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!

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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
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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.

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 #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. 

*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 #2

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) 

Manuela's Cream Cake

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) by Manuela Kjeilen. All photos courtesy 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 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

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

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

My Rendition of Manuela’s BLØTEKAKE  NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE

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. 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE) NOTES

  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
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE

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. 

 

BLØTEKAKE ( NORWEGIAN CREAM CAKE)
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
Ingredients
  1. 9- INCH SPRINGFORM
  2. 1 RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  3. 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE (I used about 1 cup)
  4. 1 CUP RASPBERRY JAM
  5. 1 RECIPE VANILLA CREAM
  6. 2 CUPS WHIPPED CREAM
  7. FRESH FRUIT, STRAWBERRIES, RASPBERRIES, MANGO, BANANA
  8. 1 CUP CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE
  9. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS (optional)
  10. FOR DECORATING
  11. 4 CUPS ADDITIONAL WHIPPED CREAM
  12. MORE FRESH FRUIT( OPTIONAL)
RECIPE FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  1. 2 CUPS (500 ML) WHOLE MILK
  2. 1- 2 TEASPOONS VANILLA BEAN PASTE, OR SEEDS OF ONE VANILLA POT
  3. ⅜ CUP (85 G) SUGAR
  4. 4 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH
  5. ¼ TEASPOON SALT
  6. 6 LARGE EGG YOLKS
  7. 3 TABLESPOONS (45 G) CHILLED UNSALTED BUTTER, CUT INTO PIECES
RECIPE FOR SPONGECAKE
  1. 6 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  2. 1 1/4 CUPS (240 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  3. 1 TABLESPOON BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  4. 1 1/2 CUPS (180 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  5. 1/2 CUPS (60 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  6. 1 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
  7. NORWEGIAN SPONGE CAKE ( IF BAKED SEPARATE IN 3 X 8 -INCH BAKING ROUND BAKING TINS) OR IN A 10 INCH SPRINGFORM
  8. 8 LARGE EGGS, ROOM TEMPERATURE
  9. 1 2/3 CUPS (325 GRAM) SUPERFINE OR GRANULATED SUGAR
  10. 2 TABLESPOONS BUTTERMILK OR WATER
  11. 2 CUPS (240 GRAM) ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
  12. 2/3 CUPS (80 GRAM) CORN STARCH, OR POTATO STARCH, SIFTED
  13. 1-2 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN PASTE
Instructions
  1. Start by making the vanilla cream some hours before and put it in the fridge
FOR VANILLA PASTRY CREAM
  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.
FOR SPONGECAKE
  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.
BAKING TIME AND ASSEMBLE
  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 http://athomewithrebecka.com/
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.

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

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



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/

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
 
 
 
 



Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream Recipe {Ice Cream Depot Review}

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream is homemade soft serve ice cream. This soft serve ice cream recipe comes together quickly and easily with the use of a soft serve ice cream machine.

The folks at Ice Cream Depot gifted me one of their World’s First At-Home Automatic Soft Serve Ice Cream Machines to review, right before the holidays. Unfortunately, I had shoulder surgery November 2016, and I’m still suffering with just the use of one arm.

Automatic self-serve ice cream machine, from Ice Cream Depot

Photo courtesy of Ice Cream Depot

Despite the doctors recommendation, I’m feeling well enough to finally post my review of this amazing machine, along with an associated soft serve ice cream recipe, Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream with Homemade Nutty Cinnamon Granola.

My matcha mascarpone ice cream recipe has been submitted to Chef’s Roll Milk Contest

This is my take of food trend predictions for 2017, using milk as an ingredient. My prediction, and many other food trend enthusiasts agree, is that we should be eating ice cream for breakfast!

Making the argument for ice cream at breakfast is simple because it’s delicious, and very nutritious. Matcha mascarpone ice cream is made with whole milk and heavy cream and packed with calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Matcha green tea powder is high in antioxidants, loaded with Catechin, EGCg.  It enhances a sense of calm and boosts memory and concentration, it also increases energy levels, and endurance.

Another crazy fact: Matcha burns calories and detoxifies the body and fortifies the immune system. This nutritious bowl of ice cream is fortified with more protein and fiber by adding homemade granola, made with an assortment of nuts and whole oats.

