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Category Archives: sweets

Classic French Apple Cake

Delicious Apple Cake
This cake is 1/2 apples!
Love this moist apple cake!

Pardon Your French is a food blogger from France who has the most wonderful authentic recipes. This is a favorite!

The baking apples recommended are Jonagold, Braeburn, Matsu, Pink Lady, Northern Spy, Granny Smith

Ribboning the sugar and egg is an important step in this cake. Beat the eggs and sugar 5-10 minutes or until it falls like a ribbon from the raised beaters or whisk and is a light lemony color.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large baking apples or 3 small or a bit more (I used Honey Crisp)
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac or dark rum
  • Confectionery Sugar
  • Creme Fraiche

Directions

  1. Prepare an 8-9 inch springform pan by spreading 1/2 or 1 tablespoon butter on sides. Place a circle of parchment paper on bottom of pan. I used a 9 inch springform pan in my photos. Use an 8 inch pan if you’d like a taller cake
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Peel and cut apples into 1/2 inch pieces
  4. Melt butter and cool slightly
  5. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt
  6. In a large bowl beat together eggs and 3/4 cup sugar with electric beater until light yellow and a ribbon texture, 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add vanilla and Cognac or rum. I prefer Cognac
  8. Whisk in by hand 1/2 of flour mixture and then 1/2 of melted butter. Then add remaining flour and then remaining butter.
  9. Fold in apples thoroughly. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth surface. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar on top.
  10. Bake 35-45 minutes or until light brown and an inserted knife comes our clean
  11. Cool 15 minutes and carefully remove from pan
  12. When completely cool, dust with confectionery sugar. Serve with creme fraiche
Voila!

Cover cake with a dome like lid or bowl to store. It’s a fragile cake and would stick to any plastic wrapping. If it lasts longer than 1 day, store in the frig

Roasted Rhubarb Cobbler

Roasted Rhubarb Cobbler
Roasted Rhubarb Cobbler
Roasted Rhubarb Cobbler Drizzled with Cream

Easy to make cobbler by Melissa Clark published in the New York Times is as good as they say!! Definitely making this again!!

Ingredients

Rhubarb Filling

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, about 7 cups
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, optional
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Biscuit Topping

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream plus 1 tablespoon plus more for serving
  • Demerara sugar or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Into a 1 1/2 – 2 quart gratin or baking dish add the rhubarb, sugar, salt and zest. Then scrape in the vanilla paste or add extract. Stir well. Let macerate while making biscuit dough.
  2. To make the biscuit dough, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Toss in and coat butter cubes. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, 2 knives or pinch and mix with your fingers until pea size morsels develop. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and mix just until blended with a rubber spatula or spoon.
  3. Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat gently into a ball. Divide into 6 pieces. Form each piece into a round disc. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 6 hours
  4. Place rhubarb in oven. Roast about 25-30 minutes or until tender and a syrup develops. Stir halfway through.
  5. Place the dough rounds over cobbler evenly spaced. Brush rounds with remaining 1 tablespoon heavy cream and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
  6. Lower temperature to 375 and bake 20-30 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature. Drizzle each serving with heavy cream just before eating.
  8. Voila!
Rhubarb Cobbler for Breakfast!!
Love it!!!

Chocolate Dump-It Cake

Chocolate Dump-It Cake from Food 52

I discovered this recipe on an Instagram video by Amanda Hesser, a co-founder of Food 52. It’s a favorite family recipe she shared from her home kitchen. The ingredients are literally dumped into a saucepan. It’s not a fussy recipe. A tube style pan is used. No layers to stack or frost. My granddaughter and I made it this summer and everyone loved it as much as the Guinness Stout Cake, another favorite!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Icing

