Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sheer Cake Pleasures!






Chocolate Sformato with Amaretto Whip Cream
Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 packet gelatin
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond liqueur (recommended: Amaretto)
Steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining 1/2 cup cold milk and let dissolve for 2 minutes. Combine the cold milk and gelatin with the hot milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve the gelatin, about 5 minutes. (Heat the milk gently if the gelatin is not dissolving easily.) When the gelatin is dissolved combine the eggs with the warm milk, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or small pitcher.
4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted gradually combine the milk and egg mixture with the melted chocolate, stirring between each addition to create a smooth chocolate mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Place the casserole dish in a larger dish or roasting pan. Add hot water to the outer pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the sides are firm and the center is jiggles slightly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
6. Just before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks in a medium bowl using a whisk or electric hand mixer. Add the sugar and almond liqueur and whip to combine. Spoon the sformato into individual serving bowls and dollop the top with the almond liqueur whip cream.


WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA CAKE
with Raspberries and White Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients:
For the cake:
12 oz. (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
14 oz. (3 1/2 cups) cake flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2-1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
6 1/2 oz. white chocolate, chopped (1 1/3 cups)
4 oz. (1 cup) chopped toasted macadamia nuts
For the white chocolate leaves
9 to 12 organic lemon leaves, preferably different sizes
6 oz. white chocolate, coarsely chopped (1-1/4 cups)
For the buttercream:
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 lb. (3 cups) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
For the filling:
2 cups raspberry jam
2 cups (8 oz.) fresh raspberries
For the decoration (optional):
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh raspberries
3 to 6 small sprigs fresh mint
Steps:
Make the Cake:
1. Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350F.
2. Butter three 9x2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment.
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add half of the buttermilk and mix until incorporated. Continue adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating between the two and ending with the flour. The batter will be thick and glossy. Fold in the white chocolate and macadamia nuts.
6. Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Level the batter with a spatula. Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 28 to 35 minutes total. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.
Make the white chocolate leaves
7. Wash the leaves and dry them with paper towels. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
8. Put the white chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and whisk until melted and smooth.
9. Using a small pastry brush, paint a thick coat of chocolate on the underside of each leaf. Don’t let chocolate drip over the sides of the leaves, or they will be difficult to peel off later.
10.Place the leaves chocolate side up on the prepared baking sheet and leave in a cool, dry place or refrigerate until the chocolate has set.
11.Hold the leaf stem and peel the leaf carefully away from the chocolate. Transfer the chocolate leaves to the other prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the buttercream:
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and egg yolks on high speed until thick and lightened, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip touch the bottom of the pan. Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water in the pan and simmer over medium heat until it reaches 234°F to 235°F. Transfer the sugar mixture to a heatproof measuring cup.
3. With the mixer running on low speed, pour the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the egg mixture in a slow, thin stream. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture has cooled (the bowl should be barely warm to the touch), 6 to 8 minutes. Add the butter 4 Tbs. at a time, beating on medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds for each addition. (Don’t worry if the mixture looks thin at first; it’ll thicken as you add more butter.) After all the butter has been added, add the salt, raise the speed to medium high, and beat until thick and glossy, about 1 minute. Fold the white chocolate into the buttercream.
Assemble the cake
4. Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1 cup of the jam, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Scatter 1 cup of the raspberries evenly over the jam. Repeat with a second cake layer, the remaining 1 cup jam, and the remaining 1 cup raspberries. Top with the last cake layer.
5. Put 2 cups of the buttercream in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this buttercream in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the buttercream firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Spread the remaining buttercream in a thick, smooth layer over the entire cake. Remove the waxed paper strips.
7. Decorate with the white chocolate leaves, fresh raspberries, and mint leaves, if using. Before serving, let sit at room temperature until the chocolate leaves soften slightly, about 30 minutes.
Make Ahead Tips:
You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. The white chocolate leaves will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can refrigerate the frosted cake (without the decorations) for up to 4 hours. Return to room temperature before decorating.


HOT CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS
Ingredients:
For the cake:
6 oz. (3/4 cup) unsalted butter; more for the pans
13 1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for the pans
3/4 cup canola oil
4 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
For the frosting:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 oz. (6 Tbsp.) unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
6 oz. (2 cups) natural unsweetened cocoa powder; more for decorating
1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
For the marshmallows:
Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar; more as needed
Steps:
Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9x2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess.

For the CAKE:
1. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, oil, chopped chocolate, and 1 cup water. Heat over medium heat until melted.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
3. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
4. Set two pans on the top rack and the third on the lower rack. Stagger the pans on the oven racks so that no pan is directly over another. Bake, swapping and rotating the pans’ positions after 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on racks for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the racks, remove the parchment, and cool completely.

For the FROSTING:

In a 4-quart saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, butter, and vanilla bean and seeds and stir until the butter is melted. Remove the vanilla bean and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, syrup, and salt until smooth—be sure the cocoa powder dissolves completely. Pour into a 9x13-inch pan and freeze until firm, about 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

For the MARSHMALLOWS:
1. Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.
2. Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.
3. Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

ASSEMBLE CAKE:
1. Remove the frosting from the freezer or refrigerator. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes to soften. Change to a whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Put a cake layer on a flat serving platter or a cake stand lined with strips of waxed paper to keep it clean while icing. Top the layer with 1-1/2 cups of the frosting, spreading it evenly with an offset spatula to the cake’s edge. Repeat with another cake layer and 1-1/2 cups frosting. Top with the last cake layer.
3. Put 1-1/2 cups of the frosting in a small bowl. With an offset spatula, spread this frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting firms enough to seal in the crumbs, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Spread the remaining frosting in a smooth layer over the top and sides of the cake. If necessary, you can rewhip the remaining frosting to loosen and lighten it. Remove the waxed paper strips.
5. Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marshmallow into cubes of different sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss a few cubes at a time in the sugar to coat, then shake in a strainer to remove the excess. Mound the marshmallows on top of the cake (you’ll need only a third to half of them). Sift some cocoa powder over the marshmallows.

MAKE AHEAD TIPS:
You can bake, cool, wrap, and store the cake layers at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month. You can refrigerate the frosting for up to 3 days. The assembled cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours (return to room temperature before serving). Wrapped well, leftover marshmallows keep at room temperature for up to 1 month.



