Crema Catalana

If you have ever visited Spain, Northern Spain to be exact, you will know that typically there is an intricate mix between French and Spanish cultures, including the food. The exchanges of food are NOT to be intermixed with each other, which is why I have come to develop a love for Barcelona’s Crema Catalana, the Catalan version of Creme Brulee. I lived in Barcelona for over a year during my Masters program there (yes….an American gal went to school outside of America to study…because she’s smart and savvy). I also had to learn Catalan for classes on top of my continual learning of Spanish. Needless to say, we are here for the food and I found a quick recipe on Food Network (surprisingly) and it has the basics of making a delicious yet delicate dessert that is easy on the pallet and not all time consuming. Try making it in a bigger ramekin (5 inches) because I think the caramel flavor is exacerbated further with the larger amount of sugar to be melted. And who doesn’t love sugar? 

Read on: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ingrid-hoffmann/crema-catalana-recipe/index.html

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe that is to die for!

Cream Cheese Recipe that is to die for!

Thank you Martha for being so fabulous (and slightly neurotic)! She was right in that it makes a lot of frosting – I used it on a box cake mix of Betty Crocker Carrot Cake mix (not bad for $1.50) and made an 8×8 pan and 12 cupcakes to boot and still had about 1.2 cup left over. I also added coconut shavings to the 8×8 pan to add more texture and flavor to the box mix.  Continue reading

Brownies that are too Delicious for words!

I have yet to try and cut this recipe in half because it bakes a full 9×13 pan of ooey-gooey delicious brownies. I worked it out to create an 8×8 square pan & a 9in. glass dish (about half of the batter in each cooking around the same time). It came out miraculously still (although I know I like my brownies to be thicker and plumper…yes…plumper) and thus I encourage you to make the full size pan if you intend on having many guests. I would say the original recipe could easily yield 12-15 pieces depending on the size of the cut and remember: these are so moist and indulgent, I promise you and your guests will be unable to eat a big piece.

…Now onward to the baking….

Tip: No hand-mixer needed! Best Part! Nothing more is needed than a sturdy wooden spoon and you have brownies in less than 15 minutes to prep and 30 mins to bake and voila!

Continue reading

Red Velvet Cake Balls – First Try…

Now let me tell you where I think we went wrong….too much frosting!

We started to build the cake balls from a Betty Crocker box mix (which is much easier than trying to create my own) (make according to box directions). We prepped the cake the day before to ensure it was entirely cool because it would not work without that being proper.

Next, we made ourselves homemade frosting (because store-bought tastes store-bought and it’s so easy to make your own!)

Tip: When the cake is finally cooled and you have broken up the cake well, slowly (and I mean slowly) add the frosting in small batches to develop the correct consistency you are looking for. Otherwise the cake balls will fall apart. 

Homemade vanilla frosting:

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting: 
20130320-065559.jpg
Continue reading