Banana Layer Cake with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Buttercream

After a long week of work and class I was ready to have a night to myself and relax. So, after a ten-hour day of clinicals, I decided to do what I enjoy most; spending the evening in the kitchen. So, on the way home, I stopped by the local grocery and picked up a few ingredients I didn’t have. I took my extra ripe bananas and dark brown sugar home and changed from scrubs into a tee shirt and gym shorts.

This is a three-layer banana cake with a brown sugar and cinnamon whipped buttercream frosting. This recipe I stumbled upon while searching for a cake that I could experiment with and share with my coworkers. (and of course a slice taken to my grandmother for her seal of approval) It created a dense banana bread style cake and the icing was light and extra sweet. After using 6 sticks of butter in one cake, I’ve never felt so American. 😉

This will definitely become a staple for sure. Enjoy!

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Banana Cake

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Cake Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened (3 sticks)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Over Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk or Buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice* omit if using Buttermilk

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

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Banana Cake

*Note* If using buttermilk, do not use additional lemon. If using milk and lemon, whisk the milk and lemon together and set aside until needed in recipe*

Preheat oven to 375.

In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients up to salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light, and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and mix again until it is completely incorporated.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each egg. Add in vanilla extract and combine. Add in mashed bananas.

With the mixer on low, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, and alternate with 1/3 of the milk/lemon or buttermilk mixture. Repeat until all of the flour and liquid is combined.

Distribute between three greased and parchment lined 8-inch cake pans. Bake individually for approximately 30-35 minutes each, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool on a baking rack for 10-15 minutes between removing from the pan. Wait to decorate until the cakes have cooled completely.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream:

In stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, whisk softened butter until fluffy. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Scrape down sides of mixer to make sure that it is incorporated evenly.

Add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition.

With mixer on medium high speed, steadily pour in the heavy whipping cream pouring nice and slow until desired consistency. When incorporated and very light, and fluffy stop mixing – about 5 minutes. Be patient – beat it entirely for 5 minutes.

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I cut parchment paper in 3 pieces so I could ice the cake and have a clean base after removing. Spread onto layered cake. (This recipe makes more than enough frosting so you can have fun with design) 

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(Adapted from countrycleaver.com)

Blueberry & Cream Choux Pastry

This past weekend for a family picnic I decided to make something new. So, I decide on two different types of éclairs. First was blueberry and the second was chocolate peanut butter. Today I am sharing the blueberry recipe. Once put on a plate they only lasted minutes. So i filled another, they disappeared. So, I left the last half dozen in the house away from the picnic. Within the half hour, the kids found and devoured them. So this experiment was a success.

This éclair is a choux pastry shell baked and filled with blueberry preserves and topped with a blueberry buttercream made from fresh blueberries. Enjoy!

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Choux pastry

See previous post for lemon and raspberry choux pastry:

https://pottsboilingover.com/2017/06/01/the-great-british-baking-show/

Blueberry preserves

  • 2 1/4 pounds blueberries
  • 3 3/4 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  1. Rinse the blueberries in cold water without soaking them.
  2. Place blueberries in preserving pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour simmering mixture into a ceramic (or glass) bowl. Cover with parchment round and transfer to refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. The next day, transfer mixture to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring gently.
  5. Continue to cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring and skimming as necessary.
  6. Check set (mixture should reach 221 degrees).
  7. Let cool and pipe into choux pastry using a pastry tip and bag. (It helps if you make holes into the pastry first.) (Buuuut  because of time restraints I used Smucker’s) 😀

Blueberry buttercream

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 8 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1.2 oz (34 grams) freeze dried blueberries, pulverized in a mini food processor
    • (I used a cup and a half of fresh blueberries and blended them and put them through a fine mesh strainer before adding them to the mixer)
  • 3-5 cups of confectioners sugar

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In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add pulverized blueberries. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. Add more sugar if necessary.  Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost choux pastries.

 

 

One Delicious Mistake

I am not a stranger to making mistakes or learning by failures. This has been something I’ve been especially used to from driving, to cooking, to relationships. So in true Cory fashion my recipe today is the result of a mistake. Late Saturday evening, this past weekend, I needed a good distraction so I decided to try a new recipe. I decided to make a lavender blueberry bread from fresh blueberries from my parents’ neighbors’ garden. After taking it out of the oven, I let it set on a cooling rack and decided relaxed on the sofa, giving it a few minutes to cool before storing it for the next day. And again, in true Cory fashion, I woke up at 8 am the next morning. Of course, by this time, the bread seemed a little bit dry from its 8 hours on the cooling rack. In an effort to not waste my still delicious looking loaf, I  improvised. So, this is my take on a blueberry torte. One damn delicious mistake.

