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

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.

Celebrate family and friends this July

Jathan and Heather's wedding cakesJuly 2011

Dear Friends,

July is always one of the busiest months of the year for us. To begin with, our wedding anniversary is July 16th, and we always do something special to commemorate the day we exchanged vows. One of our favorite traditions is that we splurge and buy a box of juicy chevron dipped strawberries (chevron dipped means that they are covered with both dark and white chocolate—YUM!) because these covered the top of our groom’s cake when we got married. Our good friend Val O’Dell made our cakes, and they were gorgeous with a basket weave design that took her countless hours to perfect. We’d looked forward to eating the cake that day with great anticipation, and yet the chocolate strawberries were the only part of it that we were able to eat! As you can tell from the picture shown here, they were to die for. Tell us what some of your wedding anniversary traditions are here. If you would like to view some of our other wedding photos, check out our new photo gallery.

This month is also the time we take our summer vacation. What will you do this month? Are you going to travel or have a “stay-cation” as many are doing this year? Since money is tight for everyone, we’re going to investigate inexpensive and free things to do with your family, then we’ll share our discoveries with you here. So stay tuned for money-saving vacation tips and reviews of the places we visit this month. If you have tips you’d like to share, send them our way as well.

As some of you may have noticed, June was not an eventful time in our “test kitchen.” However, we did dish up some tasty recipes that you will want to serve, perhaps for your very own barbecues this month. Scoop up our chunky guacamole with Serrano peppers with your favorite tortilla chips or dollop it on top of a juicy burger! If you love hummus, you’ll definitely want to try our simple and delicious recipe that goes great with our refreshing Israeli salad. And, if you want a sweet treat with breakfast, be sure to spread a little tropical sunshine on your toast with our homemade pineapple jam.

We’re also adding a Shopping section to our site. Here we will highlight companies we’ve done business with over the years who have not only delivered great products and customer service, but they do so consistently! New vendors are being added regularly, so be sure to visit our new Shopping section often.

Whatever you’re doing this month, we hope you find a great way to beat the heat, curl up with a good book, and enjoy time with friends and family. Have a safe and happy summer!

Love,
Jathan & Heather

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Cake

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumb Cake (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Freshly harvested rhubarb and big, juicy strawberries are a match made in heaven. They meet in this tasty vegetable-fruit crumb cake that is sure to please the most particular crowd. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Rhubarb is the perfect complement to fresh strawberries in this deliciously moist, subtly fruity and always yummy cake, particularly when you can purchase both items in season. Serve with your favorite coffee for a mid-morning snack or as a light after-dinner dessert.

PREP: 25 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 1/4 hours + cooling time

INGREDIENTS

For The Streusel

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For The Cake

  • 2 stalks rhubarb, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (also called 10-X)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.
  2. Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and strawberry mixture; top with streusel.
  4. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick iserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 9 pieces.

YIELDS: 9 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.