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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Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce

Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

A tarte tartin is a French dessert named after the hotel that served this as their signature dish. To me I entered making this dish with memories of my poorly maple-honey upside down cake. I am hoping for a decent caramel and a palatable dessert.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance

Ingredients
Creamy Caramel

• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Apple Tarte Tatin
• 1 sheet store-bought all butter puff pastry, thawed
• ½ cup creamy caramel, plus extra to serve
• 3 granny smooth apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1 cm
• a few blueberries (optional)
• Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional)

Assembly
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.
Apple Tarte Tatin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Using a small sharp knife, trim the pastry into a 30cm round and make a small cross incision in the centre.
3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Place the caramel in a 26cm round ovenproof non-stick frying pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
5. Add apples and cook for 5-6 minutes or until apples are just softened.
6. Remove from heat and top with pastry round.
7. Place the pan on an oven tray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.
9. Let cool slightly.
10. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking tray with parchment paper.
11. Bake for 5 more minutes or until apples are golden and caramelized.
12. Serve warm with ice cream and extra caramel if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was very happy that my caramel actually turned out; but man was it sweet. It had me wishing I had made a salted caramel to cut some of that sweet. However; this tasted much better then it looked and for a person who eats 90% with her eyes first this was a hard one for me. Once I got past the copious amount of caramel; which would be a draw for most but for me a person who never liked caramel overall it just tasted okay. I batched down the caramel recipe as I knew I didn’t need three and a half cups of caramel and I am still left with way too much for my liking. The puff pastry was crispy and flakey and the apples were cooked well. This dish isn’t a looker even with the pictures I saw online as my aid and next time I think I’ll double the puff pastry layers and add much less caramel.

Valentine’s Day Cranberry Tart with Blood Oranges

Valentine’s Day Cranberry Tart with Blood Oranges – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Valentine’s Day! With everything today being about love & romance and everything adorned in reds and pinks I thought this deep red tart tart would add to the day. So today enjoy those flowers, chocolates, candies and desserts as I know for a fact calories don’t count today.

Yield/Serving: 2 – 6” tarts or 1 – 9” tart
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cranberry curd

• 5 egg whites
• ½ cups granulated sugar
• 340g, (12 oz), fresh cranberries
• 1 stick of butter, cut into pats, cold
Crust
• 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp lime zest, about 1 lime
• ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
• 1 egg yolk
Garnish
• Blood oranges, thinly sliced & halved, 3-4 slices

Assembly
Cranberry 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 lime zest until mixed.
3. Add in butter and egg yolk and combine until crumbs starts to clump together resembling peas.
4. Pour mixture into two 6” 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 cranberry 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
• Curd can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m crazy about tarts as you can see from the numerous times I post a tart and curds are quickly following behind because every time I bake one of my cakes I am left with egg yolks. Slightly tart and still sweet and with the addition of the blood oranges; which for the first time in 2 years I have found a decent bag of I knew I had to decorate with these. This is a seasonal tart that is perfectly coloured for Valentine’s Day and to share with your special someone.

Valentine’s Day Cranberry Tart with Blood Oranges – Candy Coated Culinista

T is for … Tangerine Crème Brulee

T is for … Tangerine Crème Brulee – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats the cracking sound you hear when you break into a perfectly coated crème brulee. It’s like breaking into a present for me and my eyes light up. This is decadent, creamy and rich with a hint of tangerine … it’s simply divine.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 2 ½ cups heavy cream
• Tangerine zest, from 6 tangerines
• 3 eggs
• 5 egg yolks
• ¾ cups golden brown sugar, packed
• ½ cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Tangerine segments, for decorating

