07 Juli, 2010

Black Forest Mania !

My recipe for success!

Other than taste, the great thing about Black Forest cake is that the cake is very appealing and can easily be confused with a store bought cake! I love to make Black Forest cake, it brings me back to that great day spent in the Black Forest and all my family and friends adore it!
After a warm spring day spent in Germany's popular Black Forest, I visited this small family owned restaurant. I ordered Schnitzel and Kartoffen for my hearty first course meal and then the owner presented a dessert list. I ordered a slice of Schwarzwlderkirschtorte, which in short, means Black Forest cake.
There it was! A mouth watery slice of chocolate cake topped with cherries and fresh whipped cream, just as I have seen for many years on my old childhood German cookbooks!
But not to worry! Black Forest cake can be made easily at home, so head for the supermarket, look for these specific ingredients and enjoy!

BLACK FOREST CAKE (Without the need to fly overseas)
1 Package dark moist chocolate cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 container cool whip
Semi-sweet chocolate

Prepare the cake mix as instructed according to package. Bake. In the meanwhile, using a knife cut swirls of chocolate sufficient to decorate the top and sides of cake. Refrigerate the chocolate swirls. When your kitchen smells like chocolate cake and your neighbors are knocking on your door begging for a slice, take the cake out and let it chill. Once chilled, using a long bread knife, separate top and bottom of cake. Fill cake with a layer of half the whipped cream and top with half can of cherries. Cover with top of cake and top it with the rest of the whipped cream. Place some cherries in the middle of cake forming a little circle. Then sprinkle on the top and the sides the chocolate swirls. Place cherries all around the cake.

This recipe is very easy to make. Traditionally, the cake layers are several and the layers are moistened with a liquer called Kirsch. Kirsh may be hard to find, it basically consists of a clear Brandy with the fermented juice of a special black cherry. It can be replaced by using any other cherry liquer.

Historians believe this cake was created in the 16th century in the State of Baden-Wrttemberg. This region is specifically famous for it's sour cherries that are still used for the authentic recipe. The decadent chocolate, refreshing whipped cream and juicy cherries, make this German Torte simply irresistible!

Other than taste, the great thing about Black Forest cake is that the cake is very appealing and can easily be confused with a store bought cake! I love to make Black Forest cake, it brings me back to that great day spent in the Black Forest and all my family and friends adore it!

How do you like this?

06 Juli, 2010

Basic Muffin Recipe

by Jennifer

One of the best ways to be frugal in the kitchen is to make your own foods. Don't use all of the prepackaged products available all over the grocery store. Just walking down the baking aisle will show you dozens of options for muffins and quick breads. On the bottom shelves you will find the sugar and flour and things that you will need to make your own. Initially purchasing these ingredients will cost more than a box of muffin mix, however you will be able to make dozens of muffins out of these ingredients. It should be well worth the money.
I have a basic muffins/quick bread recipe that I add different flavors to. It is very adaptable and easy to use. But first I will give you the true recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl beat the egg, milk and oil. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. At this point you will add in your flavors. Our favorite is chocolate chips and I purchase them in bulk at Sam's club. 1/2 cup of chocolate chips stirred in at the end makes for some really great muffins. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full and bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. This makes one dozen muffins. You can also adapt this for a quick bread. Pour all the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes.

Now for other options. I also use this recipe for blueberry muffins. I add 3/4 cup of blueberries and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice at the end of the recipe. You can also add some lemon zest if you would like. Another good option is cinnamon raisin muffins. At the end of the recipe add 1/2 cup of raisins and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

This recipe also allows for easy substitutions. I frequently use original flavored rice milk in place of milk. I have also substituted 4 oz of applesauce for the egg. ( I have a child with food allergies). I usually don't use only all purpose flour. I will use about 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 white flour. I also sometimes add wheat germ to increase the nutritional value. When adding wheat germ or using wheat flour, you usually have to increase the amount of milk called for to get the right consistency. Leave the baking times the same.
I have found that having homemade muffins and breads available, we eat hardly any processed breakfast foods. Processes breakfast foods such as frozen waffles, toaster struddles, cereal, and burritos will increase your grocery bill by a lot. Cooking our breakfasts from scratch (not always in the morning, I frequently throw in muffins when I am cooking dinner) has saved us a lot of money over the years.

I also have a mini muffin pan that I will use to make muffins for snacks. The kids love these bite size muffins and beg for them when they see me making muffins. Snacking on muffins is more filling than prepackaged snacks and there are no additives and preservatives in them. So next time you reach for the boxed muffin mixes, look a little lower and grab the flour and sugar instead. Making your own has never been easier!

