Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing

Pin It
Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing
Allen's birthday was this week and I asked him to pick a recipe from my Pinterest cake board so I could bake him a cake. He chose Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing from blog, Bake or Break (http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2012/04/pecan-layer-cake-with-banana-icing/). I baked the cake yesterday and it is one of the best tasting cakes ever! If you love Pecans and Bananas, you will love this cake. The cake is moist and the cinnamon with the crunch of the Pecans is delightful. The Banana Icing is smooth and has a slight tang from the Lemon Juice, which compliments the Banana. I had a slice with coffee this morning and it is heavenly!

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing
Cake Ingredients
2 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 stick, ½ cup Unsalted Butter, softened (room temperature)

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

¾ cup Packed, Dark Brown Sugar

3 Extra Large Eggs

1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 cup Sour Cream

½ cup Chopped and toasted Pecans

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing
Directions
Grease with Butter, 2 9-inch round cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Grease over the parchment paper and sprinkle flour over it.

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.

If you want to toast the Pecans, roughly chop them and place in a skillet on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring with spatula. They are ready when you smell them. Keep an eye on them, since they are easy to burn. Put aside and let cool completely.

Whisk together Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Cinnamon in a large bowl, put aside.

Allen's birthday slice - yum!
With a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter until it is creamy. Add Sugars little by little, and continue mixing until it is light and creamy.

Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well.

On low speed, add in some of the Flour mixture and mix until combined.

Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Mix again for 10 to 20 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, add Vanilla Extract, Sour Cream, and Pecans just until incorporated.

Spread cake batter evenly between the 2 pans using a spatula to smooth tops. Lightly tap the pans against the counter top 2 to 4 times to settle the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Cake is ready when you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Cool cake in pans for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then flip cakes onto wire racks. Peel off parchment paper, and cool completely before frosting, about 1 hour.

Another view of Allen's birthday slice
Banana Icing
Ingredients
1 large Banana

2 tablesppons, Unsalted Butter, softened (room temperature)

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

2 cups Confectioners’ Sugar

4 tablespoons, chopped and toasted Pecans

So yummy - Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing
Directions
In a bowl, mash Banana.

Using a stand or hand held mixer, transfer mashed Banana to mixing bowl. Add Butter and mix on medium speed until smooth.

Add in Lemon Juice and Sugar little by little and continue mixing until it is smooth and spreadable.

Line edges of cake platter or cake circle (Wilton 10 inch) with strips of parchment paper to keep edges clean as you add the Banana Icing and Pecans to the cake. I use a cake turntable. Place one layer on cake platter or cake circle and cover with half of the Banana Icing. Place top cake layer and cover with the remaining Banana Icing. Garnish with Pecans.

Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dominican Cake

Pin It
Dominican Cake

Dominican Cake
My Mom's 84th birthday was earlier this week and we celebrated with Dominican Cake. She is from
Dominican Republic and it is her favorite cake, so I baked her one. The cake has a resemblance to pound cake, but with a softer texture. The outcome is to obtain a smooth and spongy cake. The classic frosting is Suspiro (Merengue) and is easy to mess up, so do not be surprised if you have to do it a few times until you get it right. I speak from experience. There are several variations of this recipe and many online are for large cakes. This recipe makes a 9-inch 2 layer cake. The recipe comes from a popular Dominican cookbook, Mujer 2000 recetas de cocina by Silvia H. de Pou. I use Pou's recipe because it is authentic Dominican and my Mom made this recipe when I was growing up. In this cake recipe, you can replace milk for pineapple or orange juice, but I prefer using whole milk with orange juice and orange zest or whole milk with lemon juice and lemon zest. Typically, pineapple and guava fillings are the norm, but I use dulce de leche as well.


Cake Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened (room temperature)

2 cups Granulated Sugar

4 Extra Large Eggs, (room temperature)

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

3 cups All Purpose Flour

3 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 cup Whole Milk

1 tablespoon Orange Juice, freshly squeezed

1 tablespoon Orange Zest

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Dominican Cake

Directions
Grease with Butter, 2 9-inch round cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Grease over the parchment paper and sprinkle flour over it.

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.

