Saturday, 20 July 2013

Boston Cream Pie

It's the 20th today so that can only mean one thing, The Cake Slice. I joined an online baking group last October and there are members from around the world who all love baking and trying new cake recipes. Members from The Cake Slice have been baking from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, which is by far one of my favourite baking books. This months cake is Boston Cream Pie- Lets which I voted for and is a rework from the classic Boston Cream Pie. I decided to rework the recipe to make a layer cake as I was pressed for time (which is quite common these days) and didn't want to faff about with making a mini pudding. I added 200g of butter to the recipe as it felt very weird making the cake without butter and also I was unsure whether this recipe (minus the butter) would work for a layer cake as it was designed for the mini versions.
Here is how my Boston cream pie turned out:
Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie from the top.

Boston Cream Pie cut

Boston Cream Pie.

I first started by sifting the self-raising flour and baking powder, placed in a bowl and set aside.
Flour.

I whisked the cream and sugar and then added the butter.
Cream and sugar.

Added butter.

I then added the eggs and added the flour in three parts until the mixture was combined.
Eggs added 

Boston Cream Pie mixture

I placed the mixture in two baking tins and left to bake for 25-30 minutes.
Boston Cream Pie pre bake.

Cakes Baked.



Cake
2 Cups (8 ounces) self-raising flour
200g (7 ounces) butter.
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup double cream, cold
1 1/2 cup (8 3/4 ounces) caster sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

For the pastry cream I followed a Raymond Blanc recipe and it can be found on the link.

Chocolate ganache
100g dark chocolate
150g milk chocolate
90g butter

Method
To make the cake, sift together the self - raising flour and baking powder into a bowl, then whisk the ingredients by hand to ensure they are well mixed.
Using a hand held mixer, whip the cream on high speed until soft, droopy peaks form. On medium-low speed, add the sugar in a steady stream and then return to the mixer to a high speed to continue to whip the cream until stiff peaks begin to form. Return the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla and the butter. Stir in the flour mixture in three parts, adding the next addition as soon as the flour has been incorportated. Turn the mixer before all the flour is completely mixed into the batter and finish mixing the batter by hand with a wooden spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and place in the centre of the oven until the cake springs back in the midle when lightly pressed, 28 to 32 minutes. Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature.
Follow the recipe for the pastry cream and once cool spread on top of the cake.
For the chocolate ganache, combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl above a pan of simmering water or in the microwave in 30 seconds blasts. Once the chocolate and butter are combined leave to cool down to set in the fridge (this should take an hour). When ready to use stir the ganache and spread on top of the cake.


xxx
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Monday, 20 May 2013

The Pink Cake

This months chosen cake from the Cake Slicers, the online baking group that I am part of, is entitled "The Pink Cake". This cake has been described as a rich, moist chocolate cake with a raspberry puree buttercream frosting. I cheated a bit with the buttercream and used pink flavouring to get my pink colour. I will however make the raspberry buttercream in the future as like the idea of this as a topping, unfortunately I did not have the time to do this, hence the food colouring. One thing that I really like about Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson is that the cakes are always big, full of flavour, and full of delicious full fat ingredients which makes the cake taste so delicious.
Here is how my pink cake turned out:
The Pink Cake


Inside my Pink Cake

Slice of the Pink Cake
I first started by combining the coco, chocolate and hot water together, although I suggest to use a bigger bowl than I did, as it can become tricky when stirring, when trying to add the sour cream.
Chocolate and coco.

Sour cream 
I then creamed the butter and sugar together until light and then drizzled the oil into the mixture.
Butter and sugar mixed.

Oil.
I then sifted the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and began to add the eggs one at a time.

Flour

Flour, eggs and chocolate.
Once the eggs was in cooperated into the mixture I placed into three baking tins.
Cake Mixture.

Pre baking.
Once the cakes were baked, I left to cool and began to make the buttercream which is my usual method of 125g butter and 425 icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and pink food colouring. I whisked the butter first and gradually added the icing sugar until I had a smooth buttercream.
Butter for buttercream.

Icing sugar added

When making a layer cake I usually place each cake alongside each other and spread a similar amount of buttercream on each cake as previously I would go sparingly on the first two layers and when cut I could hardly see the buttercream.

I then spread buttercream around the cake to create a crumb layer.
Crumb layer
Unfortunately the crumb layer did not quite set, but I added chocolate curls to decorate My Pink Cake. My family really enjoyed this cake, which is the most important thing.


Have a look at my fellow Cake Slicers their blog pages can be found when you click on the picture beneath.

Ingredients
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped.
1/4 cup, 1 ounce coco
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup 6 3/4 ounces full fat sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
2 cups (10 ounces) self-raising flour
4 ounces unsalted butter
13 ounces caster sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
5 eggs

For the raspberry buttercream
6 egg whites
8 3/4 ounces sugar
1 pound unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces of raspberries fresh or frozen.