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How to Make Danish Pastry


For most people the idea of making homemade Danish pastry is daunting. It does take a bit of time but the sweet, flakey results are so superior to purchased Danish that is it well worth it to take a Saturday off and make this delicious breakfast treat.
This dough can be used for large pastries, as here, or individual pastries, and can be used in any recipe that calls for a Danish dough. Danish pastry is a laminated dough, which means that many layers are created by folding and turning. The butter creates pockets that will make the dough flakey and light when it is baked.
The unbaked Danish dough freezes well, so when you make it make several batches and freeze it after the final turn. It will be good for three months in your freezer. Just thaw and use as directed. Baked dough can be frozen for a month. When ready to use do not thaw but place in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes or until warm all the way through.

Ingredients For the Danish Pastry

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • ½ cup flour
Ingredients for the Filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh, sliced strawberries or other fruit

Make the Danish Pastry Dough

Add ¼ cup lukewarm water to the yeast in a large bowl. Set aside for five minutes or until the mixture is foamy. Stir in the sugar, salt, egg yolks, vanilla, and milk. Begin adding flour stirring until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and forms a soft and sticky dough.
Butter the top and cover tightly. Chill the dough for one hour.

Make the Butter Layer

For successful laminated dough the butter should be kept icy cold at all times. Rub the countertop with ice and then place a sheet of wax paper over the chilled countertop. Place the butter on the wax paper and beat with a rolling pin until it is smooth and easy to work with but still cold. Add the remaining ½ cup flour and work it into the butter until the mixture is smooth. Form the mixture into a six inch square and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill it for 30 minutes.

Dough after the first turn is completed. (c) Marye Audet 2008
Dough after the first turn is completed. (c) Marye Audet 2008

Laminating the Dough

On a surface that has been well dusted with flour roll the dough into a 12 inch square. Lay the butter diagonally in the center of the square and fold the corners of the dough over the butter. Be sure to enclose the butter completely. Seal the edges of the dough by pinching.
Flatten the dough gently by pressing the rolling pin into it. Roll from the center outward. Do not roll over the ends but stop rolling when you are within ½ inch of the ends of the dough. Turn the dough 180 degrees and roll the dough in the same way. Continue to roll the dough until you have an 8 inch by 18 inch rectangle. You may need to flour the counter a few times to keep the dough from sticking. If it is a warm day or the butter starts to melt just immediately stop and chill the dough for about 15 minutes before proceeding.
When the rectangle is the correct size, brush off any flour that might be on the dough. Fold the top quarter of the rectangle down to the center of the rectangle. Now fold the bottom to the center, leaving some space between the two ends. Fold the top half of the dough over the bottom half and close like a book. Turn the dough 90 degrees so that a short side faces you and roll it into an 18 x 8 rectangle again. Fold it again just as before. Mark the lower right corner of the dough by pressing a finger into the dough. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for one hour. Two turns are completed.
Repeat this process two more times always beginning with a short side facing you. Chill the dough between the turns. After the last turn chill the dough, tightly wrapped, overnight.

Folding and Shaping Laminated Dough

The filling is spooned down the center of the dough.  (c)Marye Audet 2008
The filling is spooned down the center of the dough. (c)Marye Audet 2008

Make the Filling

You can certainly use any filling you like in this. Poppyseed Nut Almond Paste Fruit Preserves Dried Fruit Chocolate Cream Cheese Pie Filling. These are the instructions for the cream cheese filling, which I covered with fresh strawberries.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, salt, lemon and orange zest and flour until the mixture is smooth. Chill over night.

The unbaked Danish Braid. (c) Marye Audet 2008
The unbaked Danish Braid. (c) Marye Audet 2008

To Assemble the Pastry

Roll each half of the dough into a 16 x 8 inch rectangle. Trim the edges evenly.
  • Spoon half the filling down the center of each rectangle.
  • Cut the long edges of the rectangle as if you were cutting fringe.
  • Fold first one piece of fringe over the filling then fold the corresponding piece from the other side, as if you were braiding.
  • Brush the pastries with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
  • Turbinado crystals work best for this because the crystals are large.
  • Let rise for one hour. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 30 minutes or until golden.


Finished Braid (c) Marye Audet 2008
Finished Braid (c) Marye Audet 2008

Make the Glaze

  • 1 ¼ confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together until a smooth, pourable glaze is formed. Add a little water if the glaze is too thick. Drizzle the glaze over the warm pastry.

