Showing posts with label birthday cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday cake. Show all posts

Thursday, July 6, 2017

RX: Calling the Cake Doctor! @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTE: My one and only granddaughter Dorothea celebrated her first birthday this past week. Of course, being the first grandchild, she had two parties. I was honored to be invited to make the cake for the first one (at her other grandma's house.) Since there would be something of a crowd attending, I thought a sheet cake would work better than a two-tiered cake. My first thought was my son-in-law's favorite carrot cake, but I was talked down from that and decided to try something new.





Since this was a new recipe, I tried it the day before the party. Here is the vanilla sheet cake, all puffed up and lovely. Phew!




Here it is half an hour later when it had sunk to half it's height. I was in despair. Make a whole new cake? Sigh. I already had two others to make this week. 

Was there a way to save it? Calling the cake doctor! I decided whipped cream and strawberries from our garden and blueberries might do this job.


RX ingredients

Cup of garden fresh strawberries
2 cups organic whipping cream
Two heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blueberries for decoration

Wash and hull the strawberries and cut a handful of them in quarters. Slice the others and set aside. Whip the cream in a food processor with the quartered berries until the cream begins to thicken and the berries have given the cream a light pink color. And the sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff.


I cut my beleaguered cake in half lengthwise. Slathered whipped cream on the first half and layered the other half on top. Frosted the cake with the remaining whipped cream, and decorated with sliced berries and blueberries. I tried spelling out Dorothea's name in blueberries, but sadly it was illegible so I opted to fill the whole cake in. Bonus: this fit in nicely with the Fourth of July holiday!


I will not give you the cake recipe as I will never make this one again! I did get some funny comments from the adults: I love how homemade this looks...What's the custard layer in the middle? (failed cake!) But Dorothea didn't care at all--she was too busy coating herself in red icing from her store-bought "smash cake."

Do you have a cake disaster story that you're willing to share? And don't forget to enter our anniversary contest--details on the sidebar!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chocolate Cake! @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: About a month ago, I did a talk and signing with my friends Barbara Ross and Liz Mugavero. Barb's husband was coming along, and it was his birthday. I thought he deserved a cake for being a good sport. I asked what kind he would like, he answered (quickly!): Chocolate with White icing. I've made plenty of chocolate cakes for my family, but never were they iced in white. Here was an opportunity to try a different chocolate cake along with the different icing. I found this recipe on Pinterest from a blog called "add a pinch". It was described as the best chocolate cake ever. 





I made adjustments for a lower sodium cake as you'll see below and also left out the suggested espresso powder, as I didn't have any on hand. It was very good, and tall, and probably a tad less rich than my usual. 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, good quality
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (to reduce the sodium content in the cake, I used 1 teaspoon regular baking soda and 1 teaspoon no sodium baking soda)
2 teaspoons low-sodium baking powder
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

Two eggs
1/2 cup unflavored, preferably organic, vegetable oil like canola
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup water, boiling

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the pans by buttering well, adding a circle of parchment paper and buttering that as well. Pulse the dry ingredients together in a food processor or KitchenAid mixer. Then add the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Mix that in well with the dry ingredients. Boil the water and add it to the cake mixture, taking care not to splatter outside your machine!



Distribute the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 10 minutes and then remove them from the pans and cool completely before frosting. You can make the cake a day ahead of time, just cover it well until ready to frost.



For the white icing: 




2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 4 cups confectioners sugar
Milk, as needed for thinning




Beat the butter until soft and thick. Beat the vanilla in. Gradually beat in the confectioner sugar until the frosting is the consistency and sweetness that you prefer.
Birthday boy





My family is so crazy about the chocolate frosting that I usually make, so I tried this cake with that icing too. I found the vanilla buttercream overly sweet, but the birthday boy and guests loved it. A good choice if you don't want a double chocolate cake. The super-serious chocolate eaters in my family still think this cake is the best ever though...




Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One More Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Icing #recipe @LucyBurdette




























LUCY BURDETTE: I know, you've seen a lot of strawberry recipes come out of this blog--and strawberry season is almost over! But I couldn't resist sharing this last cake. If we were forced to choose, I think it was our favorite.

And also in the good news department, I made it as a sheetcake. So not only does it serve a good-sized crowd, there's no fussing with layers. I'm pretty sure Hayley Snow will be making this for a special wedding pre-celebration in KILLER TAKEOUT (coming next April.) Not saying whose, in case you haven't finished FATAL RESERVATIONS...

And it would be perfect for reading while snacking on Daryl's new book, FUDGING THE BOOKS, and Peg's BERRIED SECRETS! Congratulations you two!!


For the strawberry cake:

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups cake flour


1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries 

Butter well a 9 by 13 inch pan, and heat oven to 350.

Using an electric mixer or food processor, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Add the flour to the butter mixture, alternating with adding the buttermilk. (I used a cup of milk with one tablespoon of cider vinegar instead of buttermilk.) 

Pulse in the chopped strawberries until they are small pieces and the batter begins to look pink.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out dry. Cool the cake on a wire rack.




For the strawberry icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar


Beat the cream cheese with the strawberries until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla and half the sugar, beat that in. Whip the cream with the remaining sugar until thick. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese/strawberry mixture. Spread the icing on the cooled cake and refrigerate until serving. Decorate with strawberries if desired.













