#BundtBakers White Chocolate Bundt Cake With Raspberry Glaze And Fresh Raspberries

Since I decided to make an extra special cake for our anniversary, I really wanted to make the tastiest cake in my repertoire. This recipe is adapted from both Bettycrocker.com and Food.com. I put it all together and baked it up in my new Bundt pan that I’ve been coveting since I first saw it. Hopefully, you’ll agree this bundt is spectacular.

Our theme for February is “Red”.  In addition to St. Valentines Day, its Mr. B’s and my anniversary on February 10, so this cake was an extra special treat for me to research, prepare and enjoy.

Heartfelt appreciation  to Wendy Klik  from  A Day in the Life on the Farm for this “red” treat.  I really had a good time deciding which cake to make and the choice was not easy.  I had a good idea of what I wanted for the finished cake and drew from a couple different recipes to make this, my own creation.

At this time, I would like to add that while it may appear difficult with a long list of ingredients, it is really straightforward.  And even though a tad labor intensive,  it is WELL worth it.  It’s quite delicious and perfect for any celebration.

#BundtBakers White Chocolate Bundt Cake With Raspberry Glaze And Fresh Raspberries
Print Recipe
A beautiful, lightly almond-scented, white chocolate bundt cake with luscious white chocolate baked throughout the cake itself and a white chocolate ganache decoratively drizzled on top. Finished with a raspberry glaze, and dollops of whipped cream and fresh raspberries to complete my masterpiece. It's rich, chocolaty and fabulous, in my opinion.
Servings Prep Time
12-15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55-60 Minutes 15 -75 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55-60 Minutes 15 -75 Minutes
#BundtBakers White Chocolate Bundt Cake With Raspberry Glaze And Fresh Raspberries
Print Recipe
A beautiful, lightly almond-scented, white chocolate bundt cake with luscious white chocolate baked throughout the cake itself and a white chocolate ganache decoratively drizzled on top. Finished with a raspberry glaze, and dollops of whipped cream and fresh raspberries to complete my masterpiece. It's rich, chocolaty and fabulous, in my opinion.
Servings Prep Time
12-15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55-60 Minutes 15 -75 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-15 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
55-60 Minutes 15 -75 Minutes
Ingredients
The Bundt cake
White Chocolate Ganache
Raspberry Glaze
Topping
Servings: Servings
Instructions
White Chocolate Bundt Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350º degrees. Prepare a 10-inch Bundt pan with homemade cake release or use food release spray for baking, and dust with two tablespoons sugar. Be sure to tap out the excess sugar. I was not careful enough, in my opinion. And it looks like excess flour caked on the Bundt. It's actually sugar not tapped out. While it may appear a bit unsightly, it will only sweeten the finished Bundt. The sugar coating adds a very nice crunch to the finished cake. Here is my spectacular new Bundt cake pan. Don't you just love the final, gorgeous Bundt cake it produces?
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Chop 8 ounces of baking white chocolate. Reserve 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate to be added to the cake before baking. Melt the other 4 ounces and set aside.
  4. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.
  5. Stir extracts and the melted white chocolate and flour mixture into the creamed mixture alternating with the sour cream. Beat just until combined.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the batter into your prepared bundt cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 of the reserved chopped white chocolate on top of the batter. Repeat and Pour the remaining (1/3) batter on top.
  7. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean. I turned the pan at 30 minutes to facilitate an even bake.
  8. Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan to a rack and allow to cool completely.
White Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place 8 ounces of chopped white chocolate baking bar pieces in a small bowl, set aside
  2. Bring 1/2 Cup whipping cream and 1 Tablespoon butter just to a boil.
  3. Pour over chopped white chocolate pieces and stir until smooth. Cool completely, about 5 minutes. Then refrigerate 1 hour until thoroughly chilled
Raspberry Glaze
  1. Place a strainer over a saucepan; pour thawed raspberries into strainer and press the berries with the back of a spoon through the strainer to remove seeds. Discard seeds.
  2. Stir Raspberry juice with cornstarch and sugar. Blend well and cook over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. The raspberry juice is a bit tart so I added a touch of sugar. The remaining tart flavor is a nice balance to the sweet cake. Cool about 30 minutes or until completely cooled.
Assembly
  1. Drizzle melted and cooled white chocolate ganache over the bundt cake and give it awhile to set up. Then, spread the raspberry glaze on top of the ganache. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving
Serving my masterpiece
  1. Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream, add sugar to taste and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add dollops of whipped cream over the glaze and finish with fresh raspberries. Serve and enjoy your masterpiece.
Recipe Notes

~The History Channel~

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.

THE LEGEND OF ST. VALENTINE

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

Did You Know?
Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

ORIGINS OF VALENTINE’S DAY: A PAGAN FESTIVAL IN FEBRUARY

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

VALENTINE’S DAY: A DAY OF ROMANCE

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

TYPICAL VALENTINE’S DAY GREETINGS

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. 💜

 

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POSH MARSHMALLOWS ~ THE PERFECT CURE FOR THE AUSTERITY BLUES

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Everyone deserves a little comfort food, especially these days, so how about ditching the kids’ version and treating yourself to marshmallows with grown-up flavours such as salted caramel or cinnamon-spiced pumpkin?

