Tuesdays with Dorie: Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Tuesday, August 31


These shortbread cookies taste like an edible version of your favourite froo froo coffee drink. They're the sophisticated love children of an espresso laced chocolate chip cookie and a rich buttery sablé.

Lime-Scented Pull-Apart Coffee Cake

Thursday, August 26



Do you ever have inexplicable cravings for things other than sea salt and vinegar kettle chips or dark chocolate? I do. Spontaneous yearnings for citrus can kick in at the drop of a hat.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart

Tuesday, August 24



In case it hasn't been evident by the fluctuating colours/quality of my photos lately, I'm finally trying to figure out exactly what makes my point and shoot camera tick. My biggest obstacle is a stubborn refusal to read the manual.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, August 18


Yes, I know, but it had to be done. It was only a matter of time before I was compelled to make this recipe. F/V Northwestern, since you constantly need to fuel up after a long haul, you must have a huge supply of bacon on board. Maybe you want to try enjoying it in an entirely new way? I'm not a bacon consumer. Not because I don't love it (because I do) but it's just so blatantly unhealthy.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Tuesday, August 17


This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Natalie, of Oven Love. Thank you, Natalie, for picking something that turned out to be a pleasant surprise!

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

Wednesday, August 11



Whenever someone has a birthday, instead of thinking about how great it is for that person, all I think about is that I finally have an excuse to make a layer cake. Someone would literally have to hide the circular cake pans from me if they really wanted to put an end to the insanity. But why do that? I've said it before, it doesn't matter how old you are, the sight of a decked-out layer cake makes you feel like a six year old. Good or bad, birthdays come up once a year, so why not indulge your inner, sugar-high, child? As someone who loves to bake, I find layer cakes to be the golden chalice of desserts (perhaps one of many.) When the soft cakes slide smoothly out of their pans, the domed tops come off in one easy slice, and you don't use up all the frosting in the middle layer, it's as though the stars are in alignment. There's nothing like the feeling of pulling off a perfect cake.

I've made this cake and frosting before, but this was the first time that I used them together. The cake itself is an unbelievably moist yellow cake with a healthy amount of buttermilk and silky cake flour. When I sliced off the domes (because they were too high, not because I was hungry,) I remembered how amazing this recipe is. You could eat the cake alone, it's so good. I brushed on a layer of vanilla simple syrup to keep the layers moist and, just for the middle, I added strawberry jam to go along with the sour cream chocolate frosting. I can't say enough about the frosting, it's tangy and rich, and just fuses perfectly with the sweet cake. I had enough of the frosting left over to enjoy with some salty pretzels. I should patent that combination.



Yellow Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
(adapted from the smitten kitchen)
*printer friendly Recipe*

Cake ingredients
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment and lightly flour the entire pans. *Note: I was worried that my cake pans were not deep enough (they should be at least 2 inches. Instead I made my layers in a 9-inch spring form pan and baked them one at a time. If you decide to use a spring form pan, be aware that the baking time may need to be increased by about 10-20 minutes. But, as my oven is a temperamental beast, be sure to check after the minimum time.*

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour. Well wrapped, the cakes can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Vanilla Simple Syrup (optional)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a slow boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush/spread the syrup over the entire surface of both cake layers.

Strawberry Jam Layer
1/4 cup of strawberry jam (or whatever flavour your prefer.)

In a small sauce pan, and stirring constantly, bring the jam to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and while it's still warm, spread the jam over what will be your bottom cake layer.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
15 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 to 1/2 cup light corn syrup (I ended up only using 1/4 cup)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the chocolate and espresso powder, if using, in the top of a double-boiler or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring well, and then heating in 15 second increments, stirring between each, until the chocolate is melted.) Remove from heat and let chocolate cool until tepid.

Whisk together the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup and vanilla extract until combined. Add the tepid chocolate slowly and stir quickly until the mixture is uniform. Taste for sweetness, and if needed, add additional corn syrup in one tablespoon increments until desired level of sweetness is achieved.

Let cool in the refrigerator until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. This should not take more than 30 minutes. Should the frosting become too thick or stiff, just leave it out until it softens again.

There will be plenty of frosting for the entire cake (including the middle) so throw caution to the wind while frosting the middle layer. Some of the warm jam will have sunk into the cake so just mix the chocolate frosting into what's left of the strawberry.

Makes one fabulous 9-inch layer cake

Blueberry Pie

Tuesday, August 10



This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe choice was for the spectacularly rich, chocolate ganache ice cream. Since I was feeling sneaky and impatient a few months ago, I cheated and made it despite the fact that the recipe was still up for the taking.

Lemon-scented Strawberry Scones

Saturday, August 7


It's amazing how something that's so simple to make can be so perfectly satisfying. For all the baking that I've done, this was my first scone recipe.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Wednesday, August 4



Lola, my stand mixer, is spoiling me. Using her makes everything so easy...almost too easy. My brain is programed to stand at a mixing bowl, right elbow parallel with the counter, dull ache running down the side of my hand, and an occasional need for neck stretching while starring at ugly wooden cupboards as I listen to the monotonous grind of a hand-held mixer.

Tuesdays with Dorie: Gingered Carrot Cookies

Tuesday, August 3


Carrots are underrated. They should be allowed to spend some time in the lime light because of their diplomatic versatility. I came to this realization as I was enjoying a raw carrot while shredding carrots for this recipe and slicing carrots for a Thai peanut sauce for pasta.
 

une gamine dans la cuisine © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger