Grand Marnier Pound Cake

It's been years since I baked a pound cake. I had the chance to make dessert (with dairy in it), so I decided to do it up right with a rich, dense pound cake scented with oranges. This cake delivered. My mom added homemade roasted strawberry buttermilk sherbet with locally grown frozen black raspberries as garnish. The orange flavoring stood up nicely to the other fruit flavors. 

grand marnier pound cake

Grand Marnier Pound Cake

Serves 12, Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier liquor
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sour cream
Grand Marnier Pound Cake ingredients.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake ingredients.

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan. Dust pan with cake flour; tap out excess flour.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in Grand Marnier and orange peel. Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients. Mix in sour cream. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Carefully cut around cake in pan. Turn out cake.

Turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely. Cake can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake with Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet and frozen black raspberries.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake with Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet and frozen black raspberries.

Choco Banana Snackcake

Oh man, if you have lots of bananas and like chocolate cake, do I have the perfect recipe for you. Dairy-free, super moist and delicious, this one is a winner. Plus it's packed with 5 bananas so it's almost a health food, right? I was looking for an easy and dairy-free dessert to share with my sister and brother-in-law. I stumbled across this beauty on Pinterest (everyone's already following me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/evbecker/)? It's a quick and easy snackcake recipe that will offer endless variations. My next iteration will be a vanilla version with vegan caramel sauce drizzle, stay tuned for that one!

choco banana snackcake

Choco Banana Snackcake

Adapted from Serena Bakes Simply, Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 5 whole bananas, peeled and frozen, then thaw for 1 hour
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup black coffee
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup walnut or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (To Sprinkle On Top)
Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Rich chocolate and banana snackcake heads into the oven.

Directions

Baker's note: I always have lots of bananas in my freezer. Before you begin making this cake, remove 5 frozen, peeled bananas from the freezer and allow to thaw for about 1 hour. In a pinch, you can take 5 ripe, peeled bananas, and microwave them for 2-3 minutes before beginning this recipe. You should have nearly the same results.

Preheat oven to 350 F and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan (I used glass pyrex to great success).

Place thawed bananas in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until fairly smooth. Stir in brown sugar, canola oil, egg, vanilla, vinegar and coffee.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (I recommend Ghiradelli's 60% cocoa dark chocolate chips for this recipe) and chopped nuts if you are using them. Pour snackcake batter into the prepared pan and top with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. Cool for 15 minutes before slicing. 

I found that the banana flavor quickly disappeared. If possible, enjoy this cake the same day that you bake it.  

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Snackcake ready for devouring.

Lime and Coconut Milk Chicken

This was one of those stop-me-in-my-tracks recipes that I spotted over on Pinterest. I'm a sucker for coconut milk, I love the flavor and it's ability to morph from savory to sweet recipes. Some of the best fried chicken recipes start with a long marinade session in milk or buttermilk. It tenderizes the meat and adds deep and rich flavor. The thought of coconut milk permeating bone-in chicken sounded super delicious. 

So for my methods. I do usually try to follow a recipe the first go around and start tweaking after that. But, I wasn't going to use powdered ginger for this one. I also knew that my chicken thighs needed a longer ride in the oven then 30 minutes to cook down those pockets of fat. The next time you're in the mood for extra yummy (with full-on coconut flavor) you need to give this recipe a try.

Lime and coconut milk chicken

Lime and Coconut Milk Chicken

Adapted from She Who Bakes, serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (skin-on)
An easy marinade with big flavorful results!

An easy marinade with big flavorful results!

Directions

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients until well mixed. Reserve the remaining coconut milk to make coconut rice. Coat the chicken in mixture, and seal in a zip-top bag. Marinate overnight. 
  2. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  3. Arrange chicken on a foil lined sheet pan.
  4. Bake uncovered 45 minutes, or until chicken is done.