Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Do They Make That!?

My Tres Leches Cake

Decorated With Whipped Cream Cheese Icing

When I worked for the bakery the lead lady was a sweet older Mexican woman.  She occasionally would bring us one of her special recipe cakes but wouldn't dare give the recipe.  She once had a business out of her home and closed up shop but still made a few cakes for close friends.

One day I came into work to find a Tres Leches Cake in the cooler.  I was told to take a piece home.  Yeah right! It didn't make it home and actually it only lasted about 5 minutes after I tasted the first bite!  I'd never eaten a cake so delicious in my life!  I decided to post a Venezuelan Tres Leches Cake recipe for everyone who's always wanted to make one but didn't know how.  And by the way, this lady uses Tres Leches even for her wedding cakes!  

This recipe calls for a meringue topping but my friend uses a whipped cream cheese topping. I'll also post that recipe and you can choose between the two.

Sponge cake:
4 eggs
¾ cups all-purpose flour (*)
¾ cups sugar


3 egg whites to soft peaks
3 tablespoons sugar


1- 8oz carton of cream (or heavy cream)
1 can Evaporated milk
½ can of condensed milk

Sponge cake:
Beat egg whites until stiff, and gradually add the egg yolks, then sugar and finally the flour (*). In a pre-buttered baking dish (the same that is used to serve the finished dish), put the preparation and bring the oven to 180 ° C (350 ° F) for about 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean) .

(*) You can use cornstarch, so the sponge is softer. You can also use the cake (ponques) that is sold commercially in supermarkets and bakeries.

Blend together the three milks. Use more or less condenseduntil the desired sweetness.

Make several little holes in the cake with a fork, pour the cream over the cake, put some additional condensed milk if desired, you can decorate it with a little cinnamon on top if you like, or make a soft caramel on top drop the cake in the form of fine wire. You can also decorate with cherries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries or raspberries in syrup.

The dessert can be left in the same mold where it is baked, but if you can unmold before bathing with cream and mold it to another presentation, and then bathe it with the cream and then decorate with meringue (or whipped cream cheese icing below).

Whipped Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

While cakes are cooling, start making your frosting. In a medium bowl, beat your cream cheese until it is soft and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla, mix well, then set aside.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat your whipping cream.  Beat until stiff/firm peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

Transfer about 1/3 of the whipped cream to your cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Gently mix until cream cheese and cream are totally combined. Add your remaining whipped cream, and gently stir until you have a uniform frosting. 

Until next time.......Happy Baking!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Betty White's 90th Birthday Cake!

Wow! Ninety years old and still full of energy, Betty White was presented with this huge star-studded bash and her very own TV special!  Her cake was even more spectacular, presented from the Betty Crocker Kitchen's,  this Triple Chocolate Celebration Cake had three HUGE layers of chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse, decorated with red and gold roses, and red and white stripes, and of course a miniature version of her sweet dog, Pontiac, on top.

The gold accents of pearls, the number 90 and the candles are symbols for the "The Golden Girls".  And the bold colors representative of Betty's character.  There was even an edible name tag with a special wish from Betty Crocker!  A gorgeous cake for a gorgeous lady!

I hope for one, I can live to be 90 and still get around and two, that I will still have my mind and body as this "young" woman still does!  Ok, so the body I have to work on...LOL!

Until next time......Happy Baking!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Rainbow In A Jar

If you're looking for a dessert to brighten your winter blues look no further!  I have just the treat for you!  Color therapy has been around now for some time.  We all know colors encourage our emotions, black can make us blue and yellow can make us happy.  Sooo this dessert should make your insides and emotions excited!

I found this recipe posted by Brooke McClay, on Babble, a site full with blogs of all sorts from 'Baby' to 'Recipes'.  This is such an eye-opening and fun recipe I had to share!

