Baked Sunday Mornings: Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Glaze

I have always been envious of those people who are wine connoisseur. I can barely pronounce them, let alone know anything about it. I am the least refined person at parties. Our basement is full of a number of dusty bottles of red wine that have been neglected ageing that I was excited to get used.image

These cupcakes came together quickly. I used a tempranillo for my red wine. This recipe supposedly produces 20 cupcakes, but I got 24. In the future I would underfill these, as my cupcakes really fell and spread, making them hard to get out of the pan, and I lost one top while dipping in ganache. It was a nice change to make the chocolate glaze instead of the usual Baked buttercream, so much easier. I didn’t have any white sprinkles, so just left them plain.

image

The cupcakes have an earthy tasty that may not be for everyone (I wouldn’t ever make these for children), as the red wine is the dominant flavor. However all of my tasters loved this; my dad is still talking about them weeks later.  These really are not a typical chocolate cupcake, but something different and special.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Advertisements

Baked Sunday Mornings: Ultralemony Lemon Bundt Cake with Almond Glaze

This bundt cake is intended for that one special person, Mom. This is my second Mother’s Day as a mom, and my first one was celebrated as my daughter was less than a month old. At the time, I was still questioning what I was getting myself into, as this little baby seemed to never sleep and needed to eat constantly. Luckily, I have a great mom and mother-in-law who showed me the ropes, and over-time I am still not really sure what I am doing, or if I am even remotely doing it right, but I have learned to fake it, in the way so many other mothers before me have. Some (ok many) times I am not so good at holding it together and things start to unravel. This cake though suffered from my lack of attention and became a disaster, albeit a tasty one.

image

This cake is pretty easy to assemble, the only weird part is the amount of lemons. I checked the recipe about a million times before asking my husband to buy ten lemons at the grocery store. He too questioned the sanity of that many lemons, but at this point we know the Baked boys do not mess around and have stopped questioning their reasoning, although it may seem  slightly absurd at the time. After zesting five lemons I thought this was weird, then I hit eight and thought it was crazy and I kept going until ten. I just checked the Baked Sunday Mornings blog and noticed that the weight of ten lemons may not quite be enough to equal the called for 60 grams, but there was no way I was going to zest more (although my house smelled amazing from all that fresh lemon). In addition to all of the lemon zest two tablespoons of lemon extract were added to the batter. After tasting the finished product (or my Frankenstein resulting product), I can tell you it is delicious. Don’t question, just add it.

image

Something terribly wong happened in the oven. This cake really fell and when I tested it five minutes before the required time the tester came out clean. I thought maybe this one would be salvageable once it was out of the pan, but half of it got stuck and I was really discouraged. I called it quits and we ate the remaining intact half without the lemon syrup or almond frosting. It was really good, lemony without being overpowering. Mine was slightly wet and dense, so maybe I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and just left it in the oven.

I was planning on remaking this, as the Baked Sunday Morning bloggers are really great bakers and will try something until they get it right, but I just ran out of time (and lemons), plus we are getting a little caked out.  This one is on my to do again list.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Buttery Pound Cake with Salty Caramel Glaze

The Baked boys intended this pound cake to be eaten for Shakespeare Day, something that was eaten during a highschool trip to England. A bit of a stretch, but I didn’t care as I love pound cake because it is delicious, versatile, and very forgiving.

This cake is really easy to put together. Butter (preferably European butter-I used Plugra) and sugar are beaten until fluffy with whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract incorporated. Flour is mixed in three parts alternating with heavy cream. The instructions call for baking 55-65 minutes. I checked mine at 55, it still wasn’t done and I kind of forgot about it, so at 65 minutes it was a little dark around the edges.

image

There is an optional salty caramel glaze, which should be required. While the pound cake was good, the a glaze made it sublime. I applied the caramel right after the cake was baked by setting the pound cake on a wire rack above a parchment lined half-sheet. I guess I was feeling generous so I recycled any caramel that had dripped onto the pan. Again, questioning why this is optional, as this caramel is amazing, it’s a shame to let any go to waste. Also cutting off and discarding the ends, as the recipe requests, is just crazy. This cake is so outstanding you do not want to waste a crumb. I am usually one of those people who throw away my bread ends, but I ate both of this pound cakes ends. I actually didn’t use the fleur de sel, so my finished project was a pound cake with caramel glaze.

image

Do not let looks fool you, this may not be the most beautiful cake (my full loaf pictures oddly look like meatloaf), but the taste was amazing! The first day it was great, the next day it was also delicious, and sadly this cake didn’t make it to day three or even to the refrigerator as the recipe indicates that some prefer this one cold. My husband and I debated if this was the best Occasions recipe yet, or if it was the Hair of the Dog Cake. My husband prefers the later, but for me this one takes the cake. We served this one plain and with strawberries. It would be great with ice-cream or coffee. This is one cake that I will be making often, Shakespeare day or not. See if the fellow Baked Sunday Mornings bakers liked this one as much as I did.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Tagged

Baked Sunday Mornings: Easter Coconut Sheet Cake

There are not many things I refuse to eat, but on my will not eat list is coconut. I actually do not mind the taste, but it’s the texture that makes me cringe. I have hated it for as long as I can remember, but most everyone I know, especially my husband loves coconut so I know that this cake would get eaten. image

This cake packs a lot of coconut flavor as it contains coconut oil, extract (I bought some fake coconut flavoring), flakes, and cream of coconut. It was relatively easy to put together. The buttercream had given me troubles in the past, mostly with the Wintermint Cake, but I took some advice from my fellow BSM bakers and decided to chill the cooked egg white and sugar while mixing. I didn’t really go about it in the best way, creating a chilled water bath that I poured into a bowel surrounding the mixing bowl. Trying to get the mixing bowl off without a tidal wave of water, was impossible. Next time I will use some ice packs.image

In the book there is a method of decorating this cake with alternating rows of different colored dots, but I didn’t have time, so I just spread the frosting over the cake and topped it with sprinkles. This cake smelled amazing, and the tasters said that it was very moist and flavorful. My husband said that the cake didn’t actually deteriorate with time, but became similar to an old-fashioned donut. This cake almost make me a coconut believer.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions

Baked Sunday Mornings: Light and Lemony Jelly Roll Cake with Raspberry Cream Filling

I have been watching the Great British Bake Off, where homebakers test their skill in bake off challenges. The bakers’ first challenge was to make a Swiss roll, a thin sponge cake that is rolled around some kind of filling. Some of the bakers really struggled. There were frazzled expression on some of the bakers faces as their cakes split during the rolling process. The covered their mistakes the best they could, but some of them were pretty disastrous. I think I was too struck by the sheer horror of being on television and having some epic baking fails, I was hoping that this week’s BSM challenge-the light and lemony jelly roll with raspberry cream filling would fare better.

For this recipe you really need to be ready and willing to wash some dishes. For the cake portion you mix five egg yolks with sugar then adding lemon zest and extract. I lucked out as I have two kitchen-aid mixers and had the remaining five egg white beating at the same time as the yolks. If I didn’t have the second mixer, I would have had to transfer the yolk, sugar mixture to a separate bowl and wash the mixing bowl for the egg whites. The two egg mixtures are folded together interspersed with some cake flour and baking powder. The cake bakes up fairly quickly. I left mine in close to nine minutes, but watched it the whole time and tested it every minute after five for springiness. The cake is topped with damp paper towels, then sprinkled with powder sugar and inverted onto a tea towel. The only part of this recipe that gave me trouble was trimming off the sides. It was kind of messy and I thought unnecessary to the finished product. The still warm cake is rolled with the tea towel and allowed to rest.

image

After the cake is cooled and the mixing bowl cleaned again it is topped with a filling of whipped cream, powder sugar, and raspberry sauce (pureed raspberries put through a fine mess strainer). I added the optional Chambord, two tbsp. Then the cake is unrolled, filled with the raspberry whipped cream and cut raspberries and rolled back-up. I had a little cream seepage, so next time, I may not put the whipped cream to edges, leaving a half inch of buffer. This cake rolled surprisingly easily, so there was no need to worry about cracking or splitting.
image
I left this in the refrigerator overnight, and tried it for lunch with some taste testers the next day. I wasn’t too impressed with the scraps of cake I tried the night it was baked, the lemon flavor was really strong, but when I tasted the whole thing, cake and whipped cream together, it was magic-very delicious. To me this one is better eaten cold. I also feel like the Chambord is a must. Yes, it is expensive, but you can use it again in almost any berry dessert to boost the flavor, so it is worth the investment (It also comes in a really pretty bottle). It is also a really impressive dessert, one that people are sure to think-how did they do that? And although I complained about doing a lot of dishes-partially my fault. I did make this around 7:00 (late for me) and actually had to drag the mixer to the back porch so not to wake the baby. Not sure how often this one will be in my usual rotation, but I am really glad I gave it a try.

image

Did my fellow bakers end up like the Great British Bake Off bakers, frazzled by their attempts at a Swiss roll? Prfobably not, but you can find out here.

Baked Sunday Mornings: Blood Orange Tiramisu

Can I be honest here? I have never had a blood orange. I like regular oranges and other citrus fruit, I guess just the blood aspect of the name has always turned me off. I was slightly hesitant to try this week’s BSM recipe, a blood orange tiramisu, because I really couldn’t imagine what it would taste like and also because blood oranges were twice the price of good old regular oranges at our local market. However, I was excited for a change from the usual, slightly boring tiramisu.

image

This is a no baked dessert, and there are both uncooked egg whites and yolks as well as lots of booze-not a friendly dessert for everyone. Just getting the ingredients together was the toughest part of this one. Most of these ingredients-lady fingers, mascarpone, Grand Marnier are not things we usually have around. Dipping the lady fingers took no time and I managed to get it all done while holding a tired 10 month-old. The only weird part to assembly was getting the required number of lady fingers to fit into a 9′ by 13′ pan. I had to eat a couple of the ends off the lady fingers to get them all to fit snuggly (I used the Whole Foods organic lady fingers).

image

I made this around 4:00 in the afternoon and let it set until the following day, after dinner. We really liked this one, could possibly be my favorite recipe from Occasions yet. Why have I been avoiding blood oranges all this time? To be honest the taste of the blood orange was slightly underwhelming-it was more like an orange then I expected, but the pinkishy red color is so pretty. One could easily use naval oranges or even clementines if blood oranges were unavailable. The mascarpone mixture was just the right level of sweetness and although I was skeptical of the cocoa powder dusting between the layers and on top (as I am usually not a huge fan of orange and chocolate), it really worked well. The one thing I may changes next time is to make about a little extra of the dipping liquid as I found the finished product slightly dry. The blood orange tiramisu is a delicious essert that will brighten these cold and depressing winter days.

Find out how my fellow bakers faired here.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito

Tagged ,

Baked Sunday Morning: Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

In the fifth grade we had to do a report on a state. Most of my classmates were fighting over California, as in our minds it was the mecca of childhood fun-yah know Disneyland and all. I actually choose Texas for my report, as my family had spent a good couple of weeks there that summer. My “rich” and older single uncle had finally made the plunge and was getting married in the most miserable time of the Texas summer. The short time I was there taught me that really everything is bigger in Texas, from the belt buckles to the burritos. Texas sheet cake really embodies the everything is bigger in Texas idea as it is an entire half sheet cake of cake, a total of 24 servings. I have had my fair share of Texas sheet cake mostly at large gatherings such as funerals, family reunions, and grade school lunch. It has been a while since I had said cake and my memories were of a very delicious cross between a cake and brownie.

image

This cake is relatively easy to put together. The peanut butter frosting is a boiled affair, that is mixed with powder sugar. I shifted my powder sugar once and really wish I had done it a second time as there were tiny speckles of powder sugar in the finished product, although the entire cake is covered in chopped roasted peanuts, so this imperfection was hidden.

image

This cake bakes fast at 15-18 minutes. I checked mine at 15 and it seemed like it could go a little longer so I left it in for two more minutes. The instructions indicate that it is better to under bake, so I pulled it then for fear of having an over baked cake. Really the cake wasn’t done (or it wasn’t done to my liking-not sure how underdone this was intended to be) and began to sink in the middle and when I poured the frosting on it all ended up in the middle. I tried to evenly distribute it as best I could before putting it in the fridge. I left the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting into it.

image

The middle was crazy sweet. The combination of fudgy underdone cake with a thick layer of frosting was too much. The edges though were pretty amazing. The cake was light and a good contrast to the sweet peanut frosting and crunchy salty peanuts. We devoured those edges pretty quickly and next time (oh yes, there will be a next time) I may try to bake it slightly longer, or add a little more flour for structural integrity. Also part, of the problem could be due to baking at such a high altitude (that’s why this blog is elevated baker, y’all), which I really think the suggestions previously mentioned would remedy. The Baked boys suggest to this one straight from the fridge, but finding room in the fridge for a half sheet pan of cake was a real challenge, so we kept it at room temperature for almost its entire four day life (with the exception of the required first refrigeration). I really don’t consider this one a loss as the edges more than made up for the middle and really do two people need to consume 24 servings of cake?

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Tagged