rocky road bundt cake #bundtbakers

Guess what time it is…
It’s bundt time y’all. That’s right.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

This is actually my #bundtbakers anniversary. My bundtiversary? No, I won’t do that to you.

Anyway, this time exactly one year ago I had just joined the #bundtbakers and published my very first post as part of the group. The theme that month was “breakfast” and I whipped up a crazy amazing maple bacon bundt cake with an even crazier amazinger bacon pecan streusel swirl.

Finding the bundt bakers was the beginning of something truly magical, and I like to think I’ve come up with some really special, really creative bundt cakes along the way. I’ve also watched the group grow and change over the months and I couldn’t be happier to have found such a special bunch of bundt lovers.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

This month our host, Laura of Baking in Pyjamas, chose Rocky Road as our theme. Can it get any better than that? I mean, chocolate, nuts, marshmallows… What more could you want?

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

But then I noticed something in the theme’s description that seemed, to me at least, to be out of place. The list of ingredients for traditional Rocky Road contained, “marshmallows, chocolate, biscuits (cookies in US English), & dried fruits.”

Wait.
What?
I’ve never had anything called Rocky Road that contained either cookies or dried fruit. And what happened to the nuts?

As it turns out, Rocky Road means different things in different countries. In Laura’s home country of England, Rocky Road traditionally includes the ingredients listed above.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

As you may or may not already know, American Rocky Road is usually an ice cream flavor containing chocolate, marshmallows, & nuts. In England, it’s a dessert usually eaten in small individual cupcake or brownie sized portions. After a little research I found out that Australia also has their own version that also contains coconut, glacé cherries, and turkish delight.

Who knew?
(certainly not me.)

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

After learning about all the different variations on Rocky Road, I asked Laura if it’d be okay if we expanded the theme to also include the American and Australian versions.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

After some significant consideration and much hemming and hawing over which variation to go with, I decided that the American version was the most familiar and sounded the most appealing to me. I came really close to trying to marry the English and American versions by adding cookies but skipping the dried fruit, but then I couldn’t decide what kind of cookie to use so I just scrapped the idea and decided to keep it simple and traditional.

I find the creativity of the group and the wide range of flavors and variations on this theme incredibly inspiring, not to mention mouth watering. You really need to scroll down past the recipe and see what everyone came up with this month. Before you do though, you’ll probably want to grab a towel to wipe up all the drool.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

My original idea for this cake was to add miniature marshmallows to the batter and bake them right into the cake, but they didn’t cooperate. The marshmallows floated to the top of the batter and melted into a sticky mess when baked so I had to rework my recipe. I decided to put the marshmallows on top of the cake in the form of a glaze instead.

In the end, this cake was a real winner. I brought it in to work and my coworkers haven’t stopped talking about it yet.

As if the super moist, super flavorful chocolate cake base for this bundt weren’t perfect enough, it gets a melty chocolate boost in the form of mini chocolate chips mixed into the batter. Thinly sliced toasted almonds and a touch of almond extract go in too, and take things to an even more amazing level of deliciousness. Just when you though it couldn’t get any better, a sweet gooey marshmallow glaze gets poured over the top and even more chocolate chips and almonds get sprinkled over that.

Insanity.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

Rocky Road Bundt Cake with Marshmallow Glaze

adapted from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (plus more for pan)
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup peanut oil or any neutral vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Marshmallow Glaze:
1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups mini marshmallows

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Liberally butter a 10 to 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to evenly coat the inside. Tap out excess cocoa and refrigerate pan until ready to use.

Whisk water and cocoa powder in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.

Spread sliced almonds in an even layer on a small cookie sheet and toast at 350 for about 8 minutes or until they smell like nutty heaven on earth. Be careful that they don’t burn or they’ll become bitter.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs and egg yolk on low for just one minute. Add the buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract and mix on low again for another minute.
Add the flour and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes more.  Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The batter will seem quite loose and liquid. Reserve 2 tablespoons each of the sliced almonds and mini chocolate chips and set aside for the topping. Stir the rest into the cake batter until well distributed. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 55-65, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan and then invert onto a cooling rack.

To make the marshmallow glaze, mix sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter along with 2 tablespoons of water in a nonstick sauce pan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and immediately add in marshmallows and stir until completely melted, about 1–2 minutes. Whisk into sugar mixture until free of lumps.
Pour glaze evenly over the top of the cooled bundt and sprinkle with your reserved toasted sliced almonds and mini chocolate chips.

Cake should keep, well wrapped in an air tight container, for about 3 days. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature before serving.

rocky road bundt cake with marshmallow glaze | Brooklyn Homemaker

The bundt bakers really knocked it out of the park this month. Get ready to drool and check out all of these amazing bundts!

BundtBakers
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#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

grilled shrimp tacos

I think that it’s officially safe to the warm weather is here to stay!

