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    Butternut Amaretto Bundtlettes

    Butternut-Amaretto Bundtlettes
    Yields about 18 mini bundt cakes

    Bundt cakes
    2 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
    1 cup (240ml) canola oil
    3 large eggs, at room temperature
    3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 cups (15 oz.) butternut squash puree (instructions follow)

    Butter amaretto syrup
    1/2 cup (120ml) water
    1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
    1 cup(120ml)  amaretto liqueur
    Pinch of salt

    Glaze
    2 cups (230g) confectioners’ sugar
    1 tablespoon amaretto
    2-3 tablespoons milk or cream to thin
    1 drop each yellow and orange food color

    For the cakes, preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a multi cavity mini-bundt cake pan (such as Nordicware Bundtlette pan) with flour-based baking spray.

    In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; add to egg mixture alternately with squash puree, beating well after each addition.

    Scoop the batter into the bundt pan cavities within 1/2 inch of the tops. Cover unused batter in the bowl with a damp tea towel. Bake for 24-27 minutes, or until the bundt cakes are well puffed, and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wash the pan, coat with flour-based baking spray and bake remaining batter; repeat until all the batter has been used. 

    For the syrup, combine the water and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl; heat at 100% power for 1 minute, and stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds and stir until the sugar is melted. Stir the melted butter into the hot liquid; add the amaretto and pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Quickly dunk each cake in the liquid and transfer to wire racks. Let stand until the syrup is well-absorbed, about 10 minutes.

    For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, amaretto, and 2 tablespoons of cream in a medium bowl. Blend with a whisk to combine. Add more milk or cream as needed to form a thick glaze that holds in the balloon of the whisk for a moment before falling in a ribbon back into the bowl. Add the food color and mix again. Spoon the glaze over the cakes. Let stand until the glaze crusts, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Store the cakes in an air-tight container.

    **To make this recipe as one large bundt cake, pour the batter into a 10-inch tube pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean.

    How to make butternut squash puree:
    Wash and carefully cut off the stem and base ends of a medium whole butternut squash; half lengthwise. Dig the seeds and membranes out with a large sturdy spoon. Butternut squash are firm and can be hard to cut! Microwave halves for about three minutes to soften and loosen the skin for easy and safer peeling! Remove skin from halves with a sharp knife. Place halves face down in a baking dish or roasting pan; pour water into dish around squash about 1/2 inch deep. Cover with foil and roast for an hour or until fork tender. Let cool and chop into small cubes. Puree in a blender or in a food processor until smooth.  LEGGI TUTTO

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    Sandcastle Cake

    Layers of brown sugar cake, sea salt caramel frosting, and a sandy graham cracker exterior make this cake a beach lover’s dream!I’ve been meaning to share this cake I made for Food Network for a while now, and I guess I’d better get to it because time’s a wastin’! I can’t believe we’re already in the last full month of summer.If you’re like me and didn’t make it to the beach this year, this cake is a nice consolation. I admit – I’ve had many slices of this cake and it is delicious! I may even dedicate a whole blog post to its sea salt caramel frosting (it’s that good!). And! It’s so fun to build. Yes – it’s a little involved and has a few steps, but its general construction involves ice cream cones, sugar cubes, and lots of graham cracker crumbs.
    There are many steps to take before a cake like this comes to life, and I usually begin with a sketch. This was my plan for executing the cake, and I thought it might be fun to share it with you. It really does help to have a guide, even if the end result looks a little different (but this one was very close!).

    The cake starts with two tiers of brown sugar cake (yum!), one 8-inch and 6-inch. The sea salt caramel buttercream firms well in the refrigerator and when chilled, it has just enough tackiness for the graham crackers to stick to the sides.
    The towers/spires are made with frosted cake cones and sugar cones – which is nothing new to the world of cake decorating. But using them is easy, so cute, and really makes the cake look more convincing as a castle.
    A couple more spires on top! 

