Waterless Cooking

Have you heard of the waterless cooking method? It is a relatively new method of cooking that has many advantages. In the past, a lot of household cooking has involved cooking food with water. When cooked in water, however, a lot of the food’s nutritional value, not to mention the flavor, is taken away. Waterless cooking allows you to cook food in it own juices, retaining all the vitamins and minerals as well as most of the original flavor. There is no need to add water to foods (especially vegetables) because the natural moisture in the food is released and the steam created helps the cooking process. The steam is circulated throughout the pot and falls back into the food allowing it to stay moist and juicy.

So what are the advantages to waterless cooking? First of all, it is an easy way to cook. Many times you can use a one-pan cooking method so that all the food (meat, veggies and potatoes) is cooked together. This also allows for easier clean up with only one pan to wash up. And the new waterless cookware, with its superior heat distribution, tends to have less chance of food burning or sticking.

Waterless cooking also tends to cook food a lot faster. With the new waterless cookware available now the heat is evenly distributed along the bottom of the pot or pan. Because of this, there are no ‘hot-spots’ that may tend to burn your food. The lid of the pot forms a seal, which locks in the heat (as well as the moisture) so the cooking time is decreased.

As mentioned, waterless cooking is a healthy way to cook. None of the nutrients are lost during cooking, and you don’t need to add oil to stop the food from sticking to the pan, which also makes it healthier. The natural color and texture of the food is also retained which makes the food more appealing. Foods that are supposed to be crisp tend to keep their crunchy texture as well.

The features of waterless cookware that allow this cooking method to work include a flat bottom on the pots and pans which allow the most efficient means of heat transfer. The flat bottom connects with your stove element better, whether it be the coils of an electric stove or a gas unit, so that the heat transfer is more efficient. The cookware also has an iron core and an aluminum or copper base plate built into it that helps to retain a continuous, constant cooking temperature even after the heating element has been turned off.

Waterless cookware is typically made of high-grade stainless steel, which is better than other traditional pans in a couple of different ways. The stainless steel does not allow the taste of the metal to transfer to your food, as may be the case with aluminum or Teflon-coated cookware. Some companies use surgical stainless steel, which is the highest grade you can get for a real quality product. The stainless steel is easy to clean, durable (enabling it to last an extremely long time) and it allows you to keep your cookware sterilized.

One of the main features of waterless cookware is the special lid that keeps the natural moisture in the food from escaping. The lid forms a seal with the pot and lets the natural juices form into steam so the food cooks in its own natural juices, retaining all the nutrients and original flavors. There is a steam valve that whistles and tells you when you should turn off the heat (once the juices have created sufficient steam). In this way you save energy when cooking and the food is always cooked at a constant temperature.

Although it is referred to as waterless cooking, one thing you should do before cooking with this method is to rinse your food in water and then drain it before cooking. This ensures there will be enough water clinging to the food to create enough steam, mixed with foods natural juices, to cook it properly.

Cooking times with the waterless cooking method is generally a little less than traditional cooking times, depending on personal tastes for doneness. You should always cook your food at medium to low temperatures because the special waterless cookware construction allows the unit to conduct heat in the most efficient manner. You must also resist the urge to lift the lid during the cooking process as this will lengthen the cooking time and may even allow the food to dry out when the steam escapes.

The steam valve will tell you when you should turn off your stove element-when the correct temperature has been reached to allow the food to cook itself. When the steam valve whistles, turn off your stove, but do not lift the lid until the specified cooking time has elapsed-then you can open the lid and serve out your hot food. As a tip, put warm water into the unit after the food has been removed and let it sit while you eat so clean-up will be a snap afterwards.

Most recipes can be adapted (with a few alterations) to using the waterless cooking method as well. You will discover that old favorites will taste better and new recipes will be simple to master. The waterless cooking method is a new and healthier way to cook. It is more energy efficient, allows the food to retain its own juices, texture and color, and is an easy way to cook.

Outdoor Cooking Methods

There are many reasons you may want to use one of the many outdoor cooking methods for your meals. Maybe you are going camping or you just want to grill outside in your backyard. Whatever your reason for using the outdoor techniques for cooking you need to understand what a few of them are and how they are can help you cook the proper type of food for you and your family.

You can choose from grilling with a few different types of grills to cooking over an open fire. It all depends on what you want to cook and why you have decided to cook outside. Below you are going to find a few different ways for cooking outside to choose from.

