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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 08/30/12

Thursday, August 30, 2012

CHOCOLATE VANILLA FROZEN CAKE!

   This recipe comes from www.larecetadelafelicidad.com.  I frozen or chilled dessert beside ice cream.  Enjoy!



Chocolate vanilla frozen cake






 
Tarta helada



Chocolate Vanilla Frozen cake

Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 40 min
Yield: 12-16

Ingredients

    Moist chocolate cake:
  • 200 g flour (1 and3/4 cups)
  • 300 g sugar (1 and 1/3 cups)
  • 90 g unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cups)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 ml buttermilk (4/5 cup)
  • 125 g butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 200 ml freshly brewed hot coffee (4/5 cup)
  • Ice cream filling:
  • 1 l vanilla icecream (33 fl oz)
  • Chocolate frosting:
  • 200 ml heavy cream (4/5 cup)
  • 50 g butter (1/2 stick)
  • 250 g dark chocolate (9 oz)
  • chopped almonds to decorate

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 9-inch baking pansand set aside
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
  4. Add hot coffee, and mix well. The batter will be very runny (probably that is why the cake is so moist)
  5. Distribute batter between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 20-25 minutes
  6. Wait 15 minutos before unmolding. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack
  7. Take the icecream out of the freezer a few minutes before starting to assembly the cake, to soften and make it more spreadable. Line a mold with paper parchment (the size of your cakes, mine were 8 inches after baking and cooling)
  8. Place a cake inside de mold, spread the icecream over it, and top with the other cake. Freeze, if possible 24 hours
  9. Next day, prepare the chocolate frosting. Pour cream on a medium saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, and add chopped chocolate and butter. Allow to rest for a few minutes, and then stir until dissolved.
  10. Place cake on a wire rack, and pour frosting over it, being careful to cover the cake completely. Drop some chopped almonds over it, and freeze again until you are going to serve it.


NOTES:
  • Take the cake out of the freezer 15 to 30 minutes before consumption
  • The moist chocolate cake recipe was adapted from this recipe
  • If you want to prepare your own vanilla icecream, please find here the recipe
  • If you have prepared this recipe, and want to send me a pic and your comments, please use this form . If you wish to subscribe to receive my recipes in English please do it here

DIY DECAL TRANSFER TUTORIAL!

   This great idea was found at www.thepaintedhive.blogspot.com .  There are many, many uses for this.  Think big and good luck!



MAGIC Decal Transfer Tutorial with Free Printables!



As I'm sure some of you may remember, a little while back I posted a tutorial for DIY waterslide decals.
Amongst other things, I mentioned how wonderful they are for creating custom embellishments without the need for any fancy pants equipment.
Yep, waterslide decal paper is a truly fab product, though as great as it is, there is one major drawback - it is not particularly durable.
So, whilst it's perfect for ornamental purposes, it's not ideal for more practical applications....until now that is!
Magic decal coating paper is a complimentary product designed to be used in conjunction with standard decal paper to make the finished transfers durable - yes, even dishwasher resistant!

If you're already familiar with magic decal coating paper then please excuse my tardy excitement, though for everyone else who is just getting to the party now too, feel free to start throwing the streamers!

As mentioned in this previous post, my recently aquired assortment of SLOM jars from IKEA were awaiting some DIY craftiness and magic decals seemed like the perfect partner.

As there are probably several brands of magic decal coating paper out there, each with slightly differing application requirements, for clarity in this tutorial I will specifically pertain to the particular product I used which I got from here....


The paper I received came with one sheet of waterslide decal paper (distinguished by a blue watermark on the back) which you print your image onto and one sheet of the magic coating paper (distinguished by attached translucent protective paper).

GATHER YOUR SUPPLIES
1. Image to transfer
Use anything you like.
I made up my canister labels in Photoshop. I wanted them to be a bit different and quite typographic so decided to style them based on dictionary definitions (my artwork is attached as a free printable if you would like to use them!)
2. Inkjet printer
3. Decal paper (blue watermark on back)
Decal paper comes in clear or white. I'm using the clear paper because I want a transparent background around my image.
4. Magic paper (attached translucent protective paper)
5. Laminator
Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.
6.Scissors
7. Water
8. Soft cloth
9. Item to embellish
As already mentioned, I'm using my plain SLOM jars from IKEA.
10. Microwave, oven or hairdryer

THE PROCESS

1. Print your image onto the glossy side of your decal paper (DO NOT mirror your image) using an inkjet printer. Allow to dry thoroughly.
I created my canister labels in Photoshop and have attached them below as a free printable if you would like to use them.

2. Separate the translucent protective paper from the magic paper. Do not throw the translucent paper away.

3. Place the magic paper gloss side up on your table. Lay the decal paper printed side down on top of the magic paper. Place the translucent protective paper gloss side down on top of the decal paper.
As my image took up the entire sheet of decal paper I did not need to trim around it first. If you are working with a smaller image you may wish to cut roughly around it with scissors.


