Cake, Food

Walnut Cake with Raspberries

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Gateau Aux Noix–this rich an delicious cake comes from Julia Child’s ” Mastering the Art of French Cooking”–Volume II (if you have the book, it is page 490 in the 39th edition) !!  I had  previously made another one of Julia’s Walnut cakes called Le Brantome which is a fluffier cousin of this recipe.  Having make both cakes, I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  However, the richness of this particular cake, makes it more suitable for layering.

The recipe make one 9 by 1.5 inch cake.  I wanted two layers, so I doubled the recipe.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped walnuts

6 Tbsp of sugar, plus another 1 cup of sugar

2/3 cup all -purpose flour

6 large eggs

8 Tbsp of butter

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Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans.

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Grind 2 cups of walnuts with 6 Tbsp of sugar in a food processor.  You might want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your processor.  It is also important to add sugar with each batch of walnuts, it prevents the oils in the nuts to turn it into “butter” while grinding.

Mix the nut mixture with 2 cups of flour and pass the entire mixture through a sieve–this will separate out the larger chunks of nuts and allow for even incorporation of the the flour and nut mixture.

Next, cream butter, the remaining 1 cup of sugar till pale and creamy.  Then add the eggs and mix well.

Finally, slowly fold in the nut and flour mixture in batches, ensuring that each batch of the dry ingredients is well incorporated before the next batch is added.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20 mins.

The cake is perfectly wonderful with just a dusting of sugar.  However, I used the two layers to turn it into a layered birthday cake.  Let me know walk you through the assembly.

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Assembling the cake–you will need:

Fresh Raspberries (filling and decoration)

Chocolate drizzle ( for decoration, I bought it !)

Walnuts ( whole and ground for decoration)

Crushed, freeze dried raspberries (for decoration)

1 batch of my Marscapone Whipped Cream Frosting

Note: For this cake, had about 4 cups of frosting leftover from the  Spice Cake that I made a few weeks ago.  I froze down the frosting, however when thawing, the frosting becomes loose and runny (bottom image on the left).  To fix it, add another 8oz of marscapone and 2-3 Tbsp of sugar–depending on how sweet you want it.

Assembling the cake is pretty easy.  I added a layers of frosting on the bottom cake, topped the frosting with raspberries and then pressed down the top cake layer.

Next I added a crumb coat to fill in all the holes and press down the crumbs.  Chill this for at least 10-15 mins.

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Next, I added the rest of the frosting, as patiently as I could to ensure a smooth surface and edges.

Finally, I decorated the cake according to the design I drew out, you can check that out here

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This time, I remembered to take a picture of the cake once we cut into it !

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Classics, Cupcakes, Italian

Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes

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This summer, I have been on a Cannoli kick.  I guess it started with the Cannolis we had for our rehearsal dinner.

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Then we were out in Boston getting some more at Cafe Vitorria.  As a result, whenever I wanted make something, the “Cannoli” flavor kept coming up.  So here is a super easy recipe for Cannoli cupcakes.  I also used the ingredients to build a my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Ingredients:

Store bought chocolate cake mix

1 15oz container of Ricotta Cheese ( I used part-skim, feel free to use full fat)

4 tbsp of vanilla frosting (I used this, because it was lying around in the pantry)  OR 4tbsp  powdered sugar.  Sweeten to your liking.

1 tsp of almond extract

2tsps of ground cinnamon

mini chocolate chips and pistachios (unsalted-shelled) for garnish

Method:

Make batter and bake cupcakes as per package directions.  I baked 6 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make 2 9″ round cakes for my Chocolate Orange Charlotte.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely

In the meantime, mix the entire container of ricotta cheese with 4tbsp of frosting (or 4tbsp of powdered sugar) with almond extract and cinnamon

Fill into a piping bag attached to a star-tip (this is what I did; frost as you like) and pipe onto your cupcakes. You will not use the entire frosting for 6 cupcakes, I saved it for my cake recipe.  You will probably use the whole thing if you are making 12 cupcakes.  This frosting will make a great Cannoli Dip with graham crackers or you could use it for my other favorite recipe “Cannoli Cups

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and pistachios (other toppings could be orange peels, almonds or nothing at all)

Serve and watch your friends devour !

