Tag Archives: cake

Chocolate orange almond cake (gluten-free)

19 Jul

A few weeks ago I met a friend at one of his favorite new coffee shops in Philadelphia, Frieda’s, which is maybe called FRIEDA for generations and has a very cool mission of essentially being a cool hip young coffee shop that welcomes old people.  I spent three hours there working on math and eating breakfast and having an incredible chocolate cake that had this beautiful aromatic orange flavor and big chunks of orange in it.

We spent a long time raving over this amazing cake, and the chef/co-owner walked over and chatted with us (he’s on a first-name basis with my friend, who goes there all the time) and told me the recipe orally.  Oral recipes include things like “add some cocoa powder” and “top with chocolate ganache,” so this was an adventure!  I also busted out the digital scale for this, but then measured stuff out for all y’all in the recipe at the bottom.

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Spouse bought me the new bag of flour. Why settle for just dia-monds when you can have ALL-monds?  

The cake has very few ingredients, though I forgot to add the cocoa powder above.  First you boil the oranges for 2 hours as you’re a very patient person.  Just kidding!  I covered these in water, considered putting a plate on top but didn’t, and microwaved them for 15 minutes.

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When it comes to American playwrights, do you prefer Williams, or Inge?

Boiling the oranges pulls out the bitterness from the pith (the white part), which is great for what happens next.  But while the oranges are microwaving, you might as well measure out your ingredients and mix them: sift together the almond flour and baking powder and cocoa powder.  I don’t have a sifter so I use a whisk, but sifter would be better for end-result cake texture.  Whisk up the eggs to get some air in there, then whisk in the sugar.

My action shot was too exciting for this!

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I was too eggs-ited!

You can also, if you want, skip all of those steps and dump everything in the food processor after you blend up the oranges!  CAREFULLY pull the oranges out of the hot microwave water and CAREFULLY cut them in quarters.  They’ll be soft but not falling apart, but the juice inside might be HOT.  It helps to buy seedless oranges for this part, because you don’t have to fish them out.  Then throw ’em in the food processor or the blender!

 

Orange puree!  If you’ve got a big food processor you can throw in all the other ingredients now and pulse it all together.  If you don’t, mix the puree with the eggs and sugar, then mix in the dry ingredients.  It’ll be lumpy because of the almond meal.

We’ve been really into The Great British Bake-Off lately, and my spouse thought he’d try to make a Mokatine despite the fact that he never bakes… in fact this was the first thing I’ve EVER seen him bake.  Anyway, we ran out of parchment paper so I told him to “butter and flour” the pan.  He did not know what I was talking about, so here are pictures:

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He’s a stick-ler for details and wanted to know “how much butter”.  I said “enough?”

Using your fingers or a paper towel or a stick like I did, rub butter all over a pan until the whole pane has a thin layer of butter on it.  Then spoon a few (2-3) tablespoons of flour into the pan and shake it around, rolling on each edge, until it’s evenly covered in flour.  Dump out any remaining flour.

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Who needs flowers when you can have flour? (but darling if you’re reading this I still like flowers)

Note that I didn’t do a great job above: you can see where the flour didn’t stick to a part I didn’t butter enough.  That’s exactly where the cake stuck to the pan later.  SO BE THOROUGH with your buttering and flouring.  Or, yknow, keep parchment paper in stock so there’s no flour on your gluten free cake…

Bake!  Let cool completely before frosting (but don’t leave it out too long for fear of losing moisture).  Frosting is MAGICAL GANACHE.

Did you know about ganache??? Somehow I had not made ganache before, despite having a baking blog for almost four years… it’s SO EASY and SO MAGICAL.  I’m into caps today.  You just pour hot cream onto chopped chocolate, and stir it until it’s frosting!  I am lazy so I used chocolate chips, which have extra stuff on them to keep them in their shape, so my ganache wasn’t perfectly smooth.  But still, it’s so delicious and wonderful (ganache is the center of truffles!  I didn’t know!)

 

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All of the photos were in different shots so I couldn’t gif it for you.  It starts out looking like failed hot cocoa when you pour the hot cream on the chocolate and wait for a minute, then like good hot cocoa as you stir it, and then shiny dark melted goodness, and before you know it (after a few minutes of cooling) you have frosting!  Then you can just spread that thick delicious stuff all over the cooled cake, and serve!  We actually don’t like chocolate very much and I made this for a friend’s chocolate-themed birthday party.  I will definitely make this cake again, sans cocoa powder (it’s SO orange-y and SO almond-y and SO easy).