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place a baking sheet on bottom rack to catch spills.
  2. Use a medium to large saucepan. This will be your main “dump-it” style mixing bowl.
  3. In this saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, butter and 1 cup water. Stir till melted and blended. Cool.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a 1 cup measuring cup combine milk and vinegar
  6. Butter and flour a 9 inch tube pan with a removable bottom.
  7. Whisk the milk mixture and eggs into the chocolate mix.
  8. In several additions whisk in the flour mix.
  9. When the batter is smooth, add the vanilla and whisk a few times.
  10. Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Bake on the middle rack until a skewer comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let cake cool completely, then remove from pan and place on a rack to cool further.
  12. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, then cool to room temperature. It is very important that the chocolate and sour cream be the same temperature, or the icing will be lumpy or grainy. (Test by stirring a little bit of chocolate and sour cream together in a bowl. If it mixes smoothly it’s ready.)
  13. Stir the sour cream into the chocolate, 1/4 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
  14. Place the cake on a serving platter. Ice the sides and then the top.

I hope you enjoy this delish and easy to make cake!

Butter and Flour a Tube Style Baking Pan

Combine and Melt Chocolate, Butter and Water in a Large Saucepan

Whisk together Dry Ingredients

Whisk the Milk and Eggs into the Chocolate Mixture

Whisk Flour Mixture into Chocolate Batter

The Batter is Liquidy

Pour Batter into Prepared Tube Pan

Cool the Baked Cake in the Pan

Place Cake on a Serving Platter to Ice

Cool the Melted Chocolate Chips and Combine with Sour Cream

Ice Your Dump-It Cake and Enjoy!

Voila! And thank you again to Food52!

Lemon Pudding Cakes

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A sponge cake and custard all in one recipe! No frosting! No filling! ZoeBakes is the source of this recipe.

The Meyer lemon looks like an orange, but when the juice is baked up in the cake, it turns yellow like a lemon. It’s a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and is a milder citrus than lemon but not as sweet as an orange. This fruit is named after Frank Nicholas Meyer who introduced the plant in the US from China.

Ingredients

  • Soft butter for ramekins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, or traditional lemon, grapefruit, lime or a combination of the 3 juices
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spoon and sweep into the measuring cup)
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus extra to dust the ramekins
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 2 Meyer lemons, or 2 limes or 1 grapefruit

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Butter heavily 6 to 8 ramekins with soft butter
  • Dust buttered ramekins with sugar
  • Lay a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan
  • Place the ramekins on top of the towel
  • In a bowl whisk together the flour and 3/4 cup sugar and salt
  • Rub the zest into the flour mix with your fingers
  • Set aside
  • In a bowl whisk together the buttermilk, lemon juice and egg yolks
  • Set aside
  • In a bowl beat together the egg whites with 1 tablespoon sugar until just soft peaks. Do not over beat or it will not mix into the batter
  • Whisk flour mix into the buttermilk mix
  • Fold in the egg whites 1/3 at a time with a rubber spatula
  • Ladle the batter into the ramekins
  • Fill the roasting pan with hot water up to the middle of the ramekins
  • Tent with foil making sure the foil does not touch ramekins
  • Bake 20 minutes and then remove foil
  • Bake another 20 minutes
  • Remove ramekins from oven and from the roasting pan. Cool on racks to room temperature
  • The Pudding Cakes can be served warm, room temperature or cold.
  • They can be made ahead and stored in the ramekins
  • You  can serve them in the ramekins or invert them on to serving plates
  • They look best when inverted because the pudding appears on the top
  • To invert, run a knife along the perimeter of the ramekin. Invert on plates
  • You can serve with a berry jam but I prefer without!
  • Voila!

Prepare the ramekins and roasting pan

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Rub the zest into the flour mix with your fingers

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Combine the buttermilk, egg yolks and lemon juice

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Whisk flour mix into buttermilk/egg mix

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Fold beaten egg whites into batter

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Ladle batter into prepared ramekins

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Prepare to place roasting pan in the 325 degree F oven

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Make a tent of foil over the roasting pan making sure not to touch foil to the batter

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Lemon Pudding Cake inverted on a plate!

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Voila!

Microwave Brownies


I found this recipe at MyRecipes.com. It’s really Delish! I added a sprinkling of flaked sea salt just before baking the brownies. Love that sweet chocolate and salty flavor.

