Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

The smell coming from the oven while this cinnamon swirl banana bread was baking was simply amazing.

This banana bread, with it’s incredible moistness and sweet banana flavor has tons of very very ripe mashed bananas, this is what makes the bread so sweet and moist and generally very yummy, also yoghurt for freshness (and less butter) and a cinnamon brown sugar swirl in the middle.
Lots of vanilla in it too, because I just love real vanilla, I love it almost more that chocolate.
Making this (and from this day forward your favorite 😉) banana bread is so simple. It’s very straight forward, however it is necessary to have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Get everything out, measure correctly and throw it together.
First mix the dry ingredients and set aside. Then in a stand mixer, mix the wet ingredients.
Mixing the dry with the wet should be done with a rubber spatula because over mixing will turn your banana bread into rubber. And that would be such a shame. Just about 8 strokes with the spatula until all the flour is absorbed. No more.


⏰ Prep time : 10 min
🍧 Cooking time : 40-45 min approx.
🍴 Makes : 1 loaf


INGREDIENTS:

• 2 cups (250gr.) all purpose flour or half whole wheat and have plain or even spelt flour.
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• pinch of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
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• 3/4 cup (150gr. ) packed coconut sugar or regular light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup (115 gr.) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
• 1/3 cup plain yogurt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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• 2 tbsp. coconut sugar or light brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

cinnamon swirl banana bread

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and butter on medium speed until well blended and creamy– about 3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix on the lowest stand for just a minute or so.
6. Remove bowl from mixer.
7. Add the dry ingredients in one go and gently fold to mix with a spatula. Do not overmix. Just until all the flour is no longer visible, about 10 folds.
8. Mix the cinnamon and the sugar for the center swirl.
9. Spoon half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar in one straight line on the batter. Cover with more batter and make swirls or zig-zags with a knife.
10. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
11. Slice and enjoy.
12. Banana Bread will keep for about a week in an airtight container.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

If you make this, don’t forget to snap a pic and post it on Instagram. Remember to tag me in your picture @thecookingspoonblog so I can see your delicious creations.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes

A classic chocolate cupcake, delicious, moist, soft, super easy, super chocolaty and pretty much fool proof.

Prep time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Makes : 12 cup cakes

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INGREDIENTS:

• 2 large eggs or 3 medium at room temperature
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1/3 cup melted butter
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ cup yoghurt
• ¼ cup milk
• ¾ Cup all purpose flour
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp. baking soda
• A good pinch of salt

Chocolate Cupcakes

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Pre heat the oven to 375° F / 175° C
2. Line a muffin tin (12 hole ) with liners
3. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar together until well mixed, add the melted butter and vanilla.
5. Mix the yoghurt with the milk.
6. Pour half of the egg mixture into the flour mixture and some of the yoghurt mix, stir to combine. Repeat. Gently mix everything together without over beating.
7. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, only halfway!
8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a rack before frosting.

Chocolate Cupcakes

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
• ½ cup cream cheese at room temperature
• ½ cup butter at room temperature
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup powder sugar, sifted
• 2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
INSTRUCTIONS:
Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted, set aside so it can cool a bit.
Beat the cream cheese and butter together until completely smooth, add the cocoa and powdered sugar, whisk until fully incorporated.
Add the vanilla.
When the melted chocolate is no longer warm add to the butter mix. Beat until well mixed.
Using a piping bag and a star tip, frost the cupcakes. I keep mine in the fridge on warm days and also if you don’t eat them all at once, best to keep them refrigerated.
Let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before eating, to bring out the best chocolaty flavor.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

Chocolate Cupcakes

vegan chocolate mocha pie

Vegan Chocolate Mocha Pie

vegan chocolate mocha pie

In for a treat? Guilt free? Let me just go ahead and answer that for you, Yes please…

All things Healthy + Goodness+ Silky deliciousness = Vegan Chocolate Mocha Pie

Math couldn’t get any simpler .

