Posts Tagged ‘cake’
So I had quite the fiasco or what I like to call “Emily’s Epic Failures” on Monday night when I was attempting to make some red velvet cakesters. They were coming out super flat and no matter how many eggs I added they were little pancakes. My husband walked in the kitchen as I’m starting to panic and says “huh, they kind of look like tacos”. Have I mentioned my husband is a genius? I looked at him and said “dude, thats awesome” – yes unfortunately we talk like this. So I finished up making the red velvet cakesters/tacos for my coworkers to eat and starting planning these little suckers. My poor coworkers get all of my epic failures as long as they are still edible. I’m sure they look in the kitchen after I send out my dorky e-mail letting them know of said failed recipe that is in the kitchen and think “this girl has a food blog? Sccaaarrry!!”
These are super easy and perfect for a Cinco de Mayo treat. You can get super creative and stuff them full of great stuff. I went with the normal taco ingredients of lettuce and tomatos because I was a little afraid they were not going to look like tacos and I wanted it to be super obvious. They turned out so freaking cute!!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Makes about 50 tacos
1 box cake mix (I used a spice cake so that the “tortilla” looked a little more brown.)
Follow the box directions but use less water. For instance – my box called for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup oil, and 1 1/3 cup water. I only used 1 cup of water. You want the batter to be runny and not too thick or you won’t get that flat tortilla look.
Pour the batter in 4″ rounds on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 7 min. I kept them in for about 7.5 minutes. Yes I’m serious…. If they cook too long the “tortilla” will crack in half, too short and the “tortilla” is too sticky. You might have to play with the time on the first batch to get it just right.
1 block of cream cheese or 8oz
1 pound of powdered sugar (half a standard bag)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
using a mixer combine the cream cheese, vanilla, and the powdered sugar. Whip like crazy until it is combined and creamy.
I used coconut as the lettuce and chopped up hot tamales for the tomatoes.
I would say about 60% of conversations in Texas revolve around the weather. See…we don’t just talk about guns here! We’ve had a really bizarre winter and it has been the topic of conversation for a while now. One weekend it will be sunny and 70 degrees and then the next week, it’s in the teens and we’re covered in ice and snow. Makes it very hard to plan a wardrobe!
The weather this week has been fabulous. Partly cloudy, breezy, and warm. But last week…well, that was a different story. We got snow last Wednesday that shut the city down again for the second week in a row. I was stuck at home for the day with no school or work. And this time I was prepared. I went to the grocery store Tuesday during lunch to stock up just in case we were stuck at home again. See, the week before I was stuck at home for four days. I didn’t plan for that and let’s just say our meals became pretty “creative” after a day or so.
I spent my day at home swapping between studying and cooking. I made a huge batch of lentil soup, a peanut noodle salad for dinner, and of course, this cake for dessert! There is nothing I love better on a cold day than to bake up something yummy!
This cake is sticky and sweet. You don’t need a huge piece, but you may want a little scoop of ice cream on the side. I’m just sayin’.
Texas Praline Cake
Junior League of Plano Cookbook
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
To prepare the cake, pour the boiling water over the oats in a bowl and let stand for several minutes. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs. Beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well. Stir in the oats mixture.
Spoon the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
To prepare the topping, combine the butter, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to mix well. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Stir in the pecans and then spread over the hot cake.
I did a lot of research about how to make petit fours before I made these little cakes. Everyone made it sound awfuly intimidating and time consuming and tried to talk me out of it. Maybe they were just trying to be nice seeing as the last few from scratch baked items I made were EPIC FAILURES. But being stubborn me, I refused to listen. I was really set on making these suckers because they will be perfect for my Halloween party. I’m throwing an Alice in Wonderland themed party with a friend of mine and we wanted to have little petit fours that have little tags attached to them that said “Eat Me” just like in the movie.
When I was finished with them I really didn’t think they were that hard or time consuming. I mean come on people. Any time you make cake and icing from scratch and then plan to individually ice 50+ mini cakes it is going to take some time. I kept reading peoples comments on other blogs about “this took forever!!!” and I’m like duh! You are icing all 5 sides of 50 mini cakes. That is going to take “forever”. So I decided to time myself. I’m not super fast in the kitchen but I’m pretty efficient. I have all my baking stuff in clear containers and all of my baking specific spices and flavorings in the same spot, together and easy to find. I have small bowls and do my best to premeasure and prep before I get into baking. I read the recipe through several times before I start so I don’t have to stop to check it after each step. I also keep my cold ingredients cold. I have found that my baked goods tend to come out a little better if my eggs are straight from the fridge instead of sitting on the counter for the last 20 minutes until I got to that step. Same thing with the milk. I finished making these in one sitting of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. So like just under 2 hours or something? I also made pumpkin gnocchi in between waiting on the cake to bake and the icing to boil. So I was pretty productive. (This time frame also includes dishes!)
The actual cake part was really fluffy and had tons of crevices for the icing to seep into which made these little suckers extra yummy. Next time I make these I will plan to double the icing. I didn’t have enough to ice all of my little cakes and the sides still looked a little bumpy. I think if I could have coated them all one more time it would have been better. In the ingredients list I’m going to go ahead and double it for you, if it seems like a lot that is why.
