Archive for the ‘ cakes. ’ Category

Wedding Cakes

Excuse me for being absent from my blog…again. It’s been hard to keep up! I left off telling you that wedding cakes was next up on the pastry school agenda. Two weeks of wedding cakes has passed, and so has 1 week of sugar candies and confections…and so has 1 week of ice cream. I’m so behind, I don’t even know where to start. This post will be focused on Wedding cakes, because I really don’t want to give you guys a pastry overload. Continue reading

Cakes and Tarts

Okay, so if you didn’t already know, I suck at updating my blog. School has been keeping me busy and by the time I get home, the last thing on my mind is updating my blog. But here I am, to give you a full update on the last 3 weeks of pastry school. For 2 weeks I studied cakes. No, not your good ol’ American buttercream frosted red-velvet cake, but French/European cakes or Entremets (on-tra-may) (mousse cakes). It was nice learning about this style of cake, and there were a few I really enjoyed. The ones I really enjoyed were the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake and the Raspberry Silk Cake. They were creamy-deliciousness, bites of heaven. Continue reading

The Perfect Cake to Make with your Overripe Bananas.

We’ve all been there. Neglected to eat our bananas — forgetting about them as they turn brown on our kitchen counter. Don’t feel like making a fruit smoothie? Sick of making banana bread or muffins? Well I know I was. So I was on the search for a recipe that I could make with my overripe bananas that didn’t seem boring, or overdone  — like muffins. Not that I have anything against banana bread, or banana walnut muffins, etc., but I’ve been there before. I wanted new. I took home a few overripe bananas from work, without having a plan on what to make. All I knew was that it had to be good. I’ve done banana and chocolate chips together, but how about banana and chocolate? A chocolate banana cake — bingo! Found a recipe that looked simple enough, and I already had everything I needed, which never happens. The recipe I found paired this cake with a chocolate  ganache frosting, which, don’t get me wrong, looked really great, but meh, I didn’t want that. I wanted something more fun, something that goes well with bananas and chocolate, something like, say…coconut? Yep. I had it. I would make a toasted coconut cream cheese frosting. This cake would be PERFECT! I was right. It was. It was delicious in every way. The bananas didn’t overpower the chocolate,  it was more of a slight banana taste. The cake was perfectly moist, not too moist, not too dry. And cream cheese frosting goes well with um, everything? And all of you coconut haters, go away! This cake ain’t for you! Okay, well it can be if you omit the coconut, but I know it wouldn’t be the same. To me, toasted coconut looks so lovely. It’s definitely a cake I see myself making again in the future.

Chocolate Banana Cake
from Joy of Baking

2 cups granulated white sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas)

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup safflower or canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside.

1. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, frost.
6. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of the cake and on the sides if you prefer.

Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe by Me.

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup butter (1 Stick)
8 oz cream cheese
2-3 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp almond extract (can substitute Vanilla)
1-2 Cups flaked sweetened or unsweetened coconut.

1. With an electric or stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the vanilla extract while still mixing.
3. Add the powdered sugar slowly, until you reach your desired texture and sweetness. You may or may not use 3 cups of sugar, or you may use more! Use your judgement.
4. To toast the coconut, I did it over the stovetop, on a nonstick pan, on low heat, until slightly browned. Careful and make sure to watch it, as to not burn.

st. paddy’s day goodness.

