Red Velvet Cake

This is a classic cake though looking at the ingredients it doesn’t seem much. It is generally known for its red color and cream cheese frosting. The first time I attempted this I increased the amount of cocoa powder and ended up with a delicious chocolate cake haha that wasn’t red.

At my second attempt I did a little more research and found a recipe that is worth trying which resulted in a very moist and good tasting cake.

You might have noticed it is marron rather than brighter red, yes it is because of the cocoa powder brand I used. So your cake might turn out in a different color. Also when using the dye add it bit by bit and use as needed to attain the color you want.

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Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons unsweetened, cocoa powder
2 cups sugar ( I only used 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup vegetable oil or canola
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (I couldn’t find buttermilk so I used milk and mixed it with the vinegar and left it for 5 minutes. If you do this no need to add the vinegar like the rest of the recipe says.)
2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1-2 oz. red food coloring, depends how deep you want the color
1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
½ cup of prepared plain hot coffee (don’t skip this ingredient)

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Method:

1) Preheat oven to 325F or 160-170C.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vegetable oil.

4) Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring until combined.

5) Stir in the coffee and white vinegar.

6) Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.

7) Generously grease and flour two round, 9 inch cake pans with shortening and flour. (I used a bundt cake pan).

8)’ Pour the batter evenly into each pan.

9) Bake in the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake as cake will continue to cook as it cools.

10) Let pans cool on a cooling rack until the pans are warm to the touch.

11) Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.

12) Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.

13) Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting when the cakes have cooled completely.

Notes~TIPS~Be sure to not overbake! Check the cake at 30 minutes as some ovens run really hot.Cakes are really moist and you may need to refrigerate them to firm them up before stacking and frosting.To bake cupcakes, bake for 18-20 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark.

Taken from Divas can cook

Cream cheese frosting:

2oz cream cheese, softened
2teaspoons milk
1 1/2cups whipping cream
1/2cup powdered sugar

In chilled large bowl, mix cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powered sugar with electric mixer on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until soft peaks form. Frost top of 13×9-inch cake or fill and frost cake layers. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

(You can use any frosting you wish but I prefered this because it is not too sweet. I didn’t use the milk instead I used 200ml whipping cream and 125ml thick cream.)

Taken from betty crocker

Dark chocolate & orange cake

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I have done orange chocolate cakes before but this is the most moist. The whole orange is an amazing addition. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 orange
a little melted butter, for greasing
100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
3 eggs
280g caster sugar
240ml sunflower oil
25g cocoa powder
250g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
orange candied peel, to decorate (I used marmalade jam)

For the chocolate ganache

200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
225ml double cream

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Method:

1) Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.

2) Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.

3) In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

4) Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.

5) Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with
of candied orange peel.

Taken from bbcgoodfood

Crumb cake with cinnamon, walnuts & chocolate

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This cake is considered a coffee cake even though it does not have coffee in it but it is an everyday cake which you can take with a beverage. It has a tasty spice kick to it with a nice crunch. Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping:

1 cup (240 ml) walnuts or pecans

1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) mini chocolate chips

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Coffee Cake:

1 2/3 cups (215 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (180 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt (full or reduced fat)

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Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Crumb Topping: Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Then, in a small bowl, stir together the chopped nuts, sugar, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

Coffee Cake: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle about half of the crumb topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining crumb topping. Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one – 9 inch (23 cm) cake.

crumb cake1
Taken from joyofbaking

Peach clafotis with poached fruits

peach clafotis1

This is originally a french dessert. It can be done with different fresh fruits but the most used are peaches and cherries. This is the first time I have done this dessert and I was surprised at the end result , which was really close to creme caramel with the added freshness of the fruit. Do give it a try.

Serves 5

Ingredients:

About 5 to 6 ripe peaches cut into medium sized, equal wedges

Juice of 2 oranges sifted (if there was not enough juice then use more than 2), the juice of each in a separate glass

1/2 tsp rose water

3 tsps maple syrup (if you don’t have any use honey instead)

1 stick of cinnamon

50g of flour

1 egg and 1 yolk

zest of 1/2 lemon (I used the zest of half an orange too but that is optional)

80ml of cream

80ml of milk

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of white chocolate cut into thin small pieces or melted

20g of melted butter

1/2 tsp of vanilla essence or paste

a pinch of salt

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Method

1) In a bowl put about half the peaches with a small amount of orange juice and a bit of sugar (white or brown), set aside.

2) In a medium sized pot on medium to low heat, put the rest of the peach wedges with the juice of one orange, maple syrup and stick of cinnamon. Let the mixture simmer with occasional stirring (be careful not to damage the peaches) until the juice becomes thick and the peaches are soft but still retain their shape. Remove from heat and add the rose water. Leave to cool.

