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    Cabbage Cake

    Freshly picked from my kitchen to yours, this “Cabbage” is made of butter cake layers filled with toffee-speckled buttercream. The trompe l’oeil exterior is molded using real cabbage leaves!

    Baking has always been my happy place, but making this cabbage cake was the most fun I’ve had in a while! I got the idea for it while browsing some old pastry periodicals. I’ve made little chocolate leaves plenty of times. You just paint chocolate right onto a mint or rose leaf, let it set, and then peel away to reveal your edible foliage. This was the same idea, but on a much larger scale!

    Start with a sturdy cabbage with big waxy-looking leaves. I did a test run and found savoy cabbage to be the most convincing because of their deeply veined leaves. They also have a pretty frilly edge.
    Pick off about 6 or 7 leaves. Wash and dry them thoroughly.

    Choose your coating.
    A few leaves were tested with white chocolate, and others with vanilla almond bark. Both came out pretty and looked just the same, but the almond bark is less meltable while you’re handling it so that’s what I used. Almond bark is a confectioners’ coating with a silly name because it doesn’t actually have any almonds in it. But that’s a story for another time.
    Use what you prefer, but if you have very warm hands then you might want to consider using the less melty almond bark as a fail safe. I tinted these leaves bright green (maybe a little too bright?!) with a combo of green and yellow oil-based candy coloring. Coat the inside of the cabbage leaves using a soft art brush. Make sure to go all the way out to the curly tips.

    Don’t underestimate the amount of chocolate/candy you’ll need here! There’s a lot of real estate to cover on these big curved leaves. And they require a second coat for stability. You’ll need about 48 oz. which could be very costly using real white chocolate. Two 24 oz. packages of almond bark would get the job done cost effectively.
    Crumple up some aluminum foil to make a cradle for the leaves. The coated leaves are heavy! The aluminum foil helps them keep their curve.

    Chill the double-coated leaves in the refrigerator until they are firm. It’s so much fun peeling the leaves away from the chocolate. Because the leaves are so waxy, like silicone, they don’t stick!

    Kids will love this. If you don’t want to make a whole cake you could just have fun making the cabbage leaves. There’s absolutely no trace of cabbage flavor on the candy leaves, if you were curious.

    The cake!
    Underneath those leaves I built a 6-inch butter cake with toffee bits folded into the buttercream. It is a tasty little treat!

    Keep this cake on the small side. The leaves should be able to fit around the entire cake comfortably, with most of them resting and meeting at the top center.

    Round the top of the cake by carving away the top edge. Doing this is important because it helps the curved leaves have something to easily form to. You want the cake to bear the weight of the leaves.

    The leaves are heavy so stick the first three leaves on to the freshly iced cake then refrigerate it. It’s important that this base layer is sturdy, because more heavy leaves will be added.

    Re-heat your leftover green candy and use it as glue to stick the remaining leaves on. If it seems to take a long time for the leaves to stick together, tie some kitchen twine around the center of the assembled leaves. This will hold it all together until the candy dries.

    Remove a leaf or two to cut the cake, or you could smash it open if you were into theatrics (or if you’re in front of a crowd – I would totally do this at a family dinner!).

    I will go on record to say, this is the yummiest cabbage I’ve ever tasted! (Hehe.) If you like the looks of this cake, then you might like to see my Peas and Carrots cake right here.

    I learned so much from making this cake, and I’m already planning another one in a different color. Be sure to check out the video to see the entire assembly.
    Remember folks, Eat Your Veggies!

    Cabbage Cake

    Heather Baird

    Freshly picked from my kitchen to yours, this “Cabbage” is made of butter cake layers filled with toffee-speckled buttercream. The trompe l’oeil exterior is molded using real cabbage leaves.I use a special oil-based food color to tint the candy. This can be found at specialty baking shops and online. Or, you could leave the candy untinted for a white cabbage. Semisweet chocolate or chocolate almond bark can also be used for a dark brown chocolate cabbage, which is cute, too!

