Saturday, July 16, 2011

Red Velvet Cake Roll

So here is the Red Velvet Roulade Cake that I chilled over night. And all I have to say is, "I flippin' love it!!"

Recipe Courtesy of Flo Baker

Red Velvet Cake


For the cake
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar, 5% acidity*
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring (1/2 fluid ounce)
For the white chocolate–cream cheese
  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 ounces white chocolate, melted
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup (4 to 5 ounces) red raspberries, picked over for stems (optional)
For decoration
  • Powdered sugar for decoration
  • Red raspberries, picked over for stems, for serving


Make the cake
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat a small area in the center of a 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch pan (jelly-roll pan) with nonstick spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, pressing the foil into the contours of the pan and leaving a 2-inch overhang at each short end (the spray anchors the foil in place to make buttering easier). Butter the foil, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the milk, vanilla, and apple cider. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the granulated sugar in a steady stream. Continue to beat until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg slowly, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions alternately with the milk mixture in one or two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated smoothly. Stop the mixer after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Maintaining the same speed, add the food coloring and mix well to color the batter evenly. Without delay, spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula.
4. Bake the cake until it is set on top and springs back when lightly pressed in the center, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. If necessary, run a thin knife blade around the perimeter of the pan to loosen the cake sides. Then pull up on the foil overhang and carefully transfer the cake to a wire rack. Without delay, place a sheet of foil over the cake and manipulate the foil to make a shallow tent (a tent holds in the moisture as the cake cools, but prevents the foil from sticking to the cake). Let cool for about 45 minutes, then proceed to assemble the dessert.
Make the white chocolate–cream cheese filling
5. In a bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth. Pour in half of the chocolate and beat until smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally and scraping the mixture clinging to the sides into the center of the bowl. Pour in the remaining chocolate and beat just until combined. Add the butter and then the sugar and almond extract and beat until smooth and creamy. Use right away, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature, and beat with a rubber spatula, small whisk, or fork until smooth and creamy. You should have about 1 1/3 cups.
Assemble the cake
6. Remove the foil from the top of the cake. Transfer the cake on its bottom sheet of foil to a work surface, placing it so that one of its long sides is parallel to the edge of the surface closest to you. Place another long sheet of aluminum foil on the work surface nearby.
7. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 cup plus about 2 tablespoons of the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border uncovered on the long side farthest from you. (The leftover filling, along with a few berries, makes a good kitchen snack for the baker.) Place the raspberries, if using, randomly on the filling along the length of the cake.
8. Begin rolling the cake by flipping the edge nearest you over onto itself. Then, with the aid of the foil that extends beyond the short sides, roll up the cake lengthwise until you reach the far long side. As you work, wrap the foil around the roll to assist in rounding the shape (otherwise the cake will stick to your hands). To insure the roll is uniform, place the roll in its foil across the bottom third of a 24-inch-long piece of parchment paper, bring the top edge of the paper toward you, and drape it over the cake roll, allowing a 2-inch overhang.
9. Place the edge of a rimless baking sheet at a 45-degree angle to the roll and your work surface. Apply pressure against the roll, trapping the 2-inch overhang, and push while simultaneously pulling the bottom portion of paper toward you. This push-pull motion creates a resistance that results in compressing the log into a uniform shape. If any cracks appeared as you rolled the cake, they are consolidated in this compression and disappear from view.
10. Carefully lift the roll in the aluminum foil and set it, seam side down, on the fresh sheet of foil. Wrap the cake securely in the foil. Transfer the foil-wrapped roll to the baking sheet or shallow tray and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to help set the filling.
To serve
11. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and peel off and discard the foil. Carefully lift the roll onto a serving plate with the aid of a long, wide spatula or a rimless baking sheet. (If not serving right away, cover loosely with plastic wrap to keep the cake’s surface from drying out and return to the refrigerator to serve the same day.) Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the roll into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Center each portion on a dessert plate. Accompany with the raspberries.

*Instead of using apple cider or vinegar, I used  raspberry vinegar that added an awesome kick to the cake and a fruity aroma to the cocoa. Yum yum!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Topping

Okay...if Heaven was a cupcake, then I must have died at least 5 times. This must be one of the best red velvet cake recipes I have ever tried and the white chocolate-cream cheese topping is absolutely glorious! Topped with fresh raspberries, I felt so guilty but soooo pleased. The recipe itself is used to make a cake roll but I accidentally doubled the butter so I had to double everything else (clumsy me). I had enough for a roll and several mini cupcakes. The redness in my batter was less vibrant because I used a red gel rather than the liquid food coloring so I couldn't really estimate how much I needed but I love it nonetheless.
The cake roll required refrigeration time so I will post the results tomorrow. This would be my first time making a cake roulade...let's hope it's not a disaster? I will post the recipe of the roll and red velvet batter in the Red Velvet Cake Roll post.

Portabella Florentine Lasagna

I had a huge craving for pasta today and decided to make a lasagna Florentine after rummaging through my fridge and found spinach and portabella mushrooms. The idea was simple: create a luxuriously rich and creamy Béchamel Sauce, make a savory mushroom and spinach filling and layer these divine assets between lasagna noodles and mozza cheese.  After baking for half an hour to have all the cheese and delious-ness melt together, I tossed up a quick salad so that I didn't feel too guilty with my indulgence.

I don't have a set recipe for my Béchamel Sauce but you can try following Chef Batali's recipe.

Portabella and Spinach Filling

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large portabella mushroom caps, cut into bit-sized slices
3 tsp salt
3-4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed, spun dried and chopped
2 tsp nutmeg
Dried or fresh basil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and add the shallots. Cook until transparent, then add in the garlic until aromatic. Turn heat to medium-high and add in the mushrooms and salt, stirring until mushrooms become tender. Lower heat to medium-low and add in baby spinach and stir until spinach is completely wilted but not soggy. Stir in nutmeg and basil. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Let cool and remove any excess water/juices. Stir in 1/4 cup of Béchamel sauce.

To layer the lasagna, just go sauce, noodles, filling, cheeses (mozzarella and Parmesan), noodles, filling, cheeses, etc., until you end up with noodles. Top with sauce and cheese. Bake in a 400 F oven for half and hour until cheese have melted and are golden brown. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

**If you want real protein, chicken is the way to go. Just slice up some chicken and cook before adding in the mushrooms and spinach. If you have left over chicken, shred that up and add to the cooked mushroom/spinach filling. Easy Peasy.