Tag Archives: room temperature

Cream cheese pound cake

Dessert celebration, round three! I knew I needed to make this cake as soon as I read the words “cream cheese” and “pound cake.” I was even more convinced after I read that they’re even better after they’ve been frozen, which seems like some sort of pound cake miracle. And really, no matter what I did to these cakes, they prevailed. Freezing, fridging, leaving them on the counter: they were still great. Also, they’re quick to put together, and the recipe makes a double batch. Dessert miracle, indeed.

Cream cheese pound cake (https://theselfcateredwedding.wordpress.com/)

Timing: Totally forgot to time myself with this one too, sorry! I think it was something like: 3 minutes for pan prep, 5 minutes for dry ingredient mixing, 15 minutes for the rest of the mixing, 3 minutes for getting it all into pans, 60 minutes for baking.

Scaling up: You could double this, I think, without the batter getting too unwieldy. (Keep in mind that each batch makes two loaves.)

–       Refrigeration: This did well in my fridge for two days. Any longer than that and it started to dry out. (A note: the crust stayed crisper and tastier when I left it out at room temperature instead, but it was still good post-fridge.)
–       Freezing: I froze this after baking it, per the recipe’s original suggestion. As always, wrap it well in plastic wrap to make sure it doesn’t get freezer-burned. I just de-frosted it in the fridge for a few hours and then on the counter for another hour. I’m guessing you could freeze the batter and then bake it, but since you can bake it ahead of time, why bother?
–       Sitting out: This sat on my counter well for two days. I covered it in plastic wrap, but left a small corner open for air flow, so the texture didn’t get ruined. Any longer and you should freeze it so it doesn’t dry out.

Serving: This would, obviously, be great served with summer berries and/or whipped cream. (Whipped cream might be a little difficult to time for a large event.) If you really want to double-down on the cream cheese, you might serve it with an almond cream cheese frosting and fruit. Or mascarpone cream  or ricotta cream or even geranium cream (!). Or if you’re following the dreams of my 12-year-old self and having a chocolate fountain, you can cut the cake into nice little cubes and serve them on skewers for dipping.

cream cheese pound cake (https://theselfcateredwedding.wordpress.com)

Cream cheese pound cake
From this recipe.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz) butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare two 9×5 loaf pans by putting in a piece of parchment paper, and buttering and flouring the remaining two exposed sides. (You can also 10-inch bundt pan, although that will be harder to use with parchment paper, and thus potentially harder to remove while keeping it pretty.)

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until it’s fluffy. Add the sugar, and continue to beat it for another two minutes. Mix in the eggs, beating the mixture after each one until it’s well-combined. Add the vanilla.

Lower the mixer speed. Add in the flour mixture a third at a time, mixing after each addition until it’s just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides as you go.

Divide the batter between your two loaf pans (or put it all in the bundt). Bake for 55-60 minutes for loafs and 75 minutes or so for a bundt, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (My loaves took about 7 minutes longer.) Cool the cakes completely before removing them from their pans. Use a thin knife to loosen the sides if they won’t come out easily.

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S’mores blondies

Round two of dessert celebration! I actually posted these on my other blog last year, when I first came up with the recipe, but they’re amazing enough that I thought they were worth sharing here.

Brown butter s'mores blondies (https://theselfcateredwedding.wordpress.com/)

Scaling up: You could easily quadruple the recipe for two large pans of blondies. Any more than that and you’ll probably want to make multiple batches.

Timing: I forgot to time my prep for these, sorry! From memory, I think it was approximately: Pan prep took 3 minutes. Browning butter took around 7 minutes, and then I let it cool for 10. Mixing everything together and putting it in the pan took around 15 minutes.

–       Refrigeration: These kept in my fridge for two days. I wouldn’t go longer for fear they’ll dry out.
–       Freezing: I froze these two ways: 1) totally cooked, with marshmallows on top, and 2) just the batter, without the marshmallows. Both methods worked well, although the second method was noticeably better (marshmallow was a littllllle less fluffy after having been frozen). So if you have the time, freeze the batter without the marshmallows on top. To bake, add the marshmallows and bake straight from the freezer. Mine didn’t take any longer to bake than the non-frozen version, but I think that might have been a fluke.
–       Sitting out: These can sit out for a day or even two (covered with plastic wrap) with no adverse effects. Any longer and they’ll probably dry out.

Salted brown butter s’mores blondies
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons kosher salt (more like 1 teaspoon if you’re using table salt)
1 cup flour
½ toasted pecans
½ cup chocolate chips
10-15 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8×8 pan.

Brown the butter (instructions here). Let it cool.

Mix together browned butter and brown sugar. Beat in the egg, and then the vanilla. Mix in salt, then flour. The mixture will be thick. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and place one marshmallow on every square inch or so. Place back in oven, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until it’s set in the middle (the marshmallows might make it a little hard to tell, but don’t worry about them being slightly underbaked, they’re gooey and delicious that way). The marshmallows will puff out and melt back over the top of the blondie.

A note: It will seem tempting to cut into them hot. They’re ok that way, ignoring the burning-hot marshmallow, but unlike most brownies, they’re at their most extraordinary after they’ve cooled.

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Spring vegetable dip with chevre and asparagus

Hello from England! I’m sitting here in a coffee shop looking out at centuries-old buildings, drinking what might be the only decent latte in all of Oxfordshire, sitting next to a man who looks just like Slavoj Žižek. Lee just marched off in her fancy dress and Harry Potter cape to take a final exam.

(Speaking of this coffeeshop, can we talk about the fact that when I’m not in Portland, I find the most Portland place possible? In the middle of Oxford, the baristas here are all tattooed and thrift shop chic and playing Jay-Z. We were in Amsterdam last week, and we were wandering a lot. When Lee was leading, we ended up at a synagogue and a convenience store full of butch lesbians. When I was leading, we ended up in a square with an artisanal chocolate shop and a coffee shop with twelve types of pour-overs. I’m hopeless.)

England’s about a month behind Oregon, so when I left, our lilacs were dried and brown, and the summer heat was starting to show off what it can do. But here, it’s still a little chilly, and there’s asparagus! Asparagus! I’ve become a little obsessed with wild asparagus (blame this picture), and yesterday’s late night wikipedia-ing led me to the information that Germany’s asparagus season goes until June 24th(!) So that’s my excuse for posting a recipe that might be a little out of season for most of you. I’m in Europe! Things are different here!


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Summer squash and ricotta tarts

This blog came about because I’m going to be testing out some recipes for my own wedding, this August, and I figured, why not post some of those here, for other people to benefit from, as well?

I’m trying out a variety of techniques, to see how foods stand up to various indignities, such as being frozen, refrigerated, and left out at room temperature for a while. I don’t have all the results yet, but I’ll be checking back in on my frozen foods in a few weeks, and I’ll update then.

First up are ricotta and summer squash tarts. These are really good. Like really, really good.

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