Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Last year there was a Halloween potluck at work and I was told I was bringing something. I did not intend to participate in the potluck; but when my Tombstone Chocolate Brownies turned out so well I felt encouraged to make my most complex cake yet.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30-45 min.
Difficulty level: Medium; but time consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Cake

• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup Dutch pressed cocoa powder
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Buttercream
• 2 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 6 tbsp heavy cream
• Orange food colouring gel
Marshmallow Fondant
• 1 bag or marshmallows
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• Food colouring, preferably gel or powdered, not water based colouring
• Flavourless oil, like canola – to use while kneading

Assembly
Vanilla Bean Cake

1. Oven to 350°F.
2. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
7. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
10. Let cool completely.
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
1. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
5. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
6. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
9. Let cool completely.
Buttercream
1. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
2. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
3. Taste the buttercream and if it still tastes too much like butter add the third cut of confectioners’ sugar.
Marshmallow Fondant
1. Using a microwave melt the marshmallows and water in 30 second intervals at a time.
2. Set aside once melted.
3. Using an electric mixer add ¾ of confectioners’ sugar to the mixer followed by the marshmallows.
4. Mix together on low speed using the paddle attachment.
5. The mixture will start to come together.
6. Pour our fondant onto a clean surface and work in the remaining ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar for about 5 minutes, until the fondant is soft and shiny. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
7. Add food colouring and continue to knead for another 5 minutes. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
8. Dust surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out fondant. Move fondant around as you roll so it won’t stick to one spot. At this point you can cut out the shapes you require with decorating tools, cookie cutters or roll out into a long sheet to cover cake.

Tips
• If fondant keeps sticking to your hands add a little oil to your hands.
• If making fondant ahead: roll into a ball, cover with a little oil, and double wrap in cling wrap. Fondant will last for a couple of weeks in this state.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
After this attempt, I am more confident in my cake decorating skills. I still need to take a proper decorating class as my fondant was a semi fail; but I’m quite proud of myself. Not to mention my co-workers were wowed, and complimented me on my skills. The cake itself was light and fluffy and the buttercream frosting turned out so well I was actually surprised. I attempted to apply a fondant; now my issue wasn’t the actual fondant but my application and it kept getting to warm for me to apply it. So I had to give up and revert back to my tried and true buttercream.

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese & Honey Frosting

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese – Candy Coated Culinista

A one-bowl recipe so simple it will fast become a Thanksgiving staple.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Now & Again

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup buttermilk or plain yoghurt
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
• 1/3 cup canola oil or neutral oil
Frosting
• 170 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp sour cream
• ¼ cup honey
• Pinch of kosher salt

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray 9” pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and set pan aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking soda.
4. Add eggs, sugar, buttermilk or yoghurt, applesauce and oil and whisk gently until combined.
5. Using a rubber spatula scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface so it is even.
6. Bake until it is barely firm and a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
7. Set cake aside on a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
8. Remove from pan and parchment paper.
9. Place on cake plate and set aside.
10. To make frosting: in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, honey and salt and whisk aggressively until cream cheese is slightly aerated. Use a handheld mixer or stand mixer if desired.
11. Spread frosting over top of cake and serve.

Tips
• Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised with this simple recipe. It smells and tastes like autumn and is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. The mix of the seasonal flavours and the addition of the applesauce kept ths cake moist. The icing didn’t turn out as I expected even though I followed the recipe, or this is a looser icing. I added some buttercream frosting to the mix to firm it up. This cake will not travel will with the icing as is. I recommend if you are bring the cake somewhere, make the frosting, put it in a container, and dress when you arrive at your location. Otherwise, I will be making this again and just altering the frosting for myself personally.