    One of my original ideas for the cake was to use brown sugar cubes around the top edges to make the crenelations. This is such an easy way to achieve the effect symmetrically all the way around the top edges of the cake.
    A few molded candy starfish and seashells were finishing touches. Here I’m applying a little cocoa powder to the shells with a dry brush, which makes them a little more 3 dimensional in appearance.
    Add to this a few chocolate pieces for windows and doors, and the all-important spire flags, and you’ve got yourself a sandcastle that the tide won’t wash away! (Although it still may disappear quickly.)You can find the recipe on FoodNetwork.com at THIS link. You can also view the video HERE on their website, or HERE on the Food Network Facebook page.Happy Summer, everyone! I hope it’s been more sweet than salty (wink).link Sandcastle Cake By Heather Baird Published: Friday, August 07, 2020Friday, August 07, 2020Sandcastle Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Almond Genoise Mini Cakes

    These Jordan almond-topped mini cakes are perfect for intimate wedding receptions and baby showers. They are delicious with bright almond flavor and will make your table beautiful!A few of my friends are currently navigating the process of planning a wedding during this time, when availability of resources and venues are questionable at best. Many are opting for smaller celebrations and backyard gatherings with immediate family and friends. One thing is for sure, love will never be cancelled, and should always be celebrated! And I’m in favor of making these intimate gatherings even more special.With this in mind,  I decided to whip up some small-scale fancy cakes that could be served as an alternative to a towering wedding cake. They have distinctive almond flavor – which to me is the flavor of wedding cake. Each cake has a single, beautiful Jordan almond on top, and edible gold leaf for some sparkle. Small but special – that’s the motto!
    Serendipitously, Sconza Chocolates sent me a bag of beautiful Jordan almonds this month. Each almond is so perfectly formed with a matte candy exterior. Their meaning seems especially relevant this year – the almonds represent “bitter” and the candy coating “sweetness”, which symbolizes the bitterness of life and the sweetness of love.
    Genoise cake is an Italian cake with a French name, but all you really need to know is that it’s a delicious sponge cake. It’s requires a few steps, such as whipping egg whites and folding with care, but the cake only takes about 5 minutes to bake in the oven!
    Mini cakes were made with the help of a small rectangular cookie cutter (from this set). Shapes are easily stamped from the sponge cake like cookie dough. The cream filling is chilled into a solid sheet in a baking pan, and the filling is also stamped into rectangles using the same cookie cutter.
    Stacked, the cakes and filling make a tall slice and a generous serving for one. You could halve each cake at this step to make petit fours for larger yield.
    A drizzle of chocolate is always a good idea! I just used a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, no fancy piping equipment required.

    Edible gold leaf really makes these cakes shine. It’s an optional garnish, but so pretty. You can find edible gold leaf here. You won’t need much – just a touch to give the cake some sparkle.
    I’m always ready to practice my sponge cake skills, especially when the end result is so tasty! I hope those of you planning a celebration this year will find this recipe useful – but you don’t need an excuse to make it! Almond cake lovers will want to make it on any given occasion (such as a Tuesday).This year I’m partnering with Sconza Chocolates as brand ambassador because I truly love their products. Their Jordan almonds are of the highest quality. If you’re looking to procure some, use the discount code SPRINKLEBAKES10 at Sconza.com for 10% off your order (coupon is repeatable).

