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Hearts and Roses Luncheon Desserts

Red Velvet Cake

Hearts and Roses Lunch-Red Velvet Cake

Ingredients:

½ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 (1-ounce) bottle liquid red food coloring

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:

1.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, vinegar, and vanilla, beating well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add food coloring, beating until combined.

2.  Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

3.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

4.  Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Yield: 1 (2-layer) cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1.  Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy; gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating well.  Stir in pecans.

Yield:  3 cups

Creamy Chocolate Mousse

Hearts and Roses Lunch Dessert

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs, separated

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

4 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

Directions:

1.  Beat egg yolks lightly; add flavorings and chocolate to egg yolks, stirring well.

2.  Beat egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar at high speed of an electric mixer until frothy.  Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes).  Stir about one-fourth of meringue into chocolate mixture; fold remaining meringue into chocolate mixture.

3.  Beat whipping cream at medium speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form; fold cream into chocolate mixture.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

Yield:  5 cups.

How to Make Sugared Raspberries

Ingredients:

1 cup of raspberries (or other whole, small summer fruit such as blueberries, small strawberries or blackberries)

1 egg white

½ cup sanding sugar

Directions:

1.  Select the firmest, plumpest raspberries to work with.  This will help the final berries retain their shape and they’ll be less likely to turn into a juicy, sugar puddle.

2.  Lightly paint egg white onto entire outer surface of raspberry (using a small pastry brush).  Make sure to get the base and the top of the berry completely covered.  Dipping the fruit into the egg white is not recommended; it becomes messy and doesn’t turn out as well.

3.  Pour about ½ cup sanding sugar onto a plate to use for sugaring.

4.  Place fruit on plate and sprinkle with sugar.  Gently rolling the raspberry in sugar works too.  Be careful not to squeeze or push too hard, breaking the berry.

5.  Coat the raspberry in sugar as evenly as possible.

6.  Dry sugared raspberries on a parchment-lined baking tray for 4 to 8 hours, resting the fruits in a cool, dry place.  Humidity will affect this process, so if your home is very humid, you may want to try this recipe at a different time.

7.  Enjoy just a few berries as a garnish to any dessert (they are very sweet and strong!)

Serving suggestions for sugared raspberries:  Use as a topping for creamy chocolate mousse, angel food cake smeared with lemon curd, or gingerbread topped with whipped cream and a pretty sugared raspberry sitting on the top.  Or, how about a delicious piece of homemade pound cake topped with a combination of sugared berries?  Yummy!

Linda

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