Strawberry-Rhubarb Buckle

Strawberry-Rhubarb Buckle

Prep: 20 mins    Cook: 40 mins    Total: 1 hr     Servings: 8     Yield: 8 servings

 

Growing up in Wisconsin, we had a patch of rhubarb growing in our backyard, and I loved all of the delicious desserts my Mom would make when it was in season. This recipe is my spin on her strawberry-rhubarb cake. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

 

Ingredients

Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling:
Cake Batter:
Topping:

 

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine rhubarb, strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water in a saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until mixture begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  • In a small bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons of water with cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved. Add mixture to the saucepan and continue cooking fruit until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie pan with non-stick cooking spray, and place on a baking sheet.

  • Beat 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar with an electric mixer in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, and yogurt. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix until just combined. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Pour strawberry-rhubarb filling on top of the batter. Spread remaining 1/3 of the batter in small mounds atop the filling. Set aside.

  • Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Mix using a fork, a pastry blender, or your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of the batter and filling.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the cake topping is nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

     

 

Nutrition Facts

386 calories; protein 5g; carbohydrates 57.4g; fat 15.7g; cholesterol 62.3mg; sodium 379.7mg.
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Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake

Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake

Chocolate Magic Flan Cake combines two favorite desserts in one! Part moist chocolate cake and part creamy custard, it’s the ultimate sweet treat!

Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake is easy to make and sure to wow the crowd. A luscious combination of caramel, chocolate cake, and (leche) flan, it’s the ultimate baked treat!

If you love a moist chocolate cake and a creamy flan, you are in luck. I am going to show you how to make a stunning Impossible flan cake that combines these two dessert favorites in one delectable treat!

 

What is magic chocoflan

The cake is made up of three components and baked in a bundt pan. The layering starts with the dulce de leche, followed by the chocolate batter and, finally, the flan. As it bakes, the cake rises to the top, and the custard sinks to the bottom.

Once the cake is released from the pan and inverted the cake on the serving platter, you’ll find that the chocolate and flan layer have magically switched places! You get a gorgeous cake with a luscious caramel glaze sitting on top.

How to make

making chocolate cake batter in a bowl

 

Chocolate cake layer

  • To prevent lumps in the batter, make sure that the milk and eggs are at room temperature.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and continue to beat.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and add half of the mixture into the mixing bowl.
  • Add half of the milk. Beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
  • Add the remaining half of the dry mixture and the milk and beat just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix as it will result in a dense cake.

Flan layer

  • In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a spouted container.

making chocoflan cake in a bundt pan

 

Assembling layers

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with softened butter and add the dulce de leche, swirling to cover the bottom of the bundt pan.
  • Spoon the chocolate batter on top of the dulce de leche, making sure to fill the pan evenly. Using an angled spatula, smoothen the top.
  • Carefully pour the flan mixture over the chocolate batter.
  • Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil, securing the edges.

Baking the cake

  • Set the bundt pan on a roasting pan and place inside the oven. Carefully pour about two inches of hot water into the roasting pan to create steam inside the oven as the cake bakes.
  • In a 350 F oven, bake the cake for about 60 minutes without opening the oven door to keep the steam from escaping.
  • After 60 minutes, check the cake by inserting a skewer in the middle. The cake is ready if the skewer comes out with some soft chocolate cake crumbs.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely on the roasting pan.
  • To release the cake, gently shake the roasting pan from side to side to loosen the cake.
  • Invert a cake serving plate over the bundt pan and carefully turn it over. Gently lift the bundt pan from the plate, releasing the cake.
  • Serve the flan cake right away or refrigerate to chill completely.

slice of chocolate flan cake in a white serving plate

And here you have it, layers of decadence in one ultimate treat. Caramel, flan, and chocolate in every slice!

I hope you try this chocoflan for your next baking project. You can also check out my black forest swiss roll and floating island dessert recipes. Happy baking!

Ingredients:

1 ounce butter, softened (for greasing the pan)
¼ cup dulce de leche (homemade or store-bought)

For the Chocolate Cake

¾ cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature
1 ¾ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 ¼ cup milk, room temperature

For the Flan

1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
4 eggs
½ tablespoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Making the Chocolate Cake Layer

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer until thick and fluffy.

Add the egg and continue to beat.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add half of the dry ingredient mixture into the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Add half of the milk.

Beat the mixture until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Add the remaining half of the dry mixture and of the milk. Beat just until the ingredients are incorporated.

 

Making the Leche Flan Layer

In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until well incorporated.

Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a spouted container.

Baking the Chocoflan

Grease a 12-cup bundt pan with softened butter.

Add the dulce de leche, swirling to cover the bottom of the bundt pan. Set aside.

Spoon the chocolate batter into the bundt pan on top of the dulce de leche, making sure to fill the pan evenly. Using an angled spatula, smoothen the top.