Let me explain something before you get all judgemental about tofu  . There’s tofu and then there’s silk tofu. Silk tofu as the descriptions states is smooth and silky and does NOT have that chalky texture that plain tofu might have. (I don’t think so, but I’ve heard this description before) Mixed into a dessert for instance it becomes a smooth silky mass that can absorb any flavour you add to it, it is quite tasteless on its own but adding, nuts, chocolate or fruit can transform it into flavour heaven.

Since in this recipe I am not using chocolate chips because I want to keep it all natural, I’ve added the cashews to compensate for the lack of fat , which adds even more creaminess to the pie.

It honestly is a Chocolate Dream come true.

The crust is oats, dates, cocoa and coconut oil, simple, healthy and pretty straightforward. You could, some other day perhaps only make the crust recipe and roll it into small balls and serve as is, like Bliss Balls
(just sayin’) .

So put on that apron and let’s get cracking.

Oh , one last thing. Cut into wedges and freeze left overs. Yessssss….

vegan chocolate mocha pie

 


  Prep Time: 15 min. Plus chilling

  Cooking Time :5 minutes

 Serves : 8


INGREDIENTS:

CRUST;

  • 1 C. whole oats, ground to flour
  • 10 medium soft dates, stone removed
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

FILLING

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk.
  • 2 tablespoons agar-agar flakes or 2 teaspoons agar-agar powder.
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder.
  • 1 (12-ounce) / 340 gr. package silken tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 4 hours and drained.
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or more to taste if you like it extra sweet)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt.
vegan chocolate mocha pie

INSTRUCTIONS:

Line a 8″/ 20 cm. cake tin or pie pan with parchment paper. To prepare the crust, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until completely fine,   it will be sticky . Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and use your hands to press the dough evenly up the sides of the pan, creating a crust about 1/4-inch thick. The dough is very sticky, so I recommend getting your hands wet with water to help press out the crust.  Place the pan in the freezer to set while you prepare the filling.

Heat the almond milk in a sauce pan and dissolve the agar agar flakes or powder over low heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat. Stir well to combine and remove from the heat and allow to cool just slightly (as it will set very fast). Alternatively follow the package instructions of the agar agar.

Drain de cashew nuts and place in the food processor and process until smooth, add tofu, espresso powder, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and salt. Process until completely smooth. Add the agar agar mixture and stir to combine very well.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Smooth out the top and place in the refrigerator to set for at least four hours and preferably overnight.

Decorate with (coconut ) whipped cream or fruit if you like, or like these fabulous fake roses 😉

Enjoy !

Myra XO

vegan chocolate mocha pie
tropical granola pineappple-coconut-cashew

Tropical Granola, Pineapple-Cashew-Coconut

tropical granola pineappple-coconut-cashew

Aloha is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this Tropical Granola.
It’s loaded with all things tropical like Pineapple, Coconut, Cashew nuts, Banana chips and a touch of Lime. I can honestly say, one bite and you will be swept away to a sandy beach with palm trees and a beautiful sunrise. The perfect breakfast if you ask me.

I’ve used freeze-dried Sweet Pineapple, toasted coconut flakes, salty cashew nuts, chia seeds, oats and a few other things and the combo is…..Pure heaven.
You may wonder about the salty cashew nuts, but I assure you that in combination with the sweet pineapple and coconut it’s magic.

I actually just had this jar on the picture and just kept saying mmmmmh, mmmmmh, mmmmmh, no joke.
Try it, you will be mmmmmh, mmmmmh-ing too

tropical granola pineappple-coconut-cashew

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins

One bite and you will be swept away to a Tropical Sandy Beach with Palm trees and a beautiful sunrise.
Sweet Pineapple, coconut flakes, salty cashew nuts, chia seeds, oats…. Pure heaven

