Archive of ‘Cakes’ category

Coconut Cloud Cake

First, I’d like to wish my Mom a…

Very Happy Birthday!!!

{Vegas in 2009! For my 21st}

 

She was the youngest girl of 6! She is the baby here, and then my grandparents had their 6th child, a boy! After five girls, I guess my Grandpa wanted a boy! haha.

Last night we celebrated her birthday, which is actually today! We had a lovely family dinner and watched the Canucks game. It’s a good thing we had cake before the game ended, because I don’t think we would have felt like celebrating afterwards ;) Yes, the Canucks are now out of the playoffs unfortunately. But, it was good while it lasted. My mom and I said we weren’t ready for the playoffs to end, as we all like to watch them play. It seems like it was such a long season last year, of course making it to round four,  game seven. And now that’s it. Oh well. Next year!

For dessert, my mom requested a coconut cake. She loved the coconut cream cupcakes I made for the Fundraiser a few weeks ago. I made a simple yellow cake, with Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream, topped with large flakes of coconut from Whole Foods.

Also, I am Officially finished my degree!!!!! As of April 19 I am a graduate! Well, my ceremony will be in June, but I have finished all my final exams and essays and can breath again. At dinner my mom said I was already looking more relaxed, and I definitely feel relaxed. I am planning on going traveling this summer, so I don’t think I’ll be working. After 5 semesters back to back, 20 months of school without a break I am in need of a little down time! I am definitely in summer mode. I have lots planned, including selling out apartment. I’m happy to have lots of free time ahead!

This cake is a perfect party cake, and summer dessert. The buttercream is so light and airy, and the coconut gives it a tropical feel. I melted some chocolate, and froze it in a disk and piped on top of it to lay on the cake.

I had seen this Coconut Cloud Cake from Martha Stewart that looked heavenly, and made my own version of it.

Coconut Cloud Cake

  • 2 Layers baked and cooled Yellow Cake of your choice
  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Recipe to follow)
  • Coconut Extract
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 2 Cups large flaked coconut
For the coconut:
In a pan on medium, place the 1 cup of shredded coconut. Toast coconut, using a wooden spoon stir until it becomes fragrant and begins to brown, about 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat and let cool.
For the Frosting:
Coconut Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Sweetapolita
For details and tips on Swiss Meringue read Sweetapolita’s in depth post here
Yield: 5 cups

Ingredients

  1. 5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened, cut into cubes
  4. 1-2 tsp Coconut Extract

Method

In a bowl of a clean mixing bowl from a mixing stand, combine egg whites and sugar. Place over a simmering pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 160 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.

With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). Add coconut extract, as little or as much as you desire. I like a really coconut-y flavour, so I add a few drops. Continue to mix until incorporated.

Assembly

Place four pieces of parchment paper onto cake board that you will use, and place one of the cake layers on top. This will help you keep the cake plate clean. Be sure to place them almost at the edge of the cake, for easy removal. You don’t want it completely under the cake, but enough of an overhang so that it covers the plate.

Once the bottom layer is in place, frost top with 1 cup of buttercream, spread using an offset spatula.

Sprinkle top with the toasted coconut. 

Place second layer of cake on top, using the offset spatula to crumb coat it in a sheer layer of frosting. Then, go back and add a thicker layer of frosting using the spatula to make a smooth finish.

Sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with the larger coconut flakes, making sure they stick to the frosting and cover completely.

Once you are finished, slowly remove the parchment from underneath the cake, being careful with each piece, tugging gently. You will have a nice clean edge.

To make the chocolate disk, simply melt (stovetop or microwave) about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips or other chocolate, and using a spoon smear onto a piece of parchment on a cutting board in the shape of a circle. Place in freezer until frozen, turning it over to reveal the smooth side. Pipe your greeting on top using some of the leftover icing.

Store at room temperature until ready to eat. Best if eaten the same day.

Skillet Apple Cake

Adam and I are lucky to live in the same condo building as our friends. It sometimes feels as if we are living in a FRIENDS episode, bumping into them in the hallways and elevator, borrowing clothing, ingredients, pots and pans when needed and other miscellanious items such as muffin liners, glue guns, and staplers etc. It’s nice to know if you run out of something, or need to run out quickly someone is home to watch a little one, like we have done for our friends with a toddler. We’ve even relieved them of the little guy when they aren’t feeling well, taking the baby and the dogs out for a walk so they can get some rest. It’s nice to know people in the building, other than just a neighbor whom you pass by in the hallway with a nod. One of our friends lives only a few doors down, while the other live on the opposite side of the building. We get together for dinners as often as possible, knowing its only a short commute between houses, without worrying who is driving or what the weather outside looks like. It’s also nice that one of them is a Vancouver Police Officer, so if anything happens I know where to go! Haha. I was originally going to make another type of apple cake, to bring to Adam’s parents, that required eggs. Having only one egg left, and not wanting to get dressed to go to the store, I called our friend to borrow an egg. We were all still in our PJs. Afterwards, I found this recipe which I wanted to try instead, and of course, it did not require any eggs. Bonus for me, since I have a slight allergy.