    Almond Genoise Mini CakesYields 9 mini cakes or 18 petit foursCake2 whole eggs, at room temperature1/2 cup (56g) confectioners’ sugar1/2 cup (50g) almond flour2 tablespoons all-purpose flour2 egg whites1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 teaspoon almond extractCream filling5 cups (570g) confectioners’ sugar1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 teaspoon almond extract1/4 cup water1/4 oz. packet unflavored powdered gelatinGlaze2 cups (227g) confectioners’ sugar3-4 tablespoons milk or cream1 teaspoon almond extractEdible gold leaf, optional Décor9 Jordan almonds for mini cakes, or 18 for petit fours2 oz. semisweet chocolate, meltedPreheat the oven to 425° F. Grease a 17×11-inch sheet pan with vegetable shortening. Line the pan with parchment and lightly grease the paper.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the 2 whole eggs, confectioners’ sugar, and almond flour. Beat until the mixture is pale yellow, about 5 full minutes. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold together to combine.In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat again until soft peaks form. Gradually add in the 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar as you mix. Beat until stiff peaks form. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the pale-yellow batter and fold together with a rubber spatula. Add the almond extract and remaining egg whites; fold together until a consistent batter is achieved.Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and distribute it evenly with an offset spatula, making the layer as level and smooth as possible. Batter will be spread thin.Bake for about 5-7 minutes, or until the cake is just firm with lightly browned edges. Keep an eye on the cake, my genoise baked in 5 minutes exactly.Sprinkle a tea towel with powdered sugar (about 3-4 tablespoons). Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, and then turn the cake out onto the tea towel. Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.Meanwhile, make the cream filling.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the confectioners’ sugar, butter, and extract. Mix until crumbly. Keep mixer running.Place the water in a small microwave-safe bowl and mix in the gelatin. Let stand until absorbed, about 3 minutes. Microwave the gelatin mixture until liquid, about 10-20 seconds. Add the mixture to the mixer bowl as it runs. Beat until well-combined. Mixture should be thick.Grease a 13×9-inch baking sheet with shortening and line with parchment paper (the shortening helps the paper stick to the pan. Transfer the frosting to the baking sheet and spread evenly. Top with a second sheet of parchment paper and press the frosting evenly down into the pan. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill about 45 minutes, or until very firm.Meanwhile, stamp out the cake pieces from the genoise cake.Use a 1 3/4-inch x 2 3/4-inch rectangular cookie cutter to stamp 27 shapes from the genoise cake.When the frosting is well chilled, remove it from the pan and remove the top layer of parchment. Using the same rectangle cutter, stamp 18 shapes from the frosting sheet; Lift each piece out using a small spatula. Chilled, the frosting should stamp easily, if it begins to get warm and shapes become soft, chill again for about 15 minutes or until firm.Place 9 cake pieces, evenly spaced, on a grid cooling rack. Top each with a frosting rectangle. Repeat this step again and end with a cake piece on top (order should be cake, frosting, cake, frosting cake). Gently press each cake down to help the layers stick together. If making 18 petit fours, cut each cake in half now. Place the cooling rack with cakes inside a large baking sheet, or place the rack over a sheet of parchment paper.For the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and extract. The glaze should be thick and stiff at first, and it should take some effort to mix together. Add extra milk or cream drops at a time until a thick glossy glaze holds in the whisk balloon and slowly falls in a ribbon back into the bowl. This should be thick, viscous glaze, and not thin runny glaze.Top each cake with a spoonful of glaze. Use the spoon to push the glaze toward the edges of the cake so it runs down the sides but doesn’t completely cover the cakes. Top each cake with a Jordan almond. Allow the cakes to rest about 15 minutes, or until the glaze hardens slightly.Transfer the melted chocolate to a zip top bag with a tiny hold snipped in one corner, and pipe a zigzag of chocolate across each cake. Use tweezers to apply small bits of edible gold leaf, if using.Store cakes at room temperature under a cake cloche. If making these cakes ahead, assemble the cakes the day before and store them in the refrigerator; glaze and garnish the day of serving. (Glaze will wrinkle over time in an airtight container.) 
    link Almond Genoise Mini Cakes By Heather Baird Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020Wednesday, July 29, 2020Almond Genoise Mini Cakes Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Garden Party Pound Cakes

    This buttery lemon-lavender pound cake is simple to stir together and so satisfying. It’s topped with a thick drape of lemon glaze and garnished with a veritable bouquet of edible petals.Each year in early June a neighboring town holds a festival dedicated to everyone’s favorite flowering herb. The lavender festival is held on a historic square, and vendors line the streets selling all manner of lavender-themed goods. My favorite part of any festival is the food, and this one is no exception. They serve lavender begniets, lavender lemonade, and a wide array of lavender jams and jellies.It’s no surprise that this year’s festival has been cancelled due to health concerns, so I’ve decided to celebrate lavender in a big way at home, starting with these petal-topped pound cakes!
    Like any good pound cake recipe, this one starts with lots of butter creamed with sugar. There’s no leaven in this recipe, aside from what the eggs provide.
    I made this pound cake with a hand mixer – and you can too! Just be sure to mix the flour in at low speed until just combined. it should look like the picture above, with a few streaks of flour here and there. Stay pockets of flour are then mixed in by hand using a rubber spatula. This helps you achieve the dense, tight crumb that is the hallmark of any good pound cake.
    The cakes won’t crown much during baking – in fact, they may look sunken at first because the edges start to rise before the center does. Don’t be alarmed! This is normal. At the end, the baked cakes should have a little bump on top, much like a classic French madeleine.
    The edible flowers I had on hand were mostly dried, so that’s what I used, but I highly recommend using fresh, soft petals from an organic garden if you have them. If you don’t have good source, you can always order some here, but shipping can be pricey for delicate flowers.My favorite edible flowers to use are pansies, blue cornflower, nasturtium, marigold and rose petals. I’ve collected dried versions of these from various shops online, and primarily from Etsy vendors.
    The glaze is exactly two ingredients – freshly squeezed lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. It should be thick enough to drape down the sides of the cakes while remaining opaque.
    Garnish with whatever edible petals make you happy! I included a few fresh mint leaves and tiny white thyme blooms.

