So you’ve picked up a baker’s dozen of bagels from your local bakery, but smearing those golden circles with store bought cream cheese seems like a travesty. Luckily, cream cheese is one of the easiest cheeses to make at home- making it a hassle-free option when it’s your turn to host a boozy brunch. Is there any snack more satisfying than a cream cheese and cucumber bagel? I think not.
1. Add milk and cream to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a rolling boil
2. Reduce your heat to medium and slowly add 1 tbsp of vinegar, wait about 3-5 minutes and add the remaining vinegar.
3. Add 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. While the curd is forming and cooling, line a colander with cheesecloth and place over a bowl.
5. Strain your curds from the whey.
6. Squeeze out the extra whey. (I got about 2 cups of whey from my curd).
7. Time to “cream” your cheese.
8. Add fresh dill, salt and cheese curd into your food processor and blend on medium until smooth.
Pro Tip: once you start adding the vinegar do not stir vigorously, this will break up the curd and not allow it to form properly. Use a spatula and gently stir back and forth not forgetting to scrape down the sides of the pan.
Pro Tip: you can save the whey as a great marinade for the meat. The acid from the milk and vinegar breaks it down and makes meat extra tender.
Fresh, seasonal berries are one of the best parts about the spring and summer months. Toss ripe blackberries into your morning smoothie, use strawberries to top your favourite salads, or incorporate plump blueberries into your next bake-a-thon. This beautiful pink cake is our ode to strawberry season.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking, powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Using your Hamilton Beach® stand mixer beat butter until creamy. Then add sugar, vanilla, and (optional) red food colouring and beat until well blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Then gradually add the mixture of dry ingredients and fresh strawberries until you have a perfectly blended batter.
The Test Kitchen added a little food colouring to achieve a deep pink colored cake (this cake is begging to be served at a bridal shower or baby shower), but feel free to leave the food coloring out if you want to let the strawberries speak for themselves. FYI, if you omit the food colouring you should expect a light brown cake color rather than pink. The Test Kitchen experimented with the amount of food coloring to find a middle ground between red velvet-esque red and hot pink. And ¼ teaspoon was the magic number.
Pour the batter evenly into two prepared 9-inch baking pans and bake for 25 to 40 mins. After baking, cool on wire racks for 10-15 minutes before frosting.
We topped this pretty-in-pink layered cake with a homemade white chocolate cream cheese frosting and you guessed it, even more fresh strawberries. Cream cheese is arguably the best frosting there is (after all it also tops Hamilton Beach staff favourite hummingbird cake and classic carrot cake), and adding white chocolate to the mix only upgrades its already delicious flavor.
I think we can all agree that cakes baked with fresh ingredients (and a little love) are the best cakes. So skip the store-bought mix and make time for baking with berries this spring.
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of two 9-inch baking pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Dust sides with flour.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixer bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla and food colour beating about 2 minutes until well blended.
Beat in eggs, one at a time until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and strawberries on LOW speed beating for 1 minute or until blended.
Pour mixture evenly between prepared pans.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks.
Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Place one cake layer on cake plate; spread top of layer with 1 cup White Chocolate Frosting. Top with remaining layer; frost side of top of cake. Garnish with whole strawberries, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
White Chocolate Frosting
In a microwave safe medium bowl, stir together chips and heavy cream. Microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stir each time until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixer bowl, beat butter, vanilla and salt about 2 minutes or until creamy.
Begin gradually adding confectioners' sugar and beat about 2 minutes until smooth.
Pour heavy cream mixture into mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed about 30 to 45 seconds or until mixture is blended. Do not over beat, mixture would look curdled.
Spread onto cupcakes or cake. Store in refrigerator.
If you’re taking the time to bake a cake or cupcakes from scratch, go the extra mile and make homemade frosting as well. This cream cheese frosting is undeniably delicious, and is super simple to make. Use it to top carrot cake for a special dessert, red velvet waffles for a super-sweet breakfast in bed, or pineapple-packed hummingbird cake.
In a large bowl using a Hamilton Beach® hand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, vanilla, milk, and salt until creamy. Whether you’re still using a vintage Hamilton Beach® mixer passed down from your grandmother or have upgraded to a shiny new model with a bowl rest feature or snap-on case, our hand mixers make easy work out of making this icing from scratch.
After those ingredients are well mixed, start to gradually add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk until you find the perfect consistency. Easy enough, right? Right.
After you try this homemade cream cheese frosting you’ll never opt for the store-bought version again. Once you have this recipe down, you can customize with different flavourings to make a good thing even better. Add almond extract, shredded coconut, or even food colouring to put a twist on this class cream cheese frosting. No matter what you top with this flavourful frosting, the lucky recipients will know it was baked (and frosted) with plenty of love!