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How to Make a Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream Using Cream of Tartar

How to Make a Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream Using Cream of Tartar

Everyone loves Swiss meringue buttercream because it is so quick and easy to make. This frosting is based on an ingredient we all have in the kitchen – egg whites, cooked in a water bath and whipped until light and airy. The final touch is given with the addition of butter which turns the mixture into a smooth frosting.

Not to mention how versatile this silky frosting is! You can add anything that comes to mind – chocolate chips or melted chocolate, peanut butter, fresh or dried fruits, vanilla paste or vanilla beans… You just can’t go wrong with Swiss meringue buttercream!

Why You Should Not Omit Cream of Tartar in Your Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

 

However, even the simplest recipes can fail. In the case of Swiss meringue buttercream, there is a number of things that can go wrong. For one, we tend to underestimate the importance of cream of tartar and often omit it.

Why is cream of tartar so important in meringues? Well, cream of tartar contains acid which produces more stable meringues that are less likely to weep. Furthermore, the acidity of cream of tartar also makes a great balance with the simple sweetness of this frosting. Luckily, if you don’t have cream of tartar in your pantry, you can easily replace it with another acidic ingredient like lemon juice or white vinegar. Add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar per egg white in the recipe, or replace with a ½ teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar per egg white before beating.

I consider investing in cream of tartar a very wise decision firstly, because it has an indefinite shelf life and secondly, because cream of tartar substitutes not always produce exactly similar final products. Last but not the least, cream of tartar is not limited to meringues; it can be used to improve a great number of dishes.

Besides Omitting Cream of Tartar, What Other Mistakes Can Ruin Your Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

 

The other two common mistakes when making Swiss meringue is not adding enough sugar and not cooking it at high enough heat. One, or a combination of these two, results in an eggy-flavored mixture. The addition of butter will only make it worse; the mixture will become thick and greasy.

Sugar

When it comes to sugar, you can use the granulated version when you’re making a meringue, but many pro cooks usually opt for caster sugar because it dissolves more easily.  How much sugar do you add to your Swiss meringue? Soft meringues usually need 2 tablespoons of sugar for every egg white; however, Swiss meringue belongs to the group of hard meringues which call for a ¼ cup per egg white, and usually contain an acidic substance like cream of tartar or lemon juice.

Increasing the amount of sugar also ensures that the sweetness and flavor of the meringue are not overpowered by the butter and result in a lighter final product. The very increase of sugar requires the meringue to be cooked to a higher temperature.

Temperature

Meringues and heat are in a serious relationship! Meringues hate low cooking temperatures and humidity, so much so you must always make sure the kitchenware you’re using is completely dry. You are even advised to avoid making meringues on humid days!

Swiss meringue is made with cream of tartar or another acid, sugar, and egg whites, by heating them in a double boiler over boiling water. Whisk egg whites and sugar just to break up the whites, but not so hard that they form a foam. The sugar will melt and prevent the egg whites from coagulating. Heat over medium-high heat and whisk constantly until the temperature of the egg whites reaches 120 to 185 degrees F or higher (use a digital thermometer to check). Remove the bowl from the heat, and keep beating the warm whites until stiff peaks are formed. The temperature at this point should be 90 degrees F.

This is important because the meringue mixture and the butter which is to be added need to have similar temperatures (the butter should be softened to about 65 degrees F before being added to the meringue). If their temperatures are too different, the resulting buttercream will be either too thick and greasy or too thin and runny.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Cream of Tartar Recipe

 

Ingredients:

egg whites from 5-6 large eggs (2/3 cup)

1 2/3 cup caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

Method of Preparation:

Step 1

Place a ring of foil at the bottom of a large pot (to prevent the bowl from touching the pot) and fill the pot with about 1 1/2 inches of water. Place over high heat until the water starts simmering.

Step 2

In a bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Set the mixture over the previously heated water, stirring and scraping constantly with a spatula for about 10-13 minutes, until the whites reach 185°F. Whip the mixture with an electric mixer at high speed for about 10-12 minutes, until the meringue has stiff peaks, and feels cool & smooth to touch.

Step 3

With the mixer still running, add the butter. Keep whipping until the mixture becomes thick, creamy, and soft.

Note: In case your buttercream still turns loose even after you have taken all these precautions, don’t throw it away! Place it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and whip again until it becomes thick. On the other hand, if the buttercream is too thick, set the bowl over a pan filled with hot water until it loosens up a bit, then whip again until it softens.

Storing Swiss Meringue Buttercream

 

Swiss buttercream is best when used immediately as a cake or cupcake frosting. If you want to store it, place it in a gallon-sized ziplock bag, seal and lay flat. It will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge or several months in the freezer. If stored for longer it won’t spoil but will absorb unpleasant odors.

