August 2018


Mary Queen of Heaven Cake

August 22: Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Hail, Holy Queen! Mary Queen of Heaven was the inspiration for the cake we made for a prayer party at a Catholic university in South Texas where Islander’s brother ministers/works/lives on campus. The sparkly accents reflect her regal splendor while the white cake symbolizes her virginity and purity. The contrasting blue cake balls inside represent the precious baby boy, her son Jesus, whom she carried in her womb.

Many honorific titles are given to Mary. This down-to-earth maiden who was chosen to be the Mother of God had a great responsibility, which she accepted gracefully. For her love and sacrifice, she is both humbled yet exalted. Likewise, our Mary Queen of Heaven cake is simple yet elegant. But it was appropriate for our celebration during the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.

Recipe

For the blue cake balls

Directions

In a bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites. Blend until the batter is smooth. In a greased cake ball/pop pan, fill the wells with the batter. Secure the top part of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. Cool and remove from the pan. Trim the excess from the cake balls.

For the white cake

Directions

Line two 8-inch round pans with waxed paper. Mist with cooking spray. Arrange blue cake balls in the pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the white cake mix, water, vegetable and egg whites. Blend until smooth. Divide batter into two. Pour over the cake balls in each pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, testing the cake for doneness. Remove from the oven and let cool completed. Slice off the top mound to make the cake even. Smear a cake board with a little vanilla buttercream. Invert the cake onto the board.

Frost the top and sides with vanilla buttercream. Dust a clean surface with powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent the fondant from sticking. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and large enough to cover the cake.

Smooth the fondant on the cake and trim away the excess. Position the decorations on the cake (crown, initial M and rhinestone ribbon). Place the cake on a pedestal. Slice and serve.

Notes

  • We used two blue cake mixes to make several cake balls. We used two white cake mixes to make two 8-inch cakes and one 10-inch cake.
  • Try changing the color combinations of the cake mixes for different occasions.

 

Spumoni

August 21: National Spumoni Day

Another hot summer day calls for a cool dessert like spumoni, a colorful confection created by the ever-clever Italians with three layers and flavors of gelato (or ice cream). Similar to Neapolitan ice cream with its pink (cherry or strawberry), vanilla and chocolate layers, spumoni, which is the plural form of spumone, derived from the word “foam”, consists of cherry, pistachio and either vanilla or chocolate Italian ice cream flavors. Some have fruit and nuts between the layers.

We chose to make our spumoni with the fruit and nuts already embedded in the gelato. And we combined pistachio, vanilla (instead of chocolate) and cherry flavors to make a pastel version of the Italian flag.

Have a slice of simple spumoni during the summer and on National Spumoni Day.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • Pistachio gelato or ice cream, softened
  • Vanilla gelato or ice cream, softened
  • Cherry gelato or ice cream, softened
  • Red food coloring

Directions

Line a large loaf pan with plastic wrap, extending over the sides so that it is easier to lift out when unmolding the spumoni. Spread the softened pistachio gelato or ice cream as the bottom layer about an inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm. Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap. Spread the softened vanilla gelato or ice cream on top of the pistachio layer about an inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and take off the plastic wrap. In a large bowl, stir the softened cherry gelato or ice cream with a few drops of red food coloring until it turns pink. Spread this on top of the vanilla layer about an inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and take off the top plastic wrap. Grab the plastic wrap from the sides and lift out the entire spumoni and unmold onto a cutting board. Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Canada’s National Spumoni Day is on November 13.
  • Neapolitan ice cream is also of Italian origin (Naples). Inspired by the colors of pink, white and brown, we made macarons and a rosé wine-chocolate naked wedding cake.
  • Search our blog for other ice cream recipes.