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup – Candy Coated Culinista

A light dessert for those who prefer fruit for dessert instead of the usual chocolate.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From How to eat a peach

Ingredients
• 6 limes
• 1 ½ cup water
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ¼ pieces of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely sliced
• 3 medium, perfectly ripe mangoes, peeled

Assembly
1. Zest 2 limes and put in a small prep bowl.
2. Finely grate another 2 limes and put into a small saucepan along with juice from the 6 limes and 1 ½ cups of water, sugar and ginger.
3. Heat on low at first stirring to let the sugar dissolve; then increase heat and let mixture boil.
4. Reduce mixture back to a simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until its syrupy and let cool and chill.
5. Cut cheeks off the mangoes and eat the remainder of save for something else.
6. Slice cheeks and place in a shallow bowl or a high lipped plate and pour syrup over top.

Tips
• Make lime & ginger syrup a day ahead and save one lime skin to zest when ready.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a simple and yet refreshing recipe. It’s like the fruit cocktails we all had as kids; but with a grown up flavour. I want to try this with other fruits now.

Prickly Pear Sorbet

Prickly Pear Sorbet – Candy Coated Culinista

Friday I found what is probably the last of the prickly pear and I knew immediately that it was time to dig out my ice cream maker.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Freeze Time: 6 hours min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup water
• 10-12 prickly pear
• ¼ cup lime juice
• 1/8 tsp salt

Assembly
1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over low heat.
2. Swirl the pan every once and awhile until sugar has dissolved and then increase temperature to medium-high heat.
3. Let simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from heat, and let cool.
4. Store mixture in fridge until ready for use.
5. Peel prickly pear and rough chop and place in a food processor and process until a fine puree.
6. Transfer into a fine mesh sieve set over medium bowl and using a spatula press liquid into bowl and discard seeds.
7. Add in sugar syrup, lime juice and salt and plunge mixture into a ice bath and place in the fried until very cold.
8. Transfer mixture to ice cream machine and churn for 35 minutes or until soft waves form.
9. Transfer to a container and cover until solid, about 6 hours.
10. Before serving take out 10 minutes prior and then serve.

Tips
• Syrup can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in the fridge until needed
• Sorbet will keep in freezer for up to a month.
• If you like the seeds keep seeds in the mixture.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can’t believe summer is almost over and I haven’t made any ice cream or sorbet yet. The cactus fruit has such a vibrancy that draws you in on first appearance; but then the distinct flavour that I have come to love just jumps out in this recipe.

Prickly Pear Sorbet – Candy Coated Culinista

Tropical Fruit Cake

Tropical Fruit Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A delightful summer cake recipe to wow guests and friends alike.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Cake

• 1 Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks along with some for garnish
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ packed cup plus 1 tsp light brown sugar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2/3 cup sunflower oil
• 1 ½ ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp salt
Frosting
• ¼ large ripe mango, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Topping
• ½ banana, cut into slices
• ½ large ripe mango, cut into long thin strips
• 55g pineapple flesh
• Scooped out seeds of 1 passionfruit
• 3 tbsp flaked coconut

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease springform pan with non-stick spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
3. Place pineapple in a food processor and pulse until fruit is crushed.
4. If starting with fresh pineapple place in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 4-5 minute; ensuring it doesn’t boil or too much liquid evaporates. Then transfer to large mixing bowl. (If using canned pineapple skip this step)
5. Using an electric mixing with the whisk attachment place eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix.
6. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until creamy; then on medium speed pour in oil in a slow steady stream until combined.
7. Add to the bowl of cooled pineapple along with mashed bananas and finely coconut and combine.
8. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt together into the wet mix and using a spatula fold until combined.
9. Pour cake into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on wire rack for about one hour then turn onto a serving platter, carefully remove the parchment paper and set aside to cool completely.
Frosting
11. Place mango into food processor and process until it becomes a puree. Pour into bowl and set aside.
12. Add butter and cream cheese to the food processor (no need to wash the bowl) and process until smooth.
13. Add confectioners’ sugar, pulse to combine, then add mango puree.
14. Pulse again until evenly mixed and scrape into a bowl.
15. Keep in the fridge covered for 2 hours as it need time to thicken before frosting the cake.
16. Spread thick layer of mango frosting over the top and sides.
17. Place fruit in a small bowl, mix gently and spoon onto top of cake in the center.
18. Pressing flaked coconut into the sides of cake and serve.

