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The easiest, best, sinfully-deliciousest cake in the world

Dec

08

Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 | 12 comments

It might not look like much, but I assure you, do NOT judge this scrumptious, moist, life-altering book (cake) by it’s cover (my pictures).

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If you want to win friends and influence others, make this cake.

If you’ve dreamed of a world at peace, make this cake and give it to international leaders.

If you’d like to check “I ate an entire cake by myself in one sitting” off your bucket list, make this cake.

It’s possible I’m exaggerating, but only a little.

My friend Sally introduced me to this cake a few weeks ago, for which I shall be forever indebted.  The biggest shock came when I learned it starts with a boxed mix; the biggest delight was when she shared its secret (it’s in the sauce).  If you’re ever in need of an easy go-to cake, keep these ingredients on hand.  You’ll be everyone’s BFF at the next potluck dinner.

DSC_0493Look closely–you can see how moist it is! 

 

Sally’s Sinfully-Delicious White Wine Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix*
  • 1 (3-oz) pkg vanilla instant pudding mix
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup white wine*
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Grease tube or Bundt pan*.  Sprinkle pecans on bottom of pan.  Mix together remaining ingredients and pour evenly in pan.  Bake in a pre-heated 325°oven 1 hour.

Glaze: 

  • 1 stick butter (yuck on margarine)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ white wine

After you put cake in oven, bring butter, sugar and water to a boil for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add wine.  Set glaze aside until cake is done.  Once you remove cake from oven, using a toothpick poke holes in cake while still hot and in the pan.  Pour 2/3 of the glaze over cake.  Let cool before inverting onto a cake plate (15 minutes-ish).  Drizzle remaining glaze over the top.

6474987923_108a977333MOST IMPORTANT:  Grab a knife.  Slice a piece.  Experience a Tonguegasm of Epic Proportion.  Write me a thank you note.

(You’re welcome in advance.)

 

Baker’s notes:

  • * Sally used Duncan Hines Deluxe II; I used Duncan Hines Classic Yellow.  I don’t think it really matters but I’d choose a reliable brand.
  • When I made it, I used Pam spray only; it stuck to the pan a little so next time I will use Crisco and flour (never Pam and flour) to prep the pan.
  • * Regarding wine choice:  I used a Sauvignon Blanc; I think Sally used a Chardonnay.  I’d never, never, never use a “cooking” wine or White Zinfandel.  Ick.

(and for those who’ve emailed, this is the Bundt pan I use.)

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A marriage made in heaven

Oct

21

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 | 4 comments

For all things magically delicious, please
subscribe to PENSIEVE in a reader or by email! Thank you!

 

Bacon + Chocolate = ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

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Dedicated to Lisa-Jo, Deidra, Alli, Tsh
and bacon-n-chocolate lovers everywhere! 

I found the recipe (and photo) on Yumsugar who originally discovered it on Partysugar.  Which suddenly makes me wanna rename my blog Dancesugar except that just sounds wrong. 

Go.  Make.  Eat.  Enjoy. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Homemade Chocolate-covered Bacon

  • 6-8 slices thick cut, best-quality bacon
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted (optional for garnish(

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven, until bacon is cooked to your liking. 15 minutes for soft bacon, 20 minutes for crispy bacon.
  • Let bacon cool on the parchment paper for 5 minutes then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Meanwhile set up a double boiler. Heat a large saucepan filled with water over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Set a heat-proof bowl over the simmering water. Add the chocolate chips and stir with a fork until smooth and completely melted.
  • Cover another baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Using tongs, carefully dip the bacon into the melted chocolate turning to coat all sides in chocolate. Transfer to the clean sheet of waiting parchment paper. Repeat with remaining slices of bacon.
  • Drizzle with the white chocolate, if desired.
  • Refrigerate until chocolate is hard.
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I need a little help from my friends
(and if I win, Y’ALL win…!)
#M&MsGetCorny

Oct

09

Posted by on Oct 9, 2011 | 17 comments

M&Ms-Get-Corny-Sunshine in a Glass! You might not know this about me, but I'm competitive. 

Very.

