Brown Butter Icing

 

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Brown butter takes any recipe you use it in to a whole new level!  The nutty aroma that swirls through the air as it’s turning from plain butter, to a golden brown liquid with tiny specs of mouthwatering goodness, is so enticing!!

I like to use this delectable icing on bundt cakes.  It takes the overall flavor of the cake over the top!  YUMMY!!

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (113 grams)
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (227 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 5 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions:

Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Butter will start to bubble. Continue stirring constantly, until  golden brown (about 7-10 minutes).  Immediately remove from heat as soon as it turns golden in color. It can darken very quickly.

Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl.  Make sure to get most of those brown bits.  They have so much flavor!  Sift confectioners’ sugar into the bowl.  Add the vanilla bean paste, milk and salt to butter and sugar mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add more milk if needed.  

Spoon icing over cake and spread with an offset spatula.

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Look at those delicious specs of yumminess!!

I hope you try this delightful icing, and if you do, be sure to post pictures and tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi .  

Enjoy!!

Throwing it Back with Seth Jason

Almost 11 years ago, something wonderful happened.  I received a phone call from my son saying that in an hour (yes, an hour) a baby boy was going to be coming to their home.

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The day Seth came into our lives (with Melissa, his now Mommy).

Let’s go back a couple of years before that phone call.

My son David, and beautiful daughter-in-love Melissa made the decision to foster children.  It was something they bathed in prayer and God was leading them to do.  At this point they had fostered a little boy who was a temporary placement while his foster parent went on a small vacation.  Then they fostered a little girl until she was placed with a family member.  Next came a little boy who was with them for 8 months before he was reunited with his family.  I’m not going to lie, I got pretty attached to this little boy.  He was just 18 months old when he came to be with David and Melissa. He had the sweetest personality and it was very easy to fall in love with him.  But, God had other plans and he went back to his family.

David and Missy (that’s what I call Melissa) were the only people in our large family to do foster care so it was all very new.  Teaching in the public school system, I had some idea, but this brought it very close to home!  Watching them on this emotional roller coaster was pretty difficult, but they had faith God would see them through all of this, and just wanted His will in their lives (and He has…God is good!).

Now let’s get back to the baby boy who came to them on February 5th, 2009.  He was born February 2nd (our little groundhog), and came to them right from the hospital. David and Missy didn’t have any baby supplies so they were busy making calls to family and friends getting a crib, clothes, diapers etc.  This was a very exciting time!  This was their first experience with an infant, and of course their hands (and hearts) were full.  Seth was not his birth name.  David and Melissa changed it to Seth when they adopted him January 7th, 2011.

Seths adoption cake

This day definitely goes down as one the best days for all of us!  Seth is an amazing boy.  He is funny, kind, and has an awesome imagination! That’s when I officially became Mimi (I can’t help but smile just thinking about it).

So, of course, with my love of baking I couldn’t wait to make his first birthday cake.  He didn’t really have a preference as to what kind of cake he would like, so I made him a “Safari” themed cake topped with animals that I made with a fondant/gum paste mixture.  I was pretty happy with them. It was the first time I had made figurines and I was hooked.

We were excited to celebrate Seth’s big day, but God had other plans.  We had the biggest blizzard since the 70’s!  “Snowmageddon”, as we like to call it.

We finally celebrated later that week and we had a blast!

I look forward to making his cake every year, but he gets to choose what he likes now.  He has a birthday coming up in few weeks and I can’t wait to share that cake with you too.  You may even get to see a sneak peek video of the cake topper being made with the help of my son David (Seth’s Daddy).

Here’s a look at his cakes so far.  Seth actually helped with the characters for his 9th birthday.  He loves to make figures with clay and he did an amazing job with fondant!!

I hope you enjoyed walking down memory with me.  I can’t wait to share birthday #11.

Do you have a favorite cake?  Let me know:)

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Have you ever been on a date and the other person orders dessert and when it comes, you think to yourself, “Oh man, I wish I would have ordered that!”.  And then they say, “Would you like to taste it?”.   You taste it, and well, you know what I’m talking about.  Well, it happened to me, and it was an amazing flourless cake!  When I found a recipe that only had three ingredients I knew I had to make it.  It has to be one of the easiest (and most delicious) desserts I have ever made!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chocolate (I used Guiradelli 60 percent bittersweet baking chocolate)
  • 8 large (cold) eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (cut into 16 pieces)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease the inside of an 8 or 9 inch spring form pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper. Cover the outside of the spring form pan with aluminum foil.  Place covered pan in a slightly larger pan. Fill outer pan with one cup of boiling water right before the cake is ready to be placed in the oven.

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave just until melted. Set aside to cool while you whip the eggs.

