Tag Archive | dessert

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

Tis the season of pumpkin spice everything and I admit I’m a fan of the trend. So much so that when we ran out of oat waffles (which I make in a large batch and freeze for easy breakfasts) I turned the new batch into pumpkin spice waffles. It was a straight forward change and makes the waffles even more healthy (Lots of fiber and beta-carotene in pumpkin) and delicious.

As a reminder we use Ultra Gel in quick breads like waffles for increased tenderness and it keeps them from drying out when frozen.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Ultra Gel

(This recipe makes about 2 dozen waffles. It can be halved if you don’t need that many at once.)

11 ounces ground oats

8 ounces flour

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

4 cups buttermilk (at room temp)

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling, just plain old pumpkin.)

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. You just want to bring these together, so be careful not to over mix. It’ll be lumpy and that’s a good thing.

Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. I use a Belgium waffle maker so I get two thick waffles at about 1/4 cup of batter each per batch. Eat warm with fruit, jam or syrup (Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup is really good. Apple Syrup is really good, and plain old maple syrup is smashing). Alternatively package waffles into layers in a freezer bag and freeze flat. To reheat toss waffles into a toaster.

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

One of my favorite parts about October is Halloween. This year in particular is fun because my little girl is finally old enough to really enjoy the festivities. She’s dressing up as a “good witch” and totally ready to go. Another benefit of October is that it’s both my own and my best friend’s birthday, so there are birthday parties piled onto Halloween and a lot of treats around the house.

This year I wanted to combine birthday cake and Halloween cake and put together this Halloween Swirl Cake infused with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup. This is a very easy cake, but is visually amazing and tasty. For even more fun you can add candy eyes which are available at local grocery stores, Gygi’s kitchen store in Salt Lake City, and can even be homemade.

This recipe comes in a lot of steps, but is a great Halloween cake to make with your kids. They can help with almost every step. My little girl had a great time with ours, even if I think many of the monster eyes got devoured!

Halloween Swirl Cake with Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

1 chocolate cake mix

1 white cake mix

Ultra Gel




orange, purple and black food coloring

Cornaby’s Raspberry Syrup

white buttercream icing (homemade or from a can will work)

Monster eyes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I know the measurements aren’t precise on this, which is because they change depending on the cake mixes you choose. This is much more about the process. So we’ll start with the chocolate cake. The first thing to do is to look at the high altitude directions on your cake mix, yeah even if you don’t live at altitude. It will say something like Add 2 Tblsp Flour to dry mix. Replace whatever this amount is with the same amount of Ultra Gel. So in my cakes it was one chocolate cake mix + 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel, which I mixed well. Then I continued to follow the cake mix directions, but swapped out the water for milk and the oil for melted butter. Once the mix was all together I added some black gel food coloring to darken up the chocolate batter.

Repeat this process with the white cake mix, but split it into two bowls at the end and color one batch of cake mix orange and the other purple. At this point look at all of your batters and make sure they aren’t too thick. I’ve never had one too thin, but I had one in the several times I’ve made this cake which was very thick (I suspect I missed something). If this happens add 1-2 Tablespoons of water to thin.

Now, grease and flour a bundt pan VERY well. Pour in about 1/3 of the black mixture, followed by all of the orange, all of the purple and more black to cover the colors. A standard bundt pan will only use about 2/3rd of the total batter, so repeat the process to make swirled cupcakes or in a loaf pan to use the rest of the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cardboard or decorative tray. Cool completely.

Once the swirl cake is cool we get to the syrup. The point of using the Raspberry syrup is two fold. First we’re adding a burst of flavor to our cakes and second we’re adding a spooky red drizzle to the center of our swirl. In order to get this effect we want to inject the syrup into the cake with a small baster, injector or syringe. I keep a couple of medical syringes on hand which are marked to be used for kitchen use. They’re easy to get from your local pharmacy or online. So I inject half a teaspoon of raspberry syrup in several locations around the cake, all of which will be covered with frosting to hide the syrup until the cake is cut. Do not OVER inject or the cake will be soggy. The point here is mild flavor and some fun color, not to drench the cake. I use between 1/4-1/3 cup raspberry syrup maximum.