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

This spring has been all over the place when it comes to the weather. One day it’s sunny & gorgeous, and the next day it’s grey & freezing. It’s a very hard life we lead here in Brooklyn.

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

I actually made these tacos two or three weeks ago, but the very next day the weather took a turn and I felt weird posting them when it was so chilly outside.
The day I made them was absolutely gorgeous though, and Russell and I had the day to ourselves to wander Brooklyn and frolic in the sunshine.

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

So frolic we did.

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

We walked into Williamsburg and found a cute little place to have brunch, and afterward we went to a local nursery and got some new plants for the yard. It was still pretty early in the season so they didn’t have a huge selection, and our yard has the perfect combination of total shade, no hose hook-up, and super dry crappy soil; so we have to be careful about what we plant. About 60% of what I experiment with back there doesn’t make it through the first year, but we’re hoping the pachysandra we picked up will be hardy enough to survive our humble little wasteland.
So… fingers crossed!
After that we stopped by an old family fish market to get some shrimp to grill for dinner.

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

When Russell makes fish tacos he usually makes a quick sauce with plain greek yogurt and sriracha, but this time I wanted to try something fun and a little different. I made a quick cilantro pesto to marinate the shrimp, and then made a jalapeño crema to add some creamy zip.

Both these sauces are super simple and easy to make if you have a food processor, so don’t be intimidated that you have to make two sauces. I also recommend skewering the shrimp to make them easier to flip on the grill and make sure they don’t fall through into the fire, but if you don’t have skewers it’s not impossible to grill the shrimp without them.

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

My playing around really paid off. The shrimp came out tender, smoky, herby, tangy and perfect. Grilling them over a charcoal fire rather than gas definitely adds a lot of extra smokiness, but if you have a gas grill you can add a smoke box with wood chips to replicate the same flavor.

The bright fresh red cabbage adds a really nice crunch, and the jalapeño crema adds a welcome creaminess with a hint of spice. Mine actually wasn’t very spicy at all, but that will depend on your jalapeños. A nice squeeze of bright fresh lime juice and you’re in shrimp taco heaven!

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto and jalapeno crema | Brooklyn Homemaker

grilled shrimp tacos with cilantro pesto

3 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh cilantro, lightly packed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1/2 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
2 seeded jalapeños
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded red cabbage
corn tortillas
1 lime cut into wedges

To make the cilantro pesto combine garlic, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, salt, & pepper in a food processor and process until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl with shrimp and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or two, or overnight.
Clean the food processor and make the crema. Combine the sour cream or crema, lime juice, salt, and jalapeño and process until completely smooth.

I recommend using skewers to make the shrimp easier to flip and keep them from falling into the grill. If using wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for an hour before use so they don’t burn up.

Add 5 or 6 shrimp to each skewer and try to leave as much of the pesto on them as possible. Grill the shrimp over a medium to high flame until just cooked through, flipping once. This should only take 3 or 4 minutes per side but that will depend on the heat in your grill. Warm your tortillas over the grill too, just until soft and warm, about a minute per side.

Assemble the tacos with two to three shrimp each, a sprinkle of shredded cabbage, a drizzle of crema, and a squeeze of fresh lime.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake

You guys. I have a confession to make.
I’m the world’s WORST blogger.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

It’s been sunny and warm for the past few days and I had to draaaag myself indoors to write this post. I’ve really wanted nothing more than to lay out in the yard after work and snuggle puppies and drink rosé.
Russell’s been visiting family in LA and I should be taking this opportunity to catch up on my writing, but once the sun goes down and the spring chill sets back in, I’d rather be watching reruns of the Walking Dead or RuPaul’s Drag Race with a pint of pistachio ice cream.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

In addition to laziness and springtime distractions, I’ve also fallen victim to springtime cravings. The arrival of warm weather and green leaves makes me crave fresh produce and bright spring berries like crazy. I mentioned last week that as much as I crave these foods, local production hasn’t caught up to my cravings just yet and so far the produce at the green markets leaves a bit to be desired.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

I’ve been trying to hold out, but the other day I caved. I’m really the worst.

Just awful.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Wandering the aisles of the grocery store the other day I stumbled across a big bucket filled with rhubarb stalks. Conveniently located behind the rhubarb were stacks and stacks of organic strawberries fresh from the freight truck.

I tried to resist, but their strawberry siren song was too much for me and I circled the produce section twice before finding them in my basket at the checkout line.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Truth be told, I had no damned clue what I would do with my pre-season berries and rhubarb but I just HAD to have them. There aren’t many things in this world that I love more than a strawberry rhubarb pie, but a pie is so filling-centric that I know I need to wait for strawberry season proper to go that route.

