Sharlotka – Russian Apple Cake

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My daughter has been attending a summer music program here in Northport for the past two months and this morning she had her first violin performance.  She did great and I am so proud of her work and music accomplishments!

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To celebrate this event and well my first day of two weeks of vacation, I’ve decided to make Sharlotka or in other words Russian Apple Cake.   Sharlotka is a well known sponge cake usually made with Green Apples such as Granny Smith.  There are so many different variations of it, but all of them usually include eggs, sugar and flour.   I’ve seen various recipes for this dish online, but I decided to stick to our family’s favorite.  They key for this melt in your mouth recipe is to add  a little bit of sour cream, making this cake a lot more moist and just a dab sweet.

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Ingredients:

5 large apples (Granny Smith)
9 eggs
1  1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of flour
 
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How to make Sharlotka (Apple Cake):
 

1.  Wash and peel your apples.  I prefer Granny Smith apples, but you may choose different ones to your liking.  These apples are a bit sour, and I don’t like making this cake very sweet.  If you like it on the sweet side, just use sweet apples and add more sugar.

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2.  Cut up your apples and remove the core.

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3.  Using mandoline slicer cut up the apple pieces into thin even slices.  You can also simply cut them up in small pieces.

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4.  Break all your eggs in a bowl.  I used medium size egg, if you have smaller size or larger size eggs…you may need to slightly change the quantity.

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5.  Then add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and mix well until frothy.

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6.  Then add 1/2 cup of Sour Cream and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix again.

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7.  Finally add 2 cups of flour slowly and mix, until well incorporated.

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8.  Use a large enough cake pan and line it with parchment paper.

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9.   Layer apples on the bottom of the pan and then add some batter.

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10.  Repeat the process until the pan is filled.

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11.  Preheat your oven to 350F and bake the cake for 60 minutes.  Make sure to check that the toothpick will come out clean.  Baking time may vary from oven to oven.

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12.  Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool.  Then transfer the cake on the plate and dust it with some powdered sugar.

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Enjoy!

Natalie

Sharlotka - Russian Apple Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Just a tad sweet, Russian dessert made with fresh Granny Smith apples.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 5 large apples (Granny Smith)
  • 9 eggs
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 cups of flour
Instructions
  1. Wash and peel your apples. I prefer Granny Smith apples, but you may choose different ones to your liking. These apples are a bit sour, and I don’t like making this cake very sweet. If you like it on the sweet side, just use sweet apples and add more sugar.
  2. Cut up your apples and remove the core.
  3. Using mandoline slicer cut up the apple pieces into thin even slices. You can also simply cut them up in small pieces.
  4. Break all your eggs in a bowl. I used medium size egg, if you have smaller size or larger size eggs…you may need to slightly change the quantity.
  5. Then add 1½ cups of sugar and mix well until frothy.
  6. Then add ½ cup of Sour Cream and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix again.
  7. Finally add 2 cups of flour slowly and mix, until well incorporated.
  8. Use a large enough cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
  9. Layer apples on the bottom of the pan and then add some batter.
  10. Repeat the process until the pan is filled.
  11. Preheat your oven to 350F and bake the cake for 60 minutes. Make sure to check that the toothpick will come out clean. Baking time may vary from oven to oven.
  12. Once the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Then transfer the cake on the plate and dust it with some powdered sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

Snickers Caramel Cheesecake

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There are number of all “American” things that most sweet tooth lovers enjoy…that is chocolate and well…cheesecake.    Combination of those two ingredients topped with peanuts and caramel syrup makes this desert simply irresistable.  I admit, I was never a fan of cheesecake…but perhaps this version will now change my mind.  I wouldn’t change anything about it, it came out just perfect.  I hope you will enjoy it too!

The main inspiration for this cake was Snickers and Peanuts.  Ofcourse being curious me, I went to my old friend google to learn more about it and thought to share with you what I found.

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“The Snickers Candy Bar is a chewy peanut butter nougat and caramel and roasted peanut topping candy bar covered in dairy milk chocolate made and marketed by Mars, Inc, a US based private corporation that is one of the world’s largest food and confectionary suppliers.   Frank and Ethel Mars, the founders of Mars, Inc created the very successful Milky Way chocolate bar in the early 1920s, which was America’s most popular candy bar between 1927 and 1929 allowing the company to expand and develop new recipes for chocolate candy. The Snickers bar took over three years to develop and wasn’t released to the market until 1930. Frank and Ethel also owned a farm that bred race horses in Tennessee, some of which were regular sweepstake winners, including Ethel’s favorite, a horse named Snickers.  ”Who would think this chocolate bar was named after a horse?”:)

Sadly the horse died a month or two before the new product was to be released, an since a new name hadn’t been settled on, and the farm in any event had been named after the first chocolate bar, the Milky Way Farm, it seemed fitting that the next chocolate bar should take its name from the farm. By all accounts Ethel was delighted that the name of her favorite horse would be chosen.

Very little changed with the Snickers brand during its first forty years of production, except in 1968 when Mars were inspired to produce the Snickers mini candy bar which sold in bags of a dozen or more and were labeled ‘fun size’. Fun size candy bars were heavily marketed at parents concerned about the sugar and fat content of regular size chocolate bars as the ideal accompaniment to school lunch boxes and family snacks for the kitchen pantry.”