happy late st. paddy’s day! i hope you all had your share of corned beef and cabbage. i know i did! i was really looking forward to st patrick’s day because i was going to be making my first corned beef brisket and cabbage (and potatoes, carrots, parnips). since cooking corned beef brisket usually takes hours, i decided to use the trusty crock pot. i had to work at 5 am, so before i left, i just popped everything in the crockpot, and hit go, and left it to do its magic. and magic did it do. the recipe i used was really a winner, incorporating carrots and parsnips, not just potatoes and cabbage, and also including a bottle of guiness! when i arrived home sometime around noon, i had to remove the parsnips and carrots, and pop in the potatoes and cabbage. my crock pot would barely hold it all, but i made do. the recipe suggested using a pineapple ham glaze to top the brisket, and broil for a few minutes. i did this, but not only did i do this, i decided to add bacon! what could make a dish better than it already is? bacon. just add bacon. that’s going to be my new motto — just add bacon. sounds good to me. so i cooked the bacon in the oven first for about 20 minutes, then when that was done, glazed the brisket, added the bacon, then added some more glaze. broil for only a few minutes, and make sure to not get distracted like i did. some of the bacon was burnt, but only a portion, so nothing to get crazy about. let me tell you. BEST. CORNED BEEF. EVER. it was soooo good. on st paddy’s day i usually eat it simply cooked with cabbage and potatoes, nothing fun, but always good, but i decided to do things different this year. do things different and you’ll almost always be glad you did (ALMOST, always). so i ate all this with a side of rice, cause i’m asian. i have to eat it with rice. =) it was great.

Continue reading

No, that’s not snot on my chocolate cake.

it’s avocado!

so, like many other people, i have a love for avocados. my love is so strong, that i would eat it with everything — including chocolate cake. i found this recipe on Joy The Baker‘s blog, and knew I had to try it out. We all know, I’ve failed veganism, and vegetarianism, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good vegan or vegetarian meal every now and then. And vegan baking is something that I like to try every now and then, because it amazes me that I can make such a yummy dessert with no eggs or butter! and this cake, lemme tell you, it was good. it was moist and chocolatey, and didn’t contain even a tiny bit of butter or an egg. instead it used one small avocado and just a bit of vegetable oil. i think it may be one of my favorite chocolate cakes for sure. and what’s nice about it is that you don’t have to feel AS guilty as you normally would, because it’s made with healthy fats. but alas, don’t eat it thinking it’s a “healthy” choice for a dessert, because it still contains a nice amount of sugar, and a whole lotta sugar in the frosting. so sorry to burst any healthy people’s bubbles out there.

the chocolate cake itself doesn’t have a single hint of avocado, but the frosting, that’s another story. avocado butter cream, an Alton Brown recipe, tastes like avocado, but a sugar coated avocado — so good. to me it tasted similar to an avocado bubble shake, which by the way, are amazing. when i first tasted the frosting before putting it on the cake, i thought it was yum, but i wasn’t sure as to how it would taste on top of the cake. i was iffy. but alas, i frosted it, and hoped for the best — and i got the best. i never imagined how good an avocado frosting would be with chocolate cake, but then again, its an avocado. avocados officially taste good with everything, and need to be eaten with everything, including chocolate cake. and i know for sure that this recipe was a success, because my worst critic, my boyfriend, said the cake was really good. so once he gives it the okay, then i know i’m good to go.

so with that said, i highly advise you all to try out this cake, because if you are an avocado aficionado like myself, you will not be disappointed.

Vegan Chocolate Cake w/Avocado Buttercream Recipe from here.

Valentine’s Day

so i normally don’t really celebrate valentine’s day, because i feel that there shouldn’t be a specific day that you show your loved ones you care for them. that should be every day, am i right? well anyways, i’m not one of those people who despises it either. sure, it’s a hallmark holiday made so people can spend lots of money and eat lots of candy and buy and receive flowers. but it also means you can bake some cute things for your loved ones (or for yourself)! i didn’t have much time to bake on valentine’s day because i did have work, but i had enough time to whip up a batch of cupcakes for my boyfriend. he’s a simple guy, and likes simple desserts. he loves my carrot cupcakes, and after this valentine’s day, he has a new favorite. and nope, i didn’t make a traditional red velvet cupcake. i made vanilla bean cupcakes with a strawberry buttercream frosting. whatever i was going to make, i wanted it to somehow represent the holiday, and the pink frosting did the job.