When you’re ready to use the buttercream for frosting, take it out and warm to 72 degrees F, then whip in order to make it soft and spreadable.

Cakes other desserts frosted with Swiss meringue buttercream don’t need to be refrigerated. due to the fact that the buttercream is fully cooked. On the contrary, refrigerated cakes stale faster!

Enjoy your perfect Swiss meringue buttercream!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

7 Fun Facts About Bananas and Banana Bread You Didn’t Know

7 Fun Facts About Bananas and Banana Bread You Didn’t Know

We all love banana bread!

It is one of the simplest sweet treats on the planet and yet utterly delicious. I am sure you all know that overripe bananas are the best to use in your banana bread recipes but did you know that banana bread is not a bread at all? Or that it is very good for your heart? Read on and find out more interesting facts about your favorite delight.

 

  1. Banana bread became widely popular with the invention of rising agents like baking powder and baking soda in the 1930’s. Before that, housewives used pearlash.

 

  1. The first banana bread recipe appeared in Pillsbury’s Balanced Recipes cookbook but this treat became more widely accepted after another recipe appeared in Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book in 1950.

 

  1. By definition, banana bread is a quick bread because it contains no yeast but does contain baking powder. Cooking experts claim that it is actually more a cake (or, to be more precise ‘tea cake’) than a bread. This is due to the fact that it contains quite a lot of sugar. They believe that it is called bread because it’s cut into slices and served with butter, unlike traditional cakes that are cut in wedges and usually richly frosted.

 

  1. Banana bread is very good for your heart and bananas take all the credit for this. They are very rich in potassium, a mineral that regulates blood pressure and normalized heart function. However, it is worth noting that all health benefits of banana bread recipes go out of the window if you load it with refined sugar. Use stevia or raw honey instead.

 

  1. In addition, bananas have a very low glycemic index, which gives you an energy boost. This makes banana bread a perfect breakfast treat that will kick start your day!

 

  1. Bananas have arrived in the USA in the 1870’s and became an instant hit, finding their way into many desserts. Today, are the most consumed fruit in the States; over 90% of the households in the US buy bananas at least once a month. We bet a good portion of them ends up in banana bread recipes.

 

  1. And finally, your banana bread recipes are all mutants! The good old yellow banana we all eat and love is a genetic variation on the numerous other varieties (more than 500 to be more precise). It is also the sweetest variety of all. Furthermore, bananas appear in a whole rainbow of colors – some are even vibrant pink and taste more like strawberries. They also come in many shapes and sizes, from large purple-colored plantains to tiny finger fruits.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and find some pink bananas. It’s time to make banana bread recipes even more fun and exciting!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Top Food Ideas for Easter 2018

Top Food Ideas for Easter 2018

As sure as the tunes of ‘Hot Cross Buns’ and ‘Peter Cottontail’ will rage in your head for days in a row, colored eggs, chocolate rabbits, hot cross buns, baked ham, and roasted lamb will be an inevitable part of your Easter menu. Easter feasts are colorful, delicious, and full of symbolism. Have you ever wondered how these traditions came to be and why we eat certain foods at Easter?

Let’s make Easter cooking fun, not just by learning a few fun facts, but also by focusing on recipes that will reduce the time you spend in the kitchen, allowing you to spend more time with your loved ones. Because, after all, Easter is a family celebration!

Easter Breakfast and Brunch

Go out there and hunt for eggs instead of cooking in the kitchen! Choose one of these easy Easter breakfast and brunch ideas that can be made in advance.

Egg Recipes

easter eggs

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There will be lots of eggs on Easter, so you’d better be prepared to put them to good use!

Eggs are a symbol of rebirth and immortality, but there is also a practical explanation of why they are so widely used on Easter. Christian tradition forbids eggs and all other animal-derived foods during the Lent so, in the past, people would end up with a bunch of unused eggs from their hens, very eager to re-include them in their everyday diet after 40 days of restraint!

Today, Easter eggs are decorated with bright colors to symbolize joy, but also to honor spring. They are hunted for, exchanged among friends and family, taken to church to be blessed, and offered on the festive table!

Easy Egg and Asparagus

This creamy and dreamy brunch recipe is made super-healthy with the use of asparagus and extra fulfilling from the eggs and cheese. Let’s not forget the ham!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Eggs

There is nothing easier to make than stuffed (deviled) eggs and the possibilities for varying the filling are endless! Blue cheese is just one of them.