REINE DE SABA
[The Queen of Sheeba Cake]

Ingredients:
For the Cake:
4 ounces or squares semisweet chocolate melted with 2 Tb rum or coffee
1/4 lb. or 1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2/3 cup pulverized almonds
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup cake flour (scooped and leveled) turned into a sifter
For the Icing:
2 ounces (2 squares) semisweet baking chocolate
2 Tb rum or coffee
5 to 6 Tb unsalted butter
Equipment:
A round cake pan 8 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches deep
A 3-quart mixing bowl
A wooden spoon or an electric beater
A rubber spatula
A cake rack
A small covered pan
A larger pan of almost simmering water
A wooden spoon
A bowl with a tray of ice cubes and water to cover them
A small flexible-blade metal spatula or a table knife
Steps:
For the Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Butter and flour the cake pan. Set the chocolate and rum or coffee in a small pan, cover, and place (off heat) in a larger pan of almost simmering water; let melt while you proceed with the recipe. Measure out the rest of the ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.
3. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
4. Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed; sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
5. With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.
6. Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with a rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2-1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken, and a needle comes out oily.
7. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on the rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two; it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

For the Icing:
Place the chocolate and rum or coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove pans from heat and let chocolate melt for 5 minutes or so, until perfectly smooth. Lift chocolate pan out of the hot water, and beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over the ice and water until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading consistency. At once spread it over your cake with spatula or knife, and press a design of almonds over the icing.



SANSRIVAL
Ingredients:
For the Meringue:
7 Eggwhites
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
200 grams almonds, ground
150 grams almonds, sliced for decoration]
Powdered sugar
For the Buttercream:
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water
9 Egg yolks
1 cup Butter
1/2 cup Shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
Steps:
For the meringue:
1. Line 3 8-inch baking pans with aluminum foil.
2. Preheat oven to 275F.
3. Beat eggwhites and cream of tartar until frothy, add the sugar gradually and beat until stiff
4. Fold in the ground almonds.
5. Divide the meringue into 3 pans. Spread evenly and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the meringue is crunchy.
6. Cool completely and place in airtight container until ready to use.

For the Buttercream:
1. For the icing, Cream butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Set aside.
2. Place water and sugar in a saucepan, with a candy thermometer. Boil the syrup until the thermometer registers 230F
3. Start Beating the eggyolks, and once the syrup reaches 240F, pour this slowly into the eggyolks in a thin stream.
4. Beat until mixture is completely cool to the touch.
5. Then add in the butter mixture. Beat until smooth.

Assembly
1. Ice the meringue with the buttercream and cover the sides and top with sliced almonds.
2. Chill or freeze until ready to serve. Dust with Powdered sugar.




YELLOW SHEET CAKE WITH COCOLATE FROSTING
Ingredients:
For the Cake:
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1-2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar, divided
Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare cake, coat bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pan); line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside.
Combine 1/2 cup butter and sour cream in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed 3 minutes or until well blended. Add egg substitute; beat 2 minutes or until well blended.
4. Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sharply tap pan once on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Carefully peel off wax paper; cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare Frosting:
Steps:
Place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add cocoa, milk, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat at low speed until well blended. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; beat at low speed until creamy. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Place cake on a serving platter. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Store cake loosely covered in the refrigerator.



CHOCOLATE-RED VELVET LAYER CAKE
[MyRecipes.com]
Ingredients:
1 recipe Chocolate-Red Velvet Cake Batter
1 1/2 recipes Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnishes: fresh mint sprigs, raspberry candies
Preparation:
1. Spoon Chocolate-Red Velvet Cake Batter evenly into 6 greased and floured 8-inch round foil cake pans.
2. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
3. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
4. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.





HUMMINGBIRD CAKE
[MyRecipes.com]
Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups chopped bananas
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preparation:
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
2. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
3. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.



HAZEL'S FRESH COCONUT CAKE
[MyRecipes.com]
Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fresh coconut milk
Boiled Frosting
2 to 3 cups shredded fresh coconut (about 2 coconuts)
Garnishes: kumquats, crab apples
Preparation:
1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 2 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in flavorings. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9" round cakepans.
3. Bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.
4. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and coconut milk in a small glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute; stir until sugar dissolves. Brush 1 cake layer with half of coconut milk mixture, leaving a 1/2" margin around edges. Spread with 1 cup Boiled Frosting, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded coconut. Top with second cake layer, and repeat procedure. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Garnish, if desired.





HONEY'S CARROT CAKE
[Dickie Brennan, Coastal Living, MyRecipes.com]
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
4 cups grated carrots
4 cups finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Preparation:
Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a bowl; set aside.
Beat sugar and oil in a large bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in carrots, pecans, and vanilla.
Pour batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.





BOURKE STREET BAKERY CARROT CAKE
[Adapted from Bourke Street Bakery, via delicious. Magazine, http://www.sweetestkitchen.com/2010/05/bourke-street-bakery-carrot-cake/]
Serves 10
Ingredients:
Cake:
70g walnuts
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
55 ml (about 2) egg whites
60g sugar for egg whites
1 egg
1 egg yolk
160g sugar for egg yolks
170ml (2/3 cup) extra light olive oil
125g carrots, peeled, grated
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 tablespoon icing sugar, plus extra to dust
20g unsalted butter, softened
145g cream cheese (preferably Neufchatel)
2 tablespoons pure (thin) cream
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease an 18cm round cake pan and line the base and side with baking paper – the paper should protrude about 2.5cm above the pan.
2. Place walnuts on a baking tray and cook for 4-5 minutes until lightly roasted. Cool and cut into thirds.
3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a bowl. Repeat to ensure they are evenly mixed.
4. Put the egg whites in a very clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks start to form. Slowly pour in the sugar for the egg whites, while the motor is still running, being careful not to overmix – the meringue should reach soft peak stage. Quickly transfer the meringue to another bowl and set side until needed.
5. Put the egg and egg yolk in the bowl of the electric mixer and add the sugar for the egg yolks. Mix on high speed for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture doubles in volume and is quite airy. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream being careful that it doesn’t split or deflate too much.
6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and with a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture until combined. Fold in the carrots and walnuts. Quickly and lightly fold in the meringue – do not fold it through completely, you should still be able to see streaks of meringue through the mix.
7. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into centre of the cake comes out clean. You may need to drop the oven temperature to 180C after the first 30 minutes if the top is browning too quickly.
8. Meanwhile, for the cream cheese frosting, cream the icing sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until pale and smooth. Add the cream cheese in small amounts, allowing it to be completely incorporated before adding the rest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl during this process to ensure even mixing. Add the cream and mix until smooth, being careful not to overmix at this stage or the cream may curdle and separate. If using a different type of cream cheese for this recipe you may need to add a little more cream – the frosting needs to be of a spreadable consistency but not at all runny.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrate knife, slice horizontally through the centre of the cake to form 2 even-sized layers and fill with cream cheese frosting. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar to serve.