Sources:
1.  History of Snickers Candy Bar.  Retrieved May 20, 2012.

 

Ingredients:
 
Crust Ingredients
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or ready made package)
1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
 

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Filling for the Cheesecake
3 (11.5 oz) packages of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup heavy cream
 

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Topping
20 Mini Snickers bars (cut into fourths)
1/3 cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
¼ cup caramel syrup

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How to make Snickers Caramel Cheesecake.

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (that is to pre-cook your crust before you actually bake your cake).  Then wrap a 9 inch spring form pan tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent leaks when using the water bath.  I used double layer on the outside and it worked like magic no leaks!:)

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2. Melt one stick of butter in the microwave and add on top of 2 cups of crackers.  I used ready made mix, but you can simply blend them using your food processor.  You will need about two cups of crumbs.  In a medium bowl add your crumbs, melted stick of butter 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar.

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3.  Mix together the crust ingredients until well combined.

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4.  Pour crumb mixture on the buttom of your spring form pan.  Make sure you flatten and even out the layer, I used the backside of small measuring cup to flatten crust out.  It should come about once inch higher on the sides of your spring form.  Once ready, place it into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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5.  While you cooking the cheesecake filling, boil a large pot of water, which will be used later for baking in a water bath. In a large bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and beat with a mixer until smooth.  I used Whipped Cream Cheese for my recipe to make this cake more airy and light.

6.  Crack all your eggs in a large measuring cup.  It will make blending process easier when blending eggs next.

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7.  Add the eggs one at a time (while mixing) until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl with spatula in between each egg.

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8.  Once cream cheese and eggs are well mixed, add the heavy cream and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth.

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9.  Your batter is ready.  You can pour the batter over the prepared crust in the spring form pan.

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10.  Place the spring form pan into a larger pan and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

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11.  Now you are ready to bake your cake.  Place it into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes (depending on your oven).  You will know your cake is ready when the edges will appear to be set but the center will still have some jiggle to it.

12.  One it’s ready, close the oven door, turn off the heat, and let the cheesecake rest in the cooling oven for one hour. After one hour, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place it into a cooling rack to cool completely. Once it has cooled, place it into the refrigerator overnight.

13.  In order to remove the cake from the spring form, carefully run the knife around spring form edges (this will prevent your crust from breaking).  Finally release the spring form and gently place the caking on a cake platter (remove the foil gently from the buttom of the cake).

14.  Decorate your cake by chopping small bite size Snicker Bars and roughly chopped roasted peanuts.  Finally pour some good quality caramel syrup on the top.

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 Enjoy!

This recipe has been adopted from www.BlogChef.net.  Thank you very much to Bobby for inspiration!

Natalie

Snickers Caramel Cheesecake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Snickers Caramel Cheesecake topped with extra peanuts and caramel syrup.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • Crust Ingredients
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or ready made package)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (melted)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Filling for the Cheesecake
  • 3 (11.5 oz) packages of cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Topping
  • 20 Mini Snickers bars (cut into fourths)
  • ⅓ cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
  • ¼ cup caramel syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (that is to pre-cook your crust before you actually bake your cake). Then wrap a 9 inch spring form pan tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent leaks when using the water bath.
  2. Melt one stick of butter in the microwave and add on top of 2 cups of crackers. I used ready made mix, but you can simply blend them using your food processor. You will need about two cups of crumbs. In a medium bowl add your crumbs, melted stick of butter ½ teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Mix together the crust ingredients until well combined.
  4. Pour crumb mixture on the buttom of your spring form pan. Make sure you flatten and even out the layer, I used the backside of small measuring cup to flatten crust out. It should come about once inch higher on the sides of your spring form. Once ready, place it into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. While you cooking the cheesecake filling, boil a large pot of water, which will be used later for baking in a water bath. In a large bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and beat with a mixer until smooth. I used Whipped Cream Cheese for my recipe to make this cake more airy and light.
  6. Crack all your eggs in a large measuring cup. It will make blending process easier when blending eggs next.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time (while mixing) until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl with spatula in between each egg.
  8. Once cream cheese and eggs are well mixed, add the heavy cream and vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth.
  9. Your batter is ready. You can pour the batter over the prepared crust in the spring form pan.
  10. Place the spring form pan into a larger pan and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
  11. Now you are ready to bake your cake. Place it into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes (depending on your oven). You will know your cake is ready when the edges will appear to be set but the center will still have some jiggle to it.
  12. One it’s ready, close the oven door, turn off the heat, and let the cheesecake rest in the cooling oven for one hour. After one hour, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place it into a cooling rack to cool completely. Once it has cooled, place it into the refrigerator overnight.
  13. In order to remove the cake from the spring form, carefully run the knife around spring form edges (this will prevent your crust from breaking). Finally release the spring form and gently place the caking on a cake platter (remove the foil gently from the buttom of the cake).
  14. Decorate your cake by chopping small bite size Snicker Bars and roughly chopped roasted peanuts. Finally pour some good quality caramel syrup on the top.

