Tag Archives: Sponge 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 🙂

Eggless Fruit Cake

30 Jun

Its a hot weekend here in California, marked with heat wave warnings. Rather than crib about not being able to venture out, I decided to spend my time having a quality baking session. After all, my work’s been keeping me busy and my blog has been crying out to me for a new post.  So, here we are 🙂

Growing up I used to love the loaves of fruit cake my father used to bring in from the local bakery.  And after a recent trip to an Indian grocery store, I had been craving for the Britannia Fruit Cake. I decided not to buy it at the store and try bake one myself, after all being a baker has its advantages 🙂 .  Well, the variety I used to eat as a kid was always a loaf cake and had pineapple essence for flavor. But I couldn’t find pineapple essence at the store, so I decided to go with nutmeg like my recipe source suggested. The result was yummy!!

Fruit Cake

I decided to use the recipe over at The Inner Gourmet, and followed everything to the T, except the flavoring part, where I just went nutmeg and decided to skip cinnamon and the orange and the lemon zest. I am sure those ingredients would have added more flavor to the cake, but the only reason for not using them was because I wanted it to be as closer as possible to the cake I used to have as a kid.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder

DSCN3242

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree fahrenheit. Butter and dust a 9-inch cake pan with flour and set it aside.

Melt 2/3 cup butter and once it is at room temperature, add sugar into it and stir until incorporated. Stir in a can of sweetened condensed milk into it, followed by vanilla essence. Now, add 3/4 cup of water and blend them together.

In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg). Now, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in parts and blend the mixture till there are no lumps left. Fold in candied fruit into the batter and pour the batter into the baking dish. Garnish with sliced almonds and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

Fruit Cake

I had this recipe added to my favorites for a really long time, and I was surprised by how soft an eggless cake can be. If only I could find pineapple essence, it would have been perfect! But I am glad I found this recipe, its what I had been looking for, my new go-to eggless cake recipe 🙂 Had to share this recipe with you all since the cake turned out to be light, moist and yummy!! I definitely for one had a satisfying baking session after a long time… It made my day. Not me mention I cannot enter the kitchen without getting my hands onto a slice 😛

So, till I get around to my next post have a good time baking!! Take care!!

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 🙂 😀

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