Tag Archives: cake

Brooklyn Blackout Cakelets

It’s time once again for a Slice of Cake (aka The Cake Slice monthly baker’s group)!  This month’s cake is the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, which is a cake that was once made by now-defunct Ebinger’s Bakery, but which lives on in Brooklyn’s fondest memories.  Apparently, lots of people have attempted to recreate the cake, with varying levels of success.    This recipe comes from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book and is her version of this three-layer devil’s food cake, filled with creamy chocolate pudding, and topped with chocolate frosting and cake crumbs.

Since we’re still trying to get in shape here at the DFD house, I pondered how to make this big, gorgeous, tempting chocolate cake a little less dangerous.  With all that chocolate in there, tweaking the flours and butters (as I did with the Cinnamon Swirl Cake) wouldn’t make that much of a dent.  So instead I just decided to limit our exposure – I left the recipe alone, but only made 1/3 of it AND made that into small, individual cakelets, rather than one cake.

I used a mini-loaf pan to make these instead of a regular cake pan, but you could definitely do the same with a muffin pan, or a smaller cake pan.  Because I did these as minis, I couldn’t really do the 3 layer action, but 2 layers worked just fine.  My boyfriend has been scarfing them all week.

This was an easy cake to make and quite delicious.  The cake (moist and chocolatey) and the pudding (creamy and chocolatey)  are each wonderful in their own right and could definitely be used separately.  I got my frosting a little too stiff and would add a touch of milk next time to smooth it out, but otherwise was also easy and yummy.  This is another keeper (so far, everything from this book is) and someday, I will be doing the full blown 3 layer version of this cake, for sure.

As you can see, my biggest problem was that we were in such a rush to eat them, that I barely took time to slap them on a plate to get a picture.

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Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake (Lightened)

Have I ever mentioned that I love cinnamon?
Oh, do I.  I love, love, love it!

So I was very happy to see that this cake was chosen to be April’s Cake Slice cake – the Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake.  NOW we’re talkin’!

The Problem

As I’ve mentioned previously, however, we are working on getting healthier at my house. Learning to eat real, and at the same time trying to lose a little weight. That made this oh-so-tempting Cinnamon Swirl cake a bit of a problem. When confronted with a delicious cake like that, just sitting there on the counter…. calling to us to eat it….

Well.  I don’t think my willpower is *quite* that strong.

So, a little tinkering on this recipe was in order.  Judging by the other bakers in this group, the original recipe is just about perfect as it is, if you’re not worried about the calories. But at my house, a few changes made this a recipe we could enjoy without guilt (and who doesn’t want that?).

The Tinkering

One of the first things I decided was to do baby bundts instead of a full-sized bundt – automatic portion control.  I know my man, and when cutting a slice from a full-sized cake, well, let’s just say that the number of servings indicated on the recipe is likely to be less in real life.   So, individual servings takes care of that little problem.

Next, I swapped in white whole wheat flour in place of the all purpose.  This added a little nutrition in the form of whole grains and fiber, but did you also know that white whole wheat flour is just a little bit lower in calorie than all purpose flour?  Bonus! I left the cake flour alone, so as to hopefully keep from altering the tenderness *too* much.   Next time, I may experiment with some whole wheat pastry flour to see how that affects the texture.

I reduced the butter in the cinnamon swirl by half, and it worked fine.  Still delicious as could be.  Oh, and I increased the cinnamon to 1/2 tsp (original recipe only calls for 1/4), just ’cause I love it.  Then, I swapped in greek yogurt for some of the butter, and reduced the sugar just a bit, in the cake batter recipe.  Still came out plenty tasty.

Nothing too drastic, but enough to drop the calories per serving by about half and increase the nutritional value a bit.  Oh yeah – I left out the orange zest too, just because I didn’t have any (we didn’t miss it, though I’m sure it would be lovely).

The Outcome

A dense, tight crumb (as a pound cake should be), with a lovely cinnamony, slightly crunchy layer in the middle – this is right up my alley. Delicious by itself, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, or with some vanilla ice cream on the side, it’s a bit of sweet happiness at the end of a meal, with no guilt to dim the glow.

