Crazy Chocolate Curls

Chocolate curls to decorate desserts are actually quite easy and fun to make.

Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of shortening in the microwave oven or on the stovetop.

Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and pour the chocolate in. Smooth the top a bit with a rubber spatula.  Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours until set.

Remove from the refrigerator and pull the chocolate out of the loaf pan. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the chocolate off the bar onto a cold plate.

Lift the curls from the plate with a toothpick or the tines of a fork and place on your dessert. It will make any dish look irresistible!

Easy Icing

If you are making a dessert that requires you to drizzle on a topping, the easiest way is in a sandwich bag.

Place your drizzle mix (icing, fudge, etc.) into a sandwich bag and seal closed.  Now cut away a small corner of the bag with a pair of scissors.

Hold the bag over your dessert and gently squeeze to push the topping out of the corner of the bag.

Ice Cream in Recipes

You are making a frozen dessert and the recipe seems pretty straightforward. Here are a few hints that will help you create a successful dessert with few problems.

Always try to use average quality ice cream. With most recipes, you are not going to want the richness of a premium, but you also don’t want the blah of a low cost (iced milk).

Try to find ice cream that is made with milk and cream, not just milk, unless the recipe specifies otherwise.

Before you start incorporating your ice cream into your recipe, let it thaw out a bit. This will make it easier to work with. Place the container of ice cream into your refrigerator and check it after about 15 or 20 minutes. The ice cream should be softer to scoop out with out being a melted soupy mess.

You can also keep a bowl of hot water next to your ice cream to dunk your scoop in. By warming up the scoop it will cut through harder ice cream easier.

If you are making and ice cream cake, use a spring form pan. When you are ready to serve all you have to do is wrap a warm damp towel around the outside for about 20 seconds and release the spring. The cake should not stick to the side and you cake is ready to place on the serving platter.

You can make your dessert up ahead of time, but remember that it will only keep for 3-4 days. For maximum protection, wrap it in plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. If you make individual ice cream desserts or bars, wrap each one in plastic wrap, then place into a tightly sealed freezer container.

Cheesecake Tips II

Here are a few useful tips to help you make a successful cheesecake. Although a cheesecake is quite simple to make, the right techniques can help make it a success every time.

Try cooking your cheesecake in a water bath.  This is quite simple to do if done properly and the proper steps are followed.

Using a large piece of heavy-duty foil, wrap the outside of your pan completely.

Examine to make sure that there are not any holes or punctures to let water in during cooking.

Find a pan larger and deeper than your cheesecake pan, place it on the counter.

Place your empty cheesecake pan in the second pan and weight down with a glass or something heavy.

Fill the larger pan with water until it goes up about ¼ up the side of your cheesecake pan.

Remove the cheesecake pan and inspect for any water leakage.  If there is some, remove the foil and try again. Once you are satisfied there are no leaks, remove the weight and the cheesecake pan from the water filled pan and set aside.

Place the pan of water only in your oven while it is preheating.

Once you have prepared your cheesecake in the foil covered cheesecake pan, place it in the water bath that is in the oven and cook according to your recipe.

When done, carefully remove the cheesecake pan from the water bath and place on a towel.  Remove the foil from the pan and allow the cake to cool as normal.

The water bath will help to protect the eggs from curdling from the direct heat of the oven.  The added moisture in the air will also help keep the cheesecake from becoming overcooked or drying out.

Frozen Juice Pie

This is a quick and easy recipe that you can create with most any frozen juice. It is a great last minute desert that looks like you spent all day on it!

1 6oz Can Frozen Juice Concentrate (thaw until “crunchy”)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 large container Frozen Whipped Topping.

1 Cup Flour
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar and butter until well blended. Press into a 9″ pie plate. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Combine the juice concentrate, milk and cool whip well in a large bowl. Pour mixture into cooled shell and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Layered Cheesecake Help

Here are a few useful tips to help you make a successful cheesecake. Although a cheesecake seems quite simple to make, the right techniques can help make it a success every time.

If you are making a multilayer cheesecake, make sure that you bake the first layer for the entire time allowed in the recipe.

