Saturday, January 31, 2015

Marbled White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Marbled White Chocolate Raspberry Cake

1  4-oz.  White Baking Chocolate, chopped
½  Cup  Butter
1  White Cake Mix (2-layer)
1  Cup  Milk
3  Eggs
1  teaspoon  Vanilla
2  Tablespoons  Raspberry Jam
2-3  Drops  Red Food Color

1  8-oz.  Cream Cheese, softened
¼  Cup  Butter, softened
1  4-oz.  White Baking Chocolate, chopped, melted and slightly cooled
1  teaspoon  Vanilla
2  Cups  Powdered Sugar
2  Tablespoons  Raspberry Jam
2  Drops  Red Food Color

For Presentation:
1  Cup  Fresh Raspberries

For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans; set aside.  Microwave White Chocolate and Butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until Butter is melted.  Stir until White Chocolate is completely melted; set aside.

Beat together the Cake Mix, Milk, Eggs, Vanilla, and White Chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping bowl frequently.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 

Remove 1 cup Batter to a small bowl; stir in Raspberry Jam and Red Food Color.  Divide remaining Batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.  Drop spoonfulls of the Raspberry cake batter over the plain batter; swirl slightly with a knife to marble the batter.

Bake at 350* for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks; cool completely.  (Cake can be frozen at this point).

For the Frosting:
Beat the Cream Cheese and Butter in a large bowl with electric mixer until well blended.  Add melted White Chocolate and Vanilla; mix well.  Add Powdered Sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.  Remove 2/3-cup Frosting to a small bowl, stir in Raspberry Jam and Red Food Color; set aside.

To Assemble:
Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with 2/3-cup Raspberry Frosting.  Top with remaining cake layer; frost sides and top of cake with remaining White Chocolate Frosting. Top with 1 Cup Fresh Raspberries just before serving.  Store in refrigerator.  Serves 16.

"Love your enemies!
Do good to them.
Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
Then your reward from heaven will be very great,
and you will truly be acting as
children of the Most High,
for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
You must be compassionate,
just as your Father is compassionate."
Luke 6:35-36, NLT

Oh, January!  Where have you gone?  We started out together with such good intentions:  the house would be deep cleaned throughly before we met February. 
Laundry Room?  Check.
Hall Bathroom?  Check.
Master Bath?  Check.
And then my battle with old Procrastination became real again.
Hallway?  Partial Check.
Kitchen?  Partial Check.
The phone calls started coming.  You say you need a Cake for a Funeral Dinner?  Absolutely!  You'd like two Pineapple  Cream Cheese Danish?  Delighted to help you out!  And oh, yes!  We must host Bible Study.

And here it is, the day before meeting February  face to face and  the deep cleaning has stalled.

But on the upside, you, dear reader, get to have the recipe for Marbled White Chocolate Raspberry Cake (the cake that went to the Funeral).

Pretty and Pink and just in time for February and Valentine's Day.

Aren't these plates pretty?
Aimee gave them to me for Christmas and I've been having such fun with them!

I like to swirl the frosting in a cursive 'C' shape with the tip of my knife to make a pretty design.

Slightly adapted from

Friday, January 2, 2015

One-Strand Braided Dinner Rolls: A How-To Photo Tutorial

One-Strand Braided Dinner Rolls
A How-To Photo Tutorial 

I think everyone is familiar with the basic dinner roll shapes: Round rolls, Crescent rolls, Clover-leaf rolls, and Parker House rolls.  Every so often, however, I find I want something a bit more Special; something not so 'ordinary'.  Something a bit, well, a bit 'More'.  Recently a friend shared a video on my Facebook page on how to make shaped breads (maybe you saw it--I shared it on my blog's Facebook page, following this link *should* take you to the video: Challah .  Just be aware it's not in English--Hebrew, I think).  I've watched it several times and thought I'd show you how to make the One-Strand Braided Rolls in a step-by-step Photo Tutorial. 
You'll need one recipe of your favorite Bread Dough (here is mine )

Knead it a few turns, until it is smooth and looks like this:
(If you're using store-bought dough, you may not need to knead) 

Pinch off a piece of Dough, about this size of an in-hull Walnut (or a large golf ball--it's hard to know how to describe the amount needed)

 Roll it out into a long strand, about 12 inches long.

