desserts, October Recipes

My Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I think by now, you all know how much I really love the Fall season. The leaves are changing into pretty hues of yellow, orange, and brown. The air is starting to become brisk. And you can find pumpkin spiced everything everywhere you go. No, I am not basic, I just like the spicy flavor that you get in pumpkin spice cake

I made this one day on a total whim. I wanted a cake with pumpkin, but I wanted that pumpkin spice element that I yearn for this time of year. The original recipe had the frosting as a buttercream and also used a Boxed Mix Cake. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with using a box. I went with a cream cheese rather than a buttercream because with any spice cake, I like the balance the tanginess a cream cheese brings to it. Buttercream with spice cake for me just doesn’t always work. I find the sugary sweetness of a buttercream mutes all the spice flavor.

 

This barely survived a week in the house with the family… scratch that, it barely survived a week with me… oops. Yes, I have the worst sweet tooth. I blame it on my dad, he’s diabetic. I am not but I take it seriously. I try my best to be mindful. That is also why my recipes are an interesting blend of everything I’m exposed to. This cake was so filling and lush. All the flavors came together so nicely. It was never dry and for some odd reason, I kept finding myself wanting more and more of it.

I got to thinking that I may want to try this with chocolate cream cheese or something fluffy. Ganache would end up overpowering the pumpkin flavors and just take over the cake completely. When I do it, I will share it with you guys. If you guys end up doing it, please let me know what works and doesn’t work for you.

Have you tried this out yet?

Comment below and #tctastytravels #pumpkincake on IG with pictures!

Signing off!

COPYRIGHT © 2018 · Tashalee’s Tasty Travels

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desserts

My Bread Pudding

Ahoy hoy there foodies!

I hope the week is going great for all of you as it is for me!

Today I am bringing you guys a recipe from when I was actually still in Culinary School. Yes, once upon a time, I went to Monroe College and completed the Baking and Pastry Arts program back in 2013. It was one of my proudest moments because I redeemed myself there. I also learned so much. A good portion of the recipes I will be posting have come from my time as a Pastry Chef and Cupcakery Owner.

I never really cared for Bread Pudding because I was used to the Hispanic one. Then Chef Molloy rocked my work when he introduced me to this. The ice cream it was paired with was one of the best I had ever had. Later on, I now realize it was just Condensed Milk Ice Cream. It is still great because it compliments the spicy notes in this dish.

According to the Chef who taught me everything I know, he told us in our second week that bread pudding is basically a pudding that is meant to be more cake-like than anything. I have carried this with me. I still like this one better than my mother’s and that is a huge deal considering most of my recipes are reboots to hers.

My bread pudding

I hope you guys love this recipe. It is super simple and most of the ingredients are probably already in the pantry.

I really want to see your pictures of this. Please share and post your pictures either here or tag me #tctastytravels on IG.

Signing off,

Tasha C.

Recipe: Tasha C.
Picture: Live Well Bake Often

COPYRIGHT © 2018 · Tashalee’s Tasty Travels

desserts, No Bake Desserts

No Bake Fruity Cheesecake

Hello Foodies!

I hope you enjoyed the last recipe I shared with you. It feels great to be back in the swing of blog writing. The best part about having a blog is that they are super personal. When you follow a blog, it isn’t just because you felt like it. It is because you felt a connection to their page or them as an individual. The world we live in today allows us to be more connected with people. This blog is just another way to show who I am, what I am about to the world.

One of my favorite cereals of all time is Fruity Pebbles…Fruity Dyno-Bites…they are practically one and the same. One just happens to be more affordable than the other. Simple as that really. Years ago, back in the time of Tashalee’s Tasty Treats, I made a fruity pebbles cupcake that consisted of a white cupcake speckled with fruity pebbles, and a whipped cream frosting garnished with fruity pebbles. The idea was to make it taste like you were eating a bowl of fruity pebbles but in cupcake form. It was divine! Back in that time period, I was super creative when it came to my cupcakes and pastries. You will learn more about it as you continue to follow this blog.

 

I saw a video on Facebook and it was a tutorial on how to make a no bake fruity pebbles cheesecake. First and foremost, I was already sold on the idea of it being no bake simply because it was hot and humid that day. It is safe to say that I do not bake once the temperature hits the 80s.

The recipe I found came from PopSugar. But of course, I made some modifications of my own. It was easy to follow. When I made it, I ended up not using sour cream, and I used less sugar thinking it would’ve been too sweet. So lesson learned, use the full cup of sugar…oh I also ended up with extra salt because I didn’t measure it out…I eyeballed it…and a whole stick of butter for the crust which wasn’t bad but I think half would’ve sufficed…oops..What can I say? I was trying to be creative.lol. Below is the modified recipe with the correct amounts of ingredients. One important thing is to make sure you either put parchment paper or anything to prevent the crust from sticking to the pan. Otherwise, half of your crust will stay stuck to the pa.