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
1. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and create a “bain-marie” of hot water filling the pan three-quarters up the sides of the ramekins. (A bain-marie is a fancy French term for a container filled with hot water that is used through the cooking process to ensure that the custard doesn’t scorch or boil. It’s an insulator for the custards.)
2. Now remove the ramekins from the water and place pan in oven.
3. Over medium-high heat, combine cream and tangerine zest in a sauce pan. Warm until the cream is scalding, stirring occasionally.
4. Using a medium-sized bowl, whisk eggs and egg yolks together.
5. Stir in a half cup of the brown sugar and the tangerine juice.
6. Pour the egg mixture into the cream stirring constantly.
7. Add in the salt along with the vanilla extract.
8. Using a fine-meshed sieve. Strain the custard into a clean bowl.
9. Pour the custard mixture evenly into the ramekins, about three-quarters full.
10. Place the ramekins into the hot water bath and bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes, or until they are just set.
11. Once cooked, remove custards from the bain marie and let cool for twenty minutes, then refrigerate covered with saran wrap until chilled through. (cover to prevent the custard from absorbing any other scents from inside the fridge)
12. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup sugar evenly onto the tops of the custards.
13. Torch the custards until sugar caramelizes.
14. Place a tangerine segment on top and sprinkle a little more sugar and torch if desired.

Tips
• Make sure there is enough room between racks in the oven or remove the top rack if needed. I had them too close and it made it quite difficult to add in a heavy pan full of water that I couldn’t shake too much as I put it into the oven.
• It’s better to under cook than to overcook the crème brulees.
• Use a thermometer to ensure the cream reaches the correct temperature. Be careful once the mixture hits around 150°F it climbs fast and you can pass the simmering stage.
• Do not waste the egg whites. Mr. C. asked for an egg white scramble with diced green onion and green pepper with salt and ground black pepper. Or use it in another recipe that calls for egg whites. So this recipe calls for a little pre planning with two recipes on hand, or like me just make scrambled eggs.
• If you have a kitchen butane torch, it will make burning the top much easier. Alternatively set the oven to broil to brulee the tops until the sugar has caramelized..
• This is also a two day task as after you have baked the crème part of this recipe; let the crème set in the fridge overnight for best result. You can brulee and serve the same night if you give yourself enough time. This makes a good recipe to make in advance as all you need to do is add your sugar and brulee the tops when you are ready.
• Custard will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator un-bruleed.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I love love love a good crème brulee. I have had enough poor and odd flavoured crème brulee’s to know when one tastes amazing and this one is a keeper.

Cranberry Orange Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

I just love cranberries, so much so I purchase enough cranberries in the winter season to last me all year until the winter season comes by again. They will go in my daily smoothies and in cakes through of the year. I’m just drawn to these sweet & tart fruits and they get me every time. I found this recipe when I found Live for Cake on IG and since she is a fellow Canadian blogger I wanted to give this recipe a try.

Yield/Serving: 10, makes 4- 6” cakes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Liv for Cake blog

Ingredients
Cranberry Orange Cake

• 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 ½ tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 tbsp tangelo & clementine zest
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ¾ cup coconut milk, room temperature
• ½ cup tangelo & clementine juice, fresh squeezed
• 1 cup fresh cranberries, coated in 1 tsp of flour
Cream Cheese Buttercream
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 tbsp tangelo zest
• 8 0z (150g) cream cheese, softened
• 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
Decorations
• Fresh cranberries
• Orange slices, if desired
• Thyme sprigs, if desired

Assembly
Cranberry Orange Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray four 6” round pans with non-stick cooking spray and then place parchment paper at the bottom.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and zests until smooth.
5. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until mixture is pale and fluffy, approx. 3 min.
6. Reduce speed to low and alternate flour mixture with orange juice & coconut milk mixture beginning and ending with flour; fully incorporating each addition.
7. Coat cranberries in flour and gently fold into batter.
8. Spread batter evenly into the four tins, smooth the tops and slam on the counter to release any air bubbles.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out mostly clean.
10. Place cakes on a wire rack to cool for ten minutes and then turn out to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Buttercream
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and zests until smooth.
2. Add cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined.
3. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat on medium-high for 5 minutes and then reduce to low speed and beat for 2 minutes.

Assembly
1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
2. Apply the crumb coat and let set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
4. Using a large offset spatula make a pattern swirling on the sides and top.
5. Add a crown of cranberries. Add orange slices and thyme sprigs if desired.