Adapted from mahalo.com how to make petit fours
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tbs melted butter (cooled to room temp but still liquid)
2 cups baking flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup milk
4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cup water
3 cups confectioners sugar
Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 and rub a little butter and flour on a 10.5″ x 15.5″ pan.
In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Set the bowl aside. With an electric mixer, whip the egg yolks, eggs and sugar together until nice and fluffy. This will take about 8-10 minutes and is very important to do correctly so that your cake is nice and moist. Slowly add in the flour mixture and milk alternating. Fold in these ingredients so that you don’t lose the fluffiness that you have created. Add in the melted butter and combine.
Spread the batter out in the pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Place the cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Slice the cake into 2″ square cubes, slicing off the ”crust” of the cake first so that all of your pieces are even. Pleace each piece on a drying rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath to catch the icing drips.
Combine the granulted sugar, cream of tartar and water together in a sauce pan. Turn your tempature to medium high heat and stir the sugar and water together until the sugar fully dissolves. Stop stirring and bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to cook until it reaches 250 degrees. Allow the mixture to reduce down slightly keeping it at 250 degrees until it forms a light syrup. You want it to be as close to pancake syrup as you can. If this part of the icing is to thin, the icing will will be too runny and will not come out right.
When the syrup is ready turn the heat down to low and wait until your themometer reads 150 degrees. Slowly add the confectioners sugar a little at a time stirring until it is completely dissolved each time. Finally add in any food coloring that you might want and stir that in. Allow mixture to cool before you begin icing.
I put the icing in a glass measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring. I also had a wide mouth bowl (or plate) ready and poured icing in the bowl for easy dipping. You want a very shallow pool of icing. The cake is pretty fluffy and if you try to dip them too much the cake will rip apart with the weight of the icing. Keep it shallow!
I dipped all 5 sides and then set the pieces back on the drying rack. After I got them all covered and let them dry a bit, I went back and poured the icing over each one to get that fully covered glazed look. You can use a flat spoon or spatula to help spread the icing on the sides of the cake for this second coat.
Be patient and remember “baking is fun!”
Most of my family gathered a few weekends ago to say goodbye to my brother before he went back to college. I had been itching to try this recipe and thought a night with family might be a good excuse for chocolate cake…not that chocolate cakes needs an excuse.
I called my mom to chat before we drove over to my parents’ house. I was all, “what are you up to, mom?” And she said, “baking a cake for tonight.” Doh. “Really….what kind?” “Chocolate!” Yep, we both made chocolate cakes on the same day for the same 8 people to eat. I knew right away that I was in trouble. My mom has never been known for healthy cooking, so if she was making a chocolate cake it was gonna be damn good! Who would want to eat my psuedo healthy cake when they could have a slab of hers? Plus, when we got there I noticed she had covered the chocolate cake in a layer of “Little Fudge.” This stuff is legendary in my house. My mom will not tell us how to make it, and we used to beg her for it as kids (and adults). Anything covered in Little Fudge is going to be the bomb!
After dinner we all took a sliver of each cake and dove in to dessert. Imagine my surprise when everyone told me how much they enjoyed my cake. Oh, and my family is not one of those “let’s all be nice” kinda families. We are sarcastic and honest. If the cake wasn’t good, they would have let me know! I couldn’t get over how moist and flavorful the cake was. It did look lonely since it wasn’t topped with little fudge, so I think next time I’ll serve it with whipped cream, but I was impressed with the cake on its own. I will definitely be making this one again.
Chocolate Espresso Spelt Cake
Adapted from Gourment, October 2005
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for pan
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder plus additional for dusting pan and cake
1 cup boiling-hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups Medjool dates (10 to 12), pitted and coarsely chopped
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup amber agave nectar
2 large eggs
Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using cooking spray or butter, coat a springform pan, then lightly dust with cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
In a medium bowl, stir together boiling water, espresso powder, vanilla, and baking soda. Add dates and mash lightly with a fork. Steep until liquid cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and agave nectar together until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Add eggs in one at a time, and continue mixing on medium-speed until just combined. Add in date mixture and reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and continue mixing until just combined.
Pour batter into greased springform pan and smooth top. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a wooden pick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove side of pan and cool cake on a rack. Serve cake warm or at room temperature. Cake slices may be topped with whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar for a little sweetness. Serves 8-12.
I had never made Tres Leches before I tried this recipe. I made this dessert twice in one week because I really wanted to make this cake perfectly and became a little obsessed with the whipping of the eggs. The cake portion of Tres Leches is really important. The cake needs to be very tall and fluffy because you want a ton of nooks and crannies for the milks to crawl into. The first time I made this cake I did not allow the eggs to really thicken up. The second time, I whipped those eggs until the peaks were crazy stiff and my cake was literally twice the thickness once I pulled it out of the oven. Make sure you read over the directions very carefully before starting because timing is everything on this. You want to move quickly so that the batter doesn’t die flat. This really turned out beautifully and was fun to create. This is also a perfect dessert for a dinner party because it is best if you make it the night before. This way you get one item out of the way!