Friday, April 10, 2015

Desserts - Key Lime Cheesecake and Kool-Aid Grape Cupcakes

Since I want to home-bake AA's birthday rainbow cake this year, I need to practice on the different batters. We have purchased a 7-layer "rainbow" cake in the past, but think I can make one. I selected the grape layer to try first. I have good recipes for the red (cherry or strawberry), orange, lime (green) and lemon (yellow) layers. Next will need to work on the two blue layers!
The recipe I used called for a box white mix, which can be substituted for any white cake recipe. The grape flavor and some of the color is from the Kool-Aid.

Decorating can be just the frosting or for Easter, I added some coconut and candy eggs.
Here is Kool-Aid cupcake recipe: I used 1/2 cup sweetened mix Kool-Aid and lots of purple food coloring (neon). I also made home-made butter-cream frosting and added 1/4 cup Kool-Aid to it and some purple food coloring. The cupcake didn't taste strongly of the grape Kool-Aid but the frosting did!
The frosting did get soft in our 80 degree heat, so need to find a recipe that can stand up to not melting - will try using solid shortening for half the butter, adding corn starch; I also read where dry instant pudding will help. What have you used?

Kool-Aid Cupcake Author:
Ingredients: 1 pkg. (2-layer size) white or yellow cake mix (I have not tried this with a chocolate cake mix, but I would imagine with certain flavors it would be good!). 
¼ c. KOOL-AID Sugar-Sweetened Soft Drink Mix
1.    Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. When you are ready to beat the batter, add the Kool-aid packet and then beat as you would. Bake as directed on the cake mix box.
2.    When the cake or cupcakes have cooled, you can make your own frosting with the Kool-Aid too.
3.    Purchase white icing/frosting and add one (2oz) package to the whole canister of icing. Mix well and then frost. (I made buttercream frosting)
4.    Yield: Check the box. Usually 24 cupcakes or one 8″ or 9″ cake.

I made a new recipe for Key Lime Cheesecake, this was not as dense as a New York style cheesecake, creamier. Very delicious!

Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake
By LuAnn_Mason      Altered by ACMorgan
(added one more bar of cream cheese/added lime zest, less lime juice)
 Prep Time: 15 mins        Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins plus refrigerator time – 6 hours
 Serves: 12, Yield: 1 cheesecake

"This is as close as I was able to come to the Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake--a little creamier than the other versions posted here, and I think closer to the original." Not as firm as a “New York style cheese cake, creamier.
For crust (I used parchment paper to line the pan, works well if you want to remove the entire cake from the bottom pan)
        2 cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed (approximately 2 sleeves)
        1/2 cup butter, melted                         1/4 cup granulated sugar
For filling
        4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup sour cream
        1/4 cup flour
        2 teaspoons vanilla
        4 eggs
        1/2 cup trader joe's key lime juice  and add 1 TB of lime zest, from one lime

    Use 9 or 10 inch spring-form pan. Combine crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup sugar in bowl. Press evenly over bottom of pan and halfway up sides. Preheat oven. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes, no longer.
    Cream room temperature cream cheese well, add sugar, and cream until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently to integrate any cream cheese lumps. Cream in sour cream, eggs, flour and vanilla. When smooth once more, stir in lime juice. Note: 3/4 Cup of Key Lime juice makes a very tart cheesecake. I used ½ cup and added zest.
    Pour over prepared crust. Return to 375 oven for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 250 and continue baking 60 minutes for 10 inch pan, 65 minutes for 9 inch pan. Turn oven off, leave oven door slightly open for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack IN PAN. Run a sharp knife around edge to loosen cheesecake, but do NOT remove from pan. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. May be garnished with sweetened whipped cream, lime zest, or both.

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