When I play, I play to win, no matter what the prize.  Bragging rights, trophies, or dollars and cents, I'll use every resource at my disposal to win; or what's the point, right? 

So…because I've entered Sunshine in a Glass in the M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate Favorite Recipe Contest, I really wanna win.  I mean, if I win, sure, there's a prize but then I'll get to reign as the M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate Princess, which *might* involve a tiara AND a princess dress, and we all know I happen to think evey girl needs a princess dress and reason to wear it.

Not that the M&M's people know anything beyond awarding a prize by popular vote. 

Which is why I'm asking if you'll please take 15 seconds to vote for me by clicking the badge above; no registration is required but they do ask for a name and email (but I'm pretty sure that's to make sure contestants don't stuff the ballot box with our own votes…not that a n y of us would do that…!). You can vote once a day (which I don't expect but certainly hope for 🙂 ).

Everyone who votes and lets me know in a comment to this post will be entered to win a bag of M&M Candy Corn White Chocolates, compliments of ME!  And if you go one step further and

  1. Stumble my recipe post;
  2. Pin my recipe post on Pinterest;
  3. Tweet this post;
  4. Facebook Share and/or Like this post

and then let me know it via a separate comment, you'll gain additional entries. 

IF I win BECAUSE Y'ALL ARE SO AWESOME, I'll donate $25 to one of my commentor's favorite charities (so mention that with your comment) and I'll award bags of M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolates to THREE of you!

Cause winning a prize and sharing it with my friends and a few strangers is funner than winning it all by myself :). 

  M&Ms Candy Corn White Chocolate candies

{Thank you!!}

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Sunshine in a Glass ~ Candy Corn Jell-o With M&M’s Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies
#MMsGetCorny

Oct

05

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 | 15 comments

M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate candiesIf you asked me to rank my top favorite candies, M&M's would make the short list.

No wonder when I saw an opportunity with Collective Bias to come up with a recipe using a NEW M&M's candy sold only at Walmart–M&M’s Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies –I jumped at the chance.  Well, that and I'm in the running for a $150 prize if my recipe is chosen…by YOU!

Anyways, because I'm in it to win it, I scoured the internet looking for recipe inspiration that would not only taste scrumptous but also be a party for the eyes, a melody for the spirit…something I hadn't seen done a thousand times.

I found a starting point for The One in a simple recipe from my friend Martha Stewart–Candy-Corn Gelatin–but then I took creative license to make it my own.

The only problem was not being able to find the new white chocolate M&M's candy at my Walmart!  It took three trips before they finally got them in!  If you like white chocolate, you're gonna love this new take on an old favorite–Candy Corn White Chocolate M&M's.  Brilliant!

M&M's Candy Corn Jello Dessert

Doesn't it look like a glass full of s u n s h i n e  

It's one of the simplest recipes you'll ever make, but you do have to allow time for each layer to set; if not…well…more on that later.  Sunshine in a Glass (I just decided to keep the name) isn't the best choice for a quick snack, but for a Halloween party or when your guests will appreciate the show, it's perfection!  Kids will applaud with glee, your husband will kiss you, and friends will think you're the next Martha. 

When fancy meets easy, you just gotta try it!

I'll give you a step by step with pictures and then recap the recipe at the bottom.

Sunshine in a Glass

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) Lemon Jell-O
  • 1 package (3 ounces) Orange Jell-O
  • 1 8-oz tub Cool Whip
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 2 cups M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies

And though it's not an ingredient, you need to use clear glasses or plastic cups.  Part of this dessert's deliciousness is derived from its burst of color!

Note:  Number of servings depends on the size cups/glasses you use; 10-12 in most cases.

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LAYER ONE

1.  Prepare one package of the Lemon Jell-O according to the instructions for magic mousse.

  • Add 1½ cups boiling water to JELL-O powder in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. 

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  • Whisk in Cool Whip until blended.

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2.  Divide and pour evenly into 10 8-oz glasses.

I'm a good cook but I'm a messy one.  Because I was making this up as I went along, I underestimated how much it was going to make; mainly, I wanted to use the cute glasses my mother-in-law gave me years ago.  As you can see, I had to find more!

