Honey Pound cake with strawberry buttercream

BM #106 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Baked Dishes

Here is a cake from my drafts folder. This was one of the recipes from the book Erin Bakes cake where she had given a base recipe for pound cakes and variations with different liquid sweeteners. I chose to bake with honey, but you can use the same amount of molasses or maple syrup for a different flavor. Instead of a regular vanilla based buttercream, I also made a strawberry buttercream here. A cup of strawberry jam or preserves to the buttercream was all it took to get a nice pinkish strawberry buttercream.

The design pattern is from one of the books I borrowed from the library, but I don’t remember the name to give a link to it. It was one of the simplest designs I had done. The polka dots are made by dabbing black food coloring with the flat end of a skewer on the cake. I never thought it would be that simple! The flowers and leaves are fondant cut outs.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake

Ingredients:

  • 5 sticks butter (20 ounces/560 gms)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs
  • 6 cups plain flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces honey (1.5 cups)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line three 8″ pans with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer bowl, add softened butter, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and salt for about 5 minutes until it’s light and creamy. Stop in between to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. With the mixer running at a low speed, Add honey and beat it in until combined. Add eggs, one at a time and beat it in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the flour in three batches, alternating with whole milk. So add 1/3rd of the flour and let the mixer (at the lowest speed possible) incorporate it with the butter mixture. Then add half of the milk. Once the milk is combined well, add another batch of flour. Repeat this for one more round of milk and flour.
  5. Take the bowl off the mixer, combine everything with a silicone spatula to make sure that everything is incorporated well. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or so, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take off the oven and let it rest on the pan for 10-15 minutes. After that, remove it carefully from the pan, peel off the parchment paper. Cling wrap the cake two times and return it back to the pan. When it’s completely cooled down, fill and frost with buttercream and cover with fondant. Decorate as you like.

For the strawberry buttercream,

  • Beat 4 sticks (16oz/450gms) softened butter and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer, Add 7 1/2 cups (2 lbs bag) powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2-4 tablespoons milk. Mix it in with a spatula to prevent sugar flying all over the kitchen.
  • Switch the mixer ON at the lowest setting and beat it until it reaches a creamy consistency.
  • Add 1 cup of strawberry preserve for a strawberry flavored buttercream.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Chocolate Chip Cake

chocolate_torte1

 BM #105: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : One country, One category

A chocolate cake with a good dose of chocolate chips in it and topped with a chocolate glaze – That could be the definition for dessert! The one here is even more sweeter than the rest, because my son baked it for our friend’s anniversary. He insisted on baking and I decided that’s a great thing. The problem with him baking is that he looses interest half way through and then it would be up to me to take care of the rest. That’s the reason why I chose a simple cake, one with not much of decorations. That way he can do most of the work and truly claim to his work of art :-).

I am a big fan of Hershey’s baking books. I have never had a dud from any of their books. What I like about most of their recipes is the simplicity. This cake was easy to put together and it is from Hershey’s Recipe Collection.

Read on for the recipe.

chocolate_torte2

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2sticks, ~220 gms)melted butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Melted white chocolate for decoration

 

 Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease and line a 9″ cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup melted butter, 1.5 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat well. Now add 3 egg yolks, one at a time and beat after each addition.

 

 Add 2/3 cups cocoa powder, 1/2 cup plain flour and 3 tablespoons of water. Beat well. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.

In another clean mixing bowl, Beat 3 egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form. Fold this carefully into the chocolate mixture.

Pour this into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly. Take off the oven and let it Cool for an hour. Carefully take it out of the pan and cover with cling wrap and return to pan until you are ready to serve.

