Friday, March 21, 2008

Strawberry Swirl Cake

I found this recipe last year in my Kraft Foods Calendar (Why oh why have you forsaken me and quit making the only calendar I ever wanted to use again?! Curse you Kraft and your delicious recipes!) and it is UNbelievably good. I'm so happy it's finally spring, I may just make this for Easter. Or this.


1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
2/3 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans; set aside. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour half of the batter into medium bowl. Add dry gelatin mix; stir until well blended. Spoon half of the white batter and half of the pink batter, side-by-side, into each prepared pan. Swirl batters together using a teaspoon.

  2. Bake 30 min. Cool 30 min. in pans. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

  3. Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Place one of the cake layers on serving plate; spread top with 1 cup of the whipped topping mixture. Top with 1 cup of the strawberries and remaining cake layer. Spread top and side of cake with remaining whipped topping mixture. Top with remaining 1/2 cup strawberries just before serving. Store any leftover cake in refrigerator.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I have been wanting to make tiramisu for years, but I was always intimidated. I finally found a recipe I was comfortable with from Joy of Baking and found the time to do it when I had the day off a few weeks ago. It's definitely labor intensive, but I would by no means call it difficult.The hardest part is waiting for the custard to cool.

Cream Filling:
2 cups (480 ml) milk, divided
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour

6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark rum or Marsala
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces (1 cup) (227 grams) mascarpone cheese

32 crisp ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

Coffee Soaking Syrup:

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) very strong brewed coffee or espresso
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark rum or Marsala


Cocoa Powder for Garnishing
1 ounce (30 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated or chopped
Fresh Raspberries (optional)


Cream Topping:
In a medium sized saucepan heat 1 3/4 cups (420 ml) milk and 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar just until boiling. Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk, 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, flour, and egg yolks. When the milk comes to a boil, gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer this mixture into another clean large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. When it boils, continue to whisk the mixture constantly for another minute or so or until it thickens. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl. (This will remove any lumps that may have formed.) Whisk in the Marsala (or rum), vanilla extract, and butter. Immediately cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerate until cold, approximately two hours.

Once the custard has cooled sufficiently, remove from the refrigerator. In a separate bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat the mascarpone cheese until it is soft and smooth. Gently fold, or whisk, the mascarpone into the cold custard until smooth.

Coffee Soaking Syrup:
In a large shallow bowl combine the coffee (espresso), sugar, and rum. Taste and add more sugar if you like. Set aside.

To Assemble:

Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap extends over the sides of the loaf pan.

Have ready the ladyfingers, coffee mixture, and cream filling.

Working with one ladyfinger at a time, dip 8 ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and place them side by side in a single layer over the bottom of the loaf pan. Spoon 1/3 of the cream filling over the ladyfingers, making sure they are completely covered. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers by dipping them (8) ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and placing them on top of the cream. Again, cover the ladyfingers with cream and repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and ladyfingers. Cover the Tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

To Serve:
Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the tiramisu. Gently invert the Tiramisu from the loaf pan onto your serving plate and remove the plastic wrap. Sift cocoa powder over the top of the Tiramisu and decorate with grated or chopped semisweet chocolate and fresh raspberries (if in season).

Makes 8 - 10 servings.