4. Laminate your stack of three papers together on low speed and at low temperature.
Basic laminators can be bought for around $20 from most office supply and department stores.

5. Discard the translucent paper. Your decal paper and magic paper should now be fused together. Trim closely around your image - you can see it quite easily through the paper if you hold it up to the light.

Where there is no ink, the decal will leave a very fine, slightly translucent film which is visible close up or on certain angles. As my image is text alone with no border I experimented with techniques and found the neatest finish to be a nice even box (trying to mimic the outline of the text just looked messy). If your image has a distinct border then trim approximately 2mm all the way around it (leaving a small buffer ensures you get a good seal).


6. Dampen the back of the decal paper (watermarked side) with a cloth until it becomes translucent. Wait around 15 seconds then gently peel the paper away completely.
Important: ensure you remove the watermarked decal paper only at this stage.

7. Quickly immerse the decal in a shallow dish of water to dampen the other side then position it, image side down, on your item, smoothing it down with your fingers and a slightly damp cloth to remove excess water.

8. Carefully slide off the backing paper and manipulate the decal into its exact position then continue to smooth it until it is water and air bubble free (the image for step eight shows the transfer with some minor creases and bubbles. This is only because the photograph depicts the removal of the backing paper before I have smoothed the decal. Rest assured that it does flatten out completely).

9. Finally, set the decal by either:
- Baking in an electric oven for 8 minutes at 150 degrees celsius
- Cooking in a microwave for 5 minutes on low
- Blowing with a hairdryer for 5 - 10 minutes


Although I was hesitant, I did find the courage to run these babies through the dishwasher - twice, just to be certain - and they didn't show any signs of distress. I was honestly AMAZED! Of course given I have only had them for a few day I can hardly vouch for their longevity so advise hand washing for frequent use.
As I mentioned, there is a very faint translucent background (which is the case with regular waterslide decals too) though once the canisters were full it was barely noticeable.

And here are your complimentary printables....
(simply click on the thumbnail then download to your computer)





RESOURCES
Jars: IKEA
Decal Paper: Sounds Creative

If you 'de like to make some labels of your own....
Fonts used:
Courier New
Another Typewriter
Mrs Eaves Bold
I created my labels in Photoshop though you could easily use a basic program like Word.

MID AUTUMN FESTIVAL FROM CHINA!!





    Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival, or the August Moon Festival - they are the different names of the same festival, which is popularly also known as the Mid Autumn Festival. It is a celebration of abundance and togetherness. The Chinese believe in praying to the moon god for protection, family unity, and good fortune. It falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, a date that parallels the Autumn Equinox of the solar calendar.On this day the moon is unusually bright, clear and round. Historical accounts are silent about the exact origin of this festival, but as far as the assumption of the scholars are concerned, it is related to the two customs in China.
The first customs concern the Chinese farmers. China is an agricultural country and farming in China is intricately associated with the seasons. In the ancient times, the farmers used to worship Earth God and prayed for a good harvest when they sowed the seeds during spring. Once again during autumn, the farmers worshipped the Earth God and offered their gratitude on having reaped a good harvest. This was known as the autumn reward. Some people believed that the Mid -Autumn Festival orginated from the autumn reward ritual.
    The second custom is related to the worship of the moon. The Mid Autumn Festival occurs at the autumn equinox when the sun shines vertically on the equator, equally dividing the day and the night in the northern and the southern hemisphere. At this time, the sunlight shines vertically on the equator, equally dividing the day and night in both the southern and northern hemispheres. In the evening the moon appears with gentle winds and the sky is clear, apart from the light clouds. This is the perfect time to watch the moon. This day was later assigned to the worship of the moon.










    This custom of worshipping the moon,called xi yue in Chinese, can be traced back to the ancient Xia and Shang Dynasties (2000 BCE-1066 BCE). In the Zhou Dynasty too (1066 BCE-221 BCE), the people celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival to worship the moon. This practice became very prevalent during the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) and people enjoyed and worshipped the full moon. In the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), people started making round moon cakes, as gifts to their relatives as an expression of their best wishes for a familyreunion. At night, they came out to watch the full moon to celebrate the festival. Since the Ming (1368-1644), and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911), the custom of Mid-Autumn Festival celebration has become extremely popular and is being grandly celebrated.
    The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the two most important holidays in the Chinesecalendar, the other being the Chinese Lunar New Year, and is a legal holiday in several countries.

