Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mock Black Forest Bundt

Today I found myself wit some extra time in my hands due to some missed connections. I decided to bake something new from what I had on hand.

1 box Devils Food Cake mix
1 box Greek Yogurt Cherry Flavored Pudding Mix
3 whole eggs
1/3 cup of oil
1 cup of water
1 tsp bourbon extract
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 TSBP vanilla extract
1 cup of frozen cherries. (No need to defrost)

Mix together all ingredients except the cherries. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until well blended, scraping the bowl as needed.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare you favorite BUNDT pan, (I used the bavarian shape since its a Black Forest cake) by spraying with baking spray. Brush sides and center tube to ensurere all crevices are well coated. If your spray doesn't have the flour in it, you can sprinkle some cocoa powder in the pan and shake it around until the pan is coated. Tap out the excess by inverting your pan over the sink and giving it a gentle tap.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan distributing evenly. Add the cherries around the ring, distributing as evenly as possible. Top with the remaining batter and spread it evenly in the pan. Tap the pan on a towel laid on your counter several times to ensure the batter fills all crevices and air bubbles are removed. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Do not over bake, you want a moist cake.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes on a rack. Invert onto the serving platter and cool completely approximately 45 minutes more. Sprinkle with powdered sugar sifted through a fine sieve.

Serve the cake with additional cherries (that you have defrosted first or use cherry pie filling as shown) And top with a generous dollop of whipped cream. For me, the cake stands on its own without the additional cherries and cream, but it's up to you.

Broccoli, Ham and Potato AU Gratin Casserole

It snowed again and is so cold outside, that the walk and roads are very icy. I decided to dig deep into my fridge, pantry and freezer to come up a hearty dinner for this evening.

I found two small honey ham steaks, some AU gratin potato box mixes, cheddar cheese, and frozen broccoli florets and Bacon! Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mine was already hot from a cinnamon bun cake I'd baked earlier so it made sense to just turn up the heat and pop the casserole in after the cake was done.

2 boxes of store brand AU gratin potatoes (boxes were 4.7 oz net wt each)
6 TBSP butter, cut into chunks
2 small honey ham steaks, cut into bite size pieces
1 and 1/3 cups skim milk
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1 package frozen broccoli florets, defrosted in the microwave for 2 minutes
Freshly ground peper
Italian seasoning to taste
2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray. Dump the dried potato slices and the contents of both sauce pouches into the casserole. Add the ham, broccoli, mustard, milk, seasonings and butter chunks into the casserole. Boil the water and then measure it the correct amount and add to the casserole, stirring the mixture to ensure the dry ingredients are well blended.

Microwave the bacon slices until cooked but not too crispy. Crumble over the top of the casserole ingredients and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Check casserole and if getting brown, reduce heat to 350 for the remaining 15 minutes. Bake until the potatoes are done and the top is just starting to brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

It should look something like this.

Serve with crusty fresh baked bread and butter or hot baked biscuits for a hearty winter dinner. Serves 4-6.

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