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Black Hole Upside Down Cake with Ultra Gel

When my husband and I first started dating we spent a lot of time flirting with food. Whenever we’d both go to an event we’d each bring our favorite dishes, not for all the other people at the event, but because we were trying to impress each other.

This black hole upside down cake is one of his specialties which he made early on. It’s rich and chocolately and… a complete cheater cake. It’s so much easier than it tastes, but it’s one amazing cake and you will make a good impression!

After a while we started collaborating on this cake and he’d bring the cake, and I’d bring the whipping cream – Ultra Gel Whipping Cream of course.

Single people take note, this cake may be indirectly responsible for our marriage. Use with care. :)

To take this cake to the next level of amazing serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries as a garnish. The pop of fruit flavor against the richness of the cake is really, really good.

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Black Hole Upside Down Cake

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

2 cups warm water

12-14 large marshmallows, quartered or about 2 cups mini marshmallows

1 box chocolate cake mix (I TOLD you it was easy)

Combine water, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and marshmallows in a bowl. Mix well then spread into a 9×13 inch well-greased pan.

Add 2 Tablespoons to the dry cake mix and stir well. Prepare cake mix according to box directions with the addition of 2 Tablespoons water. (So 2 Tablespoons water, 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and then whatever the mix calls for). Carefully spoon cake batter over marshmallow mixture to cover. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.

Remove cake from oven and cool in the pan. Once it is mostly cool, invert onto a serving platter. It’s important you flip the cake before it has cooled completely or it will stick to the pan. If this happens warm the cake slightly before flipping. Cut into servings and serve with whipping cream. Trust me you’ll want the cream to cut the chocolate!

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Ultra Gel Whipping Cream

1 pint whipping cream

1 teaspoon Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whip all ingredients together until thick and creamy. Serve. Keep any extra whipped cream in the refrigerator.

*Ultra Gel can be purchased in grocery stores all over Utah or online at Cornabys or Amazon.

Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Recently I was asked what was the fastest way I knew to make a very fresh, easy strawberry topping. The person asking for the recipe knew about our recipe for Strawberry shortcake with kool-aid, sugar, and Ultra Gel but they wanted something simpler and something without the coloring.

So, for others who want a fast, easy topping here’s the way I do it.

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Simple Strawberry Topping with Ultra Gel

Wash, hull and slice 2 pounds of fresh strawberries. Toss with 1/4-1/2 cups sugar depending on how sweet you want it. Set aside for 20 minutes. What’s happening during that time is the sugar helping to draw moisture out of the berries, so you’ll get a nice juicy topping. Remove from the fridge and stir in 2-3 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to reach your desired thickness. Pour over crepes, pancakes, waffles, or anywhere else you want a burst of fresh strawberry flavor. Keep topping in the fridge when not in use or if you have leftovers.

Jam in a Jiffy goes Gourmet

It’s always fun when a product you know and love gets found by someone else who decides they love it too. And then they use it to make something amazing!

In this case one of the chefs at Harmons Grocery store wanted an amazing sandwich for #NationalGrilledCheeseDay which was yesterday 4/12. So he combined some amazing brie and jam in a jiffy jam…and…oh just go watch it for yourself!

Good Things Utah and Harmons Jam and Brie Cheese Sandwich

Find Jam in a Jiffy at your local Harmons stores, or order online!

Jam in a Jiffy

Jam In A Jiffy Season and Sale

One of our favorite things about March is that it signals the kick off to berry season and jam making!

If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ve seen several suggestions for great ways to use Jam in a Jiffy to preserve your favorite fruits into delightful, low sugar freezer jams. If you haven’t been following Jam in a Jiffy is an amazing instant jam mix. Crush 2 pounds (about 4 cups) of your favorite fruits, add the low sugar mix and stir and you have fruity jam ready to go. And even if you’re not into jams there are a lot of places where you can use these fruity spreads.

  • Add to greek yogurt for a low-sugar pop of fruity flavor!
  • Use over cake or cheesecake for a light, fruity topping.
  • Fill breads or cookies for fun thumbprint cookies where the filling stays in the cookie!
  • Spread on waffles, pancakes, crepes, or even scoop into plain oatmeal.
  • Top toast and make amazing pbj sandwiches that will please kids and adults alike.

Now, even better Jam in a Jiffy is on sale at your local Associated Food Stores. If you are a perks card member you should be able to download a coupon, or have it automatically moved to your card depending on your store’s policies, for $1.00 off any two Jam in a Jiffy mixes! If you aren’t close to a AFS no fear. Jam in a Jiffy can be purchased at most Utah grocery stores, BOSCH kitchen centers, or can be found online on our Cornaby’s website.