MOJITO POUND CAKE WITH RUM-FLAVORED ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
[Based on the recipe originally published in CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown, Erincooks.com]
Ingredients:
Dry
2 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 whole cloves (ground into a fine powder)
1/3 cup oven dried mint crumbled
Liquid
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon limoncello
1 lime outer rind removed and segmented
Creaming
2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups extra-fine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lime zest
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Incorporated all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk briefly, and set aside. Incorporate all of the liquid ingredients into a bowl, whisk briefly, and set aside. Measure the butter, sugar, eggs, and yolks into separate bowls and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment) cream together the butter, sugar, and lime zest on the lowest setting for 4 to 5 minutes.
With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolks, fully incorporating after each addition.
4. Add the dry ingredient mixture, alternating with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don’t wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
5. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl (don’t miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl). Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batters structure.
6. Prepare the cake pans. For 9-inch-round cakes, line the bottom of each pan with parchment. Note: The recipe says not to spray the pans with cooking spray, but I did. I wasn’t willing to take any chances on this cake sticking to the pan. Deposit the batter evenly into the pans and smooth out with an offset spatula, making sure the pans are two-thirds full. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Note: My cakes took about 35 minutes.
7. Remove the pans from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack, about 25 to 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Loosen the cake gently from the pan with a small offset spatula and invert onto a flat surface. Remove the parchment from the bottom of each cake and wrap the layers tightly in plastic. You can refrigerate the layers overnight or up to 5 days before frosting. Note: I’m very impatient and only left my layers in the fridge for 2 hours. It seemed to work fine for me!
Rum-Flavored Italian Meringue Buttercream
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cups extra-fine granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold water
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 to 4 tablespoons of dark rum (to taste)
Directions:
1. Set out the ingredients and the equipment.
2. Separate the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment. Measure 1 cup sugar and the water into a 1-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Gently stir with the candy thermometer to combine. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and set aside in a medium bowl.
3. To make the sugar syrup, place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the mixture over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid to capture the evaporating water-this helps to moisten the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
4. With the mixer on high speed, begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the peaks are stiff you have a meringue. Keep the mixer running and pour the 1/4 cup of sugar into the meringue.
5. Raise the heat under the sugar syrup to bring the syrup to 245 degrees, if it is not there already. When the syrup is at 245 degrees, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue.
6. After 1 or 2 minutes reduce the mixer speed to medium for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the meringue is cooled. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated. 7. Finally add in the dark rum and spread onto your pound cake. Decorate as desired. Note: I used fresh mint and Turbinado sugar.



OLD FASHIONED POUND CAKE
[ifood.tv]
Ingredients:
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (ground nutmeg may be substituted)
2/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3-inch loaf pan, and line bottom with ungreased parchment paper.(Wax paper may be substituted.)
3. In a medium-size bowl, sift together whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached white flour, baking powder, baking soda, and mace.
4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
5. Add honey in a slow stream, then eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla.
6. Do not rush this stage, but beat thoroughly after each addition.
7. Add flour mixture in 4 additions, beating just enough to blend each time.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, and bake on middle shelf of oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
8. If cake browns before it's done, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top as it bakes.
9. Do not test until cake has risen and split; the split should not appear moist.
A cake tester or food pick inserted into the center should come out clean and dry.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack until it can be handled.
Remove from pan, and cool completely.
10.Do not remove parchment paper until cake is sliced.



OLD FASHIONED ORANGE LAYERED CAKE
[cherryhillcottage.typepad.com]
Ingredients:
For the Cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup 2 % reduced-fat milk
For the Icing:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 (1-pound) package confectioners' sugar
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. To prepare cake, combine sugar and butter; cream with a mixer at medium-high speed. Add eggs and orange rind; blend well. Reduce speed to low and beat in orange juice. Add flour alternately with milk; beat well. Pour into pans. Bake 22 to 25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
3. To prepare icing, combine butter, orange rind, orange juice and half of the confectioners' sugar. Using a mixer at low speed, beat until well blended. Gradually add remaining sugar; beat until smooth. Spread about 3/4 cup icing on top of one layer. Place second layer on top. Spread remaining icing in a thin layer over top and sides. Serves 20.





CHAI CAKE
[Adapted from Sky High Cakes cookbook, http://foododelmundo.com/2010/04/19/sky-high-chai-cake/]
The Cake:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°

2. Grease three 8″ round pans and line the bottoms with parchment and grease that too.

3. Cut open 6-7 bags of Chai Tea. Grind the tea in a spice or clean coffee grinder then strain through a fine sieve until you get 2 Tablespoons worth, set aside.

4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together and set aside:
1/3 Cup Whole Milk
4 Whole Eggs
3 Egg Yolks
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
In a large mixing bowl combine:
2 3/4 Cup Cake Flour
2 Cups Sugar
4 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
your 2 Tbsp ground Chai Tea

5. Beat on low for 30 seconds to blend then add:
2 sticks Unsalted Butter softened
1 Cup Whole Milk

6. Beat on low until blended then turn to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy.

7. Add your reserved egg mixture in three installments – mixing just to incorporate and scraping down the bowl and after each addition.

8. Divide batter equally among your pans.

9. Bake at 350° for 25-28 minutes or until a wood toothpick comes out clean. You do not want to over-bake they dry out in a hurry – they do NOT need to brown and pull away from the edges – it just needs to be done in the center.

10.Cool on rack for 10 minutes then invert and remove parchment paper. Cool completely before frosting.

Honey – Ginger Frosting:
In a food processor combine and process until smooth and well blended:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
8 ounces Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Tbsp grated Fresh Ginger



PEACHY KEEN BIRTHDAY CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/07/31/peachy-keen-birthday-cake/]
Day One
CREAM CAKE
This was a lovely cake! Light, airy and flavorful!
Sift together and set aside:
2 1/2 Cups Sifted Flour
5 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
In chilled mixing bowl whip until SOFT peaks form:
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla
When SOFT peaks form gradually turn down the speed and beat until STIFF peaks form while GRADUALLY adding:
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
Then add:
3 eggs
3 eggyolks
Mix until it goes back down to soft peaks – which is pretty quick.
Divide the flour mixture into thirds.
SIFT one third over the cream mixture and FOLD in until just blended – repeat two more times.
Lastly fold in:
5 Tbsp Buttermilk
Pour into 3 greased and floured and/or parchmented round cake pans – this is a sticky one.
Divide batter – should be about 15 ounces per pan
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

PEACH GLAZE
In small saucepan combine and simmer until reduced to:
1/2 cup of liquid
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
Remove from heat and add:
1/4 Cup Peach Schnapps or Liquor
When cake is finished baking and cool – brush a third of the mixture on each layer.
Wrap well and freeze or refrigerate.

Day Two
It’s so important to do this a day in advance! It will make assembling your cake a dream and not a sloppy mess!
PEACH MOUSSE
In saucepan combine:
1# Sliced, Peeled and Pitted Fresh or Frozen Peaches
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Water
Bring to boil then simmer until fruit is soft.
Transfer to a blender and make a puree.
Reserve – set in cooler – wrapped up until tomorrow: 1 Cup for garnishing
In separate container soak:
1 Tbsp Unflavored Gelatin with
3-4 Tbsp Peach Schnapps or Liquor
Heat for 10-15 seconds in microwave until dissolved then mix with remaining puree. I purposefully put in a lot more gelatin because you need that mousse to be so firm just like jello! so it will hold the weight of the cake layers.

