Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012

We had a great St. Patrick's Day - did you? We had a traditional dinner with friends and I made a really fun dessert! Have your kids made Leprechaun traps in school? Mine did in the early years of elementary school, and when I saw this cake it reminded me of those traps they made. And of course, if you're Irish (even only on March 17th), then you need to have some Soda Bread.

I did make a few other new recipes this week, but none were "blog-worthy" as we say around the dinner table! Better luck next week!!!

New Recipes
Irish Soda Bread
Leprechaun Trap Cake

Leprechaun Trap Cake

For St. Patrick's Day we had dinner with friends, and I was asked to bring dessert. I saw this really cute cake, and gave it a whirl. Using a white cake box mix and some food coloring I was able to get a rainbow inside the cake! I used a grass tip to frost the cake so it would like a meadow, and butterscotch disks for the gold. The ladder was two pretzel rods with stick pretzel rungs. The pretzels were "glued" together with almond bark. All the kids loved the dessert, and were surprised when we cut into it and the rainbow was revealed!

This is the original post for the cake I saw and used as inspiration for our St. Patrick's Day dessert! Leprechaun Trap Cake

* white box cake mix
* gel food coloring
* white or vanilla frosting
* 2 pretzel stick rods
* 8 stick pretzels
* almond bark for "glue"

1. Make the cake as directed on the box.
2. Separate the cake into 7 bowls:
6 ounces – dye it red
5 ounces – dye it orange
4 ounces – dye it yellow
3 ounces – dye it green
2 ounces – dye it blue
1 ounce – dye it purple
1 ounce – to be kept white

3. Fill the angel food pan with the remaining white batter that has not been dyed. Then begin to layer with the dyed colors, making each ring successively smaller.
4. Bake it at 325 in an angel food pan for the time directed on the box. This temperature will keep it from rising too much.
5. Let it cool completely, and then slice the top so that it is flat.
6. Place the cake on the serving platter, and then begin to frost. I used vanilla frosting that I dyed greed. I used a grass tip to pipe the frosting to make it look like grass (imagine that!).
7. I made the ladder using the pretzels and melted almond bark.
8. Fill the middle with butterscotch disks for gold.

I ended up measuring the batter and dying it in Ziploc bags. This made it easy to layer and put in the cake pan.

Irish Soda Bread

* 4 cups flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 2 eggs
* 1 stick butter, softened
* 1/2 lb raisins

1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Add butter to flour mixture and blend.
3. Add raisins to the mix.
4. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, then add buttermilk to the eggs.
5. Slowly incorporate the egg and buttermilk mixture a little at a time, and blend will with a spoon.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Cook in a 9 inch greased pan, for about an hour, to an hour and fifteen minutes.

I doubled the recipe and made it in 3 loaf pans. I cooked the 3 loaves for 65 minutes, and they came out great!

The original recipe calls for 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar, the less sugar the more bread like so it could be served right with dinner. Additionally, if you make it in one round it comes out easily and perfect in a spring form pan. The high sides tend to keep it nice and straight. This recipe has been in the family for a long time... enjoy!