Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category
Recipes in this Post
Tuesday, November 21, 2012 was Spane’s 9th birthday. He originally asked for a Red Velvet Cake, but then said he wanted Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting that I made for his 7th birthday, and was the base for the Jolly Roger Cake of the Pirate Rack Rachham that I made for his 8th birthday. At the last minute, I decided to give him his original request, a Red Velvet Cake.
Yes, I know that Red Velvet Cake is all over the place, and mostly nasty, truly horrific. When Red Velvet cake became popular all over the country, short cuts were made, and what resulted was a dense, flavorless cake, with a greasy shortening “cream cheese” frosting, that I am sure was made with cream cheese flavoring, and nary a bit of real cream cheese. I make a real Red Velvet Cake, that uses real cream cheese, cake flour, and vinegar/baking soda leavener.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I just can’t make an ordinary anything, I always have to umph it up a bit, and this cake was no exception. Instead of using white vinegar, I used Balsamic vinegar. I also used a Mocha frosting instead of the traditional cream cheese frosting. It was a real hit.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t, Almond Joy’s got nuts, Mounds don’t. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes, you don’t!
I like Mounds because I like dark chocolate a lot better than milk chocolate, and besides, dark chocolate is a lot better for you. Almonds are good for you too, and if you have an acid stomach, a drop of almond extract will fix you right up. If you don’t have access to almond extract, an Almond Joy will work, too, not just as quickly.
When I was perusing Pinterest I saw a picture of something called Almond Joy Pie that looked just wonderful, but when I read the recipe it called for custard. I’m sorry but I just can’t stand custard, so I decided to use the same lemon cream that I used for the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream instead.
This is a very simple pie to make, and unlike a real Almond Joy that has milk chocolate, this one uses dark chocolate. You get the best of both worlds, what more could you ask?
I used to love watching Julia Child on The French Chef when it was on Saturday afternoons on my local PBS station. I think Julia Child kind of reminded me of my mother, they were both tall, loved to talk, and were never afraid to take anything head on. My mother was a good cook, taught me the basics, and let me prepare meals when I was 10. Sadly, my mother died when I was 15, but left me in the capable hands of my Aunt Georgia, Grandmother, and Julia Child.
Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and I thought I should share a recipe which is inspired by Baked Alaska Apples that I watched Julia make on the show.
Did you know that July 24th is National Tequila Day? I’ve been looking at pictures of Margarita all day long. I’ve also been bemoaning the fact that I can’t find Agave wine anymore. Agave wine is made from the agave plant, from which tequila is also made. Since the wine is fermented, it does not have the same kick as tequila, which is distilled. But, it does have virtually the same taste, but doesn’t make you feel like you’re plastered after only one drink.
A Bavarian cream is a classic French dessert, similar to pastry cream, but is thickened with gelatin instead of flour. Usually, it is served in a mold, and decorated with Crème Chantilly. So, there you have the inspiration for my Lemon Margarita Bavarian Creams.
There was a wonderful tip from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been doing for quite a while, only not as efficiently. To protect iced cakes from plastic wrap, I’ve been sticking the top with toothpicks. America’s Test Kitchen uses spaghetti noodles – they’re more plentiful, and easy to break for whatever length you want.
So, when I decided to make my pie today, and didn’t want it getting over burdened with plastic wrap, I took linguine noodles, stuck them in, covered my pie, and stuck it in the refrigerator. Now it won’t pick up any bad smells, or have any of it come off with the plastic wrap. There’s a bunch of other transport tricks at America’s Test Kitchen.
Spane liked the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle so much that he asked me if I could make it again. There were fresh raspberries and blueberries on sale at the market, but I didn’t want another trifle, I wanted a tart.
Recipes in this Post
When thinking about making this Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream, it reminded me of something that happened many years ago. I was asked to bring something to a 4th of July potluck. I was making a yellow cake and using strawberries and blueberries for filling, with a whipped cream topping. As I was taking the cake out of the pan, my cat Lazer startled me, and I dropped the cake on the counter. I went into bunch of little pieces. Well, I had a trifle bowl, so I scooped everything up, put in the bowl with the cream and fruit, presented it as Oops 4th of July Trifle, and called it a day.
This year, I wanted something along the same lines, but a little more fun. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are perfect together. Strawberries and Mascarpone are even better together, but I didn’t want anything that thick. So I developed a wonderful lemon cream.