For the glaze, combine 1 cup chocolate chips(semisweet or dark) and 1/4 cup milk in a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth. It shouldn’t boil. Remove from heat, let it cool until it thickens a bit – 10 to 15 minutes or so. Pour this glaze on top of the cake and spread with a spatula. You can cover the sides as well. Decorate as you wish, here its a few lines with melted white chocolate.

chocolate_torte3

Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Nutella cake with Nutella frosting

BM #105: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : One country, One category

For this week’s theme, I have chosen three dessert recipes from USA. I am beginning the series with a Nutella cake. The recipe is from the book Erin Bakes Cake, which I borrowed from the library. It’s one of the best baking books I have come across. The book gives base recipes for cakes, but with numerous options to try different flavors. The recipe I am sharing is a base recipe for any “butter” cake (Nut based butter). The version here is for Nutella, but say if you want a peanut butter cake, make the substitution. You will also need to increase the sugar by one more cup as Nutella has sugar and peanut butter doesn’t.

I had made this cake last summer for a friend’s birthday. Between the cake and the frosting, there is some serious amount of Nutella here :-). The flavor was amazing and I decided to go for a very simple decoration with a chocolate drip and some cherries on top.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: Erin Bakes Cake

Makes two 8″x3″ cakes

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups butter (~340 gms) , at room temp
  • 1.5 cups Nutella
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 eggs
  • 1.5 cups flour

Method:

  1. Pre Heat oven to 350F/ 180C. Grease and line two 8″ x 3″ pans.
  2. Beat the butter, Nutella, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt using a stand mixer or hand mixer. Beat until it’s a smooth and fluffy mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl in between to make sure everything mixes well.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat it in.
  4. Stop the mixer and add the flour in. Fold the flour in, using a rubber spatula. This prevents the flour from going all over the place.
  5. Divide the batter between the two greased pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, the cake is done when a skewer inserted to the middle comes free of crumbs.
  6. Take off the oven, let it rest in the pan for ten minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  7. Once the cake is completely cooled down, prepare the frosting and decorate the cake as you wish.

For the Nutella buttercream,

  • Beat 4 sticks (16oz/450gms) softened butter and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes in a stand mixer bowl.
  • Turn off the mixer, Add 7 1/2 cups (2 lbs bag) powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 2-4 tablespoons milk. Mix it in with a spatula to prevent sugar flying all over the kitchen.
  • Switch the mixer ON at the lowest setting and beat it until it reaches a creamy consistency. To make Nutella buttercream, add 3/4 cup chilled Nutella. Beat it in until creamy. Makes about 6 cups of frosting.

Sending this entry to Kid’s Delight – Anniversary party.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Cupcake recipe

BM# 100: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Pick an alphabet 

Like I mentioned earlier, I have a go to recipe for chocolate cakes. And I have another one for Vanilla cakes. I always use the Hot Milk Cake recipe from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book be it cakes or cupcakes.Its a  very tasty and sturdy cake and it freezes very well too.

I chanced upon a Craftsy (now BluPrint) DVD at the library couple of years back. Craftsy/BluPrint has a lot of online classes for various topics. I found excellent classes for Baking and cake decorating there, so I took the membership. I found their decorating videos to be more useful, its really helped me a lot.

The recipe for cupcakes here is from The Perfect Cupcake by Jennifer Shea . I never knew that there is so much more you can do with the cupcakes, there is a section on adding crusts to your cupcakes which I found very interesting. She suggests serving cupcakes on the day of baking for maximum freshness. Since cupcakes don’t take too much time to bake, I found it to be excellent advice. The recipe can be baked as a cake as well, you will need to adjust the baking time according to the size of the pan used.

This is the last recipe under the alphabet C. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cups half and half **
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 gms/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350F/180C. Line two 12 cup muffin pans with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix the mik, half and half, vanilla. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until it becomes light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add the dry ingredients mix in three parts, alternating it with wet ingredients in two parts, keeping the mixer at a low speed. Once everything is added, using a rubber spatula, mix everything well and let it sit aside for 15 minutes. Stir gently before using.
  6. Fill upto 2/3rd of the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are firm and a skewer inserted to the center of the cupcakes comes free of crumbs. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  7. Frost once the cupcakes are completely cool.

Notes:

*Substitute all purpose flour for cake flour.

**I use a mix of heavy cream and whole milk or whole milk alone for half and half.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#100