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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Vanilla, Cream Cheese Pound Cake With A Sweet Whipped Ricotta Cheese Topping

2018-04-09 16.26.37

2018-04-09 16.26.57

This is a dessert that anyone can make from scratch without feeling intimidated by the process.

2018-04-09 16.26.40

Prep Time: 5 minutes ( mixing batter)
Cook Time 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes
Inactive Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time:  2 hours 15 minutes
Equipment: two-8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2- inch loaf pans
Electric mixer

Ingredients:
Non-stick baking spray
4 tablespoons of Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
3 cups of sifted cake flour (measured after sifted)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups of Ricotta cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup powdered sugar
fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325  degrees F. Spray two non-stick metal loaf pans with non- stick spray. Sprinkle the insides of the pans with the Turbinado sugar, tilting the pans to cover evenly.

Place the butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar in the bow of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure ingredients are well mixed. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl before adding the next egg. Mix in the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds.

Combine the cake flour and salt in a large bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl and the beater with a rubber spatula. Mix the batter with the spatula to be sure everything is well mixed.

Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smooth the tops, and bake in the  center rack of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cake is done when tooth pick or cake tester gadget, inserted into center of the cake come out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto a baking rack and cook for another 30 minutes

To serve, slice and add a dollop of the sweet Ricotta cream to the top and garnish with fresh mint.

 

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Raspberry Panna Cotta

2016-06-25 14.53.53

2016-06-25 14.53.18

Whenever I serve this Panna Cotta (Italian translation, cooked cream) my friends tend to loose their minds and go CRAZY!   Serving dessert in a glass seems to add a touch of elegance. I love making this dessert because, you can make it a day in advance and garnish them right before serving.

Yields: 6 servings
Cook Time: bring just to a boil
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours minimum,  to overnight
Ingredients:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin ( about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons cold water
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of half and half
1/3 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean pod

Raspberry Topping
2 pints of fresh raspberries ( reserve 6 raspberries for garnish)
1 cup of granulated sugar divided in half cups
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of Chambord ( raspberry liqueur optional)
1/4 cup of raspberry jam ( jam with seeds optional)
1 heaping tablespoon of corn starch
2 tablespoons of cold water
6  chocolate hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafers for garnish
fresh mint for garnish
white chocolate chips for garnish

Directions:
Start with the raspberry  topping. In a food processor, add the fresh raspberries, fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, and Chambord. Pulse until the raspberries are completely pureed. In a medium size sauce pan, on medium heat, pour the pureed raspberry mixture. Next, add in the raspberry jam along with the other 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and stir to combine.

In a small bowl, add the corn starch and water. Whisk the two together until combined and add that to the pan of raspberry mixture.Once the raspberry sauce comes up to a boil, about 5-8 minutes, the sauce will start to thicken. Turn the heat off. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the raspberry sauce to a medium size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To start the Panna cotta, have a medium size sauce pan,. To the sauce pan, add the heavy cream, half and half, granulated sugar, and the seeded vanilla bean and pod.

In another small sauce pan. Place the 3 tablespoons of water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water, letting stand for about 1 minute to soften. Heat the gelatin over low heat, using a small whisk, stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat.

Over med-high heat, whisking continuously, bring the cream mixture just up to a boil. Once at the boil, remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean pod and whisk in the prepared gelatin mixture.

Carefully, ladle the cream mixture evenly into the 6 glasses, on a baking tray. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

After the 4 hours is up, remove the Panna Cotta from the frig. Remove the plastic wrap, and evenly ladle the raspberry sauce carefully over the top of each one of the glasses. Garnish with white chocolate chips, fresh mint, a fresh raspberry for each one, and finely, a hazelnut Pirouline rolled wafer.

Note: Keep Panna Cotta desserts refrigerated until ready to serve.

 

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A French Vanilla Birthday Cake With Raspberry Cream Filling And A Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting With White Chocolate

2016-06-06 06.50.29-2

Baking is not something I do often. When it comes to making someone feel special on their special day though, I try to pull out all the stops. This cake however; is kind of semi-homemade. I start out my favorite box mix and build from there. To not get overwhelmed in whole process, I take 3 days to make the cake. I do this in 4 stages. That way it become like a science project you had to do in school. When it’s finished and you present the cake well there’s nothing better than seeing the expression on their face.