    .wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 1 hrCook Time 30 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 10

    Equipmentsoft bristle art brushaluminum foilkitchen dedicated tweezerskitchen twine
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cabbage leaves7-8 savoy cabbage leaves washed and patted dry48 oz. vanilla/white almond bark or white chocolateGreen oil-based candy food colorYellow oil-based candy food colorCake1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened2 1/2 cups sugar5 eggs at room temperature1 tablespoon vanilla extract3 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt1 cup whole milk at room temperatureButtercream frosting2 cups unsalted butter softened8 cups confectioners’ sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractMilk or cream if necessary1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1/3 cup toffee bitsGreen food colorAssembly1/2 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
    Instructions Cabbage leavesPlace the savoy cabbage leaves on a large baking sheet. Melt the white candy/chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments. Stir well in between heating, and use the residual heat from the bowl to melt the candy. This will prevent over-heating. Stir in the food colors a little at a time until a bright green color is achieved.Pour about 1/4 cup of the candy into a cabbage leaf and use the art brush to spread the candy all the way to the edges. Crumple a piece of aluminum foil to cradle the leaf and return the leaf to the baking tray. Repeat the process with remaining leaves. Allow the leaves to stand until set Re-heat candy if needed and give the leaves a second coat. Transfer to the refrigerator while you prepare the cake. Reserve leftover candy.CakePreheat the oven to 350F. Coat four 6-inch cake pans with flour-based baking spray.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy, about 4 minutes.Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk; begin and end with flour. Beat until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.Divide batter between pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden on top and a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Invert and transfer cakes to cooling racks. Cool completely, then level the tops of the cake using a serrated knife or cake leveler.ButtercreamIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and sugar. Begin mixing on low speed until the mixture is crumbly. Increase to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat again for another minute until light and fluffy. Beat in the sea salt. If the buttercream is too stiff, add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is of spreading consistency.Remove 1/2 of the frosting to a bowl and fold in the toffee bits. Tint the remaining frosting green using the food color.AssemblyPeel fresh lettuce leaves away from the candy. If pieces of fresh cabbage stick into grooves, remove them with a pair of kitchen-dedicated tweezers. Set aside.Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Fill and stack using the toffee buttercream and other cake layers. Chill the cake for 30 minutes. Trim away the top edge of the cake using a serrated knife to create a dome shape. Cover the entire cake with the green buttercream. Reserve leftover buttercream.While the buttercream is fresh and tacky, position three cabbage leaves around the cake, allowing the curved edges of the leaves to rest against the top dome of the cake. Refrigerate until firm.Re-heat leftover green candy and have green frosting ready to hand.Stack more leaves around the cake, covering any large gaps. Use a small art brush to dab dots of melted candy where the edges of the leaves meet the other leaves. Tie kitchen twine around the center of the assembled leaves to hold them in place while they set. Transfer the cake to the refrigerator to speed setting. Use dots or swirls of frosting to fil in any gaps using an offset spatula.Before serving, remove the kitchen twine and spoon chocolate cookie crumbs (‘dirt’) around the edge of the cake.To serve, disassemble one or two lettuce leaves at a time; cut the cake into servings. Break the leaves into pieces and serve alongside slices of cake.
    NotesMake sure cabbage leaves are completely dry before using.
    Chocolate and candy food colors are found at kitchen specialty shops and online. See blog post for resources.
     

    Keyword butter cake, savoy cabbage leaves, toffee bits, vanilla almond bark

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Delicious Cinnamon Babka

    This Homemade Cinnamon Babka Recipe is a sweet, buttery yeast bread with a delicious cinnamon swirl! Making babka from scratch is extra delicious! Perfect for a holiday breakfast, or even just a weekend when you’re feeling extra domestic. Slather it with butter and you will be in LOVE!

    This Fluffy Homemade Babka Recipe Is the BEST!
    Tired of whipping together batches of banana bread and zucchini bread? If you are, consider adding in more chocolate chips – that always renews my interest. But hold off on that for the moment, because you’re going to want to give this Cinnamon Babka Recipe a try.
    Cinnamon babka is so fluffy and tender, and the cinnamon-sugar combination is such a treat for the tastebuds. It’s really fun to make too! How many other bread recipes call for twisting the dough together?
    Also, can you think of a better indulgent breakfast? This babka is everything you love about cinnamon rolls, but with considerably less mess. Just slice yourself a piece, and be on your way!