In a large bowl, using a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on high speed for about 5-7 minutes (or until double in volume).  Gently (and I do mean GENTLY!) fold  the whipped eggs into the melted chocolate and butter mixture.  Start with 1/3 of the whipped eggs.  Fold until incorporated.  Continue two more times in 1/3 increments until the egg mixture and chocolate are fully incorporated.  Be very gentle with this process.  You do not want to knock all the air out of the eggs.

Pour this mixture into the prepared pan.  Place in the preheated oven.  Be careful not to get burned by the boiling water!

Bake the cake for 22-25 minutes. There will be a thin crust on top when finished. Carefully remove cake from oven (again, being careful not to get burned by the water). Completely cool in pan on wire rack.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  Remove spring form from pan before serving.  Remove the parchment paper and place on serving platter.  Dust with confectioners sugar and berries if desired.  I also served mine with a small scoop of my homemade ice cream…Yum!!!! You need to make this cake SOON!  Enjoy! xoxo

This recipe is inspired by Ali @gimmesomeoven.  Thanks Ali!!

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Jewish Peach Cake

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This week we have been having Fall-like weather here in Cape May, New Jersey. I had some peaches that needed to be eaten rather quickly, so I searched some older recipes in my archives and decided the make this little gem.

This cake is inspired by my sister-in-love Sherri’s Jewish apple cake. She is an amazing baker and this recipe speaks for itself! This is the one dessert that goes really quick when she brings it to family gatherings. This recipe was published in a cookbook “Feeding the Flock”, put out 20 years ago by the woman in her Church family.

I have made this cake so many times over the years and it turns out delicious every single time! I always follow the recipe exactly as it is written, but when I decided to put a spin on it by switching out the apples for peaches; I added a ½ teaspoon of cardamom. This is a personal preference and can be omitted, but might I suggest giving it try! I lightly dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before serving, but you have to make this brown butter glaze. It takes this already incredible cake to a whole different level! You’re welcome☺️!!

Peach Mixture

  • 6 medium peaches (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (63 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom (optional, but I like how it pares with the peaches)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all purpose flour (375 grams)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup canola oil (215 gram)
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup orange juice (60 ml)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.

Peel and cut the peaches into chunks. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Set aside while preparing cake batter. This will cause the juices in the peaches to release and that is just what you want…trust me!

In a mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix together with a stand or hand mixer until completely combined. The batter will be thick.

Add a thin layer of the cake batter to the bottom of the pan, then add half of the peach mixture (be sure to add all of the delicious juice) on top of the batter. Ribbon half of the remaining cake batter over top of the peaches; the batter will not completely cover the peaches. Top with the remaining peaches and cake batter, ending with the cake batter, again, it will not completely cover the apples and that’s fine because the batter will rise around the peaches.

Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. This is important! I have had cakes collapse if removed sooner. Allow cake to cool completely. You can eat this cake plain or dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar. I topped mine with* brown butter glaze and it takes the cake to a whole new level!! This cake actually gets better the longer it sits. Covered properly this cake keeps well on the counter (or in the refrigerator. Just make sure you bring it back to room temperature before serving). This cake is going to go FAST!!

Brown Butter Glaze (ingredients and directions)

½ cup unsalted butter (86 grams)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract (pure vanilla can be used in place of the vanilla bean extract)

4 Tablespoons milk (60 ml)

*To make brown butter glaze, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat until butter is completely melted. Continue to cook and stir the butter until golden brown and tiny specks have formed on the bottom of the pan. Please do not leave this unattended because it will go from a beautiful golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds (unfortunately if this happens there is nothing you can do to salvage it, and you will have to start again). Next, pour the butter into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour the glaze over your peach cake. I should probably warn you…the smell of the brown butter is heavenly!! And now pared with the rest of the ingredients, well the smell and the taste are AMAZING!!

Let me know if you make this cake and tag my Instagram page @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to hear from you and see pictures too!

 

Throwing It Way Back Thursday!

David's first birthday

I would like to talk a little bit about birthday cakes. Because I like to bake and decorate cakes (I will find any excuse to make a cake.  Hence the “chicken pox cake” I made for my son when he was six years old).  I have always enjoyed making cakes for my children.  Seeing the expression on their face when they would see the finished product was priceless!

Thursdays are going to be dedicated to some of my very first cakes. It’s really cool to watch the progression through the years.  Cake styles and techniques are always changing.  I feel like some styles or coming around again, such as butter cream and royal icing flowers.

I’m always looking for that perfect cake (or cupcake) recipe, and just when I think I’ve found it (you guessed it), another one shows up on Instagram or Pinterest.   I have always liked buying cookbooks, and that love still remains.  When I go to a bookstore I head straight to “cookbook” section.  It has become a dream of mine to one day have my very own cookbook gracing those isles.  I am working to make those dreams a reality some day.