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Chocolate orange almond cake (adapted from David Hong at Frieda’s)

For cake:

2 oranges

300 g (3 c) almond flour

200 g (1 c) sugar

6 eggs

1 TB baking powder

1/3 c-1/2 c cocoa powder (I did 1 c and it was too cocoa powdery; 3/4 c is the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe, I think 1/2 c would be great)

For ganache:

1 c heavy whipping cream

1 c good chocolate, chopped, or fancy chocolate chips

  1. Put oranges in a bowl, fill with water so oranges float, and microwave for 15 minutes.  Every five minutes, rotate the oranges so that a different side is floating out of the water.  Or put a small plate on the oranges to keep them submerged.
  2. Meanwhile, sift together the almond flour, baking powder, and cocoa powder, or whisk them well.
  3. Vigorously whisk the eggs until frothy, then whisk in the sugar until light and fluffy and pale.
  4. Carefully chop the hot, soft oranges into quarters, then puree in a food processor or blender.  Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Whisk orange puree with the eggs and sugar.
  6. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and mix well.
  7. Butter and flour a springform pan or line with parchment paper.  Should work on any pan; I just used a springform.
  8. Fill the pan, bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (up to an hour).  Let cool completely before frosting.
  9. Heat up the cream over medium heat in a small saucepan.  It doesn’t need to boil, but should be pretty hot (if you aren’t sure, take it almost to boiling).
  10. Put the chocolate chips in a bowl, and pour the hot cream over.  Let sit for a minute, then start stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk.  Keep stirring until it turns into ganache.
  11. Frost your beautiful cake!
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Trifling things (birthday cake trifle)

7 Jun

You may know from Twitter that I think about and read about social justice-related things a lot.  I’ve been quite stricken this week about a certain, horrible thing that’s happened, and I don’t have words/am very overwhelmed right now to write about it.  So instead we’re going to chat about trifling things today, specifically, trifle, which is a delicious combination of pudding and cake and whipped cream and sometimes other stuff (fruit).  Banana pudding is basically a trifle, so you know trifle’s gonna be awesome.

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Even when berry upset, trifle is a piece of cake, just a matter of pudding some ingredients together. (ignore the other fruits, they don’t (man)go in)

Last week was my birthday, so I decided to throw a little party and make a cake.  We didn’t actually want to be social for several hours, so it was a combination social hour + 3 hours of board games, and during those board game hours people kept popping into the kitchen to get another scoop of this birthday cake trifle!

I started the day before, by baking a Funfetti cake from a box.  You need a cake, if you make one from scratch that’s great too!  On the day of the party, I assembled the trifle a few hours early to give it time to meld flavors in the fridge.  You could do it even a few days early, but it gets mushier/more homogeneous, which is maybe what you want but not what I wanted.

I was worried about putting fruit in this trifle, but I had all that fruit that was going to go to waste, because baby decided he didn’t want berries this week, only bananas.  So I mixed up my blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries and sprinkled them with a few tablespoons of sugar to macerate (aka soak/sit) while preparing everything else.  This softens and sweetens them.

Make pudding (from scratch or I used a box).  Box pudding is SO magical and easy; even my 20-month-old could do it! …sort of.

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Sometimes he looks at me so whiskfully while I bake, so I let him help

Then either use cool whip/reddi whip or make your own whipped cream.  If you have a stand mixer/electric mixer, homemade whipped cream is really the way to go.  It’s SO DELICIOUS.  Take your cream, put it in a bowl, and start whipping it at half-power, then slowly up it to full power.  Add a few tablespoons of powdered sugar (I just tipped the bag toward it for a few seconds).  If you want, add extract (vanilla, almond, etc.), but I like it just pure and fresh and creamy and light.  Stop whipping when it looks not-liquid anymore.

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I really hope Willow Smith loves whipped cream and sings while making it.

Now gently fold the whipped cream and pudding together; this is the glue of the trifle that will eventually soak into the cake.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed (again, I prefer non-homogeneity in this dessert).

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Aladdin’s little known-talent: trifle-making. I can show you the swirl/ shining, shimmering, splendid/ tell me, princess, now when did you last let your mouth decide!

Cut your cake into bite-size pieces.  Trifle is awesome because you can use any flavor you want!  Lemon cake would be so good here.  Also angel food cake.  Also chocolate cake.  Any cake!  Any pudding!  The world is your oyster/trifle!  Don’t make a trifle with oysters, please.

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If you want to fool someone into thinking this is healthy, say a sentence about salad, and then mention that you have some lattice (say it real fast).

Take a big, beautiful glass bowl (or a trifle dish if you own one and also why do you own one?) and smear some whipped cream-pudding on the bottom.  Then top it with a layer of cake-cubes.

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It’s for my birthday!  So it’s special!  A special cake-cube complex!

