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Category Archives: Fruit

Mini Spiced Apple Tarts with Chocolate

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...

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It’s that time of the year where Christmas lights start going up and families plan their Thanksgiving feasts. A big part of the holidays are apples, more specifically apple pie.. YUM. There’s nothing that can be wrong with a hot, fresh, flaky and juicy apple pie. And what’s better than just a slice- a tart! Just as flaky and yummy but smaller and with CHOCOLATE. Plus at the Thanksgiving table theres GOING to be that family member(s) that doesn’t want to eat too much dessert, or a big slice or they’re watching their weight. So this is the PERFECT addition to your dessert spread!

Petite decadent pastry shells filled with moist apples, brown sugar, spices and zest topped with lucisious chocolate and the only things left to complete the deal is your hand and mouth! I swear by Williams & Sonoma Basic Pastry Dough recipe because it’s easy, fast and super tasty. I just tweek it a bit of course!

OF COURSE I used my AMAZING Babycakes Machine and the tarts  they came out so cute and petite! However, these can be done in regular mini-muffin tin pans.

Basic Pastry Dough:

Spiced Apple Filling:

  • 4 green apples- peeled and cubed small
  • 2/3 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (fresh is so much better!)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange zest
  • pinch clove powder
  • PAM Baking Flavor

Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 3-4 bittersweet chocolate squares (I used Ghiradelli)
  • 2-3 tbsp half & half (I used fatfree Land-o-Lakes)
  • 2-3 tbsp warm water

Before Chocolate..

For the Pie Dough:

1. In a food processor add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse until blended. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter chunks are small pea sized. While pulsing, slowly dribble in the cold water. Add enough water until the dough has turned into a rough mass.

2. Place dough mixture on a floured counter and form into a 1-2 inch thick disk. Wrap with plastic and place in the fridge for AT LEAST 2 hours.

For the Apple Mixture:

1. In a bowl mixture together all the ingredients listed above. Place aside.

Putting it together..

**If using a conventional oven, preheat to about 375. Spray the muffin tins.

1. After 2+ hours, remove the dough from the fridge onto a floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a thin pastry sheet (just before its thin enough to see through! Using a round 3 inch cookie cutter or a knife, cut out circles. Regardless of whether you’re using the babycakes machine or regular muffin tins, make sure to SPRAY them. Line each cup with the circles of dough pressing lightly into the cup to create a tart shell. If using babycakes machine, use the pie tart tool to press into the cups. Bake for about 5 minutes or until the shells are slightly cooked and slightly golden.

2. Remove the tins from the oven/ open the babycakes machine lid. Add enough apple filling to come over the top of the tin a little. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, or until apples are soft and crust is golden brown and crispy. Remove each tart from the tin/babycakes machine and let cool on a rack.

Pouring the Drizzle..

1. Heat chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 45 second. Pour in milk and 1 tbsp of water. Heat for another 30-40 second. Stir and if not melted, add another tbsp hot water and heat for another 30 second. Stir until smooth and glistening. You want the consistency to be a bit thin so you can drizzle the tarts.

2. Using a small whisk or spoon (I used a spoon) drizzle the tarts in a fast back and forth motion until tops are covered. Cool until chocolate is hardened.

Makes about 20 tarts

Serving Suggestions:

Hot with fresh whip cream and chocolate curls

Hot with fresh vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream

Hot with a nice cup of coffee

Wanna See More Recipes Using the Babycakes Machine?

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Indian Corn & Cranberry Succotash

A pepper plant. Aromatic plants and spices suc...

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Source: chefpriyanka.wordpress.com

Have you ever heard of succotash? It’s a corn/bean dish that has come down to Americans from the Native Americans. It was especially popular during the Great Depression becasue corn was cheap and redily available.

Well, there’s not much explain to do here. It’s corn, it’s chili, it’s cranberry and with a little Indian flair. Sweet, spicy and delicious! Great as a holiday side dish or a healthy snack! But, since it’s the winter season (well tomorrow starts winter to be exact), I was kind of ghetto and used canned corn. It really tastes yummy and is easy to just open and saute! Plus, corn is a great source of protein and fiber- just check it here!