If you’re looking for a recipe to make with young children, this works well!

These chocolate brownies have a true chocolate flavor and are a quick easy sweet fix! I made 1 1/2 recipes because I only had a 7×11 inch glass baking pan which is slightly larger than the 8×8 inch dish used in this recipe.  If you want to make a 9×13 pan I would double the recipe.

It’s a forgiving recipe. Just don’t over bake them. Brownies firm up and harden as they cool. They will be very moist when they’re done.

When making larger recipes add on 2 minutes of cooking time and then check them every 15 seconds. Add on more time as needed

1/4 pound/1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup flour

Flaked sea salt

  • Spray an 8×8 inch glass baking pan with oil
  • In a medium microwaveable bowl combine butter and cocoa powder. 
  • Microwave on high until butter is melted. About 30-90 seconds
  • Remove bowl from microwave
  • Whisk in sugar. Cool slightly
  • Mix in eggs and vanilla
  • Mix in flour just until combined
  • Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth out evenly
  • Sprinkle top with flaked sea salt
  • Microwave on high 4-7 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave
  • Check after 4 minutes for doneness and every 15 seconds after that
  • Don’t over bake
  • Cool and cut into 8 squares
  • Voila!

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse


This is a super fast and easy method for a pure chocolate dessert! It’s a recipe from Food52.com which is a fabulous source for all things food!

3/4 cup water

4 oz chocolate you love! I like the chili pepper flavor dark chocolate. Any style that has 70% cacao is good

  • In a small saucepan heat the water
  • Whisk in the chocolate and mix until smooth
  • Place saucepan over a larger bowl of ice
  • Beat with a hand whisk, hand mixer or an immersion/stick blender until thick for a minute or less.
  • Pour into small serving bowls
  • Serves 4 small rich portions
  • Top with whipping cream
  • When melting the chocolate you may add other flavors such as vanilla, spices, rose water or liquor.
  • Don’t refrigerate it, just keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to eat it.

Whisk the chocolate and water over medium heat until smooth


Place the saucepan over a bowl of ice and beat with a stick blender


Beat just until thick. Do not over do it!

Voila! I hope you love this as much as we do!

Sweet Yeast Bread

My grandmother was from Belarus, part of the former Soviet Union. This is her recipe for sweet yeast bread.

My Russian and Ukrainian friends are familiar with this style bread. There is a special tall, cylindrical baking pan they use for Easter, but we use empty vegetable cans for small loaves or larger coffee cans. The shape looks like a mushroom or a dome of the Russian Orthodox Churche. But my Grandma for everyday baking used traditional glass bread pans and she made this year round, not only at Easter.


1 cup milk

1/4 pound butter

4 and 1/2 cups flour, sifted

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon dry yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1/3 cup warm water

1/2 cup raisins, optional

  • In a saucepan heat milk. Add butter and melt. Keep warm.
  • In a large bowl beat eggs with a whisk till lemon color. Add sugar slowly and continue beating until thick and light
  • In a very large bowl combine flour and salt.
  • Add warm milk mix to eggs.
  • Add egg mix to flour and beat with the back of a wooden spoon against the front side of the bowl. Turn the bowl 180 degrees frequently.Or beat with the paddle of a mixer.

  • Combine 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/3 cup water. Dissolve and mix in yeast. Cover with a towel and allow to rise to double in volume.
  • Add yeast to dough and continue beating until smooth and glossy.
  • Pour dough into a buttered large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, a rubber band and a towel. Rise until doubled.


  • After risen once, cut through the dough with a spatula.
  • Add raisins.
  • Pour into 3 buttered and floured cans. Fill to only 1/2 full.

  • Rise till dough reaches the top of the can.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
  • You can drizzle with a thin icing if you like.

Bananas Foster

 
Perfect for Mardi Gras season! Bananas Foster is a dessert created in New Orleans in 1951 at Brennan’s Restaurant. It is named after Richard Foster, a friend of the restaurant owner. 