    What is Babka?
    Babka originated in the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine – it’s essentially a braided bread that has become sweeter and sweeter over time. The first versions were made with challah dough, that was then twisted up and filled with jam, and baked. Now these dough twists can be packed with anything from cinnamon to chocolate – and don’t forget the sugar syrup either!

    What You’ll Need For This Babka Recipe:
    What goes into making cinnamon babka? Quite a bit, actually; these are the ingredients you’ll need to round up in order to get started:
    For the Dough
    Flour: This recipe uses all-purpose flour – I needed about 4 cups, but you may need a little less or a little more depending on how the dough shapes up while you’re mixing it.Salt: Kosher salt balances/enhances the sweetness of the bread.Sugar: I used granulated sugar, but you can substitute in brown sugar instead if you want to.Instant Yeast: Any brand of Instant Yeast will work.Milk: Let it come to room temperature before adding it to the dough.Vanilla Extract: For extra sweet flavor.Eggs and an Egg Yolk: Let these come to room temperature also.Butter: Once again, make sure it’s room temperature.
    For the Filling
    Butter: This time you’ll need to melt it.Cinnamon: Obviously you need some ground cinnamon for Cinnamon Babka!SugarKosher Salt
    For the Sugar Syrup
    WaterSugar
    How to Make Homemade Babka (With A Cinnamon Swirl!)
    Making cinnamon babka may seem like a daunting process, but this step-by-step guide is here to assist! Here’s what you’ll need to do, starting with the formation of the dough:
    Form the Dough: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment mix 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, granulated sugar, and yeast, until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add in the milk, vanilla, and eggs one at a time until mostly combined.
    Add in the Butter: One tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for 10 minutes. Add in more flour as needed until it becomes soft, smooth, and elastic. I generally add in 4 cups total.
    Let Dough Rise: Coat a large bowl in nonstick spray or oil and place the dough into the bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place.

    Make the Filling: In a medium bowl combine the butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

    Prepare the Sugar Syrup: In a small saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
    Assembly: Coat 2 8×4- inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Line the pans with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang the ends for easy removal.
    Split Dough in Half: When the dough has risen, divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 10×12- inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling onto the dough. Roll up the dough tightly from the 10- inch side into a log.

    Slice the Dough: Cut the dough lengthwise down the middle, so the filling is exposed. Twist each half. Then twist the two halves together like a rope. Place the twisted dough into one of the prepared pans. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Cover the pans and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

    Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the sugar syrup evenly on each loaf, using all the syrup. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. To ensure the bread is baked it will reach an internal temperature of 190°F.

    Let Cool: Place a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet and remove the bread from the pans using the parchment paper, transferring them to the wire rack to cool. Sugar syrup will drip from the bottom of the bread as it cools.

    Tips for Success
    That was a lot of steps, I know, but the results are so worth your effort. Here are some extra tips to help you iron out the process:
    Let Babka Cool Before Slicing: This will cut down on crumbs and ensure that the cinnamon filling stays in the bread.Working with the Dough: If the ends of the dough halves are not sticking together in the twist, try adding a little bit of water to them. Also, before you bake the loaf, poke a couple of small holes in the dough so that there won’t be separation between the bread and the filling. Variations: Make the filling using chocolate or Nutella for an even more decadent treat.

    Serving Suggestions
    I like to serve cinnamon babka warm, or at room temperature. It’s great with a steaming cup of coffee, or a big glass of milk. If you want to make it into a dessert, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup!
    How to Store Leftovers
    Store this babka in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, if you store it in the fridge, it can last for up to a week.
    Can I Freeze Cinnamon Babka?
    Sure. You can opt to freeze your loaves for up to 30 days.

    Print

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    Cinnamon Babka Recipe

    Description:
    If you love sweet breads or cinnamon rolls, you will fall in love with this Cinnamon Babka recipe – guaranteed. It’s tender, fluffy, so sweet, and the perfect indulgent breakfast or snack to give you a burst of energy for the day ahead!

    Ingredients:

    For the Dough:

    4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 (1- ounce) package Instant Yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
    1/2 cup milk, room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1 egg yolk, room temperature
    10 tablespoons butter, room temperature

    For the Filling:

    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

    For the Sugar Syrup

    2/3 cup water
    2/3 cup granulated sugar

    Instructions

    For the Dough:

    In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment mix 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, granulated sugar, and yeast, until combined. Turn the mixer to low and add in the milk, vanilla, and eggs one at a time until mostly combined. Add in the butter one tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix for 10 minutes. Add in more dough as needed until it becomes soft, smooth, and elastic. I generally add in 4 cups total.
    Coat a large bowl in nonstick spray or oil and place the dough into the bowl, cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour in a warm, draft-free place.

