Churros With Cinnamon Sugar

It was spring break last week and my darling daughter was home from school. My chic-a-dis had a craving for churros, so we were in the kitchen making our very own instead of going out to a restaurant and ordering them.

A churro is sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut and in France choux pastry. It’s quite popular in Spain, France, Philippines, Portugal, Latin America and the United States. They can be eaten for breakfast, snack or dessert with hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Well, just about anything you want to drink it with really. There aren’t any rules. We like to dip ours in melted dark chocolate.

churros

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • pinch of salt
  • vegetable oil to fry them in
  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamonMethod

    Place sugar and butter in 2/3 cup water in to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the flour and salt to the boiling water remove from heat and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture has turned into a soft moist dough. Let it cool.

    Add the beaten egg a little at a time. Cover and place in the fridge until completely cooled. Fill a large saucepan with vegetable oil. Just enough oil to submerge the choux or churros. Use the wooden spatula and place the dough in the piping bag. Squeeze out any length you want out of the piping bag into the oil and snip with scissors. Fry until golden brown and set it on a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil.

    On a separate plate mix the cinnamon and sugar. Roll the churros around the cinnamon and sugar until coated.

    Enjoy! : )

Chocolate Strawberry Pavlova

Here’s another strawberry recipe that we love. This has been a favorite dessert that my two sweet chic-a-dis love to make. This is the second time they’ve made this dessert for me. The first time was for my birthday a year and a half ago. This recipe was inspired by Nigella’s chocolate raspberry pavlova. We love it with strawberries. My children made this last week with very little supervision. My daughter beat the egg whites, added all of the ingredients and chopped up the chocolate chips. My son beat the cream into a nice whipped cream to be added once the meringue has cooked and cooled. I helped them place it in the oven and remove it from the oven. It was nice and perfect! Soft,chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

strawberry pavlova

Ingredients

for the meringue base:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

for the topping:

  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • a small carton of fresh strawberries chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate (we had small chocolate chips that we couldn’t grate so we it was chopped into smaller pieces.

Method

Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites until satiny and peaks form. Beat in the sugar spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Add in the cocoa vinegar and chopped chocolate. Then gently fold everything until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top. Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300F and cook to about an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes. When it’s ready it should look crispy around the edges and be dry on top. The center should feel soft. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly and let the chocolate meringue cool completely.

When you’re ready to serve. Place it into a flat plate. Whisk the cream till thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue then scatter over the strawberries and rain over with the chopped chocolates.

Spruced Up Vanilla Cake

This recipe came from Nigella’s  Christmas book. We had 2 Thanksgiving dinner to go to so I made this one for my sissy’s dinner party. The bunt mound has a train that goes around the bottom of the spruce tree. It doesn’t show on mine because I didn’t spread the batter towards the edges. Most of it was in the middle so the cake has elevated in the center. I’m pleased with how it turned out and this is nice to pair up with white wine, coffee, tea or champagne.

Spruced up vanilla cake

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) soft butter, plus more for greasing or use a nonstick pan spray
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain fat free yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract (I’ve used my fancy one for the occasion, madagascar vanilla bourbon)
  • 1-2 tablespoons confectioner’s (icing) sugar

Method

Preheat oven 350F and put a cookie sheet in at the same time. Butter or spray your large, regular or fir bundt pan thoroughly.

Either put all the ingredients except the confectioner’s sugar into a processor or mix together by hand or a free standing mixer as follows:
– Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffly.
– Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each one in with a tablespoon of flour.
– Fold in the rest of the flour, and add the baking soda, yogurt and vanilla extract

Pour and spoon the mixture into your greased pan and spread evenly. Place the pan on the preheated cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until well risen and golden. After 45 minutes, push a cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Let it sit out of the oven for 15 minutes. Gently pull away the edges of the cake from the pan with your fingers, then turn out the cake, hoping for the best.

Once cool, dust with icing sugar pushed through a small tea strainer, to decorate think fresh snowfall on the alps.

Black Forest Cake

My my, I’ve been gone for a while. It’s been pretty busy around here. My cake design classes have started and my daughter had just turned 12. For her birthday she asked me to make her a Black Forest Cake. It had to be designed like the one from a video game that her and her friends play called Portal. I was a bit intimidated at first since it’s my first time baking one and designing one like it. I wanted it to be special and spectacular for her. I searched the web on what the cake is meant to look like and this is what mine turned out like. I wanted it to be very similar and to taste great as well.

Garnishing this cake was a very messy situation. I had chocolate bits melting all over my hands. I’ve had to wash, rinse and dry my hands every time the chocolate started to melt. I’m sure all you bakers out there know a better way of garnishing an entire cake with chocolate crumble without having to be messy. The instruction says to gently press the crumble on the cake. I tried that and they would fall off my hands creating a mess. Instead, slapped them on before they melted on my hands. I got the same result, a mess everywhere. There were chocolate crumbles all over the kitchen counter, floor, my clothes, face, hands, my son’s face, around his lips and of course inside his mouth ha ha ha ha ha lol…. : ) He told me the bits wanted to go inside his tummy, lol ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh, and by the way this is the first time I’ve baked a cake with chocolate milk as one of the ingredient and it really made the cake quite moist.

Black Forest Portal Cake

My daughter and one of her best friend made the mini portal cupcakes and it turned out rather nice as well…

I browsed loads of recipes for this cake and the one that I chose is from Sandra Lee. It looked like the easiest one for me to make. Although her original design for her Black Forest Cake is different from what the portal cake looked like, I just had to design it differently.

This is her cake design courtesy of Semi-Homemade Magazine…

I just had to make some minor changes on the ingredients and design.

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box super moist chocolate fudge cake mix, Betty Crocker
  • 1 2/3 cups chocolate milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (will need to divide 3tbs and 2tbs)
  • 3/4 cup cherry pie filling
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Garnish: 2 bars of your favourite bittersweet dark chocolate (one of mine is Ghirardelli )

Maraschino cherries

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, chocolate milk, oil, eggs, and 3 tablespoon of cocoa until smooth. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
3. Spread cherry pie filling between layers.
4. Add 2 tablespoon of cocoa powder to whipped cream to add a bit of brown then spread topping over top and sides of cake.
5. Blitz 2 bars of bittersweet dark chocolate in the food processor.
6. Gently press chocolate crumble onto sides of cake and top of cake. (I slapped mine on…lol) Top cake with small whipped cream circle using cake decorator tip # and cherries. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

*Cupcakes ingredients were exactly the same except the kids didn’t bother with the cherry pie filling.