How To Make A Whole Chicken And Potato Roast In A Cast Iron

This post is sponsored, but I only work with brands that personally suit my niche. #ad

Let my just start off by saying how much I love using a cast iron for my many of recipes. Seriously, lately I’ve been using it for 99% of my cooking and I feel like I’ve been living under a rock by not discovering it sooner. I mean, I’ve wanted to invest in one for a long time prior and had every intention to get one, but once I finally got my hands on one, it took my cooking to a whole other level. Uh-huh.

So like always, I wanted to do my research (by research I mean Pinterest and goggle—duh!) before I officially started using one because I’ve heard they are a lot of maintenance and that’s the last thing this tired mama needs! After using a cast iron for the past year now, I have come to realize that it’s a total myth (rolling my eyes). Of course, there are methods of taking care of the cast iron, but there is no need for constant maintenance if you’re properly taking care of it after each use. And, using a cast iron has some pretty cool benefits too. Let’s just do a quick overview of this, and I’ll get to that recipe really soon, promise.

Why you should start using a cast iron:

  • It’s naturally non-stick: who doesn’t like this feature when it comes to dishes? Seriously, I can make anything in it and it comes off with a slight rub and warm water…no soaking required (most of the time).
  • Made without Teflon: what exactly is Teflon? Well it’s that bad stuff that manufactures use to coat your regular pans to make it a non-stick feature. And what’s worse is that these chemicals are transferred to your food when cooked at high temperature…yeeks! Needless to say, I stopped using Teflon pans a long time ago.
  • Releases Iron: yup! I found this very interesting because I first invested in a cast iron during my pregnancy and I was not iron deficient at all, which is actually the case of many women during pregnancy, and personally, prior to my pregnancy. You can do your research on the science behind it all, but at high temperatures, and depending on the acidity with certain foods, iron is best absorbs and then released during these processes, pretty cool stuff.
  • Long lasting: if taken care of, these pans can last a lifetime! And the more you use it the better it gets, the smoother the texture of your pan becomes too. When I first bought my pan it was very dry and rough, but now it actually looks better then when I first got it. How’s that for investment?
  • Pretty much indestructible: as you’ll notice this recipe requires baking time at a super high temperature- and it’s able to withstand and function just as well. Also, frying at a high temperature will give your food a nice braised/BBQ effect too.

If you want more information about how to maintain, “season” your cast iron for prolonged uses and ultimate effectiveness, check it out here.

Bottom line, I just love using a cast iron for many of my recipes.

Anyway, I’ve partnered up with Southern Kitchen in order to share this amazing recipe I made in a cast iron. I used this Smithey Cast Iron and it has a nice vintage appearance and the quality of it was evident when I put it to work. And as expected, this chicken and potato roast was a success too!

I have to say, I was excited when I decided to make a chicken roast. I mean, you can easily buy a rotisserie chicken for about $5.99, but then you don’t get to brag about making this splendid meal yourself. 🙂 I added potato, carrots, and onions around the chicken to give it a complete meal. Then I took the chicken juices after the roast was done and made gravy out of it (totally optional). I was pretty impressed with the outcome. It seriously beats buying an already-prepared chicken when you can make it in the comfort of you own home, and then show off too, aha!

Now this particular recipe calls for a cast iron, because as mentioned above, you’ll need to use something durable to withstand the hot heat during cooking time- and I mean hot, this baby is going up to 500 F, but that’s the secret to a nice crispy skin, while maintaining moist chicken meat.

You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. And if you have any recipes you’d like to share that are a big hit from your kitchen, submit your own recipe to Southern Kitchen. (Southern Kitchen has regular recipe contests – more info here.)

Lastly, if you’re convinced that cast iron cooking is the way to go…then make sure to get one today. I promise you won’t regret it…I didn’t. Use coupon code WELCOME10 ($10 off first purchase over $50) towards any Southern Kitchen Purchase 

Now let’s get to this recipe, shall we?

Cooks Notes:

  • I like to roast my chicken breast down because it absorbs all the flavour and moisture from the juices during cooking time.
  • You can easily make a gravy by using the remaining juices as a sauce- the cooking juices have all the flavour!

