World Food Championships 2018 Recap


Lisa Keys & Rebecka Evans

Team At Home with Rebecka – Rebecka Evans & Lisa Keys

It’s taken me five weeks to process my experiences at the 2018 World Food Championships, and figure out how to wrap the entire adventure into just one blog post. I’m going to try to accomplish that goal – so hold on tight, it was a wild and crazy ride. 

Returning To Defend My Title:

Returning to WFC 2018 as the reigning Bacon World Champion came with a new kind of pressure that I’ve never felt in Food Sport before. I was ready to take on the challenge of defending my 2017 Bacon World Title with an eager, exhilarating attitude , but I was also filled with apprehension and a weird sense of dread.  Winning the same category two years in a row has only been achieved twice in WFC history; twice by Suzanne Clark in the Pasta Category (which has since been retired), and twice by Liz Kratz in the Chili Category. The pressure to repeat a win is real, and going for a three-peat escalates the entire event to a whole new level. 

Contest induced insomnia began the moment I opened my WFC test kitchen. Instead of counting sheep to sleep, I spent most nights visualizing possible recipe creations that I could test the following day. I made dozens of recipes over the course of three months, and finally landed on a few concepts that needed a lot of work to become Top Ten worthy dishes. The sleepless nights and the never-ending task of developing recipes displays a brutally honest truth: the process of determining what a ten thousand dollar bacon recipe is an arduous process and not for the faint of heart. 

My Team:

To stand any chance at another victory, I knew I had to have a seasoned food sport enthusiast on the At Home with Rebecka team. When I learned that my friend Lisa Keys had decided to take a year off from competing at World Food Championships, I jumped at the chance to ask her to be my sous chef, and thank God she agreed.  I soon learned that Lisa and I had mind reading capabilities during the months that preceded WFC 2018. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with. 

Who is Lisa Keys?

Sea World Orlando 2015

I met Lisa for the first time in 2015 at the First Annual – World Food Blogger Summit, held in Orlando, Florida. I was drawn to her sweet disposition and kind smile. We shared a seat on the bus to Sea World and talked like we’d known one another our entire lives. I learned that Lisa is an award winning food competitor, recipe creator, photographer, mother of two children (William and Caitlin), and wife to Bill Keys. She is also the owner and writer of Good Grief Cook. If you have not read her blog then I encourage you to take the time to get to know Lisa, and learn about her journey of loss, love, and her passion for cooking.

(You can access her works here: goodgriefcook.com Click HERE )

Lisa is also a Food Network CHOPPED CHAMPION (5/6/2014), a certified Food Champ, and a credentialed Steak Competition Association judge. Last but not least, Lisa is a grandmother, “Kiki,” to her beautiful granddaughter Annabelle. 

Lisa’s resume is pretty darned impressive and her heart is made of gold. I love her like a sister, and feel a kindred connection like that of Anne Shirley’s bosom friend and kindred spirit Diana Barry (Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery). Lisa is my forever faithful friend. Thank you so much Lisa Keys for your brilliant mind, attention to detail, and award winning skills in the kitchen. I am honored by your willingness to take on the task of sous chef, and even more honored to call you my friend. 

Blake Evans

Blake my sous chef for  Fight To Feed –  Culinary Fight Club 2016

Rounding out Team At Home with Rebecka, my third team member and my sweet husband, Blake Evans. I call him my “Super Schlepper” and “Financier” since he is the man with the muscles and the money.

Blake schlepped all of our suitcases up and down the stairs several times, drove us to do all the contest grocery shopping, hung out with all my foodie pals, and listened to all the crazy WFC talk. My husband had no issue socializing, as he chatted up the VIP’s and connected with everyone we encountered.

Blake literally saved our bacon by running back to our condo twice during the Top Ten Round to get items we couldn’t find while competing. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have my sweet man by my side with his big booming laugh, love, and support. Thanks babe for being my faithful, loving husband, and supporting me in my food sport addiction.

The sous chef apron looks good on you by the way! xoxo

My goal for WFC 2018:

This year my goal was to win of course, but in the event that a repeat Bacon Category victory was not meant to be, my real hope was just to make Top Ten. Praise the Lord, after the preliminary round we made Top Ten finishing 4th in the category.  

Recipe Creation:

All WFC contestants are required to make a Structured Build recipe to “level the playing field” between professional chefs and home cooks.  This year, Bacon Category contestants were required to make bacon pizza, utilizing a required sponsor ingredient: Red Gold Tomatoes.  Competitors also presented a Signature Dish that showcases bacon as the star of the dish.

(To read the WFC Official Rules CLICK HERE)

After months of recipe creation and hundreds of changes, sleepless nights, a few tears, and the desire to throw my recipes across the room, I was extremely pleased with the final dishes. Lisa talked me off the ledge several times, and I returned the favor once or twice. I must reiterate, competitive Food Sport is an arduous process and not for the faint of heart. To fully grasp the enormity of recipe creation and contest preparation, a person must live the experience. 

Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza

Structure Dish: BLT (Bacon, Lobster and Tomato Pizza) Food by Rebecka Evans Photo by Angela Castelli

My Bacon Lobster Pizza is the most delicious pizza I’ve ever made or eaten! The smokey flavor of  Kountry Boy’s thick cut bacon is the perfect compliment to my Bacon Blush Alfredo Sauce. The sauce is made with a combination of bacon, Red Gold Tomatoes with Green Chili’s, Red Gold Petite diced tomatoes, fresh garlic, and Fiesta Italian Seasoning. These ingredients are then blended with my signature Alfredo sauce to create a luscious Bacon Blush Alfredo that pairs perfectly with fresh lobster meat. The crust is from my sponsors, Center Court Pizza and Brew, located in my hometown of Pearland, Texas. The pizza was grilled on Bull Outdoor Products (​Steer Premium Cart Grill​), with fresh grated asiago and fontina cheese, garnished with a ring of fresh herbed bacon. Dressed to impress, the head and tail of the lobster greeted the judges, as well as eight beautifully cooked bacon legs. The pizza scored a 95.75. 

Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza

BLT (Bacon Lobster Tomato Pizza)Lobster Bacon Tomato Pizza


BLT CUPCAKE

Signature Dish – BLT (Bacon, Lemon, and Tomato) Cupcakes – Round One

I was determined to bake a cupcake for World Food Championships 2018, testing at least eleven versions before landing on the final recipe. You see, I’ve been on a baking journey the past few months not only to push myself outside my comfort zone, but to prove to myself and the world that I could create an award winning bacon cupcake.

In all honestly, this cupcake was a true labor of love and a little hate too. The recipe underwent numerous changes, and was scrapped from my WFC roster not once, but twice before its final version. Although my husband and sous chef were not fans at first, I think I won them both over in the end. The judges must have liked it too because it finished 7th in the world with a score of 91.2853. 

I love everything about this cupcake. The cake is super moist with a hint of lemon zest and mashed Red Gold Tomatoes with green chili’s; with the final touches of sugared bacon dust being folded in right before baking. Red Gold Tomatoes with Green Chili’s also find their way into the bacon tomato jam that is spread over the cupcake after cooling. The sweet and spicy jam tastes like heaven, and is so good that I can hardly resist the temptation of eating it right from the spoon. I added Jelly Queens Red Pepper Sea Salt (Donna makes it just for me) for a slightly spicy finish, and topped it all off with delicious tomato infused butter cream frosting. It may sounds like a crazy concoction, but it is slap yo momma good!

BLT Cupcake-Official Description: 

BLT Cupcake aka Bacon, lemon and tomato cupcake starts with a vanilla crumb cake laced with a hint of lemon zest and sugared bacon dust. The cake is topped with a savory-sweet tomato, bacon jam and then frosted with a swirl of vanilla and tomato butter cream, dressed with a bacon swizzle stick dipped in white chocolate and sparkling sugar.

The Progression of an Award Winning Cupcake:

As you can see, I take recipe creation very seriously! Scroll over the photos to see descriptions. 

Choosing a Recipe for Top Ten: 

So how do you choose a recipe to take to the Top Ten Challenge? Any decision I make could be the difference between a 10K win and last place. These are the two big questions that made my brain hurt the night I found out I would compete in Bacon Top Ten.

  1. Do I make my third recipe and hope for the best?
  2. Should I make my Structure Build or Signature Dish?

At first, my plan was to go into Top Ten with my pizza, but I wanted to see my scores for both dishes before deciding. I also had a third recipe waiting in the wings just in case I wanted to call an audible and be creative. Making a decision was hard, especially when considering the scores of my recipes. As you can see in the scores below, I went into Top Ten in 4th Place.

Both of my recipes scored well, with the pizza scoring slightly higher than the cupcake. This is where you can lose your mind second guessing the decision. For better or worse, I decided to make the cupcake and the rest is history. I didn’t win first place with the cupcake, however I managed to place 7th in the world as one of only two home cooks that made Top Ten this year. Thank the Lord for my sweet friend and sous chef Lisa Keys, as she stood by my side while I went crazy over making the decision to compete with the cupcake.  I couldn’t have done it without her expert baking skills and world-class professionalism.

The stress of defending my Bacon World Title, and the decision to make my cupcake and not my pizza or third recipe really got to my psyche. Not to mention, everything that could go wrong in the Top Ten Round did. I burned every piece of bacon I cooked so had to re-make new batches, and with just 6 minutes to spare before the turn in window closed, we couldn’t find the red dye for the tomato butter cream frosting. This is when my husband Blake saved our bacon by running back to the condo to find the red dye. Thankfully, I purchased two bottles and one was in the condo. The other had fallen under a mixing bowl by our station where it stayed until clean up. 

Official Scores:

WFC SCORES 2018

 A side note: Top Ten Bacon competitors were required to use Natural Tableware USA plates for presentation and Bacon Sponsors Indiana Kitchen Bacon. I think we did a pretty good job of showcasing the cupcakes on the required plate ware. 

Bacon Lemon and Tomato Cupcake

BLT (Bacon, Lemon, and Tomato) Cupcake Top Ten Round

Sponsors:

Special thanks to my personal sponsors Kountry Boys Sausage for providing me with delicious Kountry Boy’s Bacon and Center Court Pizza and Brew for their delicious pizza dough. I’d also like to thank the World Food Championships Staff, MMA Creative, Mike McCloud, The Jelly Queens, Walmart, Red Gold Tomatoes, and Ankarsrum USA

Familiar Faces:

World Food Championships wouldn’t be the same without my foodie family, some familiar faces and new foodie friends alike. Sadly, I was so busy this year that I missed getting hugs and photos ops with everyone. Hugs, laughter and more Food Sport fun will have to be had at WFC 2019. I love you all and can’t wait until next year to see you. 

 

I couldn’t do it: 

I tried my best to pack all the 2018 World Food Championships events into one post but it’s just not possible since this post is already way too long! Stay tuned for more WFC Recap in the weeks to come. TBA

  • WFC 2018 Yacht Club Progressive Dinner
  • The Second Annual Grand Throwdown
  • Ava Marie Romero, my friend

See you all soon! RE




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker-Contest and Giveaway-WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Passion for Baking cookbook

Photo by Passion for Baking Lise Sternersen (Manuela Kjeilen – TV personality and owner of www.passionforbaking.com is the writer, baker, and photographer behind passionforbaking.com   

Sixteen weeks ago I invited you to bake along in the contest series  “Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker?”  Thirteen diehard contestants indulged in the challenge and baked along with me to the very end.

Before I announce the winner, I just wanted to give thanks to all of you who participated in the event.  I am filled with joy as I look back through all of the Woobox Gallery submissions, every recipe looked so beautiful. Thank goodness Woobox has a random drawing feature and I didn’t have to pick a winner.

Today is momentous: with great pride in the culmination of all your hard work and dedication to the challenge; I’m ready to announce the grand prize winner of the Ankarsrum USA stand mixer and the winner of the Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book. You took the challenge; now are you ready to meet the winners?

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Woobox has spoken! Listed below are the winners of the Ankarsrum Mixer and the Passion for Baking Cookbook. Congratulations to both of you on your success in this challenge!

 The Winner of the Ankarsurm Mixer: 

Nancy Angelici 

Congratulations Nancy! Thank you for baking alongside me and all of the other competitors. I know you’ll love your new Ankarsrum mixer.  I will forward your email to Ankarsrum and they will contact you for shipping information and your choice of mixer color.

 The Winner of Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela – The Baking Book:

Donna Bardocz

Congratulations Donna! Thank you for baking alongside myself and all of the other competitors throughout this challenge.  Please email me your address and contact information to rebeckasevans@gmail.com and I will send your cookbook. 

Congratulations again ladies; I’m so happy for you both! 