Fruity No Bake Cheesecake

Although I went my own way with certain ingredients, the cheesecake was still very good. I cannot wait until I try a variation of this cheesecake. My next project will be using cocoa pebbles with chocolate cheesecake. Stay tuned for that guys!

I hope you enjoy the recipe. Feel free to comment below and share. You can also share pics of your own. Tried out this recipe? Post your pic down below or #tctastytravels #fruitynobakecheesecake on IG!

Signing off,
Tasha C.

desserts, Recipes

My Vanilla Flan Recipe 

What can I say about flan? Hands down if done right, it can be one of the best desserts you will ever consume. Now are aren’t talking about the flan that comes from a box. I used to think this was legitimately what flan was. Then one day, when my mom was in the PTA at my middle school, someone  brought her homemade flan. She brought some  home. Our lives were changed by that point. The boxed flan has a weird after taste that I vaguely remember anymore. I did remember a weird burnt smoky taste it had to it along with the gelatinous texture it had. At the time, it was good. But then trying the real deal changed it.

Beginning with the texture, it was luscious, smooth, and creamy. It had melted caramel which gave it the nice brownish hue at the top. Then the taste itself. I’ve had flans before that had the texture but no vanilla taste present. For me, that makes or breaks the flan simply because the expectation is the intensity of that vanilla flavor combined with the creaminess, and the caramel. It is similar to a crème brulee minus torching the sugar on top. Instead, you melt it and put it in the pan before you pour the flan. That way it has time to set up and add a unique flavoring to the actual flan.

Flan…is one of the most integral desserts in. The direct translation is vanilla custard. It is also known as a caramel pudding. It has a layer of soft caramel on top of the vanilla custard. It is usually cooked in a Bain-Marie to maintain its silky creaminess. There are so many different ways that it can be done. My favorite dessert that is combined with flan is the flan cake. What is a flan cake? A cake with flan on top so the possibilities are endless. I will be doing a recipe and tutorial for that because it is probably one of the best tasting things I have ever consumed in my lifetime.

This particular recipe is actually a family recipe. My mom got it from one of my many aunts. I got it from her. Over the years, we have altered it because we found ways to improve it. This version of the recipe is just a basic vanilla flan. The ingredient are easy to find and won’t break the bank either. When my mother explained how it was made, I couldn’t believe it because I always assumed people put a lot more work into this dessert. So it goes into a blender after you have melted down the sugar and poured it into a pan. Then you put it in a Bain marie(waterbath) that goes into the oven for an hour. It is important to use a smaller and deeper pan so that way the flan isn’t flat.


Mami’s Famous Vanilla Flan Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Domino Sugar

6 Egg Yolks

1 14 Oz Can Puro Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 12 Oz can Carnation Evaporated Milk

3 Tablespoons Wellsley Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. This is only if putting the bane Marie in the oven, otherwise, you can use the skillet pan like I did. In a small heavy saucepan, cook the sugar over low heat until caramel starts to form. Pour it into an 8inch deep mold. Set aside.

2. Place all of the ingredients into the blender and blend on medium. Mix until combined and frothy.

3. Pour the mixture into the caramelized mold. Put the pan into a pan that is bigger and fill with water.  The amount of water should be high enough to cook the flan. Cover with foil and place in the oven or stove top  for 45 minutes.

4. Once a toothpick inserted comes out clean, remove from oven or skillet and let cool.

5. Flip the pan over on a flat plate once cool enough. Let it cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.

Enjoy!

I think next time I make flan, I’m going to whip the egg yolks until they are fluffy first and then whip in the rest of the ingredients rather than use the blender. You can use either or, it is not a big deal.  I used a bigger pan than I should’ve and it came out a little flatter than I wanted. I also didn’t wait long enough to let it cool down completely so it cracked in the middle. I ended up covering it with shredded coconut and a strawberry. You could never tell anything happened, lol. I absolutely loved this flan. I have been eating it for as long as I can remember. Please let me know how it comes out for you guys! I’d love to see pics as well if you take them. Thank you guys for reading and watching. Don’t forget, share and subscribe!!

Written By:  Tashalee C.
Recipe By: Yolanda  PL. & Tashalee C.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 · Tashalee’s Tasty Travels

desserts, Recipes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Hey guys! I’m here today to bring you a recipe I found on Pinterest and decided to test. I know usually for Mother’s Day the idea would be to bake someting pink with strawberries or anything of that degree. Well Pineapple Upside Down Cake is something I know my mother has been dying to try and I can’t lie, so have I. Pinterest has yet to steer me wrong with recipes. I was kind of sold by the picture which is typically a no no since you can’t necessarily judge a book by its cover.

This picture was where the inspiration came from. Thanks to Tina Carver who made this and thanks to Anne from Pintesting for sharing it.

