Let them eat Crockpot Cake!

Okay, so maybe Marie Antoinette didn’t say it exactly like that but if she had a Crockpot, I bet she would have!  I’ve heard rumors that you can back a cake in the crockpot but you know me, I have to find out for myself.  Now let me say that I wasn’t going to go crazy with a super-duper-completely-from-scratch recipe only to discover that you can’t actually bake a cake in a crockpot.  So I used a boxed cake.  Devil’s Food to be exact.  And I have to say… it came out tasty, moist and just like a regular over-baked cake.  OK, not exactly like an oven-baked cake because it was the shape of my semi oval crockpot and didn’t look very pretty (but I wasn’t going for aesthetics this time).  It was an experiment and now that I know, I can expand upon this.  Here’s my notes on baking a cake in the slow cooker:

Needs:

  • Boxed cake mix – including any requirements from the back of the box such as eggs, oil and water
  • Parchment paper OR Baker’s Joy (I do NOT use Baker’s Joy personally but have heard that it is the best product for this type of baking)
  • NOTE: You can use cupcake foils if they are stiff enough to stand on their own with the batter in them.
  • Crockpot/slow cooker

Directions:

  1. Mix batter as instructed on the back of the cake mix box.
  2. Line crockpot with parchment paper (I measure out the bottom of the pan and make neat folds for more aesthetically pleasing cake) or use Baker’s Joy.
  3. Pour batter into crockpot.
  4. Cover the top of the crockpot with paper towels (to absorb the moisture and allow the cake to actually bake).
  5. Put lid over the paper towels, pulling the towels taunt across so they don’t droop into the rising cake.
  6. Set your cooker on high for an hour.
  7. Check your cake after an hour with a toothpick.  Poke the cake in the center with the toothpick as far down as it will go and pull it back.  If it has batter on it, the cake is not done; cover with paper towels & lid and continue to bake for another half hour.  If it comes back clean, it’s done.
  8. Once done, immediately remove the cake by lifting the parchment paper and placing it on a cooling rack.  If you didn’t use a liner, allow the cake to cool enough to be able to handle it and remove from crockpot.
  9. Allow cake to completely cool before frosting/icing.

Let me know how yours comes out or feel free to post any questions/comments below!  Thanks!

Vegan Ice Cream (aka: Single Ingredient Ice Cream)

Riding on the tailcoats of my mango sorbet, I stumbled across a recipe for single ingredient ice cream.  Yup, you read that right.  One ingredient can make ice cream.  I didn’t believe it either.  And when I read the recipe I thought there must be some sort of flaw to it because it seems too forehead-smacking simple.  But it is.  And it tastes amazing!  I have no pictures for this batch but rest assured, there are more experiments to come and I’ll take pictures as I go (mind you, my darling wife was so nice to suggest that I do an entire new batch just to take pictures… more like she’s hankering for some more and is using that as an excuse but she’s cute so I’m more than willing to accommodate her).  So let’s get to the basics and then delve into the possibilities!

Ingredients:

  • Bananas
  • Options: (see below)

Directions:

  1. Slice bananas into 1/2 pieces into a freezable bowl.
  2. Freeze bananas (takes about an hour or so depending on how many bananas you cut up).
  3. Once frozen, drop in a food processor and chop until creamy (takes a while and looks like gravel for a while before creaming).  Make sure to push down sides and cream it thoroughly.
  4. Add options if desired (though plain, it’s pretty good too!)

That’s it!  When you’re done, you have a very thick, very banana-y, very creamy substance that resembles ice cream and tastes… well… like bananas.  But don’t stop there!  Here’s some great options you might want to try WHILE THE FOOD PROCESSOR IS STILL ON:

  • Drizzle almond milk into the mix to make it a bit less dense and add a bit more ice cream-like taste (vanilla almond milk would be perfect here).
  • Add other fruits such as strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.  The possibilities are endless!
  • Chocolate syrup, cocoa powder (sweetened), or even your favorite chocolate bars (Snickers, anyone?) would be an amazing addition.
  • Think banana split!
  • Non-vegan option: honey and almond milk in this would make for a pretty amazing and creamy taste.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot more options that you can choose from but the above is a good start.  If you use just the bananas, it becomes the consistency of pudding, if that’s too thick, add almond, soy or coconut milk slowly.  For the next batch, I’m going to try it without freezing the bananas first.  I’m sure creaming them will be the same so I’m curious if freezing before is a must or if you can cream then freeze.  Results (and pictures) will be posted.

And as always, please add your comments below if you try this and let me know what you added!

Chai Honey Cake

I use to make this completely from scratch and have adapted it over the years from a regular honey cake to an apple honey cake to the now Chai Honey Cake.  The final recipe is more “autumn-y” and is simple to make.

Take any traditional angel food cake mix, white cake mix or pound cake mix and add 1 cup chai powder mix and 1/2 cup honey (or to taste but exceeding a cup changes the consistency greatly).

OR

Make any traditional white, angel or pound cake either from scratch or a box.  Create a “coffee cake” type topping with brown sugar, chai powder mix and butter.  Drizzle cake with honey.