Once again, I’ll tell you that this is a good book. Every recipe I’ve tried so far has been delicious (even with my tinkering). So I’m not going to provide the original recipe.

Instead, here’s my somewhat healthified version.    Zapped in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and topped with powdered sugar for after dinner, or just plain in our lunch boxes, we’ve been enjoying these little baby bundts all week.

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Banana Boston Cream Pie

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!

Sorry y’all – I’m a few days late posting for this month’s Cake Slice. I unexpectedly had to go out of town for a week, so I made sure to make this cake the day before I left, but then didn’t get the post put together in time. It’s all my sister’s fault.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it!

Seriously, though, this cake was a good one. My boyfriend was very excited when I informed him that this month’s cake was Boston Cream Pie. He lurves Boston Cream Pie, so he was quite impatient for this one to get made. Almost every night he would ask me, “Are you making Boston Cream Pie tonight?” Poor baby, he’s so deprived, isn’t he?

Unfortunately, because I was rushing to get these pictures taken the night before I left town, they didn’t come out very well. They were all of them very overexposed. So don’t judge this cake by these less than amazing pictures – this is a delicious, easy to make cake that will keep in your fridge for several days.

I decided to add some banana to mine, and I’m glad I did. The cake is delicious in its own right, but we do like our bananas at my house, and that extra banana-y sweetness was delicious. I think it might be wonderful with some sliced strawberries in there, too.  This recipe will definitely be going into my keeper file – which is good, since I expect my boyfriend will be campaigning for it regularly.

If this is your first visit, this cake was baked as part of the Cake Slice baking group. We are currently baking from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. You should buy it. It’s a good book.

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Buche de Noel – Two Ways

I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t make this month’s cake for the Cake Slice group.  Between craziness at work (plus everyone getting ready to leave for holiday vacation), monthly staff meeting, doctor appointments AND being informed that our Christmas celebration was going to be early (this past Sunday) due to family members traveling on Christmas day, well…. the cake just about got ditched. I guess a complicated, time-consuming recipe really isn’t the best choice to schedule for a week before Christmas.

But I really wanted to make it, so I decided to set aside the Saturday before and bring the cake for our Christmas dessert.

Contrary to what many people say, I found this cake to be pretty easy to make.  Time-consuming, definitely.  But hard?  Not so much.  As long as you give yourself plenty of time to make all of the components at your leisure, you can make this cake, with all of its accoutrements, without stress.  Many of the components can even be made days in advance

I’m not going to give you the recipe this time, because really, you should just go buy this book.  It’s worth it!  And it’s a really long recipe, not to mention that all the extras (meringue mushrooms, chocolate leaves, praline paste, etc.) have their own separate recipes.

Instead, I’m just going to share my learnings with you.  Then, when you go to make one, you’ll breeze right through it.  And you *should* make one.  It’s fun!  It’s festive!  And it just tastes darn good.  Everyone at our Christmas dinner was very impressed with these cakes and all agreed that it was just as delicious as beautiful.

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I couldn’t decide how I wanted to decorate this buche de noel, and the cake makes one very long roll.  So I just cut it in half and did it both ways.  It was fun to try to make it look as professional as possible (obviously I have a long ways to go, but it was fun anyway).

So, take it from me – next time you want to wow your in-laws, put together a buche de noel.  They’ll think you’re ahh-mazing!

 

Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust

Cake Slice BakersThis month’s Cake Slice Bakers recipe was a perfect choice for November! Rich with Fall flavors like pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon and pecans, this is a creamy and very rich dessert, perfect for a Thanksgiving (or any other) celebration.

I mentioned before that one of the reasons I joined the Cake Slice group is because I haven’t made a lot of cakes. That isn’t true for me for cheesecake, though. I’ve actually made a bunch of those and they’re a hit every time. I love making cheesecake! Everyone is so impressed and I do love myself a good slice o’ creamy cheesecake.

I’m told a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of making cheesecake.  Really – you can do it! They are actually very easy to make – just allow yourself plenty of time to make, bake and cool the cake, then chill overnight. Other than that little issue of thinking ahead, the procedure itself is a snap. And once it’s made, it will last a good while. Being rich and decadent, a little slice’ll do ya.