This week’s cake is my son David’s first birthday cake. It was a clown cake inspired by a cake I saw in a Wilton cake book.  I also made ice cream cone cupcakes topped with Wilton clown toppers.  Because he was one he really didn’t have much of reaction to his cake, but I sure was happy with how it turned out!

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Chickenpox Cake

 

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

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Birthday cakes are a big deal in my house. My children and grandchildren know that I like to start the cake planning process long before the birthday gets  here.  Whether it’s making a sculpted lizard or Elmo, or a fancy cake topper that’s been molded “just so” by watching hours of you tube videos,  the cake flavor is the real star of the show.  A cake not only has to look good, but it needs to taste good too!

I am a lover of ALL things chocolate and this chocolate cake recipe has been my go to chocolate recipe for a really long time. Sometimes I like to add a cup of chocolate chips to the recipe to give it that extra punch of chocolate…oh my!!  So when my son-in-love (not a typo! I don’t like the term “in-law”) asked for a chocolate chip cake for his birthday, this is the cake I made for him.

You have to trust me. This is THE best chocolate cake you will ever eat!  When my daughter’s friend asked me to make her wedding cake years ago, and then proceeded to tell me she wanted vanilla and chocolate layered cake, this is the recipe I used.  Boy, am I glad I did.  I was approached at the reception by the bride’s grandmother who was going on and on about the cake.  She said it was the best cake she ever ate and asked me if I would share my recipe with her.  What an honor!!  I did share my recipe with her and I am going to share it with you too!

This recipe will make two 9″ cakes.

Ingredients for cake:

  • 2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 Cups (226 grams) cake flour
  • 2/3 Cup (65 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter-room temperature
  • 1 ½ Cups (297 grams) packed brown sugar
  • ½ Cup (104 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs –room temperature
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ Cups (300 ml) buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, add 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to measuring cup and fill with whole milk until you have 1 ¼ cups-let it set for 5 minutes)

Mousse ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (227 grams) cream cheese-room temperature
  • 1 cup (250 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup (125 grams) confectioners sugar-sifted
  • 1 cup (240 ml)chilled heavy cream
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Cups
  • (510 grams) semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract

*Five peanut butter cups for topping (optional)

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2- 9” cake pans with non stick spray and line with parchment paper.  This keeps the cakes from sticking to the pans.               

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or by using the double boiler method. Put aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together (*stir in cup of chocolate chips) and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugars on a medium speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Mix in the eggs one at a time (mixing until each egg is blended into the batter).  Add the vanilla and beat for about a minute.  Mix in the melted (and cooled) chocolate.   Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients)  until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.  DO NOT OVERMIX!!

Evenly divide the batter into your cake pans and bake for 35 minutes (or until inserted toothpick comes out clean). Allow cakes to cool in pans then release them onto a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

While the cake is baking make the peanut butter mousse. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and vanilla on a medium speed until blended and smooth.  On a low speed,  incorporate the confectioners sugar and set aside.  In a large clean bowl, beat the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture (adding 1/3 at a time) until the mixture is smooth.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

While the cakes are cooling let’s get started on the yummy ganache frosting!

Heat the heavy cream and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the cream is hot (tiny bubbles will begin to form). Just before mixture begins to boil, remove it from heat and pour over the chocolate chips.  Allow mixture to sit for about five minutes. This gives the chocolate a chance to melt.  After five minutes have passed, whisk the ganache until  all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Stir in the vanilla.  At this point the smell of deliciousness may be overwhelming and you may want to dive right into the bowl but don’t…I know you can wait until this luscious bit of ganache is crowning the top of your masterpiece!!  You will thank me for waiting!

To assemble the cake I begin by torting (fancy word for cutting my two layers in half and making four layers). I just like throwing it around to impress my non baking friends.  Like street cred for bakers😆.

I only used three of the layers in my cake because I wanted more mousse between my layers.  You can freeze the extra layer for making cake pops in the future or you can nibble on it while you’re working in the kitchen (that’s what I like to do).  That was always one of my children’s favorite part of me baking…eating the cake scraps!

Start with your bottom layer of cake on a cake board that’s the same size as the cake. Put ½ of the mousse on the cake and spread, leaving about ½ around the edge of cake.  This is so the mousse doesn’t ooze out of cake.  Repeat with the next layer of cake and put third layer on top.  Frost the top of your cake first and then the sides with your ganache.  It should be at a nice spreadable consistency.   I chopped up five peanut butter cups and sprinkled them around the top.  *This is just an option, but trust me, it’s a very good option!!

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family does!

*Coating the chocolate chips with the dry ingredients keeps them from sinking to the bottom when baked.