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Tracy and Jeff’s Cakes

Cousin Tracy and Jeff had three different cakes at the wedding shower yesterday. This one was the vanilla bean one…

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This was the chocolate ganache…

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This was the carrot cake…

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I had half a slice of the chocolate ganache and a slice of the carrot cake. Both were delicious! I think the vanilla bean was probably equally yummy, but I didn’t get to try it. Brian had half a slice of chocolate ganache cake leftover and I was really tempted to eat the rest of it. I ran to the bathroom real quick (well, not so quick – Brian said that I tied up the bathroom and there was a line of people behind me wanting to use it) to brush my teeth and put my braces back in so that I wouldn’t eat his leftover cake. LOL.

Timpano Recipe

Ron Sylvester celebrated his 50th birthday a la “Big Night” and served timpano. This is a dish I’d never had before until last night. It was mighty delicious so I thought I would share the recipe with you guys.

This recipe is from the web site newitalianrecipes.com and is inspired by the movie “Big Night.” Enjoy!

BIG NIGHT TYPE TIMPANO

DOUGH INGREDIENTS:
4 cups all purpose flour
4 eggs
1 t kosher salt
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water

Use butter and olive oil to grease a 6-quart timpano baking pan. (This is like a round, three-layer deep cake pan.)

FILLING INGREDIENTS:
2 cups of 1/4 x 1/2 inch sharp provolone cheese cubes
2 cups of 1/4 x 1/2 inch Genoa salami slices
12 hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered lengthwise, and each quarter cut in half to create chunks
2 cups of meatballs
8 cups meat-based tomato sauce (add 3/4 lbs cooked ground beef)
3 lbs ziti pasta, cooked very al dente (about half)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely grated pecorino (ewe’s milk) Romano cheese
4 eggs, beaten

PREPARATION:
Preparing the dough. Place the flour, eggs, salt and olive oil in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add three (3) tablespoons of water and process. Add more water, one (1) tablespoon at a time, until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to make sure it is well mixed. Set aside to rest for five minutes.

Flatten the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour and roll it out, dusting with flour and flipping the dough over from time to time until it is about 1/16 inch thick and is the desired diameter.

Generously grease the timpano baking pan with butter and oil. Fold the dough in half and then in half again, to form a triangle, and place it in the pan. Open the dough and arrange it in the pan, gently pressing it against the bottom and the sides, draping the extra dough over the sides. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Preparing the filling. Have the salami, provolone, hard-boiled eggs, meatballs, and tomato sauce at room temperature. Toss the drained pasta with the olive oil and two (2) cups of the tomato sauce. Distribute six (6) generous cups of the pasta on the bottom of the timpano. Top with one (1) cup of the salami, one (1) cup of the provolone, six (6) of the hard-boiled eggs, one (1) cup of the meatballs, and 1/3 cup of the Romano cheese.

Pour two (2) cups of the ragu (tomato and meat sauce) over these ingredients. Top with six (6) cups of the remaining pasta. Top that with the remaining one (1) cup of salami, one (1) cup meatballs, and 1/3 cup Romano cheese. Pour two (2) cups of the ragu over these ingredients. The ingredients should now be about one inch below the rim of the pot. Spoon the remaining ragu over the pasta. Pour the beaten eggs over the filling. Fold the pasta dough over the filling to seal completely. Trim away and discard any double layers of dough.

Bake until lightly browned, about one hour. Then cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until the timpano is cooked through and the dough is golden brown (the internal temperature will be 120° F), about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes or more. The baked timpano should not adhere to the pan. If any part is still attached, carefully detach with a knife. Grasp the pan firmly and invert the timpano onto a serving platter. Remove the pan and allow the timpano to cool for 20 minutes. Using a long, sharp knife, cut a circle about 3 inches in diameter in the center of the timpano, making sure to cut all the way through to the bottom. then slice the timpano as you would a pie into individual portions, leaving the center circle as a support for the remaining pieces.

I hope this is right. I just found it online. I guess Ron can tell us if any steps are missing from this recipe and/or provide tips to make it better. =)

Chocolate Melting Cake, a Carnival Classic

I found this recipe through the Carnival Connections’ Cruise Talk forums. I thought I would share it with you guys because we all loved the melting cake. I think some of us ordered it every single night.

Chocolate Melting Cakes

10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Caramel sauce
Coffee ice cream

Heat oven to 325° F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat. In another large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and melted chocolate. Mix with a spoon until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly into 8 muffin tins and bake until the cakes have just cooked through, about 15 minutes. The cakes will still look a bit moist on top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm with the caramel sauce and ice cream.

Makes 8 cakes.

Let me know what you think.

Halloween Food on the Ship

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Sorry about the lack of posts, everyone. Brian and I are still recovering from our “working” vacation. Anyway, wanted to take the opportunity to share some good desserts we had on Halloween night aboard the Carnival Conquest.

Lemon Pound Cake

INGREDIENTS:
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 extra large eggs (room temperature)
1/3 cup grated fresh lemon zest
3 cups of flour (sift twice, then measure)
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup of buttermilk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar (set aside)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (set aside)

Cream butter and 2 cups of sugar about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Medium speed, add eggs (one at a time) and lemon zest.

Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl.

Combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice, buttlermilk, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to batter mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Pour into 13 1/2 by 9 7/8 by 2 inch pan (or bundt cake pan) and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes.

Cool cake for 10 minutes. Invert on wire rack. Press holes into cake with a toothpick, before spooning glaze over cake.

GLAZE: Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until sugar dissolves.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
1 pound of powdered sugar (more if needed)
4 ounces of cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup lemon juice (scant)

Mix ingredients with 1/2 pound of powdered sugar until light and fluffy; then add other 1/2 pound of powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar if needed.

P.S. This is Rogie’s grandmother’s recipe. We got to sample it at the shower because Rogie’s grandmother baked the cake for the party. And, they gave a copy of the recipe to everyone who attended. Wasn’t that super nice?

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