Isabel’s Coconut Cake

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Isabel wanted a Coconut Cake for her birthday.  Or did Maddie want one for Isabel’s birthday?  I doesn’t matter. A Coconut Cake was born. I worked with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

360g cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
400g  sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups well shaken canned coconut milk , at room temperature
2 large eggs , at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1 tsp coconut extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large egg whites , at room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

12 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp coconut extract
590g powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 3 9-inch round cake pans and line bottom of each with a round of parchment paper, butter parchment paper and set pans aside.

Sift cake flour into a large mixing bowl, then add baking powder and salt and whisk mixture. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together granulated sugar, butter and canola oil on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down bowl.

Add in egg yolks one at a time and mix until combined after each addition (reserve 2 egg whites), then mix in coconut and vanilla extracts. Scrape down bowl.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend just until combined. Add half of the coconut milk, mix just until combined. Mix in another 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by remaining coconut milk. Finish by mixing in last 1/3 of the flour mixture.

In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, whip 6 egg whites with cream of tartar on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold 1/3 of the egg whites into cake batter at a time and fold just combined after each addition (don’t over-mix and deflate egg whites).

Divide batter among prepared cake pans. Spread batter into an even layer and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 19 – 22 minutes.
Allow to cool in cake pan 5 – 10 minutes then run a knife along edges of cakes and invert each onto a wire rack to cool. Cool completely the cut tops to even as needed.
For the Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter with cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Mix in coconut extract. Add powdered sugar and whip on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
Chill as needed if frosting seems runny (slightly runny is fine, once you get it frosted the coconut will help it stay in place).
Frost top of one layer, add another layer and frost then top with last layer and frost top and sides. Place cake stand over a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle cake evenly with shredded coconut (pressing gently on sides to adhere).  I refrigerated it overnight but then left it out.
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Japanese Cheesecake

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I decided to make this for Pacific-Asian Heritage Month. I worked with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

10 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 large eggs, separated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
Powdered Sugar, for decorating

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment. Place a 3 1/2-inch-wide strip of parchment around the inside of the pan so that it comes up about 1 inch higher than the edge; set aside.

Heat the cream cheese, milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Whisk together the vanilla, egg yolks and lemon juice in a large bowl until smooth. Pour the cooled milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth and combined. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until combined; set aside.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar and continue beating on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes longer.

Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture in 3 batches, making sure not to overmix (you want the whites to stay as fluffy as possible). As soon as the white streaks disappear from the batter, pour it into the prepared pan.

Place the cake pan inside of a larger pan and pour enough hot water into the larger pan so that it comes 1 inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 250 degrees F and continue baking until the cake is doubled in size, golden brown on top and around the edges and jiggly in the center but set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake onto your dominant hand (right onto your palm–this is the most gentle way to handle it), then invert it back onto a cake stand or plate so that the top is facing up. Sprinkle the entire top with confectioners’ sugar and serve while still warm.

Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprints

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The Barefoot Contessa always delivers a good recipe.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry jam (flavor optional)

DIRECTIONS

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. (If you have a scale, they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Ginger Syrup Scones

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I worked with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

250 g flour
50g granulated sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
113 grams very cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream (120ml)
3 tablespoons ginger syrup (optional)

Additional heavy cream for brushing over scones optional
Additional sugar for sprinkling over scones optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Cut butter into Tablespoon-sized pieces and scatter over flour mixture, pulse until butter is cut up into the flour mixture and butter pieces are no longer visible. Combine the heavy cream and ginger syrup and pour heavy cream over flour mixture. Pulse until dough begins to clump together.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and (handling lightly, as you don’t want to over-work this dough) add any add-ins at this point, gently working them into the dough.  Fold the dough in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again, repeating this step 5 times and taking care to not overwork the dough.
Form the dough into a smooth disk about 1″ thick by 6″ round.  Cut the disk into 8 wedges, pressing the knife straight down with each cut. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet and place about 2″ apart. Brush lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake on 375F for 14-16 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Don’t over-bake your scones or they will be dry and tough. Allow scones to cool on baking sheet before serving and enjoying.