Although pumpkin isn’t a favorite flavor at my house, this is still a great recipe and one I highly recommend to anyone who *does* love pumpkin and wants to impress the in-laws (or whomever). I especially liked the garnish on this recipe – the candied pumpkin seeds are my favorite part! These, alone, would make a great snack to have around the house during the holidays, and they are quick and simple to make (just go easy on the egg white – only put the minimum amount needed to coat the seeds).

This was fun and easy to make and the end result is beautiful and has great texture. So if you’re still looking for a gorgeous dessert to wow your guests at Thanksgiving, look no further! I present for your enjoyment, Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger-Pecan Crust.

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Apple Cake with Maple Frosting

My boyfriend, as I may have mentioned before, loves him some sweets. Particularly baked goods – cookies, cakes, brownies – that sort of thing. He’ll eat a piece of cheesecake or occasionally a bowl of ice cream, but they aren’t his favorite. No, it’s all about baking for him.

Cake Slice BakersI’ve baked lots and lots of cookies and bars, but for whatever reason, just haven’t collected a lot of good cake recipes. In an attempt to change that, I joined the Cake Slice Bakers! The Cake Slice group chooses one book to cook through the year, votes on a recipe each month, and everyone bakes and reveals their post on the same day (the 20th of each month).

Today’s the day for my first Cake Slice cake!

This year’s book is The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. This is a beautiful book, filled to the brim with delicious cake recipes – everything from simple, homestyle cakes to decadent layer cakes. I’m really glad that I had the excuse of this blogging event to buy it. I’m going to enjoy trying out these recipes over the next year! And let me just say that my boyfriend is pretty happy about it, too.

The recipe for October is Apple Cake with Maple Frosting. This is a rustic, homestyle cake filled with chunks of apple, lovely fall spices and bits of crunchy walnuts. We usually prefer to leave nuts out of baked recipes at my house, but I’m really glad we left them in this time. Those little bits of crunch – not too much, just enough – are perfect in this cake. A square of this cake has been a delicious way to end our meals all this week.

I was unable to find any maple flavoring for the frosting, so just substituted some maple syrup. Of course, that’s not nearly concentrated enough, so our frosting isn’t very maple-y, but it’s delicious nonetheless.  I also used Honeycrisp apples instead of Granny Smith, since that’s what the store had available, and they worked out great.  This recipe, including the frosting, is easy to make and can stand up to a little tinkering, but is perfectly delicious, as written.  This was a very easy cake to make.

The Apple Cake with Maple Frosting is a winner at my house!

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Be sure to check back next month to see the next Cake Slice recipe!

 

Almond Tea Cakes

WHAT IS MONTHLY MUNCHIES?Each month, I take cookies or other goodies to my office staff meeting. They all get to enjoy some homemade treats and I get to use them as my guinea pigs to try out new recipes. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years now.Also see this month’s second Monthly Munchies recipe – Buttermilk Babycakes.

This is another take on the Swedish Visiting Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, From My Home to Yours. It really is a perfect recipe – quick, easy, delicious and very customizable.

This time, I did the recipe straight out of the book (well, adapted just a little), but baked them as mini-cupcakes. Topped with a couple of slivered almonds and sprinkled with raw sugar, they became fancy little almond tea cakes.

If you haven’t tried this recipe yet – please do. It’s the kind of recipe that should be in every go-to file!
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Buttermilk Babycakes

WHAT IS MONTHLY MUNCHIES?Each month, I take cookies or other goodies to my office staff meeting. They all get to enjoy some homemade treats and I get to use them as my guinea pigs to try out new recipes. I’ve been doing this for over 4 years now.Also see this month’s second Monthly Munchies recipe – Almond Tea Cakes.

These babycakes are a bit like a little girl who’s grown up and is getting ready for her first prom – sweet, simple and soft, but all dressed up and looking glamorous!

When I ran across this recipe a couple of months ago, it really stuck in my mind. It is such a simple recipe, but for some reason, it just really appealed to me. I could almost taste the cookies and couldn’t wait for an opportunity to try them.

