Tag Archives: cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake – Reduced Guilt

[pinterest]
image

This rich, chocolate cake is actually derived from a Weight Watchers recipe that takes advantage of low-fat buttermilk, egg whites, and dark chocolate to produce deep flavor with reduced fat. My problem with reduced-guilt dishes like this one is that it’s difficult for me to exert portion control, and the slight decrease in fat and calories is usually overcome by my propensity for eating the whole thing. Oh well. This moist, flavorful cake (without frosting, no less), was a delight.

Chocolate Buttermilk Bundt Cake - Reduced Guilt
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Enjoy rich, flavorful chocolate cake without the guilt.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa - I used Hershey's
  • 1.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped - I used Scharffen Berger 70%
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips - I used Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small, heat-proof bowl, mix cocoa and chopped chocolate. Pour boiling water over the cocoa mixture, stirring until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Then stir in (slightly cooled) cocoa mixture. Finally, add the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and carefully lift off the pan. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar (through a fine-mesh sieve).

chocobundt_instagram copy

 

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

[pinterest]

Pumpkin Spice Cupcake

Pumpkin Spice Cupcake (photo by Shimelle Laine)

Fall is my favorite time of year and these cupcakes are just what I need to get in the mood. The shadows are lengthening and out here in San Francisco, the air is more humid than usual and it’s warmer. When I lived on the East Coast, the arrival of Fall was all about feeling a cold nip in the air. Here in San Francisco where the summers are freezing, it’s quite the opposite. The weather heats up as the leaves are turning brown.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Perfect for a Halloween Party
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed firmly
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1½ cups pure pumpkin puree
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1½ sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line cupcake tray (24) with paper liners.
  2. In a standing mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on high speed until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix at a medium speed until well blended.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to wet, alternating with the milk, until all are incorporated. Add pumpkin puree and mix well.
  5. Fill cupcakes two-thirds full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let stand for a couple of minutes. Then remove from muffin tin and let cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting:
  8. Let the cream cheese and butter soften before creaming them together on high speed with a mixer. Cream in the sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth and light. Chill in the fridge overnight (or at least for a few hours) to let it set.
  9. Spread on cupcakes and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon.

 

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

[pinterest]

As summer draws to a close, it’s time to pause one last time and acknowledge the plum. All summer long, they have been a staple in my weekly CSA box and I have been thinking I must make an upside-down cake.

This one is particularly easy. I made it before work this morning while also packing lunches and preparing breakfast for my two kids. Slice the fruit and mix the batter. That was about it.

The great news is the cake come out light and fluffy and the plums work their own magic so the end result is delicious.  I’ve added twice the normal amount of vanilla in this recipe which made the flavor of the cake really pop.

Arrange slices in a circle

Arrange slices in a circle

Plum Upside-Down Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Easy and quick to make, the presentation is elegant enough for guest.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 7 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 4 plums, thinly sliced - choose plums that are not overly ripe
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place one tablespoon of butter in a circular pie pan and melt in the oven for a couple of minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream the butter with the remaining sugar. Add the egg and beat until smooth.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle ⅓ cup of sugar evenly around the bottom.
  5. Arrange the plum slices in neat, concentric circles on top of the butter/sugar.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture in batches, alternating with the milk until mixed thoroughly.
  8. Add in the vanilla and mix until batter is smooth. If the batter is too thick, mix in another tablespoon of milk.
  9. Spread the batter evenly on top of the plums, working it all the way out to the edge of the pan.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. A knife inserted in the cake should come out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and invert onto a plate immediately.
  12. Serve warm.

Roy’s Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé

Roy's Molten Chocolate Cake

Roy's Molten Chocolate Cake


[pinterest]

I have a soft spot for Roy’s. I celebrated my first wedding anniversary there (in San Francisco) as a way to commemorate our wedding in Hawaii. I went again recently because my office was across the street for a couple of years. I don’t particularly associate chocolate with Roy’s because it’s a Hawaiian fusion restaurant. It’s their Ahi Poke I crave most. But I’m a sucker for molten chocolate cake, so I was thrilled to find that they make their recipe available publicly and that I could make it at home. Rather than making them in rings, I used ramekins. That way I didn’t have to worry about lifting off the ring at the end. If you don’t have the patience to let it refrigerate overnight, refrigerate it for a few hours and let me know how it turns out!

Roy's Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé
 
Roy's famous molten chocolate cake has only 5 ingredients.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Classic
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • 12 tbsp. butter
  • 8 oz. semisweet dark chocolate (make sure to use a good quality)
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and yolks together. In a saucepan, bring butter to a simmer, then add the chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is smooth and begins to simmer along the edges. Combine this chocolate mixture with the sugar and cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add eggs and mix at low speed until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate overnight in a bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 375º. Line 4 metal soufflé rings with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray. On a baking sheet, place each ring on a square of parchment paper. Fill ⅔ of each ring with the filling. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. While holding each mold with tongs, slide a metal spatula underneath and transfer to a plate. Gently lift the mold off, remove the paper and serve with ice cream.