Now top that layer of cake-cubes with another layer of pudding-cream, and top that with berries.  You want to go all the way to the edge of the bowl so you can see the layers from outside.

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If you’re upset someone’s razzing you, at least you’re not black and blue

Then cover that with another layer of cake-cubes, then a layer of pudding-cream, then a layer of berries, cake-cubes, and if you’re me and ran out of pudding-cream, top it all with more whipped cream!

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If you’re failing at something and running on an empty stomach, why not have some trifle and try full?

I decorated the top with sprinkles and crumbled cake-cube.  Toss in the fridge for at least an hour, and serve with a deep serving spoon.

This has been a hard week for us because that adorable person up there is having some anxiety issues at daycare, and he’s only 20 months old!  Poor little dude.  We’re meeting with the pediatrician and the speech therapist later this week to figure out if we can do anything to help him be happier.  Parenting is a thing, and I’m still new to it, and my poor baby.  Anyways.  That’s why this post is about trifle!  Because sometimes you just need to make something delicious and easy, and it’s best if that something is light and fluffy and cloud-like too.  Baking is totally therapeutic.

20160604_165904Birthday Cake Trifle (serves 16 or so)

1 13×9 cake (you’ll have leftover cake) or use a 9×9 cake for a smaller trifle.  Any flavor

1 box of pudding mix (some flavor that goes well with your cake.  I did Funfetti cake-vanilla pudding)

1 pint heavy whipping cream OR 1 tub Cool Whip OR equivalent (reddi whip is also good)

1-2 pints of mixed berries or other fruit

2 TB sugar (optional)

1/4 c powdered sugar

3 c milk (or whatever it says on the pudding mix)

  1. If your fruit is a bit tart, toss with the 2 TB sugar to macerate, set aside.
  2. Make the pudding according to box directions.
  3. Fresh whipped cream: beat cream with whisk attachment of mixer at 2-3 speed, then slowly increase to full speed and add powdered sugar.  Beat for a few minutes, until it looks like whipped cream.
  4. Gently fold whipped cream into pudding.
  5. Cut cake into 3/4 inch-ish squares.
  6. Use a big beautiful glass bowl, and smear a small amount of pudding-cream on bottom.  Top with a layer of cake-cubes.  Top with a layer of pudding-cream.  Then a layer of fruit.  Repeat, alternating cake-cubes and fruit with pudding-cream–top layer should be pudding-cream.
  7. Decorate with cake crumbs and/or fruit.
  8. Refrigerate at least one hour.  Serve cold with a spoon.

Mmmm rummmm cake

9 Jul

When I started this blog I couldn’t imagine the directions my life would take.  Two and a half years ago, I did a post on a semi-homemade rum cake and titled it “Shame on me” for being semi-homemade instead of from scratch.  Rereading it, I feel like that’s the cake I should’ve made the other night.  I was feeling bad because I’d found a fundamental problem in my research (still unresolved…) after wasting away my morning and before picking up the baby late from daycare because I’d forgotten an umbrella.  So after putting the baby down and eating dinner, I decided to make a rum cake.  During this time I was chatting with my husband and offhandedly asked him the last time he was proud of me.  He said “I’m proud of your right now, you’re making that cake.  You’re so capable.”

Hell yes I am capable!  My research is stagnant; last time I timed myself it took me 13.5 minutes to run a mile; I keep not getting the oil changed on my car.  BUT I’m trying research, I am active, and my baby is still alive.  AND I made a rum cake.

Some days, you need pep talks from those who love you.  Some days, you need to bake a cake.

Semi-homemade doesn't hurt the eggsecution of this dish

Semi-homemade doesn’t hurt the eggsecution of this dish

I didn’t have a Bundt pan (we don’t know what happened to that old one but rum cake is the only thing I make in a Bundt pan so it seems silly to buy one), so I used a 13 x 9 pyrex instead.  Generously grease and flour it, then sprinkle with nuts (I used peanuts do not do that.  Use pecans or walnuts).

Peanuts, equality, and granite- doesn't quite have the same ring to it as liberté, egalité, et fraternité.  I guess France can keep its flag-they'd be nuts to adopt this one, even though it rocks.

Peanuts, equality, and granite- doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as liberté, egalité, et fraternité. I guess France can keep its flag-they’d be nuts to adopt this one, even though it rocks.

Then you make your doctored cake by adding pudding mix, an extra egg, and rum. Yum.  This makes the cake a bit lighter and bouncier while somehow super moist (that’s the pudding mix).

