Are You a Master Baker or Disaster Baker? Contest and Giveaway RECIPE #2

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

My bake along challenge began last week with Recipe #1 Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake. You can find Manuela’s recipe and my recreation HERE. You can also view all the contestant submissions in the Woobox Gallery link at the bottom of this post.

The requirements for this week’s challenge are the same as Recipe #1; and are as follows: 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. 


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.




Manuela's Cream Cake

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Manuela Kjeilen. All photos courtesy of, 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 each of the recipes. Below is what Manuela said about Recipe #2:

The second recipe is a Bløtekake (Norwegian Cream Cake) typical of a cake you would see at bakeries in Norway! Contestants can just fill it with strawberries rather than all of the fruits that I used. This is how we do cakes in Norway and I love this cake.

Manuela you’re so right! Norwegians really know how to make a delicious cake! This  beautiful cake is filled will all my favorite things: pastry cream, mascarpone whipped cream, chopped walnuts, dark chocolate, and a mixture of fresh fruits.  This fabulous recipe is perfect for any summertime gathering, but would look great at your red, white, and blue 4th of July party. I love that the American and Norwegian flags share the same colors! 

Some Thoughts on My Second Bake 

I feel more accomplished as a baker after the first challenge last week. I’ve had less anxiety about making a traditional sponge for the Norwegian Cream Cake;  yet I worry about my lack of  technique  in the decorating department.  I’ve never made a layered cake that didn’t look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa;  plus I suffer from a lack of understanding when it comes to executing the perfect slice.  

The use of acetate or plastic cake collar is a new technique for me as well. If you don’t own acetate cake collars, you can substitute with heavy plastic wrap and use large spring form pans and outer clamping ring for the adjustable cake ring step. 

This is going to be a fun bake, and I hope  you all will bake along.

So now that you’ve seen the STUNNING photo of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) (see photo above), say hello to my rendition:

Cream Cake by Becka


You’ll notice my piping on the sides of the cake are too close together, jagged, and don’t look finished where the cake top meets the piped sides. You’ll also see that the top of my cake resembles a mosaic or road map  rather than the 6 perfect triangle slices on Manuela’s cake.  My rendition of the cake is pretty, but not correct if we’re trying to replicate Manuel’s recipe. My decoration looks more like a mosaic than Manuela’s 6 perfectly piped triangles 

Rebecka's Cream Cake2


Rebecka's Cream Cake Slice 1

Leaning Tower of  BLØTEKAKE  (NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Rebecka Evans

My slice is leaning to the side as it almost fell onto  the floor on its way from the cake to the plate.

Manuel’s recipe offers the option to use 8 or 9 inch springform pan or two – 3X8 – inch round baking tins, or 10 -inch springform pan. Recipes for both options are listed.  I opted to use a 10  inch springform pan to bake my sponge. I over baked the cake (again), so I had to use more orange juice on the slices to moisten them. I also used an additional 4 cups of heavy cream to make my whipped icing. Finally, I used Manuel’s Vanilla Frosting made with mascarpone. You can use your own favorite recipe for whipped icing, or you can find Manuela’s recipe HERE

I love the color and textures of this cake. The vanilla cream is the best I’ve ever made. I could eat an entire bowl of the luscious cream in one sitting. The decadent whipped cream tastes so fresh, and is the perfect cover for my mistakes despite my messy execution. My rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE isn’t a “masterpiece,” but it’s not bad for my second bake. 