Here’s what you need, plus vanilla ice cream😉

  
This recipe is from Cooks Illustrated.

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt:

1 stick butter

  • Whisk in:

1 cup packed dark brown sugar (7 ounces)

  • Stir in:

Lemon zest from 1 large lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

  • Simmer 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Make sure the heat is not too high or the butter and sugar will separate and won’t form a sauce.
  • Add:

4 bananas peeled, cut in half crosswise and lengthwise.

  • Spoon some sauce over the bananas and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned and glistening on the bottom. Flip bananas over and cook another 1 minute until soft on the outside, but not mushy. Bananas should keep their shape and not break or fall apart.

  

  • Remove pan from heat and Add:

1 cup dark rum

  • Tilt the pan to distribute the rum and allow to heat up a few seconds.
  • Ignite rum with a match. 
  • Swirl and shake the pan to distribute the flame.
  • Allow the flame to subside (about 15-30 seconds)

  

  • Divide the bananas onto 8 serving dishes
  • Add:

1 scoop ice cream to each dish

  • Pour sauce over ice cream and bananas
  • Serve with spoons

Classic Delish!

French Pastry Cake with French Custard Filling

French Pastry Cake with Soft French Custard and Fresh Strawberry Filling


French Pastry Cake with Soft French Custard and Fresh Strawberry Filling

I have been making this cake since 1968. My mom learned to make it from a series of cooking classes she took at the Antoinette Pope Cooking School in downtown Chicago.  This was our family birthday cake Mom made for her large family who would gather at our home. The only cake similar I have tasted is the Yule Log made by the French pastry chef at Café Zinc, Jeremy Lecreuse.

This recipe is taken from The New Antoinette Pope Cook Book. I made a double recipe for this large cake.

One recipe is described here and is for an angel food cake pan or any pan of similar volume. A deep 9 x 13 inch baking pan would work as long as it is at least 3 inches deep.

In these cake photos I doubled this recipe and for my baking pan used a liner to a warming tray measuring 20 x 12 x 2.5 inches

This is a sponge cake which is similar to an angel food cake, except it has the addition of beaten egg yolks. The cake filling is fresh strawberries and a thick stove top custard, also a French recipe. The icing is beaten heavy whipping cream. I don’t add sugar, but you may add confectioners sugar as you beat the cream. Mom used to also decorate the cake, but I prefer to decorate with fresh flowers

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 3/4 cup sifted granulated sugar

12 large egg yolks (1 1/2 cups white and 1 cup yolks)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


Measure egg yolks and whites


Sift and measure sugar and cake flour

  • In a large bowl combine flour with about 1/2 the sugar. Sift together at least 3 times.
  • Separate eggs carefully. In a medium bowl, beat yolks for several minutes until lemony
  • In a large bowl combine egg whites and salt. Beat until foamy. Sprinkle cream of tartar over surface. Continue beating until whites cling to sides of bowl. Beat 1 more minute.

When egg whites are beaten to foamy, add the cream of tartar which stabilizes the foam


  • With a plastic spatula fold beaten egg yolks into whites.

  • Fold in the other 1/2 of the sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Fold in the flour and sugar mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.

Sonia Sanders folding the flour into the cake

Sonia Sanders folding the flour into the cake

Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour-sugar mixture over top and fold in

Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour-sugar mixture over top and fold in

Folding

Folding

  • Fold in vanilla.

  • Pour batter into a round loose bottom ungreased deep pan about 12 x 3 inches or an angel food cake pan about 4 x 10 inches. If using a pan without a removable bottom, place a 3 inch round of parchment paper on center bottom of pan, holding it in place with a little butter.
  • Bake 1 hour at 300 degrees.
  • Increase to 325 degrees and bake 10-20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick or cake tester.

Double size cake baking in oven

Double size cake baking in oven

  • Turn cake upside town and balance so the cake does not touch the counter.


Standard round baking pans make 2-3 round cakes

Turn cake pan upside down and balance with cups to hold cake above the counter. Cake does not fall out!

