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Berries, Cakes, Chocolate, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Valentine's Day

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine’s Day

February 1, 2016

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca

This tastefully naked chocolate cake is everything and more for Valentine’s Day. First, it’s naked, second, it’s chocolate, third, it has chocolate. covered. strawberries – the official symbolic food of Valentine’s Day.

I could go into all sorts of naked cake innuendo, but we’ll save that for later. 

January seemed to go by slow, yet fast. The beginning dragged on, as it always does at the beginning of the year. The weeks after the holidays are always sort of foggy. But now It’s February and it feels like we’re speeding ahead into 2016. 

If you already have plans for Valentine’s Day, add this naked chocolate cake to the mix. If you don’t have plans for Valentine’s Day, plan to make this naked chocolate cake and share it with someone. I wasn’t going to tell you that Adam and I finished this cake in two days – but we did. And it was delicious. 

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca

I had thought up this cake quite a while ago, and had been impatiently waiting for February to roll around so I could share it.

I fell in love with the ‘naked’ or ‘bare’ cake craze while planning our wedding. I had wanted a ‘naked’ cake for our wedding. I love the look of naked cakes, with the sides exposed and the frosting rustically layered in between. There are two ways to go about it, one – top the cake layers and leave unfrosted, or two – leave a pseudo ‘crumb coating’ look with a very thin layer of frosting around all sides with cake peeking deliciously through. They’re usually adorned with fresh fruit or flowers and they’re visually stunning.

I like both styles, depending on the overall look you are going for. I ended up making our wedding cake – because, baker. I was actually quite calm the morning before the wedding making the cake, trying not to worry about if it would make it until the next day or not – it did, thank god, avoiding a bridal-meltdown.

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca

This chocolate cake is perfectly moist and light, layered with coconut cream and sliced strawberries and topped with chocolate dipped strawberries – it has all the Valentine’s Day iconic treats, chocolate covered strawberries, whipped cream, and chocolate. The flavours and colours are the perfect pairing for Valentine’s Day. This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, so you have lots of time to prep and bake this delicious treat to share with your special someone – or, let’s be real, eat it in it’s entirety yourself. 

Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca
Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca
Naked Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day // Bakeaholic.ca

Naked Chocolate Cake
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  2. 1 3/4 cups flour or gluten-free flour blend
  3. 3/4 cup dark cocoa
  4. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  5. 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  6. 2 eggs, room temperature
  7. 1 cup dairy-free milk
  8. 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  9. 2 tsp. vanilla
  10. 1 cup boiling water (or fresh, strong brewed coffee)
  11. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
Frosting
  1. 1 can coconut cream, chilled (not milk)
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  1. 4-5 Strawberries, washed and dried
  2. 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips
  3. 1 tsp. coconut oil
  4. Strawberries, washed and dried and sliced for cake filling.
To Bake
  1. Line two 6-inch round cake pans with parchment.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees.
  3. In medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Add the chocolate to the butter and stir to melt. Whisk in the cocoa powder.
  5. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients and blend together. Stir in melted chocolate.
  6. Blend well.
  7. Add the boiling water and mix slowly.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan. Slide knife around the edges and turn out onto cooling rack.
To Assemble
  1. Heat chocolate in microwave in 1-minute intervals on 50% power until melted. Stir in coconut oil. Dip or drizzle washed and dried strawberries in chocolate and place on parchment paper or foil to set.
  2. Slice tops of cakes flat and even using a serrated knife.
  3. Whip chilled coconut cream with hand mixer, on high until light and fluffy. Place first cake layer on cake plate, top with half of the whipped coconut cream. Using a offset spatula spread evenly. Add sliced strawberries in single layer. Top with second cake layer and rest of coconut cream, spread evenly over top.
  4. Place chocolate covered strawberries on top. Store at room temperature before serving. Place leftovers in refrigerator.
Notes
  1. I like to keep a can of coconut cream in the fridge so it's ready when I need it. If you don't have a chilled can, just scoop it out into a metal mixing bowl and chill in freezer until you need it.
  2. Cake can be stored in fridge for 2-3 days.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Cakes

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

November 22, 2015

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Lots has happened in the past few weeks! Most importantly, I received a full time position in a grade 5 class! And I’m so excited to have my own class. At first I was a little nervous about teaching intermediate, since I did my practicum before in a grade 2 class. However, I’ve been substitute teaching in all grades over the last two years and so far I’m really enjoying grade 5. I find that the day goes by faster, since there’s always something happening and things to get done, students to help etc. In primary there is a lot more play time, ‘centre’ time, and down time with the little ones. I really enjoy teaching a lesson, being able to introduce new concepts and themes for each subject, and really interacting with the students. So far everything’s going well!

