Cakes

525,600 minutes measured in sweets

Well everyone, today my little blog is 525,600 minutes old +/- depending on what time you read this post. 😉

So, I thought it would be the perfect day to share with you how I measured this year:

“In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love.”

OK, enough with the mushy stuff… let’s celebrate!

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake
What better way to celebrate than with a slice of cake right? This cake was inspired by the little “TLC Cake Crew” image I proudly began displaying on my blog as of April.

Devil’s Food Cake
adapted from Baking Illustrated by the Editors Of Cook’s Illustrated

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plain cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate covered cocoa nibs (optional garnish)
9 large strawberries (optional garnish)

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess or spray them with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over it and whisk until smooth. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until combined for about 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium; add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, for about 10 seconds. On low speed start adding about 1/3 of the flour mixture then about 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, repeat and and with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Make sure you don’t over beat the batter.

Remove the bowl from the mixer; scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir gently to thoroughly combine.

Devils Food Cake Batter ready for the oven
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and smooth the batter to the edges of each pan with a rubber spatula. Place 2 pans on the lower middle rack and 1 on the upper-middle rack. bake the cakes until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-21 minutes.

Devil's Food Cake right out of the oven
Cool the cakes on a wire rack 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around each pan perimeter to loosen. Make sure the cakes have cooled off completely before you assemble the cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/4 cups Nutella
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
milk

Cream together the butter and shortening. Whisk together the cocoa and sugar, and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Finally add the hazelnut spread and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Hazelnut Crumb Coat
Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan heat up the heavy cream, make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Stir in the chocolate chips and whisk to combine. It’s ready to use once it has cooled down to room temperature.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

To Assemble
Place a thick layer of Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting between each layer of devil’s food cake. Then coat the entire cake with a thin layer of the frosting and place in the refrigerator to harden. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting the cake with a thick layer of frosting.

Place a ring of chocolate covered cocoa nibs on the base of the cake. Drizzle the cake with ganache starting from the center. Dip the strawberries in the ganache and place on top of the cake.

Snippit “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent, written and composed by Jonathan Larson

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Caffeine Spiked Tres Leches Cake

This past weekend we were invited to a surprise bithday party for a family member who is visitng from Australia.

Let me explain a little… the birthday boy who is a native Australian married my husbands niece a few years ago, they were living here in California until about six months ago, when he received a great job offer back in Australia, and he and his family decided to move back.

While here on vacation my niece decided to throw him a surprise birthday party and thanks to the Internet she was able to plan and organize the entire party while still in Austrlia.

Once she arrived in the US there were only a few loose strings she had to take care of. All in all the party was a HUGE success!

We weren’t planning on showing up to the party empty handed of course, and decided that dessert would be the perfect gift. Something he could enjoy right away and not worry about having to lugg back or pay excess luggage fees on.

OK, now take one good look at this pretty and innocent cake and be ready to experience it’s wrath. In it’s defense though, I will say it was SOOOOO worth it!

Here is a tiny glimps of what I had to clean up. It got so bad I had to stop whipping the eggs and cover my mixer with a towel until I finished beating them into submission.

Messy...
Coffee Three Milks Cake
from Dulce by Joseluis Flores

10 eggs
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons instant coffee
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup borghetti coffee liqueur

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
10 egg shells

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the eggs on high speed until they are thick and light in color, about 5 minutes. Continue beating and carefully pour sugar and instant coffee into the mixture. Beat for an additional 8 minutes, until the mixture has tripled in volume.

Sift the flour into the egg and sugar mixture, fold to combine making sure you don’t stir or beat, to prevent the eggs from deflating.

Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour batter into the pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes. Cake is done when the cake springs back when lightly pressed, and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool, with a toothpick or skewer pierce the cake over the entire surface, this will allow the milks to be soaked in throughout the cake.

