Category Archives: Cakes

Halloween Petite Cakes with a spin

img_5287Who wants to see another pumpkin head cake.  NOT ME!

For this cake you can use any of my cake recipes or any of your own. Just make sure to chill your cake and crumb coat it before frosting it as you don’t want your cake to crumble.

I used the following recipe

Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups raw sugar

For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. I added blue coloring to half of the batter. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

DSC_0024Here are the springform pans I used. It’s important to spray them with easy release prior to placing batter in them.

While the cake is baking go ahead and mix all of the frosting ingredients. I usually add milk as needed in order to get a spreadable crumb coat for the cake.

For the frosting:
7 Cups confectioners sugar
2 Cups Butter
2 Tablespoons princess flavoring
2 Tablespoons Milk for second coat of frosting

img_5243Once your cakes have cooled you can place a layer of frosting or filling in between your cakes. I happened to have some Pumpkin butter in my fridge and use it. After all it’s fall.

img_5245Yes, you need to crumb coat your cakes. The greatest mistake I see is people saying I can’t frost a cake.  Yes you most certainly can.  You need to crumb coat them first and place them in the fridge then add your smooth layer.

img_5248From here you will decide what shades you want to use.  I am working with several shades of gray and a purple for Halloween Glamour look.

img_5254No that your cake is out of the fridge yo are going to place large globs of different shades around your cake like this.  Then smooth them with your spatulas that are sitting in hot water.

img_5249The warm water will allow you to smooth your sides and top of cake.

img_5264These are the tips I have chosen for the flowers on top the cakes.  These Russian Tips make your life very easy.  You will need  a large pastry bag since these are the larger tips.

img_5257Then you simply start squeezing out flowers.  I did a total of four cakes and would go back and fourth between the cakes to use up the gray shades then worked with purple flowers.

img_5256If you make a mistake you simply squeeze another flower on top.

img_5287Here is the end result and I think they’re adorable.  Spooky shades yet attractive.  Also you won’t feel the need to eat a huge cake.

 

 

Marla’s Moist Chocolate Cake

DSC_0074One of my girlfriends was asking about moist cakes the other day.  This is another great dark chocolate moist cake.  I am dedicating it to her.  Hope you like it Marla!

What you will need:

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1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups raw sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup strong hot coffee

Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes in two round pans.

IMG_1124Mix your flour, baking soda, salt and dark cocoa powder together in a  bowl and set aside.

IMG_1126In your mixer place your raw sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix well.

IMG_1128Then add your dry ingredients.

IMG_1131Once your batter is blended well add your hot coffee.

IMG_1133Now pour your batter into two well greased round pans. Your batter will be runny.

Once your cakes come out of the oven allow them to cool.  Then apply a crumb coat with the frosting recipe below.

For your frosting you will need:

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6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp princess extract (feel free to use a different flavor)
2 tsp meringue powder

Once your cake has come out of the fridge and the crumb coat is hard you can began frosting and decorating.

DSC_0069I’ve had these Russian tips laying around that were ideal for Marla’s cake.  I started with pink chances are she likes the color, me I can’t stand it!  LOL

DSC_0083Since I don’t like pink I added Orange because Marla is always happy, she’s reminds me of what it would be like if sunshine had legs and smile!

DSC_0093Marla also wouldn’t be described as one type of flower so I added three types.

DSC_0096Then I finished it off with a leaf tip #70 wilton tips.

DSC_0075I hope you like your cake Marla, I can tell you that it was delicious!

Lemongrass Ginger Cake with Hazelnuts

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INGREDIENTS
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 cups raw sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake four
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons lemongrass  extract ( see directions in frosting area below on how to make ginger and lemongrass extract)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.

Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.

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Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs and extract  one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.

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Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

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Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.

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Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven.

