Growing up, I often had to raise money to go camping and things like that and raising money in typical kid fashion means having a bake sale. My mother use to whip up these amazing mini cheesecakes and they always SOLD OUT. Seriously and that’s not even the best part. They’re crazy easy make and THEY FREEZE!!!! Why is that so cool? Because sometimes you may not want cheesecake every night that week. You can freeze one mini and that’s it, save the rest for later! So I hope these are a knockout in your home as it was in mine.
Today is my BIRTHDAY!!!!! I’m turning the big 35 and I wanted to do a knockout kind of cake that embodies everything I love. When I found this recipe I knew I had to make it. It has a delicious coconut sponge cake that is soaked in Kahlua and wrapped in a French Frosting made with a coffee extract and semi-sweet chocolate chips. It has everything I love, tropical coconuts, Kahlua, and chocolate. What can go wrong!
This is cake is not the easiest to make, but if I can do it, you can too. Just try to see the whole cake in segments. You can totally make the sponge, that’s easy. The frosting is a bit more difficult and also “sets” in the fridge, so that has to be done after the sponge, and the ganache is a classic element that isn’t too difficult to make. So my perspective is that you have two easy things coupled with one difficult thing and with a little finesse this is definitely do-able. So let’s take a deep breath and get started!
These brownies come with a warning! These are Espresso Brownies and they contain a lot of caffeine and for someone like myself that is caffeine sensitive, it can have pretty intense feelings with it like increased anxiety, jitters, heart palpitations, and other symptoms. But if you have a late-night studying, or at the office, then this is the brownie for you! It’s chocolate packed and the bittersweet glaze balances the sweetness of the brownie.
I found this delicious recipe on the Better Homes and Gardens website (so you know it has to be good).
For Amin’s 30th birthday, I wanted to do something really special. Amin is half Iranian and over there they love the flavors of lamb, rose water, cardamom, pistachios, and saffron. So I made him an amazing rack of lamb (which I hope to write about in the future), and then I came across this recipe from Kokocooks. The first time I made this I went all out and even candied rose petals which you can do, but it takes six hours and it’s really just a garnish so I omitted it.
I chose it not just for my husband’s heritage but also because of the story behind it. As I looked at different recipes I found a website that said the origin came from a story of a woman who fell in love with a handsome prince, and she made this cake in order to win his heart hence why it’s a love cake. I told my husband the story when I gave this to him as well and it definitely won his heart over.
You have the rosewater and saffron frosting which is amazing balanced by the cardamom cake. The only word of warning I give here is please be careful with the rosewater…even if you think it smells good, only add the recommended amount because it can not only overwhelm the other flavors, but it can become the only thing you smell and taste for a while. This is where I would like to say that if you watch any food competition on TV if rosewater is involved it usually means someone is getting voted off for using too much. Okay. I’m done with that rant now for the recipe!
Let’s be real here. Most holidays in America are celebrated with food, booze or both and St. Patricks Day is no exception. It’s really a big deal here in Boston too with a lot of people heading into the city with their “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts and green and gold colors to go pub hopping.
As I’ve said before, I don’t particularly enjoy crowds, especially drunk crazy people crowds so I usually stay home, play some wonderful Celtic music and watch Lord of the Dance or the first “Leprechaun” movie (don’t judge!) while I cook and fill my home with the wonderful smells of food.
Of course, I live on Pinterest, and while there I happened to find this absolutely amazing recipe for Guinness, Whiskey and Irish Cream Cupcakes. First, I have to say that I love cakes in miniature form. I don’t feel bad for eating an entire one, where I might if it was an entire cake. I also loved how it uses all of the Irish trademark alcohol classics. Needless to say, I made these Guinness cupcakes with a Jameson whiskey ganache center and Baileys Irish Cream frosting and gave them to my husband to pass out at work and they were a real success! I also think the addition of a cute little Chocolate coin on top and the green clover sprinkles really takes it to that next level.
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I am a long time fan of Alton Brown. He doesn’t just throw a recipe at you, but rather takes the time to educate you about the way food works and explain exactly happens when you do certain things to your food. So when I was looking for a new dessert to try and make I found his Alton Brown’s Bourbon Pecan Pie Recipe on the Foodnetwork.com website. I served it actually yesterday for my Halloween party that I threw, but it is a wonderful fall dessert and easy to make in comparison to other things I’ve cooked. If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer. I hope you enjoy it. Read more