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Bringing Home the Bakin'

bake my cake and eat it, too

Category Archives: Cake

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With classes starting on Tuesday, and the Jewish New Year following shortly afterward, I couldn’t think of a more relevant ingredient to include in my baking this weekend than the apple.  This apple cake was so delicious — sweet in the best of ways and homey in every sense of the word!

Mom’s Apple Cake — Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients: 

  • 6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
  2. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.
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Although it isn’t the prettiest cake I’ve ever made, this raw chocolate ginger frosted cake is really something to celebrate.  It is so healthy (high in protein, fiber, omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals) yet it doesn’t sacrifice any flavor.   I’d highly recommend this cake to any chocolate lover looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with a healthier alternative to the more traditional chocolate cake.

Raw Chocolate Ginger Frosted Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ tsp high quality sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tbsp coconut nectar (can replace with maple syrup… NOT agave)
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Grind the almonds, walnuts, and cacao in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs. Add the sea salt, ginger, coconut nectar, dates and vanilla and mix again until you achieve a smooth texture. Press the mixture into a 9 x 5 inch rectangular glass baking dish.

Chocolate frosting:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup avocado flesh
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup coconut nectar (can substitute with maple syrup… NOT agave)

Directions:

For the frosting, put all the ingredients for frosting in the food processor, or vitamix, and blend together.

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I was convinced that I was the only person (apart from maybe my parents) that really, truly tracked the progress of my blog.  I wrongly assumed that no one really followed my culinary escapades; much to my surprise and excitement, these past few months, I have received SO many requests for new posts from so many different people.  I apologize for the unnecessarily long hiatus, but I’m back (for now) with some great recipes to share.  I’d highly recommend this cake — it’s delicious, easy-ish, and really impressive.

Rich Chocolate Cake with Salty Dulce de Leche & Hazelnut Brittle – One Girl Cookies (via Epicurious)

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon table salt

Hazelnut Brittle

  • 1/2 cup whole unsalted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

Salty Dulce de Leche

  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preparation:

Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 10-inch round cake pan by greasing it with cooking spray and then lining the bottom with parchment paper.

2. To make the cake, pour the hot coffee into a medium bowl and stir in the cocoa powder until it dissolves. Stir in the brown sugar, followed by the yogurt and the vanilla. Stir thoroughly to ensure that all of the ingredients are incorporated.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light-yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture and half of the coffee mixture. Scrape down the bowl. Add another third of the flour mixture and all the remaining coffee mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining flour mixture until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan in the oven and bake for 20 more minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then turn the cake out onto a clean plate, remove the parchment, and turn the cake back over onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely.

Brittle

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes until browned and fragrant. Let cool.

Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Continue whisking constantly until the syrup is a rich amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the hazelnuts and then pour the contents of the pan onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it out into a thin layer. Let the brittle cool completely.

Break the brittle into 2-inch pieces. The brittle will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Composition:

6. In a food processor, pulse the brittle pieces 3 to 4 times until the brittle is powdery.

7. Put the cooled cake on a serving dish. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the dulce de leche on high power for 30 seconds, or until it is just liquid. Spoon the dulce de leche over the cake, and then sprinkle the kosher salt over the dulce de leche. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the ground brittle around the outer edge of the cake as a delicious decoration.

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I knew I had the recipe for these cupcakes tucked away and when my dad came home with a flat (12 pints) of strawberries one evening, I figured it was the perfect time to resurrect it.  As evidenced by the photos, the cupcakes were SO pretty, and yeah, they were just as good as they look.  The strawberry flavor isn’t super strong, but it is a nice undertone… it’s more like a vanilla cupcake infused with fresh strawberries, as opposed to a completely strawberry cake.

