Category: cake

Cake for Breakfast!

Cake for breakfast! Yes it’s a thing and it is all over the Internet. It’s actually not a new thing. It started popping up in my feed in every blog I get, recently. So, I decided to do a little research of my own. Before I get to a really good chocolate cake recipe, that you will probably over indulge in, let me give you some of the Kisses and Nibs of it all.

The original study came out in 2011 and was conducted in the UK. It did say that eating cake for breakfast was a good thing and that you might lose some weight. However, it turns out the study was more about eating a big hearty breakfast than it was about eating cake. It also pointed out that if you’re going to eat sugary unrefined carbs, maybe you want to do it earlier in the day, rather than later. Finally, the UK study was a closed study, meaning that the participants were living and eating in a dorm facility. So the facilitators noted that perhaps the social nature of eating together might have had the participants eating less. Be more social when you eat breakfast, if you can. Talk more, eat less.

The second study was done at Tel Aviv University in 2013. This study suggested that the brain works better when it is stimulated immediately in the morning and that chocolate cake was a great conduit for that. The long and short of this is that chocolate has flavonoids and caffeine; both can act as a stimulant. Flavonoids are also a great antioxidant. Both supply energy to the brain and in my honest opinion are a great way to start your day.

I did the MOST official study of all in 2017. It shows that if you make a chocolate cake, somebody will eat it for breakfast!

Okay, enough with the science! Here is a great chocolate cake recipe. I put it together from several different recipes. Make a double batch of the frosting; one is just not quite enough to frost the whole cake.


Really Good Chocolate Cake
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This is three full layers of cake, not one cake cut into three layers! With lots of rich milk chocolate frosting between and all around. Oh yeah!
Really Good Chocolate Cake
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This is three full layers of cake, not one cake cut into three layers! With lots of rich milk chocolate frosting between and all around. Oh yeah!
Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
Milk Chocolate Frosting
Servings:
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and Flour three 9" round cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
  3. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Heat the water and butter in a pot over medium heat until butter is melted but water is simmering not boiling.
  4. Pour hot liquid over chocolate and cocoa mixture and stir to combine and melted and smooth.
  5. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Make sure chocolate mixture has cooled then add the eggs, one at a time and use a hand mixer to just combine. Add vanilla extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture alternating with the buttermilk, finish with the flour, being sure to scrape down the sides. Don’t over mix.
  7. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake 20-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pan 15 minutes, then invert and cool on rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and slowly add the sugar. Be sure to scrape down the sides. Drizzle in melted, cooled chocolate until evenly combined
  2. Frost each layer with about ¾ cup frosting and between each layer. Use remaining frosting to frost whole outer cake.
  3. Melt additional chocolate candy bars and drizzle over the top of frosted cake for decoration.
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Gateau au Chocolat

Here is the recipe for the greatest mistake I ever made!

Gateau au Chocolat
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Gateau au Chocolat
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease and line with wax paper a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
  2. Melt chocolate and beat in butter with a spoon or spatula.
  3. Beat egg whites with a hand mixer to stiff peaks; set aside. With same beaters beat egg yolks until thick and light in color.
  4. Slowly add the sugar, beating constantly. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Stir egg yolk mixture into chocolate mixture, then fold egg whites into this mixture. You will have some egg whites still showing.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Reduce oven heat to 350°F and bake 25 minutes.
  6. Let cool completely in pan. Cake will settle like a cheesecake. Turn out. Refrigerate for 4 hours until well chilled. Decorate with abandon!
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Jam Cake!

For most of my life I heard about “Granny”. My Great-Grandmother. By all accounts she was an amazing cook, great seamstress and she was feisty! My Great-Grandfather was 27 years older than her and had come from a family of privilege in Georgia. My Great-Grandfather was “one of the most sought-after bachelors”. By all accounts he was a bit of player and drove a flashy “rubber-tired buggy” with a “trotting horse”. Today that might be compared to a little red corvette. Granny was a schoolmistress that came from a hard working, “good” family. In the 12 years they were married, prior to his death, they had 4 children and she was pregnant with the 5th when he passed. While the story is told of their love at first sight, I’m guessing there was a certain amount of satisfaction in catching the un-catchable.

