June 30, 2012
Ice Cream Soda
June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
Cool off during the hot summer season with something fun, frosty and fizzy—an old-fashioned ice cream soda (also called an ice cream float). Highlander ate it as a youngster and wanted Islander to try this traditional summertime treat. Until recently, because of her lactose intolerance, she was unable to enjoy desserts with dairy. But after discovering a lactose-free ice cream at the grocery store, Highlander now can prepare an ice cream soda for his wife. Making it at home is just as sweet and simple and quicker and cheaper than going to an ice cream parlor or shop.
Try this retro recipe for an old-fashioned ice cream soda for summertime and on National Ice Cream Soda Day.
- 2-3 scoops vanilla ice cream (we used Breyer’s brand)
- 7Up (or carbonated/soda water)
- whipped cream (we used Cool Whip brand)
- maraschino cherry
In a tall chilled glass, scoop some vanilla ice cream. Fill with 7Up until foam floats to the top of the glass. Alternatively, add another scoop of ice cream on top of the foam. Swirl whipped cream on top and add a maraschino cherry (optional). Insert a straw and enjoy immediately.
June 21, 2012
Peach Schnapps and Cream Cake
June 21: National Peaches and Cream Day
Those who like drinking a Fuzzy Navel cocktail will enjoy eating the cake version as it also contains peach schnapps, a fruit-flavored liqueur.
Islander used to send an unfrosted Fuzzy Navel cake to her friend Lisa L., who was stationed in Kuwait as a naval reservist. She said the troops wanted a treat that had a bit of booze baked into it because they were in the “dry” Middle East. Years later, Lisa requested this cake flavor for her wedding in Germany, as peach schnapps was a popular alcoholic beverage in her village. Islander frosted the tiers with sweet, whipped, white cream. The “peach schnapps and cream cake” was light and luscious and everyone loved it!
When Islander makes this moist cake on occasion, she would put peaches on top to showcase the fruit flavor. Instead of plain peaches and cream, switch to schnapps and prepare a peach schnapps and cream cake on National Peaches and Cream Day.
(Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn)
For the cake
- 1 box (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix (we recommend Duncan Hines brand classic yellow)
- 1 box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
- ¾ cup peach schnapps
- ½ cup orange juice
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes. Pour in the peach schnapps and orange juice.
Add the eggs, oil and orange extract. Blend on low speed, scrape the sides and continue mixing until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter in a lightly greased pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. Invert the cake into a cake board or platter. Prepare the cream frosting.
For the sweet cream frosting
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- orange, peach or vanilla extract/flavoring
- 2-3 cans of sliced peaches, drained (for optional decoration)
In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until blended. Stir in the orange/peach/vanilla and continue to beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread a little frosting on a cake board or platter to act as an adhesive so the cake does not slide off.
Generously spread the cream frosting on top of the cake and onto the sides until smooth and covered.
Use a pastry bag to pipe borders with extra cream (we used Wilton tip 2D). Refrigerate for at least half an hour for the frosting to set slightly. Drain the canned, sliced peaches and dry with paper towels. Arrange the peach slices on top of the cake. Chill to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Islander was Lisa’s maid of honor at her multicultural wedding celebration in Germany on 08/08/08. The peach schnapps and cream cake was a gift for her BFF and new husband John L. Prosit!
June 16, 2012
Texas Fudge Sheet Cake
June 16: National Fudge Day
We have lived in the Lone Star State since 2008 and we get a taste of Tex-Mex meals and cowboy-country cooking all around town, whether at food festivals, restaurants or informal get-togethers. We especially enjoy the down-home desserts, such as cobblers and cookies, pies and puddings and custards (flan) and cakes.
Sometimes we see a sweet and simple chocolate cake at social events. What looks like a giant fudge brownie is known as a “Texas sheet cake.” And since “everything is bigger in Texas,” the flavor of this rich, moist dessert is even more pronounced—irresistably chocolaty and fudgy!
Texas fudge sheet cake is considered a comfort food. The ingredients are basic and the recipe is straightforward. The completed cake can be ready in less than an hour! It is sturdy enough to transport to potlucks and can be served straight out of the pan in which it was baked. Mmmmm…fudgy, not fussy!
Try this Texas fudge sheet cake for National Fudge Day.
(Adapted from the Pioneer Woman)
For the fudge sheet cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- ¼ cup cocoa (we used Nestle brand)
- 1 cup water, boiling
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a pan, melt the butter. Stir in the cocoa, then the boiling water. Boil for another 30 seconds.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and stir. In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk with the eggs and baking soda.
Add the vanilla to the buttermilk mixture. Pour this into the flour-chocolate batter and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13-inch baking pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven. Cool completely. The cake may be frosted in the pan itself. Or it may be inverted onto a cake board or platter and then frosted.
For the fudge frosting
(Adapted from About.com – Desserts/Baking)
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3+ cup milk
In a large mixing bowl, sift the cocoa with the sugar to remove any lumps. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, place the stick of butter, cover with plastic film/wrap and microwave until melted. Remove the melted butter from the microwave and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the butter-vanilla mixture into the cocoa-sugar and stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup milk and blend with a hand-mixer until smooth. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time to achieve the desired spreadable consistency for the frosting.
Generously spread the top of the cake with frosting. Make decorative swirls with the spatula on the top and sides of the cake. Let set. Slice and serve.
- Howdy, partner! Texas fudge sheet cake pairs well with plain vanilla ice cream.
- At weddings, the Texas sheet cake recipe gets dressed up as a groom’s cake. Baked in a Texas-shaped pan and decorated with chocolate-dipped strawberries, this fudge cake is a favorite among guests at a Texas BBQ reception!
- Search our blog for other chocolate cake recipes.
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