July 26, 2015

Tiramisu Cake

I have never eaten actual classic Tiramisu, but I have made this Tiramisu Cake a few times and I love it.  I only make this on special occasions.  It's not hard to make, but there are several steps involved.  I think this might even be the longest recipe I have ever typed :)  Don't let that scare you though, because it really is easy and worth all the steps.        

The frosting tastes like coffee ice cream, there is a perfect frosting to cake ratio, it has the perfect amount of sweetness and it has just a slight coffee aftertaste.  The cake is tender and moist and it does not get soggy.  I like it best served a little cold.

I typed the recipe as written, but I noted a few things that I adjusted.  Since I know I will get comments about using instant coffee instead of espresso powder, make sure you use what you prefer. I don't mind the flavor of instant coffee and since I usually have that on hand, that is what I used.

This recipe does work if you cut it in half and bake in smaller pans.  
Tiramisu Cake
adapted from: Dori Greenspan
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

For the Cake:
2 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 Tbl.) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. buttermilk

For the Espresso Extract:
2 Tbl. instant espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
2 Tbl. boiling water

For the Espresso Syrup:
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbl. amaretto, Kahlua or brandy (I didn't add)

For the Filling and Frosting:
1 (8 oz.) container marscarpone (I used cream cheese)
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbl. amaretto, Kahlua or brandy (I used strong coffee)
1 c. cold heavy cream
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

For Garnish (opt):
large milk chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
chocolate covered espresso beans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease, flour and line with parchment paper two 9x2-inch round cake pans.  For the Cake:  Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the egg yolk and beat for one minute.  Beat in the vanilla.  Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until just combined.  Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans at the halfway point.  Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and invert them to a wire rack and cool completely.   

To Make the Extract: Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended; set aside.

To Make the Syrup:  Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil.  Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 Tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.  

To Make the Filling and Frosting:  Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.  In a separate large bowl, using a stand mixer or hand mixer,  whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks.  Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.  Carefully fold in the rest of the whipped cream.

To Assemble the Cake:  If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them.  Place one layer right side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate.  Using a pastry brush or small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup.  Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer (about 1 1/4 cups) and gently press the mini chocolate chips into the filling.  Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half of the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling.  Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.  Whisk 1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling (this will now be the frosting).  Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add.  If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so.  Refrigerate the cake too.  

With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top.  If you want to decorate the cake with the chocolate chips or espresso beans, press them into the frosting.  Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours before serving.  The elements need time to meld.    

Jenn's Notes:  This recipe does work when cut in half.  I use two small glass dishes and reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees.  I bake my cakes for 28  minutes.  

July 22, 2015

Easy Weeknight Bowtie Pasta

 Happy Wednesday!  The week is almost over.  We can make it :)  Friday is a holiday here in Utah and I have the day off work!!!  I soooooo need a day off. 

For now, lets just make it through the next few days.  This bowtie pasta is one of my go-to dinners for busy weeknights and it tastes just as good leftover.  Have you ever added cottage cheese to spaghetti sauce?  Try it.  Seriously.  It's SO GOOD - it makes the sauce extra creamy and adds protein.    

You might also like:

Easy Weeknight Bowtie Pasta
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)
1/2 Lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 jar spaghetti sauce (approx. 24 oz.) 
1 c. cottage cheese
8-12 oz. of pasta (depending on how saucy you want it), cooked according to package directions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat; season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Add the spinach and onion and cook until spinach is wilted and onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 30 more seconds.  Stir in the spaghetti sauce and cottage cheese and heat through.  Last, add the cooked and drained pasta.  Serves 4-6.

Linked up to Weekend Potluck!

July 19, 2015

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze

What a delicious twist to a family favorite recipe.  We make this Lemon Zucchini Bread many many times each year.  This time I added some fresh raspberries I picked up at the corn stand.  Lemon and Raspberries . . . such a great combo.  The sweet bread paired with the slightly tart raspberries made this bread loved by all.
The house smelled sooooooo good while it baked.  Homemade bread smells amazing any time it's baking, but with fresh raspberries, it added an amazing fruity aroma.  So irresistible that it was hard to wait for it to cool before slicing it and digging in :)

The zucchini dissolves during baking and if you peel it, you can't even tell it's in there.  This bread is so soft and moist and don't forget about the sweet lemony glaze on top.  Oh my goodness.   

You might also like:

Lemon Raspberry Zucchini Bread
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 c. buttermilk
grated zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbl.)
1 c. grated zucchini (peeled or unpeeled)
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries

Lemon Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. meringue powder, opt. (this helps the icing harden)
grated zest of one lemon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. lemon extract, opt.
1/2 - 1 Tbl. milk, as needed (or lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan (I like to line mine with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, so I can easily remove the bread from the pan); set aside.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In a separate large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and oil together.  Add the buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until combined.  Stir in the zucchini.  

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until almost combined, then add the raspberries and carefully fold together until just combined and evenly distributed.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  Top with Glaze and allow to harden.  Slice and serve. 

For the Lemon Glaze:  Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder in a small bowl.  Add the lemon zest, lemon extract and 1/2 Tablespoon milk or lemon juice.  Stir together until smooth and creamy.  If glaze is too thick, add a little more milk or lemon juice.  Pour over cooled bread.    

Jenn's Notes: I usually peel half of my zucchini.   

Base Recipe adapted from: Nancy Creative 

Linked up to Weekend Potluck!

July 12, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake

Okay . . . let me just say - this cake is amazing!  Have you ever had a chocolate sheet cake or Texas sheet cake?  This zucchini cake is just like that, but with the addition of zucchini.  It's dense, moist, rich and very chocolaty.  You can't even tell there is zucchini in it.   

My zucchini plants are going to be out of control this year.  Yes, I said plants, not plant.  Everyone knows hat ONE zucchini plant is more than enough for a family and it's hard to keep up with even one plant.  BUT, the first zucchini plant that I planted looked like it was going to die, so I was worried and planted another.  Well, my friends, both plants survived (of course they did!) and are already producing a lot of zucchini.  If you have any good zucchini recipes, pass them along my way :)  

For now, you guys seriously need to make this cake.  You will LOVE it.  
Aren't sheet cakes the best?  They are a cinch to make and are perfect for feeding a large group.  

You might also like:
Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture) 
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. shredded zucchini, peeled or unpeeled

Chocolate Frosting
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  For the Cake: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth and combined.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add to the dry ingredients along with the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and shredded zucchini.  Mix until well combined.  Pour into a greased 13''x18''x1" baking sheet and spread out evenly.  Bake for 17-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.  Remove from oven and top with frosting.   

For the Chocolate Frosting:  Add powdered sugar to a large bowl; set aside.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; add the cocoa powder and buttermilk and stir until smooth and combined.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour over the powdered sugar.  Add the vanilla and whisk together until smooth and creamy.  Pour over hot cake and spread out evenly.  Allow to cool, slice and serve.  

Jenn's Notes: I usually peel half of the zucchini.  My cake is perfect right around 17-18 minutes.