Tag Archives: Cake

Pineapple Cake

23 Dec

Happy holidays friends!! I have been busy for a few months now, well,  busy and then mostly lazy 😀 But then its holiday season now and even a lazy and uninspired bum like me couldn’t stay away from the blogging and baking sessions.

It was my husband’s birthday a month ago and when asked which cake he wanted me to bake, his answer was simple, Pineapple Cake, not the pineapple-upside-down cake but the cake version of the Indian pineapple pastry.  I used to love these as a kid, well, to be truthful, they came second after black forest pastry 🙂 , but then my brother and I together, always ordered both the pastries and shared them. So, this baking session, came with a trip down the memory lane.

Pineapple Pastry

INGREDIENTS

Pineapple Sponge Cake

  • Crushed planko (fine, dry breadcrumbs)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Layering & Assembling

  • Fresh, cold whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened, crushed pineapple

Preparation: Sponge Cake

I used the same recipe for baking the cake, that I had used for the DB challenge: Swedish Prinsesstarta.  If you want it to be more authentic you can replace the vanilla essence with pineapple essence and add some yellow food color.

Pineapple Pastry

Preparation: Cake assembly

With a long knife cut the sponge cake into 2 even layers.  Use a gentle sawing motion to move the knife through the cake instead of trying to pull it through the cake. Use a spatula to help you lift off each layer after you cut it.  Place the bottom most cake layer on the cake platter and sprinkle some pineapple juice from the pineapple can on it. Next, layer on some cold whip followed by the crushed pineapple. Since, both I and my husband love pineapple I made sure that I covered the entire cake with pineapple :). Place the other cake layer on top of it and sprinkle some more pineapple juice on the new layer. Decorate the cake with more whipped, pineapple and cherries if you want. Traditionally every pineapple pastry is topped with a pineapple piece and  a cherry.

Pineapple Pastry

and another one with candles 🙂

Pineapple Pastry
The cake was a huge hit and gone within half an hour 🙂 I still have a long way as far as cake decoration is concerned, but I am learning.  Its a boon that I am blessed with an encouraging family and friends, they are my best critics.

My best wishes to all for the holiday season. Bake on!!

 

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Pastel de Tre Leches

28 Sep

Its Daring Baker challenge time again!!

Inma of la Galletika was our Sept. 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and WOW did she bring us something decadent and delicious! Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake, creamy yet airy, super moist but not soggy.. just plain delish!

Pastel de Tre Leches

I have been quiet busy with life, but I am bless the day I decided to join the Daring Bakers Challenge!! This forum has been a constant source of motivation to me and with the members sharing these awesome challenges and bakes, it pushes me to do my bit too 🙂

Pastel de Tre Leches or The Three Milk Cake is very popular in many parts of Central and Southern America, although the origins of the tres leches are disputed.  When made without butter, it is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk. So, in simple words, it is a sponge cake soaked in three types of milk, evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. 

 INGREDIENTS

Vanilla Sponge Cake

  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Three milk syrup

  • 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons rum (I used 4 teaspoons of coffee)

Topping and/or filling

  • Fresh and cold whipping cream
  • Fresh fruit (I used strawberries)

Preparation: Sponge Cake

Preheat oven to moderate 350 degree fahrenheit. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks, and beat the egg whites on medium speed, about 3 to 5 minutes. When soft peaks form slowly add the sugar in small batches and whip until stiff peaks form (~5 minutes).

In a medium bowl beat egg yolks at medium-high speed for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the egg yolks become pale colored, creamy and puffy. Stir in vanilla. Gently fold the egg yolks with egg whites until just combined while trying not to lose any volume by over mixing.  Fold in the flour by sprinkling it in parts over the egg mixture. Mix until just combined (over-beating will result in a denser, flatter cake).

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated moderate oven for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack. Once it cools down, poke holes all over the cake to better absorb the three milk syrup.

Preparation: Milk syrup

In a saucepan add the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and cinnamon stick and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove it and let it cool. Once it cools down add instant coffee or a flavor of your choice. Gradually brush the milk syrup into sides of the cake (including the surface) until it is absorbed. Refrigerate overnight to give the cake enough time to soak up the syrup.

