Posts Tagged ‘buttercream’

I admit that I’m way behind on my posts.  There are things that I’ve been making that Lee tells me DEFINITELY need to go on the blog but then I go and forget to take a picture of them.  Not cool.

I did, however, make sure to take some pictures of a more recent baked construct for one of my best friends (in the whole wide world).  Mostly I remembered because there were plenty of sparkly things on it that kept catching my eye.

I think that maybe he liked his cake, don’t you?  Even though it turned out a little lopsided because I didn’t use 10″ pans like a good girl but instead overfilled my 9″ cake pans.  Whatever.  It was still absolutely heavenly.

Bestie Birthday Cake

1/2 cup good quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease 2 10″ round cake pans. Line bottoms with rounds of wax paper and grease paper.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Avocado Buttercream

4 ounces of avocado meat, about 1 small to medium, very ripe avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 pound powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peel and pit the soft avocado.  If the avocado has brown spots in the meat, avoid those spots when you scoop the meat into the bowl.

Place the avocado meat into the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment.  Add lemon juice and whisk the avocado on medium speed, until slightly lightened in color and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat.  Add vanilla extract until combined.  If not using right away, store in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 sticks of softened, unsalted butter
6 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add powdered sugar until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and milk and mix.  If mixture is too dense, add more milk to receive desired consistency.

To Assemble Cake:

Spread avocado buttercream between cake layers.  Spread vanilla buttercream frosting up and over top and sides of cake. Cover and chill. Bring cake to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate cake recipe found from Slow Like Honey.

Avocado buttercream recipe found from Joy the Baker.

Inspiration for cake decoration from Sprinkle Bakes.


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It’s been awhile since I last posted and I feel kind of guilty about it.  I haven’t been baking a lot or even cooking a lot and I’m not sure why.  I’m trying to muster up some motivation but this being healthy thing (or TRYING to be healthy) seems to take a lot of energy!

I managed to drag myself into the kitchen this past Father’s Day, though, as I was baking my presents this year.  There were two cakes to be prepared since I celebrate both my father and stepfather and all that they’ve done for me!

Picking what kind of cakes to make was pretty much a no-brainer for me.  My step-dad loves pistachios so a fresh pistachio cake was the obvious choice.  The second cake choice was made because it was a cake recipe that my dad and I used when I was little — bringing back the nostalgia.  I wasn’t able to taste either cake due to time constraints but I’m told that both were very delicious and seconds were had.

But without further ado…THE CAKES!  The first is adapted from Three Many Cooks.

Fresh Pistachio Cake

3/4 cup shelled pistachios (plus 1/4 cup for decorating)
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg white, at room temperature
3/4 cup ice cold water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Honey Vanilla Buttercream:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Generously butter two 9-inch round cake pans.

In the bowl of food processor, pulse the pistachios until they are coarsely chopped. Transfer about 2 tablespoons’ worth of the coarse pistachios to a large bowl. Continue to process the rest of the pistachios until they resemble a fine crumb.  Stir the chopped pistachios into the reserved coarse pistachios and then combine with the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk to combine.

Beat the butter and shortening until creamy and light. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, add the whole egg, and beat until just combined.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl in three parts, alternating with the ice water, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and make sure everything is incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white and cream of tartar until soft peaks form (You can do this by hand and it should only take 2 to 3 minutes). Do not overbeat. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl and beat on high speed until cool (this takes at least 7 to 9 minutes of mixing) then add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the vanilla and honey and continue mixing until combined. If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it is proper consistency.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving platter. If the top is uneven, trim to create a flat surface then evenly spread about 1/4 to 1/2 cup frosting on top. Add the top layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for bout 15 minutes to firm up. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Garnish the cake with crushed pistachios and refrigerate it for 15 minutes to it firm up before serving.

Let the cake sit a room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

And the next cake!

Espresso Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brewed, cooled coffee
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
4 eggs
1 egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease a fluted cake pan with removable bottom.  Place a sheet of tinfoil around the bottom of the cake pan to avoid any leakage.  In a medium bowl whisk flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and baking soda then set aside.  In a small bowl, mix the milk and coffee together.  In a large bowl cream the vegetable shortening and sugar together.  Add eggs, egg white, and vanilla to the creamed mixture and stir to combine.  Add the flour mixture to the bowl in three parts, alternating with the coffee/milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 90 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for about 20 minutes and then remove outer pan to cool completely.  Feel free to dust with powdered sugar for a little added touch!

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