When you whisk upon a star, you'll probably burn up no matter who you are.  Because stars are really hot and why would you be whisking anyway anything you wanted to bake would already be burned to a crisp/nothingness

When you whisk upon a star, you’ll probably burn up no matter who you are. Because stars are really hot and why would you be whisking anyway anything you wanted to bake would already be burned to a crisp/nothingness

I thought this label was hilarious on the box:

IF I PUT THINGS IN ALL CAPS YOU WILL READ THEM.  (google translate:) Si pongo COSAS EN MAYÚSCULAS USTED puedan leerlas.

IF I PUT THINGS IN ALL CAPS YOU WILL READ THEM. (google translate:) Si pongo COSAS EN MAYÚSCULAS USTED puedan leerlas.

So then I took this picture:

Breaking all the rules!  That's me!

Breaking all the rules! That’s me!  Or illiterate! O analfebetos!

Anyways, while that’s baking you can doodle around the house for half an hour, then make the glaze- it’s just butter + sugar, boil it, then add rum.

I ran out of white sugar so I substituted in brown for the remainder.  Insert appropriate racial joke here?  It's hard because multiple ethnic groups claim "brown" which doesn't make sense because isn't everyone some hue of brown?  I'm staring at my white husband's skin right now to try to figure out the color.  Pinky-peach but not like a sunset.  He just held up a piece of paper but white people aren't all albino.  I don't know.  I'm not good with colors.  That's why I subbed in the sugar.

I ran out of white sugar so I substituted in brown for the remainder. Insert appropriate racial joke here? It’s hard because multiple ethnic groups claim “brown” which doesn’t make sense because isn’t everyone some hue of brown? I’m staring at my white husband’s skin right now to try to figure out the color. Pinky-peach but not like a sunset. He just held up a piece of paper but white people aren’t all albino. I don’t know. I’m not good with colors. That’s why I subbed in the sugar.

After the butter and sugar have boiled, turn off the heat.  Make sure you use a deep sided pot, not a pan, because when you add the rum things get exciting and it fizzes up.

This isn't a zero-rum game

This isn’t a zero-rum game

After the rum

After the rum

After the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with toothpicks or skewers, as much as you can until you get bored (so maybe 40 times?).  Then drizzle half the glaze all over it.  Wait a bit, invert the cake onto a plate or baking pan, and poke again + drizzle again.  It’s great warm, but it’s awesome about 12 hours later, when the rum has soaked in a lot and everything is moist and rummy.

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Buttery rum cake, adapted from allrecipes

cake part:

1 c chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)

1 box yellow cake mix

1 box vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 c each water, vegetable oil, rum

glaze part:

1/2 c each butter, rum, white sugar, brown sugar

1/4 c water

 

cake part: grease and flour a pan (Bundt if you have it, 13×9 if you don’t, two 8″ or 9″ rounds if you don’t have that either, if you don’t have those I’m not sure why you’re looking at a cake recipe)  Sprinkle with nuts (toast if you so desire)

Whisk together cake mix and pudding, then add remaining cake ingredients and mix.  Pour into pan, bake at 325 for one hour.

glaze part: fifteen minutes before cake is done, melt butter in a pot with sugars and water.  Bring to a boil, constantly stirring.  Take off the heat and stir in rum BE CAREFUL IT BUBBLES UP.

When cake is done, poke holes all over it.  Dribble half the glaze over it.  Carefully loosen sides of the cake from pan, then cover with a serving plate and invert the cake.  Poke holes all over the nutted top half, and dribble remaining glaze all over it.

Moosewood ricotta cake- so easy! Also we have internet!

20 Apr

We are moved into our house and have internet!  The movers came several days late (they said Thursday-Saturday; they came Tuesday) and everything in our house needed fixing (water heater, AC, plumbing) but we live here now with internet.  Quick post because I want to find my math and start doing it again (amazing how much I can miss math).

For Christmas my in-laws gave me a copy of the Moosewood Cookbook (note: that’s an amazon affiliate link, which means if you buy from that link I get money hopefully maybe).  IT’S AMAZING.  I never follow recipes nor use cookbooks, but that statement is no longer true because I loooooove this cookbook.  No fancy pictures, and ingredients like “2 or 3 large eggs.”  I’m not into measuring precisely (yes this is a baking blog) so I like the give-and-take.  Also every single thing I’ve made so far from this cookbook is incredible.  You should go buy it.  Or give it to someone you love.

Anyways, this cake.  You beat things in a bowl, then pour into a pan and bake.  EASIEST RECIPE.

I know a guy named Ric, but he's vegan.  If he weren't vegan, I'd say Ric otta make this cake

I know a guy named Ric, but he’s vegan. If he weren’t vegan, I’d say Ric otta make this cake

First, butter and flour a pan.  I used to use a little square of paper towel and put butter on it to wipe across a pan, but then I baked with a friend who just used his (clean) fingers to spread a pat of butter around.  It’s actually much easier.  Or you can leave the butter in stick form, unwrap the top like a popsicle, and just spread that around- also easy.

