It’s a Red Velvet Birthday Cake!

Greetings all!

What a great time we had while celebrating my friend and neighbor’s birthday.  Actually, it was the somewhere between 15th and 20th anniversary of the first time she turned 29, so this is really her anniversary of her birthday cake… but I digress.

Here it is in progress, all 4 tiers of it (special day, special cake).

I have a set of oval cake pans.  So a smaller base, but taller cake makes for a special presentation.

Just a couple of hints, the butter cream frosting I used needs to be just slightly chilled, while the cake must be completely cooled before you start frosting it.  Think about it, a warm cake will melt the frosting.  And a harder cold frosting will tear holes in the cake while you frost it.

Also, I used a full bottle of the red food coloring to get the red cake look.  The more, the merrier!

The pink frosting has a bit of peppermint flavoring added.

The clowns are made with a large tip at the end of a pastry bag.

Make the body from a big glob of starred frosting, then add the arms and legs.  the clown heads are from broken toys.

Red Velvet Cake is legendary for it’s chocolate richness, buttercream icing decadence and the beauty of the red cake contrasted with the white icing.  Bobby Flay did one of his Throwdown shows about Red Velvet cake a few years ago.  A simple Google search came up with that recipe on the Food Network Website and I stuck to it…

Ingredients For the Cake  

  • 3 3/4 cups AP Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • The Frosting Recipe Follows

For the cake:

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans and line each pan with a round of parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl
Cream the butter, sugar and oil in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches alternating with the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the pans. Let cool completely before frosting. Slice each cake into 2 layers and frost.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
Combine the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened to a paste, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 2 hours.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and the sugar is totally dissolved, about 6 minutes. Add the cold paste, a few tablespoons at a time to the butter mixture and whip until light and fluffy.


Just as good as it looks!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!

… I CAN COOK THAT!

And so can you!

“Colors of the Caribbean” Lemonade

We made it… safe and sound and home.  While I did indeed cook a great many dishes on the island, when we returned, we wanted to have a theme drink to serve our friends while we bored them with our stories and photographs.
Like this one…
See that beautiful color of the ocean.  This photo was taken in “the Baths” in Virgin Gorda, of the British Virgin Isles.  I just fell in love with the colors of the Caribbean waters, and wanted to recreate this color in a drink.
So, I give you the “Colors of the Caribbean” Lemonade
Start with 1/2 a pitcher (about 5 cups) of your favorite Lemonade
Add 1 cup Blue Alize Liqueur (blue Alize is a French Cognac mixture with Passion Fruit, Cherries, Ginger and other exotic fruit juices.
Fill with ice
Garnish with Lemon Slices
Serve in tall Collins size glass, and garnish with Lemon Slices
And it is just that simple.  So far, as long as we keep the drinks flowing, no one minds listening to our stories too much.

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL. It really is just this easy!

… I CAN COOK THAT!

And so can you!

RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
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RUM RAISIN CARROT CAKE with CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
CAKE
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 Jumbo eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup golden rum*
3 cups grated carrots
8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained well
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Pour rum over raisins and set aside for at least an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour 2-9 inch cake pans.
  • In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugars.
  • In another bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and 1 egg. Add additional eggs and beat until well creamed.
  • Add dry ingredients gradually until well blended.
  • Add carrots, pineapple and walnuts until well blended.
  • Drain raisins and fold in last.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Invert cakes onto rack and cool completely.

*As an option you could soak the raisins in orange juice instead and then substitute 1 teaspoon maple flavoring for the rum.

FROSTING
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

  • In a medium bowl beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until blended.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually until well blended and smooth.
  • Ice first layer and then add 2nd cake top and ice again including sides of cake.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour to set icing before serving.
Deep South Caramel Cake: Lovin’ From the Oven
Every week, I try to bake a recipe that is 50 or more years old. I have a huge box of old books, newspaper clipping and hand written recipes that belonged to my grandmother and another that belonged to an old family friend. It’s a veritable treasure trove of great recipes. This week, I just didn’t get around to posting it over at my blog , so I am posting this one over here. This recipe came from the 1950 Pillsbury Bake Off.
The baker who entered this recipe said, “A rich brown-sugar caramel frosting completes this queenly cake. For company, you can bake it in three layers. For family, you can half the recipe and bake a square loaf cake.”
Deep South Caramel Cake:
3 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening or butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups water

1 tsp vanilla

Cream the sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat for 1 minute. Combine the dry ingredients in a smaller bowl and the water and vanilla in another. Add them alternately with each other. Pour into three well greased and lightly floured 9 inch round pans. Bake 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. (Note: If using half the ingredients, bake in a 9X9 pan for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean).

Caramel Frosting:
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar and salt; cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Blend in powdered sugar gradually. Add vanilla and mix well. This with a small amount of milk if necessary.
Try a New Recipe: Shortcakes

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

If this recipe doesn’t scream SPRING, I don’t know any other way to say it…

Come on, Spring!

I often make Strawberry Shortcakes for ranch dinners. They are always delicious and receive many complements. I like the fact that they can be prepared 2 hours in advance, and I just put them in the oven toward the end of dinner. I will definitely be making these again when we get more strawberries. These shortcakes are lovely, golden brown and sparkly with the sugar on top.

An impressive dessert, despite the fact that they are so simple! I believe these are the best Shortcakes I’ve ever had!

This recipe is from the cookbook The Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. They test each recipe different ways to come up with the best result, and explain their process before the recipes. It’s a handy reference, and some of their recipes are truly the “best.”


Shortcakes
Serves 6

Start the recipe by preparing the fruit, then set the fruit aside while preparing biscuits to allow the juices to become syrupy.

1 recipe Fruit Fillings for Shortcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and biscuit cutter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 cups Whipped Cream

1. Prepare fruit and set aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar in work bowl of food processor. Scatter butter pieces over mixture, tossing to coat butter with dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry ingredients with five 1-second pulses. (I don’t know if it was just because I made a double batch, but it took me a lot more than 5 pulses). Continue cutting in butter until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses (again, it took me a lot more). Turn mixture into medium bowl.

3. Mix beaten egg with half-and-half; pour into bowl with flour mixture. Combine with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn mixture onto floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.

4. Pat dough with fingertips into 9 by 6-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, being careful not to overwork dough. Flour a 2-3/4-inch biscuit cutter; cut out 6 dough rounds. Place rounds 1 inch apart on small baking sheet; brush tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. (Can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)

5. Bake until biscuits are golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; cool cakes until warm about 10 minutes.

6. When biscuits have cooled slightly, look for a natural crack around the circumference of the biscuits. Gently insert your fingers into the crack and split the biscuits in half crosswise. Place each cake bottom on individual serving plate (or bowl). Spoon portion of fruit and then dollop of whipped cream over each cake bottom. Cap with cake top and serve immediately.

CHEESECAKE APPLE CRISP

Hi, Tamy here filling in for Save Room for Desserts.
Don’t forget to add your link on the sidebar!
CHEESECAKE APPLE CRISP
CRISP
2-3 large Granny Smith apples (4 Cups chopped)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup apple juice
TOPPING
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 small box cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine all CRISP ingredients and mix well. Pour into an un-greased stoneware pan.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the topping ingredients and mix until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle topping over apple mixture.
  • Bake 45-60 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp and golden.
  • Serve warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.
Easy Chocolate Torte
This is one of the easiest elegant desserts I have ever made. It screams chocolate in every bite – perfect for Valentine’s Day. It is straight from Taste of Home. It uses all convenience foods which is normally not what I do, but instead of getting any better, my harried-ness is out of control right now. You certainly could use a homemade brownie recipe and then whip real cream with powdered sugar and vanilla for the topping.

1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 cups whipped topping
1 teaspoon chocolate sprinkles

Directions

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for fudge-like brownies. Spread batter in a greased and floured 9-in. round or springform pan.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 10 minutes. Invert or release onto a serving plate; cool completely.

In a bowl, stir the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Spread over brownie layer; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Just before serving, top with whipped topping. Decorate with sprinkles. Yield: 9-12 servings.

Try a New Recipe Day: Min’s S’moretini

Since New Year’s Eve is coming up, I thought I’d share a fabulous drink recipe I created: Min’s S’moretini. It was inspired by a drink of the same name at Outback Steakhouse, which I’ve still never tasted, and I don’t know how they make it!

 

This drink is delicious, creamy, festive and out of the ordinary. It would make an outstanding dessert.

 

Although I haven’t tried it, I bet you could make a Virgin S’moretini that would knock the kids’ socks off by simply omitting the vodka.


Don’t forget to visit me at
The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

Happy New Year!

Please drink Min’s S’moretinis responsibly.

Min’s S’moretini

Serves 1

Hershey’s syrup (for rim of glass)

1/2 graham cracker, finely crushed

Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce

ice cubes

1 1/4 ounce vodka

1 ounce Monin Toasted Marshmallow flavoring

1 generous squeeze Hershey’s syrup

1/2 ounce Monin Vanilla Syrup

2 ounces half & half

  • Rim martini glass with Hershey’s syrup and crushed graham crackers.
  • Swirl bottom third of glass with a generous drizzle of Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce.
  • In cocktail shaker, combine vodka, Monin Toasted Marshmallow flavoring, Hershey’s Syrup, Monin Vanilla flavoring and half & half.
  • Add a handful of ice cubes and shake until combined and chocolate is incorporated.
  • Carefully strain into glass, and savor.

*You can follow the links above for these ingredients,

or visit the Monin Gourmet Flavorings store*

Chocolate Upside Down Cake
Magazine Mondays is hosted by Ivonne over at Cream Puffs in Venice.

CHOCOLATE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
CAKE
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, minced

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and cocoa.
  • Mix in buttermilk, butter and vanilla.
  • Fold in walnuts.
  • Pour into 8×8 or 9×9 prepared pan.

TOPPING
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup water

  • Whisk together and pour over unbaked batter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Cool and invert onto a platter.
  • Enjoy.