    The interior should show an even, dense crumb speckled with lavender buds. To avoid tunnels (holes) in the cakes, be sure not to over-mix the batter using the electric hand mixer – mix just until combined and always fold those last bits together by hand.These were practically made for afternoon tea, and that’s just how we’ve been enjoying them. The citrus notes in the lavender pair so well with the brightness of the fresh lemon. I hope you’ll love them as much as we do. xo

    Garden Party Pound Cake(Lemon-Lavender Pound Cake)Yields one standard size loaf, or 3 small loaves,or 8 mini loaves.Cake1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugarZest of one lemon1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice5 large eggs, at room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 tablespoon culinary grade lavender buds2 cups (250g) all-purpose flourGlaze2 cups confectioners’ sugarJuice of one lemon (about 3-4 tablespoons)Fresh or dried culinary grade flowersPreheat the oven to 325°F.Coat 3 small loaf pans (5.75 x 3 inch) with flour-based baking spray or grease and flour the pans. Alternatively coat 8 mini loaf pans (3.8 x 2.5 inch) or one standard-size loaf pan (9×5 inch). I used a mixture of small and mini loaf pans.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in the lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and mix again. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract; mix. Beat in the lavender buds.Add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined with a few streaks of flour remaining. Scrape down the bowl and mix by hand with a rubber spatula until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix.Transfer the batter to the prepared pans and bake until lightly brown around the edges and slightly raised in the center (this cake won’t crown much, it should just have a little bump in the center).Mini 3.8×2.5-inch pans should bake for about 25-30 minutes.Small 5.75×3-inch pans should bake for about 40-45 minutes.Large 9×5-inch pans should bake for about 55-60 minutes.Note that the cakes will begin to rise at the edges of the pans first, so the centers may look sunken for a while – this is normal! Cakes are done when the entire cake is risen and a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean.Keep an eye on pans, as darker pans will cook more quickly than aluminum pans. Remove from oven and let cool in the pans for about 7 minutes; turn out to wire racks to cool completely.For the glaze, stir together confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a mixing bowl using a whisk. Gradually whisk in additional lemon juice until a thick, opaque glaze forms that will hold in the balloon of the whisk, and slowly pour back into the bowl in a ribbon.Spoon the glaze over cooled cakes and immediately sprinkle on your choice of blooms and petals. Allow cakes to stand until the glaze is set, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately if your cakes are topped with fresh blooms. Cakes with dried blooms can be stored under plastic wrap at room temperature.
    link Garden Party Pound Cakes By Heather Baird Published: Friday, May 29, 2020Friday, May 29, 2020Garden Party Pound Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    7UP Layer Cake

    This cake has a soft, fluffy texture thanks to bubbly 7UP soft drink added to the cake batter. It’s bursting with lemon-lime flavor!This recipe was inspired by a cake that has been around for decades. I’m sure that many of you are familiar with 7UP pound cake, which is a classic southern favorite and even sold prepackaged in some southern grocery stores. I found a copy of the recipe in the vintage avocado green recipe card box I found at a thrift store last year and was reminded to give it a try.
    I would have made this cake as-written in bundt cake fashion, but I was feeling the need to return to normalcy, and normal for me is dreaming up new layer cakes. Although I enjoy making every kind of dessert, layer cakes have my heart! With a few additions to the original recipe, I was able to transform the pound cake into a light, fluffy version suitable for stacking and filling.
    The cake batter receives a big dose of 7UP soda right at the end of mixing, and after baking I decided to douse the layers with another small can of the soda. This makes the finished cake extremely moist and the soda flavor really shines through.
    I used the pound cake formula as a guide, so this cake yields the same amount of cake as the full-sized bundt – it’s just in 6-inch layers here. I love my little pans, because you can turn just about any full sized bundt, or double layer 9 inch cake into a little four layer cake (Fat Daddios is the brand of 6″ pans I use).
    I made a simple confectioners’ buttercream and divided it into three parts – the white and yellow frostings are flavored with lemon extract, and the green portion is flavored with lime extract.
    Every cake needs sprinkles, right? I tossed on some lemon yellow and lime green sprinkles without much forethought so they landed, just, wherever. This is fun, but you must be at peace with the mess of confetti on your table afterward (and maybe your floor).
    I had some lemon jelly slices in my candy cabinet, and they made a really cute border for the bottom of the cake – tasty too!
    This cake slices easily and so neatly when slightly chilled. Make sure to bring the cake to room temperature before you enjoy it, though. It’s at its very bubbly best and the soda flavor is more noticable.
    This cake feels VERY summertime to me, and tastes refreshing! We’re getting some warm, sunny days here, so we’ll be enjoying this on the patio.Stay safe and well, friends!

