Halloween Celebration Cakes

Halloween Celebration Cakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Last Halloween I made was expected to make another Halloween inspired cake for my work pot luck. So I took this as an opportunity to try some new cake molds.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Chocolate Cake (4 skulls & fluted pan)

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
• ¾ cups white candy melts
• Halloween themed candies for skulls & hole in cake

Assembly
Chocolate Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease chiffon pan cake pan with non-stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Separate out ¾ cups of batter and add a few drops of black food colouring and combine.
8. Pour black batter into four skull cavities coated in non-stick spray.
8. Pour the remaining chocolate batter into fluted pans and bake cakes for 35-45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9.Allow the cake to cool for 60 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes or more.
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. Decorate and place in fridge to firm up.
Candy Melt Coating
1. Melt white candy melts in a heat proof bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melts have melted.
2. Pour over skulls and place in fridge to firm up.
3. Decorate eyes and face as desired and set aside
4. Place candies in the hole of the cake and place 3 skulls on top. Adhere with some frosting to ensure they stay in place.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.

Mini Halloween Cake, Coffins & Skeletons

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Cook Time: 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Almond Cake & Coffins & Skeletons

• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 tsp almond extract
• few drop of orange gel food colouring
• few drops of black gel food colouring

Assembly
Almond Cake & Coffins & Skeletons

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one 6” pan.
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 and almond extract 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.Split batter into half and colour half orange and the other black.
9. Pour orange batter into the 6” pan, and black into two min coffins pans & two skeleton mini pans 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.

Tombstone Salted Caramel Brownies

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 tombstones
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 10 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
• ½ cup sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp black gel food colouring
• 2 tbsp salted caramel, homemade or store bought
• White icing, to decorate

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick spray.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan and let cool slightly.
4. Whisk sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl and combine.
5. Pour the butter in slowly and whisk, then add the vanilla extract.
6. Add eggs one at a time and then add flour until incorporated.
7. Finally add black food colouring gel and don’t overmix.
8. Pour batter in pan cavities and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Leave in pans for five minutes and then turn out.
10. Repeat again if you have batter still left over.
11. Decorate with white icing and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a two day bake for me and I was working on this any free moment in between work. This turned out quite well considering there were a lot of aspects going on and the compliments kept coming in. Now I gave myself an ‘A’ for effort; but the perfectionist in me see’s the mistakes; but I’m still learning so I’ll cut myself some slack. The cakes tasted great I just have to work on coating the skulls evenly and having a steadier hand when decorating. This was still a fun bake and it was appreciated … what else can a girl ask for.

Gooseberry Ginger Thyme Honey Cake

Gooseberry Ginger Thyme Honey Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Another trip to the farmers market and I found another interesting fruit; the gooseberry. These spiny fruits are quite sour if you eat them alone; but combining them with other ingredients results in a delightful cake.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 50 min. to 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Gooseberry Cake

• 1 ½ cup gooseberries, stems and bottoms removed
• 1 knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
• 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves
• 2 tbsp honey
• 2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
• ¾ cups butter, softened, cut into pats
• 3 large eggs
Vanilla Glaze
• ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Milk, as needed

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place parchment paper in a 9” springform pan and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat add a little water along with gooseberries, ginger, thyme and honey and bring to a boil and then to a simmer.
4. Place in a blender and blend until a puree.
5. Then place in a bowl in the fridge and let cool.
6. Using a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder and set aside.
7. Using an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Add eggs one at a time followed by 1/3 of the flour and repeat until there is no more flour.
9. Add in gooseberry puree and incorporate.
10. Spoon mixture into prepared pan spreading evenly and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
11. Using a cake tester insert and when it comes out clean and cake is a golden brown remove cake from oven.
12. Let cool for 30 minutes and then release springform and turn onto a large plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
When I tasted the gooseberries I thought to myself how am I going to make these less sour. I looked through my fridge for inspiration as the ginger and thyme popped out at me immediately. The cake has a subtle hint of gooseberry, thyme and ginger. I was pleasantly surprised; but I should know that when I cook on instinct with no real recipe, my best creations occur.

Winter Forest Cake

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A four layered cake that is a wonderful addition to the Christmas and holiday season gatherings.

Yield/Serving: 4 – 6” cakes
Prep Time: 45 min.
Cook Time: 35-45 min. per cake
Difficulty level is: Medium