In 1900 $18,690 would have been the equivalent of approximately $430,000 today. In 1900 that would have meant that you were wealthy. This is how much the savings passbook shows my great grand parents had in the their bank account when Granny started using it to write recipes. That is a lot of money for the time. While they lived a somewhat grand life with servants and a large plantation home, they also were very conscious of using what they could from their own land. They had crops such as watermelon and their own patch for growing fruits and vegetables. They also raised several different types of chickens and had milk, butter and cheese from their own cows.

A grandchild’s imagination can run wild and mine is no different. At first, I imagined my “feisty” Granny getting mad at Ab, my great grandfather’s nickname. Perhaps he had asked her to run ANOTHER errand to the bank on a day when she had sick children and chores to do on the Plantation. I can see her running into a friend and asking for her Watermelon Rind Preserves recipe. When she realized she has no paper, maybe she thought, “I’ll show him the value of his money!” and scratched out the recipe right there on the 4th page of the passbook. I say this because the recipe is quickly given. There is no list of ingredients and amounts, then instructions. It’s all on continuous sentence.

I sometimes fantasize that maybe she really didn’t have any paper and thought it would be “just one recipe”. However, it became her go to for writing recipes when she ran into friends. Eventually, the recipes did evolve and have a list of and amounts ingredients and instructions.

Today we don’t have passbooks and most of our recipes are shared via email, the Internet or pinterest. Having those recipes written in my grandmother’s handwriting is invaluable. As the years passed, after my Grandfather’s death, times got hard for my great-grandmother and her family. She was able to turn to her Brother in law for help and keep her family together, during the depression, World War II and a great cyclone. I still imagine that she would have been teaching us that the value of a rich family history has more value than today’s $430,000.

My favorite recipe was the Jam Cake. This is a traditional southern cake that came out of Tennessee or Kentucky, depending on what website you are looking at. I have searched high and low for a jam cake recipe that was made with wine instead of buttermilk. I’m not sure why Granny made the substitution, but it sure is good!

I’m giving it to you as written and then my version. How lucky was my Granny to be able to bake with such a limited recipe. I hope you enjoy it too.

 

Jam Cake!
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Jam Cake!
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Beat eggs and sugar together until light colored and ribbony.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together.
  3. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add to eggs and sugar.
  4. Slowly add flour & baking powder mix to butter/eggs mixture.
  5. Once flour is completely added, add spices and lastly wine. Blend until just combined.
  6. Pour into 8 or 9 inch cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350°F for 30 - 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  7. For frosting I make a cream cheese frosting and use a good store bought caramel sauce to make a caramel frosting. Divide the layers. I put an extra layer of jam in between cake layers with the frosting and then frost the whole cake.
  8. You can find my cream cheese frosting recipe in my May 8, 2015 post of Red Velvet cake.
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A Case for Boxed Cake Mix

I am a Mom that went to culinary school whose kids like boxed cake mix! I’ve tried many a homemade cake from yellow to red velvet and every frosting imaginable. While they do love my cream cheese frosting they still like, dare I say it, canned frosting and boxed cake mix better.

So when my daughter suggested we do one of those doctored up box cake mix recipes, to add something chocolate to our family holiday celebration. I reluctantly agreed. My only caveat was that it couldn’t have any other processed ingredients. We came really close but the one my daughter wanted had instant pudding in it. I caved.

The directions were “SOOO” complicated. “Empty contents of Bag”. Add in this. Stir in that. I persevered. We greased the pan and baked the mix for the prescribed 30-35 minutes. The whole time I was mumbling under my breath and sighing. How could this be? I make great cakes! Most kids would kill to have me as their mom!

