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Halloween Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Holidays On October 1, 2018 0 Comments

Enjoy baking and decorating this cake with kids – young & old. Happy Halloween!

Ingredients:
One 16.25-ounce cake mix (Betty Crocker® preferred), any flavor
One 16-ounce  ready-made white frosting
One package Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme®
One tube orange frosting decoration, fitted with a star tip
Assorted Halloween cake candy decorations, including orange sprinkles

Instructions:
1. Prepare cake according to package directions, using two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans.

2. Bake cake according to package directions.

3. Cool cake on a countertop.

4. Invert one layer cake onto a serving platter; place 3-inch wide foil strips between cake and platter (this will avoid frosting spreading to platter).

5. With a frosting knife, spread 1/4 cup white frosting evenly onto middle of cake.

6. Invert second layer cake over frosting.

7. Frosting sides of cake first and then top of cake.

8. Next, using frosting knife, spread the marshmallow creme onto sides of cake and then over top of cake.

9. If marshmallow creme is sticky, wet your fingers in a bowl of cold water and spread the creme manually.

10. Add the orange frosting to the cake – use any pattern you like.

11. Lastly, add Halloween candy decorations.

12. This cake can be made one day ahead and covered with tented aluminum foil – place toothpicks over top of cake and tent the aluminum foil over it.
Recipe & Text ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Matcha Tea Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes On June 8, 2018 0 Comments

Prep time: 8 to 10 minutes         Bake time: 35 to 45 minutes

Lookin’ for a 10-minute, made-from-scratch cake on Dad’s Day? Look no more – it’s here. Add the great gift of Kickback Cold Brew Matchacha Tea to go along with the cake. He’ll “kickback” for sure – just read the label and you’ll know why.

Go to Kickback Cold Brew website below and place orders now – Matchacha sells out quickly!

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons Matcha tea powder

1/3 cup vegetable oil (safflower or sunflower, preferred)

1 large egg

3/4 cup granulated, unbleached sugar

3/4 cup milk (low fat or whole) – this can be substituted with almond or soy milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using oil or butter, grease and flour a 9X9X4 loaf pan; set aside.

2. Measure all dry ingredients into a 2-cup bowl; set aside.

3. In a 4-cup mixing bowl, beat together the oil, egg, sugar and milk.

4. Stir the dry ingredients into the oil-egg-sugar-milk mixture; beat until smooth.

5. Pour cake batter into prepared loaf pan; set on a rack positioned in center of oven.

6. Bake Matcha Tea Cake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, insert a sharp, pointed knife in center. If knife comes out clean, cake is done. If there’s batter around knife, bake cake 5 more minutes.

7. After 5 more minutes of baking, test cake again. If needed, bake 5 more minutes.

8. When cake is done, set it on a counter to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, loosen sides of cake from pan and invert cake onto a platter.

9. Serve cake warm or cold, garnished with raspberries and mint leaf sprigs. If desired, serve with 5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream, also on this website here http://thekitchenbuzzz.com/2010/07/5-minute-sweetened-whipped-cream.html/

10. Enjoy Matcha Tea Cake with KickBack Matchacha Coldbrew Tea. Go here to purchase: https://kickbackcoldbrew.com/

Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

In Cakes & Cupcakes On September 1, 2016 0 Comments

This delicious spice cake with melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting is a perfect crowd pleaser for Labor Day Weekend! Celebrate, enjoy and stay safe!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 25 to 35 minutes
Making & Frosting Cake: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 12 to 15

Ingredients for the Cake:
2-1/4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar (slightly packed)
3/4 cup safflower or sunflower oil (other vegetable oil can be used as well)
3/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup whole or low-fat milk

Preparing & Baking the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or oil a 13 X 9-inch rectangular cake pan; lightly dust cake pan with flour. Shake off excess flour and set prepared cake pan aside.

2. In a 1-quart mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and spices and set aside.

3. In a 3-quart mixing bowl (using a hand mixer) or in a stand mixer bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, vanilla and walnuts (walnuts are optional).

4. Mix these ingredients on high speed until they are combined and uniform.

5. Gradually (a little at a time) add about 1/2 cup dry ingredients at a time, mixing until batter is uniform.

6. Add 1/3 cup of milk and mix until batter is uniform.

7. Repeat the gradual addition of dry and wet ingredients until finished and batter is smooth.

8. Pour batter into prepared cake pan; set cake pan on a rack positioned in center of oven.

9. Bake the cake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

10. After 25 to 30 minutes, insert a pointed knife into center of cake. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter around knife, bake the cake for an additional 5 minutes.

11. After 5 minutes, insert knife again. If needed, bake cake for another 5 minutes. If cake is done, it to a counter. Set cake in pan aside to cool (do not remove hot cake from pan). Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon whole or low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
*This frosting can be used on a 13 X 9-inch rectangular cake or on two 8 or 9-inch cake rounds.

Directions for the Frosting:
1. In a 2-quart bowl and using a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla on high speed.

2. Gradually add (a little at a time) 1 cup powdered sugar at a time on low speed until you have used 3-1/2 cups.

3. Mix until frosting is smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too runny or thin, add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Frosting the Cake:
1. When cake is completely cool, loosen sides with a knife. Gently invert cake onto a serving platter.

2. To keep platter “clean” when frosting cake, gently insert 3-inch strips of aluminum foil between cake bottom and platter.

3. Mound all the frosting on top center of cake.

4. Using a frosting knife, gently spread frosting on cake beginning in center top and then to the cake sides.

5. When finished frosting cake, gently remove aluminum foil strips and discard them.

6. Garnish cake with ground cinnamon over its top and chopped or whole cinnamon sticks around platter.

7. When ready to serve, cut the cake in 4-inch square pieces and set each piece on individual plates.
Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real

Petits Fours for Valentine’s Day

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Holidays On February 6, 2016 0 Comments

Petits fours is French, for small ovens. In the eighteenth century, cooks and pastry makers baked miniature confectionaries or appetizers in smaller ovens, next to the main ovens.

