Lemon Pound Cake to Die For

 

Just made this recently for Patricia V. — lemon pound cake tops her list of favorite indulgences.  After she finished a slice of the cake, I asked her if she liked it, and she exclaimed, “I don’t like it — I LOVE IT!”.  Goal achieved, yes!

Lemon Pound Cake to die for

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
5 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon orange extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

Pam-spray and flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, shortening and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until well blended after each one.  Mix in lemon zest.

Add dry ingredients in three additions to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low to medium speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in lemon juice.

Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.  Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes.  Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (from scratch, this time!)

It’s time to make this red cake from scratch…just because it’s V-day!   And yes, Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone (here, there and everywhere!).  I’d always rely on Duncan Hines for this red cake — and my only reason:  it bothers me to stir in 2 tablespoons of red food coloring, I just thought it’s too much, oh well.    And by using a cake box mix, I don’t have to see the addition of  “a lot, really a lot” red color in the cake batter.  But Valentine’s Day is screaming “red day”, so for just this day…I said yes.  But then I really didn’t have liquid red food color…I used Wilton’s red red icing colors…and color was off.   Guess, you can only use liquid red food color for red velvet cakes…lesson learned.

MOIST RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons buttermilk powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 box (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For the cake:   Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line two regular muffin pans with cupcake liners.   In a medium  bowl, whisk to aerate the flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk powder and cocoa; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one a time, beating well until light and fluffy.  Stir in flour mixture, water and red food coloring, mixing well.  Add vinegar last, and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Divide cake batter into lined muffin pan holes.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted into  center of cake comes out clean.  Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the frosting:  Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter together.  Stir in whipping cream and continue beating until fluffy.  Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well until smooth and well-combined.

Using small offset spatula, ice baked cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Finish off with a dusting  of Wilton red sugar sprinkles.  Enjoy!

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Apple Upside-Down Cake

It can’t always be pineapple upside down cake, apples too make a splendid upside down cake.   With upside down cakes, I like the batter or cake to be not too dense and heavy.  Sometimes I use a sponge cake recipe for upside down cakes.

APPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Topping:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, not packed, divided
1 granny smith apple (slice top for ring, and slice rest into 1/4″ thick wedges)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon rum

Cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
6 tablespoons apple sauce
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 1 /2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (remove about 1 tablespoon for use in topping)

Preheat oven to 350 F.   Line bottom of a 9 or 10″ round pan with parchment or waxed paper and lightly grease pan and paper with nonstick cooking spray.  Prepare topping.  Pour melted butter  in prepared pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Arrange sliced apples over brown sugar, start with ring in the middle of the pan and fill in with sliced apple wedges around the ring.  Sprinkle rest of brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nuts and rum.  Set aside.

Prepare the cake.  In a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, cream butter, applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, salt and spices until smooth and well-blended.  Stir in flour and baking soda.  Fold in chopped apples and nuts.  Spoon batter over apple layer in the pan, and then use a knife or offset spatula to cover.  Bake in preheated oven for about 45 to 55 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish.   Cut in wedges and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Makes 8 servings.

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EZ-breezy Red Velvet Custard Cake

This cake can be included in “much-loved desserts” — I always get the sweetest compliments everytime I bring this cake to a party.  And I’m making this again for my family’s thanksgiving dinner…it is velvety rich and really a sweet way to end the important meal of the year.

We approach this cake differently back home.   We make it with chiffon-type cake, a bit of a challenge for inexperienced bakers and with more attention given to folding beaten egg whites to cake batter and ensure volume doesn’t get deflated.

And no frosting needed — it’s a breeze to make.  Use any boxed cake mix of your choice.   But I just love the color of red and Duncan Hines just made it even easier by filling our store shelves with boxes of red velvet cake mixes.    Experiment with different mixes and flavors — devil’s food cake mix and leftover brewed coffee, pumpkin cake mix with eggnog, butter cake mix with mango or peach nectar, etc.

Start preparing the caramel syrup using a small saucepan.   Melt sugar until it turns into golden brown syrup.  Stand back and slowly add water, and this causes sugar to crystallize and turn into a solid mass.  Keep cooking until mixture returns to liquid state.  Add light corn syrup and cook until it resembles a thick syrup, not runny, not too thick.  You will need to coat the bottom of well-greased bundt pan with this syrup, so it is important that syrup is just thick enough to slide while tilting the bundt pan.