Remember marshmallows? The pink-and-white store-cupboard staple beloved by Ging Gang Goolie-ing scouts the world over? Well, they’ve gone all posh. New company Copper & Cane has just launched an artisan take on the humble treat called Eat Toast Dunk Me featuring flavours such as rosewater and cardamom, dark chocolate and cinnamon-spiced pumpkin.

The company is the brainchild of Hazel Wright, a former food scientist who has made the most of her technical background to create marshmallows designed for glamping rather than jamborees. “With Copper & Cane, I wanted to do a lot of work on the texture as well as the flavour,” she says. “The marshmallows have to have the right textual qualities so that they stand up to being put over a campfire but still melt in your mouth.”

Wright isn’t the only small-scale producer attempting to inject some foodie magic into marshmallows. Leeds-based Art of Mallow also concentrates on the adult market with a range including marshmallows that taste of everything from salted caramels to lemon meringue pie.

So why is the archetypal kiddie treat now back on the menu for adults? It’s the continuation of a trend in which producers have taken comfort foods from the past and sprinkled over some artisan fairy dust (and often paprika or chilli flakes too).

Sian Meades, the brains behind leading food and lifestyle blog Domestic Sluttery, says that these kinds of foods chime with our current backwards-looking mood. “Returning to treats we had in our youth fits nicely into our current obsession with nostalgia,” she says. “We really like sharing our food, so things such as marshmallows divide up easily and that’s a big part of their appeal – much like with cupcakes, cake pops and brownies.”

Some marshmallowy products are making this vintage link explicit. Take Marshmallow Fluff, a retro-branded sickly-sweet creme made out of liquefied marshmallows designed for classic 50s-style US bakes such as whoopee pies. But Meades says that marshmallows have a food heritage that goes much deeper than ultra-calorific cakes from the Mad Men era. In fact, the history of marshmallows reaches right back to the ancient Egyptians, who mixed the sap of the marshmallow plant with honey to make sweets.

For a foodstuff so closely associated with the UK and the US, it’s surprising to learn that the modern marshmallow was actually developed by the French. In the 1800s, French cooks combined marshmallow sap with sugar and egg whites to make the contemporary confection. Flash-forward another century and the American Girl Scouts adopted campfire-roasted marshmallows as their sweet of choice courtesy of a recipe published in their official handbook.

I’d like to extend a personal “thank you” to the Girl Scouts for this most desirable treat, with or without a campfire. QB

Meanwhile, here in the present, there’s a theory that making a fetish of current comfort foods may be a simple way of coming to terms with the present miserable economic climate. “It’s definitely about the recession,” says Wright. “When I was looking for a product to bring to market, I read through all the Mintel reports – and my distillation is that people are short on money and have found new ways to get together and indulge themselves around food.”

In other words, when money’s too short to eat out, a bowl of posh popcorn or plate of artisan cupcakes is a way to feel good with friends and family without pushing the boat out too far. Of course, to paraphrase Freud, sometime a posh marshmallow is just a posh marshmallow. But if they do take off, at least they’ll offer a way out of our present cupcake-shaped food rut.
© 2016 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

With that said, I’ve chosen to share what would be my signature marshmallow,
Lavender & Honey Marshmallows:

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Ingredients:

5 sheets platinum-strength leaf gelatin
1 egg white (1 1/4 oz.)
1 C Honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons glucose syrup
a small amount of Lavender extract or fresh lavender flowers or culinary lavender. No more than 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon extract or 1/2 teaspoon lavender buds
1 quantity 50/50 coating

50/50 Coating:
1/2 C confectioners’ sugar
1/2 C cornstarch

image
Method:

Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water to soften or “bloom”. This should take about 10 minutes. Make sure the water is cold. If it’s warm, the gelatin will start to melt.

Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking pan with oil.

Place the egg white in the bowl of a free standing mixer. A hand~held mixer can also be used. Mix together the honey and glucose syrup, and 2 Tablespoons water in a small saucepan until well combined. Place a digital candy thermometer in the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. There is no need to stir the mixture. As you heat the sugar syrup, sugar crystals may form on the side of the saucepan. A heatproof pastry brush dipped in cold water can be used to dissolve and disburse the sugar.

When the syrup reaches 240F, start to whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks.

After 4~5 minutes the sugar syrup will hit 250F. Pour it carefully down the side of the bowl while whisking the egg whites at medium speed. Avoid pouring the hot sugar syrup onto the beaters as they will spray hot sugar around the kitchen and cause lumps in the mix. Just be careful.

While the meringue mix is whisking, squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheets. After 2~3 minutes, add the softened gelatin sheets directly into the mix, continuing to whisk.

Add the lavender extract or culinary buds. Don’t overdo the lavender! A little is subtle too much spoils the taste.

Continue to whisk for an additional 3~4 minutes until the mixture is thick and stiff. The mix needs to hold its shape but still be workable. You can’t over~whisk at this stage, but if it cools too much, the marshmallow will be very difficult to shape or mold and You’ll never get it out of the bowl. Be quick and careful.