    7UP Layer CakeYields one four layer 6-inch cake10-12 servingsBegin this cake one day ahead. The cake layers need to chill in the refrigerator overnight. Be sure to use the spoon and sweep method for measuring flour, so the cake isn’t too dense – or use a scale to be sure.Cake1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature3 cups (600g) granulated white sugar1/2 cup vegetable oil5 eggs3 2/3 cups (462g) all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1 ½ teaspoons baking powder2 tablespoons lemon extract1 1/2 cups 7UP soft drink, divided         (two mini 7.5 oz. cans, as pictured)Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat four 6-inch round cake pans with flour-based baking spray.Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. When the mixture is fluffy, gradually add the oil. Beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk well to aerate and combine. Pour the dry mixture into the creamed mixture. Beat until just combined. Add the lemon extract and mix again; Pour in 3/4 cup of the 7UP and beat until well incorporated.Divide the batter between the prepared pans, about 2 cups of batter per each 6-inch pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cakes are well browned on top and set in the center. These cakes should not dome much due to the high sugar content.Transfer cakes to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap cakes in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.Unwrap cakes and conservatively trim off the crusty tops. The cakes will be very firm chilled. Place cakes in a large baking pan and poke holes in each using a skewer. Pour over the remaining soda. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow the cakes to soak while you prepare the frosting. Note: Don’t let cakes soak for too long, or they will start to break down. You want to start building the cake within about 30 minutes.Lemon-Lime Buttercream2 cups (1 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature2 lb. confectioners’ sugarMilk or cream to thin1 tablespoons lemon extract2 teaspoons lime extractYellow gel food colorLeaf green gel food colorCream together the butter and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the whip. Add milk or cream to bring to piping consistency. Whip for 4 minutes, until the mixture lightens considerably in color. Add the lemon extract; beat well. Transfer 3/4 of the frosting to a separate bowl and cover with a damp towel. Divide the remaining frosting into separate bowls and tint one bowl with the yellow food color; tint the other bowl with the leaf green food color and stir in the lime extract. Transfer each color of frosting to separate piping bags with the ends snipped. Also transfer 1 1/2 cups of white frosting to a piping bag with the end snipped.Assembly1/4 cup yellow sprinkles1/4 cup green sprinkles5 lemon jelly slice candies12 maraschino cherries with stems, drained on paper towelsPlace a cake layer on a cake board, serving plate, or cake stand. Do this gently and carefully, because the cakes will be soft from the 7UP soak. Top with a generous 1/4 cup of the white frosting from the covered bowl and spread gently and evenly. Stack a second cake layer on top. Repeat process until all of the cakes are filled and stacked. Pipe white frosting around the entire outside of the cake and smooth using a bench scraper or cake smoother. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill, about 20 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and pipe green frosting 1/3 of the way up the cake, followed by a section of white frosting another 1/3 of the way up, and end with yellow frosting covering the final 1/3 of the cake. Smooth frostings together on the sides of the cake using a bench scraper or cake smoother; don’t smooth the top yet. Immediately toss yellow sprinkles on to the green part of the cake; toss green sprinkles onto the yellow part of the cake. Smooth the top of the cake, trapping some of the green sprinkles in the frosting on top of the cake.Cut each lemon jelly slice into three triangles; press into the frosting around the bottom edge of the cake. Use leftover lemon-yellow frosting to adhere them if they don’t stick naturally.Transfer any leftover white frosting in the bowl to a piping bag fitted with a large star decorator piping tip. Pipe about 12 swirls of frosting on the top edge of the cake; top each swirl with a maraschino cherry. Slice cake while slightly chilled for neatest slices. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.
    link 7UP Layer Cake By Heather Baird Published: Friday, May 22, 2020Friday, May 22, 20207UP Layer Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Flourless Chocolate Loaf Cake with Berry Coulis