CHEERS to all the Master and Disaster bakers that joined me on this journey. Your willingness to bake all six recipes in the series brings me such great pride. I’m so honored and proud of your willingness to commit to the challenge for the past sixteen weeks. Your renditions of Manuela’s handpicked recipes are amazing. I’d like to thank the following people for taking the challenge with me: 

  • Acie Vincent 
  • Helen Fields 
  • Lynn Beamer 
  • Lisa Keys 
  • Nancy Angelici 
  • Kim Banick 
  • Isabel Minunni 
  • Chelsea Madrin 
  • Laurie Lufkin 
  • Vanessa Lane 
  • Donna Bardocz 
  • Ava Marie 
  • Lori McClain

A Newfound ‘Passion For Baking’

This baking journey has taken me from a nervous “disaster baker” to where I have a real “passion for baking.” I still consider myself a novice baker, yet I have gained confidence as the thought of making macarons or jelly rolls no longer petrify me. Not only has my fear subsided, I’ve also learned so many new baking terms and techniques. For example; I can now wield a piping bag like a professional, make the most delicious fluff frosting, create a beautiful layered cake, and I know now what it means for a macaron to have “feet.” Not to mention, I’ve enjoyed eating some of the most delicious baked treats all thanks to Manuela Kjeilen’s impeccable step by step instruction. 

According to Manuela’s Passion for Baking cookbook, Manuela strives to “inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen.

Manuela, let me be the first to say that your goal has been achieved in my kitchen. I’ve been inspired to bake your beautiful creations and I’ve had so much fun throughout this process. My family and neighbors are very thankful to have enjoyed your delicious desserts as well. 

It’s been such a blessing to have learned from Manuela. Her recipes are so beautiful and delicious; not to mention her step-by-step instructions are so easy to follow. Anyone with the inclination to become a better baker can achieve great success by simply practicing what Manuela preaches. 

Thank you Manuela for your friendship, support, and passion for baking. My life is better with you in it!  

Are You Master Baker or Disaster Baker?

After expanding your horizons and opening yourself up to new experiences in the kitchen, it’s time for you to decide whether you’re a master or disaster baker. Are you feeling like a Master Baker now that you’ve taken my baking challenge? Do you have a new passion for baking? Did Manuela inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen? Only you can answer these questions, I just hope you enjoyed the challenge as much as I did. 

Please feel free to tell me about your experiences with the challenge and your qualification as a master or disaster bake in the comment section below. I would love to hear which recipe(s) you liked most and why and how this challenge has either positively or negatively impacted your baking skills. 

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankansrum Original USA

Further inspiration for the challenge: came from my desire to work with the most amazing mixer in the World, Ankarsrum USA Original. Thank you Ashley McCord, Product Manager at Ankarsrum USA, for sponsoring the giveaway. Thanks to you, this incredible mixer has been awarded to one very happy Woobox winner and for gifting me the “Black Pearl” model to use for the contest. The mixer looks amazing in my new Texas kitchen! 

Ankarsrum Original Kitchen Machine (formerly known as Verona, Magic Mill, Electrolux Assistent, DLX), a favorite mixer of Swedish cooks since 1940, is now available for North American homeowners. Fashioned from sturdy chrome and steel, this 600 watt professional quality kitchen tool is a durable all-purpose mixer that produces superior baking results. A variety of optional attachments transforms the Ankarsrum Original into a complete kitchen center, eliminating the need for a separate food processor, meat grinder, or slicer. The Ankarsrum Original offers professional functionality and versatility in one convenient countertop tool.

The craftsmanship of the Ankarsrum mixer is unparalleled due to it’s user friendly nature.  Also, the multi-functionality makes this mixer a “must have” kitchen utility for both novice and master bakers. I love everything about this mixer!

(Check out the amazing selection online HERE)

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

If you’re here for the first time and would like check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes, Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge, and Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns.

(YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MANUELA AND THE CONTESTS OFFICIAL RULES HERE )

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Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #6

Recipe #6 Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll

Classic Budapest Roll Manuela

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

Final Recipe #6:

Today I’m announcing the final recipe in the Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway bake-along series. When I started this baking journey twelve weeks ago I was a self-professed disaster baker, I never imagined I would end up at the finale with a true “passion” for baking!  I’ve found a new confidence as a baker after baking all six of Manuela’s delicious recipes. The fear and trepidation that once accompanied the thought of baking anything other than cookies or a pie seems to have gone for good. Passion for Baking, Manuela Kjeilen’s step-by-step directions has been the perfect instructor for this novice baker and as Manuela would say, “practice, practice, practice.”

I hope that you’re all feeling the same sense of accomplishment after baking along in the challenge? Please take a moment to share a a quick note in the comment section below of how this baking journey has effected your skills, life and …

What We’ve Been Up Too:

If you’re here for the first time and would like check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes, Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge, and Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns.

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous five weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE* Contest and Giveaway 

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

Classic Budapest Roll Manuela

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #6

Finally, I would love for your followers to make a typical Norwegian cake, you see them in all the bakeries in Sweden; a classic Budapest roll.

Manuela, Thank you for choosing this recipe last in the series,  I’ve always wanted to conquer making a rolled cake. Now I can add Classic Budapest Roll to my list of accomplishments as a baker. I hope you find this an acceptable rendition of your recipe.

Now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Recipe #6 Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll  above, say hello to my rendition.

Classic Budapest Roll

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Passion for Baking.com

Some Thoughts on My Final Bake

I went into this bake with far less trepidation as previous bakes. I was calm for the first time baking an unfamiliar recipe. It doesn’t hurt that Manuela gives such easy to follow instructions for her recipes. You can find her step by step instructions for this recipe HERE.

Thinking about making a rolled cake was a little overwhelming but once I started rolling out the cake it was much easier that I imagined. The cake is so deliciously chewy and flavorful and is my favorite in the entire series. The recipe calls for ground hazelnuts or almond flour, I opted to use almond flour since I’m not a fan of hazelnuts. If you have nut allergies, you can substitute your favorite crushed cookies; Lorna Dunes (shortbread cookies) work very well. 

What I Did Wrong:

  • The meringue crust is chewy and delicious but I over baked it per usual so my meringue is not the beautiful pale color like Manuela’s cake pictured above. I was really hoping to get that light and airy look that Manuela so expertly achieves however, I will have the opportunity to fix that as I will be making this cake again and again, it’s that good!
  • I got carried away with the dark chocolate drizzle so the top of my cake looks like a wild mess. I also added a lot more mandarine orange segments than the recipe calls for because I love them but they are trying to burst out from the sides of my roll. Despite the addition of the emerging orange segments the cake rolled up perfectly.
  • My biggest technical error was piping the meringue too close together and too close to the edges of the baking sheet. Unfortunately, the cake became one giant sheet instead of the beautifully pipped lines of Manuela’s cake.  I had to use a small knife to free the sticky edges from the baking sheet. To keep that from happening, I would suggest leaving about 2 inches free from meringue around the entire sheet to make a clean line. Take a look at Manuela’s YouTube video HERE to see what I’m suggesting. Not a disaster per se, I was able to accomplish the rolled effect without breaking the cake in half! I would call this a baking success. 

Classic Budapest Roll

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen

Classic Budapest Roll

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen

Manuela’s Classic Budapest Roll Notes

You will need the following items in order to successfully bake this recipe: 

  1. Stand Mixer with whisk attachment (If you don’t own a stand mixer you can use an electric hand mixer )
  2. One baking sheet lined with parchment and 1 extra sheet of parchment to roll the cake
  3.  1 large round nozzle baking tip
  4. 1 large pastry bag 
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

    Classic Budapest Roll

    • Servings: 10-12
    • Difficulty: medium
    • Print

    BUDAPEST ROLL:

    • 1 1/8 cup (250 g) egg whites (about 7 large eggs)
    • 2 cups (450 g) sugar
    • 2 1/8 cups (200g) ground hazelnuts or almonds
    • 3/4 cup or 1-4 ounce box (75g) Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla, optional

    FILLING:

    • 1 1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped
    • One can mandarin oranges (I used a total of 1 1 /2-15 ounce cans)
    • 2 tablespoon powdered sugar (I like mine sweet)

    TOPPING:

    •  2-3 oz. Dark chocolate, melted
    • 1 tablespoon Powdered sugar for dusting
    • 1-tablespoon Dark cocoa powder for dusting

     DIRECTIONS:

    • Preheat oven to 320F / 160 C°
    • In a large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while beating the egg whites on low-speed.
    • In a medium bowl, blend the ground hazelnuts with the Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla
    • With the use of a spatula, carefully fold in the hazelnuts / Jell-O Pudding-Instant Vanilla mixture with the egg whites.
    • Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle and pipe stripes onto a parchment lined baking sheet, from one side of the baking tray to the other side, pipe each stripe close to each other.
    • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 min, or until set.
    • Let the meringue cool completely.
    • While meringue is cooling, drain the mandarin slices. Make sure they are dry before being putting it on the cake.
    • In a bowl, whip up the heavy cream until it thickens, if you love it sweetened add powdered sugar!
    • Flip the cake upside down onto a new sheet of parchment paper.
    • Carefully peel off the parchment paper spread the whipped cream over the bottom of the cake. Place the mandarin slices e on top of the cream.
    • Place the long side of the cake in front of you and start rolling it.
    • I find using the parchment paper and a silicon mat underneath helps the rolling ones you get started, hold on to the paper rather than the cake.
    • Once rolled up, make sure the edge of the roll is facing down.
    • Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top, when the chocolate is firm, dust the top with icing sugar and some dark cocoa powder

    Enjoy, Love Manuela

Classic Budapest Roll

Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

This is your last chance to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece in this challenge! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by, September 15, 2018 Midnight CST 

Be sure to add a photo of your rendition to the WOOBOX entry form below. Thank you for baking along…Happy Baking!

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CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6)

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST 

WINNER(s) ANNOUNCED: October 1-5 stay tuned…

Be sure to Follow Ankarsrum Original USA and Manuela Kjeilen for her newest recipes at passionforbaking.com.

THANK YOU for baking along! 




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #5

Recipe #5 Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns

Norwegian Vanilla Buns

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

I hope that everyone that’s baking along is feeling more like a “Master” Baker than a “Disaster” Baker; especially since we’re about to bake Recipe #5. Seeing all of your beautiful photo entries in the WOOBOX Gallery gives me a sense of pride as we bake together in the challenge – keep up the good work! Hard work always pays off, and just like one of the contestants said to me last week: “This is a marathon not a sprint but the effort is so worth the chance of winning that Ankarsrum Mixer!”

Here’s a photo of the mixer just to give you a little motivation. Isn’t she a beauty?

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankarsrum USA Original

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake, Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake, Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes and Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE* 

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.FOR THE

OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

RECIPE #5, Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns 

Norwegian Vanilla Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted). 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #5:

I also would love for [the contestants] to make my sweet buns, a typical Norwegian sweet bun, topped with a custard, and coconut, these are sold in all the bakeries in Norway and are my favorite!

I now understand Manuela’s love for Norwegian Vanilla Buns; as they have become my new favorite dessert. The bread is savory, sweet, delicious, and filled with her pastry cream recipe.

Despite my new love affair with Vanilla Buns, this recipe is a labor of love. You will need a full day to make this recipe in order to allow the dough time to rise not just once, but 3 times. To give you a bit of insight into what I mean, I started baking this recipe at 8 AM and didn’t finish the recipe until 3:45 PM.

My biggest fear going into this week’s bake resides within the fact that I’ve always struggled when baking with yeast. I can’t ever figure out the perfect temperature to allow the yeast to grow; nor have I ever really taken the time to investigate the proper method. This week was no exception, and I was so frustrated that I had to contact my friend Lynn Beamer to get help. This is how our text conversation went (the information within the conversation is very useful for the recipe):

ME: Hi Lynn, sorry to bother you, I’m in desperate need of baking advice! What if my yeast doesn’t “Bubble” like the recipe says?”

ME: I’m afraid! 😱

LYNN: Was the temp too hot?

ME: I have no idea! The instructions say use “lukewarm” milk

LYNN: Put an instant read thermometer in the liquid. More than 115 degrees probably dead!

ME: Ok, I’ll have to make it again! UGH! 

LYNN: Always have the liquid at 110-115 when using yeast for bread

ME: Thank you Lynn🧡

The disaster was averted with the help of Lynn and her calm direction as my second batch worked perfectly. I’m not sure why it has taken me fifty plus years to learn the correct temperature for lukewarm…stubbornness I suppose. 

Now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns above, say hello to my rendition.

Vanilla Sweet Bun Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Some Thoughts on My Fifth Bake

My sweet buns turned out beautifully; and I was so tempted to eat them after waiting all day that I ate 2 before they could even cool! I didn’t care though because they were delicious!  I had enough dough to make 10 more buns, so I decided to experiment with flavors and added a tablespoon of Nutella to a few buns and some raspberry jam to the rest (see photos below).

Although the recipe takes several hours to make, I’m happy to add Manuela’s Vanilla Sweet Buns to my archive of baking recipes. The recipe is super versatile, and I plan to make them again and fill them with Swiss cheese, ham, and bacon (of course). YUM!

