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Oct 10, 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

By the Book: ‘Pastry’ by Nick Malgieri

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Welcome to the new By the Book, where the Sauce editors choose a monthly theme and pit cookbooks in a head-to-head battle to see who comes out on top. And the winner? We hand the champion over to you in a By the Book Facebook giveaway. This month, we’re tackling all things sweet. First up: Pastry by Nick Malgieri. 




Pastry sets out to rehabilitate people who have sworn off DIY pastry due to traumatic experiences like making flavorless, unrollable dough. Author Nick Malgieri is a your cheerleader, creating approachable, basic pastry recipes (including a number of gluten-free options) that are a balanced mix of sweets and savories, as well as strudels and even a quick puff pastry.

As pie recipes go, this one was straightforward and did not require expert skill. A few variations are suggested: crumb topping instead of a double crust, omitting the apples for a blueberry-only version or substituting raspberries and blackberries for the blueberries. In short, the rules are flexible.

The result was delicious, but ugly – though admittedly that has everything to do with my inability to make visually appealing pie. While it may not have looked good, it did taste good. The jammy blueberry filling was a thick, sweet counterpoint to the tart Granny Smiths, and the all-butter crust was flaky and mildly sweet.

The Rundown
Skill level: Beginner. The recipes require common ingredients, tools and equipment. Also, the subtitle is Foolproof Recipes for the Home Cook.
This book is for: Folks wanting to give pastry and dough-making another go after failing miserably in the past.
Other recipes to try: Mississippi Chess Pie
The verdict: TBD. Check back next week when we pit Pastry against Chocolate Chip Sweets.




Blueberry and Apple Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie, about 8 servings

2 9-inch pie crusts made from Sweet Pastry Dough (recipe follows)
2 pints blueberries, rinsed, dried and picked over
¾ cup sugar
4 Tbsp. water or apple juice
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb. (2 large) Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 3/8-inch dice
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Milk for brushing
1 to 2 tsp. sugar

• Combine 1½ cups blueberries, the sugar and 2 Tbsp. of the water in a medium saucepan. Set over low heat and cook, stirring often, until the blueberries have become very juicy and the sugar has dissolved. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining water, then stir in about a third of the blueberry juices. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan, return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear, about 3 minutes.
• Remove from the heat, scrape the filling into a medium bowl and stir in the spices. Let cool.
• Set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
• Fold the remaining blueberries and the diced apples into the cooled filling.
• Scrape into the pie crust and spread evenly. Dot with butter and arrange the top crust. Attach, flute and pierce the top crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with the sugar.
• Place the pie in the oven and decrease the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until the curst is baked through and the juices are actively simmering, about 45 minutes.
• Cool the pie on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Sweet Pastry Dough
Makes 2 single-crust pies or tarts or 1 double-crusted pie

2 cups (260 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into dry-measure cup and level)
1/3 cup (75 g.) sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick / 112 g.) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces
2 large eggs

• Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse several times at 1-second intervals to mix.
• Add the butter and pulse again until the butter is finely mixed throughout the dry ingredients and no visible pieces remain.
• Use a fork to beat the eggs enough to break them up and add to the bowl. Pulse again until the dough almost forms a ball; avoid pulsing too much or the dough might become too soft.
• Invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead together 3 or 4 times to make it smooth.
• Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form them into disks, and wrap each in plastic. Chill for a couple of hours before rolling.
• Before rolling the dough, place it on a floured surface and gently knead until smooth and malleable. Form into a disk again before beginning to roll.

Reprinted with permission from Kyle Books

Baked: Tricolor Almond Cake

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015



I recently tried one of Piccione Pastry’s tricolor cookies and fell in love. It’s a cake-like cookie made with almond paste, dyed three different colors, sandwiched with apricot or raspberry jam and coated in chocolate. I usually don’t like fruit and chocolate combinations, but this simply works. I wondered what it would be like in a giant cake form, so I set out to try to make a tricolor cake for an almond-loving friend.

I had plenty to go around and sent many slices to everyone I knew. They all sent me messages raving about how delicious it was. The cake is very soft and not too heavy, despite its density from the amount of almond filling used. Instead of almond paste, I opted for almond pastry filling, which is lighter and readily available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. I also drizzled a few tablespoons of amaretto over each cake before sandwiching them together for boozy almond goodness.

If you even think you might like almond desserts, bake this cake. It takes a bit of work if you don’t have three of the same pan (I had to take turns baking each layer in my single loaf pan), but the effort is well worth it when you slice to those gorgeous colors.


