Baking


What is Rocky Road? Well, if you are ice cream lovers, like we are, you would know it is Chocolate Ice Cream filled with nuts, and marshmallows. Invented in 1929, William Dryer named it Rocky Road to give the population, during the depression, something to smile about in the Depression. Rocky Road. Clever. And tasty, too. Originally it had walnuts. Those were replaced with almonds. And it did not have chocolate chips. Today, the ice cream has changed and is one of the most popular flavors in the US.

You can even find vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds.

I found out that in some other countries it isn’t necessarily an Ice Cream Flavor, it’s a cupcake or brownie with additional ingredients: coconut, cherries, raisins, biscuits. Interesting! I always knew this group could be not only delicious, but educational as well.

But, I digress….. on with the cake!

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    1 3/4 cup sugar {I used 1 cup Stevia in the Raw and 3/4 cup sugar}
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 2/3 cups milk
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
    2/3 cup mini marshmallows, frozen
    2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, almonds, peanuts)
    1/4 cup cocoa powder
    1 tablespoon baking powder.
    3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan. If using a 10 cup pan.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until very light and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Spoon 3/4 batter into prepared pan. Add cocoa powder to remaining batter. Add the cocoa batter to the top and gently swirl through entire cake.
Bake at 325″ for 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely.
Drizzle with chocolate glaze, and if desired, marshmallow cream.
16 servings.

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I was disappointed that the marshmallow melted into the cake even tho I started with frozen minis. But they did add a great texture and a lot of moisture to the cake itself. Maybe small ‘globs’ of marshmallow fluff would have worked better. But all the ingredients are there, so…… I chopped some minis into small pieces and scattered them on top but the cake wasn’t as pretty with them on it.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.

Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Third Monday in May.

The end result – meeting a new foodie and cooking something or things from their collection of good things. I have found over the years that cooking just one thing is not a good way to learn about what makes a person tick. Or in the case of my ‘assignment’ this month – people. This month I was matched with Feast on the Cheap which is run by Mother and Daughter Duo Mary Ann and Mariel. Mary Ann is caterer and Mariel is writer with extraordinary culinary skills learned at her mother’s side. Between the two of them there is an awesome collection of great recipes.Not only that – the cost of every recipe is laid out for you with the ingredients. Thus the name “FEAST ON THE CHEAP”!! It was great to see how much each dish would cost.

I usually make three different treats. Usually a side and an entree and maybe a sweet treat. But it seems everything I went looking for something I was in need of something sweet. So here are two desserts – unusual for me – and a nice little quinoa dish.

I had a quart jar of pears in the pantry. We have a couple of trees so I put up pears every year. Finding this…

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was perfect. It is easy to make and yummy with the Maple Brown Butter Syrup and Pecans on top. Merial called for walnuts but we aren’t big fans and I always have lots of pecans in the freezer. Another change I made – I subbed out 1/2 of the AP flour for Whole Wheat. This is a grown up {what we used to call} Poke Cake. After the cake is cooked and cooled a bit holes are poked all over which lets the lovely syrup soak into the cake. Oh, Yeah!! Since I used my canned pears I skipped the “boil the pears, cinnamon, and water” part and just heated the pears and their juice with the cinnamon (and a little extra). Make this cake!!

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The next time I wandered through the site I found another sweet treat and since I was completely out of cake I deemed it absolutely necessary to make another. This time…

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Our garden yielded a lot of butternut last year. We could not eat all of them or give all of them away. There is just so much butternut one can eat. So I had cooked up quite a few, scooped out the good part, and froze packages of butternut squash. Lucky me to have found this cake, also from Merial.

This is supposed to be a quick bread but I changed it up just a tad and made ‘brownies’ with them. I poured the batter into a 11″ x 7″ pan and baked them for about 24 minutes. Merial made a Ginger Apple Butter for her bread but I chose not to use a ‘frosting’. But I did use some Sweet Potato Butter on some and they were wonderful!! Slicing these was a cinch since I had Mom’s special brownie pan (she loved gadgets like I do)

P1060546 PRESTO!! 18 perfect snacks!!