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Whisk the milks, heavy cream and coffee liqueur together. Pour slowly over the entire cake. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the liquid has been completely absorbed. The cake will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

Warm heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once warm remove from stove and pour chocolate chips, whisk until chocolate chips have melted and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Whip mascarpone on medium until soft peaks form, be carefull not to overwhip. Carefully fold the chilled heavy cream and chocolate mixture into the mascarpone.

Coffee Whipped Cream

1 teaspoon gelatine
2 tablespoons hot water
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liquoure (such as Tia Maria)

Combine the hot water and gelatine, still well, and let it cool.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Pour cooled gelatine into the heavy cream mixture and whip to combine, then add the instant coffe powder, powdered sugar and coffee liquore. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Cake Assembly

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Carefully slice cake in half lengthwise place one slice over a serving platter. Pipe or with a spatula layer the chocolate mascarpone mousse over the top of the cake. Place the second layer of cake on top. With a spatula cover the cake with the coffee whipped cream.

Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Coffee Spiked Tres Leches Cake
Sorry I wasn’t able to take a better picture of the sliced cake, I quickly slid in to take the shot while it was being sliced.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake

This past Monday (Memorial Day) was our middle son’s 14th birthday.

The weather has been so beautiful these past couple of days that we just couldn’t resist a trip to the beach. We decided to get an early start and headed out knowing that it was probably going to get crowded later in the day.

Our first stop was Bonjour for breakfast, the birthday boy ordered french toast, my husband and his brothers all went with the ham, cheese and mushroom omelette, and I ordered the salmon crepes. Everything was delicious!

Breakfast at Bonjour in Dana Point
After breakfast, we drove a couple of miles down to the beach. The boys tossed around the football for a bit, we tried playing badminton but it was just too windy. I layed out on the beach and read a little while the boys braved the very cold Pacific – BRRRR. The only way I was going in was in a full wet suit.

Beach Time
Some people made sure they got the full beach experience, including bathing in what felt like ice cold water to me.

Fun in the sun
Later in the day we headed back home and rested a little then we washed up and got ready for dinner. The birthday boy chose our favorite local Sushi restaurant.

Everyone chose their favorites which included a rainbow roll, fresh oysters, a couple of snow drop rolls, seared ahi tuna, and an albacore garlic roll that was fantastic!

Birthday boy chose sushi for dinner
Once we were done with dinner, they dimmed the lights and brought out a softball sized Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream which was gone in a flash!

Birthday Dinner at Marui Sushi
After dinner we headed back home, sang Happy Birthday and ended the evening with a small slice of Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake.

Cake Time
Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake
The birthday boy’s favorite candy bar happens to be Butterfinger so while flipping through my cookbooks trying to decide what type of cake to make him, I came across “Peanut Butter Mousse with Milk Chocolate Chantilly, Peanut Brittle, and Chocolate Cake” in The Modern Cafe by Francisco J. Migoya and said aha! This is it!

I switched it up a little and kind of pieced together my own version of this amazing cake.

Peanut Butter Mousse
adapted from Stephanie’s Kitchen

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream(cold)
1 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the heavy cream and vanilla with a hand mixer whip until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator while you move on to the next step to keep the whipped cream chilled.

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, milk and peanut butter. With a hand mixer beat until smooth and creamy.

Place a 9″ x 6″ round ring mold over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. Pipe the chilled mousse into the mold and smooth top with an off-set spatula and freeze.

Refrigerate until very cold.

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Peanut Butter Mousse

Milk Chocolate Chantilly
adapted from The Modern cafe by Francisco J. Migoya

500 g heavy cream
160 g milk chocolate

Bring the heavy cream to a boil Pour over the chocolate blend until uniform then refrigerate. Once chocolate is cool enough beat until stiff peaks are formed. Pipe whipped cream into 9″ ring frame (I didn’t have a second ring frame so I used my 9″ tart pan which has a removable bottom), then top with chopped pieces of homemade butterfinger carefully pressing them down into the chantilly level off with an off-set spatula if necessary and freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Chantilly

Here’s the recipe for the Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Homemade Butterfinger Candy

Chocolate Cupcakes Cake
adapted from A Year In Chocolate by Jacques Torres

3 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a bowl combine the chopped chocolate and the cocoa powder. Pour the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

Chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

Add the brown sugar and continue to beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to beat just until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low and beat in the sour cream, and vanilla until blended.

