Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Learning To Like New Things

I loathe making chiffon/angel food cakes and Swiss rolls so I was not so thrilled when this cake was chosen as the winning cake to be baked by The Cake Slice Bakers. In fact, my friend Maranda from Jolts & Jollies and I both held our breath and hoped this cake wouldn't be the winning cake because it seemed so labor intensive BUT in the end it was so much easier than I ever expected. Despite my reservations, this cake was a complete success and really quite DELICIOUS. It's also really pretty and that's always a plus. There are lots of photos in this post, bear with me. 

This is not your ordinary roll up cake. Firstly, you make your own butterscotch sauce (butter, sugar, cream) then you add some of that to freshly whipped cream to make the filling. It then gets spread on the cake and rolled up with sliced almonds scattered throughout. You cut the cake into four pieces and roll it up around itself until you have something that looks like a giant cinnamon roll. And who doesn't like giant cinnamon rolls, especially when the tender cake is the dough and it's filled with salted butterscotch cream?! 

I haven't always liked butterscotch. It wasn't until recently that I started to like it. I always assumed that butterscotch was nothing more than those little golden candies my grandpa used to carry around in his pockets. Why didn't anyone tell me it was like a cross between gooey, sticky toffee and caramel? Man, this stuff was good! The recipe below makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce but only one cup is needed for the filling. You can drizzle the remaining sauce over the cake or on ice cream, or in coffee or just stick your finger in it and lick it. oh yum! Make this! 

Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up 
from Vintage Cakes via Cooking By The Book

Butterscotch Sauce:

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon whisky
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fine sea salt


1 cup sifted cake flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup canola oil
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
½ cup natural sliced almonds, toasted plus more for this outside of the cake, if desired

To make the butterscotch sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Dump in the brown sugar all at once and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to simmer and changes from a wet sand consistency to a liquid that fives off a lovely molasses smell and looks like taffy, approximately 3 minutes from the time it comes to a simmer. Drizzle ¼ cup of the cream into the mixture and vigorously blend the cram into the sugar and whisk in the remaining cream. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the sauce to boil, whisking occasionally, until it has darkened, about 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes before adding the whisky, vanilla, and salt. Refrigerate until cold.

To make the cake: Spray a 12 x 16 inch jelly roll pan with nonstick baking spray (with flour), line it with parchment paper, and then spray the parchment paper with more nonstick baking spray. Center a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 325⁰F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ¾ cup of the sugar in a large bowl, then whisk the ingredients by hand. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, yolks, water and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and briskly stir with a rubber spatula until just smooth.

In the clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and gradually increase the speed to high, whipping until the whites just form a soft peak. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a slow stream. Return the mixer to high and continue whipping until the whites just begin to hold firm, shiny peaks.

With a rubber spatula, fold a third of the whites into he batter, using as few strokes as possible. Add the remaining whites, folding until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place the pan in the oven. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly touched and is barely golden in color, 16 to 20 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.

To make the filling: Begin by placing the bowl of a stand mixer and its whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 minutes. Fit the cold bowl and whisk to the mixer and whip the 1 ½ cups of cold heavy cream and 1 cup of the cold butterscotch sauce together on low speed until the ingredients are blended. Gradually turn the mixer up to high speed and whip just until the cream holds soft peaks but is not yet stiff.

To assemble the cake:  Keep the cake in its pan and orient the pan so the longer side is closed to you. Cut the cake with a serrated knife into four equal pieces measure 4 by 12 inches. Cut through the underlying parchment paper with a pair of scissors in the same places that you cut the cake so you have four quarters of cake [with parchment paper attached] that can each move independently.

Leaving the cake in the pan, spread a bit more than half of the butterscotch cream evenly over the cake and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Refrigerate the remainder of the cream while you roll up the cake.
Here comes the fun part: rolling the cake! With the pan still oriented with the longer side closest to you, lift up the nearest edge — both cake and paper — of one of your 4 strips. Using the parchment paper as the cake’s support, begin to tuck the cake into a roll and continue tucking [and peeling away the parchment paper] while gently rolling the cake away from you into a roll. Place the rolled cake upright on a serving plate, so the spiral of cake and filling is visible at the top. [Don’t worry, it gets easier from here.]Lift the next cake strip, using the parchment paper to support it, and wrap the strip around the roll on the serving plate, beginning where the outside edge of the first cake left off, in order to create a bigger roll. Continue with the next two strips, beginning the wrap where the last left off, to make one enormous rolled up cake.
Finish by frosting the sides with the reminder of the cream [you might need to give the cream a few turns with a hand whisk to stiffen it up], leaving he top free to show of the spiral of cake and cream. If you desire, you can pat more almonds into the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour and up to one day, lightly wrapped in plastic. Just before serving, warm the remaining butterscotch sauce and drizzle it over the individual servings.

