Monday, December 10, 2007

Chocolate cake with white cream and cherries


Although this is not one of my best cakes, the recipe is worth sharing, since it was amazingly delicious. This is a variation of a cake my mother used to make when I was little, I made some corrections and it actually turned out pretty good. It was moist, but not gooey, it was sweet, but not too much.

For the cake:
6 eggs
5 oz flour
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
1 pkg. heavy whipping cream
1 can cherry pie filling

Frosting:
Buttercream

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour with the cocoa and the baking powder.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and vegetable oil. Fold in with a spatula the flour

Pour mixture into a 9" round greased cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until done.
Remove cake from pan and let cool completely.

Cut cake into layers. On the lower layer make a circle with buttercream and fill in the cherry filling and then top with the whipping cream( you had to already whip it with the sugar. Place the second layer on top and spread buttercream icing over the entire cake until covered. Let the cake stay overnight in the refrigerator.
Nest morning roll out some fondant and cover the cake. Decorate with the buttercream.
Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cherry Pecan Cheescake to die for!




This is my fist ever cheesecake( well, I have eaten, but haven't baked :-) but the recipe is my creation, since I didn't like the one I had in my book. The recipe was a complete success, since everyone who tasted it said it is not just good, it is not just delicious but it is to die for :-)
Now I am sharing it with you:


For the crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter ( 1 stick and a half) or margarine -- melted
1 cup chopped pecans

For the filling
1 lbs cream cheese regular
1 lbs cream cheese whipped
1/2 cup heavy cream

3 teaspoons minced lemon zest
6 eggs -- slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
21 ounces cherry pie filling

Directions

On bottom rack in oven, place 13" x 9" pan filled halfway with water. Preheat oven to 350º.

In medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, the sugar, cinnamon, the butter and the pecans.Mix well together.

* You can actually use cinnamon crackers so you don't have to add powdered cinnamon.

Remove the bottom part of a 10" springform pan. To prevent leakage, place an aluminum foil sheet over the bottom part of the pan, then place the round one on top, close the springform( note that there has to be aluminum foil only on the bottom!) and after that just fold the excess foil on the outside of the pan. You can see the picture here:

Press the crumb and pecan mixture on bottom and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat the cream cheese , adding regularly the remaining 1 and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in the heavy cream, the eggs, the lemon zest and vanilla extract in this ordered. Beat until the batter is smooth.


Pour into the prepared pan( by this time you have to be finished with the 10 min baking with it). Place on the lower rack in the oven a bigger pan full of water ( it has to be bigger then the one you are going to bake the cheesecake in), then place the cheesecake pan on the middle rack and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min on 300F (or until puffy and slightly browned and the center is still a bit wobbly). Turn the oven off without opening the door and let cheesecake stand stay there for another 2 hours. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool down completely, then transfer to a plate and let it cool down in the refrigerator for 3-4 at least. Serve cold, when cutting use heated knife for better looking slices.

* If you want you can sprinkle coconut on the sides of the cheesecake.

Enjoy!

P.S: You can check the recipe in Bulgarian here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"POX" News

