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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Apple, Celery Root, And Fennel Salad



  1. For the dressing, in a screw-top jar combine oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, honey mustard, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake well.
  2. In a large bowl combine endive and butterhead lettuce. Add three-fourths of the dressing; toss to coat. Divide mixture among salad plates.
  3. In the same bowl combine apple, celery root, and fennel. Toss with remaining dressing to coat. Divide evenly over greens. Top each salad with blue cheese and walnuts.

From the Test Kitchen


To make it easy to grate the blue cheese or feta cheese, buy a whole wedge (rather than crumbled) and freeze for 30 minutes before grating.


Prepare and store dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring dressing to room temperature before using. Continue as directed in Step 2.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake

This Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake will take pride of place on your festive table. It looks and tastes amazing. The cake is incredibly moist and the ‘Sparkling’ Frosted Cranberries on top add a perfect finishing touch.


Sparkling Cranberries
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup water

Cranberry Cake:
3 1/3 cups (480g) all purpose flour
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups salted butter (340g), room temperature
3 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) sour cream
1 cup (240ml) milk
3 cups fresh cranberries

White Chocolate Icing:
12 oz white chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
8-9 cups powdered sugar


Sparkling Cranberries:
1. Bring 1 cup sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Pour simple syrup into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Add cranberries and stir to coat.
4. Refrigerate cranberries in syrup overnight, stirred a couple times to coat with syrup.
5. Remove cranberries from syrup and roll in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. You'll need to roll them a few times to get a couple layers of sugar on them.
6. Set cranberries aside to dry for a hour or so.

Cranberry Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. Do not over mix.
4. Gently stir in cranberries.
5. Spread batter evenly between the three cake pan.
6. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

White Chocolate Icing:
1. Place white chocolate chips in a metal bowl.
2. Microwave heavy cream until it starts to boil. Remove from microwave and pour over chocolate chips.
3. Cover bowl with saran wrap for 5-7 minutes.
4. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth.
5. Allow ganache to sit until mostly cool. It should be thick.
6. Beat the ganache with a mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
7. Add butter and beat until it is fully combined.
8. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until it is fluffy and the right consistency. Add more cream if needed.

To put the cake together:
1. Remove cake domes from cakes with a large serrated knife.
2. Place first layer of cake on cake plate. Spread about icing on top in an even layer.
3. Add second layer of cake and add more icing on top in an even layer.
4. Add final layer of cake on top and ice the outside of the cake.
5. Top the cake with sparkling cranberries and add some around the edge, if desired.

I think most cakes are best if they are allowed to settle for at least 12-24 hours after icing. It allows to flavors to settle. This cake will stay moist for several days after being iced.