Category Archives: Desserts

recipes tips and techniques for making great desserts

Halloween Ice Box Cake

Halloween Ice Box Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Ice Box Cake

OK so the first thing that is obvious is that, as an example, my Halloween Ice Box Cake shows I am not the greatest cake and cookie decorator.

The Nabisco “Famous” chocolate wafers ice box cake has been one of my favorites for years, the only differences between this and the original is the construction is slightly different and of course the color.

The recipe on the box says you can make it 4 hours before serving, but it is really best if left to sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the cream can be absorbed by the wafers and they swell and soften. 

Ingredients for Halloween Ice Box Cake
  1. 1 Box Nabisco Famous chocolate Wafers
  2. 2 cups Heavy Cream Whipped Stiffed
  3. ¼ cup XXX sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. Orange food coloring
  6. Chocolate icing*

*Unless you plan to make cookies or use icing for something else a store-bought tube will be easier to manage

Directions for Halloween Ice Box Cake

Whip the Cream, sugar vanilla and as much food coloring, as needed to obtain your desired color, to stiff peaks.

On a cake plate or serving platter place 7 wafers flat, rough side down on the platter with a dot of icing on the rough side to adhere them lightly to the plate.  Place one in the center of the plate and arrange the others in a circle around it.  Place about a tablespoon of whipped cream on each.  Now place a second layer of wafers over these so that they overlap the edges of the first layerand spread the whipped cream  out from each wafer, it will end up being slightly larger than the first.  Place whipped cream on them and then arrange a layer similar to the first on top,  Continue to layer the wafers until all are used.  Finish by covering the top and sides with the remaining whipped cream, decorate with the icing.

Halloween ice box cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few items to help make this recipe:



 

The Official Taste Tester

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one has chocolate which I can’t have so rule #1 applies No Tasty No ratey!

 

Halloween Ice Box Cake

Halloween Ice Box Cake

Ingredients

  1. The recipe on the box says you can make it 4 hours before serving, but it is really best if left to sit in the refrigerator overnight so that the cream can be absorbed by the wafers and they swell and soften. 
  2. 1 Box Nabisco Famous chocolate Wafers
  3. 2 cups Heavy Cream Whipped Stiffed
  4. ¼ cup XXX sugar
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. Orange food coloring
  7. Chocolate icing*
  8. *Unless you plan to make cookies or use icing for something else a store-bought tube will be easier to manage

Instructions

  1. Whip the Cream, sugar vanilla and as much food coloring, as needed to obtain your desired color, to stiff peaks.
  2. On a cake plate or serving platter place 7 wafers flat, rough side down on the platter with a dot of icing on the rough side to adhere them lightly to the plate.  Place one in the center of the plate and arrange the others in a circle around it.  Place about a tablespoon of whipped cream on each.  Now place a second layer of wafers over these so that they overlap the edges of the first layerand spread the whipped cream  out from each wafer, it will end up being slightly larger than the first.  Place whipped cream on them and then arrange a layer similar to the first on top,  Continue to layer the wafers until all are used.  Finish by covering the top and sides with the remaining whipped cream, decorate with the icing.
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Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

 

Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

My interior decorator is constantly rearranging my kitchen utensils.  So when my crêpe pan showed up, hanging on the wall, I started to think of things I can do with crepes, and as my decorator was having an unnumbered birthday I thought of dessert crepes in lieu of a cake.

The recipe for the crepes is from Jacques Pepin’s recipe for crepes Suzette and is a simple and easy to use recipe and will make 6-7 8½” Crepes.

The filling is an adaptation of a recipe I found on an Emeril site, and will make enough filling for about 6-7 crepes.

The sauce is a take off  an orange crème anglaise.

