Tag Archives: desserts

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (7 of 7)

If I wasn’t so stubborn, I probably would’ve given up on gardening nearly 7 years ago, after two consecutive years of low yielding, scraggly looking plants. The last couple years, my garden has been bursting with produce. Then last year I tried to plant some blueberry bushes… which inevitably became blueberry-less sticks in the ground. This year’s garden has yielded minimal produce — tough squash, a handful of roma tomatoes, a bigger handful of cherry tomatoes, little eggplants, skinny little anaheim peppers, a single carrot and two strawberries… Like I said, it’s good I’m stubborn because it’s likely I’ll try a better garden next summer. And I most certainly want to plant blueberries. That’ll actually give me blueberries.

Luckily even if I can’t find them in my own backyard, really good Oregon-grown blueberries are easy to come by here. I eyeball them in the produce sections the second they arrive in season and then dream up ways to eat them. When I saw the following cake on Saveur’s website I instantly knew it would have a home in my kitchen. I was not wrong… and most importantly, I was correct to assume that this cake would be deliciously delectable.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (5 of 7)

Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Makes one 9-inch round cake.

Recipe very slightly modified from Saveur

Ingredients:
12 tablespoons butter, softened
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries
zest and juice from one small Meyer lemon
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (6 of 7)

Directions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and lemon juice, then cook until mostly dissolved. Pour the sugar into a 9-inch round cake pan, then add the blueberries, spreading them evenly across the pan. Sprinkle on the lemon zest.

Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and the granulated sugar with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, and beat until evenly combined. Add the dry ingredients followed by the milk and beat on low speed until a smooth batter forms.

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with a handheld mixer until they form stiff peaks. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the cake batter until just combined, and then spread the batter over the blueberries in the pan, smoothing the top.

Bake about 1 hour (until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean). Transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Place a serving platter over the pan and invert the two together. Let the pan sit upside down on the platter for 5 minutes, and then remove the pan. Let the cake cool completely before serving.

Leftovers can be wrapped tightly with plastic and kept up to 3 days.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (2 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (1 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (3 of 7)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Upside-Down Cake (4 of 7)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

I am not a huge sucker for sweets. Generally, treats for me center around saltiness, crunchiness, and perhaps bourbon or a good beer. Some days, though, a wild hair tickles my fancy and dark chocolate dessert concoctions say please make me. However, I live with three dudes who are in ever constant request of something sweet. My unstated rule of making desserts no more than once a week sort of got thrown out the window over the last few months. One of my go-to dessert options are homemade brownies. They’re easy, quick to mix up, and especially simple if you have the basic ingredients on hand (butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs).

The last time I decided to make brownies was for a little dinner party we hosted. I decided to do a little hunting for something more elaborate. I vaguely remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie that failed miserably… Then I remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie I’ve been wanted to try for years, one topped with pretzel sticks. Yes. A smash-bang-concoction of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels. How can a girl go wrong?

These brownies are delectable! They’re quite a bit more cake-y than fudge-y, but just go with it. The peanut butter swirl is rich and delicious, atop a not-overly-sweet brownie, and the added salty crunch of the pretzels is perfect. You can also half this recipe and make it in an 8″ square pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make a large 11 x 17-inch pan of brownies.

adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingerdients:
For the Brownie Batter:
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces extra dark chocolate (75-85% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

a large handful of pretzel sticks

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11 x 17-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides, then grease the parchment paper.

Boil two inches of water in a medium saucepan. Combine the butter and two types of chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place over the simmering water, making sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and let mixture cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk granulated sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture. Make sure the chocolate mixture isn’t too hot, then whisk the eggs in one at a time.

Fold in the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and pour into your prepared pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make the peanut butter mixture: whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two together. Arrange pretzel sticks on top of the brownie batter however you’d like. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes our mostly clean (a few crumbs are alright).

Let the brownies cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Chocolate Banana Pudding

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

I think chocolate pudding was amongst one of the first things I learned how to cook. And by that, I definitely don’t mean the method below. I mean the Jell-O instant pudding stuff… like this. What I didn’t know then was how easy it is to make pudding from scratch. Pudding that is made up of ingredients I recognize, not stuff like tetrasodium pyrophosphate, artificial flavoring, and weird food colorings (who needs to food-color a brown-colored pudding?!). The taste of homemade pudding versus the stuff from a box is reason alone to make this dessert! It’s decadent, rich, not overly sweet but perfectly chocolatey.

