Cake

Almond Pistachio Cake with orange chocolate ganache and orange cream cheese frosting

This is a very special cake.  Not for the flavors, not for its looks, but for whom it was made.  My mother is visiting from India and my Dad drove in from MI, and, for the first time in decades, we celebrated my Mommy’s birthday with this cake.  I make cakes for pretty much everyone who is near and dear to me, but to make a cake for my mother…….well it has by far been the greatest joy of my life thusfar !

Cake

Chocolate chip cookie cake

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As the unofficial “birthday-cake-baker” in lab (a job that makes science failures bearable)– I present the first cake of the year.  My labmate is a big fan of cookies and so I made him a cake that paid homage to the all time classic, the chocolate chip cookie.  This cake may look “over-the-top” (not my words), but it is two layers of chocolate cake with a cookie dough filling in the middle.  It a mascarpone cream frosting, a chocolate ganache drizzle and crushed cookies on top.  I had fun making it, and my labmates enjoyed it.  I hope this inspires your next baking adventure !

Cake

Almond, Raspberry and Chocolate Torte

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INGREDIENTS

For the Cake
    • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch spring-form pan, with non-stick baking spray and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Spread almond flour on to parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet into the oven and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks, lemon zest, orange blossom water (if using) and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk together the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. This mixture will be very thick once incorporated.

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In a large stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium high speed until they start to increase in size. Once egg whites start to get fluffy, add a pinch of salt. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of white sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

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Fold egg whites into the almond mixture 1/2 cup at a time. The batter will start to lighten as you add more egg whites and eventually become light and airy. Transfer batter to the prepared spring-form pan and place into the oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

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Now comes the fun part of going crazy and assembling the cake !

Heat a jar of raspberry jam till its spreadable and make a box of white chocolate pudding according to the box instructions.  Set aside.

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Bake a box of brownies in 9X9 pan.  Cool and mix with half the raspberry jam and smush it into a 9″ round.

Now, go back to you almond cake and slice in half.  One half should be cut in half again.

Transfer the bottom layer back into the spring-form pan.  Spread raspberry jam and them some of the white chocolate pudding mix.

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Place the raspberry brownie layer ontop

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spread another layer of jam and pudding

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Top with the other half of the almond cake, remember that this half was split in two, so you should still have another half left.

Now spread nutella, yes nutella on this almond layer and top with the remaining half.

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Transfer the whole springform into the fridge and let it chill overnight.

Next day when you unmold it, all the layers will have set properly.

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So to recap the layers from bottom up. Cake, jam/pudding, brownie,jam/pudding, cake,nutella,cake.

Now cover in whipped cream. Decorate the sides with wafer cookies and top with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls.

Enjoy !

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Cake

Almond Torte with Figs and Mascarpone

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Another lab birthday calls for a another cake.  However, baking for a French man uped the ante, and I had to step up to the challenge !  I daresay it was a success.  Hopefully you will enjoy this cake too! Also, this cake is worth being my 200th post !

INGREDIENTS:

For The Cake:

1 Cup plain flour

1 Cup almond meal

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened

1 Cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar

3 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 Cup greek yogurt

For Icing:

250g mascarpone cheese

1/3 Cup cocoa powder, sifted

1/3 Cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 Cup heavy cream

Homemade Fig Butter (refer to previous post)

METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and then put to one side.

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3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then mix in vanilla extract.

5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add flour in three portions, alternating with two portions of greek yogurt. Mix until a few streaks of flour remain.

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6. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Smooth batter evenly in pans.

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7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cakes are lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

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8. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cakes. Transfer cakes from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

9. Whip mascarpone and powdered sugar until creamy.

10. Add heavy cream and whip to desired consistency.

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11. Take 1/3 of the mascarpone icing and put into a separate bowl, whip cocoa powder into it- this will form the middle layer in the cake.The remaining ‘plain’ mascarpone icing will form the top and sides of your cake.

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12. Once the cake has cooled completely, slice each cake in half and spread fig butter. then place one cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread the chocolate mascarpone filling on top ensuring it is smooth and level. Top with other cake (this was also sliced in half and spread with fig butter in between) So you will end up with fig butter, chocolate cream and fig butter between 4 layers of cake.

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13. Spread the plain mascarpone icing on the top and around the side as thickly or thinly as you like.

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14. Now the really fun bit- decorating the the cake. I added chocolate roses, sliced figs and blueberries.  I did some piping with the remaining chocolate mascarpone filling.

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Cake · Middle Eastern · Pastry

Persian Love Cake

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Cake

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 14 tablespoons baker’s sugar or superfine sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods)

Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 8oz of marscapone cheese
  • 1/4 cup honey

Filling

  • 2, 6 oz cups of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of ground pistachios

PREPARATION

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker’s sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.)

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For frosting:
Combine 1/2 cup cream, honey and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold.

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Beat remaining 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Beat until peaks form.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread greek yogurt and ground pistachios–you will have extra, save it and top your oatmeal with it. Top with second cake layer, flat side down.

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Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Garnish cake with strawberries

 

Cake

Black Forest Cake

 

Black Forest Cake.  My earliest memory of this cake is when my mother would go buy it from a bakery in Dallas for my father.  This is my father’s favorite cake.  That SAYS A LOT because when it comes to sweets he is a true Bengali man.  The only other “western” dessert he likes is a good almond biscotti. However, I did not make this cake for my dad this time around, I made it for my Swedish Boss’s birthday.  Now when bossman goes for a second piece of cake, you know its good.  So this post is about a cake I made for my boss but is dedicated to my father–just in time for Father’s Day !!!!    

This is what happens to frozen cherries when you cook it down with some sugar, lemon juice and a little bit of gelatin.  Feel free to use cherry preserves, but please DO NOT use that bright red cherry pie filling !

Simple box cake ! I went for the super rich, moist chocolate kind ! YUM!         This white concoction is coolwhip mixed with white chocolate pudding mix ! The pudding mix stabilizes the whipped cream and it makes it easier to pipe !

Cover cake with frosting, cover frosting with chocolate sprinkle !  If you are making this cake during the colder months, grate fresh chocolate and cover the cake.  I tried to do that, but my kitchen was too hot and the chocolate was melting !    

Pipe and decorate with with either fresh pitted cherries of drained and dried frozen cherries !          

NOW EAT CAKE !