BabbleJarRainbow3 234x300 Rainbow Cake in a Jar

Rainbow Cake in Jar, shared from Babble POSTED BY BROOKE MCLAY ON APRIL 8TH, 2011 AT 12:08 AM
You may wish to read the post edit at the bottom of the page before starting this recipe.
  • 1 box white cake mix made according to package instructions
  • Neon food coloring in pink, yellow, green, turquoise, and purple
  • 3 one-pint canning jars
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • Rainbow sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly wash and dry the inside of each canning jar. Spray the inside of each jar thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
BabbleJarRainbow1 200x300 Rainbow Cake in a Jar
Scoop about 1/2 cups of cake batter into five small bowls. It doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t panic if you get a little more of less of one color than another.  Tint each bowl of cake batter with the food coloring until very vibrant.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the purple batter into the bottom of each jar.  Spoon equal amounts of turquoise batter, then green, yellow, and pink.  Place the jars in a shallow baking dish, add about 1/4″ in water in the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove jars and allow to cool completely before scooping a small portion from the top of your cake and adding a hefty dollop of vanilla buttercream to the top. Sprinkle & serve, or cover with a lid and store in the fridge or pop into the mail & surprise someone you love!
POST EDIT: Several commenters have indicated that the cake is not cooking all the way through in the 30-35 minutes indicated in the recipe.  This was enough time for our cake, but I’m cooking at high altitudes, and my oven tends to bake hot.  So, I’d recommend baking the cake for 40 minutes, then return it to the oven if it still doesn’t spring back to the touch when you check to see if it’s finished.  As for the cake puffing up and out of it’s bottle, ours did that a bit, as well.  Easy fix. We just scooped a bit of the cake out to make room for the frosting and wiped the outside of our jars clean.  Several people have indicated that the wide-mouthed mason jars work a little better for this purpose.  I’ve not yet baked with wide-mouthed. What you see above is what was baked in my kitchen according to the recipe instructions, and what came out of the oven when it was all.   Of course, if you’re feeling wildly impatient, you can also zap the cake in the microwave for 2 minutes.  It’s going to bubble up, for sure, but you can scoop the top part of that cake out, frost it, and no one will ever be the wiser. Good luck, everyone! This is such a fun cake. My kids went nuts over it, and I hope it works as beautifully for you as it did for us!

For more recipes in a jar check out their page 'Dessert Recipes In A Jar'

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brush Embroidery Decorating Techniques

Not only did I enjoy the video I posted from youtube onto my Facebook page but everyone else also did!  So I decided to make a post about it and show you some more ideas to motivate you even further.

Brush Embroidery Decorating is simply taking royal icing for cookies and buttercream or other thickened icing for cakes.  For cakes, the icing just has to have thick enough consistency that it doesn't run.  And of course for the cookies it's important to use the royal icing so it will harden into a candy.

This video isn't one that I've produced myself as this is the first time I've seen this technique.  So sit back and enjoy.  You'll find this technique so easy you'll be dying to try it on your next cake or batch of cookies!

These are beautiful and Cookie Decorator even has a video tutorial for these!

I love this delicate.
From Cakes & Sugar Flowers Blogspot

This one is even more precious.  The mint green with pink with the lacy outer!
From Orntraria-Mente-Neoc Blogspot

I wouldn't have thought about cake pops being decorated like this but hey, they're sweet.
From The Cake Poppery's

The emerald green color gives this cake an antique'ish look.  I love it!
From Rouvelee's Creations

Wow, this is gorgeous and I think my favorite!  Love the butterflies!
From Bake In Paris
Nice work!
From Bake In Paris

Add a nice colorful bouquet of Spring flowers and walah!
From Rosey Sugar Art Confectionery

Very nice

From The Knot

As you can see there are a number of uses for this technique.  I honestly believe you could paint almost any picture on your cake or cookies using this technique.  It just takes a little planning and creativity.  

If you decide to try or have already tried this technique I'd love to see pictures of your work!  You can forward them to my email and if I get enough I will make a post and display your photos with your info!

Until next time..............Happy Baking!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Great for creating display pages for your designs!

Delicious Winter Warmer Upper!
We've enjoyed a nice long warm season this year but now it's over at least for a while.  With these colder days and the call for snow in many parts around the country I thought you might like a delicious and healthy dessert that not only will warm your insides but boost your spirit and make you smile.  

While most American cake recipes include lots of flour, most European cakes use finely ground nuts and eggs for the "glue".  These cakes contain more protein than carbohydrates which is great for people like myself who need to watch my weight but still desire sweets in my diet.  The recipe I'm introducing today is just that, one that I can enjoy without so much worry.....unless I over indulge of course..... ; )  And that might be hard to do!

by Con Poulos
Here it is!  The Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake from Good Housekeeping!  Yuuummmm!