  1. You will need a 9-inch spring form pan, parchment paper, cooking spray, a metal and plastic cake collar, and acetate film. I found the metal adjustable collar and acetate cake collars at a local baking shop.  Acetate is sold per piece in large sheets. If you don’t care to spend money on a metal adjustable cake ring, you can use the clean, dry ring from a springform pan. (You can watch Manuela’s Video HERE to get a better idea of this technique)
  2. You will need medium disposable piping bags and a Wilton 1 M piping tip.
  3. When the recipe calls for chopped dark chocolate, I used my favorite dark chocolate bar which is 70% cocoa.
  4. The recipe conversions from European Measurements are Manuela’s US converted recipes or were calculated with the iPhone APP “Kitchen Pro”
  5. The recipe calls for 2 cups whipped cream to fill the cake. I made an additional 4 cups of whipped cream to decorate my cake using Manuela’s Mascarpone Whipped Frosting. You can find the recipe HERE

I have pushed myself to work outside my comfort zone and I’ve just added two more delicious recipes to my baking repertoire: Norwegian Sponge Cake and Vanilla Pastry Cream. The list keeps getting longer and my skills are growing with every delicious recipe. 


Serves 8
BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) Photo is Rebecka's rendition of Manuela's recipe
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
  3. 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE (I used about 1 cup)
  9. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional)
  1. 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
  3. ⅜ CUP (85 G) SUGAR
  1. Start by making the vanilla cream some hours before and put it in the fridge
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and vanilla bean paste, stirring occasionally, until the milk is hot but not boiling
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Whisk in yolks all at once until light and fluffy and batter reaches the ribbon stage.
  4. As you continue whisking, slowly add one-third of the hot milk to the yolk mixture to temper the egg yolks.
  5. Whisk in remaining milk into yolks and return entire mixture to saucepan.
  6. Place over medium heat and whisk frequently until the mixture begins to boil.
  7. Whisk the mixture vigorously for 2 minutes, while boiling, until the cornstarch dissolves completely.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat.
  9. Strain the vanilla cream mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  10. Whisk in the butter.
  11. With a silicon, spatula spread the vanilla cream to a thin layer on a small baking sheet.
  12. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the vanilla cream.
  13. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours.
  14. When ready to use, loosen the cream with a spatula or whisk.
  15. Pastry cream should be refrigerated and used within 3 days of making.
  1. Make the sponge cake in a 24 cm or 25 cm ( 9-inch or 10-inch springform)
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom of three 8– inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line with parchment paper; Or if you prefer you can use an 8-inch spring-form pan line bottom with parchment paper and spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cornstarch or if you use potato starch, and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on low-medium speed for 1 minute.
  5. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating for 5 minutes.
  6. Add water or buttermilk and beat for another 1-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  7. Add vanilla bean paste, and beat for one minute more.
  8. The batter should be very thick. When the whisk is lifted, the batter should ribbon from it back into the batter in the bowl.
  9. Pour the batter into a large wide bowl.
  10. Sift in half the flour mixture. Use a large silicone spatula to stir and fold until only a few streaks of flour are visible.
  11. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Make sure to maintain the batter’s volume while folding;
  12. it is important to not deflate the batter.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared pan or pans using a spatula to distribute batter evenly.
  1. 20 minutes → 3 x 8-inch pans, always check with a cake tester
  2. 30 minutes for → One springform 9-inch (24cm), always check with a cake tester
  3. Bake the first two cakes on the middle rack of oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs
  4. Let the cakes cool in the pan on wire racks for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper and let cool completely.
  6. Use a sharp knife and scrape away any dark crust on the sides, optional
  7. If you baked this cake in one springform, Cut the cake into 3 even layers.
  8. Place the first cake layer on a silicon mat or parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet that fits into a fridge!
  9. Drizzle the first cake layer with some orange juice, or milk.
  10. Add raspberry jam, use one with a good quality ( homemade = best) with an offset spatula just spread it all over the first cake layer.
  11. Add the vanilla cream, and spread it all out on the first layer.
  12. Add whipped cream, with an offset spatula spread it all over the cake layer.
  13. Add chopped dark chocolate and walnuts.
  14. And add fruit of your choice, I used mango, banana, strawberries, raspberries.
  15. Add a little more cream on top, so the next cake layer stays in place.
  16. Place the second layer on top, If you have packed your cake with loads of yumminess, it might come out on the side.
  17. If that happens just take your offset spatula and lift the cake layer and push it in the cake.
  18. Repeat the same thing as the first cake layer.
  19. Put a cake collar ( that´s a plastic film for assembling cakes used inside the cake ring, and place a cake ring around the cake.
  20. Add the last layer, leave it in the fridge some hours to firm up.
  21. Decorate the cake with some more whipped cream and if you wish to decorate the top with some more fresh fruit!
  22. Hope you are going to love it, with love from Norway.
At Home with Rebecka
Now it’s your turn to bake your “Master or Disaster” piece and post a photo of your completed dish to the Woobox link below by July 15, 2018 Midnight CST.