Pastel de Tre Leches

Layer on some whipped cream onto the cake and around its edges and decorate the cake top with fresh strawberries or any fruit of choice.  Decorate the cake’s edges with some crushed pecans to add a little crunch to it and  Voila!! The cake is now ready to be devoured :D, of course one slice at a time 😛

Pastel de Tre Leches

The recipe shared by Inma is just perfect, the cake isn’t soggy at all, it is just perfectly soaked and simply delicious!! It still surprises me that the yummiest things on this earth are so easy to bake.

So till I get around to posting about my next bake, stay blessed and keep baking 🙂

Swedish PrinsesstÄrta

30 May

Korena of Korena in the Kitchen was our May Daring Bakers’ host and she delighted us with this beautiful Swedish PrinsesstĂ„rta! When I first saw this month’s DB challenge, I couldn’t control my excitement.  It looked simple but irresistible and the idea of baking a cake with jam and  custard between layers of sponge cake was delicious.

I had never tried it before, not even the Ikea version, so, I started searching the internet for pictures and ideas and history and what not… but I couldn’t really find out the reason behind the cake being green, I mean, one could expect a cake known as  PrinsesstĂ„rta to be pink, but green!! However, Korena had given us the freedom to decide on the shade of the marzipan we wanted to use.

So, here is what my PrinsesstĂ„rta looked like. I finished assembling the cake in the evening, so couldn’t take any “natural light” shots for the blog.

PrinsesstÄrta

I prepared the custard at home and opted to buy the marzipan from store 🙂  Most of the recipe is in Korena’s words(from DB challenge).

INGREDIENTS

Vanilla Custard

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 yolks of large eggs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Sponge Cake

  • Crushed planko (fine, dry breadcrumbs)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Marzipan cover and the decoration

  • 10 oz marzipan
  • red food color
  • green food color
  • icing/powdered sugar

Note:  The custard should be dense and cold while assembling, so it would be good to make it a day in advance it let it cool overnight.

Preparation: Custard

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and egg yolks. Gradually whisk in Âœ cup  cream until smooth. In another saucepan heat the remaining 1/2 cup cream, till it just starts to boil. Add the hot cream to the egg mixture, a little at a time and keep whisking continuously, to temper the eggs. Do not add all the hot cream at the same time, we would just get scrambled eggs in that case!! 😛  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it becomes thick like pudding and just comes to a boil. I would say, decide on whether the custard is ready by its texture, if you let it cook for too long, it will curdle. Been there, done that! So, remove it from heat when you see that it is dense enough and add the vanilla extract. Let the custard cool down and then to get a finer texture, sieve it through a mesh. Store in an air tight container and refrigerate.

Preparation: Sponge Cake

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 degree Fahrenheit. Thoroughly butter a 9” (23 cm) round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then butter the paper. Dust the buttered pan with enough breadcrumbs to coat the bottom and sides, just like flouring a cake pan. Set it aside.

Place the eggs and granulated white sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed,  until the eggs are tripled in volume and very light colored and fluffy and  the mixture falls from the beaters in thick ribbons.  Don’t over beat the eggs – once they form thick ribbons and stop growing in volume, stop beating.

Sift the all-purpose (plain) flour, potato starch, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, then sift the flour mixture over the whipped eggs.  Fold in the flour into the eggs until blended, keeping as much air in the batter as possible. Once mixed, the batter should be quite thick and smooth.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake  for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes then run a knife around the edges and invert the cake onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment paper. The cake can be made a day ahead and stored, well-wrapped in plastic, at a cool room temperature.

PrinsesstÄrta

Preparation: Marzipan cover and rose

Take 10 oz of marzipan and set aside a small chunk to make the leaves and the rose for decoration. Add green food color to the marzipan and knead it well to make sure that the marzipan changes color uniformly. Use icing sugar if it gets sticky to handle. For the rose, I added 2 drops of red food color to the reserved marzipan to give it the pink shade. Prepare and set aside the marzipan rose and leaves for decoration.

