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

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  • 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
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

Snickerdoodles

Here’s a classic cookie recipe that I learned from my friend Nigella, reinvented into a donut hole shape that can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the sweet tooth occasion.  Instead of taking the traditional route and making these cinnamon-sugar delights into flat

These snickerdoodles can be eaten with a steaming cup of espresso.  When sharing these cookies with a crowd, they can be paired with homemade whipped cream and a dab of chocolate syrup to turn the dish into a more refined dessert.

To add a little more creativity to this dish, replace 2 tablespoons of the flour with cocoa to create chocodoodles, as Nigella calls them. This recipe makes about 32 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment or wax paper or greased

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Combine the flour, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with 1/3 cup of sugar until light in texture and pale in color.
  4. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. Stir in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth mixture.
  6. Combine the remaining sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl.
  7. Squeeze out pieces of dough and form walnut-sized balls.
  8. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on your prepared baking sheets.
  9. Bake for about ten minutes, let cool, and serve.
Categories
Bake Boston Restaurants Desserts Featured Recipes Recipe Sources

Cranberry-Pear Crisp from The Fireplace

This recipe comes from Jim Solomon, Owner/Executive Chef at The Fireplace in Brookline. A New England-style grill and barbecue, the restaurant is also one of the few green certified restaurants in the Boston area.

Sunday-Thursday The Fireplace features Humble Offerings. Each week a new, high-quality American classic is priced at $20.00 or below. Some past dishes include: Fish & Chips, Beef Stew, and Chicken Pot Pie.

Cranberry-Pear Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 5 cups red pears, sliced
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice

Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine 2 1/2 cups of flower, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Lightly toss the ingredients together until fully integrated.
  2. Add almonds and oatmeal. Toss ingredients together very lightly to ensure that the oatmeal and almonds do not crumble. Set the bowl aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan cook pears in cranberry juice and sugar on medium until soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add lemon juice, dried cranberries, and remaining flour.  Simmer on low for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  6. Spoon the cranberry-pear filling into a small casserole, or large Pyrex baking dish.
  7. Top with the almond-oatmeal mixture.
  8. In a pre-heated, 350°  oven, bake the mixture for approximately 15 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
  9. Plate warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This dish serves 8 people.

 

Categories
Breakfast Desserts Featured Recipes No-bake

Tiramisu Pancakes

Pancakes are an absolute must have when cooking a large hearty breakfast.  There’s nothing more appetizing in the morning than a big stack of flapjacks dripping with the classic combination of maple syrup and butter.

This recipe puts a new twist on an American classic by adding an Italian twist.  The coffee and cocoa-infused cakes are layered with a fluffy mascarpone and cream mixture, then topped with a sweet maple glaze infused with coffee liqueur.

Tiramisu pancakes can be enjoyed as a dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert.  A light dusting of cocoa powder on top makes this dish look like it belongs in a pastry case. This dish makes five servings.

Pancake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 sifted, slightly rounded tbsp. of cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. instant coffee

Maple Glaze Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup
  • 3 tbsp. softened Butter
  • 2 tbsp. coffee liqueur

Mascarpone Cream Ingredients

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. coffee liqueur
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup

Cooking Instructions

  1. Whip the mascarpone cream ingredients together until they form soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the maple glaze ingredients well and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make sure the cocoa powder is well sifted.
  4. In a separate bowl add the sour cream and  slowly whisk the milk in until smooth.
  5. Add the instant coffee powder into the sour cream and milk. Mix well until dissolved.
  6. Slowly whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla with the sour cream, milk, and instant coffee.
  7. Carefully add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until the batter is lump free.  If the batter is a bit thin, add a tablespoon or two of flour.
  8. Preheat griddle on medium and add 1 teaspoon of butter (or non-stick spray.)
  9. Ladle batter in desired portions onto griddle and gently flip when bubbles begin to form on the top of the pancakes.
  10. Once golden brown, remove pancakes from heat.

Plating Instructions

  1. Place once pancake on plate and add enough of the maple glaze to coat the top.
  2. Dollop a generous amount of the cream onto pancake.
  3. Repeat steps one and two twice, creating three pancakes stacked on top of each other.
  4. Finish with maple glaze, cocoa powder, and shaved chocolate over the top.