Tricolor Italian Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Alejandra Ramos
Makes 1 9-by-5-inch loaf cake

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
6 oz. almond pastry filling
½ cup milk
½ Tbsp. almond extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
Red food coloring
Green food coloring
Yellow food coloring
½ cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 Tbsp. amaretto
4 Tbsp. raspberry or apricot jam (I recommend Bonne Maman.)
Fresh berries or fruit for servings

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the  eggs and continue to beat on medium-high until combined, then beat in the almond pastry filling, milk and almond extract and milk until combined.
• Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Evenly divide the batter into 3 medium mixing bowls. Drop enough red food coloring into 1 bowl to achieve the desired color. Repeat with the green and yellow food coloring in the remaining 2 bowls.
• Pour the batters into the 3 loaf pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, make the ganache by simmering the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the edges start to bubble. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and cover. Let sit 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk gently until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
• Place the red cake on the serving platter. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons amaretto, then spread 2 tablespoons jam on top in an even layer. Stack the yellow cake on top, drizzle with another 2 tablespoons amaretto and spread the remaining 2 tablespoons jam on top in an even layer. Add the final green layer, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons amaretto, then cover the cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes.
• Unwrap the cake and pour the ganache over the top, spreading it evenly down the sides with a small spatula, until the cake is completely covered. Refrigerate 1 hour to set, then slice and serve with fresh fruit.



Baked: Grown-Up Cosmic Brownies

Thursday, September 10th, 2015



I’m always on the hunt for the chewiest brownies, and conveniently, I came upon a jar of marshmallow fluff in my pantry. What would happen, I wondered, if you fold marshmallow fluff into brownie batter? As it turns out, wonderful things. The marshmallow keeps the brownies wonderfully chewy and springy throughout, while letting the chocolate flavor shine through. The brownie doesn’t have a hint of marshmallows in it, but it lends an undeniably delicious mouth feel.

I decorated the tops Cosmic Brownie-style, covering the tops with a thick layer of ganache and sprinkling elegant chocolate candies over the top. These brownies are decadently rich, so cutting them into bite-sized pieces is ideal. Enjoy and happy baking!


Grown-Up Cosmic Brownies
Adapted from a Daphne Brogdon recipe 
16 servings

½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 Tbsp. butter, divided
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. divided
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 heaping cup marshmallow fluff
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4½ oz. chocolate chips (any variety)
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
Chocolate or colorful candies for sprinkling

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Line an 8-by-8-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
• In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt ½ cup butter and 2 tablespoons cream. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and combined.
• Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the marshmallow fluff and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time.
• Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour, baking powder and kosher salt until just combined and there are no streaks of flour left in the pot.
• Pour the batter into the pan and bake 30 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the pan. Let cool to room temperature.
• Meanwhile, make the ganache by melting the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and ½ cup heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, add the chocolate chips and cover without stirring. Let rest 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk to combine, adding the sea salt. Let cool to room temperature.
• Pour the ganache over the brownies, spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with chocolate candies, then refrigerate or freeze until hard.
• Slice into bite-sized 2-inch squares and serve at room temperature or chilled.



Baked: Caramel Espresso Flan Cake

Thursday, August 27th, 2015




I love to bake something special for my birthday. It’s time for me to celebrate with something over the top, something I’ve hidden away to try but always put off due to time constraints. This caramel espresso flan cake was perfect for this year’s birthday treat.

It’s an espresso flan on top with a light buttery sponge cake on the bottom – both baked at the same time. The flan is added first, and when the sponge cake batter is spread over the top, it’s so light that it floats above the flan. When it’s baked, it leaves a magical hybrid layer in the middle.

As if that weren’t enough, a hidden caramel layer is spread along the bottom during baking. When the cake is flipped and served, the caramel slowly seeps past the flan and into the sponge cake over time. Indeed, the cake is better a day or two after it is made, but it’s well worth the wait.

This beautiful dessert is a showstopper, and the combination of caramel and espresso is addictive. The flan is smooth and soft, as an egg custard should be, while the cake is spongy and delicate. You won’t regret the time and effort put into this one. Enjoy and happy baking!


Caramel Espresso Flan Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Lady and Pups
8 servings

1 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. water
1½ cups half and half
2 Tbsp. espresso powder
Pinch of cinnamon
6 egg yolks, divided
2 eggs
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
4½ Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
¼ cup whole milk
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg whites