1. Gas Grill Cooking

One of the most popular methods of cooking outside is with a gas grill. This grill will take either natural gas or propane, which will be your main source of fuel for cooking. You may want to supplement the gas heat with wood chips so you can get more flavor since you are cooking with gas.

There are many advantages you will get when you cook with gas. It is one of the most convenient ways to cook because all you have to do is uncover your grill, flip a switch, and start cooking. It barely takes 10 minutes for your grill to get hot enough to cook on and compared to other outdoor cooking methods this is very fast.

Another great thing about cooking with a gas grill is the cleanup. It is very easy to clean a gas grill because there are no ashes or mess from charcoal dust or wood. You can let your grill stay hot for ten minutes after you are done cooking and scrape it down a bit and you will be all set. The heat will clean the grill on its own quite well.

The only downside to cooking with a gas grill is that you are going to taint the flavor of the food you cook with the gas a little bit. This doesn’t bother most people and you can use wood chips to help give your food a bit more flavor. If you use wood chips make sure you soak them in water for a while before you put them on the grill.

2. Charcoal Grill

A charcoal grill may be a better way to cook if you don’t want to taint the flavor of your food. There is nothing like getting that good smoky flavor into your food from the grill. Plus charcoal grills are much cheaper than gas grills because they are much simpler. There are many benefits to using a charcoal grill.

You can still use wood chips to help add flavor to your food and if you get the right tools you can light the charcoal and be ready to cook in about 20 minutes. This is a great way to cook outside if you don’t want to use gas, but you want to grill out anyway. You can lock in the great smoky flavor by using a charcoal grill and in most cases it is not as expensive.

Clean up is a bit more strenuous than using a gas grill, but most charcoal grills will have a way that you can dump the dust and ashes pretty easily. This is not much different than unhooking the tank from a gas grill every time it needs to be filled. You will have better tasting food with a more natural flavor with this outdoor cooking method.

3. Over an Open Wood Fire

If you are camping or you have a fire pit in your backyard another choice would be to cook over an open flame with a wood fire. This can allow you to keep the food tasting wonderful and cook in many different ways. You can take advantage of cooking things like cobblers in a Dutch oven or cooking many other dishes with the tools that are made for cooking over an open fire.

When you are camping and you are using a fire to cook most of your meals you can boil many things with simple pots and pans that are made for cooking. However, there are also tools that will allow you to build a pocket style sandwich and put it into the fire to cook. This is great for a pizza type of sandwich or anything else that can be toasted.

Many campers prefer to boil most of the food, but with an open fire you can roast marshmallows, hotdogs, and many other foods with a simple skewer that is long enough to put into the fire without burning your hand. There are many tools to help you cook food while camping and the most natural way to cook outside is over an open fire.

The outdoor cooking method you choose will have a lot to do with what you plan to do with your food. If you are simply cooking outside in your backyard choosing a grill type and cooking is much different than if you are camping out. Campers need more equipment and they have many choices for the tools they can use to cook over an open fire or even with gas burners.

If you want to keep your food tasting as natural as possible you will want to avoid using gas and stick with an open wood fire or charcoal. This is also the way you want to go if you are going to be smoking some type of meat. The smoky flavor comes from the charcoal or the wood you are using and if you use gas it will taint the flavor of the meat you are cooking.

It is up to you what type of cooking you want to do outside and if you are looking for something that is convenient and fast, then a gas grill is the best choice. However, if you are after flavor and you are not concerned about saving time you can either use a fire pit or a charcoal grill for your outdoor cooking needs.

Fabulous and Simple Pound Cake Recipe

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When it comes to desserts, cakes are among the popular ones. Kids and adults alike enjoy the sweet taste and rich texture of any type of cake. However, most kids love a kind of cake that is sweet, while others love a kind of cake with a smooth and creamy texture. You can make the cake according to how you want it to be; the ingredients and the manner of mixing the batter affect the kind of cake you can create.

You can certainly find a number of cake recipes that you will find completely delicious. Among the popular recipe that you should try is pound cake. This great dessert is truly satisfying and delicious, and the whole family will surely love it. Check out this easy and simple recipe for pound cake.

Black Walnut Pound Cake

Are you thinking of a great food item for teatime? You should definitely try making black walnut pound cake. Black walnut is a great addition to the pound cake. You will find this recipe easy to make because of the simple ingredients and the easy procedure in making the cake. Here are the ingredients that you need to make this fabulous food item.

