Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Red Velvet Cake...just in time for Valentines Day!

I gave this recipe to my friend Meghan who is the dessert cook extraordinaire, she made this as cupcakes and said they were amazing! I am planning to try and bake one tomorrow in honor of the day of love!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes
Makes: a 2-layer cake


For cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Frosting:
1 pound cream cheese (room temperature) [Meghan said they used ff cream cheese and it did not work]
1 pound butter (4 sticks), softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Garnish (optional):
chopped pecans

Heat oven to 325
Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
Combine remaining cake ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
Add dry ingredients - slowly! - to bowl, until fully combined.
Pour into 2 cake pans (9-inch round) greased with vegetable oil. Bake in oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until cake pulls away from pan. Cool for exactly 20 minutes.
Make frosting, meanwhile: Combine cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer set on medium. Slowly add confectioners' sugar until frosting is at desired sweetness and smoothness. Add vanilla.
Frost top of one layer. Cover with second layer; frost its top, then work your way down sides.
Garnish with chopped pecans. Serve.

*I belive this is off the charts for Weight Watchers points...but it could be an exchange for the chocolate you would probably eat. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Low Fat Bran Muffins

These are yummy healthy muffins (2 points for the Weight Watchers)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons CALUMET Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups POST 100% Bran Cereal
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in large bowl. Mix cereal, milk and sugar in another bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in egg and applesauce. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. (Batter will be lumpy.) Spoon batter into muffin pan which has been sprayed with no stick cooking spray, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Egg Substitute

I found this idea in the Light and Tasty magazine...
To make your own egg substitute:
In a small bowl, combine 3 egg whites, 2 tablespoons of instant nonfat dry milk powder, 1 teaspoon of water and 2 to 3 drops of yellow food coloring (this is optional). Mix well. One serving (1/2 cup) is equivalent to 2 eggs.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Thyme in the Kitchen goes low brow - Dirt Cake

We have a restaurant here in Boise called Donnie Macs that features "Trailer Park Cuisine". We had an enjoyable "Friday Night Fun Night" a couple weeks ago. They have an old car hull in the middle of the restaurant with a table inside and we were lucky enough to get seated in the car. The kids loved it bouncing on the single wide seat w/o car seats or seat belts and hanging out the windows. By now you are wondering what my restaurant review has to do with Thyme in the Kitchen. Well, I thought I could add some low brow recipes to mix it up. Hopefully, I won't be banished from the blog but I suppose I might be chastised by Queen Dana. Sally Ryan gets credit for being my introduction to this Epicurean delight.

Flowerpot Cake (aka Dirt Cake)
Serves 10 to 12

1 medium-size flower pot (about 8 inches in diameter works well, or use two small pots about 6 inches in diameter)
1 garden trowel
3 large gummy or plastic worms
plastic flowers
1 16-ounce bag Oreo cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 4-serving-size boxes instant chocolate-fudge flavor pudding
3 cups milk1 12-ounce tub whipped topping, thawed

Crush cookies until they resemble potting soil, set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Set aside. Combine pudding mix and milk until well blended, then fold in the whipped topping. Gently fold cream cheese and pudding mixtures together.
To put the cake together, layer 1/3 of the cookie crumbs followed by 1/2 the pudding mixture, 1/3/ of the crumbs, the rest of the pudding mixture and topping with the remaining cookie crumbs. Refrigerate 10 to 12 hours. About 1/2 hour before serving, remove from refrigerator and decorate with flowers. Serve by digging out portions with the trowel.

I have a couple more up my sleeve so stay tuned.