Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pirate and 70's Cakes!

What fun projects I had this week!  The Pirate cake is a delicious Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake, and the 70's cake & the Green Cake are Vanilla Cakes (Golden) both recipes can be found in 
The Cake Book by Tish Boyle.

All cakes are 8" cakes.  On the 70's Cake,  
I used Cream Cheese frosting and fondant decorations.  I just love this look!!

The Pirate Cake has buttercream under a fondant icing.  
Isn't he sweet? "I matey!"

I'm trying out a new buttercream decorating style here.  FUN!!

Hope you are having a great week!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Italian Cream Cake, and Buttered Pecans w/Recipe!!

My sister-in-law recently had her birthday.  She really wanted an Italian (Wedding) Cream Cake, but her friends couldn't find one for her.  They ended up getting her chocolate, which she said was very good.  So, when she came to town to visit, I surprised her with her long awaited Italian Cream Cake!  

I found this recipe in an old local cookbook I've had forever.  I love little finds like this.  I've made this cake several times over the years, and it always comes out perfect.  I love to top this cake with buttered pecans, it's the perfect compliment.  I've included all the recipes below with a few minor adjustments.

Austin Heritage Cookbook 
Italian Cream Cake
2 sticks of butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cake flour, sifted with 
1 tsp. soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter

Cream butter, shortening, sugar, and salt.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.  Add flour alternately with buttermilk.  Stir in nuts and coconut.  In a clean bowl combine egg whites and cream of tarter, beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold in gently.  Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until done.  You can also use three 8" round pans and cook for about 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb box of powered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients an spread over cake

Rachel's Buttered Pecans
1 cup pecans
1 tbs. butter

Sauté pecans and butter in a skillet (I like to use my cast iron).  Cook about 10-15 minutes on med high heat.  Once pecans are fragrant and slightly darker they are ready to remove from heat.  Cool on paper towel and they should be slightly crisp once cool.  You might want to make a little extra to make sure you have enough.  I know I do, because my husband always likes to taste them before I can use them.  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carmel Pumpkin Pie- with nuts or without?

I started with a whole pumpkin.  It's the season isn't it?  It's so easy to do.  Next, I grabbed the leftover pie dough from the fridge (we made quiche this week).   I rolled this out and put it in my deep pie dish.  Little did I know this was too much room. The crust fell over just a little bit during baking because it was too high.  Still tasted good though.  I ended up making the filling in my Kitchen Aid mixer because that seemed the easiest way to break up the pumpkin.

The filling called for homemade caramel.  This was my first time making caramel and I loved it!  I have made candied pecans so it was similar to that.  I was so excited I hollered from the kitchen when I finished, and my husband didn't get it.

So Tasty!!  I made homemade whipped cream ahead of time and it was a little cold when I took it out of the refrigerator.  That is why it looks a little "lumpy" in the picture.

I love nuts, my kids don't.  So, I ended up sprinkling buttered, toasted pecan pieces on one half of the pie and leaving the other plain.  Everyone's happy.  If you want to see this recipe check out Mortensen Family Memoirs, or you can find it in Dorrie Greenspan's book Baking From My House To Yours, pg. 322-323.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hoot Owl Vanilla Sheet Cake

My good friend Ms. W over at Haphazard Happenstance asked me to make a cake for her daughter's birthday, and not only did she know what she wanted, she sent me this design!  How cute is that?  

I told her it wouldn't be exact but I could do something similar.  So, I got to work and made the cake.  I used buttercream and fondant accents.  

This is a 11 x 15 sheet cake, made with Vanilla Cake and my Billy Vanillie Buttercream. 

The Hoot Owl is my favorite!  

Happy Birthday Kyla!  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake.  My husband's favorite flavors for his 40th birthday.  I found this recipe in Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters.  It's such a fun cookbook with lots of old fashioned recipes.  They have collected from all over.  This cake is very thick and the frosting is rich.  It made one 8" layer.  The taste is wonderful but the crumb was a little dry for me.  It did not call for any eggs, and I think if I made it again I would add some eggs to the mixture.  It was perfect with some Natural Vanilla Bean, Blue Bell Icecream.  The only flavor that has no HFCS and of course no hydrogenated fats.  

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband of 14 years.  I'm looking forward to many more happy healthy sweet years with you.  I love you!  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Celebration Church Country Fair 2nd Place Ribbon!

