Monday, July 26, 2010

Black Forrest Cake

I made this Black Forrest Cake from Brown Eyed Baker for my husbands birthday.  It was DIVINE!  Really, the cake was so moist and chocolaty and the cherries were soft and sweet and the whipped topping was light and not overly sweet.  We devoured it at his camping/cook out party.

I changed up the middle cherry layer just a bit.  Everything else I did exactly as her recipe called for.

Cherry Layer:
2 cups of fresh or frozen pitted cherries
1/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of sugar
2 TBS of cornstarch
1 tsp of vanilla

Put the cherries into a medium sauce pan and heat on medium until the cherries are warm and juices are released.  Add the water, sugar, and cornstarch to the cherries.  Stir and cook until bubbly and the sauce has thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Let the cherry and sauce cool completely.  Add the cherries and as much sauce as you prefer to the middle layer of the Black Forrest Cake.  The sauce makes the cake all that more moist.  Reserve 12 of the cherries for the top of the cake.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Raspberry Crisp Bars

My husband really went overboard on buying fresh fruit this past week, so that's why I've had so many fruity recipes lately.  The raspberry flat he bought was great, but they were so ripe that they started to get mushy too quickly.  Wasting raspberries was out of the question, so it was time to find another way to use them up.  This recipe from did the trick.  Again, I made a few alterations and I loved the results.  Next time I make it, I may get a little crazy and try to make it with Coconut Oil instead of butter.  I don't know how that would affect it, but I think it's worth a try to make it more healthy.

Raspberry Crisp Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup room temp butter
1 egg
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
4 cups raspberries (or any kind of fresh berry)
1/2-3/4 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease one 13x9 inch pan.
2. Combine 1 cup of the sugar, the flour, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, butter, and egg. I use my hands to break up the butter and work it until it's a crumbly dough.  Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.
3. Combine the remaining 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (this varies based on the sweetness of the fruit you are using), the cornstarch and berries. Place mixture over dough in pan. Crumble the remaining dough over the tops of the berries.
4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until the top is slightly brown.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake (or Muffins)

Staying true to what I talked about doing in my last post, here is another recipe that I made today.  We had some blueberries and nectarines that were getting a bit too ripe and I didn't want them to go to waste.  So I got the base of this recipe from, but altered it quite a bit and it turned out fantastic.  I love using the whole wheat flour in my baking and having things still turn out tasting delicious.  

Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake (or Muffins) 

3 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches or nectarines
2 tsp white sugar
2 TB butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 13x9 pan or muffin tins, or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and 1/2 cup of melted butter and vanilla until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended. Fold in the blueberries and peaches. Fill pan or muffin cups with batter.
3. For the 13x9 pan, back for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  For the muffins, bake for 18 to 20 minutes. After pulling them out of the oven, spread the 2 TBS of butter on top, the butter will melt as you spread it around.  Then sprinkle with the 2 tsp of sugar. Cool in the pan over a wire rack.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yummy Banana Bread Recipe

I made this banana bread today from Our Best Bites.  It's a Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze.  I modified the recipe and made a couple mistakes along the way, but it stilled turned out amazing. That's the sign of a recipe with good bones.  If you mess it up and it still turns out delicious, then it's a winner in my book.  For my own sanity, I'm writing down my modifications so that I remember what to do next time.  I basically just made it a bit more healthy by using whole wheat flour and substituting coconut oil for butter.

Posting it on my blog also helps me keep track of which recipes I've tried from which blogs.  I really need to do this with everything I make so that I can keep my own personal "best of" and "don't make this again" lists. :)

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
adapted by To Craft or To Cook, which was adapted by Our Best Bites from Cooking Light

2 C white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C coconut oil, room temp
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt
3 Tbs apple juice or milk*
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut
Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice

*as in: don't go buy apple juice just for this recipe.  If you don't already have some, just use milk!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat oil and sugar until blended.  Add eggs and beat to combine.  Add banana, sour cream or yogurt, apple juice (or milk), and vanilla.  Beat until blended.
Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in 1/2 C coconut.

Pour batter into a 9x5" loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top. 

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes.  If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil.  Continue baking until done.

When done, remove pan from oven.  Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan.  Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top.    Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.