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela’s Norwegian Vanilla Buns Notes

You will need the following items in order to successfully bake this recipe: 

  1. Stand Mixer with dough attachment (If you don’t own a stand mixer you can use the old fashioned way, mix and kneed the dough by hand)
  2. Two baking sheets lined with parchment 
  3. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

Manuela's Norwegian Vanilla Buns

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

SWEET DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 CUPS (480 ML) LUKEWARM MILK
  • 2 . TEASPOONS DRY ACTIVE YEAST
  • 1 CUP (225 G) SUGAR
  • 8  CUPS (900 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  • 4 EGGS, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 1/2. TEASPOONS SALT
  • ⅔ CUP (150 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, CUT INTO 10 TO PIECES

FILLING:

  • VANILLA CREAM RECIPE
     
    • 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
    • 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
    • 1/2  CUP (85 G)  SUGAR
    • 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
    • ¼ TEASPOON SALT
    • 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
    • 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES

    DIRECTIONS FOR THE FILLING:

    • In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
    • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
    • Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
    • As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
    • Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
    • Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
    • Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
    • Remove the pan from the heat.
    • Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
    • Whisk in the butter.
    • With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
    • Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
    • Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
    • When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
    • Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.

GLAZE:

  • 1 CUP (110 G) CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR
  • 1-3 TABLESPOONS MILK
  • 1 TEASPOON LIGHT CORN SYRUP

TOPPING:

  • 1  CUP (150 G) COCONUT (I used unsweet flakes)

DIRECTIONS FOR THE SWEET DOUGH:

  •  Preheat oven to 350F (180 C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl, of a standing mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour in the warm milk(110-115 on a instant read thermometer), add the sugar and yeast and whisk until dissolved.
  • Rest for 5 minutes, the mixture should bubble up a little bit.
  • Add the eggs, salt, and flour, mix on low speed until all of the ingredients have come together.
  • Continue to mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, add the butter to the dough mix, piece by piece, and continue mixing on low speed.
  • The butter needs to mix completely into the dough, so stop the mixer occasionally and scrape the sides of the bowl to break up the dough.
  • Once the butter is completely incorporated into the dough, mix on medium speed for another 15 minutes, until the dough becomes sticky and soft and somewhat shiny.
  • Increase to medium-high speed for about 1 minute and you should hear a slap-slap-slap sound as the dough hits the sides of the bowl.
  • You should then be able to gather it all together and pick it up all at once in one piece when it’s ready.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl, cover your beautiful hands with flour and push each corner of the dough to the middle, all the way around.
  • Turn the round dough with the seam side down, into a greased bowl, covered with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces (I got 34)
  • Shape each piece into a ball.
  • Lay the buns on prepared baking sheets, spaced about 2″ apart, as they will rise quite a bit.
  • With floured hands, press each of the balls down/flat.
  • Place a clean tea towel over each of the baking sheets, and let rise for about 30/ 45 minutes.
  • Remove the tea towel, and with floured hands, lightly press the dough down again with the palms of your hand,  and with your knuckles in the center of each bun make an indentation (see the video).
  • Place the tea towel over the buns again and let rise another 30 minutes,
  • Just before filling each bun with vanilla cream, you can with your knuckles once again make the indentation a bit larger.
  • Fill the centers with a generous amount of vanilla cream /pastry cream.
  • glaze with egg wash, optional
  • Bake until golden brown around edges, which typically takes about 15-20 minutes.

DIRECTIONS FOR THE GLAZE:

  • As the buns are baking, combine the glaze ingredients.
  • Warm the glaze for 30 seconds in the microwave.
  • Drizzle glaze over baked buns and sprinkle with coconut.
  • In my opinion, the more coconut, the better it tastes!
  • Allow buns to cool several minutes before enjoying these Norwegian school buns!
  • Norwegian Vanilla Buns taste best eaten the same day.

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by September 1, 2018 Midnight CST 

If you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE), and be sure to add a photo of your rendition to the WOOBOX entry form below. Happy Baking!

http://

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Vanilla Sweet Buns Recipe

CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6)

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #4

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway

Recipe #4 Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

I’ve never made a macaron in my life and the thought of having to bake one for this challenge made my heart pound. I’ve been dreading this week ever since I learned macarons were on Manuela’s hand-picked list of recipes for the challenge.  Making something so delicate and beautiful is very intimidating for my skill level, but despite my mixed emotions towards the macaron; I knew I had to overcome my anxiety and push myself for the sake of the challenge. I just kept telling myself, “relax, take it easy, you got this. Now just do it and bake like a master!” I feel a headache coming on! 

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream CakeRecipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake  and Recipe #3 Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as the previous three weeks and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Master or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and it’s also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the entire duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE

RECIPE #4

Manuela’s White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

White Macaron RecipeWhite Macarons with Chocolate Fudge: Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted) 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to each one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #4:

I would love it if they (that’s you) try my recipe for macarons, I know a lot of people have problems with macarons, but this recipe I never have gotten a complaint about! These macarons go straight in the oven, no need to rest before baking as many recipes ask for.

Manuela’s  inspiration for her macaron recipe is also accredited to the recent Royal Wedding of Megan Markle and Prince Harry. 

Manuela said, I wanted to make elegant macarons with a romantic touch, that would be perfect for a wedding! I have always loved the simple look when it comes to cakes, cupcakes, and cookies and always focus on taste first and by just adding a little chocolate hearth on top of the macarons, gave it a beautiful look.

Manuela’s macarons are beautifully “royal,” and the perfect bite for any wedding. 

In all honesty, I’m terrified to make Manuela’s beautiful recipe but I have high hopes it will go well based on my success with her other recipes in the baking challenge.  This recipe is straight forward and sounds easy enough to make. I especially like that it does not require any resting time for the batter.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s White Macarons with Chocolate Fudge, here’s a photo of my rendition. 

Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

This recipe had me sweating bullets and actually gave me a pounding headache. I was so focused on creating the perfect macaron that I didn’t drink or eat anything except macaroons all day as my anticipation had gotten the better of me.

My batter tasted delicious but the almonds were not fine enough to achieve Manuela’s perfectly smooth-white cookie. I over baked them AGAIN, leaving the bottoms browned and too crunchy for a perfect macaron. The filling is simple to make but I had issues during the frosting step as I managed to get chocolate finger prints all over my cookies. Thankfully, I had enough nice ones to take photos. 

Despite the errors, my family loved these sweet morsels. The cookie was chewy and flavorful, and the chocolate frosting more like caramel than chocolate. They definitely  went down easy!

I will make macarons again and go into the next bake with less panic and more knowledge. Like Manuela always says, “Practice, practice, practice!”  


Easy Macarons Recipe

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

What I Love About This Challenge

This week’s challenge was crazy-hard for me and my kitchen looked like bomb went off in there. I’m proud to have lived through my first attempt at making macarons and happy to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s White Macarons and Chocolate Fudge Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

Manuela’s White Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Fudge

You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

  1. Macaron templates (find free downloadable templates HERE and HERE)
  2. 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  3. 1 -10 mm piping tip
  4. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Chocolate candy hearts (optional)

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

White Macarons with Milk Chocolate Fudge

  • Servings: 24 to 30 pieces
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:

2/3 Cups (160 G) Egg Whites* (divided in two)

1 Cup (200 G) granulated sugar

⅓ CUP (80 ML) WATER

2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) Powdered Sugar or confectioners’ sugar

 2 ⅓ CUPS (225 G) almond flour

1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped 

FILLING:
Milk chocolate fudge frosting. Recipe below

DECORATION:
Chocolate heart, optional

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 275F° (135 ºC). Use the convection setting for this recipe.
Prepare a piping bag with a (10mm) plain round decorating tip.
NOTE: Place macaron templates under 
Place 1/3 cup (80 g) egg whites in a standing mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring slowly until all the sugar is dissolved. Try to not get any sugar on the sides of the pan. (you can always brush it away with some water and a baking brush.)
When the mixture starts to boil, remove the spoon and attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan.
Once the sugar syrup temperature reaches 235F° (113ºC) begin whipping the egg whites on high-speed.
When the sugar syrup reaches 240F° (115ºC) and the egg whites are foamy, remove the syrup from the heat and slowly pour into the whipped egg whites.
Avoid pouring syrup onto the whisk.
Continue to beat the meringue for 5-8 minutes until cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar, almond flour and vanilla bean paste or seeds of a vanilla bean in a large bowl.
Add the remaining egg whites. Mix with a silicone spatula to evenly moisten all the ingredients.
Mix in a small amount of the cooled meringue into the almond mixture to loosen the batter
Then;fold in the rest of the meringue into the almond mixture until a smooth batter develops and flows like “lava”. Check mixture often to avoid over-folding.
Transfer mixture to the prepared piping bag and pipe out rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake straight away for 12 minutes; (there is no need for you to wait until the piped cookies are dry to the touch, as many macarons recipes instruct, you may bake them as soon as they are piped.)
To check if the macarons are ready, touch the top of the macaron and try to wiggle it.
The cookies are done when the top is firm and does not wiggle.
Let cool completely on wire racks, before removing them from the baking matt/trays.
Make the milk chocolate fudge frosting, preferably while the macarons are in the oven.
Fill the cookies with milk chocolate fudge frosting (about a tsp for each sandwiched cookie.) and sandwich the cookies together.
The chocolate hearts I made with a silicon mold, see picture further down.
Make sure you use chocolate that is tempered, most chocolate bars at the supermarket are.
Add a little dot if melted chocolate on top of the macaron, place the chocolate hearth on the chocolate dot, press slightly and let dry so you are sure the chocolate hearth stays attached.  

MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING:
1/4 cup (25 gram) powdered sugar, optional
9 tbsp. (125 gram) butter cut into 1- inch pieces
1 1/8 cup (200 gram) milk chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. espresso coffee, strong in flavor, optional
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium-size saucepan, add powdered sugar, heavy cream, butter, chocolate, salt, and coffee.
Warm it over medium heat, stir at all times, until the chocolate/butter is melted and there are no lumps, around 10 minutes.
Let it cool in the saucepan, once cool place the saucepan in the fridge from 30 minutes up to a 1 hour, all depending on how cold your fridge is.
Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, before you place it in the fridge.
Make sure at times to check the frosting if it is firm, I stir the mixture with a spatula (every 20 minutes) to prevent lumps.
Once the frosting is firm, spread it on top of your cake, or use it as a filling in your macarons.

Enjoy, it is so delicious. 

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by August 15, 2018 Midnight CST

http://

CONTEST TIMELINE

June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post

June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)

July 1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)

July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)

August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)

August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST

August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)

September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST

September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 

September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST




Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #3

Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway 

This week we are baking RECIPE #3  Manuel’s Best Cupcakes with Vanilla Fluff Frosting.

My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com’s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

If you’re here for the first time and would like to join the challenge or check out what we’ve been up to, click the links to view Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake and Recipe #2 Norwegian Cream Cake. 

The requirements for this weeks challenge are the same as Recipe #1 and Recipe #2, and are written below: 

Bake the next recipe in the challenge series then take a photo of your “Masterpiece or Disaster” piece. The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE

In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

RECIPE #3

MANUELA’S BEST VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH FLUFF FROSTING

Manuel's Recipe Vanilla Cupcakes

My Best Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen. (All photos courtesy of passionforbaking.com‘s Lise Sternersen, and the dishes featured in the photos were created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted).

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rules HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #3:

The third recipe is my Vanilla cupcake, my recipe became a cake mix in all the Norwegian stores and is my all-time favorite cupcake.”

Manuela’s accolades continue with the growth of her brand and business. To have your recipe made into a boxed cake mix and distributed to all Norwegian grocery stores is quite an accomplishment. Manuela has also baked for Royalty in Saudi Arabia and was a Guest Judge for MasterChef Slovenia. Congratulations my friend; you are truly an inspiration. 

(You can read more about Manuela on her blogs Media Page HERE)

Thankfully, this weeks recipe is in my wheelhouse of baking knowledge. I’ve made a lot of cupcake recipes over the years, so I was very eager to make Manuela’s. I’ve also made delicious Fluff Frosting for my Old Fashioned White Cake with White Mountain Frosting; so I feel more at ease with this week’s challenge. Next weeks challenge is going to be a different story, I’m already dreading it!! 

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcakes with Fluff Frosting above, say hello to my rendition.

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Everything about this cupcake makes me happy! Its pink, has sprinkles, and the Fluff Frosting is silky smooth and looks as light as a feather. Did I mention they were super easy for this disaster baker to make?

The key to making this cupcake taste so delightful is creaming the butter and sugar for a full six  minutes. The Fluff Frosting is also a cinch to make with the use of a candy thermometer, and the slow setting on a stand mixer. If you don’t own a stand mixer, just use a hand held mixer and a very large bowl to make your Fluff Frosting. Pour the hot syrup into your egg whites on the slow speed aiming for the side of the bowl and not the beaters.

My “disaster” style of baking has gotten me into trouble in the past, but most recently with Recipe #1 and Recipe #2 of this challenge. I overcooked both cakes, so I need to keep my eye on the timer when making Manuela’s cupcakes. 

