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Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Photograph of a slice of a 4-layer red velvet ...

Image via Wikipedia

by chefpriyanka

Growing up I wasn’t a very big fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t really like red roses and I hate hearts (maybe I’m traumatized by all the heart shaped jewelry that Staten Island girls wore). But, nonetheless I do like to indulge in chocolate and desserts whether or not I have a valentine. There’s no rule that says ‘you can only eat chocolate & strawberries if you have a valentine.’ If you want to make a special dessert for yourself or a loved one then this recipe is perfect for you!

I’ve been seeing ‘Cake Pops’ pop up everywhere! It’s the new fad in the dessert world. If you’re not aware of their existence let me fill you in. It’s moist cake mixed with frosting and enrobed in chocolate. And what’s better than rich Red Velvet cake enrobed in intensely dark chocolate? Well, infusing it with rose and topping with real silver leaf are just a few tweeks and additions that I thought would make it go from great to awesome. The process isn’t hard, it’s just a bit time consuming. But, if you’re looking to indulge and treat yourself or a loved one, then the time and effort are definitely worth it!

Red Velvet Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups + 5 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli Bran)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used Homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • PAM Baking Flavor

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia Brand)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp rose water/essence

Chocolate Coating:

  • 4-5 bars dark chocolate, melted (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)
  • silver leaf (optional)- available at Indian Grocery Stores

Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rectangular pan (~9×13) with PAM and line with parchment paper. Spray with PAM and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In a large bowl add the eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, oil, food color and rose water. Using a hand mixer beat on low for 1-2 minutes until blended well. With the mixer on low, add about 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients and blend. Do this continuously until the dry ingredients are blended well with the wet ingredients and is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes. Turn halfway through.

3. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Using the sides of the parchment sheet, lift the cake out and cool for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cool. Using a serrated knife, trim off the hard edges.

4. In a large bowl add cream cheese, butter and rose water. Beat on low speed for 1-2 until creamy and blended. While beating add in 1/2 cup at a time of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until everything is blended and creamy (resembles frosting).

5. In a large bowl crumble the whole cake into small pieces. Mix in the frosting using a spatula until its incorporated well and resembles a thick crumbly dough. Roll into 1-2 inch thick balls. Press together with fingers to make sure that the cake sticks together as a ball, and smooth using the palms of your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 1 hours- till its chilled & hard, not frozen solid.

6. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl. Take about 4 balls out of the freezer at a time and thoroughly coat each ball, dunking them into the bowl of chocolate. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to dry. Decorate tops with drizzled chocolate (optional). Once the balls are all dry (few hours or over night) carefully decorate with the silver leaf.

 

Like Chocolate AND Dessert AND Yumminess?

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Peppermint Bark

 

 

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Carrot Cake Balls, perfect for Easter Treats

Carrot cake in pan

Image via Wikipedia

Carrot Cake Ball

I bake desserts all the time. I try to make sure we have something home-baked and sweet in our refrigerator for every week. It’s comforting after a long day at work, I can come home, whip up a quick dinner, and still have a home-baked dessert to finish the meal.

One of Hubby’s favorite desserts is carrot cake. Carrot cake is something I rarely make from scratch. Why? Because I hate grating the carrots. If I had a food processor, I’d use that, but despite how much I bake and cook, I don’t own a food processor. Or a heavy duty mixer. I either hand-knead bread, use a whisk to whip cake batter, or sometimes a very old, somewhat functioning hand mixer. Someday, I’ll have a shiny new food processor and mixer, but I’m not counting the days since it may not be until I’m too old and weak to hand-knead bread ;-)

Back to the cake balls. I found a Duncan Hines carrot cake mix that has dehydrated carrots and raisins that you rehydrate, not “carrot flavored pieces” like other cake mixes. So, I bought a box and carrot cake balls were quick to follow.

CARROT CAKE BALLS:

  • Preheat oven according to cake package directions.
  • Line a baking pan with foil leaving some hang over, grease and flour, and set aside.
  • Make 1 box Duncan Hines Classic Carrot Cake Mix according to package directions and bake according to package directions depending on the type of pan you are using. – FYI, this is one of the best cake mixes I’ve ever tasted, which means I may never even consider making carrot cake from scratch. A little sweeter than I’m used to for a cake, but so moist and flavorful.
  • Once cooked through, use foil to remove cake from pan and cool on wire rack.
  • Once completely cooled, use your hands or a food processor to break the cake into fine crumbs.
  • Slowly add cream cheese frosting to the crumbs and mix thoroughly until the crumbs stick together. I never measure the frosting, just use however much it takes to form a “dough” with the crumbs. I had leftover homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below) that I used.
  • Pinch about a tablespoon-sized portion of the crumb/frosting mixture and roll between palms of hands to form a ball; place on parchment paper, and repeat until all crumb/frosting mixture has been used. I got about 65 cake balls from one box of cake mix.
  • Melt 1 package of Ambrosia brand white candy coating, or any white coating chocolate.
  • Dip cake balls one at a time into the candy coating, cover completely, set on parchment paper to dry, and top with desired sprinkles.
  • Once the coating is cooled, use a fine-tipped knife to cut away any excess coating that spread away from the cake ball to form a clean ball shape.
  • I store mine in gallon-sized plastic bags in the refrigerator. To serve to guests, place in mini cupcake papers.

TIP: I melt half the package of candy coating at a time so that it doesn’t cool too much and become stiff before I get to all the cake balls. I only had green sprinkles, though I wished I had orange for the carrot cake.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • Mix 1 8-ounce package lower fat cream cheese with 1/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine with a hand mixer until soft and combined.
  • Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix thoroughly, adding more sugar as needed.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix until combined.