Add the sifted flour and melted chocolate mixture in thirds alternating each one and beating only until combined.

115
Pour cake batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove pan from the oven and place over wire rack to cool. Cake can be frozen once cooled.

Chocolate cake

Cake Assembly
1/2 cup melted/tempered milk chocolate

When ready to assemble, remove the peanut butter mousse and the chocolate chantilly round from the freezer.

Place the frozen chocolate chantilly round on top of the peanut butter mousse with the candy pieces facing the mousse. (I made mine the other way around, but I think this would work even better)

Using the same size ring mold cut out a piece of the sheet cake and brush the top with tempered chocolate to create a thin layer. Then place the chocolate covered side of the cake facing the chantilly. This is will act as a bonding agent between the chantilly and the cake. Press the cake into the mold to avoid any air pockets and return to freezer.

When ready to serve allow cake to thaw out in the refrigerator for about 1 hour. Place your serving platter over the cake and flip, the ring should slide off easily.

Chocolate cake

Peanut Butter Extravaganza Cake

Josh

Final note, the birthday boy loved his cake! As did everyone else…

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Triple Layered Cake Pops

A couple of weeks ago while at the Food Blogger Bake Sale in LA, Rachael from La Fuji Mama shared with me a very touching story about a little boy and his dire need for a Miracle.

She was asked to organize a bake sale for this special event, which by the way is taking place this weekend in Corona, CA. Being that we are neighbors (well, we live in the same city) she coyly asked if I would like to help, I immediately said YES!

Well, here we are now, two days before the event and I’m so excited and have tons to do.
READ MORE >>

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Where has this month gone? I just cannot grasp the fact that one quarter of 2010 has now come and gone.

There are so many things I want to get done in Q2, and since I’m a bit of a procrastinator . I’m going to write a list of what I want to accomplish figure out a way to hold myself accountable.

It’s gotten so bad that as of today March 31st, I have yet to start the March Daring Bakers’ challenge an Orange Tian. I still plan on making it because I came up with a really good twist.

I wonder how “late” can a “late” post be?

See what I mean?

Hopefully I’ll get it started within the next few days. Sigh…

Well, I’ll leave you with these yummy Mini Coconut Rum Butter Cakes while I go sort out my thoughts.

First thought – Perhaps I have too much on my plate? Nahhh…



Coconut Rum Butter Cakes
adapted from Petite Sweets by Beatrice Ojakangas

Coconut Rum Butter Cake
Makes 6 Cakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 oz buttermilk
1 teaspoon coconut rum
3.5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, or powdered sugar (optional for garnish)

Coconut Rum Butter Cake Ingredients
Preheat oven to 325 F.

Silicone Mini Bundt Pan
Spray the mini-bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle a little desiccated coconut powder if desired.

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the buttermilk and coconut rum in a small measuring up and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

Coconut Rum Butter Cake Batter
Stir in the buttermilk mixture, then the flour and beat on low speed until the batter is smooth.

Silicone Mini Bundt Pan
Divide the batter equally between each mini-bundt. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the cakes feel firm when touched.

Coconut Rum Sauce
adapted from Petite Sweets by Beatrice Ojakangas

Coconut Rum Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons coconut rum

Combine the water, sugar and butter over medium-high heat.

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the rum.

While cakes are still warm pierce several times with bamboo skewers or a fork, and pour half of the rum sauce over them.

Remove from pans after cakes have cooled and spoon remaining sauce over cakes.

Before serving garnish with toasted coconut, sliced strawberries, or lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Coconut Rum Butter Cake

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