Monthly Archives: December 2007

Stuffed french bread

Stuffed french bread

If you need a quick appetizer, here’s a yummy one. After Christmas I will post another appetizer that is my sister-in-law Jackie’s favorite – Mississippi Sin!

Stuffed French Bread
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1 large loaf French bread
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 (0.7-ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix
1 (2 1/4-ounce) jar chopped dried beef

Slice the loaf lengthwise, and remove the excess dough from the inside to make room for the stuffing. In a medium size bowl, combine all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. Fill the hollowed bread with the mixture. Reassemble the loaf, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve, approximately 3 hours. To serve, slice the loaf into 1-inch sections.

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Filed under Appetizers, Italian parsley, Paula Deen

Almond-Scented White Cake (with Raspberries)

raspberry almond cake

It’s finally time for me to post the raspberry-almond cake. For a long time I didn’t give out this recipe. I know that sounds bad, but it’s my favorite and everyone loves it so I wanted it to be special when I made it. Or I would hate to go to a covered dish dinner and someone else maked this cake. Also it’s not the easiest cake to make either. The biggest reason is that this cake holds a funny and special memory for me…

The first time I made this cake was not long after Dean and I were married and our friend Todd was graduating from Virginia Tech. We were having people over for dinner and a celebration. I decided to make homemade lasagna and two desserts – the raspberry almond cake and a triple chocolate bundt cake. Dean was working late at the newspaper, and I was home baking away. As I was about to put the melted jelly between the layers of the cake, I picked up the sauce pan and touched a very hot piece of metal on the handle. I immediately dropped the pan, and by dropped the pan, I mean to the floor. It was one of those slow motion moments. I could only watch the pan fall to the ground and the jelly come flying out, because as it hit the floor it turned sideways and all the sticky red raspberry jelly went in a huge scatter pattern. Unfortunately, Fluffy, my trusted cat companion, was standing at ground zero. Fluffy was splattered with hot raspberry jelly. Fortunately for him, his name was true. He was very fluffy and the jelly was only on his fur, his whole right side. Of course he took off running into the dining room. I grabbed him up, made sure he was OK (he was), and put him in the bathroom so he wouldn’t go and get raspberry jelly everywhere.

Then the kitchen mess – well I hate to say this but we had carpet in our kitchen. I have no idea why my mother would do that, but she did. As I grab the Resolve and start scrubbing, I look up on the wall about 12 feet behind ground zero and see the whole wall has jelly on it. I wish I would have had the forethought to get my camera, but I was so focused on the mess and people coming to the house the next day I felt like I was in some bad candid camera episode.

After I got the kitchen cleaned up, I went in to clean up Fluffy. When I opened the door I found a perfectly clean cat. He had cleaned every last bit of the jelly off of him. What a good cat! Also this story wasn’t funny for a very long time, thankfully now it cracks me up.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do. And if you do decide to make it, remember fondly my sweet little gray and white cat covered with red jelly. 🙂

Almond-Scented White Cake (with Raspberries)
Williams-Sonama Kitchen Library – Cakes, Cupcakes, and Cheesecakes

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup raspberry preserves, melted
raspberries
1 1/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted, cooled (optional)

FROSTING:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350F. Butter and flour 2 round cake pans each 9 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the butter until light. Gradually add the sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk just until combined.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans; smooth with the spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto racks and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and again beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts until well blended.

Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer on a plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting over the top, then drizzle on 1/4 cup of the melted preserves. Top with another cake layer and repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with a third cake layer and again repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with the fourth cake layer, cut side down. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Ring the top with raspberries and press the toasted almonds onto the sides, if using. Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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Filed under Almonds, Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting, Desserts, Frosting/Icing, Nuts, Raspberries, Williams-Sonoma

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ll start off by saying I heart pumpkin! When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine I knew I would be making this for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin cake-caramel-cream cheese -those are like three of my favorite things and to have them in the same recipe, I couldn’t go wrong. I sort of knew when I was reading through the recipe it was going to be a little more time consuming than I had originally thought, but it would be well worth it in the end. The frosting had a wonderful caramel flavor but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was super caramelly like the description in the article says. The pumpkin cake is a very dense cake, almost a like pumpkin bread. You really could just serve the cake without frosting.

A couple of changes -The caramel took about 20 minutes versing the 9 minutes they have in the recipe. And since I forgot to buy a vanilla bean, I used pure vanilla extract. I added it after I took the caramel off the heat.

In some of the reviews I have read about this cake, most people were upset with the caramel. A couple of people just went out and bought caramel sauce and used that instead. They said it work wonderfully. So if you are interested in making this cake, but are concerned about making your own caramel, try the store bought. Let me know if anyone makes this and uses store bought or makes the homemade.

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting

ACTIVE TIME: 1 HR
TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS plus 8 hours chilling
SERVES: 12

In this fun variation on traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves gets frosted with a slightly tangy, super-caramelly frosting. It’s delicious served cold or at room temperature.

FROSTING
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 pound cream cheese, cut into 2-inch cubes

CAKE

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup whole milk

Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. (Don’t worry if the butter separates.) Discard the vanilla bean.

Transfer the caramel to the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions, until silky. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate until very firm, at least 6 hours.

Meanwhile, make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar and eggs at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the oil, then beat in the pumpkin puree. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 batches, beating well between additions.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Place one layer on a plate and spread with 1 cup of the caramel–cream cheese frosting. Top with the second layer and frost the top and side. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before serving.

MAKE AHEAD The cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Serve cold or at room temperature.

NOTES The cake can be garnished with candied nuts.

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Filed under Cake, Caramel, Cream Cheese Frosting, Desserts, Food & Wine, Frosting/Icing, Pumpkin