Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
It’s time for some graduate school graduation goodies!
One of my college friends is graduating from his master’s program at Westminster Choir College this weekend so I drove down to Princeton with some of these tasty morsels. Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies.
Inspired by his love of bacon and his intense love for the chocolate chip cookies from Binghamton’s cafeteria, these cookies are chock full of semisweet chocolate chips and candied bacon.
RASPBERRY ROSE LOAF CAKE
One of my cousins is a high school senior about to go off to college. I can’t believe she’s already an adult!
We drove out to the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts to see her last spring show. We hadn’t seen her dance since a performance of the Nutcracker in Manhattan many years ago. (I think I might have only been in middle school then!)
She was featured in three of the five upperclassmen pieces. Because she had solos, I was super excited to get some great photographs. I brought my usual lens, long lens and even some extra batteries just in case. Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed. Apparently the school takes professional photos of the performance to sell. Grrr…
I might not have gotten any good shots but she certainly got a lot of flowers! In addition to bouquets from friends, my father brought a dozen roses. I however figured she would have plenty of flowers so I went with a rose water scented cake instead.
Originally we planned to take a train into the city so I needed to make a small cake sans frosting. A large cream cake decorated with chocolate ballerinas isn’t easy to transport but a mini loaf drizzled with white chocolate is definitely doable.
LYCHEE GUAVA ROSE CAKE
It’s been a whole year since Allspice & Ally went live― can you believe it? I sure can’t.
It’s been a year full of recipes with a summer of five different strawberry cakes, broken fridges and Psych-inspired Cinnamon Pie. I discovered mushrooms aren’t so bad (sometimes) and how to make cauliflower taste like junk food. And how to turn lots of junk food into one crazy cake. I rode on a lobster boat, visited Gettysburg, became a level 33 Pokemon Go trainer (yes I still play) and hosted Halloween and Valentine’s Day parties.
From my (in)Famous Curry Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake to this Lychee Guava Rose Cake, thank you for being here!
Now onto the cake
For my first blog anniversary, I wanted to do something special so I decided I would use rose water for the first time. Along with a homemade guava gel and lychee fruit, this is a cake perfectly suited for a special occasion.
PLANTAIN TRES LECHES CAKE
Cookies dipped in milk too basic for you? (blasphemy!) Try cake soaked in many milks― a.k.a tres leches cake for those of you who haven’t tried this Latin American favorite. My twist on this well-loved recipe? Plantain Tres Leches Cake.
Sliced plantains, pan-fried in sugar and spices, cover the bottom of a light sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and 2% milk. Topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with a combination of cinnamon and allspice, you’ll be digging into this cake with a spoon.
Some recipes use a butter cake but many prefer a sponge cake. Various online sources claim a butterless sponge is more authentic but whether this is true, I’m not sure. Without butter or oil, the lightened batter is able to better absorb all that liquid without falling apart.
No milky mess here.
A self-saucing cake, yes. But never a milky mess.
GANACHE COVERED CHOCOLATE MALT CAKE
WITH LAYERS OF FUDGE + SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING + PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
(plus caramel kettle corn, malted milk balls, crushed peanuts, ritz crackers, potato chips)
If this cake doesn’t scream sugar rush, I don’t know what does.
My brother just got his braces off so what better way to celebrate than with a cake chock full of all the treats he couldn’t enjoy for the past year or so. Gooey fudge, sticky caramel corn, crispy potato chips, crackers and peanuts along with hard-as-rocks malted milk balls and two types of frosting― creamy peanut butter and salted caramel.
Oh and four layers of chocolate malt cake.
All covered with chocolate ganache.
Are you going into a sugar coma yet?
STRAWBERRY & CANDIED FENNEL CAKE
Welcome to the fifth and final month in my Summer of Strawberry Cake series. The strawberry plant I got in May has long ceased fruit production but my craving for cake has not. I’ve already posted about Maple Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Mango Shortcake, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake and Strawberry & Apricot Almost Japanese Cheesecake so I figured it’s time to go big and bold. Or rather, bigger and bolder.