Note: Make sure all the ingredients used for batter and frosting are at room temperature. Examples:  eggs, rictotta, mascarpone cheese, butter.

Equipment:  parchment paper, electric mixer, 3 graduating cake pans, 4″, 6″, and 8″, 3 round cardboard cake dividers matching the size of the cakes, ( these will be placed between each cake for support).A cake slicer, or a long serrated knife, offset spatula, a cake stand or a cardboard cake base, 2 bowls, 1 med size and 1 large, cooling racks.
Cook Temp: 350 degrees F.(when using metal pans)

Ingredients: For cake batter
3 boxes of Duncan Hines French vanilla box mix and ingredients needed to complete the mix ( eggs, water, and vegetable oil)
3/4’s cup of ricotta cheese
1 seeded vanilla bean ( 1/3 of the pod to each of the three prepared batters)

Ingredients: For raspberry cream filling
1 pint of fresh raspberries
1/4 cup of raspberry jam with seeds
2 tablespoons of Chambord (raspberry liqueur )
1 tablespoon of water
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1-8 ounce container of mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of water

Ingredients: For Mascarpone buttercream frosting with white chocolate
4 sticks of room temperature unsalted butter
3- 8 ounce container of room temperature butter
1-2 pound bag of powdered sugar minus the half of cup used in the filling
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of cream cheese emulsion
12 ounces of good white chocolate (8 ounces melted for curls and shavings, and 4 ounces grated).
1 large gum paste red rose
12 small sugar red roses
red candy covered chocolate pieces
1/2 pint of fresh raspberries ( choose the prettiest ones to place on the cake)

Directions:
Stage 1).  The cakes day 1.
Prepare the pans with parchment paper, butter and flour. Using a semi-soft stick of unsalted butter, completely grease all the pans on the bottom and along the sides. Next, place a round piece of parchment paper in the bottom of each pan. Rub butter on top of the parchment paper as well. Then dust those same three pans with all-purpose flour. shake off any of the excess Set the pans aside and start making the batter.

Start one at a time of the three boxes of French vanilla cake mix. Note: Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients listed on the back of the box. The eggs, vegetable oil, and water. To that, add a 1/3 of the caviar from a vanilla bean pod, and 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese. Whisk these ingredients together with an electric mixer,on low speed, until well combined and smooth.

Next, still using the electric mixer on low speed, add the dry mix from the box slowly to the wet ingredients. Once the dry and wet come together, immediately remove the mixer and transfer the cake batter to the large bowl.Small lumps are fine. Make sure to use a spatula to get all the batter out of the bowl.  Repeat this process, two more times, using the same bowl. Each time transferring the batter to the large bowl.

At this point, all the batter has been mixed and is together in the large bowl. Using the spatula, give the batter a big stir one final time.  Fill each of the cake pans 2″ from the top. Gently, tap each of the pans on the counter to release any air bubbles that may be trapped.

Follow the temperature instructions on the back of the cake box. This brand requires temperature to be at 350 degrees F.  Because there are three different size pans, baking times will vary. The small cake should take about 45 minutes. the medium pan 55 minutes, and the large pan about 60-65 minutes.

Use a cake tester or a wooden skewer to check on the them at these particular times to make sure each cake is fully baked. You know if it’s done when the skewer comes out clean. Each oven may vary so keep a close eye on the time once the cakes are placed in the oven. As each cake finishes baking,  remove that one from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Once all the cakes have come out of the oven. let them cool overnight on the racks.

Stage 2). The raspberry cream filling, day 2.
In a sauce pot, place 1 pint ( or 2 half pints) of fresh raspberries, granulated sugar, Chambord, (raspberry liqueur), raspberry jam ( with seeds) and water. Turn on medium heat. Bring the raspberries up to a soft boil then turn down to a simmer.

Using a fork, smash the raspberries to break them up completely. In a small bowl, mix 1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and bring the mixture back up to a boil, (adjusting the heat) stirring continuously.  Once the sauce has thickened, about 7-10 minutes, remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

To the cooled raspberry sauce, add 1-8 ounce container of room temperature mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.  Mix all this together, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Stage 2). filling the cake with raspberry filling, day 3
Remove each cake from their pan and the parchment paper from the underside of each cake.

