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Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosted Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Filling

So rich and decadent with a perfect balance of sweet, bitter and sour tang for interest. The cake is Shirley Temple Chocolate Cake (source Fanny Farmer Baking Book) which a rich dense chocolate cake, so named because it was supposedly the favorite of the child actress.
The whipped ganache made with bittersweet chocolate adds a lovely chocolate bitterness while its light and fluffy texture adds complexity; and then finishing with an oddly light-heavy frosting of whipped cream cream cheese frosting (sourced from JoyofBaking.com) adding a lovely tang and cutting through the rich chocolate adding balance to the flavor.

Shirley Temple Chocolate Cake

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup boiling water
8 tbsp. butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Break the chocolate into bits and place them in a small cup or bowl. Pour the boiling water over and stir for a moment, then set aside to finish melting.

Cream the butter, then slowly add the sugar, beating until thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, and beat well. Add the melted chocolate and blend thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, and add them to the first mixture along with the milk. Beat until the batter is well blended and perfectly smooth.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the layers cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto racks to finish cooling completely. Once cool flatten the cake you will use as the bottom layer

Whipped Ganache Filling

8 oz Bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cacao) (I used 5 oz Baker’s Semisweet Chocolate and 3 oz Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate)
1 C Heavy whipping cream

You will probably want to use either your stand mixer or a hand beater for this
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heat safe bowl (preferably your mixing bowl for your mixer). Then heat the cream to just about boiling; then pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until it’s all melted and smooth. Allow to cool on your counter until room temp (it’ll look like and be about the consistancy of pudding) then whip it until it’s about the color of a light milk chocolate and looks almost like mousse. Spread it over one of the cakes in an even layer and place the other cake on top.

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese
1 C confectioner sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (use the real stuff)
1 1/2 c whipping cream

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream, whipping until the proper consistency. Frost the cake, this will make plenty with a little left over (which is perfect for a fruit dip or just eating with a spoon)


Croissants #2

Now I’ve blogged about croissants before, here but this recipe is sooo much better, lighter fluffier (butter melts out of it less and is soaked up by the layers better), still labor intensive (about 6 hours from start to finish) but entirely worth it. These will come out like Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (you know light and flaky and buttery) but with out all the ingredients you can’t pronounce (and no trans-fat)

 

 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup flour

Smoosh butter and flour together and form into a 4 x 6 inch square; it’s easier if you cream the butter in a bowl with the flour then shape between two pieces of waxed paper and chill in fridge while you make dough

Dough:
1/3 cup warm water
2 packets (or 2 Tbl) yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup cold milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour (I used King Arthur bread flour)

Extras:
Bittersweet chocolate (~1/2 oz per pain au chocolat)
Egg wash

Dissolve yeast into the water, then add sugar, milk, egg and salt mixing until blended then add 2 cups of flour and blend until smooth. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, dough will be very sticky. Turn out dough onto well floured surface and knead (adding flour as needed) until smooth, still slightly sticky but elastic.

Take out chilled butter (it should be malleable but firm) and roll out into 6 by 12 rectangle and then roll dough out to a 14 inch square, place butter on half of dough leaving a 1″ border around it and then fold the dough over, pinching the edges.

Roll out to a 9 x 29 inch rectangle, then fold ends to center then fold that in half, wrap in plastic and place in fridge and let chill for about 45 minutes. You will do this 3 more times (rolling out, folding into fourths then chilling). After the fourth time you’ve folded the dough, let chill for at least 1.5 hours (but no longer than over night). Then roll out to 12 x 32 (at least). cut into the size & shaped pieces you want

I wanted mostly Pain au Chocolat so I cut into 4 x 6″ rectangles and placed 1/4 oz of chopped chocolate at the 2″ mark fold over the chocolate and then put another 1/4 oz of chocolate at that seam and folded over the other end and placed them on parchment paper to rise until big and fluffy (about 2x as big)

After you let them rise, brush with an egg wash (this will make them bake up extra golden) bake in oven at 400F for about 10-15 minutes.

If you leave them plain they make excellent dinner rolls with stew


Vacation Time!

We will be on vacation starting July 27, 2012 through August 16, 2012. Orders can still be place but will not be shipped until August 17 or, 18th or 20th (depending on how many orders are received.)


