Posts tagged cake
a delayed fourth of July post

At the risk of sounding like one of those people who is always saying "oh my, where has the time gone, these summers just keep flying by".  Oh my, where has the time gone, these summers just keep flying by! sparklers

We have a tradition of getting together with friends for a big bbq every year to celebrate the Fourth of July.  In keeping with theme, I made another red, white, and blue dessert this year.

berry covered top of brown sugar pavlova

It's a layered berry and brown sugar pavlova and you should make it!  It was as good as it looked.

Fourth of July means Antiques Extravaganza around here.

antique show

I was up early and power shopped my way through the fields of booths.  I found a tablecloth with the greatest four leaf clovers all over it.  It still had the tag on it.

four leaf clover tablecloth

The seller seamed a bit surprised that I was planning to take the tag off, but I do my best to use the things I buy.  What's the point if these things are just going to hide in a closet?

back of tag on clover tablecloth

I also found this beauty.  She's a Singer 99K and she's mine now.

singer at sale

This photo makes me laugh because I instinctively had my hand on the machine while I was taking it - as in "back off everybody because until I can find out more, this hand means I have dibs on this baby!"

I hope everyone is having a great summer.  I just finished the cutest paper pieced tablecloth so I'll be back with more soon.


Shortly after this pin made its way on to my Pinterest board, we were spending some family time wandering through our favorite spot for finding all the best junk.

I stopped, pointed, told the spouse, "hey, this is from my kitchen pin board!" and now it's mine.

My chiffon cake almost became the cake that exploded in the oven, but thankfully disaster was averted and the cake was over the top amazingly delicious instead.


sweet and salty fried eggplant

The spouse's birthday was last week.  I made his favorite cake.

I also made a chicken, stuffed with garlic and onion, roasted on a bed of carrots and more onion.  Served along with mashed potatoes with gravy, sliced carrots, corn on the cob, and fried eggplant.  We sat down to lunch and the spouse stopped to thank me for the meal, when lulu piped up to add a thank you to Laura.  She's our farmer, and lulu figured she deserved some credit with this meal since every one of the vegetables involved (and the eggs in the cake) came from her farm.  Props to Laura, she has one heck of a green thumb.

This was my first try at frying eggplant.  I prefer my eggplant chopped and baked under layers of cream, fontina, and parmesan.  I also know that one should only eat so much of anything baked under layers of cream, fontina, and parmesan.  At the same time I have to grab those eggplants at CSA pick up because Laura notices if you don't get all your veggies.

This recipe completely won me over.  I will be grabbing all the eggplants I can now.

sweet and salty fried eggplant

1 medium eggplant - sliced paper thin

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup corn starch

1 cup panko crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

oil for frying

In a shallow dish, mix powdered sugar, corn starch, panko, and salt.

In a large pan, heat oil to 360 degrees.  I use a stock pot for frying to minimize splatters.

Dredge a few of the pieces of eggplant into the panko mixture, pressing to coat well.  Fry pieces in oil for 1-2 minutes or golden brown.  Use a mesh strainer to remove from oil.  Cool on rack placed in a sheet pan to catch drips.  Season with salt if you like.

Repeat with remaining eggplant slices once oil has returned to 360 degrees.

Can be made ahead (1 hour or so) and served at room temperature.

cookingmybricolecake, eggplant
angelfood primer

My grandpa took a piece of this angel food cake, wrapped in waxed paper, in his lunch box every day he went to work. This means my grandma had to have a cake on hand every week.  It's a good thing they raised their own chickens, because that's a lot of egg whites.

She usually left it unfrosted and when we were at her house she would pull the aluminum cake carrier down from on top of the fridge and we would all get a slice.  Only once, do I remember the carrier open to show a frosted cake.  She used a seven minute icing.  So fluffy and swirly, I always thought it was one of the most beautiful things, and sooooo delicious.

Sometime after I was married, I asked her for the recipe.  She pulled out her Betty Crocker cookbook and found the recipe and gave me a few hints to help it turn out just right.

Her first suggestion was to throw away the non-stick coated tube pan I had at home.  She quickly found this extra pan hidden away on a shelf in her basement and gave it to me.  Angelfood cakes need to climb to the top of the pan and if you don't give them a good surface to climb on, they will slide.  Do NOT prep the pan in any way - no butter, no flour - the batter needs to be able to stick to the pan.

As for the eggs, they shouldn't be too fresh.  I don't think this is much of an issue if you are using store bought eggs, but if you pick them up at the farmer's market or raise your own, be sure to use eggs that are from last week or older.  Also, eggs that are cool separate easier, but eggs at room temperature will have more volume when whipped.  What I usually do is separate all my eggs and then let the whites set in the mixing bowl, while I get together all of the other ingredients.  Depending on how much time I have to make the cake I may let them set until they are closer to room temperature.  It's also important to measure the eggs, especially if you have farm eggs that vary in size more than store eggs.  The recipe takes 1 3/4 cups egg whites.  On average that is 12 eggs, but when I made this cake it took 14 eggs.  I freeze the yolks for another day.  I either put them in a plastic container and freeze them in groups of 6 (lemon curd takes 6 yolks) or I put each yolk in it's own compartment in an ice cube tray.  Once frozen they can go in a zip closure bag and be used as needed for things like egg noodles and puddings.

My grandmother didn't sift her cake flour for this recipe.  I'm thinking if you are making one of these cakes every week, your flour isn't setting around long enough to get too lumpy.  After some trial and error, I find it's best to  shake my flour through a sieve before I make the cake.

