Category Archives: Sugars

Citrus Berry Naked Cake

Citrus Berry Naked Cake

I am not from the South, so I never knew there were varying degrees of nakeness! A few years after moving to my adopted home state of Tennessee, a kind and sweet as back porch iced tea, Southern, young-at-heart friend explained that there most certainly are.  

“Now dear, there’s “naked” and then there’s “nekked,” she explained with an oh so lovely drawl that toggled on that line between sincerity and syrupy sweet Southern sarcasm. There was no mistaking here, she was down right serious. She continued, “naked is when you don’t have clothes on, and nekked, well…nekked, is when you don’t have clothes on and you’re doin’ something you’re not supposed to be doin’!” I am not exactly sure when the snorting laughter ensued, but at one point I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard and distinctly remember thinking that her explanation made perfect sense.  That is the moment my friends, I knew I was a Southerner at heart.Citrus Barry Naked Cake (4)

The moment I began thinking of making this recipe for you all, I thought of this story and knew this cake had to be the perfect combination of “naked” and “nekked.” Classic enough to be presentable, but with just a bit of sass to make you wonder! A cake where you can see all of the beautiful baked cake layers, stacked high with perfect pillowing frosting peeking through and crowned with an indecent amount of seasonal fruit.

Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallows

Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallows

I cannot imagine a more appropriate occasion to make these Sweet Love Strawberry Marshmallow confections than Valentine’s Day! I am not ashamed to confess that I’m wholly and unabashedly in love with Valentine’s Day, and not necessarily the couple’s kind, though that is all kinds of lovely as well.  I simply adore the idea of celebrating love.  Love of all that bring such joy and beauty to our lives…family, friends, children and significant others, is what we celebrate on this day. 

Strawberry Lime Pâte de Fruit

Strawberry Lime Pâte de Fruit

There are two primary reasons I wanted to make this recipe for you dear readers: 1. Pâte de Fruit is THE most intense burst of mouthwatering fruit jelly you will ever have, and 2. I love saying the name “Pâte de Fruit!” As you may have already deduced, this is a French delicacy and the term is pronounced “pat de fwee.” Come on, say it with me, pat-de-fwee. It’s seriously fun to say and you’ll find that it will stick in your head much like the jelly will stick to your fingers!

Vanilla Glaze

Vanilla Glaze

1/4 cup (½ stick/2 ounces/57 grams) butter, softened

2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, preferably Nielsen-Massey

4 tablespoons warm water

In a medium bowl, heat the butter in the microwave until just melted. Whisk in the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and water until smooth.

Caramels with Himalayan Pink Salt

Caramels with Himalayan Pink Salt

My kids and I have a deal, if they see a treat that they would like to try, I get first dibs on making it for them at home. I always show them the list of ingredients with the inevitable inventory of unpronounceable preservatives, chemicals, coloring and fake flavorings and explain that these are not real food. Even at a young age, they came to understand that anything made from natural ingredients, rather than chemically altered substances is not only better for them, but tastes phenomenal compared to its engineered counterparts. This is exactly how these caramels came to be. 

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla Wafers

We all at some point have had the ubiquitous vanilla wafer, more than likely it was probably half disintegrated in some version of a banana pudding.  I have always found the name ill fitting.  To my mind they should have been called Nonillas as they never truly taste like real vanilla; and that belly that protrudes up is certainly not reminiscent of the lightness associated with a wafer.  It was time for a makeover!