Cake

Chocolate chip cookie cake

cake

As the unofficial “birthday-cake-baker” in lab (a job that makes science failures bearable)– I present the first cake of the year.  My labmate is a big fan of cookies and so I made him a cake that paid homage to the all time classic, the chocolate chip cookie.  This cake may look “over-the-top” (not my words), but it is two layers of chocolate cake with a cookie dough filling in the middle.  It a mascarpone cream frosting, a chocolate ganache drizzle and crushed cookies on top.  I had fun making it, and my labmates enjoyed it.  I hope this inspires your next baking adventure !

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Cake

Almond, Raspberry and Chocolate Torte

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INGREDIENTS

For the Cake
    • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch spring-form pan, with non-stick baking spray and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Spread almond flour on to parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet into the oven and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks, lemon zest, orange blossom water (if using) and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk together the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. This mixture will be very thick once incorporated.

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In a large stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium high speed until they start to increase in size. Once egg whites start to get fluffy, add a pinch of salt. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of white sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

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Fold egg whites into the almond mixture 1/2 cup at a time. The batter will start to lighten as you add more egg whites and eventually become light and airy. Transfer batter to the prepared spring-form pan and place into the oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

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Now comes the fun part of going crazy and assembling the cake !

Heat a jar of raspberry jam till its spreadable and make a box of white chocolate pudding according to the box instructions.  Set aside.

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Bake a box of brownies in 9X9 pan.  Cool and mix with half the raspberry jam and smush it into a 9″ round.

Now, go back to you almond cake and slice in half.  One half should be cut in half again.

Transfer the bottom layer back into the spring-form pan.  Spread raspberry jam and them some of the white chocolate pudding mix.

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Place the raspberry brownie layer ontop

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spread another layer of jam and pudding

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Top with the other half of the almond cake, remember that this half was split in two, so you should still have another half left.

Now spread nutella, yes nutella on this almond layer and top with the remaining half.

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Transfer the whole springform into the fridge and let it chill overnight.

Next day when you unmold it, all the layers will have set properly.

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So to recap the layers from bottom up. Cake, jam/pudding, brownie,jam/pudding, cake,nutella,cake.

Now cover in whipped cream. Decorate the sides with wafer cookies and top with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls.

Enjoy !

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Cake

Almond Torte with Figs and Mascarpone

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Another lab birthday calls for a another cake.  However, baking for a French man uped the ante, and I had to step up to the challenge !  I daresay it was a success.  Hopefully you will enjoy this cake too! Also, this cake is worth being my 200th post !

INGREDIENTS:

For The Cake:

1 Cup plain flour

1 Cup almond meal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened

1 Cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 Cup greek yogurt

For Icing:

250g mascarpone cheese

1/3 Cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/3 Cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 Cup heavy cream

Homemade Fig Butter (refer to previous post)

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then put to one side.

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3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla extract.

5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of greek yogurt. Mix until a few streaks of flour remain.

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6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth batter evenly in pans.

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7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cakes are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

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8. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Transfer cakes from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

9. Whip mascarpone and powdered sugar until creamy.

10. Add heavy cream and whip to desired consistency.

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11. Take 1/3 of the mascarpone icing and put into a separate bowl, whip cocoa powder into it- this will form the middle layer in the cake.The remaining ‘plain’ mascarpone icing will form the top and sides of your cake.

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12. Once the cake has cooled completely, slice each cake in half and spread fig butter. then place one cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread the chocolate mascarpone filling on top ensuring it is smooth and level. Top with other cake (this was also sliced in half and spread with fig butter in between) So you will end up with fig butter, chocolate cream and fig butter between 4 layers of cake.

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13. Spread the plain mascarpone icing on the top and around the side as thickly or thinly as you like.

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14. Now the really fun bit- decorating the the cake. I added chocolate roses, sliced figs and blueberries.  I did some piping with the remaining chocolate mascarpone filling.

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Cake, Middle Eastern, Pastry

Persian Love Cake

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Cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 14 tablespoons baker’s sugar or superfine sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)

Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 8oz of marscapone cheese
  • 1/4 cup honey

Filling

  • 2, 6 oz cups of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of ground pistachios

PREPARATION

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

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For frosting:
Combine 1/2 cup cream, honey and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

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Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Beat until peaks form.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread greek yogurt and ground pistachios–you will have extra, save it and top your oatmeal with it. Top with second cake layer, flat side down.

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Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Garnish cake with strawberries

 

Cake

Black Forest Cake

 

Black Forest Cake.  My earliest memory of this cake is when my mother would go buy it from a bakery in Dallas for my father.  This is my father’s favorite cake.  That SAYS A LOT because when it comes to sweets he is a true Bengali man.  The only other “western” dessert he likes is a good almond biscotti. However, I did not make this cake for my dad this time around, I made it for my Swedish Boss’s birthday.  Now when bossman goes for a second piece of cake, you know its good.  So this post is about a cake I made for my boss but is dedicated to my father–just in time for Father’s Day !!!!    