For a list of 6 handpicked recipes and the Official Rules click HERE

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

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 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?


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


Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocca Meringues Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Meringues Ice Cream Cake by Manuela Kjeilen  All photos curtesy of 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.


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)
  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
  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!
  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

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

Mother’s Day Favorite Recipes: Oyster Stew, Homemade Oyster Crackers and Divinity

Mothers Day is the perfect opportunity for me to share some delicious food memories with you, by recreating three of my mother’s favorite dishes.


Oyster Stew, Homemade Oyster Crackers and Divinity. 

Mother's Day Oyster Stew

Mom, aka Anne, was a masterful home cook. She was always eager to try new and unusual foods, way before they were popular or trendy. Garden to table, her recipes were inventive and delicious. I still remember her fried squash blossoms with a fresh-cut garden salad, sweet hand-picked cherry tomatoes tossed with tender blue sorrel blossoms and spicy chives, all dressed in sweet vinaigrette.

The main dish served with this tasty garden salad was her sumptuous oyster stew. At first, I was a fearful to try the oysters, so I just ate the savory broth with a big helping of oyster crackers. A few years later, I finally master the eating of the slippery bivalve mollusks, floating around in the hot broth; they were delicious.

For dessert, mom made Divinity. I love all that pillowy sweetness and still make them for my family to enjoy. Surprisingly, they are a cinch to make. Generally classified as a candy, fudge and sometimes used in a candy roll, Divinity is similar to nougat, but lighter in texture; a cloud of soft sweetness with a pecan crunch. I guarantee this easy made candy will satisfy your biggest sweet tooth!

Retired from the kitchen, mom has left preparation of holiday and big family meals to me and my three brothers. This is a torch I’m happy to share with future generations.


Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy these favorite Mother’s Day recipes:


Homemade Oyster Crackers

Oyster Crackers
Yields 12
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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
50 min
  1. 1 1/2 cups sifted flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
  5. 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  6. 1 tablespoons cold water
  7. 1/4 cup plus 3-4 tablespoons cold milk
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and cold butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and pulse until well combined. Mixture will look like coarse sand
  3. In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon cold water. Add yeast and stir slightly with a wooden spoon. Rest mixture for 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining 1/4 cup milk and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and blend until dough forms a ball. Allow the dough to rest 15 minutes at room temperature
  5. Roll dough out onto a well floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cut rounds using the large pastry tip or other small circular cutter
  6. Cover ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper, place dough rounds 1/4 - 1/8 inch apart.
  7. Bake crackers for 10-15 minutes checking for doneness at 10 minutes. Gently shake the cookie sheet to flip crackers for even browning, sprinkle with additional sea salt to taste and continue cooking until lightly golden browned.
At Home with Rebecka

Oyster Stew

Mom's Oyster Stew
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  1. 2-8 ounce cans premium oysters in water or 1-1/2 dozen fresh oysters
  2. 1/2 cup white onion chopped
  3. 1/2 cup celery chopped
  4. 3 cups half and half
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1/4 cup sherry
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  8. Butter
  9. 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan heat olive oil, add chopped onion and celery and cook until onions are translucent
  2. Add oysters and liqueur to saucepan and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Reduce heat slightly and add half and half, stir to combine
  4. Gently cook stew for 20 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle a small amount of sherry over each bowl of stew and garnish with parsley, a dollop of butter
  7. Serve with oyster crackers
  1. Optional: add the oyster liquid, half and half and water to cooked onion and celery, reserve oysters and set aside until ready to use. Cook broth on medium heat to a soft boil. In small batches, purée the liquid and vegetables until smooth. Return liquid to stock pot, add oysters and heat to soft boil.
Adapted from Anne Stone
Adapted from Anne Stone
At Home with Rebecka

