Chew This! Jeanie Irwin’s Famous Cake

Blaise Doubman and Paula Irwin

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 20th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Special Cake with Special Meaning
Blaise Doubman

I love sharing recipes that also evoke and carry special meanings. I have so many recipes that I consider my personal favorites, lots of them by my Grandma Barbra, Grandpa Max and my Mom, Darla that I go to when I am looking for comfort and warm memories. One of my dear friends, Paula Irwin, sent me a text message a few weeks ago with a picture of a cake she had made for her daughter, another dear friend of mine, Shelby. The cake looked delicious! Paula told me that she usually tries to make the cake for Shelby around her birthday. The original cake recipe came from Jeanie Irwin, who was Paula’s husband, David’s Mother. Jeanie was known for the cake and Shelby has such fond memories of her Grandma making it.

Jeanie passed away in 2008 right around Shelby’s birthday, which was especially difficult because Shelby and her Grandma Jeanie were really close but memories and recipes like this one has helped in the grieving process. As soon as Paula shared the story with me, I immediately asked for the recipe. As soon as she gave me the recipe, I knew that I had to make it. I hesitated to change anything in the original recipe, given the sentimental nature of the recipe, but guess what? No changes needed to be made! The recipe was perfect just the way it was. I loved the flavor of the almond in the cake and in the frosting. The taste was very familiar to me and very comforting. Shout out and special thanks to Paula and Shelby Irwin for allowing me to talk about and share such a special family recipe with all of my readers.

Jeanie Irwin’s Famous Cake

This cake can also be made in a standard 9×13-inch pan but needs to be baked a little longer. Be sure that if you are using this size pan, to check the cake for doneness around the 25 minute mark. This cake can also be made ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled in the refrigerator for up to three full days. Serve chilled if desired.

For the cake…
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups white granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup water
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the frosting…
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
¼ 2% milk
4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl whisk together the white all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a small saucepan combine the cubed butter and water. Bring to a boil, over medium heat. Once at a boil, remove from heat and add to the flour mixture.

In a small bowl whisk together the large eggs, sour cream and almond extract until thoroughly blended together. Add this to the flour and butter mixture and whisk together well.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean with no crumbs attached.

Remove from oven and cool for about 20 minutes while you prepare the frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, remove from heat and add in the confectioners’ sugar and almond extract. Beat until smooth and combined. Beat in walnuts.

Spread the frosting over the warm cake. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Ask and Answer: Several people have asked me about the chocolate chip cookie recipe that “The Cake Bake Shop” in Indianapolis uses for their cookies, so I am sharing it here. Beat together 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter with 1 cup light brown sugar and ½ cup white granulated sugar. Add in 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk. Beat in 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste. Add in ½ teaspoon each salt and baking soda. Fold in 2 cups white all-purpose flour. Fold in 1 ¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips. Place 2 tablespoon size dough balls onto parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for exactly 15 minutes. Remove, cool and enjoy! These are delicious!

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Blaise the Baker Celebrates!

I AM SO EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE the official TITLE of my SECOND COOKBOOK!!! “Blaise the Baker CELEBRATES”! This cookbook is all about celebrations big and small! Who says it has to be a Holiday to have a celebration!? I’m a big believer in celebrating the everyday in life! Celebrate LIFE in general! I am SO EXCITED for this cookbook! So many wonderful recipes including some of my most popular recipes featured on my website, some of my most popular “Chew This!” recipes AND A TON of recipes never before published anywhere! Official release date is coming soon so STAY TUNED!!! The image here is NOT the final cover. The final cover will be revealed later. This cookbook is for YOU!!! My fans, followers, subscribers. My friends and family. Love you all and thank you so much for the continued support and dedication!

Blaise

Chew This! Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

Thank you to all of those who picked up a copy of “The Courier-Times” last Sunday to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column feature and recipe. Your support and dedication really means everything to me!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 6th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Lemon Cupcakes Perfect for Spring
Blaise Doubman

I know that the weather for the past several weeks has been very unspring like, but spring is here, and we need to enjoy it before the heat and humidity of the summer lurks in. I have always been someone who loves all four seasons, but spring has always been my favorite, followed by the fall. Spring is a time where, after a long winter, trees and flowers start to bloom and the weather starts warming up, without the humidity, and it feels like Mother Nature is offering everyone everywhere a “rebirth” of sorts. When I think of spring flavors I think of citrus flavors like lemon, orange, lime and pineapple. I also think about lighter feeling meals and lighter desserts that are deliciously tasty but do not weight down your body or stomach. When developing recipes, I often think of the season they will be enjoyed in and some of the seasonal aspects of what is fresh for that time of year. That is where this recipe started.

