Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas ... Cake

Merry Christmas Lady E Cooks readers. Wow! 365 days sure does fly by quickly. I've been so busy between work, studying and writing I forgot to post the 2015  Christmas cake.
This year I decided to go beyond my normal Holiday Sweet Potato Pie and try something thats been floating around in my head for a couple of years. A peppermint cake. Does that say Christmas, or what?
I'm a belivever in doctoring up some store bought cakes. Why? If it's a good brand they pretty much have mastered a moist cake... our job is to add personal and artistic touches. I'm also a believer of  taking the seasonal things you love and be creative. I enjoy the fresh taste of peppermint sticks. In a saucepan, take about 6-8 peppermint sticks and dissolve then in 1/2 cup of simmering water and create a syrup. Don't add sugar...trust me it doesn't need it.
Prepare the cake as instructed. I recommend a blank canvas cake, like white cake, that way the peppermint will shine. Once the cake is cooked and out of the oven, pour 1 tablespoon of the cooled syrup over the entire surface of the warm cake and allow to cool. Careful ... be sure to pour the icing on the cake directly, not allowing any of the syrup mixture to drip down the sides of the cake into the pan. The sticky syrup can form a seal a the bottom of the pan and make removal of the cake from the pan very ... challenging. Avoid putting holes in the cake to seep the syrup into the warm cake. It sounds like a good idea, but also can cause a sticky hard to remove mess and goopy mess.
Now, for the icing. Plain ole white icing of butter and sugar will be creamy and allow the peppermint, again, to shine. There are hundreds of white icing recipes on line and are very easy to make. Add the cooled peppermint syrup by adding 2 - 4 tablespoons, to taste, to the icing with mixer on. Be sure to taste after adding 1 tablespoon at a time. We're looking for a hint of peppermint, not make it taste like toothpaste.
On cooled cake spread with an off-set spatula all over the first layer, then place second layer. Spoon the rest of the icing in the center of the cake and gently spread over the cake.
Final touches, place more candy cane in plastic bag and crack with mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle over the top of the cake and sides.
That's it. Not too sweet...fun and full of flavor for the holidays!  

Next? Champagne cake for NYE..ohhh!
Merry Christmas from the Lady E Cooks family
Every recipe tastes better with love...and a little creative inspiration.