Scrape the warm mixture out into the oiled pan and smooth evenly with an offset spatula.

Mix the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Dust the top of the marshmallow with a fine layer of the mixture and let it set for 4~6 hours or preferably overnight. Cut the marshmallow into chunks and drop them into the sugar and cornstarch mixture to coat them. Decorating with a few fresh lavender prigs or buds would be delightful and telegraph the treat that’s awaiting. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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The 50/50 Marshmallow coating should be your go to coating. It can easily be livened up with coloring and flavorings such as fruit powders (Trader Joes + a quick whisk in your food processor. They carry freeze~dried fruit in small bags) finely chopped nuts and edible lusters, a bit of instant espresso powder, or let your taste and imagination run wild.

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THE HISTORY OF THE SCONE

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SCONES:

A scone is a single-serving cake or quick bread. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent, and are baked on sheet pans or scone pans of various types and materials.   They are often lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed with egg wash.   The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea. It differs from a teacake and other sweet buns, which are made with yeast.   Scones are biscuit-like pastries that are often rolled into round shapes and cut into quarters, then baked.   Scones can be savory or sweet and are usually eaten for breakfast, but are also served with tea and in coffeehouses.

Scones became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788 – 1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the “Afternoon Tea Time” (precisely at 4:00 p.m.). They are still served daily with the traditional clotted cream topping in Britain.

The original scone was round and flat, usually as large as a medium-sized plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle (or girdle, in Scots), then cut into triangular sections for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock, and call the triangles scones. In Scotland, the words are often used interchangeably.

Scones sold commercially are usually round, although some brands are hexagonal as this shape may be tessellated for space efficiency. When prepared at home, they may take various shapes including triangles, rounds and squares.    Baking scones at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. They tend to be made using family recipes rather than recipe books, since it is often a family member who holds the “best” and most-treasured recipe.

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HISTORY AND TRADITION:

Scone —[SKOHN, SKON]    Scones got their start as a Scottish quick bread. Originally made with oats and griddle-baked, today’s version is more often made with flour and baked in the oven. As for the origin of the word “Skone”, some say it comes from the Dutch word ‘schoonbrot’, which means beautiful bread, while others argue it comes from Stone of Destiny, where the Kings of Scotland were crowned. According to Webster’s Dictionary, scones originated in Scotland in the early 1500s.

The pronunciation of the word within the English-speaking world varies. According to one academic study, two-thirds of the British population pronounce it /ˈskɒn/ with the preference rising to 99% in the Scottish population. Similarly, in some parts of the Republic of Ireland, it is pronounced /ˈskɒn/.   This is also the pronunciation of Australians and Canadians. Others, particularly inhabitants of the United States, pronounce the word as /ˈskoʊn/, as spelled. British dictionaries usually show the /ˈskɒn/ form as the preferred pronunciation, while recognising that the /ˈskoʊn/ form also exists.   The Oxford Dictionaries explain that there are also regional and class differences in England connected with the different pronunciations.   There are two possible pronunciations of the word scone: the first rhymes with gone and the second rhymes with tone. In US English, the pronunciation rhyming with tone is more common. In British English, the two pronunciations traditionally have different regional and class associations, with the first pronunciation associated with the north of England and the northern working class, while the second is associated with the south and the middle class.   The difference in pronunciation is alluded to in the poem which contains the lines:

I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone;
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.

The Oxford English Dictionary reports that the first mention of the word was in 1513.   The word scone may derive from the Middle Dutch schoonbrood (fine white bread), from schoon (pure, clean) and brood(bread), and/or it may also derive from the Scots Gaelic term sgonn meaning a shapeless mass or large mouthful. The Middle Low German term Schönbrot meaning fine bread may also have played a role in the origination of this word. And if the explanation put forward by Sheila MacNiven Cameron be true, the word may also be based on the town of Scone (i/ˈskuːn/) (Scots: Scuin, Scottish Gaelic: Sgàin) in Scotland, the ancient capital of that country – where Scottish monarchs were still crowned, even after the capital was moved to Perth, then to Edinburgh (and on whose Scone Stone the monarchs of the United Kingdom are still crowned today).

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British scones are often lightly sweetened, but may also be savoury.  They frequently include raisins, currants, cheese or dates. In Scotland and Ulster, savoury varieties of scone include soda scones, also known as soda farls, and potato scones, normally known as tattie scones, which resemble small, thin savoury pancakes made with potato flour. Potato scones are most commonly served fried in a full Scottish breakfast or an Ulster fry.

An Irish scone is often made with sultanas {see my article on the difference between raisins, sultanas, etc.}

The griddle scone (or “girdle scone” in Scots) is a variety of scone which is cooked on a griddle (or girdle) on the stove top rather than baked in the oven. This usage is also common in New Zealand where scones of all varieties form an important part of traditional colonial New Zealand cuisine.