Finally for dessert; my mother’s favorite…Divinity

Mother's Day Divinity Recipe

Yields 1
Generally classified as a candy, fudge and sometimes used in a candy roll, Divinity is similar to nougat but lighter in texture; a cloud of soft sweetness with a pecan crunch. I guarantee this simply made candy will satisfy your biggest sweet tooth!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
  1. 3 cups granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  3. 2/3 cup warm water
  4. 2 egg whites
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 1 cup chopped pecans or almonds
  1. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and spraying the paper with cooking spray
  2. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.
  3. Continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, firm ball stage.
  4. While sugar mixture is cooking, beat egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Slowly pour about half of the sugar mixture into the egg whites constantly beating on low spread
  5. Place saucepan back on burner and continue cooking until it reaches 270 degrees, soft crack stage
  6. Stream remaining mixture into egg whites constantly beating on low spread until all the mixture is incorporated.
  7. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture holds it's shape
  8. mix in vanilla and almond extracts and nuts until well combined
  9. Use 2 teaspoons, one to push the mixture from the other. Drop teaspoonful onto cookie sheet, let cool
  10. Divinity can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
  1. Divinity is a bit tricky when attempted in damp condition. Save this recipe for a sunny dry day.
Adapted from Anne Stone
Adapted from Anne Stone
At Home with Rebecka
Mom, thank you for teaching me how to eat and cook well and for all you’ve done for our family over the years! Love you♥Happy Mother’s Day!!
Please take a moment and stop by Roti n Rice for my recipes and guest post. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!!


Holiday Recipe Exchange and Linky Party

To celebrate the Christmas season, At Home with Rebecka would like to invite you to share your favorite Holiday Recipes.

This is an anything goes Link up so, share your most delectable appetizers, entrees, side dish, desserts and festive cocktail recipes.

We’re pulling out all the stops to make this Linky Party Rock!!

I’ll start by sharing a few of my Holiday favorites!

Easy Caramel Apples and Salted Caramel Squares


I learned to make homemade caramel in my mother’s kitchen when I was very young, and have used and adapted her recipe many times over the years.  My first few attempts at making caramel without my mom helping resulted in either over cooked and burnt caramel or an undercooked runny mess.

This recipe is simple and takes most of the worry of the equation.  If you’ve never made caramel before this recipe is pretty close to foolproof.  Simply made; all the ingredients get dumped into the pan at the same time, all you need from there is a kitchen timer and a candy thermometer.  The most delicious and easy caramel I’ve ever made, this recipe proved perfect for caramel apples. I can’t wait to try  this it out when making popcorn balls and caramel corn.

Easy Caramel Apples and Salted Caramel Squares

Recipe Type: Dessert, Candy



For Salted Caramel Squares:

Pour caramel into a rimmed cookie sheet that has been lightly buttered, cool completely, cut into 2×2 inch squares, top each square with a pinch of sea salt and wrap in waxed paper, twist to seal ends.


Similar recipes you might like to try…

Caramel Sauce Recipe with Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Tamales with PHILLY Caramel and Reposado Cinnamon Crema

Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce


Christmas Cookie Exchange-Linky Party

Welcome to my 2011 Christmas Cookie Exchange-Linky Party!

I’m looking for your best cookie recipes this Holiday season! 

Link as many of your favorite recipes and photos on the linky below…

Drop Cookies, Cookie Bars, Cutout Cookies, Sliced or Shaped Cookies or any special holiday confection you want to share.

The only requirement for this linky party is to share a link back to my site in a blog post for your recipe.  Write a new post or feel free to share recipes from your archive. 

