Un Bacio in Cucina

a photographic exploration of Italian food, culture & wine

Tag: dessert

Chocolate Easter Cakes with Honey Mascarpone

Since Easter is my favorite holiday I was inspired to create, style and photograph something beautiful and delicious as a personal project. This is a simple chocolate cake recipe that is layered with mascarpone, an Italian cheese made from cream, and candy coated milk chocolate Easter eggs. This will make a lovely dessert for an Easter brunch or dinner. It is unbelievably good and you are guaranteed to make a lot of new friends with this one. Enjoy!

Chocolate Easter Cakes with Honey Mascarpone

Chocolate Easter Cakes with Honey Mascarpone. Photo by Leslie Brienza

Chocolate Easter Cakes with Honey Mascarpone
Makes 4-6 cakes
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon good quality unsweetened cocoa, I use Droste
  3. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  4. 3/4 cup water
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  6. 1 3/4 cups sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  11. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  12. 1 cup Mascarpone
  13. 2 tablespoons honey
  14. 6 ounces candy coated chocolate Easter eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease and lightly flour a jelly roll pan
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
  3. Once butter is melted whisk in the cocoa and stir until smooth
  4. Add the water and oil to saucepan and bring to a boil
  5. Remove the pan from heat and set aside
  6. While chocolate mixture cools whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  7. Pour the slightly cooled cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla
  8. Add the buttermilk mixture into the batter
  9. Pour the batter into pan and place in oven on center rack
  10. Bake until the top is firm to touch and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool
  11. Once cake has cooled, cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter or top of glass, about 2 1/2" in diameter, set aside
  12. Mix honey and mascarpone together in small bowl
  13. Place one cake round on plate, spread mascarpone on top, add another cake round, then more mascarpone until there are three cake layers and three layers of mascarpone.
  14. Dust cakes lightly with powdered sugar and top with crushed chocolate eggs.
Un Bacio in Cucina http://www.unbacioincucina.com/

Rainbow Cookies

Rainbow Cookies have been a tradition in Italian-American baking dating back to the 1900’s by Italian immigrants. They are red, white and green, imitating the colors of the Italian flag, and was a way for them to honor and hold on to the heritage of their country. They are also known as Tricolor and Italian Flag cookies. In the past, I’ve made a twist on the tradition and in honor of our Independence Day in the U.S., I’ve made them red, white and blue instead of the traditional red, white and green. These are one of my favorite cookies to make at Christmas but definitely can make these any time of year. They are full of almond paste and raspberry jam, topped with semi sweet chocolate so can be a bit heavy and rich but oh so good! They are also easy to make but very time consuming. It takes at least three hours to make these beautiful treats but well worth the effort.

Rainbow Cookies. Photo by Leslie Brienza

Rainbow Cookies
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Total Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 7 oz almond paste
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 3 sticks butter, unsalted, softened
  4. 4 large eggs, separated
  5. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  6. 2 cups sifted flour
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 7 drops red food coloring
  9. 7 drops blue food coloring (green for traditional)
  10. 10 oz raspberry preserves, seedless
  11. 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease three 13x9 inch metal or glass baking pans with straight edges
  2. Line bottom of each pan with parchment paper and extend over the sides, then grease the paper
  3. Break apart the almond paste into a food processor and grind with sugar until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl, add butter and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy
  5. Add yolks and almond extract and beat for two minutes at medium speed
  6. Beat in flour and salt on low speed
  7. Clean off beaters and in a separate bowl beat egg whites until they just hold stiff peaks, about three minutes
  8. Stir one-third egg whites into batter until incorporated
  9. Fold in remaining whites gently until blended
  10. Divide batter into thirds (about 13 oz each)
  11. Stir blue (or green) food coloring into one third of the batter and red food coloring into another, leaving one third plain.
  12. Spread batters in each of the separate baking pans in a thin layer.
  13. Bake layers one at a time until just set and edges begin to brown, 9 to 12 minutes
  14. Loosen edges of cake with a knife then invert layer onto a cooling rack and cool completely
  15. Once all layers are cooled transfer blue (or green) layer to a cookie sheet, spread half of the preserves on top, top with plain layer, add remaining preserves, then top with red layer.
  16. Cover layers with plastic wrap and top with heavy cutting board and/or weight.
  17. Chill three hours or overnight
  18. Melt chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water
  19. Remove weight and plastic wrap from layers and spread chocolate over the top only
  20. Let chocolate harden at room temperature for about one hour
  21. Cut twelve rows crosswise then cut twelve rows diagonal to make diamond shapes.
Notes
  1. ~Eggs should be at room temperature as they have less viscosity, which helps the cake rise easier
  2. ~Soften butter at room temperature
  3. ~Sift flour before measuring so it aerates which makes a more light and fluffy cake
  4. ~Even though cake layers are thin don't open the oven!
  5. ~After cooling weigh down layers with heavy cookie sheet and a weight
Un Bacio in Cucina http://www.unbacioincucina.com/
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