Over the years I've heard people mention the importance of dropping the pan on the floor or tapping in on the counter once the batter is in the pan to remove any air bubbles.  Grandma never mentioned this and I've never done it.  I have never noticed any giant air bubbles in my cakes, so I have always skipped that step.

angelfood cake

1 3/4 cup egg whites

1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cup cake flour (sifted)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the salt, set aside.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until frothy.

With the mixer on a medium speed, add the sugar 2 Tablespoons at time.  Once all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer on high and whip until soft peaks form, but are still moist and glossy.

For a soft peak, it should turn like the top of a dairy queen cone when you turn the whisk upside down.

Add vanilla, and almond extract.

Dust about 1/4 of the flour mixture over the whites.

Using the biggest rubber spatula you can find, gently fold the flour into the egg whites.

To fold you bring the blade of your spatula down through the middle of the bowl, once at the edge closest to you, pull along the bottom and up the side to turn the whites over on top of the flour, then turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until the flour is incorporated.  Then sprinkle with another 1/4 of the flour mixture and fold.  Repeat until all the flour is added to the egg whites.

Scoop mixture in tube pan.  Try not to get it on the upper part of the pan.  If some gets on the top, just wipe it clean with a damp cloth.  (you can see here where I swiped a bit away on this one)

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven and invert to cool.

Some pans have little legs on the side, but this pan has a tall center to balance on.  Once the cake is cool, run a knife of offset spatula around the outside edge and also around the center tube.

Then run the knife under the cake and turn out onto a plate.  You can use an angelfood cake cutter (because it looks cool) or even two forks (held back to back and used to split pieces) to cut the cake, but I find a serrated bread knife works best.

If you have the patience to frost it, here's a cheat version of 7 minute frosting.  I should warn you though that if you frost it, it severely hampers your ability to sneak pieces of cake because it is a mess of gooey sticky goodness and having that on your fingers will surely be admission of guilt.  You can see it here on some angelfood cupcakes.

cheaters 7 minute icing

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine egg whites,salt, sugar, and corn syrup on bowl and whisk together.  Place bowl over pan of simmering water.  Gently whisk until mixture reaches temperature of 130 degrees and sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and beat with hand mixer until the icing is cooled, white, and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.


it's all in the name

I join in with a group of moms at my church who meet up fairly regularly for some fellowship.  Fellowship is a really nice way of saying eat lots of yummy treats, play games and laugh until the late hours of the night.  Our group has a name, but it never stuck in the spouse's head.  We are Methodists, so I started calling it, Meth Moms.  When I say Meth Moms he knows exactly what I'm talking about.  The same goes for this cake.  It's a chocolate stout cake, but we call it beer cake.  What do these two things have to do with each other...

I made beer cake for tonight's Meth moms.  It's sound like we have a terrible problem.  We don't.  Unless you count chocolate as a problem.

beer cake

for the cake

2 cups Guinness

4 sticks butter cut into cubes

1 1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon vanilla

4 cups flour

4 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cup sour cream

for the ganache

3 cups whipping cream

1 1/2 pounds bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prep three 8" x 2" cake pans by greasing and lightly flouring.  It is important to use a pan at least that size, these cakes are very thick.  If you use a smaller pan they WILL boil over and make a huge mess.  Trust me on this one.

In a saucepan, bring Guinness and butter to simmer over medium heat, stirring to melt the butter.  Once the butter melts, add cocoa and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

Set aside to cool slightly.

In a very large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sour cream until just combined.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture, folding until completely blended.  Divide batter among the three prepared pans.  Bake 40 - 45 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then removed from pan and cool on rack.

Once the cake is cool, bring cream and vanilla to simmer in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate, let set for up to a minute, then whisk until smooth.  Chill, checking and stirring frequently to see if it's of a spreadable consistency.  This can take up to an hour, but depends on a lot of factors so be sure to keep an eye on it.  You want it to be spreadable but not so much that it will slide off the cake.  I topped mine with store bought sugar flowers.

I will also warn you this makes a very large cake.  When I ice all three layers it is too tall for my cake carrier.  The cake in this picture is made up of just two layers.  I iced the third layer separately so the family could enjoy some cake too.

This cake ages well so you can make it a day or two before you need it.  It's also great with vanilla ice cream.

ages 10 and up

last week was birthdays week at the cottage this guy


now looks more like this

He still asks for the same chocolate cake that he had on his very first birthday, but this year it was an R2D2 version.

Besides droids, he also loves owls.  I made this little one for him, which he named Eglantine after the little owl in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

I celebrated my birthday with some antique time.

Here's my cake

It was a cream cheese frosting over a vanilla cake that I dyed purple.

We ended the week with some bowling.

lulu and I took a moment to admire our cool shoes.



Someone was kind enough to share.

I had never cooked with sour cherries before and wasn't sure what to expect.
sour cherry cake
1 1/2 pounds pitted sour cherries
1/4 cup flour for cherries
2 stick butter softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups ap flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons coarse crystal sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss cherries in bowl with 1/4 flour to coat and set aside.
Butter and lightly flour jelly roll pan.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Add vanilla and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk together four, baking powder, and salt.
With mixer on low, add flour slowly, by thirds, alternating with thirds of milk.
Spread batter into jellyroll and top with layer of cherries.  Sprinkle top with coarse sugar.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let cool before cutting.