Posts tagged ‘cake’

September 4, 2011

Chocolate + Pear Cake

I wasn’t sure how this combination would work or if it would or if it could. I love the individual ingredients. So much. Juicy pear. Dark chocolate chips. They’ve never even crossed my mind as a combination. Never. And that is saying a lot.

So, of course, when I read about this cake over here at a LOVELY blog written by an incredibly witty and inspiring lady named Deb, I had to have it.

Chocolate and Pear Cake
inspired by smitten kitchen

1 c white whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
3 eggs, room temperature
8 T (1 stick) butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 lb (about 3 medium or 2 large) pears, peeled and diced
3/4 c bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Prepare pan (I used a 9 in round cake pan. The original recipe called for a springform pan.) by swiping butter all over the bottom and sides. Then, sprinkle a little flour and powdered sugar into the pan, tipping, turning, and tapping to cover the entirety of the pan.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.

Beat the three eggs with the whisk attachment on high for a really long time. But have no fear, during this time, I’ll give you something exciting to do! Ten minutes should get the eggs to go from eggs…

… to lightly colored and pretty thick froth.

Then, beat a little longer until it’s custard consistency.

(Next time, I’ll actually use the whisk attachment instead of my regular beaters. It turned out fine. So you should be relieved to know that this is a forgiving recipe.)

As promised, something exciting:: Browning butter!!

What’s better than butter? Browned butter. And even though I was pretty frightened of this process when I first heard of it, I love it. It adds a richness, nuttiness, and depth of deliciousness. Oh, man. Okay. So. Put your stick of butter in a medium sauce pan and leave it on medium-ish heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally especially a lot in the last couple of minutes so the browning happens all over not just for the first bits to be browned. And yes, those bits are okay. They’re good and welcome, even. Once the butter’s browned, take it off the heat, but keep it in a pretty warm place.

Now, that your eggs are fluffed and your butter browned, add the brown sugar to your egg mixture. Mix until incorporated.

Add flour mixture to egg fluff mixture. Now, get a spatula and fold the flour into the eggs to try to maintain the fluffiness. Add browned butter; fold.

Pour into prepared pan.

Add peeled and diced pears and chocolate chips.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Don’t take the cake out of the oven until your doneness tester comes out completely batter-free. I used my Doneness Tester (butter knife) to go around the edge of the cake just inside the pan to make sure it was separated before turning it out on a cooling rack.

Let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

If I can wait that long, you can, too. It’s possible.

And enjoy.

Every single bite.

Advertisements
March 3, 2011

Simply Chocolate Cake

This cake is great and simple. Chocolatey but not overly sweet. Delicious and not long lasting at all. It gets gone. Quickly.

Simple Chocolate Cake
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 c buttermilk (or regular milk plus lemon juice or vinegar equalling 1 c. Do you know this trick? It’s great.)
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c A-P flour
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/4 c Ovaltine (because I ran out of cocoa powder. If you have enough cocoa powder, use 3/4 c and no Ovaltine, unless you want to found out how it ended up. [Pretty darn good.])
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk, or a combination)

Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Butter and lightly flour 9 x 9 pan.

Cream the butter until smooth with an electric mixer on medium.

Add the sugars and continue to beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the egg. Mix to incorporate. Then, add the buttermilk and vanilla. The batter will look a little… off. Too runny. Too clumpy. That’ll be correctly shortly. Leave it be for now.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, Ovaltine (if using), baking soda, baking powder, and salt). If you want this to be a one bowl dish, just sift the dry right into the wet ingredients! So great. Don’t overmix; just stir until combined, scraping down the sides. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a loaf pan or a 9 x 9 pan. You know; that one you buttered earlier. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then plop out and let it completely cool.

Enjoy it while you can. Like I said, this cake magically disappears.

 

January 19, 2011

Simply Great Vanilla Whipping Cream Pound Cake


I was stumped for cakes. We had an important birthday to celebrate, but I came up empty for any and all ideas. Last year for this friend I made a caramel cake. This year, his sister made him a Tres Leches Cake. But I wanted to make him one. Who doesn’t love multiple cakes for a birthday?? Who?

Simply Amazing, Utterly Devine Whipping Cream Pound Cake

3 c cake flour
3 c sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
6 eggs
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 t vanilla
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Sift flour.

