Cookbook Corner – Cake, I Love You

My current favorite cake cookbook!?

“Cake, I Love You” By: Jill O’Connor

I love cookbooks and I especially love cookbooks based on desserts and if that dessert happens to be CAKE – I am all in! I will flag up now though and say that I know the talented author of this beautifully genius cookbook, Jill O’ Connor but my friendship does not in any way sway me one way or another. I am here to give open and honest feedback and that is what I will do. BUY THIS BOOK! Ha! Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy it! Filled with wonderful recipes, mouthwatering photos, beautiful stories and descriptions – what more could you possibly want?

The cookbook is divided into the following categories – Banana, Coconut, Chocolate, Caramel and Butterscotch, Citrus, Spirits and Spices, Garden and Orchard.

There is also sections on Baker’s Gear, Baker’s Pantry and Building A Better Cake – which all helped me tremendously when fully wanting to understand the operation known as: baking a perfect cake. I highly recommend reading these sections before you try any of the genius recipes included.

Just SOME of my favorite recipes include –

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Melted Chocolate Bar Frosting” (page 74). Which I made first and everybody LOVED! Here is a picture –

Banana-Brownie Swirl Cake” (page 28)

Salted Butter Pecan Cake” (page 94)

Sticky Toffee Pudding” (page 98)

Luscious Lemon Loaf” (page 111)

Sweet Potato-Praline Spice Cake with Marshmallow Meringue” (page 145)

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cake” (page 169)

In case you are wondering there ARE recipes for coconut cakes but I am not a coconut fan. So – there is that! Ha!

I would recommend reading the first sections of the book, then diving in and making your favorite flavor of cake. Everyone went WILD for her mayonnaise cake and honestly her recipe for “melted chocolate bar frosting” was my FAVORITE frosting of all of 2017. There I said it! It was amazing and I have actually had it on other things other than just this cake! Cupcakes – cookies – brownies – spoons! Ha! And yes – it tastes just like a melted chocolate bar! This recipe alone is easily worth the price of the book. Genius recipe – genius!

I would love to get together with Jill and have a “taste off” of mayonnaise cakes! Maybe one day. I am actually getting ready to finalize a new chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe that I hope to include in an upcoming “Chew This!” column. I will not let anything slip right now, but how does coffee sound with the cake? Ok, no more hints and back to the review.

I love this book and highly recommend it to dessert lovers and cake lovers alike.

To buy “Cake, I Love You” click here – https://www.amazon.com/Cake-Love-You-Decadent-Delectable/dp/1452153809

Shoutout and special thanks to Chronicle Books for the opportunity to review this cookbook. The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise

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Knock You Naked Brownies

I found a Facebook video a couple days ago for “Knock You Naked Brownies” and they looked so delicious! I had heard of them before from Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman”, and have had them on my “to try” list for awhile now. I decided that I needed these in my life NOW – so I made them – and oh my! I am so glad that I did! What took me so long to try these? They are fabulous! They are also made with a CAKE mix – not a brownie mix like what you may think – but the finished result tastes just like a brownie and I PROMISE people will never know you started with a boxed mix! Layers of chocolate, caramel, chocolate and more caramel make for a decadent dessert that you will want to make again and again!

Knock You Naked Brownies

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup evaporated milk
11 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
1/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

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

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, melted unsalted butter and cup of evaporated milk. The mixture will be thick and this is desirable.

Spread half of this mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While the base is baking, make the caramel by combining the prepared caramel squares and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until melted, smooth and glossy.

After the base has baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Next, drizzle over the caramel. Take teaspoons full of the remaining cake batter and dollop on top. Do not worry about spreading the batter out because it will spread as it bakes. Plus you want to see a little caramel peaking through, right?

Place back into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool at room temperature. You can cut these after they have cooled slightly and serve or you can do like what I like to do and wrap with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator for several hours before cutting.

Enjoy!

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TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…

Coca-Cola Cake 

For years I have enjoyed the Coca-Cola Cake from “Cracker Barrel”. It is served warm and with a side of vanilla ice cream if you like, and I always do, and it is fabulous! It got me thinking that perhaps I could make my own? I have been playing around with recipes for awhile with this cake and I just could not get the taste I was looking for. Until I figured out the appropriate ratio of sugar, Coca-Cola, buttermilk and the secret to frosting the cake while still hot! This cake may very well be BETTER than Cracker Barrel’s version PLUS it makes a whole 9×13-inch pan full! That is dangerous for me! Most of this will be sent to my taste testers – I mean, what is left – I will not share how many pieces I have already eaten but let me say, I HIGHLY recommend you make this cake! Serve warm and with vanilla ice cream. What I do, is cut a piece, plate it, microwave it and immediately scoop some vanilla bean ice cream alongside. Fabulous!