    For the Filling and the Sugar Syrup:

    In a medium bowl combine the butter, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Set aside.
    In a small saucepan combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    Assembly:

    Coat 2 8×4- inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Line the pans with parchment paper, allowing the paper to overhang the ends for easy removal.
    When the dough has risen, divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 10×12- inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling onto the dough. Roll up the dough tightly from the 10- inch side into a log.
    Cut the dough lengthwise down the middle, so the filling is exposed. Twist each half. Then twist the two halves together like a rope.
    Place the twisted dough into one of the prepared pans. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. Cover the pans and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the sugar syrup evenly on each loaf, using all the syrup. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. To ensure the bread is baked it will reach an internal temperature of 190°F.
    Place a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet and remove the bread from the pans using the parchment paper, transferring them to the wire rack to cool. Sugar syrup will drip from the bottom of the bread as it cools.

    Notes:

    Serve warm or at room temperature. Store airtight for up to 3 days. Alternately you can freeze this for up to 30 days.

    Keywords:: cinnamon babka bread, sweet bread recipe

    Want To Save This Recipe?
    More Easy Sweet Bread Recipes
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    PIN for later: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Mini Cassata Siciliana Cakes

    The classic Italian cake Cassata Siciliana shines as a traditional favorite at Easter. This version uses a muffin pan to create individual servings. I’m squeezing in one more Easter recipe before the holiday on Sunday. I’ve wanted to explore Cassata Siciliana for more than 2 years now! There are a few different versions with varying instructions, but this one with its marzipan cover is an Easter classic. The green is so springy and the candied fruit adds a pop of color that is irresistible to my eye.When I began this recipe, I’d planned to make it as a single cake using a deep dish pie pan. I guess my pan grew legs and walked off, and it remains MIA. My improvisation involved a jumbo muffin tin to make 6 little cakes. They’re just the cutest! Now I’m almost glad that I couldn’t find that pie pan. (Almost.)If you love cannoli, then you’ll love eating this cake. The filling is practically cannoli cream. The ricotta cheese needs to drain overnight so it loses some of its moisture. This keeps the cakes from becoming soggy and protects the marzipan from breaking down. I must have researched at least 20 cassata filling recipes – and all of them different. Some opted for nuts and chocolate chips, others went all-in with candied fruit. I’m a huge fan of chocolate and pistachio together, so that’s what I put in this filling. It also has a little sugar along with the zest of one orange.A sheet of sponge cake will provide the tops and bottoms of the mini cakes. You’ll need some circle cookie cutters, around 2 3/4 inches and 3 1/2 inches. I own a set of round cutters just like this one that I use all the time. They’re so useful! If you don’t have cutters that size, you could use similar size jar or bottle caps, or cut some templates to trim around.Marzipan is easy to make, but ready-made will shortcut this recipe. I recommend using it. Just knead in some food color to create your favorite Easter green color. Roll it on a dusted surface and cut it into 2-inch strips. Line each muffin cavity with an overlapping piece. Press in evenly and trim away the excess. Now you’re ready to fill!The smaller cake pieces go in first. Lay them in and gently tamp them down. There’s no need to force them into the bottom. Next, fill with that delicious ricotta cheese mixture. Last, cover the filling with the large cake rounds. Refrigerate for about an hour. The marzipan coverings will be dusty with powdered sugar when you turn them out. I used a little almond extract and an art brush to remove it. The extract will evaporate quickly.Simple confectioners’ glaze whisks together with just powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a little milk. Be sure it’s thick and opaque. You’ll be using it to cover the top centers of the cakes, and you’ll also use it to pipe a few swags on the sides. Some Cassata Siciliana have elaborately piped designs on the green marzipan.Piping with this glaze is not as precise as I’d like it to be, but if you keep your design simple then things will work out fine. I think they’re real cute with single line swags and a few dotty embellishments!You’ll have a little ricotta filling left over, and if you save your cake scraps, you can make some mini trifles like I did! Just crumble the cake and layer with the ricotta in tiny dessert cups. I added some whipped cream and marzipan flowers. These little confections are deceptively light with their spongy cake layers and whipped ricotta filling. Individual desserts always feel special on the table, and these are not only tasty but a cheerful sight to behold. Sharing them has been a delight.  LEGGI TUTTO

