Pumpkin Cake with Maple Brown-Butter Glaze

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As Hannah Montana once said: Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days. Today was just one of those days, you guys! Firstly, I began making this cake and everything was going pretty well. I like to keep my ingredients with me on the counter to stay organized and to make sure I don’t forget anything. It’s not a foolproof system–clearly because I forgot the egg! Anyway, I realized my mistake as the cake was baking and quickly pulled it out in an attempt to save it. I thought I had preserved it but later on I had trouble determining if the cake was completely cooked. It wasn’t. But I’ll get to that later. Despite my many trials and tribulations, I would still recommend this recipe–especially the glaze! I got it from the New York Times Cooking website (go check it out!).

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups/384 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups/440 grams light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup/114 grams unsalted butter, soft but cool
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can/425 grams pumpkin purée
  • ½ cup sour cream

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup/102 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  •  Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pepitas(optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and butter and flour a 12-cup (or larger) capacity bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and black pepper until well combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine brown sugar, butter and olive oil. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for about 20 seconds in between each egg. Add the pumpkin purée and sour cream, and mix until well combined, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.IMG_6200
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients until well combined. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure an evenly mixed batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and firmly tap the pan on the countertop a few times to release any large air bubbles. Bake the cake until golden and puffed, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes.
  6. Set the cake, still in its pan, on a rack to cool for 20 minutes, then use the tip of a knife to loosen the edges and invert the cake onto the rack to cool completely before glazing.
  7. Make the glaze: Once the cake is cool, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, occasionally scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a rubber spatula until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty. Don’t walk away from the pan during this process. The butter can go from brown and nutty to acrid and burnt in mere moments.
  8. Transfer butter and all the brown bits from the pan to a heat-safe bowl, and let it cool slightly. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and salt until smooth. The glaze should be thick but pourable. If it’s too thin, add a bit more confectioners’ sugar. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water (I did this a few times).
  9. Transfer the cake to a serving platter and pour the glaze evenly over the top. Sprinkle with pepitas if desired. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before slicing.

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I mentioned that I was having some trouble determining if the cake was fully cooked. Well, I ended up taking it out of the oven a little bit too soon and slathering it in glaze, only to discover it could have been kept in for a good 15 more minutes, if not more. But you live and you learn, right? Anyway, I will be making this cake again because even though I continuously messed up, it’s still a great recipe that I strongly recommend! Thanks for reading!

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Chocolate Chip Cake!

Who doesn’t love the ever versatile chocolate chip? They can be found in cookies, muffins, or are tasty just plain! So today I decided to make a chocolate chip cake. Yum! img_7247.jpg

Here’s the recipe, I got it from Genius Kitchen:


Ingredients:

  • 1cups sugar
  • cups flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 12teaspoon salt
  • 1cups sour cream
  • 34cup margarine or 3cup butter, softened
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • eggs
  • 1cup sugar (for cinnamon sugar)
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1(6 ounce) package chocolate chips (mini or regular)

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease (not oil) a 13 x 9 pan.
  3. In large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients.
  4. Mix well by hand or use a mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  5. Pour half of the batter (about 2 1/2 cups) into the prepared pan.
  6. In separate small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture and chocolate chips (1/2 cup) over batter.
  8. Repeat with remaining batter, sugar mixture, and chocolate chips.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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This cake was a great success! I’d be interested to try it next time in a bundt pan, I think that would work well. Thanks for reading!IMG_7252

Short Crêpe Cake!

IMG_7063I have always wanted to make one of those extravagant crêpe cakes I’ve seen on my Instagram feed every now and then. Today, I attempted to do just that…but I forgot one of my most important baking rules. Always plan ahead! Anyway, I spent a long time baking several crêpes and when I finally went to add the layers of whipped cream, I realized halfway through that I didn’t have enough cream. That explains the title of this post, or at least the “short” part.

Despite its stature, this “cake” was delish! I would definitely recommend, especially if you have enough whipped cream to make the cake even taller. Here’s a great crêpe recipe!

IMG_7061Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Hope you enjoy!

Lemon Buttercream Birthday Cake

Hi everyone! Today is a pretty special day…it’s the first time I tried this amazing cake recipe! Oh, it’s also my birthday today. In case you’re new, or you haven’t noticed, I love lemon. So what better occasion to try out a new lemon buttercream cake? I got this recipe from the Miette cookbook by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath. This book is amazing. But like last time, I can’t directly provide you with the exact recipe. I will, however, give you some similar recipes to that like the one I used. IMG_6916

The cake was called “hot milk cake”. Again, this is not the exact recipe I used, but here is a similar one.

I made two separate cakes in order to layer them. The next step was to create a lemon simple syrup, which I brushed over the tops of the two cakes to give it an extra lemony taste.

