Sunday, June 10, 2007

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting for Swing Dancers Extraordinaire

I made some Applesauce cake today to bring to our swing dance weekend. Sarah Spence Adams and Kevin St Laurent came to give us a two day lindy hop extravaganza. The core group from the Mainiac Swing Dance Society and other serious dancers near and far came together to share in the joys (and pain) of the spinnycurlyswoopyswively steps. It was great fun to get to know some of these excellent dancers a little better. I appreciate their patience and kindness when the steps don't come as quickly to me as I'd like. When they do- Oh! the feeling! I must admit that one mistake that landed me on my knees during a little aerial has been a good wake-up call. This is a sport. It is to be taken as passionately and as seriously as the hurdles or speed skating or tennis...and you CAN get hurt. The difference here is that you realllly have to trust your partner- both of you- to make it work. There are some people that you come across who will share with you a certain magic. They can be great dancers or not so great, but when you take their hand on the dance floor you will find the most marvelous steps are put into play. It's neat when you realize who these people are. You look forward to dancing with them. They will- through the ways you will reach to try the next new thing- make you a better dancer. It was exciting to find several of those people in our class. In the rotation of partners I always had leaders to look forward to who would give me suggestions and try it again. When we did it right- it was amazing! Sarah and Kevin were wonderful teachers. I'd take a class from them again in a heartbeat!
This morning I woke up thinking about what to whip up to share when our feet felt like they were ready to give out and our stomachs were growling (which happens about two hours in...). I decided to make an applesauce cake. I had a banana that was ripe and ready so I threw it in the batter. The cake was so moist and lovely! When I began to make the frosting- I knew I wanted to have a cream cheese variety- there wasn't a bag of confectionery sugar to be found. We were supposed to leave in 30 minutes so.... This was what I came up with. My dancing pals loved it! Hope it will give you another choice in your frosting department.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz plain cream cheese- I used Neufchatel
8 oz white chocolate bits
4 oz half and half or light cream
2 t pure vanilla extract
dash salt
3/4 c brown sugar
2 T maple sugar
In a glass bowl place the white chocolate and cream. Heat over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave until the bits are melted. If you're doing this in the microwave, be sure to heat for 30 seconds at a time. Stir often. When the bits are completely melted stir until you've got a beautiful, smooth ganache. Let this cool for a few minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer whip the cream cheese and brown sugar until it's light and fluffy- about 4 minutes-scraping down the sides of the bowl so there are no lumpy bits of cream cheese left. Slowly add the ganache to the cream cheese a spoonful at a time. When the mixture has been completely incorporated, add the salt, vanilla and maple sugar. Whisk again, scraping the sides of the bowl often, for another 3 or 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the sugar if necessary. This frosting ended up being on the edge of sweet and tangy. Perfect! and not anything like the tooth-painfully-sweet store bought kind. Next time I might just add a little bit of fresh orange zest and juice. MMM delicious!
Savor, Linger, Enjoy!

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