Greenman Embroidery

framed green manJust finished my satin stitch, filled Green Man. I’m exceedingly happy with the way this piece turned out, along with the framing job. I didn’t actually time myself but it was at least 30 hours of stitching. It is done on white cotton muslin with double stranded cotton floss in various shades of green brown and gold. The eyes are single stranded floss.

The frame is a simple embroidery hoop that I painted black and the back has a fabric covered board to keep it nice and neat.
I used mostly a satin stitch but also backstitch, split stitch and Chinese knot. You can find it for sale here

I am going to be making more, but custom orders are always welcome if you would like something different. This design is from Urban Threads (they have a ton of pagan, earthy, punky, alternative designs)


Midnight Cake (or Mix-in-the-Pan Cake)

This is an awesome cake, easy and quick to mix and good for people with egg or dairy allergies since there is no butter, milk or egg in it.
You can mix this in the pan you plan on baking it in but you get a better mix in a bowl with a whisk. You will probably want to double the below recipe if you want it to last more than one night

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 350F and get out and prep 8×8″ pan
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
sift and mix the dry ingredients together

1 tbl vinegar (white or cider doesn’t matter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
add liquid ingredients and mix quickly and thoroughly. Pour into pan if you mixed it in a separate bowl and I highly suggest sprinkling chocolate chips or nuts if you like on top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.
You can serve it out of the pan or you can unmold it…but really, not worth unmolding…it’ll will be gone soon enough.


Butter & Garlic Pasta

Easy and so tasty, really nice if you have some already cooked chicken and brocoli tossed with it:

1/2 – 1lb of pasta
1/2 medium onion
5 cloves of Garlic
couple tbl of oil
1 stick of butter
dash of salt

prepare pasta according to instructions

While pasta is cooking, mince the onion and garlic. Heat up olive oil in the pan and once hot sauté minced onion and garlic until fragrant and onions are caramelizing. Put stick of butter in hot pan and melt and cook until slightly browned. Salt to taste
Toss over cooked and strained pasta. Delicious side to any meal.


Blueberry Muffin Recipe

This is a wonderful, sweet muffin recipe…the batter is actually a great generic muffin recipe for surprise muffins or anything like that.
This is from one of my mom’s cookbooks (cannot remember which one):

Preheat oven to 375F and prep 2 12-cup muffin tins

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
1 C Sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 cups flour
1 cup Milk or Orange juice (orange juice gives it a nice light citrus flavor but makes for a more crumbly muffin)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (or lemon, it goes very nicely with the Blueberry version)
1-2 cups of Blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until nice and light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the baking powder and then alternate the flour and liquid (starting and ending with flour) until it’s a thick batter. Fold in extract and blueberries and then spoon into tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes.


Happy Festivus

I’m a bit late for Yule/Solstice but Happy Midwinter festival of your personal flavor. My mom is basically my inspiration for all my crafting. I grew up with my mom sewing, knitting, embroidering, crocheting. So I learned to sew and knit from her, embroidery I am self taught (from a book my mother gave me of course), but I saw her embroidering and 11 years ago she began to make crazy quilt embroidered stockings for the family. This is basically why I started to embroider in the first place

crazy quilt cross stitched embroidered stocking

My Son's Stocking

crazy quilt cross stitched embroidered stocking

My Husband's Stocking

crazy quilt cross stitched embroidered stocking

My stocking


I’ve been Stitchpunked

I was StitchPunk'd


Lemon Buttermilk Pound cake

Delicious lemony pound cake (I glaze it with an easy lemon glaze), the key is the ingredients being room temp (or so) including the eggs and butter. This is a fantastic afternoon tea and cake snack. It supposedly keeps well but it never lasts more than 24 hours at my house.
Ingredients:
1 cup butter
2 cup sugar
4 eggs (pour warm tap water over them in a bowl and let them sit, this will warm them up nicely)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (or take 1 tbl vinegar put in measuring cup, fill up with milk and let sit for 5 minutes)
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tbl lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350F, grease and flour 10″ tube pan or a loaf pan
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add warmed eggs all at once. Beat until fluffy

Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Put zest and extract into buttermilk. Add half the flour to the butter/sugar/eggs mixture beat then add half the milk mixture, beat. Add rest of flour, beat then rest of milk. Beat until well incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes. Cool on rack. Pour on glaze while still warm

Glaze
2 tbl lemon juice
2/3 cup confectioner sugar

beat sugar and lemon juice until smooth.