Posts Tagged 'glaze'

Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures of the Best Thing EVER, Revisited – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Ok so I told you about this cake before. And I warned you that the description was horribly inadequate. And so it was. I hope this post clears that all up. Yes, it is a repost; no, I don’t mind in the slightest, and neither will you once you make this, eat it and die a blissfully chocolated death.

I made this cake for the students. All the British people make fun of the North Americans for loving peanut butter so much. And it is true. Ever since coming here, all anyone ever talks about is peanut butter and when they can buy another jar at Tesco’s, the small town chain grocery. We spread it on our toast; we spread it on our fruit; we spread it on our fingers so we can lick it off during lecture. We love it more than Nutella, which is the staple sweet spread. That last statement is a considerable one. Think about how good Nutella is!

Point of the story, the kitchen does not make enough with peanut butter. Actually, I don’t know that they have made anything with peanut butter. They just sit back and watch us wallow in peanut butterless misery. Obviously, given my own peanut butterless misery Messiah complex, I decided to remedy the situation with a cake that has proven to be a winner with all nations, classes, and denominations.

Enter, chocolate peanut butter cake with chocolate peanut butter glaze.

I had this sweet idea to make long rectangular layer cakes for 150 people. Despite a bit of difficulty manuevering the unintentionally super thin layers out of the cake pans without parchment paper (read: the dumbest idea of my life), the cakes came together in the end. And the frosting was even better than I remembered.



Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen‘s version from Sky-High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes, her notes follow below, and her pictures are better than mine, as per usual :]

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

For the peanut butter frosting:
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

For the chocolate peanut butter glaze:
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

Pipe Dream #62: To Make Real Breakfasts – PW’s Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, just stop for a minute. Take a look. Imagine that smell.

I hope you are salivating, because I am. And heaven knows I love blending into the crowd. Question: have you ever gleeked on someone accidentally? That has to be one of the most embarrassing things in the world. Besides the expulsion of internal “vapors” after eating stuffed chicken breast. Yikes.

Question: Have you ever gleeked on someone on purpose? I’ll pray for you. Don’t ever do that to me. Seck.

Anyway, this recipe takes time. It takes patience. It takes yeast.

Some people are scared of yeast. They think it’s kind of fussy and easy to mess up. I’ve never had much trouble if I follow recipes carefully. The key is to get it the right temperature. Soothing warmth. Soothing warmth.

But I promise, these cinnamon rolls are something else. It’s late, and I can’t think of the proper descriptive words to come up with the blissful euphoria that accompanies the baking, eating and glorious aftermath that accompanies these rolls. But they are worth braving your yeast fears. No regrets now.

In this recipe, the yeast is enveloped in an oil and milk blanket. There are no horses in the original recipe, but I am going to use the word ‘adapted’ liberally.

I used my mummy’s rolling pin. It reminds me of my childhood. Plus, it is gourmet.

I’m not going to post a whole bunch of tips and tricks about this recipe because it is a PW recipe, and she explains everything so well that I would be adding nothing to the experience. If you need a great explanation for every step, follow the link below.

Oh please do make these for everyone you know (and me). The recipe makes a bunch, and they are the best cinnamon rolls I have efer eaten.

Morning, noon and night,


PW’s  Cinnamon Rolls, straight up

1 quart whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce packets
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
plenty of melted butter
2 cups sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon

1 bag (2 pounds) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
½ cups milk
¼ cups melted butter
¼ cups brewed coffee
⅛ teaspoons salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Pipe Dream #58: To Be Falling Constantly – Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

It’s almost autumn again. If I could, I would move around the world as the seasons change just to follow autumn. Woops, getting a little too warm here in the States; better hop on over to Russia where the leaves are just starting to turn. I could totally make that happen. Here are some reasons I love the fall:

1) I get to wear sweaters and tights and boots.

2) I get to wear colors like maroon and plum and mustard.

3) I get to bust out the nutmeg, cloves, pecans, molasses, pumpkin and cinnamon in earnest.

4) Oh yeah, and I get to go to England.

In honor of the approaching fall, I present this pumpkin cake with brown butter glaze. As we know from our previous experience with brown butter glaze, this glaze is awesome. It rully is.

I apologize if I’m killing the joy of your remaining summer. Unlike some of my friends who honestly get inquiries from strangers as to whether or not they are of Hispanic descent, I’m still pale, and it’s the end of August. I can personally take or leave summer. And in this case (or post), I am waving goodbye to it.

Goodbye cruel world (hello, nutmeg, my old friend),


Pumpkin Pecan Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the cake:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup Pumpkin Puree, or canned
1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) milk

For the icing:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

To make the cake:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-2-inch round cake pan. Line pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. Coat pan with flour, and tap out any excess.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, and beat until combined. Add pumpkin puree and milk; beat until combined. Add reserved flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool. Let cake rest 20 minutes.
Unmold cake. Using an offset spatula, spread icing over top of cake, and decorate with pecans, chopped or caramelized or whatever.
To make the icing:
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind.
Add sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk; stir until smooth. If the icing is too thick, add the remaining tablespoon milk, a little at a time, until consistency is spreadable. Let cool 5 minutes. Use immediately.

Pipe Dream #12: To Blog Fruits In Season, Revisited – Blueberry Scones

I have favorite scones. Maybe they are your favorites now too. But I thought I’d go out on a limb a little with scones. Dip my toes in the world beyond lemons.

And into blueberries. Which are in season RIGHT NOW. Finally, something you can make with what is fresh now.

These were ok. I won’t say they were better than the lemon scones. But they sure hit the spot for breakfast. Next time, I might skip the glaze in favor of some clotted cream or some richer, less sweet topping.

Thank you. I am accomplishing my life goals. The bucket list of blogging. :]


Blueberry Scones

Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling tops
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing tops
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in center. Place a baking mat on a baking sheet, and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Stir in blueberries and zest.
Using a fork, whisk together cream and egg in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients, and pour in cream mixture. Stir lightly with fork just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times to mix well.
Pat dough into a 6-inch square about 1 1/4 inches thick. Using a floured knife, cut into four 3-inch squares. Cut squares in half on the diagonal to form eight triangles. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with cream, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer scones to wire racks to cool. If you want, mix up a glaze of powdered sugar and water or lemon juice and drizzle over the tops.

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