Posts Tagged 'layer cake'

Pipe Dream #219: To Change My Toothbrush – S’mores Cake with Malted Peanut Butter Frosting

smores cake 5

This recipe is the product of several recipes that have been roiling around in my brain for a year, at least. Except the peanut butter malt frosting. #LHOriginal on that. Yes, yes, I know it’s genius. It’s not like anyone has thought of marrying off peanut butter and malt. But ok, in frosting form.

Anyway, a year is too long to wait for

S’mores

Marshmallows, generally

Malts

A new toothbrush

So I finally made it, then changed my toothbrush, which was irrevocably damaged due to the sugar in this cake, which lacquered itself onto my teeth right quick.

smores cake 1

I didn’t think it would be possible to add too much peanut butter to the frosting, so I bumped it up 1/4 cup, but I would make it with less next time. It may have been that using regular salted butter made it just a little too salty. The malt definitely started getting lost, too, so I was adding in arbitrary spoonfuls of malt powder to try and reclaim the flavor.

smores cake 2

And can I just say that I used one of those massive camping blowtorch things to toast this? Our kitchen torch is lost, but I knew I really wanted to toast the marshmallow frosting. Because it just wouldn’t be a s’mores cake if I didn’t. So I turned on the tiniest gas flame and worked out my biceps holding the torch just so. The next time you see me, just ignore the fact that my right bicep is bigger than my left and pretend like it’s normal.

smores cake 4

Because it’s normal,

L

S’mores Cake with Malted Peanut Butter Frosting

Cake inspired by hungry rabbit

Frosting is an LH Original

For the cake:

17 whole graham crackers, (about 9-1/2 ounces) broken into rough pieces
1/4 cup (1-1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup (6 ounces) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated

Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment. Grease and flour the parchment.

Process graham crackers  in a food processor until finely ground. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the food processor and pulse until combined.

Whisk the milk and vanilla in small bowl.

In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter, beatin on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the graham cracker mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk mixture, stirring until just incorporated.

Using a clean bowl and beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of the whites into the batter, then fold in remaining whites until combined with no white streaks. Divide the batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack and carefully remove the parchment paper. Cool completely, about 2 hours.

For the malted peanut butter frosting:

3/4 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
7 tablespoons butter, softened

4 tablespoons Carnation malt powder (not the chocolate kind)

1/2-3/4 cup peanut butter (I recommend 1/2 cup, as mine was a little strong on the PB)

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. It should also be completely cool. Add the butter and whip until the frosting comes together, then beat in the malt powder and peanut butter until incorporated.

For the fluffy marshmallow topping:

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 bag of mini marshmallows

Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3-4 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat, wipe dry and attached to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined, then fold in the mini marshmallows.

To assemble:

Fill and frost the cake layers with the peanut butter frosting, reserving any extra in a piping bag to decorate later. Chill in the fridge for an hour. Break up a bar of Hershey’s chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Add heavy cream until the chocolate is just covered. Microwave the chocolate/cream until the cream is hot. Let stand a minute, then whisk together the chocolate and cream to make a ganache. Let cool slightly, then drizzle around the edge of the frosted cake. Chill. Mound the fluffy marshmallow frosting on top of the cake. Chill. Then use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallow. Finish by piping decorate swirls of peanut butter frosting around the edge of the cake.

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Pipe Dream #215: To Sweet Talk Pesky Traffic Violations – Choreo Cake

choreo cake 2

First of all, can we talk about how alien neon those cherry stems look? I did not realize they looked that way until I saw them on another screen. What is happening in this world/my eyes? I need corrections.

choreo cake 4

I made this cake at 11 p.m. on a Thursday night post traffic-citation, which I got because I was rushing home to make a cake that I was ultra jazzed about. Unfortunately, you can’t tell the cops that the reason you were speeding is because you were excited to get home and make a cake to bring back to them on their night shift. Unless you have cake in-hand, they probably will just think you are lying and bump up your violation.

If I could get away with it, I would have outlined all of the reasons I was rushing to make this.

Speeding Reason #1: I had the layers already baked and frozen, so I didn’t have to mess with them.

Speeding Reason #2: The layers have OREOS in them.

choreo cake 3

Speeding Reason #3: This cake is a combination of fresh fruit and chocolate, which is always a total win. It’s kind of a play on a chocolate-covered cherry.

Speeding Reason #4: Cream cheese frosting. Duh. Especially when paired with that concentrated cherry flavoring oil I was so stoked to try.

choreo cake 1

Reason #5: I knew it would make my work friends so happy on Friday.

