Easy Five-Layer Mini Celebration Cake and Happy 6th Birthday Food on Fifth…Enjoy Your Day!

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Six years ago today I posted my very first Food on Fifth blog post. It was short, the photos not very good and I got “1” comment. I don’t remember but it was probably from a relative! So here, today, is my blog’s birthday with a wee celebration cake that is easy to make, festive and delicious! And now we are “6”.

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I have often been asked why I started blogging. One day while poking around in an antique store I purchased the first of my collection of old recipe boxes with handwritten recipes. I had not inherited any such thing from my Mother or Grandmother so I decided then and there to start a blog so my daughters would have a “modern-style recipe box”, and would, through my blog, learn more about me as a person, about my travels and my creative side via Food on Fifth. That’s all. No intentions other than creating a modern-style recipe box to leave for my girls chock full of memories.

Six years later I am still at it and I have learned a lot about taking photos of food and about how much I love that part. I have learned much about food failures (I don’t blog about all those!) and how to really embrace the beauty of imperfection.

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It’s easy to turn a sheet cake into a quick festive cake that serves 4 people using a large round cookie cutter, lemon and lime  curds and raspberry jam.

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Stacked with a smear of flavors in between.

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Fresh berries on top and a dusting of powdered sugar.

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Voilà ! A Happy Birthday Cake for Food on Fifth. Enjoy.

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Easy Five Layer Mini Celebration Cake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp softened butter
  • 2/4 cup sugar
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup lime curd
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • fresh blackberries and blueberries
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray paper. Dust paper with flour, shaking off excess and set aside.
  2. Whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Beat together softened butter and sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add lemon zest, almond and vanilla extracts mixing well.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed and alternately beat in flour mixture and milk until blended.
  5. Spread cake batter into sheet pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack.
  6. When cake has completely cooled, use a 4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to make 5 cake rounds.
  7. Place one round on a serving plate or cake stand and smear first layer with half the lemon curd; top with second layer adding half the raspberry jam; top with third cake layer and spread with all the lime curd; top with fourth layer and  smear with remaining raspberry jam; top with fifth layer and spread with remaining lemon curd.
  8. Add a ring of blackberries around the top of the cake and fill with blueberries. Chill cake for about 1 hour, dust with powdered sugar and serve cut into small wedges. A scoop of ice cream would be nice.

Note: I used jarred citrus curds that I found at World Market, you could make your own if you like…but these were very good and make the cake “easy”.

Teresa Blackburn   http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com   http://www.foodonfifth.com

Pomegrate & Orange Gin for Summer G & T’s

  Pomegranate Gin & tonics

“Pomegranate-Orange Flavored Gin & Tonics” for Summer Celebrations

Once again I found myself in the possession of a few treasures left over from a photo shoot. This time it was a package of Pomegranate Seeds and an Orange. Many of my blog inspirations come from such leftovers. I am lucky that such bounty comes to me. It is one of the many great things about my work as a food stylist.  There was no way I was going to let those juicy deep red  seeds go to waste…what to do…what to make..?

Pomegranate Seeds

Along with a few cups of Gin, an orange and some sugar my plan formed.  Infuse the gin with the pomegranate seeds & a bit of orange peel for the best ever G & T’s.

Here is how easy it is:

1. Put 2 cups pomegranate seeds in a glass jar.

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2. Pour 3 cups of Gin over seeds.

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3. Cut and  add a long strip of Orange Peel.

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4. Add 1/2 cup sugar to jar. Stir. Seal with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to blend.

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The magic begins. Place the jar in a dark, cool place for 1 month. I use my front hall closet where this jar keeps company with bottles of Limoncello, Vanilla Extract and Poire William…all of which are some of my other concoctions. Dark infusions!

(tick tock, tick tock….one month later)

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Isn’t this the prettiest color? Now the decanting….

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Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour into bottles with tight lids. I keep my Pomegranate-Orange Gin chilled.

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My simple G & T for Hot Summer Days recipe:

1. Fill glasses with ice, pour Gin over ice, top with Tonic Water, add a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, enjoy.

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Salut! to this my 100th blog post. Join me in a toast with your own G & T this summer.

“Cheese Tart & Clicquot…Happy New Year”

It was crisply chilled, there were multiple bottles, they were shared among friends, we brought appetizer’s….small, delicate, chocolate “cake-ettes” appeared from our hostess…”Table Topics” was introduced & we were off on many conversational roads leading to others, politics, history, funny stories & memories, food……it was the best of New Year’s Eves. Happy 2011

Wouter, Nancy, Jim, Wendy, me & Bill

An “Alsatian Cheese Tart” for New Year’s Eve, adapted from a recipe found at epicurious.com, originally in “Gourmet” Magazine, Feb. 2006

For this you will need: 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed; 1/2 cup whole milk cottage cheese; 1/4 cup plain yogurt; salt & pepper; 6 slices of bacon cooked crispy & broken into pieces; 1/2 small yellow onion sliced very thinly; 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To Make:

I discovered this Puff Pastry “Dufour Pastry Kitchens” brand at Whole Foods a couple of days ago and butter is the first ingredients listed. This inspired me to try it out with this Tart recipe. It is very delicious, baked up perfectly and tasted  like puff pastry is supposed to taste. Buttery!

1. With oven rack in the middle of oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw whatever puff pastry you use according to package directions.

2. While pastry is thawing prepare toppings. Blend together cottage cheese, yogurt, salt & pepper. Cook bacon ’til crisp & thinly slice onion.

3. Slightly roll out pastry on lightly floured surface with a rolling-pin. You will have a rectangle about 15″ x 10″ more or less.  Using a sharp knife I cut the pastry into two equal size pieces as I wanted to make one with bacon and the other vegetarian.

4. Place both pieces of pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread half the cheese mixture over the surface of each to within 1 inch of edge all way around. Sprinkle thin slices of onion over all. On one side sprinkle all the crumbled bacon. Top both with grated Parmesan cheese. Optional: sprinkle over both a light dusting of Italian Seasoning.

5. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffy. About 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. Cut into small “two-bite” squares to serve.

(While my tart was baking I made a cup of Yogi Chai Tea. The tags on the tea bags have “pearls of wisdom” on them…this “worth sharing” tag pretty much says it all)

….Out of the oven……

Bon Apetit all year-long!