    This flourless chocolate loaf cake is rich and fudgy beyond words! A quick mixed berry coulis is the perfect accompaniment.Greetings, friendly bakers! I’m still very much on a flourless desserts kick, and I’ve been testing and tweaking lots of new recipes like this swoon-worthy chocolate cake. It’s probably the most intensely chocolate dessert I’ve ever made or tasted!Through my tasting and testing, I felt that chocolate cake this deeply profound needed a foil, which came in the form of a bag of mixed berries in my freezer. I’ve made berry coulis many times in my confectionery history, but I sort of forgot about it for a while. It’s so easy and bright tasting, I silently scolded myself for not making it more often. I’m convinced it is this cake’s soul mate, and should never be omitted from the recipe.

    Always begin with really great chocolate. I used 3 bars of organic 65% semisweet chocolate. Whatever excellent chocolate you choose, chop it fine with a large chef’s knife because it is melted alongside lots of butter. This mixture may seem familiar, because it is how many wonderful brownie recipes begin.
    I went the quick-and-easy route by melting the chocolate and butter together in the microwave, but you could also do this over a double boiler. However, I prefer and recommend using the microwave. It removes the risk of getting water from a double boiler’s steam in your chocolate, which will make it seize and become a chunky mess.
    You’ll use lots of eggs, and they’ll need to be whipped with sugar for a good long while until they become voluminous and light in color, just like the picture above.
    The chocolate and butter mixture is combined with the eggs, along with a couple of pantry staples, and then it’s poured into a parchment-lined loaf pan.The cake will need to bake in a water bath so it doesn’t crack and retains its moist, fudgy texture. If you suspect your loaf pan is not leak-proof, wrap the bottom in a double thickness of aluminum foil before placing it in the water bath.
    The cooled cake is topped with yet another layer of chocolate! A simple ganache speckled with chocolate pearls. If you’re making this for gluten-free dietary considerations, be sure to use gluten-free decors or pure chocolate sprinkles. The pearls I had on hand have a tiny toasted biscuit center (Callebaut Crispearls) which is not a gluten-free product.
    Chilled, this cake has a texture similar to fudge. Although it is delicious chilled, I recommend letting letting the cake come to room temperature before serving it. It’s softer and the flavors are more developed.
    This is a cake you’ll want to share, because a little goes a long way. It is absolutely special occasion-worthy, and just the thing for the chocolate fanatic in your life!