Tips
• Cream cheese frosting can be made a day ahead.
• Unfrosted cake will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container. One frosted best eaten the same day. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for two day max and just bring cake back to room temperature before serving.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is another amazing recipe from this book. I am not the biggest fan of Ottolenghi savoury cookbooks primarily because of how hard it is to source those weird ingredients and I have two on my shelf. I am so so happy I took the gamble and gave Sweet a shot. My only let down was the mango frosting; which split even though I followed the directions exactly. The frosting split the moment the mango puree hit it and it really bothered me. I decorated my cake with coconut chips to add a little more texture and effect and lessened the amount of sugar by half. (I only used ½ cup of granulated sugar and omitted the ½ cup light brown sugar). This cake was divine and reminded me of a spin on a Christmas fruitcake; but white instead of the usual brown and laden in liquor. The reviews were great everyone loved it and I was told this was one of the best cakes I’ve made (Thanks Sweet). I really enjoy these fruit based desserts rather than the cakes with all the thick frosting atop. Once I figure out the frosting situation or just omit the mango puree portion this will be in my top five recipes.

Grapefruit Tart

Grapefruit Tart – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 9” tart
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Tart Shell

• 1 large egg, separated
• 1 tbsp milk
• 1 ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 4 tsp granulated sugar
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Grapefruit Curd
• 9 large egg
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 3 pink grapefruits, zested & juiced
• 2 sticks of butter, cut into pats, cold

Assembly
Curd

1. Using a medium saucepan pour an inch of water to the pot and let simmer on medium-high heat.
2. Using a metal bowl combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until smooth, about a minute. (Metal bowl should be able to fit into the pot without touching the water in the saucepan leaving a gap between the water and the bowl.)
3. Add lime juice and zest to mixture.
4. Once pot has reached a simmer reduce to low heat and place bowl over saucepan.
5. Whisk mixture until thickened, about 8 minutes or when mixture coats the back of a spoon and is a light yellow colour.
6. Remove from saucepan and stir in butter pats one at a time allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.
7. Pour into a container and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a food processor or electric mixer combine flour, sugar and salt until mixed.
3. Add in butter and egg yolk and combine until crumbs start to clump together resembling peas.
4. Pour mixture into a tart pan with a removable bottom.
5. Press mixture down and up the sides of the tart pan with your fingertips.
6. Bake crust for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and let cool.
Tart
1. Pour lime curd over tart and bake until curd jiggles about 25 minutes and let cool.
2. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to let the curd set.

Tips
• Half the curd recipe if desired or use curd for topping ice cream, berries & fruits, pancakes or parfaits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My tarts are getting more and more rustic and I don’t know why; my tart crust isn’t like it used to be in the first tarts I ever made. I will dissect the tart shell and bake time and see if I can get my tarts back to what I remembered. Otherwise the tart was tart and burst of grapefruit in every bite. I enjoyed the pieces of grapefruit in the curd.

Dole Whip

Dole Whip – Candy Coated Culinista

What in the world is a Dole Whip and why is it only at Disneyland and Disney World? Dole Whip is a soft serve or float consisting on pineapple created by the Dole food company in 1986 and I need to try this.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
• 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
• ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
• Fresh pineapple wedge, if desired

Assembly
1. Using a blender, blend pineapple, banana and coconut milk until very smooth.
2. Pour into glass and decorate with pineapple wedge.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
When I heard dole whip I was immediately curious and wanted to make a version of my own. Now I don’t eat much ice cream and I haven’t really ever enjoyed a float; but a smoothie I’m all for and making the Dole whip into a smoothiesque consistency treat is right up my alley. Pineapple has always be one of my favourite fruits so trying this Disneyland essential was a no brainer for me and I will be making this again and again.