Easter Breads

hot cross buns

Bread has always been part of religious rites and ceremonies. It symbolizes renewal and because of that it is associated with Christ’s resurrection. It is also prepared in commemoration of the Last Supper, when Christ shared bread with the disciples.

Easter breads are often made in symbolic shapes or with special ingredients. For instance, they often call for raisins or include decorated eggs on top.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are rich, spiced tea cakes usually served on Good Friday. In the past, they were made without dairy products and consumed throughout the whole period of Lent. They were even believed to have medicinal purposes! Hot cross buns are made with raisins or currants, with a cross on the top to represent the crucifixion of Christ. The spices used in the buns represent the spices used to embalm Christ’s body before the burial.

Grandma Marian’s Placek

Alternatively, you can make Placek, a sweet yeast bread with golden raisins and topped with sugar crumble, traditionally served on Easter.

Easter Main Courses

Ham and lamb are the traditional choices, so the following meal ideas are sure to bring back lots of memories. Spring provides fresh seasonal ingredients to combine them with, but also gives you an opportunity to get playful and informal if you wish. So, instead of setting up a formal dinner table decorated with your best China and crystal glasses, why not arrange a buffet-style table in the backyard and make it cheerful with simple Easter decorations?

Whatever you decide to do, remember to keep things simple and prepare everything you can the day before.

Ham

While the rest of the world enjoys lamb and chicken, people in the States opt for pink, salty, cured ham, smothered in a glaze. The tradition to eat ham is explained by the fact that the meat from pigs slaughtered during the winter (cured in salt and smoked) was ready to be consumed in spring, i.e. immediately after the Lent.  Being salted and smoked, the ham is already completely cooked and only need so be reheated, which gives us another reason to love it!

Sweet Glazed Ham

Give this traditional dish a modern twist by preparing a glaze with a fizzy cola, sugar, and onion. Make it stand out by decorating with pineapple slices and cherries on top!

Country Roast Ham

Or keep the dish old-fashioned by preparing it with a gold mustard crust!

easter lamb

Lamb

A large portion of the Christian world prepares lamb on Easter or substitutes this meat with edible lamb figures made of buttery pastry. Lamb is a symbol of purity and innocence and has always been associated with Christianity. Even the pope has adopted it as a part of his Easter Dinner, so it is only logical that it appears as a centerpiece of Easter festive tables.

Marinated Lamb Chops

Enhance the delicate flavor of lamb with a marinade made with lemon juice and herbs, complemented with a simple mint sauce on top!

Crusted Rack of Lamb

Elegant, but easy-to-prepare dish, perfect for special occasions. The bread crumb contributes subtle crunchiness and captivates the juices!

If you prefer lighter and whiter meat variations, you will probably choose to prepare chicken.

Sunshine Chicken Roast

A perfect mix of colorful veggies and crisp chicken, perfect for outdoor feasting during warm days!

Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Juiciness from the lemon, freshness from the rosemary and beautiful aroma from the onion, blend in this moist and tender roast.

Easter Desserts

simnel cake

Here comes the part that kids love. Chocolate rabbits, chicks, and eggs became popular in the 19th century and remain so today, but instead going for candies from the Easter basket, treat your kids with amazing holiday desserts – cakes, pies, tarts, cookies and more! Any kind of dessert you decide to make can be easily turned into a festive delight with a few simple Easter-appropriate decorations. Here is a quick suggestion:

Make a frosting by microwaving 3oz. of broken milk chocolate for about a minute or so. In a bowl, beat together 5oz. of butter and 5oz. of powdered sugar, then add the melted chocolate. Spread on your dessert and decorate with chocolate eggs or Maltesers, chocolate bunnies, or colorful M&M’s. Arrange in small baskets for presentation.

Cakes

When it comes to cakes, Simnel cake is THE cake to make for Easter. It is a light fruit cake, made with layers of marzipan and almond paste at the top and in the middle, and eaten toasted during the Easter period in England and Ireland. The cake is usually decorated with 12 marzipan balls to symbolize the twelve apostles.

If you don’t feel like preparing a Simnel cake, here are two more easy suggestions:

Chocolate Marble Cake

Easy ring cake which combines two batters – chocolate and almond for an amazing marbled effect!

Classic Carrot Cake

Tender and moist cake filled with raisins and walnuts, and topped with cream cheese frosting.

easter cookies

Biscuits

Easter biscuits are a traditional Easter food gift in the UK, where it is given to guests on Easter Sunday. They are very simple to make from flour, baking powder, sugar, egg yolk, and butter. Use cookie molds to shape them into bunnies, chicks, eggs, or butterflies and decorate with a simple frosting divided into several batches and made colorful with the use of different food colorings.

