Tag Archives: dessert

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake


Author: Lindsay
Yield: 12-14 Servings

Ingredients

Sparkling Cranberries

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup water

Cranberry Cake

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups salted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
3 cups fresh cranberries

White Chocolate Icing

12 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
8–9 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Sparkling Cranberries:

1. Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cranberries and stir to coat.
4. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup.
5. Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. You’ll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.
6. Set cranberries aside to dry for a hour or so.

Cranberry Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Gently stir in cranberries.
5. Spread batter evenly between the three cake pan.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

White Chocolate Icing:

1. Place white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
2. Microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
3. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
4. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
5. Allow ganache to sit until mostly cool. It should be thick.
6. Beat the ganache with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
7. Add butter and beat until it is fully combined.
8. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until it is fluffy and the right consistency. Add more cream if needed.

To Put the Cake Together:

1. Remove cake domes from cakes with a large serrated knife.
2. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about icing on top in an even layer.
3. Add second layer of cake and add more icing on top in an even layer.
4. Add final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
5. Top the cake with sparkling cranberries and add some around the edge, if desired.

Author’s Notes: I think most cakes are best if they are allowed to settle for at least 12-24 hours after icing. It allows to flavors to settle. This cake will stay moist for several days after being iced.

– Life Love and Sugar
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Perfect Banana Pudding


photo by Ethan Calabrese
10 servings

Ingredients

1 1/3 c. milk
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.)
3 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 box vanilla wafer cookies (12 oz.)
4 bananas, sliced into coins
2 tsp. sugar

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, vanilla pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk thoroughly, breaking up any lumps, and refrigerate for at least 5 minutes, or until set.

In another large bowl, combine heavy cream and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside half of the mixture for topping the dish. Fold remaining half into the pudding mixture.

Cover the bottom of a 3-quart trifle dish with vanilla wafers. Top with one-third of the pudding mixture. Cover with another layer of the wafer cookies—you may want to also stand some cookies up vertically, so you see the full circle along the edge of the trifle dish. Top with an even layer of banana slices. Continue layering the pudding, wafer cookies and banana slices until you reach the top, ending with a final layer of banana pudding.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.

Sweeten the remaining whipped cream: Add sugar to whipped cream, stirring to combine. Just before serving, dollop on top of the banana pudding, then sprinkle crumbled wafer cookies on top.

– Candace Braun Davison for Delish
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Maple Cake


16 Servings
The incomparable flavor of pure maple syrup is reason enough to make this sweet treat; that it is also quick to prepare is an added bonus. Maple syrup is marked and graded by its color, ranging from light to dark — the darker the color, the more intense the flavor. If you can find grade B, use it here for both the batter and the icing.

Ingredients

For the Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

For the Icing

1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more if needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed

Directions

Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan; line with parchment, and butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, maple syrup, and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of sour cream; beat until just combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack to cool completely.

Make the icing: Combine maple syrup and butter in a bowl. Sift in confectioners sugar, and whisk until combined. Adjust consistency with more syrup or sugar, if necessary. Spread maple icing over top of

– Martha Stewart
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Butter-Pecan Blondies


Makes 24 bars
Blondies prove that pantry staples like flour, brown sugar, butter, and eggs can be spun into pure gold—and without a mixer, at that. Amp up their flavor with a touch of dark rum and a tumble of toasted pecans, and a new favorite is born. Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2018

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole pecans
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups light-brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet; toast until fragrant, 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter, then dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and 2 cups brown sugar until combined. Add eggs; whisk until combined. Add vanilla and rum. Fold in flour mixture with a spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in half of nuts.

Transfer batter to prepared dish; smooth top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle top with remaining nuts and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bake until golden around edges and a tester inserted in center comes out with very few crumbs, 22 to 24 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into squares. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Variations: If you’d rather not use rum, increase the amount of vanilla to 4 teaspoons.
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Sparkling Cranberry Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Cheesecake

Cooking spray, for pan
3 8-oz. bars cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
Zest of 1 large orange
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

For the Crust

1 sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed
5 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt

For the Cranberries

1/2 c. water
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 1/2 c. sugar, divided
1 c. fresh cranberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 and grease an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with cooking spray. Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream, orange zest, flour, vanilla, and salt.

Make crust: In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Press mixture into prepared pan.

Pour filling over crust. Wrap bottom of pan in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. (If you want to bake the cheesecake in a water bath, wrap bottom of pan and place in a deep baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come up halfway in the baking pan.)

Bake until center of cheesecake only slightly jiggles, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn off heat, prop open oven door, and let cheesecake cool in oven, 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and refrigerate cheesecake in pan until firm, at least 5 hours and up to overnight.

Meanwhile, make the sugared cranberries: In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, combine water, orange juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Add in cranberries and toss until fully coated. Transfer onto parchment paper and let cool, about 15 minutes. When cool, toss in remaining sugar and top cheesecake. Serve.

– Lena Abraham at Delish
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Kentucky Bourbon-Brown Butter Cake


Serves 10 to 12
Use a high-quality bourbon — we like Bulleit — for the glaze; the flavor will shine through. Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2016

Ingredients

Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more, softened, for brushing
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Glaze

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey
3/4 cup sugar

Directions

Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a standard Bundt pan with butter, then dust with flour, tapping out excess.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high. When it boils, reduce heat to medium; simmer until foamy. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pan, until foam subsides, butter turns golden brown with a nutty aroma, and milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to bottom, 2 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat; transfer to a heatproof bowl and let cool 10 minutes.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Whisk brown butter into egg mixture, then stir in flour mixture just to combine (do not overmix).

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack 15 minutes.

Glaze

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high. When it boils, reduce heat to medium; simmer until foamy.

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom of pan, until foam subsides, butter turns golden brown with a nutty aroma, and milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to bottom, 2 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat; carefully add bourbon (mixture will bubble vigorously). When bubbles subside, stir in sugar to combine.

Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, just until mixture is smooth and runs from a spoon in a thin, translucent stream (sugar will not dissolve completely; do not let mixture boil).

Pierce holes in cake (still in pan) to bottom with a wooden skewer at 1-inch intervals.

Slowly drizzle glaze evenly over cake; let stand until glaze is fully absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Invert onto a cake plate. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Cake can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
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Pear Crisp


6 Servings
Choose Bosc pears that are ripe but still a little firm for the filling of this oat-almond crisp — they’ll stand up well to baking.

Ingredients

Crisp Topping

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Filling

6 Bosc pears (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center.

Crisp topping: Stir together oats, sugar, almonds, flour, and salt. Add butter and mix with hands until small clumps form and dry mixture is coated in butter. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.

Filling: Peel, halve, and core pears, then slice into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Add to a large bowl and toss with lime juice as you work to prevent pears from browning. Toss with sugar, ginger, flour, and salt. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Remove crisp topping from refrigerator and break into small pieces. Scatter evenly over the top. Transfer to oven and bake until bubbly, 50 to 60 minutes (tent top with foil if browning too quickly). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack 20 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream. Crisp is best eaten the day it’s made, but can be stored, covered, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
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