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Archive for the ‘cake’ Category

How fun! I recently accepted a challenge to make a recipe for my blog using coconut flour.

And I made for you a cake roll. A rather ugly but really tasty cake roll. 

I had never used coconut flour before. I tend to be all old-fashioned and not stray from my typical ingredients. I do it for many reasons but one being that I like to use as much local food as possible and coconut isn’t exactly local. Not that I don’t use it, but when I do, it’s mostly the flaky stuff in my granola and occasionally coconut oil to saute some veggies. 

Local or not, I am loving playing with this flour. Coconut flour I s high in protein and fiber and makes delicious baked goods. I was worried that I would be able to taste the coconut in my cake but couldn’t at all. So have no fear in using it if you don’t love coconut.

I’m excited to use the rest of my bag in all sorts of ways. Perhaps some pancakes with those raspberries ripening out in the garden? 

Cherry Cream Roll

6 eggs, separated

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 t baking soda

1 t vanilla

Cherry Cream (below)

Beat the yolks with the honey until thick and frothy. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, and vanilla and beat well.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the yolk mixture. Pour into a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Spread out as flat as you can with a spatula as it will not even out much in the oven. I could have done a better job of this.

Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes. As soon as you take it out of the oven, remove it from the pan using the edges of the parchment. Roll it up and place it in the fridge, seam side down, to cool. Meanwhile, make the filling. When it’s cool, unroll it (it will probably start to fall apart but easily goes back together when re-rolling), spread the filling on, and then roll it back up, removing the parchment as you go. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one day.

Serves: 10

Cherry Cream

1 1/2 pounds semi-sweet cherries (1 1/4 pounds once seed are removed)

1/4 cup sugar

1/8 t almond extract

Lightly mash the cherries and place them in a skillet. Add the sugar and simmer, stirring often, until reduced to about a cup. It will take about 30 minutes. Chill completely before proceeding with whipped cream.

1 T cream cheese

12 oz heavy whipping cream

1/2 t vanilla

1 T sugar

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Pour in a few drops of cream. Smash around with a spoon. Add a few more drops of cream and smash again. Keep doing this until the cream cheese is thinned out enough that it won’t lump up when you add the rest of the cream. When you reach that point, pour in the remaining cream and beat until frothy. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until stiff. Fold in the chilled cherries and it’s ready to be spread on the cake.

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The kids and I had this for supper this evening:

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Brad happened to be gone so I just cooked up a bunch of veggies from the garden and served some cheese along side. The meal was delicious (thought I) but I knew that the kids would not be thrilled.

So I made a cake for dessert. I wanted to use the last of the strawberries in an extravagant fashion and we were not disappointed.

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I cut this recipe out of the Lancaster Farming paper. It’s a weekly newspaper full of things that farmers like to read…ads for tractors and equipment and articles about anything concerning agriculture. There is a section for the cooks in the family, too: recipes and a food question/answer part. I always look forward to that section, especially this month. June is dairy month and lots of people submit their favorite dairy recipes.

Anyway, I cut this cake recipe out two weeks ago and figured it would make the perfect base for strawberries. With all of that butter, sugar, and cream cheese, it sure was extravagant! And it was a good way to use up a bit of the cream cheese I made a few weeks ago.

From the words of Joy, the recipe contributor, “This is the pound cake that tastes like the kind “grandma” use to make!”

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Cold Oven Pound Cake

Adapted from Joy Timmons’ recipe in The Lancaster Farming, June 2013

Note: I made one third of a batch of this and got a small cake out of it. I didn’t want a large loaf.

3 sticks butter

3 cups sugar

8 oz cream cheese

6 eggs

1 t vanilla extract

3 cups unbleached flour

Cream the butter, sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and then the flour. Pour into two parchment-lined loaf pans (I used 4 x 8-inchers). Slide the cakes into a COLD oven and set the temp for 300 degrees F. Set the timer for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check the cakes. You may need to give them a little more time. They should be golden brown around the edges and a toothpick should come out clean. Remove them from the pans when they are finished baking and cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 2 loaf cakes

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Crushed Strawberries

This recipes hails from the Mennonite Community Cookbook. It originally called for 1 full cup of sugar. I figured if I put all of that in, I might as well just spread jam on my cake!

2 cups well crushed fresh strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

Stir to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate a few hours to chill thoroughly. Serve over ice cream, cake, or breakfast carbs of your choice.

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A favorite spring-time supper of mine. I grew up eating this alone for supper at least twice during strawberry season.

Shortcake means different things to different people. Some make a biscuit and serve it with berries and sweetened cream. My dad grew up with a sponge cake as shortcake. What I remember from my childhood resembles this recipe here, though my mom said this isn’t the exact one she made.

To me, shortcake is a lightly sweetened yellow cake which should be topped with sugared strawberries and fresh, cold milk. Yum!

