gooseberrypie12_little-house-dunes

by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve been on something of a pie binge lately, between the fresh fruit on the shelves and the great pie place we passed while in the UP (twice). When we walked into the Three Seasons Cafe outside Manistique I told the DH, “Save room for pie, these ladies look like they know pie.” He said they would probably take that as a compliment, which I would hope, because it’s some of the highest words of praise I know. Where I come from, if you have a hand with a pie you have immortality.

When my first container of gooseberries came my way recently I was pretty excited.

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They were really tart, and I decided to turn them into a pie for no better reason than it sounded like something from a Beatrix Potter story – gooseberry, gooseberry, gooseberry PIE! I combined them with raspberries and streusel, then turned it into a crust. You could totally skip the crust though, and make it up as a crumble/crisp instead. In retrospect I think some diced dryish apples would be a good addition, to help soak up all the ample juice.

Gooseberry-Raspberry Pie, Makes one 9″ deep dish pie

  • 2 c. fresh gooseberries
  • 2 pts. fresh raspberries
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 T. quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • One recipe pie crust (under Basics page, above)
  • One recipe streusel (under Basics page, above)

Slice a handful of the gooseberries in half and combine all the fruit. Toss it with the sugar, tapioca and cornstarch. Preheat the oven to 375.

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Line a pie pan with the crust and fill it with the fruit.

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Mix up the streusel and cover the fruit. Put the pie in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.

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If the streusel browns too fast, move the pie to the bottom rack and turn the heat down to 350. When the juice is bubbling around the edges take it out.

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While I first served this pie warm I thought it was actually better after it got cold. So it’s up to you. The filling will continue to thicken in the refrigerator. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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One year ago: Moroccan Style Semolina Flatbread

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by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, the wrong parts apparently, because I’d never heard of cudighi until last week when I came across it in its natural habitat – the wilds of Ishpeming in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Ishpeming is in the heart of U.P. mining country, with its long winters and colossal chunks of rock. We have the Italian immigrants to this area to thank for cudighi, a spicy patty of seasoned meat on a hard roll. At Ralph’s Italian Deli you can order it in pork or turkey versions with cheese, ketchup, mustard and onion or with pizza sauce and cheese.  On two different visits I tried both the pork and turkey, then when I got home I set to developing my own. It’s got tailgate and Super Bowl party written all over it!

Cudighi, Makes four large sandwiches

  • One one-lb. package of ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 2 t. fennel seed, freshly ground
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 t. Tony Chacere’s Cajun seasoning (other hot seasoning mix)
  • One green pepper, diced
  • One 8 oz. package of sliced white mushrooms
  • ½ lb. provolone cheese
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • One 8 oz. can pizza sauce
  • Four oblong hard rolls

Mix the seasonings into the meat well and set aside.

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I used one electric griddle for everything, but you could use frying pans if you prefer. Saute the mushrooms and pepper in 1 T. olive oil, until the peppers are soft and the mushrooms are brown.

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Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Form the meat into thin (1/2” thick) oblong patties shaped to fit the rolls you’re using. Brown the patties on each side, and then cover until they are cooked through.

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Top each patty with some cheese and put a lid on them again until the cheese melts. (At Ralph’s they assemble the sandwiches and put them under the broiler to melt the cheese, but it was too hot to turn the oven on.)

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While the cheese is melting, split the rolls and spread pizza sauce on each side (add a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese if you like).

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Divide the mushrooms and peppers into four servings and pile them on the bottom side of each roll.

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Top the veggies with the cudighi hot from the pan and squish the whole thing together.

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Cut into halves. Serve hot with chips and lots of napkins. (PS: The proper pronounciation is COO-dih-gee, if you’re wondering.)

One year ago: Fallen Chocolate Cakes

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by Heather Harris Brady

Saskatoon berries are native to the north-northwestern part of the US and Canada, but they are starting to find their way across other temperate areas of the country. Our first u-pick farm opened about three years ago. Saskatoon berries are also called serviceberries, pigeon berries and western juneberries. A major ingredient in pemmican, they are somewhat blueberry-like but more substantial.