Indian Corn Succotash:

  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4-5 small green chilies, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garam masala (I used Homemade)
  • salt to taste
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM original flavor
  • grated parmgiano cheese (optional)

1. In a medium sized skillet over medium high heat spray with PAM. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add chilies and garam masala- mix until combined well and fragrant about 1 minute. Add corn and cranberries. Saute for about another 5 minutes until soft and and cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix in cilantro. Place on a serving dish and top with grated parmigiano (I know weird, but the nuttiness of the parmigiano went well with the spicy Indian flavors of garam masala!)

Want More Indian Vegan? Check these out!

Indian Stuffed Masala Peppers

Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Creamy Maharashtrian Chole

 
 

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Banana Bread Cake Pops

Banana bread with chocolate.

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This past weekend was my boyfriend’s birthday and I planned a surprise party for him (yes, I can be sweet when I try!). So, I decided to treat everyone to some quick, sweet bites- Banana Bread Cake Pops. Why the Banana Bread? Well, it’s a staple in the Naik House- we always have some moist, chocolatey and nutty banana bread that my boyfriend always goes home with. Let’s just say he REALLY likes our banana bread! I thought, why don’t I just use that banana bread and make them into cake pops? Plus, no guests likes to stand around holding a plate and fork chowing down a slice of cake! I mean no one said that cake pops have to be made with a particular type of cake, or cake at all!

I combined a tweeked version of our Banana Bread recipe with sweet banana frosting and enrobed it in deep, dark chocolate. Now, if that doesn’t sound good to you, than I don’t what does! If you’re not a banana fan (like me), you’re palette is definitely going to change after you take a bite out of these!

Banana Bread Recipe:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan with PAM. Set aside.

1. In a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, cream and oil until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, break up the banana and add sugar.

Using a hand mixer, whip together until fluffy, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the wet ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and continue beating for 2 minutes longer. DO NOT OVER BEAT! Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until inserted wooden toothpicks comes out clean. Set aside to cool for an hour.

Banana Frosting:

1. In a large bowl mash the banana with the lemon juice. Mix in the vanilla and milk.

Using a hand mixer, blend banana mixture together on medium-low speed until slightly smooth. Add the sugar in slowly and continuously with the blender on medium-low. As the frosting becomes thicker, increase the speed of the mixer. Frosting should have a thick and creamy consistency- you don’t want it to be too thick. If it is too thick, you can add a little milk.

Makes 2 cups of Frosting

Coating:

  • 5 3.5oz Dark Chocolate Bars (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Brand)
  • Sugar Pearls- any color
  • 1/2 3.5oz White Chocolate Bar (I used Ghiradelli Brand)

1. In a large clear bowl, break dark chocolate bar into small pieces. Microwave for 35 second. Remove and stir with a spatula. Continue until chocolate is almost all melted. Stir vigorously to melt remaining pieces and the chocolate will become shiny. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. When you’re ready to decorate, melt the white chocolate the same way.

To Make Cake Pop Balls:

1. Once the banana bread is cool, break it up into a large bowl.

2. Use a little more than 1 cup of the banana frosting, and stir into the crumbled banana bread. Mix well. The consistency should be almost like a thick, crumbly dough:

3. Using your hands, grab a little bit of the dough and roll into 1-2 inch balls. Ass your rolling, press the dough together to make sure its compacted tightly- you don’t want them falling apart later on! If your hand gets super sticky, just dab a little warmer on them and continue rolling. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper:

Freeze for about 2 hours, or until the balls are cool and hard.

4. Once the chocolate is melted and cooled to room temperature, stick the cookie stick into each cake pop, and dip the balls until completely coated and smooth. Remove and carefully place back on parchment lined sheet. Dip each ball, making sure that they’re dipped all around, and there are no rough edges. If decorating with sugar pearls, coat the tops with a few pearls right after you dip the cake pops. If decorating with white chocolate drizzle, let cool (overnight preferably).

