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'Cakes and Cupcakes': Lion House head baker offers easy tips to making cakes, cupcakes

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 29 2011 6:22 p.m. MST

Place popcorn, gumdrops/M&Ms, and nuts in an extra large bowl. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and butter in a saucepan. Cook on high until sugar mixture begins to boil; turn to low and cook until mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Add vanilla and food coloring and stir until well mixed. Pour syrup over popcorn mixture and stir until popcorn is well coated with syrup. Press mixture into the pan. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then unmold cake. Place on a serving plate. Slice servings with a sharp knife. This cake may also be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.

"Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes"

Bche De Nol (Yule Log)

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Cake

3 eggs

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1⁄3 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

3⁄4 cup flour

1⁄4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 cup raspberry preserves

3⁄4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup heavy cream

Green and red candied cherries, for garnish

Yule Log Frosting

1⁄3 cup cocoa

1⁄3 cup margarine, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla

1–2 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13 x 18-inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper; grease.

For cake: Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Beat in water and vanilla on low speed. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour batter into jelly roll pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and then turn out onto a dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove waxed paper and roll up cake and towel together from short end; set aside to cool.

While cake is cooling, beat heavy cream with 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff. Unroll cake and spread raspberry preserves evenly over cake and then spread whipped cream over preserves. Roll up again (without towel) and place seam side down on a serving plate. Cover roll with Yule Log Frosting, making strokes with tines of fork to resemble bark. Decorate with green and red candied cherries. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For frosting: Beat cocoa, margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Add hot water a little at a time until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.

"Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes"

Lion House Cheesecake

Makes about 12 to 14 servings

Crust

1 1⁄2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 eggs

3⁄4 teaspoon vanilla

Topping

2 cups sour cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

For crust: Thoroughly mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press firmly onto bottom of a 10-inch pie pan or springform pan; set aside while preparing filling.

For filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth; add sugar a little at a time. Add lemon juice. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in vanilla and combine thoroughly. Pour into crust; fill to within 1⁄2 inch of top to allow room for topping. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until the center does not move when the pan is gently moved.

For topping: When cheesecake is almost finished baking, beat sour cream with a wire whisk; add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Pour over completely baked cake and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with desired fruit topping or serve plain.

Note: All cheesecakes can be baked, cooled and frozen for an easy dessert later.

"Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes"

Email: rappleye@desnews.com

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