A wonderful fall morning.
Birds are singing, the sun is shining lazily( but it is not too hot), the leaves are starting to fall and give you this warmish-snuglish give-me-my-marshmallow-cocoa kind of feeling. ( Put the cheesy inspirational music on, please!). The "First day of school" experience passed and my son is excited just as we are, even a little more , so the constant " but why I can't go to school on the weekends?" question is answered as many as 20 to 30 times a day.
BUT I don't mind it! I am just enjoying the peace and quite and I am glad that the whole birthday-partying, cake-making era for this year is over ( God, give me strength for the whole Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New-year marathon!).
So how would you not enjoy a day like this especially since I got my driver's license two days ago!!! Yep, free as a bird!
Or at least that's what I was thinking...but to continue, the day is nice, the washing machine is washing, the dishwasher too, the floor is clean, the laundry is ironed, the 3 dishes that I made are on the stove, the baby is sleeping, I am dreaming about the wonderful weekend we are going to have, the places we will go!
The life is just wonderful!
BUT....as there is always a "but" following this statement I've noticed ( remember the Roberto Beninni's movie ?).
The baby wakes up and there are 3 big red pimples over her face! Nope, that just can't be! Not this week, the first weekend we were planing to go "on vacation" somewhere!
But there is still hope, I am talking to myself, it can be anything- from food, or she slept on her face, or a giant meteorite dust fell over our house and she made a reaction to it OR SOMETHING!
Then I start undressing her...
3 more pimples!!!
My heart just sank! I called the doctor right away and in 3 min I was at her office ( boy, do we get dressed fast!)!
Nope, there is no hope at all,
CHICKEN POX, no doubt!
It is not fair!!!She just had a viral rash a month ago!!!
Yep, and ON THE EXACT DAY I was making this beautiful cake for my friend's baby shower( the one with the baby) and this cake ( with the water lillies) for the Alex's birthday party!
So what do you think happened with the cakes and the party?! Nothing! We couldn't have any of it, because we couldn't let people get sick!
I was just so upset! How that can be??
And then I glanced at the poor baby...
She just looked so miserable, my little spotty-pimplish brown-eyed angel!
How can you get mad at her, even she gives you these POX news?! :-)

P.S: I just hope somebody else from home does not get it from her, becuase then I will have very fast answer on the above question :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Birthday Wish

"Celebrate like there is no tomorrow, you turn 21 only once!" - what a huge cliche!!!
I haven't heard anybody turning 16 or 61 twice! Have you? Then why should we celebrate as if there is not tomorrow ONLY when we are 21?!
Because in US at that age you can drink legally? Well, I got news for you, some people in other countries stop drinking at 21! :-)
So what else?
Your mom and dad can't tell you what to do anymore?
Oh, please!!! If you wait for a certain age to fix your parent-child relationship issues or for you to grow some balls and speak up your mind, forget about it! But of course, between speaking up your mind and disrespecting there is a big of a difference, as between talking and saying something. In both ways it is an oral presentation, but in the first case it is for the sake of talking, in the second case you can actually have something useful to say.
But enough about that :-) I celebrated like there is no tomorrow, today, for example. And what a celebration that was!!! I cleaned for 5 days( did I mention the moving around the house, the school preparations, etc?), cooked for 72 hours ( 48 of them were only for the cake), almost got the house on fire, spend the rest of my " free time" butt wiping, nose cleaning, boo-boo kissing, and screaming " No, don't touch that!!" . Yeah, as you can imagine today was my birthday party( not that I am born today though, it was earlier, but I guess if you are not lucky enough to be born on the weekend every year, you don't get to celebrate on the actual day). So, "celebrated" the whoooole week! Celebrated so much, that when the actual guests arrived I almost fеll asleep in the first 15 min that I sat down from exhaustion!
And as you can probably guess I do not turn 21 either!
Well, one good thing from all this! I officially announce( or brag) that I got a huge surprise for my birthday on the actual day! :-)
Remember, how I was just complaining that nobody even tries to surprise me anymore? Only 24 hours passed since then and things have changed! I won't say what was the surprise or who did it but it was one of the best surprises I ever had, the rest is still unwritten ....
And for everybody, here is the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb3AQFYDkMQ
As you can imagine, I wished that I have a big birthday party. I ended up inviting 25 people!!! Can you guess how many ended showing up? :-) Usually when you don't prepare too much food, you end up having so many guests, but when you have more than enough things to eat, there are no people to actually eat it.
Like this time for example, I baked this cake for like 2 days straight( one of the biggest and heaviest , almost 20 lbs, cakes I ever made, for more pictures check the MyCakes link), I made the impossible to finish it ( it was so hot, my icing was melting in my hands) and now I have more than half of it in the refrigerator! Well, I put it there after I bugged my pregnant friend to take at least 200 pictures of it " because the color of the cake is not blue, it is not purple, it is light-with-a-drop-of-milk-violet" ( and it's still not the same on the pictures, damn!)
Now I remember of this story about Marie -Antoinette, when she said to the starving villagers "Well, if there is no bread, let them eat cake!" Well, there is no bread at home, but boy, do we have cake!!!
So, enjoy the pictures and remember, although we really are 21 only once, and sometimes even think about it with regret, the truth is, as Mother Teresa said once, that more tears are shed from dreams that came true, than for the ones that never did!
T.
P.S:Although I agree with Mother Teresa, I decided this year, when I blow the candles( only 2 of course, the number ones) to make a wish, everybody'smost sacred and wanted dream to come true! So, just in case this is one of the wishes that will come true, if you want to take my advice, better think well before you wish for something tomorrow, because it can actually happen!:-)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Surprises- a curse or a blessing?