Carefully pour the flan mixture into the bundt pan over the chocolate batter.

Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil, securing the edges.

Set the bundt pan on a roasting pan and place it inside the oven. Carefully pour about two inches of hot water into the roasting pan.

In a 350 F oven, bake the cake for about 60 minutes without opening the oven door to keep the steam from escaping. After 60 minutes, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out with some soft chocolate cake crumbs, the cake is ready.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely on the roasting pan. To release the cake, gently shake the roasting pan from side to side to loosen the cake.

Invert a serving plate over the bundt pan and carefully turn it over. Gently lift the bundt pan from the plate, releasing the cake.

Serve the flan cake right away or refrigerate to completely chill.

Impossible Chocolate Flan Cake
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Homemade Falafels

Homemade Falafels

Falafels are traditional Middle Eastern deep fried patties or balls made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both.  They’re usually found stuffed in Pita bread or rolled in a flatbread along with fresh and pickled veggies and topped with a tahini sauce, that’s a Falafel Sandwich.  They are also eaten with fried eggs, hummus, babaganouj, and pickles for breakfast or served as mezzes and snacks.

My first encounter with falafels was at a kiosk in New York city where I grew up.  Buying a falafel sandwich from this kiosk was a treat when we spent the day at the near by park.  Then my family moved to Hawaii in the mid-70’s where there were no kiosks selling “ethnic” foods and so I didn’t have falafels again until I married my husband who is of Palestinian decent.  Imagine his surprise when I told him I actually knew what falafels were!

As newlyweds in Hawaii we had to figure out how to make falafels at home; as I new bride I had no clue!  Remember back in the 80’s there was no google, no pinterest, no instagram, or any kind of internet that would find a recipe in seconds.  I had to rely on cookbooks from the library, not really helpful.

Then we found a box of falafel mix at a local health food store.  Just add water and fry.  It wasn’t the best, but we made do.  I started experimenting with the boxed mix and found that adding finely chopped fresh parsley improved the taste.  Started adding more spices and pretty soon I figured I may as well by pass the mix and make it from scratch.   That didn’t go so well until I managed to buy a food processor, now I was in business!

As I was exploring the makings for falafel from scratch we started traveling all over the world.  Of course travel opens up your life to different places, foods, and cultures and our travels in the Middle East definitely helped my falafel making.  We loved the falafel sandwiches at Mr. Falfala in Cairo and the ones found on the streets of Diera in Dubai.  But nothing beats the fresh falafels served at Hashem’s and Abu Jbarra in Jordan!  On our last trip to Dubai this year we discovered that Abu Jbarra opened a place by the Dubai Mall, we ate brunch there almost everyday!

Anyway those trips to Egypt, Dubai, and Jordan whetted my desire to make falafels at home that would be close to the ones served in the places we loved.  I say close because I doubt I’ll ever figure out the exact match to Hashem’s falafels served in this little alley in downtown Amman.

I make large batches of falafels so that I have enough to freeze for future use.  Raw falafel paste freezes beautifully!  This way I don’t have to haul out the food processor every time I want to fry falafels and I always have some handy when  I have a yen for a falafel sandwich.

I’ve found that using fresh ingredients makes the difference between decent falafels and amazing ones!  So I use fresh cilantro, parsley, and dill as my primary seasonings; they will turn your mixture green, but the greener the falafel is the better it tastes in my opinion.  I also use dry chickpeas never canned.

It takes a bit of planning to make really great falafels, but believe me it’s so worth the effort!

Fresh Falafel

Ingredients:

8 oz. Dried Chickpeas (1/2 a bag)

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Large bunch of Fresh Cilantro, rinsed and dried on paper towel

1 Large Bunch of Fresh American Parsley, rinsed and dried on paper towel

1 Small Bunch of Fresh Dill, rinsed and dried on paper towel

2 Tbs. Fresh Garlic, minced

1 Tbs. Cumin Powder

1 Tbs. Ground Coriander

1 Tbs. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

Oil for frying

Pita or Flat Bread

Optional Condiments: Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, pickled beets, tahini sauce, thousand island dressing, or what ever you want to add in the sandwich

Directions:

Pour dried chickpeas into a bowl and mix in baking soda.

Cover with water and soak overnight.

Rinse chickpeas in cool water and drain in a colander.

In a food processor load in this order:

Cilantro leaves and stems (you don’t have to use all the stems but do use the leaves), Parsley, Dill (prepare and use Parsley and Dill the same way as Cilantro).

Drained chickpeas and garlic

Dried spices (cumin, coriander, salt, pepper)

Turn on processor and grind until it is a paste

If freezing place paste into freezer safe containers and freeze.  Thaw before cooking.

If using immediately:

Heat about 2″ of oil in a small pot.

Add baking soda to falafel paste and combine well.

