Nutella Crepe Cake

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Behold! One of my most delicious creations… the Nutella Crepe Cake! Mind you, I said “most delicious” not most healthy, so keep that in mind before you devour the whole cake. 

Here’s what the inside looks like:

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I love all of the layers.

And it was deceptively simple once you’ve got the technique of crepe making down. For the crepes, I used Julia Child’s recipe for light crepes (but I used the one from the book, this is just the same recipe that I saw online), at the suggestion of one of my roommates, although I’ve seen several Nutella crepe cakes online lately at Taste Spotting. For some reason, I thought it would be too hard to make, so I just kind of salivated over it for a while and then moved on. As it turns out, crepes really aren’t that difficult to make, and it definitely helped that Julia Child explains exactly what you should do when you’re making them. It helped immensely.

I’ll give you the break down:

  • Once you’ve blended all the ingredients together (I used my Ninja - similar to the Magic Bullet), refrigerate the batter for about two hours.
  • After it’s been chilled, pour a couple of tablespoons of canola oil into a small bowl or cup and use a pastry brush to coat the pan in oil. Let the pan heat up over medium high heat.
  • Meanwhile, scoop out about 1/4 cup of batter (depending on the size of your pan… I’d say mine had a diameter of about 8 inches).
  • Once the oil just starts to smoke a little bit, pick up the pan with your right hand off the heating element and pour the batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly turn the pan in all directions to coat the pan with batter. 
  • Let the crepe cook for about 60 seconds. To turn it, try to loosen the sides with a spatula and then slip the spatula underneath the crepe. If it’s done enough, it should be a little stiff when you try to lift it up. I used my fingers to help flip them since they were fairly large.
  • Let it cook for 60 or so more second on the other side and then remove to a plate. 
  • Continue the process over again, starting with coating the pan with oil.

And voila! You’ve got yourself a crepe. The cake part is pretty obvious… you just spread Nutella in between each layer. 

I know it’s been a while since I updated. Like I mentioned in my previous post, my camera was out of commission. As it turns out, it really was dead for good, sadly. Although, I have a new camera that I really like a lot! I got a great deal on it, since Best Buy had a refurbished one of it. 

And, here’s a hamster:image

In the coming weeks, I’ll post part two of MAKE YO LUNCH ELEGANT and also, get ready for the epic post documenting my Blue Apron Meals experiment (I get my first shipment March 30th). 

Chocolate Soil Pie

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Hope everyone has recovered from their sugar coma that was Valentine’s Day! Now that you’ve eaten approximately 50 Reese’s cup minis in the past 24 hours (oh, what? That’s just me? Ugh, fine), your taste buds are probably craving for more sugar, but your arteries are begging for mercy. Well, I’ve got the perfect fix for you! A delicious chocolate pie… that’s good for you? Oh my! 

I’ve got to be honest with you, though. You’re probably not going to be happy about the ingredients in the pie. Remember my chocolate mousse cakes with the soft tofu that were sooo delicious? Well, this is the same sort of idea. Since everyone seemed so accepting of the tofu chocolate mousse (only after tasting, of course), I decide to combine the tofu mousse with an extra healthy pie crust as well. I realize the crust in the picture somewhat resembles soil (and by somewhat, I mean it could probably be mistaken for soil in person as well), but it tastes like like a mixture of german chocolate, oreos and almonds (because those white specs are almonds). Essentially, it’s a combination of dates, cocoa powder, coconut, almonds, and vanilla. 

If you’re still reading, thanks. If not, you’re bein’ a pansy. Eat some tofu, eat some dates, and do yo body a favor! Also, it’s vegan and gluten free…

Pie recipe

Crust recipe

In other news, I kind of have some lame news concerning my food blogging: my camera is dying. A few weeks ago, we had a torrential downpour, which just so happened to start as I was waiting for the bus. I got soaked and so did everything in my backpack (aside for my laptop, by some mysterious miracle). I salvaged my (new) iPod by burying it in rice for a couple of days, but I thought my camera was actually okay. It kind of did some spazzy things but ultimately functioned for a couple of weeks after that. That picture of the pie was the last it would take before it pooped out completely. I’m trying one more thing before I declare it dead for good. The light still flashes on, but the lens doesn’t move and the screen won’t light up. We’ll see.

