Saturday, July 30, 2011

icebox cake

I have officially started my summer hiatus from my oven. But if you know me personally, I can't get too far away from my kitchen or from whipping up something to take care of an aching sweet tooth.

Icebox desserts are just perfect for this time of the year. Especially icebox cake which typically is a combination of whipped cream and chocolate wafers. Yum, right???

Whenever we're invited over to a friend's house for dinner, I ALWAYS offer to bring something. Most people can't say "no" to a baker/pastry chef and sometimes they do and that's absolutely cool with me. This particular friend said "PLEASE!!!" so I was off to the market to pick up my ingredients......

Icebox Cake
with my own twists and additions to the recipe from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 - 2 pints of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean - split and seeds removed
3 tablespoons (or more to taste) of granulated sugar
2 (16.6 oz.) packages of Oreo Cookies - white filling removed

grated chocolate for garnish - optional
raspberry sauce - recipe to follow

The original recipe calls for Nabisco Chocolate Wafers. Not only are these simple wafers expensive (for what they're worth), they're also really hard to find. If I wasn't on my summer hiatus, I would have made them from scratch. Now back to the recipe......

1. Carefully remove the white filling from all Oreo cookies and toss into the garbage. ***I never knew why anyone thought this is what to "savor" from the inside of Oreos. I personally think the white mysterious filling is gross***

2. Pour cream and vanilla seeds into a large bowl. With a handheld or stand up mixer, start to whip cream, adding sugar slowly so that the crystals dissolve. Whip cream to soft but firm peaks.

Ready to assemble your icebox cake??? ***I used the "ring" part of a spring form cake pan to keep the circular shape of the cake. You can free-style if you'd like. It's gonna taste good no matter what*** 

3. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream on the base of your cake plate. This prevents the cookies from sliding all over the place!!! If using your "cake ring", now is the time to bust it out. Place the ring around the whipped cream and start laying down one layer of cookies. Continue alternating thin layers of whipped cream and cookies until you are out of cookies. Top the cake off with whipped cream and refrigerate overnight. ***You can also cover the entire cake with whipped cream but I like the rustic look of the cookie and cream layers***

Raspberry Sauce

1 package of frozen raspberries - thawed
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a blender or food processor, blitz the raspberries and sugar. Strain through a mesh strainer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

d.i.y. birthday cupcake toppers

I'm not always prepared to decorate cupcakes.....But I try to have materials and things ALWAYS at my fingers tips. With just some card stock, an alphabet stamp set, scissors, a small hole punch and toothpicks, simple vanilla and chocolate cupcakes suddenly become festive. 

Many of you may not have these things in your junk drawers but hopefully these cute cupcake toppers get your creative juices flowin'.......


Monday, July 4, 2011

red, white & blue.....

Happy 4th everybody!!!!!

Vanilla cupcakes with red, white & blue buttercream inspired by trophy cupcakes in Seattle, WA.