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Posts Tagged ‘Baking and Confections’

Let me tell you this.

This cake is amazing!

There it is.

I needed to get this off my chest.

Ugh, I feel so much better now.

 

I love this cake because it is fresh, delicious, it has different textures in it, it is satisfying and surprising, there are berries, there is cream cheese… and this is how you can make it…

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Then separate the eggs – the yolks into one large bowl, the whites into another large bowl.

 
 

3. Add 1 3/4 cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar to the yolks and mix them for a couple of minutes until your batter becomes pale and smooth.

 

To tell you the truth, if I could live my life the way I really wanted, I’d have this egg-yolk-sugar mixture for lunch every day. Every single day. It’s beyond tempting and delicious for me.

I know, I am creepy.

But let’s forget it.

 
 

4. Now add the flour into your batter and give it another quick stir.

 
 

5. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

 
 

6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

 
 

7. Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

8. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Mist it with some vegetable oil and dust it with flour lightly.

I am using a 12 x 15 inch (30 x 38 cm) baking pan here. You can use a smaller pan if you want your cake squares to be a little taller.

 

9. Pour one half (!) of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly.

We need two cake layers for this cake, that is why the batter should be baked in two batches.

Okay, it could be baked in one go and sliced in half afterward, but I am not that daring.

You can be.

But I am not.

 
 

10. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 – 15 minutes until golden-brown.

 
 

11. Before you remove your first cake layer from the oven, lay a sheet of parchment paper on your working surface and dust it lightly with some confectioners’ sugar.

 

12. When baked, invert the cake layer onto the paper.

 
 

13. And remove the top paper.

Let cool.

 

14. Line the baking pan with parchment paper again, fill it with the remaining batter and bake it.

When baked, leave that cake layer in the baking pan and don’t remove it.

Just let it cool.

That will be the bottom layer of our cake.

Well, not ‘our’ literally, the cake will be yours only, unless you send me some.

 
 

15. Now, let’s make the yummy cream cheese filling.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and sour cream.

 
 

16. Mix until smooth.

This will take a couple of minutes.

 
 

17. Pour the heavenly filling onto the first layer.

 
 

18. And spread it.

 
 

 
 

19. Place the second layer on top of the filling.

 
 

20. Grab about 1/2 cup of your favorite jam or preserves.

 
 

21. And spread the jam over the cake layer.

This will help to moisten up the cake beautifully.

And it adds another beautiful flavor.

 
 

These are thawed mixed berries.

 
 

22. Scatter the berries over the top.

 
 

 
 

23. And finally, cook the red gelatin according to the instructions.

I used 2 packets. Each one asked for 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid. Altogether, we need 2 cups of the gelatin liquid for this cake.

Also, I used unsweetened gelatin. That is why I had to add some sugar to it.

 
 

24. Pour the cooked gelatin over the fruit.

 
 

25. And let cool completely.

 

26. Then cover the whole cake with plastic wrap, place in the fridge and let firm up for a few hours.

 
 

27. Finally, cut into squares and…

 

Enjoy!

 

(This cake makes about 30 pieces of 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6×6 cm) squares. Pretty enough to make you happy.)

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I love bundt cakes.

It seems that I tend to celebrate the arrival of each season with them.

Somehow, it always works.

 

To welcome this year’s spring and Easter, I decided to go for a wonderful, fresh and invigorating citrus flavor.

And here it is.

 

In fact, the big clever books of baking would call this cake a chiffon cake.

Chiffon cakes are light and moist cakes that use vegetable oil instead of butter. That is the main reason why these cakes do not tend to harden or dry out as traditional butter cakes might.

That is positive, I think.

 

Frankly, this cake tastes just lovely.

Plus, there’s this delicious citrus glaze that increases the whole fresh experience immensely.

Here’s how you can make it too…

 

These are the ingredients that will come in handy.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 325 °F  (165 °C).

 

2. Wash one tangerine under running water thoroughly.

Pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Then grate one tablespoon plus one teaspoon peel. We are going to need one tablespoon for the cake and the remaining teaspoon for the glaze.

 
 

Mmm.

 
 

3. Now, squeeze the juice from 4 tangerines.

And try not to drink it.

Be strong!

 
 

4. Pass the juice through a fine sieve to get rid of seeds.

Because there might be seeds.

They are naughty and tend to sneak into your juice unobserved.

 
 

5. Now prepare your dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup granulated sugar.

 
 

6. Make a well in the center.

Add the oil, egg yolks, and the tangerine peel and juice.

Whisk into the dry ingredients.

 
 

7. In another larger bowl, beat the egg whites until they just stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.

 
 

8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

9. Brush a 6-cup (1.4 liters) bundt cake pan with some vegetable oil.

Or use your cooking/baking spray.

 

10. Then dust the pan with some flour lightly.

But be careful at this point, don’t miss a spot. The more attention you pay to this process, the easier it will be for you to remove the cake from the pan after baking.

 

Note: You can use an angel food cake pan instead, if you wish to.

