Categories
Bake Desserts Featured Recipes

Insanely easy Red Velvet Cake Balls recipe

Making Red Velvet Cake BallsThis past weekend I had to chance to fly home and spend some time with my family. I always treasure these days with my family, and my little sister and I got to spend some time baking together. In high school we would make treats for our football players before games, but we loved doing this so much that we began making more desserts — like these Red Velvet Cake Balls — whenever we found recipes on Pinterest that we wanted to try. So when I came home last weekend I made sure we had time to make something I recently found online: Red Velvet Cake Balls.

I love the idea of making everything from scratch, and usually I would do that, but we only had a few hours for the whole project, so we succumbed to cake mix from a box. Terrible, I know, but Duncan Hines sells a delicious red velvet cake mix, and saves you so much time. First, we made the cake as instructed on the box and placed it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes. While it was baking, we made the cream cheese frosting. If you do not want to make the frosting, you can always buy a jar of it from the grocery store. I don’t really like premade frosting, and homemade does not take very long. The recipe for the frosting is above; just make sure the butter is already softened before trying to blend it.

When the cake is finished baking, use a fork to crumble it into fine pieces, avoiding the edges if they are hardened. Transfer the crumbled bits into the bowl of frosting, and blend together. If the “dough” feels too warm to roll into balls then place the bowl in the freezer until it feels firm enough. This was about 20 minutes for us, so while we waited we had the chance to look at even more recipes on Pinterest and get inspired for Thanksgiving!

Next, take the bowl out of the freezer and roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper. Something I love about cake balls, truffles, Oreo balls, or any kind of “ball” is that anyone can help with the rolling and dipping. It makes baking a time to come together and enjoy each other’s company while working on the task at hand. Once you roll the balls, place them back in the freezer so they can keep their shape.

For the coating we used 6 cubes (12 ounces) of white chocolate almond bark. This stuff is amazing as a coating because it is made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter, and it covers the cake balls more evenly than chocolate chips or something. Melt the cubes in the microwave in 30-second intervals, until it is completely melted. If you “over-melt” the bark, then it will lose it’s consistency and not harden the way it should.

We took the balls out of the freezer and began dipping them in the melted almond bark. Once again, I “supervised” for this part because I didn’t really want to get my hands covered, and my sister is just so skilled at the dipping part. Make sure the cake balls are completely coated before placing them on the wax paper. Top with sprinkles, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Red Velvet Cake Balls Ingredients and Directions

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Sprinkles
  • 12 oz cream cheese frosting (recipe below)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Half stick softened butter,
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, half pack cream cheese,
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Mix together by hand, then blend on high for 2 minutes until creamy.
Categories
Desserts Featured Recipes

Oreo Balls — Yes, OREO BALLS

These are Oreo Balls, and they are yummy and delicious
These are Oreo Balls, and they are yummy and delicious

The recipe for Oreo Balls is extremely easy, and even though the whole process takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, actual “hands-on” time is much less. First, empty the package of Oreos into a gallon size Ziploc bag. Next, crush the Oreos into fine crumbs, and then transfer into a large bowl. Add the cream cheese, and blend together. This part got a little messy, and I accidentally spilled some of the crumbs all over the counter. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls, and place on wax paper. Put these balls into the freezer until they are firm (about 20 minutes for us). While they are in the freezer you can go ahead and melt the chocolate. We used Dolci Frutta Milk Chocolate Chips, which are made to dip fruit in. I would recommend using actual chocolate chips, or almond bark, because the stuff we used formed a clumpy texture, but we added a little canola oil to fix it! Once you take the balls out of the freezer, dip them into the melted chocolate. (Warning: This step can also get a little messy.) At this point I let my friends take over and do the dipping while I “oversaw” the production… a.k.a. danced to Beyoncé. As soon as the chocolate-coated balls are set on the wax paper, shake a few sprinkles onto them, and put them back in the freezer. Wait about 10 minutes before eating.

We used reduced fat Oreos and reduced fat cream cheese to make them slightly less bad for us. They still taste delicious and it’s hard to only eat one! I ran across the street and got milk to go with the Oreo balls, and the combination of the two is heavenly. Seriously, these treats are so good that people won’t believe they only have three ingredients.