Other common varieties include the dropped scone, or drop scone, like a pancake, method of dropping the batter onto the griddle or frying pan to cook it, and the lemonade scone, which is made with lemonade and cream instead of butter and milk. There is also the fruit scone or fruited scone, which contains currants, sultanas, peel and glacé cherries, which is just like a plain round scone with the fruit mixed into the dough.

In some countries one may also encounter savoury varieties of scone which may contain or be topped with combinations of cheese, onion, bacon, etc.

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REGIONAL VARIATIONS

Europe
Scones were chosen as the Republic of Ireland representative for Café Europe during the Austrian Presidency of the European Union in 2006, while the United Kingdom chose shortbread.

In Hungary, a pastry very similar to the British version exists under the name “pogácsa”. The name has been adopted by several neighbouring nations’ languages. (E.g. Pogatsche in German.) Pogácsa is almost always savoury and served with varied seasonings and toppings, like dill and cheese.

Australia

Pumpkin scones, made by adding mashed cooked pumpkin to the dough mixture, had increased exposure during the period when Florence Bjelke-Petersen was in the public eye.   Date scones, which contain chopped dried dates, can also be found in Australia. Another old style of cooking scones, generally in the colder months, is to deep-fry or deep pan-fry them ikn drippings or oil, when they are called “puftaloons“.

The Americas

Round British scones can resemble North American biscuits in appearance, but scones traditionally rely on cold butter, while biscuits are more often made with other kinds of animal fat or vegetable shortening.   Also, while scones are frequently (but not always) sweet, and served with coffee and tea, biscuits are served more as a bread, often with breakfast in the South.

In recent years, scones under that name have begun to appear in coffee houses. They may be sweet, often containing fruit such as blueberries or raspberries, or other such flavorings as cinnamon.

In Utah, the bread products locally called “scones” are similar to Native American frybread and are made from a sweet yeast dough, with buttermilk and baking powder and/or soda added, and they are fried rather than baked. They are customarily served with butter and either honey or maple syrup.

Scones are quite popular in Argentina as well as Uruguay.   They were brought there by Irish, English and Scottish immigrants and by Welsh immigrants in Patagonia (Britons are the third largest foreign community in Argentina).     Scones are usually accompanied by tea, coffee or mate which is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink.

OTHER USAGE

The verb scon means to crush flat or beat with the open hand on a flat surface, and “scon-cap” or “scone-cap” refers to a man’s broad flat cap or “bunnet”.

In Australia and New Zealand English, scone is both a slang term for the head and a verb meaning to knock on the head.

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BUCKINGHAM PALACE SCONES

From: Ellen Sudia
Ingredients:
————
3 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup raisins

Instructions:
————-
Cut together butter, flour, salt and baking powder.

Add sugar and raisins.

Make well in center of the mixture; add egg and small amount of milk.
If mixture appears to be too dry, add more milk. Blend to a nice,
smooth dough.

Roll out on floured board to 1/2 inch thick. Use cutter with 2-inch
fluted edge. Place on lightly greased baking sheet, brush with beaten
egg.

Bake in 350-degree F oven for 10-15 minutes. Center of bottom should
be lightly colored.

Serve hot.

Note:
—–
“I copied this recipe couple of years ago from a newspaper; supposedly,
those *are* the scones served in the Palace. If I remember right, the
recipe came with an article about a guy who used to be a cook there”.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE SCONES VARIANT

From: Betty Harvey
Ingredients:
————
3 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt
3/4 cup butter
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

Instructions:
————-
Cut together butter, flour, salt and baking powder. Add sugar.

Make well in center of the mixture; add egg and small amount of milk.
If mixture appears to be too dry, add more milk. Blend to a nice,
smooth dough.

Put half the dough in 8 x 11 baking pan. Covered the dough with Black
Current Preserves and used the last half of the dough to cover the
preserves.   Bake in 350-degree F oven for 10-15 minutes. Center of bottom should
be lightly colored.   Serve hot.

For  additional information that may e of interest,  see my article, “Raisins, Golden Raisins, Currants and Sultanas ~ What’s The Difference?” 💜

References:

Hollywood, Paul. “Paul Hollywood’s scones”. BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
^Wells, J. C. “Pronunciation Preferences in British English: a new survey”. University College London, 1998
^ “Cracked Quatrains”. Punch (Punch Publications Ltd) 144: 253. 1913. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
^ Drifte, Collette; Jubb, Mike (2002). A Poetry Teacher’s Toolkit: Rhymes, Rhythms, and Rattles. London: David Fulton Publishers. p. 106. ISBN 1-85346-819-3.
^ Harper, Douglas (2001). “Scone”. Online Etymology Dictionary. Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
^ Weiner and Albright. Simply Scones. St. Martin’s Press, 1988, p. 3.
^ Ingram, Christine; Shapter, Jennie (2003). Bread: the breads of the world and how to bake them at home. (Originally published as The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making.) London: Hermes House. p. 54. ISBN 0-681-87922-X.
^ Smith, Delia (2007-03-27). Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. London: BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-36249-9.
^ “Back-bite free scone mix launched in UK”. bakeryandsnacks.com. 28 June 2005. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
^ “The History of Scones”. Food History. The Kitchen Project. 2001-03-01. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
^Goldman, Marcy (2007). A Passion for Baking. Birmingham, Alabama: Oxmoor House, Inc. p. 85. ISBN 0-8487-3179-4.
^ Australian Biography
^ Sokolov, Raymond (June 1985). “Everyman’s muffins; Includes recipes”. Natural History 94: 82. as found here
^ Qué comian

 

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Raisins, Golden Raisins, Currants & Sultanas ~ What’s The Difference?