Next is the flan base — if you choose using all egg yolks, the flan is a bit dense.  I find adding some whole eggs producing a much lighter flan.   Just simply whisk all ingredients until well-blended.  In this recipe, the goal is not to have a baked flan with a really smooth texture.

Then comes the part we wouldn’t really be so concerned with — prepare cake following instructions at the back of the box, easy and overmixing is least of your worry here.    Slowly spoon the cake batter to flan base and set the bundt pan in baine marie (bundt pan sitting on top of a larger pan filled with hot water).   Normal test for doneness using toothpick — if it comes out clean, it is done.

It is easy, it is breezy.  Now after some hours of cooling, unmold the cake (don’t forget to say a prayer to some Gods and Goddesses) and behold…Red Velvet Custard Cake.

Here’s the recipe:

EZ-BREEZY RED VELVET CUSTARD CAKE

Caramel Syrup:  1 cup sugar, caramelized    3/4 cup water    1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Custard or Flan:
3 large eggs  2 egg yolks   1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tall can evaporated milk   splash of flavoring (lemon, vanilla, buco pandan, mango, etc)

Cake:    1 box Red Velvet cake mix   water, oil and eggs as directed on back of the cake mix box

Prepare cake pan (bundt pan is used in this recipe);  spray bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Caramel Syrup:  Caramelize sugar (sugar melts and turns into golden brown syrup) in a small saucepan over medium high heat.   Slowly add water and continue boiling until mixture turns to liquid again.  Add corn syrup and continue cooking until thick and syrupy.   Pour into prepared pan, tilting pan to evenly coat the bottom and 1 inch up sides.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Prepare custard/flan:  Whisk all flan ingredients until smooth.  Slowly  pour the custard into the bundt pan.

Prepare cake according to instructions in the box and slowly spoon over custard layer.   Bake for 70 or 75 minutes  in baine marie (cake pan placed in a larger pan filled with hot water).   Cake is done when a wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Unmold cake over a serving platter and enjoy!

Moist Zucchini Chocolate Cake


Back in my Wilton school days, cake decorating students would be served with zucchini bars — it was darn good.  And one wouldn’t even taste the bitterness of zucchini — it was the moist and light cake that just begged for attention.   And the recipe was just a simple one, no fuzz, not too many ingredients and cake didn’t even require any frosting at all.

So using same recipe, I incorporated cocoa powder and a good amount of Nielsen-Massey chocolate extract and came up with a “perfect-for-summer” Moist Zucchini Chocolate Cake.  Here’s the recipe:

MOIST ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 cups grated zucchini (from 1 large or 2 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey pure chocolate extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 /2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Grease, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan; set aside.  In a medium bowl, aerate flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and buttermilk powder using low speed of electric mixer or a whisk; set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, using electric mixer.   Beat in vegetable oil.   Add eggs, one at a time.  Blend in extracts.

Stir in flour mixture and grated zucchini and beat until just blended.  Spread cake batter evenly onto prepared pan.   Sprinkle with chopped nuts and chocolate morsels.

Bake for 55 minutes or until wooden skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean,  Cool cake on wire rack.  Cut into bars or squares.

BOB RECIPE: German Chocolate Cake

Just what I needed for German Chocolate Cupcakes am baking/decorating tomorrow.  Will bake in paper-lined muffin pans and pile some of this icing on top of baked muffins.  Then sprinkle some cocoa nibs.

from: Flavorite (Supervalu, Inc.)
Product:  Sweetened Coconut

BOB RECIPE:  German Chocolate Cake

Bake German Chocolate Cake mix according to directions.  Cool & Frost with following icing.

Icing:
2 eggyolks
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon margarine
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg yolks; add milk, sugar and margarine.  Cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add coconut, nuts and vanilla.  Spread on cake.