Also in the past week or two it’s gotten an awful lot more chilly. In the morning there is noticeable frost on the ground and windows, making the drive into work look like a frosty winter wonderland. As Adam tells me, I’m lucky to have a short commute to work – only a 15 minute drive! Which i’ll be even happier about when it starts snowing. 

sfAll the cold weather and frosty windows makes me want to start decorating for the holidays, so this weekend Adam brought out the boxes of christmas decor. I always love going through them and re-discovering old items or things I had purchased at the end of the holiday season last year. The only thing I’m having trouble with is that we don’t have a mantle or fireplace, and we don’t even really have a shelf/countertop in the living/dining room. So, when I took out the stockings and stocking holder I wasn’t sure where it was going to go. Last year we put it under the TV, on the shelf with the playstation/tv PVR etc. but since we always swivel our TV to face the kitchen etc, it knocks off the stocking holder or you constantly have to move it out of the way. I’m still not sure where they’ll go, but i’m trying to talk Adam into making a ‘credenza’ in the dining room… we’ll see how that goes 😉

For now, i’m gathering my holiday baking recipes together so I can start baking for get togethers. We already have our third annual neighbour get together at our place next Sunday with about 15 people, so I’m trying to get ready early. 

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I made this cake for a dinner with Adam’s sister and brother-in-law one night and it’s a dense cake, almost like a pumpkin pie meets cake – cake. Since I have a dairy allergy to cow’s milk, I wondered what it would taste like to use goat cheese in the frosting instead of cream cheese, and it was delicious. I would definitely use this frosting on other cakes or even brownies. 

Pumpkin Layer Cake
A dense spiced pumpkin layer cake with goat cheese frosting.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
  6. big dash of cinnamon, nutmeg
  7. 3 large eggs
  8. 1 1/2 cups pumpkin - not filling
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup almond milk or other milk alternative
for the frosting
  1. 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
  2. 3-4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line three 6 or 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, in a medium bowl.
  4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy
  5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
  6. Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla
  7. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of almond milk; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  8. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
  9. Bake until cakes are golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pans, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  10. Transfer to rack to cool.
For the frosting
  1. beat butter and goat cheese until fluffy, add in icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
  2. Place bottom layer on a cake stand and spread evenly with half the frosting.
  3. Top with second layer, spread more frosting and top with last layer. finish the top with more frosting and sprinkle with walnuts.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Cheesecake, Pumpkin, Raw, Vegan

Raw Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 7, 2015

raw pumpkin cheesecake

At what point do you break and turn on the heat in your house once fall has arrived? For us, the breaking point came this week and we’ve turned on the heat in our room at night so our bed is warm as toast when we’re ready to go to sleep. 

We don’t have central heat, so we only turn it on in the rooms we’re in. This means that our downstairs is usually freezing during the winter, the second floor is somewhat warm, and the only room upstairs that is warmed up is our bedroom. The worst feeling is stepping out of a warm shower, onto the cold tile. So far we have been lucky, with an usually warm fall, however this week there was most certainly a cold snap that came in. 

I’m also always, always cold. I’m the person who can be cold in the shade on a hot day. Of course, Adam says it’s my fault since I never wear socks, and most of my leggings are capri’s and only cover until my knee. His solution for the cold is longer pants and a pair of fuzzy socks. However, I’ll still layer three blankets on top while I watch TV. 

I made this pumpkin cheesecake while it was still fairly warm, for our Canadian Thanksgiving in early October. While a raw, vegan cheesecake is great for when you don’t want to turn on the oven, I can’t bake fast enough to feel the warmth radiating out of the oven now. 

pumpkin cheesecake

With the American Thanksgiving on the horizon, I thought I’d share this easy seasonal pumpkin cheesecake, that’s both raw and vegan. Much like my Chocolate Raw Cheesecake earlier this year, this recipe is easy and delicious, yummy enough to fool any cheesecake loving person. 

pumpkin

raw vegan pumpkin cheesecake bakeaholic

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted
  3. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  4. 1 cup oats
  5. FILLING
  6. 3 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water
  7. 1 lemon, juiced
  8. 3/4 cup coconut milk
  9. 6 Tbs. coconut oil
  10. 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  11. 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  12. pumpkin pie spice to taste
  13. Caramel Topping: (optional)
  14. 1/2 cup dates
  15. 4 Tbs. Coconut Sugar
  16. 2-3 Tbs. Water
Instructions
  1. In food processor add dates, plus a dash of water.
  2. Add oats and pumpkin seeds.
  3. Push crust into 8"-9" springform pan, and slightly up the sides.
  4. Once cashews are soaked and drained, add to blender with remaining filling ingredients and puree until very smooth - 3-5 minutes. If it is too thick, add more coconut milk. Or work in batches if it is too hard on your blender.
  5. Pour filling into crust, and smooth out if necessary. Chill in Refrigerator overnight.
  6. Once set, run a butter knife along the edges, and release the springform pan.
To make Caramel Topping
  1. In small saucepan, heat water, dates and coconut sugar on medium heat until simmers. Set aside to cool slightly, then puree in blender or food processor until smooth, liquid caramel sauce texture. Pour over chilled cheesecake, let set over night.
Notes
  1. I like to place the cheesecake in the freezer for about 20 minutes before serving, it firms it up completely, and I find the colder it is, the more cheesecake like it tastes!
Adapted from Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/