Coca-Cola Cake

For the cake…
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 (4 oz.) stick unsalted butter
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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

In a large bowl whisk together the white granulated sugar and white all-purpose flour. Add in the marshmallows. 

In a saucepan mix the Coca-Cola, unsalted butter and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat and pour over marshmallows and dry ingredients. Beat well and continue to beat until marshmallows have melted. 

Combine the baking soda with the buttermilk. Add to the mixture and beat. Add in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes. 

With about 10 minutes of bake time left on the cake, start the frosting. In a saucepan combine the stick of unsalted butter with the Coca-Cola and unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the powdered sugar. Beat. Add in the milk. Beat again. Add in the pure vanilla extract and beat until creamy. Add more powdered sugar to get desired consistency. 

Frost the cake while the cake is still hot from the oven. Allow to cool before serving. 

Enjoy! 

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…
















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Apple Dump Cake

Lately I have been obsessed with “dump cakes”. I know, terrible name, but the reason for the name is essentially because you “dump” the ingredients into a dish, pan, etc. I guess it sounds better than a “plop cake” or something like a “throw it in cake”. Aside from the name, I am utterly fascinated by them. I have my favorite recipe for a “dump cake” in my cookbook – it is a cherry and pineapple dump cake that is beyond incredible – but the recipe I am sharing today is incredible in its own way.

I have also been obsessed with “step by step” pictures lately when it comes to recipes – I am blaming Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Mine are not nearly as “professionally done” as her photos but they get the job – and the point across. I have updated a lot of the recipes here on my blog to include my “step by step” photos and here are their links –

https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/04/28/sour-cream-noodle-bake/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2016/08/07/chew-this-chocolate-fudge-whoopie-pies/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2017/09/29/2-minute-chocolate-fudge/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/06/19/old-fashioned-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2014/03/13/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/07/13/oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookies/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2016/09/18/chew-this-homemade-oatmeal-cream-pies/

https://blaisethebaker.com/2015/05/28/kys-chocolate-pixie-cookies/

I will be updating a lot more of them in the future to contain this feature so follow me on Twitter, Instagram or my Facebook to get the “updated recipe” alerts.

Oh – and speaking of Facebook, I am currently in “Facebook Jail” for sharing too many recipes! Can you believe that!? Is there such thing as TOO MANY recipes? According to Facebook I guess the answer is yes. What can I do to get out of “Jail”!? Anyone have any recommendations? Email me and in the meantime – try this delicious recipe – and feel free to substitute the apple pie filling for another favorite fruit flavor.

Apple Dump Cake

TAKE IT STEP BY STEP…











Enjoy!

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Trisha Yearwood!!!

So yesterday my parents and I attended a Trisha Yearwood book signing / meet and greet at the Williams-Sonoma in the Keystone Mall in Indianapolis. We were not sure what to expect but I think we were all shocked when THIS moment happened! I am still SO EXCITED about it! Wow…

SOMEONE PINCH ME!!! No – this is not photoshopped! Ha! Mom gave Trisha Yearwood a copy of my cookbook and she LOVED IT! She turned to me and asked ME for my autograph! Told her I had already autographed it! She said “Good!” Ha! She was flipping over it and talking about how she really appreciated it – said she would read it “like a novel” and said she loved cookbooks! She said she would read it on her tour bus! Someone PINCH ME!!! We chatted for a bit about our mutual cookbook love and then she thanked me again and gave me another hug! She was the sweetest and so friendly! LOVE HER!!!

Blaise

Chew This! Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes 

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column features my “Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes” which when served in gold wrappers and a huge strawberry on top of each for garnish, makes one glamourous dessert! These were so fun to develop and my taste testers loved these! Do not worry about the champagne in these – the alcohol bakes off – while leaving a special “bubbly” flavor. Feel free to replace with white grape juice if you so desire. These are perfect for baby showers, birthdays or just an everyday celebration!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains information on where I buy the lemon sugar that I feature so often in my recipes.

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_37f30710-8ac4-5f04-b1a7-75f7f6c097d9.html

Enjoy!

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One Year! 

It has been ONE YEAR today that my debut cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” was released! I still honestly can not believe it! A labor of love for me – taking nearly five years to complete. So much has happened since then and I am so humbled, grateful and thankful for all of your dedication and support – which still continues today. I have heard from so many of you through emails, phone calls, text messages, social media, snail mail and even fax about how much you love my cookbook – how you love the stories and recipes and how much respect you have for my recipes because they have been tested and actually work! When I first started this journey I had no idea my cookbook would set foot in Canada, Australia, Africa, Japan and parts of Europe! It blows my mind to think that I am known in parts of the United States, outside of Indiana – and really blows my mind to think I am known in other parts of the World! It also blows my mind to think that my cookbook will soon be going into a THIRD PRINTING! I am so incredibly thankful and I could not have accomplished any of this without all of you. Your continued support, dedication, feedback, love and encouragement means everything to me and I will always be thankful for it. THANK YOU ALL!