Article by  Elaine Lemm, British and Irish Food Expert

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Raisins have been around as long as grapes have been growing. We’re all familiar with Scones, (I’m a little prejudice here and use them all that are available in the US), cakes, cookies, and sweet breads bursting with juicy raisins and most have childhood memories of getting a burst of energy from snacking on plump raisins out of hand. Did you know raisins are also wonderful in savory foods? Before trying one of the many raisin recipes listed below, learn a little bit more about different raisins and which ones to choose for your recipes.

Raisins in a wooden spoon
Raisins in a wooden spoon

What are raisins?  Raisins are simply dried sweet grapes, of course.

Until medieval times, raisins were the second in choice as a sweetener, honey being the top choice. At one time in ancient Rome, raisins were considered so valuable that two jars could buy a slave. In the 13th century, Damascus had quite a reputation for their sweet raisins.

The majority of the world’s supply of raisins comes from California, dried from Thompson seedless (95 percent), muscadine, or Black Corinth (Zante) grapes. In 1873, California suffered a devastating drought which literally dried the grapes on the vine. Looking to recoup some of the grape crop, an enterprising marketer in San Francisco sold the dried and shriveled grapes as “Peruvian Delicacies,” and the California raisin industry was off and running. {ingenious! QB}

Most raisins are dried naturally by the sun right in the vineyards, although some are mechanically dehydrated. Once sun-dried, a process taking two to four weeks, they are then graded, cleaned, and packed. Some raisins are kept golden in color by the use of sulfur dioxide (sulfites).

Why are raisins labeled “seedless”? Aren’t they all seedless? Yes and no.  The term “seedless” can be confusing unless you know the reasoning behind it.  Seedless raisins are made from grapes with no seeds. Seeded raisins are made from grapes that normally have seeds, but from which the seeds have been removed before or after drying. The two are not generally interchangeable because the flavor is quite different.   Seeded raisins are more difficult to find than the common seedless variety carried on most market shelves, often only available during autumn and winter seasons for the holidays.

Dark raisins:     These are the most common variety found in markets, usually made from Thompson seedless grapes. Although they start as green grapes, the fruit naturally darkens as it dries.

White or golden raisins:    These are also called muscats and are generally made of white muscat grapes which are seeded, specially oven-dried (rather than by sun), and treated to retain their light color. Some golden raisins are dried Thompson seedless raisins which have been kept light in color by the use of sulfur dioxide.

What is a Sultana or a Golden Raisin?   A sultana is a dried white grape but this time, coming from seedless varieties of grape. Sultanas are golden in colour and tend to be much plumper, sweeter and altogether juicier than other raisins. Turkey is the main producer of sultanas. Sultanas will absorb other flavours as does a raisin but not as well, so it is better to use the regular raisin.   Sultanas:    Are more popular in Europe; these raisins come from a seedless yellow grape and are usually softer and sweeter than other varieties. The American variety of sultana grape is the Thompson seedless.

Scoop of golden raisins, close-up
Scoop of golden raisins, close-up

Currants:  Although there is a gooseberry relative known as the currant, the dried currant raisin is actually made from Black Corinth grape called Zante. They are tiny, seedless, and very sweet but do bear a resemblance to the currant berry.

Pile of currants, view from above.
Pile of currants, view from above.

Firstly, the currants talked about here are a dried fruit and should not be confused with soft fruit currants such as blackcurrants.

These are the dark, black currants so popular in cakes, you will find them in a classic, Spotted Dick or an Eccles Cake are in fact dried, dark red, seedless grapes, often the black Corinth grape. The grapes are dried to produce a black, tiny, shrivelled, sweet flavour-packed fruit.

The grapes were originally cultivated in the south of Greece and most often from the island of Zante, hence the name Zante Currant in the US.   The name currant comes from the ancient city of ‘Corinth’ Other names for currants are Zante currants, Corinth raisins, or Corinthian raisins, but in the UK and Ireland, simply called currants.

In Summary:

Raisins are dried white Moscatel grapes. They are dried resulting in a dark, dried fruit and like a currant, dense in texture yet bursting with sweet flavour. The main producers of the Moscatel are the USA, Turkey, Greece and Australia

A raisin can (unlike currants) soak up other flavours, which is why it is popular to soak raisins in flavoured alcohols such as brandy, or almond-flavoured Amaretto before using in cooking.

The raisins can hold the flavour making the finished dish even tastier.

Not that I want to confuse this any further but in the US, sultanas are also referred to as Golden Raisins .