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Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

 

 

For the frosting:

1½- to 2-inch length of fresh ginger

5-6 stalks of lemongrass

1 tablespoon vodka

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ cup water

¼ cup light corn syrup

2 egg whites

1 cup toasted hazelnuts

1. If you can find ready-puréed ginger and lemon grass, press them through fine sieves to get ¼ to ½ teaspoon juice each. If you can’t find the ready-puréed kind, follow this procedure using the first three ingredients: Place chunk of peeled ginger and bottom stalks of ginger in  food processor (checking the blades from time to time to make sure that they haven’t gotten fouled and are still running free) until it looks like lawnmower clippings with no solid chunks, about 3-4 minutes.

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Add the vodka and process a few seconds longer, then strain out asmuch liquid as you can.

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Set the juices aside.

DSC_00812. Place the sugar, salt, cream of tartar, water, corn syrup and egg in top portion of double boiler.

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3. Pour 3 or 4 cups of water in the bottom of the double boiler and bring it to a boil over high heat. When it is at full boil, set the top of the double boiler over it and beat continuously with a hand-held mixer at top speed (about 12 minutes) until the beaters form deep sculptural folds in the frosting, the sheen has begun to fade, and the frosting forms firm peaks when the beaters are removed.DSC_0097

4. Remove the top of the double boiler and beat the frosting at high speed off heat for 1 minute. Beat in the ginger and lemongrass juices to taste.

5. Layer and frost your cake

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6. I torched the icing to add to the color of the hazelnuts

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7. Toast hazelnuts for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool and place on cake.

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This cake has a subtle lemongrass flavor and is nice and moist.

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oops M&M Cake

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Let’s Bake and Make this cake!

For this cake you can use any of my cake recipes or any of your own. Just make sure to chill your cake and crumb coat it before frosting it as you don’t want your cake to crumble.

I used the following recipe cake wise

Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
Blue coloring for half of batter

M &M’s for decorating 1 large bag and 1 small

For the frosting:
7 Cups confectioners sugar
2 Cups Butter
2 Tablespoons princess flavoring
2 Tablespoons Milk for second coat of frosting

For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. I added blue coloring to half of the batter. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Here are the springform pans I used.

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While the cake is baking go ahead and mix all of the frosting ingredients.  I usually add milk as needed in order to get a spreadable crumb coat for the cake.  Yes you need to crumb coat your cakes.

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Now throw it in your fridge for at least 45 minutes to ensure you cake and frosting will tolerated you giving it a final coat.

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This is a simple and forgiving cake.  Don’t worry about getting all of the lines out of the cake.  People are too interested in the floating m&m bag to notice your imperfections.

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Start adding your M&M’s to your cake in a triangle flow pattern.  Place additional frosting along the bottom of your cake plate to hold M&M’s on the bottom.   Now throw back in the fridge for around 30 minutes.

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Take an m&m bag and slice the back open.  EAT M&M’s!  Tape 3 skewers to your empty bag.

Remove cake from fridge and slide into center of cake.  Now coat your skewers with frosting and place your final m&m’s on your cake. Now once again place back in your fridge until your ready to unveil your creation.  This cake is so simple and forgiving anyone can and should do this.  If you have someone that lives skittles use skittles. Can you use a mix cake? Yes you can.

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Enjoy!

Moist New Year’s Eve Cupcakes (rich chocolate, zucchini and coconut)

These cupcakes are so moist and delicious.  You have to make these!!!!

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For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil, cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Coconut Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2  teaspoons princess extract

Let’s get these in the oven and in your belly

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1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place cupcake holders on parchment paper covered cookie sheets.  You could also make a cake vs. cupcakes.  

2. In a large bowl, wnisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and mix until combined.

4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, coconut, and chocolate chips. Your batter will be thick do not be alarmed by this.

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5. Bake the cupcake for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcake from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack. I allowed mine to cool overnight.

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6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the princess frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the coconut and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

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Frost the cooled cupcakes however you choose. Since it’s New Year’s Even I chose swirl and flower wilton tips.  Sprinkle decorations over the top of the cupcakes. EAT,EAT,EAT!

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Cardamom Chocolate Pear Cake

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This cake is incredibly moist, and taste even better the 2nd day.

