Sunday, October 26, 2014

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
(You don’t have to use all)
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
(Or just buy store-bought if you’re feeling lazy)
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a food processor (Or mixer. You can also just pastry blend), combine the confectioners’ sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool. Seriously. Don’t be that guy.
For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.(Or y’know, you can just make your own design because really, it doesn't matter. I know it’ll be beautiful because you made it.)
For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart (Or, if you’re not that fancy, just scoop some up with a spoon and drizzle evenly). You will not use all of the glaze.
Keep your glorious masterpiece cold like your heart. (Refrigerate please). Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
This is a recipe that I've made before, but it’s been a while. Last time I made it, my lab rats (a.k.a. my family) gave it all good thoughts. This time has also been a success so far. I have to say that I enjoyed this one as well, that’s probably why I've saved it for so long.
Anyways, I have to say, the crust? Holy god of pudding that needs a lot of butter! Don’t worry though, the finished product is as flaky and heavy as sin. The strawberries (I like using strawberries all the way because it just looks prettier in my opinion and it tastes better with the glaze I used (Strawberry store-bought for the win). (Though I haven’t attempted to use anything else besides strawberries and sketchy raspberries)) balance out the heavy-ness of the crust. Next time I make this, I’m going to try using a pie crust recipe, just to see the difference in the textures. (Because I can and also… SCIENCE) But the given crust is the real deal as far as tarts go. Back to the tart of all things holy and good, if you like cheesecake, then you will definitely want to shove some of this stuff in your face. The filling is literally a block of cream cheese. I mean, I don’t particularly like cheesecake, but I definitely like this stuff. For the glaze, I haven’t used the one included in the recipe. Because I’m kinda lazy and like taking shortcuts, I used a store-bought strawberry glaze. You really don’t need it to be fancy, heck, I used a store brand so you can tell how much it really matters.

While making the crust, mix dry ingredients first for thorough distribution. Also, for the butter, what I did was cut it before softening it. (Obviously this makes it easier to cut into the dry ingredients.)
Make sure the crust is cool before you add the filling. I cannot stress this enough. If you don’t, your filling will start dying and turn into a half soupy mess. Seriously. Just stick it in the refrigerator a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. ( If you're worried about it melting the shelf, just slide an oven mitt under your tart pan.)
While applying the filling, I just used a rubber spatula. The filling is very important because it’s the glue for sticking the fruits and keeping them down. It also kind of mellows the flavors
For the fruit, make it look neat, y’know? This has gotta look classy. (Not really). Start from the outside and go in in neat little circles. When you get to the middle, you can do something fancy like put a raspberry there or something crazy like that. Go wild. Throw a party man.
Chill your glorious feast and make some tea or something while you wait around about 15 mins. (The tea is just to make yourself look really classy. That’s how we do.)
Only remove sides of the pan once, more than once may cause crumbling of that sweet, buttery crust.
Caution: bottom pops out for the love of all things holy, be careful!

Bon appetite! Good luck with your baking!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Buttercream Frosting

Butter cream Frosting
Prep time:15 minutes
1/2 cup of butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1lb confectioners 10-x powdered sugar
1& 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 to 3 tbsp milk
1. Cream butter or margarine and shortening. Gradually add remaining ingredients and beat at MEDIUM-HIGH speed with an electric mixer until frosting is light and fluffy (about 5min)
2. For chocolate: prepare as directed and add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa and 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted in microwave or slowly on stovetop). Continue mixing frosting for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Store unused portion of frosting in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks

When making this, I had to frost 33 cup cakes and let me tell you, frosting is not one of my strong points. In all seriousness, I'm pretty sure whomever you share your frosting covered whatever with someone, as long as it tastes ok, they probably wont care what it looks like. 
I was really happy with this recipie because once I was finished, I only had a tablespoon or two left (so no leftovers!! (Which by the way, is kind of a hassle when you do.)).
Don't have any piping tools? Fill a sandwich bag with your frosting and seal it up. Take a bottom corner and cut off a small piece of the corner. (Make sure the hole isn't too large because otherwise, it'll be too much frosting coming out at once.) If you've never piped frosting before, it helps to practice!! Your frosting skills will take time to develope so don't stress about them not being all that neat.
Make sure that if you want to add sprinkles, you do as soon as you finish frosting each thing (for example cupcakes). This way, the sprinkles will stick to the frosting and wont get everywhere.

Even though I'm not much of a frosting person anyways, the recipe was pretty mediocre. Definitely not the main point of the cupcakes. Still, I'd make it again because my taste testers seemed to like it, only one bad review.
Also, note that it didn't stick as well as I would have liked when adding it to my cupcake.

I'll be back with another recipe next week! Good luck with your baking!