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A candidate for the next superfruit, they are high in fiber, manganese and riboflavin. They are also, coincidentally, quite tasty. In this cake I’ve paired them with lemon, fresh ginger and tart lemon glaze. If saskatoon berries are not available in your area, you could sub in any smallish tartish berry like raspberries, blackberries or even cranberries I suppose as long as you adjust the sugar accordingly. As you will see I stirred this all up in the saucepan because if I get a chance to not a wash a dish I take it.

Lemon Ginger Cake with Saskatoon Berries, Makes one 8″ square cake

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 T. fresh ground ginger
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 c. powdered sugar

Combine the butter, sugar, lemon zest and ginger. Preheat the oven to 350.

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Stir in the oatmeal and baking powder, then the eggs and vanilla.

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Combine the yogurt and milk, measure the flour and set it aside. Alternate adding the milk and the flour in 1 cup increments, stirring well after each addition. You should have a thick, creamy batter.

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Carefully fold in the saskatoon berries with a spatula.

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Spread the batter into a greased 8″ square baking pan.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center is firm and the top is golden brown.

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Stir together the lemon juice and powdered sugar, add more sugar if necessary to get a thick glaze. (Sorry about the spoon, I was chasing daylight.)

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Spread the glaze on the warm cake. It will spread out and make little pools along the edge. They’re a reward for people who take the corner pieces.

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This cake is moist, fluffy and delicious. If your house is warm this time of the year you may want to refrigerate it. It’s fine to leave it out at 70 or below.

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It also cuts into neat, pretty squares.

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One year ago: Mustard Roasted Potatoes and Strawberry Salad

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by Heather Harris Brady

Earlier this year in California I had an amazing plate of pasta – achini de pepe and crab in an alfredo sauce. It was all things it should be – thick, rich and luxurious at the point where it left rivulets of butter on the dish. But one can’t live like that every day, so when we got home I developed this recipe using the same ingredients but turning them into a bright summer salad with a lemon vinaigrette.

Summer Crab Salad, Serves eight as a side dish

  • Four ears of fresh sweet corn
  • 1/2 of a red pepper
  • 1/3 c. diced onion
  • 3/4 lb. of achini de pepe pasta
  • 2/3 c. shaved parmesan
  • Meat from one lb. of king crab legs

Vinaigrette

  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Cracked pepper
  • Salt

Cook the pasta, drain and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Set aside.

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Cut the corn off the ears and set it aside.

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Saute the pepper and onion in a saucepan with 2 T. of olive oil on medium heat.

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When the pepper starts to soften, add the corn and cook it until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.

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When the vegetables have cooled to room temperature, combine them with the pasta.

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Fold in the crab.

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Combine the oil and lemon juice in a separate bowl and whip well with a whisk. Add in the seasonings.

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Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and cheese.

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Adjust seasonings to taste. Chill thoroughly, at least three hours, before serving.

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This salad would be delicious as a stuffing for fresh tomatoes. Keep it cold at all times. And once in a while, if you feel like subbing in an alfredo sauce for the cheese and vinaigrette, your secret’s safe with me.

One year ago: Baby Back Ribs with Dry Rub

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by Heather Harris Brady

Years ago the now-defunct Gourmet Magazine published a recipe for angel biscuits that used a mix of leavening. Back in the days of wood-fired cooking leavening could be as unreliable and unpredictable as your baking temperature, so bakers would use the more is more method in hopes that at least one of the additions would do their job. Leavening is far more dependable now, but adding baking powder to yeast doughs still gives you a beautiful delicate crust that is unique. If you kept these tiny they could make really cute appetizers stuffed with sharp cheese and a slice of ripe pear.

Angel Dinner Rolls, Makes about 24 small rolls

  • 1-1/2 c. water, milk or a combination of both
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 pkg. quick-rise yeast
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 4-1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • Butter for glossing the top

Heat the liquid to lukewarm and stir in the sugar, followed by the yeast and baking powder.

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Stir in the flour and let rise until doubled in bulk.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft and springy.

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Preheat the oven to 400 and divide the dough into golf-ball sized pieces. Roll and lay out on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

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Let the rolls rise until doubled in bulk. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

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As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, rub the tops with butter.

