Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Orange Chocolate Chai Roll

I’ve always wanted to make a swiss roll cake. Every time I watch a baking show on Food Network or my favorite show the Great British Baking Show, I’m memorized how they roll the cake and fill it with deliciousness. So when my friend Adam told me he made one, we started talking about different flavors to put together for a Christmas one. He inspired me to create my own. 

I used cocoa powder, brewed chai tea, and orange zest for the cake batter. For the filing, I used cream cheese, pumpkin spice seasoning, more zest and orange juice. 

When I sliced into the orange to add the juice, I realized I accidentally bought blood oranges at the market. I was so excited, I actually did a little dance. When my Papa and I were in Sicily, we would eat a blood orange every morning with breakfast. It was like he was sending me a little sign from heaven! 

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chai tea
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons juice from orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar to aid in rolling

FILING 

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line (10×15”) pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. 

Beat in sugar, tea, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. 

Blend the dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Spread in the prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.

While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of the towel. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and cocoa powder (about ¼ cup). 

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar and cocoa. Remove parchment paper carefully.

Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).

MAKE THE FILING

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. 

Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy.

Gently unroll cooled cake. Spread filling over cake to 1/2 inch from all edges. 

Starting at the 10-inch side, gently roll up the cake. 

Sprinkle with additional orange zest just before serving. 

Cut into slices. 

Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

This Salted Caramel Cheesecake is the best you’ll ever have! It’s smooth, creamy and delicious!

Sweet, salty, buttery caramel should be the main flavor, inside and the top. 

I love cheesecake cake so much, it is such a great versatile for so many different toppings. This salted caramel cheesecake taste delicious with baked apples especially for Thanksgiving.

I made a simple crust with gingersnaps but feel free to use the traditional graham crackers. After the crust has baked, I poured some of the caramel into the bottom of the crust and spread it into an even layer.

When it comes to the cheesecake filling, we’re going to use the caramel sauce again. Combined with the usual cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla and eggs, you get a wonderful silky-smooth cheesecake filling.

Bake the cheesecake in a water bath and then cool until firm. Once it’s cooled, add more caramel sauce to the top and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm.

GINGERSNAP COOKIE CRUST

  • 2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKE

  • 32 oz. cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
  • 1/2 cup of the salted caramel sauce, cooled to room temp (see recipe)

INSTRUCTIONS 

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

Pour the caramel into a heat proof container and place it in the fridge while you make the cheesecake. (see recipe for Salted Caramel sauce)

GINGERSNAP COOKIE CRUST

Preheat your oven to 350F and thoroughly butter or grease your springform pan.

In a bowl, combine the crushed cookies, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened then tightly press it into your springform pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes then leave it out to cool while you make the filling.

SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKE

Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and place a large roast pan on the bottom rack.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the room temperature cream cheese on medium speed JUST until smooth – no more than a minute. 

Take the bowl off the stand and use a rubber spatula to knock out any air that the whisk might have added.

Switch to the paddle attachment and place the bowl back on the stand. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour. Then mix it into your cream cheese on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the bowl, especially on the bottom.

At this point, you’ll want to start a pot of boiling water on the stove top.

In that same small bowl, lightly beat your room temperature eggs and vanilla and slowly mix it into the batter on low speed until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again then mix it for a couple more seconds.

Lastly, mix together the sour cream and 1/2 cup of the caramel in a small bowl then fold it into your batter using a rubber spatula.

Pour ¼ cup of the caramel sauce over the cooler pie crust. 

Pour the batter over the cooled crust and drop the pan against the counter a couple times to let out any air bubbles.

Place the springform pan into the roast pan. 

Once your water is boiling, CAREFULLY pour it into your roast pan. Fill the roast pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It’s done when the edges have puffed up and the center gives a tight giggle when you shake the pan.

Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Then, pour the caramel sauce over the cheesecake before refrigerating. If the caramel is too thick to pour, place it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to thin it out. 

Place the cheesecake in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours to set. I recommend serving it slightly chilled so that the caramel stays in tact.

If you want to serve with the apple topping, just pour the apple topping over the top of the cheesecake before serving.

Blogs, Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Ghostly Brownies

I wanted to make something easy and fun for my brother and sister in law’s Halloween party. There are so many cute Halloween treat ideas on Pinterest- it was hard to decide on one. I know we all have seen the “Nailed It” memes so I wanted to choose wisely. Thank you Betty Crocker for this easy and fun recipe!

These ghost brownies are super easy, I promise you will “Nail it”! They start with a boxed brownie mix, top the brownies with a large marshmallow covered in white frosting, and decorated with black gel icing to make a cute face!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 box (16 oz) Brownie mix plus ingredients needed on the box
  • 1 cup Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting (from 16-oz container)
  • 16 large marshmallows
  • Black Decorating Gel icing

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven  to 350°F 

Grease a 8- or 9-inch square pan, bottom and sides with butter or cooking spray. 

Make and bake brownies as directed on the box. 

Cool completely on the cooling rack, about 1 1/2 hours. 

Carefully remove brownies from the pan.

Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of each brownie.

Place1 large marshmallow on top of the dollop of frosting- this will help the marshmallow stay in place. 

Scoop 1 cup of frosting in a microwavable bowl and heat uncovered on High 20 to 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until frosting can be stirred smooth and liquidy. 

If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave 5 seconds; stir.

Spoon 1 tablespoon frosting over each marshmallow, allowing the frosting to drip over the marshmallow and brownie to coat. 

Let stand until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. 

Use black gel to make eyes and mouths.