Happiest of Mondays,

L

Choreo Cake

With a name like “Choreo,” this can only be an LH original

For the cake:

Half of any white or yellow cake mix

13 Oreos, crushed

For the frosting:

12 ounces (1.5 packs) cream cheese

6 ounces (1.5 sticks) butter

6 cups powdered sugar

a few tablespoons of cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cherry flavoring oil or cherry extract, to taste

a few drops red or pink food coloring

For the decoration:

Bing cherries

Oreos

Chocolate-covered raisins (or chocolate-covered cherries would be appropriate here)

Prepare the cake according to package directions, then fold in the crushed Oreos. Split the mix into two 6″ circular pans lined with parchment paper and greased. Bake for a while. You’ll just have to watch it. The cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake pans to a wire rack and let cool for a half hour before running a sharp knife around the cake edges and inverting onto the rack. Peel off the parchment, and let the cakes cool completely. If desired, you can wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze so that they are easier to work with when you need them.

To make the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add cherry flavoring, then beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the food coloring.

Remove a heaping half cup of frosting to a small bowl and mix in cocoa powder until the frosting looks chocolatey enough.

Split the cake layers so that you have four even layers. Alternate filling layers beginning and ending with the pink frosting. Frost the rest of the pink cake and garnish as desired. Store in the fridge.

Pipe Dream #134: To Grace Goodbyes – Chocolate Churro Cake

Whaddya gonna do when your family is moving away? I figured I’d want to do something that would leave a lasting impression, something solid and enduring that they could take with them to remind them of home and encourage them to boldly forge their way into new territory. So I made them a cake, of course.

I mean, hopefully it will stick in the mind of their stomach, what with the gloriously moist and fluffy chocolate sheet cake housed in cinnamon buttercream and filled with dulce de leche buttercream. That speaks of love to me. And you?

The chocolate cake recipe for this was super easy. Not as rich as this cake, nor super sturdy, but it was moist and completely up for the task with which I had tasked it. That is, to stack itself into layers and reside in my stomach.

I also made my own dulce de leche. I bet you could faint in shock about that. You didn’t even know that was possible. Well I’m telling you, friends, it is possible. Possible and delectable. Delectable and simple.

Step 1: Puncture a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Step 2: Boil it into submission.

Bam. Dulce de leche.

Feelin’ the love,

L

Chocolate Churro Cake

For the cake:

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 whole beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Note: I use an 18x13x2 cake pan, then split the layer down the middle and stacked the two on top of each other for a layer cake.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.

In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.

In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.

For the dulce de leche:

Remove label from a can of sweetened condensed milk. Pierce three holes in the formation of a triangle on top of can (this is critical to release the pressure from the heat or else the can may explode.) Place the can in a sauce pan and fill the sauce pan with water three-quarters of the way up the side of the can.

Bring water to a simmer and keep it there for 3-4 hours or until desired consistency. For a thicker, more syrup-like texture cook closer to 4 hours. When ready, use tongs to remove can allow to cool slightly and pour dulce de leche in a bowl and whisk to smoothness. Let cool before storing.

Note: I used a stovetop method, but click here for an oven or microwave version. Who even knew you could make dulce de leche in the micro??

For the swiss meringue buttercream:

From smitten kitchen

2 cups of egg whites (approx. 12 large)
3 cups sugar
5 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. It should also be completely cool. Add the vanilla. Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip until the frosting comes together.

To assemble the cake:

Once cake is cool, split the layer in half. Take one third of the swiss meringue butter cream and mix it with about 3/4 of the can of dulce de leche. You can really actually mix in as much as you want; I call it mixing “to taste.” Just kidding. Everyone calls it that.

Mix cinnamon to taste into the rest of the buttercream, and then pipe a border of frosting around the bottom cake layer. Fill the cake with the dulce de leche buttercream, and top with the second layer. Frost the cake using the leftover cinnamon buttercream.

How To Tier A Cake

In our previous tutorial, I demonstrated how to layer a cake. I figured I’d give you a couple weeks to sort that all out. So now you should be pros at layering, yes? Excellent. Let’s begin.

Step One: We’ll start where we left off with icing your cake. Please do that. It looks pretty.

Step Two: When you have your cake iced how you want it, stick some sticks in it. They’re technically called dowel rods, I think. Break or cut them off so they are perfectly level with the top of the icing of your tier. Then, stick them in to the cake, making sure to keep them within the bounds of the next tier so they don’t show. You can use three or four, but five is way out (name that movie). I used three because I went to jr. high shop class and learned that a triangle is the sturdiest shape. Holler.

Step Three: Being very careful not to mess up your frosting, center the second tier over the first and let it rest. To hide the cardboard layer, you can wrap a ribbon around the cake or place flowers artistically or just pipe dots or swirls.