Well wrapped and refrigerated, this cake keeps up to 3 days. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tastes Like Home

I don't remember my Grandma baking very much when we were kids. She was an excellent cook and made the best pot of beans, skillet fried chicken and potato salad, just to name a few. I always loved her potato salad just after she made it when the potatoes were still warm and soft. She always saved a bowl for me to enjoy at room temperature while the rest of it went into the refrigerator. In July, we took a road trip and visited my cousin for his 1st birthday and stayed at my grandparents house. On our last night there we had a cookout and I was able to enjoy her potato salad again. It's little things like that that take me back to my childhood. My mom still makes potato salad, and while it's similar (and delicious), it's not my grandma's. 

This little guy had a field day playing with the ice cream maker. When he thought I wasn't looking, he'd stick his fingers in the top and sneak a few licks of gelato. At one point he even climbed up onto the island and tried to put his face into the machine. You could say he's a fan of this rice gelato, just like his momma. 
When my grandma did make "dessert" it was often a bowl of atole de arroz, which is kind of like rice pudding but not as rich or creamy. It's more of a rice porridge, made with white rice, sugar, water, milk and cinnamon sticks. During the summer months, a man would walk all over town pushing a cart of Mexican popsicles, called paletas. We called him "The Paleta Man" :-). And just like the ice cream truck, we'd hear him ringing his bell, run outside and flag him down as he approached our house. We would make our requests and he'd reach into his mint green chilled chest and pull out colorful treats on sticks. I liked the fresh strawberry and the rice paleta the best. The rice paleta was milky, creamy, lightly sweetened and had a dusting of cinnamon on it. What made it different from the rest was that it had nibbly bits of rice in it. I loved that. 

When I came across this recipe for Rice Gelato from The Perfect Scoop, I knew it would be making an appearance in my future. The original recipe called for adding strips of orange zest to the rice mixture, but cinnamon sticks seemed more up my alley. It's what reminds me of home, so that's what I used. I also added a bit of ground cinnamon to the mixture after the rice was cooked. The smell of the sweet rice cooking filled the house like perfume. This gelato is much creamier and richer than anything my grandma ever made, but this is gelato after all, and it should be creamy. The rice softens and plumps up during the cooking process- half of it is blended really finely and the other half stays whole for optimal texture.While this dessert is frozen and is great on an end of summer day, there's something about it that comforts and soothes the soul. And that to me, is the best of both worlds. 

Rice Pudding Gelato 
adapted from The Perfect Scoop

  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 large egg yolks 
  • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a 2 quart baking dish, mix together the rice, milk 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt. Add the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and cover the dish with aluminum foil. 

Bake for 1 hour. Remove the rice from the oven and remove the foil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then continue to bake the rice, uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from the oven a second time, remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and briskly whisk in the egg yolks at once. Then whisk in the half and half or cream, round cinnamon and nutmeg.

Puree half of the rice mixture in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Then stir it back into the cooked rice.

Place the rice mixture in the fridge until completely chilled. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

NOTE: This gelato freezes really hard. Let it sit out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving, if necessary. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The S'mores Cookbook and The Novica Giveaway Winner!

I was recently sent a cookbook for review of The S'more Cookbook by fellow blogger Susan Whetzel of the blog Doughmesstic. I'm always thrilled when I see a blogger come out with a cookbook. I know some people think it's kind of overrated, but I know how hard bloggers work and how much time goes into running a website, cooking, baking, photographing, and recipe developing. If you're a blogger then you know it's hard work! 

I like s'mores. I don't love them because I think they can be a little too sweet at times, but I like them just fine. When I was sent this cookbook, I was intrigued, because I was hoping for s'more flavored/s'more inspired desserts and this book is filled with them. Granted, the first chapter of recipes is pretty basic. I wouldn't necessarily call them recipes, as much as they are s'more suggestions- using chocolate grahams with white chocolate instead of regular grahams and milk chocolate isn't that novel of an idea to me. Her recipe's include using different types of candy such as peanut butter cups or chocolate caramels in place of the milk chocolate. Tasty? yes. But I need more substance. Luckily, this book has several chapters of s'more goodness including Cakes and Pies, Cookies, Brownies and even s'mores for breakfast. If that's not you're thing, perhaps a S'mores milkshake will cure your cravings. 

I opted for oatmeal chocolate chip S'more cookies as the first recipe I made. I also wanted to make S'more Frappuccinos but was out of marshmallow cream- that was a sad day. These cookies made it better though. I made a couple minor changes, but it didn't not affect the taste or outcome of the recipe. I used regular sized morsels instead of mini chips and used Stacker marshmallows instead of cutting large marshmallows into thirds. I didn't want to change anything about the recipe so I left it as is and just made my notes in red below. I would definitely make these cookies again because my husband LOVED them. I packed a couple in his lunch box. He's on the road a lot, so he left his cookies on the dash board to warm them and he said they tasted like they had just come out of the oven. They were crispy yet chewy, sweet and gooey. If you like S'mores you'll love these slightly less messy cookies. 

Hayden loves stars so I cut out a few star shaped marshmallows for him. 

