Cake

Chocolate Orange Charlotte

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This is a special farewell and birthday cake all rolled into one.  The post-doc in our lab is leaving after 6 years and another labmate was celebrating the big 3-0 birthday, so the cake had to be special.  Chocolate and Orange pair wonderfully; infact, it is my mother’s favorite and incorporated it into her birthday cake last year.  The recipe requires several ingredients,  but I used store-bought short-cuts to help me.   I hope this cake stuns your table as much it did mine !

Ingredients:

Store chocolate cake mix (and eggs and oil, all the things that you will need to make the batter)

Orange marmalade

Chocolate mousse mix and milk to make the mousse

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2 dozen soft lady fingers ( you will not need all of them, but having extras is good)

Cannoli Filling (refer to either Chocolate Cannoli Cupcakes or Cannoli Cup recipes I have)

Method:

Bake the cake according to the package directions.  I used some of the batter to make 6 cupcakes  and saved the rest of the batter to make 2, 9″ rounds.  Allow to cool completely.  The cake layers can be made upto three days in advance.  Make sure to wrap and store the layers in a cool dry and dark place.

Heat an entire jar of orange marmalade in a saucepan.  Once the jam thins, strain through a sieve to separate the rinds from the jelly.  Save the jelly.  I put the rinds in my morning oatmeal.

Make the chocolate mouse according to package directions.

Level off both cake layers and place one layer of the cake on the bottom of a springform pan.

Line the edges of the pan with lady fingers

Brush the surface of the cake with the orange jelly and also the surface of the lady fingers which are exposed (i.e facing the inside of the cake)

Fill with mousse and top with the second cake layer.

Pour the remaining orange jelly on the top layer and let it seep into the cake.

Add the cannoli filling on the top.

Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and pistachios.

Chill the cake for 30 mins and then remove the springform ring.

Wrap the cake with a piece of ribbon and secure with a toothpick.

Serve chilled !

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Cake

Smore’s Ice Cream Cake:

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April marks the start of “lab” birthdays.  here is the first birthday cake of the year !

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Graham Cracker Cake:

Filling:

  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Mini marshmallows

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Graham Cracker Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds, line with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
  4. Add sugars and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
  5. Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
  6. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
  7. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the top with a spatula and whack the pans against the counter to evenly distribute.
  8. Bake for approx. 40mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  9. Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins. Whack the pans on the counter to loosen the cakes and turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Filling:

  1. Whip the cream till it reaches soft peaks and fold in the mini chocolate chips
  2. Bring the ice cream to room temperature so that it can be spread.

Assembly:

  1. Cut the cake into two layers and place one layer on the bottom of the springform pan.
  2. Spread ice cream, as much as you like. Sprinkle some chocolate chips and marshmallows, if you want.
  3. Add the other cake layer on top and press down
  4. Add the chocolate chip whipped cream on top
  5. Decorate with more marshmallows, chocolate chips and graham crackers crumbs.
  6. Store in freezer.
  7. Thaw in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before cutting into this messy delight !
Cake

Chocolate Apricot Walnut Cake

August Birthday Cake for a French Lab mate.  The stakes are always high when you are baking for some French.  Stress not ! This is not a recipe per say, it is an idea, a combination of flavors that are classic.  Chocolate layer cake (out of a box), filled with apricot jam and whipped cream.  Topped with chocolate frosting and decorated with dried apricots and almonds. Nothing to it !13906899_10100266887422365_6484316165672110527_n

 

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

Blackberry Red Wine Chocolate Cake

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Labmate’s birthday=yummy cake !!!!!

Ingredients:
For cake:
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark or dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup blackberry wine or red wine
1/2 cup light olive or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For frosting:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup blackberry preserves
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and line three 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper. Butter parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, whisking until thoroughly combined.

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Add eggs, buttermilk, wine, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Divide evenly among prepared pans.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Run a small knife around the edges of each pan, then gently invert onto wire racks. Cakes should come out cleanly. Allow to cool completely.

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To prepare frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 8 minutes. Add powdered sugar, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes more. Add more cream or powdered sugar as needed to acheive desired consistency.

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To assemble, level each cake layer by cutting of the domed top with a long serrated knife. Place one layer, flat side down, on a cake stand or serving platter. Spread half of the blackberry preserves evenly on top, followed by approximately 1/2 cup of buttercream. Position second layer on top and press to adhere. Repeat with remaining preserves, another 1/2 cup of buttercream, and final cake layer, flat side up.
Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. This “crumb coat” will make frosting the cake easier. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to allow this crumb coat to set. At this point if you will be coloring the remaining buttercream, add your food coloring to the mixing bowl and beat until color is uniform.

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Remove cake from refrigerator and frost with remaining buttercream, reserving some for piping decorative details if desired. Return cake to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
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