RASPBERRY FROSTING
In saucepan combine:
12 oz Fresh or Frozen Raspberries
Cook and smash until they’re juice is out.
Transfer to blender and puree.
Put mixture through a sieve to get the seeds out.
Reserve 1/2 Cup for garnish.
Mix the rest with:
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp unflavored Gelatin
Place over low heat until both dissolve
The cool completely.
In chilled mixing bowl beat until stiff:
2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
When finished DIVIDE in HALF.
Use half for raspberry puree with sugar and fold these in together.
Set aside wrapped up in the fridge – let it set!
Use the OTHER HALF and fold in the peach puree that’s got the gelatin.
Wrap up, place in fridge and LET IT SET!

Day Three
ASSEMBLE CAKE
Divide peach Mousse equally over TWO layers.
Stack cake with the non-moussed layer on top.
Frost with Raspberry frosting and refrigerate a-2 hours before serving.
Garnish each plate with a little of each of the reserved puree.





LANE CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/11/13/lane-cake/]
Part One Cake
Mix together Dry Ingredients and SET ASIDE:
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp salt

Beat in mixer until stiff and SET ASIDE:
8 Egg whites (save yolks for filling)

Beat with mixer until light and fluffy:
1 ¼ cups butter
2 ¼ cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients alternately with:
1 ½ cups milk

Mix well after each addition.

Fold in the beaten egg whites you did earlier.

Place equal amounts in 3 – 9” round greased and floured cake pans.

Bake at 375° for about 20 min. or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool thoroughly and spread on filling.

Part Two Filling:
In a sauce pan over medium heat melt:
½ cup butter
Stir in:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup water
Bring to boil and stir until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat and stir in:
9 egg yolks SLOWLY while whisking vigorously!

DON’T COOK THE YOLKS!

Return to heat and add:
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup EACH:
chopped pecans, maraschino cherries, chopped raisins or craisins or a combo and coconut.

Turn off heat and cool to room temp.

Place equal amounts (about 1 cup each) on each layer then stack the cake and frost the outside.

Part Three: Frosting
In saucepan bring to boil and stir until dissolved:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Dash of salt
In mixing bowl on HIGH slowly pour hot mixture into:
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
Beat constantly for 7 minutes!
Don’t quit early.





STRAWBERRY BUTTER CAKE
[Adapted from Sky High Cakes, http://foododelmundo.com/2009/06/01/strawberry-butter-cake/]
Preheat the oven to 350.

Butter and flour three 8″ round cake pans.

In mixing bowl combine:
4 1/4 Cups Flour
3 Cups Sugar
1 Tbsp & 2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt

Mix on low speed for 30 seconds then add:
3 Sticks Softened Butter
1 1/4 Cups Strawberry Puree

Mix to blend then raise the speed to medium and beat to light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.

In another bowl whisk together:
10 Egg Whites
2/3 Cup Milk

In three separate addtions add to cake batter. Blend after each addition until incorporated and wipe down sides of bowl.

Pour into prepared pans – about 1# 9oz per pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes.

Strawberry Mousse

With an electric mixer and cold bowl beat:
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4 Cup Sugar
Set aside in fridge.
In a non-reactive bowl heat to warm:
1/2 Cup Strawberry Puree
Dissolve in puree:
1 1/2 ounces or pkgs Unflavored Geletin
Set aside to cool.
In another bowl mix together:
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups more Strawberry Puree
When geletined puree is cool mix in too then fold in the heavy whipping cream. I stored this in a ziploc bag overnight and it got nice and firm which is good for this dense cake – there was no slipping around of the layers when assembling.

Cream Cheese Frosting

With an electric mixer beat together equal parts:
Cream Cheese and Butter
Add desired amounts of:
Sugar and Vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy.
For this cake I used about 4 Cups of frosting. I usually make extra because it freezes well and I hate not having enough frosting mid-way through assembling a cake.





HEAVEN OR HELL CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/06/14/heaven-hell-cake/]
FOR THE GANACHE:
1 3/4 lbs. milk chocolate, such as Valrhona, chopped
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
Directions:
Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour cream over the chocolate and let sit to melt for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, combine the chocolate and cream. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let rest for 4 hours.

FOR THE ANGEL FOOD CAKE:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 325°.
2. Line bottom of a 10″ round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and flour; set flour mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a handheld mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to medium, sprinkle in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Sprinkle half of the confectioners’ sugar–flour mixture over egg whites; using a rubber spatula, fold until just combined.
5. Repeat with remaining flour mixture.
6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.

FOR THE DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE:
This is 1 1/2 times the original.
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups coffee
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°.
2. Grease a 10″ round cake pan with shortening and dust with flour to coat; shake out excess flour and set pan aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; set flour mixture aside.
4. In another medium bowl, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder until smooth; set coffee mixture aside.
5. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the bowl in 3 stages, beating to combine after each addition.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 30–35 minutes; transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE:
1 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup heavy cream
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Put cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture; set mousse aside in the refrigerator.

Assemble the cake:
Using a serrated-blade knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer of the devil’s food cake on a cake stand and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse over the top with a butter knife. Top mousse with a layer of the angel food cake and spread
with half of the remaining mousse. Repeat with the remaining devil’s food
cake, mousse, and angel food cake. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. Stir ganache until smooth and spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake with a butter knife. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before slicing.
SERVES 10 – 12





TIRAMISU CAKE WITH MIXED BERRIES
[Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tiramisu-Wedding-Cake-with-Mixed-Berries-289]
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/04/05/tiramisu-cake/]
Ingredients:
Cake Layers
• 7 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons baking powder
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 3/4 cups (5 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 5 2/3 cups sugar
• 2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons almond extract
• 3 3/4 cups whole milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
• 18 large egg whites (about 2 1/3 cups), room temperature

Soaking Syrup
• 2 cups KahlĂșa or other coffee liqueur
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or coffee powder

Frosting
• 14 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
• 7 cups powdered sugar
• 2 1/3 cups chilled whipping cream
• 7 tablespoons sweet Marsala
• 3 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Assembly
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 6-inch-diameter cardboard cake round
• 1 9-inch-diameter cardboard cake round
• 1 12-inch-diameter cardboard cake round
• 1 11-inch-diameter revolving cake stand (optional)
• 9 12-inch-long, 1/4-inch-diameter wood dowels
• 4 1/2 cups assorted berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries)
• Fresh mint sprigs

Serving
• 12 cups mixed berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and hulled, quartered strawberries)
• 6 tablespoons sugar

