Posts Tagged ‘strawberry’

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Easter Cake Pops!

April 26, 2009

Well, my first foray into baking post-babies was to try out the Cake Pops from Bake-rella‘s lovely blog.  You can find the recipe and lots of examples there. She creates the cutest little pops for all kinds of occasions and I (and Beth) thought we’d try out her Easter concoctions!

Strawberry and Chocolate cake balls

We started out rolling all the cake mixture into balls.  Boy was that messy, but tasty!

Cake ball close up

You have to rinse your hands periodically or the cake just sticks to you rather than forming a ball.

We neglected to read the part in the recipe ahead of time that mentioned the need for refrigeration… So we opted for the freezer method… Unfortunately, many of our pops cracked, we figure from the contrast of super cold inside versus warm dipping medium.

Some needed “stiches”…

Stiched chick

We dubbed him “Franken-chick”

We made chicks, bunnies, easter eggs, cup cakes, white sheep, and black sheep.

chicksbunnieseggs and cupcakessheep

Though I must say, I think our black sheep looked more like porcupines.  What do you think?

Black sheep

Well, pretty or not.  Cracked or not.  Black sheep or Porcupines.  They were fun to make and darn tasty too!  I’ve had requests for turkeys at Thanksgiving, so we’ll see how that goes!

Cake Pop gathering

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TWD – Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte

August 26, 2008

This week’s recipe was chosen by Amy of Food, Family and Fun. And she chose the Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte on pages 288-289.

This recipe was simple to make, but time consuming, if you followed the time guidelines in the recipe.  I cheated a little on the “set up” times but had to let it freeze for a long time for the final freeze (probably b/c of the previous cheating, heh)

For the ganache, I used Ghiradelli’s Bittersweet 60% chocolate chips and regualar eggs.  If you are concerned with the fact that the eggs do not get cooked, you can either get pasturized eggs, heat the mixture to 140 degrees for 3 1/2 minutes, or leave the eggs out.  The eggs are there to help the texture of the ganache at the cold temperture of the freezer.

For the ice cream filling, I used Edy’s Double Vanilla and frozen strawberries in syrup.  I would have preferred to use raspberry (which is my favorite) as the recipe calls for, but frozen raspberries in syrup, apparantly, don’t exist around me.

The ganache came together very well.  By the end it was getting very thick and hard to whisk!  I need to work on my whisk muscles!  The ice cream and berries was very tempting in the food processor… looked like one huge strawberry milk shake, but I managed to only eat a little >.>

When putting the layers together, I left the ganache to chill for the full 30 minutes, but the ice cream was stiff enough after about 5-10, so I was able to shave a little time there.

The end result is very pretty but VERY rich.  Small pieces dear readers!  Small pieces! Phew!

So, in closing, very worth it!  It is very rich so you can get several pieces out of it, so very good for dinner parties or family gatherings!

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TWD – La Palette’s Strawberry Tart

June 18, 2008

Strawberry Tart

La Palette’s Strawberry Tart on page 374 was this week’s challenge.  And it was, simply, divine.  I think by it’s pure simplicity, it became extraordinary.  It starts with a sweet tart dough, then a layer of jam (I used raspberry) and then some cut up strawberries.  That’s it!  Simple, fast, delicious.  I served mine with a little Ready Whip and everyone was in heaven!

Strawberry Tart close up

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Cheesecake Pops – April Daring Bakers Challenge

April 26, 2008

Pops Pic

Ok. Cheesecake pops. Sounded a little sketchy to me at the beginning. I’m used to “French-style” (not that, I’m sure, it’s even remotely French) cheesecake which is rather soft. I couldn’t quite grasp how in the $%^# it was going to stay on a stick… But the freezer did help, heh. It took me a while to make these. Not because it was difficult, mind you. The cheesecake did just what it was supposed to and assembly went fine. It took a while, because, in a word, I’m lazy. I made the cheesecake on Saturday. Was gonna make the pops on Sunday. Didn’t happen. Ordered Chinese and watched a movie instead. Monday? nope. Tuesday? nope. Finally, on Wednesday I decided I’d rather have cheesecake pops than the cheesecake jerky I was going to end up with if I kept letting it dry out in the fridge. So rolling I went. Messy business. Decided to get a bowl of water and wet my hands before I shaped the pops. Massive improvement and end product had a much smoother look as a result. Now you ask yourself, did I freeze them for just an hour and then coat them? Hell no. A-#1 procrastinator here. That day? nope. Friday? nope. Saturday? yup, but only because we’re supposed to post on Sunday. If not, who knows when my lazy behind would have bothered.