Bonus: Chocolate Nest Cookies

Make a chocolate cookie dough, shape it into little nests and fill it with miniature colorful eggs.

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I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

9 Traditional Irish Foods You Have to Try on St. Patrick’s Day

9 Traditional Irish Foods You Have to Try on St. Patrick’s Day

Bring the hearty tradition to your home by preparing authentic stews, corned beef, pies, cakes and more comforting Irish foods! Potatoes are, of course, a must any time of the year! Irish food is simple, comforting, and perfect for family cooking.

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#1 Irish Stew

irish food

This liquid Irish food is a combination of meat and veggies native to Ireland. In the past, mutton meat was favored because it is fattier and more flavorful and the dish was cooked in a cauldron, a large metal pot with a lid and handle, used for cooking over an open fire. Today, lamb and beef are usually used, as well as kid goat, slowly cooked for hours until tender. As far as vegetables are concerned, potatoes & onions are a must, sometimes complemented with carrots. Herbs like parsley, thyme & bay leaves are also added for extra flavor.

#2 Boxty Potato Pancakes

irish food

Credit:theveglife.com

The term ‘boxty’ can refer to potato pancakes, dumplings, and bread. It originates from the Irish phrase ‘arán bocht tí’, which means “poor-house bread”. The most popular version of this Irish food is made with finely grated raw potato combined with mashed potato, flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, and sometimes egg. The mixture is fried in a pan on each side, just like a standard pancake. However, traditional alternatives include using only raw potatoes, boiling it as a dumpling or baking it as a loaf in the oven. Whichever version you decide to make, you can serve it with almost anything you like – ham, bacon, eggs, tzatziki or crème fraîche.

#3 Colcannon

irish food

Potatoes were introduced to the Emerald Island from the New World in the 16th century. Back then, they were a cheap and plentiful source that transformed the Irish diet, especially among poor people. Potatoes are still a staple Irish food which appears in a number of varieties – Colcannon is one of them, a classic, cozy potato mash with cabbage or kale, onions, garlic, and butter or cream.

#4 Soda Bread

irish food

Soda bread is a variety of quick bread traditionally made with baking soda as a leavening agent instead of yeast, added to a mixture of flour, buttermilk, and salt. The lactic acid in the reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide and make the bread soft & fluffy. In Ireland, the flour is typically made from soft wheat which has lower levels. Also, in some recipes, the buttermilk is replaced with yogurt. Every family on the Emerald Island has its own recipe for soda bread. Some like it sweet and add egg, butter, nuts, raisins, or other dried fruits.

Others prefer it savory and add seeds or oats for extra healthiness, or even Guinness beer for extra fluffiness!

#5 Cottage Pie

irish food

The recipe for Cottage Pie has been around since the 1700’s and was first created with the intention to use up Sunday roast leftover beef combined with the new crop brought from the New World, potatoes. Its name originated from the category of people who used to make this practical and cheap dish most frequently – the poor farmers who lived in cottages.

Cottage Pie is pretty much Shepherd’s Pie only made with beef instead of lamb or mutton, cooked in a gravy with onions and vegetables like carrots, peas, or celery and topped with mashed potato. More modern versions also call for a grated cheese on top of the mashed potato topping.

#6 Corned Beef with Cabbage

irish food

Not many of us know that this traditional St. Patrick’s Day Irish food is rarely eaten in Ireland. In fact, some people are unsure whether it’s actually Irish at all. Corned beef is considered more of a New World dish favored by Irish Americans. Nevertheless, the dish is delicious and deserves to find its way to your table, at least for St. Paddy’s Day!

#7 Bangers and Mash

irish food

Bangers are actually sausages made of pork and veal, often seasoned with ginger or caraway. Bangers and mash, also known as sausages and mash, is a traditional dish of the British Isles, including Ireland. The dish is especially popular as a pub grub, which suggests that it is very quick and easy to make.

This Irish food is sometimes served with fried onions, onion gravy, or peas. For a vegetarian mashed potato casserole, omit the bratwurst and add a cup of cooked peas and a cup of cooked carrots to the skillet.

#8 Irish Cream Cake

irish food

Credit:bettycrocker.com

Chocolate layers and spread with fluffy Irish cream filling plus tangy apricot jam and almond brittle tops for a crunchy finish. This beautiful cake is just one example of the plethora of sweet Irish foods made with Irish cream. You can also add it to brownies, pies, ice cream, cheesecake, and more!

Irish cream is a cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream, and other ingredients such as coffee. It typically has 15 to 20% alcohol by volume but as far as these desserts are concerned, feel free to serve them to your little ones. Most recipes call for an addition of up to a ¼ cup of Irish cream which is not much when distributed throughout the mixture. Besides, most of the alcohol content evaporates during cooking.

