Friday, October 20, 2017

Scandinavian Cardamon Coffee Cake

This month for the Cake Slice Bakers I baked a Scandinavian Cardamon Coffee Cake. I had never cooked or baked with cardamon and was a little unsure of what exactly or where to find it.  Cardamon is a spice, and it comes in two forms - whole pods and ground. It's similar in taste to ginger. For this recipe you'll want to use ground cardamon.  Now if you live in a small town like I do, you may have a little trouble finding cardamon.  I ended up stopping at a bigger grocery story while we were driving somewhere.  You can also substitute other spice cake type spices like ginger and cinnamon in this cake.  The cake itself is topped with a chocolate ganache. I made my chocolate ganache with bittersweet chocolate.

The recipe was easy to follow and produced a lovely coffee cake.  I thought the flavor of the cardamon would be a little strong for my children, but they all loved it.  I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe, and now that I know where I can find cardamon will definitely be making it again.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Linzer Torte

A little late this month for my Cake Slice Bakers' bake, but cake a little late is better than no cake at all!  We continue to bake from "World Class Cakes" by Roger Pizey.  This month I chose to bake a Linzer Torte.

The recipe for the crust seemed a little unusual to me (3 hard boiled egg yolks, for example), so I opted for a simpler one.  I had a little trouble with the dough and believe it could have used substantially longer in the refrigerator before trying to roll out and shape.  The taste, however, was superb.  The main flavor of the torte is, of course, the filling.  I used a high quality raspberry jam.  I think if I had homemade on hand, I would definitely opt for that.

This torte was a huge hit with my family, and I think it could easily be turned into cookie bars that would be perfect for a tea party or potluck.

Linzer Torte
8 T butter, room temperature
2/3 C granulate sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 t vanilla
1 large egg
1 C almond flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
18 oz raspberry jam, room temperature
1 egg + 1 T milk to make egg wash

1.  Cream together butter and sugar in a stand mixer until light in color.  Add lemon zest, vanilla and egg and mix until combined.
2.  Sift together almond flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and mix just until the dough comes together.  Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.
3.  Cut one-third of dough and place back into refrigerator.  Roll the other two-thirds on a lightly flour surface into a circle a little larger than your tart pan (I used a 9-in pan).  Press into the pan, smoothing up the sides.  Spread the jam evenly into the tart shell.
4.  Take the remainder of the dough and make a lattice top for your torte.
5.  Place the torte back into the refrigerator for at least an hour (I covered mine and refrigerated overnight).
6.  Preheat the over to 350.  Brush with egg wash and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbly.
7.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tart pan.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hummingbird Cake

Time for another bake from the Cake Slice Bakers.  We're still baking from "World Class Cakes" by by Roger Pizey. This month our choices were
  1. Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches p.83
  2. Hummingbird Cake p.34
  3. M’hanncha p.234
  4. Oliver Peyton’s Strawberry and Marjoram Cream Tart p.250

They were all tempting options, especially the Olive Oil Cake but I've been wanting to try a Hummingbird Cake for a long time, so it was really an easy decision for me.  I found the recipe easy to follow.  I did substitute 1 can of drained pineapple for the fresh pineapple, and the cake still came out quite moist and flavorful.  

The recipe calls for a cream cheese which I found a little sweet for the cake.  We all liked the taste of the cream cheese with the cake, so I might try to make it with a little less sugar next time.  I also added unsweetened coconut to the top, and I think that might have been good in between the layers.

The cake was very moist and a great texture and flavor.  My family gobbled it up.  It will definitely be added to our regular rotation of cakes.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lemon Tart

Time for another Cake Slice Baker's bake.  This month I chose to make Marco Pierre White's Lemon Tart.  I followed the recipe as written, and had no problems.  It had a delicious taste and a lovely texture.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chocolate Babka

King Arthur's bake along challenge for April was a Chocolate Babka.  The recipe made two loaves.  It gave two different approaches towards making the loaf.  I chose the "more complex shaping" option, and was pretty happy with the results.  

The filling has chocolate cream with nuts sprinkled in.  There's also a crumble topping that goes over the top.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Herb Bread

King Arthur's March Bake Along was for a Butterflake Herb Loaf:
I actually did bake this in March, but it took until yesterday to get the pictures off the camera!  

 The technique is that you roll out the bread dough, cut large circles, spread filling on the circles, fold them into semicircles and stack in your bread pan to make a pull-apart loaf.  The recipe was a little fiddley for what is basically garlic bread, but it wasn't hard to follow, and everyone liked it. 

One of the loaves
The loaf pulled apart

I followed the recipe as listed, but the website also includes options for other types of fillings including a sweet filling.

After making two loaves, I still had some dough leftover.  My daughter and I used that to make rolls.  We rolled small dough ball, stacked two or three of them into a muffin cup and spread the filling on top.  These were very good and not nearly as much work.  I could see these making an appearance at our dinner table.

Sacher Torte

It's May 20th which means it's my wedding anniversary!  It's also the day for my Cake Slice Bakers reveal.  We continue to bake from Roger Pizey's World Class Cakes book.  All of the choices this month looked enticing, but as May is also the month of my favorite helper's birthday, and she only has one flavor, the Sacher Torte was my obvious choice.

The Sacher Torte is a deep chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache.  I made the cake almost as described.  I used bittersweet chocolate (60%) instead of the 70% called for in the recipe because of the expense.  Traditionally, the cake has the letter S or the word Sacher on top, but ours had a letter L for Laura.

The finished cake

My best helper blowing out her candles
The cake was a big hit!  Everyone enjoyed it, and I expect to get requests for it in the future.
It tasted as good as it looked