Hello Strawberry & Candied Fennel Cake. I’ve been waiting for you
I may not be enthusiastic about my birthday but I’m pretty great at other people’s, I must say. I conceptualized this cake months ago for my mother’s birthday and have been patiently awaiting September to serve her this crazy confection.
And I’m super happy to say it was worth the wait.
As the only person in my family that likes anise and licorice, I figured my mother would enjoy a fennel-flavored birthday cake. Although I had never cooked with fennel before, I knew it had a similar flavor profile so I didn’t think I would be so taken with this cake.
This sweet, fruity, creamy cake with a touch of warmth from the candied fennel.
Oh fennel, like the popular girl inevitably falling for the bespectacled shy guy in a high school movie, you’ve won me over.
Strawberry & Apricot Almost Japanese Cheesecake
Welcome to month #4 in my Summer of Strawberry Cake series. Summer may be coming to an end but the hot weather sure isn’t. If you want something delicious but not too decadent, you’re in luck. This Strawberry & Apricot Almost Japanese Cheesecake is just rich enough but will still keep you in shape for swimsuit season— provided you don’t eat the entire cake!
If you’ve never had Japanese cheesecake, you need to run out to an Asian bakery right away. I haven’t had Japanese cheesecake in quite a long time but it isn’t the sort of dessert you easily forget. Unlike Western-style cheesecake, Japanese cheesecake is light and fluffy. Rather than dense and sinfully rich, it’s pillowy soft with a hint of tangy cream cheese.
Honestly, I may just prefer Japanese cheesecake on texture alone.
(Although its calorie-saving nature is definitely a bonus!)
And my strawberry-apricot version will save you even more calories because it uses less cream cheese and less eggs than most recipes. For that reason, I’ve characterized it as “almost Japanese cheesecake” rather than a proper Japanese cheesecake.
No worries. With its swirls of apricot jam and sliced strawberries, my take on this dessert is still wonderfully airy.
And what’s more wonderful than a sweet airy cake?
A sweet airy surprise birthday cake!
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY CAKE
Welcome to month #3 in my Summer of Strawberry Cake series. If you’ve already checked out my Maple Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Cake and my Strawberry Mango Shortcake, it’s time for a bit of chocolate. Although in the case of this Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake, you’re in for more than just a bit of chocolate.
Are you excited?
I thought about making this cake for my birthday but baking your own birthday cake seems a little odd— especially if you’re not even having a party. Or am I the only one who thinks that?
So if someone in your life is a big fan of chocolate, strawberries and chocolate covered strawberries, this could be their perfect birthday cake.
And it doesn’t even have any food coloring. (Although if you want a more vibrant pink, feel free to use coloring.)
Strawberry Mango Shortcake with Coconut Whipped Cream
Welcome to month #2 in my Summer of Strawberry Cake series. Since summer had just begun, last month I shared my recipe for Maple Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Cake but because the weather is heating up, I figured I’d give you a little taste of the tropics for June. Strawberry Mango Shortcake anyone?
Strawberry shortcake is one of my all-time favorite cakes. The crumbly shortcake, the juicy strawberries, the fluffy whipped cream, indescribably good. And I don’t even usually like whipped cream!
Like I mentioned last month, my family only eats strawberry shortcake every few years for my father’s birthday or Father’s Day because he doesn’t like chocolate. Occasionally we’d have fake strawberry shortcake at fundraisers or restaurants— otherwise known strawberries and canned whipped cream on angel food cake or any other kind of vanilla cake.
Strawberries and whipped cream on cake does not a strawberry shortcake make. A proper shortcake is made with a shortened dough resulting in a crumbly, biscuit-like cake. Calling a plain vanilla cake with strawberries a strawberry shortcake is like calling a waffle cone full of ice cream a Belgian waffle à la mode.
But never fear, when I say shortcake, I mean shortcake. And this shortcake happens to be made with puréed mangos for a tropical spin on a classic dessert.
VEGAN GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE W/ SALTED CARAMEL PECAN RIBBON
Do you know what today is?
It’s National German Chocolate Cake Day! And Rose Day at Colonial Park in Franklin, NJ.
