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Oct 22, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Baked: Honey & Yogurt Cake

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

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This cake is perfect for a Sunday brunch. It’s not too sweet and can be made savory with by swapping just a few ingredients. The base is simple: yogurt, honey and olive oil. Use your finest honey and olive oil since those shine the brightest. The tangy yogurt balances the sweetness from the honey and the crumb is moist and light. I added thawed, semi-dried green figs from Trader Joe’s, which gave a gentle crunch to each bite. Try this recipe with thyme, rosemary or sage – or serve with jam or fresh fruit. Just be prepared to love it. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Honey & Yogurt Cake
Adapted from a recipe at The Kitchn
8 to 12 servings

1 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
⅔ cup honey
⅔ cup olive oil
3 large eggs
1½ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh or dried figs
Jam or fresh fruit, for serving (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray line the bottom with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey and olive oil. Whisk in the eggs, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
• Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the figs over the top. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted into the center (avoid poking the figs) comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
• Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with jam or fresh fruit, if desired.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings. 

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Eat This: Strawberry Mousseline Cake at La Bonne Bouchée

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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A slice of Strawberry Mousseline Cake from La Bonne Bouchée is the sweet taste of sunshine we’re savoring as winter looms. Layers of classic yellow cake, fluffy vanilla mousse and sliced strawberries are iced in a silky smooth white buttercream, ringed with slivered toasted almonds and topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry. It’s a rich treat that’s light and fresh as a summer breeze.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

Baked: Marble Chocolate Piñata Cake

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

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A friend recently requested a classic marbled vanilla and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for a dinner party, but considering it’s a Mexican theme, I thought I’d turn the dessert into a piñata cake. This is such an easy way to add a fun surprise element to a traditional treat. You can add any candy you prefer. I opted for M&M’s because they spill out when you remove the first slice. This cake would be great to make for a gender reveal baby shower if you add only blue or pink candies.

The marble cake turns out beautifully, and the frosting is thick and fudgy, reminiscent of classic store-bought chocolate frosting without all the unpronounceable preservatives. The candies in the center add a great crunch. It is rather decadent, but it’s perfect for a special occasion with lots of friends and family. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Marble Chocolate Piñata Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 4-layer 9-inch cake

4 cups cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
8 egg yolks at room temperature
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1⅔ cups whole milk at room temperature, divided
8 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, melted
5½ cups powdered sugar
1½ cups cocoa powder
M&M’s or colorful candies of your choice

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray and set aside.
• In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat on high speed until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs and egg yolks until combined. Add the 2 tablespoons vanilla and beat on medium speed until combined.
• Remove the bowl from the stand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and 1⅓ cups milk and fold in with a spatula until the batter is smooth, thick and just combined.
• Remove 2 cups batter and place in another medium-sized bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until combined.
• Evenly divide half the yellow batter between the 2 cake pans. Evenly divide the chocolate batter between the cake pans, pouring into the center of each pan. Evenly divide the remaining yellow batter between the cake pans, covering the chocolate. Use a knife to gently swirl the batters together, creating a marbling effect.
• Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until toothpicks inserted into the center of the cakes come out clean. Let cool completely before removing from the pans. Once cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours.
• Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining 2 cups (4 sticks) butter on high until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla and the remaining ⅓ cup milk and mix on low. Once combined, beat on high 3 minutes until fluffy. Add more sugar to sweeten or cream to thin, if needed.
• To assemble, unwrap the frozen cakes and use a bread knife to carefully slice horizontally through each cake to create 4 layers.
• Use a 4-inch round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out a round in the center of 2 cake layers. Remove and discard the extra cake or reserve for another use.
• Place 1 whole layer (without a cutout) on the cake stand or serving plate. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop the cake.
• Add 1 layer with a cutout atop the base. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop and inside the hole, then repeat with the remaining layer with a cutout. Add a dollop of frosting and spread evenly atop and inside the hole.
• Fill the center of the cake to the brim with M&Ms. Cover with the last whole layer. Use the remaining frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake evenly.
• Serve at room temperature. The cake will keep at room temperature up to 1 week.

 

 

By the Book: “Honey & Jam” by Hannah Queen

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

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My favorite kind of cooking is the kind that makes people happy. While chocolate makes most of us happy, gluten is another story. When looking through Honey & Jam by Hannah Queen, I wanted to make something for everyone – including a certain gluten-intolerant Sauce editor – and so I settled in to make Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake with Pomegranate Ganache.

