Saturday, December 14, 2013


Last Christmas Southern Living Magazine had a contest and from that article there were a couple of recipes that I considered show stoppers and something that I would make this Christmas for the Steel Magnolias one in December and one in January.  Since they combined two groups I ended up making them both this week.  Both a little complicated but both worth the effort.  I will give you a few photos, some lessons learned and the recipe. One today and one tomorrow.
The first thing that you do is to make two peppermint cheesecakes - these are cakes that are baked in a pan of water, then you freeze them and make three 8" round sour cream cakes.
The peppermint cheesecakes ready for the oven.
The sour cream cakes ready for the oven.
To make "melted peppermint plate" 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Trace a 10 inch circle on parchment paper; place parchment paper on a baking sheet. 2. Arrange 60 peppermint candies inside circle on paper, leaving about 1/16 inch space between the candies. 3. Bake 9-10 minutes or until candies begin to melt and touch one another.  Remove from oven, and cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Gently remove peppermint plate from parchment paper and place on top of cake stand.
 Ready to frost!  To be very honest this was a lot of steps but not hard and was very easy to frost.  I was VERY disappointed with my white chocolate curls, don't know if it was the temperature in my kitchen or what but they are too thick to be pretty and when I made them thinner they broke.  Note to self, next time purchase some white chocolate curls!! 

  • Peppermint Cheesecake Layers:
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2/3 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
  • Sour Cream Cake Layers:
  • 1 (18.25-oz.) package white cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • White Chocolate Mousse Frosting:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Garnishes: White chocolate curls, peppermint candies


1. Prepare Peppermint Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 325°. Line bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy and smooth. Add 3 eggs, l at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended. Fold in candies. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place cake pans in a large pan; add water to pan to depth of 1 inch.
2. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely in pans (about 1 hour). Cover cheesecakes (do not remove from pans), and freeze 4 to 6 hours or until frozen solid. Lift frozen cheesecakes from pans, using foil sides as handles. Gently remove foil from cheesecakes. Wrap in plastic wrap, and return to freezer until ready to assemble cake.
3. Prepare Sour Cream Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat cake mix, next 3 ingredients, and 1/2 cup water at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or just until moistened; beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
5. Prepare White Chocolate Mousse Frosting: Cook 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add morsels; cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), whisking occasionally.
6. Beat cream and 2 tsp. vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gradually fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream mixture, folding until mixture reaches spreading consistency.
7. Assemble Cake: Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with 1 frozen cheesecake layer. Top with second cake layer and remaining cheesecake layer. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread top and sides of cake with frosting. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish, if desired.

 They also had homemade vanilla ice cream to go with the cake - hey why not, it's Christmas?

Vanilla Ice Cream using Cuisinart ice cream machine


1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe, Southern Living Magazine
Cake Plate, Pier 1 Imports
Christmas House, Grandin Road
Christmas Bunnies, 
Ice cream containers, $ store
Starlight Mints, $ store
Font used cake tag, Embassy BT, sz 26
Christmas Rabbits by Penny McAllister 
White Chocolate Blossom Curls 12 Ounces by Guittard Chocolate

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