As usual Pinterest led me to a page where the recipe can be found. The picture on the person’s page was a repost from someone who did their take on the pineapple upside down cake and it was a work of art. The original picture of the cake belonged to a woman named Tina Carver. I will post it above. The recipe itself is yet another inspired version of a recipe I found on the page Pinterest directed me to which was a page called Pintesting My recipe is very similar but I am including the recipe for a cake from scratch in case boxed cake isn’t your thing.

Contrary to popular belief, using a cake mix doesn’t make you any less of a baker or chef. If just means you didn’t really have the time or ingredients to do it from scratch. But I’m here to tell you…..there’s an after….ooops sorry, just had a Prince “Let’s Get Crazy” moment..lol. Anyhow, there is a way to make a boxed cake taste homemade. It is really simple.

Cake Mix Doctoring 101…So you would still follow the instructions on the box as usual but you switch ingredients. For example, if it calls for water, you add buttermilk(Don’t have buttermilk? My favorite trick is taking the amount of liquid the recipe calls for and adding a splash of white distilled vinegar. I guarantee this will work everytime. So lets say you have a 1/2 cup of milk, you add a splash of vinegar and let it sit there until you see it become thickened which won’t take long and boom, it is ready to bake.) The cake mix will call for oil, replace that with 1 stick of salted butter, melted. Why salted? The salt in it will kill some of the extra sweetness that make the box cake a dead give away. Also, the butter will give it that rich homemade taste that box cakes lack. Also, instead of the usual 2 eggs that most cake mixes call for, add the 3rd. This will also give you a richer cake. I’ve always added a teaspoon extra of baking powder because some cake mixes do not rise the way I would prefer them to. Another rule of thumb is depending the the flavor of the cake, you can add an extra flavoring to it to enhance it. So if it’s vanilla, add an extra teaspoon of extract, chocolate add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, lemon add some lemon zest, etc.

Now to the actual cake. The recipe I found on Pinteresting was not that different from my own. I have included a link to the actual page up above. Here is my variation of the recipe. You can see the full video tutorial here.

Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield:1 9 Inch Bundt Cake About 17-18 slices

Ingredients:
1 stick of Breakstone Bar Salted Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup of Domino Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon of Rum Flavor Extract
1 Can Dole Pineapple Rings in 100% Juice, save the juice
1 Jar Maraschino Cherries
1 Box Pillsbury Yellow Cake Mix
1 4 Serving Box Jello-O Instant Vanilla Pudding
3 Large Eggs
1 Stick of Breakstone Bar Salted Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup of Buttermilk(See above)
1 teaspoon of Rum Flavor Extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare the bundt pan by generously applying non-stick spray or butter the pan.
  3. Melt the butter and mix with the rum flavor extract. Pour the butter and rum extract into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar.
  4. Cut the pineapple rings in half and alternate with the maraschino cherries around the bundt pan as shown in the picture. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer or large bowl, stir the cake mix and pudding mix together. Drain the pineapple juice into a measuring cup and add enough milk to make 1 Cup of liquid. Add this with the eggs, rum flavor extract and the other stick of melted butter called for in the recipe to the cake mixture; following the instructions on the box.
  6. Carefully pour the batter over the fruit. Place the bundt pan on a baking sheet and bake as instructed for a bundt cake on the cake mix box. In order to prevent problems with the cake being too moist, soft, or cracking, cover the pan with foil half way through baking and then uncovered for the last 10 minutes. The cake is done when an inserted knife comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Slide a knife around the edges including the inner ring.
  8. Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Slice between the pineapple rings and serve warm or room temperature.

Now just to make this clear, the recipe above isn’t entirely my own, but I did add my variations but also credited the original source. I am beyond excited with how this cake came out. It is delicious, moist, and entirely satisfying. I did include a recipe of my yellow cake in case there are those of you interested in doing it from scratch. This is actually my own recipe.

Tasha’s Yellow Cake Recipe
Ingredients:
2 1/2 Cups of Cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of buttermilk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and the sugar together with a hand mixer or a stand mixer until fluffy and light on medium speed.
4. Add the eggs in one at a time making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Add the vanilla.
5. Reduce speed and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Be sure the mixture is completely blended after each addition. It is important to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

The cake was delicious. I’m not saying that because I made it. It was definitely super moist. I expected it to be sugary sweet but not at all. I think the only changes I would make are adding chunks of pineapple to the batter, adding actual rum preferably Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum to give it a different dimension of flavor, and perhaps trying fresh pineapple…also trying it from scratch and not the box just to see the difference. I think I’d skip the pudding because I personally didn’t like it. My family couldn’t taste it but I think because I knew it was in there, I could taste it….not cool. Lol

How did your cake come out? Was there something you did differently? Comment below and share your pics. Thanks for checking in with me.
Signing off,

Tasha C.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 · Tashalee’s Tasty Travels