Monday, March 23, 2015

Snickers Cake

I went to a cake auction fundraiser this past Friday and I signed up to bring a cake. Last year I went to this fundraiser and I brought a cake but I went for looks. I brought a beach themed cake with what looked like water and sand on top. Then I had teddy grahams lying out on fruit by the foot and teddy grahams in inner tubes (watermelon rings.) Then I had palm trees and little drink umbrellas on the side. It turned out pretty awesome.

This year I wanted to make more of an adult cake. I decided to make a snickers cake. I used the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker to make this cake. The only thing I changed was the chocolate cake recipe. I used a simple chocolate cake recipe from Nellie Bellie.

Ingredients for the chocolate cake:

  1. 3/4 cup soft butter
  2. 3 eggs at room temperature
  3. 2 c. all-purpose flour
  4. 3/4 cup cocoa
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 cup sugar
  9. 2 tsp vanilla
  10. 1 1/2 cup milk
  1. Using three 8 inch pans, grease bottom of pans. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat butter for 30 seconds or so. slowly add sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time beating after each one. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients beating after each addition.
  5. Add 1/2 of the milk, beat. Then add the other 1/2. Beat just until everything is combined nicely.
  6. Spread batter evenly into pans.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes for round pans. Watch it though! a knife coming out clean from the center means it is done.
Now the snickers part of the cake:
There are four main parts
The Nougat Filling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.
 I think this nougat filling is what makes this cake taste so good. I ate a couple spoonfuls out of the pan.
Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.
Assemble the Cake
 If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. (When I spread the nougat filling on, I pushed it all the way out to the sides of the cake, but when I put the next layer on, it pushed the nougat filling out and down to the bottom. I would recommend not pushing the nougat filling all the way out to the side. The weight of the layers will push it out to the side.)Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.
Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream
While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.
Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Monday, March 16, 2015

One Pot Garlic Alfredo Pasta

I saw this recipe and to be honest it mostly caught my attention because you could make the whole thing in one pot. How great is that? Even though I have a dishwasher now, I still dread dishes. I have to start dinner in a clean kitchen. All of the dishes have to be done and the counters have to be clean. But somehow, after dinner is ready, the kitchen is a disaster again. The mess never seems to end. This recipe not only keeps your kitchen clean, it is really yummy. My husband liked this better than my homemade alfredo sauce. We've been making this one quite a bit lately. This recipe came from The Cheese Pusher.

Creamy Garlic Pasta

2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
¼  tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chicken stock
½ lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. 
Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the box’s directions indicate. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

It may look a little runny like this at first but in just a few minutes it thickens up.

This recipe is the perfect amount for my husband and I. If you are going to make it for more than two people I would double or triple the recipe.