A big note of appreciation to the writer, Elaine Lemm with photographs by Getty Images

This post is presented to you under the auspices of About Food

Additional Articles You Might Find Of Interest:

Answers to the 10 Most Important Christmas Cookery Questions
What Type Of Raisin Do You Need For That Recipe?
Stir Up Sunday – The Time to Make Christmas Puddings
Xmas Isn’t Xmas Without a Traditional Christmas Cake
Traditional Christmas Pudding – A Cake You Light On Fire!
London Lennies English Christmas Rum Pudding Recipe

Our Expert Recommends The Following As Recipes of Interest:

Fruit Scones Recipe
Traditional British Christmas Cake Recipe
The Best Traditional British Christmas Pudding Recipe
Traditional Rich Fruit Cake Recipe
Easy Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe
Dundee Cake Recipe
Light and Easy Eccles Cake Recipe
Traditional Spotted Dick Pudding Recipe
The Easiest Traditional Rock Cake Recipe

I plan to try each recipe and if successful I will post them.  If not, look for me on Pinterest Fail.  (Oh No Mr. Bill) 💜

 

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TRIPLE MALT CHOCOLATE CAKE

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups malted milk powder
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for coating cake pans; I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder for a prettier look on chocolate cakes
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the cake pans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 recipe Vanilla Malt Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped

SUMMARY:
Truly the sum of its parts, this recipe comprises elements that are each delicate in their malt flavor—the cake, Vanilla Malt Frosting, and malted milk balls—but together, they form a treat even the best soda jerk couldn’t top.  Believe it or not, even with all that chocolate and malt, it is not overly sweet.  It’s very tasty indeed.

What to buy: Malted milk powder is a natural sweetener made from barley malt, wheat, and milk, and is the key ingredient in malted milk shakes. Look for it next to the powdered chocolate milk and other drink mixes at your local grocery store.  This recipe uses most of a new jar of malted milk powder.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour or unsweetened cocoa powder, and tap out any excess.  I like to use Bakers Joy and parchment paper, then spray again.  Set aside.

Combine the malted milk powder, measured flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps.  Next time I plan to simply sift the dry ingredients.  I think it will do a better job breaking up lumps. Set aside.

Combine the eggs, sugar, measured oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl and whisk until combined and smooth. Add a third of the flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Add half of the cream and whisk until smooth. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and cream, alternating between each and whisking until all of the ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes.  I used the baking strips (first time) and they did a good job.  When pouring into the cake pans, I was concerned that the batter might be too thick.  I guess I’m just used to box mixes.  The cakes looked great.  I do not have any 8 inch cake pans only 9 inch pans so the cakes looked a little thin and flat.  One more thing to add to my wish list.

Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside of each pan and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely.

                                                               VANILLA MALT FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS:

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.  Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.  Add remaining ingredients and return to low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until frosting is evenly combined and light, about 3 minutes. Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.  Again, surprisingly, not overly sweet.

To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round and/or a cake plate. Evenly spread about a third of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer and evenly spread another third of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake.

(Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a base coat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.)

Place in the refrigerator until the frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible.

Press the malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake (harder than it sounds) and serve. I left off the malt candy on one section of the cake to accommodate Mr. B’s 88 year old mother.

On another note, Mr. B makes it possible for me to have this blog and does a great deal of the work baking or cooking.  He’s learned a lot having to plan and cook all the meals and treats.  I couldn’t accomplish very much without his help.  Thanks Mr. B, I couldn’t do it without you.  Even after 48 years, you’re still the one.  💜

Adapted from Chow Hound.com

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CROCKPOT POTATO SOUP

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ADAPTED FROM GIMME SOME OVEN
YIELD: 8-10 SERVINGS

This Slow Cooker Potato Soup recipe is thick and creamy and has a rich and satisfying flavor.  It is the epitome of comfort food.  And, the best part is, you make it in your crockpot.

PREP: 10 MINS   COOK: 4 HOURS 10 MINS TOTAL: 4 HOURS 20 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled  (save the bacon grease to use later)
4 cups good-quality chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 pound of russets, peeled and diced;  next time I’ll add both russets and white potatoes.  The russets are cooked until soft and add as a  natural thickener and the white will hold the integrity of the potato all through the cooking process
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons butter and/or enough bacon grease to total 4 tablespoons
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
12 ounces heavy cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
For toppings, add thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese, extra bacon.

DIRECTIONS:

Add cooked bacon, chicken stock, potatoes and onion to the bowl of a large slow cooker with a liner (so much easier for clean up) and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, or until the potatoes are completely tender and cooked through.
Once the soup has cooked several hours and is about ready to serve, heat the butter and bacon grease in a small saucepan on the stove over medium~high heat until it has all melted. Whisk in the flour until it is completely combined, and cook for another minute or so, stirring occasionally. Gradually add in the heavy cream while whisking it together with the flour mixture, and continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Let the mixture continue cooking until it reaches a simmer, stirring occasionally, and then it should thicken on its own.

