Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ultimate Vanilla Cake

1/2 cup salted butter at room temp
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups pastry flour or cake flour, sifted (plain flour will work)
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 eggs at room temp
1 1/4 cup whole milk at room temp
8 drops wilton treatology- vanilla custard (you can order this online)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar for 8 minutes.  After 4 minutes, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and allow it to continue to cream for another 4 minutes.

2.  While the butter and sugar are creaming together, sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

3.  Now add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar, allowing it to mix well after each addition.

4.  Now add 8 drops of vanilla custard treatology, vanilla extract and vanilla bean.

5.  Now alternatively add the flour and the milk.  Start by adding half of the flour, mix until the flour disappears.  Now add half of the milk and mix until everything has just combined, add half of the remaining flour and mix, repeat this process by adding the remaining milk and flour.  Always start by adding the dry ingredients and end with adding the dry ingredients.  (Also always make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl down unless you are using a paddle attachment with a scrapper.  This is extremely critical when baking.

6.  Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

7.  Allow the cupcakes to cool for at least 2 hours before frosting.

This will make a min of 24 cupcakes and a max of roughly 30

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Quick and Easy Apple Pie Recipe

5 medium macintosh apples  (pealed, cored and evenly sliced)
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you decide to use salted butter, omit the salt)

2 store purchased 9 inch pie crusts

Additional ingredients:
9 inch pie pan
Baking spray

Egg wash- 1 egg and 2 tablespoon milk beaten together
Cinnamon Sugar- 1 tablespoons sugar with 2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Preheat Oven 350 F.

1.  Prepare your pie pan by following the directions if using pre-rolled crusts.

2.  Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, stirring to make sure all of the apples are coated.

3.  Pour apple mix into prepared pie crust and cover the pie with second pie crust, crimping the edges. Slit 4 air holes in the center of the pie.

4.  Brush the top with egg wash and dust the top with cinnamon sugar afterwards if desired.

5.  Baked for 35 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  

Monday, May 2, 2016


3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 package instant yeast
3 egg yolks (room temp)
1 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees f)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon melted butter or veg oil.

*Additional veg oil for deep frying.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add all the ingredients but only add 2 cups of the flour.  Mix until the dough is smooth.  Slowly add remaining flour but only adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time.  Add enough flour that the dough is sticky but not too sticky.  Scrape bowl down and shape dough into a bowl and place back into a bowl, covered with cling film.  Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.  If you are going to allow the dough to rise longer, place dough in the refrigerator and allow it to rise for up to a total of 12 hours.  

Once dough as risen, punch dough down and on a lightly floured surface roll down until  about 1/4 thick and cut out dough with a floured doughnut cutter.  Place on floured cookie sheet and dust the tops of the doughnuts lightly with flour and cover lightly with cling film.  Allow the doughnuts to rise for 45 minutes.

In a medium pot heat up at least 2 inches of vegetable oil to 315 - 330 degrees F and easily lift a doughnut up and place into the oil and fry for about 45 seconds or until golden brown and use a skewer or pair of tongs to flip doughnuts and fry until golden brown, remove from oil and place onto a try heavily lined with kitchen towels allowing them to drain and cool completely.  Dip doughnuts in desired glaze and allow the glaze to harden slightly before serving.  

For more details watch the video here

Monday, April 25, 2016

Banana Pudding Recipe


2 to 4 medium bananas (depending on how much bananas you want to use)
1 1/2 packages of vanilla wafers (about 24 ounces)

2/3 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 cups whole milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 egg yolks

Whip Cream ingredients:
1/2 pint heavy cream (double cream)
4 to 5 tablespoons superfine sugar (extra fine sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large heatproof bowl combine the sugar, flour, salt, both vanillas and milk.  Mix until everything is combined and place on top of a pot over boiling water to create a double boiler.

2.  Allow mix to heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often using a wire whisk.

3.  Add the egg yolks and mix until everything is well combined.  Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure there are no pudding building up on the sides of the bowl.  This will also help prevent lumps from forming.

4.  Allow the mixture to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes stirring the mixture with a whisk every 2 to 3 minutes.

5.  While the pudding mixture is cooking, spread half the vanilla wafers across the bottom of a large pan or casserole dish.  Cut desired amount of bananas and spread them evenly across the top of all of the vanilla wafers.  Top with remaining vanilla wafers.

6.  Once the mixture is thick remove from the heat, and pour evenly across the top your prepared pan of bananas and wafters.  Gently fold everything together allowing the mixture to coat everything.

7.  Allow the mixture to cool on the counter  for 15 minutes and cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Cover with whip cream.

Whip Cream Directions-

1.  Pour heavy cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.

2.  Turn stand mixer on low and allow the mixture to whip for one minute.

3.  After one minute pour in the superfine sugar and allow to mix on speed 3 for 1 minute.

4.  Turn the mixer on high and whip for 20 to 30 seconds.  The mixture will be pretty close to a stiff peak.  Pour in the vanilla and whip for 5 to 10 seconds on high.

*Important note:  allow the bowl and the whip attachment to sit in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cornbread and Sausage Dressing

This is a fabulous cornbread dressing that you will enjoy.  This is one of many well loved southern dressing recipes you'll every try.

