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Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

In my last post I talked a little about the  anti-inflammatory diet I’m doing for a few weeks. Today is the 13th day and I’m absolutely dying. I was hoping to last 3-4 weeks but I don’t know if I’ll make it much longer. What I want the most is pizza; gooey, cheesy pizza, with a delicate tomato sauce. Which is exactly why I’m craving it, it’s everything I can’t have: bread, dairy and tomato. Not being able to eat what I want leads me to get creative.

The original recipe for this cake came from the famous Nigella Lawson clementine cake I posted about back in 2010. I really love the clementine cake and it fits nicely with this diet since it’s dairy and gluten free. The only issue is I’m not supposed to have citrus while on this diet and clementines are not in season yet. This led me to experiment with peaches since they are really good right now. In my first try I did the recipe exactly as the original expect for substituting peaches. I was very pleased with this recipe. The major difference was the texture didn’t turn out cake like, it was much more custardy. In my second attempt I added oat flour to the recipe and it turned out perfect and fluffy.

Peach Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 1 (8-inch) cake

  • 5 peaches (about 2 pounds total weight)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Start by boiling the peaches whole. They only need to boil for 10-15 minutes, until they are soft and you can poke them easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and let them cool slightly so you can touch them without burning yourself. Once cool, cut the peaches and remove the pit. At this point you should be able to smash them with a potato masher or run them through a food processor until pureed.

Oil and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, salt, almonds, almond extract and baking powder. Mix well, adding the peach puree.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan.

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Neil's Birthday Cake

Neil’s birthday was this last week (June 25th) and I really wanted to make something special for him. I kept going back and forth on the idea of making a cake versus buying one. It would require so much less effort to just buy one; it would probably cost about the same price and would look prettier and would most likely taste better as well. My only issue with this was that “I” wouldn’t have made it and I REALLY, REALLY wanted to bake a cake for him. It was almost like I couldn’t justify having a food blog and not making my own boyfriend’s birthday cake. I mean, come on, how can I call myself a food blogger if I wasn’t willing to take on this challenge. Not to mention the first cake I attempted didn’t turn out as well as I wished for, so I was ready to try again.

I spent hours looking for the perfect recipe online and finally ran into this amazing recipe. My friend Sheena was kind enough to come over the night before and help me with the cake. I was so nervous that it wouldn’t turn out well, so it was really nice to have her there for help.

The below recipe is for a three layer cake, but there is also a recipe for two layers. I decided to go for the two layer recipe since I didn’t need that much cake but didn’t reduce my frosting recipe. I ended up with a bunch of extra frosting which was okay because I could eat it by the spoonful.

In the end the cake turned out really well. It was a little on the dry side but I think that’s because we made it the night before and stuck it in the fridge. Anyway, the most important part was that Neil was totally surprised and really appreciated that I made a cake for him. 🙂

These recipes were adapted from Buttercup Bakes at Home and Great Cakes but I referenced them from Bake or Break.

Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Level: Medium
Yield: 10-12 servings

Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 9 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 & 1/8 cups buttermilk
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/8 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch square baking pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add chocolate, and mix until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Divide batter equally and pour into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Cake


Cream Cheese Frosting (with a hint of Frangelico)

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 & 3/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico (I skipped the Frangelico)
  • Mix butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon until blended. Add 2 cups of sugar, half of the heavy cream, and salt. Beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar, cream, vanilla, and Frangelico. Mix until smooth, but do not overmix. If frosting is too thick, add a few drops of heavy cream.Spread frosting between cake layers. If necessary, place frosting in refrigerator before spreading onto cake layers.

    Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder. Add sugar in three portions, alternating with sour cream. Beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract.Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. If necessary, place frosting in refrigerator before spreading on cake.Place frosted cake in refrigerator to allow it to set.

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    Avocado

    Around St. Patrick’s Day I saw a Twitter post from Joy the Baker about a chocolate avocado cake made by someone else.  After further investigation it turned out that Joy had made a chocolate avocado cake in July 2009. Andy Windak, a fellow food blogger, took Joy’s recipe and added chocolate stout to it. I decided to make Andy’s version of the cake but Joy’s version of the frosting because that’s what looked good to me.

    Although, I had fun making this cake, I don’t think I would make it again. Maybe I went wrong with the recipe somewhere but it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The cake was too wet and it didn’t have a very good chocolaty flavor. Further, the avocado frosting just didn’t do it for me, it was too runny. If you decide to try this recipe I would suggest going with Andy’s version of the frosting. He adds coconut oil to the mix to thicken it and make it more “frosting” like. If coconut oil sounds too weird I would recommend trying Earth Balance vegan butter.
    Chocolate Avocado Cake

    Prep time: 60 minutes
    Cook time: 35 minutes
    Level: Medium
    Yield: 8-10 servings

    Ingredients

    For the Cake

    • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
    • 6 tbs High Quality Cocoa Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 cup Sugar
    • 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
    • 1/4 cup Virgin Coconut Oil
    • 1/2 cup Mashed Ripe Avocado (about 1 medium avocado)
    • 1 cup Chocolate Stout
    • 1 cup Rice Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
    • 2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
    1. Preheat oven to an exact 350° F. Be sure to check your oven thermometer. Grease two 9″ cake pans with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
    2. Stir the vinegar into the rice milk. Set aside.
    3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk the mixture until everything is evenly distributed and uniform in color. Set aside.
    4. Whisk together the avocado and coconut oil in a large bowl. Add the stout, rice milk mixture and vanilla and whisk until well combined. There may be a few lumps of avocado left which are fine.
    5. Using a spatula, gently fold the prepared dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix just until no dry bits are visible. There will still be some lumps.
    6. Evenly split the batter between the two prepared pans and shake the pans to level the batter. Bake for 30–35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack and remove pans to complete cooling, leaving the parchment on until it’s time to apply the icing.
    7. To make the icing, place the avocado, coconut oil, lime juice and vanilla in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat together until smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and mix until completely incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Taste, and add additional powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until desired sweetness is reached.
    8. To assemble the cake, spread about a tablespoon of icing down on your cake plate, then place the first cake round on top. The bit of icing on the bottom will help glue down the cake to the plate. Next spread about 1/3 of the remaining icing atop the first cake round, then place the second round on top. Pour the remaining icing on top of this and spread even and smooth.
    9. Place in cake caddy and refrigerate at least an hour until ready to serve. Refrigeration helps the icing set up. The lime juice prevents the avocado in the icing from turning brown, however best color and flavor is achieved when the cake is served no more than a couple hours after the icing has been made. The cake will still be tasty the next day, it will just not be the same shade of green.

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    Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

    chopped
    Earlier this month I decided to bake a cake for my works monthly birthday celebration. I decided to go with Ina Gardens Chocolate Cake. Her recipe is to use two round cake pans, but I needed the cake to be bigger so I doubled the recipe and used a 9 1/2 by 11 baking pan. I have to say that the cake itself wasn’t all that great. Not sure what I did wrong but it had a weird canola oil taste. You might want to try using some other kind of oil, perhaps walnut. The frosting for this cake, is absolutely delicious. Here are two sites I found absolutely useful, Baking 911 and Smitten Kitchen.

    New 101

    Ingredients

    • Butter, for greasing the pans
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

    Directions

    Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

    Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

    Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

    Chocolate Frosting:

    • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
    • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

    Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don’t whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

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