How To Make A Whole Chicken And Potato Roast In A Cast Iron

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Chicken 3-4lb
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil or melted Butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 3 rosemary twigs
  • ½ cup water
  • Half a lemon, juiced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 F with (empty) cast iron in the oven.
  2. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Coat chicken with olive oil or melted butter, marinate chicken over night if desired. Generously season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Next, combine potatoes, carrots, onion, spices and cheese, set aside.
  4. Once oven and cast iron is preheated, carefully using kitchen gloves, remove cast iron and place prepared chicken in cast iron (breast side down), place back into oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. After time is up, add the potato mixture, drizzle water on top of potatoes, turn heat down to 450 F and bake for another 30-40 minutes- until juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh or the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F when probed with an instant read thermometer (roasting time may vary depending on size of chicken).
  6. Remove from oven, squeeze half of the lemon juices over the chicken, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes covered with foil. Carve and serve.
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Christmas Brunch: Set The Table

If you’re not in the Christmas mood yet, then I won’t judge. ‘Cause if shopping, parties, and secret Santa are not your thing, what about Christmas Brunch? I feel like Christmas day gets nowhere near the amount of credit it deserves. I mean we are in preparation for that one day for months, and when it finally arrives, everyone is left with the food coma effect…aaaalong with a bunch of sweet memories too, of course. 🙂

Well, allow us (Ema & I– a guest blogger from my recent brunch post) to share some Christmas brunch ideas, to set the right mood for your family and friends.

Christmas morning is so special, and I love having my family wake up to the smell of french toast in the air, I made this Overnight Baked French Toast with Raspberry Sauce last year, and I will definitely have it on my brunch menu list this year too. You  can find the recipe here.

So go on, make this year one for the books. Merry (early) Christmas, friends!

 

 

Fete Napkins | Pink Teacups | French Gilt Mirror | Mercury Glass Bowl | White Plates

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Check out this Overnight Baked French Toast with Raspberry Sauce recipe… perfect for Christmas brunch!

XO I.P.

How to Host a Pretty Brunch + One Essential Brunch Recipe

I’m all for pretty things. My life would be so dull without pretty dresses, desserts, and dinnerware. Wouldn’t you agree? It doesn’t have to be expensive, just pretty. Well, I like to have that mentality to many aspects of my life, hosting is one of them. I love the idea of hosting. It’s a perfect occasion to take out the seldom-used teapot, dinnerware, and go all out with serving napkins. I mean, there are no objections to doing that on the regular, but then you’re stuck with extra dishes and more laundry -not fun!
So with my obsession with hosting and the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share a little insight and tips. Today ill be sharing how to easily host a brunch party. Why brunch? Because it’s the most important meal of the day, forget breakfast. And brunch is a perfect excuse to have desserts so early in the day!
One of my favorite things to make for breakfast/brunch is a baked omelet. It’s easy, extremely savory, and totally appropriate. So if you’re planning to host an upcoming brunch, or just need a reason to wake up, how about you try this baked omelet recipe? (Scroll down for recipe)
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to brunch food options, try to have a balanced selection. By that I mean, have an equal amount of sweet and savoury on the menu. Because it’s closer to lunch, having a combination of main course and desserts is always a crowd pleaser! Now if you have no idea how to set a brunch table, I’ve got you covered, too! 🙂
I’m excited to introduce a sweet friend of mine on the blog today! Meet Ema, she’s the photographer behind many of my photos, someone who knows a bunch of random facts, and who has a great eye for detail and presentation…talk about a resourceful friend, huh?! Well, this brunch get-together wouldn’t have happened without her. Today she’s sharing a few tips on table presentation.