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 cups hot water
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg white
• 2/3 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp blue sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. white sprinkles
Simple Syrup
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Frosting
• 1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature
• 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tbsp milk, more if needed
• Blue food colouring
Decorations
• Pocky, chocolate covered flavour (red box)
• Teal melting chocolates
• Blue melting chocolates
• White melting chocolates
• Snowflake sprinkles
• Blue sprinkles
• Blue, silver & white non-pareils
• Blue sanding 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 on a wire rack.
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 on a wire rack.
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. Fold in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into one 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 on a wire rack.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and finally food colouring and combine until well incorporated.
Tree Decorations
1. Place wax paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt various coloured molding chocolates in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Once chocolate has slightly cooled pour in a piping bag.
4. Place Pocky sticks onto wax paper and pipe trees out and place decorations on top 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. Apply simple syrup to each layer of the cake and let absorb.
3. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
4. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
5. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Place gingerbread layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
7. Top with final layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
8. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
9. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake.
10. Apply sanding sugar to the cake.
11. Remove trees from the fridge and place in the top of the cake from the middle going back.
12. Add the snowflake decorations.
13. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
14. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
15. Serve and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first cake at 4 layers and I was so happy with how it turned out. I will say one more layer would require wooden dowels placed inside the cake no matter the size of the cake. I spent a lot of time insuring my crumb coat firmed up and applying the final coat properly. If found applying the sanding sugar a little tricky; but for my first attempt I get the hang of it eventually. Cutting into the cake and seeing perfect layers with frosting in between was a wonderful treat. The cake was moist with three different flavoured cakes there is something here for anyone.

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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

Vanilla Bean Lemonade with Fruit Nectars

Vanilla Bean Lemonade with Fruit Nectars – Candy Coated Culinista

I never pass up a chance to have lemonade when I see it on the menu and now I can have this interesting lemonade at home.

Yield/Serving: 6 pints
Prep Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from: Preservation Pantry – Modern Canning

Ingredients
Lemonade

• 7 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 35 medium lemons)
• 1 vanilla bean
• 2 tsp almond extract (option instead of vanilla)
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
Mango Nectar
• 1 mango, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup of water
Guava Nectar
• 3 Guava, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup of water

Assembly
1. Assemble canning stations by creating a tidy filling station, cleaning the jars and lids and set up stove station.
2. Wash lemons under cold running water.
3. Roll lemons on the counter back and forth and pressing slightly.
4. Peel off rinds with a sharp knife.
5. Cut lemons in half and juice.
6. Cut vanilla bean in half from top to bottom and scrape the insides of the pod with a sharp knife saving the seeds.
7. Using a large stainless steel pot add lemon juice, 3 cups of water, sugar and vanilla bean pod and seeds.
8. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
9. Pour liquid tough a fine meshed sieve into a heat resistant pitcher.
10. At the filling station keeping the jars and lemonade hot, fill the jars using a funnel. Ensure you leave a ¼” headspace.
11. Wipe each rim and secure lids.
12. Place jars in the water bath covered in 1” of water and once the water boils process for 10 minutes.
13. Remove jars and place on a tea towel and let rest for 24 hours, then check seal and label.
14. When serving lemonade add at a ratio of 1:1 or lemonade to water or sparkling water or sparkling wine.

Tips
• Use room temperature lemons to extract the most juice.
• If you don’t have a vanilla bean substitute with 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
• Save leftover lemons to stuff inside a chicken to roast.
• Use almond extract instead of vanilla
• Make fruit nectars to give some options like mango, guava, pineapple, peach watermelon or any seasonal fruits

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Right now I am really into mango lemonade and watermelon lemonade. This will be a great base recipe to add my favourite fruits or even make this as a hard lemonade with vodka. I’m not fond of canning because there is just a lot of product and chances are I would be bored of the item no matter how long it was around the house. However; I wanted to give this a chance as I never tire of lemonade and I can change it up. I made some mango and guava nectar to give some options and I split the recipe and used almond extract as an option also. This is a recipe that you really can’t go wrong with and this is why I love it so much. I felt that the sugar level may have been too much; but it was the perfect amount as once you add the water the lemonade still is more sour than sweet. Canning really isn’t for everyone and I’m one of those people; if I can half batch or ¼ batch a recipe I will to make it work for me.

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.

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.

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

Mini Vanilla Madeleines with Cardamom Sugar

Mini Vanilla Madeleines with Cardamom Sugar – Candy Coated Culinista

These French tiny tea cakes or cookies to some are such a recognizable scalloped shape it is on the list of quintessential French sweets.

Yield/Serving: 40 – 48 mini Madeleines
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 10-12 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From: Bake from Scratch

Ingredients
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted & cooled
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup cornstarch
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F and spray Madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Over medium heat melt butter and let cool.
3. Using an electric stand mixture with the paddle attachment; beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract at medium speed until fluffy; about 3 minutes.
4. Beat in the melted butter.
5. In a large bowl sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
6. Stir in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula and fill pan until almost full.
7. Bake until madeleines spring back when pressed, 10 to 12 minutes.
8. Place madeleines onto a dish and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cardamom mixture.
9. Serve immediately.

Tips
• I piped the batter in to pans and filled them to the top and they turned out great. I found this worked better for me then spooning in the batter.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I bought a Madeleine pan a few years ago and after what I thought was the disaster outcome I have never visited this cake again. I had thought my reproduction was terrible; but I have learned now that this is what Madeleines tastes like. They are only good right out of the oven in most instances and after that they harden quite fast; which is probably why they are dunked in tea or coffee. I am not a fan of the texture of this tiny cake; but now I have the technique down and I can check this off my list.

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