Tips
• Swap coconut milk for dairy milk
• Use any type of citrus if desired. Use the same type of juice if you change citrus fruits.
• Use fresh or frozen cranberries. Fresh preferred though.
• Add orange slices when you are serving it immediately. If the cake is being given away like mine was. Wait until you are going to delivery it.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Now I have never been a fan of cheese and pastries. If I make a carrot cake you better believe there is not cream cheese frosting. A cheese Danish I turn my nose up at and borderline gag and cheesecake is barely tolerable for me. With all this I really wanted to try a cream cheese frosting and the only cream cheese frosting I consumed without making weird face was a citrus cream cheese frosting many years back. My only alterations to the original recipe was cutting back on the sugar and using two types or citrus zest and coconut milk. The result were fantastic and for once I decided to make myself a baby cake to keep for myself in the house for Super Bowl Sunday. I gave the 3 layer cake away and kept my single layer to serve after all those wings and sausage rolls, fries and veggies. Sounds like an odd time to serve this cake; but you know what no one-minded one bit. The texture was great and I think if I have a cream cheese citrus frosting, light on the cream cheese I may be able to enjoy this from time to time and the decorations turned out quite nice.

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Orange Cake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s my birthday and to celebrate I made my own cake. Now to most making your own birthday sounds like a horrible idea; but I love a challenge and wanted to see if I could make myself proud on my special day. Also if it doesn’t turn out I still have the dessert from the restaurant birthday celebrations.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” pans, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Funfetti cake layer from Dessert for Two

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp baking salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg whites
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. mini nonpareils
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp milk, more if needed
Decorations
• Coloured molding chocolate, pink, teal & white.
• Any other decorations you like sanding sugar, jimis, sprinkles, sugar gems, nonpareils – any size.
• Ivory, pink & purple food colouring.

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan 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 medium 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. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Funfetti Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one pan.
3. Spray pan 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 white and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture until just combined and then add milk and mix.
8. Stir in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
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.
Abstract Decorations
1. Place parchment paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt coloured molding chocolate in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Smear each colour of chocolate using the back of a spoon and then place in the fridge to set up.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
5. Top with finals layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using three prep bowl add a little buttercream frosting and ivory, pink and purple food colouring or gel to each prep bowl and mix.
8. Using an offset spatula apply dabs of each colour along with the plain buttercream frosting.
9. Using a long offset spatula start icing the sides and top until smooth.
10. Smear a little butter cream to the back of each molding chocolate decoration before application to the cake. Add as many as you like.
11. Add other decorations.
12. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
13. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
14. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have learned I need to just buy egg whites in a container. I can only do so much with my leftover egg yolks. I can’t be making curds and double yolk eggs all the time. With this recipe the second time baking it I had and issue regarding the doneness of the centre. The cake tester comes out clean and yet when I trim the cake, it is not entirely cooked through; which is aggravating. That being said I am much happier with this recipe then one I tried from someone else. I have never seen cakes sink in the middle in all my time baking and that recipe did it and it made me waste a half dozen eggs; arghhh. I will have to be very careful with who I try baking recipes from now on. Maybe it’s an altitude thing; but I highly doubt that sadly. The Funfetti cake turned out great and I am a fan of the dessert for two’s blog as I have access to recipes for two people. So this gave me the layer I needed to jazz up a plain old vanilla cake. I am still having issues frosting cakes as I can’t get the frosting to move around the cake as freely as I’d like; even though the frosting is soft. It is definitely a hand and pressure applied issue; but this is leaps and bound better than any of my fully decorated cakes except for my naked cakes and birch bark and yule log. I think I have graduated from naked cakes to full on cake decorating now and this is a wonderful way to keep my 2018 cake decorating goals moving in the right direction. I didn’t intend on adding multiple colours to the frosting or my geode inspired decorations; but I just went with it and it looks great to me.

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Vanilla & Gingerbread Layered Cake with Birch Bark, Coconut Snow & Truffles

Vanilla & Gingerbread Layered Cake with Birch Bark, Coconut Snow & Truffles – Candy Coated Culinista

I came to church Christmas morning and was told by my God-Children’s Grandmother “I have a bone to pick with you” to which I said “huh”. She said “where’s my cake”…. Ohhh. Their grandmom had seen a picture of my Birch Bark Buche de Noel and wanted her own. Well in all honesty that Yule log could be shared as there was more than enough; but I took the hint and made a cake for her and her husband for new years.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” pans
Prep Time: approx. 60 min.
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty level is: Medium, time-consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Gingerbread Cake
• 1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp five spice
• ½ tsp ground clove
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ¾ tsp cinnamon
• 1 large egg beaten
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 2 tbsp fancy molasses
• 1/3 hot water
Birch Bark
• Small paint brushes
• 6 dark chocolate wafers
• 6 milk chocolate wafers
• ½ cup white chocolate wafers
Simple Syrup
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Frosting
• 1 cups butter, at room temperature
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tbsp milk, more if needed
Decorations
• Truffles
• Desiccated coconut
• Confectioners’ sugar