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Okay, I just couldn’t make another sweet treat. I HAD to go along another path.
For Lunch:

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Quinoa Salad with Sweet Bell Peppers, Dried Cranberries and Turkey Bacon

    1 cup organic quinoa
    2 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
    ½ Teaspoon salt
    1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
    ¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped –
    ¾ cup dried cranberries
    4 scallions (green onions), white and green parts thinly sliced
    5 ozs. Montrachet or plain goat cheese (NOT Feta)
    ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    1/2 lb. bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled

    For the dressing:
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    1 Teaspoon Turmeric or dry mustard
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    3 Teaspoons honey
    ¾ cup olive oil
    salt and pepper

If not using organic quinoa, rinse in a fine mesh strainer under cold, running water.

In a 1½ quart lidded saucepan, combine the quinoa, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff the grain with a fork and set aside. Allow to cool to about room temperature.

In the mean time, prepare the remaining ingredients and dressing. Set the dressing aside.

Toss the peppers, cheese, nuts, cranberries, cucumber, onions, cilantro, and crumbled bacon with the quinoa. Season the Pilaf with salt and pepper. Add the dressing if serving all at once, combining well.

This was definitely a hit with me. The sweet cranberries and pecans mixed with the sweet pepper and green onions was a nice contrast. The tangy sweet dressing brought it all together. I made 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two light lunches (with cake!). And so colorful which means lots of good things in the dish that are good for you.

So many recipes, so little time. I did make the Whole Wheat Parmesan Drop Biscuits. I couldn’t pass those up. Now I want to go back and try

And that’s just my short list.

Visit with Mary Ann and Merial – you WON”T be sorry!!

And visit the rest of the Secret Recipe Club Members and see what they cooked/baked this month.

I have to admit the first glance at the recipe name I read Nutella BOTTOMS so I was thinking cookies. I was very glad to find out the recipe read BUTTONS and they were little cup cakes.

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These Bouchées, or ‘mouthfulls’, are filled with nutella. Just enough to give a quick sweet taste.

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.

Dorie’s Bonne Idee was to dip them in some chocolate ganache. DONE! I don’t think you can ever have too much chocolate. I only made 1/2 of the recipe which gave me 12 little mini cuppys. I will be making them again.

These are on page 188 of Dorie’s Baking Chez Moi.

Check with the other bakers and see their BUTTONS!

One of the fun things I remember about Spring Break, or summer vacation is the beach. Sand! Surf! Building a fire pit in the sand and toasting marshmallows. And using those marshmallows to make S’MORES!! Ooey! Gooey! Chocolate! Graham! Sticky Fingers! Laughing! Great memories!

Where am I going with this? This month’s Bundt Cake for Bundt Bakers.

The theme is HIDDEN SURPRISE. And after running into a recipe for a Graham Cracker cake I knew I had found my surprise.

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This cake made from graham crackers was just asking to be filled with CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS,

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I tried two different methods to fill the cake. I made a trench in the batter and filled it with either chocolate chips or marshmallow fluff. The side I used the fluff on I put the chocolate chips in on top. The side with chocolate chips I put mini marshmallows on top. The fluff worked best. The minis just melted into the cake.

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Then I covered all of it with the rest of the batter and baked.

When it cooled I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and a warm marshmallow sauce.

    2 2/3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
    2/3 cup flaked coconut
    2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
    1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
    2/3 cup sugar Stevia in the Raw
    2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    5 eggs, separated
    1 1/3 cups sour cream
    Chocolate chips
    Marshmallow Fluff.

Heat oven to 325″. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt Pan.
In a small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, pecans and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolks; mix well.
Add sour cream and graham cracker crumb mixture alternately to sugar mixture, mixing well after each addition.
In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into cake mixture. {I have to tell you – at this point we almost didn’t have a cake because the batter was SO GOOD!!!}
Spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Let sit a couple of minutes then make a small trench in the middle of the batter all the way around. Fill the trench with chocolate chips. Then cover the chips with mini marshmallows. {I didn’t put any measurements for these because it is really up to you to decide how much you want. I used about 2 ounces of chips and 1/2 – 2/3 CUPS OF FLUFF. I wish I had used more of both.}
Cover the chips and marshmallow with the remaining batter.
Bake at 325 for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.
Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Drizzle with your favorite chocolate ganache and a marshmallow sauce. {I used ONE adapted from the Wicked Noodle.}

    2 Tbl butter
    1 cup marshmallow fluff

Melt marshmallow fluff and butter in a saucepan whiisking until smooth. Using a fork drizzle mixture over cake.