 
 

10. Using a spoon or a ladle, pour the batter in the pan.

 
 

11. And bake at 325 °F (165 °C) for about 30 minutes…

 
 

… or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake…

 
 

… comes out clean.

 
 

Hello baby.

I like you.

I like you very much.

 

12. Or, in other words, remove the cake from the oven.

Let it stand on the wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Then, using a knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges and the center of the pan.

 

13. Invert the cake on a cake stand or a plate.

 

14. Let cool completely.

 
 

15. To prepare the glaze, squeeze 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice from the remaining tangerines.

Start preparing the glaze just before using it.

 
 

16. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, tangerine peel, and 2 tablespoons tangerine juice until smooth, adding the remaining teaspoon juice if necessary for good spreading consistency.

 
 

16. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, spreading it with the back of the spoon and allowing the glaze to run down the sides of your cake.

 

17. Use some colorful, happy sugar sprinkles to decorate the cake.

 

18. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

 
 

And most importantly – enjoy, dear friends!

 

Love,

Petra

 

(This cake has been adapted from www.goodhousekeeping.com.)

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When I was a kid, cakes like this one were on our table very often.

My lovely Mom used to make them.

They were filled with any fruit that was in season. And during the months of winter, Mom would use just about any canned fruit she had on hand.

So, whether you use plums, cherries or any kind of berries to make this sponge cake with fruit, you’ll be amazed by a very nice flavor it has and how surprisingly easy it is to prepare it.

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Separate the eggs placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.

Use larger bowls.

 

3. Pour the sugar into the egg yolks and beat until thick and pale in color.

 

Try your best not to eat this all.

Oh my gosh, it’s so good.

Or is it just me?

 
 

4. Then add the butter and mix until fluffy.

 
 

5. Next, in a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add it to the egg-yolk mixture. Mix to combine.

 
 

6. Then, using a cleaned whisk attachment, whisk the whites…

 
 

…until they hold stiff peaks.

 

7. Add the whites into the egg-yolk batter.

Small lumps of egg whites in the batter are okay.

 
 

8. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.

 

9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

I used a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking pan. This cake will rise a lot, so if you are going for a less tall version, use a larger baking pan.

 
 

10. Spread out the batter evenly.

 
 

11. Now cut the plums into halves. Or, if you are using canned plums, drain them.

 
 

12. Evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the batter.

 
 

13. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

 
 

14. Remove from the oven and let cool.

 

14. Then dust with a little confectioner’s sugar and cut into squares.

 
 

And most importantly, enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This cake takes about 45 minutes to prepare.)

 

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I am sending you warm greetings from my kitchen.

Because I luv ya!

And because the running oven makes it really, really warm in here.

 

The time before Christmas has a sweet and magical impact on me. I find myself in the kitchen even more often than usual.

Which actually means that instead of 14 hours a day I spend 20 hours here now.

Like yesterday, for example, I made 82 cookies and I don’t even know how that happened to me.

Strange.

 

Anyhow, these lovely Bowtie Cookies were one of those I made yesterday.

The dough has cream cheese in it. It remotely resembles puff pastry, but it is less layered and less fatty. And oh so delicious!

The dough is filled with jam. You wouldn’t believe how gorgeous that combination is.

Let me show you how I prepared them…
 
 

Here’s what we need.
 
 

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.

 
 

2. Then on low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. A crumbly mixture will form.
 
 

3. Using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to form a dough ball.

 

Oh, and the face – I had to. Again. It’s addictive. Sorry!
 
 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5. Now, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.

 

6. Cut the dough into even 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6 x 6 cm) squares.
 
 

I’ve found out that my pizza cutter works best when it comes to cutting pastry.

It’s perfectly sharp.

And pink.

I’m in love with it!
 
 

7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Use a really thick jam. There are even jam brands out there that are meant for baking. Get one of those, preferably.

Also, when I was making the first batch of these cookies I was a little too generous and placed a little more than one teaspoon of the filling in the center. And I also spread it.

 
 

I don’t recommend that.
 
 

Although the cookies looked amazing before baking, if there’s too much jam, it has a tendency to leak while baking.

 
 

In the second batch I was less generous.

 
 

And the cookies leaked less, they almost didn’t leak at all.

 

7. Back to the instructions… pull 2 opposite corners of the square into the middle, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Pinch the edges well, don’t give them a chance to open back into the square shape while baking.
 
 

8. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart.

 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
 
 

10. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
 

11. Dust the tops with sifted confectioner’s sugar while still warm, then let cool completely.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Epicurious.com and makes 40 cookies.)
 

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Are you one of those people who, like me, had thought that cheesecake and chocolate are not possible together?

Well, then I have something to tell you.

Something very important.

Something enlightening!

Dear friends, cheesecake and chocolate ARE possible to exist together.

SO possible.

Beyond possible!

Finger-licking possible!

Let me show you…
 
 

These are our lovely ingredients.
 

1. First, place the first three ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer…
 
 

2. …and beat them at medium-low speed until combined.

Then increase the speed to medium, and beat until well blended and crumbly.
 