Cornbread Ingredients:

3 cups plain yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs slightly beaten
12 tbsp melted unsalted butter
4 tbsp veggie or canola oil

Dressing Ingredients:
12 oz pork sage sausage (ground pork sausage, not smoked)
1 to 2 sticks of celery diced
1 small red pepper diced
1 medium onion diced
4 tbsp dried sage
4 tbsp butter plus additional 4 tbsp butter
4 cups chicken stock
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs slightly beaten at room temp

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and in a cast iron or oven safe skillet heat 4 tbsp of oil while you make the cornbread.  The oil needs to be very hot when you pour the batter in the pan.

Cornbread Directions

1.  In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, being sure there are no clumps of baking soda in the mix.

2.  Add eggs, butter, and buttermilk and mix until smooth.

3.  Pour batter in the middle of the oil and smooth out.  Put the pan back into the oven and reduce the oven temp to 400 degrees F.  Bake 45 mins or until cornbread is brown, dry.

4.  While your cornbread is baking, cook the sausage in a medium skillet, crumbling it with a wooden spoon as it cooks.  Once the sausage is done, remove and set aside.

5.  In same skillet heat 4 tbsp of butter, add red peppers and cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and onions and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.  Then remove from heat and set aside.

6.  Once the cornbread is done, remove from the skillet and put into a large bowl crumbling the cornbread with a wooden spoon.  Add cooked sausage, veggies, sugar and all of the herbs and spices and combine.

7.  Add butter, eggs and half of the chicken stock and mix.  Once everything is well combined add the remaining chicken stock and mix until everything is well combined.

8.  Pour the dressing into a large greased casserole pan and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the dressing is brown and set.

9.  Remove from oven and allow the dressing to stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Vanilla Cake

Here is a vanilla cake that is so moist and delicious that you wouldn't believe it.  You can whip these up in no time

3 cups sifted cake flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp.
2 large eggs at room temp.
1 egg yolk at room temp.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk at room temp.
3 cups sifted cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1.  In a bowl, sift together cake flour, salt and baking powder and set a side.

2.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar (for about 7 to 10 min).  It won't be extremely light in color (don't panic).

3.  Add the vanilla, eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

4.  Now add the flour and mix alternatively, starting and ending with the flour.

5.  Line a cupcake tin with cupcake paper and pour in enough batter to fill each cup just a little under the halfway point.  Then bake in a preheated 350 Degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean when tested in the center.  The cupcakes will be light golden brown in color.  Remove cupcakes from the pan and allow them to cool sitting on a wire rack.  This will make 24 cupcakes.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

French Buttercream / Ermine - like whip cream

I'm not a fan of traditional buttercream frosting which is butter, shortening, powdered sugar and milk or cream that are them creamed together until light and fluffy.  This frosting, in my opinion is entirely too sweet, and it's some what grainy texture is entirely too much for my taste buds to handle.  

I came across this frosting recipe in a book I have and it's a french roux buttercream frosting called "Ermine".  This frosting is easy to prepare, it starts off by making a blonde roux, instead of cooking the flour in the butter, it is slowly dissolved into milk that is heating on the stove.  Slowly dissolving this into the milk that is heating works like magic to help you avoid any lumps in this roux.

After the roux is prepared, it needs to poured into a bowl and covered with plastic wrap.  The plastic wrap must be pressed against the top of the roux, and then placed in the fridge to cool.  Pressing the plastic on the top of the roux, prevents the top of the roux from forming a skin on top.

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour (5 tbsp)
1 cup of granulated sugar 
1 cup of whole milk (it must be whole milk or this will not work correctly)
pinch of salt
1 cup of butter room temp (not mushy but slightly firm) cut into 1/2 tbsp cubes 

1.  In a bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.

2.  In a medium saucepan, heat the milk on a medium high flame.  As the milk beings to get hot while whisking, slowly add the dry ingredients about 1/4 cup at a time in the center of the pot.  Repeat this process until all of the dry ingredients have been added to the milk.  Add the vanilla and continue to whisk until the roux begins to thicken.  

3.  Change to a wooden spoon as the mixture begin to thicken and constantly stir the roux, being sure there are no uncooked bits of flour.  

4.  Cook on a medium high flame constantly stirring.  It is important to scrape the entire bottom of the pot to prevent roux from burning.  Cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is extremely smooth and shiny.  

5. Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic wrap to cling against the top of the roux.  Doing so will prevent the roux from forming a skin.  Allow to chill 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.

6.  After the roux has chilled, pour the roux into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.  Slowly increase the speed to high and allow the roux to whip for about 2 minutes.

7.  After the roux has whipped for 2 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer on medium.  Add the butter 1 cube at a time.  After the cube of butter has completely mixed into the roux, add another cube of butter.  Continue to do this until all the butter has completely whipped into the roux.    Scrape the bowl down after adding half of the butter.  Once completed this frosting is ready to use.  Add food coloring if desired.  If the frosting is too soft due to your room being hot, simply place into the fridge until the frosting firms up a bit.