Preparation:
Cake Layers
Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter one 12-inch-diameter cake pan with 3-inch-high sides, one 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 3-inch-high sides and one 6-inch-diameter cake pan with 3-inch-high sides.* Line bottoms with parchment. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using handheld electric mixer, beat butter in 12-quart bowl on medium-high speed until light. Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in extracts. On medium-low speed, beat in dry ingredients alternately with milk in 3 additions each, beating just until combined (batter will be thick).
Using electric mixer fitted with clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Spoon batter into prepared pans so that depth of batter is the same in each pan; smooth tops. Bake until tops are deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for 6-inch cake, about 1 hour 5 minutes for 9-inch cake and about 1 hour 20 minutes for 12-inch cake. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn out cakes onto racks and peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.
Soaking Syrup
Mix all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced to 2 2/3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool syrup completely.
Frosting
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until light. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add cream, Marsala and vanilla and beat until well blended. Cover and let stand at room temperature up to 1 hour.
Assembly
Finely grind chopped chocolate in processor (do not overprocess or chocolate will clump together). Using serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Spread dab of frosting on 6-inch cardboard round; top with bottom layer of 6-inch cake, cut side up. Brush cake with 2 tablespoons syrup. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ground chocolate. Top with middle 6-inch cake layer. Brush with 2 tablespoons syrup. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ground chocolate. Brush 2 tablespoons syrup over cut side of top 6-inch cake layer. Using hands, turn cake layer over and place cut side down atop frosted layers. Cover and refrigerate cake.
Spread dab of frosting on 9-inch cardboard round; top with bottom layer of 9-inch cake, cut side up. Brush with 1/4 cup syrup. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ground chocolate. Top with middle 9-inch cake layer. Brush with 1/4 cup syrup. Spread 1 cup frosting over. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ground chocolate. Brush 1/4 cup syrup over cut side of top 9-inch cake layer. Slide large tart pan bottom or springform cake pan bottom under cake layer. Using pan bottom as aid, lift cake layer and turn cut side down atop frosted layers. Cover and refrigerate cake.
Spread dab of frosting on 12-inch cardboard round; top with bottom layer of 12-inch cake, cut side up. Brush with 1/2 cup syrup. Spread 2 cups frosting over. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup ground chocolate. Top with middle 12-inch cake layer. Brush with 1/2 cup syrup. Spread 2 cups frosting over. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup ground chocolate. Brush 1/2 cup syrup over cut side of top 12-inch cake layer. Slide large tart pan bottom or cake pan bottom under cake. Using pan bottom as aid, lift cake layer and turn cut side down atop frosted layers. Cover cake; refrigerate all cakes until firm, about 4 hours. Cover remaining frosting and let stand at room temperature.
Place 12-inch cake on its cardboard on large flat platter. Place platter on cake stand. Using icing spatula, spread 4 cups frosting over top and sides of cake; smooth top. Swirl frosting decoratively on sides of cake. Press 1 dowel into center of 12-inch cake. Mark dowel 1/4 inch above top of cake. Remove dowel and cut with serrated knife at marked point. Cut 4 more dowels to same length. Press 4 cut dowels into 12-inch cake, inserting 4 inches inward from cake edges and spacing evenly; press 1 dowel into center of cake. Refrigerate cake on platter.
Place 9-inch cake on its cardboard on large flat plate or tart pan bottom. Place plate on cake stand. Using icing spatula, spread 3 cups frosting over top and sides of cake; smooth top. Swirl frosting decoratively on sides of cake. Press 1 dowel into center of 9-inch cake. Mark dowel 1/4 inch above top of cake. Remove dowel and cut at marked point. Cut remaining 3 dowels to same length. Press 4 cut dowels into 9-inch cake, inserting 3 inches inward from cake edges and spacing evenly. Refrigerate 9-inch cake on plate.
Place 6-inch cake on its cardboard on another large flat plate or tart pan bottom. Place plate on cake stand. Using icing spatula, spread 2 cups frosting over top and sides of cake; smooth top. Swirl frosting decoratively on sides of cake. Refrigerate all cakes until frosting sets, about 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover cakes and remaining frosting separately with plastic wrap; chill. Bring frosting to room temperature before continuing.)
Using metal spatula as aid, gently place 9-inch cake on its cardboard atop 12-inch cake, centering carefully on dowels. Gently place 6-inch cake on its cardboard atop dowels in 9-inch cake.
Spoon remaining frosting into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe decorative border around base of 12-inch cake and around top edge of each tier. Arrange berries decoratively inside piped borders atop each tier. (Can be prepared 8 hours ahead; refrigerate.)
Let cake stand at room temperature at least 3 and up to 6 hours before serving. Garnish with mint.
Serving
Toss berries with sugar in large bowl. Let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature.
Remove top and middle cake tiers. Remove dowels from middle cake. Cut top and middle cakes into slices; transfer to plates. remove dowels from bottom cake. Starting 3 inches inward from edge of bottom cake and cutting through from top to bottom, cut 6-inch-diameter circle in center of cake. Cut outer portion of cake into slices, then cut inner portion into slices. Spoon berries around cake slices.





WALDORF ASTORIA RED RIBBON CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2010/02/11/waldorf-astoria-red-ribbon-cake/]

Fist things first – do this first step of the frosting so that it can be PLENTY cold by the time you’re ready to make the second half of the:
Buttercream Frosting
In a sauce pan over medium heat combine:
2 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Flour
2 tsp GOOD Vanilla
Continuously whisk, so no lumps form, until a thick paste forms.
Transfer to a bowl, cover and put in fridge to get COLD before using it.

CAKE:
In mixing bowl on medium speed cream together:
3/4 Butter
2 Cups Sugar
Add one at a time, mixing between each one:
3 Eggs
Add:
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Red Food Coloring
In separate bowl sift to combine:
3 3/4 Cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
5 Tbsp Dutch Process Cocoa
You are going to alternate additions of your flour mixture with:
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
Mix batter well after each dry addition and each buttermilk addition.
Finally in small dish combine together and let foam:
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
Then add and incorporate into rest of batter.
Divide equally among 3 well greased and floured 8″ round pans (a smidgen more than 1 and a half pounds for each pan). Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

While the cake is baking let’s make the rest of the:
Butter Cream Frosting
In clean mixing bowl on high speed with whip attachment combine:
2 1/4 Cups Butter
2 1/4 Cups Super Fine Sugar
Beat until Light, White and FLUFFY. It takes about 20 minutes. Periodically
scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Once the sugar has just about dissolved add you paste mixure you’ve been cooling in the fridge. BE SURE IT’S COLD! Add a couple tablespoons at a time. Mix/beat until combined and sugar has completely dissolved.