Mascarpone cheese adds a decadent creaminess to the ice cream, as well as 4 percent of your daily calcium needs. In addition to keeping your bones strong, calcium plays a role in the function of your heart, muscles and nerves, too. Another nutritional plus of mascarpone cheese is the low sodium content. With all the health benefits in a bowl of ice cream, it sounds like a really good choice for breakfast to me.

So skip your morning donut and have some matcha mascarpone ice cream for breakfast. 

About the competition:

Calling all CALIFORNIA Chefs and Cooks – show us your food trend predictions for 2017 using MILK as an ingredient or in a perfect pairing for a chance to win awesome prizes! From the entries, our panel of judges will pick 12 semi-finalists that will win a custom Got Milk Chef Spoon, then 4 finalists will be chosen and receive a special Got Milk apron by Lost Car Chef Apparel. The selected Grand Prize winner will get a $750 KitchenAid Commercial Blender! The contest is NOW OPEN for submissions until January 22nd 10pm PST!

Enter here: http://bit.ly/CRgotmilkcontest

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream

 

My package from the company included 20 soft serve, milkshake and drink mixes! The professional-quality soft serve ice cream maker can make an assortment of frozen yogurt, sherbet and frozen adult beverages, right at home. The good news, the Ice Cream Depot SX1000 Home Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine comes fully assembled, all you need to do is plug it in. It makes batch after batch, in just minutes, with no bowls to freeze. Just pour in your mix, set the timer and walk away. Dispense when you’re ready, it’ll keep your soft serve cold for hours until you’re ready to enjoy.

The machine makes 35 ounces (1.125 quarts) of frozen product (roughly 8-10 soft serve cones). It makes either soft serve, slush drinks, milk shakes or adult beverages, and weighs approximately 45 pounds. It takes up a bit of counter space, but is compact enough to easily store when not in use. 

The first week we had the ice cream maker I had to enlist the help of my husband because of my shoulder. He loves how easy the machine is to use, as well as the ease of using the pre-packaged ice cream mixes. The pre-mixed product is blended with water or milk, resulting in a beautiful creamy soft serve.

We tried all of the flavors over the course of a few weeks. Our favorite flavors are Butter Pecan soft serve, Chocolate soft serve, and Caramel Macchiato Frappe. The big kids love the Margarita mix. The only favor my family doesn’t like is the Strawberry. It is just too sweet, and has an artificial aftertaste.

I was happy to try homemade recipes next and curious to see the difference in homemade versus the pre mixed packets. I was extremely pleased with the result. 

I tried three homemade soft serve ice cream recipes to date, and all of them have turned out beautifully.

My favorite thus far is the matcha mascarpone soft serve, so I’ve chosen to share the recipe with you.  

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream with Home-made Nutty Cinnamon Granola
Serves 6
My take of food trend predictions for 2017 using MILK as an ingredient. Seriously...who wouldn't want to eat ice cream for breakfast?
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the Ice Cream
  1. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  2. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered Matcha
  4. 4 large egg yolks
  5. 3/4 cups sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  6. 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  7. 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  8. pinch salt
For the Granola
  1. 3 cups old-fashioned roll oats
  2. ¾ cup slivered almonds
  3. ½ cup pine nuts
  4. ¼ cup sun flower seeds
  5. ¾ cup crushed pecans
  6. 1 cup dried cranberries
  7. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 5 tablespoons butter
  9. 1/3 cup honey
  10. ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Ice Cream
  1. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar and mix with a handheld mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine milk and cream and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar, bring to a simmer (do not boil). slowly add warm milk to the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Turn heat to medium low and cook stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes) again, do not let the mixture boil. Turn off the heat, add the matcha and mascarpone. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a glass bowl add lemon juice and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Cool over an ice bath for about 30 minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture to aid cooling process. Pour custard into ice cream maker and process per the manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately or transfer soft serve ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm. About 2 hours
For the Granola
  1. Pre heat oven 325 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment
  3. In a large bowl combine oats and nuts. Stir to combine
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt butter with honey. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Spread granola evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes until golden brown. About 20 minutes.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest) I give the Ice Cream Depot SX1000 Home Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine a 10! I really love this machine! Thank you Ice Cream Depot for gifting me the machine for review. I’ll be using it for upcoming Birthday parties, office gatherings, anniversaries, ice cream socials. My family and friends are going to love it too!