Other recipes from this book I'd like to try are Toasted Marshmallow S'more Ice Cream, S'more Frappuccino, S'more Danish and the Chocolate Graham Pancakes. There's even a section on Giftable S'mores and ideas on how to package them. Every recipe has a full size color photo and there are lots of options for the S'more lover. In fact I know someone who would love this book. Hey Heather! I'm talking to you :-)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip S'mores Cookies 
from The S'mores Cookbook  from Susan Whetzel

  • 1 cup softened salted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips (I used regular chocolate chips)
  • 12 giant marshmallows, sliced into thirds (I used the small stacker marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. 

Using a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment, cream the butter and sugars at medium-low speed until well combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla; combine well. 

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and graham cracker crumbs. 

Add the dry ingredients to the wet batter. Mix on low until just combined. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips. 

Scoop rounded balls of batter onto the prepared sheets. (The directions don't say what size scoop to use to make the balls of dough. I used a medium ice cream scoop and got 40 cookies). The batter will spread, so be sure to leave ample space between. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned. 

Remove from the oven, and immediately top with a slice of marshmallow. Allow to cool on baking sheets. Before serving, place the pan under the oven broiler or use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallows. (This step was a little strange to me because the recipe makes 36-40 cookies. And it doesn't make sense (to me) to put a pan of cookies under the broiler every time you want a cookie, unless you're serving them to a crowd all at once. It's easier to use your torch, but not everyone has a kitchen torch. So I went ahead and toasted all the marshmallows at once after they were done baking. When we wanted a cookie, I just popped it into the microwave for 10 seconds to warm the chocolate and make the marshmallow gooey, and since they were pre-toasted, they still had that slightly charred toasted flavor.) 

The winner of the $50 Novica Giveaway is commenter #118 The Mommy from Long Daze Short Years. Congratulations! Please email me to claim your prize!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Favorite Pizza and A $50 Novica Giveaway! (Giveaway Closed)

Today we are talking pizza. I love pizza of all kinds, thin crust, thick crust, chewy crust, deep dish, minimal toppings, loaded with toppings, meat and cheese, veggies, frozen pizzas, gourmet pizzas, hot and cold. I do not discriminate against pizza, but please hold the onions! I've been making this pizza crust for the last 5  years and it is delicious. It's crispy, yet soft and chewy and flavorful. And you can top it with whatever you want. 

My favorite pizza lately is BBQ chicken pizza with bacon and pineapple. Hayden can be picky sometimes about meals but he's always a fan of this when I make it. I use BBQ sauce instead of marinara, then top with cooked and cubed, chicken breasts, crumbled bacon, fresh pineapple, garlic and cheese. Mr. H never used to like sweet and savory together in a pizza but he really likes this one. I also made a cheese and tomato pizza with dried oregano and garlic. 

I've been making pizza for awhile but never had a pizza board to put it on until now. Novica asked if I'd like to host a giveaway on my blog and since I love their products and what they're all about I said yes! I chose this beautiful handcrafted teak wood pizza board titled "Chef's Delight". Novica is unique in that they offer handmade, hand crafted artisan goods from all over the world in one place. When you chose an item, you get to learn about the person who made it and where they are from. Novica not only brings all these artists together and gives them the opportunity to share their products with the world, but they make the buying experience more personal. My pizza board was made by Teo Hernandez in Guatemala and came wrapped in printed craft paper with a note and gift card as well as a ribbon and a miniature doll at no additional charge. And the shipping rates are so reasonable and fast! 

It's nice to know that you can shop online for a unique gift that isn't manufactured in bulk and sold at box stores everywhere. By purchasing from Novica, you're giving these artists across the globe a chance to support their families while expanding their business. Also because everything is hand made, each is a little bit different and special in it's own way. Novica doesn't just have teak cutting boards, they also have beautiful onyx earrings, silver bands, gifts for men, furniture, gorgeous embroidered shawls, and tons colorful glassware. I could easily spend hours on Novica making my wish list. 

Rosemary Pizza Crust

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour, plus more for pressing the dough out
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • olive or vegetable oil, for oiling the bowl

In a large bowl, whisk the yeast and sugar with 1/4 cup of the flour. Stir in 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, salt, pepper and the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup of water; stir until a dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a draft-free spot (the microwave) until billowy and doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°. Place a pizza stone or pan in the bottom of the oven, and preheat for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Press and stretch the dough into a 13-inch round then transfer to the preheated pizza pan. Be careful not to touch the pan because it will be HOT.

Place your sauce and desired toppings on the dough then transfer the pizza into the oven until the crust is golden brown and the cheese melts; about 15-18 minutes.

NOTE: Pizza stones will heat faster and will create a crispier crust while metal pans may take longer to brown and the crust will be slightly softer.

Now for the $50 gift voucher giveaway from Novica!

Novica provided me a $50 credit to purchase and review whatever I wanted and an additional $50 credit to giveaway to one of Lick The Bowl Good's loyal readers. 

You have 3 chances to enter this giveaway: 
1. Visit Novica's website and come back here and tell me what is on your wishlist. (mandatory entry)
2. Follow Novica on Facebook
3. Follow Lick The Bowl Good on Facebook. 

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

Giveaway closes Friday, September 6th at 11:59pm. A winner will be announced on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

Good luck and happy shopping!

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