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12/28/2013

Cranberry Celebration Cheesecake Recipe

Yield: 16 servings. Prep Time: 45 min. Bake: 1-3/4 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

FILLING:
  • 3/4 cup plus 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each)
 PHILADELPHIA® Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

TOPPING:
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions


  • In a food processor, finely chop dried cranberries. Add flour,
  • almonds and confectioners' sugar; process until blended. Add butter;
  • pulse just until crumbly.
  • Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up sides of a greased 10-in.
  • springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10
  • minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch; stir in
  • cranberry juice until smooth. Add berries. Cook and stir until
  • thickened and bubbly. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar
  • until smooth. Add eggs; beat just until combined. Pour half of
  • batter into crust. Carefully spoon 3/4 cup berry mixture over
  • batter; top with remaining batter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 250°. Bake 25-30 minutes
  • longer or until center is almost set. Combine the sour cream, sugar
  • and vanilla; spread over top. Bake 20-30 minutes or until set. Cool
  • on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan to
  • loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Spread remaining berry mixture over the
  • top. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold in ground almonds. Pipe
  • around top edge of cheesecake; sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Buche De Noel


Cooking-Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream 
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar 
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 6 egg yolks 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 6 egg whites 
  • ½ cup + ¼ cup white sugar

METHOD


Preheat oven to 190C

Line a jelly roll pan with cooking paper. 

In a big bowlput: whip cream with confectioners' sugar, cocoa, vanilla until thick and stiff. 

Refrigerate.

In a big bowl: beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. 
Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, vanilla, and salt. 

In a big bowl bowl: whip egg whites to soft peaks, add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat.
Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. 

Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. REmove the paper

Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place into a serving plate. Refrigerate.

12/25/2013

Bûche de Noël with Marzipan Mushrooms

The traditional French "Christmas log" is accompanied by meringue mushrooms; the ones here—formed out of marzipan (a paste made from almonds, sugar and egg whites)—are much easier to do.
yield: Makes 14 servings
ingredients

Filling
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup marzipan, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Cake
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Frosting
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

METHOD

For filling:
Bring milk to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk yolks and sugar in small bowl until well blended; whisk in flour. Whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Return to same saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until custard thickens and boils, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to processor; cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Add marzipan; process until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in butter 1 piece at a time, then both extracts. Cover and refrigerate filling at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 11x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Line bottom with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt in large metal bowl. Set bowl over pot of simmering water. Whisk until just warm, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Sift flour over; fold in until just combined. Gently fold in butter (do not overmix, or batter will deflate). Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over towel. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Turn hot cake out onto towel. Peel off parchment. Starting at 1 long side and using towel as aid, gently roll up cake jelly-roll style. Cool. Unroll cake. Spread filling over. Reroll cake; place cake, seam side down, on platter. Refrigerate cake while preparing frosting.
For frosting:
Bring cream and butter to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to melt butter. Remove from heat. Add both chocolates; whisk until melted. Transfer to medium bowl. Let cool at room temperature until thick enough to spread, about 1 hour.
Starting 1 inch in from each end of cake, cut on diagonal to remove one 3-inch-long piece of cake from each end. Attach 1 cake piece at sides of cake near each end. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake and pieces. Using tines of fork, draw concentric circles on cake ends to resemble tree rings. Draw fork along length of cake to form bark design. Garnish with Marzipan Mushrooms.

12/20/2013

Strawberry Cheesecake Tarts

  • Prep. Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 20 - 25 mins  Yields: 6 tarts
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) butter, softened
  • 8 oz (250 g) Canadian Cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) 5 % or 6 % light cream
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
  • 3 cups (750 mL) hulled fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) strawberry jelly
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
Preparation
Preheat oven at 350 ºF (180 ºC).
Combine flour (1 1/4 cups / 310 mL) and icing sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Divide dough among six 4 x 1 inch (10 x 2.5 cm) tart pans with removable bottoms*. Press dough evenly over bottom and sides of pans; place on baking sheet.
Beat Canadian Cream cheese until light. Beat in granulated sugar, 2 tbsp (30 mL) flour and egg. Gradually stir in cream. Blend in lemon rind and 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice. Divide filling evenly among tart pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool. Arrange berries on tarts. Combine jelly and 1 tsp (5 mL) of lemon juice. Melt over low heat; stir occasionally. Spoon glaze over berries. Chill.
Tips:*Six 4 1/2 x 1 1/4 inch (11 x 3 cm) foil tart pans (available at supermarkets) may be substituted.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Dessert Sandwiches

Fill a cookie sandwich with a rich, decadent chocolate mousse for an easy, but heavenly dessert.
  • Prep. Time: 15 mins  Refrigeration Time: 30 mins - 2 hrs  Yields: 6 sandwiches
Ingredients

  • 4 oz (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 35 % cream
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated orange zest
  • 12 bakery-style cookies or homemade cookies
Preparation
In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot, not boiling water, melt chocolate and 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the cream; stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
In a chilled bowl, combine remaining cream, icing sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest. Whip until soft peaks form. Fold one-quarter into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream just until blended. Chill until set, for about 30 min or up to 2 hrs.
Spoon one-sixth of the mousse onto 6 of the cookies; top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to form sandwiches. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hrs.
Tips:For the Adventurous: Replace vanilla extract with orange or chocolate liqueur.