Frost cake:
Cool layers completely.
Slice off any dome that has formed during baking, then slice each layer in half horizontally.
Lay out each layer and parcel out your frosting equally on each layer making sure to leave enough to frost the outside of the cake, once the layers are all stacked.







HIDDEN SURPRISE HEART CAKE)
[Recipe adapted from Recipezaar.com, Assembly tutorial adapted from I Am Baker,
http://lucyzhang.vox.com/library/posts/tags/dessert/]
Ingredients:
Cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I eyeballed for slightly under 1 cup because I didn't want my cake too sweet)
2 eggs, at room temp
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (recipe calls for mix of AP and self-rising flour, but I did a substitution)
1 tsp baking powder (just a tiny smidge under 1 tsp is ideal)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
approx 1/2 tsp red gel food coloring, adjust as needed
Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner's sugar, adjust as needed
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Directions:
Baking the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 4" souffle ramekins (10 oz. size). Cut out a circle of wax paper to line the bottoms of the ramekins for easy removal later. Also, line 3 cupcake tins with paper liners. I know, this already sounds complicated, don't get discouraged!
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth with an electric mixer on medium. Then gradually add in sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture in 3 separate additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Beat until blended after each addition, but do not overbeat.
5. Separate out 1/3 of the batter and set aside. Using the remaining 2/3 of the batter, fill the two ramekins 2/3 - 3/4 of the way to the top, and begin baking in the oven. They will need at least 35 minutes to bake, start checking after 35 minutes using a toothpick inserted in the middle, they are done when the toothpicks come out clean (tops will probably be somewhat domed and cracked, but that's fine).
6. Meanwhile, add the red gel food coloring to the 1/3 of the cake batter that you set aside. Add a little bit at a time and whisk the color in evenly until you get a nice bright pink/red color that you are satisfied with. If you choose to use liquid food coloring, I don't know the exact proportions, but I believe 1/2 tsp of gel is equivalent to about 1 oz. of liquid, although it will interfere with the liquid proportions of the batter, so use at your own discretion.
7. Fill the 3 lined cupcake tins with the red batter (about 3/4 full) and bake in the same oven at 350 degrees F for about 20-22 minutes, until the tops spring back lightly when touched.
8. When cakes/cupcakes are done, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing to cool on a rack.
9. When cakes are cool enough to handle, take a knife and trim off the domed/cracked tops of the cakes to flatten them (enjoy the incredibly delicious tops that you just cut off, it's really very heavenly to munch on these scraps!). Then, split each cake horizontally in half to get 2 layers per cake. Allow layers to cool completely, then wrap each layer in saran wrap and put in the freezer overnight. For the cupcakes, peel off the paper liners and trim off the harder domed tops (but do not throw them away). Using your hands or a fork, break the cupcakes into crumbs. Seal the crumbs and the tops you cut off together in tupperware and leave on the counter overnight. The tops will soften and you'll be able to break them into crumbs as well the next day.

Making the Buttercream Frosting:
1. In a mixing bowl, place the softened butter and 2 cups of the confectioner's sugar. Add the milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth and creamy.
2. Gradually add more confectioner's sugar as needed to achieve a desired spreading consistency. I probably used about 3 cups of sugar total.
3. This frosting can be left at room temperature for up to 3 days, but do not refrigerate it before you use it or else it will set (although I found it sometimes useful to set it in the fridge for a little bit to firm it up before frosting, though that may be because my frosting was a little on the runny side due to my hesitation to add more sugar. The original recipe calls for up to 4 cups of sugar!)

Assembling the Cake:
1. Take out your frozen cake layers and give them a trim to get them as flat as possible. I also stacked them on top of each other and trimmed around the edges to make sure they were more or less all the same size up and down.
2. Next, separate the 4 layers into 2 groups of 2 layers. Spread a layer of the white frosting between each of the 2 layers, to form two separate 2-layered cakes. The cold from the frozen cake should set the frosting very quickly and they will hold together well.
3. Now's the trickiest part of the assembly. Take the first 2-layered cake, and make sure you have a way to identify it from the other one (I peeled off the outer browned cake layer from one of them so I could tell the difference). Make a little measuring tool using 2 toothpicks and a piece of string tied between them so that you can trace a circle around the inside of the cake (see I Am Baker's example here). Now trace a circle on the surface of your cake, depending on how big you want your heart inside to be. This will be the widest part of your heart. After you trace the circle, use a knife and a slanted cutting motion, carve an upside-down cone shape out of your cake (this will be the bottom half of your heart), like thus:
4. Next, you'll want to carve the top of the heart into the other 2-layer cake. To do so, again trace a circle with the toothpicks, trying to get as similar of a location as possible with the other 2 layers you just did. Taking your knife, now carve a small cylinder into the very center of the cake, but do not cut it out. Just carve a circle downwards into the cake. Next, using a similar slanted cutting motion, cut around the outer ring that you marked with your toothpick, trying to stop just at the cylinder that you carved in the center. Your goal is to make a channel around the cylinder.
5. After you've got the channel carved out, you can go back with a smaller knife and trim the center cylinder that is still standing so that it looks like a right-side up small cone. Make it as pointy as you can, as this will be the top dip of your heart shape, so a sharp point looks best. Then, using a small spoon, round out your channel around this central cone (imagine the rounded shape of the top half of a heart). This part takes some spatial imagination and I can't tell you specifically how to do it perfectly, but I can show you my finished carving of the top half of the heart:
6. Whew! Flip the cakes over and dust out the crumbs for the best-looking appearance later. We're not far from the finish line!
7. Now, add a few spoonfuls of your frosting to the red cake crumbs until they are nice and dense. If you've ever made cake balls before, the texture will be like that. I eyeballed about 1/2 cup of frosting for the red cake crumbs probably.
8. Now using a small spoon, carefully spoon your red cake into the carved out portions of your two cake halves. Press down gently to get it packed in, and only till each half so that it is level. Don't forget to identify which half is which! When you assemble your cake together you don't want an upside down heart... I did not use up all of my cake crumbs, which is okay. You can eat the rest :)
9. The original tutorial has you spreading a rim of frosting around the edge of the heart before putting together the two halves, but I omitted that because I was worried I might get it into the middle of the heart and look like my heart was being cut in half. I think it came out better without the center frosting in this layer, but perhaps the cake is more in danger of toppling over... haha. I didn't have that problem though, it's a small cake! Now just put the 2 cake halves together! Easy peasy! You can see my cake layers aren't perfectly even and are missing a few bits here and there, but that's okay, you won't be able to tell later :)
10. Now all that's left to do is to frost the cake! I added some blue gel food coloring to my frosting to get a light blue, since my boyfriend's favorite color is blue. I set aside a few spoonfuls of the white frosting for piping on top later, and put that in the fridge to set a little. Then I applied a light coating of the blue frosting to the entire cake to seal off any crumbs (this is the crumb coat). I set the cake into the freezer for a few minutes just to let that set.
11. And then I just put on the rest of the frosting, playing around with it as I went since it was my first time working with buttercream. I put my cake back into the freezer multiple times just for a few minutes so that my frosting could set better and it was easier to layer on more frosting. While that was going on I also piped some melted chocolate onto wax paper in various shapes and put those in the freezer too for decorations. I cut up a fresh strawberry to fan out on the top of the cake as well (if you do this, do let the cut strawberry sit on a paper towel for a few minutes to make sure it does not leak juice onto the frosting). Finally, I crushed up some of my cake scraps into yellow crumbs and used that as sprinkled decorations around the bottom rim of the cake and a little on top! The chocolate decorations came out a little goofy because they melted when I touched them to adjust them. But here is the final product!!