This torte is one layer of Blueberry bread, one layer of double cream and mascarpone cheese, and one layer of fresh blueberries. It was delicious at the family picnic Sunday and also at work Monday evening. Enjoy!

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BREAD INGREDIENTS

  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 oz.(2 sticks) Butter, softened
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1⅓ Cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 lg. Eggs
  • 1 cup of the blueberries
  • 4 drops Lavender Oil
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 4 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

BREAD INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Grease a large, non-stick loaf pan. If it is not non-stick, grease and flour it.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and creamy.
  4. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined.
  5. Add sour cream and beat in well.
  6. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  8. Puree 1 cup of the blueberries and run through a fine mesh strainer. Add to wet batter.
  9. Beat in the vanilla and lavender.
  10. Add the dry ingredients and mix in until just combined.
  11. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Mascarpone Layer

  • 16 ounces Mascarpone
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

Blueberry layer

  • 4-5 cups of fresh blueberries

Place the mascarpone and powdered sugar in a bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Add the heavy cream and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and creamy (this will take a few minutes.) Beat in the lemon juice until just combined.

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Making the torte: Cut the cooled blueberry bread in half. Cut one half into cubes. Place into the bottom of a clean torte pan. Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle 2 – 2 1/2 cups of blueberries. Repeat all steps one more time.

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(Bread adapted from http://www.thekitchenmccabe.com)

The Dark Side of Macarons

These two macarons are rich and delicious. They have been a crowd pleaser for sure! My two favorite sinfully sweet macarons are 1. Nutella and Chocolate and 2. Peanut butter and butter cream filled Chocolate Macrons. Enjoy!

I use the same base macaron cookie with two different fillings, convenient and easy!

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • Filling #1:
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Filling #2
  • 1 14oz jar of buttercream icing
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Separate your eggs and allow them to come to room temperature while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mix hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and salt until combined. Sift into a medium bowl.
  4. When the egg whites are room temperature, add the cream of tartar. Beat on medium speed until frothy.
  5. Gradually add sugar, beat until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients and fold with a rubber scraper, then repeat with the other half of the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-fold and deflate the whites.
  7. Place the batter in a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe circles onto lined baking sheets. Tap each baking sheet against the counter once to remove any air bubbles. (Let sit 45-60 mins to ensure a good skin on top and no longer sticky to touch)

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  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Bake the macarons for 14 minutes (only one pan at a time for perfect even bake)
  3. The macarons are done when they just begin to separate from the parchment. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. You can use straight Nutella for the filling, or mix the Nutella with powdered sugar for a thicker paste. (I used a few Tbs for this so they would set easier and be less messy) and set aside
  5. Mix the 2nd filling: Mix the peanut butter and buttercream. Set aside.
  6. Use an offset spatula or an icing bag to top one macaron, and then find a similarly sized macaron to complete the sandwich. Repeat with all meringues.
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Peanut butter butter cream
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Nutella

(Adapted from mybusyfamily.net)

Following Inspiring Footsteps

Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought- Matsuo Basho

All of my life I’ve sought to impress or keep up with society and what others might see as successful. Still to this day I struggle with “needing” that validation, or even just perceiving that I am on the right path or am attaining what I “should” have attained by the age of thirty. After some soul searching, and just taking time for myself, I have come to the realization that as important social influence has and continues to be to me I still have to have that happiness in myself and peace in my soul. Baking and cooking allows me to almost escape myself and gives me that peace I need. It is just an added bonus that after creating something with my hands I am able to share it. (And hopefully it turns out delicious and pretty)

“For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, then preparing something delicious and nourishing for the people you love.” –Cooked –Pollan, M.

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I have kept this newspaper article that was written about my maternal grandfather since I was young. Having the same feelings towards cooking and baking as he had motivates me to experiment and continue to just simply enjoy the act of creating in the kitchen. My grandfather enjoyed cooking and it was relaxing to him. As he shared all he cooked and baked with friends and family, I try to do the same. He has sadly passed in spring of 1993. A few weekends ago I decided to recreate the recipe of his that made it to print. I decided to share it with my grandmother and my boyfriend. I know this isn’t a dessert like my normal posts but this was an experience close to my heart. So here is my attempt to make Apple Stuffed Pork Loin with cider sauce and wheat dinner rolls.