Finally, split your white icing into two and color orange and purple. If it’s too thick to work with easily place the icing in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to color and drizzle. Drizzle the cake with alternating stripes of purple and orange, letting it pool around the sides. Add sprinkles, monster eyes or other decorations.

Yum and double yum!

Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

Technically cherry season is past, since most cherries including pie cherries come on earlier in the year. However, they’re not hard to find frozen. You can even visit places like the Rowleys Red Barn and get them frozen in bulk, so it’s not too late to can cherry pie filling! Especially with the holidays around the corner (Pies, cakes, cookies!) having beautiful bottles of pie filling on hand is a very good thing.

Our recipe for pie filling is a recipe which is thickened before it goes into the bottle, which raises a lot of concerns for some people. It is true that you should NOT use thickeners such as flour or traditional corn starch to thicken product which will be canned. These thickeners do not thicken evenly or hold up to the temperatures of canning. However products such as Thick Gel are approved for home canning as tested by the Utah State Extension service and the labs at Cornabys.

I use tart pie cherries for this recipe, though you could use pitted bing cherries or a combination of sweet and pie cherries. It’s all down to what you like. And while we give you measurements for both Thick Gel and Ultra Gel I have to admit that I like Thick Gel the most for this use, especially in this large recipe. Thick Gel thickens a little more evenly and has a smoother finish. Price per ounce Thick Gel is also a little less expensive. As a reminder Thick Gel has to be heated to thicken but in all of our pie filling recipes this happens anyway, so it’s not an issue.


Bottled Cherry Pie Filling with Thick Gel

 Utah State University Extension

6 quarts fresh or thawed sour cherries

7 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups Thick Gel (2-2 1/2 cups Ultra Gel)

9 1/3 cups water or juice from cherries

2 teaspoons almond extract (opt.)

1/2 cup bottled lemon juice – Do NOT use fresh lemon juice. Bottle juice is mixed to get a specific repeatable pH which cannot be guaranteed with fresh.

2 teaspoons red food coloring (opt.)

Rinse and pit fresh cherries or thaw frozen cherries.  Combine sugar and Thick Gel in large kettle with water or juice from cherries.  If desired, add almond extract and food coloring.  Stir mixture and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to bubble.  Add lemon juice and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Fold in cherries and fill jars with mixture, leaving 1-1 1/2″ headspace.  Adjust lids and process immediately in water bath canner for 30 minutes (sea level). Increase processing time for by 5 minutes for elevations of 1,000 to 3,000 feet and ten minutes for elevations from 3,000 to 5,000 feet.

Amazing Marshmallow Fondant with Ultra Gel

Between a big family and lots of friends and family catering I’ve made more than my fair share of cakes over the years and worked with a lot of different kinds of fondant. I have to admit commercial fondant has never really done it for me. There’s something about the combination of texture and flavor that’s just kinda…well…blah. So I wanted something better and we’ve come up with two recipes which I’m really rather fond of.

The first one is a cream cheese base and the second a marshmallow base. Both use Ultra Gel to help maintain moisture and workability and both, I’m happy to say, are easy to work with and taste fantastic.

If you want to color either of these recipes I highly advise using gel or powdered colors as liquid ones are weak and can change the consistency of the final product.


Ultra Gel Fondant

8 ounce light cream cheese

1/2 cup butter – softened

3-4 lbs powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Beat cream cheese and butter well.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix to combine.  In a separate container mix together milk and Ultra Gel.  Add to powdered sugar mixture and beat well.  Add additional powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.  Use powdered sugar or corn starch on rolling surface for easier use, but be careful not to dry mixture out.

Marshmallow Ultra Gel Fondant

3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

2/3 cups white baking chocolate

1/4 cup water

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

Combine powdered sugar, salt and Ultra Gel in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook and mix until well combined. Make a well in the center. In a large microwave safe bowl combine marshmallows and water. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between until smooth. Add white chocolate and stir until melted. This may require a brief stint back in the microwave. Add food coloring at this point.