Festive Trifle Cake

Inspired by the original English version, this variation on the traditional trifle is very easy to make and perfect to serve for dessert during the Holidays. Take an angel cake infused with orange juice or sherry, topped with vanilla pudding, a heap of whipped cream and fresh fruit and voilà, you have all the ingredients for an irresistible, fairy-tale dessert.
  • Yields: 8 Servings
Ingredients

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 35% Cream
  • 1 four ser. pkg. vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
  • 2 cups (500 mL) Milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) orange juice*
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) whole raspberries, washed
  • 2 kiwi, sliced or quartered
Preparation
Slice angel food cake into 3 layers. Beat whipping cream.
Prepare pudding with milk as directed on the package. Gently fold in a cup of whipped cream.
Place one cake layer on serving dish and sprinkle with half of the orange juice and spread with half of the pudding mixture. Top with half of raspberries and kiwi slices and a third of remaining cream.
Place second cake layer on top and sprinkle with remaining orange juice. Spread with remaining pudding mixture; sprinkle with remaining fruit and spread with half of remaining cream. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread whipped cream over top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
*Sherry can be used instead of orange juice.

Holiday Orange Mocha Roll

This is the perfect make-ahead holiday cake you will find! A load of fresh orange flavour shines through with this recipe and it truly is a marriage made in the kitchen with the coffee liqueur flavour.
  • Prep Time: 25 mins  Cooking Time: 15 mins  Yields: 12 to 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange zest
  • 1 1/3 cups (325 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • Icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) instant coffee granules or
  • instant espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) coffee liqueur or
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (500 mL) 35% whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) icing sugar
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 17 x 11 inch (43 x 28 cm) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar, butter and orange zest with an electric mixer until well combined and sugar is dissolved. In another bowl, whisk together flour, and baking powder. Beat into egg mixture on low speed until combined well. Using an offset spatula, spread into prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cake springs back when gently touched. Let cool slightly.
Dust a large clean tea towel with icing sugar. With the tip of a knife, loosen edges of cake; invert onto towel. Carefully remove pan and paper. Starting at the short end, roll the towel and the cake together jellyroll style (the towel will end up coiled inside the cake). Let cool on rack, seam side down.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine instant coffee and coffee liqueur until dissolved. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks. With spatula gently blend in coffee mixture.
Unroll cake and spread with two-thirds of the cream mixture leaving about 1- inch (2.5 cm) from one end of the cake. Using towel as support, roll up cake without towel. Place seam side down on serving platter. Spread remaining cream mixture over roll and garnish with chocolate shavings. Cover lightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days.

Decorating tips:
To turn this holiday roll into a more traditional Yule Log:
Cut each end on the diagonal to form a small triangular piece from each end. Place cut pieces on top of the cake to give a ‘tree stump’ look. Spread cream mixture on top piece.
Decorate cake and platter with meringue mushrooms.


FILLED RAISIN COOKIES

yield: About 3 dozen cookies
prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour 45 minutes


INGREDIENTS:



For the Dough:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup margarine
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups water, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (15-ounce) box raisins

DIRECTIONS:


1Make the Dough: Cream together the sugar and margarine on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, eggs, flour and milk. Continue to mix until just about all of the flour is incorporated. Add the baking powder, baking soda and vanilla extract and mix to combine. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2Make the Filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and ¼ cup of the water to form a paste. Stir in the remaining water, lemon juice and raisins. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and the raisins plump, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before using.
3Assemble and Bake the Cookies: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
4. Using about 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. (The dough is very soft and sticky, so use as much flour as necessary to roll it out without it sticking.) Cut the dough into rounds (I used a 2¾-inch cookie cutter). Place one on prepared baking sheet, spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of the raisin filling onto the circle and then top with another round of dough. Just lay the circle on top of the filling; there is no need to seal them shut, as they will do so while baking. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
5. Bake the cookies until lightly golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES WITH CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING



yield: 12 to 16 brownies
prep time: 15 minutes  cook time: 25 to 30 minutes  total time: 45 minutes


INGREDIENTS:


For the Brownies:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Ovaltine chocolate malt powder

DIRECTIONS:


1Make the Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and line with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the edges. Butter the parchment paper; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place a medium, heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan (do not let it touch the water) and add the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the granulated and brown sugars. Whisk in the egg, the yolk, and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture all at once, and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely; meanwhile, make the frosting.
5. To Make the Frosting: Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes (mixture will be thick).
6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate the sugar, and while the mixer is running, slowly add the milk and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, beating until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
7. In a 1-cup measuring cup, or in a small bowl, mix together the cream and the Ovaltine. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and pour the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined. You can add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, if you would like a stiffer frosting.
8. Spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies, and cut into squares. Store brownies in an airtight container, or tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

12/17/2013

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This chocolate chip studded bundt cake has all the flavors of the classic cookie. And you only need one bowl to do it.
Note: Butter should be softened enough to easily blend with the sugar into a creamy paste. I find this to be at about 70 to 75°F.
Yield: Makes one 9-inch bundt cake Active time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hours

INGREDIENTS
16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (see note above), plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) cake flour, plus more for dusting pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
  • METHOD

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10 to 12-cup bundt pan
  2. Stir butter with sugar and salt in large bowl until very creamy. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Whisk in sour cream and vanilla until combined.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl. Stir until almost combined. Stir in chips until combined and no white streaks of flour remain.
  4. Spoon into pan and bake until golden and just set, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 45 minutes, then invert onto serving plate or cooling rack.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Gingerbread cupcakes get a twist with the addition of cocoa, and it's all topped with an indulgent white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Yield: serves 12 Active time: 30 minutes Total time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS
  • For The Cupcakes:
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate stout
  • 1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch ground cloves
  •  
  • For The Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • METHOD

  1. Make the cupcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In large bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, molasses, eggs, salt, and stout until combined. Into medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and cloves.
  2. Whisk dry mix into wet ingredients until combined. Spoon into muffin cups and bake until firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
  3. Make the frosting: In large bowl stir cream cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, white chocolate, sugar, and vanilla until combined and creamy. Whisk briefly to slightly lighten.
  4. Spoon frosting into pastry bag fitted with tip to pipe frosting onto cupcakes, or use spatula to spread frosting.