i originally tried making a swiss meringue buttercream, but completely failed. i think the thermometer i used was broken, and i didn’t heat the ingredients up long enough. whatever the case, i will try again in the near future. so after that miserable failure, i decided i needed to whip up a quick buttercream frosting to go with my strawberry puree. let me tell you, the frosting turned out fabulous. you can really taste the strawberries, it doesn’t taste like artificial strawberry frosting in a can, it tastes like the real deal – because it was! all i did was made a simple butter cream frosting – confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla extract and a tbsp of milk, and added about 1/2-1 c of strawberry puree. i have no idea how much of it i actually added, because i tend to not measure things out in the kitchen if i somewhat have the hang of what i’m doing. i don’t even measure out my confectioners sugar, because i like to control the sweetness of my frosting. sometimes the frosting tastes too powdery, sometimes it doesn’t taste sweet enough – so i adjust everything to my own liking.

as for the vanilla bean cupcakes, i got the recipe from Annie’s Eats and they turned out superb. i didn’t actually have any vanilla beans to use for the recipe, so i used the equivalent of vanilla powder. the cupcakes turned out perfectly moist, with a light vanilla flavor. it paired perfectly with my strawberry buttercream frosting. it’s definitely a versatile cupcake. since the flavor is so light, you could pair it with nearly any type of frosting. you might be able to tell the frosting isn’t completely solid on the cupcake. i think i did add a little too much strawberry puree. but kept in a cool area (for instance, my refrigerator) the frosting does stiffen up, and therefor makes the cupcake almost perfect. !

 

 

Visit Annie’s Eats for the vanilla bean cupcake recipe.

Strawberry Buttercream frosting adapted from here.

World Nutella Day 2010

happy world nutella day everyone! i hope you all did something to celebrate. this is my first year taking part in world nutella day, but not my first time with nutella! i had to ban nutella from my house for a while due to the fact that it is insanely addicting and i could eat half a jar in a sitting without realizing. but for this day, i let nutella back into my life.

there are so many recipes out there that incorporate nutella, and if i had the time i would have made more goodies today, but my three hour nap got in the way. luckily, everyday is nutella day to me.

i wanted to do something simple, and figured a bundt cake would be pretty simple. i used a yellow cake recipe from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread cookbook — which by the way, has tons of awesome recipes i’m looking forward to trying. I’m not that great mathematically, so I didn’t know how to incorporate the nutella without screwing up the recipe, but I was too lazy to figure it out, so I just winged it. After pouring half the yellow cake batter into the bundt pan, i melted some nutella in the microwave, then poured it on top of the batter and swirled it in. then i added the rest of the yellow batter on top of that, did another little swirl, and hoped for the best. i ended up having to keep it in the oven for about 12 minutes longer than the recipe called for, probably because of all the volume in the cake pan. it turned out pretty decent. the cake was very moist, and i didn’t really get a pretty result with the swirls, but that’s okay with me. if someone served this cake to me, i don’t know if i would be able to tell it has nutella in it, because i think the flavors of the yellow cake and nutella combined more than i wanted. still tasty though!

you must eat this cake with milk. it is necessary due to the delicious moistness. well thats not all for nutella day. after i awoke from my slumber i got back in the kitchen and decided to make a japanese treat with nutella — daifuku. it’s mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with something sweet, usually anko (red bean paste) but today, i used nutella and strawberries. i can’t tell you all how much i love daifuku. they are the perfect amount of sweet, and the mochi is chewy and fun to eat. this is the first time i made them with a filling other than anko. i didn’t have any food coloring, so they look kind of plain, but the taste is far from that. my daifuku making skills are kind of on the low side, it is kind of hard to do! i’m definitely going to have to make more to work on that. =) that last picture i sliced open a pretty messed up daifuku to show you all how it looks inside. the nutella was bursting out, but normally, the fillings will not burst out like that if you are good at folding mochi.

my daifuku go to recipe is from VeganYumYum. they are super easy to make ( besides the folding part ) and they only take about 10 minutes total.

well that’s all for world nutella day. my belly is full of nutella and full of love. happy eating.