Sometimes You Just Need A Cake

Sometimes You Just Need A Cake

Sometimes you just need a cake . . . Angel Food Cake is our cake of the day!

This recipe is a winner! It won a blue ribbon in the State Fair of Texas cake contest. 

The delicate and beloved Angel Food Cake is a timeless American Cake. Sometime around the 1830’s, the first Angel Food cakes were made by the frugal Pennsylvania Dutch cooks. After making noodles with dozens of egg yolks, they couldn’t bear to throw away the egg whites. So they came up with a new cake made of stiffly beaten egg whites and a few simple ingredients. The AngelFood Cake was born!

A few simple Angel Food Cake Tips.

Angel Food Cake

This award-winning cake won a blue ribbon at the 2007 State Fair of Texas cake contest!

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups egg whites (10-12), room temperature
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar

Frosting: 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup Karo® syrup, 4 tablespoons water, 4 egg whites (room temperature), 1 t. cream or tartar, 1/4 t. salt and 2 t. vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. Sift together the cake flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until frothy; add the cream of tartar and continue beating to soft-peak stage. Gradually adding 1 1/2 cups sugar; whisk until the mixture is stiff but not dry.

  4. Sift one half of the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites; fold in lightly. Sift the other half of the flour/sugar mixture over the egg whites and fold in lightly.

  5. Pour into the ungreased round tube pan.

  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

  7. Remove form the oven, invert onto a funnel over a wire cooling rack and cool.

    Once cool, turn out of the pan. Ice with the frosting.

Frosting: Mix the sugar, Karo® syrup, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook until mixture reaches 242ºF on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (but not dry). Pour hot syrup very slowly in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites until firm, soft peaks form. Gradually adding the salt and vanilla during the mixing process. Spread on the cooled Angel Food Cake, making swirls with the spatula.

Devilishly Delicious Chocolate Cake

Devilishly Delicious Chocolate Cake

Devilishly delicious chocolate cake turns every occasion into a party!

Growing up in Louisiana, one of our favorite pastimes was baking the Black Midnight Cake out of Betty Crocker’s cookbook. Piled high with a double-batch of White Mountain Frosting, it was delicious to the last bite.

During the summers, we enjoyed plenty of family reunions. Everyone brought their favorite dishes. Aunt Kitty baked her chocolate sheet cake for every family gathering. She said “Everyone loves chocolate cake.” She was right . . . every bite of Aunt Kitty’s chocolate sheet cake was devoured!

Recently, I came across Aunt Dot’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe. It was a great beginning for this cake. Knowing how I like tall, multi-layer cakes, I doubled the ingredients and came up with this new version. The result was a four-layer, devilishly delicious chocolate cake!Slice of Devil's Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake

This cake is an intensely rich chocolate cake. It is sure to spark joy in every chocolate lover!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla

Frosting: 2 sticks(1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 cup shortening, 1 1-pound bag confectioners sugar, 1 24 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips(melted in a double boiler and cooled), 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1/4 - 1/2 cup whole milk( add one tablespoon at a time until the frosting is spreadable-consistency!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350Fº. Grease four 9" X 3" cake rounds. Add a circle of parchment paper to each pan; set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cocoa powder and boiling water; stir together; set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, oil, sour cream, eggs, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Add the cooled cocoa mixture. Mix together.

  5. Reduce to low speed, add the dry ingredients. Beat just until smooth.

  6. Divide the mixture between pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  7. Cool the layers in the pans on wire racks for 15 to 20 minutes. Invert them onto a wire rack; cool completely.

To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, crisco and powdered sugar. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla. Blend together until smooth and creamy. Add just enough milk to make a spreading-consistency being careful not to add to much milk.

Make Your Bruschetta

Make Your Bruschetta

Make Your Bruschetta with local heirloom and cherry tomatoes. During the summer, it’s the perfect antipasta to enjoy with a glass of wine.

For the very best Bruschetta, I make it with home-grown cherry tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes from Saint Michael’s Farmers Market. 

