Category Archives: by lizzie

Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Screen shot 2014-01-02 at 3.31.27 PM My mom loves vanilla cake so I decided to make her a special vanilla bean cake for her birthday.  This cake will turn chocolate cake lovers into vanilla cake lovers.  It is extremely light and bursting with vanilla flavor.  It is very refreshing!

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste (5 vanilla beans)

Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 4 sticks of butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Vanilla bean paste from 2 vanilla beans

Directions:

Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Prepare 2 or 3 9 inch round cake pans with non-stick spray.  I did two so I could freeze the batter and use it later!
  3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time.
  5. Mix on medium for about 10 minutes for until very fluffy.
  6. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk into the egg mixture.  Mixing on low.
  8. Take out the paste from the vanilla beans and add it to the batter.
  9. Add the vanilla extract.
  10. Mix on medium until all is incorporated.
  11.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  12.  Let cool before frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Combine sugar and egg whites with a mixer.
  2. Put egg mixture into a pot and put on medium high heat.
  3. Whisk mixture for about 5 minutes until sugar has dissolved.
  4. Then bring back to stand mixer after the midrange has cooled.
  5. Mix for about 10 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Add butter one tablespoon at a time.
  7. Add vanilla and vanilla bean past.
  8. Frost cake and garnish with fresh raspberries.

This cake is extremely light and special.

Enjoy!

Lizzie

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Reese’s Cookie Cups

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My lacrosse team held a bake sale to raise money for epilepsy awareness.  My whole team pitched in to support our amazing team captain, Lauren Wemple, in her effort to raise awareness.  Instead of just making plain cookie cups I decided to put Reese’s on the bottom of the cookie cups.  They were a hit!  I would say they sold out within minutes!

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Recipe for the Cookies:

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bag of Reese’s

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Add eggs one at a time and mix together.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
  5. Mix a half of the dry ingredients to the wet ones and repeat.
  6. Place a Reese’s at the bottom of the muffin cup.
  7. Place two tablespoons of cookie dough on top of the Reese’s.
  8. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden.

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Restaurant Review: Franks Diner in Kenosha, WI

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I have become obsessed with watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network.  There are a good amount of restaurants that have been featured on the show in near Chicago, however, I chose to visit a small diner in Wisconsin this past weekend.  I drove up to Wisconsin with my mom for breakfast and we had a great time.  Franks Diner is in an old train car and the staff are full of character.  First, I ordered one of their homemade cinnamon rolls which was amazing!  Hands down the best cinnamon roll I have ever had.

BeFunky_Instant_1 My mom ordered oatmeal, which was also fantastic.

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I also ordered a garbage plate — one of the items they are famous for.  The garbage plate includes hash browns, eggs, onions, and bell peppers while including options to add different meats, vegetables, and cheeses.  I ordered a garbage plate with corned beef, and cheddar cheese.  It was fantastic.  The garbage plate also comes with toast, which is of course homemade and delicious.

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I wish I lived a little closer to this diner, but distance won’t stop me. I will be back for more!  I encourage you to visit this diner if you are ever in or near the Kenosha area.

Inside Franks! "Shut Up and Eat!"

Inside Franks! “Shut Up and Eat!”

You can check out the diner website here.

Kenosha is a small city on Lake Michigan, and I encourage you to walk down the walk from Franks’ to the beach.  The lighthouses were beautiful even in the 30-degree weather!

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Enjoy!

— Lizzie

10-Grain Muffins

Picture 2I love Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal and when I saw a muffin recipe using the cereal I knew I had to try it.  These muffins are great for breakfast or snacking plus they are easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cup bob’s red mill multi grain cereal
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cereal and the buttermilk in a bowl.
  3. Let the cereal and buttermilk mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Cream the sugar and butter in a separate bowl.
  5. Add the egg and mix.
  6. Then add the dry ingredients and mix.
  7. Once 10 minutes has elapsed add the milk mixture stirring until combined.
  8. Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 15 minutes.

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These muffins are great, but I bet they would be even better if you added apples and honey or even raisins.  Let me know if you find any great mix-ins!

Enjoy!,

Lizzie

Tiramisu Cake

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I wanted to make a special cake for my mom’s birthday, and ever since her trip to Italy last year, she has been into tiramisu.  I figured making a tiramisu cake would be a nice alternative to the usual chocolate or vanilla birthday cake.

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Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

For the espresso extract:

  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso power
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For the filling and frosting:

  • 2 8-ounce containers of mascarpone cheese
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 ½ ounces of semisweet chocolate finely chopped

Directions

For the Cake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter two 9 inch round cake pans.
  3. Beat butter until creamy.
  4. Add sugar and continue to beat.
  5. Add eggs one by one and then the yolk while mixing.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2.
  8. Pour one half of cake batter in each pan and bake for 30 minutes.

For the extract and syrup:

  1. Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together until blended.
  2. Stir the water and sugar together in a saucepan.
  3. Bring sugar water to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and add extract.
  5. Once the cakes have cooled pour 1/3 of the espresso syrup on top of each layer.

For the filling and frosting:

  1. Mix the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the heavy cream until it forms peaks.
  3. Fold in the heavy cream to the mascarpone mixture.
  4. Frost each layer and add the semisweet chocolate between the layers.
  5. Assemble the cake and frost the outsides.
  6. Dust with coco powder and top with extra chocolate.

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My mom loved this cake.  It was full of flavor and very refreshing!

This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen and can be found here.

Enjoy!

— Lizzie

PS: Follow us on instagram @textbooksandteacakes for lots of yummy food photos!