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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

15 Jul

First, I feel like I should start off with disclosing that I feel like you should immediately decide to make multiples of this cake, because it doesn’t make a huge cake and seriously, one slice is not enough.  Next time I’m going to try doubling the recipe and making more like a 9 x 13 version.

I made this for my dad’s birthday…in September.  For some reason, I seem to have a problem posting his birthday cakes in a timely fashion which is particuarly odd, because they’re always some of the favorite things I make.  See cassata cake and German Chocolate Cake…oh wait, no link for German Chocolate Cake because there’s no post yet – case and point…GET IT POSTED ALREADY, PAMELA.  My dad’s favorite desserts are Cassata Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Banana Pudding…so expect to see an awesome banana pudding recipe somewhere around the year 2015.  Don’t wait that long to make this, because it’s delicious!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Yields one 9-inch cake

  • 1 (20 oz. can) canned unsweetened pineapple slices
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk

Drain pineapple and place in one layer on paper towels to absorb the excess juice.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a 9×2-inch round cake pan.  Place the cake pan in the oven until the butter is melted then remove and tilt to coat all sides with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan then place the pineapple rings evenly in the bottom of the pan starting with one pineapple ring in the center of the pan.  Place the maraschino cherries in the center of each ring and in the spaces between them.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, and vanilla.

In a mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 6 tablespoons of buttermilk. Beat on low speed until the flour is moistened, then increase the speed to medium, or high if using a handheld mixer, and beat for 1½ minutes. The batter will be stiff. Add one-third of the egg mixture at a time, beating for 20 seconds and scraping the bowl after each addition. Scrape the batter over the pineapple in the pan and spread evenly.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and tilt the pan in all directions to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before unmolding.

Invert a serving platter on top of the pan.  Being careful to not burn yourself, use oven mitts!, flip the platter and cake over together to turn the cake onto the platter and remove the pan.

Source Joy of Cooking; Recipe found at Brown Eyed Baker 

Texas Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

5 Apr

I LOVE grapefruit.  It’s so incredibly delicious despite having a few unfortunate grapefruit/car sickness moments that we won’t discuss on a food post. ;)  Grapefruit is such a refreshing flavor, and I honestly just love citrus.  Plus, the yogurt gave the cake a great tangy flavor.  This is a very moist cake, but both Corrie and I had wished there was a little more syrup all the way through the cake  so the recipe below reflects doubling the glaze and 1/2 the glaze.  I would start with about 3/4 of the syrup and then see how it goes so it doesn’t fall apart.  Our desire was that the syrup wasn’t just on the top but all the way through, so my suggestion for next time is to poke holes through with a skewer like when you make tres leche cake so you get absorption all the way through!

Texas Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp Texas Grapefruit zest (about 3/4 of the grapefruit)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp + 2/3 cup fresh-squeezed Texas Grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed Texas Grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, combine yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp grapefruit juice on low speed. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Add the vegetable oil into the batter, mixing to make sure it’s all incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 2/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.  Use a wooden skewer to poke holes about 3/4 of the way through the cake all over. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and juice and pour over the cake.

Found at Confessions of a Foodie Bride; adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2005

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

11 May

We had friends coming to visit so I decided it would be a perfect time to try this torte.  But, I realized two things — 1) it tasted a lot better to me the next day and 2) being the weird texture nut – no pun intended – that I am, I wanted to change one thing.  The original recipe calls for folding in part of the nuts with the chocolate chips into the mousse, but something about the nuts kept surprising me in combination with the silky smooth peanut butter filling, and I couldn’t decide whether I liked it or not.  So, next time, my plan is to still mix in the chocolate chips but to reserve all the nuts and spread them on top of the ganache layer.  How you want to make it is up to YOU!

Actually I realized three things.  I was in such a hurry to get the dessert to my guests that I have not a one in the decent picture department…

Okay, one last thing — this is it I promise.  Oreo cookie crusts are delicious.  I keep thinking maybe Oreo cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  The End!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

Crust:

  • 32 Oreo cookies, processed until fine crumbs
  • 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Pinch of salt

Crunch:

  • 1 1/4 cups salted peanuts, finely chopped, divided (for the filling, crunch and topping)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground nutmeg (I omitted.)

Filling:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet.  Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl.  Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.  Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan.  Freeze the crust for 10 minutes.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.

To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine 1/2 cup of the chopped peanuts (if following my modification do not include these here), mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss with a fork to mix and set aside.

To prepare the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks.  Beat in 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks.  Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Wipe out (do not wash) the mixer bowl, replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth.  Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the chopped peanuts until well combined.

Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mousse.  Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture (if desired), then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.

To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a full boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.

Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula.  Scatter the remaining peanuts (or all depending on whether you’re following the adaptation) over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes.  When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Cleveland Cassata

30 Sep

My dad’s three favorite cakes are cassata, german chocolate, and pineapple-upside down cake, so when we went to Cleveland this weekend for his birthday; I knew I would have to bring one of those three with me!  The Cleveland-style is custard-filled, inspired by Corbo’s in Little Italy (YUM – can I tell you how sad I missed the feast and didn’t get my cavatelli and meatball fix?) as Sweet Amandine‘s post tells me.   Eating it brings back a lot of memories of Catalano’s bakery which was closer and where it was available with or without white chocolate.

I ended up making the cake in Tennessee the night before and making the custard and whipped cream in Cleveland.  While it was a bit of a project, you’re able to do it in steps, and with the exception of some jumbo eggs from a farm market which caused the custard to be a little thicker yet still totally delicious, this came out very well.   Albeit not the best picture ever since  I wasn’t too interested in making my daddy wait to eat his birthday cake so I could fix it; it will definitely make the birthday cake rotation!

Cleveland Cassata Cake
Found at the food blog of one of my fellow Mayfield Wildcats no less!  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Fed She found the recipe, which lists its slew of inspirations, at Sweet Amandine

You can make the custard and cake the night before.  I took the suggestion of refrigerating the cake before spilitting, and it was a wise move!

Cake:

  • 2 1/4 c. cake flour
  • 1 1/4 and 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Custard:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Macerated Strawberries:

  • 3 lb. strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar

Whipped cream:

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • White chocolate, for garnish, if desired

Custard:

This can be done the night before.
Whisk together the custard ingredients in a saucepan, then bring to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and whisk until it becomes thick, 1-2 minutes.  The custard will change almost instantaneously from a liquid one second to a custard the next.  Turn down the heat so that the mixture just simmers, and whisk until thick, 1-2 minutes.   Move it to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or wax paper to cool and then cover and refrigerate the custard for a minimum of 3 hours, maximum of 2 days.

Cakes:

This can be made the night before.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking sprayed or Baker’s Joy sprayed parchment paper or leave the pans ungreased.

Combine the flour, 1 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder, and salt, and then sift it twice into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, place the yolks, water, oil, zest, and vanilla.  Use an electric hand mixer on high speed to combine.  Then mix in the flour mixture.

In a third bowl, use your stand mixer or your hand mixer to beat the mixture of egg whites and the cream of tartar until soft peaks form.   Once formed, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and beat on high until the peaks are stiff but not dry.

Fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the yolk/flour mixture.   This “gets it started”, then you can fold in the remaining whites, but all the while you want to be as careful not to deflate the whipped egg whites while combining.  Don’t overmix – as soon as you don’t see the egg whites – Stop!

Divide the batter between your two baking pans (or use one 3″ pan like I did).  Bake for around 35 minutes, but check beforehand.  You want a toothpick inserted in the center to come out clean, and for the top of the cake to spring back to the touch.   Once done, remove to a cooling rack for at least an hour.   When the cakes are totally done cooling, run a knife around to make sure nothing is sticking and then turn out onto your plate.  The top is a little bit sticky as the cake is almost like an angel food type texture.    Wrap in saran and then stick in the fridge for at least 3 hours to make it easier to slice or leave it in there overnight.

Strawberries:

Slice the strawberries about 1/4″ thick.  Combine in a bowl with 2 Tbsp. sugar and stir; leave for one hour.  You can stir from time to time as they mascarate and give off their juice.  Then, strain the strawberries, BUT RESERVE THE JUICE!!!

Whipped Cream

Combine in a preferably chilled bowl the cream and sugar, and whip until stiff.

Assemble:

Split the  cake layers in half.    Put down your first cake layer and brush the top of it with 1/3 of the juice from the strawberries.  Then put down a layer of strawberries.  Then top that with a layer of custard.   Repeat until you finish with your final cake layer.  Then using an offset spatula or regular spatula, spread the whipped cream over the entire cake.

Chill for at least 8 hours; it only gets better the longer it has time to merry all the flavors together.   When ready to serve, bring to room temperature.   Serve with any remaining mascerated strawberries or fresh strawberries.  Or white chocolate shavings!

Class II Wilton Final Cake

28 Jul

After Course I, I wasn’t able to take the Wilton cake decorating classes in order.  Course II was going to be offered on a night the next month that I’d miss three of the four classes, so obviously not the way to go, so I just ended up taking Course III then Fondant & Gumpaste and then finally Course II.  I did have to miss the class right before July 4th due to our travel to Cleveland, so I made it up this evening where I learned the rope border and basket weave.

Snickers Cheesecake

26 Jul

For dessert for the cookout I decided, against all rational thinking since I was putting this all together at the last minute, that I wanted to make a cheesecake.  I settled on a Snickers cheesecake mostly because I ran to the store, picked up items I might be able to bake with and then decided what to make with what I had…wrong order.  So I made a few adaptations; the original recipe called for a chocolate wafer crust, but *shock* I’m not a huge chocolate person, but I LOVE graham cracker crusts.  Also, instead of the fudge sauce I decided to go with homemade caramel.  Anyways,  you’re also going to have to ignore the globs of caramel.  Refer below to caramel being extremely hot and overheating it.  On a side note, no one seemed to mind having a lot of caramel.

