What do you think of this cake, bakers — hot or not? Leave your links here!
Next up on the schedule: the gentlemen bakers’ twist on a red velvet cake… with cinnamon frosting! Posting date is October 20.
- ¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons red gel food coloring
- ¼ cup boiling water
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
- 1⅔ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Red Hots (cinnamon imperials) candies for decoration
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and boiling water. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir the buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture.
- Sift the flour and salt together into another medium bowl. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, to the egg mixture in three separate additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda and stir until the baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to the batter and stir until just combined.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
- In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and cinnamon and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is the proper consistency. If the frosting is too firm, place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and beat with a wooden spoon until it is the proper consistency.
- Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface and evenly spread about 1¼ cups of the frosting on top. Top with the next layer, trim and frost the top, then add the third layer. Crumb coat the cake (see page 22) and put the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Frost the sides and top with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with the Red Hots and refrigerate again for 15 minutes.
We’ve got positive reviews on the ice cream and a rogue marble bundt cake!
Who screams for ice cream? Leave those links here!
Time to track down some piloncillo and break out your ice cream makers for our next recipe! Posting date is October 6.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¾ cup firmly packed, grated piloncillo
- 8 very ripe bananas, peeled, wrapped in aluminum foil, and frozen
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water and the cinnamon stick and simmer until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the piloncillo and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Unwrap the frozen bananas, chop them coarsely, and set them aside.
- Remove the cinnamon stick from the syrup and pour the syrup into a blender. Add the cream and bananas and blend until smooth and mushy.
- Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze, following the manufacturer’s directions. Add the pecans to the ice cream a few minutes before the cycle is finished, or consult the manufacturer’s directions about additions. Since the mixture is partially frozen, it will not take long to freeze—about 10 minutes.
These cookies were a crowd-pleaser!
If you made these classic Italian cookies, leave your links here!
Fire up your ovens again, we’re baking up some classic Italian-style cookies next. These can be customized to whatever color suits your fancy, as long as you don’t try to color the chocolate layer. Posting date is September 22!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces almond paste (recipe follows)
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Orange food coloring (liquid or gel)
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2⁄3 cup apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8-inch square baking pans. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess flour.
- Sift the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste, sugar, and almond extract together until small crumbs form. Add the butter and beat on high speed until the mixture is combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the orange zest and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in three parts, beating on low speed after each additon until combined.
- Divide the batter among three small mixing bowls.
- In the first bowl, add a few drops of orange food coloring to the batter, and mix well. Continue to add a few drops of food coloring and mixing until the batter is medium orange in color.
- In the second bowl, add the cocoa powder to the batter and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Leave the third bowl plain.
- Pour each batter into a prepared pan and smooth the tops. Bake the layers for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean.
- Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely. Remove the parchment.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the jam and amaretto until warmed through and completely blended, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Place the chocolate layer on a serving rack and evenly spread half of the apricot jam over the top. Top with the plain (or white) layer and spread with the remaining apricot filling. Top with the orange layer and let the layers sit in the refrigerator for 5 minutes (or while you make the chocolate glaze).
- In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly.
- Spread the glaze over the top of the bar cookies, completely covering the orange layer (some glaze may spill down the sides of the cake). Place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate topping completely sets (about 1 hour). Remove the tray from the refrigerator, wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to warm up, and cut into 20 individual squares or use a small cookie cutter to create your own shapes.
How to make almond paste:
11⁄2 cups finely ground almonds
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1⁄2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Put all the ingredients in a food processor with 2 tablespoons water and process until a paste forms. Remove from the food processor, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use. Extra almond paste, tightly wrapped, keeps well in the freezer.
Mixed bag on the smoothies; matcha and melon might not be this group’s favorite combo. We had a couple of rogue bakers, though, with the long-time favorite peanut butter crispy bars and green tea cupcakes.
What did everyone think of this healthy take on a milkshake? Leave your links here!