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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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Betty’s Coconut Bonbons Video Recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Christmas Coconut Bonbons. These bonbons are made of butter, confectioner’s sugar, sweetened condensed milk, pecans, and coconut, and then dipped in chocolate for a fantastic Christmas treat!

Ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened
16 ounce box confectioner’s sugar
½ of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
3 ½ ounces flaked coconut
1 cup finely chopped pecans
12 ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce paraffin (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine ½ cup butter and a 16 ounce box of confectioner’s sugar. Stir until well blended. Mix in ½ of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 3 ½ ounces of flaked coconut, and 1 cup of finely chopped pecans. Form mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a shallow baking pan that is lined with waxed paper. Chill balls for ½ to 1 hour in the refrigerator. In a double boiler, melt 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips and 1 ounce of paraffin (if desired). Use a toothpick to dip balls in melted chocolate mixture. Place on a large pan or platter that is covered with waxed paper. Chill, until ready to serve or store. When ready to serve, place the chilled bonbons on a nice serving plate, removing any excess chocolate that has stuck to the bottom. These can be made ahead and frozen. Just thaw them for a couple of hours before serving them. You may leave theses bonbons at room temperature or keep them refrigerated. They keep well when stored in a covered container. Enjoy!!! –Betty 

 

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Betty’s Icing for Christmas Cookies Recipe

eat as much as you can

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Colored Icing for Christmas Cookies. I used red and green colors in this icing. I used red, green, and white icing to turn my Christmas Vanilla Butter Cookies into festive treats! I think you will enjoy icing your Christmas cookies with this recipe.

Ingredients (full recipe; I only made half of the recipe in the video):

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ tablespoons water
food coloring, as desired (for Christmas cookies, red and green are the best colors to use.)

In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 ½ tablespoons water thoroughly. Add more water, a few drops at a time, until mixture is of spreading consistency. If the mixture is too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar. Divide into 3 parts. Color one part with green food coloring to desired shade of green, one part with red food coloring to desired shade of red, and leave the third part white. Use the icing to frost cookies as desired. Let each individual color of icing set up before applying a different color, and let all iced cookies sit on waxed paper until dry. Then you may stack them on a nice serving plate or nestle them in a cookie tin that is lined with Christmas tissue paper or napkins. The cookies will be quite colorful and enjoyable to ice! –Betty 

 

 

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Betty’s Rich Chocolate Frosting Recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Rich Chocolate Frosting. This frosting is composed of unsweetened chocolate squares, butter, eggs, half-and-half, confectioner’s sugar, and flavorings. It looks lovely and tastes decadent!

Ingredients:

(2) 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 egg (I used ¼ cup egg substituteEgg Beaters.)
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
16-oz. package confectioner’s sugar

Place (2) 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate in top of a double boiler. Bring water in double boiler to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and heat chocolate until it melts. Set aside to cool slightly. Place ½ cup butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer. Add cooled, melted chocolate, 1 egg (or ¼ cup egg substitute), 1 tablespoon half-and-half, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice. Mix well with mixer. Continue to mix with mixer while slowly adding a 16-oz. package of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Spread immediately on cakes, cupcakes, etc. This is a beautiful frosting that is so easy to use. You can easily spread it over the top of Never Fail White Frosting on my Best Chocolate Cake with Double Frosting! Enjoy!!! –Betty

 

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Betty’s Never Fail White Icing Recipe

Thin layers of a genoise soaked in grand marni...

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Never Fail White Icing. This is made with a boiled sugar syrup beaten into egg whites and is a dramatic and tasty icing for cakes, cupcakes, and other sweets.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 egg whites
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans

In a heavy pot, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 2 tablespoons light corn syrup. This mixture will have a “white” look. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until clear. Then cook, without stirring, until 232 degrees (F) on a candy thermometer. In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue to beat, slowly adding hot syrup mixture. Add ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and frosting is of spreading consistency. Gently stir in ½ cup of pecans. Immediately spread on cooled cake. After cake is spread, allow icing to set up. (It may be helpful to place the frosted cake in the refrigerator to speed up this process.) Enjoy!!! –Betty

 
 

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Betty’s Original WOW! Peanut Butter Milkshake

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In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make her original WOW! Peanut Butter Milkshake. I think this is YouTube‘s Best Peanut Butter Milkshake!

Ingredients (for 1 large milkshake, with some peanut butter sauce leftover):

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/8 cup milk (You may add more milk, if you like your milkshake thinner.)
Smoothie straws and/or iced tea spoons

In a small pot, combine ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water. Place over medium-high heat and stir constantly, until the sugar melts, forming a simple syrup. When you see bubbles forming around the edge of the pot, remove it from the heat. Allow the simple syrup to cool at room temperature for awhile, and then refrigerate until cool. Add ½ cup peanut butter and 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar to the simple syrup. Stir until smooth, making a peanut butter sauce. (This sauce may be used as a sundae topping as well.) Place 2 cups vanilla ice cream in a blender. Add 1/8 cup milk and ½ cup of the peanut butter sauce. Set blender to liquefy, and blend until smooth. (I like to leave some strands of peanut butter sauce in the blended milkshake. Pour immediately into a tall dessert glass (or two small dessert glasses). Insert a smoothie straw or iced tea spoon, and voila! The BEST Peanut Butter Milkshake you will find! Enjoy!!! –Betty 

 
 

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Betty’s Version of Rebecca Ruth Bourbon Balls Recipe

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make her version of Rebecca Ruth Bourbon Balls. Rebecca Ruth is a candy-making company in Kentucky, and they are well-known for their delicious bourbon balls. You can buy their products on the internet at rebeccaruth (dot) com, but you can also make similar, inexpensive bourbon balls at home from this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 pound box confectioner’s sugar
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup bourbon whisky
6-oz. semisweet chocolate chips
pecan halves for topping

In a large bowl, combine 1 pound of confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup melted butter, and ½ cup bourbon whisky. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate for about ½ hour, until workable with hands. With your hands, pinch off about a rounded teaspoonful of cold mixture and roll it into a ball. The ball can be up to 1-inch in diameter, but you should make all balls approximately the same size. Place the ball on a waxed paper lined pan, and continue making the balls until all of the mixture is used. Place the pan in the refrigerator or freezer, until balls are very cold, but not frozen. Melt 6-oz. semisweet chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler. (You may add ½-oz. paraffin to the chocolate, if desired.) When the chocolate is melted and the bourbon balls are cold and firm, use a toothpick to dip each ball into the melted chocolate. Swirl it around to completely cover the ball, and then remove it quickly and place it back on the waxed paper lined pan. Immediately place a pecan half on top of the chocolate dipped bourbon ball and press to set. Continue dipping until all bourbon balls are completed. You may leave the pecan off half of the bourbon ball for people who do not care for pecans. These are really delicious for a party or for a late-night snack. You may keep them at room temperature on serving day, but you should store them in the refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage. You can also place these in a decorative tin for Valentine’s Day gift! We love them and hope you will, too! –Betty 

 

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Betty's Kitchen

 

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