Love, Blaise

Red Raspberry Cake

Awhile back my family and I went to “The Gather” restaurant and gift shop that is located in Alexandria, Indiana. It is a beautiful location and I am highly recommending those who have not been to go and experience it! Inside their gift shop they have some of the most unique and extraordinary things – for the inside and outside of your home. They also have one of the most charming cafe / restaurant areas that I have ever seen locally. Their menu is expansive, incentive and delicious! One of the items they are most known for is their famous “Red Raspberry Cake” that was developed by Gloria Gather. I decided I would see if I could make a similar version and try and duplicate their recipe. What I found was a deliciously pink, delightfully flavorful and crowd pleasing dessert! My family and friends went crazy for this!

Red Raspberry Cake

For the cake…
1 box Duncan Hines white cake mix
1 small box raspberry Jello
3 heaping tablespoons white all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1 package (10 oz) frozen red raspberries

For the frosting…
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted 
Remaining frozen red raspberries
4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by spraying 2 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. Line the bottoms of each cake pan with a circle of parchment paper and then spray generously again with non-stick cooking spray containing flour. 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large bowl whisk together the dry cake mix, dry raspberry Jello and white all-purpose flour. 

In a glass measuring cup combine the vegetable oil, large eggs and water. Whisk to combine everything together well. 

In small increments add the wet mixture to the dry, whisking to incorporate well. After all the wet has been added to the dry whisk well before gently folding in half the bag of frozen red raspberries. 

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Even out the batter with the back of a spoon and gently slam the pans on the counter to release the air bubbles. 

Place in preheated oven for exactly for 40 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them inside of the refrigerator to stop the baking and allow them to chill. These cakes need to be completely chilled ice cold before attempting to frost. 

To make the frosting combine the melted unsalted butter and the remaining 1/2 bag of frozen red raspberries. 

Add the confectioner’s sugar, little at a time, incorporating well after each addition. You want the frosting to be the consistency of a thick ice cream. Spreadable but thick. 

Remove the chilled cakes from their pans, generously frost the inside layer and outside of the cake with the frosting. 

Place back into the refrigerator until ready to serve. Keep and serve chilled. 

Enjoy! 

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Rue McClanahan’s Orange Poppy Seed Cake

I LOVE “The Golden Girls”! I have loved this classic show ever since I was a young boy. People always ask me what character I am and I always tell them I am 80% Blanche and 20% Sophia. Ha!

A friend of mine recently send me the following newspaper article –

In the article it says that Blanche (Rue McClanahan) made an orange poppy seed cake that was made from a yellow cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, orange juice, orange peel and poppy seeds. They also mentioned it was an old recipe that originated from Oklahoma.

After a LOT of research I finally found a recipe that sounded just exactly like what the article described. I was so excited! I made it – and guess what!?

Fabulous! Delicious!

I am so excited to share this recipe with everyone! The cake is moist, flavorful and so easy to make!

Highly recommending this one…


Rue McClanahan’s Orange Poppy Seed Cake

For the cake…
1 Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 small box Jello instant vanilla pudding mix
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Tropicana orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil

For the streusel…
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 heaping tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 heaping tablespoon poppy seeds

For the glaze…
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Tropicana orange juice
2 tablespoons whole milk

Orange peel (orange zest) for garnish

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In large bowl whisk together the yellow cake mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, lightly beaten eggs, orange juice and canola oil. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

In a seperate bowl combine the white granulated sugar, ground cinnamon and poppy seeds with a fork.

Pour half the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading evenly. Next, sprinkle over half the streusel evenly on top. Top that with the remaining batter and then finally top that with the remaining streusel.

Take a sharp knife and run it through the batter a few times to combine the batter and streusel creating a marble effect in the finished cake.

Place in preheated oven for 60 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes before flipping over onto a serving plate. Allow to cool before drizzling with glaze.

To make the glaze combine the confectioner’s sugar, orange juice and milk in a large bowl. Whisk together. You want this to be on the thick side.

Drizzle over cooled cake. Top with fresh orange peel (orange zest). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

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Blaise the Baker IN JAPAN!


Guess what!? “Blaise the Baker” is IN JAPAN!!! My cookbook can be seen right in front of the famous Daibutsu (Big Buddha) in Kamakura! How fabulous is that!? Shoutout and special thanks to SARAH HODGE from http://bundtlust.com Love “Blaise the Baker” and the GLOBAL posts! So exciting! ❤️🌏

Blaise