How do you Jam in a Jiffy?

Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

This year I’ve decided I want to come up with more recipes which use my slow cooker. I love the convenience of the slow cooker, and my sweet husband got me a new one at Christmas time which is even more fun. Part of what I love about this slow cooker is that, unlike my first slow cooker, it is programmable by temperature as well as setting a high or low slow cook. It has a very nice non-stick surface and I find if I tackle the dishes right after dinner just about everything cleans off easily.

This slow cooker Jambalaya recipe was the result of finding some nice spicy chicken sausage in the freezer that needed using. I also had chunked up chicken and veg on hand. Traditionally Jambalaya is a cajun dish that’s pretty much based out of cleaning out your meats and veggies, adding spice and pouring it over rice. Many versions of Jambalaya have seafood in them, but here in landlocked Utah I can’t always lay hands on excellent seafood, and chicken makes a pretty good stand in. You can make this as hot or not as you like by adding more cajun spices or a few extra shots of hot sauce, I like the Louisiana style.

Ultra Gel is a great ingredient when working with a slow cooker because we don’t have to heat everything to boiling in order to thicken it. We can just sprinkle the Ultra Gel on the top of the Jambalaya, stir it in and serve. It’s convenient and not forcing the vegetables to boil hard in order to thicken the stock means the vegetables stay in bigger chunks and taste amazing.

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Slow Cooker Jambalaya with Ultra Gel

1 pound chicken chunks

1 pound spicy sausage, cut into piece (andoullie sausage is traditional and yummy)

1 medium onion, diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1-2 cans diced tomatoes (I prefer the low sodium versions. I’ve also used 3 fresh tomatoes)

2 cups chicken broth

salt

pepper

1-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

dash hot sauce

Ultra Gel

Combine all ingredients except for Ultra Gel in a large slow cooker. For additional flavor you can saute the onion, pepper, celery and carrot before adding to the mix. Slow cook for 4-6 hours on high. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Thicken with Ultra Gel and serve over rice.

This dish freeze well and will keep up to 6 months in the freezer.

*Shelled and deveined shrimp can be added in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Homemade Pancakes with Ultra Gel

I love pancakes. When I was a little girl I remember finding a recipe for pancakes in a old cookbook. The cookbook was grey and fraying around the edges, and I used the recipe so often that I eventually memorized it. As yesterday was National Pancake day, or at least according to IHOP, I thought I’d share my recipe with you today.

I’ve adjusted the recipe a little over the years adding two key ingredients. I add a little bit of vanilla because yum, and some Ultra Gel because Ultra Gel helps to create a more tender pancake and makes it easy to freeze so you have pop up pancakes later! And really, who doesn’t love having breakfast breads on hand?

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Homemade Pancakes with Ultra Gel

2 cups flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking powder

3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate container combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just to combine. Cook pancakes by the 1/3rd cup on a hot (350 degree) griddle, flipping once. Serve with Cornaby’s Jams, Cornaby’s Syrups, Homemade Maple Syrup, or just eat as they are!

To Freeze: Arrange pancakes in layers separated with waxed paper in a gallon freezer bag. Freeze flat. Pop in the toaster to warm.

Cookie Hand Pies with Cornaby’s Jams

Lately I’ve been experimenting with things I can do with Cornaby’s newest gourmet jams. I love these jams, especially the apple pie and the cherry pie. They are delicious on toasts and in crepes, but I’ve wondered what else I could do with them. When I made some sugar cookies for Valentines, inspiration struck!

These Cookie Hand Pies are similar to thumbprint cookies but on a larger scale. They consist of two layers of sugar cookie dough, with a hole punched in the top layer which is then filled with Cornaby’s Jams. Now, I know one could argue that any jam would do for this, but it’s really not true. Cornaby’s Jams are unique in their formulation in that they include not only pectin, but heat stable starch. This means that unlike most jams Cornaby’s Jams don’t completely liquefy when they’re cooked. So in cookies and stuffed breads and other baked applications the jam stays put! And they’re delicious too.

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Cookie Hand Pies with Cornaby’s Jams

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups flour (sifted)

Cream sugar, shortening and eggs and beat well. Blend in milk, Ultra Gel, vanilla and lemon extract. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter, stirring gently to avoid over beating. Add additional flour if needed to form a very soft dough. Roll 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with sugar and cut sets of circles, one bottom piece and one top piece with a shape cut out of it to make space for the jam. Align both layers of the cookie pie and press gently to seal. Fill the center with Cornaby’s Jams (My favorite for this is the blackberry raspberry, cherry pie or apple pie).

