Berries with Mascarpone [RECIPE]

Heather first made this dish for my college graduation party many years ago, and I have loved it ever since. Nothing says summer like this light, buoyant dessert. Easy to prepare, but oh so delicious, this is the perfect finish to a special meal. It’s so easy to make, she even taught two of my interns, Jordan Tidwell and Rachel Breitfeller, how to prepare it! Read more of this post

‘The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook’ Is A Must Buy for Foodies and Bibliophiles [REVIEW]

James Patterson's Grandma's Killer Chocolate Cake

Serve up one of your favorite mystery writer’s yummiest recipes, like Grandma’s Killer Chocolate Cake from James Patterson. (Photo courtesy Quirk Books)

Jathan and I love to cook nearly as much as we love to read. Or maybe it’s the other way around! Either way, when I received a copy of The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, written by a host of my favorite authors and edited by Kate White, I was in awe. Read more of this post

Apple Cranberry Cobbler Cake [RECIPE]

Apple Cranberry Cobbler Cake

Our Apple Cranberry Cobbler Cake blends the fresh flavors of the season with a yummy cake topping.
(Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

In my opinion, autumn is the perfect time of year to bake because two of my favorite things are in season: apples and cranberries! While Heather is the primary baker in our house, there are a few things I do like to prepare when she’s not using the oven. In this case, I love this hybrid recipe which takes advantage of ripe seasonal fruit and tops it with yummy batter that rises too thick to be called a traditional cobbler. But it is oh so good. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Read more of this post

Simply Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Berries

Simply Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Berries

As the name indicates, our Simply Chocolate Cake with Whipped Cream and Berries is easy enough even a novice in the kitchen can prepare it! Heather taught our youngest niece, Esperanza, 10, to prepare this tasty treat on a recent trip to down South.

Kids love to be included in family activities and taught how to do new things. Not only are they usually quick learners, but they oftentimes surprise us with their natural talent. On a recent trip down South to visit family, we taught our youngest niece, Esperanza, 10, how to make this yummy cake. She did a spectacular job, and we were so proud of her effort. In fact, she liked it so much that she promised to make it for us again when we come for another visit!

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 35 to 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Simply Chocolate Cakes, baked in 2 8-inch round cake pans
  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bake cakes and cool completely.
  2. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the sugar and vanilla, and whip again until just stiffened. Do not over mix!
  3. Slice the top off 1 cake round to make a flat surface. Spread bottom cake round with a thick layer of whipped cream. Top with half the strawberries. Top with the other cake round and spread with another thick layer of whipped cream. Top with remaining strawberries.
  4. Slice and serve with any extra whipped cream and berries on the side.

YIELDS: 1 two-layer cake, about 8 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Strawberry Dream Cake

Strawberry Dream Cake

Biting into our Strawberry Dream Cake is so light and fluffy and it is like feasting on a delicious morsel of summer sky.

We love summer! There is something magical about the season when flowers bloom big and bright, hummingbirds and butterflies flutter about industriously, and fat clouds dance slowly across azure skies on lazy afternoons. Savor a bit of summer magic when you sink your teeth into our Strawberry Dream Cake, a family favorite that is pink, delicious and light as a cloud. Filled with fruit and whipped cream cheese frosting, it is sure to be a welcome addition to your baking repertoire!

PREP: 30 minutes plus minimum 2 hours cooling time
COOK: 26 to 32 minutes

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

  • 10 ounces frozen whole strawberries (2 cups)
  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups (9 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 ¾ cups (12 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

FROSTING

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups (9 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thin (about 1 ½ cups)

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease parchment, and flour.
  2. Transfer strawberries to bowl, cover, and microwave until strawberries are soft and have released their juice, about 5 minutes. Place in fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan. Firmly press fruit dry (juice should measure at least ¾ cup); reserve strawberry solids. Bring juice to boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to ¼ cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk milk into juice until combined.
  3. Whisk strawberry milk, egg whites, and vanilla in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, and mix until only pea-size pieces remain, about 1 minute. Add half of milk mixture, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium-low, add remaining milk mixture, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Give batter final stir by hand.
  4. Scrape equal amounts of batter into prepared pans and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, discarding parchment, and cool completely, about 2 hours. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)
  5. For the frosting: Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add reserved strawberry solids and salt and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
  6. Pat strawberries dry with paper towels. When cakes are cooled, spread ¾ cup frosting over 1 cake round. Press 1 cup strawberries in even layers over frosting and cover with additional ¾ cup frosting. Top with second cake round and spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries. Serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

YIELDS: 8 to 10 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.