Saturday, March 16, 2013

Leprechaun Cake (Magic Cake, Gone Green)

Magic Cake.. Wow. I've seen this cake surface recently on food blogs, its pictures speaking to me, and thought to myself "it does indeed look magical!" How do these simple ingredients transform in the oven into a three-layered cake that looks unlike any other? It must be magic.

But alas, it is not... it just seems magical. In fact the batter quite closely resembles that of a custard - egg yolks, milk, a bit of flour and flavorings. The mixed in beaten egg whites, which don't ever really truly mix in, rise in the oven to create the sponge-cake-like top and the long cooking time along with the flour sinking to the bottom allows this dessert to form a crust-like bottom.

Putting this cake together doesn't take much time at all, which is why you should try it. The result is a delicious custard-like dessert that has an interesting myriad of textures. In fact I would consider this more of a custard than a cake since the custard is the predominant component. But I guess "Magic Custard" wouldn't have the same effect.

I added a little green to the batter to celebrate the current holiday... Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Magic Cake
Adapted from: White on Rice Couple Blog

(Yields: 1 8" square or 1 9" round cake)

1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c granulated sugar (or 1 1/4 c confectioner's sugar)
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted & cooled
4 eggs, separated, room temperature
few drops (3 or 4) of vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
2 c milk (I used 2%), room temperature
1 T water
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
liquid food coloring (if you want to color your cake as I did)

In a clean bowl, whip the 4 egg whites with the vinegar until they form stiff peaks. Set them aside.

In another bowl, whisk all the ingredients together all the ingredients. If you want to color your cake, liquid food coloring will do as the batter is very liquid. I used the regular liquid food coloring you can buy at the grocery store that comes in packs of 4 and I put in 10 drops of green.

Then gently whisk in the beaten egg whites until there are no lumps remaining.

Pour the batter into your greased pan.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. This is how my cake looked when I took it out of the oven. It had risen quite a bit. This is normal. It will deflate as it cools.

Let the custard cake cool completely, then slice into it and enjoy. You can top it with confectioner's sugar for a pretty presentation.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Homemade Irish Cream

Whiskey has never been something my husband or I have enjoyed drinking. So, when we found ourselves with a bottle of whiskey, we just kind of let it sit with our other spirits, the bottle just collecting dust. That was, until I found a great way to repurpose this potent libation. And it seemed so fitting that St. Patrick's Day was just around the corner!

Bailey's Irish Cream is one of those yummy, creamy, chocolatey, drinks that is decadent and dessert-like. Its delicious on its own, mixed in a cocktail, or lending flavor to things like frosting or other dessert components.
The homemade version of Irish Cream has been traveling around the internet for quite some time and I happened across it, quite excitedly - figuring that even though the recipe called for Irish whiskey, I could substitute the Canadian whiskey I had sitting on my shelf. And I was right!

This homemade Irish Cream is delectable. My husband said it may just be the best tasting he's ever had. What's more, is that it came together in seconds. With the few fairly basic ingredients and an immersion blender, this recipe is complete before you know it. And it's the perfect concoction for the upcoming holiday.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Homemade Irish Cream
(Adapted from: Manu's Menu Blog)

Yield: Around 5 cups

1 1/2 c whiskey
1 14-oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 c heavy or light cream (I used heavy cream)
2 T chocolate sauce (such as Hershey's)
1 t instant coffee
1 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract

In a pitcher or large bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Mix with an immersion blender for about 15-20 seconds, until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Pour into a jar, seal and store in the fridge.
This Irish Cream will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container for around 2 months. Make sure to shake or mix a bit before using.