Berries and Cream Layer Cake

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I guess you could say I’m on a bit of a cake kick lately. I’ve almost completely finished the cake section of my cookbook, and I think my office may or may not be getting sick of it haha. Today, it’s a cake just for you guys though! 

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So, here’s the deal with this cake. There’s a certain cake that a certain fancier grocery retailer sells in the springtime- it has chantilly cream and lots of berries, and it’s SUPER popular. Secret time- I have never had this cake. But, I wanted to create something similar, or at least what I think is probably similar based on what I know of said cake. 

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Anyways, my version has a sweetened vanilla custard cream, strawberries, raspberries, and fluffy white cake. It feels springy to me, and the cake is soft and lightly sweet. The cream is fluffy and smooth, and it’s overall a simple and tasty combo. 

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I’m writing this on a Sunday evening, and I’ve been baking all day long- much more than just this cake. I’m exhausted, and pretty unsure if I’ll ever get up from my current spot on the couch, snuggling with my pupper. Well, back to pretending tomorrow isn’t Monday- enjoy guys! 

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Berries and Cream Layer Cake

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • For the cream filling/frosting:
  • 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 10-15 strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 pint of raspberries

Instructions

  • For the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease three 6-inch pans.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the egg whites, and beat for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix into the butter mixture until completely incorporated.
  • Beat in the sour cream and heavy cream until the batter is smooth.
  • Evenly divide the batter between your three pans, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely before frosting.
  • For the cream filling/frosting:
  • In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese and heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  • Add in the vanilla, sugar, and instant pudding mix. Beat several minutes, until the cream is thick.
  • Between each layer of cake, add a thick layer of the cream, and then a layer of the sliced strawberries and raspberries.
  • Frost the outside as desired!
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Celebration Cake and Big News

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Sometimes you just want to be fancy. And sometimes things in life just deserve some small amount of fanciness, and you just must oblige with a cake. Look guys, those are just the rules, I didn’t make ’em! But apparently I’m here to enforce them..? Whatever. 

Vanilla Layer Cake

Here’s the first thing, buy yourself some 6 inch round cake pans, it’s just nice. Like, this recipe can be made using two 8 inch standard pans, but it seems a bit less fancy. You know what I said about being fancy guys. And with 6-inch pans, you can make these tall, pretty cakes without having to make, like, a ton of cake. 

Chocolate Frosting

Alright so, now that we’ve got the fancy down, I have some exciting news to share. A couple of days ago I officially signed the paperwork, and I’m now working on publishing a cookbook! I’m working with Graphic Arts Books, and it’s going to be like, a real cookbook, that they sell in real stores you guys. IT’S CRAZY. 

This is something I’ve wanted for a really long time, but I’ve always thought of it as a long-term goal, and it’s kind of blowing my mind still. I’ve been baking nearly every day of the week because I am insanely excited (my co-workers are reaping some sweet rewards right now). 

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I’ll share more about the book later on, once we’re a bit further into the process, but I will say that our anticipated release will be in October of 2018! EEEEE!

Alright, back to the cake, I’m calling it the celebration cake, cause, well you know. Anyways here’s the deal; it has sweet vanilla pound cake layers, thin layers of raspberry jam, and chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. It’s everything. 

Simple Layer Cake

On the buttercream- listen, every single time I have ever made swiss meringue buttercream, I’ve been 99% sure I screwed it up. I always think to myself “Alright it’s cool, I have more eggs and butter, I’ll try again. Imma just whip it a little longer and then give up.” And then I walk away and come back, and it’s magically become this silky, beautiful frosting. Don’t. Give. Up. It looks weird for a while, and all broken and messed up, but it’ll come back together, really. 

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Cake with Sprinkles

I hope today you have something to celebrate, and it’s totally okay if that something is that it’s Thursday. Enjoy!