Ice Cream Depot has generously offered a personalized discount code for At Home with Rebecka blog subscribers ‘ATHOME50’ Visit their website and SAVE $50 on your purchase of an Ice Cream Depot machine.

Here’s another fun idea: make Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream Sandwiches…YUMMY!

Matcha Mascarpone Ice Cream Sandwiches

Another delicious ice cream recipe to try:

Citrus Mint Sherbet No Churn Ice Cream




Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Winning Recipes

Food network Clash of the Grandmas RebecKa Evans Photo courtesy of Food Network

Food Network Clash of the Grandmas Rebecka Evans-Photo courtesy of Food Network

I’m happy to say that my Food Network debut went better that I could have ever expected. Four grandams battled it out on Food Networks new Holiday series “Clash of the Grandmas” and I took home the First Place win and 10K Grand Prize with my Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice cream Sandwich.

Hosted by Cameron Mathison, Holiday-Themed Cooking Battles
Begin Sunday, November 13th at 10pm ET/PT
NEW YORK – October 13, 2016 – Grannies with top-notch cooking skills kick off Food Network’s holiday season with the six-episode primetime competition series Clash of the Grandmas, premiering Sunday, November 13th at 10pm (all times ET/PT). In each episode, host Cameron Mathison welcomes four grandma super-cooks to the kitchen – but only one emerges as the $10,000 winner. From Thanksgiving stuffing transformations and savory hand-held mac and cheese creations to decadent desserts, these grandmas are reinventing dishes with masterful home-cooking skills.” 

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice-cream Sandwich.

Mexican Biscochito Cookie with Cinnamon Tequila Ice Cream Sandwich. Recipe by Rebecka Evans. Photo Courtesy of Food Network

If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would be a competitor on Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas” I would have laughed. It’s been months since I filmed the show and even after winning, I’m still pinching myself in disbelief that it ever really happened.

You may be wondering what it takes for a grandma like me to be a part of Food Network and win 10K. The first hurdle is to make the conscious decision to put yourself out there and audition for the show.  Honestly, I think this is the most difficult decision in the entire process. So many thoughts run through your head as you think about your ability to compete under such stressful circumstances. “Do I have what it takes?” “Can I finish my recipes on time?” “What will I look like on TV?” After working through the anxiety, my competitive nature takes over and I jump headlong into the process.

The next step: Contestants are required to fill out a very long written application, send in head shots, photos and videos of their food, and family, all in hopes of being chosen. After that…the waiting begins. I was surprised when I got a phone call that evening from a talent scout at Triage Entertainment. She introduced herself as a representative from Food Network and told me she was submitting my application to the producers for Clash of the Grandmas! I was ecstatic of course, as I did a little happy dance and maybe even shed a few happy tears. Unfortunately, getting picked for the show doesn’t come that easy, this was just the first step in a very long process.

I spoke to several different producers over the next three weeks; they loved me, but every conversation ended with “You look too young to be on the show.” How am I  supposed to respond to that? I took the news as a compliment, but felt that my grandma status was being overshadowed by an old perception of what grandmas should look like. I guess I’m not your “typical” grandma, but I have a true grandmothers heart. I proudly earned grandma status six years ago with the birth of our first granddaughter, Amber. Since then, we’ve welcomed three more granddaughters: Alexis, Annalee, Norah. We have also welcomed one grandson, Owen into our lives.  They are all precious human beings, that I adore. After speaking to producers throughout the process, I thought my chances of being picked for Food Network’s “Clash of the Grandmas” we’re slim to none! 

My beautiful grand babies Alexis, Annalee, Amber, Norah, and Owen Photo by Rebecka Evans

After waiting several more weeks and going through more interviews, I finally got the coveted final-cut Skype interview! It was my moment to shine, so I prepared several of my favorite recipes for the producers that day. A few weeks later I got the call and they said yes!  The next step sign a contract with Food Network

Crunch time: After all that waiting and hoping, emails and phone calls started to roll in and didn’t slow down until my hotel reservations were booked, my flight was booked, and I was on my way to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Did I mention my hubby got to travel with me? Food Network asked my husband to join me so they could interview him about my cooking skills during the filming of my episode. However, I had a suspicion they might use him for more than just an interview.

