where the wild things are smash cake

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

following in the same thread
as last post’s boxed confection,
i recently created a small cake
for a small bae
with a wild streak.
a smash cake was reqested
and since i figured it was going to be,
well, smashed to smithereens,
i went boxed, again.
but since it’s for a most beloved child,
we did go organic.
i still have standards y’all.

the theme was
Where the Wild Things Are,
a book i vaguely remember.
i doubt NT will recall this occasion,
though there were plenty of pictures that captured it.
in any case,
it was so easy to put together,
though you’da thunk i slaved over it
by the reactions of everyone in attendance of the party.
that’s winning at adulting,
if there were such a thing.

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

Where the Wild Things Are Smash Cake
makes 1 2 layered 6″ cake

1 box of cake mix, i used Immaculate Yellow Cake Mix
1 can of frosting, i used Wholesome Chocolate frosting
half bag of chocolate chips, a brand i like is enjoy life
1 tube of pre-made pie crust, i used immaculate ready to bake pie crust

bake the cake as per box instructions. for 6″ i baked for 35 minutes. it did dome a smidge, so it had to be leveled.

for the crown: on a lightly floured counter top, lay out the crust layer. with the mind set of an heir and a spare, i made 2 crowns. i measured out 2 10″ wide rectangles. i’m bad at math and space, so one of the crowns was taller, while the other was stubby. just make a chevron/jagged crown. using either the upside of a muffin or popover tin, wrap the crown around the base. for shininess and some color, do an egg wash. bake for 12 minutes, until gold brown. hopefully 1 of the 2 will come out. in my case, the heir died and i had to use the stubby spare. set aside, be careful, try not to break it.

for the textured bark: you can either melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler style. when the chocolate is fully melted, spread it into a rectangle on parchment paper, you want it as thin as possible, so use an off-set spatula. carefully fold the parchment paper into a roll and fridge it until set.

to assemble: lay the first cake layer on a plate or whatever you’re gonna serve the cake on. pipe in a layer of frosting, spread and then top with 2nd layer of cake. crumb coat it. it does not need to be perfect. you do want to make the top be as smooth as possible though, the sides can be bare minimum though. when ready, take the role of schmeared chocolate out and crack it. unroll the paper, you should have varied sized shards of chocolate. adhere them to the sides of the cake, you may need to dab on some frosting to get it to stick. again, it does not need to be perfect, just think of what a tree stump looks like. when the sides are sufficiently covered, re-melt the remaining chocolate shards and with a pastry brush, dab on the chocolate to the the cracks and fill in blank spots. you’re aiming for something rustic.

fridge it. take out about 30 minutes prior to smashing. top with the crown.

BAM!

Where the Wild Things Are Cake

3 years ago: tofu gyoza – vegan
2 years ago: peach ginger scones – vegan
1 year ago: summer salsa – vegan

nile + smash cake

boxed everything but the topping brownies

S'Mores Brownies

on weekends i spend precious time
thinking up ways to keep myself and dw fed,
not just for breakfast, or lunch or dinner,
but more importantly,
for dessert.
i also think about what i can
make in bulk that can be repeat meals
for the work week.
all of this thinking is usually
before i get out of bed on saturday
to pick up the week’s CSA stash.
inevitably things fall to the wayside —
we go out for a meal
or two
i get distracted with a book
or a craft
or snuggling.
so i give myself permission to make a
boxed item.
because yolo.

S'Mores Brownies

this isn’t a recipe,
this is what i did for 1 hour on saturday
before sitting my ass down to some Olympic viewing.

i saw this sexy beast last week,
i knew it had to be in my life.
i pulled a few things together,
and shit, i got it done.

for the from scratch recipe, go to
the beach house kitchen

i used an entire box of smoreables graham crackers + 5 TBL melted coconut oil + scant 1/4 cup coconut sugar + healthy dash of cinnamon
i used namaste brownie mix, under baking it at 20 minutes, instead of the bake time of 35-40 min.
i made king arthur’s marshmallow fluff

have a great week friends!