Tis the season to be baking cookies….tell your friends to stop by and link up too!

This year I’m on a quest to find the perfect sugar cookie.   I found my first experimental recipe of the season in one of my collector cook books; Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, 1963 Edition. 

The flavor of the cookie was right on the button with a crunchy cookie texture.   The dough was easy to handle but the finished product was a bit rough which made decorating a bit sketchy.  I enjoyed this recipe but would like to find a more tender dough.

Ethel’s Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (part butter or margarine)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, blend together.  Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut shapes with cookie cutter or press 1 tablespoon dough with tines of fork, sprinkle with sugar. Bake 6-8 minutes or until cookies are delicate golden color
makes about 4 dozen

Homemade Butterfinger Bars

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Steph from Plain Chicken, I’ve just had the pleasure of cooking and eating one of the best confections I’ve ever tasted!  I was sceptical at first but this simple recipe blew me away with flavor almost exactly like a butterfinger candy bar. 

Who knew that mixing candy corn with peanut butter would replicate almost the exact flavor of the store bought version.  The only real difference between the Butterfinger candy bar and this recipe is the texture. The homemade version has a smoother consistency that refuses to get stuck on your teeth unlike it’s candy bar cousin.  I have to admit that I like this version better based on that criteria alone. 

One important note…this sweet confection is begging for a tall glass of cold milk or a nice hot cup of Earl Grey tea!

I didn’t have chocolate candy coating in my pantry so I made a few changes to Steph’s recipe and I’m happy to say the substitutions were successful! 

I’ll be posting Stephs recipe as well as mine so you can try them out to see which version you prefer. Also, you can visit Plain Chicken to view Steph’s recipe and blog.

At Home with Rebecka-Homemade Butterfinger Bars

22 ounce bag (4 cups) Candy Corn
48 ounces (5 cups) chunky peanut butter
2 cups Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
11.5 ounces (2cups) milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Steph’s Recipe from The Taste of Home forums
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1 lb candy corn (6 ounces)
16 ounce jar creamy peanut butter
16 ounce package chocolate candy coating

  • Melt candy corn in a microwave safe bowl on high for 1 minute.  Stir and continue microwaving in 15-30 second intervals. Stirring after each interval.  Stir in peanut butter and mix well to combined.  If needed, microwave mixture for 30 seconds to help the blending process.

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet.  Cool completely.  Cut into 2 x 3 inch bars. 

  • Melt chocolate in large microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and continue microwaving chocolate in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring after each interval.  Dip each bar in melted chocolate, allow excess to drain slightly. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set.  Store in airtight containers, at room temperature for up to a week. ENJOY!

One, Two, Three Creamy Fudge Recipe

This three ingredient, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge recipe, is not only easy to make but the creamiest, tasty fudge you’ll ever eat!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes |
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
|Servings: 24
  • 1 10 ounce Tub Original Kraft Cooking Creme
  • 1 16 ounce Tub Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 2 cup(s) of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp. of butter for greasing pan
  1. spoon prepared frosting into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, in another microwave safe bowl add peanut butter and microwave on high for 1 minute, blend both ingredients together and add 1 tub Original Flavor Kraft Cooking Creme until smooth about 1 minute, pour mixture into a buttered 8×8 or 9×9 pan cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight .
  2. Remove from refrigerator and cut into 1 inch by 1 inch squares, serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 1 week

Habanero Honey Peanut Brittle

I drew my inspiration for this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, girlichef!   Her recipe for Habanero Honey looked so amazing and I love spicy foods so, the logical course of action was to make some for my kitchen pantry!  My only problem was thinking of how to use the darn stuff after making it.  You see…it could peel the paint off the walls!! 

Just a whiff from the jar and I could feel the heat from the chili in my throat!  It looked so inviting and without hesitation, I stuck my finger in the jar for a little taste!!  Holy Crap!! I got some really spicy stuff in that jar!!   Thank God, I didn’t stick my finger in my eye after I licked it!!