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F or gas mark 4
Put the unsweetened chocolate and the cocoa into a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and allow it to steep for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture together. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.
Sift  the flour in a separate bowl. In a bowl cream the butter and the sugar together on medium-high speed until light, about 3 minutes. On low speed, drizzle the oil into the mixture until blended. Turn the mixture up to a medium-high speed and best until the batter is fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been Incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.
Divide the thick batter equally among the prepared tins. Smooth the tops and tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter and eliminate any large bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven until the centres spring back when lightly touched, 22 - 25 minutes. Let the cake rest for 30 minutes on a wire rack.
To assemble the cake, lay one of the cakes top side up on a cake plate. Using a metal spatula, frost the top with 3/4 buttercream, spreading it out to the edge of the cake. Stack the second cake top side up on the frosted cake and spread another 3/4 buttercream. Stack the last layer of cake top side up on top. Apply a thin layer of the frosting all over the cake to create a crumb layer. Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes then reapply the remaining buttercream over the cake.

For the raspberry buttercream
Using a hand whisk, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. The egg white mixture will be gloppy and thick, but as the mixture begins to warm up it will become more fluid. Continue to gently whisk the mixture until it is very hot to the touch.
Move the bowl to the stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium-high speed until they tripled in volume and are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks (like meringue), 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed until the mixing bowl is just cool to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. Kick the mixer back up to medium-high speed and add the butter one piece at a time, adding the next piece just as the previous one has been in cooperated. Stop the mixer every so often to scape down the escaping buttercream from the sides of the bowl. At some point, the buttercream will take on a curdled appearance; don't worry, this is normal. Just keep on mixing until it comes together. Once all the butter is in cooperated and the frosting is fluff and creamy, blend in the vanilla and salt until fully combined.
Covered with plastic wrap, buttercream will last 2 days at room temperature.
Mash and strain 4 cups (10 ounces) of raspberries fresh or frozen through a fine sieve to catch the seeds. Discard the seeds and set aside the puree while you follow the method for basic buttercream. Add the berry puree at the end of the recipe  with the vanilla and salt.

xxx
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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Lemon and Almond Streamliner cake - April The Cake Slice Bakers.

Unfortunately I missed last months bake for my online baking group, The Cake Slicers due to me being  busy and not finding the time to make March's cake. Since October, The Cake Slice Bakers have been baking from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, which is on the whole a fabulous American baking book. I must be honest,  I was not very keen on this months choices of bake and eventually following a close call with another cake this months cake, Lemon and Almond Streamliner won the votes. The good thing about joining an online baking group, is that I get to try new recipes which I would usually not bother to make it. Often I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the cakes.

The recipe for this cake is actually based on another recipe which the author found in 1967 and was unable to find the reason as to why the cake was called "streamliner". This cake uses almond paste for extra moistness , something which I can image my local Asda supermarket does not sell, I did not even bother to look for it in the supermarket or attempt to make it (there was a recipe given for it in the book). Instead, I cheated and simply used ground almonds as this was readily available. The cake was fairly easy to make, and with a lot of the cake recipes in this book, it uses buttermilk. The texture of the cake was like a pudding, according to my family. It was really soft and moist and I think it tasted far better the next day.
Here is how my Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake turned out:
Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake.
Lemon and Almond Streamliner cake.

I loosely followed the method for the recipe for making this cake. The topping for the cake in the book is for a lemon custard and I will share further along in the blog, but I am useless at making custard so used my favourite lemon buttercream recipe. I also followed my preferred method of mixing the eggs and butter together and whisked (the book suggests to mix the dry ingredients first). I will, however share the recipe that is given in the book, as I would not want my fellow blog readers to get into my bad (or I suppose it could be good) baking habits.
Butter and sugar
Butter and sugar mixed

I then added parts of the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder), ground almonds, milk, eggs, vegetable oil and buttermilk, mixed and continued to add these ingredients until everything was combined.
Buttermilk.
Eggs
I wanted a lemony taste in the cake as I know that ground almonds can be quite overpowering so I decided to add the zest of a lemon, shame my lemon was on it's last leg and I could not properly in cooperate it in the mixture.

Dry ingredients added alongside eggs
Grated lemon added
Once everything was mixed together I placed in a spring form baking tin.
Mixture for cake

Lemon and almond cake prebake.

Once baked I left to cool and made my butter cream recipe.
Cake baked

For the lemon butter cream to top my cake I just whisked 75g butter and slowly added 300g icing sugar, and the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon.
Buttercream in the making

Buttercream.

Recipe for Lemon and Almond Streamliner cake.
For the lemon custard
Grated zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup whole milk
3 1/2 ounces sugar\4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup of lemon juice, from three lemons
4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes.