Celebration Cake and Big News

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 tbs. softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbs. whole milk
  • For the frosting and filling:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam

Instructions

  • For the cake:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and grease three 6 inch cake pans, or two 8 inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  • Add in the flour mixture and the whole milk alternating, starting and ending with the flour. Beat for 1-2 extra minutes, until the batter is very smooth.
  • Divide the batter evenly into each of your cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes for 6 inch pans, or for 45 minutes for 8 inch pans, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  • Cool cakes slightly, and then turn them out of the pans. Wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30-45 minutes, so the cakes are easier to work with.
  • For the frosting:
  • Over a double broiler, whisk the egg whites and sugar until the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
  • Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer, Using the whisk attachment, beat the mixture until it has completely cooled, and forms stiff peeks.
  • Switch to the paddle attachment. One tablespoon at a time, add in the softened butter.
  • The mixture will begin to look thin and separated. Continue to beat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture comes back together and becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Beat for several minutes until the chocolate is completely incorporated.
  • To assemble the cake:
  • Trim your cakes so they are flat on top.
  • Place your first layer on your plate or cake stand. Spread half of the raspberry jam onto the cake in an even, thin layer. Top with about 1/3 cup of frosting.
  • Repeat this process for the second layer.
  • Top with the final layer of cake, and frost top and sides with remaining frosting. Gently drag a small spatula around the cake to create the ringed look.
  • Top with sprinkles for extra fancy.
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Salted Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

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Sometimes simple is good. 

But more importantly, simple things are easy to make. And when you want a chocolate covered graham cracker, you probably want it immediately. Or you could be normal and go to a candy store the day after tomorrow, whatever. 

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I just got back from a trip to California to see my husband’s grandparents, and I think we hit every candy store within a 50 mile radius. You might think thats probably only like one, but it’s more like 10. And somehow even after going to 9 candy stores, we still bought stuff at the 10th. 

My favorites are always chocolate covered graham crackers. Those things are crack you guys. So naturally, after the 18 hour drive home, and a day without food in my house, all the ones I bought are gone, and I still want more. You guys feel really bad for me, right?

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Anyways, turns out they are super easy to make, which I know shocks no one, and also that sprinkling some coarse salt on top makes them even better somehow. 

I used 24 oz of chocolate to make about 36 chocolate covered grahams here, but if you feel like you don’t need that many, (you are wrong) just ya know, melt less chocolate and go with it. Also, I suggest using chocolate that you like to eat. The first time I did this, I used something really cheap, and it didn’t taste nearly as good as I hoped. Since it’s just a coating of chocolate, it’s worth it to go for the good stuff.

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Anyways, it’s pretty straight forward; melt the chocolate, dip the grahams, shake off the excess, salt and chill. Enjoy!

Salted Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 36 squares of graham crackers
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  • In a medium dish, (I used a glass loaf pan) melt 3/4 of the chocolate in the microwave. Melt it in 30 second increments to ensure that you do not over-melt.
  • Then, stir in the remaining chocolate until melted completely.
  • With a fork, dip the graham crackers into the chocolate until coated. Lift out of the chocolate, and tap on the side of the dish to let excess chocolate drip off.
  • Slide the dipped cracker off the fork and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt immediately.
  • Once you fill a sheet, chill until the chocolate has set.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
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Soft Pretzel Twists

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Hi everyone! Today is a special post- it’s actually my 100th recipe on the blog! 

I’m going savory for number 100 with these soft pretzel twists, and they’re super easy to make actually. Let’s just have a real moment here, where we all admit to ourselves that soft pretzels are one of God’s gifts to earth. Like what self-respecting carb-lover does NOT like soft pretzels?

It’s actually one of the easier bread types to make because it only has to rise once, which means there’s less chance to screw it up basically. It does, however, have the odd step of boiling the dough before baking it, but that’s what gives it that pillowy texture we all love. 

Here’s the idea; you make the dough, give it a bit to rise, until it doubles in size and looks about like this: 

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Then, divide your dough in half, in half again, and then into fourths. Roll into a rope, fold it in half and twist. Then tuck the ends into the loop so you end up with a twisted roll shape, like this: 

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Next, you’ll boil the dough twists in water mixed with baking soda for about 30 seconds. Place it on your baking sheet, brush on an egg wash, and sprinkle coarse salt and pepper over the tops: 

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Then bake ’em up! Here’s what they look like all pretty and golden: 

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Even if you haven’t been following Dough-eyed for too long, I hope you celebrate this 100th post with me, and bake up some pretzel twists. You can use them as slider buns, a twist on dinner rolls, or just with nacho cheese- the classic. 

