Tag Archives: Dessert

Blackberry, Apple & Bourbon Cake

Even though it’s the cold season in Guatemala, we are lucky that we get plenty of fruit year round. The last couple of weekends, I’ve been able got get tons of blackberries, and as much as I love them in my morning yogurt with granola, I decided it was time for me to bake something. I was between this recipe and a batch of blackberry muffins that will have to wait ’till I get blueberries again.

I found this recipe for the Blackberry, Apple & Bourbon Cake browsing through Foodily, and after looking at so many recipes, this one caught my eye. Not because it paired blueberries and apples, but because the cake has liqueur in it. More specifically, the apples are soaked in it and then added to the batter. Since I didn’t have apple brandy available, I used  Jack Daniel’s Honey Tennessee since it’s one of my favorites and it so happened I still have some little left. It’s delicious and I absolutely love it. If you can’t find the Honey Tennessee kind, you can use any sweet bourbon you can find, like Jim Beam White, Jack Daniels’, Maker’s Mark, Early Times, Gentleman Jack. As it turns out (now more often than before) I didn’t exactly follow the recipe to the dot. The original by Saveur asks you to make a coulis (or in other words, a blackberry mash), then strain it and then pour it over the cake when serving. As I didn’t have 6 cups of blackberries but just barely 3, I just added the sugary blackberries to the top of the cake, without the juices. And I increased the apples amount to 4 instead of 3 to balance out the lack of blackberries. And it paid off.

This cake has been a success. Dad just mentioned that after hanging out in the dinning/living room area (were I left the cake earlier that day), he just had to get a slice of it before dinner. Then had a second slice after dinner. All is good. He liked the cake. With every bite, you can taste the goodness of the bourbon and the apples, all surrounded with the cake… and the blackberries on top, are just the perfect way seal this cake with goodness.

Kitty

Blackberry, Apple & Bourbon Cake
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Eyeball Jello

Here’s another easy Halloween treat for you. Kitty shared a video from the girls of Crumbs and I thought it was a great idea to try out at home with Kristen.  It’s lychee stuffed with blueberries to make the eyes, and jello. It’s creepy, it’s sweet and perfect for kids.  I also liked that it’s not a sugar, or chocolate, or candy overloaded treat.  You can make these in small glasses, ramekins, or you can make a big bowl full of eyeballs.

In case you use something taller or bigger than a ramekin, for example a glass or a larger bowl: when you make your jello fill out ⅓ of the container with it, and let it set for about 40 minutes.  Then put your “eyeballs” in, and fill the rest of the bowl or glass with the remaining jello.  This will avoid the “eyeballs” to sink to the bottom.  That’s it!

I used frozen blueberries for my eyeballs, because it’s what I had.  Try to pick the smaller sized ones to stick into the lychee holes. And make sure you really tuck them in, so they don’t float out when you add your jello.  I let them thaw a little bit and ran water over them several times to help wash off the juice and keep them from staining the dessert.  I don’t know what would happen when you add the warm jello if you just use the frozen blueberries.

Aside from looking creepy, this is a really delicious and fresh tasting treat.

Happy Halloween!

Helga

Eyeball Jello

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Fudgy Rocky Road Bars

Do you remember the marshmallow creme I made a while ago?  Aside from eating some of it by itself, I made these Fudgy Rocky Road Bars with it. I’ve been trying to find a good s’mores recipe for a while now, taking into account that we can’t find graham crackers in Guatemala.  The best I could come up with to substitute them are plain vanilla cookies, that are locally known as “galletas María”.  These are the cookies we use in Guatemala to make the crust for cheesecake.

Rocky road bars seemed like a good alternative to use my marshmallow creme, so I tried it out.  I have to tell you that I squirmed at the thought of using condensed milk and chocolate chips… my tooth hurt just thinking about how sweet that could taste. But, guess who really, really, really wanted to make these?  (Yes, Kristen)

I tweaked the recipe a little bit, because of the aforementioned issue with the graham crackers. Also, I used sliced almonds instead of whole almonds because I have a huge bag of them sitting in my cabinet.  I encountered a problem though. Graham crackers are square, and the ones I got to substitute are round. Therefore, I decided to grind them up and mix them with butter to make a crust, like I would make for a cheesecake.

Aside from the crust alteration, these really are a cinch to make. Everybody loved them, and they were not as sweet as I expected. They are sweet though… but the combination of the chocolate, with the almonds, and the cookie crust with little chunks of marshmallow creme here and there is just sinfully delicious. I definitely recommend that you try this recipe.

If you can use graham crackers, much the better. Just Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with graham crackers, breaking them to fit if necessary. Bake until crackers are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and dollop with marshmallow creme. Then continue to step No. 2

Candy season is around the corner, isn’t it?  Try these when you’re making treats for your family!

Helga

Rocky Road Bars

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Chocolate Pancakes with Orange Chocolate-Maple Syrup

It’s Sunday again and I am debating whether to get up and make breakfast, or keep lounging in bed. We’ve been blessed with a child who is a late sleeper on the weekends. She crawls into bed and the three of us can keep snoozing until 10am. It is late though, I should probably get up. We said we were making pancakes. As we were heading for the kitchen, Kristen thought it would be a good idea to try chocolate pancakes. I don’t know where she got the idea from, we’ve never made chocolate pancakes at home. I was a little reluctant at first.  Really?  chocolate pancakes, with honey on them?  It sounded like something only a child would like. But…. ok. Chocolate pancakes it is.

I started browsing for recipes.  Some of them had too much sugar, and too little cocoa. Some called for melted chocolate…too sweet! I read this recipe and it seemed perfect.  This recipe had a chocolate sauce to pour over them.  It had cream and chocolate in it.  No.

But all the photographs looked to pretty with the chocolate sauce drizzled on top!  And I wanted you guys to see pretty photos, so I thought maybe if I made a semi sweet chocolate honey type of sauce, it would be Ok.

You need to make this recipe this weekend, so go out and get all the ingredients. I really, really mean it. I can’t explain how great these pancakes are!  Since they are made with unsweetened cocoa powder, they are not oversweet. They taste like a rich semi sweet chocolate cake.  As for the sauce, same thing.  I added unsweetened cocoa powder so it was just chocolatey. We kept pouring it as we ate our pancakes.  Make sure you get strawberries and whipped cream, too.

I did not use the melted butter in the recipe, because sometimes I feel like having a denser texture on my pancakes.  I don’t like it when they come out too fluffy.  But that’s just my personal preference.  If you prefer a fluffier, more cake-like texture then please add the butter.  Also, we’re using natural cocoa here so don’t skip on the baking soda. We need it because there is a reaction between this type of cocoa with the baking soda, which tempers its acidity.

Treat yourself and your family, and let us know what you think about this recipe!

Helga

Chocolate Pancakes with Orange Chocolate-Maple Syrup

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