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#9 Irish Coffee

irish food

Irish coffee is a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, topped with thick cream. The original recipe calls for non-whipped cream, although there are varieties made with whipped cream as well.

Irish cream can also be added as an alcoholic substitute for milk or cream and sugar in hot coffee, with or without whipped cream on top.

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!

15+ Booze-Infused Desserts for St. Patrick’s Day 2018

15+ Booze-Infused Desserts for St. Patrick’s Day 2018

Get ready for the day when everyone is wearing silly green leprechaun hats and drinking heavily. The day when some moms will prepare snacks and desserts by adding green food coloring and over-the-top decorations like whipped cream, chocolate syrup, marshmallows, lucky charms, shamrock sprinkles and M&M’s. Others will take advantage of the opportunity to sneak some healthy ingredients into their kids’ meals by adding nutritious greens like spinach, zucchini, lime, kiwi, or avocado.

Some cooks, however, will use this holiday as an excuse to infuse their festive desserts with alcohol.

Booze and Desserts

Alcohol and desserts are great on their own, but when combined they produce incredibly indulgent desserts. However, there are two important questions on everyone’s mind – Will you get drunk if you eat too much boozed up cake and can your kids safely consume these treats?

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The answer is – it depends on the amount of alcohol you add to your recipe. Adding a maximum ¼ cup of booze is perfectly safe since most of the alcohol will evaporate during the cooking process due to the fact that it has a lower boiling point than water. As long as you serve this type of food on special occasions only, they are perfectly safe for the whole family (and sure to make the dads especially happy!)

If you need more convincing, here is another fun fact – booze makes your desserts healthier. Studies have shown that pairing certain foods with a glass of beer or wine helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, while at the same time increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk for heart disease. The trick is to consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.

So, let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the best desserts infused with the Emerald Island’s favorite alcoholic beverages – Guinness beer, Baileys, whiskey, and cider.

Guinness Desserts

When talking about beer, Irish have Guinness in mind. The famous dry stout has been consumed since the 1700s both in Ireland and abroad. Its burnt flavor derived from roasted, unmalted barley and the characteristic flavor make this bubbly beverage perfect for incorporating into various desserts.

#1 Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake

If you have ever made the Guinness chocolate cake, you must know how well this frothy stout pairs with chocolate. So, how about taking things to the next level by using this combo in a cheesecake. The addition of the Guinness will change the texture of the cake, making it closer to a blend of soufflé and fudge. The final result is a moist, creamy, light and wiggly cake that melts in your mouth.

#2 Guinness Brownies

The full title of this recipe is Mile High Guinness Brownies with Guinness Buttercream Frosting, which should be enough to tell you that you are about to have brownies that are far from the ordinary. They are tall and airy (contribution of the beer bubbles), loaded with chocolate and twisted with Guinness. Moreover, they are topped with an incredible Guinness vanilla buttercream frosting and some more dark chocolate shavings!

#3 Guinness Chocolate Pudding

As you might have noticed, Guinness works best with chocolate in desserts. That is probably due to the fact that the beer flavor does not stand out at all; it rather emphasizes the chocolaty flavor. In addition to the amount added to the pudding itself, the recipe makes use of some more beer thickened into a syrup, mixed with some whipped cream and placed on top of the smooth and creamy chocolate base!

#4 Guinness Donuts

Even though Guinness seems to pair wonderfully with chocolate, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for sweet treats that make use of other ingredients. These fluffed up donuts would be perfect as St. Patrick’s breakfast in bed along with a cup of warm coffee. The best part is the Irish Cream Glaze which adds up some extra decadence.

Baileys Desserts

b52 mouse

Credit: http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/b52-mousse/

There is no alcoholic beverage that enriches desserts in the way the smooth and luscious Baileys Irish Cream does. The first creamy liqueur was produced in the 1970s and is well-loved for its traditional flavor, but also for the new flavors that are being introduced on a regular basis like mint chocolate, crème caramel, coffee, hazelnut, biscotti, vanilla-cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

#5 B52 Mousse

The B52 mouse is inspired by the B52 cocktails and is made with Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Cointreau. The chocolate complements the flavors and colors that combine together to produce this soft, decadent dessert that looks absolutely seductive and tastes delicious. Warning: this mousse contains a ¼ cup of each liqueur so it might be wise to keep your kids away from it. The good news is there will be more for you!