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake


- 1 cup(s) hazelnuts (filberts )
- 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
- 8 ounce(s) semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine
- 5 large eggs
- 3/4 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream

Prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom with waxed or parchment paper; grease paper.

Place hazelnuts in 15 1/2-inch by 10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, shaking pan occasionally. Remove pan from oven. Wrap hot hazelnuts in clean cloth towel; with hands, roll hazelnuts back and forth until as much skin as possible rubs off. Cool nuts completely.

In food processor with knife blade attached, place 3/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup sugar; pulse until finely ground. With chef's knife, roughly chop remaining nuts; set aside separately.

In 3-quart saucepan, melt chocolate and butter on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and 1/2 cup sugar 7 minutes or until tripled in volume. 

With rubber spatula, fold in chocolate mixture, then fold in ground-nut mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 35 minutes or until top is dry and cracked and toothpick inserted in center comes out slightly wet. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool 30 minutes longer on wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare praline by Lining 9-inch cake pan with foil. In pan, spread reserved chopped hazelnuts in single layer. In 12-inch skillet, spread remaining 1/2 cup sugar in even layer. Cook on medium-high 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar is melted and golden amber, swirling sugar in pan to cook evenly. (Do not stir.) Immediately drizzle melted sugar over nuts in pan to coat evenly. Cool praline completely in pan.

When cool and hardened, break into 12 large pieces. While praline cools, in large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, cut cake and divide slices among serving plates. Top each slice with dollop of whipped cream and shard of hazelnut praline.

To get metric conversions follow the link below.

Until next time........Happy Baking!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Neiman-Marcus $250. Cookie Recipe!

About 10 years ago I received an email like the one below:
Email text contributed anonymously, Nov. 1997:

FWD: Free Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe
This is a true story... Please forward it to everyone that you can.... You will have to read it to believe it....
My daughter and I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas & decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus Cookie". It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and the waitress said with a small frown "I'm afraid not." Well" I said, "would you let me buy the recipe?"
With a cute smile, she said YES". I asked how much and she responded, "Only two fifty, it's a great deal!" I said with approval, "just add it to my tab".. Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. I looked again and remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00". That's outrageous!!!
I called Neiman's Accounting Dept. and told them that the waitress said it was "two-fifty," which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars" by any POSSIBLE interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge.. They would not refund my money, because according to them, "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe - we absolutely will not refund your money at this point." I explained to her the criminal statutes which govern fraud in Texas. I threatened to refer them to the Better Business Bureau and the State's Attorney General for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want, we dont give a damn, and we're not refunding your money." I waited a moment, thinking of how I could get even,or even try to get any of my money back. I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250.00, and now I'm going to have $250.00 worth of fun."
I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... for free..She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this" I said, "Well you should have thought of that before you ripped me off", and slammed down the phone on her.. So, here it is!!! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of. I paid $250.00 dollars for this... I don't want Neiman-Marcus to ever get another penny off of this recipe....
(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla 
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.. Have Fun!!!
This is not a joke - this is a true story... Ride free citizens!!!! This isn't some stupid chain letter either.. pass it on.. if you don't, you won't die or get dumped.. you'll just do the world an injustice...

This story actually originated from the bane of cookie "diva" Mrs. Fields during the 1980's.  And in
case you're among those who hadn't figured it out yet, this story isn't actually true but a classic urban legend that goes back as far back as 1948.  The extraordinarily expensive recipe was for a red velvet fudge cake served at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the actual price for that recipe at that time was $25.  Which would be pretty expensive in the 40's.

As for this recipe, I have tried them, and they're fabulous!  I make the whole batch, splitting the initial dough into 4 parts then flavoring them with different combinations of chips.  Sooo delicious!  And it makes about 10 dozen cookies!
NOW!  For Neiman Marcus' signature chocolate chip cookie recipe?  It's here......below and straight from Neiman-Marcus' website! It says to copy it, print it out, pass it along to friends and family. It's a terrific recipe. And it's absolutely free!  I haven't tried them yet, but I'm going to....
Ingredients1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
2.Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
3.In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
4.Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.
Yield:  2 dozen cookies

Until next time.....Happy Baking!