Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Snickerdoodle Cake

I made this cake for my niece's engagement party.  It was in the Fall in Brooklyn over looking the East River.   She wanted a snickerdoodle cookie inspired cake.  It has three components, the cake, the the filling and butter cream.  All the recipes are below.  It was delicious and I use this recipe all the time.  You can use different flavorings and the cake options are endless.  This cake is great for stacking cakes and carving!  Using cake mix adds sturdiness, a tight, velvet crumb and moistness. 

Snicker-doodle Cake
1 Duncan Hines Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 cup full fat sour cream, room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a stand Mixer, add all ingredients and mix well.  Add batter to prepared pans.  Bake until cake is springy to the touch.  Use a tooth pick.  If I am using 8 inch pans it usually take s about 25 minutes.

French Butter Cream
4 cups sugar
1 cup water

6 whole eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 pounds unsalted butter (room temperature and very soft, cubed into small pieces)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a heavy Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, whip eggs with whip attachment until double in size.  While whipping eggs, at this time bring 4 cups sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a sauce pan.  Have a pastry brush with a cup of water to gently brush sides of sauce pan as it is boiling.  This prevents the sugar from crystallizing and ruining the syrup.  Using a candy thermometer bring the temp to 236 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please be super careful, hot syrup can be very dangerous and you should have experience in the kitchen to do this.  When sugar reaches temperature, slowly pour in to egg mixture while the mixer is on high and whipping the eggs.  Keep the stream of sugar away from the whip while mixing.  You must be careful when doing this.

The eggs will deflate, continue beating after syrup has been added for another 15 minutes on high until the bowl is cool.  I sometimes place a tea towel on top of my mixer because the mixture is whipping on high and this helps from having it go all over your kitchen.  Keep a close watch.  I would not leave kitchen at this time.

When cool to touch,  you can add the soften butter a cube at a time.  Continue to beat for 8 minutes until it thickens to the consistency of butter cream. Add vanilla, cinnamon and whip until incorporated.  This is just the best butter cream ever.

My Favorite Easy Cake Mousse Filling

This mousse is my favorite cake filling.  It is super easy and taste great.  I use it all the time.  I make different combinations to match my cake flavors. 

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 large package of instant jello pudding (any flavor to complement your cake)
1 tsp. vanilla extract or substitute any flavor to complement your cake
3 T. Coffee Creamer to complement your cake flavor
I Added 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: Mix the milk, heavy cream and pudding mix very well, add extract and creamer and whip until mixture is thicken.  Place in fridge for a few hours to set. 

If you want a fluffier mousse whip another cup of whipping cream until stiff peaks form and gently fold into mousse.  

Special Note:  You can fold in Oreo Cookie Crumbs, Coconut, Nuts, Jams, Puree, etc.
Make it your own.

Cheese Cake Mousse: You can make a cheesecake mousse by adding one 8 oz. soften cream cheese block to the mousse.
You can use different extracts, coffee creamer flavors.  The possibilities are endless.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Greek Thiples

Ok, I am not going to tell you that this is easy or not a labor of traditional, Greek love.  If you are Greek, you probably remember these fondly in your upbringing as a good Greek kid.  Well, these are for you.  Now that your not a kid anymore and getting back to your cooking roots, you finally decided to give them a try.  Take your time, pour your self a glass of Ouzo and get down and dirty in the kitchen, just like Yiayia did.  Practice makes perfect.  When making Greek desserts, the more you make them the better you get.  Ok, maybe not as good as Yiayia but she would still be proud!

Greek Thiples

5 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder, double acting
1 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 wholes
8 egg yolks

1/2 gallon vegetable oil for frying

 Sift your baking powder and flour together.  Place in a heavy duty stand mixer, with dough attachment.  Place flour in mixing bowl, add all the other ingredients.  Using dough hook, knead dough to form a soft ball of dough.  Cover with clear wrap and let rest on your counter for about 3-4 hours.  

When ready to roll, divide dough into 6 equal portions.  You can roll very thin by hand or use a pasta machine.  Roll as thin as possible.  The thinner, the better they taste.  The dough should be super thin and flaky when fried.  Cut dough into 3x6 rectangles.  Place in hot oil to fry.  Using two forks roll the dough as quickly as possible, to form a hollow center.  Do not over brown.  Light golden color is what you are looking for.  Set on paper towels to soak up excess oil.  When cool dip each thiples in hot syrup for a few seconds to soak up syrup, remove from syrup and sprinkle with nuts and sugar cinnamon. 


2 cups honey
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick

Boil all the ingredients above.  Reduce heat and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Dip thiples in warm syrup. 

Special note:  You may have to double syrup or even triple depending on how much these thiples soak up syrup.  I like mine with lots of syrup. 

chopped walnuts
granulated sugar
ground cinnamon

These thiples get better with age.  Stack them up on a big tray.  Cover with clear wrap or foil and enjoy for a few days.  Great for parties.  Make a few days in advance. 

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