Finally, I made a lemon buttercream frosting. Now, the recipe from Miette is really light, fluffy and amazing, so I recommend purchasing the cookbook. I did find the recipe online, however, here.

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups unsalted butter, at room temp
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preparation
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook the mixture until it reaches 248 degrees F, 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a constant eye on it.

2. Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in the syrup, raise the speed to high, and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. When the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, immediately pour into a heat-proof measurer. Reduce speed to low and very carefully drizzle the syrup into the mixer bowl, away from the whisk so the hot syrup doesn’t spatter. Be careful because the syrup is very hot. When you have added all of the syrup, raise the speed to high and beat until the mixture is cool to the touch (an instant-read thermometer should register 65 to 70 degrees F), 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Only when the meringue is cool enough should you begin adding the butter. Reduce the speed to medium. With the mixer running, drop in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding another. The mixture may deflate and begin to look curdled. Raise the speed to high and continue to add tablespoon-size pieces of butter, making sure each is completely combined before adding more. When all of the butter has been added, the frosting should be smooth and thick. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Use the buttercream immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed. Store in a zippered plastic bag for up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. (To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight, not on the countertop.) To use buttercream that has been chilled, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, or microwave in 15-second intervals, mixing in between each, until soft. If frosting has been frozen, this can take up to 2 minutes total. You can also soften the buttercream over a bain-marie or a double boiler. The frosting will soften from the outer edges of the bowl so mix from the outside, folding the frosting inside. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until soft and spreadable, 2 to 3 minutes.

To make it lemon: Add three tablespoons of lemon curd, per cup of vanilla buttercream.

Next, I put extra lemon curd in between a layer of cake and some buttercream frosting. IMG_6915

I then placed the other cake on top and iced the entire thing, including the sides. This was honestly one of the best cakes I’ve ever tried–and I’ve tried my fair share of cakes. Hope you all enjoy!img_6919.jpg

A Mothers Day Cake

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Happy Belated Mothers Day! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day, I made a cake for my mom. It was a Lemon Angel Food Cake. I found the recipe confusing, but if you would like to try and decipher it, here it is:

Ingredients

1/2 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
1 cup(s) Sifted cake flour, not self-rising
2 cup(s) sugar
1 tablespoon(s) cake flour, not self-rising
2 tablespoon(s) finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 tablespoon(s) (Plus 1 teaspoon ) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon(s) finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
1 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
2 cup(s) water
12 large egg whites
6 lemons

To Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, with rack in lower third of oven. Sift flour and 1/2 cup sugar into a bowl.
Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add lemon zest and juice, cream of tartar, vanilla, and salt; continue whisking until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. With mixer running, gradually add remaining cup sugar.
Increase speed to medium-high; continue whisking until firm, not stiff, peaks form, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle whites with 1/3 of the flour-sugar mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold to combine. Sprinkle remaining flour-sugar mixture over whites in 2 additions; gently fold to combine.
Transfer batter to a 10-inch angel food cake pan with legs. Gently run a knife through the center of the batter to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, and invert onto its cooling legs (if your tube pan doesn’t have legs, invert it over the neck of a wine, or similarly shaped, bottle to cool); let cool, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Run a knife around the inner and outer edges of cake to remove. Invert onto a serving platter. (Use a knife to separate cake from bottom of pan.) Let cool on a wire rack. Unfrosted cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Make the lemon cream: Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk lemon juice, sugar, flour, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; whisk constantly for 1 minute, until it thickens. Transfer to a heatproof bowl set in ice-water bath to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk cream and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed until medium peaks form, about 3 minutes. Gently fold whipped cream into juice mixture in thirds. Refrigerate lemon cream, up to overnight.
Make the candied lemon-peel flowers: Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel 3 lemons to create 6 long strips (at least 5 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide). Remove pith from strips using a paring knife. Cut tops and bottoms off remaining 3 lemons; cut each in half lengthwise. Remove flesh. Cut out 6 flowers from the peels using a 2-inch flower-shaped cookie cutter and remove pith; cut indentations into petals for definition. Punch a hole in the center of each flower using a 1/4-inch plain round piping tip.
Add lemon-peel strips and flowers to the syrup. Gently simmer until translucent and tender, about 35 minutes. Remove peels from syrup using a slotted spoon, and transfer to a wire rack set over a parchment. Let dry slightly, about 30 minutes.
Trim strips to 5-inch lengths, and roll each to form centers of flowers; fit into flower holes and let stand on wire rack until slightly dry but still sticky, about 30 minutes.
Frost cake with lemon cream. Garnish with candied flowers. Serve.

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As I said, it is very confusing, but if you are able to understand it, I recommend it!

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I got the recipe here.