The ingredients were simple (chocolate and more chocolate, some eggs, cream, butter, etc.) and easily procured, except for the pomegranate seeds, which I could not find despite trips to multiple stores. The directions were straightforward and required basic kitchen equipment like bowls, saucepans, whisks and a springform pan.

The cake and ganache came together in a snap and the result was as expected – a dense, chocolaty slice covered in an equally decadent ganache brightened with the subtle acidity of pomegranate juice. Perfect for winter and gluten restrictions, this flourless chocolate cake was a delight to make and would make any chocolate lover very happy.

 

Skill Level: Easy to intermediate. While this recipe was simple, others in Honey & Jam require more steps, more obscure ingredients and specialized kitchenware.
This book is for: The dessert lover enamored with seasonal ingredients and a deep desire to make people happy.
Other recipes to try: Pear and Almond Chocolate Cake with Cider Glaze and Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream
The verdict: Though the Salt and Pepper Caramel Brownies were complex, the recipe had flaws that led to a cracked, crumbly caramel. This cake, however, was perfection in chocolate form. Winner!

 

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Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake with Pomegranate Ganache
1 9-inch round

For the cake:
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

For the ganache and assembly:
8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup pomegranate juice
1 cup pomegranate seeds

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
• In a medium saucepan, warm the chocolate and butter over medium heat until they are just melted. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Let cool. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of cake before unmolding it.
• To make the ganache: Place chocolate into heatproof bowl. Pour in cream and pomegranate juice into a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour it over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
• To assemble the cake: Pour ganache over the top of the cake and sprinkle it with the pomegranate seeds.

Reprinted with permission from Stuart, Tabori and Chang

Baked: Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Loaf

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

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Freezers are a fantastic invention. They allow me to preserve fruit at its peak so I can savor them in the dead of winter. Recently I found some dark cherries in my freezer and thought they’d be a perfect match for some pistachios and chocolate. The rich chocolate loaf is nutty with an unmistakable presence of pistachios, followed by chunks of melting chocolate and surprise spots of tangy, dark cherries, all topped with a silky smooth ganache. The loaf itself isn’t very sweet, letting the cherries, chocolate, and pistachio speak for themselves. Enjoy and happy baking!
Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Loaf
Adapted from a recipe at Honest Cooking 
1 loaf

5 oz. butter, softened
5 oz. sugar
3 large eggs
5 oz. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2½ oz. pistachios, shelled and finely ground
8 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup frozen pitted cherries, thawed
4 oz. heavy cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well until mixed.
• Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and sift in the flour and baking powder. Use a rubber spatula, fold them in, along with the ground pistachios, until combined. Fold in 4 ounces dark chocolate.
• Pour the batter into a standard loaf pan. Evenly distribute the cherries across the surface and gently press them into the batter.
• Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let cool slightly, then carefully remove it from the loaf pan and place it on a cooling rack placed atop a parchment-lined baking sheet.
• Meanwhile, make a ganache by bringing the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining 4 ounces chocolate and remove from heat. Cover and let rest 1 minute, then whisk until combined.
• Pour the ganache evenly over the loaf, letting it drip down the sides. Let cool, then slice and serve.

 

Baked: Tricolor Almond Cake

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

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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: Caramel Espresso Flan Cake

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

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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: Summer Berry Cake

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

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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.

 

 

By the Book: Colby and Megan Garrelts’ Blueberry Oat Breakfast Cake

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

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Usually I love a challenging recipe. The kind of recipe that calls for 7,000 ingredients (half of which have to be ordered online), requires more mixing bowls and utensils than I own and takes days to prepare. Love those. But sometimes an avid home cook needs a break. Colby and Megan Garrelts’ Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes is that kind of return to honest, simple cooking. This is a collection of Midwestern soul food that called up childhood memories, family traditions and reminded me that delicious food is restorative and refreshing long after it leaves the palate.

 

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The Garrelts both hail from the Midwest – he from Kansas, she from Chicago – and together own Rye and Bluestem in Kansas City. Colby is a co-executive chef and a James Beard Award-winning chef, while Megan also serves as co-executive chef and a James Beard Award-semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef. (Sidebar: This accomplished culinary couple is coming to The Restaurant at The Cheshire on Mon., June 8 for the next installment of the Sauce Celebrity Chef Series.)

 

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Knowing full well that I will never be an award-winning chef, I was delighted to find Made in America was full of accessible recipes for those of us who have not been recognized by the James Beard Foundation. I chose to treat some special people to the Blueberry Oat Breakfast Cake. Cake for breakfast? Sounds like a plan.