Like Ina mentioned, I enjoy setting an attractive table and having those special touches. Setting a beautiful table is not about putting one’s self on display, rather making guests feel special, welcome, and honored. With that being said, here are a few rules I follow to set a gracious table:

1. Include fresh flowers. Buy one type of flower. I usually choose hydrangeas or roses. When you get home, choose a clear vase and fill it with cold tap water. Trim the flower stems at a 45 degree angle to the size of your vase and remove all leaves below the waterline. Sometimes, instead of using one large vase, I break up the flowers into smaller arrangements using either small vases or drinking glasses. If using hydrangeas, know that they sometimes will get a little limp the following day. If that happens, simply trim the stems about an inch and put them in new, fresh water. The hydrangeas will usually perk right back up in a couple hours. If the flowers still look limp, repeat the process.

Avoid pre-made arrangements. Grocery store arrangements often include flowers that are dyed or dipped in glitter or feature too many garish color combinations. Stick to a single kind of flower and you’ll take the guesswork out of how to arrange them.

2. Include unscented candles. Candles always add a flattering, sparkling light. Small white votives are perfect for daytime or evening get-togethers.

Avoid scented candles. You don’t want to mix food aromas with a strong, overpowering candle scent. Leave the pumpkin scented candle for when you are reading or watching TV.

3. Include a finishing touch. The type of finishing touch will vary by occasion, but include something that will unite your table aesthetic. For our girls brunch, I tucked bougainvillea stems into the napkins to bring the colors of the table together. For your own table, you can use any greenery, herbs, or even a pretty ribbon.

Avoid clutter. The point is to keep things simple yet elegant. Take anything off the table that doesn’t add to it and use only what you need.

 


There you have it. A beautiful table setting and tips you can use to host any upcoming party! Now lets get back to this baked omelette recipe, shall we?

Baked Omelette

I like to make mine in a cast iron, but a non stick pan will do as well. I also like to use ground sausage, but you can definitely change it up and add chicken, bacon or add hash browns. You really can’t go wrong with this savoury omelette.

Baked Omelette

Ingredients

  • 1lb of ground sausage, cooked
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of salsa
  • 1 cup pf cheddar cheese, set aside some for topping
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup of spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven at 400 F and grease cast iron (I used a 12in).
  2. Fry the sausage, set aside to cool off.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together, adding the sausage last. Sprinkle with some more cheese, sliced tomatoes, and bacon (optional).
  4. Place mixture in cast iron, and place it in the oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until ready.
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Apple Pear Pecan Pie + Homemade Pie Dough

Christmas is six weekends away and I’m sharing a pie recipe! Yup! Cause although this whole pumpkin spice and Fall vibe is coming to an end, my obsession with pies has not. Paaa-leezzz just serve me some pie on a platter and I’ll have it all year round, thank you very much!

But in all seriousness, pie really does have that cozy Fall, harvest feel. So, if I have one more week until Thanksgiving to share my all-time favorite pie recipe, then here it goes!

So you’ve heard of apple pie, but have you heard of apple pear pecan pie? Ok, maybe you have but I really wanted to feel special! If you know anything about me by now, you know how much I love adding nuts to pretty much every dessert I make (check out this Salted Pecan Chocolate Cake). It’s kinda become an essential item I think of when making up new recipes. And if it’s not pecans, it’s walnuts… or almonds! Call me nuts, I know. 😉 But growing up in a European culture, there was no shortage of nutty desserts (try this Nutty Wafer cake). I mean, thank God for Costco for selling bulk packages of assorted nuts because they can get pretty pricey otherwise.

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Pumpkin Pecan Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers, aren’t you? (Quoting my all time favorite, Anne of Green Gables). But I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been much of an October here in So Cal, it feels like the hottest point of summer to be most accurate. Although we just got back from visiting Niagara (my hometown) I got all my Fall feels. I love Fall time in Niagara, it’s so magical.

October is just so exciting, it’s like that happy in-between from goodbye summer to hello Christmas, right? It’s kinda crazy to see at the grocery stores stocked up with pumpkins and Christmas decor. But I really don’t mind because it really gets me into the baking mood. And Fall just isn’t the same without some pumpkin spice…everything. I think it’s become a social norm now, thanks to Starbucks!

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Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Feta Cheese

Whatcha making for dinner tonight? How about you try this delicious stuffed pepper recipe?! Easy to make, no mess, healthy option with a gourmet outcome.