 

Cake

Raspberry Vanilla Cake

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A lovely light summer-y cake.  It is a vanilla cake which makes it appealing to most people and you don’t have to use raspberries, you can use any summer fruit you want.  Here goes !

Ingredients:

Store bought White cake mix

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1 package of cheesecake flavored pudding mix

1 package of white chocolate pudding mix

1 jar of seedless raspberry jam

2 pints of fresh raspberries

Method:

Cake: Bake the cake accordingly to package instructions in two 9 inch baking rounds and cool completely.

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Filling:

Mix the both packages of pudding mix with 1 cup of whole milk.  This mixture will be very thick.

Meanwhile, whip up the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks.

Slowly fold the whipping cream into the pudding mix, adding about a 1/4 cup of whipping cream at a time.

Assembly:

Level the two cake layers and save the “cut-off” cake.

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Spread the entire jar of jam between both layers of the cake.

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Add the whipped pudding filling on top of the jam, only on one cake layer.  Use as much of the filling you like, just make sure you have enough to frost the outside of the cake.  I don’t like a lot of filling, so I actually had enough of the filling left to make my no-bake cheesecake pie (https://questforflavor.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-pie-with-chocolate-cookie-crust/).

Add cut up fresh raspberries on top of the cream.

Top it off with the other cake layer, jam side facing the raspberries

Frost the outside of cake.

Crumble the leftover cake pieces and use them to cover the side of the cake.

Decorate the top with more fresh raspberries.

Cut and eat !

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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

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

Chocolate Truffle Cake

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When the senior grad student needs chocolate, you give the thesis writer chocolate ! This is, as we called it in lab, an ‘epic’ chocolate cake.  Here is the link to the original recipe.  My cake decorating skills are not that great, but the cake sure tasted good.  here are some snippets !

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chocolate-truffle-layer-cake

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the cake layers

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the ganche layers

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a whipped chocolate frosting, I skipped the rich chocolate frosting to make the cake just a little lighter.  The frosting was a mix of cool whip, heavy cream and chocolate pudding mix

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the layering. NOTE; FOLLOW THE WHITE CHOCOLATE RECIPE ! I DID NOT AND MY GANCHE WAS ALL DRIPPY-FAIL !

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the finished product with shaved white and milk chocolate for decoration

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And let them eat cake 🙂

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roll the leftover ganache in chopped almonds and now you truffles !

Dessert, Pastry, Treats

A very special Carrot Cake

Last week was “the boy’s” birthday :P.  Now, he is a man who is happiest with a simple yellow sheet cake with chocolate frosting.  Le Brantome would not work for him.  So I asked, “what kind of cake do you want for your birthday”.  He said, “Carrot Cake.”  Huh ! I did not even know he liked Carrot Cake–that is what his mother said too.  Well, birthday boy gets what he wants. Thank you to “The New Boston Globe Cookbook”

ingredients

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp of ginger

1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1/4 orange juice

1 pound grated carrots

Frosting: 8oz cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1 3/4 powdered sugar 1tsp of vanilla, 1tsp orange zest, red sugar crystals.

Process:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter and flour a 9×3 round cake pan.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl

3. With a wooden spoon mix sugar, eggs, oil, orange juice till smooth and creamy.

4. Gently fold in dry ingredients and grated carrots.

5. Add batter to pan and tap gently to remove air bubbles.

6. Bake for 65min till brown and the top springs back when touched.

7.  Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

8. In a mixer beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla.  I removed a portion of the frosting and mixed it with the zest and red sugar crystals.  This orange/red frosting is for just the top of the cake.

9. Frost and dig in.

Note.  Feel free to add raisins and nuts to the cake–the boy does not like them so I did not add it.