Sift Flour and Baking Powder in a large bowl, put aside.

With a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed, mix butter until it is creamy. Add Sugar little by little, and continue mixing until it is light and creamy.

Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well.

On low speed, add in some of the Flour mixture and some of the Milk. Do this a few times ending with the Flour mixture. Scrape sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all ingredients are incorporated. Mix again for 10 to 20 seconds.

With mixer on low speed, add Vanilla Extract, Orange Juice, Orange Zest and Salt and combine, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Spread cake batter evenly between the 2 pans using a spatula to smooth tops. Lightly tap the pans against the counter top 2 to 4 times to settle the batter.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven so keep an eye on it. Cake is ready when you insert a toothpick or cake tester in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

Cool cake in pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then flip cakes onto wire racks. Peel off parchment paper, flip cakes right side up, and cool completely before frosting, about 1-2 hours.

Close up of Dominican Cake
Suspiro (Merengue) Frosting
Ingredients
3 Egg Whites (use cold Eggs)

1 ½ cup Granulated Sugar

½ cup Water

1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Dominican Cake

Directions
Using a stand or hand held mixer, mix Egg Whites on high speed for several minutes until stiff peaks form.

In a small pan, stir Sugar, Water and Lemon Juice until Sugar dissolves and Caramel forms a syrup-like but transparent texture. Keep an eye on it so it does not burn. Use a candy thermometer and when it reaches 235 degrees, it is ready. To be sure, you can test the texture by taking a little of the syrup with a small spoon, and add a drop of the syrup to a paper towel. If it forms a little ball, it is ready.

Turn mixer on high add Vanilla Extract, and the hot Caramel mixture little by little to the Egg White/Whipping Cream mixture. Keep mixing until it reaches a thick but soft consistency like whipped cream cheese. If you wish, add food coloring at this time and stir with spatula. My Mom wanted a pastel pink color so I used Wilton Icing Color Concentrated Gel in Pink. Use by dipping toothpick in gel and then into frosting and stir gently with spatula. Each time, use a clean toothpick so frosting does not get into gel color. Repeat until you reach the color you desire.

Put aside, and let it cool completely before frosting the cake.

It was soooo good! :)

Cake Filling
Pineapple Preserves

Once cake and frosting have cooled completely, line edges of cake platter or cake circle (Wilton 10 inch) with strips of parchment paper to keep edges clean as you frost the cake. I place the cake on a cake circle and onto a cake turntable. Place Pineapple Preserves over the first layer and frost as desired. I added Wilton Pink Sugar Pearls, Wilton Light Pink Sprinkles and 4 pink candles. Let frosting set for at least 1 hour at room temperature and serve. I made my cake 1 day ahead and refrigerated overnight in a cake carrier. On the next day, I brought it out to come to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Portuguese Repolho Relish

Pin It
Portuguese Repolho Relish

Hotdog with Baron's International Kitchen Portuguese Repolho Relish
I tasted products from Baron's International Kitchen at both of the NYC Hot Sauce Fests, and a big favorite is Portuguese Repolho Relish. TherĂ©se Baron is founder, president, and head chef of Baron's International Kitchen, in Hudson Valley, NY and sent us this relish for Two Frys. Baron sources and produces the product line locally in the Hudson Valley region, using ingredients from local based farms. The gourmet sauces and condiments from Baron's International Kitchen feature ethnic recipes, both Caribbean and Portuguese.  

My hotdog with Portuguese Repolho Relish, I just kept adding it to the last bite
Portuguese Repolho Relish has no heat, but features a strong flavor profile. The ingredients are: fresh green cabbage, tomatoes, onions, wine vinegar, sugar, mustard, turmeric, celery salt, cloves, cinnamon. I love relish on hot dogs, sausages and burgers, and had it on a hot dog last week. I added spicy mustard and ketchup to the dog, and topped it with a generous amount of Portuguese Repolho Relish. The relish is sweet and tangy at the same time, and with the first bite, I got a hint of the cinnamon and clove. I taste many of the ingredients from the cabbage, tomatoes, onions, vinegar and spices, and love the rich texture. The relish ingredients and spice blend are a great combination, and I kept adding more relish to my hot dog. It was so good I ate more relish on the side, and plan to eat the rest on burgers. I highly recommend this Portuguese Repolho Relish, and it is the perfect topping for poultry and meat dishes. This relish would also compliment veggie or salmon burgers. Try it!

