Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Almost Fudge Gateau

I'm not sure if this has made the rotation for TWD, but this easy, chocolatey dessert was a hit at our little monkey's blessing last week. The gateau is dense and moist, and most importantly, chocolatey!
I used a dark chocolate (66% cacao) and it made the dessert so rich, it was great!
Topped with a glaze and some whipped cream, this is a great crowd pleaser!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CS Bakers- Burnt Sugar Cake

Burnt Sugar Cake.
Burned sugar syrup incorporated into a yellow cake, frosted with icing with the same burnt sugar syrup.Sound sweet?
That's putting it mildly.
This was November's Cake Slice Bakers cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. Not a hit in our house. The cake was moist, but overly sweet. The frosting was the powder-y sugar kind that I don't care for. I was hoping for some kind of toasty, caramel-y warm sugar flavor that wasn't present in my cake. This had to be served with ice cream to mellow out the sweetness. I read someone used apples in it to tone down the sweetness, which would be a good idea. Go here for other's ideas and results!

Burnt Sugar Cake

Makes one 9 inch round cake

For the Cake

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1¾ cups sugar

4 eggs

½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (below)

For the Burnt Sugar Syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup boiling water

For the Burnt Sugar Frosting

3¾ cups confectioners sugar

½ cup Burnt Sugar Syrup (above)

¼ cup (½ stick) butter

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 – 3 tbsp evaporated milk or normal milk

Method – Burnt Sugar Syrup

Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or another heavy bottomed pan with high sides. Heat over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts into a clear brown caramel syrup. It should be the colour of tea. Gradually add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you should be protected.

Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water combines with the syrup and turns a handsome brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar if not using straight away.

Method - Cake

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 2 – 3 minutes, until they are well combined. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in half a cup of the burnt sugar syrup and beat well. Add a third of the flour mixture and about half of the milk, beating at a low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in another third of the flour and the rest of the milk. Finally, add the remaining flour.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the cakes are golden brown, spring back when touched gently in the centre and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for15 minutes. Turn out the cakes into the wire rack to cool completely.

Method – Burnt Sugar Frosting

In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the burnt sugar syrup, butter and vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and continue beating until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if it is thin, and a little more milk if it is too thick.

To Assemble

Place one layer, top side down, on a cake stand or serving plate. Scoop about ¾ cup of the frosting onto the cake. Spread to the edges and place the second cake layer over it, top side down. Frost the sides of the cake, and then the top until it is evenly covered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD- Cran-Apple Crisps

Ok, are fresh/frozen cranberries really in the grocery store? I know it's (early) November, but my stores didn't have them in yet. Dorie says she makes this in October when cranberries arrive.

So I just used apples and the dried cranberries. It did need another berry, though, because it was a little dry. I did a little math and only made two of these since my husband is out of town and my parents, who were in town, left last weekend.This is a great quick and easy crisp recipe. The topping (as with all crisps I've ever had) was my favorite part- I loved the addition of coconut. Check out Em's blog for the recipe. And be sure to bookmark it- it's one of my favorites!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Peter Pan cake

Not as ornate as Gabe's cake last year, this was a Peter Pan cake with Tinkerbell, the crocodile with Captain Hook's arm, and the rowboat with Mr. Smee's hat.