The Blessed Life

The Blessed Life

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Adventures in Cooking: Cake and Casserole

You know, I think it is important to remember that there was a time that I couldn't cook anything.  Okay, I could cook tacos and spaghetti and a few other easy things.  But I was not doing any real cooking.  Sometimes when I am talking and mention a dish or a dessert that I am making, people say things that make me think they personally don't think they could ever cook what I am talking about.  That could not be further from the truth.  If I can make it, so can you.  Keep in mind that I am the person who served my husband under-cooked chicken.

Moving on.

I won't lie and tell you that this cake was the easiest thing ever to prepare.  But, it wasn't impossible.  I did learn that I don't know how to beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  For some reason, I could not accomplish it despite much time on google and youtube (and almost a whole carton of eggs) trying to figure it out.  Luckily, the cake turned out great without stiff peaked egg whites!

Here is the link.

I made this for my mother in law's birthday a couple of weeks ago.  It was very, very, yummy.  I did end up buying a spring form pan which I didn't think I would need, but actually is crucial to the recipe.  Also, I learned a whole lot more about hazelnuts than I ever thought possible.  If you want to make this, you should know that hazelnuts don't come skinned, toasted and chopped.  That is a job you will do yourself.  You will buy whole hazelnuts, toast them, remove the skins and then chop.  I found toasting them and then removing the skin by rubbing them together in a dishtowel while they are still warm was the best way for me.  Just don't use a towel you care about because it will likely be stained.  Then chop, chop, chop.  And, in case you are like me and are hazelnut ignorant...they are not cheap.  So don't go into this cake thinking cheap and easy because you will be wrong!

Also, if you are like me and can't get the stupid egg whites to cooperate, don't worry, it didn't affect the cake or the marshmallow swirl really at all.

Lastly, I would reserve some of the marshmallow swirl (not fold it all in) and make just a layer of swirl on the top.  The recipe doesn't say to do this, but the picture in the magazine sure makes it look like that's what they did and after tasting it I think that would make the cake even better.

Overall, this cake was a winner and one that I will probably make again now that I have an idea of what I am doing (and leftover hazelnuts).  Everyone loved it, including Molly and Isabelle.  I think my mother in law was pretty happy also!

Next up, Bean Tortilla Casserole. Another Martha recipe.

Since we are trying to eat more meatless meals around here, I was pretty excited when I saw this in Everyday Food this month.  It is similar to another recipe I have but Jason liked this one much better.  The pureed tomatoes and cilantro did add a great flavor to this dish that the other recipe is missing.  If you are looking for a pretty simple and yummy vegetarian meal this would be a great one to try.

There you go, one easy dinner and one not so easy, but totally worth it dessert.  Happy cooking!


  1. Wow - that cake looks SO yummy! I'm more the Betty Crocker mix in a box kind of girl.. but I might need to try that!

  2. Thanks for the great looking recipes to try out :)