First off, let me say I’m sorry for not posting a recipe for months… or completing my “frozen meal series”. With baby Ev who came sooner than expected and my first months of mommyhood, I really haven’t had the time or desire to make/share my favorites recipes. Sleep deprivation will do that to you people. But since hubby and I are on a mission to eat healthier dinners, I have been trying to spice up the menu..cause eating healthy can get a little bland time after time. Another healthy alternative is stuffing the peppers with quinoa- which turned out great! But I have to admit the rice is a classic, at least for me.

I grew up loving stuffed peppers. It was always a treat when my mom had them baking in the

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One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope it’s been a happy one so far. I know it’s a little late in the day for posting this recipe, but I’ve had a list of things to get done on my to-do list. I always set so many goals for Mondays only to realize I only get about half way through the list. Can anyone else relate? Ugh…

Well as you know, I am continuing the freezer-friendly meals series, and today I am starting this week off with another favorite for us, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta. And not to forget to mention the bonus, “one pot” preparation that makes this meal an easy and less messy situation (yay!). Honestly, I was never a fan of spicy foods, but this Cajun kick is perfect for me, along with the hot Italian sausage. Although I have to mention, I think I’m over exaggerating on the word “spicy”, I have a pretty low tolerance, so for many people, it really wouldn’t be considered “spicy”. 😛 It may be an overwhelming mouthful, but it’s so savory, it’ll have you go back for seconds. My husband and I sure did.

Pasta is sooo easy to freeze and freezes quite nicely if you ask me. So that’s why I thought it would be perfect to add to the list. This portion will make about 10 servings, so it can easily be divided into two meals. So freeze up, and enjoy making this easy, quick (under 30 minutes), one-pot goodness.

See freezer instructions in the recipe below.

Note:

If you just came across this recipe and realized your taste buds are watering for this meal, but you seem to be out of Cajun season, don’t fret! I’ve got you covered. I once had the same dilemma, I realized I was totally out of Cajun seasoning and didn’t want to settle for anything else for dinner, so I made my own Cajun mix! Easy-breezy.

For this portion, you’ll need the following amount each seasoning to make your own…

Homemade Cajun Mix:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

 

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 raw hot or mild Italian sausage links, cut up
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any %)
  • 1 pound of dried penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning* (see note)
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of parsley, minced

Instructions

  1. Begin by frying the onion, and garlic in olive oil until translucent with a large cooking pot.
  2. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper and brown in butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add sausage and continue to cook until browned.
  4. Add chicken broth, heavy cream, milk, lemon juice, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.
  5. Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
  6. Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  7. Remove pot from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.
  8. Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese to taste.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. *Freezer-friendly: divide portions into desired freezer safe trays, and place in freezer. Once ready to use, thaw for 1 hour, sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven at 375 F for about 30-40 minutes.
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Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Hey everyone!

I’m excited to share that I am starting a new series on the blog today! With only 2 1/2 weeks to go in my pregnancy, I thought I’d share some of my favourite frozen meal recipes!

Since we moved away from home for my husband, Sebastian’s masters program, we are away from all of our dear family and friends. Although I have a great community of friends at my church that are willing to help, I thought it would be best to be prepared for the first few weeks…at least. Since I am a first time mom, I have noooo idea what to expect (even though I’ve heard so many stories and suggestions). I think motherhood- especially for the first time around, is just something you have to go through yourself in order to really understand and explerience.

So I thought if I could make some frozen meals, it would be very helpful, especially since my husband is not to handy in the kitchen, he he. I mean, we could have eggs and peanut better toast for days… but I rather not, haha! AND not to say he isn’t helpful- he could always go out and grab something, but I know we would both appreciate a good home cooked meal. I mean, who wouldn’t?!

Whether you’re expecting your first baby, or second, or third… or not expecting at all, I am sure you’ll find these recipes handy! I know some people like to make/prepare all their frozen meals at a time, but that sounds like wayyyy to many dishes for me in one day. I like to spread it out throughout my week. I made double the portions, had some for dinner with night, and the other portion I froze. I found it easier and more enjoyable this way. Plus, there is no way my feet would be able to take all the pressure of standing up for hours on end in the kitchen! I would have probably gone into labour… lol!

