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Breton Butter Almond Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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The Breton Butter Almond Cake recipe is an easy-to-make recipe that uses ingredients that I generally have on hand, making it convenient for anytime I need a simple dessert. It's described as being similar to shortbread which it definitely is, but with a more complicated taste and less crumbly texture.    The cake is flavored with a little bit of rum and vanilla, and I found that made a great platform for a variety of embellishments - whipped cream, berries, strawberry jam, and lemon curd are all ones we tried at home. But it was also tasty without anything added to it, and most importantly for me, it made a great grab and go breakfast the next morning! One note about the recipe, it says to pour the batter into your tart pan, but my batter was thick - more like cookie dough than cake batter, so I had scoop it in and then smooth with a rubber spatula. I was worried I had made a mistake, but if I did, it didn't seem to affect the taste or texture. Each month The Cake Slic

Pine Nut Weekend Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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This month I decided to make the Pine Nut Weekend Cake. It uses a technique I had not used before. Instead of starting with creamed butter and sugar or whipped egg white, the recipe has you whip heavy cream until "it holds its shape." Traditional cake ingredients are added until a thick batter is produced. You then layer the batter with pine nuts in two loaf pans and bake for about an hour. The recipe is easy to halve if you only want one loaf. I didn't think to take a picture before I put the cakes in the oven, but I had my loaf pans about 3/4 full with pine nuts sprinkled evenly all the way to the edges of the loaf.. About halfway through the bake time, I started to smell burnt cake. I quickly opened the oven door to discover that my cakes were overflowing the pans. I put a cookie sheet on the shelf below and scrapped as much batter as possible from the sides of the pans before closing the oven back up to let everything finish baking. The picture below are the loafs whe

Chocolate Corks #CakeSliceBakers

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Aleksandra Crapanzano, the author of this year's Cake Slice Bakers book, Gateau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes , recounts how most Parisians would have a small piece of dark chocolate each day. Clearly, I must be partly Parisian at heart because I also try to have at least one small piece of dark chocolate each day; it's the American part, undoubtedly, that contributes to the "at least." These small chocolate cakes definitely filled that need completely. Traditionally, they are made in special molds that make them take on the shape of a cork. I do not own one of those molds and so opted to use my brownie pan. The recipes makes around 12 standard sized corks; I was able to get 8 out of my brownie pan. This was an extremely simple recipe to follow, and the only ingredient it called for that I did not have in my house was mini dark chocolate chips. The author you can just chop up a couple pieces of chocolate instead, but I opted to finish up some mini semi-sw

Olive Oil Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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February required an easy cake that I didn't need to collect any special ingredients for. Luckily, the Olive Oil cake was one my choices. It's flavored with a lemon and an orange, both of which I already had in my house, and the other ingredients are all household staples for us.  It was an easy cake to make. And baked up beautifully.  The cake was extremely moist and had just the right touch of citrus.  Unfortunately, we were not big fans of the olive oil taste in the cake. I've not made an olive oil cake before, so I don't know if this is just a preference or if it was a result of the type of olive oil I used or how long it had been in my cupboard. I also wonder how the cake would taste if I made it with a more neutral tasting oil. Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is  G√Ęteau: The Surprising Simplicity of French Cakes  by Aleksandra Crapanzano. We each choose one cake to b

Flourless Chocolate and Red Wine Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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"It's more chocolatey than chocolate." "If there was such a thing as chocolate essence, this would be it." Two of my family's reviews of this cake, both of which really capture the heart of this bake. The recipe header promises that the red wine will enhance the flavor of the chocolate, and it definitely does! The recipe contains only a handful of ingredients - chocolate, red wine, butter, eggs, and sugar. The most complicated technique is having the patience to let the eggs whip long enough - around 10 minutes. It should still be a bit wobbly in the middle when you take it out. As predicted in the recipe, it quickly deflated.  Let it cool completely before unmolding. I was afraid it would fall apart if I tried to remove it from the springform pan bottom, though in hindsight, I probably could have managed it. It was a little sturdier than I anticipated. The author warns against trying to cut neat slices and recommends scooping it into the serving bowls. I fo

Angel Food Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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December brings an opportunity to bake any cake from this year's cook book that catches our fancy. There are several that I can't wait to bake including two that I have plains to make before the end of 2022, but I had a new-to-me angel food cake pan from the thrift store and a bowl of egg whites leftover from some Thanksgiving baking that pushed me in the Angel Food Cake direction. I had never made an angel food cake before so I followed the directions as closely as possible. The most important step appears to be making sure there is not grease on your pan as the cake clings to the sides of the pan which is what keeps it from collapsing in on itself. This recipe is flavored with a bit of lemon juice and has a layer of raspberries in the middle as well as a few more sprinkled on top before baking.  When the cake was complete, I tipped it upside down onto a cooling rack and left it there until it was completely cool. I then ran a paring knife between the edge of the cake and the

Grandma Ellen's Trinidad Rum Cake #CakeSliceBakers

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This cake was unlike any rum cake I'd ever had before. It is chock full of dried fruit, seasoned with warm spices, and sweetened with molasses. It seems similar to a Trinidad Black Cake though that recipe usually has cherries or cherry liquor as well.  Zoe's recipe calls for an optional topping of marzipan which I was unable to find and therefore left off. The batter has rum in it, and the dried fruit is supposed to be soaked in rum for at least 24 hours. Mine soaked for 4 hours and seemed pretty strong. I used a mixture for dried dates, cherries, currants, and cranberries. The batter is very thick and just about fills the cake pan. It took about an hour and twenty minutes to bake. The cake gets it's first brushing with rum as soon as it comes out of the oven. It then sits in the pan until cool. Then you remove the cake from the pan onto a plate, brush the sides and top with more rum, cover the bottom and sides with wax paper, and place into a clean cake pan. The top of my