Pour the melted white chocolate in a small ziplock bag and cut a TINY part of the corner off. Drizzle the cooled cake pops, going back and forth until a pretty lined drizzle-effect appears. Let cool for about 2 hours.

5. I served mine in a rectangular basket, filled with a styrofoam piece (so they stay put), and everyone loved them!

Makes about 48-50 Cake Pops


 
 

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Mini Mango Crisp Recipe

Example of Mangoes, shoot in Taipei, Taiwan. T...

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by jeg

So, this blog is turning a bit food-based.  Hmm.  OK by me!  Since I’ve resolved to cook more for myself, the blog is motivation to actually do it.  And documenting it with my new toy has become borderline obsessive.  So, after my delicious “soup” lunch yesterday, I was in the cooking mood and decided to make something yummy for dessert.  I had some mangoes and decided I would finally make the individual mango crisp I’ve been planning to make for probably 8 months.  You see, last summer, after I bought my house and was replacing things that had been my old roommate’s stocking up on a few kitchen essentials, I saw these adorable little individual ramekins and decided I must have a couple.  You know, so I could make my own personal mango crisp, whenever I wanted one.  I have a tendency to make impulsive purchases like that.  Don’t worry, sometimes I return them.  Anyway, I put the ramekins on the shelf and sort of forgot about that idea.  Until yesterday.  I eyed that mango and thoughtindividual mango crisp. I frequently like to make the full size version of this dessert, but if I’m not serving it to enough people, it can turn into over-indulgence on my part.

See that little guy, hiding back there, begging to be used?

Individual Mango Crisp
1 mango (or enough frozen mango to fill your individual ramekin)
sugar to coat mango
2T butter, softened
2T flour
1T old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5T sugar
vanilla ice cream, if desired

Cut up mango into small chunks until miniature ramekin is full.  Toss the mango with about a spoonful of sugar, enough to coat the fruit. (Because mango’s just not quite sweet enough already – ha!)

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, and sugar.  This is the crumble topping.  Drop it in chunks and do your best to spread it around on top of the mango.  Since the dish was rather small, I put it on my toaster oven pan to make it easier to get in and out of the oven.  Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until crisp topping starts to brown.

pre-baking

Let it cool for a minute after you take it out of the oven.  Put your little ramekin on a plate, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Fruit, Ice Cream, Sweets

 

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Dark and White Chocolate Cherry Bars Recipe

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The count down is here! Only two more days until spring break. Boy, am I ready. As I count down the days, I become more and more anxious for the sun, it’s warmth and, most of all, at least a short break from school. There are a lot of really great things about school, but after the last month, which has been charging ahead like a bull chasing a bull fighter, my brain is feeling a bit fried… and while some things, like beignets, doughnuts, and french fries are better fried, my brain is not. This will be a much needed week of rejuvenation.

We are starting the celebrating early in this house hold with these little gems: Dark and White Chocolate Chip Cherry bars. Every cherry is like a little spot of sunshine! These pictures are of the few remaining bars left- anything with cherry, or chocolate, not to mention both, will have a very short life span in this house. (Self control? What’s that?)

I know this spring break is going to be a good one. How could it not be? I’ve got chocolate and cherries on my team (in a bar!!).

Happy Spring! (Can you believe it’s here already? Where is 2011 going?!)

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cherries (cranberries also work and are easier to find- look for cranberries that have been dehydrated with cherry juice to maintain the cherry flavor)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.

Add in the vanilla.

Mix in the salt, flour, and oats. The dough will have a consistency similar to shortbread dough.

Mix in the chocolate and cherries. Press the dough into a 9 x 9.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Cut into bars.

 

Source: http://lacasitainspirada.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/dark-and-white-chocolate-cherry-bars-key-to-a-happy-spring/

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins

butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, choc...

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What do you do when (a) it’s your free day, (b) there’s plenty of bananas in the kitchen, (c) and there’s that cool jar of peanut butter sitting in the pantry, screaming out “try me!” ? Bake these muffins of course. Yeah I know, it’s like four weeks or so to the end of the semester, and I have like a pile of readings and assignments to do. I need a break, yes? HEH HEH. These muffins were totally worth the mini break!