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan 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 medium 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. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Gingerbread Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, five spice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
5. Whisk in eggs, oil and molasses.
6. Slowly add in water until just combined.
7. Pour into one pan and smooth smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
10. Let cool completely.
Birch Bark
1. Place parchment in a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In two small microwave safe bowls melt the dark chocolate and milk chocolate wafers separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Draw lines and tree knots on the parchment paper and place in fridge to set for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile place white chocolate wafers in a medium sized microwave safe bowl and melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
5. Let cool, until it is not hot to the touch. (You don’t want the white chocolate to melt the other chocolate when applying.)
6. Remove cookie tray from fridge and apply white chocolate using an offset spatula in a rectangular shape; covering all the dark and milk chocolate design.
7. Place back in fridge and let firm up for minimum 20 minutes.
Simple Syrup
1. Mix sugar and water together in a small prep bowl and set aside.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and combine until well incorporated.
3. Taste frosting and add more sugar if you like; but this is purely a crumb coat to adhere the birch bark and coconut snow. So there is no need to overly sweeten this frosting.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place gingerbread layer over top and brush simple syrup into gingerbread cake. Cut a thin layer off the gingerbread cake for sure, to ensure the simple syrup can absorb.
5. Spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Top with finals layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
7. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
8. Bring out the birch bark and start breaking into long shards.
9. Once frosting has firmed up start placing birch bark unto the cake.
10. Run some of the buttercream frosting along back of the birch bark and stick to the cake.
11. Continue until the cake is covered in birch bark.
12. Grab truffles or make truffles buy using more milk chocolate wafers and melt in the microwave and pour into circular molds and let set in fridge for at least 1 hour.
13. Once truffles are set dip base of truffles in the buttercream frosting and then place around the edges of the cake.
14. Sprinkle cake top with desiccated coconut and dust tops of truffles with confectioners’ sugar.
15. Serve & enjoy

Tips
• I bought my paint brushes at the dollar store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
They were very appreciative of the cake and said it was great; which made me happy. I enjoyed making this cake just as much as the yule log and I’m loving the decorating just as much as the baking now. I wanted to add a gingerbread layer to make it a seasonal cake and I’m happy I did. The aroma form the gingerbread cake was delightful. For once I got to taste my cakes as I had to level them. They tasted great and I loved that it came together so well. This took awhile to make; but again like the yule log I didn’t noticed how long it took. I binge watched Netflix’s Marvel shows in the kitchen while I baked and decorated and the time flew by.

Vanilla & Gingerbread Layered Cake with Birch Bark, Coconut Snow & Truffles – Candy Coated Culinista

Holiday Pannacotta

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

Here is another one of those recipes on my must make list from time that I am all of a sudden feeling the need to tackle. With it still being the holiday season; I say having a few pannacotta’s in the fridge ready to serve any visitors would be a splendid treat.

Yield/Serving: 10
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Pannacotta

• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2/3 cups granulated sugar
• 2 vanilla beans
• 5 sheets of gelatin
Sweet poached rhubarb
• 14oz sliced rhubarb, poached with one ball of stem ginger, ¾ cup + 5 tsp of Proseco, 1 tbsp of superfine sugar, and a fine grating of orange zest, serve with baby mint leaves and crushed nuts or almond biscotti.
C.C.’s South American Sauce (my sauce idea)
• 1 passionfruit, 1 tamarillo and granadilla to the South American inspired sauce, boiled in a little water and sugar to thicken.

Assembly
1. In a saucepan over low heat pour milk, cream and sugar.
2. Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out and place in saucepan followed by the vanilla bean halves.
3. Heat over low heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes.
5. Remove saucepan from the heat, drain the gelatin and squeeze out any excess water.
6. Stir in the cream until gelatin is dissolved.
7. Whisk again to evenly distribute the vanilla seeds and then divide amongst pudding molds or ramekins.
8. Place on a pan, cover and let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours. (They can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days)
9. When ready to serve, dip half of each mold into a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds and give the mold a little shake to ease the pannacotta out.
10. Place on a plate and serve.

