I had my doubts about this cake. The ingredients and method both seemed unusual to me, and I expected it to be maybe one dimensional and unremarkable. I know the recipe promises the cake will be “light, delicate, and delicious … like a milk chocolate bar”, but I was skeptical. But I’ve been working through my vintage recipe project and the occasion of my 1 year old’s birthday was pretty low stakes, so I gave it try. And I am so glad I did! This cake came out of nowhere and totally won me over. It is so so delicious. It’s not fancy, it’s nothing gourmet or complicated, but it is light as a dream with a delicate texture and chocolate flavor. The cake layers and the whipped cream together are airy and not too sweet - in fact, the cake is almost salty in the way that the most delicious milk chocolate has the sweet/salty element that keeps you going back for more. The frosting is very sweet, but it pulls it all together and balances the cake and cream. I’ve made a lot of cakes and watched a lot of kids eat those cakes and most of the time they don’t finish, or they eat the frosting and leave the cake or pick out the cake and leave the frosting. Not this time. They inhaled it., each one of them, both days it was served. So did the adults… I mean, when a cake is this light, it goes down real easy.Read More
Welcome to our June GBBO! Now this dessert goes by two names: schichttorte (as introduced on the GBBO) and baumkuchen. The German cake was traditionally made on a spit over a fire, each layer being brushed on, baked, then another layer brushed on to bake on top of the previous one. The end result is a beautiful ringed pattern, reminiscent of the cross section of a tree. Over the years, a simpler version was invented where layers were brushed into a pan, then baked under a grill or broiler. The same intricate layers were created, but now horizontally stacked.Read More
This cake is all simplicity and delight. It is one bowl, as easy as can be, and so delicious. It is moist without being squidgy and sweet without being cloying. The crunchy sugary almond topping is obsessively yum. Does it seem like I’m raving again? Yeah, definitely. We had it last night for dessert with whipped cream and strawberries and I just finished a piece for breakfast with my coffee and I can’t get over how perfect it is. Sometimes dessert should be a go-big and pull-out-all-the-stops kind of deal. Sometimes - this time - less is more.Read More
I always have an egg white or two in the freezer. I love rich, custardy desserts that need yolks, and since egg whites freeze so well, I never think twice when a recipe calls for an extra yolk or few. I know I can stash away the whites and use them down the road.Read More
March seemed to fly by, but not so fast that we didn’t savor the slow thawing of the earth and the promise of warmer days to come. There is something marvelous when the color of budding leaves makes its appearance on the trees, seemingly overnight. All of a sudden, there is an abundant chirping of birds and cacophony of frogs too. A striking shift that creeps in unawares. It never ceases to surprise.Read More
Putting a meringue layer in my cakes is quite possible the best thing I’ve ever thought to do in the kitchen. It adds such a delightfully light and airy crunch and sweetness. I’m hard pressed to think of a cake it wouldn’t work with (except maybe maybe a stodgy gingerbread or carrot cake), but it went especially well with this cake. Peppermint flavored meringue with chopped chocolate folded into it and baked till crisp and melt-in-your-mouth is like a holiday party in your mouth on its own, but layer it with red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, a delicate minty whipped cream and crushed candy cane and you’re just hitting all the spots.Read More
I was actually given this recipe by my roommate in college (too many years ago to admit). We were headed to a cookout and needed to bring dessert. She promised me it was delicious, a family favorite. She didn't lie. It was devoured at that party to rave reviews. I kept the recipe and soon it was my family's favorite cake ever. It was made for every holiday and special occasion and requested for two separate wedding cakes. It has basically become a family legend.Read More
I've got another installment of Project Vintage Recipes for you: Oatmeal Cake. I chose this recipe because it sounds like the kind of cake that can be unashamedly eaten for breakfast. Or at the very least it sounds like a perfect snacking cake that mommy can eat for breakfast and kids can eat for snack. (I've got to be honest, I save most of my cake for breakfast. It's just so good with a morning cup of coffee.)Read More
A moist chocolate cupcake, filled with a crunchy chewy mixture of dulce de leche, toasted coconut, and pecans, topped off with a pile of rich and thick chocolate buttercream.
Why reversed? A classic German Chocolate Cake uses a coconut pecan frosting. These cupcakes rock the nutty duo on the inside (which is, I may add, an aesthetic win). The flavor profile is jacked up a notch by toasting the coconut and pecans, subbing out the evaporated milk mixture for dulce de leche, skipping over the traditional cake recipe, which uses sweet German chocolate, in favor of a deliciously deep and moist cocoa cake, and sweetening the deal with pretty swirls of chocolate frosting.Read More
I dreamed this cake up one day while driving. I had Cristina Tosi's approach to cake on my mind (Sarah was trying out her classic birthday cake -- I hope she'll share her thoughts soon!). What\ piqued my interest was the textural contrast Tosi goes for with the cake crumbs. It sounded really, really tasty. I began thinking where you could go with that. "Oooh! Shortbread crumbs!" It didn't take long for a giant twix cake to sound tremendously delicious.Read More
Boy, have a got a cake for your memorial day weekend!