The timer went off and out came a good-looking moist cake. Huh, maybe? We’ll see. It cooled. I poked. It seemed moist and had a nice aroma. Since I managed to get out of the store without buying a can of frosting, I suggested a hack, I knew. The finger taste test was good and so far my daughter approved.

Once the cake was sliced in half, filled and frosted we put it out and we were ready for the harshest of critics…the family. They loved it! Of course every body thought it was one of my recipes and of course my daughter couldn’t wait to tell them it was a doctored up cake mix.

Well at least I can take joy in knowing that there is homemade cake and frosting that I can make with my daughters that they will like. So from my family to yours, enjoy!

*One note- I would love to give credit where due but I honestly don’t remember where this came from. It was a quick screenshot on the phone and off to the store before mom changed her mind.

A Case for Boxed Cake Mix
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A Case for Boxed Cake Mix
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Ingredients
Vanilla Frosting
Servings:
Instructions
Cake
  1. In a mixing bowl pour cake mix and pudding mix. Turn on mixer and add sour cream. Slowly add vegetable oil.
  2. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition.
  3. Add milk, vanilla and sea salt.
  4. Add milk, vanilla and sea salt.
  5. Pour into 2 prepared (greased & floured) 8” round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan then turn out and cool completely on rack. Frost and serve.
Frosting
  1. Blend together marshmallow fluff, butter and vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar until well blended and consistency is as desired. If it gets too thick you can add some whole milk a couple drops at a time. Frost cake and serve.
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Winter’s Colorful Citrus

Winter knows how to hook you. That first nip of cold air gets you excited and all the sweaters come out. When you are sick of rain the snow starts and when you think you can’t handle the grey skies anymore, Peonies show up and the citrus is ripe for the picking.

The Peonies I had to find in NYC while looking at colleges for my daughter. They were a welcome sight on a slushy, grey street in Chelsea. The citrus, in the form Cara Cara oranges greeted me when I came home to Los Angeles. They were bursting with juice and practically leapt off their trees when I went out to pick them.

Cara Cara oranges are wonderfully sweet and have specks of dark red hinting of a relationship to blood oranges. You can juice them and cook with them. This year they were too sweet not to use in everything! First, I peeled, sliced and served them on a beautiful platter on their own. Delicious! Then I tried a variation on lemon curd. It is literally sunshine is a jar. You can use any way you would lemon curd or, like me, just eat with a spoon.


Cara Cara Orange Curd
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Cara Cara Orange Curd
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Bring the orange juice to a simmer in a small saucepan, over a medium high heat and reduce to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and stir in zest. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in cooled juice mixture. Once combined, pour back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken and it reaches a temperature of 180°. This should take 6 - 8 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl and stir in butter, until it is completely melted. Cool completely and place plastic right on surface of curd, to prevent skin forming. Place in refrigerator until well chilled.
  4. Store in airtight in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator, before use, if frozen.
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Why is it important to Me?

I am often asked why do I write about cooking. Why is it important to me that “you” cook? It’s often a hard question to answer. Maybe, because it feels existential to me; I cook therefore I am. Recently, I had a small epiphany to this question. I woke up early one morning, I went down stairs and noticed the pungent aroma of too ripe bananas. I immediately got to work on banana bread. My movements around the kitchen, to grab my ingredients were easy and lazy on a warm Saturday morning: three ripe bananas, an egg, some flour and sugar are the basics and then I can get fancy. As I worked it dawned on me, this is why I want YOU to bake. I want you to stumble into your morning kitchen and think “banana bread” or cinnamon rolls or whatever you are craving and not be intimidated, afraid or ill prepared to bake. It is gratifying to bake/cook for your family and friends. It is also extremely gratifying to be the teacher. I want your emails saying you succeeded or even failed with one of my recipes. Let’s walk through it and try again. I love running into you in the store and answering your questions about ingredients or techniques. Send me the pictures! I want to see.

