Eid is just around the corner and I love sharing treats as a gift! My friend Summar at the The Cozy Home Chronicles had the idea to create a unicorn marshmallow recipe and a Eid gift tag. Head over to her site for a free download!
I love making homemade marshmallows. It is so simple and gratifying to make a novelty item. With the Unicorn craze, these pink, blue and purple swirled treats are the perfect party or celebration food. While my marshmallows are vanilla flavored, you may want to purchase a cotton candy oil to really achieve the unicorn yumminess. 😀
I have made variations of sfouf, a traditional semolina turmeric cake on my blog before. From cupcakes and now this Turmeric Cake Honey Buttercream recipe. Because the holy month of Ramadan is upon us, I wanted to share a fun cake to enjoy with family. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic Lunar calendar, in which Muslims around the world, who are of age and good health, fast from sun rise to sun set. This means refraining from food and drink, and all of our bad habits. Those who are exempt from fasting include children and the elderly, those who are ill, pregnant, nursing and menstruating.
Ramadan is a time of reflection, spirituality and connecting to God. It is a time to give in charity and spend time with family and friends. During this holy month, the Quran (holy book for Muslims) was revealed to the Propher Mohamed (peace be upon him). Many muslims strive to read the entire Quran during this month, as a form of worship and reflection and a way to connect to our prophet and Lord.
This is the month in which Iftar, the time of breaking fast, is generally spent with family and community. I created this cake as a special dessert to celebrate!
I love a good summer salad. One of my favorites, includes the sweetness of watermelon, the saltiness of feta cheese and the richness tartness of balsamic vinegar. I wanted to play on these flavors and created my Watermelon, Feta, Jalapeño Salad. The slight heat of the jalapeño is the perfect addition to this summer time favorite.
One of my favorite summer dinner dishes is Mujadarra ruz, lentils with rice. Paired with a light salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, this makes for a perfect picnic meal. This dish is also vegetarian and done in about thirty minutes.
Nothing screams celebration quite like cupcakes! I love making cupcakes for parties, as they are easy to serve and everyone gets the perfect portion (or two). These chocolate cupcakes are rich and decadent and are topped with a smooth swiss meringue buttercream.
Generally, I stick with an American buttercream for its ease. However, I wanted to try something different and a few months ago, I began making swiss meringue buttercream on a regular basis. It is absolutely delicious, smooth and worth the extra effort! It does require egg whites, but they are heated and are safe to eat.
We will be enjoying these cupcakes, as we celebrate the new year, so I used gold cupcake liners, gold sprinkles and I topped them with a gold star!
Chocolate Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Serves: 12 cupcakes
⅓ cup vegetable oil
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together vegetable oil and sugars, until light in color.
Add in the vanilla extract and eggs and continue mixing.
Sift in the cocoa powder, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to your bowl.
Pour in the milk and mix until combined. *Do not overmix*
Pour batter into cupcake cups and bake for about 18 minutes.
Allow to cool completely.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.
Whisk the egg mixture constantly by hand until mixture is warm and the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until glossy and smooth about 10 minutes.
Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes.
Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart!
I share this recipe today, as I plan to gather with my loved ones this evening to reign in the new year. As I reflect on the past year, I want to thank all of my lovely friends and family for their continued support of Amanda’s Plate. Without you all, there would be no reason to blog. I do this for you all <3 I wish you all the best in 2017!
Happy New Year ♥
Make this recipe? I’d love to see! Tag me @AmandasPlate or #CreateAmandasPlate 😀
Chocolate chip cookies are a classic treat, that everyone I know loves and enjoys. They were invented in 1938, by Ruth Graves Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Inn at the time. There are so many ways to put your own spin on them! My salted brown butter chocolate chip cookies , pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip cookies (that have the addition of milk powder I learned this from Chef Christina Tosi) are a few of my favorites!
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I have been receiving many requests for easy side dish ideas. Here I have complied 4 sides that will make the perfect addition to any menu! In this post, I will share the recipes for four Thanksgiving side dishes that can each be made in less than 25 minutes! I begin by sharing my favorite homemade cranberry sauce, the ultimate silky smooth mashed potatoes, garlic-parmesan green beans and roasted delicata squash!
I start with the ever classic, cranberry sauce. If you plan to serve cranberry sauce, please do not use that stuff out of a metal jar. Its SO easy to make fresh and you won’t have that weird tin taste.
I infused my cranberry sauce with orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and topped it with mint for freshness!
In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combined cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until mixture thickens.
Remove cinnamon stick and nutmeg pod.
Allow to cool completely and top with fresh mint.
One of my favorite side dishes are mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes that are rich, creamy and smooth! I first learned about mascarpone while watching Giada DeLarentes on Food Network. She added them to her potatoes and I had to re-create them immediately. There are a few important steps to take with mashed potatoes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, for topping
Boil potatoes until soft and tender
Drain water off potatoes.
Add in the butter, mascarpone, heavy cream. Using an electric mixer, mix the potatoes until smooth.
Taste for salt and add additional to your liking
Top with chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper and remaining butter
Potatoes must be cooked properly. Inserting a knife into the center of the potato, it should come out easily and clean.
Be sure butter, mascarpone and cream are at room temperature.
Use a mixer to mash the potatoes, this ensures they are smooth and even throughout.
I mean look at this *drools over keyboard*
Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
With the oven being occupied with the turkey, a casserole and maybe some roasted sweet potatoes, I like to make veggie sides that can be made on the stove top. These are super easy, yet delicious green beans, that can replace a heavier side and provide a crisp, bright, side dish to the table.
The key to making the perfect textured green beans, is blanching. This means placing the green beans in boiling water, then immediately immersing them in ice water to stop the cooking process.
Place the green beans into the water and boil for 3 minutes
Remove the green beans from the boiling water and place immediately in the ice water
Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté garlic
Add the green beans to the skillet and heat for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat
Top with parmesan
Roasted Delicata Squash
Delicata squash is great for many reasons. One being is you can eat the skin, making preparation very easy. For this dish, I sliced the ends off the squash, spooned out the seeds and roasted the squash.
Cheesecakes are my absolute favorite desserts! They were the first recipe I learned to make on my own. I was in fourth grade and was looking for a book to purchase at the book fair. I selected a cookbook and I couldn’t wait to get home and start baking!
I made my cheesecake first at age 11 and ever since then, I have been tweaking and perfecting the recipe. I created this pumpkin cheesecake after multiple requests from Hussein! 😀
Tips For Cheesecake Baking:
Start with room temperature ingredients, this includes the cream cheese! It will be easier to mix your batter into a smooth, silky texture.
Whip your batter far on low speed. You want the batter to be super smooth, but you do not want to introduce a ton of air in. The air will create pockets that will crack when cooling.
Pre-bake your crust! This helps ensure it is the proper texture and maintains its shape.
Bake in a water bath. This means placing your cheesecake pan in a large pan and surrounding the cheesecake with water. *be sure to wrap your spring form pan in foil to prevent the water from ruining your crust.
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, with the oven door cracked. Do this for about 20 minutes for a slow cooling process to prevent cracking.
The cheesecake can be made a day ahead of time. Make the marshmallow meringue the same day you will be serving it!