welcome to the new design of the blog!!! I've been wanting to redesign the blog for awhile, but haven't had the chance to do so or the money to pay for someone to do it for me. I've been wanting to try and make the blog look a little more professional and move away from the standard Blogger templates. I finally took some time today to play with the color schemes and I'm happy with the result! It's still not where I'd like it to be design-wise, but I'm very happy with the improvements that I've made. Please let me know what you think of the new design and feel free to give me any suggestions that you think would help improve the blog!

Today I'm sharing with you a very fun recipe, Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting. This recipe is from Dinner, Dishes and Desserts; Erin took inspiration from other recipes to create these cupcakes. I was browsing my saved recipes to find something to make for my family's Sunday dinner, something creative but something that I had all the ingredients and came across this recipe.

These cupcakes are SUPER sweet, so if you have a sweet tooth, you'll love these cupcakes. I did think that the Biscoff frosting overshadowed the cookie dough a little bit. Next time I makes these cupcakes, I'll probably opt for a different frosting-- maybe a chocolate or a Nutella frosting. My favorite part of these cupcakes is the Biscoff frosting which I plan to use again in the future with a different recipe, maybe with a Biscoff-flavored cupcake. Also, I got 24 cupcakes out of this recipe.

If you're looking for a fun and different recipe, I hope that you'll give this recipe a try!











Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Biscoff Frosting
from Dinner, Dishes, and Desserts


Cookie Dough Filling:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. mini chocolate chips

Cupcakes:
4 egg whites
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/4 c.s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. milk

Frosting:
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. Biscoff Spread
4 c. powdered Sguar
3-4 Tbs. milk (I used 4 Tbs.)


Cookie Dough Filling:
Start by making the cookie dough filling.  In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffly, about 2 minutes.  Add the milk and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated and smooth.  Mix in flour and salt.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Scoop the dough out by rounded tablespoons, and roll into a ball.  Place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.


Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners, makes 18 cupcakes (I got 24 cupcakes from this recipe).  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks.  Set aside.  In a stand mixer beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Stir in vanilla.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In multiple additions, alternate mixing in the flour mixture and the milk, scraping down the sides if necessary. Once the flour mixture and the milk are incorporated into the cupcake mixture, gently fold in the egg whites until fully incorporated.

Place about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the bottom of each muffin liner.  Place a  frozen ball of cookie dough on top of the batter.  Cover with more batter.  Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcakes springs back when pressed.  Allow to cool completely before frosting; once cupcakes are completely cool, frost with Biscoff frosting.


Frosting:
Beat the butter and Biscoff spread using an electric mixer until smooth.  Add in the powdered sugar and milk.  Beat until smooth, you can adjust the milk/sugar amounts to get the desired consistency.


Makes between 18-24 cupcakes.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Orange Fudge


White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Orange Fudge

Happy New Year! I originally planned to have a whole lineup of recipes before Christmas for cookie and candy swaps, but as the story goes for the past 4-5 months, I either can't find the time or muster the energy to get done what I've planned or hoped. I had planned a pumpkin week around Thanksgiving, but that didn't work out either. Next year (or this new year), I promise!

So without having to say, but I'll say anyway, my holiday baking also didn't go as planned this year. I usually spend close to two weeks preparing for the holidays, baking cookies, making candies, and other treats to give away. I'd have storage containers filling up the fridge and freezer to keep all my goodies fresh until I give them away to friends, family, and coworkers. My goal every year is to make one batch a day until the holidays arrived. This year, I did all of my baking and goodie making in the two days before Christmas Eve. I made a batch of biscochitos, butter cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, cinnamon roll fudge (recipe for this coming soon), and white chocolate cranberry macadamia orange fudge. I know it still seems like a lot and I got a lot done, but I didn't make nearly as many goodies as I usually got and ended up having to ration what I gave out.

This recipe I'm sharing with you today is a new recipe to me. I found this wonderful recipe on Lick the Bowl Good and discovered a great and easy way to make white chocolate fudge. The secret ingredient? A can of prepared cream cheese frosting, which happens to be my favorite canned frosting. It gives the fudge some extra flavor as well as helping keep the fudge firm but easy to cut into pieces. Another great thing about this fudge is that it takes a relatively short amount of time to prepare. Melt the chocolate and frosting together, add the mix-ins, pour into a prepared pan, pop in the fridge until set. That's it!

This fudge was one of the favorites this year and had many people compliment the fudge, so I was very pleased with the reception the fudge got. This recipe is definitely a keeper and will continue to be in the lineup of Christmas goodies! Next year I'll have to make 2 or three batches of this.

I hope you all have a great new year! 











White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Orange Fudge
Slight adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

12 oz. package white chocolate chips
16 oz. tub cream cheese frosting
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. orange extract (I couldn't find this, so I used lemon extract)
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. chopped macadamia nuts
more zest and cranberries for garnish (optional)

Lightly butter an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or a 9-inch diameter pan. Set aside. (I just lined an 8x8 pan with enough parchment paper so that it overhung from the sides. It made it easier to lift out of the pan and peel away from the fudge once the fudge set. It worked perfectly.)

Melt the baking chips in the microwave in a medium bowl.

Stir in the frosting, salt, extract, and nuts, cranberries and zest until well combined.

Scrape into the prepared pan and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour or until firm. Cut it into small squares to serve. 

 
Makes about 36 pieces of fudge, depending on size.


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