3.  Refrigerate 8 hours or until firm. <—this is CRUCIAL or when you add the next layer it could separate!  Like mine…

I guess when you add the Cool Whip, it slows the set time.  Mine was refrigerated about six hours before I added the second layer, not the recommended eight hours.  Keep reading–

 

LAYER TWO

1.  Prepare the Orange JELL-O according to the Speed-Set Method on the package.

2.  Divide and pour it evenly into your glasses on top of the first, already-congealed layer.

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Woooo, dizzzzzzy.  It's bubbly and swirly when you stir and quick-set it! 

Look what happened when I poured it over the first layer…the one that HADN'T REFRIGERATED UNTIL FIRM yet–

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See how the bottom (lemon) layer is divided?  The JELL-O and Cool Whip separated when I poured in the warm Orange JELL-O.  In some of the smaller glasses, a bit of the mousse layer floated to the top.  I wasn't worried because I knew another layer and the topping were to follow.

Refrigerate until firm, 60-90 minutes.

LAYER 3

Repeat step above but with Lemon JELL-O this time.  (Make according to Quick-Set Method on package, then divide evenly among your glasses.)
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Aren't they candy corn-ily gorgeousAnd the best part is yet to come! 

Layer 4

1.  Set aside three M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate candies, one orange/one yellow/one white, for the number of glasses you have.
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2.  In a blender or food processor, crush the remaining M&Ms until reduced about to the size of ice cream sprinkles or aquarium gravel.
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3.  Beat the heavy whipping cream with the tsp. of sugar until it forms soft peaks (okay to use canned if you prefer; it'll take almost an entire large one).
4.  Mix together crushed M&M candies with whipped cream.  Spoon evenly into glasses. 
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I know I keep saying it, but ISN'T IT SUNSHINY GORGEOUSITY? 
To finish it, arrange three M&M Candy Corn White Chocolate candies on top. 
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The combination of creamy sweetness, smooth white chocolate and citrusy tart JELL-Os is a trifecta of fabulosity.  M&M's and JELL-O, aren't they the love language of our youth?

VOTE-for-me-recipe-500
And to sweeten the deal for you to try my recipe (or at least the M&M's), Walmart has an M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate candy coupon for you.
For your convenience, a recipe recap for Sunshine in a Glass:
 

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) Lemon JELL-O
  • 1 package (3 ounces) Orange JELL-O
  • 1 8-oz tub Cool Whip
  • 1 cup (or more) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 2 cups M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate Candies

Clear glasses or plastic cups, 8-oz or larger. 

LAYER ONE

1.  Prepare one package of the Lemon JELL-O according to the instructions for magic mousse.

  • Add 1½ cups boiling water to JELL-O powder in large bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. 
  • Whisk in Cool Whip until blended.

2.  Divide and pour evenly into 10 8-oz glasses.

3.  Refrigerate 8 hours or until firm. <—do NOT cut this short!

LAYER TWO

1.  Prepare the Orange JELL-O according to the Speed-Set Method on the package.

2.  Divide and pour it evenly into your glasses on top of the first already-congealed layer.

 

LAYER THREE

 Repeat step above but with Lemon JELL-O this time.  (Make according to Quick-Set Method on package, then divide evenly among your glasses.)

 

LAYER FOUR

1.  Set aside three M&M's Candy Corn White Chocolate candies, one orange/one yellow/one white, for the number of glasses you have.
2.  In a blender or food processor, crush the remaining M&Ms until reduced about to the size of ice cream sprinkles or aquarium gravel.

3.  Beat the heavy whipping cream with the tsp. of sugar until it forms soft peaks (okay to use canned if you prefer; it'll take almost an entire large one).
4.  Mix together crushed M&M candies with whipped cream until evenly blended.  Spoon evenly into glasses.
5.  To finish, arrange three M&M Candy Corn White Chocolate candies on top.
~ Enjoy  !
Have you heard of This Moment?  A very cool pictorial story-telling application; I documented my shopping-to-cooking experience as a This Moment.http://www.thismoment.com/

Disclosure:  This post was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #cBias  All they asked was to use M&M Candy Corn White Chocolate candies in a recipe and take lots of pictures for #MMsGetCorny; the rest was up to me!

