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About My Bakin', Cookin', Wine Makin'!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Dessert Chalenge

A Dessert Chalenge

Friends of ours were moving to another state and as a farewell dinner party was being planned by other friends for them, of course I would offer to make the dessert.
 I told Dan I would be more than happy to make any dessert he and Kathryn would like.
Dan was very appreciative of my offer but he had one condition.

He said it had to be a dessert worth remembering!  Ok, He has had other desserts I have made including a Christmas Stollen , I was taken aback at first, worth remembering, I considered all my desserts worth remembering!

 I settled down and accepted the challenge, after  all I love challenges, I thrive on them, I look for them, even create them !

 So the bar has been set!

 The criteria for the dessert, yeah , worth remembering, but his was a personal challenge, one that had to go above and beyond were no man has gone before! A little Star Trek humor. Nevertheless it was personal to me!

 Our lovely hostess & host Nancy & Chris Hertz, she a talented painter and author, He an accomplished musician singer song writer. Check out their page


 Nancy is gluten intolerant so this dessert not only has to excel but has to  be gluten free!

I made a test cake of flourless chocolate cake with a filling of rich dark chocolate pudding topped with diced maraschino cherries another cake layer with a center filling of cherry vanilla pudding another cake layer chocolate pudding, diced cherries and a final cake layer top.

It was frosted with chocolate whipped cream and wrapped with a chocolate wrap topped with whipped cream. I placed a doily on top and dusted it with cocoa powder  then added  dark modeling chocolate roses.
 Deliciously rich chocolate layers of varying flavors, beautiful ! But impossible to cut neatly because of the wrap.

The solution : individual cakes .
Four layers of a light flourless chocolate cake, each moistened with cherry brandy, topped with dark chocolate pudding and this time I used diced fresh pitted diced Bing cherries. Each filling  layer was alternated with creamy milk chocolate pudding.

   I placed them in the refrigerator to firm up before coating with lightly sweetened whipped cream, then back in the refrigerator to firm up again while I made the chocolate lace wrap.

draw design on parchment paper flip over pipe melted chocolate
 onto design  place tray with design in refrigerator 1 minute to set slightly

remove from refrigerator gently line up parchment and wrap cake
place back in refrigerator to set hard

when set gently peel off parchment

using a sharp knife warmed in hot water carefully cut off excess

you may have a piece break, let it be back of cake

pipe whipped cream around edge to support lace wrap

pipe a mound of whipped cream onto center

place tinted white chocolate rose on mound

one each for  geusts

add piped whipped cream around base

I used fresh chocolate mint leaves from our garden to finish 

 note: any frosting of choice may be used, I chose whipped cream to 
soften the rich chocolate flavors


here is a links to the chocolate lace wrap and roses
 there are many on you tube




 Thanks for visiting !!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Basket weave cake

 Basket Weave cake

This is my first attempt at using a basket weave piping to decorate a cake, it was a lot of fun  and more difficult then it appears.
Mainly trying to keep the vertical piping straight and maintaining even spacing between the horizontal piping.

The reason for the cake is to bring one to our niece's home for thanksgiving dinner, with that in mind I chose to use the flavors of the holiday in the cake.

I made a sweet potato sponge cake baked in a 1/2 sheet pan which gave me 4 layers 12" x 4".
The filling is an apple pie filling (made small dice apple pieces) topped with a brown sugar vanilla pudding drizzled with caramel sauce.

The frosting is a Swiss meringue  buttercream , since most are very sweet I used a minimum amount of sugar  yielding a mildly sweet flavor.

The recipe for the cake  the Swiss meringue buttercream and the apple pie filling are from Gretchen Price at woodland bakery in NJ. wood land bakery blog
Originally posted as a pumpkin sponge cake and since any pureed vegetable will work , I simply used roasted pureed strained sweet potato, using brown sugar in place of white.

 The flavor was amazing even without embellishment!
 For the final version I'll use whipped cream for the filling dam and to crumb coat as it was way too  much buttercream . And more buttercream flowers on top!

For topping the cake I'll make sugar gumpaste flowers which are edible or may be removed before slicing 

 I did not do a photo process of the individual components since the recipes are easy enough  to follow.

These are the photos of the assembly of the cake:  

                                         Thanks for visiting!! Enjoy!    Jim

Brown sugar vanilla pudding:

1/3 cup brown sugar , you may use 1/2  for a less sweet  taste
6 tablespoons cornstarch if making a filling 4 if for regular pudding
1/4 tsp salt
10 oz. whole milk
10 oz. heavy cream  here you may alter  the type of milk  & cream ratio to suit
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract  ....homemade vanilla extract  ( you may also scrape seeds from 1 vanilla bean to add instead of extract, put scraped bean in milk/cream mix when warming for a fuller flavor, remove before adding milk/cream to saucepan)
In a large saucepan blend sugar, cornstarch , salt
Warm milk/cream mix till very warm almost hot ( this reduces cooking time, of course you may use cold)
on medium heat add milk/cream mix to saucepan, stirring constantly till it thickens.
 When it comes to a boil cook 1 full minute to activate cornstarch.
Remove from heat stir in vanilla, pour into a heat proof bowl, place plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming.
 When cool refrigerate 4 hours or over night.