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

These beauties are perfect for a ladies luncheon or “Pretty in Pink” girls Birthday Party and look amazing presented on my antique Fostoria Pink Depression Glass. I had so much fun photographing and eating them. 

Some Thoughts on My Third Bake

Despite my setbacks with the two previous recipes in the challenge, and my anxiety over making macaroons next week, I’m having a lot of fun! I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment with my positive progression as I continue to bake on a weekly basis.  My family and neighbors are also enjoying the challenge with all the homemade sweets to eat.

I hope you’re all  having as much fun as I am baking for the challenge! Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments about your experiences in the comment section below. I’d love to know how things are going in your kitchen. Here are a few more photos of my cupcakes, just because they make me smile!

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Three Vanilla Cupcakes in a row – Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

Manuela's Cupcake by Rebecka

Recipe by Manuela Kjeilen, Food and Photo by At Home with Rebecka

What I Love About This Challenge

This week’s challenge was a breeze. It felt good to bake a familiar recipe and to add two more of Manuela’s recipes to my baking repertoire (Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and her Vanilla Fluff Frosting). The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe.

Manuela’s Best Vanilla Cupcake Notes

You will need the following items in order to “successfully” bake this recipe: 

  1. 36 paper cupcake liners
  2. 2 – 12 count cupcake tins
  3. 1 Medium disposable piping bag
  4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”

1M Wilton Piping Tip

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe; however if you need step-by-step instructions after reading Manuela’s recipe, then please check out her helpful how to videos. (Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

 

NOTE: My Recipe Card Plugin is acting up and I can’t edit or save right now.

I left off PLUS 3 TABLESPOONS SUGAR in the FLUFF section of the recipe. I will fix ASAP. I’m sorry, for the inconvenience. 

Manuela's Best Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with Fluff Frosting
Yields 24
Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
CAKE
  1. 14 TABLESPOONS (200 G) UNSALTED BUTTER, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  2. 1 ⅓ CUPS (300 G) SUGAR
  3. 4 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  4. 3 1/2 CUPS (400 G) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SIFTED
  5. 3 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER
  6. 1/2 TEASPOON SALT
  7. 2 CUPS (500 ML) HEAVY CREAM, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  8. 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE OR VANILLA EXTRACT OR SEEDS FROM 1/2 VANILLA BEAN.
FLUFF
  1. 1 1/8 cup (225 G) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  2. 1/3 cup (120 G) LIGHT CORN SYRUP OR GLUCOSE SYRUP
  3. 1/3 cup (90 ML) WATER
  4. 2/3 cup (150 G) EGG WHITES, ABOUT 4 LARGE EGGS
  5. 1 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OPTIONAL
  6. PINK FOOD COLORING (OPTIONAL)
FOR THE CAKE
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. F (200. C). Line cupcake pans with 20-24 paper cup liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, twice, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, to the creamed butter mixture, beat for 30 seconds each time.
  6. Add the flour mixture, heavy cream, and vanilla and then beat slowly until well incorporated, but not more than 1. minutes, or use a spatula to combine.
  7. Scoop the batter into prepared pans, using a standard size ice cream scoop.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the middle of the oven or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for one minute.
  10. Then, immediately remove the baking cups from the baking pan and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. The baked cupcakes can be stored, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
FOR THE FLUFF
  1. Combine the sugar, light corn syrup and water in a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer.
  2. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Once it has dissolved do not stir any longer and let it heat over a medium-low heat until the temperature reaches 240ºF (117ºC).
  4. Wipe the inside of a stainless steel standing mixer bowl and the whisk attachment with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
  5. Add egg whites to standing mixer bowl and mix on low speed; as soon as it begins to foam add the 3 tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
  6. Beat egg white to soft peaks
  7. When syrup reaches 240ºF (117ºC), slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, aiming for the side of the bowl, rather than the whisk.
  8. When all syrup has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and whisk until the frosting becomes thick and glossy and holds a firm peak; bowl will feel slightly warm.
  9. Once frosting is ready, add the vanilla bean paste and a drop of food coloring (optional) and mix until just combined.
Notes
  1. The cupcake batter will be very thick. If using a stand mixer use a spatula to reach the bottom of the bowl to lift any unincorporated butter left at the bottom of the bowl.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) byAugust 12018 Midnight CST.

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CONTEST TIMELINE
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST



Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest & Giveaway – RECIPE #1

Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway. Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker? Let’s find out!

Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will handpick 6 recipes for the competition; the grand prize winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer. Another lucky contestant will win a “Passion for Baking Cookbook, Love Manuela “The Baking Book”. Are you ready to take the challenge?

CONTEST STARTS TODAY 6/24/2018:

Today marks the beginning of our contest as we start with our first recipe in the series; Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake.

RECIPE #1

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake by Manuela Kjeilen  All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien unless otherwise noted 

This stunning creation is the work of Norwegian born award-winning blogger and “Master Home Baker” –  Manuela Kjeilen.

( You can read more about Manuela and the Contests Official Rule HERE )

Attached to each of the six recipes sent to me by Manuela were notes written by her as they related to one of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #1:

The first recipe is a mocha meringues ice cream cake with a gooey almond crust, I want them [that’s you] to taste how we make our cakes in Norway, Almonds crust we use a lot. I think they will love this one! 

I think she is right! This ice cream cake has everything: mocha ice cream, coffee flavored meringues, and gooey almond crust; it’s absolutely delicious. 

The challenge begins today with my attempt to recreate Manuela’s baked masterpiece: Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. I’ll post a photo of my rendition for the world to see. The contestants that choose to take the challenge will bake along with me and post a photo of their attempt to recreate Manuela’s beautiful recipes. 

The Woobox Submission Form is listed at the end of this post, and is also where you will share a photo of your creation. The link will be available on all my social media sites for easy access to post your photos for the duration of the contest. 

*NOTE: In order to be eligible to win the $700.00 Ankarsrum Original Mixer you must enter a photo for  ALL 6 recipes in the challenge. To win the Baking Book: Love Manuela,  you are required to enter 3 recipe photos.

FOR THE OFFICIAL RULES CLICK HERE 

I am an award winning home-cook and a DISASTER baker. 

The fact is I want to create beautifully baked masterpieces and learn from the best. However as I get closer to recreating Manuela’s recipes for the series, I begin to experience some serious anxiety. The anxious feelings led to a few sleepless nights as I wondered  how I was going to feel about posting failed recipes. This has been brutal; and it even led me to call in a close friend Lisa Keys, owner of the Good Grief Cook  to seek council for my anxiety as I was melting down over my failed Mocca Meringues for this recipe.

Despite all of Lisa’s advice, my bad luck prevailed and the recipe didn’t turn out. I was well aware the fault was my own because I didn’t follow Manuela’s instruction to “add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time,” so the meringue mixture lost its fluff.

Part of why baking is so difficult for me is due to the slow and tedious process of adhering to the recipe’s exact measurements. It’s a real struggle to stay attentive as your work you way through a recipe; especially when you have to add 2 cups of hot sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Here’s how my mind works as I begin my first bake:

The hot sugar comes out of the oven and I start to make the meringues. Checking and re-checking the directions I then pour the egg whites into my stunning Black Pearl Ankarsrum Mixer, and watch as they begin to transform. I stare mesmerized my mind wanders off: “I’m so blessed that Ankarsrum sponsored my contest with a mixer for the winner and so nice for them to send me one as well.”  A few more minutes pass and then I add more sugar. I admire how beautiful the egg whites look as they dance between the beaters when a question comes to mind: “Did I heat the sugar too long and is it cooling off too fast?”  I ponder for a moment, and I quickly reassure myself that everything is okay as I tell myself: “No. You followed the directions and they look fine.” I add more sugar and I hear thunder crack and I begin to worry about the weather, and another question comes to mind,  “Will the rain effect the barometric pressure and ruin my meringues?” Mind you, I’ve only added 1/2 a cup of hot sugar at this point and my blood pressure is rising. Then my mind screams at me, “Oh no, should I stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl or will that mess up my meringue?” My answers,”Yes, I’ll stop the mixer and scrape the sides. Dear Lord, that was a bad idea! The meringue looks weird, I should have left it alone.”

More sugar is added and I hear my favorite song on the radio,”Tennessee whisky, Tennessee whisky,” George Jones has such a beautiful voice, I love that song. I start singing along. George is done singing and I’m still standing there adding sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, I want to be done. After what seems like 30 minutes (in reality probably only 12) I think, “How in the world can it hurt to add more than 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time?” I knew the minute I threw in the rest of  the sugar my meringue had broken, what a disaster. 

Unfortunately since I didn’t follow the directions, the Mocca Meringues were wet and difficult to pipe, rendering them almost impossible to cook properly; they were undercooked and gooey on the inside regardless of my effort to cook them 20 minutes longer than the recipe calls for.

Even though the product didn’t turn out as hoped, I still tried to present my “disaster” beautifully in my photo. My attempt to disguise the ugliness of my creation failed, as it turned out to be more like trying to put lipstick on a pig than food styling!

On the bright side, the Mocca Meringues get crushed up and added to the ice cream cake and were so good that my husband even mentioned how much he liked the “chewy things” in the ice cream!

You see, we never know how it’s going to turn out unless we try! I promise from now on that I will follow the recipe and do as Manuela instructs because without her guidance it’s seemingly impossible for me to execute the recipe with perfection. 

failed mocca meringues

I know this makes absolutely no sense to “Master Bakers,”but for someone like me, baking recipes way outside my comfort zone makes me feel like crying. Therefore, being transparent about my failed recipes is difficult to say the least. As if my disaster attempt at the recipe wasn’t enough, I managed to finish my first day of baking by dropping my favorite glass mixing bowl onto the tile floor; shattering it into pieces! 

As Manuela says, “Practice, practice, practice! The more you bake the more you learn,” and intend to challenge myself  because I aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela excelled until she became the Master Baker she is today! 

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s Mocca Meringue Ice Cream Cake above, say hello to my rendition:

mocca meringue cake becks

Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans Recipe by Passion for Baking.comMocca Slice

Working to present the cake as best I could despite my set backs, the cake looks scrumptious. I even utilized my ugly mocca meringues to style the photo.

The almond crust was super easy to make once I got the hang of whipping egg whites and following the directions! I over baked the crust a bit and had some trouble keeping the cake frozen enough to get a good photo before the Texas heat began to creep in; and for a first attempt I think I did a pretty good job.  

My family loved the flavors of the cake, but especially loved the coffee ice-cream. It’s so rich and super easy to make. Plus, there is no need for an ice-cream machine! This cake is so delicious despite my failed Mocca Meringues. I plan to make the Meringues again to work on my technique.

What I Love About This Challenge:

I have pushed myself to operate outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added three delicious new recipes to my baking repertoire; almond cake, no churn mocca ice cream, and mocca meringues. I also feel more accomplished as a baker after my first bake, I hope you will too! 

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake Notes:
  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, and cooking spray
  2. Invest in some vanilla bean paste for all of Manuela’s recipes. I use Cambie Confections Pure Vanilla Bean Paste 
  3. Don’t freak out over making the Mocca Meringues like I did.
  4. Follow the recipe! When Manuela says,  “Add 1 teaspoon of sugar at a time” listen!
  5. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  6. Don’t over bake the almond cake. Make sure you watch your timer closely to make sure you get the perfect golden brown
  7. If you or your family suffer from nut allergies you can substitute crushed cookies when the recipe calls for ground almonds

I’ve added a few more notes in the recipe, however if you need step by step instruction after reading Manuela’s recipe then please check out her helpful how to videos.

(Manuela’s beautiful photos of her creations are located HERE)

Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece! Remember you must post a photo of your completed dish to the WooBox link (listed below) by July 1, 2018 Midnight CST.