  • 1¾ cups whole grain pastry flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

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Directions
Preheat the oven to 375F or 350F if you have a convection oven . Lightly oil a 2 , 8 inch rounds . Line the pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended.

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The mixture will be runny, don’t worry.

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Line the bottom of the cake pan with the pears in a circular design. Pour the batter on top of the pears. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Place on a rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen them. Invert the pan onto a plate. Using the handle of a knife, vigorously tap the top of the pan, even shaking it a bit, to loosen the cake. Leave the pan over the cake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and let the cake cool completely.

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Here are the 2 rounds this recipe made.

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Espresso Cake with Raspberry Filling

 

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Make sure you butter your pans…I would also recommend parchment paper so your cake won’t stick.

 

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 Tablespoons raw sugar

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.

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In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.

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With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

For Filling:

Mix cream cheese and whipping cream in mixer for 4 minutes.  Take off mixer and slowly fold in raspberries and 3 tablespoons of raw sugar.

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Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the raspberry filling with about a 1 inch gap from outer edge.

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Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

 

Chocolate Frosting:

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

 

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In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes.

 

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Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Frost your cake you are done…

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Grab a fork and enjoy!

Oh my Strawberry Cake!

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INGREDIENTS
For the berries:
2 pints strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 medium lemon)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

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Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
Center filling:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the frosting:
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons raw  sugar
3 cups heavy cream

Additional berries for top are optional.

INSTRUCTIONS
For the berries:
Combine all ingredients in a medium nonreactive mixing bowl and toss to thoroughly coat strawberries. Let macerate at room temperature at least 20 minutes before using.
Strain macerated berries and reserve syrup separately.

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For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.

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In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
For the filling:
Combine mascarpone cheese and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
For the frosting:
Place the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Combine vanilla extract, sugar, and heavy cream in the chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour. (The frosting can be prepared up to 12 hours ahead.)
To assemble:
Using a long serrated knife, trim the tops of the cakes as necessary so they are level. Place cake rounds on a clean, dry surface and, using a pastry brush, brush 1/2 of the reserved strawberry syrup on the cut side of the first cake round; repeat on the cut side of the second cake round.
Evenly spread 1/4 of the mascarpone filling over the cut side of the bottom cake layer. Arrange strawberries standing upright, stem end down, over the mascarpone layer and trim as necessary to create an even layer. Cover berries with the remaining filling, being sure to fill in any empty space.

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Place second cake layer over mascarpone and strawberries, cut side down, pressing gently to secure it. Using an offset spatula or a long, thin spatula, spread 3/4 cup of the frosting in a thin layer over the top and sides of the cake. Return remaining frosting and cake to the refrigerator until frosting on cake is set, about 15 minutes.
Spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides of the cake. Cut another two pints of strawberries and work from the middle out in  circular motion.

When ever possible I try to use raw sugar and organic dairy.  Your cake will be fine without doing this it’s just a personal choice that I made many years ago.

If you cannot find mascarpone at your grocers you can use cream cheese here’s a basic cheat link http://www.ehow.com/how_7772657_substitute-cream-cheese-mascarpone.html

This is a beautiful cake: not overpowering at all.  The only thing I would change is probably brushing the top strawberries with  syrup as well.   

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Hawaiian Macadamia Turtle Cake

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Who doesn’t love Hawaii.  This cake blends all of the flavors that make you long to place your toes in the sand and soak up the sun.

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/8 cups raw sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk

Preheat oven to 275°. This is a low and slow cooking cake

Grease and flour your pans.

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In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

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In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the coconut milk.

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Stir in banana mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.

Pineapple Curd filling:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 TSP Cornstarch

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This curd is very simple.  Measure out your ingredients and wisk well  until there are no pieces of cornstarch visible.  Boil for 3 to 5 minutes and cool.  I placed mine in a squeezable bottle but this is not necessary.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Buttercream:

  • 3/4 unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Take your roasted macadamia nuts and place them in a blender  blend until it breakdown into a grainy butter then add the rest of your room temperature butter.  From here you will place your butter in your mixer and beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy. If you butter starts to melt from the chocolate being to warm just wait and come back after it has a chance to cool.  It will recover.

