HELLO SUMMER! Rustic Red Velvet Cake Layered with Berries

 

Easy and Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe that's Rustic & Layered with lots of Berries on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

Easy and Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe that's Rustic & Layered with lots of Berries on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

 

Easy and Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe that's Rustic & Layered with lots of Berries on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

Easy and Moist Red Velvet Cake Recipe that's Rustic & Layered with lots of Berries on WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

Kick off summer with this delicious recipe, paired with our zinfandel or port.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Yield: 1 9-inch Cake

Total Time: 4 hours

This is our go-to recipe for red velvet cake that has a great chocolate-ty flavor. For the red color, we used Americolor #119 Red Red Gel (yes, that’s 2 red’s in a row. Not a typo). We’ve also tested this recipe for cupcakes and it comes out great every time! Also, if you love cream cheese frosting,  you can always make extra frosting!

Ingredients:

Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (275g) cake flour
  • 1/4 cup (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml)vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) liquid red food coloring or about 1 Tablespoon (15ml) Americolor #119 Red Red color Gel
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs

Frosting and Finishing Ingredients:

  • Two (8oz – 225g) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Mix of fresh berries (about 1.5 pounds – 680g). If you’re using strawberries, slice them.

Directions:

For Baking the Cake:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F on regular Bake mode (not convection).
  2. Grease or butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or line the bottom with parchment paper).
  3. Dry Flour Mixture: Sift or whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Wet Buttermilk Mixture: Whisk together buttermilk, red food coloring vinegar and vanilla in a medium bowl until well blended. Set aside.
  5. In a stand mixer bowl (if using a hand electric mixer use a large bowl) beat together sugar and butter in until combined well.  Then add one egg at a time into the butter/sugar mixture until everything is well blended.
  6. Beat in 1/2 of the dry flour mixture and 1/2 of the wet buttermilk mixture until smooth. Repeat with remaining dry and wet mixtures until batter is smooth.
  7. Pour the batter divided into the two 9-inch cake pans. Scrape the bowl using a rubber spatula to ensure all the batter is used.
  8. Bake the cakes for about 25-30 minutes or until cake is baked through. Insert a toothpick tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s cooked.
  9. Cool the cakes, then gently turn them over and release them onto cooling racks. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting and Finishing the Cake:

  • In large bowl, add cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Cream together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  • Gently cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers of cake. Then spread about one-fourth of the cream cheese frosting over 1 layer of cake. Layer about 1/4 of the berries over the frosting. Repeat the same steps over the remaining cake layers. Top the final layer of with berries.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com

 

Spring at a California Winery

Rows and rows of lush green vines have begun to sprout. If you look closely, you may see little grapes starting to form as spring is upon us in Sunny California.

This is one of the best times to come by Agua Dulce Winery and take pictures, engagement pictures, celebrate the new growth as it first appears on the vines. The vineyards have a lush, green look that intensifies as the year goes on. Wild flowers bloom in the hills, and while the temperatures are fairly warm, they don’t reach the oppressive heights of summer. The spring is ideal for outdoor activities like biking and horseback riding, and for enjoying the various vintages of the region. Come by for a tasting and to check out this beautiful time of the year.

Port pairings you must try

Nutella, Licorice, Lollipops and Whoppers? How do these pair with our luxurious Syrah Port. Well, we put them to the test for you and here are the results –  You may be surprised at what we discovered…

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Sea Salt Caramels & Port

Unbelievably silky and indulgent pairing. The Port brings out an intensified caramel flavor as the salt cuts the sweetness. Ending this pairing with a sweet creamy aftertaste. We give this an A+.

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Black Licorice

Black Licorice is an odd flavor in itself. It can be harsh and salty, yet addicting. So we thought why not try this with our port to see if it can sweeten up this interesting flavor. Well, surprisingly the two work well together.  As you bite into the licorice, the intense spicy flavor can be overwhelming – yet as you sip the port with it, it brings out an almost sweeter side. This is not for the faint of heart as the flavors can be intense – but if you are looking for a  version of our port with a little kick of spice to it. Try this together. Not our favorite – but one for the books.

Nutella & Bananas

We had to do it – Nutella is all the craze right now, and it has every right to be with a wallop of scrumptious hazelnut and creamy texture. Dribbled all over a ripe banana – sipping a port – this counts for a daily fruit serving right? With the sweet nutella, the banana allows a texture of smoothness and a light creamy flavor. The port adds a slight bitter dark chocolate taste – if you love dark chocolate, this is the pairing for you.