Myths and Legends

    The most popular legend about the origin of the Mid Autumn Festival goes like this:- Once the earth was scorched by ten suns and the people suffered a lot due to this. The crops were parched and the people were plunged into penury. A strong and powerful young man called Hou Yi was quite worried about the entire situation. He ascended the summit of the Kunlun Mountain, exercised his superhuman powers and shot down nine suns one after the other, with his bow and arrow. He also ordered the last sun to rise and set according to a time set by him. Hou Yi was respected and loved by people for his




Moon cakes


great feat that rescued the lives of many. Lots of people of ideals and integrity came to him to learn martial arts from him. A person named Peng Meng lurked among them.
Hou Yi had a charming and beautiful wife named Chang E whom he loved immensely and with whom he never wanted to part. Once on his way to the Kunlun Mountain , Hou Yi stumbled upon the Empress Wangmu who was touched by his love for his wife, gave him a parcel of elixir, at the intake of which one would ascend immediately to heaven and become a celestial being. However the elixir was only good to make only one person immortal. Hou Yi however hated to part with his wife and asked Chang E to keep the elixir with her for the time being. Chang E kept it in a treasure box and hid it in secret place. But it could not escape the watchful eyes of Peng Meng.
    A few days later, when Hou Yi went for hunting, Peng Meng grabbed the opportunity he has been waiting for. He rushed into Chang E's chamber, sword in hand and demanded the elixir. Aware of the fact that she was unable to measure up to the strength of Peng Meng, Change E made a prompt decision at a critical moment. She opened her treasure box, took up the elixir and swallowed it in one gulp. After a moment, she felt light and her body floated off the ground, rose higher and reached the sky. Chang E landed on the moon and became an immortal goddess. Peng meng escaped.





Lighting up the night with the launching of lanterns




    Hou Yi could not believe the misfortune that had befallen him. Overburdened with grief, he looked up at the sky and called out the name of his beloved wife. He noticed that the moon was unusually bright and clear that night and on it there was a swaying shadow that resembled his wife. He tried to chase the moon but the moon eluded him.
Huo Yi began to miss his wife terribly. He had an incense table arranged in the back garden and put fresh fruits and sweet meats on it, that Chang E loved and held a memorial ceremony for her.
    When people heard that Chang E has transformed into a celestial being, they made arrangements for incense table in the moonlight and prayed to her for good fortune and peace. This is how the custom of worshipping the moon became popular among the people.











    Today couples declare their undying love for each other under the full moon of this mid autumn day. Estranged lovers pray for their reunion.
    Another legend concerns Wu Kang, a restless fellow who found it difficult to concentrate on a particular thing. One day he decided that he wanted to be immortal and went to live in the mountains where he met an immortal and asked him to teach him the secrets of immortality. First the immortal taught him about the herbs used to cure sickness. But a few days later his characteristic restlessness surfaced and Wu Kang asked the immortal to teach him chess, but after a short while his enthusiasm again waned. Then Wu Kang was asked to go through books on immortality. As usual, Wu Kang became bored with it in a short while and asked whether they could travel to some new and exciting place. Fed up with Wu Kang's impatience, the master banished him to the Moon Palace commanding him to cut down a huge cassia tree before





Chinese men enjoying some food and drink




returning to the earth. Though Wu Kang continued to chop the tree day and night, yet the magical tree restored itself with each blow, and therefore he is there still chopping the tree.
    China was ruled by the Mongolian people during the Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1280-1368). Leaders from the preceding Sung dynasty (A.D. 960 - 1280) were unhappy at submitting to foreign rule, and set to coordinate a secret rebellion. As the Moon Festival was drawing near, the leaders of the rebellion ordered the making of special cakes.
    At the back of each was a message with the outline of the attack. On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368-1644). Today, moon cakes are eaten to commemorate this legend.











    According to the legend of the "Jade Rabbit", three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men and begged to eat something from the fox, a rabbit and the monkey. The fox and the monkey both had food to give to the old men, but the rabbit who had nothing to offer, offered his own flesh instead, jumping into a blazing fire to cook himself. The sages were so touched by the rabbit's sacrifice that they allowed him live in the Moon Palace where he became the "Jade Rabbit."


Significance of the Moon Cake

    There is an interesting story behind the popularity of the Mooncakes. During the Yuan Dynasty (1280 A.D - 1368 A.D), China was ruled by the Mongols. They were very oppressive rulers and were overthrown by the Chinese. It might sound curious but the fact remains that the mooncakes played a significant role in the rebellion. The Mongols did not eat mooncakes and the Chinese were quick to take advantage of that. They found an innovative way of coordinating the revolt. Leaders of the revolt





A Moon Festival play in progress



distributed the mooncakes among the common people under the pretext of celebrating the Emperor's long life. Each mooncake had an outline of the attack baked within its skin. The secret message informed the people to revolt on the 15th of the 8th moon (also the Autumn Moon festival). On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. Since then the mooncakes became a national tradition of China.