Manuela's Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake
Serves 6
Photo is my version of Manuela's recipe for the Contest and Giveaway
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Almond Base
  1. 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  2. 2 cups (220 gram) powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, optional
  4. 2 cups (250 gram) ground almonds (Nut Allergy: substitute your favorite crushed cookie)
Mocha Ice Cream
  1. 2 1/2 cups ( 500 ml ) heavy cream, cold
  2. 5 oz(150 ml) sweetened condensed milk, cold ( see note below ↓)
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  4. 2-3 tablespoon strong espresso coffee, cold (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  5. 12-15 Mocca meringues, crushed into small pieces (or crushed cookies)
MOCCA MERINGUES
  1. Makes ( 40 pieces)
  2. 2 cups (400-gram) superfine sugar or sugar
  3. 3/4 Cups (200-gram) egg whites
  4. seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean pod, optional
  5. 2 tbsp. espresso powder (I used Via Roma Espresso Instant Coffee)
  6. lemon juice for cleaning the bowl and whisk
  7. You will need...
  8. piping bag
  9. wilton 1M nozzle
Before you start
  1. Wipe a stainless-steel bowl and the whisk attachment, of a standing mixer, with a paper towel moistened with lemon juice.
  2. This step is done to eliminate any trace of grease, which would hinder the egg whites from stiffening.
Mocca Meringues
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C° / 392 F°
  2. Line two large baking trays with a silicone mat, or use parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Prepare the standing mixer, by wiping the standing mixer bowl and whisk with a paper towel moistened with a little lemon juice to eliminate any trace of grease.
  4. Line a medium baking tray with baking parchment, pour in the sugar and warm it in the oven for 7 minutes. ( use a timer)
  5. A soon as the sugar is in the oven, right away pour the egg whites into a mixer and whisk them slowly for some minutes, allowing small stabilizing bubbles to form, then increase the speed to medium so the meringues become stiff peaks.
  6. When you have 30 seconds left of the sugar being in the oven, turn your mixer up to high speed.
  7. Take the sugar out of the oven, and turn the oven down to 225 F° (100 C°)
  8. With your mixer on full speed, very slowly add one teaspoon of the hot sugar into the beaten egg whites, take your time when you do this, and don’t be tempted to add more than one teaspoon at a time. (She means it...don't lose your mind and start adding more sugar)
  9. Make sure the mixture comes back up to stiff peaks after each teaspoon of sugar
  10. Once you have added all the sugar, add the seeds of the vanilla bean pod, and continue to whisk on full speed until you have a smooth, stiff and glossy mixture and all of the sugar is incorporated.
  11. Add the espresso powder and continue to mix for one minutt more.
  12. You will need a disposable piping bag and a wilton 1M nozzle, place the nozzle in the bag and cut the tip-off.
  13. Spoon your meringues mixture into a large piping bag.
  14. If you are using parchment paper to pipe the meringues on, you will need to add some meringues mixture underneath the parchment paper below so it sticks to the baking tray.
  15. Pipe out your meringue swirls, ( watch the video https://youtu.be/ovia5m9JhEE)
  16. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment paper clean.
  17. These mocca meringues keeps well for 2 weeks, in a container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
Directions for the Almond Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 320°F (160°C). Line a 9-inch (24 cm) round springform pan with parchment paper, grease the sides and set aside.
  2. Combine one cup of the confectioners’ sugar with the ground almonds in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the egg whites into the bowl and beat on low speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form about 1 minute.
  4. Increase the speed to high then add the remaining powdered or confectioners’ sugar, one spoonful at a time.
  5. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form and the meringue is glossy and thick.
  6. Add the vanilla and combine with a spatula.
  7. With a silicone spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered /confectioners’ sugar mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
  9. Use your spatula to spread evenly and to eliminate any air bubbles.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Do not over bake this cake! )Manuela bakes her cake base 25 minutes because she loves her almond cake gooey on the inside. I over baked mine but it still tasted great!)
  12. Let cool completely. Meanwhile, proceed to make the Mocha ice cream.
Directions for the Mocha Ice Cream
  1. Pour cold heavy cream into a bowl, whisk until fluffy, and cold sweet condensed milk and with a spatula combine.
  2. Add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and with a spatula combine. (you can skip this step if you don’t have vanilla)
  3. Add the cold strong espresso coffee, followed by the crushed mocca meringues and blend together with a spatula.
  4. Have a taste if you feel you want more coffee flavor, add a spoonful cold espresso coffee, and with a spatula combine.
  5. Pour the mixture over the cooled almond crust, tap the pan on the counter a few times to make the ice-cream layer is even.
  6. Freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight, covered well.
  7. This ice cream cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  8. 20 minutes before serving, take the ice cream cake out of the fridge.
  9. Slice and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Sweet condensed milk usually comes in tins 14oz / 400g by weight, which equals 1 1/4 cups (10 oz / 300 ml by volume)
  2. Have a great day you all. Love Manuela xo
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

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CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth Recipe in the series Announced (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series Announced (Recipe #6) 
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST
 
 
 
 



Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest & Giveaway Announcement

 
Welcome to my latest contest and giveaway: “Are you a Master or a Disaster Baker?” Let’s find out!

 

Self-proclaimed “Disaster Baker” Rebecka Evans hosts this bake along contest and giveaway. TV personality www.passionforbaking.com Manuela Kjeilen will be handpicking 6 recipes for the competition. One lucky first place winner will walk away with a Ankarsrum USA stand mixer and second place will receive The Baking Book, written by Passion for Baking’s Manuela Kjeilen.  Are you ready to take the challenge?

Manuela Kjeilen

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

A Photo of Manuela Kjeilen – Norwegian born award-winning blogger, “Master Home Baker,” and my inspiration for this challenge.

Manuela is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She is the writer, baker, and photographer behind passionforbaking.com   [Manuela’s goal is] “to inspire you to bake and just have fun in the kitchen.” 

I met Manuela for the first time in November 2015 at the First Annual World Food Championships Blogger Summit  in Orlando, Florida; where she was one of the Summits keynote speakers. Manuela shared her story and expressed her passion for baking. During the time we spent at the Summit, I assisted Manuela impromptu at one of her cooking demos and we quickly became friends. It’s amazing how cooking can bring people together.

I learned that Manuela’s life story was filled with disappointments and adversity; and I was inspired by her ability to heal and show grace. Months before Manuela began her baking blog, her husband suffered a severe stroke. Manuela’s family lost everything, including the business her husband worked painstakingly to build. Manuel turned her passion for baking into a business to provide for her family by posting photos of her beautifully baked desserts to Facebook; eventually leading to her decision to start a blog in March of 2010. It says a lot about Manuela’s character, especially as a women that did not graduate high school and suffers from dyslexia, to overcome adversity and use her strength and constant faith to build a successful business for the purpose of providing for her family.

Passion for Baking

Manuela Passion for Baking

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

Although she started her business in the midst of caring for her husband and family,  she found comfort in baking. Manuela enlisted help as she started her blog, as a friend corrected her spelling and helped her with posts. Manuela also asked her growing fan-base for feedback and input. Manuela even visited neighbors, proposing that if they brought eggs and flour she could bake something for them to feature on her blog. When Manuela speaks of her road to success, she explains how she managed the struggle of providing for her family: “Taking one day at a time, I kept going forward and one year later I received an award for Norway’s most BELOVED BLOGGER”.  Since that time Manuela was offered a book deal and her first cookbook, Love, Manuela, is the namesake for this contest. Manuela has also published eight books, and her TV show, Manuela’s Sweet Temptations, is a huge success in Norway.

Source: “The Baking Book”  Love Manuela 

I am blessed to have met Manuela 4 years ago, and I’m proud to call her my friend. I hope to do her recipes justice as I take on the difficult challenge of baking like Manuela.

Things You Should Know About Me:

I am an award winning home-cook and a self proclaimed DISASTER baker!

As a savory cook, I enjoy adding a pinch of one thing and a pinch of something else, which doesn’t work so well in baking because you’re supposed to measure every ingredient perfectly. I’m inpatient! I hate waiting for a cake to bake all the while I’m opening and closing the oven just to get a peek at my creation. Therefore due to a lack of self control, I almost always end up eating what I’ve baked without allowing it to cool long enough to get the darn thing frosted. I also struggle with the patience and artistry required to decorate a beautiful cake. I have been known to make a delicious pie, and I have a few go-to deserts I make on a regular basis, but those are easy to make because I have mastered those recipes. However as Manuela says, “Practice, practice, practice!” The more you bake the more you learn.” So that’s my plan! I intend to challenge myself and aspire to succeed in the same way Manuela thrived and excelled until she became the wonderful woman I know today.

I hope you will join me and challenge yourself  too!

Who Can Enter?

This Contest and Giveaway series is not just for challenged bakers like me, everyone is invited to bake along and for the chance to win the most amazing mixer… EVER!

Grand Prize:

Ankarsrum Original USA Mixer, Total Value $700.00 (See Photo Below)

Ankarsrum Mixer

Photo by Ankansrum Original USA

The winner may choose whatever color they like as the basic package includes a 7L stainless steel bowl, 3.5L double whisk bowl assembly (bowl, whisks, head gear, and shaft), dough hook roller, scraper, spatula, dust cover/accessory bowl, cookie beaters, instructional DVD, and an owners manual. Not to mention, the mixer comes with a 7 year warranty on the motor base, and a 1 year warranty on attachments.

Second Place:

Winnings amount to a total value of $55.00 –  Love, Manuela: The Baking Book. If you can’t wait for the giveaway, then head over to Passion for Baking Gift Shop and buy yourself a copy – you’re gonna love it!

Passion for Baking cookbook

All photos curtesy of passionforbaking.com Lise Sternersen and created by Manuela Kjelien,

Each recipe has been hand picked by TV personality and award-winning food blogger Manuela Kjeilen. Each week prior to the submission deadline (1st and 15th of each month), I will post the next recipe in the contest series with a corresponding photo of Manuela’s stunning creation; giving you a week to bake and photograph your “Master or Disaster” piece. I will also post a photo of my re-creation of the same dish with some personal notes of my baking experience. Hold on tight, because this could get ugly!

The Challenge: 
 
Bake 6 recipes, one recipe every other week, chosen personally by Manuela. This series is my effort to encourage non-bakers, myself included, to step outside their comfort zone and learn a new skill set in the kitchen. Even an award-winning home cook like me needs to practice to be a better baker.
 
You are required to bake each recipe and post a photo of your completed dish to the WOOBOX link to be considered for the Grand Prize – Ankarsrum Mixer.
 
Anyone that links 3 or more recipe photos will be eligible for a random drawing to win Second Place – The Love Manuela Baking Cookbook.

 

List of Recipes Handpicked by Manuela:

Manuela reached out to me to share some of her favorite recipes to be used for this challenge:

 “Hi Rebecka, hope all Is well? I have picked recipes that I really love, I love all my recipe but these are some of my favorites.” – Love Manuela Kjeilen

The “favorite” recipes given to me by Manuela are listed below:

  1. Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake
  2. Norwegian Bløtekake
  3. Vanilla Cupcake
  4. Macarons
  5. Norwegian Sweet Bun
  6. Classic Budapest Roll

Thank you Manuela for this amazing list of handpicked recipes! I love the diversity of the recipes you have chosen to represent your passion for baking and Norway.

Side Note – I’ve only baked one item on the list: cupcakes! I’m both thrilled and nervous as I look at the challenge ahead.  I’m excited to get in the kitchen and bake, however I am anxious about replicating these amazing recipes!

Rules:

  • All participants are required to bake ALL 6 recipes in the series to be considered for the Grand Prize Ankarsrum Mixer by posting a photo of their completed recipe on http://athomewithrebecka WOOBOX link by the deadline. No deviation from the assigned recipes is permitted.
  • A photo of your completed recipe is due the 1st and 15th of each month by midnight CST
  • The first recipe in the series will be announced a week prior to the deadline beginning June 24th on http://athomewithrebecka.com website and all At Home with Rebecka corresponding social media sites. The same format will be followed with each consecutive recipe in the series, announced the week before it is due. (See submission dates timeline below)
  • The Grand Prize winner (only those that enter all 6 recipes) will be chosen at random in a drawing generated by Woobox Sweepstakes
    • Why a random drawing? This contest is designed for everyone! “Master Baker” and “Disaster Baker” alike are challenged to bake like Manuela and post a photo of their attempt at her masterful creations. It’s This challenge is all about committing to the challenge and trying your best no matter how it turns out.
  • The Second Place Winner will be chosen in a random drawing. 
  • In order to be considered for the Second Place prize, contestants are required to submit at least 3 recipe photos during the contest period. Any 3 photos submitted during the contest will qualify but no deviation from the assigned recipes is permitted.
  • Winners will be announced between October 1-5, 2018
  • Grand prize valued at $700.00 US Dollars
  • Second place prize valued at $55.00 US Dollars
  • Open to US Residents only
  • Share the contest on your social networks
  • Participants are encouraged to LIKE and FOLLOW

Facebook: athomewithrebecka 
Instagram: athomewithrebecka
Website: At Home with Rebecka
Facebook:  Ankarsrum Original USA
Website: Ashley McCord-Ankarsrum Original USA
Instagram: Ankarsrum
Facebook: Passion For Baking
Instagram: Passion for Baking
Website: Passion for Baking

*CONTEST STARTS ON JUNE 24, 2018 (NEXT WEEK). I will be posting RECIPE #1 with detailed instructions and photos.  YOUR PHOTO FOR THE FIRST RECIPE IN THE SERIES IS DUE BY MIDNIGHT CST ON  JULY 1, 2018.  

I’d like to give a special thanks to Ankarsrum Original USA and Ashley McCord for sponsoring the contest; I’m blessed by their partnership and sponsorship! I am also grateful for Manuela’s willingness as she has allowed me to share her recipes.

Now it’s your turn to post your “Master or Disaster” piece. 