Food Network CLASH Rebecka Evans

Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Rebecka Evans (Danville, CA) Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee) Photo courtesy of Food Network

After arriving at the studio, I met the other grandmas. Robin Daumit (Annapolis, Maryland), Cleo Johnson (Houston, Texas), Barbara Mayo (Colliersville, Tennessee). We all took a minute to size each other up while the crew got us into our granny aprons, fixed our makeup and fluffed our hair. It didn’t take long for us to realize how much fun it was going be together on the set the Clash of the Grandmas. These beautiful ladies were talented cooks with big personalities, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Although we were all there to win, it was obvious that each grandmother wanted to represent their families and grandchildren in the best way possible and none of these grandmas we’re going to throw anyone under the bus. 

Finally, with a lot of tenacity and focus mixed with prayers and supplication, I walked into my first television competition without any knowledge of what to expect. It was nerve-racking, amazing, and wonderful.

Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas

Cameron Mathison-food network

Cameron Mathison Emmy-nominated actor and television host is the co-anchor of the most-watched entertainment news program in the world, Entertainment Tonight. Photo courteous of Food Network

The Food Network made the experience shine with our host, Cameron Mathison.  His kindness and fun personality put us all at ease. Not to mention, he’s one good looking man. He treated us grannies with respect and dignity but he didn’t go easy on us when it came to the competition. 

First, the four grannies create handheld versions of mac and cheese to hold the family over until dinner.”

I was sure I’d be sent home the first round after I created and hand-held mac & cheese taco with tequila dipping sauce. I was struggling with the size of my pasta being too big to fit the taco shell just as my tequila sauce burned. I had to make another sauce without having the opportunity to taste it before Cameron announced the cooking time was up. Thank goodness the judges, Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, and Jamika Pessoa liked my dish well enough to send me to the second round. It was great to have some positive feedback heading into the second round.

Next, they have only 30 minutes to make meatloaf for unexpected guests, with the help of unexpected sous chefs: the grandpas!”  FULL VIDEO HERE

Best sous chef EVER! Photo courteous of Food Network

I was happy to hear meatloaf dinner was our challenge for the next round and felt very confident until Cameron announced he had a surprise group of sous chefs waiting in the wings. Our husbands walked onto the set and there was my man wearing an apron! I suspected something like this might happen when Food Network asked that he travel with me to the show. By the looks on their faces, the other grandmas were really in shock, however due to the fact I know my husband’s picky palate and that we work well together, I was not as overwhelmed. I made my Blackberry Hoisin Meatloaf with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus.  I put Blake in charge of making the potatoes while I focused on the meatloaf. He was the perfect sous and assisted me so well, I made it to the final round. 

Then, the final two grandmas try to freeze out the competition by producing an ice cream sandwich worthy of the $10,000 prize using liquid nitrogen.”

Rocking the goggles using liquid nitrogen. Photo courteous of Food Network

Making it to the final round was beyond my comprehension. I was competing for $10,000 and I was also about to experience cooking with liquid nitrogen for the first time in my life. I was exhilarated about the opportunity to get my hands on the liquid nitrogen and found myself feeling like a kid in a candy store. Gloves check, goggles check, liquid nitrogen check! I was having so much fun with the liquid nitrogen, I got carried away and over froze my ice cream. I had to warm it up bit in the oven to release it from the sides of the mixing bowl. Despite that one set-back, my last recipe went off without a hitch and the judges loved it.

Rebecka Evans and Barbara Mayo The last two standing. Photo courteous of the Food Network

Clash of the Grandmas – the winner is…

The final decision with my competitor Barbara Mayo.  We both stood hopeful to be the top winner and yet thrilled for the other grandma if she wins. There’s nothing better than true camaraderie between competitors. Barbara created a delicious goat cheese and basil ice cream sandwich with lemon cookies. I got the chance to taste the ice cream before we went to the judging table. The flavors were delicious and creamy and by any account, a winning dish. I believed it would be her name they called in the final moment; yet however, with Gods good favor,  fate, or just plain good cooking, Cameron announced me as the winner. 

