Tasty Tuesday–Peppermint Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding

Even though I wasn’t planning on making a dessert for New Year’s Day, once I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to try it. I did have to make a few changes, based on what was available to me at the store, so you’re getting the recipe I actually used, not the one I found. I also used Kahlúa in place of the coffee required in the original recipe, because I wanted to add more mint flavor, plus, I’m always looking for a new booze-soaked dessert recipe!

  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup peppermint hot chocolate mix
  • 1/4 cup peppermint mocha Kahlúa
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces stale challah bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows, divided

Place the eggs in a blender and blend on the lowest speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add the sugar and then add the hot chocolate mix and blend until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the Kahlúa, milk, and vanilla and blend until well combined.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch dish and place 1/2 of the cubed bread in the pan. Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of the mini marshmallows on top. Add the rest of the bread and pack tightly. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and another 1/4 cup marshmallows.

Slowly pour in the custard. Press down on the mixture with a spatula or the back of a spoon to thoroughly saturate. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Bake at 325, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes or until the bread cubes are crisp and browned and the center is firm.

Remove the dish from the oven and top with the remaining mini marshmallows.

Switch your oven settings to broil and broil for about two minutes, or until the marshmallows are toasted to your liking. Watch it closely, the broiler will burn the marshmallows easily.

Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Tasty Tuesday–White Russian Cake

For the Closing Ceremonies of this year’s Russian Olympics, I tried a new twist on my standard booze soaked cake…a White Russian cake. I used a premixed White Russian cocktail from Kahlua, but you could also substitute vodka and Kahlua in the proper proportions. I think this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made!

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Cake:

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 1 cup Coffe-Mate Italian Sweet Créme non-dairy coffee creamer
  • 1 cup White Russian mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Filling/Frosting:

  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup Coffe-Mate Italian Sweet Créme non-dairy coffee creamer
  • 1/4 cup White Russian mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour three 8- inch pans.

Mix together the cake mix, 1 cup creamer, 1 cup White Russian mix, eggs and oil until blended. Distribute cake batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, making certain the cake layers do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the White Russian whipped cream filling: Combine pudding mix, 1/4 cup White Russian mix and 1 cup creamer. Set aside for 5 minutes until thickened. Fold the whipped cream into the White Russian mixture. Use to fill and frost top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tasty Tuesday–Mocha Mousse Cake

Cake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist triple chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 4 eggs
Mocha Mousse
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Heat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, 2 tablespoons liqueur and the eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  • Bake 8-inch pans 34 to 40 minutes, 9-inch pans 31 to 37 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, to make mousse, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1/4 cup of the whipping cream, the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup liqueur. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture simmers; remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips with whisk until chips are melted. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Pour into large bowl; cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  • In chilled medium bowl, beat remaining 1 3/4 cups whipping cream on high speed just until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  • In another chilled medium bowl, beat topping ingredients on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Trim off rounded top of one cake layer. Cut each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on serving plate; spread with one-third of the mousse. Repeat with second and third layers. Top with fourth layer, cut side down. Spread topping over side and top of cake. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tasty Tuesday–Tiramisu Cheesecake

I was very excited to find this recipe, because I was hoping it would be similar to my all-time favorite dessert–The Cheesecake Factory’s tiramisu cheesecake. Now, theirs has a piece of tiramisu baked into their original cheesecake, (how do they do that?!?), so it wasn’t exactly the same, but the flavor was right, which was what really mattered.

I have to be honest, and admit that I made my cheesecake with a Nilla Wafer crust, as ladyfingers are both expensive and hard to find. The resulting crust stuck to the pan terribly, probably because of how moist it was, and it made the cheesecake lack an important textural component that the ladyfingers would have provided. The cake itself, however, had an amazing, creamy texture, thanks to the 8 oz. of mascarpone cheese mixed in with the cream cheese. And the coffee liqueur whipped cream really finished off the dessert, and made it look amazing, which is ironic, because this is the first cheesecake I’ve made that hasn’t cracked!

  • 1 (12 ounce) package ladyfingers (I used 45 Nilla Wafers)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. coffee liqueur
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a pan of water on the bottom of oven.
Crush the package of ladyfingers to fine crumbs. Mix the melted butter into the crumbs. Moisten with 2 tablespoons of the coffee liqueur. Press into an 8 or 9 inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar until very smooth. Add 1/2 cup coffee liqueur, and mix. Add the eggs and the flour; mix slowly until just smooth. If the cheesecake batter is too thick, add a little cream. Do not overmix at this point. Pour batter into crust.
Place pan on middle rack of oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set. Open oven door, and turn off the heat. Leave cake to cool in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let it finish cooling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Before serving, top with whipped cream, and grate the semi-sweet chocolate on top.

Booze Soaked Cake #3–Kahlua

After the immense success of the “Amaretto Divine” cake, I decided to try a twist on that recipe that was mentioned in the comments on the Allrecipes website. Instead of using a yellow cake mix, amaretto flavoring and vanilla pudding, the “Death by Chocolate” suggestion called for devil’s food cake mix, kahlua, hazelnut creamer and chocolate pudding.

I was not disappointed. The early results on this cake are that it is *the best* cake I have ever made. And I make a lot of cakes! Both Turkey and Bunny said it was the best ever, and Ryan said it was at least the best of my recent attempts. As for Moose and Ladybug, they didn’t have much to say, but they sure cleaned their plates fast! And by cleaned, I mean licked, at least in the case of Ladybug, who was, in her defense, just copying what her older sister was doing.

Awesome cake–I can’t wait to try a further twist on the recipe that is my original creation, but it’s more a of Christmas kind of flavor (peppermint will be involved), so that will have to wait a bit.

Cake:

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix

1 cup non dairy hazelnut flavored creamer

1 cup kahlua liqueur

3 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Filling/Frosting:

1 (3.5 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix

1 cup non dairy hazelnut flavored creamer

1/4 cup kahlua liqueur

2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour three 8- inch pans.

Mix together the cake mix, 1 cup hazelnut flavored creamer, 1 cup kahlua liqueur, eggs and oil until blended. Distribute cake batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, making certain the cake layers do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the hazelnut whipped cream filling: Combine pudding mix, 1/4 cup kahlua liqueur and 1 cup hazelnut flavored creamer. Set aside for 5 minutes until thickened. Fold the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture. Use to fill and frost the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Booze Soaked Cake #1–Tiramisu

For my birthday last month, I tried a new cake recipe–a tiramisu layer cake courtesy of Allrecipes. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for over a year, but it’s a little costly to make (thanks to the coffee liqueur and mascarpone cheese), so I had to wait for the right occasion to try it out.

I was not disappointed! Even though the base was a regular boxed layer cake, and not sponge cake, it tasted just like tiramisu. And tiramisu happens to be one of my all-time favorite desserts, so this was the perfect birthday cake for me.

I have to admit, I do think I did something to screw up the filling a little bit. It was much creamier than I was expecting (I thought it would have more of a whipped consistency), and so it was too runny. It *did* taste just like I was hoping it would, though. Not sure what happened there, as I did follow the recipe exactly (honest!), but the next time I make it, I hope to correct whatever error I made, without tampering with the excellent taste.

CAKE:

1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1/4 cup coffee

1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur

FILLING:

1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

FROSTING:

2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

GARNISH:

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two-thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.

To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one-third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.