Sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs, if desired
1In medium bowl, place chopped chocolate. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 2/3 cup of the whipping cream to simmering over medium heat. Remove from heat; cool 1 minute. Pour hot cream over chocolate; stir until smooth. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until ganache is thickened.
2Heat oven to 375°F. Grease 15x10x1-inch pan with shortening. Line with waxed paper; grease paper with shortening. In large bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar with electric mixer on high speed until thick and lemon colored. On low speed, beat in oil and vanilla.
3In medium bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Sift flour, 1/4 cup cocoa and the salt over batter; fold gently until blended. Pour into pan, spreading batter to corners.
4Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Meanwhile, generously sprinkle clean towel with cocoa. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; turn upside down onto towel. Carefully remove waxed paper; trim off edges of cake if necessary. While hot, starting with long side, carefully roll up cake; place on cooling rack. Cool at least 30 minutes.
5In chilled medium bowl, beat remaining 1 cup whipping cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and liqueur on high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread whipped cream over cake. Roll up cake. Cut 2-inch diagonal slice from 1 end of cake roll. Place cake on serving platter; position cut piece against side of cake roll to look like a knot, using about 1 tablespoon ganache to attach to cake. Frost cake with remaining ganache. With tines of fork, make strokes in ganache to look like tree bark. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs.
Sugared Cranberries 3/4 cup sugar 3/4 cup fresh cranberries 1. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cranberries to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring often. (Do not overcook; cranberries should swell and just begin to pop.) Remove from heat; drain. Toss cranberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, coating completely. 2. On waxed paper, arrange sugared berries in single layer. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sugared Rosemary Sprigs 6 sprigs fresh rosemary (3 to 5 inch) 2 pasteurized egg whites, slightly beaten 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar 1. With small pastry brush, brush 1 rosemary sprig with egg whites (do not dip rosemary into egg whites). Working over waxed paper, heavily sprinkle sugar through wire-mesh strainer over rosemary, turning to coat completely. Shake off excess sugar. 2. On waxed paper, place sugared rosemary. Repeat with remaining rosemary, egg whites and sugar. Let stand uncovered at least 8 hours or until dry. Store uncovered at room temperature. Serving Tip This sugary garnish is not intended to be eaten if you use regular egg whites. However, the uncooked whites of pasteurized eggs are food safe.
1Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan, or spray with baking spray with flour. In small bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 egg, 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract and 3 drops food color until smooth; set aside.
2In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/3 cup flour, 1 cup water, the butter and 2 eggs on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Spoon cream cheese filling over batter.
3Bake 44 to 52 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack or heatproof plate; remove pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted; set aside. For glaze, mix powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, 1 to 2 drops food color, the corn syrup and enough of the 3 to 4 teaspoons water to make a thick glaze that can be easily drizzled. Drizzle over cake. Immediately spoon melted chocolate over glaze in 1/2-inch-wide ring. Working quickly, pull toothpick through chocolate to make swirls. Refrigerate until serving time. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
Sprinkling with coarsely chopped chocolate mint candies makes this already-incredible cake even more decadent!
The shortening keeps the melted chocolate chips smooth. Butter and margarine contain more water than shortening, so they can’t be substituted.
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
cups powdered sugar
tablespoon frozen (thawed) orange juice concentrate
Yellow food color
Red food color
cup semisweet chocolate chips
1Heat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.) Make brownies as directed on box. Cool completely.
2Stir cream cheese, powdered sugar, orange juice, 2 drops yellow food color and 1 drop red food color until smooth and spreadable; spread over brownies.
3Place chocolate chips and shortening in small microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on Medium (50%) about 2 minutes or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over brownies. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until cream cheese and chocolate are set.
4For 24 brownies, cut into 4 rows by 6 rows. Cover and refrigerate any remaining brownies.
Soften cream cheese quickly by placing unwrapped cream cheese in a bowl and microwaving on High for 10 to 15 seconds.