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

• 4 Cups Whole Oats
• 1 Cup Puffed Quinoa
• 1/2 Cup Cashew nuts, salted
• 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
• 1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
• Zest of 1 Lime
• Juice of 1/2 Lime
• 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
• 1/3 Cup Coconut oil, melted
• 1/3 Cup + 2 tbsp. Agave Syrup
• 1/2 Cup Banana Chips
• 1/2 Cup Coconut flakes
• 3/4 Cup Pineapple Chunks, freeze-dried

tropical granola pineappple-coconut-cashew

Instructions:

1. Pre heat the oven to 310 F / 160 C.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Mix very well. In a smaller bowl combine the lime juice, vanilla, melted coconut oil and Agave syrup. Pour this mixture over the oat mixture in the larger bowl and stir to combine very well, so everything is covered with the liquid mixture.
Divide evenly over the lined baking tray and place in the middle of the oven.
Bake for 35 minutes, stirring very ten minutes. After 20 minutes add the banana chips, coconut flakes and pineapple chunks. Leave the granola untouched for the last five minutes so cluster can form.
Remove from oven when golden and toasted and leave to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.
Will keep for up to four weeks.
P.S. You can nibble on this as a snack too.

Enjoy !
Myra XO

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

Brown Butter Vanilla Donuts with Chocolate Frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

Just three weeks ‘till Fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I can Finally turn on the oven without feeling like a basket case because yes, I did bake during Summer and people did call me crazy. But in their defense it was 36° C / 97° F at one point so who can blame them?
Either way I’m glad the heat wave(s) are over , I love Fall and rain and long hikes in a damp forest with that wonderful musky smell.
Then coming home to hot coffee and something freshly baked, like Donuts.
These Donuts. They only take 10 minutes to bake!
Brown butter Vanilla Donuts with Dark Chocolate frosting. Oh my….and since they’re baked it’s ok to eat two.
And the even greater part is that they’re low fat. Wait no, the greatest part is actually that you can’t tell they’re low fat. Awesome right?
Yes, you can definitely eat two , you totally deserve it!


Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 10 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Servings: 8


Ingredients:

• 1 Cup + 1 tbsp. white Spelt flour nr. 1050
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• ¼ tsp. baking soda
• Pinch of salt
• 1 large egg room temperature
• 2 ½ tbsp. butter
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1/3 cup caster sugar
• 100 gr. / 4 oz. chocolate chips
• 1 tbsp. coconut oil or butter
• 1 tbsp. honey

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting

brown butter vanilla donuts with chocolate frosting
Instructions:

1. Pre heat oven to 180 C / 350 F
2. Lightly butter your Donut pan.
3. Whisk together in a large bowl, the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl or large jug, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla extract.
5. Meanwhile heat the butter in a small dish in the microwave at 30 second intervals until brown and fragrant. It takes about 4, 30 second sessions but may depend on the power of your microwave.
6. Alternatively heat in a small sauce pan until light brown and fragrant without it getting burnt.
7. Let cool a little bit before adding to the egg and buttermilk mixture.
8. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
9. Fill a donut pan with the mixture, about ¾ full in each cavity.
10. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
11. Remove from oven, insert a wooden skewer to test if the donuts are cooked through, the skewer should come out dry.
12. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the Donuts from the pan. Let the Donuts cool completely before frosting.
13. To make the chocolate frosting, melt the chocolate, coconut oil or butter and honey in the microwave at 30 second intervals until fully melted, stir to combine.
14. Place chocolate in a shallow dish or bowl large enough to dip in the donuts.
15. Dip each Donut in the melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
Enjoy!
Myra XO

Chocolate Granola, only 6 Ingredients

When I was making this Granola, I was thinking about a story I read about a man who for a bet ate a spoonful of unsoaked Chia seeds and ended up in the emergency room. Apparently they stuck to his throat and he couldn’t swallow any more and all sorts of horrible things happened to this poor man.
The reason I’m telling you this is because it shocked me so much, I never thought of it as being dangerous to eat Chia seeds.
So basically I am warning you, always soak your Chia seeds before consuming, just to be safe.
I use to sprinkle them over salads, but now I don’t anymore, I mean you never know. Why take any chances, right?