Cut Carrot Cake Ball

YUM, YUM, YUM! I took some to work and passed one out to each of my immediate co-workers to share a little carrot goodness. You should definitely make these for Easter and find some fancy sprinkles to dress them up.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

Source: http://gourmetmemoirs.com/2011/03/22/carrot-cake-balls-perfect-for-easter-treats/

 
2 Comments

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

 

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nutella cheesecake layer bars recipe

Tartine et pot de Nutella

Image via Wikipedia

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I am very much a creature of habit.

Daily routines, favorite foods, clothing styles, music preferences . . .

It’s all so predictable.

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So of course, my shopping tendencies are no different.

Case in point: 3 of the same horizontal-striped shirts from Gap in different color combinations.  (To be fair, I found two of them on sale.  Win win win!)

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I don’t know what it is about theses simple stripes that I like so much, but I always (and that’s no exaggeration) reach for this kind of clothing whenever I’m shopping.  It’s not so much reinforcing a style as it is my near-obsession with stripes.  (And I know that three shirts aren’t enough to constitute me calling this an obsessions – but these guys are just the tip of the iceberg.  One look inside my closet and you’d understand.)

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So I suppose it’s only natural that I would make a “horizontally-striped” dessert.

Layer bars.  I love them.

(Oh, and cheesecake too!)

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These bars are awesome.  They’re quick and easy (mixed almost entirely in the food-processor), require a pretty limited number of ingredients, and are flat-out delicious.

The first (bottom) layer is a chocolate graham cracker crust.  The crust isn’t overly sweet, though you could add a pinch of sugar if you’d like.  It’s more about the structural support for the bars, as well as the added chocolate flavor.

Next comes the second (middle) layer, which is really straight-forward vanilla cheesecake.  No bells and whistles.  But guess what?  It doesn’t need it.  Good-quality vanilla extract gets the job done.

Last is the third (top) layer – the layer we’ve all been waiting for – the Nutella cheesecake!  Blend in the infamously addictive chocolate-hazelnut spread with some reserved vanilla cheesecake and you’re good to go.  The Nutella flavor isn’t overpowering at all- it’s actually somewhat subtle.  It’s definitely detectable, but if you want a more robust Nutella flavor, go ahead and use a higher proportion of it.  You could even make a Nutella fudge sauce to serve with the bars.

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You can’t go wrong when there’s Nutella involved.

Nutella Cheesecake Layer Bars

- 8 Chocolate Graham Crackers

- ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, melted

- 16 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature

- 2 eggs, at room temperature

- ½ C. Granulated Sugar

- ¼ + 1 Tbsp. Heavy Cream

- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

- ¼ C. Nutella

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Butter an 8 x 8 baking pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that the parchment is well pressed in the corners.  Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse chocolate graham crackers until they become crumbs (like bread crumbs).  Add in melted butter and pulse until moistened.  Press graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Bake crust in the center of the oven until set, about 12 minutes.  Set aside and cool.

Clean out the food processor.  Add cream cheese, eggs, sugar, ¼ C. heavy cream, and vanilla extract.  Pulse until smooth.  Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside.  Add Nutella and 1 Tbsp. of heavy cream to remaining 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture in the processor.  Pulse until smooth.

To assemble, spread the vanilla cheesecake mixture over the cooled graham cracker base, being careful not to disturb the crust.  Pour Nutella cheesecake layer on top of vanilla layer and spread evenly.  Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly.  Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to serve, lift bars out of the pan by lifting up the parchment paper (it should release easily).  Slice into 16 squares and serve.

Yields 16 Squares

Printer- Friendly Version

Source: http://themoonlightbaker.com/2011/03/04/nutella-cheesecake-layer-bars/

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate

 

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Betty’s Curried Chutney Cheese Spread Recipe

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Curried Chutney Cheese Spread. This is a mild, sweet spread composed of cream cheese, toasted almonds, chutney and curry powder. It is a nice departure from cheese spreads with sharp cheese and veggies.

Ingredients:

8-oz. package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup toasted finely chopped almonds (I used slivered almonds. I chopped them in an electric kitchen chopper and toasted them in a small skillet on the stove in ½ tablespoon olive oil, stirring constantly.)
¼ cup chutney
½ teaspoon curry powder

In a mixing bowl, mix together an 8-oz. package of softened cream cheese, ½ cup toasted finely chopped almonds, ¼ cup chutney, and ½ teaspoon curry powder. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Spoon mixture into a nice serving dish. Cover and chill for about 8 hours. Serve with dippers, such as apple slices, ginger snaps, and a variety of crackers. This cheese spread has a delicious taste, and you can make it diet-friendly by using fat-free cream cheese, and by serving it with apple and pear slices, and also some celery sticks! I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Betty

 

 
 

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Betty’s Chicken Chutney Cream Cheese Ball Recipe

Philadelphia cream cheese. Photographed and ed...

Image via Wikipedia

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make a Chicken Chutney Cheese Ball. This cheese ball is composed of cream cheese, cooked chicken, chopped pecans, mayonnaise, chutney, and curry powder. These flavors combine to make a luscious cheese ball that is a little out of the ordinary!

Ingredients:

8-oz. cream cheese
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chutney
1 tablespoon curry powder

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine 8-oz. cream cheese, 1 cup chopped cooked chicken, ½ cup chopped pecans, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons chutney, and 1 tablespoon curry powder. Stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Form into a ball and place on a serving dish. (You may roll in extra chopped pecans, if you choose.) Serve with assorted crackers. This is a wholesome appetizer/snack that I think you will enjoy. It is a great cheese ball to serve at a party, and with the Super Bowl and other sporting events coming up, a lot of you are looking for new snacks that are hearty and healthy. I think you will really like this one! –Betty 

 

 

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