This year I did something different though. I didn't have any evaporated milk on hand. I thought I did but when I got home. I didn't. And I could have gone to the store to get it, but after researching how easy it was to make, although a little time consuming, I knew I could do it myself. Plus, one thing I learned is that the shelf life on the canned evaporated milk is YEARS! However, homemade evap milk is only a day or two, in the fridge, only. It made me think...what the heck makes the canned version last so long? I get it. It is sealed in a can but still, it didn't sit right with me for whatever reason yesterday so...I made the evaporated milk myself! Yes, I am crazy but, when I indulge in foods, I want them to be AMAZING and still as healthy and clean (no preservatives) as possible.
WAIT!!! I thought I came here for healthy eating and not junk food...Well, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Or at least allowing yourself to still have indulgences. I firmly believe in eating clean and healthy 80% of the time and allow myself to enjoy other types of foods, that I don't eat very often 20% of the time.
Foods I eat less of / less often: sweets, treats like ice cream, cake, doughnuts, even pasta with cream sauce.
Foods I eat more of / more often: veggies, fruit, brown rice, lean protein, oatmeal.
Foods I avoid: processed foods, preservative laden foods.
HOMEMADE GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup coco powder plus 1 tablespoons more for pans
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs (or 3 large eggs) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans. Spray with cooking spray then dust the pans with coco powder. shaking it all over the pans to coat.
Sift flour, sugar, coco, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment. mix on low speed until combined.
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.
with mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined. Scape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean
Cool in pans.
Frost as desired.
COCONUT PECAN FROSTING
12 ounces of homemade evaporated milk
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (6 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) pecans
In a large pot combine evaporated milk, brown sugar and butter and bring to a boil.
Once at a boil remove from heat.
Add salt, coconut and pecans and stir
once evenly coated, transfer to a medium bowl and let cool before frosting.
HOMEMADE EVAPORATED MILK
makes 12 ounces (equal to 1 can) of evaporated milk
30 ounces whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring milk to a simmer, stirring frequently (do not let boil, because it will boil over very quickly and make a HUGE mess)
Once simmering lower temperature to medium low heat and now the waiting begins. Stir with a spatula every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes to break up the skim on the top to allow the milk to steam / evaporate the water in the milk and also to help avoid burning the milk on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with every pass.
Using a strainer over your measuring cup, be sure to strain the milk before use. You may have to measure a couple times to make sure you have the desired amount of 12 ounces.
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