I made this in winter, but I think it'd still be great in Spring.  Form your own opinion, though.

I made this in winter, but I think it’d still be great in Spring. Form your own opinion, though.

Then you throw all your ingredients into a bowl.  I didn’t have almond extract so skipped it.  Do not skip salt!

This cake is grate!  And making it is no (g)rind!

This cake is grate! And making it is no (g)rind!

Use a mixer, food processor, or lots of arm strength and beat til smooth (I used my KitchenAid, also a gift from in-laws).

It's surprisingly cool here in Texas right now.  Beat ya didn't see that coming!

It’s surprisingly cool here in Texas right now. Beat ya didn’t see that coming!

Pour the batter into your pan, and bake it for just under an hour.

Once baked, this cake is quite pourtable-it's not too crumbly.  Of course, before it's baked it's also pour-able

Once baked, this cake is quite pourtable-it’s not too crumbly. Of course, before it’s baked it’s also pour-able

I don't know Nathan Dunfield at all (he's a mathematician in 3-manifolds), but I hope whenever he finishes something he yells DONE-field!  I would if that were my last name.

I don’t know Nathan Dunfield at all (he’s a mathematician in 3-manifolds), but I hope whenever he finishes something he yells DONE-field! I would if that were my last name.

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Moosewood Ricotta Cake (adapted lazily from the Moosewood cookbook which you should buy) [I’ll post this recipe because it’s amazing and a good introduction to how great the recipes are, but I’ll likely refrain from posting any more from the cookbook]

2 15-oz containers of ricotta

2 eggs

2/3 c sugar

1/3 c flour

1 TB vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350, and butter and flour a spingform pan (or a regular cake pan would be fine too, just not as pretty)

Grate the rind from the lemon, and then juice the lemon.  Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix them until smooth.

Bake in the pan for 50 minutes.  Serve cold (so chill it in the fridge).  It just gets tastier the more you let it sit.

Essentially, carrot cake without carrots (pumpkin bars)

4 Nov

Carrot cake is my favorite kind of cake almost everyday (if you catch me on a nostalgic day I’ll say funfetti).  I love the moist sweetness and spice of carrot cake plus the surprise of raisins, and cream cheese frosting makes everything better.  But it takes forever to peel and grate carrots-even with a food processor you still have to clean the food processor afterwards.  This cake tastes surprisingly like carrot cake, without the texture of carrots.  Next time I’ll definitely add raisins and tell people it’s carrot cake and see if anyone believes me.  Good thing I have friends who don’t read this blog!

Another plus of this cake: two bowls!  One if you’re real lazy!  The recipe says “bars” but it really is just like a short cake.  I made it in a fat cookie sheet with tall sides, but if you put it in a 9″x13″ it’d be a normal sheet cake size.

Though pumpkin Be major part of this recipe, you have to watch out for the sharp (edges of the can) [this is a music theory joke]

Though pumpkin Be major part of this recipe, you have to watch out for the sharp (edges of the can) [this is a music theory joke]

Original recipe called for a cup of oil, which seemed like a lot, so I subbed in yogurt for some of it.  Super moist and delicious!

Also, peeve: doesn’t it make more sense to mix dry ingredients with a whisk first, then mix the wet with that same whisk, then mix them together?  Often when I read recipes it says to do the wet first.  But then you have a wet whisk going into dry ingredients.  Unless you’re fancy and use more than one whisk.  Anyways, you mix up all the wet ingredients: pumpkin, egg, yogurt, oil, sugar.  And separately, the dry: flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices.

Sometimes I whisk I had a pun-making machine.  Then I remember I have myself!

Sometimes I whisk I had a pun-making machine. Then I remember I have myself!

If I remember right, the protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time gets made fun of in school a lot because her family's a little crazy.  I think a great nickname would be NutMeg.

If I remember right, the protagonist of A Wrinkle in Time gets made fun of in school a lot because her family’s a little crazy. I think a great nickname would be NutMeg.

Then mix the two together, and pour into a greased pan.  Turns out I own some nonstick bakeware (whaaaat?) so I didn’t bother greasing.  Or taking a photo.

I have a baby now, but of course he's not in the kitchen when I cook- I keep him back in the living room where I can see him.  Baby got back.  (because I'm mix-a-lot here)

I have a baby now, but of course he’s not in the kitchen when I cook- I keep him back in the living room where I can see him. Baby got back. (because I’m mix-a-lot here)

While that bakes, make the best part: cream cheese frosting!  Beat up some butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a bit of vanilla.  This is now a thick buttercream frosting.  Add some milk, a bit at a time, until it’s the right texture for you- this’ll change depending on humidity etc.  I used two tablespoons.