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Wheat Dinner Rolls (24ct)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tb. active dry yeast (instant works, too)
  • ½ c. warm water
  • ½ c. butter, softened
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lukewarm buttermilk or milk
  • 4-1/2-5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Dissolve the yeast in the ½ cup warm water in a glass measure. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs and mix, scraping the sides. Add the milk and yeast mixture.
  • Add 4-1/2 cups of flour and the salt, mixing until combined. Change to dough hook and knead for 2-3 minutes only, just until no longer tacky, adding a tablespoon or two of flour, if needed.
  • Let sit in bowl, covered, to rise for one hour. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times, then let rest 3 minutes.
  • Divide into 24 equal pieces, shaping each into a ball and placing in a buttered 13×9-inch baking dish with the pieces touching.
  • Let rise, covered for 1 hour. (I let it rise loosely covered with plastic wrap. Make sure to watch on and off while it rises, the rolls could expand and just become one big mass of dough)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

(Rolls-Adapted from anoregoncottage.com)

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Orange Glazed French Madeleines

In my attempt to be fancy, once again, here is my second recipe for French Madeleines. These soft French desserts are pretty and sweet and can be made with many different flavors. This time I made orange glazed French Madeleines. With orange juice in the batter and in the glaze it was full of awesome flavor.

These sweet little cakes turned out great. But I may experiment with adding sour cream or crème fraiche to make them more moist. I am a sucker for orange flavored anything. I will later put up a recipe for my favorite cinnamon roll made with carrot cake and orange juice stay tuned. Enjoy!

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Orange Glazed French Madeleines

INGREDIENTS

  • For the orange Madeleines
  • 1 orange, rinsed, dried, microplane for the zest and then juiced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces salted butter, melted and still warm

For the orange glaze

  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • Enough orange juice to make spreadable glaze (about 3 tablespoons)

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar to combine. (Make the batter by hand rather than with an electric mixer to ensure tender madeleines.) Whisk in half the orange zest, 1 teaspoon orange juice, and the vanilla. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir just until combined. Pour in the butter and whisk just until thoroughly incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (This ensures a good rise and gives that dome appearance that is the signature of the French Madeleine.)
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter and flour madeleine tins or mini muffin pans and place them in the freezer until ready to use.
  • Pour the batter into the madeleine tins or mini muffin pans until each indentation is just barely completely filled, trying to make a mound in the center. Bake until puffed and golden brown on top, 8 to 10 minutes if you’re using small madeleine tins and 14 to 16 minutes if using large madeleine tins or mini muffin pans.

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  • Let the madeleines cool in the tins for 2 minutes before turning them onto wire racks to cool for at least 20 minutes before glazing. (If you do not wait for them to cook the glaze soaks through into the cake)
  • Make the orange glaze
  • Mix the confectioner’s sugar with just enough orange juice to make an opaque, thick, yet spreadable glaze.
  • Assemble the madeleines
  • Spread some glaze over each madeleine with a pastry brush, immediately sprinkle the remaining orange zest over the tops, and let rest for about 30 minutes before serving. (I just dunked the tops) 🙂

(adapted from leitesculinaria.com)

 

 

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

Lemon is one of my all time favorite flavors. There are endless recipes turning this tart fruit into sweet and sour desserts. During my week of vacation, I played around with this recipe. (knowing my grandmother, my boyfriend and I all love lemon.) For being a baked cheesecake this is surprisingly light. Most of the cheesecakes I make are heavier and closer to New York style. This cheesecake has lemon zest and lemon juice in the filling and a wonderful lemon curd on top. Enjoy!

Lemon Curd Cheesecake

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated zest and ¼ cup juice from 1-2 lemons
  • 1½ pounds (3 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature (Room temp helps with a fluffy bake)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Lemon Curd

  • ⅓ cup juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup (3½ oz.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Place the oven rack in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 325°F.
  2. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and pulse again. Add the butter in a steady stream and continue to pulse until the mixture starts to come together, about 10 1-second pulses.
  3. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until it is golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, wrap the pan with 2 18-inch pieces of foil. Set in a roasting pan and set aside.
  4. To make the filling, place ¼ cup of the sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and process until the sugar turns yellow and fragrant. Add in the remaining sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 5 seconds. With the mixer on low, add in the lemon sugar in a steady stream, then switch to medium and beat until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, 2 at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions. Add in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Add in the cream and beat to combine, another 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl again to make sure everything has been incorporated and pour into the springform pan.
  6. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add enough water to the roasting pan to make it halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center is slightly giggly and the sides start to puff and the surface is no longer shiny, about 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a towel or wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from the roasting pan, remove the foil from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Run a small paring knife around the edges of the cake and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours
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  9. While the cheesecake is baking, make the lemon curd. Heat the lemon juice in a small pan over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the egg mixture, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F. (Until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon) Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is melted. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt.

(make sure to strain the curd in a fine mesh strainer to ensure not lumps on top of your cheesecake)

  1. Pour the curd into a small nonreactive bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
  2. When the cheesecake is cool, top it with the lemon curd while still in the springform pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, but 24 hours is better.

(I just added sliced lemons for decoration)

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(Adapted from tasteandtellblog.com)