Food network Clash of the Grandmas

I WON!  Photo courtesy of Food Network

Mexican Sugar Cookies

Heirloom Mexican Sugar Cookie Recipe Food and Photo by Rebecka Evans

My winning recipe: Mexican Biscochito Ice cream Sandwiches with Cinnamon Infused Tequila Ice Cream made with liquid nitrogen!

Biscochitos -Mexican Sugar Cookies are a Holiday tradition in my family. The are a crispy butter or lard based cookie flavored with anise and cinnamon. It was developed by residents of New Mexico over the centuries from the first Spanish colonists of New Mexico.

The recipe for making the cookie has been greatly influenced not only by local and indigenous customs, but also by recipes brought to New Mexico by immigrants from other Hispanic countries. It is served during special celebrations, such as wedding receptions, baptisms, and religious holidays (especially during the Christmas season).  Source: Wikipedia

You can find my family recipe for Mexican Biscochito cookies posted on At Home with Rebecka  December 2010 HERE. Due to my contract with the network, I’m unable to share the full recipe for my winning ice cream sandwich. You can make your own version using store-bought ice cream as the filling. It may not be exactly the same as on the show but I can guarantee they will be delicious.

Clash of the Grandmas video links and memorable moments

REBECKA’S FLAMBE

GRANNIE’S 10 Rules for Great Cooking

Clash of the Grandmas Schedule and air dates

Unofficial full length youtube video Standard Youtube License.

Tune in for the final episode of Clash of the Grandmas and watch my friend Ally Phillips in “Grandmas World Tour” Sun, December 18, 10|9c Read more at:

A special thanks to Food Network, Producers, Staff, Cameron Mathison, and Judges: Eddie Jackson, Brandi Milloy, Jamika Pessoa




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




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
Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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 http://athomewithrebecka.com/


Oyster Stew

Mom's Oyster Stew
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Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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
Notes
  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 http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

Finally for dessert; my mother’s favorite…Divinity

Mother's Day Divinity Recipe

Divinity
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
Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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
Notes
  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 http://athomewithrebecka.com/
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!!

 




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.




Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015 – The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off

The Great Garlic Cook-Off Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The Gilroy Garlic Festival just celebrated its 37 year with the third annual Great Garlic Cook-Off.  I had the pleasure of attending the event where I met up with several of my foodie friends for the very first time. It was the most competitive garlic cook off  the event has ever seen.

Eight home cooks vied for the coveted title, Garlic Queen/King, cooking some very impressive dishes for the five celebrity judges; Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef, Smokey Bones BBQ, Jason Lavinsky, Executive Chef, Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf, Adam Sanchez – The Milias Restaurant, Bryan Martinez, Executive Chef, Raley’s, and Carl Stewart, Executive Chef, Raley’s. Master of Ceremonies: Dan Green, Kate Callaghan & Wendy Brodie, HAAC, Executive Chef.

Contestants, Jodi Taffel, Lauren Katz, Tresa Hargrove, Merry Graham, Sherri Williams, Gloria Bradley, Loanne Chiu and Margee Berry, wowed the audience and judges with their garlic infused recipes. The outdoor stage was set with two jumbo-trons giving spectators a birds-eye view of all the cooking action. The air was filled with mouthwatering aromas of charred meats and my favorite kitchen staple, garlic.  Once the smoke settled, the judges crowned Jodi Taffel, first place for her stunning breakfast dish, Shashuka with Deep Fried Garlic. Second place went to Lauren Katz with her Glazed Garlic-Buttermilk Fried chicken and Savory Waffled grits. Third Place went to Tresa Hargrove for her, Chipotle Cilantro Chimichurri Steak on Enchiladas with Roasted Salsa Verde.

I became friends with Tresa, Sherri and Merry, five years ago over our shared interest in food competitions, and Facebook groups. What a pleasure for me to finally meet them all in person as well as, the other competitors. Making new friends and sharing this special day with my fellow foodies was a true blessing.

The day was made more enjoyable hanging out with my dear friend Nancy Judd, winner of the 2013 World Food Championships, Dessert category, and contestant on Chopped Grandma’s.  She and I cooked together in my home during the Real Women of Philadelphia-Cooks Across America-Colorado Cooks video promotion. To see more from that event, watch our Youtube video HERE and HERE.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t chosen to compete with my Benedict Florentine with Roasted Garlic Hollandaise and Garlic Basil Oil this year, but I hope to be on stage at next years competition, cooking alongside my friends. 