Ghost Pleasing Chocolate Cake

When I was younger, I used to read a story called, The Bake Shop Ghost, by Jacqueline K Ogburn It told a story about a baker, who made the best cakes ever. She eventually passed away and came back to haunt her bake shop. Whenever new bakers would come to use her bake shop, the ghost would come and tell them to get out of her kitchen! One day, a new baker comes and the ghost tells her to leave. The baker asks her, if she can make a cake that the ghost approves of, will the ghost let her stay and bake. The baker tries many recipes, and the ghost doesn’t think they are good enough. The baker does some research about the ghost and then, makes her one more cake. When the ghost sees it and tries the cake, it brings tears to the ghost’s eyes. The cake is delicious, and written on the top, is a Happy Birthday! The baker had discovered that, that day was the ghost’s birthday. The ghost lets the baker stay, and it is a very successful bake shop.

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On the last page of the story, there is a recipe called Ghost Pleasing Chocolate Cake. It includes the recipe and a frosting recipe. If you ever come across this book, I recommend checking it out! It’s a VERY delicious cake, one of my classmates even went as far as to say that it was the best cake she had ever tasted.

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It’s a very cute story, with a delicious recipe that I would recommend to everyone. It’s not too difficult to make and it makes a lovely, light, chocolate cake.

Chocolate cakes!

Hello everyone! Wow, it really has been a while hasn’t it? Sorry about that, there has been a lot going on lately but I’m going to try to be posting more regularly starting now.

In other news, my mom had a birthday a while ago and I thought I would show you a picture of the cake I helped decorate, unfortunately I don’t have the recipe, but this is what it looked like:

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It was a vanilla cake with a chocolate buttercream frosting.

I made another chocolate cake recently as well. I love this recipe it is super moist. I may have shared the cake recipe on this blog before, but if you haven’t seen it, take a look! It’s great! I got the recipe here!

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine

1 3/4 cups white sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

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For frosting a used a simple buttercream recipe! They were both pretty tasty!

Sponge Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Hey everyone! One of my favorite recipes when I was younger, was a strawberries and cream cake. It would be my birthday cake every year, and I loved it. I hadn’t had it in a while and I thought I would make something similar to it. So I decided to make my classmates a sponge cake with homemade whipped cream and strawberries.

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I’m going to be honest, the whipped cream was not my best, but I have a good excuse. The day I made it, my family had just finished hosting a birthday party, so our fridge was packed and I needed somewhere to keep my whipped cream cool for the next day. I thought a genius idea would be to put some plastic wrap over it and stick it outside because the weather was so cold. When I woke up the next morning and took at look at it, I saw that it was colder than I thought and part of it had frozen. I was able to revive it and it still tasted good, so here is the recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

The cake turned out quite well, even one of my classmates who isn’t extremely fond of cake kept begging me for another piece, so you should try out this recipe:

Original recipe makes 1 – 9×13 inch pan
4 eggs
2 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs for 4 minutes with electric mixer on high. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture.
In a sauce pan, bring 1 cup milk and 2 tablespoons butter to a boil. Add to batter and beat until combined.
Pour batter into 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
To make the frosting: In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, coconut, 6 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons milk. Heat and stir until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Put cake in the oven under the broiler and bake 3 to 4 minutes, or until icing is light brown.

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I then topped that off with some strawberries and it tasted somewhat similar to my favorite cake as a younger child.

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Thanks to Photographybyme for taking my amazing pictures!

Russian Tea Cakes

Hello everyone! First, let me start by wishing you all a Happy New Year! I know I’m a little late, but I hope you are all having a great start of 2014! I actually got the idea for this recipe from a friend of mine who made me some Christmas cookies. These are called Russian Tea Cakes and they are very tasty!

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Ingredients
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla then gradually add the 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, measure, then sift again with the salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. Add the pecans and mix well.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly using the bottom of a glass, then bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and roll in powdered sugar while still hot. Cool on wire racks and roll cookies again in powdered sugar before serving.

Once they are completely cooled, cookies may be stored in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

I highly recommend these. They are incredibly delicious!

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I got the recipe from here.

Sponge Cake!

Hello everyone! I’m sorry it’s been a while I have been pretty busy lately but I’m sure I will be back on track soon! So the other day, I made some sponge cake for my class. I had never seen a sponge cake in a bundt pan before but I decided to give it a try!

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My class really enjoyed this cake and I think you may as well, so here is the recipe:

Ingredients

Original recipe makes 1 – 9 inch tube cake

6 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Separate the eggs. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar gradually. Add water, lemon extract and lemon rind. Beat in flour.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Then add cream of tartar and salt. Beat mixture until whites are stiff, but not until they are dry. Fold this whipped mixture into yolk mixture.
Pour batter into an ungreased 9 inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for one hour, or until done.

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I highly suggest this recipe! It tastes great especially with strawberries!

Thank you to: http://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/glorious-sponge-cake/detail.aspx?evt19=1