In the past I have experimented with all types of “fruit brownies” such as orange brownies, lemon brownies, lime brownies, strawberry brownies and even tropical pineapple brownies but this time I wanted to change things up and create a light, but flavorful, cupcake. I also wanted to create a glaze, or an icing, instead of a thick heavy frosting for the top. The cupcakes call for fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, which is very important for the overall fresh flavor. Fresh lemon juice is also called for in my icing. You can decorate the tops of these with a piece of candied lemon, a sprinkling of lemon zest, a dash of lemon sugar or simply leave them undecorated and with a smooth and shiny top. The best part of these cupcakes may be that they are extremely versatile. If you do not care for lemon, simply replace the measurements below with fresh orange, lime or even pineapple! This recipe is simply amazing.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

These cupcakes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. I prefer eating these chilled, so feel free to store inside the refrigerator as well. Always use fresh lemon juice and never the bottled variety. There is no substitute for fresh lemon zest or fresh lemon juice. Also remember to zest your lemons first before cutting and juicing. To get the most juice from your lemons, roll the lemons back and forth across your cutting board before cutting or place in microwave for about 10 seconds to get the juices flowing.

For the cupcakes…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups white all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

For the icing…
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
Fresh lemon juice

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-count cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and beat together until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract and beat until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth and glossy.

In a separate bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together well until all dry ingredients are combined and free of lumps.

Add the dry ingredients gradually to the beaten butter and sugar until combined, being careful not to over mix the batter. Add in the whole milk, fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice and beat just until the batter has come together and is light and glossy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature before icing.

To make the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar and whole milk in a bowl with a whisk. Slowly add in fresh lemon juice until the desired constancy is reached. I prefer a thinner icing for these cupcakes, but a thicker icing can be made by adding less fresh lemon juice.

Prepare the cupcakes by icing the tops, serve and enjoy.

Ask and Answer: I heard from so many of my readers with my previous column dedicated to my sweet fur baby Macy. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughtful messages. So many of you wanted to know if I had any more “doggie recipes” and I have a few but want to remind everyone to check with your dog’s veterinarians and ask about any possible food allergies. Dogs, just like humans, may have food allergies that a person would need to know about before providing or recommending any specific recipes. I will, however, recommend a cookbook for those interested. “Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook” By: The Bubba Rose Biscuit Company is a wonderful resource for those looking for safe and non-toxic “doggie recipes”.

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Tea Time!

Guess what!? It is “Tea Time” and it is with Glen Oaks Health Campus in New Castle, Indiana AND “White Cloud World Teas”! Will you join us in the fun!?

Several times a week I join my Mom, my Grandma Deloris and our dear friend Margaret Fowler at the Glen Oaks Health Campus for what my Mom and I call “Tea Time”! It is a time, in the afternoon, when we can all get together and eat, laugh and drink. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us and sometimes the crowd is quite large, sometimes the group very intimate.

Everybody looks forward to it and there have been so many great memories made! It only seemed natural to switch our favorite tea blends over to our NEW favorite tea blends from “White Cloud World Teas”. We are fans now for life! The two tea flavors that we featured today are their famous “Lavender Vanilla Earl Grey” and their ever popular “Lavender Berry Rooibos”. Both were enjoyed and both were favorites among the party crowd.

Grandma Deloris swore the lavender in both helped calm her down and Margaret loved the slight strawberry flavor of the rooibos. Mom and I both found the strawberry fresh and flavorful for the spring and even tried some over ice. Fabulous! We all had a great time and look forward to more “Tea Time” laughs and memories. Will you join us!?

Visit White Cloud World Teas to order YOUR favorite tea and take a little time to enjoy “Tea Time”! Special thanks and shoutout to “White Cloud World Teas” for their header image above and the fabulous sampling of some of the best tea available! Questions? Please email me!

Blaise

White Cloud World Teas Lavender Berry Rooibos Strawberry Cake

In my partnership with “White Cloud World Teas” I immediately wanted to try some of their tea in one of my desserts. Their delicious Lavender Berry Rooibos paired perfectly with my Fresh Strawberry Cake! The rooibos creates a wonderful back note of flavor that people will go crazy for! For this recipe you can use fresh strawberries, or frozen. If using frozen, be sure to thaw at room temperature before using and mashing.

White Cloud World Teas Lavender Berry Rooibos Strawberry Cake

For the cake…
1 small package of strawberry gelatin dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
1 white cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons dry Lavender Berry Rooibos

For the frosting…
3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup strawberries, mashed
2 tablespoons prepared Lavender Berry Rooibos

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the dissolved strawberry gelatin with the white cake mix. Add in the vegetable oil, beaten eggs and mashed strawberries. Mixture will be slightly thick and this is desirable. Stir in the dry rooibos until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Place in preheated oven for 37 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the frosting combine the confectioners’ sugar, melted unsalted butter, mashed strawberries and prepared rooibos. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Frost the cooled cake and serve!

Leftovers should be kept chilled in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Enjoy!

To purchase some of the fabulous “White Cloud World Teas” Lavender Berry Rooibos that I have used in this recipe please visit –

White Cloud World Teas

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Header picture and logo above used with permission from White Cloud World Teas. If you have any questions please email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com