Despite my camera difficulty, I did manage to capture the delicious Valentine’s Day dinner my boyfriend and I made last night on my iPod. Roasted salmon in a white wine lemon butter sauce, green beans, roasted potatoes, couscous and garlic bread. It was a feast!

imageMan, look at that beautiful picture quality! Who needs a good camera when you have… well… ugh. On the positive side, this might be a chance to upgrade from the old camera (which was actually a freebie my brother got when he bought his TV, so…) 

Anyway, here, have some freshly baked bread in the meantime:

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Enjoy!

Soon to come… Post two of MAKE YO LUNCH ELEGANT, featuring homemade roasted red peppers. Stay tuned!

New Years Cakeballz

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Happy almost-New Years! Here’s a gift from me to you, delicious, delicious cakeballs. I haven’t made cakeballs in ages, mostly because I haven’t had the time to devote to them until now. I’m on winter break, so making these at home rather than in our teeny-tiny kitchen worked out much better. I didn’t originally intend for these to be New Years themed, but I had a lot of silver and pearl sprinkles lying around in the pantry, so it seemed to be a good idea!

I used Wilton sprinkles as well as Wilton melting chocolates, although any other brand should work just as well. If you’re adding sprinkles to your cakeballs, make sure that your melting chocolate is relatively hot when you’re coating them (or just work quickly) because the chocolate will harden quickly! You might see that lone looking rainbow sprinkle cakeball in the back left- I got tired of just one style of cakeball and wanted to switch it up. :D

Here he is close up:

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(Check out my mini money cupcake liners. They make good truffle and cakeball holders!)

Now, I have a bone to pick with some of the self-proclaimed Cakeball Queens of the world. I will fight for that title, except against Bakerella. I know that one of these here new-fangled cakeball machines produce something that may seem like a cakeball to the uneducated cakballing eye. Technically, yes, you make a ball of cake using one of those. But, my friends, do not be fooled. That is no cakeball. That is just a miniature spherical baked cake. That, my friends, is an impostor cakeball.

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The true beauty of a cakeball isn’t based on the superficial things- neither on the fanciness of the sprinkles nor the roundness of the ball. Like most good things, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And the inside has got to be moist. The only way to do that is to bake a full cake, crumble it into a bowl, and then mix in 3/4ths of a container of frosting (I used the cream cheese flavor in my case). If you’re making your own frosting, just add frosting to the cake a couple of tablespoons at a time until you’ve got a good consistency that holds together well when rolled into a ball.

In my first post, I explain all about the basics of cakeball making if you want to make them on your own. I won’t go into the details here!

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Although I could have probably eaten all the cakeballs on my own, I decided to package some of them up to give away to friends. They make lovely gifts… and a few cakeballs go a long way, so you’ll have plenty to hand out to others (that is, if you’re willing to share them…). Also, it’s one of those gifts that you can give to anyone (except for vegans and those with gluten allergies- see an alternative here!) because everyone likes cakeballs! 

Raspberry and Chocolate Souffle

I’m not sure who started the rumor that souffles are difficult to make, but for some reason, Americans seem to have this idea that they are the epitome of French cuisine. Or at least I thought so. My understanding of souffles has always been a French chef trying to transform some mush into a beautiful creation by oh-so-carefully and oh-so-quietly placing it in the oven and baking it for just the right amount of time. Honestly, I didn’t really even know what was in a souffle, and once I realized that it basically consisted of egg whites, I definitely didn’t know how that mush magically became a fluffed up pillow in the oven.

