Monday, January 9, 2017

Succulent Meringue Wreath Cake

Happy New Year 2017!

My sweet obsession with meringues continues in 2017. I can't help it. There is something about this sweet confections that I adore so much. So to kick off the new year on my blog I made this pretty meringue wreath cake. Let's celebrate!
I've been meaning to make succulent cake for months. I looked for inspiration on pinterest and located quite a a few done in buttercream and fondant but none in meringue. And I thought to myself why not?

Meringue Layers (makes 2 layers, and Succulent meringues)

8 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbl cornstarch
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
parchment paper
cookie sheet
Parchment Squares
Flower Nail
Large Star Piping tip
Piping Tip #81
Leaf Tip #352
Star Tip 1M
Petal Tip
Food Colors used: claret, leaf green, moss green, yellow, orange

Preheat oven to 200-230F. Onto the parchment paper, trace the wreath shape with a pencil or pen.
Flip the parchment and position it onto the cookie sheet. Set aside
Make sure the bowl of your mixer is grease free. Wipe it dry with white distilled vinegar if needed.
Add egg whites into the clean bowl, add a pinch of salt and granulated sugar, heat the egg whites over a bowl of simmering water. Once all the sugar is dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat and beat egg whites on high, until soft peaks are formed, add corn starch and vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks are formed
Follow my video tutorial on how to make the meringue layers and meringue succulents.
Bake at 200-230F for 3-4 hours. Turn off the oven and let the meringue layers in the oven until it cools down completely.
If not using the same day, store  meringue layers between layers of wax paper, in a large airtight container with a bowl or raw rice.
Fill the layers with whipped cream filling  or use other filling you prefer.
Cake is best served on the day it is filled.
Decorations and meringue layers can be made ahead, stored in an airtight container. 
Meringue layers for up to  3-4 days ahead, or even longer, if stored properly they will be fine.

Whipped Cream Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt
2tbl cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup finely shaved chocolate or mini chocolate chips
1tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean

Beat whipping cream until soft peaks are formed, add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Don't over beat or it will turn to butter. Soften texture of Greek yogurt by folding in some of the whipped cream first and then then add the yogurt and fold it into the remaining whipped cream. Gently fold in shaved chocolate/mini chocolate chips if using. If you prefer sweeter filling use more sugar. 
Pipe the filling onto the bottom meringue layer gently place the top meringue layer onto the top. Press slightly to secure it in place.
Decorate with meringue succulents.
Check out how to make this gorgeous Succulent Cake

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Soft Sugar Cookies and Decorated Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Belated Merry Christmas to all of you, my loyal readers. Hope you all had wonderful, joy and laughter filled Christmas.
Surely by now most of you are making plans for New Year's Eve. So let me wish you Happy and Healthy New Year. 
Be well, be kind, be strong, eat well, smile more.

I've tried a new recipe for Soft Sugar Cookies few months ago. It's delicious and a keeper. Trust me.
I've decorated them with buttercream instead of royal icing, as many of you prefer buttercream over royal icing. I used simple stenciling technique to create gingerbread man or a snowman. Have fun with. 
These cookie stay soft, and though I haven't tried it myself I wouldn't recommend them for shipping. I suspect they would break easily in shipping.
In a plastic container layered between pieces of wax paper, they last for about 2 weeks. I hope you like them. 
I also made Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Buttercream and they are absolutely fabulous. Recipes are similar and easy to follow and equally delicious, although if you gave me option I'd pick the pumpkin ones, just because I love the cinnamon so much. and maple buttercream is to die for.

Soft Sugar Cookies (bake at 350F, 8-10 minutes, mine were done in about 9 minutes) If making larger cookies than 3 inches, bake them for little longer.

5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2stick room temperature unsalted butter
2cups granulated sugar
1cup room temperature sour cream
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp vanilla bean paste
additional flour for dusting

Sour Cream Buttercream Frosting
2cups room temperature unsalted butter
6 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1tbl vanilla extract
1/4tsp almond extract
1/4tsp lemon extract

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