Once at a time, slice through the center,lengthwise, of each of the cakes. Take the filling and spread the raspberry cream on the bottom half of each cake. Make sure not to spread it all the way to the edges. Leave about 2″around the outside of the cake. Place the top back on each cake.

First start by setting parchment paper on the main base to prevent frosting from getting all over . You want to set the parchment so you can easily pull the pieced out once the cake has been frosted. Set the larger cake, carefully centered on top of the parchment papper that’s resting on the cardboard cake base. Next, place the cardboard rounds in between each of the filled cakes, stacking the cakes carefully, and centered, on top of each other.

Stage 2). Make frosting, frost and decorate the cake, day 3
In a large bowl add the room temperature 4 sticks of unsalted butter, 3- 8 ounce containers of mascarpone cheese, the zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon of cream cheese emulsion.

Using an electric mixer or stand ,with the paddle attachment, on low speed, mix these ingredients together. Slowly, add the remainder of the 2 pound bag of powder sugar. Mix all this together until completely combined and smooth.

Stage 3). Frosting the cake.
This cake, I used decorative pieces fresh raspberries, and white chocolate to decorate this cake. In an earlier post, under “Orlando information” I talk about a bakery supply call D&G Occasions. This is where I purchased the decorations for this cake.

Using an offset spatula, starting with the top and working downwards and around the outside of each particular cake. Once the cake is totally frosted, fill a large pitcher with super hot water. Dip the offset spatula in the water, shake off the excess water. Run the spatula around the top and rim of the bottom two cakes as well as the outside of each cake. This will smooth out any imperfections on the frosting. If needed, add more frosting to areas that made need it. Again, smooth out that particular area with the spatula that’s been dipped into the hot water

Stage 4). Decorate the cake, day 3
Whatever decorations you may choose to use, let your imagination run wild. I used a large gum paste red rose for the top, and small red sugar roses as a boarder around the base. Red covered chocolate candies as accents, and a boarder of fresh raspberries around the middle layer of the cake.

I melted 8 ounces of white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until just melted. Poured it onto the bottom of a baking sheet, and place that into the frig to set. Take a small metal cookie spatula and run that along the cooled chocolate making chocolate curls and shavings.

Using a grater, grate another piece of white chocolate over the top of each layer, so it falls like snow all over the cake.

 

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Vanilla Coconut Sorbet Topped With Toasted Coconut

 

 

 

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1). 1 hour to steep cooked coconut mixture before cooling.
2). 24 hours to cool mixture before going into the ice cream machine. 3). 24 hours to freeze the sorbet mixture.
Cooking Time and Temperature:
Medium low heat, long enough to scald the coconut milk mixture. ( This means when bubbles appear around the outer rim of the pot, turn the heat off and steep for 1 hour.
Ice Cream Machine Churning Time: 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken.

Ingredients:
1-1/4 cups of granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups of coconut water
1 whole vanilla bean, halved, seeded, and scraped
1 spring of fresh mint leaves
pinch of Kosher salt
2- 13.5 ounce cans of unsweetened coconut milk
toasted coconut and mint for garnish

Directions:
Combine the coconut water, sugar, 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves, vanilla bean (including the pod), salt, and coconut milk into a saucepan set over med-low heat. Bring the mixture just up to the scalding point stirring occasionally. You want to make sure all the sugar dissolves completely.  Remove from the heat. Let the mixture steep for 1 hour. Strain into a bowl, removing the mint and vanilla pod.

Next, cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight. Note: refrigerate the bowl insert, for the ice cream maker, overnight  as well. Pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl, turn the machine on and churn for 30  minutes. Note: Don’t worry if the mixture doesn’t thicken like you’d like. Whenever any type of sugar and water mixture is used without the proteins that eggs add  there becomes a lower freezing temperature.

Transfer the mixture into an air tight container, place into the freezer for 24 hours. Remove from the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Toasted  coconut: Place  1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut into a dry saute pan on med-low heat. Swirl the pan around until you start to smell the coconut flakes and they become a light golden brown color.

 

 

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