Ginger Crème Caramel

Ginger Crème Caramel – Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger fans need to try this Crème Caramel or as I call it flan from my Filipino friends.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: you will need to start 2 days ahead of time
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time consuming

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 3 ¼ cups whole milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 ¾ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled send coarsely grated
• ½ vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
1. If you are infusing the custard with ginger, you will need to start this recipe two days in advance.
2. Place milk, cream, ginger and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideal 24 hours, to infuse.
4. When you are ready to make the crème caramel preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Place baking dish in the oven to keep warm until needed as heating the dish will make it easier to coat it with the hot caramel.
6. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a large pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes, resisting the urge to stir; but tilting and swirling the pan instead, until the sugar has melted and begins to brown around the edges.
8. Continue this process until the sugar has turned into a dark amber caramel.
9. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramel using a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the hot dish.
10. Tilt the dish around so the caramel coats the entire base and rise halfway up the sides of the dish.
11. Place the dish in a deep baking pan and set aside for 15 minutes. The caramel doesn’t need to become rock hard; but it should be firm enough that pouring the custard over top doesn’t disturb it.
12. Boil some water and set aside.
13. Place eggs in a large bowl with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.
14. Whisk until smooth and then strain the infused milk-cream mixture into the eggs through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces and whisk the mixture until well combined; but not frothy.
15. Pour mixture into the caramel-coated dish and place the baking pan (with the crème caramel dish inside) in the oven.
16. Pour some recently boiled water into the baking pan so the water reaches halfway up the pan.
17. Bake for 90 minutes and the top of the caramel should be a golden brown, while the middle is still wobbly. However, a skewer inserted should come out clean.
18. The wobble will firm up in the firm; but cooking time can vary depending on dish size and the material it is made out of. So it could take up to 2 hours depending.
19. Remove baking pan from oven and carefully transfer the crème caramel to a wire rack.
20. Set aside and allow to completely cool and then cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge overnight (or up to 3 days) to allow the caramel to pool and the custard to firm up.
21. If the custard part of the crème caramel is stuck to the sides of the dish, carefully run a small knife along the edges to release it.
22. Then place a large plate (larger than the baking dish to catch the caramel) and turn out, ensuring your holding the plate and baking dish firmly and flip quickly.
23. Slowly remove the baking dish to reveal.
24. Slice and serve.

Tips
• Use a 10” ceramic or glass baking dish with a fluted edge. A metal pan will work just as well as long as the base isn’t removable.
• You can skip the ginger infused custard if you are short on time. The custard will still require to be baked a day in advance though as the caramel needs to chill in the fridge overnight.
• Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out exactly like the recipe. The crème caramel was custardy and was perfectly infused with ginger. I have never made a crème caramel and have always stayed away when it was offered at a Filipino event. I had a little difficulty getting it to come out cleanly; but otherwise this was a simple dish. This really isn’t a consistency I enjoy to be honest and then there is the caramel aspect; but if you love crème caramel/flan I believe this one would be a great one to try. The ginger really adds another level to it.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

If there is one item that is on this blog in many different manifestations; besides a banana bread is definitely pavlova. I totally fess up to being obsessed with this dessert and I just can’t stop. I am always so eager and will always try a new pav recipe to see if I can find a new and better meringue.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 2 hours, or until meringues are dry
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Meringues

• Egg whites from 3 eggs
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
• 400g gooseberries husked and halved
Toffee Cape Gooseberries
• 8 gooseberries, papery husk intact
• ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
Yoghurt Cream
• 2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
• ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
• Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
• 1 ½ tbsp honey
• 2 ½ tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
Decoration
• confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Assembly
Meringues