The Divine Cakes of St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie

Jacob, my neighbor, showed me these “am-blown-away” cakes from St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie.   This is one gourmet pastry shop with a real “heavenly” touch as the breads, pastries, cookies are all made by Nuns, yes, real nuns and french authentico.   The cakes just look so divine, absolutely showstopper at any sweet table.  I plan to take more pictures of their decadent and delicious (and presumably a bit expensive) pastries when I drop by for some chocolate croissants this weekend on my way to the Wilton tent sale at Woodridge.

My classmate I’m chatting in FB, now living in Amsterdam, wants me to purchase for her a 3 layer cake stand.

For some bites of St. Roger Abbey’s pastries, here’s the address:

St. Roger Abbey French Patisserie
1720 S Randall Rd, Algonquin, IL 60102 | 847-458-0984

http://www.strogerabbey.org

Fruit Cocktail Crumb Cake

Fruit Cocktail Crumb Cake
Serves 10

I had to open an industrial size can of fruit cocktail for a recipe I’m developing and I had several cups of leftover fruit cocktail to consume.  Mmm, I could mix them to a bowl of canned lychees and add some gelatin cubes.  Or arrange them on top of frosted layers of yellow cakes.  But aint doing that now.  I just decided to have a “take 2” of my peach crumb cake recipe and use drained fruit cocktail instead of drained peach halves.  My friends just devoured the cake.  This time I used a smaller cake pan, a 9 inch square pan and bake for about 50 minutes.  Yummm!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
2¼ cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
2½ to 3  cups canned fruit cocktail, drained well

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Pam-spray a 9 inch square baking pan, line with wax or parchment paper and pam spray again.  Set aside.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together flour, sugar and butter until blended and crumbly.  Measure 1 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside to cover top of cake batter.

Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sour cream to the remaining crumb mixture and beat until just blended; don’t overmix.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared baking pan.  Arrange sliced peaches on top of the cake batter and cover with remaining batter.  Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top of the cake batter and smooth evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes or edges of the cake turns lightly browned.   When wooden skewer is inserted in thick part of the cake, it will come out a bit wet.  Cool slightly.  Then turn out to a serving platter and cut into squares.

PEACH CRUMB CAKE

PEACH CRUMB CAKE   Serves 10
I baked this in a 13 x 9 pan and it turned out great — not too tall and looked awesome when cut in bars.

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon iodized salt
1 cup sour cream
canned sliced peaches or fruit cocktail, drained well

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Pam-spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan, line with wax or parchment paper and pam spray again.  Set aside.

In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together flour, sugar and butter until blended and crumbly.  Measure 1 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside to cover top of cake batter.

Add eggs, vanilla, almond extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sour cream to the remaining crumb mixture and beat until just blended; don’t overmix.

Spread half of the batter in the prepared baking pan.  Arrange sliced peaches on top of the cake batter and cover with remaining batter.  Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top of the cake batter and smooth evenly.

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 to 40 minutes or edges of the cake turns lightly browned.   When wooden skewer is inserted in thick part of the cake, it will come out a bit wet.  Cool slightly.  Then turn out to a serving platter and cut into squares.

This is one “perfect for spring” cake — so give this a try!

BOB RECIPE: Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake

from: Softasilk
Product:  Cake Flour

BOB RECIPE: Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

Crisco no stick Cooking spray with flour
2cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
Chocolate Curls, if desired

Buttercream Frosting:
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-9 tablespoon milk
7 1/2 cups (2 pounds) powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 F.  Spray three 9-inch round cake pans generously with nonstick cooking spray with flour.

Beat sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; beat into creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk on medium speed.  Beat 1 minute longer.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 26 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely.

Beat 1 1/4 cups butter, 2 teaspoons clear vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond extracts in a medium bowl at medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add milk and powdered sugar, scraping bowl as needed.  Beat on high speed adding additional milk by the tablespoon until desired consistency is achieved.  Brush any loose crumbs from cooled layers.  Place first layer, rounded side down, on plate.  Spread with buttercream frosting to within 1/4 inch of edge.  Level off top of second layer.  Top with second layer, topside down.  Spread with frosting.  Tope with third layer, top side up.  Coat side of cake with thin layer of frosting to seal in crumbs.  Frost side and top of cake.  If desired, draw cake comb through frosting to make decorative designs and top with shaved chocolate curls.  Refrigerate cake to set the frosting; allow cake to stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 16 servings.