Ingredients for Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce
Orange Filling
  1. 8oz Cream Cheese at room temperature
  2. ¼ cup sour cream
  3. ¼ granulated sugar
  4. 1 Tbs zest of orange
  5. ¼ cup Orange juice no pulp
  6. ½ the zested orange slices coarsely chopped (optional)
Orange Sauce
  1. 4 Tbs butter melted
  2. ¾ cup granulated sugar
  3. ¾ cup Orange juice no pulp
  4. 1 Tbs zest of Orange
  5. 3 eggs yolks
Crepe batter
  1. 2 Eggs
  2. ¾ cup all purpose flour
  3. ½ cup whole milk
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. ½ tsp granulated sugar
  6. 1/3 cup of water
  7. 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  8. 2-3 Tbs Confectioners sugar for dusting
  9. 1 Tbs Orange Zest
Directions for Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

Filling:

Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer and whisk until smooth and completely incorporated.  Once smooth place into a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Sauce:

In a sauce pan place the butter, sugar, ½cup of the sugar, the OJ and the zest and slowly bring up to almost a boil stirring constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved.

In a separate bowl take the remaining sugar and the egg yolks and whisk until fully combined.

Once the sauce comes up to heat and the sugar is fully dissolved, slowly add about 4 oz to the egg yolks in a slow stream while whisking continuously ( this technique is called tempering the eggs and will prevent them from scrambling when put into the hot liquid).  Once combined add the egg mixture  back to the sauce pot and slowly bring up to a boil to thicken while stirring constantly.

Once thickened pour through a strainer into a clean bowl set in an ice bath and stir to cool the mixture.  When cooled pour into a pitcher and store in the refrigerator covered until ready to serve.

Crepes:

In a bowl combine the eggs,flour, milk,salt and sugar into a bowl and whisk until smooth with no lumps visible.

Once smooth add the water and oil, and zest and whisk  until you have a smooth thin batter.

Using a crêpe pan or small fry pan, lightly butter the pan and pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl to create a thin round crêpe.  Cook for 30-60 seconds until the bottom is lightly browned and small bubbles appear around the edge of the crêpe.  Flip and cook an additional 20 seconds then flip onto a plate so that the better looking browned side is down.

Serve right away or you can hold the crepes for a while in a 180° oven covered with a damp towel, or you can layer between parchment or wax paper and place in an air tight bag and refrigerate or freeze.

Assembly:

Place a crêpe darker side down and spoon enough filling to cover ½ the crêpe.  Fold over the crêpe then fold in half a second time so that you end up with a pie slice shaped crêpe.  Arrange one or two on a plate, garnish with a wedge of the orange from the zest, pour some of the sauce over the top, then sprinkle lightly with the powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Here are a few items to help make this recipe:
http://amzn.to/2x5aNgP    -crepe pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not my cup of tea, I’m not a orangie person at all, so rule one applies no tasty no ratey!

Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

Orange Crepes with Orange Sauce

Ingredients

  1. Orange Filling
  2. 8oz Cream Cheese at room temperature
  3. ¼ cup sour cream
  4. ¼ granulated sugar
  5. 1 Tbs zest of orange
  6. ¼ cup Orange juice no pulp
  7. Orange Sauce
  8. 4 Tbs butter melted
  9. ¾ cup granulated sugar
  10. ¾ cup Orange juice no pulp
  11. 1 Tbs zest of Orange
  12. 3 eggs yolks
  13. Crepe batter
  14. 2 Eggs
  15. ¾ cup all purpose flour
  16. ½ cup whole milk
  17. Pinch of salt
  18. ½ tsp granulated sugar
  19. 1/3 cup of water
  20. 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  21. 2-3 Tbs Confectioners sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Filling:
  2. Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a mixer and whisk until smooth and completely incorporated.  Once smooth place into a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Sauce:
  4. In a sauce pan place the butter, sugar, ½cup of the sugar, the OJ and the zest and slowly bring up to almost a boil stirring constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  5. In a separate bowl take the remaining sugar and the egg yolks and whisk until fully combined.
  6. Once the sauce comes up to heat and the sugar is fully dissolved, slowly add about 4 oz to the egg yolks in a slow stream while whisking continuously ( this technique is called tempering the eggs and will prevent them from scrambling when put into the hot liquid).  Once combined add the egg mixture  back to the sauce pot and slowly bring up to a boil to thicken while stirring constantly.
  7. Once thickened pour through a strainer into a clean bowl set in a ice bath and stir to cool the mixture.  When cooled pour into a pitcher and store in the refrigerator covered until ready to serve.
  8. Crepes:
  9. In a bowl combine the eggs,flour, milk,salt and sugar into a bowl and whisk until smooth with no lumps visible.
  10. Once smooth add the water and oil and whisk  until you have a smooth thin batter.
  11. Using a crêpe pan or small fry pan, lightly butter the pan and pour a small amount of batter into the pan and swirl to create a thin round crêpe.  Cook for 30-60 seconds until the bottom is lightly browned and small bubbles appear around the edge of the crêpe.  Flip and cook an additional 20 seconds then flip onto a plate so that the better looking browned side is down.
  12. Serve right away or you can hold the crepes for a while in a 180° oven covered with a damp towel, or you can layer between parchment or wax paper and place in an air tight bag and refrigerate or freeze.
  13. Assembly:
  14. Place a crepe darker side down and spoon enough filling to cover ½ the crepe.  Fold over the crepe then fold in half a second time so that you end up with a pie slice shaped crepe.  Arrange one or two on a plate, garnish with a wedge of the orange from the zest, pour some of the sauce over the top, then sprinkle lightly with the powdered sugar.
  15. Enjoy!
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Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

 

 

Strawberry Scones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

I couldn’t believe that the producers of the Father Brown series haven’t made a cook book of Mrs. McCarthy’s favorite recipes including her “award-winning strawberry scones”.

According to the lore of the show the recipe was handed down from her grandmother who made them for King George IV when he visited Kilkenny Castle in 1826 (he didn’t).  King Edward VII did however in 1904.  

An alternative to the story is Sid’s assertion that  Mrs. McCarthy stole the recipe from a Mrs. O’Boyle perhaps a truer version as the King story does have some holes in it !.  What ever the truths be told, strawberry scones are a staple in the show.

I saw a number of sites that had mention of English Scones as a staple for this recipe, however since Mrs. McCarthy’s family came from Ireland a Irish scone would be more apropos.

 Among the variables in the recipe,  what is the topping on the strawberries, is it whipped cream, double cream or maybe clotted cream ?  

 Is it strawberry preserve or fresh strawberries, or a combination of both ?

  

 This isn’t “THE Official” Mrs. McCarthy scone”, more a tongue in cheek title,  I hope the producers of “Father Brown” find no offense.  Going through many versions of scone recipes particularly of the “Irish” Version” I settled on a slightly enhanced version of my family scone recipe (see best Scottish Scones in recipe search).  As this is a dessert scone we added slightly more sugar with a light sugar topping and increased the amount of baking powder which seem to be more in line with the Irish scone recipes that I found.  Also most good Irish baking recipes of old, will use buttermilk instead of whole milk or cream and of course a fantastic Irish Butter.

The secret to a good scone is not to “overwork” the dough.  Gently mix to incorporate all the ingredients then very gently knead only a few times, press out and gently roll and cut and cook.

Ingredients for Strawberry Scones

  1. ¾ cup of buttermilk
  2. 1 egg beaten
  3. 2 cups of flour
  4. 3 Tbs granulaed sugar
  5. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp Baking powder
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. 1/3 cup Kerrygold Pure Irish  butter = 5 1/3 Tbs cut to small cubes 
  8. Extra flour for dusting table and roller.
  9. 1-2 Tbs granulated sugar for topping.
  10. 1 jar good strawberry preserves
  11. Fresh strawberries cored and cut into quarters
  12. Clotted Cream or Whipped cream
  13. 1 Tbs shortening for baking sheet

Directions for Strawberry Scones

Preheat oven to 425º.