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    Coconut Easter Bunny Cake

    Serve up the cutest coconut bunny cake for Easter! It’s a nostalgic favorite made from a single yellow 9-inch cake layer and decorated with flaked coconut. Growing up I remember my mom making a version of this coconut cake around Easter, and she’d use a pink jellybean for a rabbit nose. I thought the whole thing was so clever, and it was truly a special holiday with a bunny cake on our table.  I just had to make one this year. I’ve been missing my family and our big holiday meals, and the tradition of making this cake makes me feel closer to them. It’s fashioned from a single yellow cake layer, and with some easy carving it is transformed into a cute, furry-looking bunny.This cut-out cake design has been around for decades. I’ve seen so many home-baked versions over the years from friends and neighbors. I didn’t deviate much from the original design. I did opt for edible candy ears instead of the usual construction paper ears, but you should use whatever best suits your time constraints. The candy ears do take a little more effort. The cake layer is so delicious with a big dose of sour cream added to the batter. Slice it in half, frost with yummy coconut buttercream, and stick it together so that it looks like a big taco. Cut a notch out of the top of the cake and be sure to save the scraps. It looks fairly bunny body-shaped at this point. Stick a couple of scrap pieces on top of the head area with frosting and trim it to a roundish shape. The video at the end of this blog post will be helpful to follow for the carving technique – definitely check it out!Another smaller scrap piece will make the tail on the opposite end of the head. Cover the entire thing with frosting. You don’t have to be too precious with this step, just get it all covered. Shredded coconut will cover up most imperfections.As I mentioned earlier, mom always made the bunny ears using construction paper. It’s easiest, really. But I decided to make candy ears. I cut out two rabbit ear shapes out of heavy card stock and coated them with a thick layer of candy. While they’re still wet, lift one end using a toothpick and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. After a chill in the freezer peel the card stock from the backs of the candy. Again – the video will be helpful here. Melted pink candy and sanding sugar will give the bunny’s ears more detail. I also brushed the white areas with corn syrup and added coconut for a fuzzy appearance. A little buttercream dotted on the back of a real satin bow holds it in place and makes the cake look cuddly like a toy. (Aw!)Two black Sixlets eyes and a heart-shaped candy nose gives this bunny a cute face. If you don’t have those candies on hand then black and pink jellybeans will work.How could I NOT make some green coconut ‘grass’? It’s so classic with this cake. I layered it with grassy green sprinkles and a few gorgeous Sconza Jordan almonds. I could go on and on about how perfect this candy is. Each candy almond is so polished and unblemished. They look like little bird eggs! This is such a good recipe for a single cake layer. It’s tender and the sour cream helps it retain its softness. It is the perfect blank canvas for nearly any small baking project, but especially this one. Have a sweet Easter! 

      LEGGI TUTTO

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    Mom’s Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake

    This homestyle cake is a family recipe made of two soft banana layers loaded with black walnuts. Old fashioned caramel frosting makes it a true southern favorite. 

    Here it is, my favorite homestyle cake – my mother’s recipe. The last time I had a large family dinner (remember those?) I made a different black walnut cake from a fancy cookbook, and from the author’s confidence and praise of her own cake, I felt so sure it would be just as good as this one. It was not. 

    I often spring new recipes on my family, and some are better than others, but this time I was embarrassed. The cake looked beautiful on the outside but it was a huge disappointment flavor-wise and dry.  Sooo dry.  I already had the best black walnut cake recipe from my mom, and I should have just made it instead.  LEGGI TUTTO

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    Mom's Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake

    This homestyle cake is a family recipe made of two soft banana layers loaded with black walnuts. Old fashioned caramel frosting makes it a true southern favorite. 

    Here it is, my favorite homestyle cake – my mother’s recipe. The last time I had a large family dinner (remember those?) I made a different black walnut cake from a fancy cookbook, and from the author’s confidence and praise of her own cake, I felt so sure it would be just as good as this one. It was not. 