Cream cheese is a pretty popular flavor, so if you want to choose a less traveled by option you could make all the difference via Frost-ing

Cream cheese is a pretty popular flavor, so if you want to choose a less traveled by option you could make all the difference via Frost-ing

After the cake cools a bit, frost it and cut it into bars.

This is the wrong order- frost, then cut.

This is the wrong order- frost, then cut.

This cake is SO DELICIOUS that 28 hours after baking it, I had one square left to take a picture of.

IMG_20141103_213227225_HDR

 

Pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing, adapted from Taste of Home

4 eggs

1 1/2 c sugar

1/3 c vegetable oil

1/2 c plain yogurt

1 can pumpkin

 

2 c flour

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ginger

1 TB cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

 

Optional: 1/2 c raisins and/or 1/2 c walnuts

 

1 package cream cheese (8 oz)

2 c powdered sugar

1/4 c butter, softened (1/2 stick)

1 tsp vanilla

1-3 TB milk

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl.  Separately, mix the dry ingredients.  Then mix the two together.  Add raisins and/or nuts, if using, now.  Pour into a 15″x10″ pan if you have one, or a 9″x13″, or whatever you want.  For the 15″x10″, bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.

Beat the cream cheese and butter together.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat.  Then add milk 1 TB at a time until you have the consistency you want.  Spread on bars.

Pineapple upside down cake

24 Jul

Last month I thought about going to a party for a friend’s birthday, but then sat inside and played board games instead.  To make up for it, I baked him a cake!  This actually happens fairly often, but without the cake part.

Anyways, pineapple upside down is my second favorite cake (it’s hard to beat carrot cake).  Also, I’ll take this inopportune time to give a shout out to the incredible Alliance Bakery down the street from my old apartment, who made our hilarious and wonderful wedding cake.  It was a delicious light lemon cake with a mango mousse filling and a simple buttercream frosting.  Also, because our initials spell out YAM, we asked for it to be made in the shape of a sweet potato, but to try very hard to make it not look like poop.  They did a fantastic job and I wish I had more pictures of the cake… unfortunately I only have one and it’s in B&W

You should try to get there early; there are often hordes of people at Alliance (WOW reference...)

You should try to get there early; there are often hordes of people at Alliance (WOW reference…)

Also that photo (and all my wedding photos) were taken by my best friend who happens to be a professional photographer, so if you’re in Singapore and need photos taken I recommend her.

ON TO CAKE I PROMISE IT’S NOT A LIE.

One, I already have a spouse.  Two, why would you wed pants?  Marry-chinos, yeah right.

One, I already have a spouse. Two, why would you wed pants? Marry-chinos, yeah right.

All I had to buy for this cake was the pineapple and the cherries.  I’m curious what I’ll do with maraschino cherries (any ideas?  Shirley Temples, I guess?).  Also, this is a one-bowl cake, which is so great! (Two if you use a separate bowl to microwave butter)

First, melt half a stick of butter and pour it in the bottom of your cake pan, then sprinkle brown sugar over it.  Takes about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt half a stick of butter.

This is getting me so many brown ie points with my friend

This is getting me so many brown ie points with my friend

Then cram as many pineapple rings as you can into the pan-I got in six.  If you’re using a square pan you might have better luck.  Also throw in as many cherries as will fit, because when else will you use them?  I realize that I did not need to put maraschino cherries in the cake but they’re literally the cherries on top so it’s hard to say no.

If you like it you should put at least six rings on it

If you like it you should put at least six rings on it

Fun fact: pineapples don’t come from trees.  They’re actually the only edible species of the bromeliad family of plants- this is the only fact I remember from signs at the University of Washington greenhouse in 2011, when I visited to see a corpse flower.  Those are flowers that smell like rotting carcasses, hence the name.  I recommend checking it out if you’re ever near one (they don’t bloom often).

Back to cake.  Melt a stick of butter in the bowl (again I did 30 seconds and it gets almost all the way melted, and if you stir the blobby butter it’s basically melted), and mix in the sugars.

Everyone was bowled over by this cake

Everyone was bowled over by this cake

Does not melting the butter all the way really work?  You butter believe it!

Does not melting the butter all the way really work? You butter believe it!

Then add the rest of your wet ingredients.  It really does help to mix butter and sugar together at the beginning of your recipes when baking, then adding wet, then dry.  Otherwise the sugar doesn’t incorporate as evenly/well.

