Thursday, June 28, 2012

Daring Bakers-Battenberg Cake

It's been about 3 years since I've done a Daring Baker's Challenage and I'm excited to get back into the game! This month was in honor the Queen's Diamond Jubilee: Battenberg Cake. It is an oblong cake with two flavors and checked looking. I chose to make the Coffee and Walnut Battenburg but used Mashmellow Fondant instead of marizapan. The cake itself was very easy to make but I thought it was a litte dry and very sweet. I think next time I will soak the cake in coffee syurp and put mascpone cheese in the middle.
The cake pan I just make. I folded a piece of tin foil up into four spaces and poured the batter into each section.
The Mashmellow Fondant recipe I found here It was SUPER easy and I will use it again and again. It looked professional too!
Coffee and Walnut Battenberg:
¾ cup (1½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened & cut in cubes
¾ cup Sugar
1¼ cups Self-Raising Flour (***see end of doc on how to make your own)
3 Large Eggs, room temp
½ cup Ground Almonds (Can be substituted with ground rice)
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Milk
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1½ tsp Instant Coffee Powder or Granules
3 Tbsp Walnuts, roughly chopped
To Finish
½ cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
2 cups Powdered (Icing/Confectioners') Sugar
½ tsp Instant Coffee
1½ tsp Milk or Cream
Marshmellow Fondant
1/4 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided
Fondant Directions
1. Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
2. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows.
3. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth.
4. Slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable.
5. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.
6. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar.
Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to moderate 350F.
2. Grease an 8” square baking tin with butter
3. Line the tin with parchment paper, creating a divide in the middle with the parchment (or foil)-
4. OR Prepare Battenberg tin by brushing the tin with melted butter and flouring
5. Whisk together dry ingredients (except walnuts and coffee) and combine with the wet ingredients in a large bowl (except vanilla and milk) and beat together just until the ingredients are combined and the batter is smooth
6. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl and stir in the vanilla, 1½ teaspoons milk and chopped walnuts
7. Spoon the walnut mixture into the one side of the prepared baking tin.
8. Dissolve the coffee in the remaining 1½ teaspoon milk and add to the remaining batter, stir until just combined.
9. Spoon the coffee batter into the other half of the prepared baking tin.
10. Smooth the surface of the batter with a spatula, making sure batter is in each corner
11. Bake for 25-30mins until the cake is well risen, springs back when lightly touched and atoothpick comes out clean (it should shrink away from the sides of the pan)
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool thoroughly on a wire rack. The specialised Battenberg cake tin.Because it's such a thick batter I find that if you spread the batter so that it's higher at the edges, when it bakes it helps rise without as much of a curved surface.
13. Once completely cool, trim the edges of the cake with a long serrated knife
14. Cut each sponge in half lengthways so that you are left with four long strips of sponge
15. Neaten the strips and trim as necessary so that your checkered pattern is as neat and even as possible
16. Combine the buttercream ingredients together and mix until combined
17. Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto the strips of cake to stick the cake together in a checkered pattern (one yellow next to one pink. On top of that, one pink next to one yellow)- Tip: See photos for detailed instructions
18. Dust a large flat surface with icing sugar then roll the marzipan in an oblong shape that is wide enough to cover the length of the cake and long enough to completely wrap the cake
19. Spread the top of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream
20. Place the cake on the marzipan, buttercream side down
21. Spread buttercream onto the remaining three sides
22. Press the Marshmellow Fondant around the cake, making sure the join is either neatly in the one corner, or will be underneath the cake once turned over
23. Carefully flip the cake over so that the seam is under the cake and score the top of the cake with a knife, you can also crimp the top corners with your fingers to decorate
24. Neaten the ends of the cake and remove excess Fondant by trimming off a small bit of cake on both ends to reveal the pattern

Friday, June 15, 2012

TGI Friday's Sizzling Chicken and Cheese

This is one of my favorite entrees at TGI Fridays, so I was very excited to find the recipe. Very simple to make too. I make mash potatoes with blue cheese and bacon to go with it.


Two 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast

I live in Selinsgrove near the East Snyder County Park (orange playground).  My number is 570-850-8820.  I have three children of my own, a girl who is 5, a girl is 2 1/2, and a boy is 14 months.  All are welll behaved and love being around other children.  I will provide meals and snacks. Hope to hear from you soon. :-)

Two 4 oz chicken breast

2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4  tsp salt

Pepper Onion Medley
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow onion, cut into thin strips
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil
2 C Mash pototoes
1/2 c shredded cheese (I use sharp cheddar)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


1. Trim the fat and pound the chicken breast until thin.
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients. Put the chicken in the marinade and refrigerate for 3 hours.
3. Saute the peppers and onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Then, add the chopped garlic and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes more.
4. Saute the chicken breast on all sides in the olive oil over medium heat.
5. Heat a cast-iron skillet oer medium heat until very hot, then remove from the burner.
6. Place the mashed potatoes on the bottom of the skillet. Cover with the pepper and onion medley, then the cheese. Top the cheeses with the chicken.
7. Sprinke with the chopped parsley. Serve directly from the skillet.

Outback Cyclone Pasta

This is a favorite among my family, specially Stink Bug.  It is supper easy to make and only takes 20-30 minutes to make. Serve with garlic bread and green beans.  I changed the recipe around a bit, b
ut I've made it as is before and it was pretty good.


1 C Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 C sliced shiitake mushrooms (I omit these since no more likes them)
1 Med. Onion, Chopped (I recommend saute these)
One 16-oz jar Alfredo sauce
1 C chopped cooked chicken (I put poultry seasoning on mine and grill it)
1 C shredded Ham (I use bacon instead)
1 lb cooked penne pasta
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme (I use sun-dried tomatoe and garlic seasoning instead)
1/4 C minced garlic
1 C shredded Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Combine all the ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in a lightly greaded 13 x 9-in baking dish.
3.Top with cheese.
4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top begins to brown.
5. Serve with garlic bread and green beans if you like. :-)