    I often spring new recipes on my family, and some are better than others, but this time I was embarrassed. The cake looked beautiful on the outside but it was a huge disappointment flavor-wise and dry.  Sooo dry.  I already had the best black walnut cake recipe from my mom, and I should have just made it instead. 

    Black walnuts are harvested as a fall crop, but as a southerner I can tell you they are never out of season in our kitchens. They have bold, earthy flavor and one whiff of their robust fragrance brings to mind all the special confections my family makes with them. (Aunt Pammy’s peanut butter fudge and Aunt Grace’s Easter fondants, to name two.) 

    Thankfully, black walnuts are available for purchase online year-round, so they can remain on our tables in spring and summer months. I’ve had Easter on the brain lately, and I think this cake would be so delicious and special as the last course, but it is also so appropriate for a Thanksgiving dessert.

    The caramel frosting is easy enough to whip together, but it is prone to set up quickly. I found myself intermittently whipping more heavy cream into it so it could be spreadable on the cake. The good news is, you don’t have to worry about getting the frosting perfectly even because it will be completely covered with more black walnuts.

    There is one addition to this recipe from me, and that is a few swirls of cream cheese frosting on the top edge of the cake. This makes it look pretty, and it’s really delicious, too! 

    I suppose the “Tennessee” part of this recipe could refer to the black walnuts, or maybe the old fashioned caramel frosting – which is truly something that all southern, church-going, potluck-attending grannies have made to cover a special cake. I can only tell you for sure that as a born-and-raised Tennessean, this cake is the real deal.

    The interior of this cake is so soft and tender that I’m pressed to find the right words to describe it. I’d almost call it damp, which may be a questionable description for food, but it is indeed super-moist and so flavorful with the addition of four overripe bananas. 

    (Thanks for the recipe, mom!)

    [click to print]
    Tennessee Banana-Black Walnut Cake
    Yields 10-12 servings
    Recipe by Katie WattsCake layers
    2 cups (248g) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
    2 eggs, well beaten
    4 over-ripe bananas, mashed
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (117g) chopped black walnutsCaramel frosting
    1/2 cup (113g) butter
    1 cup (205g) light brown sugar, packed
    1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream, plus more as needed
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    4 cups (16 oz. box) powdered sugar
    1 1/2 cups finely chopped black walnuts, for garnishCream cheese frosting
    1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
    1 oz. cream cheese, softened
    2- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    Milk or cream to thin
    1 tablespoon finely chopped black walnutsFor the cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 8- or 9-inch cake pans with flour-based cooking spray (or grease and flour) and set aside.In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar thoroughly. Blend in bananas, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with buttermilk until well incorporated, then fold in walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes for 8-inch pans, or 30 minutes for 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then turn out of pans to cool completely.Caramel frosting
    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop. Add brown sugar and heavy cream, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer while still warm and melted. Beat on medium-low speed while adding powdered sugar a little a time; mix until smooth and thick. Add additional heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is of easy spreading consistency. This frosting firms quickly, almost to a fudge-like state, so work quickly to frost the cake.Place a small amount of frosting on the center of a cake plate to keep the cake from shifting. Place one layer on the cake plate, and apply a layer of frosting. Top with the other cake layer, and frost the outside and top of the stacked layers. If the frosting begins to set up, add more heavy cream and re-whip to soften. Immediately press chopped black walnuts onto the top and sides of the cake, before frosting sets up.Cream cheese frosting swirls
    Combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and whip until fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until a thick, fluffy frosting forms; add milk or cream to thin as needed. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a large closed star piping tip. Pipe swirls of cream cheese frosting on the top edge of the cake. Garnish with black walnuts.
    link Mom’s Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake By Heather Baird Published: Monday, February 22, 2021Monday, February 22, 2021Tennessee Banana Black Walnut Cake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines

    Madeleines are buttery French tea cakes with a distinctive scallop shell shape. This version is a riff on the classic sponge, but with bright orange flavor. A dip in chocolate glaze makes them an indulgent tea time treat.