Ingredients:

3 cups of brown sugar

1 cup of melted butter

1 cup of whole or skim milk

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup of shortening

5 pieces of large eggs

3 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup of chopped black walnuts

Frosting Ingredients:

8 oz. of softened cream cheese

1/4 cup of softened butter

16 oz. of confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions in making the cake:

First, prepare the batter by creaming the butter. You may use a mixing bowl for this. Afterward, put the sugar, followed by the shortening. Add in the eggs and beat continuously after adding each. Set aside the mixture.

Meanwhile, sift the flour and the baking powder. Use a large bowl to sift these two ingredients. Pour the milk to the prepared butter mixture. Mix well by using an electric mixer. Low speed is enough to combine the ingredients well. Add in the chopped walnuts.

Then, transfer the prepared mixture into the greased and floured tube pan. Bake the mixture for one hour at 325 degrees F. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, while on a wire rack.

While waiting for the cake to cool, you can prepare the frosting. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and the butter. Combine thoroughly while adding in the sugar. Next, pour the vanilla and whisk the mixture until fluffy. Spread a generous layer of the frosting on top of the cooled cake.

There you have it, an easy recipe for pound cake. You should definitely try making this amazing recipe that is ideal for dessert or teatime. You will love the great taste, fabulous texture and the convenience in making the pound cake. You can serve the cake with an icy cold beverage or warm coffee.

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Easy Cake Recipes

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Baking can be fun especially if you know what you are doing and you have all the appropriate ingredients and tools available. Who said baking had to be hard? It can be just a piece of cake! Here are some simple  cake   recipes  to get you started on the route to great baking.

#1 – Rich Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

-Butter, to grease the cake pans

-1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

-2 cups sugar

-3/4 cup cocoa powder

-2 teaspoons baking soda

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1 teaspoon salt

-1 cup buttermilk, shaken

-1/2 cup vegetable oil

-2 extra-large eggs

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C).

-Grease 2 (8-inch) circular cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

-Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

-Combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in another bowl.

-Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.

-Add the coffee and stir until combined.

-Empty the batter into the cake pans and bakes for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

-Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

-Remove the cakes and put them onto a cooling rack to cool.

#2 – Easy Fruit Cake

Ingredients

-1/2 cup Apple sauce

-3/4 cup Water

-1/2 cup Sugar.

-2 1/2 cups Mixed dried fruit

-2 Egg whites gently beaten

-1 1/2 cups White flour

-2 teaspoons Baking powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven at 300ºF.

2. Line a 6-inch circular cake pan using greaseproof paper.

3. Put the apple sauce, water, sugar, and dried fruit in a saucepan.

4. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Allow to cool.

6 Combine the egg whites into the fruit mixture.

7. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.

8. Mix to make a firm batter. Add water if necessary.

9. Pour into the cake pan and sprinkle brown sugar on top.

10. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, when a skewer comes out clean.

Novelty cakes are those that are created and designed in a wide variety of designs. These cakes have become prevalent at events particularly birthday parties. They are available in three types:

1. A simple round cake with objects or pictures on top.

2. Dimensional cakes when the cake is cut into the shape of the object desired.

3. 3-Dimensional where the cake is made in an imitated object that stands upright.

These cakes are costly and difficult to design but not if you buy a novelty cake tin in the object that you desire. Just bake a regular cake mix using the tin. When it is baked the ridges made by the tin will show you where to place certain extras. Frost the cake in your selection of colours and there you have it, your own novelty cake!

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Italian Cream Cake Recipe – Delicious Dessert Recipes

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Are you looking for an excellent dessert to follow the perfect Italian meal, romantic wedding cake, or just a recipe to break the chocolate cake monotony? If so, you definitely want to consider an Italian cream cake recipe.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups of white sugar

6 large room temperature eggs.

Cooking spray

1/2 cup of unsalted butter

2 cups of all purpose flour

1tsp of baking soda

1 cup of low fat or regular buttermilk

1/2 cup of coarsely chopped pecans

1 tsp of real almond extract

1 tsp of real coconut extract

1 tsp of real vanilla extract

1/2 cup of sweetened flaked coconut

1 tsp of salt

Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:

4 oz of unsalted butter

4 cups of powdered sugar

1 tsp of real vanilla extract

8 oz of cream cheese

One cup of pecans (toasted or un-toasted)

Italian Cream Cake Recipe Directions

The Icing:

Step One: Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cream cheese in a medium bowl.