Crunchy muffin top, yet soft, fluffy and moist on the inside. Even if you’re not a peanut butter fan, you’ll still love these. I’d know because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter unless it comes in the form of reese peanut butter cups. This recipe’s definitely a keeper for me. Trust me, make these muffins. (:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 20 medium sized muffins
(adapted from here)

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed (makes about 1 1/4 cups of mashed bananas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil (I used normal vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/167 C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Combine, and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  4. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture. Mix enough just to combine. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cases, about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh in case you were wondering, this is the jar of peanut butter that left me intrigued. It’s my dad’s favourite brand of peanut butter.

source: http://snaprolls.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/fifteen-peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Easy Mango Lime Sorbet Recipe

I can tell when I start to get spring fever because my meals start to lighten up.  The hearty soups and stews are pushed to the back of the recipe binder and the lighter fare is front and center.  I get about as excited to clean out and re-organize my recipes as I do to clean out and re-organize my closet each season.  In fact, I’m not sure which one would win.  At any rate, the new magazines started flowing in for the month and beneath the pile of mail was the new Vegetarian Times.  Oh how I love getting this inspiring, drool worthy magazine each month.  Let the page flipping begin……

As much as I love dark chocolate, usually after a normal, weeknight meal I want something cold and fruity.  I normally opt for some sort of popsicle, especially the Trader Joe’s Strawberry Fruit Floe’s.  Um, yum!  So ofcourse when I saw how simple this sorbet was to make I was off to the freezer.  Next time I would add a little more lime juice and maybe a bit of zest to punch up the lime flavor a bit.  But overall this recipe was so simple, light, and perfect for my weeknight treats.

(Printable Recipe)

Easy Mango Lime Sorbet

Ingredients

  • 4 cups frozen mango chunks
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1.  Thaw mango chunks for 15 minutes.  Place in a blender or food processor and puree with agave nectar and lime juice (add more lime juice or water if needed to puree).

2.  Transfer to shallow glass or metal bowl or baking dish and place in freezer.  Freeze for 35-45 minutes, stirring puree every 15 minutes or until ready to serve.

 

Source: http://bakingwithbasil.com/2011/03/16/easy-mango-lime-sorbet/

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Fruit, Ice Cream

 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Recipe

Rhubarb is the culinary equivalent of the groundhog. When its fuscia stalks emerge in the markets, you know that spring is nearly here. Luckily, rhubarb’s best friend, the strawberry, also make an early spring debut in California, jostling for attention with the well-established lemons and oranges crowding the supermarket shelves. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ve combined all of these seasonal goodies in this dessert recipe. Strawberries, rhubarb and lemon muddle together in this impossibly bright cobbler, while a crumbly sweet dough flecked with lemon zest attempts to keep a lid on the bubbling fruit.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Serves 6

For the filling:
2 cups diced rhubarb
1 pound strawberries, hulled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Make the filling:
Combine all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Make the topping:
Combine flour, sugar baking powder, salt and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Add cream and egg; pulse until dough comes together. Pulse in lemon zest.

Spoon strawberries into a baking pan or individual ramekins. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the fruit. Bake until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbly, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The flavors will develop as the cobbler cools. Serve with creme fraiche.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Pear and Prune Crumble with Armagnac Cream
Rhubarb Trifle with Vanilla Almond Cream
Strawberry Rhubarb Soup

or these rhubarb recipes from the food blogs:
Red Wine Poached Rhubarb from David Lebovitz
Rhubarb Fool from Real Epicurean
Rhubarb Apple Cake from Whipped

Source: http://tastefoodblog.com/2011/03/21/strawberry-rhubarb-cobbler-recipe/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Fruit

 

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Banana Nutella Muffins Recipe

One year ago today I wrote my first post for this blog. When I started I really never thought anyone would read it. For a couple of months I was writing just for myself and the two other people I had told about the blog. Then I discovered Foodbuzz, and was introduced to a wide world of food bloggers. They were kind and supportive, and I like to think that some of the people I’ve “met” through Foodbuzz are my friends.

