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By Janet Taylor
Ever since Todd talked making cupcakes I have been cupcake crazy. Although, I am not a cake maker but more of a pie person.
My first dessert that I love that I make is my Coconut Cream Pie w/heavy whipped cream. I don't use low fat anything and probably angioplasties is necessary after this baby.
My second is Peach Cobbler w/rich vanilla ice cream. I never met a cobbler that I didn't like, but peach is my favorite.
I don't make these often because I wouldn't be able to get through the front door if I did.
How about yours?
SWIFT HOMEMADE NAPOLEON
Sometimes we have days – may there be as few as possible – when nothing works out. I can even burn the water for tea. I have two ways of dealing with such days. The first is to sit in a corner and wait it out – maybe it will sort itself out. I can only do this when I'm alone. When I have a hungry family I have to look for another way. My second way is to use only well-known recipes and stick to them irregardless of how well I know them. Any experiments in this situation will end in failure.
Last weekend was just difficult. My husband helped me prepare dinner, but the dessert was my problem alone. Following the rules, I used a recipe for napoleon that is so simple there is no way you could fail. I recommend it to anyone struggling with creative impotence or who likes glamourous results after not too much effort in the kitchen.
Ingredients (for 9 napoleons)
1 pack of chilled French pastry
500ml of milk
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 packet of powdered blancmange
50g of butter
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 tablespoons of potato flour
2 tablespoons of flour
Heat the oven up to 180C. Cover a baking tray with some baking paper.
Cut the French pastry in half. Bake one half for 20 minutes. Remove it from the tray. Cut the second part into 9 squares. A cake prepared in this way is easier to divide into portions. Put them on the paper and bake for 20 minutes.
Now prepare the crème. Boil 400ml of the milk with the sugar, vanilla essence and butter. Mix the rest of the milk with the powdered blancmange, flour and potato flour and egg yolks. When the milk has boiled, take it off the heat and add it to the mixture, stirring constantly. Put it on the heat and boil, stirring until the mixture is coagulated. Take the pot off the heat. Put the warm mixture on the whole part of the French pasty and then cover it with the sliced part of the pastry. Cover the dessert with aluminium foil and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Cut and sprinkle with the caster sugar before serving.
The worst thing about my cranberry-apple cake is the way it looks. It didn't look impressive, but it was so yummy it disappeared from the baking pan before it had completely cooled down. My children said that it was a colourful apple pie, and it really was something like that. Apples with cinnamon are the basis of apple pie – one of my favourite cakes. However, the sour cranberries make it more fresh and interesting. The crumble topping was, for my son, the most important part of the cake. I had to drive him away, because otherwise the cake would have been deprived of its crunchy top.
Ingredients (18×26cm cake tin ):
200g of flour
150g of butter
1 packet of powdered vanilla blancmange
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
200g of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
250g of fresh cranberries
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
100g of butter
150g of flour
First make the crumble topping. Put the cool butter, flour and sugar in a bowl. Knead them until you have small lumps. Leave it in the fridge.
Heat the oven up to 180C. Cover a cake tin with some baking paper.
Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add egg after egg to the butter, stirring constantly. Add the flour, vanilla essence and powdered vanilla blancmange. Mix it together until you have a smooth dough. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the apple, remove the apple core and cube it. Mix the cranberries, apple, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Put the fruit on top of the dough. Cover the fruit with the crumble topping. Bake for 50 minutes.
Enjoy your meal!
BANOFFE - MY DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY CAKE
This year, mischievous nature tried to upset my daughter's birthday plans. Spending your birthday in bed with a thermometer isn't an excellent idea ¬– even for an adult. For a teenager it is a drama comparable to cancelled holidays. My daughter told me that you are thirteen only once. And she was right. Literally and figuratively.
I wanted to sugar the pill for her on this day and cheer her up for a bit, so I prepared a caramel cake with bananas – banoffee in the form of a small birthday cake. My sweet magic and the dinner from her favourite restaurant worked, and in the end her birthday was quite nice.
