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Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

December 14, 2017
Cranberry Upside Down Cake from Farm to Table Desserts | Get the recipe at FakeFoodFree.com

I welcome the tartness and I shy away from adding too much sugar. 

That’s my relationship with cranberries. 

I love cranberry. It easily ranks in the top 5 for my favorite holiday flavors. Or I guess I should say foods, with it being an actual fruit and all. 

It’s why this cranberry upside down cake immediately got my attention.

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Berlin Christmas Markets: Raclette and Baumkuchen

December 11, 2015

Baumkuchen at WeihnachtsZauber auf dem Gendarmenkt | Berlin Christmas Markets | Fake Food Free Travels

I like to say I travel for food instead of saying I travel to eat. Many people probably think there isn’t a difference, but there is. At least that is what I tell myself. 

I don’t set out on a trip with the goal of eating copious amounts of food, but I do set out to explore as many unique food experiences as I possibly can. If that means also eating the food, well so be it. I won’t complain. 

It’s hard to explain how inspiring it is to make a brand new food discovery that you haven’t seen in your travel to 20 countries if a person just doesn’t get it. But I’ll keep trying because it’s experiences like these that motivate me to travel to new places.

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12 Favorite Kentucky Derby Recipes

April 30, 2014
12 Favorite Kentucky Derby Recipes | Fake Food Free

You don’t have to live in Kentucky long to catch the Derby bug. We were there for about ten years, but I was hooked after our very first Derby celebration.

Did I mention that I’ve never actually been to the Kentucky Derby?

Everyone seems shocked when I tell them this. It’s a bit of a long story, but you basically have two choices – the infield with loads of intoxicated folks having a good time where you can’t even get a clear view of the race (or so I’ve been told), or tickets for the Grandstand side which, if you can even get your hands on some, are a bit expensive. Add to that, all the people I know who have gone (on the Grandstand side) and had a less than stellar time to see the big, but very short, race.

Compare that to hanging out at the local race track, Keeneland, in Lexington and watching the race on the big screen or having your own party at home. No traffic, no hot sun, you can still wear a hat if you want and there are plenty of bourbon-based beverages and good food.

What can I say? The latter won out for us every year.

Over those ten Kentucky Derbies, and within the past year, I’ve made a few favorite recipes that are perfect for celebrating the big day. Most with bourbon, some with mint and others with Kentucky classics in mind. There will be more to come in the future, but these should give you plenty of ideas for your own Derby celebration whether you need breakfast, brunch, drinks or dessert.

(Click on the recipe name to go to the recipe.)

Cornmeal Waffles with Bananas Foster Sauce from Jonathan’s Bluegrass Table

Bourbon Sweet Potato Waffles with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Mint Julep Scones

Bourbon Banana Scones with Walnuts

Wild Ginger Mint Julep

Kentucky Bourbon-Vanilla Soaked Cherries

Kentucky Bourbon Dogs

Pimento Cheese Dinner Rolls

Maple Bourbon Budino with Spiced Pecans from Bakeless Sweets

Mint Julep Blondies

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies with Coconut Oil

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and Pretzel Caramels

Strawberry, Mango and Avocado Cupcakes with Strawberry Avocado Frosting Recipe

May 3, 2013
 
 
 
I was still caught up in the amazing California citrus season when the strawberries began to arrive at the Farmers Market. It started with one or two vendors offering a few containers. Now, they are everywhere – organic, conventional, big, small, full flats, or small pint baskets – you can get just about anything you want. 
 
I’ll admit they aren’t quite as tasty, or as rewarding, as the buckets we used to pick from our own garden, but they will certainly do. I’ve been buying loads, eating some and freezing others to use in my oatmeal when the season is over. 
 
 
With ataulfo mango season falling at the same time as the strawberries here, and with easy access to avocados, I felt compelled to combine all three.
 
I also can’t seem to get over the desire to play with avocados as a substitute for butter in my baked goods. First it was the Avocado Pound Cake with Blood Orange Glaze, and now cupcakes.
 