After a few moments and a few tissues, I recovered.  I love spicy foods, the kind that bring that “burn so good” feeling to your mouth!  This honey certainly did the trick, it’s just a little too spicy by itself. 

My husband loves peanut brittle so I made my first batch two nights ago and just about cooked it to death….as you’ll see in the picture below.  However, it got me thinking about girlichef’s Habanero Honey and how tasty it might be added to the peanut brittle. 

Lord in the Heavens!! It’s the best peanut brittle I’ve ever made or tasted…don’t mind me while I toot my horn!  The famous combination of sweet and salty with the blazing hot chili was smashing!!

You can substitute Scotch Bonnet Peppers…which to me, are almost the same thing as Habanero but grown in different regions, honestly, I can’t tell the difference. Side
Notes: Test for thermometer inaccuracies:
To test your candy thermometer, place in a saucepan full of tap water, at sea level it should reach 212 degrees F. at the hard boil stage. If it reads above or below the number make adjustments in your cooking times. Most recipes are based on sea level measure. For higher altitudes subtract 1 degree F. for every listed temperature for each 500 feet above sea level.For the cold water test; before adding the peanuts, and after the thermometer reads 310 F. place a few drops of hot liquid in a cup of ice-cold water, wait a few seconds, the candy should hard and crack when broken. Be careful not to burn your fingers when testing the hot liquid.

Recipe Habanero Peanut Brittle
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For the Brittle
  1. 1 cup raw peanuts
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup Karo Syrup
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 1/4 cup Habanero Honey (recipe below)
  6. 1 tablespoon salted butter
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 candy thermometer
  9. Prepare a non stick cookie sheet with butter or vegetable spray, set aside
Recipe Habanero Honey
  1. 10-12 Habanero peppers
  2. 2-3 Cups Honey
  3. Pretty jar with an air tight cover
  4. Gloves
  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, mix sugar, Karo syrup, water and Habanero Honey together until just blended, place the candy thermometer into the saucepan and bring mixture to a rolling boil.
  2. Don't stir the mixture! It will take 25-30 minutes to reach the hard crack stage or 302-310 degrees F. on the candy thermometer.
  3. When the candy thermometer reads 250 degrees or soft ball stage
  4. 1. add the peanuts,
  5. 2. cook until the thermometer reaches 302 - 310 F degrees or hard crack stage,
  6. 3. remove from heat,
  7. 4. add butter and stir to blend,
  8. add baking soda.
  9. Remember to use a wooden spoon to stir the hot syrup or you'll melt your spatula like I did !  Duh!
  10. The baking soda will make the mixture froth and double in size, stir for about 30 seconds then...
  11. Pour the syrup out onto a prepared baking sheet, spread into a thin layer and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, break the hardened brittle into pieces,  store in an airtight container.
Directions For the Habanero Honey
  1. Thinly slice the Habanero and place in the jar, pour honey over to cover the chilies and let them steep at room temperature. The chilies will expel their juice and oils so you must stir the mix a few times during the steeping process. Mixture ripens over time however, can be used immediately.
  2. Honey is a natural preservative and will keep the chilies preserved at room temperature indefinitely.
  1. The last few minutes are crucial when making brittle. (300 degrees F to 310 F.) It's best to stay with the hot liquid watching carefully not to burn the mixture. Sometimes wet weather can play a role in candy making, as well as rapid barometric pressure change. The science of candy making can get real tricky. The best way to get the desired hard crack is to make the recipe several times allowing for more cooking time, and do a cold water test. Most of all…don't get discouraged if your brittle doesn't turn out the first time.
At Home with Rebecka



habenero honey peanut brittle before cooking


habenero honey boiling


habenero peanut brittle wsoda


habenero honey peanut brittle on baking sheet




Here’s a photo of my “almost burnt peanut brittle” from my first batch…the over cooked, darker brittle is the one in back…it was still tasty but I prefer the  taste of brittle that has less color.  Luckily, my husband likes it either way and the first batch will not go to waste!

