Thursday, April 20, 2017

Japanese Strawberry Shortcake



Japanese Strawberry Shortcake is what I baked this month with the Cake Slice. I chose this recipe because it calls for a sponge cake, my chance to test one. The recipe also uses gelatin to stabilize the whip cream, also something I've been wanting to test. 


The sponge cake took a little longer to bake than the time it called for, but I was happy with the outcome. The texture and flavor of the sponge was good. I skipped making the syrup only because I decided to macerate the strawberries and use up all the juice from them to soak the cake with. I had about 1/2 cup of juices from the strawberries, I suggest using a full cup of juice, the cake texture is strong enough to hold the liquid, and the cake does need the moisture. 


Making the whip cream was a challenge. I was unsuccessful incorporating the gelatin. The gelatin clumped up immediately after mixing it with the cream. I had an awful mess trying to strain the gelatin out. I refused to let the whipped cream to go to waste. I think the problem was that the gelatin slightly set after leaving it to cool the ten minutes it called for. I'm not going to give up though, I really want to be able to learn this process. I love icing cakes in whipped cream and stabilizing it would make icing the cakes a lot easier. 
I was so frustrated when I was done with the cake that I didn't realize I didn't take a picture of the finished cake, but I did take one of my slice. 
Not my favorite Strawberry Shortcake recipe, but not a total fail either. It was actually better the next day, the juices softened the cake a bit more, and the flavors got to merry a little longer. 





Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fudgy Meringue Cookies: #creativecookieexchange



I'm back baking with the Creative Cookie Exchange! After the Holidays I just felt like I needed to slow down on my baking. After the much needed rest, I'm glad to participate again. 
This months theme is Meringue Cookies! I've never had a meringue cookie, but I did make a meringue shell for a tart once. I didn't like the texture of it, although I feel I might have over baked it. 


With this in mind, I chose to bake these Fudgy Meringue Cookies! This recipe calls for a meringue, that is similar to a marshmallow fluff, simply delicious!  The cookie has a lovely chewy, brownie like texture. It delivers a punch of chocolate! I'm pleased with the result. Definitely a delicious cookie! 
For this recipe please visit Epicurious


Meringue Cookies are light, airy and sweet treats. They can be soft and chewy with a crisp exterior, or crisp throughout. They are sometimes known as “Forgotten Cookies” because they are cooked for a long time in the oven, but we can guarantee you that none of these cookies will be forgotten! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thierry Busset's Ten Layer Coffee Chocolate Cake


This months Cake Slice cake was made with much excitement! We're celebrating my husband birthday! He's a coffee lover, and lately has become a fan of chocolate cake! With this in mind, choosing this months cake made it simple. 


The cake is a chocolate Genoise, soaked with a coffee liqueur syrup. Layered with a delicious chocolate mousse. Finished with a chocolate glacage. Sinfully delicious! 
Not only did I choose this cake because I knew my husband would love it, but because the recipe would introduce me to new ingredients and techniques I had never tried. The mousse was made with  eight egg yolk, scared me a little, but went with it. Loved the mousse, the best I've had so far! The glacage called for liquid glucose, which I had never worked with. 


Unfortunately due to my budget I was not able to acquire the three different semi-sweet chocolates the recipe called for. I used dark chocolate chips, but still curious how the cake would have resulted if I had purchased the correct chocolate. 
The cake turned out to be delicious regardless. I do want to warn you this cake is rich, deliciously  rich! If your a coffee-chocolate lover then this cake is for you! 







Monday, February 20, 2017

Red Velvet Cupcakes


It's time to bake again with the "Cake Slice"! Red Velvet Cake was my choice this month. I felt it was the perfect choice to bake in the month of Love! 


I already have a favorite Red Velvet recipe. I felt the curiosity to test this recipe which called for butter. I also tested the recipe using dark cocoa. 


The cupcakes turned out slightly dry, and really dark due to the dark cocoa! They almost didn't look like Red Velvet! It wasn't my favorite recipe, but I can't really say the cupcakes were awful! Just a slight dry and had a deeper chocolate flavor than you would normally detect in Red Velvet. 


I stuck with my own Cream Cheese frosting and skipped the recipe in the book. I love my Cream Cheese frosting so much, I just didn't want to take the chance with a new recipe! 
I took theses to the Super Bowl party I went to, they disappeared quickly! 




Friday, January 20, 2017

Lemon Drizzle


Lemon Cakes are my absolute favorite! I don't make them much, not a lot of lemon fans in my house, or should I say one? But that may not be entirely true. I had lots of help eating this cake from this non-lemon dessert eater. I find it kind of strange. He either has learned to appreciate lemon desserts, or this cake was just too good to resist. I think its both!


This month I chose to bake the Lemon Drizzle with "The Cake Slice". I'm sure glad I did! The cake turned out delicious! Loved the texture of the cake, it was a combination of a light airy layered cake, and a pound cake.


The cake is brushed with a lemon sugar syrup right after its pulled from the oven! It lightly soaks in giving the cake a bright lemon burst of lemon, and a pretty shine making the irresistible! It really is delicious!


