Archive for ‘Cake’

June 28, 2012

Cookie Therapy

Some days, you just need a chocolate chip cookie.

Other days, you need a really really big chocolate chip cookie.

Although it took about two weeks to eat this thing. And I had two strapping lads to help me out, as well as various guests who were forced to take a foil-wrapped slice home in their pocket.

Because once you decide to bake an 18″ cookie cake, there is no turning back.

You haul out the flour tin and the KitchenAid. And two full bags of chocolate chips.

Because this cookie cake isn’t fancy. It isn’t about perfection. It’s simple two full batches of chocolate chip cookies, recipe straight off the Nestle bag, spread into a humongous pan, and baked at 375.

But just barely baked. Because according to my housemates, who are self-professed cookie cake connoisseurs, a dry cookie cake is a travesty. I hauled this baby out of the oven while it was still jiggly in the middle.

But topped with a scoop of mint ice cream on a hot hot summer day with a side of good company? Perfection.

 

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June 19, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

Beets.

Chocolate cake.

Juicy, earthy vegetables.

Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting.

Try to hide them under your napkin during dinner.

Beg your father for just onnnnnne more slice.

Pop, thanks for making me eat my vegetables.

But more importantly, thanks for teaching me to love the sweet stuff.

Pop, believe it or not, your daughter, the same one who used to cry at the dinner table over a plate of sundried tomato meatloaf, has baked a chocolate beet cake. The same girl who needed a kiddie plate to separate her peas from her potatoes until the age of 17 has combined vegetables and dessert into one single pan.

Guess what? It was delicious.

The sailboat is for you, pops. The cake… well…. it was for you, but you weren’t around, so I ate it myself. In your honor of course. With a tall glass of skim.

All the love in the world to the best papa a girl could ever have!

Chocolate Beet Cake
Adapted from
Veggie Belly

1/2 cup milk/semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips (your preference)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked and pureed beets
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, sugar, and oil. Slowly, add the beets, chocolate, and vanilla and beat until just combined.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to overwork.

Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let most cool in pan, then carefully remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup butter (if using unsalted, toss in a dash of salt)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup cocoa
milk as needed

In an electric mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugar and cocoa powder and whip until combined. Add milk as needed and whip on high to achieve desired consistency. Try to frost the cake before you eat the whole bowl!

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November 12, 2010

So you had a bad day…

I grew up in a family that strongly believes in the power of comfort food.  You know that old saying, “Feed a fever, starve a cold?” In my house, it was: “Feed a fever, feed a cold, feed, feed, feed.” My dad used to give me chocolate bars when I had strep throat.

Well, without getting too scientific here, I really do think that your heart and your stomach are linked in an important way. I’m not saying we should start eating our feelings all the time, but sometimes a girl just needs some chocolate-induced relief!

The great thing about food? It can fit any situation. Just aced your mid-term? Treat yourself to a nice frosty soft-serve twist in d-hall. Just found out that boy you kissed at Moorebid was actually the scum of the earth? Grab a pint of Cookie Dough ice cream and eat it with a spoon on the couch while watching reruns of The OC with your BFFs.  Now that I think of it, ice cream is a particularly versatile dessert.

This all goes to say that it’s been a rough few weeks here in my house. So much so that it became apparent that some serious edible therapy was in order. So I sat down with the housemates to devise the ultimate cure-all dessert.

First we needed a name. We listed all the things that had been going wrong in our lives, eventually decided upon the acronym S.C.H.I.B.A.D. This is a food column, not Dear Abby, so I’m not going to give you the dish on what these things stand for. Let’s just say you can take your pick of letters and turn it into whatever is raining on your parade these days.

Then we needed ingredients. Chocolate was a no brainer. Cake seemed appropriately decadent for soaking up a miserable week. Okay, a chocolate layer cake. With creamy peanut butter frosting. Topped with Reeses, and M&Ms, and white chocolate chips sandwiched between the two layers…. Betsy tried to even get some no-bake cookies on top, but they didn’t make the cut.