Step Two: Beat the ingredients until light and creamy( about three minutes.) Be careful not to over beat, or the icing will be too runny.

Step Three: Set the nuts aside. They will be used at the end.

Step Four: Cover and refrigerate the icing.

Note: Do not add nuts to the icing. It will make the icing very difficult to spread.

The Cake:

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step Two: Evenly spray 3 (9 inch) round cake pans with the cooking spray.

Step Three: Dust the pans with flour, and then shake off excess flour.

Step Four: Set the pans aside.

Step Five: In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed; until it is an even creamy consistency.

Step Six: Separate egg yolks and whites. Reserve the egg whites for use in a moment.

Step Seven: Add one egg yolk and beat the mixture well. Add another egg yolk and beat the mixture well. *You will only use two of the egg yolks.

Step Eight: In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda.

Step Nine: Add the 1/4 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and mix well.

Step Ten: Add 1/4 of the buttermilk, and mix well.

Step Eleven: Continue to alternate flour and buttermilk, until all of it is used.

Step Twelve: Stir in the vanilla, coconut, and almond extracts.

Step Thirteen: Stir in the pecans and coconut.

Step Fourteen: Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on high speed, until a stiff peak forms. Be careful not to over beat.

Step Fifteen: Gently fold egg whites into batter.

Step Sixteen: Pour batter into pans.

Step Seventeen: Bake for 23 minutes.

Step Eighteen: Let the pans cool for 10 minutes. Then, gently remove cake from pans.

Icing The Cake:

Step One: Line a plate or cake dish with wax paper. You can use one of the pans to trace a circle for the exact size.

Step Two: Place one layer on the plate, and ice with ¼ of the icing. Repeat with each layer.

Step Three: Use the final 1/4 of the icing to ice the sides of the cake.

Step Four: Sprinkle the pecans on the top of the cake and along the sides. You can use a piece of wax paper to press the pecans into the icing.

It may sound a little tedious, but this Italian cream cake recipe is well worth it!

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Chocolate Cake Recipe, French-Style

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You know your weekend went well when you’ve got several new dessert recipes turned out, tasted and crumbs left to clean up by Monday morning.

I’ve noticed that I’ve been lagging in the homemade dessert department for some time now. And this isn’t right for several reasons.

First of all, they bring added pizazz to a meal. Secondly, a little sweetness can go a long way to prevent the dreaded grazing habit and it’s a great bonding dish to create with children who actively seek making stuff with you in the kitchen.

Finally, I’ve realized that some of my husband’s fondest memories are about desserts that his mom used to make. But don’t we all? No one reminisces over the canned veggies now do they?

Here’s where the Suchard chocolate comes in. I had it on hand, quietly keeping the flour and sugar company in the pantry. Having no better recipe than the one on the back of the box. My daughter’s got my brownie recipe in her head and went straight for melting the chocolate in the saucepan. (Personally, I think she just likes breaking the bar up into chunks and stirring what looks like Willy Wonka’s chocolate River.) She also got out the eggs, a mixing bowl, un fouet, whisk and flour.

The recipe is quite simple, easy, not difficult (except for whipping les blancs d’oeufs en neige, whipping the egg whites stiff). My daughter practiced her reading (of the recipe) and I got a bicep workout whisking the yokes with the sugar and butter until light yellow. Excellent, reading practice, arm workout, dessert for all in one go. Of course when dessert-time came around, I let her do the honors of serving everyone.

But the icing on this cake (total pun intended) was that for so little initial investment my daughter and I baked up a batch of memories that will stay with us a lifetime. Now that’s the kind of return I want on all my investments.

Suchard Chocolate Cake

*200 gr dark chocolate, or one dark, baking chocolate bar

*3 eggs, separate whites from yokes

*pinch of salt

*butter, softened

*1/3 cup or 50 gr sugar

*2/3 cup or 80 gr flour

Pre-heat oven to: 180°C (350°F). Grease and flour a medium-sized cake pan.

Melt chocolate in pan over low heat; in a separate bowl whisk together butter, sugar and egg yokes until batter is light yellow in color. (Hand whisk is sufficient); fold in flour in increments, whisking well after each increment. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside.