Dust your work surface with icing sugar and press the marzipan into a 6-inch disc. Coat both sides with icing sugar and roll it out into a 14-inch diameter circle less than 1/8-inch thick. Use plenty of icing sugar to prevent it from sticking. Set it aside.

Assembling the cake layers

With a long knife, slice the sponge cake into three even layers. The sponge  cake is very delicate, so this part must be done as carefully as possible. Use a gentle sawing motion to move the knife through the cake instead of trying to pull it through the cake. Use a spatula to help you lift off each layer after you cut it. Set aside the middle layer as it is the most flexible and therefore easiest to bend into a dome over the whipped cream. Place one of remaining layers on a cake platter and spread it evenly with the raspberry/strawberry jam. Spread half the chilled custard over the jam in an even layer, leaving enough room around the edges so that it does not spill over the sides of the cake. Top the custard with another layer of cake followed by another evenly spread layer of custard.

Reserve œ cup of the stiffly whipped cream. I did not use any stabilizers for the cream. Pile the rest into a mound on top of the custard. Spread it into a thick layer with a thin, flexible spatula or off-set spatula, then hold the spatula at an angle to shape the whipped cream into a dome, piling it up in the middle of the cake as much as possible. This is essential to get a good rounded dome. Now, place the third and the final layer of the sponge cake (the middle layer) on top of the whipped cream dome and tuck its edges into the whipped cream. Now, spread the reserved 1/2 cup of whipped cream over the entire cake to fill out any cracks and crevices, and to smooth-en the cake.

Now, using a rolling pin drape the marzipan layer on top of the cake and gently smooth-en it around the top and the sides of the cake, patting it in place. If you see any folds, lift the marzipan and smooth-en it out gently using both hands. Once, you are satisfied with it, cut out any excess marzipan using a sharp knife.

Decorating the PrinsesstÄrta

Dust the cake with some icing/powdered sugar using a sieve and place first the marzipan leaves and the the rose in the center of the cake.

Refrigerate the cake till its time to server it.

I had an incredible time working on this challenge. It wasn’t easy, but ever since I read the challenge guidelines, it always felt worth all the effort 😀 .  As an amateur baker, I tried to follow the guidelines to the T and did not deviate much from the instructions Korena provided, and I felt so much at peace when all my friends said they loved it 🙂 The cake was soft and, the raspberry jam , custard and whipped cream combination not only added moistness to it but also a very yummy raspberry-vanilla custard flavor!

Give it a try!! You will love it 🙂 😀

Daring Baker’s April Challenge: Savarin

27 Apr

This post is my first official entry for the Daring Baker’s challenge! Well there was a lot of confusion about deadlines and joining dates and I finally managed to get into the rhythm of things this month 🙂

Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenged us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling! We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes! Well, this was also my first rendezvous with baking a yeast based cake and the I am pretty pleased with the experience.

Savarin

Savarins are usually made in ring moulds but they can also be baked in bundt pans. I was very particular about following Natalia’s recipe to the hilt, so I am going to post it in her words.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 10-12 people)

Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp water, lukewarm
  • 6 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (1/2 satchel)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2/3 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp orange and lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • butter/oil for greasing

Syrup

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2-2 cups sugar
  • Juice from 4-5 lemons

Cake: Sponge
In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons lukewarm water, 3 tablespoons flour and the yeast , cover with cling film and let rise 60 minutes

Cake: Dough
After 30 minutes put the egg whites in the bowl and whip for a couple of minutes using a wire whisk, add flour in parts until you have a soft dough that sticks to the bowl (about 2 cups) and work until it comes together , cover with cling film and let rest 30 min. Add the sponge to the bowl along with a tablespoon of flour and start mixing. Add the second yolk , the sugar and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour. Keep whisking and add the third yolk and the salt and as soon as the yolk is absorbed add one tablespoon of flour. Keep on adding one yolk at the time and the flour saving a tablespoon of flour for later, mix the dough until is elastic and makes threads.

Add the butter and as soon as the butter is adsorbed add the last tablespoon of flour. Keep on mixing till the dough passes the window pane test. Keep on mixing till the dough passes the window pane test. Cover the dough with cling film and let it proof until it has tripled in volume 2 to 3 hours. Meanwhile, grease up the cake mould, dough scraper and the work surface and fold with the Dough Package Fold two or three times around. Cover the dough with a cling foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.