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until cookies are golden brown and set. Move to a cooling rack to cool fully. If you like you can drizzle with a light glaze or buttercream icing!

Cut shapes in an oval to create hand pies for Easter! St. Patricks? No problem, just cut shamrocks. These cookie pies work for any holiday and are fun to make with the kids.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

Every evening I’m feeding a pretty full household. Teenagers, not toddlers, husbands, cats…the kitchen is always busy, and, let’s be honest, I like it that way. Usually. But sometimes I feel less inspired than others and I like having a file of easy go-tos which I add to upon occasion.

This is one such occasion and one such recipe. I love these Easy Chicken Enchiladas, and the power of Ultra Gel makes them even better. These Chicken Enchiladas are great with either chicken breasts or thighs, you just want a pile of cooked, boneless meat to start with and everything goes from there.

Because of the Ultra Gel these Chicken Enchiladas can be made days ahead of time and frozen, then baked for about an hour before dinner time. Viola! Easy, tasty, yum.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Ultra Gel

1 can (10-12 ounces) red enchilada sauce (You can make this, but this is the way easy version)

1 can (15 ounces) chicken broth (homemade will also work well here)

2-3 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1-2 pounds cooked, diced boneless chicken

1/2 medium onion chopped

1-2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1/2-3/4 cups sour cream

1 small can diced green chiles

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel

2 cups cheese

8-10 corn tortillas

In a small pan combine enchilada sauce, chicken broth, Ultra Gel and black pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside.

In a medium pan combine 1 Tablespoon oil, chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook on medium heat until onion is transparent. Don’t over cook or garlic will burn. Add chicken, sour cream, green chiles and rinsed beans and mix until well combined and warmed through. Add salt and pepper and Ultra Gel.

Line the bottom of a 9×12 inch pan with 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Place 2 Tablespoons chicken mixture in each tortilla and roll up. Place each roll into enchilada sauce in baking pan, seam side down. When pan is full cover all tortilla rolls with remaining enchilada sauce. If you want to freeze the batch cover with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of tin foil and move to the freezer. Otherwise, cover with cheese and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and amazing.

For frozen batches: Remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cooked all the way through.

Homemade Pop Tarts with Cornaby’s Jam

Here at Cornaby’s we’ve been whipping up some amazing new jams including Apple Pie and Cherry Pie gourmet jams. I had a bottle of the Apple Pie jam sitting in the fridge and in a moment of dessert inspiration decided to make homemade pop tarts. How hard could it be?

The answer? VERY simple. This is a recipe anyone can do and it would be perfect to make with your kids as well.

Store bought pop tarts are on notice…this homemade version is amazing!

Homemade Pop Tarts with Cornaby’s Jam

1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry dough, thawed

1 bottle Cornaby’s Apple Pie Jam

Roll out puff pastry and cut into nine squares per sheet. Dock squares with a fork to allow for steam to escape. Put 1-2 teaspoons, or a little more, of Cornaby’s Apple Pie jam in the center of 9 squares. You want the center to look full, but not so full that you can’t seal the edges. Place a second square on top of each pop tart and seal edges with your fingers. Move to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until brown and puffy.

Top with a powdered sugar glaze if desired.

Vanilla Peach Freezer Jam – With Jam in a JIffy

Around here this was a good year for peaches, but also a very busy fall. Therefore, I ended up freezing off some of my peaches for use later. Well…yay for later! A big bag of peaches, I sliced them and weighed them out in two pound bags, one bag of jam in a jiffy and a teaspoon of very good vanilla extract. So easy and here’s a jam that elevates everything it goes on. It’s a particularly good dessert jam to pour on cakes, waffles, crepes and to fill breads with. Who says you can’t have fall flavors in the middle of January?!

Vanilla Peach Freezer Jam

2 pounds frozen peaches

1 bag Cornaby’s Jam in a Jiffy

1 teaspoon vanilla

Let frozen peaches thaw and drain off the liquid. DON’T discard it. Crush fruit and add Jam in a Jiffy. Stir well. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Allow mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes. As needed add back in peach juice until you reach the desired consistency.

Jam can be refrozen for up to 3 months. Refrigerated for 1-2 weeks. Or eaten immediately. We won’t judge.