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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Experience

Paper to Plate…

This is a continuation of cake design.  A few week ago, I drew out the design for a cake, and I have to say, executing the design was so easy with a plan.  So, as another birthday rolls around, I have put pen to paper to come up with my next design.  Recipe to follow !IMG_20190316_063901_131

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

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, Dessert

Sweet Cream Cake with an Apricot Filling and Whipped White Chocolate Frosting

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I started making this cake to use up leftover heavy cream and jam.  It turned into this elegant cake.  Make this for your upcoming holiday party and floor your guests with your mad baking skills !

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream (35% butterfat)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored; gradually beat in sugar. Sift together the dry ingredients. Stir in sifted dry ingredients alternately with the cream and vanilla. Beat well.

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Spread batter in 2 greased and floured round 8-inch cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

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Apricot Cream Filling:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Whip the cream and jam with the extract till light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Whipped White Chocolate frosting:

  • 1 package of white chocolate pudding mix
  • 12 oz tub of thawed whipped topping

Mix the pudding mix with a completely thawed whipped topping till light and smooth.

Assembly:

Spread the apricot filling between the two cake layers evenly.  Please make sure the cake has cooled completely.

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Frost the cake with the whipped topping and decorate the edges with slivered almonds.  Walnuts would work too.  Enjoy !

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Cake

Applesauce Cake

  • 2cupsall-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoonsbaking powder
  • 1/2teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1/2teaspoonsalt
  • 3/4teaspooncinnamon
  • 1/2teaspoonground ginger
  • 1/8teaspoonground cloves
  • 1stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2cups unsweetened applesauce
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined, then stir in walnuts (if using).
  • Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Reinvert cake onto a rack to cool completely.

Breakfast, Cake, Treats

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

I adapted this recipe from one that I read on epicurious.  Their cake was baked in a 9″ round pan with fresh blackberries on a the bottom, and flipped upside down when serving.  I had some blackberry jam and I really wanted to make a swirl cake, however, I was also lacking some ingredients that I needed to make a swirl cake ! So I took this recipe and added the jam to it.  I wanted it to ‘swirl’ but the batter is so moist and soft the jam sank to the bottom ! Regardless, I baked it a loaf pan and it tasted AMAZING!!! Super light and extremely moist.  Not too sweet, so perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea or even a light treat after dinner.  I hope you like it.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 1/3 cups flour

1/4 cup blackberry jam, warmed in the microwave to make it a little runny

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk ( i used the powdered version and reconstituted it with water)

Method”

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sift 2 1/3 cups flour,  baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside.

Using an  electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large  bowl till light and fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each  addition. Beat in vanilla.

Beat in flour mixture  in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending  with flour mixture and beating just until incorporated.

Pour half the batter in the loaf pan, top with jam, add the rest of the batter and top with jam again.

Take a knife and swirl it through the batter.

Bake until cake is golden  brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 25  minutes.

Let cool in pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes and cut into slices and serve warm.

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.