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Lavender Vanilla Cake

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This is my all time favorite cake! Even as I’m writing this post, all I want to do is go make another of these so I can gobble it.

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The combination of lavender and vanilla paired with fresh blueberries and raspberries just sits on your tongue like a fresh summer’s day – even in winter. I actually made this cake during the summer but never had the chance to post it, and now my friend Jenna is helping me out while I recover from my surgery.

Ingredients:

Lavender sugar:

1/2 cup sugar

2 sprigs lavender

Cake:

4.5 cups cake flour

2 Tbsp baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2.5 cups buttermilk

8 large egg whites

3 cups sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)

4 teaspoons vanilla

Whipped Cream:

one 8 ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

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For this recipe, I allowed lavender to sit in sugar for a week as an exciting substitute for boring normal sugar.

Lavender sugar: Since this process takes a week, decide if you want to make some extra now for other delicious experiments. First, wash the lavender. Second, allow the lavender to dry completely. Then, put the sugar and lavender in a tightly sealed container and allow them to get familiar for a week, shaking the container daily.

Vanilla Cake: 4.5 cups cake flour, 2 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 2.5 cups buttermilk, 8 large egg whites, 3 cups sugar, 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature , 4 tsp clear vanilla extract. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Second, in a medium bowl sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Third, in another bowl, or a large measuring cup for easy pouring, whisk together the egg whites and buttermilk. Fourth, in the bowl for the mixer add the sugar and butter. Beat on medium for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in the clear vanilla extract and beat until well mixed. Fifth, set the mixer on low and begin adding 1/3 of the flour mixture. Next add 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture and beat until well mixed. Keep repeating, making sure to end with the flour mixture. Then increase the speed to medium low and beat for another 2 minutes.

Baking: Sixth, prep two 8” cake pans with butter and flour. Pour the mixture evenly into each pan. You will have some leftover mixture that could either be thrown out or makes several cupcakes. (I always opt for the extra cupcakes to have a little treat around the house.) Put the pans into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Check the cakes then, but they may take up to an hour, depending on how thick the cake is. They will be done when a tooth pick comes out clean. Then set the pans out on cooling racks. Cool inside of the pans for 5 minutes and then take the cakes out of the pans and cool them on the racks completely.

Whipped Cream: 1 Cream cheese, 1/2 cup lavender sugar, 2 cups heavy cream, 3 tsp vanilla. First, start with the paddle attachment. Cream the cream cheese, lavender sugar and vanilla together until creamy. About 3-5 minutes. Second, set the bowl and whisk attachment into the fridge for a couple of minutes. Third, take it out once it’s cold and then start adding the heavy cream slowly on medium. Once all the cream is added stop and scrape the bowl. Then put on medium high-high until it peaks. Optional: purple food coloring can be added at this point to give the whipped cream an even more lavender look.

Finishing touch: Now it’s time to put it all together! First, level both completely cooled cakes. Next, put the first layer on a cake round, cover with frosting, and place second round on top. Use remainder of frosting to cover the cake. Lastly, decorate and top it off with the fresh fruits as desired.

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The recovery from my surgery is going well. I’m still in pain, but it’s improving every day. Thank you all for your prayers.

Mrs. Hess, out

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New Years Cake

Happy New Years everyone!

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I made this Vanilla and Butter rum cake for a New Years Eve party Sam and I went to. I’ve had the design for this cake on my mind since September 26th, which was Sam’s golden birthday. I meant to make it for him, but got ill and wasn’t able to make him anything.

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So I was excited to finally be able to try this design out. I’ve never made Hard Crack Candy before and was up for the challenge.

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I actually came into some trouble when I was making it. It’s easy to make, but it’s also finicky and all about the science. The first batch I made ended up turning into foam and then into a solid block. That’s when I learned that you have to put the flavoring in right after taking the pan off of the heat, instead of waiting for it to stop boiling.