Strawberry Cupcakes – Sprinkles Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen whole strawberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk , room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg , room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites , room temperature
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree. Add a few more strawberries if necessary, or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until just blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely in tin before icing.
Strawberry Frosting – Sprinkles Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole strawberries , thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Place strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined.
  3. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix, or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

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I have one rule in my kitchen — EVERYTHING is to be made from scratch.  Since the birth of BHTB, I have stayed true to this tenet… until I volunteered to make 150 cake pops for my sister’s choir concert.  I had visions of homemade cakes and frostings in exotic flavor couplings, enrobed in the finest of chocolate, but when I realized my time constraint, I knew that would be unrealistic.  Additionally, upon googling recipes for cake pops, I found repeatedly that even the professionals use cake mixes and canned frosting not only for ease, but also for texture and consistency.  What surprised me the most was that for the dipping chocolate, many sources say to use chocolate coating from no, not a gourmet market, but from KROGER, as all of the fancier chocolates are very finicky and melt at the slightest touch.  So, with judgements behind me, I made a beeline to the grocery store, and with the much appreciated help of Duncan Hines, I successfully made all of the cake pops with time to spare.  In spite of these “downgrades,” the cake pops were actually delicious, and the first thing to go from the sweet table — everyone loved them.  Sometimes, in some cases, rules are meant to be broken.

Cake Pops – Inspiration from Bakerella

Ingredients:

  1. 1 box cake mix
  2. 1 can frosting
  3. dipping chocolate
  4. decorations

Instructions:

  1. Bake cake according to instructions on box.
  2. Break cake into crumbs.
  3. Mix with can of frosting.
  4. Form small balls, and freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Dip lollipop stick into chocolate and then stick into cake ball, no more than halfway through.
  6. Dip balls in chocolate and decorate.

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I don’t know about you, readers of BHTB, but when I think of banana bread, all I think about it is my grandma’s “famous” banana bread, and how wholly “un-hip” it was.  Usually nesting atop a lace doily or two, shaped by a bundt pan that she probably received decades ago as a wedding gift, the cake was undoubtedly tasty, but seriously lacked the modern flair for which I was searching.  So, readers, look no further;  both vegan and refined-sugar-free, this banana bread is just as delicious as the traditional favorite that you grew up eating, but can be consumed with a clear conscience — totally hip if you ask me.  I found this recipe on Alicia Silverstone’s blog, The Kind Life (new favorite!), and am so glad Silverstone recommended it!

MAPLE SYRUP BANANA BREAD – Katie B, via The Kind Life

INGREDIENTS
1 cup 100% pure Maple syrup
1/2 cup Earth Balance butter spread
Egg substitute for 2 eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax seed and 6 tablespoons of water, mixed)
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 very ripe bananas, smashed
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Chopped nuts (as many as you like)
Raisins (as many as you like) – I omitted both!

Directions
Mix ingredients in a bowl in the order given.
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes. (Watch carefully!  Mine didn’t need the whole time.)

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I’ll admit, I’ve made this before — twice.  But both times, I couldn’t get it right: one time it was too dry, almost burnt, another time, I couldn’t get it to set.  Because of the hype and multitude of positive reviews this cake has received, I was determined to master it.  So, this New Year’s Eve, I set out to make Tyler Florence’s Cracked Chocolate Earth cake one last time.  To my delight, it finally worked and was just as delicious as I had hoped and anticipated.  Though many reviewers remark that the cake takes much longer to bake than his instructions, I argue otherwise.  If anything, err on the side of caution and check the cake at 15 minutes.  Baking it for more than the allotted time (waiting for it to crack) produces a dry cake.

Cracked Chocolate Earth – Tyler Florence

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 9 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.

Put the chocolate and butter into the top of a double boiler (or in a heatproof bowl) and heat over (but not touching) about 1-inch of simmering water until melted. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a mixing bowl until light yellow in color. Whisk a little of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs – this will keep the eggs from scrambling from the heat of the chocolate; then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the cake is set, the top starts to crack and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan.

While the cake is cooking, make the whipped cream. Whip the cream until it becomes light and fluffy.

Serve at room temperature dusted with confectioners’ and the whipped cream.

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