Cranberry Kuchen

Cranberry Kuchen

Cranberry Kuchen

With all of these fresh cranberries at the grocery store right now, I’ve been inspired to try out some new recipes. This one comes from an old, out-of-print, Martha Stewart cookbook I have, called Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook: 200 easy and elegant recipes from the author of Entertaining.

I’ve had this book for almost 20 years and it is still a “go-to” for me. Back then, it was the first cookbook I used when attempting to host elegant dinner parties for my friends (at the ripe old age of 20). The fact that this was her version of a 30-minute meal was lost on me. It all seemed so over-the-top. Menus like: Chicken Paillard, Risotto with Porcini, Hot Salad of Escarole and Pancetta, Italian Flat Breads and Oranges in Red Wine don’t exactly evoke the thought, “quick and easy,” but indeed, while these recipes are very elegant, they’re not sooo time-consuming.

Like this cranberry kuchen for example. Basically, you make a compote in one pan, whip up a batter in a bowl, pour them both in a cake pan and bake. If you have an oven-proof, decorative, round pan, then definitely bake it in that. Then you’ve got oven-to-table ease. A springform pan would be another way to go. I currently have neither of those, so I ended up cutting the cake into bite-size pieces and serving them on a platter, which would be a good way to present it on a buffet table. It’s definitely best served hot from the oven. That way, the cake part is moist and fluffy and the cranberry compote is warm and comforting. It’s almost like a cobbler in that state. You can also serve it with cream and a sprinkling of sugar.

Martha’s recipe calls for the juice and zest of an orange. I decided to try it with a grapefruit and compensate with a little extra sugar. It was fine, but an orange might be better. Try it and let me know what you think.

The other substitution I made was to substitute Oikos Greek Yogurt for the sour cream that is called for in Martha’s version. The nice people at Stonyfield Farms recently sent me a few free sample coupons, so I’ve been using it in recipes that call for sour cream and it’s great. It has absolutely NO fat in it. Amazing.

Stonyfield Farms Oikos Greek Yogurt

Stonyfield Farms Oikos Greek Yogurt

Cranberry Kuchen
(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook)
Makes one 9-inch round cake

Ingredients

Topping
12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 grapefruit

Batter
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups milk
3 Tbsp Stonyfield Farms™ Oikos yogurt
Grated rind of 1 grapefruit
Fresh grated nutmeg to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the topping. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until the cranberries are soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well to incorporate.

4. Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Stir the flour into the butter mixture, a little at a time, alternating with the milk and the yogurt. Stir in the grapefruit rind and nutmeg.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with the cranberry mixture. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and serve immediately with cream and a sprinkling of sugar.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Day 26 of 31 days of pumpkin and we come to one of my all-time-favorite desserts: pound cake. I love old recipes. This one is so simple. A pound of each: butter, sugar, flour, eggs. The rest is embellishment. And for me, I can’t enjoy a piece of pound cake without a cup of tea to go with it. I don’t know why exactly. It just completes the tableau somehow.

In my pumpkin version (which is a half-pound cake actually), I simply added 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée and upped the flour content by 1/4 cup. The pumpkin spiced flavor is subtle, but definitely there. I am glad it still tastes like pound cake. I worried it might somehow come out tasting like Pumpkin Bread, but not-to-worry. This pound cake recipe has four times as much butter and more than three times as many eggs as my Pumpkin Bread Recipe. It’s bound to be its own thing.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake
Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients

1/2 lb butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup canned puréed pumpkin
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray a 9 x 5 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. With an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and continue mixing until fluffy. Now add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating each of them in completely. Add in the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.

4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add in the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing by hand to incorporate each addition completely.

5. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks appear. Fold the egg whites gently, but thoroughly into the batter. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for about 1 1/4 hours. Let it cool completely before you slice it.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Pumpkin Gingerbread

It’s day 11 of 31 days of pumpkin and I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve never added pumpkin to gingerbread, but it seems like a natural combination, so I’ve decided to go for it. The tagline of this blog is after all, “We risk disaster so you don’t have to.” Combining pumpkin and ginger isn’t even that big of a risk, but you never really know how something is going to turn out until you taste it. This risk yielded success. A moist, light, fluffy cake with a spicy bite to it, I would say this gingerbread is traditional with a twist.

Of course, writing this post feels a little bit like the time I was 8 years old and I told my family I had invented a new drink: half apple juice, half grape juice. Then, while watching tv that night, we all saw a commercial for Welch’s new Apple-Grape drink. While working on this post, a quick Google search for “Pumpkin Bread” has yielded a pretty long list of recipes. Duh. Continue reading

Pumpkin-Apple Spiced Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Apple Spiced Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Apple Spiced Bundt Cake

Day 4 of 31 days of pumpkin and we arrive at a Bundt cake. I’m psyched because I actually bought this bundt cake pan today at Mollie Stones in Sausalito. It’s nonstick, so I really wasn’t worried when it came time to invert the cake onto a plate. And then I had so much fun sifting the powdered sugar on top. Can you tell I’ve been waiting a long time to make a Bundt cake?

Continue reading

Blog Widget by LinkWithin