Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tiramisu Crepe Cake

A coworker tagged me in a picture, asking if I can make this cake for her.  Crepe cake and tiramisu, how could I say no?!  Once I knew I was going to work with cognac and rum, I couldn't wait to begin.

She sent me the recipe from Tasting Table.  I made a few adjustments due to availability of ingredients.



3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. cake flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsps. salt
4 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 cups whole milk
2 tbsps. cognac
Nonstick spray

Tiramisu Filling
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese
2 cups tiramisu mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Directions for Crepes
  1. Sift the cake flour, all-purpose flour, and sugar.
  2. Whisk in the salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth (it will be thick.)
  5. Slowly whisk in the butter, then the milk and the cognac, until the batter is smooth.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Prepare your nonstick skillet.  Heat on medium-high heat and lightly coat with the nonstick spray.
  8. Pour 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan and cook for approximately 1 1/2 minutes, until golden-brown.
  9. Flip and cook the other side for approximately 30 seconds.
  10. Repeat this for the remainder of the crepe batter.
  11. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.

Directions for Filling
  1. Sift powdered sugar into mixing bowl and fit paddle attachment to mixer.
  2. Add mascarpone cheese and rum.  
  3. Mix on low until well combined.

Directions for Assembling
  1. Add a tablespoon of mascarpone cheese onto cardboard circle and place 1 crepe on top.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of tiramisu filling to the crepe and spread.
  3. Repeat for 18 crepes.
  4. After spreading mascarpone cheese on your last crepe, dust with cocoa powder.
  5. Refrigerate overnight for it to set.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

I signed into my Facebook account one day and saw a message.  It was one of my friends requesting a cheesecake for her husband's birthday.  Of course it wasn't just any cheesecake, it was a salted caramel cheesecake.  Ummm...YES!!

The cheesecake recipe I use is from Food for A Hungry Soul.  Each time I make it, I experiment, making my own tweeks to it, and so far, I have not been disappointed.

One of the most important things about making a cheesecake is making sure the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, and butter reach room temperature.  I didn't let my cream cheese get to room temperature once and I had a nice, lumpy cheesecake (it was still delicious.)

5 large eggs, room temperature
1 pint sour cream, room temperature
4 8oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsps. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon juice 
1 tsp. grated lemon zest 

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.
  2. Butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap it with two layers of foil.  Place the pan in a slow cooker bag and create a knot so that it stays around the pan.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream, with an electric mixer, until well blended.
  4. In a stand mixer (or another bowl), beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy.  Add the mixture to the egg and sour cream mix.  Beat until smooth and well blended.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for approximately 2 minutes.
  6. Pour mixture into the springform and place it in a roasting pan large enough so that the sides of the springform do not touch the roasting pan.  Place it in the oven and pour hot water into the roasting pan (should reach halfway up the side of the springform.)
  7. Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  
  8. Carefully remove the roasting pan out from the oven, then remove the springform pan from the roasting pan.  Allow to cool for about 4 hours.  Refrigerate overnight.
While the cheesecake is baking, or cooling, make the salted caramel sauce to pour over that lovely cheesecake!

If all went well with your cheesecake, it should be flawless.  If it has a few cracks in it, don't worry.  This was the first time mine came out perfectly. =)

Once it has cooled, release the springform, and carefully transfer your cheesecake onto your platter.  Pour your salted caramel and watch how it drips down the sides.

Put it back in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes and then you can cut into it and enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orange Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Autumn, my favorite time of the year.  I know we are still in summer, but here in New York, we hit a high of 78 degrees yesterday.  When I stepped out of the house, it was actually a bit cool.  I loved it!  With this crisp air comes feelings of comfort.  Comfort = dessert, and today, dessert = cookies.

2 sticks salted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange
2 cups flour
1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream butter, powdered sugar, and orange zest until fluffy.
  3. Add flour and orange juice.  Mix until a soft dough has been formed.
  4. Add in cranberries and mix until incorporated.
  5. Roll dough onto lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Cut into rounds and place on a lined baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until cookies are a pale golden brown.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chocolate Cake Meets Chocolate Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

As I sat down with the Pottery Barn catalog, my mind began to wander.  The baker in me wasn't allowing me to focus on the duvet sets but on salted caramel sauce.  I've made it before and drizzled it atop some vanilla ice cream...mmm mmm good.  However, this time, I wanted to pair it up with chocolate.  It came to me like a bolt of lightning...chocolate cake and chocolate salted caramel frosting.  Yes!  I went to bed like a giddy child waiting to open presents on Christmas day.

Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

2 cups sugar
12 tbsps. salted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

  1. Pour the sugar into a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking regularly.
  3. When all the sugar has melted, stop whisking.
  4. Keep cooking the sugar until a deep golden amber color.
  5. Once color is achieved, add the butter and whisk until incorporated.  Be careful, the caramel will bubble up.
  6. Remove pan from heat.
  7. Slowly whisk in the heavy cream.  Be careful, the caramel will bubble up again.
  8. Once the cream is incorporated, whisk in the vanilla.
  9. Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes before storing in a glass jar.
  10. If you can't wait that long, drizzle some on a scoop of ice cream and enjoy!

Chocolate Cake Recipe

3/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsps. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 9-inch round baking pans.  Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.  Add vanilla.
  5. Add in your dry ingredients, slowly.
  6. Slowly add in your milk.
  7. Distribute batter evenly into the two pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 - 15 minutes and transfer cakes to wire rack.
  9. While cooling, begin working on your frosting.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cups salted caramel sauce (recipe above)

  1. Begin by creaming sugar on medium speed.
  2. Lower speed to low and add in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar.  Increase speed to high and whip for 1 minute.
  3. Lower speed to medium and add in salted caramel sauce.  Increase speed to high and whip for 2 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  4. Once cakes are completely cool, begin to frost.
  5. Enjoy a slice!

Monday, August 4, 2014

How to Make Mini Cakes

I have an order of mini cupcakes coming up for a little girl who is turning 2 years old.  I used this as an opportunity to work on tweaking my chocolate cake recipe.  Practice makes perfect you know.  By the way, I'll have my chocolate cake recipe up on the next blog post.  

Anywho, I made two cakes and decided, since we were visiting my in-laws this weekend, why not use this as an opportunity to make some mini cakes?

It is really very simple.  
  • First thing you must do is LEVEL OUT YOUR CAKES.  I can't stress this enough.  If it is uneven, your mini cakes will end up looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  
  • Next, use a biscuit cutter (I used a 3") to create your cake circles.  
  • Use a bit of frosting on the bottom of the first cake circle and place it on your baseboard.  This will help to prevent it from moving around.  
  • Place some more frosting on top of your base cake circle and place your second cake circle on top.  
  • Top off your top cake with some more frosting and you are done!  You can keep it naked or cover the entire cake with icing/frosting.  Add some sprinkles if you wish and devour.  Nom nom nom.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Light as Air Marshmallows

There is no special story behind the reasoning for making these...I was just in the mood.  I can't wait to make these again when Autumn arrives.  I can picture it already; sitting on the couch with a hot cup of chocolate, and these little lovelies bobbing around and slowly melting.  Mmmm!

Ingredients & Directions (makes 32 marshmallows)

1 cup of water
3 envelopes of gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • Grease a 9x9 inch pan.
  • Using a stand mixer and the whisk attachment, pour 1/2 cup of water into the bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top.  Set aside.
  • Using a medium saucepan, on high heat, pour in the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil and boil for an additional minute.  Remove from heat.
  • Turn the mixer on low and mix the gelatin mix.  Slowly begin to add the sugar mixture.
  • When all of the sugar mixture is added, turn mixer to high and whip for 10 minutes, until the marshmallow mix is very thick.  After 10 minutes, stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and whip again until well incorporated.
  • Pour marshmallow mix into your prepared pan.
  • Grease a piece of plastic wrap, with butter, and place on top of the marshmallow mixture.  Press down on the plastic wrap to seal it to the mixture.  Set aside, at room temperature, overnight.
  • Sprinkle work surface with confectioners sugar.
  • Use a knife to separate the marshmallow from the pan.  Invert the pan onto your work surface to release the marshmallow.
  • Sprinkle handfuls of confectioners sugar onto the marshmallow.
  • Using a long knife, cut the marshmallow slab into 2x2 inch squares.  Roll each individual marshmallow in the confectioners sugar.
  • Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds.  Mix until chocolate has completely melted.
  • Scoop chocolate onto a spoon and drizzle over marshmallows.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pistachio Snowball Cookies

I was home, and so were the pistachios.  I looked at them and they stared back.  They knew their lives were coming to an end, and what a delicious end it was going to be.  This is the day every pistachio patiently waits around for, the moment to be used in a mouth-watering, buttery, and delicious dessert. 

As I laid them out on the cutting board and began to cut into them, they released their heavenly scent into the air, begging to be chopped up some more...

Okay, enough with the Fifty Shades of Pistachios, time to make some cookies!

Ingredients & Directions
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped salted pistachios, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/6 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar in a Ziploc bag
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
  • Mix flour and 1/2 cup chopped pistachios and set aside.
  • Place remaining pistachios in a food processor and pulse for 15 seconds.  Pour into flour mix, stir, and set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Reduce speed to low and pour in flour mix.  Mix until just incorporated, about 25 - 30 seconds.  Dough will look crumbly.
  • Make balls of dough using a cookie dough scoop and bake for 18 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Place 2 - 3 cookies in bag of powdered sugar and lightly shake until covered, about 4 shakes.  Place on wire rack for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the process one more time and store cookies in air tight container.