• Pour 1 inch water in a baking dish large enough to hold a 9-inch cake pan and place it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
• In a large saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat without stirring. Cook until the sugar turns light brown, about 8 minutes, then remove from heat and swirl the pan gently until the caramel turns deep amber, 10 to 15 seconds.
• Set aside 2 to 3 tablespoons caramel and pour the remainder in the cake pan. Rotate the pan to evenly distribute the caramel on the bottom.
• Let the saucepan cool but do not wash it. Add the half and half, espresso powder and cinnamon and return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Bring to a bare simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon until the espresso powder is completely dissolved in the half and half, 5 to 8 minutes.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks, 2 eggs and the condensed milk together. Using a hand mixer, carefully pour the hot espresso cream into the egg mixture, beating on low to medium-low speed until combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan.
• Cut a long, 3-inch wide strip of parchment paper and lightly grease both sides. Line the top half of the cake pan above the flan layer with the parchment paper to prevent the cake layer from sticking (the flan will easily release from the pan).
• In a clean large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it begins to bubble. Add the flour, whisk quickly until incorporated and remove from heat. Whisk in the milk and the brown sugar until the sugar melts. Let cool slightly, 2 to 4 minutes.
• Whisk in the remaining 2 egg yolks and the vanilla extract until the cake batter is thick and even. Set aside.
• In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on high speed to beat the egg whites to soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half the egg whites to the cake batter in the saucepan and whisk gently until combined. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
• Carefully pour the cake batter over the flan layer. It will appear to sink to the bottom, but it will rise back up since the batter is lighter than the custard. Smooth the top.
• Place the pan in the middle of the water-filled baking dish, return it to the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 340 degrees. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out completely clean.
• Let the cake cool 30 minutes. Gently remove the parchment paper and run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the flan. Place a large plate on top of the cake pan and quickly invert to remove it from the pan. (If any caramel sticks to the bottom of the cake pan, warm on the stove over low heat until it’s loose and pour it over the cake.) Warm and drizzle the reserved caramel over the top as well.
• Refrigerate uncovered 1 to 2 days for the cake to absorb the caramel. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Baked: Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015



Growing up in Atlanta, my friends and I flocked to Krispy Kreme when we saw the neon Hot Now sign glowing red in the window, promising freshly fried and glazed doughnuts. Today, St. Louis has so many amazing doughnut options all over the city that it’s easy to forget about a simple glazed dozen from Krispy Kreme. What people don’t realize is that these childhood treats make for perfect bread pudding a few days later.

Stale, day-old Krispy Kreme doughnuts make one of the best breakfast desserts ever. This bread pudding is thick and rich, not too sweet, and perfect with a side of espresso-tinted whipped cream. Buy a dozen the day before your next brunch, indulge in one or two (or three – no judgment), and then leave that box out overnight for an easy breakfast the next day.


Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding
6 to 8 servings

9 stale Krispy Kreme or other glazed doughnuts, cut into sixths
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup milk
5 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
¼ cup condensed milk
1½ tsp. espresso powder
¼ cup brewed espresso, chilled

• Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the doughnut pieces in an even layer. Bake 30 minutes, until dry and toasted. Let cool.
• Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the milk, egg yolks, egg, condensed milk and espresso powder. Add the doughnut pieces and stir to coat. Let soak 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to evenly distribute the liquid.
• Lightly butter a 9-inch pie pan and pour the soaked doughnut mixture into it. Place the pie pan in a roasting pan filled with enough hot water to cover the sides of the pie pan. Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the pudding is set.
• Preheat the broiler. Broil the bread pudding 3 minutes, until the top is light brown. Let cool.
• Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and espresso on high speed until soft peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with warm bread pudding.

Baked: Healthier Chocolate Cookies

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015



These cookies are a bit of a departure from my usual recipes. I don’t cook with artificial sugars or try to replace everything with a healthier alternative at the cost of flavor, so when I set out to make a not-as–bad-for-you cookie, I wanted something that still tasted like dessert.

The result: These cookies taste just as good as their decadent counterparts. Instead of butter or oil, I used cashew butter. The heart-healthy fats and boost in protein means it will fill you up much more than a traditional cookie.

I also replaced granulated white sugar with coconut sugar, which is sourced from coconut blossom trees but tastes nothing like coconut. This type of sugar burns quicker than regular sugar (that means a shorter baking time) and tastes slightly less sweet. And yes, there is a half-cup of chocolate chips in the recipe, but I use dark instead of milk or white chocolate for the added antioxidant benefits.

It’s hard to eat just one, but at least you can devour them with less guilt. Enjoy and happy baking!


Healthier Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from a Chelsea’s Messy Apron recipe
12 to 15 servings

1 cup unsalted cashew butter, room temperature
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1 large egg
4 Tbsp. dark cocoa powder
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Ÿ• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, stir together the cashew butter, coconut sugar and egg until combined. Stir in the cocoa powder, vanilla, baking soda and salt until combined, then add the chocolate chips and stir.
• Form 2 tablespoons dough into a ball and place 1 to 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Press the tops of each ball gently to flatten.
• Bake 6 to 8 minutes, then let cool on the cookie sheet. Cookies will become firmer as they cool.


Baked: Funfetti Malted Blondies

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015




Since word spread that my fiance Joe is engaged to a baker, I now make a monthly treat for him to take to work. I was short on time last month and whipped these up with two days to spare. They turned out to be a smash hit.

Making blondies is as easy as brownies but with a different flavor profile. Without the cocoa, ingredients in blondies shine through more so than in brownies. With that in mind, I added malt powder, white chocolate chips and several spoonfuls of sprinkles just because. Enjoy and happy baking!


Funfetti Malted Blondies
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe 
16 servings

4 oz. (½ stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup malted milk powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup finely chopped white chocolate
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles or nonpareils

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder and salt until just combined, then fold in the white chocolate and sprinkles.
• Pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Bake 20 to 23 minutes, until top is golden and edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely, then slice into 16 even squares. Store the blondies in an airtight container at room temperature.



Just Five: Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015



There is a distinct lack of crust-less sandwiches, petit fours and sugar lumps in the world today. Channel your inner Dowager Countess and invite someone over for a spot of tea and these aromatic cookies. Culinary-grade dried lavender flowers are available at Penzeys Spices in Maplewood and its new location in Chesterfield. When you crush them with sugar and citrus, the smell transports you to tea party in a field of flowers under a blue sky.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
24 cookies

½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dried lavender*
1 tsp. lemon zest
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the sugar, lavender and lemon zest 8 to 10 times until the mixture is well blended. Set aside 1 tablespoon lavender sugar for sprinkling.
• In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the all but the reserved lavender sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until just incorporated.
• On medium speed, beat the flour in 1 large spoonful at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the flour is just incorporated. The dough will be a bit dry. Form the dough into 2 2-inch-thick discs, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
• Roll out a disc ½-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the cookies out with a glass or cookie cutter and place them onto the baking sheets. Sprinkle the cookies with the reserved lavender sugar.
• Bake 10 to 14 minutes, until the edges are light brown. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Cookies will keep covered up to 1 week.

*Available at Penzeys Spices in Maplewood and Chesterfield



Baked: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015



This was my first time baking whoopie pies, but it definitely won’t be my last. I opted for a simple chocolate dough to create a pillowy, cake-like cookie that paired perfectly with peanut butter-cream cheese frosting. A note on the batter: It should be a bit stiff and not spread too much when piped. If it’s too runny, add another tablespoon or two of flour.

This cookie sandwich is pure heaven for chocolate and peanut butter enthusiasts. Enjoy and happy baking!


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
12 servings

3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup plain full-fat yogurt
1/3 cup walnut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2¾ cups powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. milk or cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, yogurt, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until just combined. Do not over-mix.
• Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Hold the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet and pipe 12 circles, leaving 1½-inches between each round. Repeat with the other baking sheet. Dust some of all of the tops with sprinkles, if desired.
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, milk and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract on medium-high speed until fluffy and spreadable.
• Spread a layer of frosting on 12 cookies and sandwich together with the remaining 12 cookies to make whoopie pies.
• Pour a layer of sprinkles in shallow dish. Roll the edges of the whoopie pies in the sprinkles so they adhere to the frosting. Whoopie pies will keep, refrigerated or frozen, up to 1 week in an airtight container.



Baked: Summer Berry Cake

Thursday, June 11th, 2015




This irresistible berry cake is the epitome of summer desserts. I intended to write a blog post about it a few years ago, but it was devoured at a Fourth of July party before I could get a photo. When I found some wonderfully fresh berries at the farmers market last weekend, I was inspired to make it again.

The berry-studded cake can be served without frosting as a simple snack for an everyday treat. It works for any occasion, using in whatever fresh (or even frozen) fruit is available. For special occasions, I stack three of these beautiful cakes and seal them together with a smooth, brown sugar-cream cheese frosting. The cake is best eaten within a couple of days, but that’s never been a problem for us. Enjoy and happy baking!


Summer Berry Cake
Makes 1 9-inch cake
Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1½ tsp. lemon zest
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish
Brown Sugar Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans and line each with parchment paper.
• In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, use your fingers to rub the lemon zest and the sugar together to release the oils. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well until incorporated.
• Reduce the speed to low and beat in one-third of flour mixture, then ½ cup buttermilk. Repeat until all the ingredients are just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter between the cake pans and smooth the tops. Scatter the strawberries evenly atop the first cake, the raspberries evenly atop the second cake, and the blueberries evenly atop the third cake.
• Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 20 minutes, then invert each cake onto a rack and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled.
• Place a 10-inch cardboard circle on a cake stand and place 1 chilled cake layer on the cardboard. Add a one-quarter of the frosting atop the cake and spread in an even layer with an offset spatula. Top with another cake layer and repeat. Add the final cake layer, top with the remaining frosting and spread evenly across the top and down the sides of the cake. Decorate with remaining berries and serve.


Brown Sugar Frosting

12 oz. cream cheese
1 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
Heavy pinch kosher salt
1¼ cup whipping cream

• Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy and there are no lumps remaining. With the mixer running, add the cream and beat until the mixture is firm and fluffy. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before frosting.



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