This fantastic Granola is chocolatey and super crunchy. It has very little fat and very little sweetener. All natural, all healthy, ’cause that’s what we’re doing this month. Are you with me?

…and ONLY 6 INGREDIENTS.

INGREDIENTS;

4 Cups whole rolled oats

1 Cup large Coconut flakes

1/2 Cup whole almonds

1/3 Cup honey

1/4 Cup coconut oil

1/4 Cup cacao powder

METHOD:
Pre heat the oven to 160 C / 320 F

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients.
Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mix out evenly over the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Toss the granola around at least 4 times during cooking time making sure it toasts evenly all over.
After 30 minutes. Take out the tray and leave to cool completely before storing away in a large Mason jar or similar.
Will keep for about three to four weeks.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Cherry Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

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First of all I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

This year we decided to do the food celebration in our home on Christmas Eve, since we won’t be home on Christmas Day.

I am kind of looking forward to having my food prepared for me on Christmas day, I think it might actually be the first time in my life (as an adult) that I am not cooking.

So, on Christmas Eve we are going to have a buffet style dinner  with lots of bites and appetizers and goodies, no real cooking involved and lots of desserts. Of course lots of desserts.

I am going to put this cake on the table too and I’m kinda hoping there will some left for Christmas morning. Fingers crossed…

It’s a pretty straight forward cake with just some glacé cherries and chips since kids don’t like to many “things” in their cake.

And the good part is you can make a day or two in advance.

Ingredients;

1 C. butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes

1 1/4 C. Caster Sugar , packed

3 large eggs at room  temperature

2 C. Self Rising Cake Flour

4 tbsp. Whole Milk

1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

25 red   Glace Cherries cut in half

1/2 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

1 tbsp. flour

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Method;

Pre heat oven to 160° C  / 320° F

Butter your Bundt pan very well and dust with flour. Tap of excess flour.

Beat the butter until light and creamy in the bowl of your mixer.

Add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated before adding the next.

Add the vanilla.

Now add the cake flour in two times alternating with the milk.

Toss the chocolate chips and cherries with the tablespoon of flour, add to the batter. Mix it in with a spatula.

Divide the batter over the Bundt pan and even out with a spatula. Place on a rack, just below the middle in the oven.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes,  until a wooden skewer comes out dry.

Remove from oven and let cool on rack for at least 20 minutes before turning over the cake.

Decorate with icing or frosting.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer brownie-cookies-squares-43

Oven Baked Christmas Churros with thick Spanish Mocha hot Chocolate

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churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate21

Great childhood memories for me about Churros, we used to get them at the weekly market in my village in Spain, they’d be deep fried and sprinkled with lots of cinnamon sugar. Served in a paper cone. Crunchy and warm, and oh sooo good.

My version is baked, not fried. Just because it can get a little heavy otherwise and it’s also less calories.

Traditionally these are served with hot thick Spanish chocolate but since I love Coffee, I have made us a Mocha Hot Chocolate. Basically the best of both worlds.

I have sprinkled the Churros with a cookie spice mix (pumpkin spice) to give it an extra “Christmassy” flavour.

Some people have this even for breakfast but they are great any time of day and even as a dessert (YUM is all I can say).

churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate

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churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate2

Serves 4

Ingredients Churros;

½ cup unsalted butter or cooking margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar of choice (I use coconut)
1 cup water
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. mixed spice (like pumpkin spice
1/4 C. powdered sugar of choice
cooking spray
Method;

Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Remove from heat add the flour and stir with a spoon to combine. Mixture will thicken…add the vanilla.

Leave dough in the saucepan, but beat it on low with a hand mixer, adding one egg at a time, mixing well before adding another. After adding each egg, the mixture will become wet and glossy, but after mixing on high for a few seconds it will thicken again.

Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and pipe 8-inch rows of the dough with at least 1 inch between each Churro.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown*, and when a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix spice and sugar in a shallow dish.
Spray Churros lightly with cooking spray, and one at a time, transfer them to the dish and sprinkle with spiced sugar. Serve immediately with Spanish hot Chocolate

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Ingredients Spanish Mocha Hot Chocolate;

1/2 C. hot freshly brewed coffee

3 tbsp. cocoa

1/2 tsp. vanilla

5 tbsp. coconut sugar or of choice

2 c. full fat milk (or of choice)

2 tbsp. corn starch mixed with a little water

Whipped cream to serves

golden mini starts to decorate (optional)

Method;

Make the cup of coffee and mix in a saucepan with the cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and cocoa completely. Add the milk and stir to combine. Heat until just begins to bubble. Add the corn starch slurry and combine well. Keep stirring frequently and heat thru until thickened, for about 5 more minutes.

Pour into cups and serve with whipped cream and dip the Churros in the hot mocha chocolate.

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churros-with-spanish-mocha-hot-chocolate12

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls or Triple Chocolate Donuts

Ultimate Chocolate Caramel Birthday Cake

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Every year I ask my daughter what cake she would like for her birthday and the answer is always the same, chocolate.

I can’t even begin to tell how much fun it is to create a cake, a special cake for a special someone. Surprise them and show them through baking how much you care.

This cake has caramel shards on top, that I will explain in detail how to make, then a swiss meringue fudgy caramel buttercream between delicious moist chocolate cake layers. Caramel dripping around the cake.  Then besides the impressive caramel shards  and Unicorn Bark all sorts of chocolate and sweets to make it a decadent feast.

Ingredients Fudgy Caramel:

1 C. plain sugar

3 tbsp. water

1 C. cream

3 tbsp. butter.

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of salt

Method.

In a large pan add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Cook around 7 minutes, brushing down the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Be careful, sugar is extremely hot!

When the caramel turns light golden remove from the heat, Remove it before it gets too dark because it will continue to cook for a while off the heat. Alternatively use a candy thermometer, when it reaches 180°/356°F remove from heat. Add the butter stirring vigorously with a beater the the cream and vanilla.

The caramel will bubble up like crazy. Stand back, wear long sleeves!!!

Pour into a clean heat proof container. I use a glass weck jar. Cool and store until ready to use. Will keep for about a week.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake49

Ingredients Caramel Shards;

1 C. sugar

4 tbsp. water

Method;

Place sugar and water in a pan and cook over medium high heat for about 7-10 minutes or until thermometer reaches 180°/356°F.

Remove from heat and pour onto a baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment. Pour into the desired shape. I pour it into a rectangle like shape so I can break it in to large segments. Let cool for a couple of hours before using.

chocolate-caramel-birthday-cake51

Ingredients Swiss meringue butter cream;

5 large egg whites

1  C.  sugar

2 C.  butter at room temperature cut into little blocks of about a tablespoon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Method;
Combine egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler.

Whisk constantly until the  sugar has dissolved and reached 160°F on a thermometer, about 15 minutes. Test this by picking some between your thumb and index finger if you don’t have a thermometer, there should be no sugar grains.  Put mixing bowl on the mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing until mixture cools to room temperature. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.

Now add your vanilla. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.

Makes enough frosting to cover and fill one 9.5″ layer cake.

Store airtight in fridge for 3 days.
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Unicorn Bark;
1 C. vanilla white candy melts + 1 tbsp.
edible glitter
Nonpareils
wooden skewers
Method;
Melt the candy melts in a bowl in the microwave at thirty second intervals until melted.
Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and form a sort of rectangle.
Sprinkle with the decorations and leave to dry completely.
Break lengthwise into two or three shreds.
Flip them over, melt the remaining tablespoon of candy melts in a little bowl and “glue”on the wooden skewers with the chocolate so you will be able to stick them into the cake.
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Chocolate Cake;
Yield: 2  10 inch rounds

Ingredients:

butter and cocoa for coating and dusting the cake pan

3 C.  All Purpose Flour

3 C. Granulated Sugar

1½ C.  Unsweetened Cocoa

1 tbsp. Baking Soda

1½ tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

1½ C.  buttermilk

1½ C.  warm water

½ C.   Vegetable Oil

1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Method:

Preheat oven to 175°/350° degrees.

