Archive for the ‘The Cake Walk’ Category

MARBLE BUNDT CAKE

This is a mash-up of two recipes: one from Martha Stewart, and another from the LA Times version of one from the Buttercake Bakery.  The latter was too sweet for me, and Martha’s was a smaller loaf.  I think this one is just right.

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2 2/3 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour and AP)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, room temp

4 eggs, room temp

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened (good quality) cocoa powder

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter well and lightly flour a 12-cup bundt pan.

Whisk together the first four ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a stand mixer, cream sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla.

Mix in flour and buttermilk alternately in a couple batches.  Stir in chocolate chips if using.

In a medium glass or metal bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  Then mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture.

Pour half of what’s left of the plain batter into the bundt pan.  Pour chocolate mixture on top, and then the rest of the plain batter on top of that.  Gently swirl with a wooden skewer or sharp knife to marble (don’t over do this).

Bake for about an hour, until the cake springs back lightly and tester comes out clean.  Don’t overbake.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack and then invert onto serving plate.  Dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve.

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PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: MARBLE BUNDT CAKE

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WARM HONEYED BLACKBERRIES with GRILLED POUND CAKE

Our experience was slightly different from the recipe in the GARDENER & THE GRILL, because one my kids at half of the blackberries before we could use them in the dessert.  We added fresh strawberries to the plate to compensate.  We also cooked the compote on the stove as the kids were helping and have them at the grill seemed too dangerous.  This is the recipe as written; follow the link to my pound cake recipe.  The cinnamon and honey really stand out in this compote and the effect of the grilling on the cake is very pleasing.

Serves 4.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 cups blackberries

6 tablespoons honey, divided

juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

4 (1 inch) slices of pound cake

Prepare a hot fire in your grill.  Whip the cream with an electric mixer or a whisk until it holds medium peaks, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan that can be used on the grill or on a grill side burner, combine the blackberries, 4 tablespoons honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Set the saucepan over the heat and stir to blend, cooking until the mixture begins to bubble.

At the same time, grill the pound cake slices for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until they get good grill marks.

Stir 2 tablespoons of the remaining honey into the whipped cream with a light touch.

To serve, set a slice of grilled pound cake on each plate.  Spoon the warmed berries over the cake and top with the honeyed whipped cream.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: WARM HONEYED BLACKBERRIES with GRILLED POUND CAKE

POUND CAKE

This is a mash-up of Classic Pound Cake recipe from epicurious and one in The Joy of Cooking.  They both called for cake flour, which I subbed out.  A little laborious, but it makes a lovely dense, moist cake with a hint of citrus.  Not too, too sweet, either.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup AP flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon each, lemon and orange zest

½ lb. butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

Butter a 9” x 5” loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together the flours and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, preferably with a pouring lip, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and zests.

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until lightened in color and fluffy.  With mixer running on low, gradually add in sugar, then raise speed and beat until very light, about 5 minutes total.  Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides if necessary.  Using the same technique, gradually beat in the egg mixture, dribbling in a tablespoon or so at a time and allowing it to be incorporated until it’s all in and the mixture is smooth.  Beat in the flour mixture in thirds, using a spatula to give the final mix.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, or until the cake is well-risen, cracked on top and golden, and tester inserted into the center emerges dry.

Cool cake in pan for a few minutes, then unmold onto a rack and turn over right side up to cool completely.

PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: POUND CAKE

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Liberally adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe.  I did my usual flour substitutions, reduced the sugar, and completely changed the frosting recipe.  Nicely carroty and satisfied a pack of picky eaters.

1 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup white whole wheat flour

¼ cup almond meal

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1 cup canola oil

4 large eggs

4 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 lb. carrots)

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 24 muffin cups (or use paper liners).

Whisk together the first eight ingredients in a medium bowl.  Beat sugars, oil and eggs in large bowl until well blended. Stir in blended dry ingredients. Stir in carrots and walnuts. Divide batter between muffin cups.  Don’t overfill.

Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely, then frost.  (Or frost only as you use them, which makes for easier storage.  The muffins and frosting store well in the fridge for several days.)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

6 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

zest of one lemon or orange

Beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, syrup, and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Stir in zest.

Printable version:  CARROT CAKE MUFFINS

APPLESAUCE COCOA CAKE

APPLESAUCE COCOA CAKE

This is from the Moosewood Café, I think.  We made it with half whole wheat flour, but honestly, I think that was veering a little too far in the healthy path.  It was quite good, even so, and Audrey even ate it.  Very pretty with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

¾ cup softened butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

zest of one medium orange

3 cups flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup finely ground walnuts (or almonds)

1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce

½ cup plain yogurt or sour cream

powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter a bundt pan.

Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in vanilla and zest.

Whisk dry ingredients together, including nuts.

In another bowl, whisk together applesauce and yogurt.

Add the dry and wet mixtures alternately to the butter mixture, stirring just enough to blend.

Turn into buttered bundt pan and bake 45 – 55 minutes until tester comes out clean.

Cool slightly, turn out onto serving plate and dust with powdered sugar.

Here’s a APPLESAUCE COCOA CAKE.

FOURTH OF JULY CAKE

This was adapted from a new blog my friend Lauren Bone told me about:  Smitten Kitchen.  Unlike mine, her blog has lovely pictures and seems very professionally run.  This recipe was fabulous, so I will definitely try more.   The cake is sort of like a berry shortcake, but cooked all together.

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups AP flour (can substitute half barley flour)

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 large egg

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved

1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries (cut side down) and blueberries on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Printer friendly version: FOURTH OF JULY CAKE