Snickers Cheesecake

Cheesecake Adapted from: Epicurean; Caramel Sauce from: Smitten Kitten

Crust:

  • 2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. (3 bars) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 c. mini SNICKERS® Bars, chopped
Glaze:
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • (and…a candy thermometer)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 1/2-inch springform pan.  A springform will make it super easy to present the cheesecake without the ugly pan in the way!  I pre-baked my crust in the oven to ward against it getting soggy, but I think I did it a few minutes too long, so next time I think I’ll just put it in for 5 minutes. I think I had put it in for 10 minutes originally.
In your mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese (very important that it’s softened – otherwise you’ll have chunks of it left unincorporated in your filling) and sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Then, one at a time, add each egg.  Once incorporated, add the heavy cream and vanilla.  Scrape down the bowl, and then beat at medium speed for 5 minutes.
Fold in the chopped Snickers, and pour the filling into the crust.  Bake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the cheesecake is basically set in the center.  Let cool on a cooling rack for 1 to 2 hours.

If desired, you could add additional chopped Snickers to the top.  Since we had put this cookout together at the last minute, I didn’t have time to chill it in the refrigerator, but I do think chilling it would have improved the flavor even more.

For the caramel: Combine cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.  At this point, my candy thermometer wouldn’t stay in, so instead of continuing to boil until the candy thermometer reads 210 to 212°F which should have taken 12 to 14 minutes, I just made my husband stir it while I try to clear out some of the dirty dishes.  I think our medium heat must be hotter, because I think we let it get too far in only half the time.   This helped contribute to the gloppy drizzling, because it had gotten too thick.  Also, at this point you’re supposed to stir in the vanilla, but in my haste, I forgot!  It was still delicious.    Once it becomes caramel, drizzle it over your cheesecake.

Warning: The caramel will be extremely hot; I didn’t realize how hot, but luckily what I touched had cooled for a minute otherwise this recipe would have gone straight into the garbage for its offense!!

Makes one 9-1/2 inch cheesecake.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Frosted Chocolate Buttermilk Cake – Oh my!

14 Jul

Corrie had a potluck at work but unfortunately came down with some kind of virus that did not leave him in the mood to cook.  It ended up being a good excuse to try my hand at this cake since I like the fact that the Reese’s garnish gives you an idea of the flavors as most potlucks don’t have someone standing there telling you what food is.  Sometimes it is a little questionable?  Corrie claims it was a hit; next time hopefully I’ll get to try some and get a picture of it sliced!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Frosted Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

I found this at:  Smells Like Home; Originally from (cake) Baking: From My Home to Yours – Dorie Greenspan and (frosting) Barefoot Contessa

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
  • At least 1 bag of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups (I ran a little short, but we did eat quite a few ones that looked “misshapen”.  Next time I would definitely either start with a full bag or maybe buy an extra to garnish a little more.

Peanut Butter Frosting (I had enough, but some people commented they ran out so I think I had thrown in a little bit more of everything to ensure there was enough.  All depends on how much frosting you plan to end up using; if I was going to use some in a piping bag or something next time I may make 1 1/2 times the recipe.)

  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 c. heavy cream

Cake Directions

Put your oven rack in the center of your oven and THEN (make sure you do this in the right order otherwise ouchie) preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Then use the spray with the flour in it like Baker’s Joy or grease either two 9″ inch round pans (2″ each) or one 3″ 8-inch pan.  If you use the 3″ pan you’ll bake it for almost/double the time.  If you chose to grease the pan, also flour them.  Then put a round of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Then add the sugar and beat for a couple more minutes, until the sugar is completely incorporated.  Then add the eggs one at a time (whoops, I forgot to do this), then each yolk separately, beating for a minute after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  Now add the vanilla.   Once mixed in (should only take a minute), lower the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the buttermilk in 2, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Don’t over mix, you only want it to be just mixed in.  If you want, add the melted chocolate at this point – I didn’t, but you want to fold it in with a spatula if using versus using a mixer.    Now either divide the batter evenly between the two pans or put all in one.   Bake for 26 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Transfer the cakes to racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, and invert onto a cooling rack.  Remove the paper liners, and then flip back over to cool to room temperature right side up.    Her recipe also said that once the layers are cooled, they can be wrapped airtight and left at room temperature overnight or kept frozen for up to 2 months.

Once cool, transfer to your cake stand and place wax paper to keep your stand clean.  Frost the top of the bottom layer and crush up some of the Reese’s to spread on top.  Then put the next layer on and frost the top moving the excess over the side of the cake.  Continue frosting the sides and then garnish with Reese’s cups as desired.

Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour, up to a day, but you will want to bring it to room temperature right before serving.

Peanut Butter Frosting Directions

Mix the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt with a mixer on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Then add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

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