Archive | July, 2011

If Life Gives You Lemons…

28 Jul

Make this lemon cake! It’s chock full of great, fresh, lemon flavor. I made this for a special birthday and the recipients absolutely loved it! It’s pretty easy to make too, and clearly comes with great results!

Lemon Cake

  • 1/4 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c, granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 . grated lemon zest (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt or loaf pan.

Cream the butter and 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over the cake. Allow  to cool completely.

For the glaze,  combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cake and allow the glaze to drizzle  down the sides.

Enjoy!

Give Me Cake, or Give Me Death.

10 Jul

This is the type of cake that makes you change your mind. Your co-workers birthday party? No thanks. Your co-workers birthday party with this double chocolate layer cake? Yes. Please. Your bratty neighbors bar-mitzvah? No thanks. Your bratty neighbors bar-bitzvah with this double chocolate layer cake? Yes. Please.

I rest my case.

This cake is insane. It’s moist, rich, decadent, mouth-watering, awe-inspiring. Granted, I messed up my first attempt (which actually wasn’t a mess-up because it turned into the delicious cake pops) but I learned my lesson. Follow the recipe, put wax paper on the bottom of your cake pan, voila! If your into making cakes, this is just one of those recipes that you HAVE TO TRY. You’ll be happy you did. I added a raspberry filling, but you can just keep it chocolate on chocolate and it’s still delicious!

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 3 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate (around 72%)
  • 1 1/2 c. hot brewed coffee
  • 3 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 300 degrees and prepare baking pans by greasing with butter, covering the bottoms with wax paper, and greasing with butter again.

Finely chop the chocolate and mix with the hot coffee. Let mixture sit and stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. (It is important to sift if your cocoa powder and/or flour is lumpy. Once combined with the other ingredients, it will make your batter lumpy and you’ll end up over-mixing if you try to get rid of the lumps. Sift first! )

In another bowl, using an electric mixture, beat the eggs until light colored and slightly thickened, about 3 – 5 minutes. Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, chocolate mixture, and beat until combined.

Add the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. You can finish mixing with a spatula if any flour remains on the side of the bowl.

Divide batter evenly between the pans, place in the center rack of your oven, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. About 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min.

Cool layers completely in the pans on a wire rack. When cool, run a knife around the edges to release the cake from the pan. Invert the pans onto racks and carefully remove the wax paper from the bottom side.

*This is optional, but I placed the two layers in the freezer over-night and then cut them in half to make 4 separate layers. The raspberry filling makes a lot, so it was good to have multiple layers to spread it between!*

Makes 2 10-inch layers

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 1 lb. good quality semi-sweet chocolate (around 52%)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Finely chop the chocolate. In a 1 1/2 to 2 quart pot, bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate, whisking until the chocolate is melted. Cut the butter into a few pieces and add to the mixture. Whisk until smooth.

Raspberry Filling

  • 2 10 oz. bags frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

Puree the raspberries in a food processor. Heat the puree, sugar, and cornstarch in a small pot while stirring constantly. Heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Let it cool completely before spreading between the cake layers.

Enjoy!

Once Ya Pop, Ya Can’t Stop!

7 Jul

Cake Pops!

What a brilliant idea for when you totally screw up a recipe. Or I mean, when you purposely not grease the pan enough leaving the cake to come out in pieces. Either way, my cake coming out in pieces over the weekend was a blessing in disguise. I finally got a chance to make these cake pops and people LOVED them! Everyone wins!

Cake pops are super easy too. All you do is crumble your baked cake, mix it with frosting, roll it into balls and freeze, and then dip them into melted chocolate/white chocolate/whatever goes well with your flavor of cake.

Shazam! Now go screw up a cake so that you, too, can be rewarded with cake pops!

Enjoy!