If the first layer is not cooked enough, when you add the second layer you may not have a crisp defining line separating the two and the cheesecake may not cook thoroughly to be able to support a second layer.

When you add the second layer, use a large spoon or a ladle to apply the second layer. This way you won’t have the pressure of all of the batter pushing at your existing layer when it is poured in.

If you are making a layered chocolate cheesecake, or a cheesecake with 2 different colors, make sure that you put the heavier, darker layer on the bottom.

Ice Cream Cake Cutting

You got an ice cream cake, but you have no idea how to cut it. You tried a few times, but it is just too cold and hard.

Most ice cream cakes come with instructions to place in the refrigerator or on the counter for “X” amount of time before slicing.

If you have done this and you are still having difficulty, or if it is still just too frozen you can make it a little easier.

Run hot water from the tap or boil some water and place in a bowl next to you your cake.

Dip a sharp knife into the water and let it warm up the blade. Wipe off any extra water with a towel and make your first slice. After each slice, repeat the process to heat up the knife to cut through the cake.

Fancy Cake Writing

If you really want to impress your family or friends the next time that you are asked to make a birthday cake, try this neat decorating trick.

In your word processing program, type out the message for your cake. Change the font to something fancy and increase the size so that it will fit comfortably on your cake. Print out your text in black and white.

Hold the paper over the pan that you are going to bake your cake in to make sure that the lettering will fit. Go back to your computer and place an extra space or two between each letter, then print again.

Tape your piece of paper to a flat cookie sheet or the bottom of a cake pan. Cover the paper with a large piece of waxed paper and tape down also.

Melt some chocolate and place into a disposable plastic bag. Using a pair of scissors cut off a very small corner of the bag.

Gently squeeze the chocolate out of the hole that you just made onto the wax paper covering the letters that you printed from the computer. Make sure that chocolate is thickly covering all of the letters.

Once you have made all of the letters if you have any chocolate left, make some squiggles and shapes with the remaining chocolate. Transfer the pan to the freezer for about 20-30 minutes until the chocolate is set.

Remove from the freezer and gently peel your letters and decorations from the wax paper and place on your frosted cake.

You may find that you can use a small knife or spatula to help you move them from the paper to your cake.

If you misplace a letter, just gently lift off, smooth the frosting and replace the letter in the appropriate position.

Letters and shapes don’t need to just be laid flat either, have some fun by standing some up on end or making crazy stacks!

Dessert Drizzling with Ease

If you are making a dessert that requires you to drizzle on a topping, the easiest way is in a sandwich bag.

Place your drizzle mix (icing, fudge, etc.) into a sandwich bag and seal closed.

Now cut away a small corner of the bag with a pair of scissors.

Hold the bag over your dessert and gently squeeze to push the topping out of the corner of the bag.

Cleanup is a breeze because you can just squeeze any remaining topping back into it’s container and throw away the bag.

Preparing Ice Cream Based Recipe’s

You are making a frozen dessert and the recipe seems pretty straightforward. Here are a few hints that will help you create a successful dessert with few problems.

Always try to use average quality ice cream. You are not going to want the richness of a premium, but you also don’t want the blah of a low cost (iced milk).

Try to find ice cream that is made with milk and/or cream, not just milk, unless the recipe specifies otherwise.

Before you start incorporating your ice cream into your recipe, let it thaw out a bit. This will make it easier to work with. Place the container of ice cream into your refrigerator and check it after about 15 or 20 minutes. The ice cream should be softer to scoop out with out being all melted.

You can also keep a bowl of hot water next to your ice cream to dunk your scoop in. By warming up the scoop it will cut through harder ice cream easier.

If you are making and ice cream cake, use a spring form pan. When you are ready to serve all you have to do is wrap a warm damp towel around the outside for about 20 seconds and release the spring. The cake should not stick to the side and you cake is ready to place on the serving platter.

You can make your dessert up ahead of time, but remember that it will only keep for 3-4 days. For maximum protection, wrap it in plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil. If you make individual ice cream desserts or bars, wrap each one in plastic wrap, then place into a tightly sealed freezer container.