Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Test Kitchen Tuesday ~ Week 1

 My name is Melanie and I am a Pinterest addict.
I pin and pin and pin.
 I stay up until 3 am because I just can't stop scrolling down. I see ' fetching pins ' and that little ball bouncing and my anticipation builds . I can't close out the screen, the next set may have THE recipe I have been searching for all my life and I've already made it 30 pages, I can't risk missing it. There is no turning back...

I have the best intentions of making each and every recipe. I have even gone so far as to buy ingredients for many of these recipes, that end up sitting in my pantry as I procrastinate.
Tuesday, my day off, perfect for clearing out my 'recipes to try' board. 
It's too early in the week for me to begin baking for my weekend cake orders so Test Kitchen Tuesday is born.
Each week I will try a new recipe from my ' Recipes to Try ' board and share the recipe and the results. 
Everything from cookies, to cheesecake.
I'll be sharing these creations with co workers, family, friends, and even customers for their feedback as I am a poor judge... I love everything !

Don't worry if you follow me for decorating tutorials, I will still be doing those as well.

Kicking off Test Kitchen Tuesday is a recipe from a blog: Let's get Cooking

Lemon Berry Mascarpone Cake

3 cups flour
1 and 2/3 cup sugar
Zest and juice of two lemons
6 tbsp of melted butter, plus one stick of butter at room temperature
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
2 cups mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberries…)
12 oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup half & half
8 tbsp powdered sugar, plus more for topping

Start by making the crumb topping. Combine one cup of the flour, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and half the lemon zest and juice, and the 6 tbsp of melted butter. Stir with a fork until crumbly.

Set that aside and start the cake. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the sides of two 8″ cake pans then line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper

In a small bowl, sift together the remaining 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda.

In mixer bowl, cream the 1 stick of softened butter and the remainder of the lemon zest and juice.  Add the remaining 1 cup sugar and mix well.  Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Mix in the dry ingredients and the sour cream, and beat until well combined.

Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Sprinkle one cup of berries over the top of each cake pan.

 Divide the crumb topping mixture evenly between the two pans and press down gently.

Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let cake cool completely in pans.

When you’re ready to assemble, prepare your filling. Beat together the mascarpone cheese, half & half, and powdered sugar.

Place one cake layer on your serving plate, crumb side up, and spread all the filling on top. 

Top with second cake layer, crumb side up, and dust with powdered sugar.

Refrigerate the cake until the filling is firm, a few hours at least.  Serve cold or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Survey says :

I enjoyed it because it was sweet, but not too sweet. I would say this is more of a coffee cake than an after dinner cake due to it's light flavor and texture.

My 3 year old loved it because of the berries.

My other 1/2, Brandon Sr. , liked it , has had 2 slices, but isn't crazy about it. He doesn't care for the filling. I think some additional confectioners sugar would change that.

Tweaks and Tips:

Next time I would add a bit more lemon , I did only have 1 very large lemon on hand , that would have been the equivalent of 2 small lemons. But the lemon flavor isn't as noticeable as I would like it to be.
I would also add about a tablespoon or 2  more confectioners sugar to the filling to sweeten it up a bit. All a matter of preference though. It is delicious as it is.

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