Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Berry Crunch Cake

Berry Crunch Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tbsp.
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh mixed berries, such as raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • 1 ¼ cups crushed gingersnaps

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform cake pan. Sift the 1 ½ cups flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, superfine sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the batter is smooth. Spoon about half the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Spread the berries evenly over the mixture. Stir the extra tablespoon of flour into the remaining mix. Spread out the crushed cookies on a large plate. Using two spoons, coat small spoonfuls of the mix in the crushed cookies, then arrange over the cake. Sprinkle over any remaining cookie crumbs. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until risen firm, and golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes then remove the sides and finish cooling on a wire rack. Best eaten on the day of making.

Serves 8

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Watermelon Slice Cookies

Watermelon Slice Cookies

 Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (about 16 ounces each) refrigerated cookie dough
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Green and red food coloring
  • Mini chocolate chips

 Let doughs stand at room temperature 15 minutes. Combine 1 package dough, ¼ cup flour and green food coloring in large bowl, beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Wrap and refrigerate 2 hours. Combine remaining package dough, remaining ¼ cup flour and red food coloring in separate large bowl, beat at medium speed until well blended. Shape into 9 inch long log. Wrap and refrigerate 2 hours. Roll out green dough between parchment paper into 9×8 inch rectangle. Place log in center of green rectangle. Fold edges up and around log; press edges to seal. Roll gently to form smooth log. Wrap and freeze 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut log into 3/8 inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently reshape, if necessary. Press several mini chocolate chips into each slice for watermelon seeds. Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool on cookie sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Happy Father’s Day

Worlds Best Cake

World’s Best Cake for the World’s Best Father

 Ingredients:

  • 10 ½ tbsp. (1 stick plus 2 ½ tbsp.) butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ vanilla bean

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the middle position. Line an 8 x 12 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well on low speed. Mix in the egg yolks and milk. Scrape the batter into the baking pan. In a large clean bowl, beat the egg whites and the remaining 1 cup sugar to soft peaks. Spread on top of the cake layer. Sprinkle with the almond slices. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and puffed. Cool on a wire rack in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board. When the cake is cool, put the cream in a medium bowl and scrape in the vanilla seeds. Discard the vanilla pod. Beat to soft peaks with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Cut the cake in half crosswise with a serrated knife. Place one half of the cake on a serving tray and cover with the cream. Place the other half, meringue side up, on top. Let the cake sit for 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

Serves 8

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Getting Ready for the Fourth of July

Strawberry Layer Cake

Strawberry Layer Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk

 Filling:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. strawberry jelly

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round layer cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, superfine sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the batter is smooth, then stir in the milk. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth level. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Let cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. For the filling, beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread this mixture on top of one of the cakes. Spread the bottom of the other cake with the jelly and then sandwich the two cakes together to enclose the filling, pressing down lightly. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Serves 6-8 

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Chocolate Angel Cake

Chocolate Angel Cake

 Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups superfine sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 10 egg whites
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated
  • Confectioners’ sugar, to dust

 Method:

Grease and flour a 10 x 3 inch bundt pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift half the sugar together with the flour, cocoa and baking powder onto a sheet of baking parchment. Tip the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and salt, and whisk on medium speed until the egg white will hold a firm but not dry peak. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff and glossy. At this stage you may find it easier to tip the mixture into a larger mixing bowl if you have one. Add the sifted dry ingredients and the grated chocolate, then using a large metal spoon, fold into the egg whites using a figure 8 action, until the batter is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the mixture into the cake pan, run a knife through the batter and sharply tap the pan on the work surface to knock out any large air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 35 minutes, until well risen, springy and a skewer comes out of the cake clean. Turn the cake pan upside down onto a cooling rack and leave to cool in the inverted pan for 1 hour or until completely cool. Loosen the edges of the cake with a small palette knife and then turn the cake out of the pan onto the cooling rack. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 12 servings

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Love Is In The Air, For The June Bride

Silver Wedding Anniversary Cake

Silver Wedding Anniversary Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. medium sherry
  • Silver balls, to decorate

 Frosting:

  • 1 generous cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp. light cream
  • 2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus extra if needed

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottoms of a 7-inch layer cake pan and a 9-inch layer cake pan. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, superfine sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pans and smooth the surfaces with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes for the small cake and 25-30 minutes for the large cake, or until risen, firm and golden brown. Cool the cakes in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on wire racks. Prick the cakes with a skewer and sprinkle with sherry. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone, cream and confectioners’ sugar to a smooth, spreading consistency, adding a little more confectioners’ sugar if needed. Spread a little frosting on top of the center of the larger cake, then place the small cake on top, pressing down lightly. Spread the remaining frosting over the cakes, swirling with a spatula. Decorate with silver balls before serving.