CONTEST TIMELINE:
 
June 18, 2018 Initial Rules and Information Post
June 24, 2018 First recipe in the series (Recipe #1)
July  1, 2018 First Recipe Due Midnight CST

July 8, 2018 Second Recipe in the series (Recipe #2)
July 15, 2018 Second Recipe Due Midnight CST
July 22, 2018 Third Recipe in the series (Recipe #3)
August 1, 2018 Third Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 5, 2018 Fourth recipe in the series (Recipe #4)
August 15, 2018 Fourth Recipe Due Midnight CST
August 19, 2018 Fifth Recipe in series (Recipe #5)
September 1, 2018 Fifth Recipe Due Midnight CST
September 9, 2018 Sixth Recipe in series (Recipe #6)
September 15, 2018 Sixth Recipe Due Midnight CST
 
 
 
Legal: 
 
This contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada who are at least 18 years old. Recipes must be your originals, though they may be previously published by you elsewhere. You are responsible for any claims of plagiarism or other claims of inappropriate credit, which will invalidate your entry. The copyright for your entry shall remain your property, but your submission to the contest constitutes your irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent to use, reproduce, publish, transmit, distribute, adapt, or display your entry and name for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes, in any and all media. This is a random drawing, eligibility for Grand Prize contestants required to enter all 6 recipes in the WOOBOX photo challenge. Second place is also Random, eligibility post 3 photos in the contest series. All federal, state and/or local income and other taxes, if any, are the winner’s sole responsibility. No prize or any portion thereof is transferable or redeemable for cash. This contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
 
 



Autistic Chef Ava Marie Teaches East Bay Kids

Autistic Chef Ava Marie Teaches East Bay Kids how to make her Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf recipe

chef-ava-1

 

Chef Ava Marie, the Autistic Chef  and Owner of Autism Cooks food blog, recently spent the day with me sharing her passion for cooking with a group of East Bay High School students. The students are enrolled in a transitional program for kids with special needs. I had the awesome honor of being her sous chef for the class of 25 students while she taught them how to cook her scrumptious Holiday Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf recipe. 

I met Ava Marie Romero at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. She was a member of the audience during my cooking demo “Making Heirloom Jams with Garden Petals.” After my demo, she told me that she too was a cooking instructor and worked for the South San Francisco School District nutrition services and also taught cooking classes at the South San Francisco Library and Burlingame Recreation Center. She is also a food competitor entering online contests and the winner of countless State Fair prizes and ribbons for her baked and canned goods. I love how food draws us together and feel blessed that we have been friends ever since. 

Rebecka Evans and Ava Marie Romero

I was blown away by Ava’s poise and professionalism as she shared her personal journey as a young adult with autism, fueled with a passion for a career in cooking. As a person born with autism, Ava has meet adversity head on in her life, but she has never let it deter her from her goals. To know that Ava put her mind to her dream and made it a reality is pure joy! 

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf, made by Chef Ave Marie

The Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf made by Ave Marie was a big hit with the students and staff. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we did! PLEASE stop by and follow the Autistic Chef Ava Marie on Facebook. You can find more of her delicious recipes on Autism Cooks

Chef Ava Marie is my friend and my inspiration! 

Chef Ava Marie

 

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf
Yields 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 3/4 cups applesauce
  4. 1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  5. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  7. 1 1/2 baking soda
  8. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix sugar, applesauce, and canned pumpkin (the wet) with wooden spoon until well combined
  2. In another bowl mix flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt and mix to combine
  3. Gradually stir flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture in small batches until well incorporated.
  4. Fold in the dried cranberries
  5. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Chef Ava Marie

Chef Ava Marie

Chef Ava Marie




Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers are delicious, crispy French palmier cookies. They’re a cinch to make! This is the perfect cookie recipe for Fall!

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers: Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge

Simple Sesame Palmiers

Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” The challenge date has been set; the pans will be banging to see who becomes the winner of their first annual “Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe Challenge.” Where there are (almost) no rules, only originality and the pursuit of great taste!

 The top entry will be awarded $1,000.00; second place $500.00; and third place $250.00 and of course, bragging rights to friends and family.

Bonelli Fine Foods gifted 75 eligible bloggers free products for the competition. I took the challenge to create an original recipe with great taste using a choice of three Simply Sesame spreads: Vanilla Bites, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom, and Pure Roasted Sesame Original flavor.

Simple Sesame vanilla-with-almond-bits Simple Sesame pure-roasted-sesame Simple Sesame Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom

I choose the pistachio and cardamom flavor, knowing it would be prefect for making French Palmiers. I just knew the subtly flavor of cardamom blended with holiday flavor of pumpkin purée and cinnamon sugar would make a delightfully crispy treat.

The result is perfectly crisp pumpkin pistachio palmiers, with a hint of delicious holiday pumpkin flavor.

A cinch to make! Frozen puff pastry takes all the hard work out of making this delicious cookie recipe. Not to mention, the flavor varieties of the Simply Sesame spreads offer a vast versatility in recipe creation. 

Simply Sesame states that all spreads are GMO free and packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (and without additives, sugars, or colors), and will leave you with long-lasting high energy.

You can find Simply Sesame products directly from Bonelli Fine Foods on Amazon.com and local specialty stores in your area.

Follow Simply Sesame on  Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

 

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers

Pumpkin Pistachio Palmiers
Yields 30
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 puff pastry sheet(s)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  6. 1 10 ounce Container Simply Sesame Pistachio with a hint of Cardamom
  7. 3 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  8. ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  9. 2 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Thaw the puff pastry sheet according to the package instructions
  3. Roll pastry out on a floured surface to smooth and even out the edges
  4. Mix the sugar and spices spice together in a small bowl
  5. In another small mixing bowl combine, 1 simply sesame spread, pumpkin puree and
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar mixture
  7. Spread ½ the wet mixture in a thin layer over each puff pastry
  8. Sprinkle the flavored sugar evenly over each pastry. Reserve about 2 tablespoons for sprinkling over palmiers
  9. Roll one side of the pastry dough to the halfway mark, and repeat with the other side.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the cookies about 1/2 an inch thick, then place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  11. Sprinkle with any additional flavored sugar
  12. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until slightly puffy, and remove from the oven.
  13. Carefully flip all the cookies over, sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sesame seeds and return to the oven for 6-10 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges are golden.
  14. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Easy French Pumpkin Pistachio Palmier Cookies

 

If you enjoy pumpkin dessert recipes, check these out, too!

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds




World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACON

World Food Championships 2015- PART 2: It’s all about the BACON, AND my brunch recipe for a Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon.Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon RecipeIt was all about the bacon when Janet Tharpe, host for the Just A Pinch® online community, and her Kitchen Crew picked my Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon recipe, as a Blue Ribbon winner and my Golden Ticket to represent their company at the 2015 World Food Championships, Bacon Category. Blessed to be a part of the competition, I was honored to represent them.

Creating bacon recipes for the competition was a three month process. Luckily, I already had a winning recipe for the Signature Dish Round; all I had to do was prefect the execution. 

SIGNATURE DISH:

“The Signature Dish is the competitor’s choice, although it needs to fit the general “theme” of the competition category to be able to receive maximum points in execution. The Signature Dish is intended to allow the cook to put their best culinary foot forward. Show the judges what you do best. It’s your Signature Dish. ” Source: WFC 2015 Competitor Handbook

 

Dutch Apple baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon
Serves 6
Dutch Apple Baby meets its best companion with blackberry hoisin bacon, creating the perfect sweet and savory combination. The delicate pancake is married gently to the bacon with just a hint of hoisin and a touch of blackberry to balance out the of flavors…simply delicious.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb thick slice Wright Brand Applewood Smoked, divided
  2. 1 1/4 cups blackberry jam, divided
  3. 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, divided
  4. 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  5. 3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
  6. 1/2 cup organic apple cider, divided
  7. 2 1/2 cups diced apples, skins on
  8. 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  9. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1 teaspoon nutmeg, divided
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  12. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  13. 3/4 c flour
  14. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  15. 1 c milk
  16. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  17. 5 large eggs
  18. 1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries, divided
  19. 1/4 cup powder sugar for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. You will need parchment paper to line baking sheet
For the Hoisin Marinade
  1. In a small bowl combine, 2 tablespoon mustard, 1 cup blackberry
  2. jam, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoon brown sugar, stir to
  3. combine
Blackberry Maple and Hoisin Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon hoisin, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1/4 cup blackberry jam, 1 cup fresh blackberries.
  2. Cook over medium heat until thickened
  3. Strain through fine sieve. Keep warm until ready to plate.
  4. Transfer to little syrup mugs during plating
Method for The Hoisin Bacon
  1. In a small bowl combine,
  2. 2 tablespoons mustard, 3/4 cup blackberry jam, 1/4 cup hoisin and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Mix well
  3. Place 18 slices bacon on parchment lined paper, brush about 1 tablespoon of mixture over each slice and turn and repeat.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over all bacon
  5. Cook 400 degrees F. for 2o min.
  6. Cool bacon, reserve out 5 slices for garnish.
  7. Chop remaining bacon into small pieces, reserve 1/2 cup for garnish
Method For the Apple Filling
  1. Cut apples into small dice
  2. In a medium sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  4. Add diced apples and 1 tablespoon apple cider to pan
  5. Stir in sugar mixture
  6. Cook apples until tender but not soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare cast iron skillet
  1. Cut butter into chunks and place in cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet at 400 degree F. oven for 3-4 minutes, while making pancake batter.
  2. Method for The Batter
  3. Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl
  4. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps
  5. When batter is smooth, beat in vanilla and eggs, one by one, Beat pancake batter, 1-2 minutes with whisk. Let batter rest for 5 minutes
  6. While batter is resting, prepare cast iron skillets.
  7. Place skillets in 400 degree F. oven on parchment lined tray. Heat for 5 minutes
  8. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter
  9. Remove skillets from oven and pour butter evenly into each skillet.
  10. Add even amounts of crumbled bacon to skillet bottom
  11. Pour batter over bacon, leaving 1/4 inch headspace
  12. Add cooked apples to middle of skillets
  13. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove small skillets, bake larger for 5-7 minutes longer
  14. Garnish with strip of bacon and fresh blackberries, powdered sugar and mint leaves.
  15. The pancake will puff dramatically while baking but begin to fall within a few minutes after baking.
Garnish
  1. powder sugar
  2. blackberry hoisin syrup
  3. fresh blackberries
  4. strips of hoisin bacon
Notes
  1. Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Recipe
  2. Winner Top Ten World Food Championships 2015 Category: Bacon
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon

I felt so blessed to be chosen to compete in the 2015 World Food Championships, and then doubly blessed as a fellow competitor Kim Banick, an award winning home cook, owner of The Prize of Cooking, and seasoned World Food Champion, offered to be my sous chef for the opening round. I was moved to tears when I read her message, what an answer to prayer! God knew I needed help competing in such a prestigious event for the very first time. Kim shared her wisdom as a competitive cook as well as, her sweet spirit and gracious attitude. She also, brought with her a team of sous, Mark Banick and Kasey Brown. We cooked together, we prayed together, and we took TOP TEN in the Bacon Category!

Opening Round WFC 2105

The Banick Team spent the following day winning People’s Choice for their Tex-Mex Chili Sundae Split-2015 WFC Chili competition entry. I’m forever grateful for their generosity, hearts for Christ, and shared talent in my kitchen! 

Kim Banick The Prize of CookingThe opportunity to stay with my eldest son, his wife and family while in Orlando, was the icing on the cake. Their support and love gave me strength to carry on each day not to mention, the special morning hugs and kisses from my grand girls.

Grand girls WFC

By the third day of competition I didn’t know which side was up, even calling my friend Lisa Keys by the wrong name for an entire day! As a fellow competitor, and food blogger, Lisa understood my memory lapse and graciously forgave me!  The 10 day experience was overwhelming, exciting, exhausting, and one of the best experiences in my life.

Lisa Keys

With the help of family and friends, I moved on to compete in the Top Ten and took home 4th in the World in the Bacon Category!

Some of the perks for winning a place at #WFC2015…sponsorship from Hammer Stahl Cutlery, with a awesome set of chefs knives, backpack and carrying case. More about them in my final blog post and filleting American Red Snapper with their stellar filet knife.

Below is a Holiday video with Chef Kevin Gillespie featuring Wright Brand Bacon and several WFC Bacon competitors and….ME!




FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve…the perfect cranberry side dish, just in time for your holiday feast.
Fireball Cranberry Lemon Conserve

I’ve been in the kitchen the past few days doing my best to put up four bushels of home grown Meyer lemons; I can’t believe there are still more lemons on the tree.

Guess what the neighbors will be getting from Santa this year?

In addition to my regular Holiday recipes, I decided to create something new for my holiday feast, featuring my homegrown Meyer lemons. A twist on my traditional cranberry sauce recipe, I added 3 cups of thinly sliced Meyer lemon skins to a 16 ounce bag of fresh cranberries then spiked the mix with some warm, cinnamon goodness, Fireball Whiskey! The combination of flavors, taste like Christmas on a spoon! It’s the best cranberry conserve/sauce I’ve ever made and it will go perfectly with my Christmas Garlic Prime Rib Roast

Fireball Whiskey Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve…You’ll need to try this one… it’s a winner!

