Lemon Mascarpone Crepe Cake

I’ve been wanting to make this Lemon Mascarpone Crepe Cake for over a year now. Somehow it just got away from me last summer and it almost did the same this summer. I truly feel the flavors of this cake are ideal for the summer months. This isn’t my first crepe cake though, last fall I made a Chocolate-Pumpkin Crepe Cake which was quite delish.

Unfortunately this crepe cake wasn’t a hit amongst my friends who tried it. Not because of the taste but because they weren’t keen on the crepes. They agreed that the lemon curd cream filling between the crepes was good but the crepes themselves not so great. Not so much the flavor, but, the texture. Which I can completely understand. Eating a cake of crepes is nothing like eating a fluffy moist cake. I myself enjoyed it, but, I’m a texture person. In other words, I like sprinkles on my ice cream, nuts in brownies and cookies and so forth. Oh well… You can’t always bake something that everyone will rave about.

One thing I have to point out… This very apropos cake stand I used for this cake. It has a glass lemon as the stem between the base and the plate. I got it from a dear friend’s mom a few days before I made this cake and it made making this cake a little more fun!

 

Lemon Mascarpone Crepe Cake

Ingredients:

Lemon Curd*:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cups sugar

1 large egg

3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 5 to 6 lemons

 

Crepes:

1 3/4 cup whole milk

4 large eggs

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup flour

6 tablespoons finely ground cornmeal

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

An additional 3 tablespoons of butter to cook the Crepes

 

Assembly:

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

5 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crushed amaretti cookies, for garnish (optional)**

 

*If you opt to use store bought lemon curd, you will need 1 cup.

**I used Stella D’oro Breakfast Treats

 

Directions:

Lemon Curd: Beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the whole egg. Once well combined, gradually add in the egg yolks, then the lemon juice. The mixture may appear curdles. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until cool. You can keep the lemon curd in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Crepes: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Once the batter is cold, stir it the batter until smooth again. Melt 1/2 teaspoon butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1 ounce of batter on the skillet and tilt it to even distribute the batter. Cook until the edges on the crepe turn golden and then carefully flip and cook until just set. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Melt another 1/2 teaspoon of butter and continue cooking the crepes in the same manner. Mix the batter between each crepe. Stack the crepes on top of one another and let cool for 30 minutes. You will have between 16-20 crepes.

Assembly: Beat 1 1/4 cups heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Fold a third of the whipped cream into the lemon curd with a rubber spatula until combined. Then fold the cream-curd mixture into the remaining whipped cream until completely combined.

Place 1 crepe on the center of a cake stand and spread 3 tablespoons of the curd mixture evenly over the crepe. Repeat layering with remaining crepes and curd mixture, ending with a crepe.

Whisk together the remaining cream and confectioners’ sugar with the mascarpone and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spread the mascarpone cream on the top and the sides of the cake. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and garnish with crushed cookies before serving.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Chocolate-Hazelnut Icebox Cake

Have you ever come across a recipe that you knew you just had to try only to discover that one ingredient in that recipe would be a mission to find? That’s exactly what happened to me. I came across a recipe for a Chocolate-Hazelnut Icebox Cake in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine and a key ingredient in for the cake was chocolate graham crackers. I was pretty sure that I had seen them before at a local supermarket or Target, but then after searching quite a few supermarkets and a few Targets I was still out of luck. I even searched the Nabisco website to make sure they were still available and found out that in fact Honey Maid Chocolate Graham Crackers were still in production. So, it was just a matter of finding them and lo and behold I did just that when I randomly strolled down the cookie aisle of a supermarket I normally don’t shop at.

With ingredients like confectioners’ sugar, Nutella, mascarpone cheese, heaving whipping cream and those hard-to-find chocolate graham crackers this was sure to be a delicious cake.

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To begin I whipped together heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract in one bowl until stiff peaks formed.

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In another bowl I whipped together the remaining heavy cream and mascarpone cheese the recipe called for along with the Nutella until once again stiff peaks formed.

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Then it was time to begin assembling the cake. (Of course before assembling I had to try both of the whipped mixtures and they were delicious.) I lined the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with 4 graham crackers, breaking the crackers as need be so there wouldn’t be any big gaps.

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I then spread half of the mascarpone-vanilla mixture over the crackers…

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And then layered another four graham crackers over it…

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And then spread half of the mascarpone-Nutella mixture over the crackers…

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I continued the layering process ending with a top layer of the mascarpone-Nutella mixture.

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I wrapped the cake with plastic wrap – I also wrapped the bottom with aluminum foil to make sure the plastic wrap would stay on – and refrigerated it overnight.