We had a couple of slices that night, and packed the rest to take on our family day trip the next day. It stayed moist and traveled well.
The recipe calls to preheat your oven to 310 degrees. It wasn't working for me, the cake was taking too long to bake, with only 8 minutes remaining on the cooking time I decided to turn up the temperature to 325 degrees and add on another ten minutes. It finally started to rise and brown, I was a little worried that recipe was going to be a flop. Maybe the recipe had a typo, not sure, but if you try the recipe and the 310 degrees works for you I would love to know!




LEMON DRIZZLE

  • 3eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 c. all -purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • finely grated zest of three lemons
For the lemon drizzle:
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. and 2 tbs. sugar
  • juice of two lemons


Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a large loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and sugar for about 3 minutes. Slowly add the sugar, salt, flour, and baking powder, mix only to combine. Add the butter, mix only to combine, add the cream and lemon zest, mix only until combined.
  3. Pour cake batter into prepared loaf pan and bake between 35 to 45 minutes, watch your oven, ovens vary. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. While cake bakes make your syrup by boiling all the lemon drizzle ingredients for ten minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
  5. Remove cake from oven and immediately brush the cake with the syrup, it will absorb into the cake. Let cake sit for 15 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on wire rack.







Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Coffee and Walnut Cake


December is always a busy baking month, and in order not to have a reason to miss this months Cake Slice bake, I had to plan to make this cake even before Thanksgiving hit. 
Coffee and Walnut Cake is what I had to celebrate my birthday with in November. I'm one to normally keep birthdays to myself, I never mention them on social media. I'm weird like that. I don't like to make such a fuss. A simple Happy Birthday from the ones I love is enough to please me. No diamond ring, no perfume, no gifts are expected. I figure if you don't expect these things, then when you do receive them they come with more meaning. I don't want a gift from a loved one just because they feel pressured or obligated. I'm weird like that. 
This years Birthday gift was being able to help my 10 yr. old make my cake. It was unexpected too. I had pulled all my ingredients from the pantry when my daughter walks in and asks if she could help make it. Letting go of my O.C.D for the moment I stepped back and instructed when I felt necessary. She greased and lined the pans, sifted all the ingredients, creamed the butter and sugars, and I helped only with the oven. She made the filling too! I did have to guide her at the end of  frosting the cake. I was pretty impressed how well she smoothed the sides of the cake! For the first time in 75 bakes with the Cake Slice, I can honestly say I did not make this cake! 
If my future Birthdays consist of baking with the ones I love, then no other gift could be greater than that! 


COFFEE and WALNUT CAKE

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 walnut halves
  • 3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) butter,softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. instant coffee powder mixed to a paste with water
  • 1 1/3 c. self-rising flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
For the Filling and topping:
  • 1 tbsp. boiling water
  • 1 tbsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 c. mascarpone
  • 1/3 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F., and grease and line two 8" round baking pans.
  2. Toast walnuts in oven for 6 minutes.
  3. Cool walnuts slightly and set aside nine most perfect halves ( for garnish of the cake) and chop the rest.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the coffee paste.
  5. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix only until incorporated, add the chopped nuts, mix only until combined.
  6. Pour into prepared baking pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  7. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire cooling rack.
  8. To make the filling, make a paste with boiling hot water and instant coffee.
  9. Soften the mascarpone with the confectioner's sugar in a mixer, beat only enough to incorporate, DO NOT OVER BEAT. Add the heavy cream then the coffee paste and beat until mixed. 
  10. To assemble cake, place one layer on a cake plate. Add 1/3 filling and spread, place second layer on top and coat top and side with remaining filling. Smooth the sides and top of cake. 
  11. Place the the nine walnut halves around the top of the cake and chill to set the frosting. Before serving remove from refrigerator and dust with confectioner's sugar. 
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Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti: #CreativeCookieExchange


"Nuts in Cookies" is the theme for the "Creative Cookie Exchange" this month! Pistachio Biscotti has been on my to do list for a long time, and baking these delicious cookies couldn't come at a better time than the Holidays! 
I found the cookies to be slightly sweeter than I expected, perhaps due to the addition of the cranberries. For this reason I skipped the coating of white chocolate I had planned on giving them. But by all means if you have a sweeter tooth than I do, then go ahead and give these a dip in white chocolate, making them a prettier presentation. 


CRANBERRY PISTACHIO BISCOTTI 

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 c. raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy for 6 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, add vanilla and almond extract until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. On low speed slowly add the flour mixture until combined, add the nuts and cranberries, just until mixed.
  4. Shape two loafs 13x2-inch, on parchment lined baking sheet, spacing the loafs 3 inches apart. Bake the loaves until golden, about 35 minutes.
  5. Cool the loaves on baking sheet for ten minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325.
  6. Slice the loaves on a cutting board, into 1/2 inch thick slices, using a serrated knife. Return the slices to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.
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Nuts in cookies are a tradition celebrated all over the world--and Creative Cookie Exchange has joined the party! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: