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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Chew This! Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole

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 “Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole”. I can not tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with everyone! For years and years my family and I have searched high and low for this recipe – and now, thanks to Carolyn Sue, and our recent reconnection – I have the recipe here to share with everyone! The recipe is warm and familiar – not to mention delicious. Make this fabulous side dish for your Thanksgiving table!

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about your Thanksgiving questions! Send me a message, call or text me – even email – with your questions and I will be happy to help! 765-520-8332 or blaisethebaker@gmail.com

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

Aunt Susie’s Sweet Potato Casserole

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_aea698ed-c505-5539-ba27-18412f5daca3.html

Enjoy!

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Carolyn Sue and Aunt Susie

Cookbook Corner – The Pioneer Woman Cooks “COME AND GET IT!” 

My newest “Cookbook Corner” addition…


“The Pioneer Woman Cooks – COME AND GET IT!” By: Ree Drummond / The Pioneer Woman

I love Ree Drummond – AKA The Pioneer Woman. I stumbled upon her blog after reading a segment about her on Bakerella’s blog and was instantly hooked. I emailed everyone I knew and sent them the link. Fast forward to now, and my friends love Ree, my family and especially my Grandma Barbra. She is Kennard’s number one fan. I have even gotten to the point where – just for fun – I call Ree my “Aunt”! I will be talking to someone and they are like, “Do you watch The Pioneer Woman on Food Network?” or something like that, and I will say, “Ummm, yes! She is my Aunt! Tell me you knew that, right?” It is fun watching their eyes bug out or their mouths drop. I always – always – follow up with telling them the truth – sometimes. Ha! 

Anyways, the reason for this blog post – my “Cookbook Corner”! I am inducting “COME AND GET IT!” into my blog archives because I LOVE IT! I really think this is Ree’s best work. Lots of surprising recipes, lots of familiar favorites that are elevated in someway and lots of recipes that you will want to try as soon as you possibly can! 

The book is beautifully put together – as all of her cookbooks are – and include the familiar “step by step” process that she is known for. CONFESSION: I am trying to do more “step by step” photos myself – because who wants to stop and pause a recipe video? – and they are a lot harder than a person might think! Back to the review – this cookbook is true to the title on the front cover – “Simple, Scrumptious Recipes For Crazy Busy Lives”! Who is not insanely busy anymore? 

The book is divided into the following sections – Breakfast, Lunches on the Go, Apps and Snacks, Under 40, Under 20!, Take Your Time, Sheet Pan Suppers, Meatless Marvels, Sensational Sides, Bread, Baby! AND Sweets, Glorious Sweets! 

See! Something for everyone! AND Ree shares, in the first pages of the book, her favorite 20 pantry items, 12 favorite freezer staples, 15 favorite fridge staples AND her 10 – well 12 – favorite cuts of beef. 

I WOULD list all of my favorite recipes BUT – the book has not been released yet – it is not due out until tomorrow – and besides, there are WAY TOO MANY to list. I may just start and work through the entire book. My Grandma Barbra likes doing that too. 

How did I get an advanced copy? My Aunt Ree sent me a personalized copy! Ha! Kidding. Just so happens a local Wal-Mart put it out early and I snagged a copy. 

So far I have made her “Lemon Bars” (page 358) and they are fabulous! A slightly thicker shortbread base – tangy lemon filling – TONS of powdered sugar – wonderful! 

Here is a picture of my finished lemon bars –


She instructs in the recipe to dust the top with “as much powdered sugar as humanly possible” and I could not agree more. 

I tweeted to her about my lemon bars – and guess what? She responded with a “looks great!” tweet. I hardly got a look at my phone notification before I fell out of my chair! Ha! Here are the receipts – 




HOW FABULOUS is that!? Anyways – all of my friends and family LOVED the lemon bars. Will be making these at least once a week. No seriously. I love lemon! 

I have so many more recipes marked to try that I can not wait to dive into! 

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND BUY THIS BOOK! From Amazon – your local bookstore – Wal-Mart (the edition I got comes with 5 exclusive recipes) or her website – http://thepioneerwoman.com

So happy to add this cookbook to my collection! 

So proud of my Aunt Ree!

Ha! 

Blaise 

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

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

Chew This! Picnic Chicken Salad 

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 is all about picnics and the perfect picnic foods! I love chicken salad – and have a couple of recipes in my cookbook for chicken salad – but the recipe I am sharing now is quickly becoming my favorite! There are sweet elements, salty, crunchy and flavorful. I would love to know what you add to your chicken salad! Email me and let me know! Pack a cooler – add some ice – fix this salad along with some other picnic classics and venture out on a picnic and make memories with the ones you love. Enjoy the season! 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is my recipe for egg salad! The “secret topping” makes all the difference with this! 

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


Picnic Chicken Salad

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_dec2a5c6-c5b6-5ccc-b4cb-b6b619b55873.html

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/IVuRmc-

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! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/IXLC2vL

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!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/28XFzIH

CookbooksETC GIVEAWAY 

To celebrate the new SURGE in the fabulous Facebook group “CookbooksETC” I am offering a GIVEAWAY!!!

Two vintage “Southern Heritage” cookbooks – “Just Desserts” and “Family Gatherings”.

Enter to win – can enter once a day – by clicking this link –

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c78809ee15/?

Good luck!

Questions!? Email me at blaisethebaker@gmail.com

Blaise

UPDATE: (07/10/2017) The giveaway is now closed. THANK YOU to everyone that participated! A winner will be announced shortly! Watch your emails…

-Blaise

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