Ingredients (17cm cake tin):
150g of biscuits
75g of butter
200ml of 30% sweet cream
250g of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
300g of fudge
1 teaspoon of dark cocoa
Break the biscuits into very small pieces or blend them. Melt the butter and mix it up with the biscuits until you have dough like wet sand. Put it into a cake tin and form the base. It is worth rolling it flat with a glass. Leave it in the fridge for one hour. Spread the biscuit layer with fudge and arrange the sliced bananas on top. Whisk the chilled sweet cream with the caster sugar. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix it in. Put the mixture onto the bananas and make it even. Sprinkle with the dark cocoa and decorate as you like. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours (best for the whole night).
Enjoy your meal!
By Lisa Shock
The basic formula for these cakes was developed by the wife of a mayonnaise salesman in an effort to help him out. I did a bit of research, and have found many variations. Early variants generally involve using less cocoa, which I cannot recommend. Later variants involve using cold water instead of boiling, adding salt, and additional leaveners. I personally do not feel that any additional salt is needed, as mayonnaise and that famous, tangy brand of salad dressing (sometimes the label just says 'Dressing') both contain a fair amount of salt. If you are using homemade mayonnaise or a low sodium product, an eighth teaspoon of salt may boost the flavor a bit. And, of course, somewhere along the way fans who prefer a certain salad dressing over mayonnaise started using it to make this cake. Nowadays, the Hellman's website has a different formula -one with added eggs and baking powder. I have not tried this newer formulation.
Some versions of this recipe specify sifted cake flour. This will result in a very light cake with virtually no structural integrity, due to the paucity of eggs in this recipe compared to a regular cake. Cupcakes made this way give beautifully light results. However, every time I try to make a traditional 8" double layer cake with cake flour, I experience collapse. I recommend AP flour or at least a mix of cake and pastry flour.
I have never made this with a gluten-free flour replacer. This recipe does not have very much structural integrity and as such does not make a good candidate for a gluten-free cake.
I have made this cake many times, the type of sandwich spread you choose will affect the outcome. Made with mayonnaise, the cake has a good chocolate flavor and moistness. Made with that famous, tangy, off-white salad dressing that gets used as a sandwich spread, the cake has a subtle bit of extra brightness to the flavor. If one chooses to use a vegan mayonnaise, the result is tasty but lacking a little in structure; I would bake this in a square pan and frost and serve from the pan.
The cocoa you use will also affect the flavor. For a classic, homey flavor use a supermarket brand of cocoa. To add a little sophistication, use better, artisan type cocoa and use chocolate extract instead of the vanilla extract.
Supposedly, the traditional frosting for this cake should have a caramel flavor. Look for one where you actually caramelize some sugar first. Modern recipes for the icing seem like weak imitations to me; using brown sugar as the main flavor instead of true caramel.
Chocolate Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing Cake
makes enough for two 8" round pans, or a 9" square (about 7 cups of batter)
2 ounces/56g unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa
1 cup/236g boiling water
1 teaspoon/4g regular strength vanilla extract
3/4 cup/162g mayonnaise, vegan mayonnaise, or salad dressing (the tangy, off-white, sandwich spread type dressing)
10.5ounces/300g all-purpose flour
7 ounces/200g sugar
0.35ounce/10g baking soda
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Grease or spray two 8" round pans or an equivalent volume square or rectangle.
Place the cocoa in a medium (4-5 cup) bowl. Add the hot water and stir with a fork to break up any clumps. Allow to cool down a little, then add the vanilla extract and the mayonnaise or salad dressing spread. Beat well to eliminate lumps. In the bowl of an electric mixer or larger regular bowl if making by hand, sift in the flour and add the sugar and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients to distribute evenly. Slowly beat in the cocoa mixture. Mix until the batter has an even color. Pour immediately into the pans. If making two 8" rounds, weigh them to ensure they contain equal amounts.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the center of the top springs back when touched lightly. (The toothpick test does NOT work well on this moist cake!) Allow the cake to cool a little and shrink from the sides of the pan before removing. Removal is easier while still a little warm.
Good with or without frosting.
Good beginner cake for kids to make.
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