Posts Tagged 'vanilla extract'

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie

As all good true Southerners, I love pie and banana pudding!

I came up with this yummy dessert to marry together two of my favorite sweet treats into one perfect concoction!

Think you’ll agree … it’s a marriage made in Heaven!

Enjoy!

Banana Pudding Pie

For the crust:
2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, plus extra for the pie garnish
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 

For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the whipped cream topping:
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup granulated or powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the crust: In a food processor, finely grind the cookies. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Slowly add the butter and pulse until well incorporated and forms moist clumps. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the side. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Over medium heat, cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer a large mixing bowl. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool completely, about 1 hour.

Spoon 1/2 of the cooled pudding evenly over the bottom of the crust. Create a layer of banana slices, reserving some for garnish. Spoon the remaining pudding evenly over the bananas. Place the pie in the refrigerator to set while making the whipped cream topping.

To make the topping: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream evenly over the pie filling. Chill the pie until set, at least 4 hours. Before serving, garnish with the remaining banana slices and extra vanilla wafer cookies.

Serves 8.

Do-Ahead: You can make and refrigerate this crust and the pie filling the day before. Add the whipped cream and garnishes the day of.

Recipe from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.

 

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The BEST Chocolate Frosting

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The BEST Chocolate Frosting

It’s all about the frosting!  Don’t you agree?!

I usually judge a cupcake based on the frosting.  If the frosting is not yummy, it doesn’t matter how moist and delicious the cake part is.

This past week was my husband’s birthday and I wanted to make some cupcakes for the party I was throwing him.

He’s a fan of chocolate so I knew that’s what was on the menu.  Being busy with work, I also knew I needed to take a short cut.  So I used a boxed Devil’s Food Cake Mix for the cake part.  Boxed cake mixes are so tasty and moist that I have no guilt about taking that short cut. (And you shouldn’t either!)

That said … I have yet to find a frosting that I like as much as one that is homemade.

I thought about a ganache or a buttercream … then my daughter mentioned how much she loves my classic Cream Cheese Frosting (click here for the recipe).  That got me thinking … how could I make that yummy icing chocolate?  Well, it’s simple! Just add cocoa powder!  The tang of the cream cheese was a perfect compliment to the richness of the cocoa powder.  It made for a super chocolatey frosting that was delicious on the Devil’s Food cake.

And as the biggest plus of all … this frosting is sooooo simple to make!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup cocoa powder

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and beat until smooth and evenly incorporated.

Enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 cake.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my go-to frosting.   It’s simple, easy, versatile and super tasty.

For years I struggled with the perfect frosting.

The “American” buttercream made with Crisco shortening is great for decorating cakes , but it’s not my favorite when it comes to taste.  Traditional French buttercream has a wonderful flavor, but it is difficult to make.  Plus, living in the South, I found that if it was too hot or too humid (like it is 90% of the time in Memphis), I found that my buttercream would easily melt if not refrigerated.

Then one day I came across a recipe for cream cheese icing.

The cream cheese adds great flavor … and more importantly adds the perfect creamy yet fluffy texture that is a pre-requisite for a good frosting. Cream cheese is also less temperamental than butter, so gone are more worries about wilting frosting if the weather was less than perfect.

Cream cheese icing is also the perfect topping for so many cake flavors.  I often use it on coconut cupcakes as in the picture above.  But it is equally delicious on a chocolate cake or red velvet cake.  (Sometimes when I make chocolate cupcakes I sprinkle chocolate chips or chocolate jimmies on top to add a little pizzazz to my presentation.) Add a little lemon zest or lemon extract  for the perfect topping to a lemon cake.  Or slather your next carrot cake with this yummy frosting.

And speaking of cupcakes, I don’t know if you have noticed the fabulous cupcake liner in my photo above.  I just discovered these wonderful paper baking cups by Sutton Gourmet Paper.  They keep their gorgeous designs when baked!  It is one of   those inventions that I say …“Now why didn’t I think of that?!”

So get baking and top those cakes with this fool-proof Cream Cheese Frosting!

Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ lb. (or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.

Enough for 2 dozen cupcakes or 1 cake.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

My good friend Kristen Keegan won “Best in Show” at the Mid-South Fair with this cake.  Moist and delicious, it has just the perfect amount of lemony flavor. Serve it on its own or with freshly whipped cream and fresh berries.

Enjoy!

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

For the cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened, plus extra to grease the loaf pan      
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra to flour the loaf pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder                                 
1/4 teaspoon salt                                                
1/4 cup butter flavor all-vegetable shortening                     
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest 

For the Lemon Glaze:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted                              
1/2 cup granulated sugar                                             
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9- X 5-inch loaf pan.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until well blended. Add the milk, vanilla extract, lemon extract, and lemon zest and stir to blend. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about  60 to 70 minutes. While it is still in the pan, pierce several holes in the cake with a knife or skewer. Prepare the glaze and top before the cake is completely cooled or removed from the pan.

