Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category
A neighbor of the MHK, who is responsible for a couple of the delicious recipes posted here, informed us that she had come across a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado cake. I know, those words don’t seem right together. But she made it, and generously supplied us with a slice yesterday. And it was…not bad. The icing was actually quite good, consisting of avocados, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla. The avocado served as a vegan substitute for butter, and the frosting tasted pretty close to regular buttercream. The cake was not nearly as successful, utilizing avocados in place of butter and eggs, and cocoa powder in place of any actual chocolate. The texture was ok, but it had no flavor at all. It didn’t taste like chocolate, and really wasn’t sweet enough. But when eaten with the frosting, it was certainly palatable as a healthier version of chocolate cake.
Here’s the link to the recipe if you want to give it a shot. Let us know what you think. Enjoy!
MHK reader Debbie brought this recipe to our attention last week; it apparently has been circulating around the interwebs for a couple of years, but it was the first we’d heard of it, so we gave it a try. Basically this is chocolate cake that can be made in five minutes, which is why it’s been labeled as the “most dangerous dessert.” Is it the best chocolate cake ever? No. Is it so good that you’ll want to make it every day? No. But for five minutes of work, it’s pretty decent. For those of you who have had that molten lava cake many restaurants offer, this is very similar (minus the liquid fudge center) in taste and texture; almost soufflé-like. One mug makes enough for two people, especially if you serve vanilla ice cream with it, which we highly recommend. Some experimenting with this recipe is probably in our future – we’re interested to see what happens if we reduce the amount of flour, add other ingredients like peanut butter or chopped raspberries, etc. If you have any good versions of this dish, let us know. Enjoy!
5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
1 large coffee mug
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
A small splash of vanilla extract
Add flour, sugar, and cocoa to mug; mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. Eat!
MHK reader/neighbor Melanie recently bestowed upon us the wonderful gift of a cherry pie. It was, of course, delicious (I wouldn’t be mentioning it here otherwise). But there was something unique about the crust – it was light, buttery and flaky, yet held the pie filling well. Melanie was nice enough to impart her recipe for this magnificent malleable, which we now share with you. You might be taken aback by the vodka – but it makes the dough much easier to work with, and then evaporates during the baking process. The next time you want to make a pie from scratch, use this crust recipe – you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!
Melanie’s Dough-lightful Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together (can do this part in the food processor too). Divide dough into 2 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate while preparing filling until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Fill with your favorite filling and bake. Eat!
The proud owner and founder of the Mouse House Kitchen turns [edited by owner] years old today, and we at the MHK have been granted most of the day off in honor of the event. But we did want to say a quick word about birthday cakes and such.
According to Wikipedia, the origin of birthday cakes can be traced back to ancient Rome: “In classical Roman culture, ‘cakes’ of flat rounds made with flour containing nuts, leavened with yeast, and sweetened with honey were served at special birthdays.” They must have eaten those in between orgies and gladiator fights. As for the lighting of candles on birthday cakes, Wikipedia says it goes back a few hundred years: “This tradition can be traced to Kinderfest (Kinder is the German word for ‘children’), an 18th century German birthday celebration for children.”
Fascinating…ish. The most important thing, really, is what kind of cake/dessert do you prefer on your birthday? I grew up a big fan of ice cream cakes, but the traditional frosted cake always hit the spot. Throughout the years, I have grown more fond of birthday brownies rather than cake. And now after a few years of attending kids’ b-day parties, I am growing weary of the same traditional frosted cake over and over.
Our beloved leader, the head Mouse himself, is off to a birthday lunch where he will be consuming a non-traditional birthday tiramisu. What’s the most unconventional birthday dessert you’ve had? Mousey minds want to know!
Oh, if only we all analyzed our cooking the way The Onion does. Enjoy!
Nation Struggles To Understand Why Area Pie Didn’t Come Out Right
December 6, 2010 | ISSUE 46•49
HASTINGS, NE—Citizens across the nation were shocked and dismayed Thursday when a pie originally intended to be a delectable, mouthwatering treat, somehow emerged from the oven in less-than-ideal condition.
The disappointing dessert—a cranberry-apple pie baked by Hastings woman Cathy Stanger—was described by those who tried it as gooey and saccharine, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, and has left a baffled nation struggling to understand how a pie that should have been so delicious could go so wrong.
“It…it just doesn’t make any sense,” Phoenix construction worker Dale Wallace said. “The crust was brown. Not a light golden brown, but dark brown. Almost black. There was no tartness in the filling, and the bottom was mushy. It wasn’t flaky or succulent either. How could this have happened?”
In a desperate search for answers, some Americans have directly called into question Stanger’s methods in preparing the lackluster baked good.
Specific criticisms include Stanger’s choice of fruits, with many saying that perhaps a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apple should have been used instead of Honey Crisp. Other detractors have suggested that Stanger should never have strayed from pumpkin, which is generally acknowledged to be her signature pie.
“She probably didn’t follow all the directions,” Orlando, FL resident Vivian Werner said. “Sometimes, you just miss a step somewhere along the way or figure you can wing it. Obviously, mistakes were made, and now the whole nation is paying the price.”
“You know what, I bet she overcooked it,” Werner continued. “People always leave pies in too long, I have no idea why.”
A Rasmussen poll found that 37 percent of Americans surveyed thought that Stanger had probably added too much salt to the crust, 24 percent believed that maybe she used an off-brand of cornstarch in the pie filling, 16 percent speculated that her oven might have some hot spots, and 7 percent felt that the pie was probably not that bad if you popped it in the microwave with a little scoop of ice cream on top.
Official reaction to the pie has been swift and decisive. Representative Ben Chandler (D-KY) took to the floor of Congress to denounce the pie as unappealing within hours of its removal from the oven. Later that afternoon, the Senate convened a special investigative panel to determine what went wrong with the pie, and plans to release its report in June of next year.
In the meantime, President Barack Obama attempted to soothe the nation in his weekly video address.
“My fellow Americans, we are all discouraged by the outcome of the pie in Hastings,” Obama said. “It was meant to feed six people, with leftovers for lunch the next day. But what’s important now is that we have our best minds working on the Hastings pie, studying it, analyzing it; making sure that something like this never happens again. Rest assured, there will be more pies.”
“And in a personal message to Cathy Stanger: Did you remember to cover the edge of the crust with foil?” Obama continued. “You should try that next time. It keeps the crust from burning.”
The weather is really misbehaving today – for some reason it’s got it in its head that it’s January, not early November. Snow is falling today, and in the midst of our confusion, we here at the MHK decided to search for “snow food” online. As with anything else you might search for, we found something. The following comes to us courtesy of cafemom.com, and we present it to you as an educational tool. Enjoy!
Snow food is snow terrific
By Mrs. Katie Martin
Be prepared to make “snow food.” Go ahead and get a few ingredients, and keep them around “just in case.”
Above all, make a snow angel or two, make a snowman, or throw a snowball. If you are out there to gather snow for your “snow food,” you might as well have fun.
Before you begin, you need to remember a few things. Always remember that all of the snow used in “snow food” needs to be clean snow. Make sure animals or children have not been in it. Search for the clean places where snow may have accumulated, like the top of your car. Take off just the top layer to make sure it is clean.
It is an old tradition that “snow food” should not be made until the second snow. The first snow just cleans the air. So, it should not be eaten.
To make your basic snow cream you will need the following:
Bowl of snow
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
A little bit of cream
Mix all ingredients. Mmmm!
Another variation calls for the following:
Snow “Ice Cream”
Large mixing bowl of snow
1 cup or more of whole milk
Sugar to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup snow