Enjoy!

 

Soft Pretzel Twists

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups warm water (around 125 degrees)
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 6 tbs. melted butter
  • 2 ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups flour
  • 2 quarts water
  • ¼ cup baking soda (that’s right, a whole quarter cup!)
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water
  • Coarse salt and pepper for topping

Instructions

  • If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. If not, a hand mixer will work. In a large bowl, mix together warm water, brown sugar, yeast, and melted butter. Let stand for about five minutes.
  • In the meantime, mix together the salt, and 4 ½ cups flour
  • Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and combine until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky, so use more flour if needed.
  • Knead the dough on a flat surface for about five minutes, and form into a ball. Grease a medium bowl with a small amount of oil. Toss the dough in the bowl, flipping to coat the top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes to an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot, bring two quarts (eight cups) of water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the boiling water quickly and be careful because it might splatter!
  • Prepare two sheet pans with a non-stick silpat sheet.
  • Divide your dough in half, then in half again. Then, each of those halves should be divided into four.
  • Roll each small section into a rope. Then fold it in half, and twist, and finally, fold the ends of the twisted rope into the loop on the top. This should create a twisted roll shape.
  • Use a slotted spoon to boil and remove about four pieces at time, for about 30 seconds each. You can put the boiled pieces directly onto your prepared sheet pan.
  • Then, brush the pieces with your beaten egg mixture and immediately top with salt and pepper. Bake for about twelve to fifteen minutes, until golden brown!
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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Monkey Bread

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Guys, this is a good one. It’s a long title, but I just felt like you needed to know the extent of what’s happening here like, immediately. 

So, wanna hear a super cool story? One of my co-workers at my day job, Chaz, always talks about this awesome pizza place he grew up with called Dion’s, and how they just recently started opening them up in Colorado. Like seriously, Chaz loves this place. So when Dion’s reached out to me about this post, I was sitting there thinking, “Dion’s… Dion’s… where do I know that name?”

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The point of the story is that I’m so excited to be partnering with this awesome restaurant for my post today, and I hope you guys love it! Thanks for listening. 

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My husband and I went over to Dion’s last night for dinner, my first time at the restaurant. We ordered the Duke City pizza, from a recommendation of my friend Chaz, and it didn’t disappoint! It’s really unique, with green chili’s so it’s got a good kick to it. 

When we headed out, we grabbed a few dough balls to take home for this dessert recipe. Their dough is made fresh every morning, so it’s really great to work with, especially compared to some grocery store options out there. I’m a from-scratch baker for a lot of recipes, but in my everyday life, I LOVE shortcuts. With such a great quality dough, it’s super easy to bake with. 

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Alright, on to the monkey bread. You guys, please, you must try this recipe! It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Seriously, EVER. Listen, you can make monkey bread that’s not stuffed. You can, but don’t, because this version is worth every single extra step. 

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I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did, and if you have a Dion’s in your city, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!

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This post was sponsored by Dion’s

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Monkey Bread

Ingredients

  • 40 oz of fresh pizza or bread dough (about one and a half large dough balls from Dion's)
  • 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 10-cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, first 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Set aside.
  • Place your melted butter in another small bowl. In a third small bowl, mix together the 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Pull off small pieces of dough, about the size of a golf ball. Stretch the dough into a flat circle. Spoon a small amount of the cream cheese mixture in the middle, along with two chocolate chips.
  • Stretch the dough around the filling back into a circle shape, and pinch to seal.
  • Dip the ball into the melted butter, and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Place in your bundt pan.
  • Continue until you have one layer of filled dough balls in the pan. Then sprinkle on half of the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Finish filling and rolling the rest of the dough balls, until the pan is 3/4 full.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the second 1/2 cup of butter, then whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  • Pour the sauce over your dough in the bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until set, and the top is golden. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with foil while you continue to bake.
  • Cool for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out onto a plate, and enjoy warm!
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