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I didn’t add any food coloring because I planned on painting gold edible paint on it. Once the pieces were broken and the cake had a crumb coat on it I went to work on putting the pieces on, which took about an hour and a half.

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I was really fighting with science here. After I put the edible paint on the pieces started to melt! At this point it was what is was. I put a boarder on it and hoped that they would stop gooping.

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In the end it wasn’t that big of a deal. Everyone at the party loved the butter rum candy pieces and the cake.

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Happy New Year from us! I hope that you find your year full of blessings.

Next week on the 9th I’m finally having my wrist surgery. Which means it will be roughly 3-4 months before I’ll be able to decorate again.

Mrs.Hess, out.

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A Christmas Cheesecake

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It’s Christmas time, which is my favorite time of year.

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There’s something about the air outside, crisp and cool.

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There’s also something about the desserts that can be made. From cookies to cheesecakes everything is big and grand and just plain beautiful.

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Which brings me to the design of this Christmas Cheesecake. I wanted it be rich and luxurious. Simple, but delicate and inspiring.

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The cheesecake itself turned out perfectly.

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Then I decided to pair the cheesecake with a light and refreshing peppermint whipped cream, which I use on a lot of my Christmas desserts.

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For the wrap I measured some parchment paper and drew the design on the opposite side so I could trace it with the chocolate.

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I had originally put a boarder on top, but I put the wrap on too late and the chocolate was too hard. So after it cooled I used a hot knife to cut it off.

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I also made a new light box. These boxes are an amazing and cheap way to take professional-looking food pictures.

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I wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and kind words following my previous post. I hope that everyone has a beautiful Christmas filled with God, family and friends.

Mrs.Hess, out.

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Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

This past weekend I woke up feeling overly passionate about food with a deep desire to knead dough. 

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So I woke up before Sam and began the process of making cinnamon rolls from scratch. The recipe that I use is only a one-rise and takes around 2 hours to make. 

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While making these cinnamon rolls I felt the love and passion going into them, which is why I have decided to make this post in black and white. There’s a certain type of simplicity in kneading dough and cutting the rolls. It takes time, patience and love to create a delicious cinnamon roll. I was at a food demonstration last night where the chef said, “If you’re rushing while cooking then you probably shouldn’t be in a kitchen at all.” 

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Recipe:

2 3/4 cups flour

3 tsbp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup milk

2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 large egg

Filling:

3 tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

*Note that I never follow the filling recipe. Sometimes I use more butter to make the filling more gooey, or I add more cinnamon or sugar. 

1.) In a large bowl mix together 2 1/4 cup of flour, sugar, salt and yeast together. Set aside.

2.) Heat water, milk and butter in microwave until butter is melted and mixture is hot to the touch. Stir butter mixture into flour mixture. Add the egg and some of the extra flour to make a soft dough. The dough will be ready when it gently pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead for 4 minutes and let rest for 10. 

3.) After 10 minutes roll the dough out in a 14×8 rectangle. Spread melted butter on top and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top. Roll up dough tightly. Cut into even pieces and place in lightly greased 9” pie dish. 

4.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Lightly cover the rolls with foil, turn the oven off, and set them inside until they’ve doubled in size. (About 60 minutes.)

5.) Take the rolls out and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then bake them for 25-30 minutes. To prevent them from burning cover after 15 minutes. 

The Perfect Cinnamon Roll Icing:

1 stick unsalted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp milk

couple dashes of vanilla

1.) Melt the butter

2.) Add powdered sugar and stir well.

3.) Slowly add the milk and vanilla and mix well.

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These cinnamon rolls would be a perfect addition to a weekend morning. 

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Mrs.Hess, out.

 

 

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Blueberry Cookies with Lemon Drizzle

 

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So the thing about these cookies are that they are amazing. I mean it doesn’t get much better than biting into a cookie and having your mouth fill with the juice of fresh blueberries. 