From here, I blindly gave my roommate the quest of making a souffle a few weeks ago. In approximate 25 minutes or less, she popped out of the oven a puffy concoction of egg whites, (very ripe) bananas, and sugar. Also, she found this awesome clip from NPR about the science behind souffles. Essentially, when you beat the egg whites, you’re adding bubbles of air into the souffle, which helps it rise. If you get egg yolk into your whites when separating, you’ll ruin your souffle because it makes the air bubbles leak.

After my roommate’s success in baking a souffle, I thought I’d give it a try after running across this recipe on Pinterest, but I changed it a bit. The original recipe calls for a sugar substitute, which I usually find fairly odd tasting in baked goods, so I just used regular granulated sugar. Also, I wasn’t entirely sure how long I needed to beat the egg whites for, but I basically continued until the whites made moderately stiff peaks, about 10 minutes (with an electric mixer with a whisk adapter), maybe. 

I loved this souffle. Although raspberries are now out of season, my grocery store had really sweet ones. Also, I decided to get the best chocolate available to me (Ghiradelli), which was a good decision. Although slightly more expensive, it was certainly worth it.

Andes Mint Scones

Happy Halloween! Hope you’re enjoying a bowl full of mini Reese’s, Twix, and Crunch bars… be sure to leave the flavored Tootsie Rolls and candy corn to the trick-or-treaters. 

Or you could be munching on some…

I dunno…

Andes Mint Scones?

I made these for one of my roommate’s 21st birthday last week. Just like my pumpkin scones, these are mini as well. When you’re talking about butter + heavy whipping cream, you’re really only going to need a mini scone (actually, that probably isn’t true, but health-consciously speaking, that’s all you need. Then again, who am I to say that after eating half of the dough? (Just kidding.) (sort of.)). 

Before I decided on what to make my roommate, I cruised the aisles of the grocery, hoping for some inspiration. Then, I saw them. Andes Mint baking bits. I remember as a little kid loving Andes’ mints. My childhood best friend’s mom always put them in her lunch (which I eyed admittedly enviously… as I ate my grapes). Andes Mints always meant something happy to me, a treat!

So, of course I bought the baking bits. At first, I intended on making mint chocolate chip cookies because adding mint is the only thing that makes a chocolate chip cookie more delicious. And the only thing more delicious than a chocolate chip cookie is… a scone! Also, the scones required some whipping cream, as I said, and we just happened to have some on hand, so I said why the heck not.

In my opinion, the dough tasted even better than the cooked scones. While it doesn’t appear on the outside that I cooked them too long, they turned out a tad bit dry. I may have skimped a little bit on the butter… still, it’s hard to go wrong with flour, butter, sugar, cream, and chocolate mint chips, so they were still good. 

Something I would change in the recipe was the ratio of chips in the scones to chips in the drizzle. The original recipe calls for half of the chips to go into the scones batter and for the other have to be melted and drizzled on top of the scone. I was left with wayyy too much chocolate drizzle, and I think the scones could have benefitted from more chips actually in the scones. Instead, I would change it to 3/4 bag of chips in scones and 1/4 bag of chips for the drizzle.

On my roommate’s birthday, we all dressed up and went out to dinner with her at a local fave, fresh Mexican restaurant. By “we all,” I really don’t mean “we all.” What I really mean is somewhat other people and mostly me. I was definitely only one in the restaurant with full Halloween makeup on (mind you, this was a couple of weeks before Halloween), while my roommates were semi-dressed up along with a few others. Whateva! I don’t care!

That afternoon before my roommate’s dinner, I hit up Goodwill for some costume ideas. Originally, I wanted to be a hot air balloon… but that didn’t end up happening, so Goodwill was my next best option. It turned out that they had a plethora of 1950’s housewife dresses, so I just jumped on that bandwagon and bought some halloween face makeup at CVS. Overall, it was a pretty cheap costume for some legit 1950’s clothes… compare to Target costumes, where it costs almost $40 just to be a slice of pizza.

Enjoy your Halloweeny day.