 

3. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) pan.

A good trick is to use the bottom part of a measuring cup or a glass to do that.
 
 

4. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

This is a lovely, delicious and easy substitute for crushed wafers that are often used in cheesecake recipes.

Cool, huh?
 
 

5. Now, let’s make the cheesecake filling.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy.
 
 

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.
 
 

7. Finally, add the sour cream, vanilla, and one cup of the chocolate chunks.

Beat just until blended.

Of course, you can use chocolate chips instead of the chunks.
 
 

8. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust.
 
 

9. And using a spoon or an offset spatula, even out the surface.
 
 

10. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 25 minutes or until set.

 

11. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
 
 

12. Then melt the rest of your chocolate chunks.

Microwave oven will work just fine.

(Oh, and use microwave friendly dishes, please. The one in the picture hadn’t gone to the microwave oven. If it had, things would have gotten sparkly… I guess. Don’t ask me how I know. Please.)

 
 

13. Stir the melted chocolate until smooth. Then drizzle the chocolate over the cheesecake.

 

14. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Then cut into bars.

Also, I’ve found out that it’s fine to reheat the bars in the microwave oven for a little while before serving. That way the chocolate will melt slightly making the whole eating experience even more divine.
 
 

Enjoy, dear friends.

 

(This lovely recipe was adapted from here. The recipe makes about 14 3×1.5-inch (8 x 4 cm) bars. The recipe takes about 1 hour to prepare and about 4 hours to chill. And the whole thing takes about 10 minutes to eat. Funny but true.)
 

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These bite-sized cookies are perfect for having with tea.

(Psst, coffee is all right too.)

They taste wonderful and are very, very simple to make.

I like to prepare them when my sugar craving strikes out of the blue. Or when friends call unexpectedly saying they will come soon.

These cookies just save lives.

 
 

Here’s the list of ingredients.
 
 

1. To make your own Tea Cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Sift the flour and sugars into a larger bowl.
 

 

3. Add the softened butter, two egg yolks and lemon zest…
 

 

4. …and use pastry cutter or just a plain fork to turn the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

 

5. Then use your hands to form a ball.

 
 

Like this one.

Though creating a face is not necessary.

But it helps.

Kidding!

But it really does.

Kidding again!

 

Now I’d like to tell you this: Please, be patient when you find yourself in the phase in-between the crumbs and the dough ball. It only takes patience and trust that those crumbs will eventually come together. Give it five minutes or so and you’ll see success!
 

 

6. Place the dough ball on a very, very lightly floured surface.

This dough is almost not sticky at all so you really need very little flour, if any.

And besides that, the more flour you’d be using the firmer the cookies would get. And we don’t need that.

 

7. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until you form a log which is about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) wide in diameter.

 

8. Then cut the log into about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds.
 
 

9. Place the rounds onto the sheet and bake in the preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) for 10 minutes.

The cookies should still be very pale in color when baked.
 
 

10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes about 30 cookies and will take you about 40 minutes to make.)
 

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I heart bundt cakes.

You can clearly see it in the above picture and also in the picture below.

Hearts overload.

 

Bundt cakes are cute, bundt cakes are fun and they also are super-easy to make.

In addition, this one is also perfect.

I promise.

It’s moist but not too moist,  it’s sweet but not too sweet and it tastes just like heaven.

Actually, I’d so love to give you a slice right now.

But I think it will be more useful to give you the recipe…
 
 

Here are the ingredients.

Six of them.

I love simple recipes.
 
 

1. First preheat the oven to 347 °F (175 °C).
 

2. Then butter and flour thoroughly a 9 x 4 inches (23 x 10 cm) bundt pan.

Instead of buttering the pan you can use a vegetable spray.
 
 

3. Now separate the eggs into two larger bowls.

Set the egg whites aside. Their time will come a little later.
 

4. Add the sugar and the vegetable oil into the bowl with the egg yolks and using a hand mixer mix them for about three minutes.
 

5. Then add the milk and mix for another three minutes.
 
 

6. Now pour the flour and the baking powder into a smaller bowl and combine them with a spoon.
 
 

7. Add the flour mixture into the beaten egg-yolk mixture…
 
 

8. …and using a spatula stir it to combine.

First there will be lumps. But don’t give up, keep stirring and kill them all.
 
 

9. Finally, grab the bowl containing the egg whites and whip them until firm.

 
 

10. Using a spatula again, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter just until blended.
 
 

11. Pour the batter into the pan.
 
 

12. And into the oven it goes for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick (or a wooden skewer) inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

When you do the toothpick/skewer test you might find dry crumbs adhering to the skewer. That’s all right. The cake is done.

But when you find raw batter on it that means that the cake needs some more baking.
 

13. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool.
 
 

Then place it on your Mom’s old cake stand (which is actually older than you) and admire the beauty for a while.
 
 

Then make a nice cuppa tea or coffee, cut a big fat slice of the cake (or three) and have the best time ever.

Enjoy, dear friends.

And, please, make this soon.
 

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