Tag Archives: Raspberry

Peanut Butter Éclair Cake

eclair-cake

Well Éclair’s are the thing after macaron. This is a really simple take on the éclair with no baking involved! It does require resting time so the graham crackers can absorb the moisture and soften. This has so many variations from a plain simple one to fruit flavored to boozy – as boozy as you like.

I made this for an aunt’s 70 birthday as the request was for a peanut butter dessert. It also needed to be packed in a transportable container and driven for 5 hours. It made it there successfully in a cooler and was a big hit.

Ingredients

For the Pastry Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream, or a mix
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Éclair

  • 1 package of Graham Crackers
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips

Method

Keep a mesh strainer set in a heat proof container ready.

Pour the milk into a pot and place it over medium heat. Heat until it starts to steam but do not let it start bubbling (Small little bubbles at the edge of the pot are fine). While the milk is warming, mix the sugar and egg yolks. Then add the flour and salt ensuring it is all well mixed. This will be quite thick. .

Once the milk has started steaming turn off the heat and pour it in a very slow stream into the egg mixture, whisking fairly quickly and consistently. You can also use a ladle to pour it in a ladle at a time. Once all the milk has been added, pour the mixture back into the pot  and place it back on medium-low heat whisking continuously.

When you start whisking, it will be really frothy and very thin. As the mixture heats it will start to thicken. You have to be patient with this step because the how quickly it thickens depends on your heat. You do not want to raise your heat to have it thicken faster as it can be easy to overheat this mixture and get to a lumpy consistency. It will take somewhere between 8-12 minutes for it to thicken. You will notice the whisk leave trails and you will be able to see it thicken.  You will also see that it starts to bubble a little. Take it off the heat.

Pour the mixture into the mesh strainer to catch any egg bits. Using your spatula gently stir the mixture in strainer to help it through.  Divide your pastry cream into two halves. Add your peanut butter to one and whisk to incorporate. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of both halves of the cream to prevent a crust from forming. Set them aside until they are completely cooled.

Just before you are ready to assemble. Whisk the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and continue whisking until just past soft peak stage (when you lift your whisk the peak gently falls over). Fold half of this into the plain pastry cream.

To assemble

In a 9×9 inch pan put a layer of graham crackers. Cover this with the the peanut butter pastry cream. Place another layer of graham crackers on top. Then add the pastry cream with the whipped cream. Place another layer of graham crackers on top and cover with the remaining whipped cream. Place this in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to chill.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave on short 10 second bursts stirring in between. Once it is melted let it cool for a bit and carefully spread it over the top of the cream. Refrigerate again overnight before serving. This helps the graham crackers soften.

Notes:

You can do a variety of variations:

Fruit based – add about 1/3 of a cup of fruit puree instead of the peanut butter. Top with the same fruit glaze. Omit the chocolate glaze

Brandy – add 1/4 cup of brandy into the whipped cream omitting the peanut butter

Elderberry -add 1/4 cup of elderberry juice or liquor to the whipped cream

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Intensely Chocolate Cake, Raspberry frosting

strawberry-cake

Here is a cake I have been making recently. I started with inspiration from here. I normally do not use shortening and for the first time used it in the cake and it was really delightful. I then tried making it a few more times and have managed to get the shortening out and added butter. I also went just for regular cocoa as I have friends who are chocoholics but like the milky variety better. Kara’s cake is absolutely delightful and if you do like dark chocolate – it is absolutely YUMMM!

I have made the icing a couple of different ways including one that uses raspberry jam so feel free to be creative. I made this cake for a bake sale and it was the highest bid cake and went for $80. It was shared in the office and got a lot of compliments. I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 packet freeze dried raspberries
  • 3 cups icing (confectioners) sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon milk (optional, for smoother texture)

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 8inch cake tins with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on low in your kitchen-aid mixer, scrape down the sides if your beater blade does not have a scraper. Add the oil and turn the mixer on again until incorporated about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Add half the dry mixture to the batter and on low to combine. Add the buttermilk and beat again to combine. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat to combine.

With the mixer on low, add the boiling water very slowly and gently down the side. This will help your thick batter thin out and avoid the forming of lumps. If your beater blade does not have a scraper make sure you scrape down the sides a couple of times. Let the mixer run on slow for about 3-4 minutes. Your batter will be fairly liquid.

Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the tin and letting it cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add the butter and beat until the mixture is fluffy. This may take about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, crush the freeze dried raspberries either in the food processor or using a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin you may not get a fine powder, but that is fine as you will gets bursts of raspberries when you eat the cake. Pour the crushed raspberries into a bowl and sift the icing sugar into it. Use a whisk to blend.

Add the vanilla extract to the butter/cream cheese mix. Beat for about 30 seconds. Then add half the icing sugar mix and beat to blend. Then add the remaining icing sugar and salt and beat till incorporated. If your mixture is too thick you can add a teaspoon to the mixture and beat.

To assemble

Level the cakes. Brush a little sugar syrup (optional) on the cut side of the cake. Top with 1/4 of the frosting. Place the second cake on top of the frosting and brush with sugar syrup (optional). Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Place in the refrigerator for the frosting to firm up. Keep the cake out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

 


Trifle with layers of Raspberry, Coffee and Hot Fudge mousse

Just a little trifle..

Just a little trifle..

First of all let me apologise for the picture. I realized I had not taken one out and the trifle was going fast. So I tried to get the best shot I could with my handy Galaxy SII.

I was going for a pot-luck and was trying to think of what I could make that would be quick (relatively) and something that did not involve baking as I was short on time. I was looking through my newspaper cut out (yes we still get the newspaper) and came across this recipe. I love the traditional English trifle, especially when you get fresh strawberries which are amazingly sweet and have little to no cores in them. However, this Raspberry Fudge Mocha Mousse Trifle which is a mouthful sounded quite delicious.  I of course changed things around a tad bit.

I decided to make my own fudge as I really like having hot fudge on ice cream (who doesn’t?) and I do not really like the store brands. I did a little googling to try to find a good hot fudge recipe and came across this. Now I have been a quiet lurker on Smitten Kitten’s site for a while. I love her site and photographs. Anyways in doing things in a haste as I wanted the fudge to cool down. I dumped everything into a bowl and made it. I also ran short of corn syrup so I used some pancake syrup instead. It came out wonderfully, and the next day I was able to reheat what I wanted to use and it was simply yummy (Yes I saved some for myself to pig out on).

When I took the dessert out of the fridge there was a line that was waiting on it. We took a little time in finding a spoon so that people be able to dig down and get to all the layers. I must say the dessert was definitely well received and was gone before everybody got a chance to have some.

I will apologize to the coffee lovers in advance. I don’t drink coffee and just keep the single use sachet’s for the times I have to make use of coffee. When I do not have those then I run down to Sumiers house and he brew’s me a cup of the flavor of the month. I, however, have to answer a few questions on what sort of coffee flavor I am looking for and how fine should the grains be … (coffee lovers will have an immediate appreciation for Sumiers plight – while the non-drinkers will totally understand the quizzical look on my face which says – I just want coffee :-)). Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your comments.

Recipe

Hot Fudge Sauce (modified from Smitten Kitten)

  • 4.5 ounces milk chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into chunks
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pancake syrup
  • 2 tablespoons rum

Dump everything (except the rum)  into a pot and put it on a medium heat. Stir until everything is dissolved. Keep stirring for about another 3 minutes until the chocolate is completely melted. Then turn up the heat and let the mixture come to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally and scrape down the sides of the pot. You will see after about 12 minutes that the sauce has reduced and has thickened. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Once it is cool add the rum and stir and it is ready.

Raspberry Sauce

  • 8oz packet of raspberries
  • 2 tbsp of raspberry jam
  • 1 tbsp water

Pick out about 20 strawberries and set them aside on a plate. Put the rest of the berries and the raspberry jam into a blender and puree. Add just about a tablespoon of water to think it down.

Coffee

  • 1 sachet of coffee (Nescafe)
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Stir the coffee in the hot water and let it cool.

Trifle

  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Store bought pound cake (loaf size)

Cut up the pound cake into cubes.

Whip the cream until it start to thicken. Add sugar slowly and keep whipping until you get stiff peaks. Divide the whipped cream into three portions. Into the first portion fold in 3/4 cup of raspberry puree.

Now start assembling. Put down two layers of cubed pound cake into your trifle bowl. Pour on the raspberry mousse. Put this into the refrigerator while you get the next layer ready.

Into the second portion fold in the coffee. Take the trifle bowl out of the fridge and put on another cake layer (you should have finished all your cake by now). Then pour the coffee mousse on top and return to the fridge.

Into the last portion, fold in the now cooled hot fudge. Then pour this layer onto of the coffee layer. Decorate with Raspberries and refrigerate until ready to serve.