    Flourless Chocolate Loaf Cakewith Berry CoulisYields one 9×5-inch loafCake5 large eggs, at room temperature1 cup (200g) granulated sugar3/4 cup (12 tablespoons/173g) unsalted butter12 oz. (3 bars, 4 oz. ea.) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped1/4 cup (25g) dark cocoa powder1/2 cup (53g) finely ground almonds (almond flour, or another nut flour)1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea saltTopping1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips1/2 cup (240 ml) heavy creamChocolate pearls or gluten-free chocolate sprinkles, for garnishBerry coulis1 lb. frozen mixed berries, thawed (tested with blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry mix)1/2 to 1 cup (100-200g) granulated sugar (to taste)1 tablespoon Chambord or blackberry brandy *optionalFor the cake: Preheat the oven to 320°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with solid vegetable shortening (Crisco) and line with parchment paper so that it overhangs the two long sides of the pan. NOTE: my loaf pan was slightly larger, which made my loaf cake short. Using a 9×5 pan with straight sides will yield a taller cake.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together at high speed until thick and lightened in color, about 5-7 minutes.Meanwhile, in a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chopped chocolate. Heat in the microwave at 100% power in 45 second intervals. Stir well with each heating, until the mixture is melted and can be stirred smooth.Lower the mixer speed and gradually add the melted chocolate mixture a little at a time. Mix in the dark cocoa powder, ground almonds and salt. Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and pour into the prepared pan.Place a large roasting pan on the center rack in the oven. Place the loaf pan in the pan and fill with hot water to about 1/3 up the loaf pan (hot tap water is fine, or boil a pot on the stove top). Bake for 30 minutes at 320°F. Increase temperature to 350°F and bake for about 20 minutes more, until the cake is set. The cake should have a slight dip in the center, this is normal. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan. Transfer to the refrigerator for faster cooling, if desired.For the toppings: Combine the chocolate chips and cream in a large microwave-safe glass measure. Microwave at 100% power for 1 minute. Allow the hot mixture to stand for 1 minute. Whisk together until a glossy ganache forms; pour over the cooled cake in the pan. Immediately garnish with pearls or sprinkles. Let stand until set, or refrigerate to speed setting.For the coulis: combine the thawed berries and ½ cup of sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook until the berries give off their juices, about 7 minutes. Add more sugar to taste (berry tartness will vary). Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Place berries in a food processor or blender and pulse until pureed. Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour the berry puree through; press using the back of a spoon or rubbery spatula to force the liquid through the sieve. Discard the solids. Stir in the tablespoon of liquor if using. Transfer the coulis to a jar or cover the bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.Run a knife between the cake pan and the cake and remove from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper; peel away the paper and discard. Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.To serve, pour berry coulis on dessert dishes and plate chocolate loaf slices on top. This cake is also excellent served with unsweet whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
    link Flourless Chocolate Loaf Cake with Berry Coulis By Heather Baird Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020Tuesday, May 19, 2020Flourless Chocolate Loaf Cake with Berry Coulis Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug Cake

    For a sweet single serving treat, all you need is a mug, a microwave, and a few pantry staples. Brown sugar cake batter is speckled with semisweet chocolate chips in this cookie-inspired mug cake!If ever there were a time for the mug cake to make a return from its heyday in, well, whatever year it was, (2015 or thereabouts?) it is now. It’s a quick solution when you need a sweet, comforting treat for just one or two people, all while sparing your kitchen much mess.I developed this recipe to soothe both my cake and cookie cravings. The brown sugar batter is light and springy, and it reminds me of a chocolate chip cookie with pockets of gooey melted semisweet chips.
    This recipe stirs together with nothing more than a fork, and cooks in the microwave for 45-50 seconds. That’s almost instant gratification!
    Similar to my recent crazy cake posts (chocolate and vanilla), this recipe requires no eggs, milk, or butter. It’s pantry staples all the way!
    The mixture is stirred together and then poured into an 8 oz. mug. These days the usual coffee mug size is about 11 oz. and that size will work also. The cake just won’t rise all the way to the top of the mug.
    A mug cake fresh from the microwave will be hot and steaming. The top may look under cooked, but it’s not – it’s just shiny from the steam generated in the microwave (you can check with a toothpick tester to be sure).As the cake cools it will pull away from the mug ever-so-slightly. You could turn it out on a plate, but there’s no reason to, really! Enjoy it straight from the mug.
    The brown sugar batter could be varied with other flavors of baking chips such as peanut butter or white chocolate. Nuts, dried fruit, or even a chopped fun-size candy bar would work as a mix-in!
    The vegetable oil in the cake batter keeps this cake moist and tender while baking powder gives it a springy texture. This mini cake is wonderful on its own, but served hot with a scoop of ice cream on top, it’s truly decadent!

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug CakeYields 1 serving3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed1/4 teaspoon baking powderPinch of salt1 tablespoon vegetable oil3 tablespoons water1/2 teaspoon molasses1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for garnishIn a bowl or a glass measuring cup with a pour spout, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together with a fork using the tines to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the oil, water, molasses, and extract. Stir together until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon semisweet chips.Pour the batter into an 8 oz. (1 cup capacity) microwave-safe mug. Use a rubber spatula to effectively scrape all of the batter into the mug. Add a few more semisweet chips on top of the batter, if desired.Microwave at 100% power for 45-50 seconds, or until the cake is well-puffed. Let stand for 2 minutes. A toothpick tester should come out without any uncooked batter clinging to it. Serve warm.Notes:This recipe was tested in a 1000 watt microwave. Higher wattage will cook this cake faster, lower wattage will cook slower. Adjust the time 5-10 seconds accordingly.Turn the cake out onto a plate if desired. For easiest removal, spray the mug with cooking spray before adding the batter to it.This recipe will work without the molasses if you don’t have any on hand. It will not taste as cookie-like, but still delicious.Serve this warm with a dollop of whipped cream or topped with vanilla ice cream if you have it!
    link Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug Cake By Heather Baird Published: Tuesday, April 14, 2020Tuesday, April 14, 2020Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Easter Bunny Cake