1. Preheat oven to 275°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Make eight circles about 8 cm wide, so there are sixteen circles in total.
3. Flip paper over so drawn on side is face down; but still visible.
4. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment place egg whites and salt and whisk at medium-high speed until frothy.
5. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peak form.
6. Now add sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy.
7. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe meringue or spoon onto circles and using a spatula form the circle, ensuring they are not taller than 1 cm thick.
8. Bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry.
9. Turn off the oven and let the meringues remain inside until they are completely cool.
10. Once cooled remove from the oven and set aside.
Toffee
1. Peel back the husk from the gooseberries; but leave them attached and set aside.
2. Place sugar into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the sugar melts and begins to brown around the edges.
3. Tilt and swirl until all the sugar melts evenly, and the sugar turn an amber colour.
4. Remove from the heat tilt pan and dip gooseberries into the toffee. Be extremely careful not to burn yourself. Let excess toffee drip away and place on a baking sheet or plate and set aside.
Yoghurt Cream
1. Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the yoghurt, heavy cream, vanilla, honey and confectioners’ sugar.
2. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Assembly
1. Place a small dollop of yoghurt cream onto each serving plate.
2. Place meringue flat side down and add more yoghurt cream to the top of the meringue followed by the halved gooseberries and then top with another meringue flat side down. (making a sandwich)
3. Dust the tops of the meringue with confectioners’’ sugar and place one toffee dipped gooseberry atop the mini pavlova. Ensure you assemble as close to serving time as possible as the meringues will soften.

Tips
• Use a piping bag if desired to make meringue circles. (A piping bag isn’t required)
• Meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper.
• Toffee and yoghurt cream can only be made no more than 2 hours in advance.
• To cut some sugar don’t dust the tops of the meringues with confectioners’ sugar or add confectioners’ sugar to the yogurt cream.
• Gooseberries in North America will be found as physalis, ground cherries or golden berries. It’s all the same family of husked small marbles sized orange fruits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The pavlova was marshmallowy in the centre and crispy on top. I wasn’t fond of the colour; which was a little tan due to the cook time. The cook time was way off for me as I didn’t require anything near the 2 hours, so I pulled mine out at the 1 hourish mark. Usually I get a tan meringue when I add vanilla extract; but this was not the case here and it still had a tint. Now while this isn’t my favourite meringue recipe by any means, the circular meringues and toffee really peaked my interest and made this a restaurant worthy dessert. Not to mention a favourite fruit of mine, the gooseberry or in my neck of the woods the physalis, ground cherries or goldenberry was in play. I also enjoyed the addition of greek yoghut to the whipped cream as it added a nice tang that cut the sweet. This book has three different pavlova recipes so as they say on to the next.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

St. Patrick’s Day Cake

St. Patrick’s Day Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

St. Patrick’s day is almost here and I have made a stacked cake for the occasion.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 6” pans & 1 – 8” pan, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 10 large eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp baking salt
• 1 ½ cups 2% milk
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 8 tbsp milk, more if needed
Creamy Caramel
• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Decorations
• Kelly green gel frosting
• Moss green food colouring
• Shamrock sprinkles
• Caramel

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of three pans.
3. Spray pans with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg whites and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a large sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
8. Split the batter and add food colouring into two separate batches by hand and fold in.
9. Pour into three pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
10. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
12. Let cool completely.
Creamy Caramel
1. Place cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring with a metal spoon until combined.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature reaches 350°F using a candy thermometer and the mixture is a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from heat and working fast, add butter mixture in a thin steady stream, stirring to combine.
6. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until caramel has thickened slightly.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and combine until well incorporated.
Stacked Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Crumb coat each cake and place in fridge and allow to firm up.
3. Frost each cake layer and smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
4. Place first 8” vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
5. Then place a 6” layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Drizzle caramel over the edges of both cakes and allow to run down the sides.
7. Stack one 6” cake on top of the centre of the 8” cake and sprinkle the shamrock sprinkles over the buttercream portion.
8. Then pipe along the edges beside the caramel.
9. For the second baby tasting cake drizzle caramel along the edges and the sprinkle shamrock sprinkles and pipe along the edges.
10. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.
• Use caramel from a jar if desired. I had leftover caramel from my tarte tartin so I used that.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first stacked cake and this was on my goals list. I was for the most part happy with how the cake turned out besides the application of the caramel. I found it hard to get the proper consistency and then the drizzle factor along with not melting the frosting. For a first attempt I was quite happy, so I’m not going to sweat it too much. Guests enjoyed it and were impressed that I made the cake; which was nice; but of course I saw all the flaws. It did however taste good and once the special guest of the day realized I had baked a cake, she told one of the servers to take away the rest so her and her husband could enjoy a proper slice at home. That totally flattered me.

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