Later that afternoon, we were waiting to go to dinner when all of a sudden the fire alarm in our building began to go off. We have had problems in the past of pipes bursting after cold weather, as they did last winter. Again, knowing people in the building really pays off, as our friends apartment was unfortunately flooded with water when the pipe burst, and luckily I was home along with our other friend who had a key to their place, and we were able to get in and try to control the water damage before the Firefighters got there. We figured this was the same instance, and got our jackets on to go outside and wait. However, when we entered our hallway we smelled smoke. This was an actual fire. Other neighbours told us there was a lot of smoke at the end of the hallway, and to call 911. We went back in, grabbed a couple items,  like my computer (my life!) and went outside. Our friend, the police officer, was waiting for us to look after the little guy, so he could go inside and see what was happening, as his wife had just gone to the store when it happened. Our other friend had to wrangle their two cats into a carrier, much to their dismay, but humorous for us watching them trying to push their way out of it, met us outside. Luckily it was not a large fire, but rather someone had not watched a pot on the stove that caused it to smoke and sound the alarm in their apartment, to which they did not turn off, and then it caused the entire buildings fire alarm to set off. There was quite a lot of smoke, but luckily no one was hurt and no further damage was caused.

We went back in, got dressed and left for dinner, apple cake in hand. Adam is part of the strata committe, and had to attend a scheduled meeting that night. I’m sure they had more to talk about after the ‘fire’ incident. I sent the rest of the cake down with him to share with the other members. Another reason you should get to know your neighbours – they might bake you something!

This cake is subtley sweet, studded with tart chopped apples. You can bake it in a skillet, I decided to finally break mine in. Or, bake it in a cake dish, 8” or 9”.

Unfortunately I don’t think I can use our skillet for cooking on our stove, as we have a glass top stove and I’ve read some stories online of the cast iron causing it to break and crack. So, for now it will only be used in the oven.

Apple Cake
Slighlty adapted from: Joy Of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition 

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk, with a squirt of lemon)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 medium green or tart apples

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly season/grease your cast iron skillet. Alternatively, you can use an 8 or 9” cake pan.

Cut apples into segments, chopping up into smaller pieces, reserving some slices, leaving the peel on.

Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl thoroughly to remove any large lumps.

Add, the milk, oil and vanilla.

Add the chopped apples and mix until incorporated into the batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared baking dish, and spread evenly. Arrange reserved apples slices ontop of batter in a pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on the counter on a cooling rack.

Once cooled, you can sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or maybe a scoop of ice cream.

This would also be good with a crumb topping, a mixture of brown sugar and buter with oats.






Better-For-You Zucchini Cake

Fall has definitely arrived here now! It rained for the first time of the season, and there is a definite crisp chill in the air. I love it. I can’t wait to wear boots, and chunky sweaters. I also love fall baking. Pumpkins, pecans, squash, zucchini, cinnamon. It’s all good.

I’ve seen a lot of recipes for Zucchini Brownies circulating on baking blogs lately. Though, after making this it is definitely more like a cake. It is so moist and spongey, not dense and fudgy like a brownie. Though, it is slightly fudgy if you don’t cook it as long. So, I think I’ll call it a cake. It would be great as a sheet cake with a whipped cream cheese frosting on top. Adam said it would be good with that peanut butter frosting I made before. A chocolate zucchini cupcake with peanut butter frosting? YUM! Maybe we’ll have to materialize that one day…

I love Zucchini baked into cakes/cupcakes/loafs. Like my zucchini bananda cupcakes and bundt cake. 

I have been wanting to try using apple sauce instead of butter in baking, and was happy to find this recipe already made the switch. Adam picked me up some last week so I was good to go! And I had a gigantic zucchini from my mom who picked some up from Osoyoos.

I promise if you make this cake, you will not be able to taste the zucchini. You won’t even be able to see it, unless you leave a big chunk in it.. Little kids wouldn’t know the difference! It’s a lot healthier than other cakes/brownies and just as satisfying.

This weekend I’m going to participate in my first baking contest! It’s called the Great Canadian Bake-Off, hosted by Well Seasoned at the BBQ on the Bypass. I’m sure Adam and I will be eating some yummy BBQ eats while waiting for the *judging*

Zucchini Cake

Can be made Vegan! adapted from Food + Words

Yield: one 8″ x 8″ square pan brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs (If you would like to make it Vegan, substitute for 2 flax eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raw organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1-2 medium zucchini

Directions:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish

Using grater attachment for KitchenAid, or using box grater, grate zucchini, measuring out two cups.

In stand mixer with whisk attached, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, applesauce until combined.

sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, mix until dry ingredients are dissolved and incorporated. the mixture will be on the thick side.

fold in the grated zucchini so that it’s uniformly mixed into the batter.

pour the batter into the prepared pan.

bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out relatively clean.

allow the brownies to cool in the pan on a wire baking rack completely before slicing.

the brownies will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.

You can also dust them with some icing sugar if you like

*I always find that baked goods like pound cake, bundt cakes and brownies are better the next day. This is so true with this cake! So deliciously moist even the next day.*

 

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