(Bet you didn’t guess either of those, did you?)
If you can’t make it out to see the roses, don’t fret— you can still celebrate by baking yourself this twist on a classic German Chocolate Cake.
Running through this lightly sweetened vegan chocolate cake is a ribbon of homemade salted pecan caramel. Sandwiched between the three layers is a gloriously sticky coconut milk frosting along with more caramel, pecans and toasted coconut.
And if that isn’t enough flavor for you, throw in some chocolate chips between the layers and top the cake shards of pecan brittle.
I repeat, glorious.
A word to the wise, don’t line your circle pans with wax paper. It works for carrot cake but not so much for this cake— unless you enjoy scraping wax paper with a variety of sharp implements. Use very well greased parchment paper instead.
Onto the million dollar question…
Did German Chocolate Cake originate in Germany?
MAPLE BALSAMIC ROASTED STRAWBERRY CAKE
I’ve always associated strawberry cake with summer. I guess it makes sense because strawberries grow in the summer but it goes beyond that. Maybe it’s because my mom only baked strawberry shortcake every few years— usually reserved for my dad’s birthday in May or Father’s Day in June.
It is a bit more labor intensive than many other cakes but I’d happily core strawberries and make fresh whipped cream throughout the summer for shortcake.
Although I imagine eating strawberry shortcake weekly isn’t too healthy. How about monthly? That sounds reasonable, no?
Speaking of monthly cake, this post kicks off my Summer of Strawberry Cake series where I’ll post a new strawberry cake recipe every month from now until August.
PSYCH-INSPIRED CINNAMON PIE
If you’re craving some cinnamon pie but don’t want to hang out with the unusual patrons of the Sawmill Diner, you’ve come to the right place. While I have zero desire to visit the fictional town of Dual Spires, the cinnamon pie in this episode of Psych— c’mon son.
What kind of cinnamon enthusiast could say no to a slice of that?
This episode of Psych paid homage to another television series, Twin Peaks. I’ve never watched Twin Peaks, so most of the references went over my head. When I read more about this episode online, I was blown away by the sheer number of allusions the writers made.
It probably would have been more fun if I was familiar with Twin Peaks, but I enjoyed the humor in Dual Spires at face value. And the ever-present cinnamon pie definitely didn’t hurt.
From the moment Robert “Bob” Barker suggests “a cup of the best piping hot apple cider this side of the Mississippi and a slice of cinnamon pie so good it may just bring tears”, I was hooked. I had never heard of cinnamon pie but from the way Shawn and Gus devoured slice after slice, I’m sure it was delicious.
COOKIE BARS WITH DRIED CHERRIES + SALTED CARAMEL + CHOCOLATE BARK
Happy Star Wars Day everyone! Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? Okay, technically it was released back in December but it’s comparatively new.
I liked Episode VII— it was a fun movie albeit somewhat safe. With a predictable storyline and a fair number of plot holes, it wasn’t anything revolutionary. However it stayed true to the original series so it still gets a thumbs up from me.
In honor of Star Wars Day, I made these “Chewy”bacca Bars. Get it? Chewie and chewy.
Does laughing at my own jokes make me a dork?
Oh well. If you can’t entertain yourself, who else will? Read more
CARROT CAKE + CURRY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
My famous curry cream cheese frosting. Or infamous, depending on who you ask.
My family rolls their eyes. One of my friends licks it straight off her arms while helping me frost cupcakes. I have the photos to prove it. Except she’d kill me if I shared them. And you still want the recipe, right? 😉
Some people love it. Some people don’t get it. I hope you love it!
Carrot cake is one of the first types of cakes I ever baked. It’s also one of my family’s favorite cake flavors.
Unfortunately many bakeries and restaurants sell dry carrot cake. And the dryness can’t be hidden by the super sweet frosting that doesn’t even taste like cream cheese. It makes me sad.
What makes me happy is this super moist carrot cake full of crushed walnuts and golden raisins topped with a creamy frosting that gets just a touch of warmth from the curry.
It’s like a hug for your tastebuds.
And just look at that glorious cascade.