Archive for the ‘Cakes’ Category
Chocolate pound cake is not quite as common as vanilla pound cake. Vanilla pound cake has a delicate flavor, balancing the floral flavor of vanilla with the richness of butter. The taste is addicting, but it is subtle compared to other types of cake. Chocolate flavor, on the other hand, is not subtle and most of the time we want chocolate desserts to be very rich and dramatic. This Chocolate Pound Cake takes its cue from the classic vanilla cake. It has a very good chocolate flavor, but the texture of the cake is just as much the star of this dessert as the chocolate is.
The cake is very simple to make and gets its chocolate flavor from cocoa powder. I recommend using Dutch process cocoa powder in this recipe, which gives the cake a slightly deeper chocolate flavor. If you only have natural cocoa powder, there is no need to worry because the recipe will still work out, it will just have a very slightly different chocolate flavor to it. If you happen to have some chocolate extract in your pantry, this recipe is the perfect place to use it and you can add 1 tsp of chocolate extract in with the vanilla. My Vanilla Bean Pound Cake recipe is a classic pound cake recipe that doesn’t use any leavening agents, but since cocoa powder is much denser than flour is, the Chocolate Pound Cake needs a little bit of leavening to ensure that it is light and not too heavy feeling.
Once you’ve baked your cake, there is a lot you can do with it. It is good when sliced thick and served plain, with a cup of coffee on the side. You could top it with a scoop of whipped cream and some fresh fruit to dress it up a little bit. Strawberries and raspberries go very well with this cake. If you decide you want to boost the chocolate flavor up a few notches, make a quick ganache with dark chocolate and heavy cream and pour it over the top of the loaf before serving it.
The original pound cake got its name from its ingredients. It contained a pound of eggs, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar and a pound of flour. It was a dense cake, but it had a tender texture that other cakes at the time lacked and it became popular enough that we still have pound cakes around today. There are lots of recipes for pound cakes out there, some adding additional ingredients and some cutting back on some of the original components, and many of them are good recipes. Sometimes, however, it pays to stick close to the original recipe and this one is pretty true to its roots.
This Vanilla Bean Pound Cake is a straightforward pound cake recipe, made with butter, eggs, flour and sugar. I added a little bit of salt to make the vanilla in the cake pop more and a little bit of milk, which prevents the finished cake from feeling too egg-y. As in traditional pound cakes, there is no leavening in this cake, so don’t be alarmed that there is no baking powder or baking soda on the ingredient list. The slight rise that this cake has comes mostly from the inclusion of the eggs in the cake batter. It has a very dense crumb but is so tender that it almost seems to melt in your mouth when you take a bite. It may not look fancy at first glance, but this is one of those cakes that I would choose over an over-frosted layer cake any day of the week!
The cake, although simple, feels very indulgent thanks to its buttery vanilla flavor. Since I used a whole vanilla bean in the cake, it is also loaded with specks of vanilla. This is one recipe where it is definitely worth splurging and using whole vanilla beans, scraping out the seeds and adding them to the batter. If you don’t have any, however, you can still get a good vanilla flavor into the cake by using 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
The cake is baked in a loaf pan and cut in slices to serve. It can be served plain, with a cup of tea or coffee, or it can be dressed up in a number of ways. For instance, you could turn it into the base of a strawberry shortcake and finish a slice with fresh berries and whipped cream. For summer entertaining, you can toast a slice on the grill to give it some extra texture and serve it with a big scoop of ice cream. The cake keeps well when it is stored in an airtight container and it can be baked a day or two before serving, if necessary. This also means that you can nibble away at your cake in small slices over the course of a week if you don’t have any plans to entertain or simply want to keep this cake all to yourself.
Bananas are a staple in my house and they are one of the best selling fruits in the US, so I know that I am not the only one out there that ends up with a lot of overripe bananas in the kitchen from time to time. Sometimes I tell myself that I’ll just buy fewer bananas, but the truth is that I love baking with bananas and don’t mind giving myself the opportunity to bake with them regularly. Banana bread and muffins are easy ways to go, but sometimes I want to have my bananas for dessert instead of for brunch. This Ultra-Moist Banana Bundt Cake is a versatile recipe that is a great way to use up a few bananas in a delicious and easy to make dessert.
