Monday, June 16, 2008

June news

Oklahoma Sugar Art show and Wedding cake competition, does that ring a bell?
If not, wait until October 2008 and I'll show you what I am talking about :-)
I really REALLY and I mean R-E-A-L-L-Y hope to go! If I do, I'll provide you guys with updates and pictures :-) I promise!
If anyone per chance has love for cakes and is going too- leave me a comment, maybe we can exchange information!

Now, no to keep you in the dark, I am working on perfecting my bagels! I've been doing this for couple of weeks, they are still not the perfect ones I wish to make! But I am getting there, no worries! Once I do, I'll post step by step instruction and pictures. Until now, all my neighbours are very happy I continue with the experiments :-)

Another thing I started is promoting the idea of a cake challenge at the Bulgarian forum I am a member of. It is going to be in July and I will keep you posted with news and pictures of the stuff I make.

Until then, I am keeping busy busy, busy and " thinking Bee" ( by the way great movie " the bee movie" !) !

Have a nice summer!

Friday, June 13, 2008

An old recipe with a new flare to it!

This is a recipe I've used for Kalin's famous Buzz Lightyear cake, but we liked it so much, that after more than a year, I decided to make it for Ellie's Tinkerbell as well.
The difference is, that this year I shot step-by-step while I was making it, so here it is now with the corrections and changes.

The original recipe for this cake ( Heavenly Devil's food cake) is again from Christopher Kimball's " The dessert bible".

- First make sure that all ingredients are room temperature! It is extremely important!
- Preheat the oven at 350F. The original recipe calls for three 8 inch cake pans but I needed a 9"/11" sheet cake pan( both for Ellie's Tinkerbell and Kalin's Buzz Lightyear cake, so I double the recipe. Cover the bottom of each pan you use with a piece of parchment paper.
Ellies3rd Bday cake001


( Note: this is the original recipe, not the doubled one! If you want to use it in a sheet cake pan, double the ingredients! If you are going to use it in three 8 inch cake pans- use it as is!)

1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 pound ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1. Stir in the boiling water, chocolate and cocoa together and reserve.
If for some reason ( like if your chocolate is to coarsely chopped) you can't melt the chocolate with boiling water, you can use a Bain Marie ( water bath) to do that. Then gradually add the boiling water and cocoa.
Ellies3rd Bday cake004

2. Combine the dry ingredients- flour,salt, baking soda and sift together.
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3. Beat the softened butter on medium high for 1 minute.Ot's supposed to look creamy as on the picture. No lumps allowed!
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4. Add the brown sugar, vanilla and beat until fluffy. You can still see the pieces of sugar, but it's creamy!
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5. Add one egg at a time and beat on high for 30 seconds. Be very careful with the last egg you add, you might want to beat it in less than 30 sec, since sometimes ( depending on the size of the eggs) it can be too much on the butter and you risk to overwork it. Add the sour cream( I prefer it tan yogurt and beat until well combined on medium speed. Be sure to scrape the bowl often! ( I apologize for the pictures here, but unfortunately I forgot to turn on the flash :-(

Ellies3rd Bday cake012

6. Add half of the chocolate mixture to the cake batter( be sure to stir well before you add it) and half of the dry ingredients. Beat on low or even stir and then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl and continue to stir by hand ( just folding).

Ellies3rd Bday cake020

7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes( if you make a sheet cake I would double that, but check it around 40 min), as you rotate the pans halfway through. When it is ready, let it cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes. Then release the edges with a knife and turn it over on the cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely before you start working with it.

Ellies3rd Bday cake021

If you are going to sculpt a cake you might want to freeze the layers before shaping.

I'll post the Tinkerbell pictures a little bit later :-)

/>You can check the recipe for the all purpose lemon cake here.

The long overdue cake recipes

I know, I know...It has been almost a month since I promised to post the recipes for the cake layers of the Buzz Lightyear cake.
Now tonight, even if I am half asleep, I'll post them!
I used 2 basic recipes - a Devil's food dark chocolate cake layer and All purpose yellow lemon cake. Both are from the book of Christopher Kimball " The dessert bible". You probably got tired of me singing him praises, but what can I do?! He is just unbelievable! I had never tried a better tasting layers in my entire life! The lemon one was moist, rich and the lemon flavor exploded in your mouth, but the chocolate one...Gosh, just by thinking of is mouth watering! Rich chocolate flavor and so moist, that I bet you have never tried a better one!

First make sure that all ingredients are room temperature! It is extremely important! I finally bought a digital thermometer and I am sooo happy with it!
Next thing, preheat the oven at 350F.
Grease two 9 inch cake pans and cover the bottom of each pan with a circle of parchment paper. Now, for the Buzz Lightyear I used recipe and a half and baked it at 9"/11" rectangular pan.

Master Recipe for All-Purpose Yellow lemon cake

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons ( 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still firm ( 58-65 F)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon ( or more) lemon zest

Mix the dry ingredients together.
In a mixer bowl stir the butter, then gradually add the sugar , beat around 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating on high speed for 30 seconds. Now at this point if your butter looks grainy- it is too cold! It has to be room temperature! The batter has to be smooth!
After all of the eggs are beaten in. beat for 1 more minute. Add one third of the flour and the milk and beat on LOW speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon, then the remaining flour and milk. Scrape the bowl and continue to mix by hand. Divide the batter between the 2 pans and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.
When the layers are ready, take them out of the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes and then take them out. At this point I left them to cool down completely, then I wrapped in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. It is so much easier to work with frozen layers!!!
And that's it :-) Sorry I don't have a better picture of it, but you can get the idea.

The recipe for the Devil's food cake follows.

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