The other day I was craving banana pudding (my mother-in-law is the queen of banana pudding making, by the way)… but I was also craving chocolate. So I thought, why not just smash-bang the two into one dessert?

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Chocolate Banana Pudding

Serves roughly 6-8 folks.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
15-18 chocolate wafer cookies *
3 medium sized ripe bananas, peeled, then halved and cut into thin layers
optional sweetened whipped cream

*I used these, but if you want to make homemade wafers, please feel free…

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding
Directions:

Prepare the pudding: In a medium sized pot, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch until well combined. Pour in the milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking over medium heat. Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the pudding thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add a couple tablespoons of the hot pudding mixture to your egg yolks, stirring constantly so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs… Pour the tempered egg yolks into the pudding. Whisk the pudding over low heat, also adding in the vanilla and salt until completely combined. Remove from the heat.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Prepare the final dessert by layering five chocolate wafers in a 2-quart glass casserole bowl.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Next, add 1/3 of the chocolate pudding, smoothing out the top. Add banana slices in a single layer, to cover the pudding, followed by an additional layer of chocolate wafers. Add another 1/3 of the pudding, followed by a layer of bananas, then cookies.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Finally add the last 1/3 of pudding. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this will soften the cookies between layers). When you’re ready to serve the pudding, you can add a layer of whipped cream and crumbled chocolate wafers. Or you can serve as is, or topped simply with crumbled wafers.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Banana Pudding

Baked Cherry Doughnuts with a Cherry Glaze and Toasted Almonds

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There’s this thing about baked doughnuts… Somehow they are a cross between both doughnuts and muffins. Obviously that means they’re totally acceptable as breakfast, snacks, a mid-morning (or afternoon, or evening) party-in-your-mouth. These baked cherry doughnuts waiver in that doughnut-muffin realm even more than your average vanilla or chocolate baked doughnut. They’re light, fluffy and filled with fresh cherries.

I left a couple of these glaze-free and they were equally delicious. Do as you will, want, may… all that good stuff.

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Baked Cherry Doughnuts with a Cherry Glaze and Toasted Almonds

Yields about one dozen doughnuts.
* A doughnut pan is needed for this recipe.

Ingredients:

For the doughnuts:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved

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For the glaze:
1/4 cup fresh cherries (about 6), pitted and very finely diced
1 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds

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Directions:

Prepare your doughnuts: Place a rack in the upper third of your oven, then preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a doughnut pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, mixing until all of the ingredients are well combined. Try not to overmix the batter. Gently fold in the halved cherries.

Using a small spoon, scoop the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth out the dough, filling each doughnut in the pan three-quarters full.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes,. Keep an eye on them and try not to over-bake them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While the doughnuts cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the finely diced cherries, milk, melted coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Once the doughnuts have completely cooled, dip them top-side-down into the glaze. Return to the wire rack then sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Allow the glaze to set for about 30 minutes before serving. For best flavor, eat the day they’re made.

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Roasted Strawberry Blondies

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Blondies begin with one of my favorite combinations of things: brown sugar and butter. Some folks think of blondies as a counterpart to brownies… but my brain likens them to cookies. Large, chewy, tender, crisp at the edges, bar-like cookies. You know what I love just as much as brown sugar, butter, and cookies? (No, the answer is not absolutely nothing else!)

The answer is roasted strawberries. While fresh strawberries are delicious all on their own, roasting them turns them into a whole different animal. A soft, super flavor-bursting, sweet, deeply delicious animal.

What happens when you combine all of the above elements? The following recipe.

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Roasted Strawberry Blondies

Yields 9 blondies.

Ingredients:

For the berries:
8 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut in half
3 tablespoons good quality maple syrup
4 teaspoons olive oil
pinch of salt

For the blondies:
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
small pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

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In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Toss the strawberries in this mixture then spread evenly, in one layer in a cast iron pan or a rimmed baking sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper). Roast for 40 minutes, occasionally stirring. The juices will thicken slightly, but make sure it doesn’t burn! Pour the strawberries and all the juice that is released into a bowl then set aside to cool while preparing the blondie batter.

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Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8-inch baking pan then line the pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper as well. Whisk together the melted butter and two different brown sugars in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the mixture, then stir it all together.

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Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Spoon the roasted strawberries over the top of the batter, along with their juices. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow time to cool to at least room temperature, then cut into 9 squares and serve.

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