Thursday, July 28, 2011

We Have Moved!!

Have you heard?  Amber's Delectable Delights has moved.  I am so very pleased to announce the launch of my new site.   We are at new site, with a new name, a new look, new recipes, and the whole shebang!  Please come and check us out!

Don't worry, Amber's Delectable Delights is not going anywere.  This site will stay live with all of the old recipes and anything that you have saved in your readers will not dissapear.  I will just not be posting here anymore.

The new site has a lot of great things to offer
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Strawberry Cream Cake

I was searching around for a white cake recipe for my Dad's birthday when I came across this recipe on Cook's Illustrated website.  The idea of the whole thing just sounded mind blowing.  I mean who would not love a giant size gourmet strawberry shortcake with a cream cheese whipped cream topping.  Heck, the whipped cream recipe alone won me over.  This cake is so light and fluffy that it is great for the warmer months when you just don't want to eat anything that will make you feel like you ate a brick.  Light, fluffy, and fantastic -  A must try dessert!  

Strawberry Cream Cake

Source: Cook's Illustrated


1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar 
5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temperature
tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Strawberry Filling
2 pounds fresh strawberries (about 2 quarts), washed, dried, and stemmed
4 - 6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Kirsch
pinch table salt
Whipped Cream
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 cups heavy cream


FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour round 9 by 2-inch cake pan or 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla; whisk until smooth. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.
FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING: Halve 24 of best-looking berries and reserve. Quarter remaining berries; toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of berries) in medium bowl and let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve (you should have about 1/2 cup). In workbowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). In small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer reserved juices and Kirsch until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled.
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: When cake has cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using large serrated knife, slice cake into three even layers. Place bottom layer on cardboard round or cake plate and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer. Pour one half of pureed berry mixture (about 3/4 cup) in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one-third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over berry layer, leaving 1/2-inch border from edge. Place middle cake layer on top and press down gently (whipped cream layer should become flush with cake edge). Repeat with 20 additional strawberry halves, remaining berry mixture, and half of remaining whipped cream; gently press last cake layer on top. Spread remaining whipped cream over top; decorate with remaining cut strawberries. Serve, or chill for up to 4 hours.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Quesadillas

Mission accomplished, craving satisfied!  These quesadillas were so simple to make and something that I will definitely be making more often.  I'm even considering the possibility of making some to freeze for a rainy day.  I did change the recipe from what Elly had originally posted, if you have the ingredients on hand; go ahead and roast corn on the cob and add some onion and jalapeno into the mix, check out her version, I am sure they are incredible.

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Quesadillas
inspired by Elly Says Opa!

-Makes 4 hearty quesadillas-

2 tablespoon canola oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups corn kernels 

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed*
1/3 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 can black beans
2 ounces cream cheese
2 cups Mexican blend cheese (PepperJack would be great too)
4 large (burrito sized) flour tortillas

Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large skillet, stir in the garlic and corn and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken, water (or broth), cumin, chili powder, oregano, and black beans and bring to a light boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cream cheese.

Heat another large pan (grill pan, or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat, brush pan surface with canola oil. Place a flour tortilla onto the hot pan.  Build a quesadilla by layering a handful of cheese, 1/4 of the chicken mixture and another handful of cheese on one half of the tortilla.  Fold tortilla in half and apply pressure to top to create a sear on the bottom of the tortilla and to make everything stick together.  Once the bottom of the tortilla is browned flip over and brown the other side, once again applying pressure to the top to help the browning process.  When both sides are browned remove quesadilla from pan and cut into 4 even triangles with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.  Repeat process with remaining tortillas, brushing pan with canola oil before each quesadilla. 

* I seasoned my chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder and grilled it over an open flame to bring more flavor to the dish.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I remember going to California a few years back and thinking that it was so strange that Subway asked everyone if they wanted avocado on their subs.  I had never even eaten an avocado let alone spread it all over my sandwich.  Turns out that avocados are actually quite delicious and are great spread upon sandwiches, wraps, or layered into a salad.  As seen below, they obviously make an awesome dip for tortilla chips too.  Guacamole and I might just be new best friends!   

Not only are avocados delicious but they are also a superfood!  Yes, they are pretty high in fat, but it is mono saturated fat, the kind of fat that is good for you and heart healthy.  Avocados also pack in a high fiber content and have double the potassium of a banana. 