Yummy, Portuguese Repolho Relish
Baron's International Kitchen Available Products:
  • Caribbean Hot Sauce
  • Portuguese Repolho Relish
  • Caribbean Marinade (HOT Jerk Sauce)
  • Caribbean Marinade (MILD Jerk Sauce)
To order Baron's International Kitchen sauces and condiments, please visit:


Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, June 9, 2014

WOW WEE Dipping Sauce Regular and Spicy

Pin It WOW WEE Dipping Sauce Regular and Spicy

I came across WOW WEE Dipping Sauces while searching for some Cajun Sauces to add a down south flair to some of our blog foods. My wife is a big ketchup fan, but I like condiments with a bit of spice. In looking for unique sauces not from our NYC area locale, I found WOW WEE. I contacted them about our blog and they were kind enough to send their products for our blog pantry.

WOW WEE Dipping Sauce is based in Cut Off, Louisiana. The products are mainly found in central and southern Louisiana at locally owned stores. But for us folks that live in other areas of the states, you can still get these Cajun condiments mailed to you from the website.

I really enjoyed both the WOW WEE Dipping Sauce and WOW WEE
Dipping Sauce (SPICY). The spicy one kicks it up a notch for family members that like smooth pepper heat. I had WOW WEE on chicken strips, french fries, baked potatoes, hamburgers, and even a hot dog. These sauces are very multi-purpose. I also had the sauce on a salad and prefer this over Thousand Island dressing, as the spice adds a zing to your greens.

I also used the dipping sauce on steamed vegetables, and this was a good topping for my broccoli and cauliflower. Add some WOW WEE Dipping Sauces to your pantry today. The products are very reasonably priced, and the regular and spicy dipping sauces are available. Depending on your spice or heat preferences, you have a choice.

I also tried the regular and spicy Cajun WOW WEE Tartar Sauces. Both tartar sauces were great on baked fish, fried fish and baked crab cakes. Get some Cajun Tartar Sauce today to spice up your snacks, chicken and fish.

Ingredients: Mayonnaise, ketchup from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, and more. (NOTE: Spicy has pepper products and more).

For further information, please visit:


Website: WOW WEE Dipping Sauces

Facebook: WOW WEE Facebook




Good Stuff. "That's what I'm talkin' bout"...

-Allen/Two Frys

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby Shower Cookies

Pin It Baby Shower Cookies

Carriage and Onesies Baby Shower Cookies
For my sister in law's baby shower, I made some cookies for her special day. This is the first time I made sugar cookies for a baby shower, and it was fun trying something new. I made 50 cookies total, onesies and baby carriage shapes using Wilton cutters. She gave me the fondant, cutout letter D to place on the onesies to represent their last name. Since I do not know if the baby will be a girl or boy, the cookie icing colors used were white, pale yellow and soft green, although I was tempted to use light blue too. For some reason, I think it will be a boy! I use the Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing recipes from Joy of Baking (see link below).

For the Sugar Cookies, I add 1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract, but you can use any extract you like. I made the dough one day ahead, covered in plastic wrap and chilled it overnight. Before you bake, be sure to line your baking sheets with parchment paper, so the cookies do not stick or break when you transfer them to wire racks. Let the cookies cool for 2 to 3 minutes, before you transfer them and use a cookie spatula. Let the cookies cool completely before you decorate them, about 1 hour.

Wilton Onesies and Carriage Cutters
I prefer Royal Icing with Egg Whites, instead of Meringue Powder and really like this recipe. There are two variations, one for the borders, and the other for flooding the cookies. If you need a lot of Royal Icing, you can double the recipe as I did. For the flooding recipe, I add a little water using a spray bottle (just spray little by little) at the end until I get the consistency I desire. If you need to thicken the Royal Icing, you can add a little more Confectioners Sugar.

