Condensed milk is one of those pantry staples I always keep on hand. I always have atleast one can stashed away for emergencies. It's great for sweetening up my coffee or schemering on a fluffy slice of milk bread, and now I've discovered a way to make ice cream with it. And the best part... it only uses 3 ingredients and no ice cream maker necessary!! What? Yes, yes it's true. Super creamy, milky sweet ice cream can be yours with just a few pantry staples.Read More
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Growing up I always dreamed of making pancakes for my family on Saturday mornings. So no matter how little sleep I get, I make sure that I'm up, making those pancakes for them now. Unfortunately, my husband is not a pancake person. It broke my heart when we first got married. I almost had to sacrifice my dreams because of him! Lucky for me my kids looove pancakes. So, he's just gonna have to suck it up for the family, It's just what grown ups do.
So this morning I asked these little monsters....I mean children what they wanted to eat and one said pancakes while the other said oatmeal. Great, short order cook. But wait... does anyone remember the griddle cakes that they use to have at IHOP...before it was IHOP? They were pancakes with cream of wheat cooked inside. They were my favorite! Fluffy buttermilk pancakes...tender on the outside and creamy with a slight gritty texture on the inside from those bits of wheat.
Sadly, IHOP took the griddle cakes off their menu...booo. So I decided to bring them back... home. I mixed the hot cereal (I know she asked for oatmeal, but I liked this idea better. And she's two, she'll get over it) with the pancake recipe I use every weekend and it was fantastic!
For this recipe, I used cooked cream of wheat. I did it in the microwave, though I regret it every time I do, because I end up with a volcano cream of wheat in my microwave and it gets EVERYWHERE. I should have taken a picture of the epic fail, but I was too busy cleaning and cursing myself for forgetting to watch the time. Nevertheless, 2 batches of cream of wheat later, we were in pancake bliss.
I honestly cannot remember where I got the original buttermilk pancake recipe. It was originally an IHOP copycat recipe, but I've looked and haven't seen the same measurements anywhere else. I've had it for years. The paper is stained with butter and batter. But It's the best pancake recipe I've ever tried, and I've tried so many. They were always too dense. This yields a light and fluffy pancake every time. I've tried adding wheat germ, flax meal and whole wheat flour to it, and it still holds up. You have to try these seriously awesome weekend pancakes.
Fluffy Cream of Wheat Pancakes
Yields: 1 dozen medium sized pancakes
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup cream of wheat, cooked
ghee or butter for greasing the griddle
Cook cream of wheat according to package directions
Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
Whisk eggs and buttermilk together in a separate bowl
Add buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients. Add butter and sugar. Mix to combine.
Add cooked cream of wheat and whisk well. If batter looks too thick, add 1 tbs of buttermilk at a time till it reaches a pancake batter consistency. Not too thin.
Grease a hot griddle or pan with ghee. I prefer ghee so that it doesn't burn while cooking the pancakes. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter onto the greased griddle
Cook till the edge look dry, then flip and cook till golden brown.
I totally dropped the ball on Cinco de Mayo. But I'm a mom, and ain't no body got time for that. But I do love celebrating anything as long as it comes with a treat for myself. Because, I deserve it dammit! It was a long work week....and a rough Friday working at home with the kids. Torrential rains, potty training and editing a movie marathon spot don't really mix. But I digress...
Tres Leches cake has always been an all time favorite. The first recipe that I made for it was probably about 10 years ago, from "The Joy of Cooking" cookbook. It was so simple, yet a real crowd pleaser. Soft sponge cake drizzled with a heavenly mix of 3 milks: Evaporated, Condensed, and Whole milk. I mean, com'mon. Sweet, creamy and well, juicy. The milk sank into every crevice and seeped into every crumb. Sweet milk oozed out as you pierced it with a fork. Love, Love Love.
I love milk. All kinds. But after drinking skim or almond milk all of my adult life because it was "healthier", I was reintroduced to whole milk after my kids turned one. Thats when they can drink cows milk. And since kids need the fat, most doctors reccommend whole milk. I'd forgotten how much creamier full bodied it is. I drink it because my kids do, and I refuse to buy another type of milk for just us. But I'll take the extra fat, because fat is flavor and as long as its in moderation...why not add some more flavor!?
Evaporated milk has a great concentrated milky aroma. At Chinese dim sum, we love to pour it as a topping on almond gelatin with mixed fruit. It takes it to a whole other level. If they don't have it on the cart the next time you go, don't be shy, ask for it. You won't regret it.
And Condensed milk... my absolute favorite. It's thick, sweet and creamy. I put it in my coffee, drizzle it on shaved ice (the more the better) and dip bread in it. It's amazing with a pillowy soft Chinese steamed bun. AMAZING....
But back to the cake, I didn't want to stop at tres leches cake. Why not flavor it with green tea!? Bitter green tea, with sweet condensed and evaporated milk. OMG. It's a latte! I adapted the Berry Mascarpone cake recipe from Life, Love and Sugar that I used for my mom's birthday cake. The cake is fluffy and moist. I like cake recipes that use oil instead of butter. I find that they produce a springier cake with a soft tender crumb. I reduced the sugar in the recipe... because sugar in moderation people! But I also wanted the green tea's bitterness to stand out.
Once the cakes cooled, I poked a hole out of the middle of the cupcakes with a piping tip, made a luscious concoction of the aforementioned milks and poured it right in. Letting it soak into all the little pockets of the cake.
Then I topped it with a marscapone whipped cream also adapted from Life, Love and Sugar. A dusting of green tea powder, and you have a bitter sweet, magnificently milky, green tea latte cupcake! The best part is that letting it sit, just makes it better and better. So save some for tomorrow....if there's any left.
Green Tea Latte Cupcakes
*Cake Recipe adapted from Life, Love and Sugar
Yields: 24 Cupcakes Prep Time: 20 minutes
For the Cake
- 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup water
- 3 1/2 tsp green tea powder, plus extra for dusting
For the Drizzle
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbs powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
Preheat oven to 350F; Line Cupcake tins
Combine all the dry ingredients (Flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt)in a large mixing bowl. Set Aside.
Combine all wet ingredients except the water (Milk, eggs, vanilla, vegetable oil) in a bowl. Add wet ingredients into the dry.
Mix until all combined. Add green tea powder and mix to combine.
Slowly pour the water in the batter. Careful as it might splatter. The batter is very liquid, but don't worry, it's suppose to be.
Pour batter into lined cupcake tins. I like to pour it into a large measuring cup with a spout first to help make this step a bit neater.
Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Once cakes have cooled, cut a hole into each cupcake. I used a piping bag tip to do this. Set aside.
Mix all three milks together with a whisk. Slowly pour the milks mixture into each hole of the cupcakes.
Make the frosting by whipping the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. Once it reaches soft peaks, add the mascarpone cheese. Whip till it reaches stiff peaks.
Pipe Frosting onto the cupcakes using a star tip.
Dust with reserved green tea powder and enjoy!
Keep Left overs in the fridge.