    Hippity-hoppity, Easter’s on its way! Celebrate with this charming bunny-shaped carrot cake, complete with edible Easter grass and candy eggs.Easter is arriving earlier than usual this year (April 12th – last year it was on the 21st!), so now’s the time to commence the making of bunny and egg-themed treats. I was so happy when Wilton invited me to make a spring-themed cake with their products, I couldn’t reply YES fast enough! Soon a box of tools and colorful ingredients arrived at my doorstep, and they inspired this funny bunny cake.

    Look at ALL THE THINGS! I couldn’t wait to get started. Here’s a list of all the items I used and some shopping links in case you’re looking to make your own bunny cake this year.
    I decided early on that this bunny would be made of carrot cake (what else?) and I really appreciated how my favorite carrot sheet cake recipe fit perfectly into the bunny pan. I covered the cooled cake with white buttercream and added some pink fondant ears and a heart-shaped nose. The eyes are jumbo black confetti sprinkles with black fondant eyelids and lashes, which are easy to make using a small circle cutter (see here).

    This egg mold makes the most beautiful candy eggs that have a smooth, matte finish – just like an eggshell! I used pink, orange, and yellow candy melts, but you could use whatever color you have on hand. 

    See how pretty they turned out? Next I’ll be making some chocolate-peanut butter eggs using this mold.
    The Easy Blooms Tip Set was so fun to try! I used it with confectioners’ buttercream that I tinted with the Neon Gel Food Color Set. To achieve flowers with yellow middles, spread icing on a sheet of plastic wrap, and pipe a yellow line of icing in the center -then roll it together, snip the end and place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with an Easy Bloom tip. You could also use a variety of other Wilton piping tips to create pretty flowers for bunny’s crown.I practiced piping on a piece of parchment, and if you try these tips, I recommend you do the same. You’ll soon find a method for applying the right pressure to the piping bag. When I started getting consistently nice-looking flowers, I piped a whole bunch of them on a baking sheet and popped them in the freezer. After a quick chill, I easily transferred the best looking blooms to the cake with a spatula.
    Brushing the cake board with piping gel helped hold on the grassy-looking sprinkles (I used both the Easter Grass Sprinkles and Easter Eggs with Grass Sprinkles). If you don’t have piping gel, then a small amount of corn syrup would also work. I think the molded candy eggs look right at home nestled in the grass.
    I gave bunny some sprinkle freckles – HA! – which totally made me happy and I giggled for a good minute before moving on to adding bunny head-shaped sprinkles to the flower crown. (How silly is that sentence!?) Both of these sprinkles are part of the Spring Sprinkles set.
    What a fun project! And the cake is so colorful, it’s like a ray of sunshine – which I think we all could use right about now.Follow my favorite carrot sheet cake recipe, which is usually baked in a 13×9-inch pan and comes with a quick cream cheese frosting recipe. The batter fits perfectly in the Easter Bunny Cake Pan, and you can find my American Buttercream recipe here, which I used to frost and decorate Bunny.

    Carrot Sheet CakeYields 15 servings1 1/2 cups (180g, or 7 oz.) all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 cup (200g) granulated sugar1 1/4 cups grated carrot (about 2 1/4 large carrots)2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable oil2 large eggs8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained1 teaspoon vanilla extractPreheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the first six ingredients. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the carrot, oil, eggs, pineapple, and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.Quick cream cheese frosting3 oz. cream cheese, softened4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract2 1/4 cups (310g) powdered sugar, siftedIn the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Mix in the vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Spread on top of cooled cake. Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator covered in plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature before serving.
    link Easter Bunny Cake By Heather Baird Published: Friday, March 27, 2020Friday, March 27, 2020Easter Bunny Cake (Carrot Sheet Cake Recipe) LEGGI TUTTO