Turn cake pan upside down and balance with cups to hold cake above the counter. Cake does not fall out!

  • Let cool about 2 hours or until cold. It is best to remove cake from pan as soon as it is cold.
  • Loosen sides and bottom with a spatula or dinner knife and turn out onto serving platter or cake rack.
  • When ready to ice, cut cake in half horizontally with a bread knife.

French Cream Filling (Top of Stove Custard)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup sifted flour mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

1/4 cup cool milk

2 cups warm milk

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

  • In a stainless steel saucepan combine sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • In a small bowl beat yolks slightly and add the 1/4 cup cool milk.


  • Whisk yolk mixture slowly into dry ingredients.
  • Whisk warm milk into yolk mixture, a little at a time, until blended.

  • Cook over moderate heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
  • Lower heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add butter.

  • Cool and continue to whisk often to prevent crust from forming.
  • Add vanilla when cool.
  • Cover top of custard with piece of plastic wrap to prevent crust from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Constructing the cake

  • Prepare a cake platter. I use a tray covered with aluminum foil and white paper doilies.
  • Divide the custard in half. Spread half of it on the cut side of the bottom cake layer.

Cake sliced in half and spread with custard and covered with fresh strawberries

Cake sliced in half and spread with custard and covered with fresh strawberries

  • Place fresh strawberry slices over the custard.
  • Spread the remaining half of custard on the cut side of the top layer of cake.
  • Carefully flip the top layer onto the strawberry layer.

Cake Assembled!

Cake Assembled!

It's a beautiful thing! And not super sweet!

It’s a beautiful thing! And not super sweet!

  • Beat at least 1 pint or more fresh whipping cream until spreadable. You can add some powdered sugar before beating if you want it a little sweeter.
  • Frost the cake top and then the sides with the whipping cream.
  • Voila!

Aunt Lois’ Carrot Cake

  

IMG_5890 A very generous piece of carrot cake!
IMG_7360 A mid-century cake on a mid-century platter
Carrots, pineapple and nuts folding into the cake batter Carrots, pineapple and nuts folding into the cake batter
IMG_7353 Carrot Cake batter ready to pour into 3 round prepared cake pans
IMG_7355 Softened raisins and chopped walnuts sprinkled over the first and 2nd layers of cake that have been thinly spread with the Cream Cheese Frosting
IMG_7356 Raisins softened in boiling water, now draining extra water on paper towels waiting next to chopped walnuts
IMG_7357 The first layer thinly spread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Aunt Lois Sanders Zuro shared this recipe in 1970. It’s been a family favorite ever since!

Ingredients

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten well

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

3 cups grated carrot, do not pack, but lightly spoon into measuring cups, about 1 pound

1 15-ounce can sweetened crushed pineapple, drained well!

Directions

  • Butter and flour three 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixer bowl blend sugar and oil. Add well beaten eggs and blend well.
  • In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir till just blended.
  • Stir in nuts, carrots and pineapple.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-35 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Also check to see that the cake has slightly pulled away from the sides of the baking pan.
  • Let cool 20 minutes or so on cooling racks.
  • When cakes are cool enough to handle, remove from baking pans by inverting onto racks.
  • Cool completely. Cover with Saran if you do no plan to frost them the same day.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 pound or 4 cups powdered sugar

8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to your taste of tartness

1 1/2-2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

1 1/2-2 cups raisins which have been softened in boiling water and drained well

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl combine butter and cream cheese and beat well.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat well. Add vanilla and lemon juice and blend.
  • If icing appears too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • Spread a thin coat of icing on the top of the first layer of cake. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the nuts and raisins.
  • Spread a thin layer on both sides of the 2nd layer of cake.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of the nuts and raisins on the 2nd layer of cake.
  • Spread a thin layer on the bottom side of the 3rd layer of cake.
  • Using a narrow metal spatula or knife, ice the side of the cake and finally the top of the cake. Decorate the top with remaining raisins and walnuts.

Voila!