Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fluffiest Frosting

This frosting is reminiscent of clouds. It's SO LIGHT AND FLUFFY! And bakers beware, if you are only making a single layer cake, like in a 9x9 inch pan...and you make an WHOLE batch of this frosting, one of two things are going to happen: 1) you have a good bit of frosting hanging out in your fridge when you are finished frosting your cake or 2) you will have a cake heaping with fluffy frosting.
Guess which outcome I choose. My cake was half of this frosting by volume. I figured, why not? Saying it was a bit much is an understatement, but it was good for a few laughs when cutting into it and seeing the surprise on people's faces when they realized half of their slice was frosting.

I really liked this frosting, it has a really mild flavor and isn't too sweet; making it a perfect base for so many flavor opportunities! You can add spices and extracts to match any flavor profile you are working with, and adjust the sweetness to suit your taste.

The heavy cream is what makes this frosting so light and airy, it is whipped (along with the other ingredients) much like you would do to make your own whipped cream. The ingredients don't seem like they will make so much frosting at first, but after all the air is incorporated, the mixture will double in size.

This is definitely one of the more interesting frostings I have made, even though this version's flavor was plain, the texture was unique. Could you imagine adding some cocoa powder? Chocolate-y clouds of frosting. Yum!
Oh, and I bet you could use full fat coconut milk instead of the whipping cream and maybe even Cashew Cream Cheese for a vegan version. Ohhh.. cocoa and coconut!... pure decadence. Okay, I have to stop now before I bake another cake. Here's the recipe.

8 oz plain cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar (more or less depending on tastes)
2 t vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Add the cream (I slowly added it in three batches), using a mixer, start mixing at a lower speed and work your way up until the frosting resembles whipped cream and stiff peaks form.

Recipe adapted from here.

What's your favorite cake-frosting flavor combo?

I have always LOVED banana cake with cream cheese frosting. In fact, a banana cake is what this recipe was tested out on, and that recipe will be up on this blog soon, so report back for that update!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Protein-Packed Oatmeal

I love oatmeal...period. It's a simple sentence, but it says all it needs to say. I'll eat it at any time of day, any way. This probably isn't a new concept, because oatmeal is such a staple in many people's diet. It is healthy, filling, and above all else...easy. It's quick to make and quite affordable.
I've become quite creative with my oatmeal add-ins throughout my college career. Eating in the same caf, with the same food evokes one to get creative with what is available. A few concoctions have elicited brows to be raised by my friends (maybe we'll get into that later), so when I was surprised by one of my roommate's favorite ways to eat oatmeal, I was truly shocked I had never thought of it.
She added a scoop of protein powder to her warm bowl of oats! Genius! Not only will this bowl of oats fill you up, it will keep you full! And as an added bonus, you can switch up the flavors and be okay with having a bowl of chocolate for breakfast!
Of course, after learning of this I have made quite a few variations, but my absolute favorite is the tried and true chocolate!
This isn't really a recipe so much as it is a guideline...add protein powder to oatmeal...BUT I'm going to write a recipe out anyway. Feel free to change quantities and ingredients how you see fit!

I like it so much, it's not just a dorm-room staple. Now that it's summer and I'm not in the dorms, I still make this frequently. It's great after  a work out too.

Protein-Packed Oatmeal
1/2 Cup oatmeal (GF)
1 cup water or almond/soy/milk, extra as needed
1 scoop favorite protein powder

add ins: chocolate chips (because you can never have enough chocolate), cocoa nibs (seen in photos), cocoa powder, berries (of course!), unsweetened coconut, walnuts/almonds and the like, ohhh....any nut-butter of choice. <- This would just taste like a favorite chocolate-covered peanut butter cup of mine.

1. Combine oatmeal and liquid and cook using method of choice, in a microwave or over the stove. Heat until the liquid is absorbed and the oats are cooked through.
2. Transfer cooked oats to a bowl (only if you used the stove), and stir in your protein powder until thoroughly combined.
3. Add additional water if the consistency is too thick.
4. Sprinkle with optional toppings and enjoy!

Do you use protein powder? What do you put it in?
Cheers,      Suzy

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blueberry Buckles and other Fruity Things

Something I have realized over my casual culinary career, that never ceases to surprise me, is how good fresh fruit and brown sugar taste together.  If a recipe calls for those two things it probably won't be bad. I love baking fruity desserts, and I was surprised when I realized how few (read: zero) I had on this blog. BUT this is about to change my friends because, this Blueberry Buckle encompasses both fresh fruit and brown sugar, and it tastes amazing (I already tested it for you,  no guess work on this recipe!).

A buckle  is similar to coffee cake with fruit baked in the cake batter and topped with a sugar-y cinnamon-y topping. After the buckle is baked, the cake can be seen through cracks made by the topping, and it looks as though the entire cake itself had buckled. This is one theory behind why this delicious dessert is called a buckle, but whatever you call it, I'd eat it.
 I served this dessert along side freshly whipped cream and a Bursting Blueberry Compote, because more blueberries is never a bad thing. Serve this to some favorite company on a temperate summer evening, and I can guarantee you will have a good afternoon in the making.

Blueberry Buckle

Yeild: 1 9x9 inch dish (~9 portions)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter of choice (I use a yogurt butter from a tub)
1 large egg (or egg substitute)
1/2 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup Plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 cups GF flour blend:
       1/2 cup tapioca starch*
       1/2 cup brown rice flour*
       1 cup sorghum
       (optional) 1 t xanthan gum
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 cups blueberries (both fresh and frozen work, you could even try raspberries or your favorite fruit!)

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup GF flour (brown rice)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter of choice

1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F, and butter (and sugar-coat) the edges of a 9x9 inch pan
2. For the Cake: cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, milk and yogurt and mix well.
3. Combine the flours and mix in the baking powder and salt. 
4. Incorporate the dry mix into the wet ingredients.
5. Gently fold in the blueberries.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
7. Combine all the topping ingredients and evenly distribute by crumbling it between your fingers ontop of the cake batter.
8. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.

This is wonderful served either warm or cold.
I served it at room temp with this freshly whipped cream and this Bursting Blueberry Compote, delish!
BUT, if I were to serve it warm from the oven, I think vanilla ice cream would be a great accompaniment.

*Notes: next time I think I would like to use arrowroot starch in place of the tapioca and oatmeal flour in place of the brown rice, just because I like these two ingredients (personal preference) and I tend to have these more readily on-hand. But I can't attest to the results because I haven't make it yet...hmmm, is that an excuse I now have to make this again? :)
And a blueberry lemon/orange version of a buckle might be nice, by adding a teaspoon of zest to the cake batter before baking!


Bursting Blueberry Compote

This is by no means an exact recipe, but the flavors complement each other so well! But please adjust the ingredients according to your own tastes!

2 cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 t Orange Zest
1/2 t Ground Clove
1/4 t Ground Cardamom
Splash of vanilla extract

Put the blueberries in a saucepan and add the water and orange zest. Allow the mixture to simmer for about half an hour until it is reduced and the blueberries have burst. Add the ground clove, cardamom, and vanilla extract and stir.
Take of the heat and serve warm or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat!

This is good warm, cold, or re-warmed in the microwave. Serve on top of yogurt, ice cream, cake, or oatmeal...or eat it straight with a spoon. I'll admit, I did that.