#6 Irish Cream Tiramisu

Just as Guinness makes a great fusion with chocolate, Baileys does it with coffee. Layers of lady’s fingers soaked in espresso and covered in mascarpone cream cheese compose this incredibly easy treat; it will take you no more than 20 minutes to throw it together, but patience is required during the time it sits in the fridge (preferably overnight). It is totally worth it though!

#7 Baileys Ice Cream

The beauty of ice cream is that it can stand as a dessert by itself or serve as an ingredient or a topping in different recipes, like in this affogato, an easy and simple dessert made up of one or two scoops of ice cream and topped with some espresso or strong hot coffee. You can replace the Baileys liqueur with Bailey’s coffee creamers. This recipe uses the Mudslide coffee creamer but there are 14 more flavors you can choose from.

#8 Chocolate Hazelnut Baileys Cookie Bars

These seven-layer cookie bars are a real explosion of flavors but are ridiculously easy to make. The base is made of chocolate cookie crumbs (try Oreo cookies), mixed with some melted butter and followed by chocolate chips, caramels, and chopped hazelnuts. Moreover, there is a topping made of sweetened condensed milk and Baileys Irish Cream which contributes additional caramelly/hazelnutty flavor and chewy texture.

Irish Whiskey Desserts

st. patricks day recipes

Irish whiskey is a staple in many of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, but have you considered adding it to desserts? One of the greatest Irish distillates will produce marvelous creations that will fill you up and make you slightly euphoric.

#9 Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce

Sounds tempting, right? Puddings must have been created to save leftover quick-breads, whether regular bread, banana bread or, like in this case cinnamon swirl bread. The whiskey-flavored topping brings the flavors of the traditional pumpkin pie spice and the creaminess of the custard, whereas the pecans add crunchiness and a dose of healthiness. Ready in 10 minutes, devoured in seconds!

#10 Irish Soda Bread Scones with Salty Whiskey Butter

The simple traditional Irish soda bread is made spectacular with some whiskey-soaked raisins. The scones are a bit hard and crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside, with interchanging flavors of sweetness and mild tanginess. The best part of this delight is the salty whiskey butter that goes on top of each and every scone.

#11 Whiskey Dark Chocolate Truffles

To make these incredibly simple tiny balls you need only five simple ingredients that are thrown together in just a few minutes. Bear in mind that they need to be chilled for at least two hours, but once they are completely chilled they are very quickly formed into balls (especially if you use a cookie scoop). The result is rich and decadent truffles with a whiskey kick at the end. Note: you can roll each truffle in cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, and sprinkles or dip in some melted chocolate!

#12 Whiskey Peach Cobbler: Last Minute Dessert

Put this recipe on your list of must-have desserts for the upcoming summer! And on your list of last-minute desserts. And on your list of desserts that save leftover fruits. Sweet, juicy, aromatic peaches and smoky whiskey create a fusion to die for in this extra soft cake covered with caramel syrup that thickens and sticks around the edges. Heaven!

Cider Desserts

st. patricks day desserts

Cider is somewhere between beer and wine in taste and manner of preparation. Like beer, it is low in alcohol, but fermentation makes it closer to wine. The best type of ciders is the Irish Craft Ciders, which are handmade by using Irish grown apples and contain no artificial ingredients or additives.

If you have some forgotten cider in the fridge that is no longer fizzy enough to be drunk, put it to use in these amazing dessert recipes. They all go with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cider versions or a mix of both.

#13 Sparkling Cider Bundt Cake

This cake is a basic Bundt cake but made with cider in the base. The cider bubbles, combined with the leavening agents and acidity from the vinegar, make it incredibly fluffy without affecting the dense texture. The simple syrup glaze and the sparkling icing produce a super-soft treat packed with sizzling cider flavors.

#14 Apple Cider Maple Pancakes

Some may argue that pancakes are more breakfast than a dessert, but I beg to differ. Pancakes are an incredibly flexible comfort food which allows you to add any desired ingredient both in the batter as well as on top of the stack. Think chocolate chips, whipped cream, peanut butter, vanilla ice-cream. If this is too much for you, try healthier options like Greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

#15 Mini Pumpkin Donuts with Cider-Rum Glaze

Rum is another type of booze that pairs perfectly with all sorts of sweet treats. These mini donuts have cider in the batter and rum-based glaze on top. Here is something to reduce the level of guilt just a bit – they are not fried but oven-baked, so feel free to indulge.

#16 Cider Cinnamon Rolls

There is no other combo like the one made with apples and cinnamon! Cider replaces milk in this recipe and it is doing an amazing job, pairing with the yeast to create a bubbly butter that rises twice as fast as usual.  Another ‘experimental’ addition here are the apple slices added to the batter, which come out just a bit softened but still retaining some of their crunchiness. Pour the frosting on top of the warm rolls and watch it drip along the sides!