Pour marshmallow mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until you have a paste and all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tight. Let stand over night. You can add more powdered sugar if you want to use this immediately, but I found that the over night sit helped everything to hydrate and made it easier to work with.

Roll out using normal fondant tools and methods. Wrap and refrigerate unused portions for upto 4 months. Bring to room temp before rolling.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

I’m not going to give this recipe a lot of lead in. It’s decadent. It’s marvelous. It was a hit at an event with about 50 women who all wanted a piece. It’s that good.

It’s not for those on a diet. So use this knowledge responsibly.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

1 family sized brownie mix

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

8 ounces light cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

6 ounces fresh raspberries

Mix 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into brownie mix. Prepare brownie as per the box. Spread 2/3s of the brownie mix in the bottom of a glass 9×13 inch pan. With an electric or stand mixer beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel until smooth. Add raspberries and beat until well mixed. Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture. Top with remaining brownie mixture and swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes until tests done with a toothpick. Cool and serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a light layer of chocolate buttercream to push it right over the top!

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

Note: This was supposed to publish last week. Technology and I had a falling out, so I apologize to anyone who was miffed it didn’t show up, but I think we’re good now.

When it comes to homemade ice cream I think it is vital that everyone has a really really good vanilla ice cream base. Not only because vanilla ice cream is yummy on its own, but also because once you have a good vanilla base you can add all sorts of stuff to it to make a million flavors. But if your base isn’t good it doesn’t matter how many beautiful raspberries you add, or chunks of double brownie it just won’t have the quality you want.The Thick Gel in this recipe helps to create a really smooth ice cream that freezes with small crystals to retain a superior mouthfeel.

So…that said here is my favorite recipe, for now, for vanilla ice cream base.

vanilla ice cream

Vanilla Ice Cream Base

2 cups half and half

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons Thick Gel (5 Tablespoons Ultra Gel)

2 Tablespoons peach jam (I use my Jam in a Jiffy Jam. And yes it needs to be peach as that flavor is very delicate and highlights the vanilla. If you don’t have peach then omit entirely. The flavor won’t be as rich, but it will work out)

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar and Thick Gel and mix thoroughly. Move to a large saucepan and combine with all remaining ingredients. Stir well to make sure all ingredients are completely integrated. Warm over medium heat until mixture just starts to thicken. You need the heat to activate the Thick Gel but you do not want to boil the mixture to avoid scorching. Remove from heat and pour into a container. Refrigerate over night. Remove vanilla bean before pouring mixture into a churn and processing as per manufacturer’s directions.

When it comes out of the churn the ice cream will be soft. This is the perfect time to stir in any extras you want, then move the ice cream to the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

Today (May 15th) is National Chocolate Chip Day. This whole food holiday thing always amuses me, but the very most when the food in question is something I really love, and chocolate chips are something I really love.

So in pondering a recipe to share for such a wonderful food holiday I went back to the classic chocolate chip cookie. What I want in a chocolate chip cookie is a delicate balance of a crisp edge that gives with a satisfying chew and a soft chocolatey center. Then, just to make things hard, I want a cookie that I can keep over night or freeze while maintaining the same qualities because as much as I love my chocolate chip cookies I know better than to eat the whole batch at once. With all of this in mind I went to work with a few adjustments to the recipe, again. Often I put Ultra Gel in my cookies and I do love what it does, but this time I worked with Thick Gel. I get the cookie I want and a cookie that will keep, all good things in my book. And I’m never unhappy to find another recipe to use Thick Gel in.🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Thick Gel

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons Thick Gel

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup unsalted butter, soft

1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 bag chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but if milk chocolate is your thing I’m not judging)

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, Thick Gel and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Seriously, give it 3-4 minutes, even as many as 10, light and fluffy! Add egg, additional yolk and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients in three batches, mixing to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. Now the hard part: put the whole thing into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Some folks will say as long as overnight. I personally don’t like that and find the resulting dough to be very stiff to work with without getting much benefit from that much chilling. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. I like these cookies big so I use a two ounce disher and can put about 8 per batch. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes until just barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on the pan for 2 minutes and then remove to cooling racks. Serve warm, or cold, or freeze any option is a good one!