I was very pleased with the spicy, sweet peanut brittle! However,  I ate more than I should and had a raging sugar high for a few hours.
Another Habanero Honey recipe I’d like to try is, pan seared scallops in garlic brown butter and Habanero honey drizzled over…yum!  Or maybe I’ll just pour the honey over a brick of cream cheese and eat it with crackers.  
Check out girl chef’s recipe for homemade Mizithra cheese and crackers with her Habanero Honey!  It’s a must have for any kitchen pantry!!




Giada’s Homemade Orange Marshmallows


Marshmallow Recipe
I’ve never tried making homemade marshmallows before because I’ve always thought they would be to difficult to make.   I heart Cooking Clubs: Kids at Heart was my inspiration to throw caution to the wind and make these fluffy confections with my kids. 

First, let me give you a little background on  I Heart Cooking Clubs. This club is a stress-free cooking club with a revolving roster of chefs.

Every six months, a new chef is chosen out of a line up of 4-5 well known culinary aficionados.  This round club members will be cooking from Giada De Laurentiis‘s repertoire. Each week a theme is chosen and anyone interested in participating can link a recipe that fits that weeks theme. 
“This cooking club aims to grow and change with its members and explore other cooks and books in the future.”Click here for more…The blogroll is filled with an array of food bloggers and chefs.  Stop by the site to learn more, and become a part of this wonderful cooking club.
Giada De Laurentis:  I admire her professionalism and her effortless way behind the camera, she has such a easy manner in the kitchen and her happy spirit is contagious. 

Staying true to the theme this week I tackled Giada’s recipe for:
Homemade Orange Marshmallows 

This is a recipe that I’ll be keeping in my kitchen for those cold winter days when we’re all stuck inside and the kids need a “sweet” diversion.

Marshmallow recipe

The kids and I decided to make our marshmallows with orange and lemon flavoring and add a few drops of food coloring.

Orange & Lemon flavored marshmallows

Butter, for greasing the pan
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup water, plus 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons (3 packets) unflavored gelatin
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Giada’s recipe: 1 large orange, zested
My recipe: 1 1/2 teaspoon pure orange or lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Colored decorating sugar
*can be found at cake decorating stores*
Special equipment: a candy thermometer


Butter the bottom and sides of of an 8 by 8-inch straight sided baking pan.  Dust liberally with sifted powdered sugar and set aside. Really…dust very liberally or they will stick to the pan like glue!

Pour 1/2 cup water into bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Sprinkle the gelatin over water and allow to soften, about 10 minutes.

In a 3-quart saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk and 1/4 cup water.  Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 10-12 minutes.  Pour hot syrup over gelatin mixture.  Beat the mixture at low speed until incorporated.  Increase the speed to high and beat until thick, fluffy and triple in volume, about 10-12 minutes.  Beat in orange zest or lemon extract and vanilla extract, add a few drops of food coloring,  mix until combined.  Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface.  Sprinkle with decorating sugar.  Allow the mixture to set, uncovered, in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for at least 8 hours or overnight. Using scissors, dusted with powdered sugar, cut the marshmallows into 1-inch squares. Dip cut sides into powdered sugar to prevent sticking.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

These marshmallows are light and fluffy and really taste like…marshmallows!  I don’t know what else I had expected them to taste like but it felt like  a culinary victory to achieve the real deal!  Creamy and soft, these sweet little morsels would be a perfect accompaniment to any hot drink or just eat them  right out of the bowl like we did!  It made the kid in me happy and you can bet, my kids were doing the happy dance!  Literally!  Sugar high!  Note to self:  Have all sledding stuff ready before making marshmallows…

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 12 minutes
level: Easy…if I can make these anyone can!!
Serves: 6 – 8 

Thanks to Giada for this easy and fun, kid friendly recipe and to I Heart Cooking Clubs for the inspiration!