 

It’s a mountain. A great and mighty mountain that needs to be set aside for the time being.

In another bowl, put the sugar in then the butter.

Cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Keep going. Even at this stage, it’s not quite done. When very light and very creamy, add one egg at a time and mix until incorporated after each addition.

Mix, egg, mix, egg, mix, egg, mix.

Now, begin to add the flour. Just add 1/4 of the flour. Mix until incorporated.

Then add about 1/3 of whipping cream. Mix until incorporated.

Flour, mix, cream, mix, flour, mix, cream, mix, flour mix.

Now, add the vanilla. Mix.

Prepare a 9″ fluted tube ban with butter and flour. Then add the batter.

Bake for between 1 hour 15 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool.

Serve by itself or with a simple glaze.

Simple Glaze

1 c powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 T lemon juice
2 T milk

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Add more milk if too thick. Add more powdered sugar if too thin.

I didn’t drizzle over the whole cake. But drizzled over individual slices. You can drizzle or not. It’s your choice. Isn’t it great to have delicious decisions to make?

September 17, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Ohboyohboyoh.

Lemon Poppy Seed cake. It’s my boyfriend’s favorite muffin. Favorite. After much research and browsing through quite a few trusted cake sources, I figured out what would probably work. Reasons why this cake is awesome:  (1) Egg whites in the cake but, no worries, because the yolks are used in the center; (2) lemon. Poppy Seed; (3) lemon frosting; (4) cake!; and (5) birthday.

___

And now, some warnings:

1. I had WAY to much raspberry curd filling leftover. Now, I’ll be forced to use it on pancakes, waffles, or, worse, yogurt (I’m looking forward to all of these).
2. I almost didn’t have enough lemon frosting. Don’t snack too much on this!
3. It looks homemade in these pictures; it is. I’m still practicing my cake decorating skills, and still working on growing my baking collection. (Please note my “cake stand” is the pan, flipped upside down, just on a plate.)
4. This recipe calls for Cream of Tartar (I went to the grocery store in my apron.) and 36 tablespoons of butter, two lemons, five eggs, three cups of powdered sugar, and raspberries.

Ooh. Finished product.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Inspired by Eliza

2 1/3 c minus 2 T A-P flour
2 3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 T poppy seeds
5 lg egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 t cream of tartar
1 1/2 c sugar
2 T finely grated lemon zest
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 c milk

8 T butter (1 stick)
12 oz raspberries, fresh or thawed
5 lg egg yolks, lightly beaten
3/4 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 or 3 t lemon juice

16 T (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 T finely grated lemon zest
3 c confectioners’ sugar
3 T fresh lemon juice

For the cake:: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, checking to make sure rack is positioned in the middle. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a bowl. In another bowl for stand or hand mixer, beat (medium speed) egg whites with the whisk attachment until frothy. Add cream of tartar and up the mixer speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form.

In new bowl with what I refer to as the regular attachments, beat (medium speed) the butter until smooth. Add the sugar in increments until incorporated. Add lemon zest. Beat (medium-high) until light and fluffy. Go ahead and measure out 1 c of milk then from that, pour 1/4 c into mixture; beat until blended. With mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and alternately the milk in three installments, mixing until incorporated between each addition. Once blended, fold a quarter of the egg whites into the batter. Add the rest of the egg whites and gently fold until all is combined.

Coat two 9in round pans in butter and flour. Pour batter evenly between the two. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and can pass the toothpick test. Cool in the cake pan about 10 minutes. Then, allow to cool completely on a rack out of the pan.

For the raspberry curd filling:: Melt butter over medium heat. Add raspberries, egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Mash the berries; stir occasionally until it starts bubble. Then continuously stir for 10 minutes. Strain really well through course strainer (not a colander; mine was too seedy). Strain into a bowl, making sure you get as much liquid as possible. Cool to room temperature, thereby letting it solidify. Stir in lemon juice to taste. Cover and put in the fridge for more cooling.

Raspberry Curd

For the frosting:: With the beaters attached to the electric mixer, beat the butter and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the lemon juice and beat for another minute.

For assembling the cake:: Layer the cooled cake rounds with the cooled raspberry curd. Frost the cake.

Litly