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Crumb coat your cake.  This doesn’t have to be pretty it just ensures that you cake will hold your pretty layer of frosting.

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Now place some of your frosting in a ziploc bag and cut the corner off.  You will place four dots about the size of quarters down the side of the cake and take the back of tablespoon and drag it to make this wave like design.  I believe there is a better example of this on Lucy’s cake that made on this blog last month.  Just search under my cakes and you will find the step by step process.

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Now you will fill the center with your pineapple curd and place macadamia nuts around the edge of the cake.  This is simple and helps hide your flaws.

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I used a turtle cookie cutter to create the turtle center but this isn’t necessary.  You could just sprinkle the nuts on top of top it off with fresh pineapple or cherries.

FYI this buttercream will not be as soft and silky as s standard buttercream due to the macadamia nuts being mixed in however you will forgive them.

 

Old fashion yellow cake with ganache and marionberry

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When we first purchased our home in Portland back in the mid 90’s we couldn’t get rid of those darn Marionberry vines.  We would cut them, dig them and even contemplated poisoning them.  Then I started baking with them and we realized how crazy we had been.  

This is the old fashion yellow cake that your grandparents ate it is mellow in flavor and the ganache is intense.  I added the marionberry to balance it out.

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks/342 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) nonfat buttermilk

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • 12 ounces (340 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (240 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup (140 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marionberry sauce:

  • I pint marionberry
  • 1/2 cup sugar

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For the cake:

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement beat sugar and butter for 3 to 4 minutes.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla just until combined. On low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and mix just until incorporated. Scrape the bowl and paddle again, then beat on medium speed for 20–30 seconds, or until the mixture is homogeneous.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. On the lowest speed, add about one-third of the flour mixture to the egg-butter mixture and mix just until barely combined. Immediately pour in about half of the buttermilk and continue to mix on the lowest speed until the buttermilk is almost thoroughly incorporated. Add the rest of the buttermilk and mix just until combined.

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Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.

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Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the cakes spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool completely in the pans on wire racks.

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For ganache frosting:

While the cake layers are cooling, put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, scald the cream over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 1 minute, then slowly whisk together the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 1–2 hours, or until competely cool.

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Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the butter on medium-low speed for 10–15 seconds, or until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and smooth. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. On medium speed, add the cooled ganache and beat for about 2 minutes, or until completely combined. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn up the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute, or until the frosting lightens in color and thickens. As the air is whipped into the ganache it will lighten in color.  You should have about 4 cups

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For the Marionberry sauce:

Throw Marionberries in small sauce pan with sugar and reduce by ½ then allow to cool.  You can use any jelly if you don’t have fresh fruit.  Orange would be a great addition to this chocolate ganache.

Remove the cooled cakes from their pans.

Using a long, serrated knife, trim the top of each cake to level it (the layers will have rounded a bit in the oven; the trimmed scraps make great nibbles). Place one cake layer on a cake plate or cake pedestal (if you have a revolving cake stand, use it). Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting on top and use an offset spatula to spreada it evenly to the edges.

Carefully place the second cake layer, top-side down (so the even, sharp edges will be on the top of the finished cake), on top. Spoon about 1 cup of the frosting on top and spread it over the top and down the sides of the cake, smoothing the frosting as well as you can and covering the entire cake with a thin layer. This is the crumb coat that will keep any loose crumbs from migrating to the surface of the finished cake. Spoon a heaping cup of frosting on top of the cake, and spread it evenly across the top and down the sides.

Now grab a large spoon and work spin outwards on the top of our cake with the frosting to make the swirl.  Then you will take the largest serving fork you have and spin the cake with the fork tongs dragging the sides.  I bet you were most concerned with frosting the cake!  See how easy it can be.

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