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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate cake’

Baked: Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake

Friday, May 19th, 2017



I love a simple chocolate cake, unfrosted with a delicate crumb. It’s better still when it comes together in one bowl and bakes in one pan. The olive oil gives a rounded flavor that cuts the sweetness of the chocolate. When I want an easy dessert to serve to company or have something to nibble on Sunday morning, this is the recipe I turn to.


Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Baked Bree 
8 servings

6 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil*
3 large eggs
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
Powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or pie pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water and let cool slightly. Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar, olive oil and eggs until the mixture is thickened and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
• Reduce the speed to low and carefully pour in the cocoa water. Mix until combined.
• With a spatula, fold in the flour, zest, salt and baking soda. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
• Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
• Let cool completely before turning the cake out of the pan. Serve with sifted powdered sugar or ice cream.

*Orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil is available at Di Olivas, Extra Virgin: An Olive Ovation and Vom Fass.

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

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

Saturday, May 16th, 2015



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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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

What’s your go-to birthday dessert? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Baked Occasions.

Baked: Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Cherry-Lavender Compote

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014



As regular Baked readers know, I recently espoused my love not only for a lovely cherry-lavender hand pie recipe, but also for the excess filling the recipe leaves behind. That sweet, floral substance inspired me to create a classy dessert for a dinner party. I opted for this sinfully dark, but not-too-rich chocolate cake.

This recipe is largely a classic chocolate cake except buttermilk is replaced with red wine. The result doesn’t necessarily taste boozy. Instead, it’s a dense, richly flavorful chocolate cake, perfect for pairing with fresh whipped cream and compote. Any red wine, regardless of price point or type, produces unique flavor. I’ve used a cabernet sauvignon as well as a Malbec; even the Trader Joe’s “Two-buck Chuck” tasted great in this cake. And the best part of this recipe: You already have an open bottle of the perfect dessert wine pairing. Enjoy and happy baking!


Red Wine Chocolate Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 9-inch cake

6 Tbsp. room temperature butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
¾ cup red wine
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
½ cup high quality cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups heavy cream
Cherry-Lavender Compote (Recipe follows.)

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch cake or pie pan with nonstick spray.
• In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar 5 minutes, until combined. Add the egg, yolk, red wine and vanilla separately, beating well between each addition. Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined.
• Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before turning it out of the pan and dust with powdered sugar.
• Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream and ¼ cup powdered sugar together with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Serve with the Red Wine Chocolate Cake, along with the Cherry-Lavender Compote.

Cherry-Lavender Compote

1½ lbs. cherries, pitted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Juice of one-quarter a lemon
½ tsp. lavender extract
A pinch plus 1½ tsp. table salt, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar

• Coarsely chop the cherries and toss in a large bowl with the lavender extract, cornstarch, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Adjust the sugar to taste.

This week, Meera Nagarajan is obsessed with…

Thursday, November 28th, 2013



{This recipe for Sweet and Salty Cake and comes from Baked in New York City. I used it recently for a dessert contest, and making the three layers, salted caramel and a chocolate ganache frosting took all day to put together. But it won me a first-place trophy and a whole bucket of personal pride. And winning is everything. (Sorry, kids, it’s true.)}




{These are probably the most sophisticated jello shots ever. Mojito jello complete with rum, lime, mint and sugar sets up inside a hollow lime half. Everyone loves a jello shot, and these are class-plus.}




{These glasses were a gift, and they’re perfect since I am a Walter White supporter through and through. No matter how evil he got, I still rooted for him.}

-Sweet and Salty Cake photo courtesy of marthastewart.com; jello shot photo courtesy of abeautifulmess.com

Just Five: Molten Chocolate Cakes with White Chocolate Lava

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

These cakes made everyone do a happy dance twice around the house. The first dance happened when the smells of chocolate filled the air because, besides the smell of baking bread, that’s the best way for a home to smell. The second time was when we cut into the cakes and saw the white chocolate filling; it was like the most decadent Hostess Cupcake you’ll ever find. Don’t have fancy chocolate? Use semi-sweet chocolate chips (and a little less sugar). These lovely treats should be eaten within an hour, so make them and serve them and then, well, if there are extras, eat another one because they don’t reheat very well. And if a scoop of vanilla ice cream happens to fall upon your plate, I won’t judge.

Molten Chocolate Cakes with White Chocolate Lava
Adapted by Dee Ryan from a recipe by Food Network’s Claire Robinson
Makes 8 single-serving cakes

2 sticks butter plus more for greasing the ramekins
½ lb. bittersweet chocolate (at least 60%), chopped
½ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 large eggs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
12 1-inch squares white chocolate (or 8 Lindt brand white chocolate truffles)

Special Tools:
8 6-oz. ramekins

• Preheat the oven to 350.
• Butter the ramekins and set them aside.
• Set up a double boiler or bring a pot of water to a simmer. Add 2 sticks of butter and the bittersweet chocolate to top of the double boiler or, if using a pot of simmering water, to a tempered glass bowl that you then place atop the pot of water. Once the butter and chocolate have melted, whisk in the sugar until smooth.
• If using a metal double boiler, transfer the melted mixture to a fresh bowl to cool it down. Then, whisk in the eggs and flour. If using a glass bowl set atop a pot of simmering water, remove the glass bowl from the heat and let it sit for about 3 minutes before whisking in the eggs and the flour.
• Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and divide the batter equally until they are about 2/3 full.
• Carefully push 1½ white chocolate squares (or 1 truffle) into the center of each ramekin until it is just covered by the chocolate batter.
• Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they are puffy and almost completely set around the edges – they will still look somewhat wet.
• Remove the ramekins from the oven and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of each cake; place a small plate on top of the ramekin and slowly invert the plate. The cake should come out of the ramekin easily.
• Serve immediately.

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