In the Oven: Orange Buttermilk Picnic Cake with Chocolate Chips

Next up is this summery Orange Buttermilk Picnic Cake with Chocolate Chips.
Doesn’t it sound just right for your 4th of July picnic?
Posting date is: Sunday, 12 July.

Orange Buttermilk Picnic Cake with Chocolate Chips
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
For the Buttermilk Cake
  • 1 orange
  • ½ cup (120 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (70 g), plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 g) cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup (165 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 ounces (¾ stick/85 g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¾ teaspoon pure orange extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (115 g) semisweet mini chocolate chips or coarsely chopped regular size chocolate chips (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur or canola oil
For the Orange Syrup
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)
For the Assembly
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Instructions
Make the Buttermilk Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Butter one 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the
  3. parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess.
  4. Zest and juice the orange. Set aside the zest. Place ¼ cup (60 ml) of the juice into a glass measuring cup and reserve the rest for the orange syrup (below). Add the buttermilk to the orange juice in the measuring cup and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  5. Sift ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (70 g) all-purpose flour, the cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into a small bowl.
  6. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the brown sugar and
  7. butter on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well, then add the orange extract, vanilla, and orange zest until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and mix again for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  8. Toss the chocolate chips in the liqueur and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour. Toss to coat the chips in the flour. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, plus another minute or two, 32 to 37 minutes. (Since this is a picnic cake, you should bake it a tiny bit more than you are normally comfortable with. This cake will still be moist—you just don’t want it “falling-apart moist.”)
  9. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.
Make the Orange Syrup
  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over very low heat, whisk together the orange juice, sugar, and Grand Marnier, a tablespoon at a time (to taste), until combined. Once the sugar is melted, increase the heat to medium-low and simmer until the syrup is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
  2. Turn the still-warm cake out of the pan onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and flip the
  3. cake right side up. Place the wire rack over a baking sheet. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke holes evenly all over the cake. Brush the cake with the orange syrup and allow it to sink in and set, about 15 minutes. Dust it with the confectioners’ sugar immediately before serving (or before packing up for your picnic).
Notes
How to store: The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

In the Oven: Dad’s Black Cocoa Bundt with Butter Whiskey Glaze

Let’s celebrate dads, chocolate and whiskey with a Bundt cake! Posting date is June 21.

Dad’s Black Cocoa Bundt with Butter Whiskey Glaze
 
Author:
Yield: 1 Bundt cake • 12 to 16 servings
Ingredients
For the Black Cocoa Bundt
  • ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
  • ¼ cup (20 g) unsweetened black cocoa powder (see Baked Note and page 19)
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee
  • 2¼ cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2¼ cups (495 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 ml) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) heavy cream
For the Butter Whiskey Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2½ to 3 cups (280 to 340 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality whiskey
For Décor
  • Chocolate sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
Make the Black Cocoa Bundt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the inside of a 12-cup Bundt pan, dust with cocoa powder, and knock out the excess. Alternatively, liberally apply a nonstick cooking spray, dust with cocoa, and knock out the excess. Either way, make sure the pan’s nooks and crannies are all thoroughly coated.
  2. Place both cocoa powders and the instant espresso powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the hot coffee directly over the powders and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until combined. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk again until just combined. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Whisk each addition gently to combine.
  5. Whip the cream (either by hand or with a standing mixer) just until medium peaks form. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the batter to lighten it. Fold in half of the remaining whipped cream until just incorporated, then fold in the rest until no streaks remain.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until a small sharp knife or toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Then gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack so that the crown is facing up. Place a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper, if you like, for ease of cleaning) underneath the wire rack.
Make the Butter Whiskey Glaze
  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. In three parts, add 2½ cups (280 g) confectioners’ sugar, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the whiskey and whisk until uniform. The glaze should be thick and ropy, but pourable—not runny and thin. If the glaze looks too thin, add the remaining ½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar and whisk to combine.
Assemble the Black Cocoa Bundt
  1. Pour the glaze over the room-temperature cake in thick ribbons; it will slowly drip down the sides. Add a few sprinkles to the top, if you like. Let set for about 15 minutes before serving.
Notes
How to store: The cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

In the Oven: Rainbow Icebox Cake with Homemade Chocolate Cookies

Next up is this festive Rainbow Icebox Cake with Homemade Chocolate Cookies!
Are you going to make it with all the colors of the rainbow?
Posting date is: Sunday, June 7th

