Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My Birthday Cake!!! Lemon Blueberry Marble Cake

For the lemon-blueberry preserve
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2tbsp sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest

For the lemon cake

8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups milk
¼ c fresh lemon juice
Fresh blueberries, for decoration


Make the lemon-blueberry preserve Make a day ahead of the cake!!

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and mash up the berries.

 2.Continue cooking, stirring often, for 20 minutes, until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check for proper thickness, place 1 to 2 teaspoons on a small glass plate and put it in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through the thickened purée: a clear path should remain. If it’s not ready, cook 5 minutes longer and repeat the test. Let the preserves cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Make the lemon cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites, 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients, lemon juice and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.

4. Scoop 1 1/2 cups of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remainder equally among the 3 prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula. This gives you a “clean canvas” to work with. Add 1/4 cup of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Using a skewer or paring knife, swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Assemble the lemon-blueberry cake

1. Place a cake layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread half of the Lemon-Blueberry Preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally, place the third layer on top of the second and frost the sides and top of the cake with the Lemon Buttercream Frosting. Decorate with fresh blueberries.  If you do several layers like I did then make sure you have enough of the preserves for each layer.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
1 tbsp Lemon extract
2 tbsp lemon zest

1.Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).

2.Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total.

3. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. If it is still runny keep beating it will come together I promise.

4. Add in the lemon extract and the zest and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Horchata ( Mexican rice milk)

1 1/2 Cups uncooked white long grain rice
7 cups water
3/4 Cup milk
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
1 Cup Sugar
2 Cinnamon Sticks

1.Pour the rice and water into a blender and blend until the rice just begins to break up. About 1 min.
2.Add the Cinnamon sticks and let the rice water sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours minimum.

3.Strain the rice water into a picture and discard rice and cinnamon sticks
4.Stir in the milk,vanilla and sugar

5.Chill in the fridge at least 6 hours. Overnight is best. This tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge I think that it tasted best on day 3..
* This recipe will make a half gallon. I doubled it for a party thats why mine is a full gallon.

Chocolate Fondue

2 Cups chocolate chips
1/2Cup Cream
1T Vanilla

1.Melt Chocolate chips with the cream and vanilla in a thick bottomed pan on low heat stirring constantly until it comes to a boil.

I used milk chocolate peanut butter swirl chips.
2.Reduce heat and keep stirring for another five min.

3.Take off the heat and pour into a fondue pot serve with all your favorite fruits and treats.

Cheese Fondue

3/4 Cup milk
1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 Tsp Dry Mustard
3/8 Clove garlic
1/4 cup plus 1 T flour
2 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese

1. In a saucepan over low heat mix together the milk,Worcestershire sauce,dry mustard,garlic and flour.
2.Heat until almost boiling.

3.Stir in the cheese and stir until melted.

4.Pour into fondue pot and serve with your favorite veggies,fruit and bread.

Chicken Bacon Avocado Quesadillas

I just used leftover bacon that I had in the fridge and I also boiled my chicken and shredded it instead of frying it in with the bacon grease. It was really easy. I have seen this recipe on a lot of different sites and was excited to make them. They turned out really good and a super simple and filling dinner.

8 medium-sized flour tortillas
1 pound chicken breasts
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
8 strips of bacon, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
Lime juice
Shredded Monterrey jack cheese

1. Fry bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Set bacon aside to drain on paper towels. Drain all but 1/2 tablespoon of drippings from the pan.

2. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder and add the chicken to the bacon drippings. Cook until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Let chicken rest for 3 to 5 minutes, then dice very finely or shred.
3. Slice avocado and sprinkle with lime juice to preserve color. Top four tortillas with cheese, chicken, bacon, and avocado. Sprinkle with more cheese and top with other four tortillas.

4.Cook each quesadilla until browned and crispy.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Orange Knots

12 Rhodes rolls Texas size. Thawed but still cold
1 med orange rind grated
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

1 cup powdered sugar
1T melted butter
3T orange juice
1tsp vanilla

1.Mix the orange rind with the melted butter in a bowl

2.In another bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar
3.Roll each roll into a 9 inch rope and tie in a loose knot. Dip each roll into the orange/butter sauce and then in the cinnamon sugar.Place on a greased baking sheet.

4.Cover with a light towel and let double in size

5.Bake at 350 for 15-20 min or until golden brown
6.Mix together all the glaze ingredients in a bowl and brush over each hot roll