Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Blitz Torte - #TheCakeSliceBakers

This month the Cake Slice Bakers continue to bake from The Perfect Cake by American Test Kitchen.  This book is not yet available, but we've been granted permission to bake and post a few months before publication.  Based on the cakes I've baked so far, I can't wait for this book to arrive in my mail.

This month, I had a hard time choosing.  The Boston Cream cupcakes definitely sounded like something my family would enjoy, and I'm always looking for a good cupcake recipe.  The Bananas Foster Cake sounded like all kinds of yumminess (and will definitely make an appearance on our table sometime in the next few months).  The Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise sounds amazing, but I was afraid it would be more than I could manage this month.  So the Blitz Torte it was, and what a good choice!  It was not over-complicated, I had no problems with the recipe, and my family did their best to gobble it up in one night - thankfully they failed so I could have a second piece the next morning.

The base for the cake is a yellow cake topped with meringue and sprinkled with sliced almonds.  I could not find sliced almonds in either store I went into, so I used slivered instead.

Layered between both cakes was a lemon-flavored whipped cream and raspberries.

It tasted even better than it looks.  I was concerned about how it would hold up overnight, as the instructions said to eat within two hours of assembly, but I covered and refrigerated the leftovers, and it was still standing sturdy the next day.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through.  This year it is The Perfect Cake from America's Test Kitchen #atkcake.  We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes, or visit our blog where the links are updated each month. If you are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The choices this month were Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise, Blitz Torte, Bananas Foster Cake, and Boston Cream Cupcakes.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Yule Log Take 3

This year I decided to make another attempt at a Yule Log.  I used the same chocolate cake recipe I used last year, but I filled it with a cranberry-raspberry mascarpone filling and topped with chocolate buttercream.  I again had issues with the cracking as I rolled the filled log, and it actually split in half, though that was okay because I was going to cut it into two pieces anyway.  I think next year I will try a different cake recipe

Cranberry Mascarpone Filling
1 Cup Heavy Cream
3 T granulated sugar
1 container of Mascarpone
1 container of raspberries, chopped
1/2 can of whole berry cranberry sauce

1.  Puree the cranberry sauce.
2.  Whip the heavy cream with sugar until thickened.
3.  Add the Mascarpone to the whip cream and continue to whip until medium peaks form.
4.  Add raspberries and cranberry sauce and whip for another 2-3 seconds.  Continue to mix by hand with a rubber spatula until it looks mixed.


January 2019 King Arthur Bake Along was Challah Bread.  I had a lot of trouble getting it to rise, but it may have been the way I combined the ingredients.  I used regular yeast instead of instant yeast.  I'm going to try again with the correct yeast and see if it rises more. 

My family still loved it though, and it was perfect with beef stew on a cold, snowy day.


October King Arthur Bake Along.  Easy, delicious. I used a variety of fillings, including cinnamon, chocolate chip, and apricot jam.  The apricot jam was definitely our favorite.

Little Tea Shop Cake with Chocolate Pudding Sauce

In honor of The Cake Slice Bakers tenth anniversary, we are baking from a "bonus book" each month - one of the cookbooks used during one of the previous years.  In my family this is cause for much rejoicing as it means at least one extra cake each month!  The January 2019 bonus boos is Great Cakes by  Carole Walter.

I wanted to make something chocolate and also something that I already had the ingredients for in my house.  I chose a recipe called Little Tea Shop Cake with Chocolate Pudding Sauce that was based on a cake the author and her mother used to enjoy from a restaurant in Memphis, TN.  

The cake was really easy to make.  It had a light vanilla taste and was very tender.

But the star of the show was definitely the Chocolate Pudding Sauce.  This stuff was amazing warm or cold.  I had to make a second batch before we finished up the cake because my kids kept dipping their fruit in the leftover sauce.

The cake was airy enough that it absorbed the sauce as I cut in to take a bite.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cake - #TheCakeSliceBakers

A new year brings a new book for baking cakes with the Cake Slice Bakers.  This year we are fortunate to be able to back from America's Test Kitchen's latest book - The Perfect Cake (#atkcake).  This book won't be available to purchase until March, but we were allowed to have a sneak peak at a few recipes to kick off 2018.

I picked the Peanut Butter Pretzel cake as my January bake.  When I first heard the title, I was sure there would be some kind of chocolate involved - after all, what would go better with peanut butter and pretzels than chocolate?  When I saw that there wasn't any, I toyed with the idea of adding some.  Then I tasted the batter and realized how wrong I was.  The cake batter has ground pretzels added to it as well as molasses, giving it an almost gingerbread taste.  The cake is topped with a peanut butter frosting that is simply divine.  I had some left over that I intended to use on cupcakes this weekend.  My family beat me to it.  They've been eating the leftover frosting with pretzels for an afternoon snack the last two days.

The cake was a big hit.  My oldest son asked if I would make this one for his birthday.  The sitter wanted to know where I got the recipe as she felt the need to make another for her own family.  And there was much of gnashing of teeth when the last piece was eaten.  The recipe was not over complicated, and I didn't have any problems.

If all the recipes in this book are half as successful, America's Test Kitchen has another go-to book for my bookshelf.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Harriott Horry's Water Cake

One of my Christmas gifts to myself this year was copy of the book American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of our Best-Loved Cakes.  I had been wanting this book for sometime as it combines two of my favorite things - American History and baking cakes.

The book is laid out chronologically.  Each chapter covers a different time period.  There's information about the ingredients available during that period in America, events that were influencing baking, and any big baking trends.  Each recipe also has a write-up that provides some history on the cake and its creator.  I'll be baking through this book over the next year or two, picking two or three cakes from each chapter.

The first chapter covers 1650-1799, and the first cake I chose to bake from here is Harriott Horry's Water Cake.  Harriott Horry was from South Carolina. The cake has only a few ingredients - sugar, water, eggs and flour - and is receptive to any topping you might have on hand.

It didn't look like much coming out of the oven.  Topped with some whipped cream and blackberries, it looks much more inviting.

The cake is described as an early sponge cake, but it does not have the texture of any sponge cake I've ever eaten.  It's almost more like the filling for a pecan pie minus the pecans.  I was concerned I'd done something wrong, but an internet search tells me that other people had the same outcome.  While the cake was edible, it's not one I would make again.