SPRING CAKE
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/04/27/spring-cake/]
Use Angel Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
Directions:
1. Heat oven to 325°.
2. Line bottom of a 10″ round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and flour; set flour mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a handheld mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to medium, sprinkle in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Sprinkle half of the confectioners’ sugar–flour mixture over egg whites; using a rubber spatula, fold until just combined.
5. Repeat with remaining flour mixture.
6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.

Mango Mousse
Simmer over med-high heat for 15 minutes:
2 Cups Diced Mango, about 4 mangos
1/3 Cup Water
Cool, transfer all to a blender and puree and add:
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Light Rum
Set aside.
*Note: if you are using this for a filling the author says to add 2 tsp of unflavored gelatin. Apparently the simmering breaks down an enzyme that would prevent the gelatin from working.
With a mixer on high speed cream:
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Fold into Mango Puree. Refrigerate.

Ginger-Lime Cream
In a double boiler over med-low heat:
4 Egg Yolks
Gradually whisk in:
3/4 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Lime
1/4 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Ginger
Stir constantly until visibly thickened. About 3-5 minutes.
Strain through a sieve to remove chunks.
Refrigerate until very cold.
With a mixer on high speed cream:
2 Cups Heavy Cream
Fold into ginger-lime curd. Refrigerate.

Serve Mango Mousse topped with Ginger-Lime Cream.





BLUE CORNMEAL CAKE
Blue Cornmeal Cake
[http://foododelmundo.com/2010/01/17/blue-cornmeal-cake/, Adapted from Sky High Cakes
In food processor combine and process until the pecans are finely chopped:
3/4 Cup Pecans
1 3/4 Cup Cake Flour
2/3 Cup Blue Cornmeal
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Chile Arbol OR 1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center and add:
8 Egg YOLKS
1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
4 Tbsp Melted Butter
optional to add a couple drops of red and blue food coloring – this gave it a more pronounced blue coloring (blue alone made it green).
Mix all ingredients together well with a whisk.
With an electric mixer in a clean bowl beat until stiff peaks form.
8 Egg WHITES
I found it easier to whip these up 4 whites at a time. You DO NOT want to add any runny extras, from the bottom of the bowl, to your cake! (Read comments down below about dense cakes and you’ll understand my urgency here!).
Fold in a quarter of the stiff egg whites, at a time, into your batter slowly and gently. Once incorporated pour equal amounts into three greased and floured 8″ cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the cake, when stuck with a toothpick, comes out clean and the edges pull away from the side of the pan.
Cool completely and “frost” Dulce de Leche between each layer.
If you want the white frosting – a simple Buttercream one will do: 1 Cup Butter whipped up with 1 tsp Vanilla and 4-5 Cups Powdered Sugar. But as I mentioned before, this cake really only needs the Dulce de Leche.

Top with:
Quick Brittle
Put 1 Cup Sugar in heavy pan over medium heat.
Stir constantly as it starts to melt. Keep stirring!
Continue stirring and turn temperature to medium low – you DO NOT want to burn the sugar! SLOW YOUR ROLL!
Once it’s all melted throw in a handful of Whole Pecans.
Dump onto a silpat liner and spread out quickly before it hardens.
Once completely cooled, lift off liner and break into pieces.
If you don’t have a liner be sure to grease or butter your pan WELL!



BLUEBERRY CORN PANCAKES
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/08/02/blueberry-corn-pancakes/]
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl:
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Cornmeal
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Kosher Salt
Mix wet ingredients in another bowl:
1 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Honey or Sugar
Combine wet with dry and mix JUST until blended.
Cook in non-stick pan with cooking spray or a little oil over medium heat.
Drop batter by 1/3 to 1/2 Cup spoonfuls – just before you are about to flip them sprinkle the blueberries. This keeps your batter nice and yellow and your blueberries from mucking up your pan too much.
About 1 Pint of Blueberries will work for this size recipe.



HARVEST PANCAKES
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/10/13/harvest-pancakes/]
Grind/pulse in blender or cuisinart:
1 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
3/4 Cup Nuts – combination or choose one: Pecans, Blanched Almonds, Walnuts
Place in large mixing bowl and combine with:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Flax
1 TBSP Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Sugar
Mix together in seperate vessel:
1 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
Add to dry ingredients and stir just to combine.
Lightly oil or spray a large skillet and cook over med to med-low heat.
About 1/4 cup of batter works best.





BELGIAN WAFFLES
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/12/10/belgian-waffles/]
Ingredients:
2 ounces fresh cake yeast, or 4 packages of active dry yeast
6 cups milk, warmed to 100 degrees F
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 cups all-purpose flour
6 large egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
Directions:
1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup of warm milk.
2. Whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the remaining milk and melted butter. Add the yeast mixture and sugar. Use a large bowl as dough will rise to double or triple in bulk.
3. Gradually stir the flour into the batter. Alternate additions of flour with the
remaining 4 1/2 cups milk. Stir with a wooden spoon after each addition.
4. Fold in beaten egg whites.
5. Cover with a clean towel and put in a warm place.* Let rise for 1 hour.
The batter should double or triple in volume. Stir it down once or twice if it gets out of hand.
6. Bake the waffles in a hot waffle iron. (I used a Belgian waffle iron.)
7. Serve the baked waffles with powdered sugar and butter, or whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Notes:
* Allow leftover waffles to cool before storing.
* Preheat oven to 200 degrees for 10 minutes and turn it off. Let the batter rise in the oven with the door closed.
* Variation: add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter.
* When serving the waffles with fresh sliced strawberries, try adding a little Balsamic Vinegar to the sugared strawberries. It sharpens their flavor significantly! If you can taste the vinegar, you’ve added too much. A small amount does the trick.



JOHNNY CAKES
[http://foododelmundo.com/2009/05/29/johnny-cakes/]
Combine in large bowl:
1 ½ Cups Cornmeal
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
Pour Over while stirring
2 ¼ Cups Boiling Water
Let sit 10 min.
Directions:
1. Heat skillet over med-low heat with 1-2 Tbsp Butter. When butter begins to color pour on ¼ Cup scoopfuls of batter. Don’t make them any bigger.
2. Let them cook on each side 6-11 minutes. If butter gets any darker turn down your heat!
3. Serve with your favorite syrup.