 

Fireball Whiskey Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve
Yields 6
Scrumptious version of cranberry sauce with cinnamon heat
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 16 ounce bag fresh cranberries, about 3 cups
  2. 3 cups thinly sliced Meyer lemon peel
  3. 4 cups sugar
  4. 2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
  5. 1/4 cup bottle lemon juice
  6. 2 cups water
  7. 2 whole cinnamon sticks, broken into thirds
  8. 5 whole cloves
  9. 1 1" sprig fresh rosemary
  10. 1 cup Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  11. 2 packages liquid pectin
Instructions
  1. Wash lemons in cool water
  2. Juice lemons, measure and reserve
  3. Thinly slice reserves lemon peel
  4. Strain lemon juice to remove pips
  5. Combine lemon juice, sliced lemon peels, cranberries, sugar, water, cinnamon stick and whole clove
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Add Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and fresh rosemary
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring to combine
  9. Add pectin and bring back to a boil, cook 2 minutes
  10. Check gel by adding a small amount of mixture to a cooled plate. If mixture holds its shape fill sterilized jars and process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. If the mixture is still not setting, boil additional 2 minutes.
Notes
  1. If NOT canning the recipe save in airtight jar/container and refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or use immediately.
  2. Conserve is soft set
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

Meyer Lemons

So many Meyer lemons this year and still some on the tree!!

Looking for more lemon recipes for the holiday? Here’s the short list I’ve baked and canned this week: Meyer Lemon Habanero Jelly, Lemon Marmalade, Lemon Cake Bars, and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Cream Glaze, just to name a few. I’ve also put up two giant jars of preserved lemons…recipes to follow, and plan to make a few more lemony desserts.

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

The secret ingredient…Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey I love this stuff!!

FIREBALL Cranberry Meyer Lemon Conserve...the perfect cranberry side dish, just in time for your holiday feast.




Meringue Crepes and an Interactive Dinner Party – Recipe Redress

Meringue crepes with strawberries foster flambe is an elegant dessert, perfect for any special occasion!
Meringue crepes with strawberries foster flambe is an elegant dessert, perfect for any special occasion!

Meringue Crepes with Strawberries Foster Flambe

Recipe Redress, Meringue Crepes and an Interactive Dinner Party: Today I’m sharing a little recipe redress after failing miserably to teach a group of women how to make meringue crepes at an interactive dinner party a few weeks ago. My friend Valerie, the owner of Good Life Food & Events, asked me to assist her in the kitchen for this event and share my expertise in canning rose petal jelly, and finish the evening off by teaching the ladies how to make stunning meringue crepes with strawberries foster flambe.

I had the meringue crepes recipe all worked out in my mind and felt confident in my skills. So much so, I didn’t take the time to practice the recipe before helping with the event. My brilliant idea for this recipe was to make a vanilla bean meringue. My mind’s eye imagined how lovely the meringue would be, dotted with vanilla bean flecks, all puffed and golden on the top, then drizzled with a sweet strawberries foster and finally, flambed to create an end of the evening wow factor.

As a recipe creator, I spend hours going over ideas like this in my mind. Some work out beautifully and others do not. Since Valerie was expecting great things from me, and these were her clients, I should have taken the time to make the recipe before committing to it heart and soul. Lesson learned!

What I didn’t consider in my imagination, was the cardinal rule for ALL meringues…NO OIL of any kind, or it will fail. It failed because vanilla bean has a ton of natural oil in the pod. Had I taken just a few seconds to flip through the pages of my cooking memory knowledge, I may have reconsidered the idea for “vanilla bean” meringue, but I didn’t. 

Sadly, what came out of the oven that night was a flat mess. I served meringue crepes that were overcooked and tough, with a meringue that was flat like a pancake. What made the moment doubly embarrassing, was the final flaming of the strawberries foster. The special moment was not a spectacular one, it was more like a firework dud! We forgot to turn off the lights, so the big finale was a bust as well!

It’s not in my nature to let things go, and as a professional in a teaching environment such as this, I was mortified by my mistake. Afterwards, I knew exactly what had happened, but it was too late to fix it. That’s what I get for being thick headed. Thankfully, the ladies were gracious and ate the dessert without a harsh word, even remarking kindly on the flavor. Valerie, was the consummate professional and most graciously understood that sh*# happens. Thank you my friend! 

So now, for all the ladies that attended the event, and for my friend Valerie, I’m recreating the dish with all the original components, and in the right context. I need to mention, it took me three tries to get it right in my kitchen during recreation. Next time I think we should make pie

Failed Crepe

My first attempt to recreate the recipe resembled what we served the night of the party. Overcooked, tough and flat. Back to the test kitchen for a second try…

Second Attempt Crepe w Souffle

I tried the second attempt using a souffle instead of meringue. It was prettier and tasted better than the first try however, the souffle died almost instantly after removing from the oven.

Meringue Crepes Perfection

The third attempt was the charm. I made a simple meringue filling, cooked at 350 degrees F. for 8 minutes. I love it when a recipe finally comes together.

Meringue Crepes with Strawberries Foster Flambe
Yields 12
The recipe for the crepes is attributed to Valerie from Good Life Food & Events
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
8 min
For the Crepes
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 cup flour
  5. 2 Tablespoon flour
  6. 1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped
For the Meringue
  1. 3 large eggs whites
  2. 1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. pinch salt
For the Strawberries Foster Flambe
  1. 2 cups strawberries
  2. 1 teaspoon butter
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. Zest of 1 lemon
  5. 1/2 vanilla bean split and scraped
  6. 1/4 cup Cointreau Liqueur (or brandy)
  7. 1/8 cup brazilian cachaca (or brandy)
  8. confectioner sugar for dusting
For the Crepes
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well
  2. Allow batter to rest for 30 minutes (batter can be made the night before and kept in the refrigerator)
  3. Place a 8 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, spray pan with non-stick oil
  4. Place 1/4 cup of batter into center of hot pan, and swirl the batter to coat the pan, making a thin pancake
  5. When edged start to dry, lift edge gently with spatula and flip to other side and cook for one minute
  6. Repeat and stack crepes until batter is gone (crepes can be made ahead of time, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated)
For the Meringue
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. place rack in middle position
  2. In a very clean glass or metal bowl beat pinch salt and egg whites with hand mixer on medium high setting, until they just hold stiff peaks
  3. Add cream of tartar, continue beating for a few seconds to disperse
  4. Slowly add sugar and beat till hold stiff peaks
  5. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchments (if using parchment, spray with nonstick oil)
  6. Place crepes on baking sheet
  7. Divide meringue mixer evenly, spooning it over only one half of the crepe. Genlty fold the other half of the crepe over the filling to rest on top. Bake until filling is set, and slighlty browned about 8-12 minutes
  8. Top crepes with strawberries foster and dust with confectioners sugar
For the Strawberries Foster Flambe
  1. Using a drinking straw, poke the straw through the small end of the strawberry through to the other side, removing the green flowery stem. Wash and pat dry
  2. Slice strawberries in quarters, smaller berries can be cut in half
  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter in one side of the pan, add the vanilla bean and whisk until thoroughly combined
  4. Pour strawberries over butter, keeping to one side of the pan
  5. In the other side of the pan, begin to melt the sugar (sugar will not totally melt, the idea is to get some of the sugar to caramelize)
  6. Toss the berries in the butter and vanilla bean mixture to coat while sugar is melting
  7. When sugar has slightly melted add lemon zest and combine all the ingredients together
  8. Cook stirring for about 1 minute
  9. Carefully add the liquor and ignite with stick lighter. Watch the flame until it subsides (remember to turn off the lights)
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Meringue crepes with strawberries foster flambe is an elegant dessert, perfect for any special occasion!

Despite the few mishaps, the evening was a great success.

Here’s a quick look at Valerie’s’ Menu and a few photos of the dishes the ladies learned to make and more information about Good Life Foods & Events

Spring’s Bounty

Cocktail

Cucumber Gimlet

Appetizers

Rose Petal Jelly with La Tour Cheese & Crackers

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Salad

Grilled Beet Salad with Creamy Goat Cheese, Almonds & Edible Flowers

Main Course

Asparagus Risotto

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Mahi Mahi

Lemony Sugar Snap Peas with Cucumber, Mint & Feta

Dessert

Strawberries Foster with Crepes & Vanilla Bean Meringue (see the new recipe Meringue Crepes with Strawberries Foster Flambe)

 

 More information about Good Life Foods & Events:

Good Food…Good Friends…Good Times

Essential to a good life is gathering with friends and family
around a beautiful table filled with delicious food.  
Good Life Food & Events can help you enjoy all the special occasions in your life.  With fabulous food, years of 
event planning experience, and personalized service, you are assured only the best!

Catering & Event Planning
Interactive Dinner Parties
Private Cooking Lessons

(925) 451-9176
goodlifefood@yahoo.com

My mission is to deliver exceptional cuisine and outstanding service
so my clients can experience “Good Food…Good Friends…Good Times.”
~ Chef Valerie

Meringue Crepes with Strawberries Foster/Flambe

 




Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon

Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon is my entry for the World Food Championships Recipe Contest, category BACON! This sweet and savory breakfast can also be served as a sideboard brunch dish or as the main event at dinner! When served with additional blackberry syrup and a piping hot cup of coffee, this Dutch baby pancake recipe is scrumptious!

Dutch Apple Baby with Hoison Blackberry Bacon

Dutch Apple Baby

My Dutch Apple Baby Wins 8th Place in the Top Ten WFC 2015 Photo by OC Food Diva

 
I’ve been in the kitchen for the past few weeks, creating recipes like a madwoman in order to win a coveted Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships this coming June. This Dutch apple baby pancake recipe, as well as a few more, are being entered via Just a Pinch website, in the WFC official qualifying event. 

Contest Information: Earn your chance to cook at the 2015 World Food Championships. It’s the ultimate invite-only culinary competition and you may walk away with some serious bragging rights… and prize money of up to $100,000. It’s in a new location this year too – Kissimmee, FL!

  • Get in on the fun! Enter your very best original recipe from one (or all!) of the following categories:
  • Bacon
  • Burger
  • Chili
  • Dessert
  • Fresh Recipe*
  • Pasta
  • Sandwich
  • Seafood

*Fresh means creating a recipe using fresh ingredients and products that have never been frozen or canned.A total of twenty (20) winners will be selected from among the categories to compete as part of Team Just A Pinch!

★Winners Each Receive:

  • Invitation to prepare and compete with their winning recipe November 3 – 10 at the 2015 World Food Championships in Kissimmee, FL
  • Waiver of all WFC entrance fees (Exclusive feature for Just A Pinch Contestants!)
  • Induction into Just A Pinch’s Honorary Kitchen Crew

I’m ready to make my way to Florida in a few months to compete; let’s hope the official judges choose one of my recipes and honor me with a WIN! 

In the meantime, give my Dutch apple baby recipe a try and let me know if it’s a winner?

Dutch Apple Baby with Blackberry Hoisin Bacon
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb thick slice bacon
  2. 2 large apples
  3. 4 Tbsp granulated sugar divided
  4. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  6. 1/3 c unsalted butter
  7. 3/4 c flour
  8. 1/2 pkg salt
  9. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  10. 1 c milk
  11. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  12. 5 large eggs
  13. 1 c blackberry jam
  14. 1/4 c hoisin sauce
  15. 2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
  16. powder sugar garnish
  17. maple or blackberry syrup
For the Bacon
  1. Preheat oven 500 degree F.
  2. Place 10 slice bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet lengthwise, pull bacon to stretch about half its original length (this helps with shrinkage during the cooking process) don't allow bacon to go over sheet pan edges
  3. In a small bowl add, mustard, blackberry jam, hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoon brown sugar, stir to combine
  4. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam mixture over each piece of bacon, using a basting brush spread the jam mixture to coat the entire side of bacon, flip bacon over and repeat this process.
  5. To cook, cover the bacon with an additional sheet/baking pan laying the bottom of the pan directly on top of the bacon
  6. Place pans in oven and par-cook bacon for 5-6 minutes or until hot and bubbling but not browned
  7. Remove from oven and set aside until ready to use
  8. Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees F.
  9. Brown remaining bacon slices and crumble for garnish
For the Batter
  1. Peel and core apples, cut them into slices then slice into halves and thirds (about 3 cups apples) In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoon sugar with cinnamon and ginger, set aside until ready to use
  2. Cut butter into chunks and place in a deep cast iron skillet. Put the skillet into the oven for 3-4 minutes or until the butter is melted and skillet is hot. Remove skillet from oven, sprinkle bottom of pan with about 1/3 brown sugar mixture. Carefully spread apples over the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle remaining sugar over apples. Put skillet back into the oven, cook for 5-8 minutes to caramelize apples (you should be able to complete the next step while apples are caramelizing)
  3. Whisk flour with remaining tablespoon sugar, salt and nutmeg. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. When flour batter is smooth, beat in vanilla and eggs one by one. Beat by hand for approximately 2 minutes. Let batter rest for 5 minutes. Remove apples from the oven
  4. Add one strip of bacon to the bottom of the skillet at a time trying not to overlap the pieces, arrange in a star or spoke pattern so that when sliced each piece will have a slice of bacon cooked into the batter. It may be necessary to cut bacon to fit skillet. Try not to go over the edge of the skillet to keep bacon from becoming too darkened while cooking.
  5. Pour batter over bacon and caramelized apples, bake in the 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or center is set and sides are golden brown.
  6. The pancake will puff dramatically while baking but fall within a few minutes after baking. Slice pancake into 6 pieces, sprinkle with powder sugar, bacon bites and serve with blackberry or maple syrup
Notes
  1. Course/Dish: Sweet Breads, Savory Breads, Pancakes Main Ingredient: Eggs Regional Style: Dutch Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Heirloom Hashtags: #breakfast, #WFC Cooking
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Dutch Apple Baby

Another delicious brunch recipe to try:
Strawberry Roll Up Pancakes




Cupid’s Ooey Gooey Chocolate Kisses

Ooey gooey chocolate kisses are the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert recipe! Individual phyllo cups filled with creamy chocolate, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries.
Ooey Gooey Chocolate Kisses Dessert

Cupid’s Ooey Gooey Chocolate Kisses Dessert – WFC Recipe Entry

I wanted to share my recipe entry for this season’s first World Food Championship Valentine’s Day Dessert contest. Unfortunately, it didn’t win a first place, but that won’t keep me from trying again next time.  