S'Mores Brownies

3 years ago: vietnamese vermicelli noodle bowl
2 years ago: dairy free blueberry swirl muffins
1 year ago: summer salsa

homemade chocolate covered chocolate popsicles

homemade chocolate covered popsicles

it’s full swing olympics right now
which means there’s a lot of
dw yelling from the living room:
GO! GO! GO! GO!
and me in the kitchen yelling:
WHAT’S GOING ON?!
in the end
we’re both exhausted
and we have no medals to show for it.
except we have these popsicles.
no one’s gonna write headlines about it
but it’s a small comfort to know
that magnums can now be reintroduced
back into my diet.
Lactose-Free Gold, y’all.

homemade chocolate covered popsicles

homemade chocolate covered chocolate popsicles
inspired and adapted from the beaming baker
makes 10

*note: this can totally be vegan, if you want to use up two cans of coconut milk or some vegan yogurt. i only had one can of coconut milk and i had kefir hanging out to be used. next time i make this i’ll make fancy custard base, cus i do what i want.

chocolate ice cream:
½ cup raw cashews
the fat from 1 can full-fat coconut milk
pure maple syrup, amount to your sweetness liking
healthy splash of vanilla extract
1 TBL cocoa powder
1 shot of strong black coffee (optional)
whole milk kefir
healthy pinch of salt

chocolate coating:
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup

optional topping:
crushed almonds, though i think crushed peanuts would be better but i forgot to pick some up

morning of: soak cashews in some water. put can of coconut milk in fridge. go about your day.

afternoon of: drain cashews and put in vitamix. take out the cold can of coconut milk, flip upside down, open and pour out the liquid. save it for soup or whatever. scoop out the fatty coconut milk and add it to the vitamix. pour in the kefir milk till it’s about 3 cups (so scientific i know, but you never know much fatty stuff you’re gonna get out of the cans, it varies!) add in the maple syrup, cocoa powder and shot of coffee, as well as the vanilla and salt. vitamix the shit of it, until very smooth and creamy, you might need to scrape down the side but you’re aiming for a very smooth consistency.

pour into popsicle molds, don’t go all the way to the top though, give it some room. if you need to, top off with more kefir. lid, add sticks and put in freezer.

allow to freeze over night, or in my case, 1 week.

when ready, take the pops out about 10-15 minutes before dipping, to thaw them. if needed, run under tap water.

have a cookie tray lined with wax/parchment/freezer paper ready.

in a bowl mix the coconut oil, cocoa powder and maple syrup together until thoroughly combined. pour the liquid into a shallow pan, i used a pie pan. one by one dip the popsicles into the chocolate mixture, work fast as the cold ice cream will freeze the coconut chocolate quickly. sprinkle with chopped nuts if using.

lay the popsicles onto the prepared cookie sheet and then put back in the freezer to firm up.

or you can treat your patient husband to a treat while he watches the olympics.

BAM!

homemade chocolate covered popsicles

3 years ago: 2 ingredient chocolate mousse
2 years ago: blueberry pie smoothie
1 year ago: thai popsicles

minty milano cookies

Minty Milano Cookies

i woke up super early saturday morning,
mainly in part in preparation of Daylight Savings Time
but also because i was playing catch up.
the weeks have been quick to pass,
soon the tulips will make an appearance,
if they haven’t already,
and spring will be here.
march is a good month,
a month i overlooked in favor
of warmer times.
but now i see that it’s worthy,
if not for the noted arrival of printemps
then for the special marked day of dw’s birthday.
as per usual i combined his favorite flavors:
chocolate + mint.
eventually i would like to make them
vegan,
or at the very least dairy free.
for now though,
he has been enjoying them happily,
well worth the early rising.

happy birthday sweet dw,
i love you dearly.