However I was slightly disappointed that their texture turned out to be more scone like than I had intended for them to. I also wish that I had added some more lemon juice and vanilla to the dough to give it a little extra kick of flavor. 

 

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Recipe:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup milk

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup fresh blueberries

*Note that when I make these cookies again I’ll be altering the recipe to having 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of vanilla and then taking out 2 tsp of milk. 

Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 to 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions: 

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl.

3.) Slowly add the flour, making sure to alternate with the milk and lemon juice. (Make sure to not mix the milk and lemon juice prior to adding it to the flour. It will start to clump up.) 

4.) Carefully stir in the blueberries and drop batter 1-1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. 

5.) Bake 10-12 minutes.

6.) Transfer the cookies to cooling rack and let cool completely before drizzling the cookies with the glaze. 

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I’ve been really busy this past month so I have 5 or 6 recipes that are all photographed and ready to be put onto the blog and I plan on putting up a couple more today. 

Regardless of when I get to them I hope that you have a blessed day! 

Mrs.Hess, out. 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Lace Caramel Cheesecake: My journey in the kitchen.

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Oh, the beautiful chocolate lace wrap. It’s intricate, stunning and my new favorite technique. For this post I want to take a look back to where I started to where I am now in regards to my journey in the kitchen.

 

 

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You’re looking at the very first thing that I ever baked, which was made seven months ago. (Please take note of the pie dish that I turned upside down to act as a cake stand…)

I’m just blown away at how a passion that’s being fired by dedication, a desire to learn and simply having a blast in the kitchen can turn into this so quickly: 

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I take a certain pride in the fact that for now I am a self-taught baker. In August that’s going to change, but I’m excited to learn things from talented chefs/instructors. A whole new baking world is going to be unfolding for me in just a couple of months and I just cannot wait!

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Not only is baking my passion, but I also love the idea of being a Pastry Chef. From having ripped arms from all of the hard work to being known as the little baker who zooms around the kitchen all day. One day people will ask my children what their mother does and they’ll have an awesome response of, “Oh, my mom’s a Pastry Chef. It’s no big deal.”  Yeah. I’m going to be a Pastry Chef. AND IT IS A BIG EXCITING DEAL. Okay, I’ll calm down now. 

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I also want to say thank you for all of the support, likes, comments and to my Facebook and Instagram friends for putting up with my constant food related posts. You all are the best.

I really want to end by saying that if you’re passionate about something just do it! The joy of doing something that you love to do is a beautiful and wonderful way to live life. Your passion may take a lot of work, some people may not support you and you may put forth a lot of money before you actually make any. But trust me when I say that it is so worth it… And I’m just beginning.

Mrs.Hess, out.

 

 

The Liebster Award

Being nominated for an award is just so… Well… I don’t even have words to describe the feelings that I’m feeling.

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I’ll start with a huge thank you to Sarah at Sarah’s Little Kitchen. Her blog is wonderful and you should definitely check it out. She makes gorgeous cupcakes.

The Liebster Award is an award that welcomes “new” bloggers that have less than 1,000 followers. It’s an awesome award that brings recognition to new bloggers and also opens up an opportunity to get to know more about them (which is fun!)

Here are the rules:

1.) Link back to the person who nominated you.

2.) Share 11 facts about yourself.

3.) Answer 11 questions that were asked by the person who nominated you.

4.) Nominate 11 people who you think deserve the Liebster Award.

5.) Ask 11 questions to your nominees to answer. 

So here we go. Eleven facts about me:

1.) I’m allergic to cocoa, but it took me years of having horrible migraines to pin point it as the culprit. I might not be able to eat chocolate, but it doesn’t stop me from baking with it for other people.

2.) I’m 4’10” and wear size 2 kids shoes.

3.) I’m madly in love with my husband Samuel.

4.) I grew up on the Iron Range in Minnesota. I spent a lot of my time in Embarrass Minnesota, which is known as one of the coldest places in Minnesota.

