RSS

Category Archives: Cakes

Guest at the Doorstep Apple-Berry Charlotte

*This week Chef Karen is going solo……

What is a Charlotte?  I had to look this one up.  I had heard it used in “food-lands” before but didn’t really care…. until now.  Easily defined, it’s a cake that can be served hot or cold.  The one distinction between Charlotte and other cake is that you use a batter for the mold and fill it with fruit.

That being said, I found this Charlotte very easy to make.  The hardest part was peeling and cutting the apples (which I HATE doing!) so if you like the chore, you’ll find this VERY easy. I used frozen blueberries I had in my freezer from pickings I did last summer and the local grocery store had blackberries on sale… YAY!  This is a great time-of-the-year for apples, too.  It says to use a cast-iron pan. I don’t have one so I used one of my fry pans that I can put into the oven.  I’m pretty sure you could also use a baking dish. Just make sure you check for it being done according to how big your dish is.   I took this for a snack and it got rave reviews.  I’m sure you’ll get the same reviews.  I highly recommend this recipe.

photo (12)

Advertisements
 

Peach and Blueberry Trifle

Chef Karen: The title may sound simple but it bring a whole lot of happiness to the mouth! There are as many trifle recipes as there are chefs. That’s why Chef Jonathan and I decided to use a white cake of some sort, vanilla pudding, fruit and whipped cream and see what we could come up with. I chose to make individual trifles. I used Twinkies as the white cake; I soaked them in rum extract for a more “grown-up” taste, plain vanilla pudding and real whipped cream. Because my peaches were a bit hard, I cut them up, sprinkled some sugar on them and let them set for a few hours. This softened them up and make them quite yummy. I layered my ingredients as a true trifle is layered, added a sprig of mint in honour of great friend, and voila! A refreshing late-summer dessert. Simple but stunning, I’d say 🙂

Image

Chef Jonathan: I decided to use angel food cake as my base for the trifle, a little unoriginal, I know, but I thought it would best to go back-to-the-basics for this week’s dessert. I then layered with creme chantilly, then roughly chopped peaches. I also whipped up a vanilla custard to go next, then more cake, cream, then the blueberries. I finished off with the whipped cream, and topped off with more blueberries. This is a nice simple end of the summer dessert, enjoy!

20130911-194926.jpg

 

Lemon-Blueberry Crumb Bars

Chef Karen: Summer and fresh fruit go hand-in-hand.  That’s why this recipe caught my eye; It had the word “blueberry” in it!  I love blueberries.  I love picking them, eating them right off the bush and figuring out how many different ways I can use them in baking. (Yes, yes, I know there are other uses for blueberries but I’m a baker at heart.)  I found the recipe we’ve tested this week very easy to make. I worried about what the crust would taste like and I found it to be pretty good. The bars tasted a bit like cheesecake but weren’t too “cheese-cakey” and I was happy with that.  If you want cheesecake, make cheesecake – don’t make a substitute 🙂  My one comment was that it seemed to dry out easily once I had it in the fridge for a few days.  If you have to keep it, make sure you wrap it tightly to keep this from happening.  I recommend this recipe while you can still go and pick your own blueberries!

photo (3)

Chef Jonathan: This is a nice summer recipe if you have some nice fresh berries. It can be done with any berries, not just of the blue variety, but we here at ORTK love blueberries! Making this dessert reminded me exactly of a New York Lemon Cheesecake I made in school, except for the blueberries are baked inside the bar, instead of a blueberry coulis……Making the crust, I found that there wasn’t nearly enough to fill the bottom of the pan, and do a topping, so I put all of it on the bottom, and left it Non En Croute which I actually prefer. Again, I love this recipe and I will definitely be making it again, possibly this summer. Enjoy!

Blueberry_Bar

Here is the website for the recipe. It’s from the Kraft website.  http://www.kraftcanada.com/en/recipes/lemon-blueberry-crumb-bars-124041.aspx?cm_mmc=eml-_-rbecaen-_-20130717-_-2066&cm_lm=D5FF970BB300121967A3D6C9693765E2

 

Baked Alaska

Chef Karen: When I first heard about Baked Alaska many years ago, I remember thinking, “Ice cream? In the oven?” Well, I’ve finally tried it and it was the coolest thing!  I was pretty intimidated to make this dessert but took a deep breath and created it!  I was pleasantly surprised at the turn-out.  A few things to mention: Because  I only wanted to serve 4 people and not have any leftovers, I made individual desserts.  I cut cake rounds out with a cup and used them as my base.  I also put the ice cream in ramekins to make them the size and shape to fit the cakes.  I put cling wrap in the bottom of a ramekin, then put in the ice cream, folded the wrap over to protect from freezer burn and then placed them in the freezer.  It worked perfectly! (I owe this trick to Gordon Ramsey – one of my favourite chefs!)  I used the 8 egg whites but really could have only used 4.  I dumped at least 1/2 of the meringue down the drain because I had too much.  Last thing: don’t worry if you don’t have a small torch to brown the meringue.  I don’t – not YET, anyway- and the oven worked just fine. I was worried it wouldn’t brown on the edges but it did. Last but not least, don’t be intimidated!  It was a very cool experience and one I will try again!

