My Sunday Confession

Sometimes my experience in the kitchen is a disaster.  Friday almost ended up as one of those days.

I had invited friends over for dinner.  They were to arrive at 6:30 p.m. My menu was Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew, Pobalano-Cucumber Salsa, Vegan Coconut Cake.  Here’s how my afternoon turned out:

2:00 Grocery shopping (forgot Peanut Butter, a staple for 2 year olds)
3:00 Start prepping Vegan Coconut Cake
3:10 Searching for Baking Powder (Where is it?)
3:15 2yo grabs coconut milk and spills it all over him and the floor
3:20 2yo demands needing the stool to help me (not helpful)
3:20 Found the Baking Powder!
3:25 Discover the gas for the oven is turned off
3:30 Call husband for directions on turning on the oven
3:31 2yo has melt down
4:00 Place cake batter in cake pans
4:05 Glance across the kitchen and realized the baking powder was CORN STARCH!
4:06 Dump cake batter bake in bowl and mix in baking powder
4:15 Cut new parchment paper for cake pans
4:30 Place batter back in cake pans
4:30 Cake goes into oven
4:40 Baby needs fed
5:00 Cut and prep pumpkin
5:15 Realize I’m out of Cheddar Cheese for pumpkin!
5:29 Cake is finished baking
5:30 Start prepping ingredients for Pumpkin Stew
5:31 Husband arrives home but needs to send out work emails
5:32 Kids are fussy and screaming
6:00 Poblano peppers makes it into the oven for broil
6:01 Text friends to ask if they could arrive at 7:00 p.m.
6:05 Husband leaves to buy Cheddar Cheese
6:30 Stop to soothe fussy baby
6:45 Husband returns with Cheese
6:50 Pumpkin Stew assembled and placed in oven.
6:55 Guests arrive.

At this point I still need to assemble the cake and Poblano-Cucumber Salsa. Luckily it was our good friends Mike and Edlyn who were joining us for dinner, and since Mike is a professional chef he helped me whip everything into shape.

But this is where my confession is given — I planned to blog about the Vegan Coconut Cake, however with my afternoon, something just wasn’t clicking. I forgot that I had changed the icing when I made it before — instead of doing a butter cream, I had done a coconut milk glaze.  Midway through mixing the icing I remembered what I did and tried a compromise — a course correction, I call it.

Not all yummy cakes turn out looking like a beauty.

It didn’t work.

Instead I ended up with a slick icing that didn’t stick to well to the cake. On top of my distractions I had placed the cake on top of the stove, which was warm, and my icing melted.

The result was a cross between a flop and ugly — fuggly.

However this fuggly cake still tasted good, even with corn starch.


The Pumpkin Pie Alternative

Photo taken by thehipvegetarian

One of my inspirations for sharing recipes comes from a high school friend Valerie over at her 29 Days of Pumpkin blog.  Valerie has an ambitious month by committing to make a pumpkin recipe everyday until Thanksgiving.  She’s a trooper since no one else in her family likes pumpkin. Between you and me, they are missing out!

Here’s a recipe that I tried from her Day 5 Post — Gooey Butter Cake.

If you caught My Sunday Confession you would have read that I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie.  Though this recipe reminds me of pumpkin pie, it’s much better reincarnated as a cake.  I prefer to think it’s the cream cheese.  My theory is you can never go wrong with cream cheese.

In fact when I make this recipe again, I think I will place a cream cheese/sugar mixture between the cake batter and the filling.  Make it a three layered cake.  In my mind I can already taste it.

Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake

Cake Bottom:
1-18.25 oz package yellow cake mix
1 large egg
8 Tbsp butter, melted

2 cups grated raw pumpkin
1-8 ounce package of cream cheese,
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 3/4 cup box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sprinkled on
top of each square of cake
1 dollop of fresh whipped cream per

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place raw pumpkin in bowl and cook in microwave
for 5 min. Drain out excess water. Set aside.

Make cake by mixing cake mix, egg and butter. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch baking
pan, and pat cake mixture into bottom of pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla, eggs, butter and beat. Mix dry ingredients of powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and add to cream cheese mixture. Mix well.

Pour mixture over cake batter and spread evenly. Bake for 35-45 , and be careful not to overcook as the center should be soft and gooey, as the title describes. Cut into squares and sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Place 1-2 pieces per plate for serving,and dollop fresh whipped cream in center.

Chocolate Flan Cheesecake

Photo taken by thehipvegetarian

Well the holidays are just around the corner and like many I’m starting to go through my recipes to see what I can contribute to the family dinner.

For those of you who would like an idea that isn’t pie, you should try this Chocolate Flan Cheesecake. This cake is made by several restaurants here in San Antonio, and this recipe comes from Beto’s ComidaLatina.

This cake is layered with chocolate cake on the bottom with flan as its second layer. Then the cake is topped with caramel cascading over the top and down the sides. The fun thing about assembling this cake is that you actually place the cake batter in the pan before then flan mixture.  During the baking process the flan passes through the batter and stays between it and the caramel.

A couple of tips:  When you get to step three, be sure to mix your cream cheese and sugar first.  The copy of the recipe that I have starts with the milk first and then ends with the cream cheese.  Adding the sugar and cream cheese last will create a lumpy flan. I’ve inverted the ingredients for you so you won’t make the same mistake.  Also, you’ll need to bake this cake 12-24 hours ahead of serving.  The cake needs to cool so the flan can become stable.  Baking the cake only a few hours before serving will cause the cake to collapse.

Oh, and here is a rating factor on how good this cake is — my husband says its his favorite.

Chocolate Flan Cheesecake

1 Jar Caramel

3 Eggs
3/4 cup Oil
1 1/4 cup Water
1 box Devils Food Cake Mix

8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Sugar
5 Eggs
1 tea Vanilla
1 can Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
1 can Condensensd Milk
1 cup Milk

Pour caramel into a bundt pan
Mix all number TWO ingredients together in a container
Mix all number THREE ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Float the number TWO mixture over the caramel in the bundt pan.
Then float the number Three mixture over the number Two mixture.
Submerge bundt pan in a larger pan of water up to about 3/4 of the bundt pan (VERY IMPORTANT!)
Bake at 350F for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Remove — let cool thoroughly — invert cake into a cake dish
Let cool about 12-24 hours.