I will try to post about 2-3 recipes for the next couple weeks (unless I deliver early!). All of which have been tested and true. If you want to follow along, make sure you subscribe, and stock up on a few supplies; mainly aluminum trays or tupperwear and labels for storing in the freezer. I like using aluminum trays because after being thawed, they can easily be thrown in the oven, and thrown out into the garbage. No mess, no clean up, no effort. Now that’s my kinda thing. 😉

The first recipe I wanted to share is one of our favorites… Shepherd’s pie! Mmmm mmm mm. I feel like shepherd’s pie doesn’t get enough recognition, a lot of people think this dish is boring, but it’s really not! Especially when it’s done right.

Follow along to see what makes shepherds pie so special for us.

*Remember this is for a double portion, meaning there will be enough for 2- 9 inch pie dishes. Don’t feel like making twice the amount? Simply cut the ingredients in half!

Freezing instructions: this will apply for most of my upcoming freezer meals (unless suggested otherwise)- after placing divided portion into a freezer safe tray/container, make sure to seal with cover or aluminum foil. Label with date, name and instructions. I have listed the freezer instructions on the recipe. Scroll down to access recipe. 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

   

 

Beef Pork Sausage Shepherds Pie

Ingredients

    Meat mixture:
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 garlic gloves
  • 1 cup frozen vegtable mixture (peas, corn, carrots)
  • 1 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 pieces Italian sausage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic seasoning
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp parsley seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Potatoes:
  • 8-10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic (see instructions below)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

    Potatoes:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash, add listed ingredients and set aside.
  2. Roasted Garlic:
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) While oven is preheating, prepare roasted garlic by placing 5 cloves of garlic onto a piece of aluminum foil with 1 tsp olive oil. Wrap up the foil, and place in oven for about 15-20 minutes. Add into potatoe mixture.
  4. Meat Mixture:
  5. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until clear. Add ground beef and sausage, cook until well browned.
  6. Then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add spices. Next, add tomato paste, sour cream, lemon juice and beef broth. Finally add in the frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Spread the meat mixture in an even layer on the bottom of 2 pie dishes.
  8. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Freezing instructions: divide portions into freezer safe Pie tray. Place lid/cover and label with title, instructions and date. Once ready for use, let meal thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
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Perfect Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting With Almond Milk

Happy Friday!

I love sharing my favourite dessert recipes on Fridays- it really does seem like a suitable day seeing that the weekend is upon us, and it’s time to celebrate with guilt free cheat days, savouring delectable desserts! Are you with me?

So today I finally decided to share this wonderful pipe-able cream cheese frosting with a touch of almond milk, that is perfect on/in …everything. Cupcakes, cakes, cinnamon rolls, macarons, filling, pizza (just kidding) well you get the point. And the best part is…its pipe-able and fail proof. That means, it will stay firm, and won’t melt at room temperature like most cream cheese frostings do. I was inspired to post this cause I went through sooooo many trial and errors with different cream cheese frostings that I have tried. Let’s just say there were a lot more errors than expected. I really wanted to come up with a go-to cream cheese frosting that I could wipe up in seconds. So I finally came up with a recipe that turned out wonderful every time! However if cream cheese frosting isn’t your thing, try my mascarpone cream cheese icing. It’s a slight alternative, airy, and very light. But if you want a nice thick, smooth traditional cream cheese frosting, keep reading.

After making my favourite red velvet cupcakes with this delightful cream cheese frosting for recent events, and get-togethers, I have been asked to share this recipe because it became a little popular. This past week I ended up making a cake, and instead of using buttercream, I decided to ice the cake with this smooth cream cheese frosting. It was a total hit. AND the best part was that the icing held its shape the whole time. I didn’t even have to worry. Also, I have to mention that I much prefer a cream cheese icing than buttercream. But that’s just me.

Step-By-Step ⇓

Follow along to achieve the perfect pipeable-firm cream cheese frosting, and make sure you scroll at the bottom for the full recipe, and helpful tips. 