Garlicky Guacamole
adapted from Rachel Ray


3 ripe small Hass avocados
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Cut avocados in half around the pit. Separate the halves. Pop out pit with spoon, then scoop flesh of avocados into a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocados. Add garlic, tomato, and salt to the bowl. Mash and mix the ingredients into a chunky dip using a fork. Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bacon and Eggs

I was feeling a little generous this morning so I decided to make breakfast for all of my co-workers.  "I brought in breakfast everyone, there is bacon and eggs back in the breakroom."  It wasn't to much later that everyone started coming to me telling me how UNfunny my joke was.  Hey, It's April 1st.  I have a right to be a brat if I want to.  :)   Happy April Fools Day!  

I am not sure where I originally got this idea from but I am pretty sure my sister had something to do with it.  I had not made these for quite awhile but somehow they came to mind when I was thinking of something to take into work.  These were a huge hit with my co-workers.  These would also be a really fun treat to make with children.

There is no real recipe needed here.  The ingredients are simple; mini pretzel sticks, white melting chocolate, and yellow M&M's.  The directions- eh, I am sure you can figure it out.  Melt the chocolate, drop it by spoonfuls over two pretzels and top with yellow M&M's. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Seeded Hamburger Buns

Many of you probably think that I have dropped off the face of the planet, but I most certaintly have not. I have just been in the biggest slump of all time. I am slowly trying to climb out of it but it is easier said that done. Anyway, enough with my drama.

I have tried making hamburger buns before, but honestly it was so long ago I don't remember much other than what I wrote about them. I decided to venture over to my favorite, all things baking, website King Arthur Flour, and check out what recipes they had. This recipe did not disappoint. The dough came together very easily and was great to work with when it came to shaping of the buns. A hamburger bun pan is certaintly not required for this recipe. Simply place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet as you would any other roll recipe. If you have some extra time in the kitchen these buns are definately worth the effort!
Seeded Hamburger Buns
As seen on King Arthur Flour

For the buns
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds or Bread and Bagel Topping
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder, optional
2 3/4 cups unbleached All-Purpose flour

For the topping
2 tablespoons sesame seeds or Bread and Bagel Topping
1 large egg white

1) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, to make a soft dough.
2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for an hour, until it's almost doubled in size.
3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, flatten it slightly, and divide it into 6 pieces, each weighing about 3 1/2 to 4 ounces.
4) Roll each piece into a ball.
5) Place balls into the greased cups of a hamburger bun pan, flattening gently.
6) Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
7) Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, brush with lightly beaten egg white (or spray with Quick Shine) and sprinkle with seed topping; do this quickly, or the seeds won't stick!
8) Return the buns to the oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Coffeecake Muffins

These muffins have made their way into my oven a few times over the last couple months. A hit with my family and again with co-workers. Cooks Illustrated definitely got this recipe right. The delicate taste of cinnamon and pecans in the batter really makes this muffin shine. This recipe can easily be prepared in the food processor, but if a food processor is not available to you the batter can also be stirred by hand or mixed in a stand mixer. Perfect breakfast treat with a mug of hot chocolate, coffee, or even milk.

Coffeecake Muffins
as seen on Cook's Illustrated

1/2 cup (2 oz) pecans
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces and softened
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
2 Process nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in food processor until nuts are the size of sesame seeds, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
3. Return bowl and metal blade to food processor, add flour, granulated sugar, and salt and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Sprinkle butter evenly over flour mixture and process until butter is oat-sized, about eight 1-second pulses. Remove 1 cup of the flour-butter mixture and stir with fork into reserved brown sugar mixture until combined to make streusel. Set aside 3/4 cup pf streusel for muffin batter and remaining portion for topping muffins.
4. Add baking powder and baking soda to remaining flour mixture in food processor bowl and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Whisk together sour cream, egg, and vanilla; add to flour mixture. Process until batter is just moistened, about five 1-second pulses. Add 3/4 cup reserved streusel to flour mixture and process until just distributed throughout batter, about five 1-second pulses.
5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups and sprinkle with streusel, pressing lightly so that streusel sinks slightly into batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with several crumbs clinging to it, about 18 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffin tin on wire rack for 2 minutes. Using tip of paring knife, loosen muffins gently transfer from tin to wire rack; cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.