 

 

Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit

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Unlike a lot of recipes that I make which I either find in cookbooks or online, this recipe was inspired by a new bakeware dish that I purchased at the local Marshall’s store shortly before winter holidays.  I was so excited to use it for festive holiday dishes this is what inspired me to come up with this dish (any many more to come:).  Making Jell-O is probably one of the easiest things one can do, just buy a ready made flavored little box, add water, put in the fridge and homemade desert is ready.   However, I wanted something a little more creamy and healthy, thus came the idea of using fresh fresh fruit embedded in Jello and Sour Cream/Cream Cheese base mixed with Sugar and Vanilla Extract.  It turned out absolutely delicious.  This desert also looked stunning in person, even this photo can’t do the justice to display it’s 3D effect:).  Most important of all however, it was extremely easy to make.

Norporo Holiday Tree Bundt CakepanMany of my friends and relatives have been asking me where to get it, and while I haven’t seen it in Marshal’s since, I was able to find it on Amazon, which now actually sells it much cheaper.  It is made by Nordic Ware and here is a link for it to amazon, we also added this product to our shop page for your convenience.

     Ingredients:

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1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 pack of strawberry Jello 

 

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2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin powder
1 cup of cream softened cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup of fresh raspberries

 

How to make Strawberry Jello Cake

1.  Wash your berries, but keep them in separate bowls.  Dilute your Strawberry Jello according the instructions on the package you will be using.  However, you might add just a little bit less water to it for your jello to be slightly firmer for this cake.  In this recipe I used Jell-O brand Strawberry gelatin desert.  This can be bought in any local supermarket.

2.  Pour your jello in the form you will be using, it can be any form you would like it to be.  I used my Nordic Ware Holiday Bundt Tree Pan form I talked about earlier to make this cake.

3.  Then add your fresh blueberries inside, you will see that they will be floating on the top of the Jello and that is exactly what we need. Now you are ready to make bottom layer, so set this  form aside and leave it in your refrigerator until it firms up (can take 1-2 hours).

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4.  To make the bottom layer take out your pack of unflavored gelatin, softened package of cream cheese (can use regular 8 oz package), 1/2 cup of sour cream, vanilla extract and 3/4 cups of sugar.  Take a small saucepan add your 3/4 cups of water and sprinkle with 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin evenly over the water, allowing it to absorb the water for two minutes.    Then bring water to a boil while stirring well until all your gelatin is dissolved.

5. Transfer gelatin into a medium bowl, add your cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.  Beat the mixture until it is smooth and allow to cool until room temperature.

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6.  Now take out your mold with strawberry Jell-O from the refrigerator, make sure that the mixture is firm.  Then gently pour your cheesecake mixture over your your first jello layer and add your fresh strawberries evenly spreading them on the form.

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7.  Now you are ready to put it back in the refrigerator for few hours until the bottom layer will be set.  Finally once your cake is firm, you will need to turn it upside down.  To do that, take a large bowl (larger then mold, so the whole mold would fit inside of it) and fill it up with warm/to hot water and dip your form in the water for about 10-15 seconds.  Then take your cake stand or a large plate and by holding two of them (one over the other), turn the mold upside down.  Since your Jello-O might get a little softer around the edges, you might want to put it back in the refrigerator  for 15 minutes to firm up again.  Your cake is ready!  Enjoy!

Love,

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Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with Fresh Fruit
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Strawberry Jello Cheesecake with fresh blueberries and raspberries
Author:
Recipe type: Desert
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • Jell-O Layer
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 pack of strawberry Jell-O
  • Cheesecake Layer
  • 2 tablespoons (2 envelopes) of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 cup of cream softened cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Wash your berries, but keep them in separate bowls. Dilute your Strawberry Jell-O according the instructions on the package you will be using. However, you might add just a little bit less water to it for your Jell-O to be slightly firmer for this cake and pour it in the form you will be using.
  2. Then add your fresh blueberries inside, you will see they will be floating on the top of the Jell-O and that is exactly what we need. Now transfer this form to the refrigerator until it firms up (can take 1-2 hours).
  3. To make the bottom layer take a small saucepan add your ¾ cups of water and sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin evenly over the water, allow it absorb the water for two minutes. Then bring water to a boil while stirring well until all your gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Transfer gelatin into a medium bowl, add your cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture until it is smooth and allow to cool until room temperature.
  5. Now take out your mold with strawberry Jell-O from the refrigerator, make sure that the mixture is firm. Gently pour your cheesecake mixture over your first Jell-O layer and add your fresh strawberries evenly spreading them on the form.
  6. Transfer the form back in the refrigerator for few hours until the whole cake will be set. Finally once your cake is firm, you will need to turn it upside down.
  7. Take a large bowl (larger then mold, so the whole mold would fit inside of it) and fill it up with warm/to hot water and dip your form in the water for about 10-15 seconds. Then take your cake stand or a large plate and by holding two of them one over the other, turn the mold upside down. Since your Jello-O might get a little softer around the edges, you might want to put it back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up again. Your cake is ready! Enjoy!

 

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