    I haven’t posted madeleines to this weblog in years, but I make them every so often for an afternoon pick-me-up. I decided to remedy the situation a couple of days ago when my new shell pan arrived. I have the classic madeleine pan with a more elongated shell shape, but the new pan holds a little more batter per cavity. And I’m all for a more robust madeleine!

    I’ve used the same recipe for these cakes for more than 10 years. It’s adapted from Epicurious and is likely the most unfussy version of madeleines you’ll find. As written, it is classic with zesty lemon flavor, but it’s also a fine blank canvas for other zests and flavorings.

    Many madeleine recipes require resting the batter or chilling the pans before baking, all in an effort to achieve a crisp exterior and the signature bump that develops during baking. This recipe skips those steps and, in my experience, the cakes always turn out perfect. I noticed in my new pan with deeper cavities, the bump was a little more pronounced. This turned out to be a good thing, because the cakes can be held by their bumps for easy dipping.

    This adaptation was inspired by an extra-large orange in my refrigerator. It had the most beautiful fragrant peel, and it deserved to be used in something special. Chocolate and orange flavors together are a favorite of mine, so they were destined for dip in semisweet glaze.

    Speaking of chocolate, I’m not sure if I’ve shared this here previously, but I prefer to melt chocolate in the microwave, as do many modern chocolatiers. With the right timing, it’s less likely to overcook or seize from the steam created in a double boiler. The key to the microwave method is to use a Pyrex bowl to hold fine chopped chocolate and heat in 30 second intervals. Between heating intervals, stir well using the residual heat from the bowl to melt the chocolate. Using this method in this recipe creates a very smooth, nearly flawless glaze.

    What a treat! These just beg to be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea and a good book. We’ve had grey skies here this week, and these buttery little cakes have been a bright spot in such chilly conditions. 

    If you’re in need of a madeleine pan, you’ll find links to the ones I own below. These are affiliate links. I’ve included instructions for both pan sizes.

    Chefmade 12-Cavity Non-Stick Spherical Shell Madeline Bakeware
    Chicago Metallic Professional 12-Cup Non-Stick Madeleine Pan

    [click to print]
    Chocolate-Dipped Orange Madeleines
    Yields 15-20 cakesA madeleine pan is required for this recipe, which can be found online for purchase and in cookware stores (see blog post for sources). Shallow shell pans will yield more cakes, and require less bake time. Pans with deeper cavities will yield less cakes and require longer bake time.Cakes
    2 large eggs
    2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
    1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt
    1 cup (123g) all-purpose flour
    10 tablespoons (141g) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly but still warmGlaze
    1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips (or bar chocolate, chopped)
    2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil such as vegetable oilPreheat oven to 350°F.Coat a madeleine pan with flour-based baking spray (or butter and flour well, which is in keeping with tradition). In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla, orange peel and salt. Add flour; mix until just combined. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.For large, deep cavity shells (such as the one pictured) spoon batter into the cavities 2/3 full. If using a shallow shell pan, spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake large shells for 20-25 minutes, or until browned around the edges and a bump develops on top. Bake shallow shells about 16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, washing the pan and greasing it before baking each batch. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.For the glaze, place the chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe bowl (Pyrex recommended). Heat in 30 second intervals at 100% power. Stir well between heating intervals using the residual heat from the bowl to melt the chocolate. When a smooth, thin consistency is achieved, the glaze is ready to be used.Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Holding the madeleines by their bumps, dip the faces of the madeleines into the chocolate and transfer to the prepared pan. When all of the cakes are dipped, transfer them to the refrigerator to chill until the glaze is well set. It will lose its shine and take on a matte appearance (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Keep cakes stored airtight, or in a dish covered with plastic wrap.
    link Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines By Heather Baird Published: Friday, February 05, 2021Friday, February 05, 2021Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake

    Strawberry puree gives this no-bake cheesecake its pink blush and ripe berry flavor. Fresh whole strawberries cover the top and a thick drizzle of chocolate makes this dessert worthy of its name. 

    I’ve gotten out of my morning smoothie habit, which has temporarily been replaced by the Baked Oatmeal I’m currently obsessed with. I can’t explain it, but those oats are helping me live my best life right now. So, the big bag of frozen strawberries I use for smoothies has been hanging out in my freezer with no purpose, other than getting in my way when I’m looking for something else.