This is what happens to frozen cherries when you cook it down with some sugar, lemon juice and a little bit of gelatin.  Feel free to use cherry preserves, but please DO NOT use that bright red cherry pie filling !

Simple box cake ! I went for the super rich, moist chocolate kind ! YUM!         This white concoction is coolwhip mixed with white chocolate pudding mix ! The pudding mix stabilizes the whipped cream and it makes it easier to pipe !

Cover cake with frosting, cover frosting with chocolate sprinkle !  If you are making this cake during the colder months, grate fresh chocolate and cover the cake.  I tried to do that, but my kitchen was too hot and the chocolate was melting !    

Pipe and decorate with with either fresh pitted cherries of drained and dried frozen cherries !          

NOW EAT CAKE !

Cake, Pastry

Honey Comb Cake

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Ingredients

Cake
    • 2 12×12 inches, puff pastry sheets, thawed
    • 2 cups canned tart cherries, drained or thawed frozen cherries, drained
Frosting
    • 3 sticks butter, room temperature
    • 1.5 cans sweetened condensed milk, cooked (dulce de leche)
Ganache
    • 2 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1 cup heavy cream,
    • 3 tablespoons corn syrup

Instructions

Cook cans of condensed milk in a pot, covered with water by 2 inches, for 1.5 hours, on low heat. Allow to cool completely.

Cut each puff pastry sheet in 3 strips. Roll them with a rolling pin, to double it in size (length & width). Place cherries about 1/2 inch apart along the long side of the dough. Roll it into a tube and pinch the ends. Do the same with 1 more strip of puff pastry. Combine rolled pieces together. Coil them into a spiral circle, leaving about 1/2 inch between each coil (see illustration at the end of the post)

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Bake at 400, for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

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Follow the above steps and make 2 more cake layers.

Make the cream

Whip room temperature butter, for about 3-4 minutes until white and fluffy. Scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times throughout.

Add room temperature condensed milk, in 3 additions, making sure it’s combined before adding more.

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Make Chocolate Ganache

Chop the chocolate and place it into a bowl.

Heat the cream, to a simmer.

Pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.

Add the corn syrup. Stir, until well combined and smooth.

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Assembly
  1. Reserve 1 cup of frosting for covering the cake.
  2. Place a small dab of frosting on a plate, to adhere it to the plate and ensure that it does not move. Put the first cake layer. Place 4 strips of foil, 1 inch under the cake, overlapping and covering the serving platter (will make for easy cleanup). Layer the cake with frosting, making sure the amounts of frosting between layers are the same.
  3. Cover the cake with the reserved frosting.
  4. Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes.
  5. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cake, right in the middle. Go with a spatula in a circle, allowing the chocolate to drip down the sides and cover them.
  6. To get the spiral design, place the cake on a cake turntable, place the tip of your spatula in the middle, start turning the cake turntable, at the same time moving the spatula so that it creates a spiral all over the cake. Slowly, run a knife or a spatula, underneath the cake freeing the 4 strips of foil. Remove the foil. Clean up the edges of the serving plate if needed.
  7. While the ganache is still wet, decorate the cake with chocolate sprinkles. Place a baking pan or a large dish, in front of yourself. Take the cake into your left hand. Take some sprinkles into the palm of your hand, cupping the hand slightly. Press against the bottom of the cake, going around the cake.
  8. Cake is best served at room temperature, but is easier to cut while it’s still cold.2014-07-30 14.19.59 (2)
Cake

Blackberry Red Wine Chocolate Cake

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Labmate’s birthday=yummy cake !!!!!

Ingredients:
For cake:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark or dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry wine or red wine
1/2 cup light olive or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For frosting:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry preserves
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and line three 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper. Butter parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, whisking until thoroughly combined.

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Add eggs, buttermilk, wine, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Divide evenly among prepared pans.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Run a small knife around the edges of each pan, then gently invert onto wire racks. Cakes should come out cleanly. Allow to cool completely.

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To prepare frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 8 minutes. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes more. Add more cream or powdered sugar as needed to acheive desired consistency.

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To assemble, level each cake layer by cutting of the domed top with a long serrated knife. Place one layer, flat side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread half of the blackberry preserves evenly on top, followed by approximately 1/2 cup of buttercream. Position second layer on top and press to adhere. Repeat with remaining preserves, another 1/2 cup of buttercream, and final cake layer, flat side up.
Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. This “crumb coat” will make frosting the cake easier. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow this crumb coat to set. At this point if you will be coloring the remaining buttercream, add your food coloring to the mixing bowl and beat until color is uniform.

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Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with remaining buttercream, reserving some for piping decorative details if desired. Return cake to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
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