Tips
• Use gelatin powder and follow instructions accordingly.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I saw this strange fruit the other day at the grocery store and it was tamarillo and since the label said it was from South America I went and picked up some passionfruit and granadilla to go along with it as they all seems to be seedy fruits. My pannacotta came out splendidly and since I was afraid it wouldn’t set I left them in overnight just to be extra sure. It was creamy with the specks of vanilla beans and the rich sauce. I quite enjoyed it and the rhubarb was tart and a touch sweet a great combination and the South American sauce was divine.

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log)

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Wow your Christmas dinner guests with this showstopper of a dessert.

Yield/Serving: 12-14
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming when decorating if this is your first time decorating

Ingredients
Sponge

• 4 large free–range eggs
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar , plus extra for dusting
• ½ cup self-raising flour
• 2 tablespoons quality unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
• 2 tablespoons sugar
Filling
• 8oz tin of sweetened chestnut purée
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp heavy cream
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 1 Crunchie bar, or 1 ½ oz honey comb
Buttercream
• 5 oz quality dark chocolate (70%)
• 11 tbsp unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
• 1 heaping cup icing sugar

Assembly
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. For the sponge, line a 12” x 10” baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Separate the eggs.
4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt.
5. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, then, one-by-one, whisk in the egg yolks until really pale and light.
6. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, add the vanilla bean paste, then fold everything together with a large metal spoon so you keep in as much air as possible.
7. Spoon the mixture into the lined baking sheet, gently and evenly spread it out, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through and springy to the touch.
8. Place a large sheet of parchment paper (18” x 12”) on a flat surface and evenly sprinkle over the sugar from a height.
9. While it’s still hot and flexible, turn the sponge out on to the paper.
10. Peel off and discard the baked piece of parchment paper
11. With one of the longest sides in front of you, fold up the excess paper, then roll up the sponge with the paper inside (as it cools, this will set the shape but prevent the sponge from cracking).
12. Leave to cool.
13. For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and cinnamon together.
14. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the honey.
15. To assemble, unroll the sponge so it’s flat, removing the paper.
16. Spread all over with the chestnut purée, followed by the cream, then smash and sprinkle over the Crunchie bar or honeycomb.
17. Re-roll and pop into the fridge.
18. Meanwhile, make your buttercream.
19. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove and leave to cool.
20. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until pale, then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and cooled melted chocolate.
21. Take the log out of the fridge, chop off a quarter at an angle – that’s the branch – and position it on your serving board like in the picture, using a splodge of buttercream to keep it in place.
22. Evenly cover the whole log with buttercream, then use a fork to decorate it.
23. Dust with extra confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of sea salt, shaved chocolate, sprinkles, plastic Bambi figures, whatever you like – go to town!

Tips
• Just have fun and don’t worry about the time.
• Make honey comb from scratch or use a crunchie bar. Jamie has a honeycomb recipe also which I haven’t included in this post.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I used Jamie’s recipe for the Yule log portion; but then I felt like I wanted to add a Christmas winter scene and went my own way on the topping (White chocolate hand-decorated bark) and adding the snow laden houses and tree cakes. I have been running ideas and concepts for this yule log through my head for a couple weeks now and I wanted to at least have a non-chocolate top, so I could have some if I wanted. I have officially made the best thing visually baking wise and I’m smiling ear to ear as I type this. I could almost cry at how happy I am with how this turned out; however weird that sounds. I feel like all of a sudden I have hit a next gear in my baking. I got to practice some techniques and enjoy my most favourite holiday. This is going to my God-Kids and their family for Christmas Eve tomorrow when I see them at church. I hope this makes up for the Elf on the Shelf sugar cookies they didn’t get; but saw on my blog and further questioned me as to “where are ours” and “can you make us some too”. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor of the Buche de Noel. I had the most terrible time finding chestnuts, and I had to go the route of water chestnuts and puree them myself. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the exact same taste; but I enjoyed it and I absolutely hate water chestnuts or so I thought. It will be very interesting to see if the God-kids like that or next time I need to put jam in instead. The water chestnuts added a crunch as the honeycomb melted into the whipping cream. I found the instructions a little hard to grasp when it came to the assembly of the log; but I had an idea and it worked out well as I made that failure cake roll a few months back. The amount of batter in the recipe I think wouldn’t have filled the pan size listed, as it didn’t for me. Other than that this is a wonderful end to a Christmas dinner with the family or with friends and it can be put in the fridge, so you don’t have to be baking this on Christmas day. I showed a few friends and they were thoroughly impressed as was I.