photo (1)

Chef Jonathan: This is one of those classic desserts that is sort of a rite of passage for every Chef Patissier, and somehow I’ve managed to skip it thus far on my culinary journeys. Thus, I was very happy when Chef Karen suggest that we make it this week. It always sounded like a very challenging recipe, but it’s honestly not if you know a few basic tricks. The cake is easy enough, you can even use a box mix if you prefer, and the ice cream you can buy (if you’re super eager, you can make your own). The fun part of this recipe is the “Alaska”. Like any meringue, just be super careful when separating your egg whites from your yolks, if any yolk gets mixed in, it can ruin the whole meringue. I always make sure my white have reached at least soft peak before adding the sugar. If you add it too early, the whites won’t thicken as they should, and you’ll have to start over. I hadn’t used this recipe for meringue before, so I added a touch more sugar than specified, just to sweeten. I used my special Chef’s torch to darken the edges of the meringue, but a broiler in an oven works just as well, just don’t take your eyes off of it! I really love this recipe, it’s an instant classic and it’s perfect for that dinner party you’ve been dying to plan, enjoy!

Baked Alaska

 

Baked Alaska Recipe

 

Hazelnut-Mocha Dacquoise

This week we have one recipe in one kitchen……. I made this delightful treat for Chef Jonathan’s birthday.  Let me start by saying it was worth the effort.  That said, it’s A LOT of effort to make this cake.  It takes several hours, as it clearly states, so be prepared. There are no cutting corners with this little project.  I’m glad it tasted so good after all of the time put into it.

Let me give you a few other hints……..

1. Make sure your meringue disks are flat – it will keep the ganache from sliding off.

2. It says to spread the whole thing with the whipped cream and let set for 6 hours or over night.  I think this is a mistake.  The whipped cream begins to separate and run.  This isn’t nice to look at or to eat.  I would spread the meringue disks with the ganache and then let them set in the fridge for the 6  hours and then spread the whipped  cream over the cake just before serving.

3. The FNM’s picture shows a tall cake. Mine wasn’t that tall. Just be prepared for that…..

4. As you cut it, it tends to slide……. just be prepared for that, too.

I loved the cake. I’d make it, again, with the few added changes.

Here is my picture:

ImageHere is the link to the recipe on the Food Network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/hazelnut-mocha-dacquoise-recipe/index.html

 
Aside

Chef Karen: A friend posted this on Facebook. I needed to try it! I’m glad I did. It’s a very easy recipe. I like the fact that you make your own cake batter and not a boxed one. Even though I’m a busy person, I like making my own cakes better than boxed ones. It’s a nice coffee cake recipe that goes well with a morning cup of java or a night time cup of tea. I don’t have any hints to this recipe: just make it! You’ll be glad you did.

Chef Jonathan: I really like this recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Cake, it’s very easy and can be done in a flash! I really enjoy the marbled texture of the cake once swirled, and the glaze on top is a nice added sweetness that really brings it all together. This cake is a nice kitchen-table-top treat to be snacked on regularly, or share it with a friend! Enjoy!

20130408-143438.jpg

.•♥• Cinnamon Roll Swirl Cake Recipe! •♥•☆

For the batter~
3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Topping~
1 cup butter, soft to the point of almost melted*
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together except for the butter.
once mixed …slowly pour in the butter.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together until well combined.

Drop evenly over the batter and swirl with a knife.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Glaze~
2 cup powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

While the cake is warm ~ drizzle the glaze over the cake. :

Cinnamon Roll Swirl Cake

 

Tags: , , ,

Pencil Cake

Karen: I am NOT an artist. I am not a cake decorator; no patience…… So this project was a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, the directions were easy to follow and it helped. I managed to do things a bit differently than written (which I find I do most weeks). I added more than the suggested amount of food colouring to both frostings. I also didn’t use a microwave to melt the chocolate; I prefer a double broiler. I did find the shaping of the cake to be a bit of a challenge but nothing I couldn’t handle. I forgo using the green stripes because I couldn’t find any and used licorice, instead. I think this is a fun project that could be accomplished by kids with the help of an adult. What a fun first week of school treat!

Chef Jonathan: I was very excited to try this pencil cake to celebrate the start of school this week, although it was a bit of a challenge. I found that my loaf cakes were smaller than the ones in the magazine, so I adjusted my measurements accordingly. I found it a bit difficult to bevel the edges of the pencil, but I just kept shaving it off until level. I found the method of microwaving the chocolate in a plastic bag a bit unsafe, so I decided to use a double boiler. The other obstacle was attaching the chocolate tip to end of the cake, and shaving off enough to make it look believable as a pencil. I used a rainbow sour belt, instead of green, and I actually like it better. All in all, a great project if you have several hours to devote to it, and I also recommend it for a children’s project!

This recipe was found in the September 2011 issue of The Foodnetwork Magazine.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/how-to-make-a-pencil-cake/pictures/index.html

20120902-205026.jpg