Friday, July 29, 2011

July 28th cake

I've been thinking about this for about a week and a half because it's my BIRTHDAY CAKEEEEE. Because baking is like rully important to me, this cake was destined to be a winner from the start. Everyone I talked to laughed when I said I was making my own cake, but the way I see it... why would I leave it in the hands of someone else? That way if it came out horribly I would have only myself to blame....

But it came out great, so no worries. Like, super great. So great that Lanie asked if I got it at Whole Foods. Lol'ing.

For the cake:

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup hot (but not boiling) water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons white vinegar

For the raspberry bit:

1/2 pint fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon gelatin

For the heavenly lemon frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar
5 drops lemon essential oil
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter cupcake rounds; dust with cocoa, tapping out excess. Set aside. Whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl; set aside.

Mix sugar and oil on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add eggs one at a time; mix well after each addition. Mix in food coloring and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Stir together baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl. Add baking-soda mixture to batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds. Mix in the hot water until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 18 to 23 minutes. Let cool completely in pans on wire racks. Using your fingers, take one cupcake and crumble it into tiny crumbs to be used as a garnish for later. Set aside.

While the cakes are baking, make the raspberry bit. In a small saucepan, melt butter on a low heat. Add raspberries, stir. Add brown sugar, lemon juice, and gelatin and heat until the berries break apart into a soupy consistency, about 3 minutes. Pour into small ramekin and allow to cool in a refrigerator for approximately 2 hours.

Next, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, whip butter and egg yolks with an electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla extract, lemon essential oil, and lemon zest and mix until combined. Add in confectioner's sugar in 3 batches, mixing between each addition. Let sit at room temperature before frosting!

Place one cake on a cake stand, spread raspberry bit on top. Place the second cake on top. Frost the entire thing with the lemon frosting. YAAY JULY 28TH!

Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. Frosting/jam by me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oatmeal plum upside down cake

I'm so glad I have friends that eat as much as I do. Today Lanie came over and obviously I was in the kitchen. I was also really hungry, which is a bad thing to be before baking, so I decided to pull out some cookie dough from the fridge and munch on it while making the batter for this cake. Lanie, of course, did the same.

Then the batter was finished and we put the cake in the oven. Lanie couldn't pull herself away from the cookie dough, so I asked if she just wanted me to whip up a batch in the oven. She looked at me, her bod not wanting to say yes but her sweet tooth screaming DUH. The sweet tooth won.

So at this point we had a cake and some cookie dough in the oven, and of course we left a bit of dough out to eat right then.

By the time Rose came over the cake was finished and we all helped ourselves to a big slice.

Then Lanie ate more cookies.

It was hillarious.

We sat around and talked like good friends do. I'm not going to include the part where I got sugared out and fell asleep a couple hours later, so this is where I stop...

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs
6 ounces sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the upside down:

1 large plum
1/2 cup regular oats (not instant!)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
small pinch of cloves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan, set aside.

Cut your plum into slivers, about 12 to each half. Place in a circular pattern on the bottom of the greased pan.

Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a small pan and mix with the brown sugar until the sugar granules are gone. Take off heat and add in the oats. Pour the entire mixture over the plums (mixture will be thick, feel free to spread it out to coat the pan evenly with a metal spoon).

In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until blended. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring the entire time as to prevent lumps from forming. Pour the batter over the plum and oatmeal in the cake pan. 

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean!

Recipe by me! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the best chocolate cake in the world

Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. Seriously. The end. 

Makes one, two-tired 9-inch cake

For the cake:

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/8 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/3 cup milk

shaved semi-sweet chocolate, for the sides

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, cocoa powder, coffee powder, and milk until there are no lumps. 

Once the cake is cooled you may begin to frost your cake. Start by skimming of the tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife to ensure the cakes are even and do not puff up in the center. Frost the cake as normal, using the most frosting on the top of the cake. Using a butter knife, create crescent-shaped divots in the cake, moving from the outsides to the center until you've gone all the way around the cake. If you wish, make a swirl in the middle so you can't tell where you started and where you ended your divots. Shave semi-sweet chocolate using a peeler and decorate the outside edges of the frosted cake.


Recipe adapted from Hershey's

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hummingbird bakery cheesecake


One time we made a celebratory cheesecake. Then it broke coming out of the pan. But it was still an amazing cheesecake, so we ate it anyways.

For the crust:

8 ounces digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:

1 1/2 pounds full-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 ounces mixed berries

Line the base of a spring form pan with parchment paper. Place the biscuits in a food processor and whiz into fine crumbs using the blade attachment. Tip the crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter, and mix together with a spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared tin, pressing it into the base with the back of the spoon. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool and set for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 320°F. Using an electric mixer, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla extract, and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Break the eggs in one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure every bit is incorporated. Stir in the mixed fruits by hand, checking that they are evenly dispersed, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Create a water bath for the cheesecake. Wrap the outside of the spring form with foil, folding it up around the sides of the pan. Then place thepan in a roasting tin and fill with water to about 1/4 inches below the top edge. The moisture created in the oven helps to prevent the top of the cheesecake from cracking. Run a palate knife around the inside edge of the pan; this releases the mixture from the sides so that it doesn't stick.

Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cheesecake is a light-golden color on top (more so around the edges) and generally firm to the touch, with only a slight wobble in the middle.
Keeping the cheesecake in the tin, allow it to cool down at room temperature, then place in the fridge to set for a few hours, or preferably overnight. Once the cheesecake has set, it can be taken out of the pan and decorated with extra berries or whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days Cookbook