Stir chocolate in to flour, egg mixture, gently sit in egg whites. Pour into cake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Strawberry Cake Recipes

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If you are looking for an excellent dessert recipe and love southern cooking, this is the recipe for you. This strawberry  cake   recipe  is one of the favorites among the southern states and is perfect for any kind of occasion. This strawberry  cake   recipe  can be made with either white or yellow  cake  mix and can also be used with any from scratch  cake   recipe .

Ingredients for Strawberry  cake   recipe :

o 1 package of white cake mix

o 1 package of strawberry flavored gelatin powder – 3 ounces

o 1 cup of vegetable oil

o 4 eggs, lightly beaten

o 1/4 cup of water

o 3/4 cup of mashed strawberries

o 1/2 cup of butter

o 1 pound of confection sugar

o 1/4 cup of mashed strawberries

Directions for Strawberry  Cake   Recipe :

o Combine the cake mix and gelatin powder in a large bowl

o Beat in oil, eggs, water and strawberries

o Pour into two 9 inch round and greased cake pans

o Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

o Cool and frost with strawberry icing

o For the icing, beat the butter and confection sugar until smooth

o Add the strawberries

o Spread between the layers of cakes

o Frost the top and sides

If you would like to try a variety of the strawberry  cake   recipe , try this pecan strawberry  cake   recipe .

Ingredients:

o 1 box of white or yellow cake mix

o 1 cup of vegetable oil

o 4 large eggs

o 1 cup of flaked coconut

o 1 package of strawberry flavored gelatin

o 1/2 cup of milk

o 1 cup mashed fresh or frozen strawberries

o 1 cup chopped pecans

o 1 package of cream cheese, 8 ounces at room temperature

o 1/2 stick of margarine, 2 ounces at room temperature

o 1 teaspoon of vanilla

o 1/2 cup of chopped pecans

o 1/2 cup of strawberries mashed

o 5 to 6 cups of sifted powder sugar

Directions:

o Mix cake mix with the strawberry flavored gelatin

o Add the oil, eggs, coconut, gelatin and milk

o Beat until well blended

o Stir in one cup mashed strawberries and one cup of pecans

o Drizzle the cooled layers with reserved juice

o Spread with a layer of icing

o Ice the sides and top

o Store the cake and refrigerate

You can serve these delicious options of the strawberry  cake   recipe  for any occasion. You can add in other ingredients such as rhubarb to add an extra tart flavor. You can also top with whipped cream or any other fruit topping you would like. Serve the cake right away or store in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.

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Healthy(er) Cake Recipes

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In today’s health-conscious world, it can be a challenge to find tasty treats to enjoy and still be mindful of your figure. But by employing a few strategic substitutions and/or additions to your favorite desserts, you can indulge both your sweet tooth and your waistline. For example, by using reduced-fat milk products in place of whole milk, and egg whites instead of a whole egg, you can cut down your cholesterol intake considerably. Using fruits and fruit juice as sweeteners instead of sugar not only reduces calories, but also provides extra nutrients like vitamins and fiber.

Need some ideas to get started? Here are five recipes for scrumptious, guilt-free desserts guaranteed to satisfy both your conscience and your inner gourmand:

Almond Spice Cake

The prunes in this recipe add a sweet, moist richness, as well as vitamins and fiber.

Ingredients

1/2 cup + 1 dsp sugar

1/2 cup + 1 dsppureed prunes

3 tbsp margarine, softened

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 1/2 cup + 1tbsp + 1dsp white all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup + 1tbsp fat free or skim milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with low-fat cooking spray .

2. With an electric mixer, beat together sugar with prune puree, margarine, and both the almond and vanilla extracts for 2 minutes. Beat in egg whites and egg for 1 minute.

3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, allspice, and salt. Add to the prune mixture in conjunction with the milk, fully combining the ingredients.

4. Spoon batter into the coated pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out and let cool on a wire rack.

For an added culinary flair, top this pound cake with fresh prunes and reduced-fat whipped topping. Serves 10.

Diet Cola Cake

A favorite in the South, this easy cake recipe uses diet cola to sweeten and expand the ingredients.

Ingredients

1 18-oz. package chocolate cake mix

1 can diet cola

Spray a 13″ x 9″ square cake pan with low-fat cooking spray. Mix the cola with the cake mix in a large bowl, about 30 strokes. Pour into pan and bake according to package directions.

Baked apples

A traditional holiday treat. Try to use Rome or Delicious apples for best results.

