Friday, March 23, 2018

Lemon Blueberry Mousse Cake

This isn't you average Delish doctored cake mix recipe, and it's not one of our crazy decadent cheesecakes either; all of those have time and a place. This is different. It's the dessert you need to make when you really want to impress.
                                                     

I won't lie to you. A cake this amazing takes some work (and time!). But when you break down the recipe step-by-step, it's far less intimidating than you might think.

First, make the Nilla Wafer crust. Crush the cookies, mix them with melted butter and press it all into a springform pan. Done.

Next, make the mousse. Start by pureeing blueberries then stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Sprinkle a packet of gelatin on top and let it sit until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. While it's setting, make white chocolate ganache. (It's not as thick as ganache, but the process is pretty similar.) Pour hot heavy cream over white chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly, then fold in the blueberry gelatin mixture. Stick this in the fridge while you make whipped cream.

Yes, you might as well whip your own cream. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small extra step that makes a big difference. Once the whipped cream is nice and fluffy, add the white chocolate blueberry mixture and fold until it's a pretty shade of violet. Voila! You have lemon blueberry mousse! Pour mousse mixture over crust and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

Last but not least, make the sugared blueberries. When just washed (and not dried thoroughly), sugar will stick to the berries very nicely. (Though we add a touch of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Drop everything and watch this Utah mom make mesmerizing Disney-inspired cakes

Here's the latest internet sensation that you won't be able to stop watching once you start: a Utah mom's mesmerizing time-lapse videos, taken as she masterfully decorates a series of Disney-inspired cakes.
                                             

Amy Droubay, who goes by @neuroticmom on Instagram, recently decorated the intricate cakes in the days leading up to a family trip to Disneyland, and her videos of the series have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on social media.

The series included a blue cake inspired by Cinderella's dress, Droubay's take on the Queen of Hearts from "Alice in Wonderland," a "101 Dalmations" cake decorated with -- you guessed it -- 101 pawprints, a Goofy cake with the character's signature green hat and even a vintage Mickey-inspired cake.

"My family and I are huge fans of Disney and Disneyland and we travel there several times a year. We even buy annual passes even though we live out of state, so I thought it would be fun as a countdown to our big trip to post some Disney cakes," Droubay told ABC via email.

But the craziest part of her journey is that she's only been decorating cakes for six months.

Droubay soon began making time-lapse videos for Instagram, which proved popular and garnered a positive response.

Including baking, cooling and decorating, a single cake can take as many as 14 hours to make. Her Mickey-inspired cake took 12 hours including the baking, cooling and actual decorating. But for Droubay, a ballet instructor and avid tennis player, the cakes are worth the time they take.

Droubay is also looking to use her passion for cake decorating to make a difference. Throughout the month of March, she'll be auctioning off her cakes and donating proceeds to support multiple sclerosis research in honor of her husband, who was diagnosed with the disease several years ago.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

This Gooey Chocolate Dessert Balances Your Hormones

This gooey chocolate cake, excerpted from Mia Lundin and Ulrika Davidsson’s The Hormone Balance Cookbook, is the perfect thing for satiating any chocolate cravings you’re having—except it’s completely refined-sugar-free and packed with hormone-balancing ingredients.  The avocado and walnuts are filled with healthy fats that nourish your hormones and keep your blood sugar balanced, avoiding the insulin spike and crash (and the cascade of hormone fluctuations that follows!) of most desserts.  The antioxidant-rich orange peel, vanilla powder, and cacao add additional cell-supporting antioxidants. The best part? It’s super easy to make. 
                                               

Gooey Chocolate Cake

Ingredients, Bottom Layer

2⅓ cups (500 ml) walnuts
1½ cups (350 ml) dried dates, pits removed
1 medium avocado
Pinch of salt flakes
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoon vanilla powder
⅖ cup (100 ml) cocoa

Ingredients, Chocolate Creme

3 avocados
Pinch of salt flakes
⅖ cup (100 ml) cocoa
⅖ cup (100 ml) honey or maple syrup

Method

1. For the bottom layer, chop the walnuts and dates coarsely in a food processor. Add the avocado flesh with the remaining ingredients, and mix to make a smooth paste.
2. Line an 8-inch (20-cm) pie pan with removable edge (or a springform pan) with parchment paper. Pour the bottom layer evenly into the pie pan.
3. Place the avocado flesh and other ingredients for the chocolate crème in a food processor and process to make a smooth cream. Spread this cream over the bottom layer, and let chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. Garnish the cake with pistachios, red and/or black currants, and ground cherries.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Persian love cake

Ingredients
                                             

Crumb base

300 g (10½ oz/3 cups) almond meal
185 g (6½ oz/1 cup) raw caster (superfine) sugar
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup firmly packed) soft brown sugar
120 g (4¼ oz) unsalted butter, melted
Cake batter

2 eggs, lightly beaten
250 g (9 oz/scant 1 cup) natural or Greek-style yoghurt
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp rosewater
25 saffron threads
3 tbsp flaked almonds
3 tbsp pistachio nut kernels, roughly chopped

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) fan-forced. Grease the ring of a 24 cm (9½ inch) springform tin, then line with strips of baking paper. Turn the base upside down, so it no longer has a lip. Place a piece of baking paper over it, then clamp the ring around it to secure.