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Immediately pour the cream mixture into the crock pot with the potatoes, and stir until combined. Add in the cheddar cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper, and stir until combined, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve warm, garnished with desired toppings or transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Remember to allow it to cool before refrigerating.  (This recipe does not freeze well.)
Cook  the bacon in the microwave until crispy then crumble with your fingers to add to the soup later.  Don’t  forget to carefully save the bacon grease to make your roux (instead of using butter).  In my opinion, the bacon grease adds the best flavor.  I’m sure you’ve noticed this is not a low calorie soup but sure tastes wonderful and is well worth the calories.

For toppings, add thinly-sliced green onions or chives, extra shredded cheese and extra crispy bacon.
💜

 

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CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

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Mr. B does not care so much for curry or heavily spiced foods.  I, on the other hand, love it!  I don’t like too much heat (no ghost chili peppers or habanero).  I felt this recipe might be a meeting of the minds and tastebuds and while not his favorite, I can talk him into it from time to time.

You can buy the ready~made tikka masala  sauce at many markets but I much prefer this homemade one.  It has a very pleasant, spicey flavor with just the right amount of heat.  If you’re trying this for the first time, you can easily adjust the heat by adding less (or more, if you dare) peppers.  Interestingly, you can throw it all in your crockpot with minimal effort, but this recipe is my personal favorite.  And because it’s not Mr. B’s favorite meal, I have a very nice lunch or dinner the next day.

Chicken Tikka masala is chunks of spicy marinated chicken pieces baked and simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. It’s definitely a staple on any Indian restaurant menu.  It’s boldly flavored and rich, which makes it perfect with jasmine rice and Naan, an authentic Indian flatbread.  If you can’t find a recipe for the naan on “Picture the Recipe” or the Internet, it is widely available in many markets and Trader Joes always carries a few flavors of Naan.

While it might feel that it’s a complicated dish because of the use of the number of spices, it’s relatively simple.  Apart from 1/2 a teaspoon of garam masala, which is a blend of roasted whole spices like, cumin, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, corriander seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and mace (available at any Indian store), Noreen stuck to using ingredients easily available here in the U.S. Muster up some courage and go bold with this one.  Every Indian kitchen has its own often used garam masala.  I lost the one given to me years ago by a co~worker and I’m pretty bummed about it.  It was “perfect” for my tastebuds.  All recipes suggested will be greatly appreciated and tasted.

in my opinion, a lot of children may not like it.  If I still had little ones at home, they would get dinner from the Golden Arches.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Marinade:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 Cup of plain yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp fresh grated garlic
1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper (or Kashmiri Chili powder)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

– In a mixing bowl, add all the marinade ingredients- yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper and salt and stir well.
– Then add the chicken pieces and mix well so that all the pieces are well coated with the marinade and let it sit for a couple hours (or overnight).

For the Sauce:

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce.
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp sugar
The recipe calls for a handful of chopped fresh cilantro but I have it on the side, available for those who like it.  Mr. B does not.

Note:  there are no cinnamon sticks used in this particular recipe.

METHOD:

– After the chicken has marinated pre-heat the oven to 400F then spread the pieces out one at a time on a well greased baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for 15-20 mins then switch the oven to broiler and let the chicken brown for another 5-6 minutes.
– While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Start by melting 2 tbsp of butter in a skillet/ deep fry pan.
– Add to it the minced garlic and finely chopped jalapeno pepper (add only 1/2 for a less spicy sauce).
– Then add the spices- cayenne pepper, garam masala and cumin powder. Stir and fry the spices for a few seconds. Then pour in a small can of tomato sauce.
– Season with salt and let it bubble for a few minutes.
– Then turn the heat to low and pour in 1/3 of a cup of heavy cream.
– Add a tablesppon of sugar for sweetness, stir well, cover and let the sauce simmer for 5-10 minutes.
– Your chicken should be done by now. Simply add the chicken to the sauce with a handful of roughly chopped cilantro and mix well.
– Garnish with some more fresh cilantro and serve hot with Indian flat bread (naan) and my favorite, jasmine rice.  Maybe a nice basmati would be good too.  Flavor unleashed!

As an aside, I would love to double the whole thing and while the picture is not my own, it clearly shows what this finished delicious dish looks like. 💜

Recipe adapted from “Picture the Recipe” in 2012, thank you Noreen

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ROSE AND LAVENDER SIMPLE SYRUP

 Simple Syrup:

Lavender Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup simple sugar
1 tablespoon dried lavender

Directions:

Bring to a boil water, sugar and lavender, stirring occasionally. Once at a boil, bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and let cool. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator if well-sealed.

This one is from Martha Stewart

Lavender Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup distilled water
1 cup superfine sugar
3 Tbsp lavender buds, rinsed (remove the buds from the stems before they flower)
tiny touch of violet gel food coloring (optional)

Directions:

In a small saucepan heat the water, sugar, and lavender until it comes to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Depending on the color of your lavender, you may or may not get a pale lavender shade to your syrup. If you want to bump up the color, add a TINY bit of gel paste food coloring. (use a toothpick)
Let cool and then strain through cheesecloth into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.
Refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep for a month in the fridge.

