Friday, November 18, 2011

Cake testing


"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by
the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles
which he has overcome while trying to succeed."

-- Booker T. Washington 
Apple Sugar Plum Poinsettia
This unusual variety plant with its hues of oranges and reds 
was just too beautiful to pass up. 
The glitzy sparkles on the leaves really caught my attention! 

I seized the opportunity recently to test a Italian Cream Cake recipe made from scratch and another Italian Cream Cake recipe using a box mix when two separate occasions required me to bring food. The cake made from scratch took a little more work than the one using a box mix but I thought it was well worth the effort. The buttermilk cake was moist and very flavorful. But I must say the recipe using white cake mix did get great reviews when served and there were several requests for the recipe. And it was very easy to put together. Each cake was frosted with the same cream cheese frosting to which I added a couple of tablespoons of Amaretto.  The interesting thing about both recipes is that they tasted better the second day than the first. Check it out and perhaps when you have had your share of turkey leftovers you might consider an Italian themed dinner serving this cake, some Penne Ragu and a bit of Caesar salad. Oh, and don't forget that bottle of red wine!

Cake Mix Italian Cream Cake

Adapted from Internet: istapinch.com/print/rebecca-kovarna
Ingredients:
·         1 box white cake mix
·         1 small box (3.5 oz.) vanilla pudding
·         ¾ cup water
·         ¾ cup heavy cream
·         4 eggs
·         ½ cup vegetable oil
·         1 cup chopped pecans
·         1 cup flaked coconut
Directions:
·         Preheat oven to 350
·         In a large bowl mix cake mix, vanilla pudding, cream, water, eggs and oil
·         Beat about 2 minutes
·         Fold in chopped nuts and coconut
·         Grease a 13 x 9 pan
·         Bake 30-35 minutes-till center is clean using a toothpick to test
Frosting:
Use recipe from below

 Italian Cream Cake
for the more ambitious cook
Ingredients:
  • ½ cup shortening (room temperature)
  • 1 stick of butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 5 eggs separated and at room temperature
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk at room temperature
  • 1 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 cake pans (9 inch)
  • Cream butter, shortening and sugar till fluffy, add in vanilla
  • Add egg yolks 1 at a time beating well after each addition
  • Sift flour and salt
  • Add baking soda to buttermilk
  • Add the sifted ingredients in batches alternately with buttermilk mixture to egg butter mixture, ending with dry ingredients
  • In a separate bowl beat egg whites with a ½ tsp. crème of tartar beat till stiff
  • Gently fold egg whites into batter and add coconut and pecans
  • Bake cake about 25 minutes but check at 20
  • Cool cake in pans about 10 minutes and then turn onto wire rack for cooling
Frosting:
Ingredients:
  • 6 oz. of cream cheese
  • ¼ cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 –4 TB. light cream
  • 1 cup toasted coconut
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
Directions:
  • Combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla-beat till smooth
  • Add confectioner’s sugar and milk/cream as needed to get right consistency
  • Frost layer and then top layer and sides of cake and sprinkle toasted pecans and coconut
  • Refrigerate till serving
Note: cake tastes better on second day
     Bella asked me to post this picture of her recent field trip adventure rock climbing on the banks of the Mississippi River. Look for her story: The World According To Bella in the next posting. 







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