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Chocolate & Strawberries

This is always a favorite for pairings – the fruit of the strawberry, dripping with chocolate and sipped with port – well that is a perfect combination. This sweet berry lightly pulls the luxurious fruit flavor from our port – the chocolate draws in a creaminess for a really indulgent experience.

Cheese & Crackers

Okay, this is not any ordinary cheese. We picked up some Syrah cheese and berry infused crackers (Trader Joes). This pairing offers a tri-level of flavors with textures. The Syrah cheese has a really sharp, creamy flavor with a slight Syrah presence. Placed on the cracker and sipped with Port is one of the most palatable pairings we have ever tried. Intense essence of the sharp cheese lightened with a slight dark chocolate from the port and sweetened by the fruit in the crackers. Wow.

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Strawberry Mochi Ice-Cream

Now this was a fun pairing and experience. The combination of the Port and Mochi Ice-Cream – made for one delicious adult strawberry milkshake. Mochi ice cream is a Japanese confection made from mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. This treat is indulgent, luxurious, creamy, sweet and the aftertaste makes you feel like a kid again. You know the days of strawberry malts on a hot summer day. Delicious!

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Sees Chocolate Lollipops

This is a unique party treat. Who would think that a little chocolate lollipop would bring out such intense fruitful flavors of our Port. If you don’t want the extra calories from wine tasting and chocolate. Try a lollipop (chocolate, coffee and expresso flavors recommended). Really enjoyed this combination – we even found ourselves dipping it in the port itself. Soaking the lollipop with the deep red port and enjoying the two splash of flavors coming together. Ritzy.

7

Peppermint Patties & Whoppers

The whopper pairing was the most interesting as to what flavors it would bring out. As we took a bite of the whopper the chocolate was very powerful, but as soon as we sipped the port – wow, the malt flavor intensified into a chocolate malt/milkshake. If you are a malt addict, you would love this combination. The port drew out the malt flavor over the chocolate and it was not too sweet yet milky and pleasurable treat.

ohhhhhh Patty Patty Peppermint – this was our favorite pairing of the evening. The combination of mint, chocolate and fruit – blows any girls scout cookie out of the water.. or should we say wine. Imagine an indulgent chocolate cookie with a dash of peppermint soaking into your taste buds leaving the most grand aftertaste begging to have more. Yup – that happened. Pleasurable combination.

The good news is our Port is on sale for the month of February – so try these out, or let us know what unique pairing you come up with from your own kitchen. The discoveries are endless!

CHOCOLATE SALTED CARAMEL TART

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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (25g) Dutch cocoa
  • 1½ cups (225g) plain flour
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • ½ cup (80g) icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons iced water
  • sea salt flakes, for sprinkling

salted caramel

  • 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups (330g) white sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

dark chocolate ganache

  • 150g dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream

CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BAKED BRIE

Cranberry-Pistachio-Baked-Brie-1

A delicious holiday-colored appetizer that can be ready to go in about 20 minutes!

Cranberry Pistachio Baked Brie

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest of one orange, divided
  • 1 wheel brie
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • (crackers for serving)

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add cranberries, sugar, water and about half of the orange zest to a medium saucepan, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Cranberry-Pistachio-Baked-Brie-8

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and place the brie in the center of the sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just begins to ooze out the side.

Transfer baked brie to a serving tray. Then top with the cranberry sauce, and sprinkle with pistachios and remaining orange zest.

Serve immediately with crackers.

Photo & full recipe visit: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cranberry-pistachio-baked-brie/

New Years Eve Pairing

HDWhat we’re eating: Finger foods, leftovers, takeout—by the time New Year’s Eve rolls around, we’re ready to roll out of the house and into the gym. Still, that won’t stop us from raising a final glass to toast one heck of a holiday season.

What we’re drinking: Bubbles are an obvious choice when it comes to New Year’s Eve celebrations, but this year forgo mass-produced sparklers in favor of unique bottles with personality. Grower Champagnes are a great place to start, since they’re produced on a smaller scale with estate-grown fruit that’s carefully tended throughout the growing season, and often fermented with indigenous yeast that imparts its own individuality on the wine. Beyond France’s Champagne region, look to domestic wines, which encompass an array of budget-minded bubbly crafted in our own backyard. Want something more unexpected still? Add a bottle of fino sherry to the mix. A dry fortified wine made in Spain’s Jerez region, finos rest under a layer of yeasty flor, which imparts a bright, mouthwatering tanginess to each bottle. But you really can’t go wrong—all three are party sippers perfect for rounding out the festive flavors of the season.

Check out champagne pairings at

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/champagne-pairings-for-new-years-eve-party#!slide=4