Vanilla Madeleines!

IMG_7409I used to always beg my mother to buy me madeleines whenever she went out to get coffee. Who doesn’t love a nice little cake that you can just pop into your mouth? Anyway, I recently got a new madeleine tin and knew that I had to try it out for myself! These were incredibly easy, and a big success. I got the recipe from epicurious, be sure to check it out!
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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • Powdered sugar

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour pan for large madeleines (about 3 x 1 1/4 inches).* Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and brown, about 16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
  3. Dust cookies with powdered sugar.

IMG_7410Let me know if you give these a try, I 100% recommend them!

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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

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