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Strawberry Shortcake

Adapted from Mennonite Community Cookbook

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs

1 t vanilla

2 T butter, melted

Strawberries (sweetened if desired, for serving)

Cold milk (for serving)

Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, eggs, and vanilla until mostly mixed. Add the butter and mix until evenly combined. Pour into a greased 9-inch round pan. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cooled with milk and strawberries.

Serves: about 4-6 for a main dish, 8 or 10 as a dessert

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So apparently my rennet was old. About 4 years ago I went through a spell where I made a bunch of mozzarella cheese. When Tage came along, I put my cheese making supplies away and haven’t looked at them since until a few weeks ago when I started making cottage cheese. Well, I made a batch of weird cottage cheese and then when I tried some farmhouse cheddar the other day, the curd never set firm enough. Instead of throwing out the batch, I drained the soft curd through cheese cloth for several hours and got a ricotta-like cheese. It tasted delicious.

And it was destined for this lovely cake.

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I never thought I’d like ricotta cheesecake. I’m not a huge fan of the cheese itself. This cake, though, was perfect – very lightly sweet and decadent enough to feel like a big indulgance. I love a good, rich cheesecake now and then but I can never eat more than one or two slices of a cake so I don’t make it very often. But I could eat a lot of this cake. Maybe that’s a bad thing!

Oh, and I got some new rennet and my cheese making is going splendidly. I’m pressing my third wheel at the moment while the other two air-dry on the counter. They smell wonderful!

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Ricotta Cheesecake

Adapted from Joy of Baking

Crust

7 whole graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs (about 1 cup)

1 T sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix the crumbs with the sugar and butter. Press into the bottom of a greased 8- or 9-inch spring form pan. Surround the bottom of the pan with a layer of tin foil. Set aside.

Filling

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 cups (20 oz) thick ricotta cheese*

2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 t lemon zest

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Add the ricotta and sugar and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined each time. Stir in the zest and vanilla.

Pour the filling into the crust. Set the pan into a larger pan and fill with about an inch of water. Slide the whole thing into a preheated 350F oven and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes or until just set in the middle. Remove the cake from the water bath and chill before eating. Serve plain or with a fruit sauce.

*If your cheese is on the thin side, hang it to drain for a while in cheese cloth but you’ll want a full 2 1/2 cups of thick cheese when you are finished draining it.

Serves: 8 – 12

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Spice Cake

I like baking things. I especially like baking old-fashioned sorts of goodies. Is spice cake old-fashioned? I don’t know but it feels like it to me.

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This cake is muy delicioso…tender, spicy, a bit rich. Usually I make desserts with substance (you know, like with fruit for the vitamins or dairy for some protein) but there are times that I just want dessert. A few weeks ago I wanted spice cake. So I made one. Yum!

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Spice Cake

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Jan/Feb 2008

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (divided use)

1 T ground cinnamon

1/2 t ground allspice

1/2 t ground cloves

1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 t vanilla extract

1 T grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 T mild molasses

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk

Heat 4 T butter in a small skillet until melted. Cook until slightly browned. Add spices and cook, stirring, for another 15 seconds. Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.

While butter is cooling, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another small bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and ginger. Set this aside, too.

In a mixer bowl, place remaining 8 T butter, sugar, and molasses. Beat until pale and fluffy, scraping bowl as needed. Add cooled butter/spice mixture and egg mixture. Beat well.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the bowl. Beat until incorporated. Mix in 1/2 of the buttermilk, another third of the flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and the rest of the flour. Beat just until combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13″ pan. Run a knife through the batter to remove any air bubbles. Slide into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing

5 T butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Frost the cooled cake.

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I don’t know if I can do it but I’m going to give it a shot. During Lent, I’m going to go processed sugar free, or at least mostly. Think I’ll manage? I mean, obviously my body can do it but can my head? My brain? I’m really interested to see if I can actually tell a difference in my mood/energy this time around. I don’t think a week was enough to notice anything. We shall see what the next weeks bring.

I’m going to write out here what processed sugar free for me looks like.

Allowed: honey, maple syrup, agave, black strap molasses, and stevia (if I procure any). And any unsweetened fruit juices, too. Things like my home canned salsa and applesauce, which both have a bit of sugar, I will eat. Sorry, I’m not forgoing ALL of my canned goods.

Not allowed: white sugar, cane sugar, Sucanat, powdered sugar, fake sweeteners, corn syrup, am I missing anything? I won’t eat my canned pears, peaches, nectarines, sweet pickles, jams and jellies, grape juice, or pickled beets.

I have a feeling I’m going to be buying more fresh fruit. I know it’s awfully out of season and not at all local. I’ll try not to give in too often.

Question for you: Where should regular molasses fall on this list? I know black strap is good for you but what about the plain old stuff?