4 large apples, washed, seeded and with cores removed to 1/2″ of the bottom of the apples. The holes should be about an inch wide.

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tbsp chopped pecans

3 tbsp currants (or chopped raisins)

1 dsp + 1 tsp margarine

2/3 cup + 1 dsp boiling water

1. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans together in a small bowl. Place apples in a 8-inch-by-8-inch square baking pan. Fill each apple with the pecan/raisin mixture. Top with a dot of margarine (1/4 of the Tbps).

2. Pour boiling water in the baking pan and bake at 375º F for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Be sure not to overbake or the apples will become too soft.

3. Remove from oven and pour the pan juices over the apples a few times.

Serve with low fat vanilla ice cream or low fat whipped topping.

Makes 4 servings.

Blackberry sorbet

An elegant and refreshing way to end a meal.

Ingredients

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 dsp cold water

1 1/2 cup + 1tbsp + 1dsp blackberries, fresh or frozen and partially thawed

1 tsp orange juice

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, about 5-10 minutes.

2. Add blackberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until blackberries are soft, about 5 minutes.

3. Pour mixture into shallow baking dish and allow to cool completely. Place cooled mixture in freezer and freeze until completely solid (about eight hours).

4. With a fork, break frozen mixture into large chunks and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

5. Sorbet can be served immediately or frozen. If frozen, remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving to defrost until soft enough for serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Mini-Chocolate banana sundae

A healthy treat that kids are sure to love.

Ingredients

2 dsp + 2 tsp semisweet chocolate chips

4 dsp + 4 tsp cold water

1 banana, thinly sliced

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp + 1 dsp nonfat yogurt or low fat whipped topping.

In a small saucepan, bring 4 tablespoons of water to a boil and add the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over the banana slices and top with yogurt or low fat whipped topping.

Holiday seasons can be an especially difficult time of year for those of us who are trying to eat more healthfully, but with a little bit of planning and a lot of enthusiasm, baking cakes with healthy cake toppings can be a fun, rewarding and a nutritious experience.

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Simple Banana Cake Recipe

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Here is a simple banana cake recipe using a cake mix that is easy and delicious. It can be baked either in a 9×13-inch pan or in a bundt pan (my preference).

My husband is having a slice with ice cream and just declared it “one of the best” banana cakes ever; hearty praise from a true cake lover!

The purist in me wishes cakes made from scratch with whole wheat flour and other more wholesome ingredients were met with such excitement, but sadly they’re not. The savvy realist within me admits that cake mix recipes often turn out better than from scratch cakes. They are more consistent, with better texture, especially when you know how to “doctor them up.” And in the final analysis, life is too short to eat anything less than delicious cake.

Have I mentioned that I am a huge fan of Anne Byrn, The Cake Mix Doctor? Everything I’ve ever made from her cookbooks has turned out great, but I’ve been reluctant to admit it, until I learned that Jamie Lee Curtis recently declared The Cake Mix Doctor her favorite cookbook on the Rachel Ray Show!

This recipe is from The Cake Mix Doctor Returns. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I omitted the additional 1/4 cup of sugar, replaced the 1/2 cup sour cream with plain yogurt, and skipped the 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans to keep it friendly for those who have nut allergies. I also added 2 tablespoons of flour which is a trick my mother learned from her Home Ec teacher decades ago to help cake mix cakes be less crumbly.

Simple Banana Cake Recipe

Serves 16 to 20 or 12 to 16 as a bundt cake

Vegetable oil spray for coating the pan

Flour for dusting the pan

1 cup mashed bananas (from 2 or 3 very ripe bananas)

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup sugar (optional)

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla

1 cup (6 ounces) miniature chocolate chips

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)

2 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar, for dusting on top

Position an a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13×9 inch metal cake pan (or bunt pan) with vegetable oil spray. Dust with flour, shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl, place the mashed bananas, cake mix,flour, sugar (if using), oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on medium speed until the mixture lightens and is smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if necessary. Stir in the chocolate chips.( If you are intending to bake the cake in a bundt pan, stir in the pecans too, if you are using them.)

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula. If you are baking the cake in a 9×13-inch pan, scatter the pecans (if using) evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until is deeply golden brown on top and the top springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 43 to 48 minutes (50 to 55 minutes for a bundt cake). Remove the cake from the oven and immediately sift the confectioners sugar over the top so that it melts to form a glaze. Let the cake cook for 20 minutes, then slice and serve while still a little warm. (If you are using a bundt pan, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan and sprinkle with the sugar.)