DSCN2852

Turn the dough upside down and with the help of your buttered dough scraper shape your dough in a rounded bun. Make a hole in the center with your thumb and put it in the baking pan. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm spot until the dough reaches the top of the pan about 1 hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 340 degree fahrenheit and bake the Savarin for about 40 minutes until the top is golden brown. The dough will rise while baking as well, so make sure that you use a  mould of diameter 11 inches for this recipe. When the Savarin is done take it out of the oven, let it cool and remove carefully out of the pan.

Syrup

Combine water, sugar and lemon juice and boil it for 5 minutes. Remove from stove and let it cool.

To make sure that the cake was well soaked, I soaked it in the baking mould itself, adding ladles of syrup on the cake, till the syrup reaches the rim of the mould. Refrigerate overnight. When, I took the cake out of the mould the next day, it had soaked up all the syrup 🙂

The center of the cake is usually filled with pastry cream and fruits, but lazy as I am, I decided to go for whipped cream and added raspberries as well. However, since the cake tasted good even with whipped cream, I have decided that I will prepare pastry cream next time I bake savarins 🙂

Savarin

Last, but not the least, cut off a slice with some cream and raspberries and sit back and enjoy your slice of pure joy and bliss!!

Hope you like my version of the famous savarin!!

My Weekend Bake – Pineapple Upside Down Cake

1 Apr

Baking a pineapple upside down cake has been on my bucket list forever! I find it very interesting that the dessert not only incorporates the flavor of the fruit but also displays it unabashedly. So, I decided to try my hand at baking the cake this weekend. I will admit here that I had been reading a lot about upside down cakes for quiet some time and was quiet amused to find that pineapple upside down cakes came into existence only in 1920s. 

Following the tradition, I would like to present to all my readers a picture of the yummy pineapple upside down cake that emerged as a result of my experiment as a teaser before I proceed with the recipe 🙂

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I sure hope that the above image would lure you into trying your hands at baking it sooner than you had planned. I have also had the cheesecake version of this cake and I am in love with both the versions. But then I love everything that constitutes dessert, almost always 🙂 The recipe I used has been borrowed from the joyofbaking.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 6-8)

Topping

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (I used dark brown)
  • 1 medium pineapple (I used canned pineapple slices)
  • Maraschino cherries (optional)

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. We will need a pan at least 9 inch diameter and 3 inch depth. Mine was less than 3 inch in height and I was worried the batter might overflow while baking. Thankfully, it didn’t!

NOTE

If using canned slices, pat each slice dry with paper towels. I let my slices sit on paper towels for a good 10 minutes before laying them in the pan.

Place the butter for the topping in the cake pan and place it in the oven till it melts. Add the brown sugar to the pan and place it in the oven again till it caramelizes (bubbles start appearing). Remove the pan from the oven and lay out the pineapple slices and one maraschino cherry in the center of each slice.

 In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. In a bigger bowl, cream sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract followed by the egg yolks adding one at a time. Add milk, followed by the flour mixture, adding in small portions and ending with the dry ingredients. In another bowl whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar till firm peak forms. Gently fold in the egg whites with the cake batter. Pour the batter onto the caramelized pineapple slices and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the top turns brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Also, the cake would have pulled away from the sides of the pan.

DSCN2711

Run a knife around the edges and them invert the cake onto the serving plate. If some of pineapple pieces get stuck to the pan, no need to worry, just remove and place them onto the cake. Fortunately, I didn’t have to replace any of the slices as mine came out perfectly.

DSCN2719I recommend you to either serve it fresh out of oven or re-heat it for a couple of minutes before serving. Also, I served it with fresh whipped cream (Refer Strawberry Shortcake for the recipe), but I am sure it would taste good with vanilla ice-cream as well.

I am pretty sure I will bake this soon again. The cake turned out to be soft and fluffy and the pineapples were most definitely the crowning glory. My baking session this weekend was definitely more than satisfactory and am now super pumped up for the week.

Have a good week, friends and like always, bake away :)!

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