So in turn this answers another question that I have been asked. What’s your voice? Who’s your audience? My voice is just me. And you are my audience. In any article you read whether it is here on my blog or a book or a magazine; I want you to feel like we are sitting at the island in my kitchen, sipping a cup of … and just talking. You can ask me anything and tell me everything. See you soon.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
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Adapted from a recipe on Food Network.
Servings
1 loaf
Servings
1 loaf
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Print Recipe
Adapted from a recipe on Food Network.
Servings
1 loaf
Servings
1 loaf
Ingredients
Glaze
Servings: loaf
Instructions
Bread
  1. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer bowl, mix together the peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and well blended.
  3. Mash the bananas and then fold them into the wet mixture.
  4. Ad the flour mixture and beat on medium low until just just combine. Some lumps are ok.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 9X5X3 loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. I know that sounds vague but every oven varies and you don't want your bread to be over or under baked. A tooth pick should come out clean but just clean. Run knife around edges and let cool completely in pan.
Glaze
  1. Put peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave and stir, in 30 second intervals, until smooth.
  2. Pour glaze over top of turned out bread. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Let set for 10 minutes to set up before slicing.
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Mother’s Day Red Velvet Cake!

Ever since Steel Magnolias hit theaters, in 1989, the world seems to have taken notice of Red Velvet Cake.  That movie was a great Mother/Daughter story and I thought this recipe would be a great way to honor all the mothers out there for Mother’s Day. Given my interest in history, I wanted to know how this recipe came to be. The women in my family tell a story of trying to keep things appealing and flavorful during the depression. During that time, cocoa powder was scarce and expensive. The rich, dark brown chocolate cakes that were at every celebration suddenly were more gray than brown and didn’t have the full chocolate flavor most people were used to.

Necessity is the mother of invention and many women set out to make this treasured recipe work. Natural fruit and vegetable food colorings were still a novelty on the market. Many bakers experimented with beet juice, teas and even tomato juice to get a color that would appeal to the eye without changing the flavor profile, too much. Soon enough that bright red color was what you saw when you first cut into a many-layered cake.

Recently, I was heard Giada De Laurentis explain a scientific version about alkaline, acid and alkali causing a chemical reaction. My head is spinning just writing it down. It is intriguing but way too much science for me. I’ll just go with needed a better color.

The other complication that was left by using less cocoa powder was the subtler chocolate flavor. You could definitely still taste the cocoa, it just wasn’t as pronounced. To give the cake a flavor punch, the women of the day used a cream cheese frosting. The contrast, of the white frosting and multiple red layers, offered great eye appeal and who can resist a well-made cream cheese frosting?

Eventually, artificial food colorings were introduced, commercially and Red Velvet Cake was off to the races in popularity. Many hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, claimed their versions as “World Famous”. For my taste, our family recipe is the best!

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Be sure to not over bake the cake. It will continue to cook, a little, after it is out of the oven. The toothpick tester may not be completely clean, if you use that method. Be sure to make it your own by adding your favorite decoration or garnish. You can use beautiful fresh berries or even some red cake crumbs on the outside of the cake. Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day Red Velvet Cake!

Mother’s Day Red Velvet Cake!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    For The Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Grease and flour 3, 8″, cake pans then line the bottom of each with parchment. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Beat shortening until light and fluffy. Gradually add in eggs and sugar.
  3. Blend in food coloring and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and cocoa powder.
  5. In another bowl stir together buttermilk and white vinegar, then add baking soda. This will bubble up.
  6. Alternating add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to sugar and shortening mix. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  7. Pour evenly into prepared pans and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
  8. Cool completely before frosting.
    Frosting Instructions:
  1. Blend all together until smooth.
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Passover, new traditions and old answers!