Test that oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of falafel paste in; if oil starts bubbling around the paste your oil is ready for frying.

Form paste into small 1″ balls or patties and drop into hot oil.

Fry until all sides are brown, cooked falafel will float.

Drain on paper towels and serve as a sandwich filling or by itself for breakfast or as mezzes.


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Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

We topped elegant strawberry shortcake with a ghoulish white chocolate skull in this spectacular Halloween dessert. Pour over the hot strawberry sauce to reveal the surprise inside!

Level: Intermediate

Total: 2 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)

Active: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Chocolate Skull:

4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

4 ounces strawberries, sliced

Cake and Filling:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce:

8 ounces strawberries, finely chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces red candy melting wafers

Directions

 

1. For the chocolate skull: Add the white chocolate melting wafers and coconut oil to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the front and back cavities of a 2-part medium plastic skull mold (3-by-4-by-4-inch) and tilt to swirl the chocolate around until coated entirely (you can also use your finger to swirl the chocolate around). Tap out any excess and freeze until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.  

3. Reheat the melted chocolate, if needed, and brush the sides of the mold cavities with a second layer. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes. 

4. Carefully unmold the skull halves and fill one with the sliced strawberries. Microwave the melted chocolate again until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use the melted chocolate as glue to carefully attach the skull halves. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5. For the cake and filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 6-inch round cake pan with 3-inch sides with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the paper. 

6. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  

7. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low just to incorporate, then beat on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and continue to beat until creamy, about 2 minutes (the mixture will look curdled, but will come back together after everything is combined). With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

9. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, turn the cake out onto the rack, remove the parchment and cool completely.  

10. Meanwhile toss the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

11. Cut the cake into 3 layers with a long serrated knife. Place a cake layer on a cake stand and top with half of the strawberries. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream on top. Repeat with another cake layer, the remaining strawberries and 3/4 cup whipped cream. Top with the final cake layer and remaining 1/2 cup whipped cream. Position the skull in the center of the whipped cream.

12. For the strawberry white chocolate sauce: Add the strawberries and granulated sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have broken down and thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and return the liquid to the saucepan (discard the solids). Add the cream and red candy melting wafers to the sauce and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until melted and hot, 10 to 15 minutes. 

13. When ready to serve, pour the hot sauce over the center of the chocolate skull.

 

 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing

Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing

I recently found myself with several over ripe bananas and leftover Buttermilk.  I know over ripe bananas usually mean a batch or two of Banana Bread, but I still had a few loaves in the freezer.  Besides I wasn’t in the mood for Banana Bread.

I was however in the mood for cake!  So why not bake some banana cupcakes?  Then I remember that a local bakery sold this yummy banana cake with Chantilly Icing.  I think Chantilly icing must a a local Hawaii favorite because the recipe isn’t too easy to come by.

You might be wondering what Chantilly Icing is.  Well it’s sort of hard to describe, it’s sweet, creamy, and buttery; kind of but not quite like the frosting on a German Chocolate cake.

In Hawaii Chantilly icing is used on Chantilly Cake which is very similar to a German Chocolate Cake but with macadamia nuts instead of coconut flakes.  It’s also used to top Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs, those delectable chocolate cream filled puffs. It’s also used on Banana Cake!

So to make these really yummy Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing I used 2 different recipes.  The Banana Cake recipe and a recipe for that delicious Chantilly Frosting.  The frosting I made was more than enough to ice the cupcakes.  I refrigerated the leftover frosting and used them on a chocolate cake a few days later.

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Butter, softened to room temperature

2 Cups Sugar

3 Eggs

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

2 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed

2 Tsp. Lemon Juice

3 Cups Flour

1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 Tsp. Salt

1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees

Line Cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers

Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.

Beat in vanilla and cinnamon.

Add lemon juice to mashed bananas and stir until smooth.

Add to butter mixture.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture.

Mix well.

Pour batter into cupcake wraps about 3/4 full.

Smooth tops.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool.

Frost when completely cooled.

Chantilly Icing

Ingredients:

1 2/3 Cup Butter

1 1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk

1 1/2 Cup Baker’s or Caster Sugar

2 Tsp. Vannilla

2 Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tbs. Corn Starch

Directions:

Melt Butter in saucepan over medium low heat.

Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Whisk in milk, sugar, and vanilla.

Then whisk in eggs and yolks one at a time.

Cook on medium hear until it comes to s low boil.  Whisking is it intermittently.

Once it boils cook for another 2 minutes continuing to whisk intermittently.

Remove from heat then quickly sift in cornstarch while whisking.  Whisk cornstarch quickly and hard to prevent it from lumping.

Pour into a shallow bowl and cool to room temp.

Cover and refrigerate about 3 hours or until it’s in a spreadable consistency.

Frost cooled  cupcakes.


Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing
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Banana Cupcakes with Chantilly Icing
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