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jim10 profile image
jim10 22 months ago
This danish pastry recipe sounds so good. I love to bake but you are right making Danish pastry does sound very difficult. But with this recipe and the I think I might give it a try. Their is a Danish Pastry a few town over from me and their pastries are amazing. I only wish it was closer so that I could go more often. I don't think I will be able to compete with theirs. Your fringes look tricky. But, I'm always up for a challenge.
2patricias profile image
2patricias 22 months ago
This recipe might be possible! Thanks for a yummy hub.
G. R. Nickel 18 months ago
I lost my orignal recipe. This one is the closet that I have found. Most people think it is so difficult to make. NO WAY! Just takes a little time. But ejoy a cup of tea or coffee while you wait for the dough to chill. Keeping the dough chilled is the secret to making "Danish". Don't let the recipe intimadate you, it is so easy to follow!
betty 15 months ago
way to much time to make lot easer and cheaper to buy already made
Marye Audet profile image
Marye Audet 15 months ago
betty...maybe. but not nearly as good.
Nigel 15 months ago
Very nice Marye. And you're definitely right, nothing is as good as home made. I started baking my own bread last year and I'll never go back to buying any. Yes, it takes time, but the phrase: "nothing worth while is easy", comes to mind.
Thanks for the guidance...
Treleven-Vilceus profile image
Treleven-Vilceus 15 months ago
mmm... looks really nice I have to try that one especially for my kids. Thanks
kim 12 months ago
Wonderful to see people passionate about good food. Unfortunately laziness is upon some, I say keep up the good work. Its people like you, that inspire me to cook and research new recipes. Your recipes are delicious!
s. tyler 3 months ago
my daughter wanted danish{she has celaics} so I used this recipe using flour from a gluten free bread mix (bob's red mill) and itturned out great and she was very happy with the taste and texture.
jayjay 3 months ago
I'm so excited to make this I was dreaming of danish pastries I cant wait to try this recipe ! and I agree people have become so lazy everything has to be fast and easy!? I have just recently started making everything we eat from scratch and it is sooo worth it, it does take allot of time but I include my children to help me prepare food and they love to bake so I get to spend time with my family and my girls learn to cook it doesn't get any better. I'm a believer that the family should be spending more time together less time working and watching t.v.
rosejo 3 months ago
I have made danish for years... it is a FAV of my now grown/with children of their own.. This is a GREAT demo and I am pscyed to try your way... the strawberries look awesome... and NO BAKERY BOUGHT DANISH TASTES HOMEMADE !!! U ROCK !!!
jane 2 months ago
i'm looking for a receipe for what I call danish pastry sold in bakeries or grocery stores. the dough does not seem to have yeast.... more sweet than bread-like


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selesai juga bikin tugas yang ini ... sengaja aku pake pastry dari resep KBB yang lalu, untungnya, aku sudah lupa kalo bikin kulit pastrynya banyak kebocoran yang bikin bete.....
Tapi... karena kesengsem dengan wangi dan rasanya yang yahud, aku bikin juga kulit pastry sesuai resep KBB yang lalu....

Begini resep dan step by step fotonya....


2 sdm mentega, untuk olesan Loyang

250 g puff pastry siap pakai

50 g ham, potong kecil-kecil

125 g keju lunak

2 sdm daun kucai, potong kecil-kecil

1 telur, kocok lepas

35 g parmesan parut


Cara pembuatan:

Olesi 2 loyang dengan mentega

Giling pastry hingga tipis di meja yang sudah ditaburi dengan sedikit tepung. Potong-potong menjadi 12 buah persegi panjang, masing-masing berukuran 15 x 5 cm/6 x 2 inches. Taruh potongan pastry di loyang dan dinginkan di lemari pendingin selama 30 menit.

Sementara ini, campur ham, keju lunak dan daun kucai di mangkuk kecil. Bumbui dengan merica sesuai selera, lalu taruh campuran ham keju ini di bagian tengah dari keenam persegi panjang pastry ini. Kosongkan bagian pinggirnya selebar 2.5 cm.

Untuk membuat bentuk lattice, lipat sebuah kotak pastry pada bagian panjangnya, kemudian sisakan bagian tepinya selebar 2.5cm, potong garis vertical sepanjang bagian yang dilipat.

Buka lipatan kotak pastry yang sudah diiris bentuk lattice and letakkan di atas pastry yang sudah diisi dengan campuran ham dan keju. Rekatkan bagian pinggir pastry sampai rapat dan taburi dengan keju parmesan. Panggang di oven yang telah dipanaskan pada suhu 180oC/350oF/Gas 4 selama 15-20 menit. Sajikan panas atau dingin.
Adonan yang ini untuk kulit pastry

Bungkus plastik dan masukin kulkas 30 menit...
nah ini mulai deg degan dengan proses penggilingan dan kebocorannya... 
uhuyyyyyyyyyyy... sudah siap untuk di buat kulit pastry..
ini buat isi pastrynya... cheese cream dan ham. aku gak punya kucai, jadi pake daun bawang....

ini sesaat sebelum di bakar, cuma mau tunjukin proses pelipatannya
tralalalala...... sudah siap di makan.... enaknya pake saus sambal.... yum.....
jadi pengen bikin lagi....

kita lulus dech ahhhhh.... cihuiiiii..

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