Passover is just days away and, as is the case every year, my phone is ringing with people asking for “new” recipes. I decided to do some research, this year. Why do we always eat the same things? Why are the “laws” so different for Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews? Do we really want “new” recipes or is there comfort in the familiar? When I was growing up, we only served Manischewitz Concord Grape wine and the kids drank it too. As a matter of fact, we looked forward to Passover and the opportunity to get a little drunk on sweet wine and say the word  “ass” over and over again. It seemed to be a right of passage. Of course we ate the same menu every year. Now kids get grape juice and modern hagadot use different language. The answer to the difference between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews Passover diet is easy yet complicated. To oversimplify it greatly, it’s all about stubbornness.

Originally, the prohibition against leavened food only applied to “the five species of grain”. This includes wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt. Since other grains don’t rise (rice, millet, beans and lentils) no matter what or how it is kneaded and manipulated, they were allowed.

Fast forward a couple of centuries and the subject came up again in the Mishneh and Talmud. Somehow, the Mishnah in the 3rd century says its okay and the Talmud of the 5th century says no dice. Later law codes of the Ashkenazim hold a “stringent” line and don’t eat from any species of grain and the Sephardim who usually follow Maimonides only abstain from the original five species of grain. I was raised Ashkenazi but find the Sephardic way, much easier to follow.

As for the menu, as I read through website after website looking at menus, it seemed most followed the same pattern. You must have matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket, some sort of vegetable dish, some sort of potato dish and dessert. Jews have a long history as nomads. Consider the term “wandering Jew”. As a result, “our” food history is one of adaptation. Each time the Jews had to move to stay alive, they would take the recipes and traditions they had and convert them to work with the local food availability and the new culture they were in. Because they were forced to move around, and often didn’t have a lot of money to start with, they looked for inexpensive foods items and preparations that would stretch the uses and make less palatable ingredients, taste better. Brisket started out as an inexpensive cut of meat. We got a hold of it and now it is a cultural icon. Nobody would accuse chicken livers of being designer, but we took it and made chopped liver another iconic preparation. I would like to propose that this year when you are thinking about being enslaved and then being freed; think about your menus, your recipes and your traditions. Free yourself. Take the menus and recipes that have been handed down to you and make them your own. Judy Zeidler published The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook in 1999. While there are a lot of “gourmet” Jewish cookbooks and even some specific for Passover, this is still my favorite. Judy gives you several Passover menus and recipes from all over the world. Before I give you a few recipes to try, I’d like to offer up one more tradition on the newer side. Place an orange on your Seder plate to represent Women and in recognition of the LGBT community, widows, orphans, Jews who are adopted and anybody that may have felt marginalized by the Jewish community. Susan Heschel started this tradition in the late 1980’s. At an early point in the Seder she would ask each participant to take a segment of the orange, say the blessing over fruit and then eat the segment. If you come across a seed, spit it out as if to cast out any discrimination. The orange is there to remind us that we are all part of a whole and that each segment sticks together. I will post pictures to my instagram, Facebook and twitter pages.  Chag Sameach!

Whitefish Quenelles

  • 6 cups store bought fish or veggie stock
  • 1 bottle dry, white wine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 lbs. pike fillets, skinned, cut into medium pieces
  • 1 1/4 lbs. whitefish fillets, skinned, cut into medium pieces
  • 1 1/4 lbs. carp fillets, skinned, cut into medium pieces
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 additional whites
  • 3 Tablespoons matzo meal
  •  1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons super fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • a couple of passes of fresh nutmeg on the grater
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For the Quenelles: Pulse the onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Add half of all the fish and process until smooth. Scrape down sides as needed. Transfer to a large bowl and puree the other half of the fish. Then return the first portion and pulse to incorporate all flavors together. With the food processor running, add eggs and egg whites; process until just combined. Pour this mixture into a large bowl and stir in matzo meal, salt, sugar, lemon juice, pepper and nutmeg. Add the ice water, slowly, stirring until all in. Press through a large, fine-mesh strainer and refrigerate, 30 minutes. (you can do up to here a day in advance of next step) Bring stock and wine to a gentle boil, in large stockpot. You can add additional herbs for flavoring if you’d like. Try dill or parsley. Using two, wet, tablespoons, shape the quenelles. Use one spoon to get a mound of the fish batter and holding the spoons opposite each other, use the other to shape it. Spoon back & forth a few times to get a smooth surface (they make oval shape ice cream scoops too). Drop each quenelle into stock after forming. Cook until the float. You want to work in small batches at a time. I usually do 8 – 10 at one time. As they float to the surface use a slotted spoon to transfer them to large shallow dish. I like a lasagna glass dish. Strain some stock over quenelles, to keep them moist. Cool, then cover and refrigerate over night. The day you are serving take the quenelles out and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve as you would gefilte fish, with horseradish. I like a little drizzle of the stock over the fish. Figure 2-3, per person.