Minty Milano Cookies

minty milano cookies
adapted from pure wow
makes 20-22 cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 egg whites, at room temp
1½ cups AP flour
a generous pinch of salt

minty chocolate ganache
1 cup chocolate (chips or chopped)
scant ½ cup lactose free half/half
3-4 tsp peppermint extract, to taste
up to 5 TBL powdered sugar, possibly optional

preheat the oven to 350°F. prepare parchment paper that fits 2 cookies sheets. fold in half ONCE, long-wise. with the parchment paper still folded over, fold again and then again, and then again. open paper and you should have 14 rectangles. use those folded lines as a guide when piping the cookies, so you’ll end up with 7 cookies/row. alternatively, you could trace the general shape of the cookies in pencil, flipping the paper over so that you’re not piping the batter pencil side up.

in a kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter with powdered sugar until fluffy. add in the vanilla and mix.

in a small bowl, have your egg whites on the ready. gradually add them in and fully mix until incorporated. add in the flour and mix through.

transfer batter to piping bag, snipping the bottom. pipe the batter along the folded lines of the parchment paper (or trace along with pen/pencil lines) into an oval shape and somewhat filling it, you’re aiming for about 1½ inches long, leaving about 2 inches between as the cookies do spread. they do not need to perfect. i sorta followed this video tutorial.

bake for 9-12 minutes, the edges will start to brown and crisp up. remove from oven and cool completely.

to make ganache, in a small saucepan heat up the half/half gently. in a small bowl have the chocolate chips ready. gently pour the hot half/half into the bowl and ignore for about a minute. with a spoon or spatula carefully mix the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated and shiny. add in the peppermint extract, amount to taste. remember if you add more liquid the ganache will be runny, so either add in powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) or add in less half/half, you’re aiming for a thick consistency.

assemble cookies by smearing about a tablespoons worth of the minty chocolate onto center of upside down cookie. sandwich with another cookie, and press gently until filling runs just to the edge.

cookies will keep at room temp in airtight container for 2-3 days.

BAM!

Minty Milano Cookies

previous dw chocolate + mint confections:
peppermint kisses – 2015 (not officially blogged  but use this recipe for reference)
coconut peppermint patties – 2014
homemade thin mints – 2013
mint chocolate cake – 2012

NY Style Cheesecake

NY Style Cheesecake

because a birthday should always be celebrated
happy birthday, ridiculous nuria,
who always manages to make me
laugh
swear
blush
you are exactly the annoying
kid sister i always imagined
other people having
but never thought i’d hafta experience.

NY Style Cheesecake

new york style cheesecake
adapted from america’s test kitchen family baking cookbook

crust:
8 graham crackers, crumbled
6 TBL butter, melted and cooled
3 TBL sugar

filling:
2 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup kefir yogurt (or plain yogurt, or sour cream)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs

preheat oven to 325°

in a food processor, blitz the crackers until they’re fine crumbles. pour in the melted butter and sugar and pulse until incorporated. dump the mixture into a 9″ springfoam pan. press the crumbs into an even layer. bake crust about 10-15 minutes, i aimed for the middle and took it out at 12:30, because i’m obnoxious. remove from oven, allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

increase oven heat to 500°.

put a pot or a kettle of water to boil. (optional)

meanwhile, make the filling. in a mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth, constantly scraping down the side of the bowl and beaters.

mix in the yogurt (or sour cream), lemon juice and vanilla. add in the yolks and the eggs, 2 at a time until well incorporated.

very carefully pour the mix into the pan.

in the oven, at the bottom level, pour the hot water into the pan. (optional step)

bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes.

without opening the oven door, lower the heat to 200° and continue to bake for 1 1/2 hours.

don’t open the oven door, turn off the oven and ignore the cheesecake until cooled, about 2-3 hours.

when you’re feeling brave, take out the cheesecake and carefully run a knife around the edge.

chill in fridge, ideally overnight.

serve as is or if you’re felling fancy, drizzle a bit of chocolate ganache.

BAM!

NY Style Cheesecake

previous nuria bday concoctions:
vegan pb cups
the angry birds project
suisse mocha cheesecake
coffee cheesecake

2 years ago: ultimate white cake
1 year ago: overnight steel cut oats