The cake is very moist and tender, with a dense and almost pound cake-like texture to it. The secret to its moistness comes in two parts. First, there is a lot of banana in the batter. Second, the cake uses Greek yogurt where other cakes might use milk or buttermilk. The yogurt, like the mashed banana, keeps moisture in the cake and it adds a subtle tang to it that highlights the sweetness of the bananas and makes the cake taste just a little bit fresher. Banana is definitely the star in this cake and, although cinnamon and nutmeg are commonly used with banana, I didn’t add any spices to the cake to cover up the flavor of the fruit. I did, however, add in a generous amount of vanilla extract and that is the perfect match in this cake.
The cake will stay fresh for several days after baking when it is stored in an airtight container, so you can bake it in advance for a party, or you can bake one for yourself and nibble it over the course of a week. It is good when served plain, but a little drizzle of vanilla icing or cream cheese frosting will really dress it up and add in a little extra sweetness. To take it over the top, use a slice as a base for an ice cream sundae with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, whipped cream and chopped, toasted nuts.
A lovely, layered dessert known as a “magic cake” has been pipping up on blogs all over the place lately. The cake is a dessert which magically turns itself into layers of cake and custard while baking in the oven, and it reminds me a lot of an impossible pie. Impossible pie is a type of custardy dessert that has a small amount of flour in it which allows a distinct “crust” to form during baking and give the pie two layers with very little work. Magic cake works in a very similar way, but has the custard on the bottom, rather than on the top like the impossible pie.
Magic cake is quite easy to make and this version of it uses buttermilk for a wonderfully tangy, buttery flavor that is addictive. The cake starts by mixing up a thin batter, using a relatively small amount of flour for a cake batter, then egg whites are folded in to it. It is difficult to directly fold the egg whites into the batter because it is so fluid, so I recommend stirring some in to thicken the batter (it’s ok if they loose a little volume) and then fold in the rest. The cake is baked at a low temperature and it separates into a sponge cake-like top layer and a dense custardy layer underneath. Unlike a pudding cake, the custard here is quite firm and very easy to slice through once the cake has set and cooled.
The vanilla and buttermilk cake is delicious, with a dense and custardy texture that you won’t find in any other kind of cake. I am a big custard fan and I am more than happy to eat this delicious cake plain. Buttermilk and vanilla go with all kinds of flavors, however, and this is a great base recipe to dress up. It is fantastic when served with fresh berries and whipped cream, and a drizzle of maple syrup is a simple – but amazing – way to finish it off just before serving, too.
This cake is baked in an 8 x 8-inch square baking dish. You can opt for a round dish of similar size. The depth of the pan is part of what makes this cake nice and custardy at the bottom, so while you could use a 9-inch pan in a pinch, you might not get quite as clear of a custardy layer as you would in the slighlty smaller pan.
A fluffernutter is a sandwich that is filled with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff or marshmallow cream. The combination of sweet and salty works extremely well, making this gooey sandwich a favorite of just about any kid who has even had one. It’s the kind of thing that I don’t necessarily eat on a regular basis as an adult, but I still can’t resist the combination when it comes up and get a craving for it every now and then. These Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies are inspired by this delicious sandwich.
The whoopie pies have cake-like rounds of peanut butter cookies as their foundation, and they are filled with a mixture of marshmallow cream and peanut butter. You get a great peanut butter flavor and the marshmallow adds just the right amount (which is to say, quite a bit) of sweetness to make the whoopie pie exactly what you would expect to get from a fluffernutter. The peanut butter cake/cookies are actually quite good on their own, and they stand up well to the filling. You can use smooth peanut butter, but I prefer to use crunchy so that there is a little bit more texture in these.
Regular, national brand peanut butters work well for both the cake and the filling, since they tend to have a good salty-sweet balance. Natural peanut butters also work, but tend to get a little bit gooey in the filling since they have a softer texture, so you might want to pack a few extra napkins. The marshmallow fluff also gets a bit messy in the filling – although I tend to think that it is part of the fun of eating a fluffernutter! – so I recommend filling these just before you intend to serve them. The cookies will keep very well when stored in an airtight container, so you can even make those a day or two in advance and fill them at the last minute.