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Tag Archives: cake

Berry Almond Breakfast Cake

9 Aug

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This cake is a doozy. I know that it may seem rather bold of me to begin diving right into the accolades here—jeez, lady, tell us how you really feel—but there is little more that I can say about this cake than this: it is perfect

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This is the cake that I want in my sticky little hands when I think of coffee cake. This is the cake that I want to see in front of me when I imagine a streusel-topped, berry-filled breakfast treat. This is exactly the type of cake that will make almond-phobes (no, really—those actually exist) do a complete 180 and finally come around to the realization that almond cakes are a delightful, delectable thing to behold.

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Not surprisingly, this cake recipe hails from the great repertoire of Tartine, the bakery that satisfies all of my bakery dreams and needs. (What? You don’t have bakery dreams and needs? Surely, I can’t be the only one who…okay, never mind—maybe I don’t want to know the answer to that) With a light almond flavor, a perfect, buttery crumb topping, and an almost hidden layer of berries baked into delicious secrecy inside, I can’t think of another coffee cake I’ve had that checks off all the delightful, delectable boxes that this one does.

And now I am going to stop talking, because you need to drop what you are doing and make this cake right now.

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Last Year: Niçoise Cobb Salad, Homemade Lemonade and Limeade and White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta

Berry Almond Breakfast Cake

Adapted from Tartine, by Elizabeth Prueitt

Crumble topping:

½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly firmer than room temperature

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

2/3 cup (3 ounces) almond meal or finely ground almonds

1/3 cup (about 2 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar

pinch of salt

Cake:

6 ounces of almond paste, or make your own almond paste by combining about ¾ of a cup (4 ounces) of blanched almonds with ½ cup (2 ounces) of powdered sugar and blending together in a food processor until the mixture becomes very fine and just starts to clump together

¾ cup (about 5 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar

¾ cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature.

1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, at room temperature

½ pint (about 5 ½ ounces) fresh berries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

To make the crumble topping, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on high speed until creamy. Add flour, almond meal, sugar, and salt and mix only until all of the ingredients are incorporated. You do not want a smooth mixture; it should still have a crumble appearance. If you overmix it, cover it and chill it for  about 1 hour, and then break it into crumble-sized pieces. Place the topping aside.

To make the cake, place the almond paste (or your own almond and confectioners’ sugar mixture) in the large bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until the paste is broken up. Add the granulated sugar and gradually increase the speed to medium. Continue to mix until there are no lumps. Add the butter and mix until creamy, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spatula. On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and eggs all at once, then increase the speed to medium and mix just until everything is combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Top with berries, distributing it evenly over the surface, and then add the crumble topping, scattering it evenly over the top of the berries. (At this point you can cover the assembled cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. The next morning, remove the cake from the refrigerator and leave it out at room temperature for about 45 minutes before baking.)

Bake the cake until the crumble topping is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into a non-fruity part of the cake reveals a completely cooked, non-runny cake. Tartine’s cookbook says that this will take 40 minutes to accomplish, but my cake was not done until it had baked for 60 to 70 minutes (at 40 minutes the batter was still incredibly runny). My advice to you is to check the cake at 40 minutes, then, if it’s not done, continue to bake it, checking on it every 10 minutes or so to gauge its doneness.

Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve the cake directly from the pan. You will not be able to reliably remove it without completely destroying the cake.

Serves 8 to 12 people.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting

10 May

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One of the most enjoyable parts of my Go Mighty goal of making 50 cakes for 50 people is the constant experimentation I am allowed to engage in, all in the name of cake-making. If I see a cake that looks interesting, I now feel as though I have a perfectly legitimate excuse for making it, whereas before…all right, so still I would have made it before I started on my cake journey, but at least now I get to give the cakes to people instead of just sitting around in my kitchen with a fork, eating cake for breakfast. This is the part where I should probably say something about how people should not be eating cake for breakfast. Moving on.

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This chocolate frosting was the topper for a chocolate and vanilla marble cake (much like this cake, but with plain milk subbed in for coconut milk) that I made a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to drizzle something over the top of the cake, but whipping up a simple glaze just didn’t seem to fit the feel of the cake. Because the cake is so light, I thought a glaze might end up making the cake a bit spongy, or, on the other end of the spectrum, when it sat a while it might form a bit of a crust, which would definitely be at odds with the delicate crumb of the cake. Does this sound like too many concerns to have for a cake? Because when I typed that just now, it seemed like I was maybe overthinking things a bit too much. It’s a cake, after all. It will taste good, glaze or no glaze.