In the bowl of a food processor with a pastry blade place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter.  Pulse until you have a mixture the consistency of cornmeal.

Empty into a mixing bowl. 

Place the buttermilk and egg into a measuring cup and beat the egg well, you should have approximately 1 cup of liquid, if not add a little more buttermilk.  If more don’t worry the extra flour in the kneading process will take care of it.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until all is combined.

Scrap out of bowl onto a well floured table and gently knead 5-6 times.

Gently roll out to a rectangle about ½ inch thick and using a round cookie cutter cut into rounds and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Take remaining dough and gently pull together and roll out and cut until all the dough is used.

Lightly sprinkle sugar on top of all the scones.

Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes until very lightly browned.

Remove from the oven and place the scones on a wire rack to cool.

Assembly:

Cut the scones in half and lightly spread some preserve on the bottom on each.

Cut the quartered strawberries into 2 or 3 elongated slices and place as many on top of the preserve in a single layer as will fit.

Take the Clotted Cream and lightly stir to loosen and place a large dollop on top of the strawberries,  smooth out slightly and top with the scone top. If you can’t find Clotted Cream use lightly sweetened whipped cream that is whipped quite stiff,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few items to elp make this recipe:
http://amzn.to/2uL3DQQ     Food processor
http://amzn.to/2hdZj82          Clotted Cream
http://amzn.to/2uKPKCy       Sheet Pan

 

 

The Offical Food Taster

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Scones and the Clotted Cream are to die for, not so sure about those red things, I would have perfered roast beef on them, still a 5 paw effort!

 

 

 

Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

Mrs. McCarthy’s Award-Winning Strawberry Scones

Ingredients

  1. ¾ cup of buttermilk
  2. 1 egg beaten
  3. 2 cups of flour
  4. 3 Tbs granulaed sugar
  5. 1 Tbs + 1 tsp Baking powder
  6. ½ tsp salt
  7. 1/3 cup Kerrygold Pure Irish  butter = 5 1/3 Tbs cut to small cubes 
  8. Extra flour for dusting table and roller.
  9. 1-2 Tbs granulated sugar for topping.
  10. 1 jar good strawberry preserves
  11. Fresh strawberries cored and cut into quarters
  12. Clotted Cream or Whipped cream
  13. 1 Tbs shortening for baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor with a pastry blade place the flour,sugar, baking powder, salt and butter.  Pluse until you have a mixture the consistancy of cornmeal.
  3. Empty into a mixing bowl. 
  4. Place the buttermilk and egg into a measuring cup and beat the egg well, you should have appoximately 1 cup of liquid, if not add a little more buttermilk.  If more don't worry the extra flour in the kneading process will take care of it.
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until all is combined.
  6. Scrap out of bowl onto a well floured table and gently knead 5-6 times.
  7. Gently roll out to a rectangle about ½ inch thick and using a round cookie cutter cut into rounds and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  8. Take remaing dough and gently pull together and roll out and cut until all the dough is used.
  9. Lightly sprinkle sugar on top of all the scones.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes until very lightly browned.
  11. Remove from the oven and place the scones on a wire reack to cool.
  12. Assembly:
  13. Cut the scones in half and lightly spread some preserve on the bottom on each.
  14. Cut the quartered strawberries into 2 or 3 elongated slices and place as many on top of the preserve in a single layer as will fit.
  15. Take the Clotted Cream and lightly stir to loosen and place a large dollop on top of the strawberries,  smooth out slightly and top with the scone top.
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If you enjoy our site and are thinking of purchasing anything from Amazon, please use the link to Amazon from our site.  It doesn’t cost you anything and we profit from the ads and purchases .  

Please help us keep our blog going by letting your friends know we’re here and by checking out the links on our front page.

copyright © rantsravesandrecipes 2017 all rights reserved