So when it was time again for Monthly Munchies, it was a natural choice. I wanted to dress things up this month a little, though, so instead of doing these as cookies, I did them as bars and used a cutter to make pretty shapes. The texture is much more cakey than cookie-like, so it worked out perfectly.

This was done in a 9×13 pan, and they rose a little taller than I expected. Next time I would use a larger pan to get a little bit smaller babycakes. So choose your pan depending on how big you’d like them to be.

This recipe didn’t disappoint. They are delicious and soft, with that trademark buttermilk flavor. Cutting them into pretty shapes before drizzling allows the glaze to drip appetizingly down the sides. Everyone commented on it, so do take the extra few minutes to give them that special touch.

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Lemon Cake (Swedish Visiting Cake)

Not too long ago, the Tuesdays with Dorie group chose to make the Swedish Visiting Cake. As always happens with the TWD group, pictures of the cake popped up all over the Blogsophere.

Although I’ve had Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, from My Home to Yours for quite a while, I just haven’t used it much. I don’t exactly know why – the pictures are luscious and the recipes sound incredible. For whatever reason, I just haven’t.

After seeing all those enticing pictures, when we decided we wanted something yummy over the weekend, the Swedish Visiting Cake came immediately to mind. We weren’t in the mood for nuts, though, so I decided to make a purely lemon version.

Wow! This is an awesome recipe. It is incredibly quick and simple – one bowl, a cup to melt the butter in, a whisk and a spatula are all that is required (well, and a cake pan or skillet, of course). You can throw it together in just a few minutes and then it only takes 25-30 minutes to bake.

The end result is perfect – dense, moist cake, and a crisp sugar crust over a delightful crackling top. This version smells and tastes fresh and lemony. It was wonderful warm right out of the oven, and it was just as good the next day at room temperature. I was sorely tempted to eat this for breakfast, it was so good! Proof positive that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.

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Secret Layer Ginger Cheesecake

Foodie Fights Battle: Peas & Ginger

Have you heard of FoodieFights.com? It’s kind of like Iron Chef for normal people, started by Nick at Macheesmo and Dan at The Food In My Beard.

I just discovered it last week, right when they were about to start the first battle since they re-launched their site and thought What the heck! I registered and signed up for the first battle. The ingredients for this battle are ginger and peas.

Let me tell you, I came up with sooo many ideas for this battle. I agonized. I grilled my boyfriend about what he thought. I could NOT decide what to make! Should I go for comfort food that everyone loves? Daring and gourmet? Totally off the wall? Safe and down home?

I had first decided to go fairly safe with some Ginger-Honey Glazed Lamb Chops with Minted Pea Chutney. But while I was shopping for that, I had an epiphany and thought “Cheesecake!”

I mean, think about it – there are lots of sweet veggie recipes. Carrot cake, zucchini bread, beet chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, etc. Peas are sweet. Why not go all the way with it and see how it does in a truly sweet application? I became obsessed with the idea and had to try it. I still made the chops as a backup, just in case the cheesecake really sucked, so you’ll be seeing that recipe here in a couple of days.

But today, let’s talk about Ginger and Pea Cheesecake!!

Ginger & Pea Cheesecake

Unfortunately, I was so consumed with figuring out what I was doing, that I totally forgot to take pictures during the process, so the only thing you get to see is the final result. Sorry!

My vision was of a gorgeous marbled top with beautiful light green swirled through the white cheesecake. As you can see, that’s not how it came out. The top of this cheesecake browned quite a bit, so I would recommend covering it for the first half of baking to reduce that.

Also, pea puree is apparently heavy enough that it sinks. Although I attempted to marble this, it really came out more like a bottom layer of pea and a top layer of ginger. Finally, I only used 1 cup of pea puree and didn’t quite get as much lovely green cheesecake and pea flavor as I’d like. I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect these changes.

Overall, this cheesecake turned out delicious! It is rich and sweet and very creamy. Even my anything-healthy-or-“weird”-hating boyfriend loved it. He scarfed down a big piece and scraped the plate clean. If HE will eat a cheesecake with peas in it, I consider it an absolute victory!

So, next time you’d like to make an unusual and delicious Springtime dessert, consider this Secret Layer Ginger Cheesecake. Just don’t tell anyone what the green part is until AFTER they eat it!

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