Gilroy Garlic Festival Eggs Benedict

 

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri and Nancy

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams, Rebecka Evans, Nancy Judd, Jodi Taffel, Merry Graham and Lauren Katz

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Lady Nann and her man

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

THE WINNER! Jodi Taffel

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

The top THREE Jodi, Lauren and Tresa

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Waiting for the big announcement

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Selfies with Nancy and Rebecka

Winner Circle

Gilroy Garlic Garlic Festival 2015

Sherri Williams and Merry Graham

 

Gilroy Garlic Festival 2015

Rebecka Evans, The Garlic Man, Nancy Judd




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

 




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




Triple Lemon Tart

Triple lemon tart is a delicious and easy summer dessert. Layers of tart lemon curd and lemon pudding nestled into a flaky crust, with a topping of freshly whipped cream.  TLTedited

After making Paleo Lemon Curd several days ago, I was inspired to create another sweet, lemony dessert; Triple Lemon Tart. The tart lemon curd layered with fresh lemon pudding, and fresh whipped lemon cream, was incredible.

 If you’d like to save time with preparation, make both the lemon curd and pudding the day before and assemble the following night with lemon whipped cream.  

I hope you like this triple lemon tart recipe as much as we do.

Triple Lemon Tart
Serves 6
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the Lemon Pudding
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 7 Tablespoons cornstarch
  3. Dash if salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups water
  5. 3 egg yolks, beaten
  6. 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  7. 2 Tablespoons butter
  8. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  9. 1 9 inch prepared pie crust
For the Lemon Curd
  1. 3 lemons
  2. 1 1/2 cups raw honey (after tasting the lemon curd, I would reduce the honey to 1 cup)
  3. 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil (melt in microwave before cooking)
  4. 4 extra large eggs
  5. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used Himalayan Sea Salt)
  7. Refrigerate until ready to use
  8. 1 prepackaged pie crust
For the Lemon Whipped Cream
  1. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 cup lemon curd
  4. Zest from 1/2 lemon, about 1 teaspoon
Directions for the Pudding
  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix well.
  2. Stir in water
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stirring constantly
  4. Cook until mixture thickens, stir constantly for about 5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Slowly stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks to temper the eggs before adding them back to the heated sugar mixture
  7. Bring back up to heat, stirring constantly (some recipes require the mixture be brought back up to a boil, but I find it's not necessary)
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Stir in lemon peel and butter
  10. Slowly add the lemon juice until well combined and mixture is thick and shiny
  11. Refrigerate until ready to assemble
Directions for the Lemon Curd
  1. Remove zest from all the lemons with a grater and place zest and honey in a food processor. Process until smooth
  2. Add liquid coconut oil and process additional 1-2 minutes
  3. Add one egg at a time, process for 30 seconds after each addition
  4. Add lemon juice and salt and process
  5. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 10-15 minutes
  6. Allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator until ready to use
Directions for the Lemon Whipped Cream
  1. Whip heavy cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form, add powdered sugar and whip additional few seconds to combine, fold 1/4 cup lemon curd and lemon zest into whipped cream
  2. Chill until ready to assemble
To Assemble Pie
  1. Step 1: Line a 9 inch tart pan with the pie crust, cut excess crust from rim or crimp
  2. Poke several hole in the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. until light golden brown, about 8 minutes, remove and set aside
  4. Step 2: Spread 1 1/2 cups lemon curd over the bottom of the baked pie shell
  5. Step 3: Spread 1 1/2 cups lemon pudding over the lemon curd to form second layer
  6. Step 4: Spread lemon whipped cream over the top of pie, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, refrigerate for t least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. This pie has a lot of steps but is well worth the effort. Every bite is delicious, lemony tart, and sweet! I know you're going to love it!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

 

Triple lemon tart is a delicious and easy summer dessert. Layers of tart lemon curd and lemon pudding nestled into a flaky crust, with a topping of freshly whipped cream. 

 Triple Lemon Tart

Triple lemon tart is a delicious and easy summer dessert. Layers of tart lemon curd and lemon pudding nestled into a flaky crust, with a topping of freshly whipped cream. 