Next Valentine’s Day, impress your sweetie with these individual, crispy phyllo bites, filled with an ooey gooey chocolate center! Delish!!

 

Cupid's Ooey Gooey Chocolate Kisses
Yields 24
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
18 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, rough chopped
  2. 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, rough chopped
  3. 1/3 cup butter for melting chocolate, melted
  4. 1/3 cup butter for phyllo pastry, melted
  5. 6 sheets phyllo dough
  6. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  7. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  9. 3 eggs
  10. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  11. 1/3 cup sugar
  12. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  13. 1 teaspoon sugar
  14. 1 jar organic maraschino cherries
FOR THE FILLING
  1. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat, remove from heat Chop baking chocolate into pieces and add to hot butter Stir until chocolate pieces are melted, set aside In a medium mixing bowl combine, sugar, flour, salt and whisk until blended Add eggs and whisk until light yellow in color and creamy Add cooled melted chocolate and whisk for 2 minutes to combine, set mixture aside
FOR THE PHYLLO
  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees F. Mix sugar and cocoa powder together in a small cup, set aside Melt 1/3 cup butter in microwave Remove 6 sheets of phyllo from package Using a pastry brush, brush butter over first sheet then lightly sprinkle a fine layer of sugared cocoa over the phyllo, add another layer and continue process until all sheets are done Cut phyllo into 3x4 inch pieces Arrange cut sheets into small cupcake pan Cook pastry cups for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, remove from oven Fill cups with approximately 1 tablespoon prepared chocolate batter Return to oven and bake for additional 8-12 minutes or until centers are firm but not browned, remove from oven and cool completely
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks, add sugar and whisk slightly to combine Slide a small pastry tip into the corner of a small zip baggie allowing the plastic to break open at the tip Fill the baggie with whipped cream Pipe small amount of whipped cream onto each cup Top individual cups with maraschino cherry and serve
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Cupids Ooey Gooey Chocolate Kisses

More chocolate dessert recipes to try:

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Nutella Hot Chocolate Espresso Hearts




MilkSplash Orange Cream Cheesecake with Candied Orange Slices

Orange cream cheesecake with candied orange slices is a delicious kosher cheesecake recipe made with ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and Milksplash milk flavoring.

Orange Cream Cheesecake made with MilkSplash Flavoring

 

The folks at MilkSplash and my friends at voiceBoks, are offering an exciting cooking contest and Twitter Party this month…The Splash Off!

One lucky winner will receive a $500.00 Visa gift card, for creating the best recipe using one of MilkSplash’s new Milk Flavoring products.

My entry for the contest is a luscious ricotta cream cheese orange cream cheesecake, decorated with candied orange slices.

The recipe utilizes MilkSplash Orange Cream Dream flavoring.

I added homemade candied orange slices to give the dessert a Thanksgiving twist. Their chewy-sweet texture counterbalanced by the smooth-dreamy creamsicle flavor of the MilkSplash flavoring, really hit the mark.  The addition of the Matzoh meal enhanced the texture as well as making the dish Kosher for the Holidays. 

Winner will be announced during the Twitter Party!

 
MilkSplash comes in six flavors: Horchata Piñata, Cocoa Loco, Sir Strawberry Swirl, Orange Cream Dream, Cookies ‘N Cream, and Jammin’ Banana. 

MilkSplash 'Orange Cream Dream' Cheesecake
Serves 8
Ricotta cheese, cream cheese and matzoh meal make this a super dreamy cheesecake as well as kosher for the Holidays.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
For the Cheesecake
  1. 5 tablespoon dry matzoh meal
  2. 1 teaspoon cold butter
  3. 1 32 ounce tub whole milk ricotta cheese
  4. 1 8 ounce brick cream cheese
  5. 3 eggs
  6. 1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 3/4 cups for filling
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. juice from one lemon
  9. zest from one lemon
  10. 8 squirts Orange Cream Dream MilkSplash flavoring
For the topping
  1. 2 cups cream cheese
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 8 squirts MilkSplash Orange Cream Dream flavoring
For the Orange Slices
  1. Prepare orange slices 24 hours in advance
  2. 5 small navel oranges thinly sliced
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. Heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is melted, add orange slices, cook for 20 minutes
  6. Place orange slices on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F. for 3-5 hours, turning occasionally. Low and slow. Longer cooking time will add more color to the oranges but deliver a crisp wafer like candy. Remove from oven, cool and store in an airtight container for up to one month
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix 1 tablespoon sugar with 3 tablespoons dry matzoh in a small bowl
  3. Brush butter over the bottom and sides of a springform pan
  4. Dust pan with matzoh mixture, remove excess and set pan aside
  5. In a food processor, plus ricotta cheese 10-15 seconds until smooth, add room temperature cream cheese and pulse until smooth, another 15 seconds
  6. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, matzoh meal and MilkSplash Orange Cream flavoring
  7. Plus for 15-30 seconds or until well blended
  8. Pour into prepared springform pan
  9. Place in heated oven on the middle rack, immediately reduce heat to 300 degrees F. and cook for 1- 1.5 hours. Middle should be slightly jiggly, do not over cook
  10. Cool for 1 hour, transfer cheesecake to pie plate
  11. Add sour cream topping and refrigerate overnight
For the Topping
  1. Blend together the sour cream, sugar and MilkSplash flavoring, cover and refrigerate until ready to use
Notes
  1. Add orange slices to top of cheesecake, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Orange Cream Cheesecake made with MilkSplash Flavoring

Ingredients to make an orange cream cheesecake

 Orange Cream Dream Cheesecake made with MilkSplash Flavoring 

The orange cream cheesecake recipe is also being shared at FoodTasticFridays.

FoodtasticFriday

  Orange Cream Dream Cheesecake made with MilkSplash Flavoring

Orange Cream Dream Cheesecake made with MilkSplash Flavoring     

More delicious cheesecake recipes to try:

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Ricotta Cheesecake with Pineapple, Peach Compote




Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake {Flashback Friday!}

Pumpkin pie cheesecake is a creamy baked cheesecake with pure pumpkin flavor. It’s the perfect Fall dessert recipe!

I made this sumptuous pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe for the first time in 2010. In honor of Flashback Friday Recipes…here’s the recipe once again.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

This pumpkin pie cheesecake is super creamy and moist, with just the right blend of ingredients to make even the most novice baker, look like a star. Share this delicious dessert with your family this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Yields 8
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For the Crust
  1. 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  2. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1 stick melted salted butter
For the Filling
  1. 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  3. 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  4. 1/4 cup sour cream
  5. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  9. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust
  1. In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon. Add melted butter, press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside
For Filling
  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth, add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
  2. Pour into crust, spread mix evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Adapted from Paula Deen The Food Network
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

 
 



Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

Brownie cupcakes, filled with peanut butter and chocolate Oreo cookies. A dessert recipe that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Peanut butter brownie cupcakes

My recipe for Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes is adapted from wikihow: How to Make Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes.

The wikihow recipe calls for two Oreos instead of one, and I used less peanut butter stuffing. I’m sure the wiki recipe is just as satisfying as mine, but the fact is, my version is just as luscious and creamy and oozing with decadent peanut butter and chocolate flavor. 

What makes this delicious Oreo peanut butter brownie cupcakes recipe so appealing are the endless options for the filling.

  • Chocolate Lovers Oreo Brownie Cupcakes: substitute Nutella for the peanut butter
  • Peanut Free Oreo Caramel Brownie Cupcakes: substitute two chewy caramel
  • Oreo Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies: instead of peanut butter filling, blend together, 1 bag of pitted, frozen sweet cherries, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and a dash of almond extract
  • Oreo Chocolate Mint Brownie Cupcakes, add a York Peppermint Patty

Pick your pleasure, and enjoy!

Oreo Peanut Butter Brownies Step by Step

Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes
Yields 1
Decadent and gooey brownies, this recipe is perfect to travel for picnics or family gatherings
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package store bought brownie mix with chocolate chips, I used Ghirardelli
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  5. 2 sleeves oreo cookies, 1 dozen
  6. 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  7. 1 package cupcake holders
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine brownie with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and egg until just blended
  4. Put one oreo into each cupcake liner
  5. Top each cookie with 1 teaspoon peanut butter, Nutella or individual soft caramels
  6. Carefully add brownie batter to top of liner
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The sides will be firm to the touch when done, however the top will remain soft due to the peanut butter filling
  8. Cool 3-4 minutes in pan, transfer to a serving plate, allow to cool completely
  9. Store in airtight container
Adapted from wikihow: Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes 

 Brownie cupcakes, filled with peanut butter and chocolate Oreo cookies. A dessert recipe that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

More delicious cupcake recipes to try:

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies




Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies)

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies) are gooey, rich and tempting. This easy peanut butter cookies recipe makes soft cookies that are full of peanut butter flavor. The center, stuffed with rich peanut butter cups, makes these cookies a delicious slice of dessert heaven!

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I used a traditional peanut butter cookie recipe, added one peanut butter cup to a teaspoon of dough, then topped with another teaspoon of dough, pressed together and baked. I ate 4 right from the oven. This is one fantastic homemade peanut butter cookie recipe!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  5. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  6. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1 large egg, room temperature
  8. 3/4 cup super chunky peanut butter (I use Jif)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 bag miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
Instructions
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, mix until well combined
  2. In another large bowl using a handheld mixer, cream butter, brown, and white sugars together on medium speed until smooth
  3. On low speed mix in eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. Turn the speed to high and blend until light and smooth (about 3 minutes)
  4. Turn mixer to low speed, gradually add dry ingredients until well combined, and dough forms
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a tablespoon, roll dough into balls, place balls on a large piece of parchment, add one peanut butter cup to half of the balls, gently press another ball over the peanut butter cup, sandwiching the peanut butter cup between the two balls of dough. Roll the stuffed dough into a ball insuring all edges are sealed
  6. Bake the cookies on a non-stick cookie sheet for 10-11 minutes or golden brown. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes before transferring to serving plate.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies {Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies}
If you like the taste of these peanut butter cup cookies, I bet you’ll love my recipe for Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes, too!




Gooey Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Cranberry oatmeal cookies are super chewy, with a sweet-tart contrast. The tart cranberries balance the rich sweetness of the dough, resulting in a perfect cookie bite for me.

Cranberry oatmeal cookies are super chewy, with a sweet-tart contrast. The tart cranberries balance the rich sweetness of the dough perfectly.

I’m happy to share another fantastic cookie recipe, adapted from Food.comI ate three cranberry oatmeal cookies, hot from the oven, savoring every ravishing bite; my belly was not pleased with me. I continue to wish for better self-control, but willpower is not in the list of my virtues!

I hope you enjoy the gooey cranberry oatmeal cookies as much as I do!

Gooey Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
Yields 36
A delicious alternative to raisins, cranberries lend a sweet-tart contrast to this enjoyably gooey, oatmeal cookie!
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Whisk Together
  2. 2 cups all purpose flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
Cream Together Wet ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir in
  1. 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  2. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside
  3. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low speed
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until well combined, do not over mix
  5. Add the oats and cranberries, stir to incorporate
  6. Fill an ice cream scoop, pressing against the side of the bowl, to level dough
  7. Drop 2-inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake 11-13 minutes; cooking times vary based on altitude, watch closely to insure golden brown color
  9. Remove from oven; allow cookies to rest on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to plate or wire rack to cool
Adapted from Food.com Bev
Adapted from Food.com Bev
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

If you like the cranberry oatmeal cookies recipe, here are a few more cookie recipes you might enjoy:
Butterscotch Apple Pie Cookies
Biscochitos – Mexican Sugar Cookies