 
These cupcakes are soft and fruity, and the frosting? I think I may be making my frosting with avocado from here on out. I’ll admit, I tried it with just avocado and it was a little too green-tasting (for lack of a better term). The addition of strawberry puree did the trick. It sweetened it up and balanced the flavor of the avocado.
 
These don’t keep long. I’d suggest baking them just before you will need them, cool, frost and eat soon after. If you don’t plan to finish them off, keep unfrosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for only a day or two. The oils from the avocado tend to surface when they sit for over a day. 
 

Strawberry, Mango and Avocado Cupcakes with Strawberry Avocado Frosting

Makes: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

½ cup mashed avocado (about 1 Hass avocado)
2 large eggs
1 cup raw sugar
½ cup pureed strawberries
½ cup pureed mango
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine ground salt

Frosting
2 tablespoon mashed avocado
5 ¼ cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk (any variety)
½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoon pureed strawberries
Pinch of salt
 
Prep
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place cupcake liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan. Spray the liners with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. 
 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the avocado, eggs and sugar until blended, 60 to 90 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the strawberry and mango purees and mix just until all ingredients are combined. Add the vanilla. 
 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients (a little at a time) to the wet ingredients, stirring gently, just until everything is combined.
 
Transfer the batter to the cupcake tins, filling each liner with an equal amount. 
 
Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
 
For the frosting, add the avocado and powdered sugar to the bowl of a mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on medium-high until the two are combined to create a very thick paste. 
 
With the mixer on low, add the milk, lime juice and strawberry puree. Continue to mix until all ingredients come together to form a spreadable frosting. Mix in the salt. 
 
Use a small cookie dough or ice cream scoop to top each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of frosting. Serve right away. 
 
 
Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out.  

Whole Wheat Banana Snack Cake with Chocolate Guinness Frosting Recipe

April 8, 2013

When presented with an open beer (minus the ¼ cup you used in a recipe), most people would drink it. It’s a logical solution and one I’ve implemented myself numerous times.  But when I made the Guinness Braised Kale with potatoes and poached egg for St. Patrick’s Day, I found myself debating whether to drink half  a beer or make a cake.

I chose cake.
 

This isn’t your super sweet, rich, decadent dessert cake, which is why I decided to add snack cake to the name. It’s filling with the fresh flavor of banana, and the frosting will curb any craving for chocolate. Maybe even a hankering for dark beer. If you don’t mind a splash of booze and hearty whole grains for breakfast or as a snack, then I suggest you forgo finishing off your next pint, too.

 

Whole Wheat Banana Snack Cake with Chocolate Guinness Frosting

Makes: 9 servings

Ingredients

¾ cup mascavo (muscovado) sugar
¼ cup olive oil*
2 eggs
1 overripe banana, mashed
1 tbsp Guinness beer
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
 
Frosting
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp Guinness beer
 
Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8 inch square pan.

Add the sugar, oil and egg to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium for about 1 minute. Add in the banana and mix on medium to medium-high 1 minute more. Mix in the 1 tablespoon of Guinness.
 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
 
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool.
 
To prepare the frosting, add the butter and powdered sugar to the bowl of the mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment. Beat together the butter and powder sugar on medium and then medium-high until combined, and almost smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cocoa and 1 tablespoon of the Guinness. Mix on medium-high until the frosting is smooth, about 90 seconds. Mix in the additional 1 tablespoon of Guinness, based on your desired consistency for the frosting. The full 2 tablespoons was perfect for me.
 
Frost the cooled cake, cut into 9 pieces and serve. 
 
*Be sure to use regular olive oil with this recipe because it has a more mild flavor. Virgin olive oils may add too much of an olive-like taste. 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading! All images and content are the property of Fake Food Free unless otherwise stated. Please do not republish full recipes and images without written permission. What is okay? Feel free to Pin images, share links to my posts or share the photo in a round up post with the title of this recipe and a link back to the post. Confused about copyright and food blogs? Here is some helpful information on Recipe Attribution. If you want to use a photo or full recipe, just ask. I’m sure we can work something out. 

Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup Recipe from Home Made Summer

March 18, 2013
Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup Recipe from Home Made Summer | Fake Food Free
 

My first encounter with Yvette van Boven’s creative recipes, inspiring ideas and whimsical sketches was with the cookbook, Home Made. Among a bookcase of cookbooks with bright white photos encouraging you to make cooking cheerful and smiley, that book was a welcomed relief.

It was filled with dark shadowed food photos and recipes that made me want to lock up in the kitchen and get cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cheer, balloons and bright flowers as much as the next person, but that isn’t how I cook. I like the rustic, the homemade, the old fashioned, and often, the imperfection.

I’m not sure how to explain it. As a home cook, that book spoke to me.

I received Home Made Winter last year. It was like a wonderful dark, snowy night by the fire in the form of a cookbook. The author explains that the recipes in that book represented much of her childhood growing up with the comfort foods of Ireland. 

 


I knew Home Made Summer was right around the corner, and I could hardly wait. This book, Yvette explains, is about her current life in Amsterdam and Paris with summers spent in Provence. It’s as summery as one can get while still holding on to that rustic charm. Fresh ingredients hit by natural sunlight that are comforting and earthly like spreading your toes through soft blades of grass on a summer lawn.

Cantaloupe Soup with Goat Cheese and Basil Oil, Scallop Ceviche and Jalapeno & Apple Sauce for your summer grilled goodies were a few of the things that caught my attention. And the garden photos! I enjoy how some recipes are paired with shots of gorgeous green gardens as opposed to only a completed dish.

As the author explains early on, the recipes in this book are true to summer. They don’t take a lot of work to prepare (ideal for summer heat) and they incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. It’s all about simplicity. 

Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup Recipe from Home Made Summer | Fake Food Free

I would say simplicity is the tone in her other books too, but if you are looking for more complex recipes or techniques you may have never tried before – Home Made or Home Made Winter would be a good choice. If simple, fresh, summer dishes are what you are after, this is your book.

Or you can be like me and use all three. 


Now that we are in California, I have access to many more diverse ingredients. One of these is lemongrass. I love the stuff, but from where we lived in Kentucky, I had to travel to a specialty store about an hour and a half away to get it. Now I have a nearly unlimited supply at a nearby Farmers Market.  That’s the first of three reasons why I wanted to make a summery cake with lemongrass syrup

Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup Recipe from Home Made Summer | Fake Food Free

The seconds is that I’ve used lemongrass in savory dishes, but never in something sweet.  The third, I’m such a fan of simple desserts. I used to be a triple chocolate-nut-caramel-whipped-cream in one dessert kind of girl, but now I find those kinds of things too rich, and overwhelming. Now I enjoy one or two flavors in a dessert that you can stop and savor.

This cake has that covered. I absolutely love this recipe, and I can think of few better summery (or springy) desserts to have on an Easter table. Right next to your copy of Home Made Summer.

A Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup 

Reprinted with permission from Abrams Books
 
For the Cake
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups (175 g) self-rising flour
¾ cup (175 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tbsp (125 g) superfine sugar
3 large eggs
grated zest of 1 lemon

For the Syrup
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, cut into chunks

Make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C). Grease a 4-cup Bundt pan or other cake pan.

Sift the baking powder, salt, and flour together into a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until it’s creamy and white. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each addition, then beat in the lemon zest and the flour in two or three parts until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and baked for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then invert i onto a plate to let it cool further.

While the cake is baking, make the syrup:  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring ¾ cup (200 ml) water, the sugar, and the lemongrass to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a pitcher and throw out the lemongrass.

Pour one third of the syrup on top of the cake just after you’ve removed it from the pan, let it soak in. Then take your time pouring the rest of the syrup over the cake, say a splash every time you walk by. Continue until all the syrup is absorbed. Store the cake at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap.

My Notes: I used 4 mini cake pans and they worked perfectly. They did bake a little less, about 30 minutes, so check them early. Also, this batter was very thick for me, but don’t worry. It bakes up beautifully.

Summery Cake with Lemongrass Syrup Recipe from Home Made Summer | Fake Food Free


 
Disclosure:  This book was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to post about it and received no compensation for doing so.