In the Oven: Rainbow Icebox Cake with Homemade Chocolate Cookies
 
Author:
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
For the Rainbow Whipped Cream
  • 3 cups (720 ml) heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • ¾ cup (170 g) crème fraîche
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste
  • 6 rainbow colors of food gel
For the Chocolate Cookies
  • 10½ ounces (22⁄3 sticks/300 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 11⁄3 cups (115 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2½ cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
For the Assembly
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Rainbow sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
Make the Rainbow Whipped Cream
  1. Chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  2. Put the cream and crème fraîche into the chilled bowl of the stand mixer and whisk on low for 1 minute.
  3. With the mixer running, stream in the sugar and vanilla paste.
  4. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whisking.
  5. Stop the mixer before soft peaks form; it’s important not to overwhip the cream at this stage. (The thickened cream should stream off the whisk but still pile softly back into the bowl; the whisk will leave faint streaks in the cream that will smooth out fairly quickly.)
  6. Line a colander with one layer of cheesecloth and place the colander in a bowl.
  7. Pour the partially whipped cream into the colander and place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  8. The cream should be thick enough to remain in the colander, but not so thick that any additional whipping will take it past soft peaks.
Make the Chocolate Cookies
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar at low speed until smooth.
  2. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder and beat until combined.
  5. Scrape down the bowl again.
  6. Add the flour and beat just until combined.
  7. Form the cookie dough into four disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until firm.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  10. On a lightly floured board, roll out a disk of chilled cookie dough into a 12-inch (30.5-cm) round 8 inch (3 mm) thick.
  11. Using a 2-inch (6-cm) round biscuit cutter, stamp out as many rounds of dough as you can; transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets.
  12. Repeat with a second disk.
  13. Quickly gather the dough scraps, reroll, and stamp out more cookies.
  14. Bake the chocolate cookies until they are dry and set, 8 to 10 minutes.
  15. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer the chocolate cookies directly to the rack to cool completely.
  16. Repeat the rolling, stamping, and baking process with the remaining dough disks.
  17. You should have 60 to 75 finished cookies in total.
Finish the Rainbow Whipped Cream
  1. Put ¼ cup of the refrigerated whipped cream into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Evenly divide the remaining whipped cream into six medium bowls.
  3. Add a different food gel, a drop or two at a time, to each of the six bowls, then fold each with a rubber spatula until incorporated and the desired color is reached. (As you fold the whipped cream, it will get stiffer; do not fold too much or it could become overwhipped.)
  4. If needed, whisk each bowl of colored whipped cream a few more times by hand to reach soft peaks.
  5. Do not overwhip.
Assemble the Rainbow Icebox Cake
  1. Arrange 7 cookies on a platter in a 7- to 8-inch (17- to 20-cm) circle (side by side, with one cookie in the middle—do not overlap).
  2. Dollop the first color of whipped cream (in this case, red) gently over the cookie layer.
  3. Spread the whipped cream with an offset spatula to the very edge of the cookies.
  4. Top the whipped cream with another layer of cookies, offset from the first layer.
  5. Repeat the process, filling in any blank spots in the layers with broken cookie pieces and using the whipped cream in rainbow order.
  6. Top the last layer of cookies with the reserved ¼ cup of plain whipped cream, spreading in a thin layer to help soften the top layer of cookies.
  7. Place the cake, loosely covered, in the refrigerator overnight to set.
  8. The next day, chill the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer in the refrigerator for 10
  9. minutes.
  10. Put the cream in the chilled bowl of the stand mixer and whisk on low speed for 1 minute.
  11. With the mixer running, stream in the sugar.
  12. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue whisking just until soft peaks form.
  13. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and top it with a big pile of the white whipped cream, completely covering the thin layer of whipped cream.
  14. Cover loosely in plastic wrap or invert a glass or plastic container over the cake and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  15. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles just before serving, if desired.
Notes
How to store: Store leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 1 day. You might have leftover cookies—we always like to have a few extra on hand in case a few crumble or break; you can snack on the rest or store, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.

 

In the Oven: Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Let’s celebrate National Wine Day with some cupcakes! Posting date is May 24.

Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze
 
Author:
Yield: 18 to 20 cupcakes
Ingredients
For the Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes
  • ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
  • 2 ounces (55 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) hearty red wine
  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (165 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
For the Chocolate Glaze
  • 4 ounces (115 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
For Décor
  • White sprinkles (optional)
Instructions
Make the Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line one 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and another with only 6 to 8 paper liners (or bake in batches with one pan).
  2. Place the cocoa powder and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Heat the wine in the microwave in a glass measuring cup (or on the stovetop in a pan) until almost boiling. Pour the hot wine directly over the cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and completely combined with the wine.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add both sugars and mix on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla, if using. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the wine mixture in three parts, beginning with flour and ending with wine.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full with the batter. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes.
  7. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
  1. Place the chocolate in a shallow, heatproof bowl. Drizzle the corn syrup on top of the chocolate.
  2. Heat the cream in small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble along the edges. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and wait 30 seconds. Whisk from the center out until the mixture is completely smooth.
Assemble the Cupcakes
  1. Dip the top of each cupcake into the glaze. Allow the excess glaze to run off back into the bowl and return each cupcake, right side up, to the cooling rack. Add a stripe of white sprinkles, if using, right along the center top of each cupcake, and allow to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
How to store: The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.