Now, the coatings I am proud of. I have to say, I am not a cheesecake purist. Hubby is, but not me. Straight cheesecake is ok, but I prefer some chocolate or nuts or fruit involved. So, naturally, had to do lots to my pops. Made 4 different kinds.

Skyview Pop-tini

1) Chocolate Strawberry – dipped in liquified strawberry jam then dipped in bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate Strawberry Pop

2) Double Chocolate – dipped in bittersweet chocolate then rolled in mini chocolate chips

Double Chocolate Pop

3) S’mores – dipped in melted marshmallow fluff, rolled in graham cracker crumbs, then dipped in semi-sweet chocolate

S\'mores Pop

And my personal favorite, cuz everything is better with peanut butter…

4) Peanut Butter and Chocolate – dipped in warmed peanut butter, dipped in bittersweet chocolate, then rolled in a mixture of chopped peanuts and pecans.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pop

I must say, though, my pops are waaaay bigger than they are probably supposed to be. Golf ball size, I would say, at the smallest. The first couple were pop-size, but the super stickiness of my mildly dehydrated cheesecake was irritating so they slowly started to grow until the final pops were close to racketball size or just cut wedges of cheesecake. Supposed to be 30-40 pops. How many did I make? About…20. Was not feeling this challenge.

Had lots of fun dipping the pops though. Gave me some creativity outlet. And then, of course, there was the eating of the left over dipping supplies… spoons full of peanut butter, marshmallow and mini chips? Scrumptious. Yeah, and sooo on the diet.

I’m very proud of the end result. The pops were darn tasty and came out super cute, imho. Thanks to Elle & Deborah for the super challenge from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor!

Check out the other fab DBers!

Pop-tini

Make your own! Just try not to be as lazy as me!

Cheesecake Pops

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) – Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose its shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

P.S. I didn’t post on the 26th (that would be early) the time stamp on my blog is all woogie and it doesn’t matter how many times I fix it it always goes back…

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Perfect Party Cake – March Daring Bakers Challenge

March 30, 2008

Perfect Party Cake from Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Cut cake

Well, those of us at KBK BAkery just didn’t think one cake was enough, soo… we made 3!  Since Easter was this month we opted to make cakes to take to Easter, and since we are just friends, and not related (pity that it is) that meant multiple cakes.  Luckily, as will all Dorie recipes (goddess that she is), the cake came together flawlessly so making 3 was not a chore.  We all went for the classic white with lemon zest for the cake, but the fillings and icings are all a little different.

The first cake was for Beth’s family.  She chose strawberry preserves for her cake.  To add a little extra Easter feel, she also added a touch of pink food coloring to her buttercream.

Pink Dorie Cake

Very cute!  The pink is a little hard to see in the photo, but it was a very Easter appropriate baby pink!

The second cake was for my husband’s side of the family.  For their cake, I went with raspberry seedless (i love that it exists!) jam  and I went with a marshmallow frosting.   Marshmallow just seems to go with Easter… maybe it’s all those Russell Stover marshmallow eggs I ate growing up?

Marshmallow Cake

The last cake I made for my parents’ house.  Both my mother and father are diabetic, so I wanted to try my hand at a sugar free version.

Sugar Free Cake

And with the exception of the fact that the cake didn’t rise at all the cake came out very well.  My parents enjoyed it very much and my dad had fun taunting his coworkers with the leftovers at work on Monday, heh.  The filling was sugar free raspberry, and the icing was buttercream made with Splenda, so the only sugar in the cake was the lemon juice and the coconut on the outside.  It was, by no means, fat free, heh, but pretty darn close to sugar free!

I used the bunnies to tell the cakes apart.  The sugar version had a red ribbon and the sugar free had a brown ribbon!  Thank goodness for color coded rabbits!

For the Cake
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing
2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, and then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.
Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
Spread it with one third of the preserves.
Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.
Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).
Place the last layer, cut side down, on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.
Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

Serving

The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.Storing
The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, and then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

*MARSHMALLOW FROSTING

1 pound unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

1 (16 ounce) tub marshmallow cream (such as Marshmallow Fluff brand)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

Beat in one-fourth of the sugar until fluffy, and then repeat with the remaining sugar.

Beat in the vanilla, and then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

Yield: 24 servings