Oreo Balls Ingredients

image-2

  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 16 oz Chocolate Chips- can be milk, dark, or white.
  • Sprinkles
Categories
Asian Featured Recipes No-bake

An Asian-Inspired Dessert: Indonesian Layered Pudding

Indonesian Layered Pudding
Indonesian Layered Pudding
Baking is something I’ve always enjoyed and can be therapeutic. The passion stemmed from Betty Crocker packages and blossomed into experimenting with different recipes and ingredients. It’s a recipe my mom taught me and one that I love because cakes, cookies, pastries can be found almost everywhere. This on the other hand was more unique and special. It’s tasty without being too sweet and is much healthier than most baked goods.  The Indonesian Layered Pudding is probably different to anything else you’ve tasted before.

Indonesian Layered Pudding

Ingredients

  • 500g Tapioca Starch
  • 230g Rice Flour
  • 600g Sugar
  • 400ml Coconut Milk
  • 4-6 drops of Pandan Paste
  • 800ml Water

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix tapioca starch and rice flour together
  2. Add coconut milk and water to the mixture. Mix well
  3. Divide the paste in half and place in separate bowls
  4. Add pandan paste into one of the bowls and mix well.
  5. Take the white paste and carefully create your first layer in a heat-proof plastic container. Do not use glass containers.
  6. Steam for 6-7 minutes over the stove
  7. Carefully add the green paste on top of the first layer. Steam for another 6-7 minutes
  8. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until container is full. Traditionally, there are 9 layers. Alternate the paste.
  9. Once the last layer is cooked, let it cool.

*Tip: Do not put in refrigerator, as the texture will become too moist. Keep in a sealed container

Categories
Alcoholic Featured Recipes No-bake

Limoncello Granita

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This summer, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse will debut its homemade booze-infused semi-frozen Granita, perfect to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon, like the ones we’ve been seeing in Boston lately. The new take on the Sicilian classic, created by Master Pastry Chef Tom Ponticelli, combines fruity flavors with perfectly paired spirits for a refreshing aperitif. Flavors include Espresso with Chocolate Liqueur, Passion Fruit with Grand Marnier as well as Prickly Pear with Tequila and Lime! They are available for $4 through the end of August.

To celebrate the new line of boozy treats, Davio’s shared one of its recipes with Blast Food.

Davio’s Limoncello Granita

Ingredients

  • 1 qt Water
  • 6 oz Fresh Lemon Verbena Leaves
  • Lemon Zest
  • 2 oz Sugar
  • 2oz Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice

Directions

  • In a medium size pot, steep water, sugar, lemon verbena.
  • Bring to boil and let steep for 20 min. Wisk in Limoncello and lemon juice.
  • Combine and our ingredients into metal 2-inch hotel pan and place in freezer. Use a dinner fork to scrape any ice crystals that have formed on the side or bottom of the pan.
  • Return to freezer and repeat scraping every 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Once mixture is thoroughly frozen, fluff with a fork and allow flakes to “dry” in freezer another half hour before serving.

When served, the granita should look like a fluffy pile.

Categories
Featured Recipes No-bake

Burrata and Grilled Peaches

This recipe comes from Maplebrook Fine Cheese and our friends at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, which Blast is proud to sponsor!

There are few cheese makers in the U.S. that make Burrata. Fortunately, you need look no further than Maplebrook Farm in Bennington, Vermont. They craft the best version you will find anywhere. Enjoy the Burrata and grilled peaches with a glass of Pinot Noir or a pint of light, crisp Pilsner.

We’re going to classify this as a dessert, but it can be an appetizer or entree or really whatever you want it to be!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized peaches
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) honey
  • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 2 pinch(es) black pepper

Directions

  1. Let the Burrata come to room temperature before serving. Remove from the brine, blot dry with a paper towel, and place on a serving platter.
  2. Prepare the peaches and put into a bowl. Put the olive oil, honey, cinnamon, and garlic in a Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave on high heat for 20 seconds. Stir the lemon juice, and half the mint into the olive oil mixture to combine. This is a temporary emulsion so stir it together quickly an instant before pouring it on the peaches. Add half of this mixture to the peaches and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Scrub your grill with a wire brush, and spray with cooking oil, or wipe it with a paper towel moistened with cooking oil before lighting it. Preheat the grill to high heat. If you are using charcoal, the coals should be glowing. Start the peaches cut side down, since the peaches are quartered there are 2 cut sides. Grill for 2½ minutes, turn to the other cut side and cook for a further 2½ minutes. Turn the peaches so they are skin side down and baste with some of the sauce so that it pools in the center of the peaches. Cook for a further 7 or 8 minutes, or until the peaches are pretty soft, but still retain their shape.
  4. Surround the Burrata with the grilled peaches. Pour the remaining liquid over the Burrata, and sprinkle with the remaining mint and a few grinds of black pepper. For serving implements provide both a small sharp knife and a spoon. Serve with crackers or torn pieces of sourdough bread and a pile of napkins.
Categories
Bake Boston Restaurants Desserts Recipe Sources

