Double Rail, Kenosha, Wisconsin
photo via susan
Double Rail, Kenosha, Wisconsin
photo via susan
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 to 28 whole graham crackers
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, and vanilla and whip to combine. Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan, or a similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top.
To make the ganache, heat the cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle over the layered cake. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.
This strawberry filled no-bake dessert has summer written all over it. And the chocolate drizzle is a perfect compliment to the berries and whipped cream. It’s so easy to put together and looks beautiful too. Just make sure to refrigerate it long enough that the graham crackers soften into delicious cake-like layers. This doesn’t keep well for more than a day or so, but you shouldn’t have a problem eating it all before then!
500g plain flour
35g baking powder
1 pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
150g golden sultanas
2 medium eggs
165ml whole milk
egg for egg wash
Place the sultanas in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water and allow to soak for 10 minutes, then drain the water.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and sultanas then add the eggs and milk. Gently bring the dough together then tip out onto the floured work surface.
Chaff the dough by folding and turning the dough until it has a smooth and even consistency. Use a floured 5.5cm cutter to cut rounds of dough, making sure you press straight down without turning (this would prevent the scone from rising). Place the scones on a parchment lined baking tray and brush the tops with beaten egg. Allow the scones to rest for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan. Bake the scones in the preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce the temperature to 175C/155c fan and bake for a further 15 minutes.
3/4 pound carrots, peeled and finely grated
8 oz. can pineapple tidbits or crushed, drained
2 C (8.8 oz.) unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove or allspice
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 C (4 oz.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 C canola or vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
Approximately 1 C toasted, shredded and sweetened coconut to decorate the outside, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8 inch cake pans. A 9 inch cake pan would also work but baking time will be shorter.
Add the drained pineapple to the shredded carrots and set aside.
In a blender, add the 4 eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Blend on a low speed for a minute. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and oil and blend for 4 more minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. After the liquid mixture has finished blending, pour the blender contents into the dry ingredients, add the grated carrots and pineapple, and gently fold the batter with a rubber spatula until no streaks of flour or chunks of carrots remain.
Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake at 350 for 30 – 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Start checking the cake after 25 minutes.
Brown Butter Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
Enough to fill and frost an 8 inch 2 layer cake, but easily doubled
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. or 1 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 – 3 C powdered sugar, sifted
2 - 3 Tbsp dark rum
Have a heat proof bowl resting in an ice bath ready.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter medium low heat. Cook the butter slowly and stir occasionally. First it will look like melted butter, then it will start to bubble and sizzle, and after a while it will start to clear and the milk solids will start to separate out of the fat. Slowly the solids will turn golden and then a light golden brown and the butter will smell nutty and caramely. When this happens, take the off heat and pour it into the bowl in the ice bath to cool it down quickly. If you let it sit, it solids will continue to cook and may burn.
Cool the butter to room temperature. Meanwhile, take the cream cheese out and bring it to room temperature.
After the butter has cooled, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and add another cup of powdered sugar. Add more sugar according to your tastes. I added 3 cups of powdered sugar total and the frosting was the tiniest bit grainy at that point but it wasn’t a deal breaker. Next time I’ll stop with 2 1/2 cups. Slowly drizzle in rum to your tastes, starting with 1 tablespoon. I like my frostings on the boozy side but too much liquor and the frosting will be too runny. A good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon of liquor for every cup of powdered sugar you add. Continue beating the frosting until it is fluffy and pillowy. It will have a consistency similar to whipped cream but have more structure.
In Japanese, tsundoku means, “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”
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Flying through fire.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi
Makes 12 muffins
2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup oil
sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 400. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Carefully toss the blueberries into the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the egg, buttermilk, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing quickly with a large spoon just until the flour disappears. Do not over-mix. The batter should be lumpy. Spoon the batter into a muffin tin that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the muffins with 1/2 teaspoon sugar each. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400. Serve hot with butter.
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Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS
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