To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the cake sit in the pan until the glaze is fully absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 8. 

Cooking Tips:

Cooking for a crowd? You can easily double this recipe and bake it in a Bundt pan.

For 1 tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest, you will need 1 large (or 2 small) lemons. For no waste, first zest your lemons and then juice them. 

Freezes well.

 

 

Praline Bread Pudding

Known as “poor man’s pudding,” bread pudding was originally created as a means of salvaging stale bread.  In my opinion, there is nothing poor about this rich-ly decadent dessert. In fact, it may be one of my favorite treats.

Every ooey gooey bite reminds me of my Grandmother’s New Orleans kitchen.  She used to make a pretty straight forward version from stale French bread, eggs, milk, sugar, and a little orange zest.  What made hers divine though was the whiskey hard sauce she whipped up to garnish it.  

Bread pudding is a pretty versatile dish. It can be made with pretty much whatever bread you have on hand…some of the popular choices being brioche, challah, croissant, panettone, French, and Italian. You can also add whatever flavorings you prefer. Some folks even make savory bread puddings. (Oyster bread pudding is one savory Louisianan version that I find irresistible.) Bread puddings are even more insanely richer with the addition of a decadent sauce like my Grandmother’s, chocolate fudge or the Praline sauce in this recipe.

One of my new favorite flavors is Praline Bread Pudding. When I was writing Simply Suppers (release date Sept 2010), it was one comfort food that I knew had to be included in my dessert chapter.  Remembering a dessert I once enjoyed at a restaurant, I turned to the talented pastry chef Heather Bugg Ries (owner of the Lady Bugg Bakery) for some inspiration. This is my simplified rendition of her to-die-for bread pudding.

Enjoy!

Praline Bread Pudding

For the bread pudding:
Unsalted butter, to grease the baking dish
6 day old large croissants, cut in 1-inch cubes and set aside in a large mixing bowl (about 8 cups)
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups coarsely chopped praline pecans 

For the praline sauce:
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt

To make the bread pudding: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with butter and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, cream, brown sugar, eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until combined. Pour the custard over the croissants and to coat evenly. Let stand until the croissants have soaked up the custard, about 5 minutes. Stir in the praline pecan pieces.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. 

Place the dish in a roasting pan with at least 2-inch sides. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water around the dish to come half way up the sides of the baking dish. Slide the rack into the oven, being careful not to slosh water onto the bread pudding. Bake until set, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the bread pudding is puffed and golden brown on top, about 15 to 20 minutes.

 To make the praline sauce: In a medium saucepot with tall sides, place the brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, corn syrup, buttermilk, butter, and salt. (This mixture tends to boil over if not watched).  Whisk to combine. Place over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar starts to bubble, about 3 minutes. Whisk until well combined. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, whisking occasionally, until it starts to thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve warm.

Serve the bread pudding warm with the sauce on the side. 

Serves 8.

Cooking Tips:

Praline pecans are pecan halves that have been candy-coated. They are sometimes also called candied pecans or bourbon pecans.

Dark brown sugar and dark corn syrup lend a rich molasses flavor to this dessert. It is fine to substitute light brown sugar and light corn syrup if that is what you have on hand.

Variation: Ideally you should use day-old bread for this dish. It is ok to use fresh bread in a pinch. Day-old brioche or French bread can be substituted for the croissants.

Do-Ahead: The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in a double boiler or a microwave.

Time-Saving Tip: It’s not as rich in flavor, but you can use store-bought caramel sauce in place praline sauce.

Blueberry Waffles with Blueberry Sauce

Serves 4

For the waffles:

2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk
2/3 cup blueberries

For the blueberry sauce:

1 1/2 cups blueberries
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch

Preheat the waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a second bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and the eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix.

In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter, being careful not over mix.  Gently fold in the blueberries. 

Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.

To prepare the sauce, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix the blueberries, honey and 1/4 cup orange juice. Bring to a boil. Mix remaining orange juice and cornstarch in a small bowl, and stir into the blueberry mixture. Stir constantly until thickened. Serve warm over waffles.

Bananas Foster Waffles

Serves 4

For the waffles:

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 ½ tsp. vegetable oil
¼ cup egg whites
¾ cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

For the Bananas Foster topping:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
6 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup dark rum

Preheat the waffle iron.

In a large bowl, combine the bananas, oil, egg whites, milk and vanilla and beat until well blended.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt and mix well.

Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s instructions.   Set cooked waffles in a warm oven while making the topping.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar completely dissolves, about 2 minutes. Lay the bananas in the pan and cook on both sides until they become slightly soft and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum. Tip the pan slightly and carefully ignite the alcohol with a long kitchen match or kitchen lighter to flambé. Put the pan back on the heat and shake it back and forth basting the bananas, until the flame dies out.  Spoon over the waffles and serve immediately.


Jennifer Chandler

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