14.7.11

My Birthday Cake



Hi everyone. Today is an important day for me. Today is my BIRTHDAY! We will celebrate together, my dear readers. I had a delicious cake recipe to share with you.




Every year I spend days think about my birthday cake, and this year couldn’t be different, especially now with my blog. Unlike my husband, who always chooses the same Domino cake each birthday, I decided to try different recipes. And this year, my inspiration will be some of flavors that I most like: brigadeiro, walnut, apricot and plum.

I created a walnut sponge cake filled with two layers. For the first one, I used walnut brigadeiro mixed with dried plum jam. The second filling is a combination of white brigadeiro and dried apricot jam. Each layer has a particularly color, which gave to the cake a beautiful look.








I have to confess that I have a huge admiration for decorated cakes with meringue buttercream. They are adorable. So, I decide to make for the first time a Swiss meringue buttercream. I even ventured making some ruffles too.

Everything worked deliciously well for this cake. I loved the combination between the brigadeiros and jams. I also spent an adorable time with my mom preparing the cake this morning. This gave me a such happiness that I can not imagine a better way to start this especial day.




My Birthday Cake


Sponge Cake

(makes 1 disc)

4 large eggs
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoon cake flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip, beat the eggs and the sugar on medium-high speed in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and tripled in volume, about 8 minutes.  Sift the flour into a small mixing bowl. Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture and blend thoroughly until smooth. Repeat with the other half. Pour the cake batter into the pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 15 minutes. Cool for about 2 minutes, and then gently flip it out onto a large sheet of parchment paper. Let cool completely. To make the walnut sponge cake add 4 tablespoon of crushed walnuts to the sponge cake recipe.


Walnut Brigadeiro

1 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened butter
4 tablespoon crushed walnuts


Pour the condensed milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
Add the crushed walnuts and butter and keep stirring the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a spoon. As you scrape the bottom of pan with the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
Pour the mixture in a bowl and leave aside to cool.


Dried Plum Jam

10 oz. dried plums, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
water

In a sauce pan over medium heat boil the plums in water and sugar. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes or until jam consistency. Turn into a bowl and let cool before using.


White Brigadeiro

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1 can table cream

Pour the condensed milk into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat
Add the egg yolks and keep stirring the mixture until it starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with a spoon. As you scrape the bottom of pan with the spoon, the mixture should be thick enough to show you the bottom the pan for a couple of seconds before the mixture levels out again.
Pour the mixture in a bowl and leave aside to cool. When the Brigadeiro mixture is at room temperature, add the table cream and mix until combine. Place it in the fridge until decoration.


Dried Apricot Jam

10 oz. dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
water

In a sauce pan over medium heat boil the apricots in water and sugar. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes or until jam consistency. Turn into a bowl and let cool before using.


Apricot Swiss Merengue Buttercream
(from Sweetapolita)

5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoon apricot jam

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar,  and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).  Add vanilla and salt, mix well. Add the apricot jam and mix well.

6.7.11

Guava Marmalade Cheesecake - Cheesecake de Goiabada



Guava is one of my very favorite fruits. When I was a child, every weekend my family went to my grandparent’s farm. My sister, cousins and I loved to eat fresh guava directly from the orchard. The red guava was the fruit that I most enjoyed to pick up and eat. It’s impressive how they are juicy and flavorful in its freshest moment.






This tropical fruit has a beautiful pink and sweet flesh. It is rich in vitamins A and C. It’s also a good source of polyphenols and carotenoids, which have high antioxidant properties. As it contains a high level of pectin (a gelling agent that gives the jelly-like consistency) guavas are quite used to make candies, jams and my favorite one: goiabada, which is the name given by the Brazilians for guava marmalade.




Goiabada, is another classic Minas candy. It's made with guava and sugar. It’s very common eat goiabada with a slice of Minas cheese as a dessert in Brazil. The Brazilians call this combination as “Romeo and Juliet”. This dessert was my inspiration to make a guava cheesecake. First, I prepared the goiabada and then I used it to make a New York-style cheesecake. If you are looking for a recipe to add flavors in a dessert, goiabada will be a perfect choice!





Guava Marmalade Cheesecake


Guava Marmalade


7 ripe guavas
1 1/4 cup sugar
water 

 Wash guavas, cut them halved or quartered and bring the boil with enough water to almost cover them. If you prefer, you can peel the fruit before cooking.
When it starts to boil remove from heat and allow to cool before placing in a blender without the water.  Blend and then strain. You can also boil a few minutes longer and then strain. By doing it this way you avoid using the blender.
 Add sugar and bring to a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until thickened or to your personal jam consistency preference. Turn into a bowl and let cool before using.

Crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
12 graham crackers (3-by-5 inch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) in a double layer of foil. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place crushed crackers and 3 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Pour melted butter over cookie mixture and mix until evenly moistened. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until crust is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Guava cheesecake

1 lb. Cream Cheese, room temp
1 cup (7.5 oz.) Sugar
1/2 cup of flour
3 lrg Eggs, room temp
1 ½ tsp pure Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Salt
12 oz plain yogurt, room temp
1 cup Guava Marmalade


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese.
 Beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth about 3 min( It gives the cake
that mousse quality). Add eggs, 1 at a time, scraping bowl and beating after each
just until smooth. Add vanilla & salt and beat until incorporated. Beat in yogurt. Beat in guava marmalade. Wrap the pan with the crust in a double layer
of aluminum foil.
Pour batter into crust. Place in water bath (hot water) in a larger oven proof pan
Bake 45-55 min.

To serve, unmold cheesecake (peel off and discard paper). Transfer to a serving platter; top with guava marmalade.



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