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I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

How to Make Pancakes from Scratch – 15 Super Easy Recipes for Pancake Day 2018

How to Make Pancakes from Scratch – 15 Super Easy Recipes for Pancake Day 2018

Pancakes for breakfast, now that’s a great idea, right? And while a pre-ready pancake mix might be considered a godsend by some, it is safe to say homemade pancakes will beat a store-bought mix any day of the year. There are three reasons behind this: Preparing your own pancakes from scratch is way more fun, less expensive and what’s more, you can let your imagination go wild.

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Mastering The Art of Making Pancakes

If you are a newbie in the cooking world, you should first know some of the pancake preparation basics, then choose a pancake recipe from the Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy and Delicious, and put your knowledge to the test J. While there is not ONE particular tip on making the perfect pancake recipe because tips will vary depending on the recipe, there are a few things that apply to all of them:

  • A non-stick skillet is a must!
  • Use fresh raising agents (baking soda and baking powder).
  • Make sure the wet ingredients you are using are at room temperature.
  • Make a test batch (it will help you find the right cooking temperature, and see when is the best time to flip).

Fruity Pancake Recipes

pancake day

Regardless of whether they are a part of the batter itself, or are used as toppings or add-ins, fruits are always a great way of making pancakes taste even better! With flavors that vary from sweet to tangy, here are some of the best and easiest recipes you will ever need!

  1. Banana Pancakes

We start off with a pancake recipe that only calls for three ingredients (ok, and a pinch of salt, and some oil for cooking). This pancake recipe will only take up 5 minutes of your time, and the result will be delicious pancakes that you will want to prepare day in day out.

Extra: Bananas will not only make the pancakes tastier, but they come along with a wide range of health benefits. First off, they are rich in potassium, a mineral crucial for maintaining a good heart health. Second, they contain a fair amount of fiber (which means they will satiate your hunger faster), and last, but certainly not least, bananas come with a moderate amount of protein.

  1. Blueberry Pancakes

Made with Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour, these hotcakes are the definition of fluffy. Mastering them? Piece of cake, just follow the step-by-step instructions and you are good to go. A sweet and tangy forkful of pillowy soft awesomeness is what you will get.

Extra: Apart from the freshness they provide, blueberries will enhance the health-factor of any batter. See, the vibrant blue color that makes them so appealing to the eye comes as a result of the pigments they contain: anthocyanins. These are also responsible for a large part of the blueberries’ health-promoting features, including their antioxidant power. All in all, blueberries play the role of guards of the cardiovascular system and regulators of the blood sugar levels.

  1. Apple Pancakes

These hotcakes with grated apples are definitely going to become a regular item on your breakfast menu. If you have 5 minutes on your hand, put all the ingredients in a blender and you will get a tasty sweet batter with a note of tartness. There is also a downside tough, you will need 10 minutes to fry them, and only 10 seconds to devour a stack.

Extra: You know the good old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This only goes to show apples are not only tasty but filled to the brim with health-promoting features that make these delicious fruits great aids when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes and stroke and promoting neurological health.

Nutty Pancake Recipes

pancake day

Crunchy and tasty, nuts are the ultimate snacks, but, much like fruits, they are also great toppings and add-ins. A general rule to follow whenever you want to implement them in a pancake recipe is ROAST them. This will enhance their nutty flavor and will increase their crunchiness.

  1. Almond Pancakes

With two whole tablespoons of ground almonds, half a teaspoon of almond extract, ¼ cup of slivered almonds, and 6 tablespoons of almond milk, these will definitely be a hit with almond lovers. And, even if you are partial to almonds, once you’ve tasted a bite of these pancakes, you will definitely turn “team almonds”.

All the more reason to prepare this recipe: Almonds, like other nuts, come with a palette of health benefits. Healthy brain and heart function and a healthy skin are results of consuming them on a daily basis. Being rich in riboflavin and L-carnitine is what makes almonds great for the neurological system, whereas, the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids are “to blame” for the health benefits. Last, a hydrated and non-wrinkled skin will be a result of the Vitamin E they contain.

  1. Pecan Pancakes

These fluffy pancakes with half a cup of pumpkin puree and cinnamon will make your kitchen smell like heaven. Warm and sweet, the aroma will definitely bring a smile on your face, and the nutty flavor will only be enhanced by replacing the regular vegetable oil with two tablespoons of walnut oil. Yum!