Look at the Dough Strand and mentally divide it into Thirds:

Bring the left side over onto the right side, at the Third position.  Your strand should look like a sideways 'b'.

Now take the right 'tail' and bring it into the center 'loop' of the 'b'.

Now twist the loop

And pull the 'tail' through.  If you have a lot of 'tail left, tuck it under the roll.  You may also want to stretch out some of the strands underneath to make them more visible, if needed.

Here it is, Step-by-Step:

 "Then said they unto Him,
Lord, evermore give us this bread.
And Jesus said unto them,
I am the Bread of Life:
he that cometh to Me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." 
John 6:34, 35

And here is a slight variation.  You'll start the same way, with a sideways 'b'.

But this time, twist your strand first, before tucking in the 'tail'.

Then bring the 'tail' over and tuck it into the 'loop'

Twist the 'loop' again

And bring the remainder of the 'tail' up through

Here are the two twists:  On the left, as instructed first; on the right, second instructions.

Let your rolls rise until doubled, then bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  Cool on a cooking rack and enjoy!

Here are the finished results:  top, first instructions; bottom, second instructions.

My Favorite Basic Bread Dough

My Favorite
Basic Bread Dough

2  Tablespoons  Instant Yeast
2-1/2  Cups  Warm Water
3/4  Cup  Sugar
3/4  Cup Melted Butter
2  Eggs
2  teaspoons  Kosher Salt
8 to 8-1/2  Cups  White Flour

In a large mixing bowl, combine the Yeast, Warm Water, and Sugar.  Stir, then set aside for a few minutes to allow the Yeast to 'proof', or get all bubbly and foamy. 

(Sometimes people ask "How warm should the water be?"  I, personally, always get frustrated with the answer: 105-110 degrees.  How many of us really have time to pull out a thermometer and measure the temperature of the water, anyway?  My answer to this question is: The same temperature that you would bathe a baby in.  Warm, but not too warm.  Because, just as too-hot water will burn a baby, it will also burn your yeast.  And both will result in one thing: tears, either the baby's or yours.)

Now that your Yeast has proofed, stir in the Oil, Eggs, and Salt.  Then stir in the Flour.  I like to stir it in 2-Cup increments, as I find this is easier on the arms.  Once all the Flour is incorporated into a nice dough, you have two options (I like a lot of options, don't you?).  You can lightly cover the Dough, let it rise until doubled, and work with it right away, or you can tightly cover the dough, refrigerate it overnight and deal with it in the morning.  Either way, give it a few good kneads on a well-Floured board before shaping as desired and baking. 

And here are some approximate Baking Times, all at 350*:
Dinner Rolls, 12-15 minutes, depending on size
9x13 pan Cinnamon/Sweet Rolls, 22-26 minutes

Individual Cinnamon Rolls, on a baking sheet, 13-18 minutes, depending on size.
Tea Rings, 24-28 minutes

I use this Basic Dough for all my baking.  It is a very forgiving Dough, and I alter it to fit my needs.  Dinner Rolls, Cinnamon Rolls, and Tea Rings all get made with this Basic Dough. 

And then I play with it.  I swap the Liquid--Coffee to make my Mocha Sweet Rolls, half water and half Orange Juice for Honey-Orange Sweet Rolls, Apple Juice for Apple Pie Sweet Rolls; I swap the Sugar out for Honey in the Honey-Orange Sweet Rolls (I use about 2/3 Cup in these) and in the Honey-Black Bread (I use a full 3/4-Cup in the this variation); I swap out a portion of the White Flour for Whole Wheat rolls. 

Enjoy, and let me know how it goes for you!

"Give us this day our daily bread."
Matthew 6:11