 

Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

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I’m obsessed with these cookies.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Coarse-flake sea salt for sprinkling (preferably fleur de sel)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a saucepan over medium heat, brown the butter. Pour the browned butter into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. With a spoon, stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Stir in the toasted pecans. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and lightly press it into the top of cookies. Bake for 15 minutes.

GF Birthday Cake

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Because everyone deserves a delicious birthday cake! I made up the cake recipe but I used the King Arthur Flour frosting.

INGREDIENTS
Cake
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 eggs at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup melted butter

Frosting
1 1/4. ups cocoa powder (sifted)
1 cup + 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup hot water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup butter at room temperature

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of two round cake pans. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachement, mix together the almond flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.  Add vanilla and melted butter and mix until combined. Evenly pour batter into prepared pans and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes in pans and then take them out and let them cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, place the cocoa powder, 1 cup (113g) of the confectioners’ sugar, and the salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir. Stir in the water and vanilla, scraping the bowl if necessary. Add the butter and remaining confectioners’ sugar, stirring to combine. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the frosting at medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy, stopping halfway through to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. When the frosting is ready, scoop out a bit on your spatula; does it seem nicely spreadable? If it’s too stiff, beat in water (1 teaspoon at a time) until it’s the consistency you want.

Frost when cake is completely cool.  Store covered in a airtight container. 

 

Chocolate Cake Topped with Ganache

Friday night treat for me and my man.  I got the recipe here.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup boiling water
2 ounces 53% cacao dark baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

GANACHE:

1/4 cup half-and-half cream
3 ounces 53% cacao dark baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
Confectioners’ sugar and baking cocoa, optional

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Pour boiling water over chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Whisk in sugar, buttermilk, egg and extracts. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; whisk into chocolate mixture just until blended.

Transfer to a 9-in. round baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-22 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Place rack on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.

For ganache, bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Slowly pour over cake, allowing some ganache to drape over sides.

Refrigerate until serving. If desired, sprinkle confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Cut into wedges.

 

Friday Cake

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There is only one way to start the weekend! I worked with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 cup sugar
3 eggs seperated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut 
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Buttercream

1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 tablespoon heaving whipping cream

Topping
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or grease and 3 8-inch round cake pans. Separate eggs and beat whites until stiff. Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine flour and baking soda in another bowl; stir to combine. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla.  Finely chop walnuts and coconut and then mix in.  Fold in egg whites.
Pour batter into cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.  Test at 20 minutes and make sure there are no crumbs on the toothpick.  Cool on a wire rack before frosting.
For Buttercream, cream butter, slowly add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time.
Add vanilla and whipping cream. Beat until smooth. For the topping, put the coconut flakes and the walnuts into a food processor until they become powdery.  Frost cake when it is cool and sprinkle on topping.  Cover until ready to serve.

Lemon Coffee Cake

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I got some lemons from a co-worker today and I thought about a lemon coffee cake.  If you can think about it, then a recipe exists!  This is truly delicious.

INGREDIENTS

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
6 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces

Cake
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
4 tbsp lemon zest, from about 2 lemons
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sour cream

Icing
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons milk

DIRECTIONS

Make the crumb topping first. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the cold butter pieces, use your hands or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. Once the butter is cut in (pea sized pieces of butter are good!) place the crumb topping in the fridge.

Remove the eggs and sour cream from the fridge so they can become room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350º F.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer for 2 minutes. Add in the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice, beat again until incorporated.

Add in the sour cream, mix with a spatula.

Add in the dry ingredients, half at a time, mixing by hand with a spatula just until incorporated.

Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Transfer the lemon cake batter to the pan and spread evenly.

Remove the crumb topping from the fridge, spread it evenly over the cake, breaking up large pieces as needed.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool, serve.

Vegan Apple & Walnut Cake

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Celebrating Kaia’s birthday with this vegan treat found here.

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Powdered sugar for serving

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick, but the apples will release moisture as they bake.

Arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern to cover most of the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Then gently fold in the remaining apples and chopped walnuts into the batter. Spoon the bat- ter into the pan, being careful not to disrupt the apple pat- tern on the bottom. Use a spatula or your fingertips to pat it evenly into the pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake is lightly browned on top. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time.

Once cooled, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and gently unmold so that the apple design is on top. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.