When I started writing the blog, I had a hard time coming up with what to say. What is it people want to read? Then I came across this quote:

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.  ~Cyril Connolly

It helped me realize that writing for some imaginary potential audience won’t work. This blog is a place for me to share my experiences with food, recipes I enjoy, and the occasional anecdote about my day. It’s an escape from the day to day more than anything else (sometimes I even write my posts while at work when I need to clear my head; sshh, don’t tell anyone!)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get a few subscribers and regular readers. I want to thank all of you for reading my ramblings and sharing your thoughts with me. Your comments are always very much appreciated!

My original plan was to remake the Amaretto Cheese Tart I wrote about in my first post. An unexpected condo visit on Sunday changed my plans. Instead I’m sharing these Banana Nutella Muffins with you. They seem fitting since muffins are probably the baked good I make the most.

I was hoping for more of a Nutella swirl look to them, but I over-mixed the batter and lost the swirl. It’s ok, they still taste great, and the Nutella drizzle on top completely makes up for the lack of swirl inside.

Don’t worry, I’ll make the tart soon!

Banana Nutella Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (anything but fat free)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Nutella, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ripe but firm banana for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed banana, butter and egg together. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined. Stir in the Nutella.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with thin slices of banana.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once done, cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with Nutella.

source: http://iwantthepie.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/banana-nutella-muffins/

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Raspberry Trifle Cake Recipe

Ten days ago (that would be 8 March 2011) was a very auspicious day.  It was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (go us!), and it was also Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras.  AND.  And.  It was my birthday.  I turned TWENTY-NINE.  Holy smokes.  That’s a prime number.

In honour of the occasion (and because I need to perfect my fondant for Chel‘s wedding cake in June), I made my own birthday cake.

This is very loosely based on a cupcake the Pie and I made for our ownwedding back in August 2009.  The cupcake itself came from Susannah Blake’s Cupcake Heaven, but I think I’ve sufficiently changed this so I can call this recipe all my own.

Some of this stuff you can do ahead of time, like the fondant and the buttercream icing, and just put them in the fridge until you need them.

For the Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter two 8″ round baking pans.  Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper and butter those too.
Beat together 1 cup butter, softened, and 1 cup granulated sugar, until pale and fluffy.
Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Sift in 2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder) and fold it in.
Fold in 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed and drained.  Save about half a cup of the juice you’ve drained off for your icing.  You could use fresh raspberries if you’ve got them but it seems kind of a waste if you’re just squishing them into batter. 
Spoon the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the pans to racks to cool completely.

For the Fondant:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together 3 teaspoons vanilla1 cup butter, softened but not melted, and 1 cup corn syrup.  If you want your fondant to be white, use the light corn syrup, as the dark stuff I used gave the fondant a creamy complexion.

When the mixture is creamy and fluffy, reduce the speed to low and add 1kg icing sugar, a bit at a time.  If you do it all at once, or if you do it on high, you will get a mushroom cloud of icing sugar everywhere.

And it might even get on your dog.

When it is all incorporated, you will have a large doughy mass. 

Tip it out onto some waxed paper and knead it into a ball. If your dough is too tacky you might find that you want to add more icing sugar.  To do this simply dust a work surface with icing sugar and knead it in.

When the dough has reached the consistency that you are happy with (i.e., not sticky, but not so dry that it cracks), then you can colour it.   It helps to wear gloves for this part.

Spread a few drops of food colouring over your dough and knead them in until the colour is uniform. 

It will take a while to get it the colour you want it.

I was aiming for a pale pink but because of the yellowish tinge due to the dark corn syrup it came out more flesh coloured.  Or at least, MY flesh colour.

I pulled off an extra bit of the newly coloured dough here and added extra food colouring so it was a darker pink than the rest. 

I will use this for the decoration part.

When you have kneaded to your satisfaction, wrap the dough tightly in waxed paper and seal it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need it.