Chocolate Coconut Bread Pudding

 Ingredients

  • ¾ loaf of stale bread cut into cubes
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 21 oz. coconut milk
  • 1 ½ heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 9 ea. egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut

Preparation

  1. Scald cream, sugar, chocolate, coconut milk, blend well.
  2. Separate egg yolks and temper with chocolate mixture.
  3. Pour custard over bread cubes and add shredded coconut, let soak for 1
    hour.
  4. Rub butter and sugar on bottom and sides of metal bread pan
    or cast iron skillet.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 325° for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Categories
Autumn Bake Boston Restaurants Desserts Holidays Mexican Origins Recipe Sources

Pan de Muerto

On Tuesday, November 1st and Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 Chef Erwin Ramos of the Olé Restaurant Group is hosting an authentic two-night Día de los Muertos celebration featuring traditional Mexican cuisine and customs at Olé Mexican Grill located in Cambridge, MA and Zócalo Cocina Mexicana located in Boston, MA. While “Day of the Dead” may have a grave and gloomy ring to it, the holiday itself has no such emotions. Instead, the first two days of November are used to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost along the way. Chef Ramos and the Olé Restaurant Group are inviting friends and family in to both Olé Mexican Grill and Zócalo Cocina Mexicana to partake in the festive occasion with customary Mexican foods available either á la carte or as a three course prix fixe menu. Guests will be able to enjoy a 3 course meal consisting of traditional Day of the Dead foods including a variety of tamales and moles, such as manchamanteles (red mole), mole verde (green) and mole poblano (chocolate)—a fan favorite!  The meal will end on a sweet note, as all guests will receive complimentary Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead), made with rich, cinnamon and spice-infused Mexican chocolate brought to each table on a dessert cart.

Here’s the recipe for the Pan de Muerto.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons anise seed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (for glaze)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (for glaze)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (for glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar (to sprinkle over bread to finish)

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add them warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf with a round knob on top. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
  6. To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

 

Categories
Bake Desserts

You must be eighteen to eat this cupcake

Here’s a vanilla cupcake with yellow frosting that packs an unusually large punch for a dessert. I infuse the batter with valerian root and melatonin. Used as a minor sleep aid, valerian root is derived from a perennial flowering plant with sweet-smelling pink or white flowers and can be used to treat sleeping disorders, headaches and anxiety. Also a naturally occurring sleep aid, melatonin has the same physical effect when ingested. You can find both melatonin and valerian root at most health stores and some supermarkets.

The song Mellow Yellow takes me back to a day where I was worry free and traveling across the country following Phish and the Dead. Back then they had what they called ganja goo-balls, which were marijuana infused rice crispie treats, but they tasted horrible! People eat oysters because they taste great and it gives them a little kick, why not have mood-altering cupcakes? We card everyone who buys these cupcakes to make sure they are 18. This recipe makes plenty for you and your friends.*

Mellow Yellow Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 gram Valerian Root finely ground
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 60mg melatonin (12 5mg caplets ground)

Yellow Frosting

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2½ cups confectionary sugar
  • 1  tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Yellow food coloring

Cupcake Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Line standard-sized muffin pan (half cup) with baking cup liners.
  3. Measure out 1gram of finely ground Valerian Root and add it to a saucepan with the butter and melt on low. When completely melted, let cool. We have now infused the butter with the active chemicals in the root.  Strain the butter in a fine cheesecloth or colander. Reserve.
  4. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, melatonin and salt in medium bowl. Add butter, sour cream, egg, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon juice; beat at medium speed until smooth, for approximately one minute. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula and mix again.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared baking cups. Bake until cupcake tops are pale yellow (hence the mellow) or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, around 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.

Frosting Instructions

  1. Using the wire whip attachment of your mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 6-7 minutes; scrape the bowl once or twice.
  2. Turn mixer to low and slowly add the confectionary sugar. Once all of the confectionary sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla and food coloring, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.Frost cupcakes, sit back, take a bite and mellow out!