Storage: Store this cake, covered, at room temperature for up to three days or for up to one week in the refrigerator.

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Ice Cream Cake Recipe – Easy Ice Cream Cake Recipe

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If you’re in the mood for an ice cream  cake , but don’t want to spend a lot of prep time in the kitchen, this  recipe  really takes the  cake ! You can substitute sherbet or sorbet for the ice cream for an nice variation.

1 (10-inch) angel food cake

1/2 gallon any flavor ice cream

Directions

Let ice cream sit on the counter awhile until it softens enough where you can spread it easily (do not let it melt).

Pull angel food cake into 2-inch chunks. Layer the cake chunks on the bottom of a 9-inch or 10-inch tube pan. With a large knife, spread a layer of the softened ice cream over the cake chunks. Add another layer of cake on top of the ice cream. Keep repeating the layers until you’ve used up all the cake and ice cream.

Put the cake into the freezer and freeze for 2 to three hours. Before serving, carefully remove the cake from the pan and place on a serving dish. Top with your favorite sundae sauce.

=> Ice Cream  Cake   Recipe : Ice Cream Sandwich  Cake   Recipe 

A delicious and really easy to make ice cream sandwich dessert recipe. For a little variety, try caramel ice cream topping instead of, or in addition to, the chocolate topping. Additional garnishes – nuts, candy sprinkles and maraschino cherries

16 – 24 ice cream sandwiches

1 (16 oz.) container frozen whipped topping

1 (12 oz.) jar chocolate hot fudge topping

1 (1.5 oz.) chocolate candy bar, grated

Directions

In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, place half of the ice cream bars on the bottom of the dish, side by side. Spread half of the chocolate fudge on top of the ice cream bars. Spread half of the whipped topping on top of the fudge.

Place the remaining ice cream bars on top of the first layer and repeat with layers of chocolate fudge sauce and whipped topping. Sprinkle the grated chocolate on top.

Cover and freeze the cake for 1 hour. Keep the unused portion covered and frozen.

=> Fried Ice Cream Recipe: Mexican Fried Ice Cream Recipe

You’ll find this tantalizing dessert served in many Mexican restaurants. Try substituting caramel or butterscotch topping for the honey. Also you can try using 2 parts cornflakes crumbs mixed with 1 part crushed vanilla wafers.

1 quart vanilla ice cream

3 cups crushed cornflakes cereal or cornflake crumbs

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 egg whites

2 quarts oil for deep frying

Whipped Cream

Honey

Maraschino Cherries

Directions

Scoop out 8 balls of ice cream and place on a baking sheet, return ice cream balls to freezer and freeze for 1 hour, or until firm.

In a shallow bowl or dish, combine the cornflakes and the cinnamon. Roll each frozen ice cream ball in half of the cornflake mixture, return to freezer for 15 minutes.

In a separate dish, beat the egg whites until foamy. Dip each frozen ice cream ball in the egg whites, then roll them in the remaining cornflake crumbs. Make sure the ice cream is covered up completely. For thicker coating, repeat the process. Freeze ice cream balls for 3 hours or until very firm.

When you are ready to serve the ice cream, heat up the cooking oil in a deep fat fryer or heavy saucepan to 375 degrees.

Place each ice cream ball into a wire frying basket or slotted spoon. Fry one or two of the balls at a time for 10 to 15 seconds, until the coating is a golden brown color. Drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately. Garnish with whipped topping, drizzled honey and maraschino a cherry on top.

=> Easy Homemade Ice Cream Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

This is an extremely light and simple ice cream recipe to make that is homemade and tastes really good considering there’s only 3 ingredients. You can spice it up by adding crushed chocolate sandwich cookies or any kind of fruit.

8 cups milk

2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

In a freezer canister or ice cream maker, combine the milk, sugar and vanilla. Freeze according to manufacturers directions.

Note: For a richer tasting ice cream, add 1 can of evaporated milk and use 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract.

=> Homemade Ice Cream Recipe: French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

French vanilla ice cream is richer tasting than regular vanilla ice cream. This recipe will have you craving more of that smooth, creamy vanilla flavor.

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 cups whipping cream, chilled

Directions

In a saucepan or double boiler, mix the sugar, salt, milk and egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, continuously stirring until bubbles appear around the edge of the pan.

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