    Then I remembered that there’s a romantic holiday coming up, and a strawberry dessert would be timely right now for those planning ahead. I decided to thaw and puree those berries for a special Valentine’s Day dessert (although you don’t need to a special occasion to make it!).

    Chocolate cookie crumbs mixed with melted butter forms the foundation on which the cheesecake is built. Press the mixture into a springform pan and 1-inch up the side, but don’t worry about getting it perfect. An irregular crust edge gives this cake rustic appeal and will save some prep time. The crust is the only portion of this recipe that is baked, and that’s just for 10 minutes to set it.

    The billowy filling consists of a holy trinity of creamy ingredients: cream cheese, sour cream, and whipped cream. Strawberry puree gives all of this cream bright berry flavor and a light pink hue.

    The cheesecake refrigerated overnight while I considered an appropriate topping. Since chocolate-covered strawberries are practically the Valentine’s Day mascot (sorry Cupid!) I had my answer and added fresh strawberries to my grocery list.

    The capped berries placed with their points skyward almost look like a strawberry mountain range from the right angle. Much like a French fruit tart, I brushed them with strawberry preserve which gave the berries some extra sweetness and shine.

    Chocolate is generously drizzled on top of the berries. Of course this is heavenly on the fresh strawberries, but it also ties well with  the crumbly cookie crust. 

    Chocolate-covered strawberry goodness, right here!

    I could not resist a dusting of powdered sugar on top. It’s totally unnecessary, but I love the snowy appearance.

    Light and fluffy, this cheesecake is the polar opposite of dense New York cheesecake. It’s almost mousse-like and when you plate a slice it has a slight wobble, almost like panna cotta. 

    It’s wonderfully soft and the sour cream gives it tangy flavor. It would be a special dessert for Valentine’s Day, but the flavors of chocolate and strawberry together are evergreen. This cake should be enjoyed year-round! 

    [click to print]
    Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake (No-Bake)
    Yields 8-10 servings1 1/4 cups (150g) chocolate cookie crumbs
    1/4 cup (57g) unsalted butter, melted
    16 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed
    16 oz. (2 packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup (230g/8 oz.) sour cream
    1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
    2 envelopes (.25 oz. each) powdered unflavored gelatin
    1/2 cup cold water
    1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
    24 fresh strawberries
    1/3 cup (113g) strawberry preserves
    4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon vegetable oilPreheat oven to 350F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a medium bowl. Mix well to coat the crumbs with the butter. Pour into the springform pan and press into the bottom and 1/2” to 1” up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set the crust. Cool completely on a wire rack.Puree the thawed strawberries in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender until no lumps of fruit remain. Set aside.In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar. Beat well until creamy and consistent with no lumps. Pour in the strawberry puree and mix again. Let the mixer run on low speed while you prepare the gelatin mixture.In a small saucepan sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water. Let stand until well absorbed, about 2 minutes. Place over medium-low heat and cook just until the gelatin liquifies. With the mixer still running, pour the gelatin in a thin stream into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the whipped cream (this step may take some time, and if lumps remain, disperse them by lightly whipping the mixture with a whisk). Pour the batter into the crust and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours or overnight. To unmold, lightly run a knife’s point around the top edge of the cheesecake; loosen the springform collar and allow the cake to naturally pull away from the collar as you slowly loosen it from all sides of the cake.Wash, dry, and cap the fresh strawberries. Place the berries on top of the set cheese cake cut-side down. Place the preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave at 100% power until melted, about 30 seconds. Let cool slightly. The preserve should be runny and liquid. Brush the berries with the preserves using a pastry brush and pour any remaining preserve liquid over the center of the cake.Place the chopped chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 100% power in 30 second intervals until the chocolate can be stirred smooth. Immediately add the vegetable oil (you can use any neutral-tasting oil) to the chocolate and mix until well combined. Transfer the melted mixture to a piping bag with the end snipped, or a zip-top bag with a corner snipped. Drizzle the chocolate in thick ribbons over the strawberries, allowing it to fall over the peaks and crevices of the fresh berry topping.Refrigerate until ready to serve. To slice, use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut through the berries and chocolate on top. Store leftovers covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
    link Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake By Heather Baird Published: Thursday, January 28, 2021Thursday, January 28, 2021Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe LEGGI TUTTO