There are people that don't like surprises and there are some that just die for a surprise. I am the latter , but I just don't remember when was the last time I was pleasantly surprised. I say pleasantly, because you know, you can always be unpleasantly surprised but a nice surprise is another story.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like nobody wanted to make me a nice surprise, no! Quite the contrary! But the thing is that somehow I always manage to guess and ( unfortunately) spoil the surprise.
So that is how I came to the point that nobody wants to even try to surprise me anymore.
How is that possible you would ask? Well, recent example about this is how last month my husband after quite a while decided to try again and surprise me with a nice lunch prepared by him. For a recipe he visited this amazing website http://www.cookingforengineers.com/ ( there every recipe is explained and showed in pictures step-by-step from a male perspective). Girls, take a note and show your husbands right now! :-)
Of course, at the beginning I didn't know about that, but when we were at the store and he started filling the cart with things that he usually does not pay attention to, and quite frankly I didn't even think he was aware you can buy them from there ( probably because they usually magically "grow" in our refrigerator when I decide to cook something, just like toilet paper "grows" in the bathroom). I mean, seriously, do your husbands know where to find an eggplant ?!
So then I suspected that he is up to something, but didn't say anything, just smiled.
We were just passing the ice cream section and I blurted " Are you gonna make me Ratatouille for lunch?", just like that!
He went from chalk white trough pale green to bright red and his eyes became the size of tennis balls!!!
( Just to mention, I've never made ratatouille, nor I knew how to make it or what kind of vegetables are in it! I swear to God!)
At that point I wished I could take it back, but it was too late! He was so mad, and I felt so silly, because I didn't do it on purpose!!! I didn't think about it, I just said it! I can't explain how is it possible, because he could have done million other things with eggplant, but no! I said the exact one he decided to make!
It was awful!!!
Same thing with Christmas, Birthdays etc presents! I know the present even before he thinks he knows it! How is that possible?! Is it a telephaty? Is it pure luck? Or curse?
Well, I started thinking about surprises today because I really long for a nice surprise, the kind you dream of but why, why I am making the life of my guy so difficult by involuntarily not allowing him to surprise me!
Here, a friend of ours had birthday today, his wife wanted to surprise him with a party. So it was done! He didn't suspect A THING!!! He felt so miserable, I got to tell you he was ready to cry, because he thought he wouldn't be able to have the party, and all his friends said they are busy and could not come :-)
His wife asked me to make him a cake, and I came up with this one.
Honestly, I am not very pleased with the result, because I did not plan for that baby-shower blue to come of the famous Wilton Blue color dye, but what can you do, when you are stuck to the only one store that is open after 9 pm ( aka Walmart), you don't have too much choice, do you?
Seriously, what is it with stores here?! Why is nobody working ( except the already mentioned one) after 9 pm?! These people are loosing soooo much money from night owls like us :-) But anyway!
The cake turned out fine, it was my first one with lace and brushed leafs, but I did good I think. On the inside it was chocolate cake with walnuts and chocolate cream ganache.
Our friend liked it too! I can't believe the poor guy when he opened the door of his apartment, I thought he would die from heart attack or something! :-)
Thankfully, he is OK, safe and sound( and drunk by know I think :-) ), and enjoying the last minutes of his birthday!
There is a promise that I can be held up against! :-) I promise, the next time that I feel like guessing a surprise I would always think about Angel's face ( that's our friend's name) and therefore I will keep my tongue behind my teeth :-)
From now on, NO MORE SPOILED SURPRISES ( I hope :-) !!!!

P.S: I just want to spoil one last surprise !!! ( Harry Potter fans, do not read any further!!!)

HARRY POTTER DOES NOT DIE IN THE LAST BOOK! YIPPEE!!!

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