FATAL RESERVATIONS is on bookshelves now! 


And you can follow Lucy on Facebook,

Twitter,

Pinterest,

and Instagram!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Pound Cake with Peaches @LucyBurdette





LUCY BURDETTE:  I had the delightful assignment of making a birthday cake for an 80th birthday party a couple of weeks ago. When I asked what flavor the birthday boy would like, here's what he said: fruity, juicy, chocolate-y, any or all!

 


That leaves the door wide open, right?  I wanted something that would leave leftovers and provide a foil for the last of our stunning fall peaches. But special enough for a wonderful man. Company pound cake came to mind...

You can find a recipe for a pound cake in just about any general or dessert cookbook. They all have lots of butter, eggs, and sugar in common. But a few things make this one different.

I borrowed the sour cream idea from Southern Living, and then added my favorite flavoring combination--vanilla and almond. The eggs I used were extra-large and that made for a very fluffy cake. Be sure to butter the bunt pan liberally. And consider using the sprinkled sugar technique that Krista (?) introduced a couple of months ago. I didn't remember until too late and so the cake came out a little patchy. In the good news department, that allowed me some little pieces to sample:).

Ingredients

    •    1 1/2 cups butter, softened
    •    3 cups sugar
    •    6 large eggs
    •    3 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 teaspoon salt
    •    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
    •    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    •    6-8 ripe peaches, peeled, sliced and mixed with a teaspoon or so of sugar

 

Prepare the peaches and let them sit at room temperature while you make the cake. Beat the butter until soft, either with a hand or stand mixer. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to beat until light and fluffy. 








Beat the extracts and the eggs in, one by one, mixing after each until yolks disappear.

 








Sift the dry ingredients together, and then add this mixture to the batter, alternating with sour cream. Begin and end with the dry.

 





Pour into a greased and floured 12-cup tube pan.

 


I know, it's kind of ugly:)










Bake at 325 for about an hour and ten minutes. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then turn the cake out onto a plate. 




but who cares once the peaches are loaded on!




Serve with sliced peaches.



The birthday boy still has what it takes--we love you Joe!


MURDER WITH GANACHE, the fourth Key West mystery, is in stores now. DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS will be out in December.

 Follow Lucy on Facebook

And Twitter

And Pinterest.

And don't forget, DEADLY ADVICE, the first advice column mystery (written as Roberta Isleib) is finally available as an ebook.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Carrot Cake for Carrot Cake Lovers (and Haters) @LucyBurdette







 LUCY BURDETTE: I cracked myself up with the title for this post, because one of my favorite Key West characters is the Cat Man, Dominque, and his flying house cats. They put on a show every night at Mallory Square. All the while he's setting up his carriers full of cats and stools and rings, he's announcing in a funny French accent:

 "Cat show for cat lovers, in five minutes!"

So, "Carrot cake for carrot cake lovers, in five minutes"...but in this case, it's for carrot cake haters too:)

Jeff with our daughter Molly

Last week I described the recipe for the stuffed shrimp that I made for my son-in-law's birthday. The other special request he had was for carrot cake. Now I am not a big fan of carrot cake--in fact I had never made one. And if faced with a supermarket carrot cake, I will always pass a slice by. However, I do believe that the birthday person should have the homemade cake of his or her dreams. So I began to search for a recipe online, and also consulted carrot cake experts floating around on Facebook.

Most of the carrot cake recipes I read used oil instead of butter. While oil in a cake seems like sacrilege to me, I bowed to the majority opinion that in carrot cake, the oil helps the lightness and texture. In the end, I chose to make the cake with 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce. I also added pineapple and raisins and skipped the nutmeg while doubling the cinnamon.

I have to admit that the end result was delicious! (The cream cheese icing helps a lot...)



1 or so pound carrots, washed, peeled, cut into chunks
1 cup pecan halves, toasted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins, optional
1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice

Icing

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar
 orange zest






Grind the carrots in a food processor until fairly fine. This should measure about 3 cups. Grind the pecan halves until fine. Set these ingredients aside. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or oil a 9 x 12 inch pan.

 






 


In a large bowl, beat the two sugars with the oil and the applesauce. In a second bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and flour. In a third bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla. 


Add the dry and egg mixtures alternately into the sugar mixture, beating after each addition. At the end, stir in the carrots, nuts, raisins, and pineapple until well combined.

 












Pour this into the oiled pan. Bake at 350 for about 35-45 minutes until the top springs back when touched and a toothpick or knife stabbed into the cake comes out clean. (You will have to keep an eye on this.) Cool.    








 





Beat the cream cheese with the butter, orange zest, and vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar until it's the consistency you like. I used about 2 cups. Frost the cooled cake. 
 







Refrigerate, but let it sit out 30-45 minutes before serving. (Some bakers say the cake tastes better the second day, which is when we ate ours. Though it's a big cake, so we also ate it on the third day!)












Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out on February 4, but you can pre-order it now.

Follow Lucy on Facebook, or Twitter, or Pinterest! She loves it when you pin her stuff:)

And don't forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway for Murder with Ganache.

And oh heck, why not a giveaway here today too? Just share this post to Twitter or Facebook, and then let me know you've done so in the comments. Your name will be entered in the drawing--thanks!