***Update. this was a smash with the God-Kids and the parents. I didn’t have to worry about the chestnuts and the flavour at all. The kids loved the crunch and ate away. They even ate the decorative fondant holly’s and poinsettias. A total winner all around and I was told if this is my Christmas present every year I will be more than happy. Will do. I think “Auntie” will be providing Christmas dinner dessert going forward.

Merry Chistmas

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookies

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been on a real decorating kick since the summer and I have seemingly craving to amp up my decorating skills. I don’t know why the sudden push has come upon me, maybe it’s just time and I’m excited to see how I improve and grow. This cookie has been an unused pan in my cupboard for about three years now and this Christmas I’m feeling extra inspired to expand my decorating skills.

Yield/Serving: 3 elves &amp & 6 assorted sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 15 min. per cookie
Difficulty level is: Easy to bake, Medium-Hard for decorating & very time consuming

Ingredients
• 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 2 tsp red, green & white nonpareils
• 1 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa
Icing
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp milk
• Food colouring, to desired colour

Assembly
Sugar Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Beat egg, vanilla extract and almond extract into mixture.
5. In a separate bowl whisk flour and salt together and combine with butter mixture.
6. Beat until well incorporated.
7. Separate mixture out into 3 equal portions.
8. Press the plain sugar cookie mixture (1/3 of the dough) into the pan filled ¼” deep and bake for 15 minutes or until edges are light brown.
9. Meanwhile add nonpareils to the second portion of sugar cookies and incorporate and then set aside.
10. Finally add the cocoa powder to the finally portion of dough, incorporate and set aside.
11. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
12. Spray non-stick cooking spray over the cookie pan again and add one portion of the dough, cook for 15 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.
13. Repeat step 12 again with the cocoa powder portion of the dough.
14. Let all the cookies cool completely and then decorate.
15. Prepare the icing and first outline the cookies and let that icing dry before flooding the interior with icing and then let that dry. (Ensure the icing isn’t too runny as it will run off the cookie. There is a subtle balance regarding the consistency of the border icing and flooding icing. You may want to add a touch more milk after doing the borders to get the icing to flood across the cookie easier.)

Tips
• Add more or less milk depending on how your dough is coming together.
• Don’t add vanilla extract to white icing as then the icing will lose its white colour.
• You can make the cookies ahead of time and decorate the next day.
• Remember you will need to set aside a nice chunk of time to decorate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a very time consuming task. It was zen like and yet stressful all at the same time as I decorated it. Mind you this was my second attempt at properly decorating a cookie; so in that regard I am very pleased with my outcome. I’m a little mad that I didn’t realize I don’t have Caucasian coloured food colouring or brown food colouring in the house as the other day I grabbed a whole bunch of gel colourings. I had to opt for a pale yellow skin and black hair and I’m ok with that but not really as it’s the perfectionist in me saying do better. I realized my cheeks were a touch too rosey; but again it’s my second try and I need to give myself a break. This isn’t a skill I’m going to acquire in two attempts late at night after putting in ten plus hours at work. On a plus at the last minutes I thought to split the dough three ways and I’m glad I did as I can experiment in one shot and see the outcomes. The nonpareils cookie turned out the best as it was very festive and the sugar cookie as well. The cocoa sugar cookie was a drier mixture as another dry ingredient was added after the fact. I would suggest adding a little milk or water to just slightly moisten it up. As you can see the cocoa cookie didn’t stay together the best. I was still able to decorate it; but it definitely needed a touch more moisture. These will be given to a co-worker the plain cookies for her and her hubby to split and the nonpareils for the kids. I was worried this recipe had too much sugar; but I was told this was the right amount of sugar and I need to just stop worrying about so much sugar as this is a sugar cookie.

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

Elf on the Shelf Giant Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

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