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Dense Chocolate Cake - Meatballs&Milkshakes

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it out. It’s a dense chocolate loaf cake that I like best warmed with some vanilla ice cream although it’s also great as a breakfast treat. This cake is definitely worth a try, and it’s really quick and easy to make. It’s an adapted version of Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Cake from How to Be A Domestic Goddess.

Nigella’s Chocolate Cake

2 sticks butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

1 1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup boiling water

Cream together the butter and sugar until light in color. Add the eggs one at a time as well as the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate slowly, and make sure everything is well incorporated. Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Slowly alternating with the water, add the dry ingredients in fifths. Once everything is incorporated, pour into a 9×5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave an inch at the top. Extra batter can be used for cupcakes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing and serving.

Dense Chocolate Cake - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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The best part about this cake is that it’s incredibly easy and done in half an hour. It’s part clafouti (which is a french pancake-like tart), part cake, and you can make it with any kind of fruit. I think next time I would cut the fruit smaller and try to squeeze in more, but it was an excellent quick dessert.

Plum Skillet Cake

1 pint small plums, halved

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick butter

2/3 cup milk

zest of 1 orange

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons sugar

Stir flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Brown butter in a skillet for a couple minutes, until it smells nutty. Remove to a bowl and combine with the orange zest, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.

If you’re using a non-stick skillet, the residual butter left in the pan should be enough. If you are using a cast-iron skillet, grease the pan with a little more butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and arrange the plums in a layer on top, pushing in a little. Sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 until it starts to brown a little and a tester comes out clean.

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Strawberries are probably my favorite fruit. Or maybe blueberries. Either way, I overdose on all things strawberry when I see huge spreads of them at the farmers market.

At some point, I decided I wanted to try them in some cake and I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen that I edited a bit. This one combined juicy strawberries with a light yellow cake, and my favorite parts were the slightly browned and crispy edges.

I imagine you could substitute all kinds of fruit for the strawberries, and I might just try it again with some peaches or nectarines.

Strawberry Cake

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups (188 grams) flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 egg

zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

1 carton strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered depending on the size of your strawberries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line bottom of 10″ round pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar (reserving a tablespoon or two) until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg, milk, and vanilla and combine. Add the dry ingredients slowly, until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the strawberries cut side down around the pan, pushing into the batter slightly. Sprinkle with reserved sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the edges have started to brown. Let it cool completely before trying to flip and remove from pan.

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When I first made this cake a year ago, I decided there was no reason to ever make a different chocolate cake– it’s THAT good. The recipe is Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake and I generally make it in one pan and slice it in half because I don’t have two of the same pan.

Because we were going to be in Delaware for the party, I decided to bake the cake at home and make the frosting there. I wasn’t able to sift the powdered sugar for the frosting, so there were some lumps in the frosting but it still tasted great. However, at home I would definitely sift it to get a nice smooth texture. As usual with this cake, it was a huge hit for the big birthday and one of our friends was inspired to make it for her boyfriend’s birthday next week!

Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake

butter or oil for greasing the pan

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10″ round pan. Line the bottom with a parchment paper round the size of the pan and butter and flour the pan.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while mixing with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the coffee and stir to combine, making sure everything is incorporated.

Pour into the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan and then turn out onto cooling rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. Stir and watch it closely because it can burn easily. Cool to room temperature.

Beat the butter until light and fluffy with a mixer. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue to mix for another 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the confectioners sugar slowly. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 tablespoons of hot tap water and add to the frosting along with the chocolate.

To assemble the cake, slice the cake in half carefully (horizontally). Put one half on the cake plate and scoop 1/3 of the frosting on top and spread. Put the second half on top and scoop the remaining frosting on top. Slowly spread out the frosting evenly down along the slides and turn the cake as you work it down the sides.

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