Close-up of Onesies
To tint the icing, I separate it into plastic containers, and use Wilton Icing Colors Concentrated Gel in Lemon Yellow and Kelly Green. To start tinting the icing, dip a toothpick into the gel and combine with a small spatula. I continue this process until I reach the color I want. Use a new toothpick each time you dip to prevent icing getting into the gel color. 

Onesies drying
I transfer the colored Royal Icing into squeeze bottles and cover immediately. I use the larger squeeze bottles with the Royal Icing for flooding the cookies, and the smaller bottles to make the borders and designs over the flooded cookies. Be sure to keep Royal Icing covered when not in use or it will harden. If for any reason this happens, take a spray bottle filled with water and spray 1 or 2 times. Shake well and repeat until desired consistency returns.

Packing up the cookies
To decorate the cookies, I add Wilton White Sugar Pearls into a small glass bowl. Place parchment paper below the wire rack, so it catches extra icing or sugar pearls. Keep a few toothpicks handy in case you get bubbles when you add the flood icing to the cookies.

Cookies in parting gifts for guests - teacup sets, adorable!
Begin by doing borders around the cookies with the squeeze bottle and color of your choice, and wait until they dry. Then flood the cookies using a spatula to spread evenly. I decorate with the sugar pearls and place the fondant letter in the center of the onesies while they are still wet. For the carriage, after flooding the cookies, let them dry and follow with the border icing to make the wheels and swirls. While it is wet, place the sugar pearls where you like. Let them dry for 6-8 hours uncovered, and then cover and dry overnight. To pack the cookies, I bought a huge aluminum tray and between each layer of the cookies, placed parchment paper to protect them and covered the tray with aluminum foil. 

For the Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing Recipe, please visit Joy of Baking:

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

FERVOR Reaper Chile Hot Sauce

Pin It FERVOR: REAPER CHILE HOT SAUCE
Heartbreaking Dawns


FERVOR Reaper Chili Hot Sauce!
FERVOR Reaper Chile Hot Sauce is the first Reaper Sauce I am blogging about. I have tasted others, but this is the first to make the blog. The Reaper is now rated the hottest chili pepper in the world. This is an extreme sauce that is HOT but is loaded with nice, almost fruity flavors. Yes, this sauce by Heartbreaking Dawns (HBD) Chef Johnny has a burn, but it adds a wonderful flavor to veggies, rice and meat. I can attest to this as I have tried it on all of them. I purchased this sauce from HBD at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo this year. I am a big fan of HBD sauces and have made recipes with many other of their hot sauces, and reviewed them on our blog. I really like to cook with Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauces - their sauces are not just for toppings. HBD sauces are all about big heat with smooth flavors. I remade my Roasted Cauliflower recipe from Two Frys using FERVOR, instead of Sriracha. This worked well, and I made a really hot, roasted batch of veggies.


The sauce has a burn, but is very high on the flavor category. It has great pepper flavor, fruity tones and no aftertaste as it contains nothing that is not natural. The sauce is really HOT, so non chiliheads taste in small amounts. I was very impressed with the flavor of FERVOR, and can recommend it as a worthy HOT sauce for your pantry. If you cannot take the full heat, just use small amounts to flavor your dishes. I do like what HBD has done with the Reaper Pepper. Johnny's recipes are always spot on and he never forgets flavor above heat. Get some FERVOR today!

The modified recipe I used for our blog is -
Cauliflower Roasted with HBD FERVOR Reaper Sauce.
Al's Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower.
Just Substitute the Sriracha in the recipe with FERVOR. 2 Tbsp. Fervor NOT Sriracha
(NOTE: or to taste, FERVOR is HOT).

FERVOR Ingredients are: Apple Cider Vinegar, Orange Marmalade, Reaper Chile Peppers, Water, Red Habanero Peppers, Strawberries, Carrots, Honey, Onions, Gluten Free Soy Sauce, Salt, Galic, Natural Gum, Ginger, Coriander.

The Sauce is GLUTEN FREE, ALL-NATURAL, NO PRESERVATIVES.

Website: heartbreakingdawns.com

Facebook: HBD Offical Facebook

The modified recipe I used for our blog is:  Al’s Spicy Sriracha Roasted Cauliflower

-Allen/Two Frys