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Posts Tagged ‘baking’

This is the latest version of my favorite chocolate cake recipe. It has been used (extensively) for layer cakes, sheet cakes, and cupcakes. Why a new recipe? With tweaks to the fat portion of the ingredients, this version has even more flavor (sorry, Canada, flavour), than the original, and is still simple, easy and quick to make. Oh, and if you happen to forget the butter and coconut oil in the microwave, this works as a fat-free recipe too. Ask me how I know;) I’ve also included an updated frosting recipe, because that’s what friends are for. It’s metric, because these days, that’s how I roll.

I like it. I hope you do too!

Truly Excellent Chocolate Cake, v. 2.0

Cake:
2 C. sugar (400g), half white, half brown
2 C. all-purpose flour (250g)
3/4 C. cocoa powder (88g)
2 t. (11.5g) baking soda
1 t. (4.3 g) baking powder
½+ t. (5g) kosher salt
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk (or 1 scant cup milk, warmed with 1 T. white vinegar)*
1 C. coffee
2.8 oz. (80g) butter, melted
1.16 oz. (33g) coconut oil, melted
2 t. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare one 9″ x 13” pan, two 8/9” cake pans, or 24 standard muffin tins, with butter and flour/cocoa powder or line with parchment paper (a lot less trouble).
2. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, soda, powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients, beat for 2 minutes.
4. Pour into baking pans and bake until tester comes out clean (30-35 minutes for cake pans, 35-40 minutes for large pan, or 22 minutes for cupcakes).
5. Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Frost when cool.

* Note: I usually make a cup of coffee in a 2C glass measuring beaker, then add the vinegar and fill up to the two-cup line with milk. Voila!

. . . . . .

Buttercreamcheese Frosting:
100g butter, softened
160g cream cheese, softened
560g powdered sugar
pinch of salt, to taste
~½ t. vanilla
2 T. lemon juice, or some combination of lemon, orange juice concentrate, milk, cream, and/or Grand Marnier; this is the flavoring portion so tweak at will!

1. Cream butter and cheese together until whipped smooth, fluffy and white (can take up to 5 minutes but it’s worth it).
2. Sift powdered sugar, add to butter mixture in two parts, blend.
3. Add flavorings and beat another ~3 minutes until smooth, light, and spreadable. Adjust liquid as necessary to reach desired thickness.

Works well for anywhere you need a mostly white frosting, and colors well. Just ask my friend Uni the Unicorn!

Uni the Unicorn was a present for a six-year old’s birthday: Six layers of chocolate cake with buttercreamcheese frosting, a little marshmallow fondant for the eyebrows, and magic!

 

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You may have noticed that I’ve been on a baking kick. It’s probably time to give my pancreas a break and go back to salads, but here’s one last* cake for you. Four layers, chocolate, more chocolate and raspberry.

 

 

. . . . . . . . .

*  Let’s get real, it won’t be the last, but I am planning to slow down the baking. A little:)

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I’m slowly getting back into a writing routine after the holidays. Writing is hard work, and of course glucose is critical to brain function. That means I have an excuse to bake:)

I worked up this cookie recipe for a friend who is gluten-averse. It’s based on a recipe from MasterChef Australia contestant Harry Foster and produces rich chocolate cookies with a satisfying cake-like texture.

Brownie + Cookie = Brookies

  • 350g [12 oz.] 70% dark chocolate
  • 45g [3.17 T.] butter
  • 80g [8.5 T.] cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g [~¼ C.] chocolate chips (more or less as you like; I use three chips per cookie)
  • 225g [1 C.] superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
2. Melt dark chocolate and butter in the microwave on low (30% works for me). Stir and set aside until lukewarm.
3. In a medium-size bowl, combine remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Add cooled butter mixture and mix until combined.
4. Scoop ~1-inch balls onto cookie sheets.* Gently press chocolate chips into the tops of each ball.
5. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Let cool two minutes before transferring to rack.

Makes ~33 cookies.

* If your butter-chocolate mixture is too warm, it may look and act more like batter. Pop the bowl into the fridge for a few minutes to chill and you should be able to scoop as needed.

I’d show you a photo of the cookies but, well, I ate them all. Instead, here are some pretty examples of other lights in the darkness.

Enjoy!

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It’s like this: for the past couple of weeks I’ve spent a wee bit (ok, a lot) of time perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe.