*Valerian is derived from dried roots and plant materials from the valerian plant.  It is used to treat sleeping disorders, nervousness, headaches, anxiety and panic attacks. Valerian’s side effects include dizziness, mild depression, agitation, stomach aches, allergic reactions, anxiety and recently liver failure. It also is sometimes used by pregnant women though research is inconclusive on the side effects it could have on the unborn child.

People taking allergy, cholesterol, cancer and antifungal medications should not take valerian.

Melatonin on the other hand is one of the gentlest supplements that can be used as a sleeping aid. It is used to supplement the natural melatonin hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, in cases of sleep deprivation and insomnia. Melatonin benefits a lot of people and is being used in the treatment of jet lag, migraines (due to its anti-inflammatory effect), sleep disorders and neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies are beginning to show that it can also be used in the treatment of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

For a list of drugs that have serious drug interactions. For more information on melatonin supplements side effects, dosage, side effects, FDA regulations visit FDA website.

Even though Valerian and Melatonin are both sleeping aids and sold as supplements at health stores, they should not be taken together. The resulting effect of taking the two includes heavy drowsiness, nausea, confusion and headaches.

Categories
American Autumn Bake

Easy delicious apple crisp

Easy and delicious. Actually its wicked easy and too delicious.
Easy and delicious. Actually its wicked easy and too delicious.

This recipe was featured in Blast Magazine in September 2010.

When you go apple picking in the fall, you end up with a bunch of apples. The problem with a bunch of apples is that, say you’re a young couple, you will never finish 20 or so apples before they go bad. Furthermore, you will almost always get sick of just munching on a plain apple all the time. (Though you shouldn’t. Eating a plain apple is just about the only healthy way to eat apples…this recipe is proof)

For some reason, neither my girlfriend nor I care much care for apple pies. That left us wondering what we could make.

Apple crisp.

This required calls to her sister and mother, but 45 minutes later, here are the steps to delicious, completely unhealthy, apple crisp.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups of Mcintosh apples. (That’s about 4 medium-sized apples.)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. white flour. (to start)
  • 1 cup white flour (to finish)
  • 1 cup of instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (Yes, that’s a stick and a half)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Skin and core the apples.
  3. Slice them thinly and arrange them in a deep baking pan.
  4. Mix the tablespoons of flour, sugar, and cinnamon and pour the mix over the apple slices. Make sure they are evenly covered.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the cup of flour, oatmeal, and brown sugar.
  6. Take the stick and a half of butter and thinly slice it. Use a large fork to mix it all up until there is a consistency. Spread this all over the top of the apples.
  7. Sprinkle about an extra teaspoon of cinnamon over the top of everything if you like cinnamon.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.
  9. This is insanely easy. Anyone can make apple crisp. It goes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Categories
Bake Desserts Featured Recipes

Hunk of Burning Cake

This Elvis cupcake features treasured ingredients from the King’s favorite snack; the Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Sandwich.  Part touchstone of youth culture, and part rebellious attitude, the chocolate cupcake is infused with bacon and topped with creamy peanut butter frosting before being topped with a piece of mouthwatering bacon. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.

Elvis Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 8  tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 10 pieces cooked crispy bacon, chopped into fine bits
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • Bacon fat from the cooked bacon (always save your bacon fat, Brotha)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 large, overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche

All-American Frosting

  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectionary sugar
  • 1 overripe banana
  • Remaining bacon fat
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pieces of crispy bacon
  • Red food coloring

Cupcake Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Line standard-sized muffin pan (half cup) with baking cup liners.
  3. Combine butter, chocolate, bacon fat (save around a tbsp. for the frosting) and cocoa in medium bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water, creating a double boiler.
  4. Heat mixture until the butter and chocolate are melted, whisk until smooth and full.
  5. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl.
  6. Whisk eggs in second bowl; add the banana, sugar, bacon (save some of the bacon for garnish), vanilla and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
  8. Sift about a third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and mix until combined; whip in crème fraîche until smooth.
  9. Add the rest of the flour mixture and whip the batter until thick.
  10. Spoon batter equally in the muffin cups.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, or until done.
  12. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, which is usually around 30 minutes.

Frosting Instructions

  1. Whisk together the peanut butter, water, Crisco, banana, and the remaining bacon fat with an electric mixer.
  2. Slowly sift sugar into mixture until smooth.
  3. Add food coloring to desired liking (think Vegas, think velvet).
  4. Decorate cupcakes and garnish with a small piece of crisp bacon, Brotha.