Archive for the 'Cake + Cupcake' Category

Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins

Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins

One of my proudest accomplishments while on maternity leave was managing to whip up moderately complicated recipes when June was napping. While I usually find cooking under pressure a little stressful, I loved how these kitchen challenges kept me on my toes and put my organizational skills to the test (Hello, mise-en-place!). Or maybe I was too sleep deprived to think clearly…

One of the most delectable baking-while-the-baby’s-napping creations were these Blueberry Sour Cream Cardamom Muffins. The original recipe by Eugenia Bone for Food & Wine magazine calls for cinnamon in the streusel topping and lemon zest in the batter; however, I swapped both out in favor of the warm, sweet scent of cardamom. The spice pairs beautifully with blueberries and makes streusel sing.

I didn’t manage to capture my usual step-by-step photos (that would’ve been too ambitious an endeavor), but this muffin doesn’t require much hand-holding. “Dry” ingredients are combined with “wet” ones (some lumps are a good thing), streusel is prepared and sprinkled on top, and everything is baked until done. Eat ’em warm from the oven, or if you’re in a similar boat, while the baby’s down for a nap.

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Chocolate Sheet Cake with Boiled Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Is it too soon to decide June’s first birthday cake? Even though we’re still six-plus months away, I can’t resist dreaming up confections that our little sweetie will have a ball “smashing” on her big day.

This Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting has been a Chaplin family favorite since The Astronomer’s father’s post-doc days. The recipe originated from a colleague of his named Katy, a gal who clearly had a penchant for unabashedly sweet sweets.

While The Astronomer preferred frosting-less bundt cakes for his birthdays growing up, his brother Daniel and sister Rosalind adored this simple sheet cake. And though I’m 33 years late to the “Katy’s Chocolate Cake” party, I love it all the same.

The batter of the matter, seriously moist and cinnamon-kissed, is finished with a classic, Southern-style boiled chocolate icing. Eaten together, it’s an unstoppable avalanche of buttery, chocolatey, sugary, sprinkle-y goodness!

If June’s palate is anything like her mother’s, this cake will get mauled to pieces in 60 seconds flat. I can’t wait.

For cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For icing

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Prepare cake

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, sift together sugar and flour and set aside.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Icing

In a saucepan, combine butter, oil, cocoa powder, and water. Bring to a boil and pour over sugar and flour mixture. Add in buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla.

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St. John’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Fergus Henderson's Rhubarb Crumble Cake

The Astronomer and I celebrated another year of marriage this past April, and I’ve been meaning to crank out this post since then. Life can feel hectic these days both on the personal and professional fronts, but there’s always time for cakes and milestones—Always!

Since it’s tradition to bestow fruit upon one’s beloved in honor of the fourth wedding anniversary, I baked my guy a Rhubarb Crumble Cake. He can’t resist tart rhubarb paired with a good streusel topping, and I’m always up for a culinary challenge.

This cake, which is seasonally served at Chef Fergus Henderson’s super-fabulous St. John Restaurant in London, is a triple threat. The bottom-most layer, moist and buttery cake, gives way to a generous layer of tangy fruit kissed with orange zest. Finally, a nutty topping that’s crunchy and wholly complementary ties all the layers together. This is certainly “a kind of British cooking” that I can get behind.

For fruit mixture

  • 3 large stalks of rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
    NOTE: You could also use apples, apricots, cooked quinces, nectarines, gooseberries, pears and ginger, or plums

For cake mix

  • 1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
  • Scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • Scant 1/4 cup full-fat milk

For crumble mix

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 ouces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 Turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • A pinch of salt

Fergus Henderson's Rhubarb Crumble Cake

First top and tail the rhubarb, give it a good wash and cut it into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Mix it with the sugars and the orange zest and set aside for 30 minutes.

Fergus Henderson's Rhubarb Crumble Cake

For the cake mix, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, bit by bit to prevent curdling. Then fold in the sifted flour, and last of all mix in the milk. Put to one side.

For the crumble mix, sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub them together with your fingertips until they look like large breadcrumbs. Stir in the Turbinado sugar, ground almonds, sliced almonds and salt.  Continue reading ‘St. John’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake’

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve been cooking and baking up a (quiet) storm these past couple of months, but haven’t shared too many recipes due to the sheer volume of restaurant and travel coverage that needs to be written before the Year in Delicious. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet that 2014 is literally around the corner.

Since the founding spirit of Eat My Blog was to bring to life the stuff of food porn dreams, it feels appropriate to take a break from my usual material and introduce an exquisite dessert instead.

This recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, which I adapted from The Food Librarian who adapted it from Kitchen Runway who adapted it from Paula Deen, was originally meant to be a sheet cake. Sheet cakes are terrific for feeding a crowd, but Eat My Blog demands a more portable, adorable, and affordable sweet!

Even though Paula Deen sucks, this recipe totally and completely rules. In fact, I’ve made it twice in the past two months and plan on doing so a few more times before pumpkin season comes to a close and peppermint reigns supreme.

The cake’s texture is awesomely moist, with a nice and springy crumb. The frosting is rich yet tangy, thanks to a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I’ve baked a lot of cakes over the years and have never been as pleased with the results as I was with this recipe. It’s the best thing I’ve ever baked.

Say you’ll eat my blog?

For cupcakes

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) canola oil
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups (6 ounces) sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Make cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder & soda, spices, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin. Stir to combine until completely blended.

Continue reading ‘Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting’

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