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Cool completely on baking racks, then store in airtight bags until ready to serve.

One year ago: Candied Rose Petals

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by Heather Harris Brady

We didn’t have a good fruit year last summer due to a late cold snap, but this year all the trees are bursting with tons of amazing fruit. Since it’s Cherry Festival week in Traverse City I thought I’d bring you my favorite tart cherry pie. We had a Montmorency tree in our yard growing up, and it always gave us enough cherries for pies all winter long. Most of our local Montmorency cherry crop goes to frozen cherries, so that’s what I’m using here since it’s probably what you’re most likely to have available.

Frozen IQF cherries are available online here, here and here.

Traverse Cherry Pie, Makes one 9″ deep dish pie

One recipe Never-Fail Pie Crust (recipe is now under “Basics” page above!)

One 20-oz bag individually quick-frozen (IQF) tart pie cherries

2/3 c. sugar

2 T. quick-cooking tapioca

1 T. cornstarch

Cinnamon

Combine the sugar, tapioca and cornstarch. Toss it with the frozen cherries and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400.

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Roll out half of your crust and line the pie dish. Pile in the cherries and top with a dash of cinnamon if desired.

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Roll out the top crust and either cover the pie completely or use a lattice.

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Tuck the ends and crimp the outer edge of crust, or cover it with cutouts.

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At this point the entire pie could be frozen to bake later. Otherwise, slide the pie into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 400. Then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is light brown.

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The filling will continue to thicken as it cools. Serve slices warm with vanilla ice cream. Store leftovers covered at room temperature.
One year ago: Macarons, Italian Style

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by Heather Harris Brady

We’re in the deep red heart of strawberry season here and it’s glorious I tell you, glorious. While I bow to no one in my love of shortcake there are days when it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. On those days I turn to this sorbet instead. While you can make it with a blender and the old metal-bowl-freezer-stir method, if you have a food processor and an ice cream freezer it only takes a few minutes of effort. I’m including a pineapple variation below as well, plus a garnish. If the adults have had a long week, serve this with a shot of rum to drizzle over the top. Bam – instant daiquiri.

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet, Makes four generous servings

  • One quart fresh local strawberries, cleaned (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. water

Pineapple Sorbet Variation: Substitute one whole cored and peeled fresh pineapple for strawberries and proceed with the recipe.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

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Put the berries in the food processor and pour the sugar syrup over them. Process until the mixture is smooth.

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Pour it directly into your ice cream freezer and freeze following the directions for your unit.

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Spoon the sorbet into a container and put it in the freezer for an hour so it can ripen and firm up more.

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While the sorbet is in the freezer, make the strawberry fan garnish:

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Cut four or five thin slices down each strawberry, stopping just short of the top. Then press on the stem area to fan them out.

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Scoop the sorbet into serving dishes. Garnish each with a strawberry fan and a mint leaf if you like. (This is pineapple mint from my patch in the yard.)

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One year ago: The Care & Keeping of Strawberries

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by Heather Harris Brady

This is a guest post from my aunt’s kitchen! This pie is one of her go-to award-winning go-to recipes, and since it’s a no-bake it’s a great choice for a busy/humid holiday weekend. If you’re a beginning baker or you want a “sure-thing” for a party this is it.

You can substitute a chocolate crust for the graham crackers, and you can also double the recipe by lining a 13×9 pan with a crumb crust then cutting it into squares.

N0-Bake Raspberry Pie, Makes eight servings

  • One small box raspberry gelatin
  • One small box cook & serve vanilla pudding (not instant!)
  • One cup water
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries, cleaned and washed
  • 3 T. cream cheese
  • One cup whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • One graham cracker crust (or gluten free crumb crust of your choice)

Combine the gelatin, pudding mix and water in a saucepan.

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Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once at a boil, cook for one minute and cool it to lukewarm.

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While the gelatin is cooling make the cream filling. Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipped cream.

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Spread it in the bottom of the pie shell.

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Fold the raspberries into the gelatin.

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Then pile them on top of the cream filling. Cool for at least two hours, until the pie is set.

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You could even toss a few blueberries on top before the filling sets for a little red-white-blue action.

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One year ago: Strawberry Cookie Cones

 

 

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by Heather Harris Brady

It’s salad time but I have to say I rarely buy dressings. I usually just settle for throwing together some kind of vinaigrette when I need one. However, one day I had a beautiful buttery leaf lettuce and a yen for Thousand Island. Most of the recipes I found called for mayo, another thing I never have. If I made my own I’d have the Uncooked Egg Problem, which I’d prefer to avoid. So, I reasoned, could I not make a dodgy sort of hollandaise and use that as a base?

Why yes, yes you can. If you have your own fresh eggs, so much the better.

Thousand Island Dressing, Makes about 1-1/3 cups

  • Two whole eggs and one egg yolk
  • 1/3 c. white wine
  • Cracked pepper
  • 1/3 c. olive oil

Seasonings to taste (amounts are a guideline):

  • 2 T. ketchup (storebought or my recipe)
  • 2 T. cocktail sauce
  • 2 t. asian hot chili sauce
  • 1/3 c. sweet relish
  • 2 T. minced red pepper
  • 1 t. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Have your eggs and oil standing by. Beat the eggs together well. Reduce the wine and pepper over medium heat until the pan is nearly dry (au sec).

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Add the oil to the pan, and start whisking like mad as you drizzle in the egg.

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You should end up with something vaguely like a hollandaise. Let the pan cool to lukewarm and then whisk in the seasonings.

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Adjust the ratio until it pleases you. Then scoop it a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. If you leave it overnight so much the better, the flavors will blend more.

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Store the dressing in the refrigerator. Serve with any green salad. To frost your plates just rinse them quickly under cold water, shake off the excess and place them (unstacked) in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

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One year ago: Strawberry Shortcake

 

 

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by Heather Harris Brady

I once used this on a wedding cake for a lovely cardiologist’s daughter, despite the fact there’s over a pound of butter IN ONE BATCH, he had two servings. It’s that good! I only make it on special occasions now, but back in the wedding cake heyday I made two or three batches a day. There’s nothing like it: warm ivory in color, silky, delicate, with a beautiful sheen and mild flavor that enhances any type of layer cake. I do recommend storing the icing and the finished cake in the fridge. The buttercream will set up rock-hard, so take it out at least 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve it.

This recipe is from Dede Wilson’s Wedding Cake Book. I’ve made it more times than I can count, and it has never failed. You do, however, need a large Kitchenaid with the 5 qt. bowl. The meringue will come right up to the top.

Classic Italian Buttercream, Makes about six cups (enough for one 10″ layer cake)

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vinegar or lemon juice
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 lbs. butter at cool room temperature, soft but not melting (that’s not a typ0 – six entire sticks of butter)
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. almond extract

Combine the water and the 1-1/2 c. sugar in a saucepan with the vinegar over medium heat. We’ll be boiling it to 248 degrees.

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While the sugar syrup is bubbling, put the egg whites in the mixer bowl and beat them to soft peaks. Beat in the 1/3 c. sugar and continue beating to stiff peaks. Your goal to to have the syrup at temperature and the egg whites ready at the same time. It’s okay if the whites are done early, just turn the mixer down to 2 and let them wait.

When the sugar syrup has reached 248 it will get a thick film of bubbles on the top, kind of like this:

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Turn the mixer up to high and drizzle the sugar syrup into the whites. They will puff up to the top of the bowl.

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When the bottom of the bowl is comfortable to the touch you can start whipping in the butter a tablespoon at a time. I just start hacking the sticks into chunks and let them fall into the bowl. You’ll lose a lot of volume right away but don’t worry. When you get to your last couple of sticks it will all magically come together into fluffy clouds of deliciousness.

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Lastly beat in the flavorings and assemble your cake.

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The cake sandwich with a blob on top ready to spread.

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Then I add a skim coat to the side and put the cake in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This will lock all those unsightly crumbs into the bottom layer of icing.

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Then add the second layer of frosting to the side.

One year ago: Date Conserve

 

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