Other delicious recipes using fresh lemons:

Preserved Meyer Lemons Recipe

Warm Preserved Lemon Curry Macaroni Salad with Turmeric




Sweet Strawberry Biscuits with Macerated Strawberries and Rhubarb Compote {Strawberry Shortcake}

Sweet strawberry shortcake starts with tender biscuits, infused with fresh strawberry puree. The addition of rhubarb compote gives this dessert a wonderful tart-sweet flavor.

Sweet Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits

I’m not as skilled a baker as I would like, so when I decided to create a new recipe for sweet strawberry shortcake, I was feeling a little apprehensive. Despite my worries, I forged ahead hoping my shortcake biscuits would marry well with the addition of strawberry purée. 

The recipe creation proved one of the best experiments I’ve ever attempted. With a few measurement adjustments of flour vs liquid, the sweet flesh of the berries blended into the batter before baking worked perfectly.

I substituted heavy cream instead of milk or half and half, and added a few tablespoons of the strawberry liquid/syrup to the batter. 

I went a step further with my new recipe by adding a hot rhubarb compote.

The combination of sweet tart rhubarb, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream blends perfectly with the tender strawberry shortcake biscuits.

Sweet Strawberry Shortcake made with rhubarb compote for a sweet-tart flavor.

The sweet strawberry shortcake biscuits would be delicious for breakfast or brunch, served with jelly or lemon curd. Or even better, serve them for High Tea slathered in Devonshire cream. 

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits

Sweet Strawberry Biscuits with Macerated Strawberries and Rhubarb Compote aka Strawberry Shortcakes
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 cups flour
  2. plus 1/4 cup flour for rolling surface
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  5. 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  6. 1 stick cold butter (1/2 cup)
  7. 1 1/3 cup heavy whip cream
  8. 1/3 cup macerated strawberries (see strawberry preparation below)
  9. 1/4 cup strawberry liquid/syrup
  10. Additional: 1 cup heavy whip cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  11. for serving
For The Macerated Strawberries
  1. 3 cups sliced strawberries
  2. 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 ounce Cointreau liqueur (optional)
For the Rhubarb Compote
  1. 3 cups sliced rhubarb
  2. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 lemon juiced
  4. 1 ounce Cointreau Liqueur (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place rack on lowest position
Macerated Strawberries
  1. Wash and slice strawberries
  2. Pour lemon juice, Cointreau and sugar over the berries, mix well and set aside at room temperature
Shortcakes
  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Cut in cold butter until flour resembles coarse sand
  3. Combine 1/3 cup macerated strawberries, 1 1/3 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup strawberry liquid, cointreau in a food processor
  4. Pulse until just blended
  5. Stir liquid into dry ingredients until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, add more liquid if dough is too dry
  6. Pour additional 1/4 cup of flour onto cleaned surface and dump dough onto the flour
  7. Gently turn dough until all sides are covered in flour
  8. Knead by gently rubbing the dough into the flour, turning 6-10 times (do not overwork the dough)
  9. Pat the dough into a 1 inch slab
  10. Cut into rounds with a sharp biscuit cutter, scrape scraps together to make more biscuits
  11. Place biscuits 1/2 inch apart on an insulated cookie sheet (layer two regular sheets if you dont have an insulated sheet)
  12. Bake in a hot oven for 12-14 minutes or until puffed and sides are golden brown
For the Rhubarb Compote
  1. While biscuits are in the oven, slice cleaned rhubarb
  2. Combine rhubarb and remaining ingredients in a medium heavy bottom saucepan, and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until rhubarb is soft and thickened, about 10 - 12 minutes
  3. Remove biscuits from oven, cool slightly
  4. Whip heavy cream until thickened (firm peaks), add 2 teaspoons strawberry liquid/syrup, and powdered sugar, combine. Refrigerate until ready to use
Notes
  1. To serve: Cut biscuit in half, ladle hot rhubarb compote onto the bottom of serving dish, place bottom layer of biscuit on top of compote, spoon macerated strawberries over biscuit, next spoon whipped cream over strawberries then place biscuit top over the ceram. Finish, with another dollop whip cream, strawberry liquid/syrup and compote over, enjoy!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits infused with macerated strawberries 

Strawberry Shortcake Biscuits

 Strawberry Shortcakes with macerated strawberries and rhubarb compote