December 15, 2013

Sunday Sides & Suppers: Holiday Desserts Edition

Welcome to the third and final episode in my Sunday Sides and Suppers holiday series. This week, I'll  show you how to make five ingredient fudge, pumpkin spice chess cake, and chutney stuffed mini spice cakes or Raesh cakes as they're known in our house.

If you have trouble viewing the video, click here.

I've listed the recipes from easiest and quickest to the most involved but versatile.


First up is a basic fudge recipe with a couple of add in, one expected and one a bit unusual. It's one that has turned out every time I've made it, which I can't say about every fudge recipe I've tried. It's not overly sweet, and the cranberries provide an interesting contrast to the chocolate.

Five Ingredient Fudge

1 ½ Bags Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Dried Cranberries (Soaked, Drained, & Patted Dry)
1 Cup Walnuts (Roughly Chopped)

Soak dried cranberries for thirty minutes to an hour, drain, and pat dry. I always use just plain hot water, but either rum or bourbon could work if you are making them for adults only.

Pour chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for around three minutes, in thirty second increments, stirring between, or until everything is melted and smooth. Add cranberries and walnuts and stir in gently.

Pour everything onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate for about two hours or overnight before cutting into one inch squares.


Pumpkin Spice Chess Cake
(Gluten Free Version)

2 Cups Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 ½ Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Butter (Melted)
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 ½ Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 tsp. Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, melt butter and coconut oil. Add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and eggs. Beat together until smooth. Stir in pumpkin puree. Add flour and baking powder a little at a time, beating together until smooth. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and place in the oven just until the topping is prepared. (About six to seven minutes.)

8 oz. Cream Cheese
2 Large Eggs
2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
½ Cup Butter (Melted)
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

In a large bowl blend softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend again. Add confectioners sugar about half a cup at a time, blending until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

Remove the cake batter from the oven. It should just be starting to puff around the edges. Spray the edges of the pan again, and pour the topping over the cake batter. It may sink in here or there, but that is normal. Simply move your bowl over the dish as you are pouring to ensure all of the cakes gets covered and you don't end up with one big glob of topping in the middle.

Bake at 325 degrees for an hour, or until the top has browned evenly.


Raesh Cakes
(Or chutney stuffed mini spice cakes)

Chutney Filling
(Preserves Version)

1 Pint Pear Preserves
1 Cup Raisins (Soaked & Drained)
1 Cup Chopped and Pitted Dates (Soaked & Drained)
2 Cups Walnuts (Diced)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Allspice
2 tsp. Nutmeg

Soak raisins and dates in hot water for about an hour. Drain well and pour into a large pot. Add preserves, sugar, juice, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Simmer over low heat, stirring often for five to ten minutes. (I know I said medium high heat and fifteen to twenty minutes in the video, but I was confusing this recipe with the version starting from baked apples, which requires more cooking down.) Remove from heat, add walnuts, and stir until combined.

Cake Batter
(Gluten Free Version)

2 Cups Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour 
1 Cup Brown Sugar 
¾ Cup Milk 
¼ Cup Butter (Softened) 
3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil 
3 Large Eggs 
1 ½ Tbsp. Baking Powder 
3 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon 
2 Tbsp. Allspice 
1 tsp. Nutmeg 
2 tsp. Vanilla 
½ tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, blend coconut oil, butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk a little at a time, blending well between each addition. (This adds tiny air bubbles to the batter, making it fluffy, something that is doubly important in this gluten free version.)

Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. Spoon enough batter into each cup to fill it halfway. Then add a spoon of chutney to the middle. Bake at 350 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes or until golden brown.

The cake batter should bake up over the chutney, and you should have enough for two to three dozen from this recipe for the batter. If you continue making cakes until you run out of chutney, you can often get six or more dozen cakes!

This is a very versatile recipe. The chutney is great just by itself as a spread for toast or biscuits or served with poultry or ham. If you make the version of it from baked apples, you will usually get about a cup and a half of drippings when draining the chutney that can be cooked down into a beautiful and unexpected glaze for poultry or ham.

The cake itself works well as a stuffed bunt cake, frosted or not. It also works beautifully as a layer cake when the chutney is used to fill between the layers, using just a bit of frosting to keep it from seeping out of the sides, and frosted with cream cheese frosting.

The original, wheat based version with the apple based chutney, can be found in Surviving Murphy on pages 39 and 40.


So that's it for the holiday series. If you missed the first two episodes you can find them linked below.

Regular episodes as Sunday Sides & Suppers continues will include just one recipe at a time and will be scheduled for the third Sunday of the month.

Thank you for your patience and support with this series. When I got started, I had no idea the videos and posts would turn out so long including more than one recipe in each video.

Please, let me know what you've thought of this series. As I'm sure is obvious, Hubby and I have never done anything like this before, so we're learning. Let us know what worked and what didn't, so we can bring you better videos in the future.

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