Picture moist but light, not-too-sweet layers of vanilla cake kissed with coconut essence, sandwiched around a delightfully red strawberry jam and artfully smeared (a la royal wedding) with a fluffy blue ombre vanilla buttercream. It's summer appropriate, perfectly festive, and a tad more updated than your typical cookout fare (hello, red berry flag cake!). It's got a low-key blue and white vibe with a surprise dash of red inside.Read More
Once, a long, long time ago, I embarked on a project called Vintage Recipes. Remember? You probably don't, and that's OK because it sure looks like I didn't either. But I'm finally getting a start! I'm looking forward to finding some unexpected winners.
What's my idea for this project? First step, to interpret and flesh out the recipes. Some of them are very bare bones with obscure ingredients and directions. I figure I'll follow the recipe with only minimal, if any, adjustments; then, if it seems to hold promise, I'll gradually fine tune it into a recipe I'll save forever.
Up first: Blitz Kuchen. Lightning cake. Sounds like my kind of thing. From just a glance at the ingredients I knew not to expect anything wild and crazy, but simple and basic often produce classic, winning results (like my favorite scone and sugar cookie recipes).Read More
This recipe is YUM.
I'm trying to think of another more intelligent way to explain it.
Let me put it this way: I made two loaves one afternoon. They were gone by the morning. Let me try again: I brought a loaf to a girls night. The four of us easily ate 3/4 of it in two hours. I may or may not have finished it off when I got home. Here's another scenario: I pulled a fresh loaf out of the oven, a friend stopped by, chat chat chat, 30 minutes later she says good-bye, and half a loaf is gone.Read More
In Texas there is a prickly little bush found along paths, in parks, and in fields that yields a tart little berry called a dewberry. The dewberry is a lot like a blackberry in look and taste, and they grow here and there in careless abundance. There's something pretty addicting about wild berry picking. Not only is it satisfying to work for your food - and not having to pay for it like at pick your own farms - but you're constantly spotting "just one more little patch" with a goldmine of plump, juicy berries. Dewberries don't come entirely free, though - they come at the cost of a couple dozen pricker scratches up and down the hands and arm. You could theoretically avoid getting scratched if you are very careful but if you just haaaaaaave to get those fat ones nestled deep in the bush, your arm is going to pay.
A few days ago a friend of mine invited us over to her farm to berry pick. My kids were total champs and we came out with about three pints of berries after just an hour. And that's not counting all the berries consumed along the way. I told you, it's addicting. Fresh berries! Free! So what to do with an abundance of berries? I went back an forth for a while but decided I wanted a cake that was just loaded with berries - like, buckling under their weight. :)Read More
For Easter this year, I fell in love with the idea of doing a Robin-egg-themed dessert...something that was a beautiful speckled blue. In the course of my pre-holiday shopping, I came across these turquoise Wilton candy melts (you can find similar ones here) and I was sold on the idea: I was going to make Robin Egg cake bites! Perfect for an Easter brunch (next year!) or any Spring-themed spread, these moist chocolate cake balls are shaped into ovals, dipped in blue melting chocolate, and speckled all over.Read More
We grew up getting our babka from a local Polish Deli. It wasn't until later on that we began making it ourselves. We love a good chocolate babka, but this sweet cheese babka, with swirls of rich cream cheese filling and piles of crumble on top, will always take first place.Read More
The coconut topping gets caramelized during baking and creates a sweet, buttery, chewy topping. The browned butter adds depth of flavor and the cake is moist and tender. It's like the dressed up sister of banana bread. Plus, it passes for dessert and is still totally acceptable for breakfast.Read More
This is my favorite aspect of making cakes: coming up with all the elements. I love looking at cake recipes in cookbooks and on blogs, but I usually end up picking and choosing from a number of different sources for my own vision or what have you. This hazelnut cake is really fantastic, which you'd expect from Cook's Country. Ganache and meringue are pretty standard recipes. The frosting, though ... I could go on and on about this frosting. It's my go-to. I find it to have the lightness of a Swiss meringue buttercream but without the fussiness of the egg whites. The cooked flour method dates way back so, really, it's a tried and true recipe.Read More
This is a recipe I discovered in a food magazine in high school, and I've been making it every fall ever since. The cake batter is so easy to mix up (no mixing aid required). It uses one full can of pumpkin puree (no leftovers to deal with). The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, adding a subtle earthiness and a delicious moistness to the cake. The cranberries add a bit of zing, and the Brown Butter Frosting takes this treat to the next level.Read More