The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Three Layer Cannoli Cake

I’ve been having this cannoli cream debate in my head for a while. Not really, but I do feel like cc3all the recipes posted on the internet is missing some kind of ingredient, and even if you follow the recipe to a T, you still have liquidy cannoli cream. This recipe was no exception but my friend Lexi and I were able to create a cream that had the same consistency as an Italian Bakery by throwing in a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I will be trying another recipe for some other christmas treat that I will report back later this week.

Lexi and I partnered together for a birthday cake for our dear friend Amy. She wanted a Cannoli cake for her birthday and we made sure that wish was fulfilled. The recipe was found from Ask Chef Dennis. Lexi wanted to make a layer cake and this fit perfectly with the ingredients we had for the cake layers. Of course, we did have to make some of it up as we went along and we did learn some things as well. So take it for what you will, there is no right way to baking. Everyone has their one little touch to certain things and this is ours. Enjoy!

CAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup Butter softenedcc4
  • 1 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 cup Milk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a standard mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add in the vanilla. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the 1/3 of the flour to the mixer alternating with the milk, continue until all the ingredients have been added. Divide the mixture into three floured 9″ cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely.

CANNOLI CREAM FILLINGcc2

  • 16 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 oz Marscapone Cheese
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 2 cup Superfine Sugar
  • Zest of one Lemon
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 2-3 dashes cinnamon
  • 1 -2 tsp amaretto

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The recipe called for just ricotta cheese and mascarpone, not the cream cheese. The filling was not thick at all, and if we put it on the cake it would spill down the sides. The cream cheese made the filling thick. You don’t need to add the amaretto or cinnamon if you don’t want. Like I said, there is no right way to make cannoli cream. This is just what we did to it. We also made way too much so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPINGcc1

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBS confectionary sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Put the heavy cream in a standard mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat on high. When the soft peaks are starting to form, add the sugar and the vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cake, put the first cake layer on a cake plate. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the top layer of the cake. Repeat the sequence ending with cake. Spread the whipped topping and garish as you wish. We used crushed cannoli shells and powdered sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

I made these last year for a christmas party and they were a hit. They were found off this site, Lick the Bowl Good, and in her post she mentions how they were on People.com so they had to be good right? This was before my inventive days, so I was true to the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder2012-12-22 15.09.51
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup prepared hot cocoa, cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

GARNISH

  • mini marshmallows
  • mini chocolate chips
  • crushed peppermints
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins paper liners and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a wire whisk, blend the dry ingredients. Add the oil, prepared hot cocoa, vanilla and eggs to the dry ingredients. Whisk until well incorporated and no lumps remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Evenly divide the batter between the lined cupcakes tins. Bake the cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes; then place them on a rack to cool completely.
 In a medium bowl, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until thick, creamy, and slightly stiff, being careful not to overbeat. Pipe or mound the sweetened whipped cream onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a sprinkling of mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermints. If you are not serving right away, do not put on the peppermint or it will dissolve and you are left with a red smudges on your frosting.


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Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Of course I had to make something sweet for our Thanksgiving dinner this year. I was between two pies: the Salted Caramel Apple Pie and a Pumpkin Pie. The host suggested I bring this one and so glad she did. I have been wanting to try apple pies for some time now.dough

As you may know, not all apples are created equal, and with apple pies you cannot use just any kind of apple. I chose to use Granny Smiths this go around and though I read that they are usually a bit more tart, they were prefect for the pie with so much sweetness to it. I found out that I didn’t have heavy cream (the one in our fridge expired) so instead I used almond milk. The milk worked fine in the caramel sauce and its another option if you making this for the lactose-in tolerant crowd. This pie recipe is from Blackbirds Four & Twenty which has yet to disappoint.

INGREDIENTS

  • Have a prepared an All-Butter Crust for a 9-inch double-crust pie
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 to 7 baking apples
  • 2 to 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spiceapplepie
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • one grind of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp flake sea salt plus more for finishing
  • egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water and a pinch of salt
  • Demerara sugar for finishing

Have a prepared and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and one for the top, whether it be lattice strips of some other design (use a leaf cookie cutter perhaps).

Whisk together 1 cup of the granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the butter and slowly bring to a boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a golden brown. This does take some time to achieve this color so be patient. Remove from heat and slowly add the almond milk/heavy cream. Adding the milk to the mixture will cause it to bubbly and steam. Whisk well and set aside for cooling.

Juice  the lemons into a large mixing bowl, removing any seeds. Prepare the apples by peeling, removing the core, and thinly slicing them with a sharp knife. Dredge the apple slices in a lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly the remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Set aside for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the apples to soften and release some juices.

applepie1In a small bowl, add the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, black pepper, kosher salt and flour and mix well. Add the prepared apples, leaving behind excess juice Gently turn the apples to evenly distribute the spice mixture.

Tightly layer the apples in the pie shell so that there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center. Pour a generous 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the flake sea salt. Assemble the top crust and chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set the pastry.

Position the racks to the bottom and center positions. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the over to 400F. Carefully brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, making sure you do not drag caramel onto the crust or it will burn. Sprinkle with sea salt and demerara sugar Place the pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack for 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the oven temp to 375F and move the pie to the center rack and continue to bake the pie for another 30-35 minutes. I keep the baking sheet and the pie together incase of overflow of the pie. Allow to cool 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temp.


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Cranberry Almond Scones

I am such a slacker. I can’t believe its already been a week since Thanksgiving and I haven’t scones1posted a thing! I thought scones would be a perfect breakfast item for the week of Thanksgiving. We all know how incredibly hectic it is, trying to get everything ready. I also run in a Turkey Trot with my brother every year, and the last thing I want to do after that would be to make breakfast. Having scones already made, I can just relax, drink some coffee and watch a bit of the Thanksgiving Parade before dinner.

I found this recipe from eCurry. These scones are a bit more crumbly than the pumpkin ones I posted last month. I used a couple of different ingredients than the original recipe such as demarara sugar for topping and almond milk instead of regular milk. I also had ready made almond flour that I used for macs.

INGREDIENTS:

  •  2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneadingscones2
  • 5 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter cold and cubed
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 TBS lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in the almond extract and the almond milk until just moistened. Mix in cranberries, then rind and the almond flour.scones

On a floured surface, knead dough a few times. I cut the dough in two and made two small rounds. Cut into desired shape. Place on a baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with demarara sugar. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.