Serve these romantic Petits fours to your sweetheart on February 14th! They’re also perfect for that Valentine’s Day party, since they come in single servings.

Prep time: 40 minutes (for glazing & decoration)
Bake time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: 12 to 16 single-serving cakes (petits fours)

Ingredients for the Cake:
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla
2¾ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk

Directions for the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. In a large mixer bowl, mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy.

3. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally.

4. On low speed, mix in the flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk.

5. Pour the batter into prepared pan.

6. Place pan with batter on a rack positioned in center of preheated oven.

7. Bake the cake 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, place a pointed knife in center of cake to check for doneness – if knife comes out clean, the cake is done.

8. If the knife has batter clinging to it, bake the cake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Check cake once more by inserting knife in its center.

9. Let cake cool in pan on a kitchen counter or a wooden board.

10. When cake is cool, cut it into 12 to 16 equal pieces.
Note: each piece should measure 2 x 2 inches. Set aside on a baking sheet covered with parchment or aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze and decoration for cakes-

Ingredients for the Glaze & Decoration:
2 pounds (32 ounce) confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons juice from fresh lemons
One 4.25-ounce tube green decorating icing (for leaves)
One 4.25-ounce tube red or pink decorating icing (for flower)
One rosette-shaped plastic cake decorating tip -and-
One flat-ended plastic cake decorating tip (both available at cake decorating supply shops or online)
16 cupcake papers
Optional: You can use color of your choice for flower decoration.

Directions for Glazing the Cakes:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine glaze ingredients.

2. Beat on low speed just until blended; beat on high until smooth.

3. Apply glaze evenly over tops, letting the glaze drip on sides of cakes.

4. Set the glazed cakes aside to dry.

5. When cakes are dry, place a rosette cake decorating tip on desired color icing tube.

6. Squeeze tube to create a rosette or flower in center top of each cake.

7. Place a flat-ended decorating tip on green icing tube and pipe a leaf on each side of flower on center top of cakes.

8. Place cakes on flattened cupcake papers set on a serving platter.

9. Alternatively, place cakes directly on serving platter. Cover with tented foil until ready to serve.
Text and Photograph ©2016 Nancy DeLucia Real

Ricotta Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Holidays On April 2, 2015 0 Comments

During Easter week, my family and I prepare a variety of celebratory foods. In my opinion, the best is always saved for last – the traditional ricotta cake.

Encased in pasta frolla or a sweet shortcrust pastry dough, the ricotta filling is rich with rum, cinnamon, sugar and eggs. The flavors of this ricotta cake bring back all the memories of Easter in Italy. It doesn’t get more authentic than this. Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

Prepare the Pasta Frolla (Shortcrust Pastry Dough):
2 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated, unbleached sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch squares
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons cold water
One 9-inch pie plate
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling cake
5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream, previously published on this website
1 pint fresh strawberries

1. Combine dry ingredients in a 12-cup mixing bowl.

2. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, blend in the butter until mixture is uniform and resembles small peas.

3. Mix in the eggs. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing gently after each addition.

4. As soon as mixture amalgamates and dough is formed, divide it in half; shape each piece into a ball.

5. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and freeze 10 minutes.

6. After 10 minutes, transfer dough balls to refrigerator while you prepare the ricotta filling.

Prepare the Ricotta Filling:
16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup granulated, unbleached sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons Rum
Dash ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a 2 to 3-quart mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, stir together all ingredients.

3. Make sure the ingredients are well-blended; cover the bowl and refrigerate the ricotta filling.

4. In the meantime, roll out the pastry dough.

Roll out pastry dough:
1. With lightly floured hands, flatten one dough ball to a 6-inch circle.

2. Place dough between two floured 16-inch long waxed paper sheets.

3. Gently roll out dough to a 14 or 15-inch circle. To prevent sticking, peel off the waxed paper sheets and dust each side of the pastry sheet with flour two or three times while working.

4. Peel off the top waxed paper sheet. With one hand underneath bottom sheet and the other on top of exposed pastry, quickly flip pastry over and into a 9-inch buttered pie plate.

5. Peel off the second sheet. Gently fit the pastry into plate sides and, using a fork, randomly make holes in the pastry. Trim edges to a one-inch overhang and set aside.

6. Repeat rolling instructions with other dough ball; set aside.

7. Peel off the top waxed paper sheet from rolled out pastry; set aside.

Fill & Assemble the Ricotta Cake:
1. Pour the ricotta filling into the pastry-lined pie plate; set aside.

2. Using a pastry wheel, cut the second rolled-out pastry into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide strips.

3. Place the longest pastry dough strip across the center surface of ricotta filling.

4. Take the next longest strip and place it one inch apart and parallel to the first strip.

5. Continue placing the strips, one inch apart, until there are about 5 strips across filling surface.

6. In a diagonal fashion, place the remaining strips, in the same manner, over the first layer of strips.

7. Trim overhang pastry to one inch; roll the overhang underneath and tuck it between the plate and the pastry edges.

8. Using 1-inch wide aluminum foil strips, cover the pastry edges (this will avoid blackening).

9. Bake the ricotta cake for about 30 to 45 minutes.

10. After 30 minutes and to test doneness of cake, insert a pointed knife in center of cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake the cake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Test again.

11. When cake is done, transfer it to a cooling rack or counter. Let cool to room temperature.

12. Cover the cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

13. Serve cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, 5-Minute Sweetened Whipped Cream (see above) and fresh strawberries.
Text and Photograph ©2015 Nancy DeLucia Real