Zesty Fiesta Chocolate Fridge Cake

Citrus Fiesta Fridge Cake

When my friend Marysol of Memories In the Baking commented on my Cheese and Yogurt Cake with Lemon Zest quoting David Lebovitz : “there are two kinds of people in this world, the lemon people and the chocolate people ” I was about to jump with joy because I had made something that had both the chocolate and lemon a few days earlier. What a coincidence) Marysol, I am dedicating this recipe to you since as you say you are “an active member of the both” kinds:) and of course, to all the chocolate and citrus lovers in the world!

This is my entry to the Beauty & the Beast Challenge the most talented Diva of Sugar Bar created. If you haven’t submitted your recipe yet, please do so, or else I will grab the first prize for which I am shooting with my zesty creation:)

Let me tell you a little bit about the contest. What we have to do is pick up a beauty product that has either a name that is food-related or has food-related ingredients. Then create a dish inspired by the product. Isn’t it a fun challenge! It didn’t take me too long to find the right product since there are not too many beauty related items in my possession. I quickly ran my eyes over whatever I had searching for some interesting ingredients that would scream at me until this hand lotion reading Lemon – Lime – Orange caugt my attention. That was it! It was amost a recipe by itself! There were so many ways I could use the three ingredients.

Soon all sorts of ideas came flowing to my mind and my brain faced a difficult task of sorting them out, crossing out the ones not quite appealing, and picking the winning idea which was combining chocolate with citrus! I made chocolate fridge cake with zesty and nutty filling. Sadly, fridge cake is not my invention. The general technique of making it is not mine either. But fridge cake with lemon-lime-orange-nuts-dried fruits filling is mine:) And I came up with a fancy name for it too:)

Below is the creation I whipped up to share with you. I loved the result – nuts added a nice crunchy feel, dried fruits chewiness and citrus zest a tangy taste. It is a pretty easy dessert to fix. Plus you can experiment with different kinds of nuts and dried fruits. Note that this is a not a light dessert – it is pretty rich, so be careful not to give in to the temptation to finish the whole thing in one bite! I won’t blame you if you do – this cake is sinfully delicious! Enjoy!

POST NOTE: Ok, I just won the 1st Prize I was shooting for:)) Congratulations to all the winners and those who didn’t win because all the dishes submitted are lovely looking! Check them out! Diva, thank you for the challenge!

ZESTY FIESTA CHOCOLATE FRIDGE CAKE

Serves a party of 8-12

INGREDIENTS

20 crackers (about 150g / 5 oz) (NOTE: You can use any crackers/cookies of any flavor as long as they are hard. Some ideas: graham crackers, amaretti cookies, Arrowhead Biscuits etc.
1/2 cup almonds, halved
6 large prunes, quartered or coarsely chopped
6 dried apricots, quartered or coarsely chopped
grated zest of 1 medium lemon
grated zest of 1 small lime
grated zest of 1 medium orange
12 oz (340 g) bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Prepare a container which will be the mold for your cake. I used a 9 (23 cm) X 5 inch (13 cm) loaf pan. Line it with plastic wrap, making sure there is extra to fold over the edges and cover the chocolate before it goes in the fridge. Using plastic wrap will make it easier to remove the hardened cake from the container.

2. Break the cookies/biscuits into small pieces in a medium mixing bowl. Add almonds, prunes, apricots, and grated zest of lemon, lime and orange. Mix well.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate, butter and maple syrup. To melt the mixture use either of the following methods (I used method 1). Method 1: Microwave the mixture until it melts. Stir several times during the process. Method 2: In a medium pot boil some water. Place the bowl with chocolate over the pot with water and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter have melted and the ingredients are well blended.

4. Add the melted chocolate into the bowl with cookie mixture and mix well. Pour the batter into the
prepared container. Pack down and cover with plastic wrap.

5. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or until firm. Refrigerating will also allow the flavors to develop. To serve, remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes ahead of time (this will make the cake softer and it is how it should be eaten) and unmold onto a serving plate. Cut into chunky slices. You can store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge to serve later.

Nush Olsun! Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

And here’s the product that inspired me. Hand Lotion with Lemon, Lime and Orange.

Diva, thank you for such a unique challenge! I had a lot of fun!

Cheese and Yogurt Cake with Lemon Zest

The other day I was going through my old notebook recipe collection and this recipe caught my attention. I had all the ingredients available so I decided to give it a try for the first time since the recipe found its way into my precious collection almost two decades ago. I don’t even remember where I got it from. The poor thing was called Piroq, which in Russian means Pie, so I had to brand it with some type of fancy name to make it sound appealing and attractive. And this is how the cake got its new name – Cheese and Yogurt Cake with Lemon Zest. Is it fancy enough?:)

The recipe did not call for any baking powder or soda, which I found bizarre. But I still decided to stick to the original and I am glad I did. My cake turned out beautifully. It didn’t rise much but I still loved its soft and moist texture. Tasted and looked almost like cheesecake. Then this idea about no baking powder started to bug me and two days after we devoured the fist cake, I knew I had to make another one (since I am a Daring Baker), this time using what I thought was the missing ingredient – baking powder. I also used 4 eggs instead of 5 and added more flour. Result? My cake did not rise a bit, and was more dense and heavier in texture than the previous one. A lesson taught. I am now sticking to my good old recipe I have a pleasure of sharing with you.

Note: Per Deeba‘s suggestion (thank you, Deeba!), I am submitting this recipe to the Sugar High Friday, a monthly event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess. This month’s theme is Citrus and the event is being hosted by Helen of Tartelette.

CHEESE AND YOGURT CAKE WITH LEMON ZEST

Ingredients

1/2 pound (250 g) unsalted white cheese (I used part skim milk cheese. If you are in Azerbaijan, use kesmik/tvoroq)
1/2 cup (4 oz/113 g) butter, melted
5 eggs, at room temperature
a pinch of vanilla powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
coarsely grated zest of one lemon
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350?F (180?C).

2. In a large mixing bowl, coarsely crumble (break up into small pieces) cheese using your hands. Add butter, eggs, vanilla powder and flour. Using a mixer, beat at medium speed until well blended. It should take you only a minute or less.

3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and yogurt and beat with a mixer until well blended. Add lemon zest and mix.

4. Gradually add the yogurt mixture (step 3) to the cheese mixture (step 2) and mix. The batter will be quite thin, and this is how it should be.

5. Lightly coat a 8 1/2 (21 cm) x 4 1/2-inch (11 cm) loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter onto the prepared pan and place the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden on top and spongy when lightly pressed, and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. You will notice the cake will only rise a little – this is normal. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow to cool in the pan, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack. Cool completely before serving. Dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and sprinkle with lemon zest, if desired. Enjoy your cake with a cup of hot tea!

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