5.) I’m sensitive to different textures, which plays a huge part in my baking.

6.) I’m an introvert.

7.) I was a vegetarian for two years when I was a teenager, but since I’m so sensitive to textures I basically just ate salads, cereal, fruits and pasta’s. After not getting enough nutrients I had to welcome meat back into my diet.

8.) I had a lot of ear infections in my left ear when I was a kid. One summer when I was in Germany a kid pushed me into a pool and I got another bad infection that ended up making it’s way to the bone behind the ear. I had to have a Mastoidectomy  to clean the infection out. For years after that I was deaf in that ear, but over the past year I’ve suddenly gained my hearing back.

9.) I love to travel.

10.) I have three tattoos. One on my wrist that says Grace in Hebrew, Gott Segene on the back of my neck which means God Blessed in German, and a sister tattoo on my foot that is a swirly tree with Ex Nihilo written underneath the roots, which means Out Of Nothing in Latin.

11.) I believe in God.

Here are the eleven questions that Sarah asked me:

1. What’s your favourite Disney character and why?

Princess Merida from Brave. I don’t have a deep reason on why. I just think that her hair is amazing.

2. What is your biggest dream? (it can be surreal)

Oh my. I really really really want to open up a Pastry Shop one day and donate 5% of the profit to something. Right now I’m leaning towards either the homeless shelters or to help stop human trafficking. My heart is on fire for too many things to just pick one so when the time comes I’ll trust God and what’s in His plans.

3. What is your guilty pleasure?

Do I admit this? Okay I’ll admit it. Kesha. When she comes on the radio I belt out the words and dance.

4. If you could do your life all over again, would you do it differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing. Of course there are plenty of things that I regret, but everything formed me into who I am today.

5. What was the subject you hated most in highschool?

Math and science. Which is funny because I married an aerospace engineer and when he comes home from work he talks about math and science stuff that goes way over my head.

6. Cats/dogs/magical creatures?

One day when we have our own home we’re going to get a bear dog. Which is a pretty good way to say that I hate cats and am not fond of small dogs.

7. Favourite sport? (To play or just to watch)

I love to play soccer without any rules. Some of my favorite games that I played were in the rain and barefoot.

8. Favourite actor/actress

Emma Stone.

9. If you would die tomorrow, what would you do today?

I would selfishly spend my entire day with Sam.

10. 3 words that describe you?

Loving, kind and respectful.

11. Favourite holiday spot?

Anywhere near the ocean. I love looking out into the ocean and letting my mind wander. From thinking about how amazing and beautiful God is, to how big the world is and all of the lives that are on the other side.

My Nominees: 

My friend Benjamin from Minnesota. He writes short stories that are a joy to read. Visit his site here.

Angie & Chris are two talented teenagers who love to bake. Visit their site here.

Tea & Sesame is a blog that incorporates  British and Chinese food. Visit their site here.

Jen over at Bakearama makes wonderful food. Visit her site here.

Radhika posts stunning food. Visit her site here.

Alyssa posts so many great recipes. Visit her site here.

Kristina posts healthy recipes. Visit her site here.

Katie and Joe are a married couple who have a wonderful site that’s full of encouragement. Visit their site here.

Charisma’s site is full of delicious things. Visit her site here.

Sofia is twelve years old and is an awesome baker. Visit her site here.

Elaine was one of the first bloggers that I met. She has a wonderful blog and has just started to sell her food. Visit her page here.

Lastly I have eleven questions for my nominees. 

1.) Why did you start your blog?

2.) What is your favorite post that you’ve written? (Please provide a link.)

3.) What’s your favorite dessert?

4.) How do you take your coffee/tea?

5.) What’s your biggest dream?

6.) If money wasn’t a concern, where would you choose to live?

7.) What’s your favorite thing to cook or bake?

8.) Mountains or the ocean?

9.) What’s your favorite book?

10.) What is your go to snack?

11.) What’s your go-to recipe on a weeknight?