All the more reason to prepare this recipe: Pecans are known for their power to reduce the LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase the HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood, which means they are great for the overall cardiovascular system. What’s more, they abound with minerals (manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium) and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

Savory Pancake Recipes

pancake day

Be it as a side dish, brunch, or breakfast for dinner, every cook should have a recipe for savory pancakes handy whenever the need for it arises. And while some recipes, like that for the okonomiyaki, require a more experienced cook, the following are super easy and equally tasty J

  1. Potato Pancakes

A satiating and scrumptious recipe that will certainly make you go for seconds, and what’s more, can be prepared in five simple steps. What else does one need? Maybe a boost of iron, calcium and vitamins A and K will do? If you didn’t get around to opening the link above, this recipe also calls for 10 ounces of spinach. And, since it is likely you’ve seen Popeye, you surely know that this translates into healthier muscles, but also a glowing skin and impeccable vision.

  1. Sweet Potato Pancakes

If you are looking for a flapjack recipe that is easy to handle, will take you no longer than half an hour, and it is still worthy of being dubbed lunch-appropriate, then this is the recipe you are looking for. Beside the sweet potatoes, it also calls for chives and an onion. And we all know that this is a combination that is going to please the taste buds, and fill the tummy.

  1. Canadian Bacon Pancakes

This is a recipe for those who want their savory flapjacks to be on the “heavier” side. Although vegetables and herbs like chives, thyme, and watercress are present, the crispy bacon cubes play the main role in this recipe.

Luscious Pancake Recipes

pancake day

Now, pancakes wouldn’t be in the category somewhere in between breakfast and dessert if they were not a great base for experimenting. This is why recipes like the following are a must for every pancake lover out there.

A great way you can go about if you want an out-of-the-ordinary recipe is implement your favorite store-bought treats into the batter, use them as toppings, or better still, use them both ways. And, don’t worry, we’ve got the experimenting part covered, so all you have to do is just follow the instructions. Literally, the only thing you should worry about is decide whether you want to share them with others.

  1. Oreo Pancakes

The Double Stuff Oreo Hotcakes are a dream come true. Half a cup of Oreos goes into the batter, making it taste like the real deal, and a whole cup goes in the stuffing, which means double the trouble. One can say that this is more of a spread, but either way, it is as scrumptious as ever. Whipped cream, vanilla extract, sugar, and Oreos comprise an equation that results in perfection.

A tip: Get some of the Oreos that you were to use for the spread, put them in a plastic zip bag and crush them. Top the stack with them.

  1. Reese’s Pancakes

If you love peanut butter, then this recipe will surely be up your alley. Although the batter itself contains cocoa and chocolate chips, the famous Reese’s are reserved for the syrup. Be careful, though, the peanut butter cups should be stirred into the pan only after you’ve turned the heat off.

A tip: Get some extra Reese’s (the smallest ones) and use them to top each stack for the ultimate Reese’s pleasure.

  1. Nutella Stuffed Pancakes

Well, we have all been there, staring at a jar of Nutella and wondering whether to get a spoon and get it over with. Well, this recipe is an even better idea. The process of making it will require a lot of patience, though, because, let’s face it, you will be more than tempted to eat the whole Nutella jar even before you prepare the pancakes. But, be still, as another old saying goes: “Good things come to those who wait” and these are definitely worth it!

A tip: to make these beauties even more scrumptious and more fun, top them with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles.

Different Pancake Shapes and Forms

pancake day

Photo credit:donnahay.com

There is no shortage of pancake recipes that are unusual and fun. If you are looking for a recipe that will make everyone forget all about the old round pancake, then try one of the following ideas.

  1. Pancake Muffins

Grab your muffin tins, and instead of putting an effort of greasing and re-greasing the pan, just pour the batter into each indention of the mini muffin tin. In 15 minutes the mini muffins will be ready for you to devour.

  1. Mini Pancakes

These hotcakes, also known as silver dollars, are the cutest form in which a batter can come. they are great for parties and social gatherings, as their petite form is found irresistible.

  1. Mini Puffed Pancakes

Being bite-sized is the feature that sets these apart from the others. Although this might be perceived as both a good and a bad thing, (because you might eat one too many) the mini puffed pancakes are definitely a recipe every pancake lover should give a try to.

  1. Donut Pancakes

The last recipe for today is reserved for the fun glazed donuts. Prepare the pancakes as you usually would, and as soon as they start to cool, cut the center out of the hotcakes with a donut hole cutter, or a simple bottle cap.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

We hope that you have found a recipe that sparked your interest. Give at least one of them a try and you will see that making pancakes from scratch is no rocket science at all. Quite the contrary, if you carefully follow the individual instructions, it will be as easy as ABC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!

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