And now for the good part. I decided to really live it up the day before my “fast.” And I chose to live it up with angel food cake. I don’t make it too often but when I do, I eat a lot of it. Brad and I have been known to scarf a whole one in a single sitting. It’s disgusting, really.

Oh, and I have a confession. I hesitated to share this recipe with y’all. You see, this is a prize winning recipe here. I won first place at my local fair last year and I intend to go for it again every year from now until I can no longer wield a spoon. But then my senses came to me and I figured I ought to share it seeing as how my dear auntie was kind enough to give it to me. And really, it’s not even a secret recipe. I think it’s a Betty Crocker. Am I right on that? Anywho, it’s a good one. Try it, but just not during Lent.

Take note of the sifting procedure. If you are using a scales to measure your ingredients, there is no need to sift the flour and powdered sugar before measuring. But if you are using cups, sift the powdered sugar and flour first. Then carefully spoon them into the measuring cups before leveling the tops with a straight knife.

You know what? While I’m at it, I might as well give up white flour, too. Whole wheat bread, here we come!

Angel Food Cake

Recipe from my Aunt Carmen

1 1/2 cups (5 oz) sifted powdered sugar

1 cup (3 1/2 oz) sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cups (12 0z) egg whites (about a dozen eggs)

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

1 t almond extract (not flavoring)

1/3 t salt

1 1/2 t cream of tartar

1 cup, scant, (6 1/4 oz) cane sugar

Sift the measured powdered sugar and measured cake flour together THREE times. (We don’t want any lumps and we want everything evenly incorporated). Set aside.

In a LARGE bowl (I use a 13 quart metal bowl), pour the egg whites, extracts, salt, and cream of tartar. Mix with a hand mixer on high for about 30 seconds or until foamy. While continuing to mix, pour in a couple of tablespoons of the cane sugar. Beat some more. Continue slowly adding sugar and beating until all of it is dissolved in the egg whites. Beat until the egg whites form stiff (but not dry) peaks.

Now, with a big metal spoon, gently fold in a couple of tablespoons of the dry ingredients. Wait to add more until the previous addition is completely incorporated. When all of the dry ingredients are added and well folded in, pour the batter into an UNGREASED tube pan. Bang the pan on the counter top a few times and run a knife around the edges to release any big air bubbles. Slide into a preheated 375 degree oven on the second to lowest shelf. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top of the cake doesn’t look wet any more and has a nicely browned crust. Remove from the oven and flip upside down onto a potato masher. Leave inverted until completely cool.

When ready to remove from the pan, slide a long straight knife all around the edges of the sides and middle. Remove the sides and then slide your knife around the bottom of the cake. Invert onto a plate, remove the bottom of the cake pan, and try your best to resist eating the whole thing.

Yield: 1 angel food cake

P.S. Cathy B? I do apologize but I could not bring myself to smear chocolate frosting all over the cake. I’m sure you’ll understand. Will you please understand? I promise I’ll make the frosting. For something else. After Easter. You know, because I’m kinda sorta not eating sugar right now.

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Joy called this a breakfast cake. Me? Whoa, I lowered the sugar from her original recipe and still found it plenty sweet. Sweeter than I’d allow to be called a healthy breakfast. But serve this however you wish…with a cup of joe in the AM or after a hearty winter meal in the PM. I’m just going to eat it straight up, any time of day. Fresh from the oven, the tender crumb feels smooth against your tongue. And the combination of honey, lemon and cornmeal really is quite tasty. I’d say this is the best cake I’ve made in a long, long time.

And Austin said, “Yeah, that’s a good recipe. I’d make it again.” Yeah-ya! (And I sent some home with him. He said he and Kate enjoyed it with tea that evening and it was a winning combination.)

(Now, I may not agree with Joy’s interpretation of this cake but you have got to click on over to her post and read the accompanying story. It’s hilarious.)

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Really adapted from Joy the Baker

1 cup (4 1/4 oz) sprouted whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (1 3/8 oz) yellow cornmeal, medium roast

3 T Sucanat

1 T baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/4 t salt

1 T lemon zest

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (3 oz) honey

1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk

1/2 cup (4 oz) salted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a 9- or 10-inch cast iron pan, melt the butter until lightly browned. Swirl the butter around so it coats the edges of the pan and then pour it out into a cup to cool a bit while you mix up the cake.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a cast iron pan, butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Brown the butter in another pot and add it to the wet ingredients just  the same.

In a small bowl, stir together the flours, cornmeal, Sucanat, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey and buttermilk together. While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the browned butter until all incorporated. Stir in the dry ingredients and pour into the warm, buttered cast iron pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and poke some holes in the top using that toothpick or a fork. Drizzle with the lemon drizzle (below) and set to cool a bit. I dug in 10 minutes later and had the most delicious piece of cake. But it’s good cooled, too!

Lemon Drizzle

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T agave

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix everything together until smooth.

Serves: 10

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