A Hummingbird Cake!  I found this recipe in several places, but choose to try the one from Nancie McDermott's cookbook, Southern Cakes.  She describes it "Wonderfully rich and pretty in understated way".  A perfect description.  It's traditional flavor comes from bananas, pineapple, (I made mine toasted) pecans, and cream cheese pecan frosting.

I have never entered or won any contests, so I was very excited to win 2nd place!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Red Velvet Cake, With Chocolate Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting (with recipe)

My first Red Velvet Cake.  I used an 8" square pan for the three layer Red Velvet Cake, between each layer was a luscious chocolate filling with mini chocolate chips, and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

After searching the web and my friend's trial with the recipe from Southern Living's Red Velvet Cake being too dry, I found these wonderful recipes for Red Velvet Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting in Nancie McDermott's cookbook Southern Cakes.  This is a wonderful book!  The filling recipe was found in Tish Boyle's The Cake Book.  I love the drizzled chocolate look with the mini chocolate chips.  
This cake came out moist and a beautiful dark red.

Here are the cake and frosting recipes below.  I already found the Red Velvet Cake recipe posted on the web, so I don't feel too guilty posting these recipes here.  This is an excellent cake cookbook.  I have tried several of her recipes and they all are delicious! 

From Nancie McDermott's book Southern Cakes (pg. 103):

Nobody knows for sure where this cake comes from, but lost of people agree with me that it is one magnificent cake.  It's signature carmine coloration is dazzling, and I adore it's tangy little grace not of flavor, created by the unusual combination of vinegar, buttermilk, and cocoa in the batter.  Red food coloring is the not-so-secret ingredient responsible for it's sassy color.  Try gel paste food coloring  if you'd like to experiment with another route to red.

Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
2 tablespoons cocoa
One 1-oz bottle (2 tablespoons) red food coloring
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar

TO MAKE THE CAKE, heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease two 9-inch round cake pans generously, and line them with waxed paper or kitchen parchment.   Grease the paper and flour the pans.
PREPARE THREE SEPARATE MIXTURES for the batter:  Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl and use a fork to mix them together well.  Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk.  Combine the cocoa and the red food coloring in a small bowl, mashing and stirring them together to make a thick, smooth paste.
IN A LARGE BOWL, beat the butter with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute, until creamy and soft.  Add the sugar, and then beat well for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each one, until the mixture is creamy, fluffy, and smooth.  Scrape the cocoa-food coloring paste into the batter and beat to mix it in evenly.
ADD ABOUT A THIRD of the flour mixture, and then about half of the milk, beating the batter with a mixer at low speed, and mixing only enough to make the flour or liquid disappear into the batter.  Mix in another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and then the last of the flour in the same way.
IN A SMALL BOWL, combine the baking soda and vinegar and stir well.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to quickly mix this last mixture into the read batter, folding it in gently by hand.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
BAKE at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until the layers spring back when touched lightly in the center and are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans.
COOL THE CAKES in the pans on wire racks or folded kitchen towels for 15 minutes.  Then turn them out on the racks or on plates, remove the paper, and turn top side up to cool completely.
*NOTE: If you don't have buttermilk, stir 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting (pg. 148)
Makes enough for one 3-layer cake, one 13-by-9 inch cake or 24 cupcakes.

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened (1 cup)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
One 1-pound box (3 2/3 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

IN A MEDIUM BOWL, combine the cream cheese and butter and beat with a mixer on medium speed to mix well.  Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat at hight speed until the frosting is fluffy and smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl and mix everything well.  Spread the frosting on a cooled cake, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.  

Happy Birthday Payton!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gluten Free Birthday Present Cake

I worked on a new project last week- a gluten free cake.  This is a triple layer strawberry 8" round.  It has strawberry buttercream under the fondant.  I used a special Gourmet Writer to write on the fondant.

Thank you Courtney for believing in me!!  Happy Birthday Jordan!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Double Apple Bundt Cake

A simple, apple Fall cake.  I skipped the raisins but did add toasted pecan pieces.  
It smelled delicious!!  I ended up giving this to a friend that is going through some tough times.  I thought it would be fun to cheer their family up.   

This weeks recipe was picked by Honey Muffin, check out her blog for the recipe or you can find it in Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My House To Yours.

Hope you enjoy this one!