Butter two 10 inch cake rounds. Dust with cocoa and tap out the excess.

Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.

In a seperate bowl beat the eggs and combine with the buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla.

Add wet to dry. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.

Divide batter among the two pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).

Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.

Caramel Buttercream frosting (filling);
Mix one cup caramel fudge sauce with one cup buttercream, whip until well combined.
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Assembling and decorating the cake;
 Place a little dab of buttercream on a cake round and place the first cake layer on it. Level the cake with a serrated knife or a cake cutter. Level the other cake layer as well.
Spread with the caramel filling and place the second layer of cake on it. Press a little bit.
Now cover the entire cake with a very thin layer of the Swiss meringue buttercream and place in the fridge for half an hour. After this time cover the cake with an other layer of the buttercream, smoothing it out completely.
Dab some pink food coloring here and there and with your scraper just go alongside the cake to spread out and smooth.
Decorate the cake with the shards of caramel,  the Unicorn Bark and all the pretty Nonpareils you feel like. Let yourself go and use your vivid imaginations.
Note: I used a dummy to make the cake look twice as high, you can get one online.

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Cream Cheese Cranberry Chocolate Chip stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

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Woo Hoo! I am so happy to share this recipe with you. I have been wanting to make these for a while but I was waiting for the perfect moment. So that was this past weekend. I had the whole recipe figured out in my head, ingredients, cooking times, the whole shebang, I just hadn’t actually made them yet because I wanted it to be closer to Christmas. And since today I was having my Christmas tree delivered  I had to stay home, and it seemed like the perfect moment had come.

Now about that christmas tree, does anyone else have their tree delivered? Because I had never heard of it. It felt very luxurious somehow. I live in an apartment and the thought of me struggling alone with a giant Christmas tree all the way from the parking lot to the building was more than I could bear so I researched and sure enough you can actually order them online and have them delivered to your living room.

No needles in my car, big hurray to that.

Anyway, I for one, am going to serve these on Christmas morning, among other things but they will have a place on the table. (…like, in front of me)

They are just so crazy delicious. Slightly crispy on the outside, and then a whole lot of oozing soft sweetened cream cheese, cranberry and chocolate chips all mingled together in perfect harmony.

I think I actually jumped a little when I tasted them, I was so excited. Normally I behave like an adult, but with all things Christmas going on I get a little excited and forget my poise.

What’s even better is that I made them with a can of croissant dough, that I had frozen in the can. Yes you can freeze a can of croissants!  I took out the  frozen can, wiggled off the wrapping  (you know, the ones you twist) and defrosted the dough in the microwave for two minute and I was ready to roll, literally.

You don’t have to have anything at room temperature either. So you can decide spur of the moment to bake them without planning.

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Serves 4

Ingredients;

1 can croissant dough

3/4 C.   Cream Cheese  mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar of choice

1/2 C. cranberry jam / jelly / sauce or Holiday Cranberry and Pear Sauce with Star Anise.

cinnamon sugar made with 1 tablespoon sugar of choice + 2 tsp. cinnamon

1 beaten egg

1/3 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate

icing sugar for dusting

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Method;

Flour your work surface and pre heat the oven to  180° C / 350 ° F.

open the can of croissant dough and roll it out. You will have a long strip. I flattened it even more with a rolling pin so that it would seal the perforations in the dough.

Sprinkle over the entire length,  the cinnamon sugar leaving an inch from the seam free so that it will stick when closing.

With the help of a small spoon, place the cranberry  jelly on top, followed by the cream cheese.

Divide the chocolate chips over the entire length.

Brush the seam with the beaten egg. Carefully roll the strip over to close it.

Divide into four pieces with a knife, sealing the edges a little with your fingers. Carefully roll each one into a coil.

Put onto a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.

Brush the tops with the remaining egg.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before dusting with icing sugar.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.