Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fat Wednesday? What the what?!

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So timelines aren't really my greatest thing. And it's already Wednesday, which is a whole day after Tuesday in case you lost track, too. Plus maybe I was/still am moving and didn't have internet and haven't quite yet unburied all my baking supplies. But never fear! It's summer and there's always something good going on in the summer.

My sister and I went to visit my dear Mama (she's my gramma, not my mom, but my mom is equally as dear and charming, just not as wrinkly, sorry, Mama) at the farm earlier this summer. I was all excited to go tromping through the woods to find fresh, wild blackberries and raspberries. Well, I came to find out that, according to Mama, who's pretty much always right, strawberries are the first berries of the season and it was definitely first-berry-time. We got to pick through her little strawberry patch together in the blazing sun, tasting fresh, warm berries. Delicious! And so here is my strawberry cake, in honor of Mama.

Strawberry Almond Butter Cake
(adapted from CakeLove)

6 oz. butter, unsalted
14 oz. sugar
4 eggs

2 oz almond flour
5 oz. white flour
2 oz. potato starch
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. half and half
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. strawberry puree (this is just plain, pureed berries, no sugar!)
1 T. vanilla

Cream butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next.

In separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients. Alternate adding dry and liquid ingredients to creamed mixture in about 5 additions, beginning with dry.

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom of 9" round cake pans with parchment paper. Spray sides of pans with nonstick spray. Bake for 25-28 min. Allow cake to cool in pan.

Meanwhile...prepare the almond buttercream...

3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1-1/2 tsp almond extract
1 to 2 T. milk (I think whole milk is best, it makes it nice and creamy, but skim works okay, too)

Combine powdered sugar and butter. Add extract and 1 T. milk. Slowly add more milk, a tsp at a time, until frosting reaches the desired consistency.

If you really wanna make this decadent, after you frost your cake layers with buttercream, smother it with white chocolate ganache and slivered almonds!

White Chocolate Ganache
5 oz. heavy cream
1 T. butter
12 oz. white chocolate chips

Heat cream and butter in saucepan until it gets frothy and bubbly, but not boiling. Pour over white chocolate; stir until mixture is smooth. Allow to set in fridge until thick, then frost the cake, over a thin buttercream layer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fat Tuesday: Summer Vacation

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So really, I was planning to travel somewhere amazingly awesome this summer, but then I went to the dentist. Boo. So for now, my tongue will be traveling alone. First stop, Indonesia! This cake is extremely rich, just wait until you see how much butter and how many eggs are in this little thing, but it has a great milky flavor and unique texture. Very different from our regular American cakes but delicious! If you're brave enough to give this recipe a try, I suggest doing it on a colder day and with some company took about 2 hours to complete!

Thousand Layer Cake

2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp mace
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
3 sticks butter, unsalted, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
12 eggs, large
1-1/4 c. flour

Preheat broiler. Yes, you read that right. This cake is baked in thin layers using the broiler. Spray the bottom and side of a 9-inch round cake pan; line bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Combine spices and set aside.

In separate bowl, combine butter, 1/2 c. sugar, vanilla and salt. Add egg yolks and beat until smooth. Fold flour into batter with a rubber spatula.

In another bowl, beat egg whites with remaining 1/4 c. sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture, being careful not to over-mix.

Divide batter between 2 bowls. Add spices to one bowl and stir well. Now you have a bowl of spiced batter and a bowl of plain batter. Starting with the spiced batter, pour about 1/2 c. into pan, spreading it to form a thin layer (about 1/8"). Put pan under broiler for about 2 min. or until the layer is light brown on top. Remove pan from oven and spread 1/2 c. plain batter onto cooked layer; broil until firm. Repeat layering pattern, alternating between spiced and plain batters, until batters are gone.

Slice into thin layers and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fat Tuesday: I just need some chocolate!

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Ever get those awful cravings---wait, maybe "awful" isn't the right word...delicious?---and find yourself just aching for a mouthful of rich, moist chocolatey goodness! This hefty pound cake is best if you can find cocoa powder that's 22-24% cocoa'll have to go to a specialty store or order it online. But regular cocoa powder (normally 10-12% cocoa butter) will work, too, the color will just be a little lighter brown and won't have quite as deep of a chocolate flavor. Still good, especially if you drizzle a little orange and vanilla glaze on top!

Chocolate Orange Pound Cake
(Adapted from CakeLove and Betty Crocker)

2 sticks butter
3 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 yolks

2 c. flour
1/2 c. + 2 tsp cocoa powder
2 T turbinado sugar
1 tsp potato starch
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (if you used salted butter, reduce this to 1/2 tsp)

1/2 c. sour cream
3/4 c. + 2 T whole milk
1 T vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs and yolks to butter mixture one at a time, making sure each egg is completely mixed in before adding the next.

Whisk dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Whisk liquid (this includes sour cream) ingredients together in another bowl. Alternate adding dry and liquid ingredients to butter/egg mixture in about 5 additions. Mix on medium speed about 15-20 seconds to build structure.

Spray bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray with starch (that's really important!). Fill pan about 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 50-55min.

Vanilla Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1 to 2 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar, 1 T milk and vanilla in bowl and mix; stir in additional milk 1 tsp at a time until the glaze is smooth and about the consistency of honey. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake and allow to set until firm.

Orange Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1 to 2 T milk
1/2 tsp orange extract
2-3 drops orange food coloring, if desired

Combine sugar, 1 T milk, orange extract and food coloring in bowl and mix; stir in additional milk 1 tsp at a time until the glaze is smooth and, you guessed it, about the consistency of honey. Drizzle glaze over vanilla glaze, allow to set and take a big bite!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fat Tuesday: Sunshiny Day!

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In the heat of the summer, nothing perks up your tastebuds and cools you down like a tall glass of lemonade. This cake is a nod to our favorite summery, tangy, citrus-y fruit. Lemon with a hint of lime...deliciousness!

Lemon Drop
(adapted from CakeLove, Betty Crocker)

2 sticks butter
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
1 yolk

2-1/2 c. flour
1 T potato starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 c. sour cream
2 T heavy cream
6 T whole milk
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T lemon juice
2 T lemon zest
1 T lime zest

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk together liquid ingredients. Alternate adding dry and liquid ingredients.

Line cake pans with parchment paper and spray sides with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 about 40min. or until done. Allow cake to cool in pan about 10-15min. and turn out on cooling rack.

Lime Buttercream:
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. butter
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1 T lime zest
1 to 2 T whole milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter on low speed. Add lime juice and zest. Slowly add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost cooled cake with buttercream and allow to set in refrigerator for at least 30min.

Lemon Curd:
1 c. lemon juice
2-1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
4 eggs
4 yolks
1-1/2 sticks butter

Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in lemon juice. Add eggs and yolks. Whisk in cold butter, 1 T at a time. Heat to a simmer on medium, whisking continuously. When thick bubbles start forming (after about 10 min), whisk briskly for one minute. Pour into stainless steel bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressed against the surface to keep it from forming a skin. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Pour lemon curd onto center of frosted cake and smooth over top with spatula.
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