I put the ganache on first and THEN the marshmallow sauce, but you could do it the opposite way.

The cake was nice and dense. The filling was ALMOST ooey! gooey! {and would have been in a warm cake!}

Cake was adapted from Bundt Classics mostly but other recipes on the web as well.

BundtBakers


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.
Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. The theme for April is “Hidden Surprise” – Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices.The only
requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside. Anshie from SpiceRoots was our host for this month.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Links:-

Limencello! I have seen that name several times as ingredients for recipes. I know it is an Italian lemon liqueur but really hadn’t thought about it much. When I saw it was used in this week’s Baking Chez Moi cupcakes I knew I would have to find some. And I did, but it was WAY more than I would ever need. After considering the alternative – NOT making the cupcakes – I decided I would see if I could make some. Fortunately there are LOTS of recipes out there. I made just enough to make these cuppys and have a little left over.

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I have to admint it would not be something I would actually DRINK as many in Italy and France do, but it does make a nice little cupcake and frosting.

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I was really afraid we wouldn’t like the cupcakes since we didn’t like the liqueur at all but it just adds a little kick to the whole treat.

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And then the orange marmalade adds to the sweet side.

The recipe is on page 194 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi. I am sure the other cupcakes made this week by the Doristas are quite lovely and very tasty so click on over to view all of them on the Tuesdays with Dorie Website.

The limoncello recipe I used – The Kitchen

I think of all the desserts out there, browinies are the ultimate ‘comfort’ dessert. Fudgy! Dense! Chewy! Yep, can’t go wrong with that.

    BUT!!
      Who am I kidding, there is no BUT!!

These hit all the characteristics of a ‘regular’ brownie – except they are gluten-free, butter-free, and dairy-free. I know what you are thinking – why bother? But do, please, bother with these cause they are really, REALLY good.

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Chewy! Dense! Fudgy! YES!!

    But!
      And, unfortunately there is really a BUT!

Too much sugar. The recipe called for two cups of powdered sugar. And while Sweet Tooth Hubby really liked them I cannot eat them (right now) because of all the sugar. I wonder if I could use an equal amount of Stevia in the Raw and some added Stevia for the sweetness? Worth a try cause these are good!!

The recipe is from Scientifally Sweet a blog by Christina Marsigliese. We are baking from her blog for 2015.

Want to join us in our sweet travels this year – just visit The Avid Baker’s Challenge for the list of recipes to come and bake along with us.

And don’t forget to ‘taste’ the other Brownies!

There is just something about Mark BIttman’s recipes/dishes that keeps calling me back. I know you know the feeling. You find a chef/cook/baker you really like and then you just want to keep making their goodies. I am that way with Madjur Jaffrey, Donna Hay, and Mark Bittman, among others..

So when it came time to do another potluck for I heart Cooking Clubs I went with Bittman – again.

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    8 ripe pears peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into smallish pieces
    1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    8 – 10 sheets whole-wheat phyllo dough, thawed
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
    Powdered sugar for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the pears, sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Set the phyllo on your work surface and cover with a piece of plastic and a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Remove one sheet and put it in front of you, brush it with some butter and fold in 1/2 length wise.

Put about 1/8 of the pear mixture at one end of the phyllo strip and begin folding the filled section of the phyllo to form triangles back and forth along the length of the strip, like folding a flag. Keep folding the triangle back and forth until you reach the end of the sheet.
Transfer the turnover to the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and brush it with a little more butter. Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and apple mixture. You should have 8 turnovers.

Bake the turnovers until deeply golden and crisp (it’s okay if they ooze a little juice), 25 to 35 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or


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    cinnamon sugar.

These were quick, crispy, flaky, tasty and the perfect light dessert. They are on page 565 of Bittman’s The Food Matters Cook book

For the other Pot Luck picks visit us over at IHCC

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