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But! Why not make the cake taste great? And there it is, my friends. The very thing that makes me do things like audition chocolate frostings until I find one that is fit to be paired with one of my favorite cakes. This frosting, so intensely chocolaty, is more akin to a sauce than a standard finish for a cake. Lightly spooned over the top of any cake, it drapes beautifully down the sides and sets up like a dream. I imagine that this frosting/sauce would taste incredible over some vanilla bean ice cream, but, in a turn of events that shocks no one more than me, I haven’t yet tried that particular combination. Can I trust one of you to get on that and then report back to me on the results? If nothing else, it’s a great excuse to make some of this frosting/sauce. Not that you need an excuse (said the lady who is about to step away from the computer and make more cake).

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Last Year: Two of my all-time favorite recipes on this site– Rice Noodle Salad (Bún) with Vietnamese Turkey Meatballs and Coconut Lime Frozen Yogurt and Chewy Ginger Cookie Sandwiches (the best ice cream sandwich I have ever eaten in my whole life)

Bittersweet Chocolate Frosting

1/3 cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

½ cup milk (I used 1%)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

In a small or medium saucepan set over low heat, stir together the sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly drizzle in the milk, stirring as you do so, taking as much time to add the milk as you please so that the mixture does not clump together. Increase heat to medium, then stir the mixture constantly until it just comes to a boil. Reduce heat just a tad, then continue to stir mixture for another 2 minutes while it just barely simmers, producing just a bubble or two at the surface every few seconds.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, then stir in the vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the chopped chocolate and stir until completely smooth. Allow the frosting to cool completely before frosting a cake. If you are planning on drizzling some of this over some ice cream or profiteroles, it need not be completely cooled (in fact, slightly warm might be a preferable temperature in those instances).

Makes about 1 cup of frosting or sauce, enough to frost 1 bundt cake or lightly spread over the top and middle of 1 double-layer 8-inch cake (but don’t plan on using it to frost the sides—this is strictly a drizzling or draping type of frosting).

Coconut Cake with Orange Cream Frosting

18 Apr

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It is with very little fanfare that I present this delicious cake to you without any accompanying photos, sans the one you see above. You see, I did not initially plan on sharing this cake with you all. This was a cake made for a birthday, and I went about creating it with simply the desires of the birthday person in mind, and not the requirements of a certain food-based website in mind. I baked it like I used to bake everything: without a camera at the ready.

And yet, please believe me when I tell you that this cake, this burst of coconut delight and citrusy cream, is one of the best cakes I have ever made. The yogurt and extra egg whites in the cake make for an especially light crumb, and the surrounding cloak of orange zest infused whipped cream provides the perfect amount of decadence without any element of heaviness. It’s what I always tend to think of as a grown up cake, meaning, the type of cake that a child would reject in a second (and, in this case, most did), but an adult would welcome with open arms (and open mouth). No matter, of course. Whatever the kids don’t eat, that just leaves more for the rest of us.

Last Year: Honey Cream, Strawberry, and Chocolate Pizza and Vegetable Pakoras

Coconut Cake with Orange Cream Frosting

Coconut Cake

2 ¼ cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Orange Cream Frosting

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1 large orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms of the pans with rounds of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, or in the bowl of stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 60 seconds. Slowly add the sugar, and beat together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. One at a time, add the egg, then the egg whites, beating about 15 seconds in between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if things resist mixing together. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then beat in the yogurt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the coconut milk. Add in the last of the flour mixture, then mix until just combined. Beat in the coconut until just incorporated, about 10 seconds. You don’t want to overmix the cake batter, so use a gentle hand with all the incorporating of the ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 22 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.The cakes will be done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of a cake emerges somewhat clean, with just a crumb or two attached.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to continue cooling completely.

To make the frosting, in a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the cream on high speed until it just begins to thicken. Drizzle in the powdered sugar, then vanilla, and continue to beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Add in the orange zest, and beat in until just combined. You can beat the cream until it forms firm peaks, as I did here, if you will need the cake to sit for a bit before eating it. However, if you will be eating the cake right away, and the cream will not be in danger of weeping, I’d go for light and soft peaks in the whipped cream.

When the cakes have cooled completely, frost with orange cream frosting as you would any other two-layer cake.

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