(It also strikes me that I do a lot of recipe-related posts on Fridays. Food is definitely on my list of #ThingsILike:)

When I moved north of the border everything changed, including my usual butter, flour, chips, and oven. Mr. Man also likes his cookies with a bit more cakiness than I had with my previous recipe, so it was time to rethink, rewrite and retest.*

I know, I know, hard duty. How I sacrifice! But now Mr. Man (and you, fine readers!) have a new recipe to enjoy. Hope you like it!**

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups [280g] flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt [a pinch less if you use salted butter]
2 sticks [8 ounces or 228g] butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups [300g] brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, large
1 cup [175g] semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper if you hate stuck-on cookies.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt [I sift, some prefer a whisk or fork, use whatever works for you].
3. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
4. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mix until well combined.
5. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
6. Scoop ~1-inch balls onto cookie sheets.***
7. Bake for 11-13 minutes depending on dough temperature and preferred crunchiness factor. Let cool two minutes before transferring to rack.
…………
* I’m still playing with this a tiny bit (for the greater good, you understand, not because I want to bake more cookies… ok yeah, I just want to bake more cookies:). I’ll add any updates here.

** If you’re interested in how tweaking various ingredients and other factors influence cookie characteristics, Handle the Heat’s Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies (parts 1 through 4) is a good place to start.

*** At this point you can either bake immediately or chill to allow the flavors to develop. I’ll chill if I have time, but I don’t always have the patience:) My compromise strategy: bake a sheet right away, then make balls with the rest of the dough and freeze on a lined cookie sheet. When hard, store the dough in a plastic bag and voila, you’ve got almost instant cookies for the next couple of weeks days whatever:)

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How do I not have this recipe up here already? This rich, moist chocolate cake is delicious and (in my *ahem* extensive experience) virtually foolproof. Not only would I hate to lose the recipe, I’m also baking this weekend, so here you go!

Truly Excellent Chocolate Cake

Cake:
2 C. sugar (400g)
2 C. flour (250g)
3/4 C. cocoa powder (88g)
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
2 eggs
1 C. buttermilk (or 1 scant cup milk, warmed with 2 t. white vinegar)
1 C. coffee
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare one 9″ x 13” pan, or two 8/9” cake pans, with butter and flour/cocoa powder or line with parchment paper.
2. Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, soda, powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients, beat for 2 minutes.
4. Pour into baking pans and bake until tester comes out clean (30-35 minutes for smaller pans, 35-40 minutes for large pan).
5. Let cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Frost when cool.

Frosting:
1/2 C. butter, softened (113g)
1/2 C. cream cheese, softened (116g)
3 1/2 C. powdered sugar (437g)
1/2 C. cocoa powder (59g)
1/2 t. salt (to taste, less if you use salted butter)
2 t. vanilla
2-4 T. milk or cream

1. Cream butter and cheese together until whipped smooth.
2. Sift sugar, cocoa powder, and salt onto butter mixture, blend.
3. Add vanilla and milk and beat for 3 minutes until smooth. Adjust milk as necessary to reach desired thickness.

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In my tradition of sharing recipes I like (and not incidentally storing copies in one easy-to-access place), here is a flour-less peanut butter cookie recipe. This version of the classic recipe has chocolate as well as peanut butter and is very easy to make. I like it. I hope you do too.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

2 cups [500g] peanut butter
2 cups [400g] brown sugar
4 Tablespoons [30g] cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350F.

2. Mix peanut butter, sugar and cocoa powder until smooth.

3. Add baking soda, salt and vanilla.

4. Add eggs one at a time. The mixture will be stiff.*

5. Roll into 1-inch balls, lay out on ungreased cookie sheet, flatten with a fork.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will be soft; let cool five minutes before transferring to racks.

* If your mixer isn’t up to this I recommend a potato masher.

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Just in time for the weekend, here is my favorite brownie recipe. It’s quick and delicious. It’s also in metric, because once you get a scale and get used to the routine, the weight method is indeed easier and more consistent. Making fewer dirty dishes is an added bonus. Also, cocoa powder means no waiting around to chop and melt chocolate bricks. I have a double boiler but yeah, no.

Brownies

Time: 30-40 minutes
  • 142 grams butter
  • 42 grams cocoa powder
  • 200 grams sugar (I use brown sugar or half brown and half white for a nuttier flavor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60 grams flour
  • Dash salt
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (or grease with butter, but parchment paper makes for fantastically easy clean up).
2. Melt butter in the microwave on low (30% works for me). Use a whisk to stir in cocoa powder until smooth, then add sugar, eggs, flour, salt and vanilla, mixing after each addition. The batter will resemble quicksand, only tastier.
3. Pour into the pan and bake 20 minutes, or until set in the middle.* Let cool and cut.
*Note: This recipe can be doubled with no trouble, use a 9×13-inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
P.S. Upon reflection, I feel bad for those of you without a digital scale. Here you go:
  • 10 T. butter
  • ⅓ C. cocoa powder
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C. flour
  • Dash salt
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
Enjoy! I know I will:)

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