This is a paddle attachment. Read more information on why I use and recommend it for this recipe (although a regular whisk tip will still do the job).

Step 1: beat the butter until fluffy and light. Depending on your mixer, this should take about 2-3 minutes on medium speed.

Step 2: Add the cream cheese and mix again only until combined. Then add the remaining ingredients. Your outcome should look like this picture below: firm and thick, ready for piping.

The final product will look smooth, and thick. Make super you mix thoroughly to ensure the perfect outcome. Oh, and don’t forget to taste-test. 😉


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes/Alternatives:  

  • I like to use a paddle attachment when making most of my baking and frostings. It helps cream the ingredients together more efficiently by allowing enough air to pass through the batter. It’s kinda technical, but it really is used for the best outcome in your batter/frosting. Although a whisk attachment will do the job too.
  • Over mixing will cause the texture to go soft and it will not have a desired pipe-able outcome. However if over mixing does occur, quickly pipe your dessert, then immediately place them in the fridge- the icing will be just fine after sitting for about 20 minutes or so.
  • Butter: “room temperature” or “softened” means that the butter should be soft enough to pass the “poke test”. This means, when you poke your finger into it, there should be a indent. If you didn’t get the chance to keep your butter out, then cut it into cubes, place in the microwave for 10 second intervals…keep an eye on it at all times! It won’t take long to melt.
  • Salted vs. unsalted butter: I like to used salted for my frosting because I find it gives a good balanced taste. But, you can definitely use unsalted butter too.
  • Icing sugar: I used 2 1/2 cups. In the recipe I mentioned 2-3 cups. That is because some of you may like it a little sweeter, or you may need to thicken up the texture.
  • Almond milk: I love using a tad because it really does make a difference in taste as opposed to regular milk (which will work too). Again, you can add another tsp if the texture is a little too thick for your liking.

Perfect Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting With Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • ½ cup salted butter, room temp, or see note
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (see note)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tsp almond milk (as needed see note)

Instructions

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (see note), cream the softened butter until light and fluffy (see picture).
  2. Add cream cheese and continue to mix just until combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, always making sure to scrap the sides of the bowl, making sure not to over mix.
  4. Pour the vanilla and 2 tsp of almond milk evenly over the frosting and mix slowly to combine.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl then mix on high for about 10 seconds.
  6. Test the consistency of the frosting, if it is too thick add another teaspoon of almond milk and mix only until incorporated, if it is too runny, you can add a little more icing sugar. Make sure the ingredients are fully combined yet, do not over mix. See notes for more details.
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Salted Pecan Chocolate Cake

Hello, friends! I can’t believe it’s March already. Time does fly when you’re having fun! Well, ok…maybe it hasn’t been too fun lately (to be honest) ever since I hit my third trimester, things are slowly starting to turn for me. 🙁 This big bump is getting a little more uncomfortable each passing day (and night), and I am trying to overcome this minor cold. So, in order to enlighten my mood, I thought baking would do just the thing. Baking always makes me feel better- oh, and shopping. 😛

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So maybe you’re thinking this is just another chocolate cake recipe. Sure, chocolate cake is good, but whats sooo special about this particular recipe? Well, let’s see… the fact that this chocolate cake has a layer of pecan, and the easy 4-ingreident chocolate buttercream is made with salted butter, which makes every bite smooth and savoury. It’s not too overwhelming with the chocolate taste. It’s just right. I personally looooove nutty flavoured desserts (if you haven’t already noticed), so I thought this middle pecan layer would be a perfect touch. And it was. Now, there are times when a chocolate cake, and I mean allll chocolate- is necessary to fulfill your overwhelming craving for chocolate, so I am not dismissing that at all. But other times, change is good. 

I have experimented with different chocolate cake recipes in the past, all which were just…not exactly to my liking. Chocolate cakes have to be done right. My definition of “right” is moist, rich, smooth, and extra chocolatey in flavouring! That’s right. When my husband first tried it, he said, “oh nice! The Duncan Hines box cake recipe and cream never fails in flavour and texture.” I was a little offended at first, but I realized it was a compliment, because the traditional Duncan Hines box cake is a easy, no regrets, easy to please, for those days when time is of the essence. Duncan Hines has never failed to disappoint me. The flavour, and the texture are just perfect, and the batter??? Well I’ll just stop there. Haha. I have to admit, I like having this cake mix in my pantry whenever I have unexpected guests coming over, or don’t have any time to bake anything. But I felt really guilty, especially since people know me for my baking. And when they would ask, “Wow can I get this recipe…”, I awkwardly hesitate, and quickly try to change the topic. 🙂 AND if they incessantly ask, I mention, I’ll post it on the blog one day. So, here it is. The perfect chocolate cake with a kick of pecan flavour (but better than Duncan Hines, promise)!

If you want to double up on the chocolate recipe, and make it all chocolate, I totally understand. No harsh feelings. 🙂

Scroll down for the recipe, while I tempt you with these mouth watering pictures.



Oh darling, do be generous with the cream!

Stack ’em up! And lets work on the outside!

Vio-la! Behold the masterpiece. 🙂

Up close and personal, just how I like it!

Who wants the first piece?

Serve this baby with a nice cup of tea or coffee, and every day will feel like Sunday. 🙂

Alternatives:

As always, I love to give suggestions and alternatives to my recipes. It’s always fun to be creative and change it up based on your preferences. 

  • If you want more of a nutty flavour- add 1/3 cup of Nutella to your middle layers, or 1/2 cup to the cream mixture.
  • If you want to change up the cream for a lighter taste, check out my cream cheese frosting here, its made out of mascarpone, and tis delightful.
  • If you want to go full out chocolate, double up on the chocolate cake measurements!
  • Unsalted butter will work fine too; although I find that the salted butter is more balancing with he chocolate-pecan flavour, and much more savoury.

Note:

I like using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment because I find it really helps achieve the perfect texture- and it’s great for whipping butter. But, you can definitely use a hand mixer with regular whisks too- it may take a little longer, but will still do the job.

Salted Pecan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

    Chocolate Layer:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pecan Layer:
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup milk (or almond milk)
  • Salted Chocolate Buttercream:
  • 1 1/2 cup salted (sweet cream) butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup of Cocoa Powder
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two, 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. (I used 8-inch)
  2. Chocolate layer:
  3. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  4. Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla into the dry mixture. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes. Do not over mix.
  5. Place all of the batter into the pan. (Do not divide batter, or else it will not fully rise, I simply cut mine into two, after cake has cooled off)
  6. Bake for 40 minutes (ovens may vary). Stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, it's done.
  7. Cool for 15 minutes and then turn out the cake onto the rack and allow to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, slice the cake into two (if your desire).
  9. Pecan Cake:
  10. Start by melting the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted add pecans and cook until slightly browned and fragrant, tossing frequently, about 4 minutes. Pour and spread onto a sheet of parchment paper or a baking sheet. Set aside and allow to cool.
  11. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  12. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (see note) whip together softened (not melted) butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy, keep scrapping the bowl to ensure the butter is fully incorporated.
  13. Mix in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
  14. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed just until combined, then add the buttermilk, and milk until combined. Make sure to batter is well combined, but do not over mix.
  15. Lastly, add the buttered pecans by folding it into the batter.
  16. Place batter into baking pan.
  17. Bake for 35-40 minutes (ovens may vary) until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
  18. Remove from oven and let it cool.
  19. Salted Chocolate Buttercream:
  20. Begin by mixing butter in a stand mixer with paddle attachment (see note) until light and fluffy.
  21. Next, slowly add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, one cup at a time.
  22. Once fully incorporated, add vanilla, and milk if you find the consistency to thick. You can adjust the consistency by adding more powder for thicker consistency, or thinner with milk.
  23. Combine:
  24. Slice the chocolate cake in half, and arrange the cakes in between the pecan layer.
  25. Start by adding cream to the layer in between, and work your way on covering the rest of the cake with the cream on the outer side with a icing spatula.
  26. I like to pip the top with any remainder cream, and top it off with pecans.
  27. Enjoy!
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