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Prior to serving the cake I unmolded it from the springform pan and pressed the crumbs of 4 crushed graham crackers around the sides of the cake.

Final verdict… It was AMAZING! If you follow by blog regularly you know that in February I always make a character cake – first there was Elmo, then Minnie Mouse and this year it was an Enchanted Castle – for my friend’s daughters’ birthday, well, she happily ate a slice of this cake in record time and when I saw how much she enjoyed it I told her that next year this would be the cake I make for her birthday and she had no objections! We’ll see what happens when February rolls around though… I’ve already been thinking about some sort of Frozen theme. Regardless, I’m already looking forward to making this cake again. I should head back to that supermarket to pick up another box or two of the graham crackers just in case… Another search for them would not be fun, especially since I know how delicious this cake is now.

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Chocolate-Hazelnut Icebox Cake

1 3/4 cups cold heavy cream

1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

20 whole chocolate graham crackers

1. Beat 1 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup mascarpone, the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup each heavy cream and mascarpone with the chocolate-hazelnut spread in a separate bowl. Beat with the mixer on low speed until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with 4 graham crackers in a single layer, breaking them into pieces to fit and fill and big gaps. Spread half of the vanilla whipped cream over the graham crackers, then top with another layer of graham crackers. Spread half of the chocolate-hazelnut whipped cream on top. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers, the remaining vanilla chipped cream, then more graham crackers and the remaining chocolate-hazelnut whipped cream. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

4. Uncover the cake and run a thin knife around the edge to loosen. Remove the springform ring; smooth the sides of the cake using an offset spatula. Put the remaining 4 graham crackers in a large resealable bag; crush into fine crumbs using the bottom of a skillet. Press the crumbs around the side of the cake.

 

 

Lavender Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

A few weeks ago while I was out and about in Brooklyn, NY I stopped into the Middle Eastern grocery store Sahadi’s and immediately fell in love with the place. My senses were on overload with the abundance of cheeses, pastries, hard to find ingredients and herbs & spices (and that’s just to name a few of the items you can find here.) One of the herbs I couldn’t resist buying was dried lavender.

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A few years ago I took a cooking class where we made Honey-Lavender Fritters and I have always remembered how delicious they were so initially I was thinking of making those, but after some Google searches I settled on cupcakes instead – I can always make the fritters at a later time since I do have plenty of dried lavender left. I settled on a recipe from a fellow blogger – Sweet Society – and got to baking.

To start I soaked 3 tablespoons of dried lavender in whole milk in the refrigerator for eight hours.

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After straining I set it aside and began making the batter for the cupcakes.

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In the bowl of my stand mixer I sifted flour, baking powder and salt together.

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I then added in softened butter and sugar and mixed all the ingredients together until the texture of the mixture was sand-like.

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Next up I added in the lavender infused milk and an egg.

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The batter quickly came together and was ready to be filled into my Spring themed cupcake liners.

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The batter was the perfect amount for twelve cupcakes.

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After baking for 20 minutes in a 325 F preheated oven they were done.

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While the cupcakes cooled I made the frosting. I decided to try something completely new and opted for a Mascarpone Frosting which simply consisted of mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar.

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In one bowl I mixed the heavy cream until stiff peaks formed and in the other bowl I mixed together the mascarpone cheese and confectioners’ sugar until it was smooth.

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Once that was I done folded the whipped cream into the mascarpone and sugar mixture until it was completely incorporated. Following that I piped the frosting onto my cupcakes.

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These cupcakes along with the frosting were a winner… Definitely something to make again!

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Lavender Cupcakes

Makes 10-12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons dried culinary lavender – you’re going to combine the milk and dried lavender in a bowl with a lid and set in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours, preferably overnight, to infuse

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter – softened

1 egg – room temperature

Directions:

1) Infuse the milk and dried lavender as stated above in ingredients.

2) Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).

3) Using a strainer, strain the infused lavender milk to remove the dried lavender.

4) In the bowl of your stand mixer (or mixing bowl if using a handheld mixer), sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

5) Add in sugar and softened butter to your dry ingredients from step 4. Mix with the paddle attachment on low until all is combined and the texture is sandy (the butter mixed with the dry ingredients should feel crumbly/sand-like).

6) With the stand mixer on low, slowly pour the infused milk into the flour mixture and mix just until the last of the milk is combined. Now add in the egg.

7) Mix for 15 seconds on medium speed, and then scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are combined. Make sure not to over-mix (over-mixing results in a dry cake).

8) Fill the cupcake liners 2/3rd’s full, bake cupcakes at 325 degrees (F) for 20-23 minutes or when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

9) Remove cupcakes and set on a wire cooling rack until completely cool

Mascarpone Frosting

Yields 2 Cups

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy)

In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.