College Culinary Expedition

Hey everyone, our names are Brianna and Saieh :) We go to James Madison University and this is our cooking and baking blog! Hopefully you all can learn a thing or two and have a great time doing it. XOXO

Cheddar Jalepeño Biscuits

Hey y’all! Get ready for the recipe to these amaaaazing biscuits! They’re nice and salty with a little spice, a crowd favorite! They’re quick and easy to make, which is great because they’re also gone before you know it. Have fun making these :)

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter cut into squares
1 cup of buttermilk
1 jalepeno, deveined and seeded
1 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp of water

Preheat oven to 400 ˚F. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, then cut in butter until it’s about the size of peas (I use a fork, but if you have a pastry cutter, more power to ya). Stir in the cheese and jalepeno then add the buttermilk. Roll the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for two minutes. Then roll it out until it’s about 1/2 inch thick and cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter. Brush some of the egg wash onto it to help with browning, then bake it for 15 minutes. Let them cool, then enjoy!

Yellow Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Ganache Topping

Hey everyone! This is Saieh here with one of my most impressive creations to date. I made this cake for my sister’s 21st birthday and my family’s jaw dropped at the sight of it. The cake is moist and combines well with the sweetness and tang of the raspberry filling and the richness of the ganache topping. I had a great time making this cake, and I hope you all enjoy it too! :)

YELLOW CAKE RECIPE

2 sticks of butter
3 cups minus 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
1 3/4 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350 ˚F. Butter two 8x2 round cake pans and line with parchment, then butter and flour.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time then add vanilla extract. Then add in 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix, then add
half of the milk. Continue to alternate additions until fully combined (careful not to overmix).
Divide batter evenly between both cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake until golden brown, about 30-35 mins. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 20 mins. Invert cakes, remove from pans, and peel off parchment. Re-invert then allow to cool completely.

RASPERRY FILLING

2-12 oz packages of frozen sweetened raspberries
1/3 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of lemon zest
5 tbsp of corn starch in 1/2 cup of cold water

Combine raspberries, water, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Bring to boil and let it go for 20 mins. Strain in a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds, then return to heat. Add in cornstarch and whisk. Simmer for 5 mins and stir occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temp. Put plastic wrap directly on top of raspberry sauce so a skin doesn’t form, then place in fridge until ready to go!

CHOCOLATE GANACHE RECIPE

16 oz of finely chopped semisweet chocolate
2 2/3 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of corn syrup

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add heavy cream to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer, then add to the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a couple mins, then gently whisk together and add the corn syrup. The ganache will look super loose when you first start mixing it, and you may think you did it wrong, but, you didn’t! Keep mixing it and it’ll come together. Let it cool to room temperature, then move it to the fridge so it can thicken.
Note: if you don’t have corn syrup, you can substitute using agave nectar or honey.

ASSEMBLING THE CAKE

Once the cakes are cooled, cut them in half. Place one of the bottom layers of the cake on your serving dish, then place some squares of parchment paper under the edges (makes for easy cleanup!). Take 1/3 of the raspberry filling and spread it around the cake layer; leave about 1/2 inch away from the edge. Repeat that process until all of the cake layers are stacked. Then take the chocolate ganache and pour (yes, pour) over the top of the cake. Make sure it gets all around the sides, then even it out with a spatula. Cover the cake with a dome (not plastic wrap) and let it set in the fridge for 2 hours, then it’s ready to go!

Extra note: You may end up with some extra raspberry filling and chocolate ganache, DONT THROW THEM AWAY! I found some great ways to repurpose them to make sure all my hard work didn’t go to waste. There’s no point in spending all that money and time on these things if they’re not getting used completely, right? If you end up with extra raspberry filling, I like to mix it with my Greek yogurt for some extra sweetness. You can also use it as a spread with your bread and butter in the morning, or every as a cheesecake topping! I ended up with a lot of extra chocolate ganache, but it worked out great because I made cake pops later that week for my friend’s birthday. I’ll post the recipe later so you all can try it. For now though, just keep the ganache in and air right container and stored in the refrigerator. It should be safe to keep like that for two weeks.

Amazing chocolate cupcake with strawberry buttercream frosting

CUPCAKE RECIPE

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutched processed)
3/4 cup all purpose flower
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (room temp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup veg oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Combine cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients and half of the buttermilk into the dry ingredients. Gently stir together then add the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk and mix until combined. *do not over mix!* batter will not be very thick.
Fill the cupcake tin about halfway with batter to avoid spilling over sides. Bake for 18-19 mins or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


STRAWBERRY BUTTERCREAM RECIPE

2-3 cups of strawberries
1 lemon (zested and juiced)
3/4 cup of butter (room temp)
1 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Purée the strawberries then transfer to a saucepan. Add lemon zest and juice and allow mixture to reduce down to 3-4 tablespoons. Then cool to room temperature. Whip butter until creamy then add powder sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Add in strawberry purée by the tablespoon to taste. Continue to whip until fluffy. Then pour into piping bag and decorate! :)

These moist cupcakes combine the sweetness of strawberries and richness of chocolate. Great for both kids and adults. Enjoy!