In terms of flavor, nothing beats a berry that was ripened in the sun, in season, a few miles (or footsteps) from your home. These bright red little berries however, fresh off the truck from California, travelled a looooong way before finding their way onto the shelves at the Food Town in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They were pretty durn good, especially after not tasting a fresh strawberry for months, but they tasted nowhere near as fresh and flavorful as they will in a few short weeks.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Tart rhubarb and a healthy bit of sugar would help doctor up my lackluster berries, but in this case they would need to be more of an accent flavor and less of the main attraction. I needed to come up with a recipe that would elevate them and let them shine without expecting too much of them.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

It didn’t take me long to think of a rustic skillet cake I made last summer, with caramelized peaches and cornmeal. Perfect! I didn’t want to go the cornmeal route this time, but the basic idea was spot on. I’d cook the sliced berries with the rhubarb, a bit of butter, and some sugar; and then I’d pour them over a tender buttermilk cake baked in a big ol’ cast iron skillet.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

This cake is perfect.

In another week or two, when strawberries are actually in season here, this will definitely be happening again because then it’ll be even more perfect than it’s current state of perfection.

Topped with fresh barely sweetened whipped cream, it’s like a jammy little slice of strawberry shortcake.
Rustic and unfussy. Sweet and tart. Fluffy and tender. The cooked strawberry rhubarb is sweet and bright and jammy and fresh. The cake is just sweet enough and a tiny bit tart from the lemon and buttermilk. It’s buttery and light and moist and just…

perfect.

strawberry rhubarb skillet cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Strawberry Rhubarb Skillet Cake

adapted from Joy the Baker

Strawberry Rhubarb filling:
1 cup sliced rhubarb (from about 3 stalks)
2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Cake:
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
zest of one lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar or coarse finishing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and move a rack to the center position.

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and pinch of salt in an 11 or 12 inch skillet.* Place over a medium high flame and cook, stirring frequently, until fruit is soft and coming apart and juices have reduced to a thick syrup, about 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let juices burn.

Scrape strawberry rhubarb mixture into a bowl to cool and scrape skillet clean with a silicone spatula. It’s okay if a little residue remains.
Melt butter in skillet and pour out all but 1 tablespoon to cool. Coat skillet evenly with remaining tablespoon. Add lemon zest to cooling butter and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs, vanilla and butter.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture all at once.  Stir with a silicone spatula just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl until there are no dry pockets of flour. Do not over mix.  Pour batter into the prepared skillet and spread (or shake) smooth.  Dot the batter with strawberry mixture as evenly as possible, and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a light dusting of powdered sugar.

Cake will last, removed from skillet and well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

*If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can cook the strawberries and melt the butter in any pan you have, and use an 11-inch round tart or quiche pan, or a 9×13-inch pan for the cake. The batter may spread more thin so you’ll need to keep a close eye on it in the oven.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup

Spring is finally in full swing and the dogs and I are over the freaking moon.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

While the trees are bursting with buds and daffodils are blooming like it’s their job, local produce hasn’t seemed to catch up just yet. New York’s farmers markets boast plenty of local meat and dairy, and tables overflowing with brightly colored annual flowers, but sweet juicy berries and bright green vegetables still need a few weeks to soak up the warm sunshine.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

True to form, this spring has been toying with me and my frail emotions. Temperatures one day are soaring into the 70s, and the next they’re dipping back into the 40s. One day we have ample sunshine, the next it’s pouring rain.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

On one of the cold and rainy days I was craving soup, as one does. With no local produce to choose from, I was off to the grocery store to try to find something fresh-ish and hopefully organic that I could turn into a warm satisfying soup. I also had a healthy stash of amazing Irish cheddar that was leftover after a book signing event at work, so I wanted to try to incorporate some of that cheesy goodness.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

It didn’t take me long in the produce aisle to come up with a plan. What better vegetable for a thick warm filling soup than cauliflower? It’s available year round, goes great with cheddar and warm flavors, and is perfect for a rich and roasty soup.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

This soup is really simple to make and definitely hits the spot on a rainy day, no matter what time of year. The fresh woodsy thyme adds a touch of green herbal freshness, and the white wine adds a crisp brightness that feels very appropriate for spring or summer. Roasting the cauliflower before pureeing it deepens and concentrates its earthy flavor, and the sharp cheddar adds a nice zippy tang without feeling heavy or overwhelming.

Pull up a bowl, tear into a nice crusty loaf of bread, and park yourself in front of the window and watch the rain come down.

roasted cauliflower and cheddar soup | Brooklyn Homemaker

Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

  • Servings: 6 to 8 -ish
  • Print
2 heads of cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
5 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
8 oz sharp cheddar, grated

Preheat oven to 400. Chop cauliflower into rough large florets. Toss in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast until brown and golden, about 30 or 40 minutes.

Preheat a stockpot over medium high heat and bring butter to a sizzle. Add onion, cayenne, paprika, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until tender and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add white wine and reduce by at least half. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add roasted cauliflower, bring back to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove thyme sprigs. Add cheddar and puree until silky smooth, using either an immersion blender or working in batches in a standing blender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a small handful of grated cheddar, and a big hunk of crusty bread.