Yes, I milk my jokes as far as I can- please laugh to protect my eg(g)o

Yes, I milk my jokes as far as I can- please laugh to protect my eg(g)o

I sort of gave away what happens next.  Here’s another chance to use more bowls, if you mix your dry ingredients first.  Or you could sort of sprinkle the other dry ingredients over the flour and whisk it all together (one less bowl to clean!)

Whenever someone says they like my blog, I'm floo(u)red

Whenever someone says they like my blog, I’m floo(u)red

Also have you used rubber spatulas (not an Amazon affiliate link I’m not that fancy I just googled ‘rubber spatula’)?  They’re amazing for scraping!  Fun fact I was first introduced to these when I was about seven and baking a cake with my Swedish grandmother (long story not actually related to her but did go to her house every month and called her “Grandma”), and she showed it to me and called it something like a ‘fun ruiner’ or ‘child spoiler’ because it doesn’t let you lick the bowl.  Cool story Yen.

If you couldn’t tell the program I’m at right now is sort of intense and I’m a little unfocused because I’ve been mathing all day.  Yay math!  It’s SO MUCH FUN I’ll have to blog about this summer’s math sometime too.  Random groups!  Nilpotence!  I like that word because it’s like you’re so helpless you aren’t even impotent, you’re nilpotent (this has nothing to do with the definition of nilpotent).

BUT SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS SPATULA IS

BUT SERIOUSLY LOOK HOW AMAZING THIS SPATULA IS

Right, cake.  Pour the batter over the pineapple topping, pop it in the oven for 40 minutes, let it cool for a bit, and invert it onto a plate.

Yes I love this spatula.

Yes I love this spatula.

Also new cake pans, thanks wedding registry!

Also new cake pans, thanks wedding registry!

IMG_20140622_202511843

Pineapple upside down cake- recipe lightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction– honestly I suspect hers might be better than this one so you should check that out.  But if you want the cake I made see below

3/4 c butter (1 and a half sticks)

1 1/4 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

can of sliced pineapple

maraschino cherries

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 c oil

1/2 c milk

1 TB vanilla

 

First, melt half a stick of butter in the microwave, then spread out into a cake pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 c brown sugar over, then top with pineapple slices and cherries to your liking.  Don’t throw out the can of pineapple!  Measure out 1/4 c of the juice for later.  Turn on oven to 350.

Next, melt the other stick of butter, and mix in remaining brown sugar and the white sugar until smooth.  Add in the egg, pineapple juice, oil, milk, and vanilla, and mix until smooth again.  Then add flour and sprinkle the baking powder/baking soda over.  Mix well.

Spatula that batter into your pan, and bake for 40 minutes or so, until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.  Let cool.

Run a knife around the edges of your cake, then put a plate on top of it.  Flip the whole thing upside down and lightly bang on the bottom of the cake pan to drop the cake onto the plate.  Yum!

Lemon-sage olive oil cake

23 Nov

This cake is remarkably polarizing.  My roommate pretty much hates it, while my officemate has said that it’s “my new favorite anything.”  The tangy bits of lemon zest play well with the super moist, slightly peppery/savory olive oil flavor, and the sage ties it all together.  Definitely not your typical over-sweet hyper-decadent cake, but I love it!  And it’s pretty easy to put together (though I still don’t have much zest for zesting).  Also it’s better if you leave it for a day or two, a la fruitcake.

I spent a while saying 'ah love' and 'i love' and 'ah live' and couldn't come up with a pun.  I guess OLIVE with that.

I spent a while saying ‘ah love’ and ‘i love’ and ‘ah live’ and couldn’t come up with a pun. I guess OLIVE with that.

You’re supposed to use a springform pan, and parchment paper, and greasing with this cake, but I have only the last of those three things.  So I greased a cake pan with a generous pour of olive oil, and got to work on the wet ingredients: sugar, yogurt, olive oil, and eggs.

Once a dude had this problem where he accidentally crossed all his 'l's so people thought they were 't's.  He even did this when typing.  So he didn't have much luck with online dating, as he thought he was saying hey to some fine lookin' young ladies and they thought he just kept saying "YO GURT' at them.

Once a dude had this problem where he accidentally crossed all his ‘l’s so people thought they were ‘t’s. He even did this when typing. So he didn’t have much luck with online dating, as he thought he was saying hey to some fine lookin’ young ladies and they thought he just kept saying “YO GURT’ at them.  Boy thinks I should get rid of this caption.

Oil oil, toil and trouble...

Oil oil, toil and trouble…

Hand burn and egg yolks bubble!  Wouldn't it have been so great if the witches in Macbeth ended up baking a cake and giving it to everyone alive at the end?  Knowing them though, everyone would've immediately died.

Hand burn and egg yolks bubble! Wouldn’t it have been so great if the witches in Macbeth ended up baking a cake and giving it to everyone alive at the end? Knowing them though, everyone would’ve immediately died.

You also get to make lemon flour!  Zest your lemon directly into the flour.  I think the more zest the better- about two lemons worth is very nice.  Don’t forget baking powder.

Sometimes I just get bowled over by how grate lemons are!

Sometimes I just get bowled over by how grate lemons are!

 

DON'T LOOK WE'RE NAKED!

DON’T LOOK WE’RE NAKED!  Maybe that’s why pink lemonade is that way: they zest the lemons, so they blush.  Definitely the reason, Yen.

Then “finely” chop up your sage.  I say “finely” because I’m not very good at cutting things up but one day I will take a knife skills course at Kendall, really!

I'm not sure how wise it is to leave such big pieces here.  Oh well, it's still sage!

I’m not sure how wise it is to leave such big pieces here. Oh well, it’s still sage!

Mix your sage into your wet ingredients, and then mix in the dry ingredients.  Pour into your pan and bake!

Mmm is an entire cake a good sized POURtion?

Mmm is an entire cake a good sized POURtion?

Bake that sucker until a toothpick comes out clean (maybe 25 minutes, maybe more).  I took a picture of my toothpick test, then put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

If a toothpick falls in a cake, does anyone choke on it?  Yes, probably.

If a toothpick falls in a cake, does anyone choke on it? Yes, probably.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to this test: there shouldn't be more than like 3 crumbs attached to the pick, at most.

I’m pretty picky when it comes to this test: there shouldn’t be more than like 3 crumbs attached to the pick, at most.

These next two steps are what make this cake SO GREAT.  Squeeze the juice of a lemon and a half into a bowl, and add 1/4 c powdered sugar, whisk that syrup so well.  It’ll be pretty lemony.  Then prick your cake all over with a fork…

It can be forkin' hard to come up with so many puns/to not break a cake when poking it

It can be forkin’ hard to come up with so many puns/to not break a cake when poking it

And use a spoon to carefully spread the syrup all over the cake.

If Tom Cruise was in my kitchen we'd definitely be dancing around in button up shirts and socks, and then I'd set him to this whisky business

If Tom Cruise was in my kitchen we’d definitely be dancing around in button up shirts and socks, and then I’d set him to this whisky business

You can try to put the syrup onto the cake by bending the spoon with your mind... or you can just spoon it on

You can try to put the syrup onto the cake by bending the spoon with your mind… or you can just spoon it on

Then (this is hard) you have to walk away from the cake.  If you put on the icing too early, it’ll melt into nothingness as happened with my second attempt at the cake.  So leave it for like half an hour, go play candy crush and lose all your lives or something.  Then come back and ice it!  Squeeze the remaining half lemon of juice into a bowl with much more powdered sugar, and go wild!

My bathroom is right next to my kitchen, so if Miley were here if she was waiting in line for it I'd suggest she help me with this white powder instead

My bathroom is right next to my kitchen, so if Miley were here if she was waiting in line for it I’d suggest she help me with this white powder instead

Looks like play-doh, but it's more like yay-doh!  yay delicious icing i mean.

Looks like play-doh, but it’s more like yay-doh! yay delicious icing i mean.

Ice it, and cut a piece and give it to your mom for first taste.  If she’s anything like my mom she’ll love it.

Sometimes I'm so happy I just think man, I sing of this cake!

Sometimes I’m so happy I just think man, I sing of this cake!

Go ahead, take the (w)edge off with a piece of cake

Go ahead, take the (w)edge off with a piece of cake

P1010433

Lemon-olive oil sage cake, from Blue Kitchen

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of salt
2 lemons

1/2 cup plain yogurt (full fat!  Do it!)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh sage

1 c powdered sugar

First, oil your pan- if you have a springform, do your springform thing.  If you’re like me, just throw a gob of olive oil in your pan and smoosh it around.  Preheat oven to 350 (that’s how fast this cake comes together, I’m telling you to preheat now).

Next: mix the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, and chopped sage.

Then: zest the lemons into the flour and mix well with the baking powder.

Mix the two bowls of stuff, and bake for 25 minutes.  Check with a toothpick.  Mine took 30 minutes.  Let cool (about 10 minutes)

Mix juice of 1.5 lemons and 1/4 c powdered sugar.  Prick cake all over with a fork, then spoon the syrup slowly over it.  Try to get everywhere.  It’s so good.

Wait.  Go do something else.  At least half an hour.

Mix the remaining .5 lemon’s worth of juice with 3/4 c powdered sugar.  Really squeeze those lemons to get the last few drops if your icing is too thick.  Ice the cake.  Eat the cake.  It’s not a lie.

 

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