Rose Simple Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup distilled water
1/2 cup Rose Water (food grade, not the kind for cosmetic use)
1 cup superfine sugar
1 heaping cup rose petals, rinsed (the darker your petals, the more color you will get) Be certain they are free of insecticides or other “garden sprays”

Directions:

Heat the water, rose water, sugar and rose petals in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Let the liquid cool, then strain into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid.
Refrigerate until ready to use. It will keep for a month.

Experimenting with simple syrups can be fun, produce a very pretty result that makes attractive and useful gifts.  Just get some pretty little bottles from your favorite hobby store.  Wash well and sterilize before adding the strained syrup.  For gifting, I think I’d add a small spray of the flowers tied on with a bit of raffia.  Very pretty little gift.

When we lived in Southern California, I used to keep a large variety of flavorful geraniums, many kinds of mint along with my other herbs.  All of the edible variety could be used and produce some interesting results.  One that sticks out for some reason is chocolate mint.  Imagine a few drops of that in a tasty ganache.  My favorite though was an entire corner of several varieties of lavender.  My sweet Abby, a gorgeous calico loved to climb in among the flowers and bury herself up to the point that if you looked really hard, you “might” find her pretty little face.

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Back to business.  The basic recipe is a 1 to 1 sugar and water ratio, but you can make a thinner syrup by simply adding more water.  Heat the two in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. The more flavoring agent you use, and the longer you let it steep, the stronger it will be. It will keep for about a month If kept refrigerated.  While simple syrups are most often used in drinks, adding a bit of an exotic flavor if not overdone; they can also be used to add a striking touch of subtlety in desserts, cakes, delicate cookies, frosting, icing and glazes.  Just about anywhere a little could add a lot!

Caution:  Be sure your simple syrup is kept refrigerated.  It has a shelf~life of about a month.

adapted from The View from Great Island

💜

 

 

 

 

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EASY VALENTINES DAY MONKEYBREAD 

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 (16.3 oz.) cans Pillsbury™ Grands!™ flaky layers refrigerated original biscuits

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, diced

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons strawberry jam

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

2-2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Valentine’s Day sprinkles, for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan or 12-cup fluted tube with butter or cooking spray. In a large gallon-size food storage bag or large bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.

Separate dough biscuits into 16 biscuits (8 biscuits per can); cut each biscuit into quarters, making 32 pieces.

Add dough pieces a few at a time to bag (or bowl) of cinnamon sugar. Shake in bag to coat the dough. Arrange coated dough pieces in prepared Bundt pan.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and melted butter; pour mixture over biscuit pieces.

Place the Bundt pan on a baking sheet. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center.

Meanwhile, add strawberries and butter to a saucepan and set on medium heat. Cook, stirring often until strawberries are soft. Add strawberries, strawberry jam and white chocolate chips (the heat from the strawberries will melt the white chocolate) to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Next, add 2 cups powdered sugar and blend again until smooth. If needed, add remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar to thicken the glaze.

Remove the Bundt pan from oven. Allow bread to cool inverted in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully invert pan onto a serving plate.

Drizzle strawberry glaze over monkey bread. You may not need to use all of the glaze. Sprinkle with Valentine’s Day sprinkles and serve warm.

Thank you Pillsbury  for your continued development of recipes easy enough for even a novice baker to enjoy success.

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CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BROWNIE CAKE

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While February 10, 2016 is our 48th Wedding Anniversary, it’s also National Cream Cheese Brownies Day.  And while I am  an avid brownie fan, I chose to post this fabulous looking cake from Food.com because it includes the aspects of brownies, cake, cream cheese filling, and walnuts, something for everyone.  I believe this cake is sure to become a family favorite.  It originally came from a Gold Medal Winning State Fair Cakes cookbook.

TOTAL TIME: 50mins
PREP TIME: 20 MINS
BAKE: 30 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

CAKE:

3⁄4 cup water
1⁄3 cup butter or 1⁄3 cup margarine, softened
1⁄3 cup shortening
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour or 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2⁄3 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

CREAM CHEESE FILLING:

1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄4 cup margarine, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:

1⁄2 cup butter or 1⁄2 cup margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
walnuts, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

For cake, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease bottom and side of 2 round pans, 9 X 1 1/2 inches, with shortening; lightly flour or dust with chocolate.  The chocolate dusting works the same using flour, but looks much prettier when removed from cake pans.

Heat water, butter, shortening and cocoa in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth; remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.

Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
Beat in cocoa mixture with electric mixer on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until smooth.
Beat in sour cream, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
Pour into pans.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 to 20 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.
Cool completely.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING :

Beat butter and cream cheese in medium bowl on medium speed until fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla on low speed until smooth.
When cake is cooled completely, fill layers with cream cheese filling.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING :

Beat butter in medium bowl on medium speed until fluffy.
Gradually beat in remaining ingredients on low speed until smooth.
Frost side and top of cake with chocolate frosting.

Press half walnuts on sides and sprinkle walnut pieces over the top, if using.

Store covered in refrigerator {for as long as it lasts}

SERVINGS 12-16

Adapted from Food.com

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