No matter how good your meal is, sometimes it's just not enough. You know what we're talking about; it's not over until the sweet tooth has been satisfied. Catherine Schimenti, the pastry chef at Craft Los Angeles, has provided us with some recipes that will leave you dreaming about dessert. From cake to cookies to spoonfuls of frosting, these treats will surely be the icing on the cake after any meal!

Red Velvet Cake

Yield: One – two layer cake

*This recipe calls for beet puree, but you can do without.

Ingredients:

6 beets, small

1½ sticks (6 oz.) butter

2 ¼ cups sugar

3 each eggs

3 ½ cups flour

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp. salt

12 oz. buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 ½ tsp. cider vinegar

1 tbsp. red food coloring

Method:

Beet Puree:

• Preheat oven to 325° F, wrap beets in foil and roast for 1 hour (until tender and you can insert a small knife through).

• Cube the beets while they are still warm and then puree the beets in a food processor until smooth. You can add a drop of water if you need to. Strain through a sieve if needed.

Cake:

• Mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy

• Add eggs slowly until incorporated

• Add beet puree, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring and vanilla extract, mix until just incorporated but do not overmix, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl

• Continue to mix, alternate by adding buttermilk and flour until smooth

• Batter should be a vibrant pinkish red color (add more color if needed)

• Prepare your two 8” cake pans on a cookie sheet and spray with non stick spray

• Divide the cake batter evenly

• Bake at 325° F, for 16 minutes and test the cake before removing. The cakes should be springy in the center (test the center with a tooth pick.)

• Allow to cool and ice with cream cheese buttercream

**Find a picture of the finished product on the upper left.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Rose Cream

Yield: 2 dozen

Ingredients:

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cup sugar

¾ tsp. vanilla extract

4 each eggs

½ cup cake flour

½ cup flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

¾ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup buttermilk

Method:

• Sift dry ingredients

• Cream the butter and sugar (using a KitchenAid or a hand mixer) until light and fluffy

• Add eggs slowly until incorporated

• Add the dry ingredients and then the buttermilk and vanilla extract

• Mix until smooth

• Fill cupcake-lined cups ¼ “ from the top

• Bake at 350° F, 18-22 minutes (check with a toothpick in center until clean)

• Cool cupcakes, ice and then serve

**Find a picture of the finished product on the upper left.

Raspberry Rose Buttercream

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1 cup powdered sugar

½ cup cream cheese (room temp.)

2 tbsp raspberry jam

¼ tsp rose water

Method:

• Mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy

• Add soft cream cheese and mix until smooth

• Add raspberry jam and rose water and whip until light

• Add more or less of the raspberry and/or rose water per your taste

• You can use raspberry jam from the supermarket or double the amount and use fresh. Rosewater is found at gourmet food stores or online.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks (16 oz.) butter

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups light brown sugar

4 each eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla extract

4 cups flour

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

2 cups dark chocolate chips

2 cups white chocolate chips

Method:

• Mix butter and sugars until creamy

• Add eggs slowly and then add vanilla extract

• Add dry ingredients and mix until combined

• Add the chocolate chips and mix until together

• Form balls of dough about 1" wide

• Bake at 325° F for 10 minutes

Catherine Schimenti is the pastry chef at Craft Los Angeles. With an extensive culinary background, Catherine has worked at such esteemed Manhattan restaurants as Craftsteak, Gramercy Tavern and Balthazar. In August 2008, Angeleno magazine named her “Pastry Chef of the Year,” and her desserts have received praise by the Los Angeles Times.

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