But what did make the cut was the best chocolate cake recipe I’ve ever had. Super moist and perfectly dense and oh-so-chocolatey… And better each following day – as if it was continually absorbing all the S.C.H.I.B.A.D. feelings in our house and transforming them into chocolate peanut buttery goodness.

The bad news is that this cake didn’t make our problems go away. The good news is that it did the best it could to warm our hearts and fill our bellies. It’s just dessert, after all.

S.C.H.I.B.A.D Cake

Chocolate Cake:

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa at Home
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed coffee or hot water

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1/2 cup butter

1 cup creamy peanut butter

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/3 cup cream

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined. Add the coffee/water and stir just to combine. Pour batter into pans and bake for about 40 minutes. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter and peanut butter in a bowl. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar. Add cream until frosting reaches spreadable consistency.

Frost cake and add any and all toppings you desire. Eat a fat slice with a big glass of milk in your pjs. 100% guaranteed to make your day just a little better.

P.S. Check this article out in today’s SkidNews!

August 9, 2010

Three Tier Brownie/Cookie Cake!

Well folks, summer seems to be zooming by with not nearly enough baking going on in my life.  But I did have time to make this interesting concoction while on vacation with my family. My brother’s friends Serena and Anthony came along with us, and it happened to be Serena’s birthday!

Why not make a three tier cake with the layers made out of chocolate chip cookie and brownie you say? My thoughts exactly. I found various sized round pans in the rental house and just sort of cobbled this guy together. I made the same delicious buttercream frosting from the 4th of July cake.

This was pretty deadly. As in delicious, but also overwhelming. I think we all felt a little sick after a whole slice of this. But in my opinion, what better excuse for decadence than birthdays?

Three Tier Brownie Cookie Cake

Using your favorite cookie and brownie recipes, bake three rounds in decreasing size. Once mostly cool, chill in freezer for 15-30 minutes to help remove from pan. Stack layers and decorate!

I used the Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and the following brownie recipe (which was excellent!)

Brownie Layer
adapted from Bake or Break

  • 3 & 1/3 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Melt butter, half of the chocolate chips, and usweetened chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave). Let mixture cool to warm.

Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla just until mixed. Over-mixing will cause crumbly brownies. Fold in warm chocolate mixture.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chips mixing just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread to an even thickness. Bake 32-36 minutes. The edges will be slightly firm and the center will be soft when they are fully baked. Do not overbake. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

July 16, 2010

4th of July Rewind!

I’m trying real hard to catch up here… so just for a moment let your imagination run wild and rewind alll the way back to two weeks ago when you were watching fireworks and eating hot dogs – the 4th of July.

I had some fun company here, although my family was out of town, my big brother brought the troops up to escape the relentless Brooklyn heat. We had a big cookout and spent the day on the dock, soaking up the sun!

I, of course, was the self-appointed dessert master, and I decided to go traditional flag cake with a twist. My Aunt Jean ALWAYS made these cakes on the 4th of July when we were little – but it usually uses Cool Whip as frosting. I made a pretty kick-ass buttercream. Forget light and fluffy on a hot day- we wanted the real deal!

Just as a note, I found the cake a little dense… the taste was good but the texture was just not quite right. Don’t worry King Arthur, I still love you! Maybe I overmixed?? But can I just say again that the frosting was to die for?

Okay patriots, store this one away for next year and pull yourself back to the present. Thanks for bearing with me 🙂

4th of July Flag Cake

Using your favorite vanilla cake and frosting recipe, frost a 9×13 cake. Decorate with blueberries and sliced strawberries to represent a flag!

Vanilla Cake
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

* 2 cups sugar
* 3 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
* 1 1/4 cups milk, at room temperature
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour one 9″ x 13″ pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.

Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scraping the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Repeat this procedure with the second egg. Continue adding the eggs, scraping after each addition, until all 4 are added. After the last egg is added, scrape the bowl once more, then beat at medium-high speed for 30 more seconds.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 40 minutes.

The cake is done when it’s golden brown around the edges and just beginning to pull away from the edge of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean. Cool before removing from pan.Ingredients

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from Wilton

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract (I used regular – it just makes for a slightly off white frosting)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.