Category Archives: Cakes

Chocolate Cake

Some things in life just never get old. Chocolate cake’s one of them.

No matter what the occasion, chocolate cake is always a winner – whether it’s a crowd or in my case two people. It’s just about impossible to get it wrong, and it’s quick – which is always a bonus when you’re craving instant sweet. There wasn’t a particular occasion this weekend, just an excuse to try and brighten the day with some sweetness , which was again, rubbish, weather-wise.

The acctual recipe I used here wasn’t exactly the best or what I was looking for. I think because I only used the cake, and didnt use the fudge icing, which would have added moisture – because the cake was fairly dry (you can find it here http://titlisbusykitchen.com/archives/chocolate-fudge-cake). I simply wanted a dense cake. With that being said, the icing I did use, and the decoration made up for it. It’s so easy to throw together some bits and pieces from the pantry and you’ve got something pretty spiffy going on. As you can probably tell, I like a pretty bake.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Happy baking!

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Pink Velvet Roulade Log

This week’s bake was certainly a whole heap more successful than last – in fact more successful than ever.

I’ve been wanting, and attempting, to make a ‘log’ or ‘roll’ cake since forever. I’ve searched high and low for a perfect recipe, but despite my time and effort, most of my attempts had ended up as a wasted carton of eggs, and a very messy table cloth filled with sponge.

However just by accident I came across this recipe through the week, and I decided to have yet another go. It’s not exactly a traditional ‘swiss roll’, but it’s a sweet alternative.

It turned out perfect! And with no hassel at all! Plus, it tasted like the traditional swiss rolls we used to get when I was little. This recipe is definitely a keeper. It’s a little more hands on than other cakes, but the result is worth it. It would be the perfect accompaniment to a tea party, the colour is so pretty!

This week was also the first time I’ve made swiss buttercream – which was also very nice. I don’t know if I would use it as icing on a cake like my mock cream recipe – simply because it lives up to it’s name by being very creamy, and very buttery, rather than suggary.

It was just a shame the weather was so bad today and I really didn’t get any decent photographs of it with a nice background. This is one of those bakes that I would have really liked to get a good shot of. Oh well. The other half of the roll is in the freezer now. I’m not sure how well it will turn out once defrosted – but with a good 1/2 a block of butter and 4 eggs, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t finish it off.

And just to finish off – I’ve just been offered a job as a waitress/kitchen hand at the vineyard cafe just around the corner from where I live. At last!

Have a fantastic week – and happy baking.

Pink Velvet Roulade Cake (taken from Sprinklebakes.com, I advise you to check out her video if you’re worried about assembly http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2011/05/pink-velvet-roulade.html)

Cake: 
4 eggs
3/4 cup extra fine granulated sugar
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 drop or small dab of Wilton rose gel food coloring (Americolor pink would also work)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 jelly-roll pan with white vegetable shortening and line with parchment; grease parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand mixer for 5 full minutes – set a timer if you need to!  Properly whipped eggs will lighten in color considerably and have the appearance of yellow cake batter.

With the mixer still running, slowly add sugar and oil to the whipped eggs.  Next, add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and food coloring (add food coloring a little at a time until desired color is achieved).

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Slowly add to the liquid ingredients.  Mix until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and tilt pan to distribute batter evenly.

Sprinkle a cotton tea towel with powdered sugar and rub sugar into the towel with your hands.  Terry-cloth towels and towels with texture (such as waffle pattern) are NOT ideal for making cake rolls.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Check at 12 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when pressed with fingers. 

When cake is baked turn it out onto the tea towel – do this without delay! Peel off parchment and immediately roll cake into the tea towel, beginning at the narrow end.  Roll tightly and as evenly as possible.  Place rolled cake on a wire rack seam-side down and let cool completely.

Swiss buttercream filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg white (use two whites if your eggs are small)
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 US sticks)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk egg white(s) and sugar together in a large heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Whisk constantly until the sugar melts into the egg white. Check consistency by rubbing a bit between two fingers.  If sugar granules remain, keep heating/whisking.

When sugar and egg white are blended, transfer to a stand mixer.  Whip until the mixtures doubles in size.  Add vanilla extract, and then whip in softened butter a little at a time until mixture has thickened to buttercream icing consistency.

Assembly:
Carefully unwrap/unroll velvet cake, allowing the most tightly rolled end to curl slightly (see video).  Frost inside with Swiss buttercream and roll cake tightly.  Cut into pieces with a serrated knife and serve.

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Delicious Date Loaf

Great baking deserves to be shared with a great photo.

It’s always satisfying to be able to capture what can be seen with the eye through the lense of a camera. Unfortunatly, it’s something I struggle with when photographing inside. Personally, I prefer to photograph my food outside. The lighting outdoors contrasts with the colour of the food far better than inside – and the background, even if blurred, compliments the food’s beauty (yes, I am still talking about a piece of cake, nothing more). When the sun is shining an outside table is the perfect resting spot for fresh baking. The natural world is like a blank canvas for a masterpiece.

Besides, my kitchen is usually to cluttered for a good photo anyway.

I think these photo’s are the perfect example of this. The colours are amazing, almost better than reality if that’s possible – thanks to the camera.  The date loaf really does look beautiful basking in the light of a perfect New Zealand spring day. Are you jealous of our wonderful weather? Haha. I’m wondering how long it will last. It’s summer already, by the time autumn hits us, we’ll be heading back to blankets. But for now, I’m loving what we’ve got – it’s fantastic!

Oh and this really was quite a delicious date loaf too.  Moist, sweet and a little bit nutty. The perfect accompaniment to the day.

Date and walnut Loaf

  • 240g (1 1/2 cups) pitted dried dates, halved
  • 310mls (1 1/4 cups) water
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 80g butter, cubed
  • Melted butter, for greasing
  • 300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 x 100g pkt walnut pieces
  1. Place the dates, water, brown sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-resistant bowl. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Brush a 9.5cm x 19.5cm (base measurement) loaf pan with the melted butter to grease.
  4. Sift the flour and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs to the date mixture and stir to combine. Pour the date mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the walnuts and stir to combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased pan and bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
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