 

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The ingredients list was straightforward, and I picked up everything I needed at just one store. The directions were easy to follow and intuitive. I particularly liked that the cake can be assembled the night before, then baked the next morning while your coffee brews. Of course, I could not wait, so I baked it right away.

The result was a perfect start to the day – a mildly sweet, lemony cake texture with juicy blueberries that burst slightly during baking and a rich and hearty streusel topping. Perhaps a new tradition has been born.

 

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Blueberry Oat Breakfast Cake
Makes 1 8-inch square cake

Oat Streusel
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

Cake
¾ cup granulated sugar
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
2 pints fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1 cup heavy cream, whipped up to soft peaks for serving

• To make the oat streusel, place the brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the streusel mixture to a medium bowl and gently fold in the oats. Set aside in the refrigerator. (You may transfer the streusel to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 month.)
• To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square cake pan and set aside.
• Combine the sugar, butter and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the mixture until light and fluffy, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine.
• In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared cake pan, using a spatula to spread the cake batter evenly. Once the batter is evenly spread across the bottom of the cake pan, use the spatula to smear the batter up the sides of the pan, coating the entire inside of the cake pan. Spread the blueberries across the top of the cake batter, then sprinkle the oat streusel topping evenly over the blueberries to cover. (The cake can be prepared to this point and refrigerated, covered, overnight.)
• Bake the cake until it is golden brown along the edges and the center begins to bubble from the blueberries, about 45 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before slicing into wedges; the cake will sink slightly in the center from the weight of the berries. Serve at room temperature or warm slightly before serving, topping each slice with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Reprinted with permission from Andrews McMeel Publishing

What’s your go-to make-ahead breakfast dish? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Made in America by Colby and Megan Garrelts.

 

 

By the Book: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake from ‘Baked Occasions’

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

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I love New York City bakeshop Baked. Granted, I’ve never actually been there, but I’ve tried plenty of its desserts using recipes from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and the follow-up, Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients. Co-owners Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have provided me with many delicious desserts. Each cake and batch of cookies turned out wonderful, though by far the best – in fact, the best dessert I’ve ever made – was their Sweet and Salty Cake.

 

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However, between the cake, the frosting and the caramel, this dessert takes hours. So when I got my hands on a copy of their latest book, Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays and Informal Celebrations, I decided to go with something a little simpler.

 

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Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake was described as my favorite: yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I’ve made my share of dry cakes, but when a recipe has two fats in the batter, that never happens. This recipe calls for both sour cream and butter. I used Plugra, a European butter with a higher butterfat content. The cake was indeed moist, but the sour cream also made it pretty dense. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but in my mind, a birthday cake has a tender, airy crumb, and the hit of cinnamon in the batter took this from birthday cake to breakfast cake status.

 

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The chocolate frosting uses cream cheese, butter, chocolate and confectioners’ sugar, which I really liked. I tend to shy away from buttercream frostings, but this one didn’t disappoint. The cream cheese balanced it out and tempered the sweetness of the other ingredients. Unfortunately, because this dessert had the consistency of a coffee cake, I wanted a sugary glaze instead of birthday cake frosting.

 

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I probably won’t make this recipe again because it wasn’t my taste, but there’s no denying that it was a quality dessert. I would definitely turn to this book again for other ideas.

 

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Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake
Sour cream cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting
1 8-inch two-layer cake
10 to 12 servings

For the sour cream cake:
2½ cups plus 2 Tbsp. (330 g.) cake flour
1 scant Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
7 oz. (1¾ sticks/200 g.) unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch pieces, plus more for the pans
1 cup (200 g.) granulated sugar
¾ cup (165 g.) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ (345 g.) cups sour cream

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess.
• In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
• In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low; add the flour mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening the sides of the cakes from the pans with a small knife and inverting them onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and turn the cakes right side up; let them cool completely.

For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:
4 oz. (1 stick/115 g.) unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz. /226 g.) package cream cheese, softened
3 to 3½ cups (340 to 395 g.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 oz. (85 g.) dark chocolate, melted and cooled

• Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add only 3 cups (340 g.) confectioner’s sugar and the salt; beat until smooth. Add the chocolate and mix until well combined. If the frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thicker. Do not overheat. The frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let it soften at room temperature before using.
• Place 1 cooled cake layer on a serving platter. If necessary, trim the top to create a flat surface. Spread about ¾ cup (200 g.) of frosting on top. Add the top layer and trim if you want (some people prefer a domed cake top). Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake (called a crumb coat, this helps to keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake), and place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes to set before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang

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