THE BADGER BUZZ


RECIPES FROM THE QUARANTINE KITCHEN | DECADENT (AND SIMPLE) DESSERTS

by Aubrey Hamilton
Published June 10, 2020

Here are two decadent and simple desserts to cure your sweet tooth.

Introduction

This time we have two different recipes: one for cake/cupcake people and one for pie people. Both are delicious and fairly simple to make. You don't have to be an expert baker to pull them off, which is the best part! All the ingredients are fairly easy to get and really affordable.

 

Vanilla Honey Cake Ingredients

  • Great Value white cake mix (*if you use a different brand, follow the ingredients list on that box)

  • 4 egg whites (for convenience, I just use the egg whites that come in a carton)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup water (for bolder flavor substitute for refrigerated strong tea, coffee, or apple juice)

  • 3/4 cup honey

*water in the box recipe is substituted for honey and tea/juice/coffee etc. Great Value has a total of 1 1/4 cups water with a 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup honey to water/tea/coffee/juice ratio. Adjust your recipe accordingly if it doesn't require the same amount of water.

 

Vanilla Icing Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

  • 4 tsp milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and coat your bundt mold or cake pan with nonstick spray, butter, or shortening and a dusting of flour to help the cake come out smoothly when it’s finished. If you’re making cupcakes like I did, line your baking tray with cupcake liners (makes about 24 cupcakes).

  2. Combine your cake mix with all the liquid ingredients except the egg whites, keep these in a separate bowl. Beat until combined and lumps are gone. In the 2nd bowl with the egg whites, whip until medium peaks form. Gently fold whipped egg whites into the batter until combined.

  3. Pour batter into your cake pan or cupcake liners. If you want to add an extra little boost of flavor you can drizzle a small amount of honey on top of the batter after it’s all poured into the pan/liners.

  4. Bake at the recommended cook time on your box, depending on the chosen style of cake. Test with a toothpick or disposable skewer to make sure it’s thoroughly baked. The toothpick/skewer should come out clean when inserted in the center when it’s done. 

  5. Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pan, and cool completely before adding icing.

  6. For the icing, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl till it’s a smooth consistency. Add more milk by ¼ tsp if the icing is too thick to drizzle (if you’re doing cupcakes this won’t matter quite as much since you’ll need the icing a little more contained).

  7. Place the cake on your designated cake plate, or if you want a cleaner display, lay down some tin foil, place the cake on a baking rack, and put that over the tinfoil. Then drizzle the icing over the top of the cake. For cupcakes, take a teaspoon and pour the icing on top of each cupcake or dip the top of the cupcakes in the icing bowl individually.


 

Tips

 To kick up the flavor in your cake/cupcakes one more notch, you can add a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, nutmeg, or any other baking spices you prefer. You can also substitute Mexican vanilla for the regular vanilla extract for a bolder vanilla flavor.

 

Feel free to try this with a lemon cake mix for an even zestier treat.

 

Banoffee Pie Ingredients

  • 13.4 oz can of dulce de leche (if you can’t find that, get a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk. Note: this will increase your overall recipe time by 3 to 3 ½ hours)

  • Graham crackers (or if you want to get really authentic, plain Digestive Biscuits which can be found at World Market)

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 to 3 bananas (depending on the size of your bananas)

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 2 Tbsp sugar

  • Vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. If you’re using sweetened condensed milk, remove the label and submerge the unopened can in a pot of water and set it to boil. Once the water is boiling, cover and reduce to simmer. Let this simmer for 3 to 3 ½ hours for a nice golden brown spreadable caramel. If you’re using a can of dulce de leche you can skip this step.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Pulse a handful of graham crackers in your food processor until you have 1 ½ cup to 1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can break the graham crackers into pieces, add them to a large zip-lock baggie and crush them till they’re finely ground.

  3. Add in the stick of melted butter to the graham crackers and pulse till the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. If you’re using the zip-lock method, pour the butter into the bag, seal it back up, and knead till completely combined to a wet sand consistency.

  4. Press the crust mixture into your pie pan evenly. If you need help smoothing the edges and bottom you can use your measuring cup or a flat bottomed ramekin to smooth and pack the crust down better.

  5. Place your pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for 7 minutes or until golden brown. Let the crust cool completely before filling. 

  6. Once the crust is completely cooled, open your can of dulce de leche or cooked sweetened condensed milk caramel and pour into the crust. If the dulce de leche is a little thick, you can place the can in a small saucepan of simmering water till it becomes a more spreadable consistency. Take care not to get water into the open can.

  7. Wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate till the caramel/dulce de leche solidifies. Then slice your banana into ½ inch discs and cover the top of the pie with the rounds.

  1. Combine the 2 cups heavy cream, 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla into a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer or stick blender till stiff peaks form. This will be a less sweet whipped cream than you usually have because the bulk of the sweetness for this pie is in the caramel sauce/dulce de leche. Top the pie with the whipped cream and refrigerate till it is fully set.

 

Info & Tips

If you’ve never heard of banoffee pie, it’s a classic British dessert created in Essex in 1971. It’s most similar to a banana cream pie or banana pudding. It was former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s favorite dessert to make.

 

If you’re feeling fancy, you can set aside ¼ of the whipped cream, dust the top of the pie with cocoa powder, and use that ¼ whipped cream as piping dollops. When cutting the pie, use a knife you’ve just run under hot tap water to get nice clean slices.


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