Archive for the 'Cake + Cupcake' Category

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’

Whole Wheat Strawberry Cake

Whole Wheat Strawberry Cake

“The best thing about a whole wheat cake is that you can eat it for breakfast,” The Astronomer announced the other morning as he cut himself a hefty slice for the most important meal of the day. While I didn’t set out to bake a “breakfast cake” with this whole wheat and strawberry number, I encouraged The Astronomer to do as he pleased. I mean, people eat doughnuts for breakfast, right? This is far more virtuous.

With its hunks of juicy strawberries and simple sweet batter, this cake is fit for just about any occasion. It can be served straight from the oven for a rustic brunch or fancied up with a dollop of whipped cream for a dinner party send off. This little cake’s versatility knows no bounds.

The best part of the cake for me is the turbinado sugar that’s sprinkled on top before it goes into the oven. The heat melds the crystals with the batter, transforming it into a crunchy, caramelized topping that contrasts terrifically with the moist cake and tart fruit.

While the whole wheat pastry flour called for in this recipe can easily be swapped out for all-purpose, I encourage going the whole grain route for its subtly complex flavor and nutritional prowess. Plus, you can eat a slice for breakfast and not think a thing of it. Just ask The Astronomer…

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (5.1 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Whole Wheat Strawberry Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Cake

Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate.

Continue reading ‘Whole Wheat Strawberry Cake’

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Winter citrus fruits are flourishing throughout Southern California, and for the first time ever, the season’s bounty is blooming right on our front porch. The Astronomer’s parents gifted us the most adorable dwarf Meyer lemon tree when they visited last spring, and after nurturing it through the summer and into fall, it finally bore fruit that we could pluck and enjoy this winter.

While I’ve tasted Meyer lemons in various dishes at restaurants, I never fully understood the complexity of their flavor until I actually cooked and baked with them. Not only is Meyer lemon juice sweeter, but it also has an indescribable and distinct tang that makes it wholly unique.

Our first harvest inspired The Astronomer to whip up a delectable shrimp puri puri. And several week later, I had to bake these Meyer lemon muffins after spotting the recipe in the Los Angeles Times.

Lemon-flavored muffin recipes usually call for just juice and zest, like these lemon ricotta muffins that I love, but this recipe calls for the whole shebang—juice, zest, pith, and all. The result is a truly moist muffin that’s studded with lemon pieces and laced with a slight bitterness. A sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar on the top of each one successfully mellows the lemon’s astringent notes.

It’s worthwhile to seek out Meyer lemons for this recipe because I find that their flavor, as compared to regular lemons, is different enough that something would be lost by substituting one for the other. Experiencing Meyer lemons in full effect is a must for all citrus lovers.

  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Meyer lemons, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, the baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Cut two lemons into 1-inch pieces. Put them in a blender and pulse until the lemon is finely chopped. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the milk, butter and chopped lemon. Stir.

Continue reading ‘Meyer Lemon Muffins’

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