HOMEMADE DING DONGS
[Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, http://www.beantownbaker.com/2010/05/homemade-ding-dongs-or-ring-dings-or.html#more]
Makes ~12 with leftover batter for cupcakes as well
Cake
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don't have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes.
2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.
4. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
5. Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

7-minute frosting
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Directions:
Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces
Directions:
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.

To assemble the Ding Dongs
1. Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls.
2. Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with 7-minute frosting and replace top of cake.
3. Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving.





BILL’S BIG CARROT CAKE (
[Recipe from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/load/recipex/msg0218143718512.html, http://awhiskandaspoon.com/2008/04/22/tuesdays-with-dorie-bills-big-carrot-cake/]
Ingredients:
FOR THE CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (About 9 carrots; I grate them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs
FOR THE FROSTING
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut, for topping (optional)
GETTING READY: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the 325 degrees F. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides and tap out the excess. Put two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
THE CAKE: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean; the cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)
TO MAKE THE FROSTING: Working with the stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you’d like coconut in the filling, scoop out about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this portion.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or cover generously with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake top side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting (or more plain frosting). Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top—and the sides, if you want—of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now, while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.
MAKES 10 SERVINGS
SERVING: The cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper, overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's best with vanilla ice cream or even some Lemon Curd (page 462) with a little whipped cream folded in.
STORING: Covered, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then, when it is firm, wrap air-tight and freeze for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight.




WHOLE-GRAIN WAFFLES WITH CHERRY SAUCE
[Adapted from Eating Well, http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2005/05/whole-grain-waffles-with-cherry-sauce.html]
Ingredients:
For the cherry sauce
2 cups frozen pitted cherries
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the waffle batter
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

To prepare the sauce:
In a small saucepan, add cherries, honey, water, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.

To prepare the waffle batter:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Set aside while you heat a waffle iron.
Pour enough batter into the waffle iron to cover about two-thirds of the surface (we used about 2/3 cup worth), gently spreading the batter to the edges. Cook until steaming stops and waffle is golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, placing cooked waffles into the oven to keep warm until serving.
Rewarm cherry sauce over medium heat and serve with waffles.
Makes about 4 to 6 servings.


Tiramisu Pancakes
Recipe from Ivory Hut
http://blogs.discovery.com/tlc-steamy-kitchen/2010/03/tiramisu-pancakes.html
(Serves about 5 reasonably hungry people)
Ingredients:
For the pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, slightly rounded, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a generous pinch of salt
-
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cups sour cream
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons instant coffee
For the glaze (optional):
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
For the cream:
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions:
1.  Start by preparing the cream and the glaze. For the cream, beat all ingredients together and whip until you have soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. (Tip: this cream tastes amazing, and is what really makes these pancakes. If you like generous amounts of cream on your pancakes, you might want to make a double portion.) The glaze is optional, but very, very (and I mean very) good. Simply combine the ingredients well. Set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure the cocoa powder is well sifted, so that it will dissolve evenly.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine the milk and sour cream until smooth (it helps to slowly dilute the sour cream with the milk while whisking, which reduces the chances of clumps). Add the instant coffee powder and mix well until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until you have a slightly lumpy batter but without any large clumps of flour. If batter is a little runny, add a tablespoon or two of flour.I like to transfer my batter to a measuring cup or something else with a spout, for easier cooking.
4. Let the batter sit while you preheat your griddle. When griddle is hot, drop batter in portions desired (1/4 cup for regular-sized pancakes) onto the greased griddle. When bubbles come up and edges look cooked, gently flip to cook the other side. Once pancakes are cooked, transfer to a plate.
5. Spread a small amount of the maple glaze over the top of the pancake so it soaks in while still hot. Continue with the remaining batter until done.
6. To serve, dollop a generous amount of the cream in between layers of pancakes. Top with more cream, and then top with shaved chocolate, or a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder. Serve with extra cream and/or glaze on the side for dipping. A bonus: these pancakes taste amazing even when cold.






LEMON-THYME OLIVE OIL CAKE
[http://tocatchacook.blogspot.com/2009/09/lemon-thyme-olive-oil-cake.html]
This olive oil cake turned out great and was a nice, light dessert for a dinner party. Serve it with raspberries or blackberries and maybe a dollop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Ingredients:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup AP flour
5 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with oil, line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper and oil it.
2. Combine lemon zest, thyme, and flour in a mixing bowl. Halve and squeeze the lemon and reserve the juice.
3. With an electric mixer, beat yolks and 1/2 cup sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add 3/4 cup olive oil and lemon juice, beating until combined. Gently fold in flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.
4. With an electric mixer, whisk egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon salt on medium-high speed until foamy. Continue whisking and slowly add 1/4 cup sugar until egg whites hold soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Gently fold half of whipped whites into yolk mixture, and then fold in remaining whites until just combined.
5. Pour batter into springform pan and release air bubbles by tapping pan against work surface and dropping the pan about 2 inches to release the air bubbles. Evenly sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the batter. Bake until the top is golden brown and a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Place on a rack and cool in pan for 20 minutes; run a thin knife around edge of pan and release springform. Cool cake to room temperature, remove parchment and serve with fresh berries.



SUNKEN PLUM CAKE
[http://vanillaicing.typepad.com/vanilla_icing/2009/09/sunken-plum-cake.html]
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
9-12 plums, halved and pitted
Additional sugar & cinnamon to make approximately 1/4 cup
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside
3. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour mixture.
4. Arrange the plums on top of the cake and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake--not a plum!-- comes out clean. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

Photos from Flickr.com and links as provided.

1 comment:

Katherine Thayer said...

Wow cake for all occasions

Le Bonhuer....

Meet Perry

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Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
I got a confession to make. I am food addict, over-indulgent! I crave for anything especially sweets, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, strawberries, halo-halo, leche flan, banana Q, breads, pasta, Nasi Goreng....tell me what you got in your fridge ;-D. Thank heavens for I got my mum's genes, I can gain and lose pounds that easy and quick. I am here to share with you my food recipe collection (almost forgotten in a corner of my room) and search for new, exciting recipes, meet good people, and discover more about the world of baking. I am no professional baker or chef (just a wanna-be for now) but we'll get there in time. In sha Allah. Afterall, DREAMS just got to start somewhere, and it starts right here, right now! Meantime enjoy this food journey with me among other stuff....amigos to the kitchen! [Thank you for visiting my blog,you're always welcome to come by! Feel free to dig deep into the posts, much treasures there. And leave your comments, I'd appreciate your words....] [P.S. Borrowed articles/photos can be deleted anytime, please advise.Thank you.]

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