For the cake
1 1/4 cup (5 ounces) self- raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking  powder
3/4 cup (6 ounces) almond paste, at room temperature (I used 4 ounces of ground almonds)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
3 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk.

Method
To make the lemon custard, combine the lemon zest, milk, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over a medium-low heat until just hot. Meanwhile, in a bowl, thoroughly whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until well combined then whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly whisk a third of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the hot milk and cook over medium-low heat, whisking steadily, until the custard begins to thicken and bubble for 1 minute. Strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in the butter until it has melted. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly upon the surface of the custard and place in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours. The custard is easiest with once it has set.
Centre an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F.
To make the cake, sift together the flour and baking powder, then whisk the mixture to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the almond paste, butter, sugar, oil and vanilla on low speed until blended; gradually increase the speed to high cream until very light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes, stopping the mixer frequently to scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend in the eggs one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixture before the last of the flour has been in cooperated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and spread it evenly. Bake for around 45 minutes, until the cake is baked.
Leave the cake to cool and once cooled spread a thin layer of lemon custard on the sides of the cake to seal the cake and give it a light shine. Put the rest of the lemon custard on the top of the cake, spreading it just barely out to the edge. Use your spatula to make a swirly design in the custard on the top of the cake. Allow the assembled cake to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes,
Eat and enjoy.



xxxx






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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Red Velvet cake with Jamaican Rum buttercream icing.

This months selected cake from my online baking group, The Cake Slice Bakers, was a Red Velvet Cake with mascarporne cheese frosting. This was not the cake I originally voted for, but that's the good thing about trying something new, trying new cakes can turn out to be firm favourites.
Now, I'm not a big fan of cream cheese frostings so decided to use a rum flavoured buttercream frosting, which I have never made prior to making this cake, but I think worked out lovely. I had one of those "I should try ...." moments which paid of. In fact my family said that this was their FAVOURITE cake I have ever made, since I got into baking 2.5 years ago. That is some compliment and on that note, here is how my Red Velvet Cake with rum buttercream frosting turned out.
Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet covered
Red Velvet cake pre sprinkles
Slice of Red Velvet cake
I first started by combining all the dry ingredients together, the flour, coco, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, I creamed the butter and sugar together until combined.
Butter and sugar
Butter and sugar combined

I then added the oil, with one tablespoon of Christmas red food colouring to the butter and sugar mixture.
Oil and food colouring

I then added the the eggs, one at a time to the flour mixture and part of the butter and sugar and oil mixture.
Finally, I added the buttermilk and ensured everything was combined.
Red velvet mixture
I then placed the mixture in heart shape tins, perfect for Valentines day weekend.
Cake mixture pre baking
The cakes took around 30 minutes to bake and once baked I left to cool and got on with the icing.
Red Velvet baked
The given frosting for this cake was mascarpone cream cheese frosting but as stated earlier I'm not the biggest fan of cream cheese frosting so made a rum buttercream. I have used this basic buttercream recipe taken from The Great British Book of Baking.
I whisked the butter until light and fluffy and then added the icing sugar alongside 4 tablespoons of Jamaican rum which is 60% proof, but if you do not have this in our store cupboard, I suggest using white rum (not Malibu or any rum with coconut flavourings).
Butter whisked
Icing sugar and rum
I whisked for around 6 minutes until the buttercream was light and fluffy and left to in the fridge for 30 minutes (I also placed the cakes in the freezer for 20 minutes to prevent the crumbs falling off when the buttercream is added.
Buttercream whisked
I placed a dollop of buttercream on a layer of cake and added the other layer cake and added more buttercream. I decorated with sprinkles :-)
Red Velvet layer
Red Velvet cake

Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake
10-12 servings
Bake time 28-30 minutes
You will need Two 9 by 2 inch round cake pans, greased and bottoms lined with parchment paper circles.

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) sifted self raising flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) coco
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or flavouring
1 tablespoon red food colouring
3/4 (6 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) sugar
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk

For the buttercream
4 tablespoons of strong white rum
100g butter
400g icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, coco baking powder and salt, then whisk the ingredients by hand to ensure they are all well mixed. In another small bowl, combine the oil, vanilla and food colouring. Cream the butter and sugar together medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. As you make the batter, stop the mixer frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With your mixer on low speed, drizzle the oil mixture into the batter until well combined.
Blend in the eggs one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.
Divide the batter  evenly in prepared tins and smooth the tins. Place the tins in the middle of the oven and bake until the centres of the cake spring back when lightly touched, 28-30 minutes. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes, before removing the pans.

To make the rum buttercream, whisk the butter until light and fluffy, then add the icing sugar and white rum, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. To assemble the cake, place one of the layers, top side up, on a serving plate. Using a metal spatula, spread half of the frosting over the top of the cake, spreading it slightly over the edge of the cake. Place the next layer cake (top side up again) on top of the frosted later. Spread the remainder of the frosting over the top of the cake.


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