Makes 10-12 servings

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Love Is In The Air, For The June Bride

Mini Meringues

Mini Meringues

 Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 superfine sugar
  • A few drops or red food coloring
  • Whipped cream, to serve (optional)
  • 2 baking sheets, covered with parchment paper

 Method:

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Put the egg white in a clean, grease-free bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Add a few drops of red food coloring with the last tablespoon of sugar to achieve a pretty rose pink. Dollop teaspoonsfuls of the meringue mixture on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them well apart, and bake in the oven for about 1 ¼ hours until crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool. Serve plan or sandwiched together with a little whipped cream.

Makes about 20

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day

Tres Leches Cream Cake

 Ingredients:

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • Chopped candied cherries, to decorate

 Topping:

  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. sugar

 Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Put the eggs and sugar into a large bowl and beat together until doubled in volume. Slowly add the flour, baking powder and salt, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and the vanilla extract. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then gently fold into the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, prick all over with a fork, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Thoroughly mix together the evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. Gradually pour the mixture over the top of the cooled cake, pausing after each addition to let it be absorbed, until the cake is completely saturated. Let stand for 30 minutes. To make the topping, whip the cream with the sugar until it holds stiff peaks. Just before serving, spread the cream over the cake, cut into 12 pieces, and decorate each piece with chopped candied cherries.

Makes 12 servings

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Love Is In The Air, For The June Bride

French Macarons

French Macarons

 Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Jam or other filling

 Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lower third. Place almonds in a food processor; process until as fine as possible, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar; process until combined, about 1 minute. Pass almond mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Transfer solids in sieve to food processor; grind and sift again, pressing down on clumps. Repeat until less than 2 tablespoons of solids remains in sieve. Whisk egg whites and granulated sugar by hand to combine. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat 2 minutes. Then beat on high 2 minutes more. The beaten egg whites will hold stiff, glossy peaks when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. Add flavoring and food coloring, if desired, and beat on highest speed 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients all at once. Fold with a spatula from bottom of bowl upward, then press flat side of spatula firmly through middle of mixture. Repeat just until batter flows like lava, 35 to 40 complete strokes. Rest a pastry bag fitted with a 3/8-inch round tip inside a glass. Transfer batter to bag; secure top. Dab some batter remaining in bowl onto corners of 2 heavy baking sheets; line with parchment. With piping tip 1/2 inch above sheet, pipe batter into a 3/4-inch round, then swirl tip off to one side. Repeat, spacing rounds 1 inch apart. Tap sheets firmly against counter 2 or 3 times to release air bubbles. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until risen and just set, 13 minutes. Let cool. Pipe or spread filling on flat sides of half of cookies; top with remaining half. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ rounded tsp. baking soda
  • A large pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 stick plus 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups dark bittersweet chocolate chopped into chunks

 Method:

Grease and line with baking parchment two large baking sheets. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Sift together the flour and baking soda into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and set aside. Cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar and soft light brown sugar in a stand mixer for 3-5 minutes until pale and very soft. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, add the vanilla and mix again. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix again to combine. Finally fold in the chopped chocolate using a large rubber spatula or metal spoon. At this point you can bake the cookies immediately (but the flavor develops better if you cover and chill the cookie dough in the fridge 24 hours. Bring the dough to room temperature at least 30 minutes before baking.) Spoon rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets allowing plenty of space between each. Bake in batches on the middle oven rack for 10-12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and the middle is still slightly soft. You may need to turn the sheets around halfway through baking to ensure that the cookies brown evenly. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 3-4 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container lined with baking parchment for 4-5 days.

 Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

 THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com