Bruschetta

During the summer time, Bruschetta is especially delicious. Made with home grown cherry and heirloom tomatoes, basil and a few more pure, simple ingredients. Enjoy Bruschetta with a glass of wine while relaxing on your front porch. Summer evenings were made for this!

Ingredients

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and chopped(a jar of best-quality may be substituted)
  • 1 bunch basil, finely chopped
  • 2 T. best-quality olive spread, (Kuby's brand is our favorite)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

2 baguettes - slice at an angle in 1/2" slices, brush with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toast under a broiler until lightly brown, flip and toast on the other side. Take out of the oven, brush toast with a clove of garlic sliced in half.

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients; mix and set aside for 30 minutes to marinate.

  2. Top the toasted baguette slices with the tomato mixture. Place on a serving dish. Garnish.

  3. Serve at once!

 

Peaches N’ Cream

Peaches N’ Cream

Peaches N’ Cream are delicious flavors. . . a taste of summer!

Peach Dumplings is a new twist on a traditional southern dessert, peach cobbler.

Juicy, ripe peaches purchased at your local farmers market are the secret to this simple dish.

My favorite farmers market in Dallas is Saint Michael’s Farmers Market. It’s open on Saturdays from 8 to noon. See you there! My first stop will be Winona Orchards for peaches. :- )

Peach Dumplings

Mix the dumplings and drop into a pan of simmering peaches on the stove top. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes and covered for ten minutes. Dish into individual bowls and serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peaches, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3 T. shortening, sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, set over a medium heat, stir together the peaches, sugar, and butter; cook until bubbly about 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Turn off the heat and mix the dumplings.

  2. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.

  3. Blend in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.

  4. Slowly add the milk, a little at a time until the mixture comes together being careful not to over work the dough.

  5. Over medium heat, reheat the peaches. Add the dumpling dough in spoonfuls, separating them with the peach mixture. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Spoon the peach/dumpling mixture into individual serving bowls. Top with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Serve at once!

Taco ‘Bout Delicious

Taco ‘Bout Delicious

Taco ‘Bout Delicious – Happy National Taco Day!

I am fixing brisket tacos. It’s one of my family’s favorite meals. Towards the end of the brisket’s cooking time, I heat up the tortillas, prepare the toppings and cook some Mexican rice. I set the table for a family-style dinner . . . platters of sliced brisket, tortillas, toppings and salsas. We pass around the platters and make our brisket tacos. This is a family meal that I can count on . . . it’s always delicious and lots of fun!

My favorite taco essentials:

Brisket Cooking Tips:

  • Low heat
  • Moist heat
  • Slow cooking . . . 8-10 hours
  • Slice thinly for the tacos.

Serve with:

  • Best-quality flour tortillas
  • Best-quality corn tortillas

Toppings:

  • Shredded Romaine lettuce
  • Diced Farmers Market tomatoes
  • Diced Avocado
  • Minced Cilantro
  • Queso Fresco cheese
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • Green Salsa
  • Tomato Salsa
  • Limes, cut into wedges for garnish

Taco ‘Bout Delicious!

Brisket Tacos

Brisket tacos are my favorite family-style meal. Something about serving a meal family-style creates a festive mood. And the brisket tacos are delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pounds Flat cut Brisket
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 29-ounce can Muir Glen® organic fire roasted tomatoes
  • 3 dried chiles
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. ancho chile powder
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 T. red wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place the brisket in a slow cooker.

  2. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 30 to 60 seconds.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the onion/garlic mixture. Pour over the brisket and cover.

  4. Cook the brisket on low heat for 7 to 8 hours.

  5. Remove the brisket and place on a cutting board to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a double boiler with a piece of aluminum foil placed under them. Prepare the toppings and place them on serving platters and bowl.

  7. Thinly slice the brisket against the grain. Place on a serving platter.

  8. Set the table and arrange the platters on it.

  9. Serve family-style. Enjoy!

For serving: corn and flour tortillas For toppings: thinly shredded Romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, Queso Fresco cheese, cheddar cheese, diced avocado, fresh cilantro, wedges of limes, red salsa, and green salsa