Voila! A tiered cake. It sounds simple because it is. Have fun!

L

How To Layer A Cake

Layering cakes has become a pretty big part of my life. I mean, considering that I had never layered a cake before two years ago, they’ve pretty much taken over. I’ve layered so many cakes I should be re-named. Lauren the Layerer. Sounds sort of medieval, don’t you think? Like Franz the Ferrier or something. Ok. Moving on.

I made a two-tier cake for my friend Amber’s wedding this summer. Each tier had four layers. Please excuse me while I give myself a pat on the back for making a cake with four layers. I’ve never done it before, and splitting cake layers is a particular baking fear of mine.

Here’s how I layered it. Never mind my excessively messy hands. Please try and forget that I am not, in fact, a professional, and focus instead on my gloriously tan arms, courtesy of summer camp. Man, I’m falling more and more in love with myself as this post goes on. I feel a humbling situation coming soon.

Step One: Cut out a piece of cardboard fitted to the bottom layer of your cake. If you are doing the bottom tier of a cake, the cardboard can be a little bigger than the cake, but I tried to cut this one really close because it was a second tier. It will make your cake easier to frost later on.

Step Two: Bake individual layers to stack, or depending on what your recipe calls for, slice your baked layers in halves or thirds. That’s what I did on the cake above and it worked pretty well. There are plenty of tutorials on how to slice cakes if you cared to know.

Step Three: Pipe a big line of buttercream along the very edge of the cake tier. Make the frosting as thick as you want your filling to be else it’ll spill over, and that is no fun for anyone. Except perhaps sweet ants, who seem to have invaded the kitchen counter due to the high volume of weddings this summer. And by high volume, I mean three.

Step 4: Pick your poison. In this case, a luscious raspberry curd. Jist don’t let it spill over your frosting line.

Step 5: Add your cake layer and press down lightly to seal the filling inside. In this instance, I would have preferred a bit more filling (see how low it is?). But I was working with what I had. Improvising.

Step 6: Give your finished tier a good dirty ice and frost as desired.

This is how the final product will look. Pretty ok, eh? Layered cakes add such a delicate touch to any celebration. Go forth! You can do it!

Bye now, sweetums,

L

Pipe Dream #53: To Take Real Pictures Of The Best Thing EVER – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

It is really so sad that I don’t have proper pictures of this cake for you. I’m serious, it is probably the best cake I have ever made. Ever. Although similar to the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, I think this cake is better. And pretty easy, compared to some layer cakes.

The cream cheese peanut butter frosting alone is good enough to make and eat. All at once. Up on my roof. For the world to see.

Display my penchant for frosting so openly and honestly? So unashamed? It’s like standing in the Mall at the U and yelling about how Jesus loves me and you too. I would do it if I thought it would make you believe it.

And if swallowing my pride and eating this frosting on the roof would make you bake, assemble and frost this cake immediately, I would do that too. But for both of these issues, you only have my word and these shoddy pictures, as of now.

Please go make this cake. I’m not being bossy. Just earnest.

Earnestly desiring the fulfillment of your deepest desires,

Lauren

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 #42: To Make My Hip Mother Proud – Seriously The Devil’s Food Cake


My mum is something else. I won’t say much past that or she’ll start crying, and she hates when people draw attention to that.

I asked her what she wanted me to make her for letting me cry on her shoulder for 21 years. She said, “Coffee and chocolate.” I said, “Right on.” Or something to that effect.

The Devil’s Food Cake was rather dry in comparison to my now-favorite chocolate cake (-1), and I experimented with putting undissolved instant coffee granules in the icing. This gave the icing these weird little bitter chunks (-1) and a grainy consistency (-1). However, do you see that fondant!? +2 for an incredibly smooth finish and a pretty decent taste as far as fondant goes. Add in a bonus point for a rich ganache filling, and this cake gets a 0 for overall quality.

Marshmallow fondant tutorial recipe coming right up, I promise.

Also, Mother’s Day was in May. I actually do know that. What you don’t know is that these pictures were taken in May.

Oh snap!

Did you know that one of my mom’s favorite songs to quote is ‘Drama Queen’ by Family Force Five. She always gets us with “oh snap.” Every once in a while, she’ll bust out some rando pop culture tune and my sessies and I have to say, “Mom, that is not ok for you to say in social situations.” I always get convicted when this happens. You try feeling ok when your mom starts singing, “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me…” True story.

Oh snap, Mom, you are pretty and wonderful.

Much love from the hood,

Lalaqueesha Hennesy (my rapper name, generated via Rum & Monkey)


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