Note: If it is not sweet enough, you can add more maple syrup to it.

3) In a large bowl put the flour and make a well in it. Place the egg and the egg yolk in the middle of the well, zest of 1/2 lemon (or orange), a pinch of salt then whisk to get batter.

4) Add to the batter a mixture of the milk and cream in two batches, half each time, while whisking.

5) Then add to the batter the sugar, white chocolate, 1/4 cup of orange juice, butter and vanilla essence/paste, whisk all together to have a smooth mixture.

6) Butter and cover with a light sugar coat the mold(s) you are going to use.

7) Put in the mold(s) the peaches in the bowl and pour the mixture over them until they are 3/4 covered.

8) Bake for about 30 min. in a 180C/350F/gas mark 4 preheated oven or until it is golden brown on top and the mixture has set.

9) Remove from oven and let cool and it can be garnished with a bit of icing/powdered sugar.

Serve with poached peaches and thick cream

Recipe adapted from the TV program Master Chef Australia

Enjoy!

Rice pudding with dried fruits

rice pudding with dried fruits 2

This dessert is a very nice treat any time, satisfies the sweet tooth and has health elements at the same time.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup short grain rice

6 cups water (1500 ml)

400 g sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons blossom water

About a handful of dried fruits of your liking (put them in water when you begin making the pudding so they become a little more soft)

Dried pistachios, almonds, pecans/walnuts, pine nuts, cashews for garnish ( put them in cold water for an hour or two)

rice pudding with dried fruits

Method:

1) Put the rice and water in a pot, bring to boil and simmer on low heat with occasional stirring until rice is well cooked. Don’t worry if the water seems too much for the rice.

2) Add the milk to the rice mixture. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat with stirring from time to time until the mixture is thick and creamy. The mixture will thicken more when it cools.

3) Add what you wish and the blossom water, and stir. Remove from heat and pour the mixture in cups or a bowl.

4) Allow the rice pudding to cool a bit and then place in fridge to cool.

Liquorice pudding

liquorice pudding

Yes you read right liquorice! I’m a big fan and I love the taste so if you do too give this a try. You may have to add more liquorice to the recipe because pure Italian are not always available haha. I also garnished it with some pieces instead of the salt to add more flavor. Enjoy!

Ingredients

60 ml water
1 teaspoon(s) pure italian liquorice pellets (such as amarelli rossano)
2 tablespoon(s) light muscovado sugar
175 ml double cream
2 teaspoon(s) cornflour
1 tablespoon(s) milk
soft sea salt flakes (to serve)

Method

1) Put the water and liquorice pellets in your smallest pan and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking frequently to help the liquorice melt. Once it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, stirring or whisking every now and again.

2) Turn the heat back on and whisk in the sugar, then the cream, and bring to a bubble. Remove from the heat.

3) Spoon the cornflour into a little bowl, cup or ramekin and slake it with the milk: which is to say, whisk in the milk until you have a smooth paste.

4) Pour this, whisking as you go, into the mixture in the saucepan. Still whisking, put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a bubble, whisking all the while, for 20-30 seconds, or until thickened.

5) Divide between 2 heatproof glasses or cups and – unless you want to eat this hot – cover, touching the surface of the puddings, with clingfilm or baking parchment that you’ve wet with cold water then wrung out (this is to prevent a skin forming, a thing I cannot tolerate), and put them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

6) Let the puddings come to room temperature before serving, and remove the clingfilm or baking parchment and smooth the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Put the soft sea salt on the table to sprinkle over as you eat, if wished. For those of us who love liquorice, this pudding is a sheer, spine-tingling joy.

Source: Nigella.com

Rainbow cake

I must say I am not a fan of food coloring but it is a rainbow cake! Trying it once in a life time :) You can use an vanilla cake recipe that you have or ones that are already in a box. If you do not have one, this is a recipe from joy of baking.

Ingredients:

1 box vanilla cake

Food coloring (yellow, blue, green and red), to make more colors have some fun and mix colors (for example: red and yellow, red and blue.)

Apricot jam

1 cup whipping cream

Walnuts for garnish

Method:  

1) Make the cake according to the recipe you are doing. Divide the cake batter into small separate bowls equally.

2) For each bowl add a separate color or mix two colors, mix well to have a uniform color.

3) You can use any pan you wish I used two 20 cm round pans. In each pan divide the batter of each color equally (if you are using one pan then no need to divide, just spread on top of each other).

4) Bake the cake as the recipe suggests or the instructions.

5) After the cakes have cooled. Add any color if you wish to the whipping cream then beat it. Spread apricot jam on the top of one cake (if you have one cake you can cut it in half) then some of the whipped cream. Put the second cake on top. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on the assembled cake and garnish it.  Enjoy.