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Janet’s Notebook

by Janet Tharpe

by Janet Tharpe

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Gooey Caramel Confection Takes the Cake in Crock Pot Contest

We love casseroles.  We love stews.  Ok, we pretty much love everything that comes out of a Crock Pot.

What we didn’t know was how stunningly delicious a slow-cooked DESSERT could be!

“I just love baking pies, cookies and cakes,” says Emily Hobbs of Springfield, MO.  “I’m more of a baker than a cook.”

Well, it turns out that she’s also a veritable Crock Pot dynamo, creating fanciful sweet confections straight from her slow cooker.  It’s no coincidence then, that Emily has also been named Grand Prize winner in the Just A Pinch Crock Pot Creations Contest at www.justapinch.com!  It was absolute love at first bite when we came face-to-face with her Dulce De Leche Sweet Potato Pudding Cake.  Full of sass and class, this is one mighty fine dessert.

“It’s a spiced sweet potato cake flavored with dulce de leche caramel, coconut and pecans,” explains Emily.  “It’s delicious, easy… and yes, ‘bakes’ in a slow cooker!”

Now, I’d love to be able to tell you how well Emily’s dessert keeps, but there was not a speck to be found after the Crew and I had our way with it in the Test Kitchen!  We served the cake in small, individual ramekins while it was still warm and the caramel golden and sticky.  We let French vanilla ice cream melt down over the top and, well, the rest is history.

Emily has had a passion for cooking since she was a child, an interest spurred on by the support of both her parents.

“They always cooked when I was growing up. My mom was more the baker, my dad the cook.  The first thing I tried to make for them on my own was cinnamon rolls for Mother’s Day when I was about 12 years old.  They were undercooked and doughy and not good at all, but it got me interested,” smiles Emily.  “I started checking out library cookbooks.  Now, I read cookbooks and food blogs all the time!”

In fact, Emily has created her very own cooking blog chronicling her many kitchen adventures. She prides herself on cooking with a sweet, Southern flair, and her delightful photography speaks to the outstanding quality of her food.  Utilizing different tableware, backdrops and props, she takes great care to capture the true essence of her dishes in every shot.  Perhaps her biggest tip for aspiring food bloggers is to snap your photos at eye-level; it makes readers feel like they’re there and can just reach out and grab that perfectly iced cupcake or last piece of pie.

For winning the Just A Pinch Crock Pit Creations Contest, Emily wins a $500 Visa card to spend any which way she wishes.  So, what’s she going to do with her winnings?  “I have a Kitchen Aid mixer but it’s been broken since October,” she laughs. “Maybe I’ll finally repair it!”

 

www.justapinch.com

© 2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission.

Brought to you by American Hometown Media

ENT-HobbsCakeDulce de Leche Sweet Potato Pudding Cake

added by Emily Hobbs

 

This is a delicious, easy cake that “bakes” in a slow cooker. It’s a spiced sweet potato cake flavored with dulce de leche caramel, coconut and pecans.

Cook time: 1 Hr 45 Min Prep time: 10 Min Serves: 6-8

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Ingredients

1/2 c unsalted butter

2 c all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 c brown sugar

1 can(s) (15 oz) sweet potatoes, drained, finely mashed

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 c coconut milk

1/2 c finely chopped toasted pecans

1 c dulce de leche

1/4 c toasted flaked coconut

Directions

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until butter foams and starts to turn golden brown. Place browned butter in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk until combined. Add brown sugar and sweet potato to mixing bowl with browned butter; beat, using a mixer on medium

speed, until creamy – about 1 minute. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined – about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with coconut milk until just combined. Stir in pecans until combined.

3. Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread batter evenly into slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 45 minutes. Pour dulce de leche on top, sprinkle with coconut, cover, and cook an additional 1 hour. Turn slow cooker off and allow to cool 45 minutes before serving.

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