For the Buttercream Icing:

In a stand mixer, whip 2 cups softened butter until pale and fluffy.  

Beat in 2 cups icing sugar until you get soft peaks.

Add in 4 tablespoons raspberry jam.

And that 1/2 cup reserved raspberry juice

Mix well.  It may be slightly grainy, but that’s okay for our purposes.

Plop the icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

To Decorate:

Remove the icing and the fondant from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

Tip out the cakes and peel off the parchment paper.

Slice off the round top of each cake, if you care about such things.  I didn’t, because I wanted the top to be rounded slightly, and so I flipped one cake upside down and put the two flat sides together.  Cut each cake in half horizontally.

I am spreading raspberry jam here in the centre, with custard on the bottom and top-most layers.  I did not make the jam or the custard myself.  I suppose you could create some form of preserve with fresh raspberries, but at this point I think I’ve done enough. I tried to make custard by hand, but I messed it up twice and that’s my limit on egg-wasting.  I suppose you could use pudding if you like, but I didn’t have any on hand.
So here’s the custard.
And here’s the jam.
Then there’s another custard layer.
Don’t go all the way to the edges, because the cake’s weight will force the filling out and down the sides.

Spread a crumb coat of buttercream on your cake (just a thin layer to trap the crumbs) and place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutesuntil the icing has set.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the remaining buttercream to smooth out the surface.  Chuck it in the refrigerator again until the second layer of icing is set.

While the cake is chilling, roll out your fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar or corn starch.  You will want to roll it to about 1/4″ thick.  Any thinner and you will be able to see the flaws in the cake through it.  Any thicker and you will have trouble stretching it properly.  Make sure to take off your rings and watches while you do this so you don’t mar the fondant surface.

To determine the surface area you will be covering, measure the height and width of your cake.  You will need to create a round surface of fondant that is a diameter of twice the height plus the width of your cake.

Gently lift the flattened fondant over your rolling pin and use it as a lever to help you lay the fondant over your chilled cake.  I found that approach didn’t work for me, and I had to try several different methods before I found one that worked.  I rolled it out over waxed paper and used the waxed paper to do the transfer.  The only problem is that my waxed paper was too narrow and I had to double it, which resulted in it leaving a line on the fondant.  I will have to find some industrial-width waxed paper for next time.

Using your hands, gently lift and press the fondant into the sides of your cake after smoothing the top.  Don’t pull on the fondant or it will crack — lift instead and flatten out the wrinkles with the palm of your hand.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’ll see what I mean when you do it.  Notice the strong colour resemblance between my hand hand the fondant?  Yes, I am pale and pasty and spring can’t come soon enough.

Trim off excess fondant at the base of the cake.  Otherwise you will have a cake that resembles a demented jellyfish.  Or some bizarre prehistoric alien life form that may slowly yet inexorably expand, engulfing your family, your house, and then the entire planet.  THE THING THAT TIME FORGOT.

So yeah, you want to trim that sucker.

There are such things as fondant smoothers that you can use to even out the fondant surface.  I didn’t have one, so I used a flat-sided plastic cup.  And that excess icing sugar or corn starch on the surface?  Don’t worry about it.  It will either come off by itself in the course of you smoothing and shaping, or you can wipe it off with a wet finger.It’s far from perfect, but quite impressive for a first attempt, if I do say so myself.

Here I have rolled out the darker fondant onto a sheet of waxed paper and traced on it a design.

Cut out the design with a sharp knife and pull off the excess, leaving the design on the waxed paper.

Lightly brush the top of the fondant pieces with water.

Carefully roll the design on the paper face down on top of the cake and press down lightly.

I took a deep breath after I’d done this.

Even more carefully, peel off the waxed paper, leaving your design on the cake.  Smooth the sharp edges with your fingers.

You can also freehand other elements out of the leftover fondant, as you see I did here.  You can also store the scraps in the fridge in an airtight container, just in case you want them for something else later.

Chill the cake to harden the fondant before serving.  Then eat as much of it as you can handle.

I would definitely recommend storing this cake in the refrigerator and eating it within a few days of making it.

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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