Almond Cake with Mixed Frosted Berries

  • 2 ¼ cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pound mixed berries
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater (optional)

In a medium bowl, whisk almond flour, baking powder and salt. Using a hand mixer, in a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and rosewater, at high speed until thick and very glossy. Fold in the flour mixture and about 2/3 of the berries, (The rest will be garnish). You will want to work in alternating batches, usually three. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch spring-form pan, bottomed lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325, until toothpick comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cook for 10 minutes, unmold and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar For garnish berries: Whisk together 1/3 cup egg whites with 1/8 of a teaspoon fresh lemon juice, until frothy. Toss, gently, the berries in the egg whites and then strain the egg whites off and lay the berries on paper towels to absorb excess egg whites. Do not let them dry. Working quickly but in batches, toss the berries lightly in 2 cups of superfine sugar. Shake off excess and mound in center of cake. Serve immediately.

Passover Chocolate Caramel Torte

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Mrs. Richardson’s caramel sauce

Place 1 cup of chocolate chips and butter in a glass or ceramic bowl. Heat in microwave 30 minutes at a time until butter is melted and chips are all but melted. Stir to completely melt the chips. Stir in salt, espresso and vanilla. With a handled mixer, beat n eggs, one at a time, until just smooth. Add the cocoa powder until just combined. Pour batter into a greased tart pan with removable bottom. I line my pan bottom with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes Cool in pan for 5 minutes then lift out onto serving plate and cool completely. For the next step, heat the cream in a saucepan until it is just simmering. Meanwhile put the other cup of chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. When cream is simmering, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Stir until smooth and thoroughly melted. Pour chocolate sauce over the cake and allow to set. Warm the caramel slightly, in microwave. Spoon the caramel over the top of the ganache. Some of the ganache may melt into the caramel, that’s fine. Serve at room temperature.

Happy Birthday! Let’s Party Cake

Today would have been my Mom’s 80th birthday. It is also my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday. You have to know that my Mom was always the life of the party and she would, for sure, want us to be celebrating her life. My Mom and daughter were “soul sisters”, so by celebrating my daughter I am honoring my Mom.

In one of my first post I told you about a leather binder, filled with recipes that came from my Aunt Rosie’s house. When I started thinking about celebrations for my mom and daughter the binder was the most logical place to find the perfect cake. In this magical binder, I found several recipes for “Party Cake”. Obviously I was intrigued that a cake could demand its presence at a party by calling itself “Party Cake”. I looked more closely and it appears that this cake is very similar to a pound cake. It is a little lighter. So in honor of my Mother, my daughter and all the March birthdays out there, let’s make Party Cake

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Party Cake

  • 1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Cream together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder and gradually add into butter mixture, alternating with milk.  Blend well.

Stir in vanilla and almond extracts

Pour into a greased and floured 10″ tube pan and bake at 325 for an hour and 45 minutes.  Check after an hour and 30 minutes.  You may need more or less time depending on your oven.

For a glaze, whisk together 1 1/2 Tablespoons whole milk with 1 cup powdered sugar.   Add the juice of one lemon. Pour generously over the cake.

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