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These aren’t recipes…they’re tongasmic culinary experiences!

Aug

30

Posted by on Aug 30, 2011 | 8 comments

Let's start by assigning blame:  Al Gore.  Since he invented the internet, it's absolutely his fault for making us a fatter nation.  Not only can we find fabulous recipes in two clicks of a mouse, beautiful pictures and step-by-step commentary compel us to make things we never knew existed.  Cookbooks are limited, but the interwebs?  An infinite tangle of calorie-riddled deliciosity, oui?

Daggum it.  

I've stumbled across a few recipes recently I've gotta–just got to–try…the pictures alone made me gain three pounds.

(Click on the titles for recipes.)

Espresso Chocolate Mousse

Espresso chocolate mousse {Discovered on Flour Child, a darling 17-year-old who bakes because she can't help it.  I'm in love.}

 

Rosemary Citrus Garlic Crockpot Chicken

Rosemary Citrus Garlic Crockpot Chicken {From my sweet friend Rachel at A Southern Fairytale, the title flavors alone appeal; Crockpot recipes are a mama's helping hands during sports seasons…!}

 

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Apple-cream-cheese-bundt-cake-sl-x

{Recognize this beauty?  She's on September's cover of Southern Living.  Photo: Luca Trovato; Styling: Buffy Hargett}

 

Porkchops with Apples and Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

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{Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman is responsible for making me drool like a St. Bernard.  But I love her, anyway.}

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Flaming Strawberries

Cupcakes with flaming strawberries

{Ohmeohmy…for the coolness factor of this alone, I must one day find a reason to make these from Sprinkle Bakes.}

Your turn!  Please share tricks, treats & good-to-eats you've made or discovered lately!

 

 

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Best pound cake in the world

Aug

29

Posted by on Aug 29, 2011 | 13 comments

Sliced pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream While I bet Paula Deen, Martha Stewart and even The Pioneer Woman have delicious recipes for pound cake, I'd wager not one of them is even a tinch better than my mother-in-law's scrumptious recipe.  It's almost foolproof and after a single slice, men fall in love with me, women bribe me for the recipe and children behave as if Santa is actually watching.  

Well, not really, but my husband's golfing buddy does beg me to send one every year for their annual golf retreat; far be it for me to deprive him of the pleasure.

To me pound cakes are one of the easiest cakes to bake; if you properly grease and flour the pan, they'll slip out with barely a crumb left behind.  

With only seven ingredients, it's practically impossible to mess it up!  Once you bake it yourself, come back and tell me whatcha think!

Sour cream pound cake {Someone might've forgotten to take a picture before it was almost all gone…!}

Sarah's Sour Cream Pound Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened (not melted!)
  • 6 eggs, better if at room temperature
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 325º.  Generously grease and flour pan.  

Cream together butter and sour cream.  Slowly add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Sift together flour and soda.  

Alternate about a 1/2 cup of flour mixture then an egg as you continue beating; do so until eggs are gone.  Make sure to START with flour and END with flour.  

Why?  I have no idea!  But my MIL told me to do it this way, and the cake turns out perfect every time, and I have absolutely ZERO interest in wasting the time and ingredients for it not to turn out just because I'm a culinary rebel.  N'est pas?

Continue beating as you add vanilla.

Pour batter evenly in bundt or tube pan.  Lick the beaters, spatula and mixing bowl if you aren't afraid of salmonella; it's up to you whether or not you share with the rest of your family.   Depending on your oven's temperature, cake will be done in 1-1 1/4 hours.  I always do a toothpick check at 1 hour but it usually takes about 10 minutes longer. 

Take out of oven when toothpick comes out dry; let cool on a wire rack 10-20 minutes.  Then and only then is it safe to remove the cake.  Dust with powered sugar and serve warm with strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream or coffee…or naked as the day you were born.  The cake, not the eater.

Linked to A Southern Fairytale's Mouthwatering Mondays, where you'll find plenty of reasons to start a full out exercise program….

 

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