To make the crumb base, combine the almond meal, caster sugar, brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, and rub together until you have an even, sandy consistency. Divide the mixture in two, and tip half into the prepared tin. Using the back of a spoon or a spatula, press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the tin.

To make the cake batter, add the eggs, yoghurt, salt, cardamon, rosewater and saffron to the remaining crumb mixture and whisk until there are no lumps. Pour over the crumb base and sprinkle the flaked almonds and pistachio nuts over the top. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden and fully risen – you will know because the top will probably crack a little. If the top is colouring too quickly, cover with foil, then bake for a further 20 minutes. The centre of the cake should spring back when pressed gently. Cool completely, before removing from the tin and cutting to serve.

Lovely decoration ideas are edible rose petals, sliced fresh figs and a very light dusting of icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of Greek style yoghurt.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Poke a cake to create a delicious dessert

"The Poke Cake Cookbook: 75 Delicious Cake and Filling Combinations" by Jamie Sherman, Page Street Publishing Co., $19.99, 160 pages, paperback
                                             

The poke cake craze is going strong, and it’s easy to see why. These cakes are simple to make, and the flavor combinations are abundant. They are appropriate for many occasions, including children’s parties, bake sales and afternoon coffee breaks.

She offers creative flavor options, including seasonal choices like Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake; the for-grown-ups Bourbon Sweet Potato Spice Poke Cake; Peppermint Mocha Poke Cake; Love Potion #9 Poke Cake, a Valentine’s Day option; and Irish Cream Poke Cake, perfect for an adults-only St. Patrick’s Day party.

Recipes are divided into five chapters, including one devoted to chocolate cakes and another for kid-friendly cakes like Peanut Butter & Jelly Poke Cake and Bubble Gum Poke Cake. Many of the recipes are illustrated with full-color photographs.

After deciding to try Sherman’s recipe for Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake, I encountered a problem typical with cookbooks that rely on buying specific products — I couldn’t find the Jell-O brand pumpkin spice pudding flavor Sherman suggests.

After going to eight different grocery stores, I checked online and discovered only one store in East Baton Rouge Parish, a Winn-Dixie far, far from my house, had the flavor on its shelves. I decided to substitute a vanilla pudding and pie filling to which I added powdered gingerbread spice mix. The spice mix is strong on the nutmeg, so my filling tasted more like eggnog than pumpkin spice. But the cake still tastes good, and I don’t think anyone will turn down a slice.

I also suggest waiting until you are about to serve the cake to top it with the suggested Mellowcreme pumpkin candies. The orange coloring in the candies leaches out into the whipped topping after sitting in the refrigerator for a while.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Angel food cake with cherry sauce

Tip: From when you start to add sugar to egg white mixture, total beating time should take 5 minutes. Pan available from kitchenware shops or speciality cake stores.
                                             

Ingredients

3/4 cups plain flour

11/2 cups caster sugar

10 egg whites, at room temperature

2 tsps vanilla extract

1 tsp cream of tartar

Icing sugar mixture and whipped cream, to serve

Cherry sauce

670g jar morello pitted cherries

2 tblsps caster sugar

1 tblsp cornflour

2 tblsps cold water

Method

1.Sift flour and 1/2 cup of the sugar onto a sheet of baking paper. Repeat three times. Set aside.
2. Place egg whites, vanilla and tartar in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on a high speed until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to medium. Gradually add remaining sugar 1 tblsp at a time, beating between additions until thick and glossy.

3. Add flour mixture to egg white mixture. Gently fold until combined. Spoon into an ungreased 23cm loose-base angel food cake pan. Smooth over the top.

4. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of cake comes out clean. Remove from over. Invert pan immediately onto a bench. Leave cake to cool in pan.

5. Meanwhile, make sauce. Drain cherries through a sieve over a saucepan. Set cherries aside. Add sugar and cornflour blended with water to juice in pan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil, stirring until thickened. Pour into a heatproof bowl. Stir in cherries. Cool.

6. Remove cake by running a palette knife around inside edge of pan to loosen. Inver onto a serving plate. Lift off side. Loosen base with a knife. Remove.

7. Just before serving, dust cake with sifted icing sugar. Serve with cold sauce.