Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake

Fruit kissed by the sun welcomes this light and luscious Pink Grapefruit Layer Cake.

Citrus growing in the garden.

Smell the scent of the fragrant flowers.

Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits.

So much fruit adorn the branches.

Bending gently as ripened, too heavy fruit falls to the ground.

Citrus is the inspiration for summer.

Refreshing as the sweet and tart fruit squirts into your mouth.

The sun has kissed these kindly.

And the soil has spurted their growth.

The citrus is delicate. The oil is light.

Brought together makes a wonderful combination.

Light and refreshing cake.

New and intriguing flavor.

Delightful.

As summer comes to an end.

Drench yourself in the sunny flavors of citrus.

Stimulate your senses.

Soft pink. Pale yellow.

A beautiful dessert worth remembering.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT LAYER CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
2/3 cup Algee oil*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest

For the Frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 lb. (about 4 cups) confectioners’ sugar
2-4 tablespions freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2-3 drops red food coloring

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment paper, then sprayed again, and set aside.

in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs for about 5 minutes until light yellow and thick.

In a separate large bowl add the flor, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined. And, to a medium bowl add the yogurt, oil, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest and mix until well blended.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and 1/3 of the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Repeat twice. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes; until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely.

When the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter on high-speed for about 5 minutes – until light and fluffy. Tune the mixer to low-speed and add the confectioners sugar, grapefruit juice, heavy cream, and the red food coloring (one drop at a time until you get the color you prefer). Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the cake, put the first cake on stand or plate, add 1/4 of the frosting, top with the second cake, 1/4 of the frosting, then the third cake, and top with 1/4 of the frosting. Use the remaining frosting for the sides and smooth with an offset spatula.

Slice. Serve. Enjoy!

Sweetly,

Sheila

 

* I won a bottle of Algee Oil from Raley’s, thanks!

{cake inspired by BHG}

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Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz

Celebrate the New Year in style with this sophisticated Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz.

Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz

I hope you enjoyed the holiday season as much as I did. You may have noticed that I took a little break from my blog over the last week or so, just to unwind from the stress of the season and spend some well deserved quality time with my little family. I pretty much un-plugged.

You see, this year I did not take time off from work — I usually take a week off, so when the holiday season was upon me, I was bustling around trying to get everything done for both my job and Christmas with my family.

Turns out I had a lovely time over Christmas, and I hope you did too. I baked up a storm for a brunch I hosted for my family and everything was devoured instantly including; Chili Cheese Eggs, Parmesan Hash Browns and Overnight French Toast, as well there was plenty of Chocolate Mousse, Almond Roca, Chocolate Sheet Cake with Peppermint-Vanilla Frosting, Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Homemade Amaretto.

Unfortunately, most of these scrumptious goodies were gobbled up so fast that I was not able to take any photos. Guess that means I need to make everything again that did not get snapped! But not to fret, the delectable things that did get their 15-seconds with my camera will get posted soon!

Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz

With that being said, can you believe that 2015 is here? I can’t!  This year has gone by so incredibly fast for me, yet I have tried to enjoy each an every minute of this crazy year while hanging onto my family and friends for their unwavering love and support!

So if your year has been anything like mine, then it’s time to treat yourself today or throughout this New Year weekend to this truly tantalizing cocktail.

And best of all, it’s really so easy to make that you’ll be sitting by the fire enjoying this libation with your loved ones in no time.

With only 3 ingredients, you simply shake up some creme brulee infused coffee creamer along with sweet nutty amaretto and add a splash of sparkling lemon-lime soda and in just a few minutes you’ll be sipping on an elegant, frothy cocktail.

Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz

Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz
{recipe by Sheila/Sweet Baked Life}

honey & sugar for glass rim
4 oz Sunnyside Creme Brulee Coffee Creamer {from Raley’s}
2 oz Amaretto
2 oz 7-Up or any lemon-lime soda
ice
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish

In a small plate, add the sugar. Then rim 2 champagne flutes with a little honey and dip the rim into the sugar and set aside.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Creme Brulee Coffee Creamer, Amaretto and 7-Up. Shake vigorously and pour into prepared glasses. Lightly sprinkle the top with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg.

Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz

Wishing you and yours a very joyous 2015 filled with much love, happiness and sweets!

I raise my glass of Amaretto Creme Brulee Fizz to you – cheers!

Sheila


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Watermelon Agua Fresca

Are you inspired by your surroundings? I am!  Last week I attended a luncheon where we were treated to an incredible “Farm to Fork” meal using solely fresh ingredients from our local farms to create a scrumptiously fresh and appealing lunch. The highlight for me was a beverage, Watermelon Agua Fresca — it truly inspired me. This delightful pinkish-red concoction was presented in a tall glass bottle, which was gently poured into a tiny jar lined with some type of raw pink sugar! And yes, I was hooked from the very first sip. Can we say AMAZING!  I defiantly knew I had to recreate this refreshing drink at home! And easily and quickly I did!
WatermelonAguaFresca

In my own “Farm to Fork” version, I used a watermelon from Vierra Farms that I purchased at my local Raley’s and the limes were picked fresh off my lime tree growing in my farm (backyard!). You too can get inspired to create some wonderful recipes by using freshly grown products from your region!

Watermelon Agua Fresca

1 large seedless watermelon; flesh chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar or sugar
2 limes, squeezed

In a blender begin by adding a small amount of watermelon and process until the watermelon begins to liquify. Then continue adding the pieces of watermelon, ensuring not to overfill your blender and blend until completely liquified. Using a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, pour the watermelon pure. You may have to use a spoon to stir to quicken the process. Repeat with remaining watermelon — note, I filled up my blender 3 times in total.

Into the watermelon juice, add the water (a little at a time until you get the consistency you desire — my watermelon was super juicy so I did not use much), Agave Nectar, if needed for sweetness and the lime juice. Stir until combined and adjust taste as needed. Store in a glass container with a lid and refrigerator until cold, about 1-2 hours. To serve, fill a glass with ice and pour.

Not only is this Watermelon Agua Fresca super easy to make, it is so refreshing to drink!  And if you want, you can even turn it into a Watermelon Margarita by simply adding some of your favorite Tequila and triple sec!  Yummy!
WatermelonAguaFresca-1
What is “Farm to Fork” you might ask? In a nutshell, it’s local restaurants and chefs using fresh ingredients from our plentiful local farms to create wonderful meals for all of us to enjoy. It really is a no-brainer in the area that I live — in Sacramento we are surrounded by thousands of farms that harvest a multitude of products, and Sacramento boasts over 50 farmers markets. “Farm to Fork” freshness is truly a wonderful concept! And if you don’t know it already, Sacramento was recently declared America’s Farm to Fork Capital. There is a huge buzz around this claim and it will be celebrated in September by a week filled with festivities hosted by the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau for your entire family to enjoy!

Now go explore what your region has to offer! And surprise your family with something new and fresh with your own “Farm to Fork”!
Sheila


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Sweet and Spicy Salsa

On my annual summer visit to my best friend’s house last year, one of our friends came over for a barbecue and brought an amazingly lip-smacking salsa.  She served this with large corn chips and told us it was super easy to make, and well, we could not stop eating it!  The varied textures of the smooth avocado and black beans paired with the spicy corn salsa and the sweet pomegranate along with the crunchy chips was enough to turn us all into believers immediately! I have made this sweetly spicy salsa many times since that beautiful summer day and I hope you will too!
SweetandSpicySalsa
Sweet and Spicy Salsa
(Recipe inspired from Terry C.)

1 jar Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 large avocado, diced
1 package pomegranate seeds (can find at Trader Joe’s or Raley’s)
Cilantro

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except cilantro, and mix until combined.  Then garnish the top with a sprig or two of cilantro.

I love this as a dip with crisp corn chips and I especially like serving it over grilled swordfish – oh my, so perfect for a summer dinner!  My family loves the taste of this salsa and I’m sure whomever you serve it to will enjoy it as well!  Thanks again Terry for introducing me to this fabulously delicious and simple recipe!
Sheila