Dulce de Leche Argentinian Cake

Never heard of Maillard reaction right? What about if I said it helps you wake up everyday? Yes, the Maillard reaction occurs during coffee bean roasting. And it is also involved in the creation of this delight: dulce de leche (obtained by slowly heating sweetened milk).

There are very few things tastier than dulce de leche but funny enough, Argentinians say that to “row in dulce de leche” might not be the best thing. I must strongly disagree…

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Dulce de Leche Argentinian Cake

Ingredients:

  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g butter
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 40 g sugar
  • 250 g Dulce de leche
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate and butter together.

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, then beat in the chocolate mixture.

Beat the egg whites until stiff  and fold into the other ingredients.

Pour into a 23 cm round tin, spread uniformly and flatten the surface.

Bake for 30 minutes at 140 °C fan.

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract

When the cake is cold, spread the dulce de leche on top and finally cover with cream.

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Torró mousse cake

Today we gather to celebrate a very special bday. Many happy returns, Sir Newton.

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Torró Mousse Cake

For the base

  • 210 g Digestive biscuits
  • 150 g melted butter

Crush the biscuits (I put them in a bag and bang them with a rolling pin until there’s nothing left but fine crumbs), add the melted butter and mix well. Coat the base of a 20 cm diameter spring form with a homogeneous layer of the mixture and place in the freezer whilst you prepare the filling.

For the filling

  • 150 g soft torró, in cubes
  • 1 cuajada packet
  • 375 g double cream
  • 125 ml whole milk
  • 50 g condensed milk

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Our favourite double, Mr. P

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2016-03-27-16-03-06Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting

For the cake tiers

  • 60 g chopped dark chocolate
  • 140 g cocoa powder
  • 250 ml boiling water
  • 220 grams flour
  • 400 grams sugar
  • 1.5 tsp  baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 160 C fan. Butter two 23 cm round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add the cup of boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt until combined. In another bowl, stir together sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients and the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients, and beat for 2 minutes

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the peanut butter buttercream

  • 300 g softened butter
  • 300 grams powder sugar
  • 20 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g smooth peanut butter

Beat the butter until smooth and then incorporate slowly the powder sugar, beat until smooth, for 3 minutes. Add premixed cream and vanilla and finally the peanut butter. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the cake

Place the first layer, spread frosting on top, place the second tier. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the top and sides of the cake (crumb seal) and place it on the fridge to set. Finally frost the top and sides of the cake.

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Pink Marble Cake

Ladies prefer pink, science says so! (or at least a rather small pool of British ladies, although it would be funny to check whether they were all convinced to enrol in the study as they were exiting Juicy Couture…).

This version of science doesn’t seem to convince everyone, but one way or the other, it’s still my first choice for a marble.

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Pink Marble Cake

  • 200 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 200 g powder sugar
  • 200 g rT butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 70 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Pink food colouring (I used Americolor)

Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan and line a 450 g loaf tin .

Mix and sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. 

Beat butter and sugar until pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until creamy and well combined. Beat in the vanilla and milk, and fold in the flour.

Divide the batter into three portions: stir the cocoa powder into one portion and add some pink food colouring to the second. Leave the third as it is.

Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin (you will have one spoonful too many for each colour), then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Do not overmix, the pattern will be  lost.

Bake around 50 minutes, until a toothpick come out clean from the centre and it looks golden brown. Cover with foil during the baking if the surface is browning up too much. Let cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy!

Cherry and Cream Cheese Cake

There is a place called Heerstaβe, and one of my regular websites suggests one should see it in bloom at least once in a lifetime. The japanese cherry blossom trees start blooming around mid April and stay gorgeous for about two to three weeks, and I happened to be in Bonn last week, just too late. One could still see some of the pink flowers on the trees, but mostly a copious pink carpet and flowery cars. Beauty is fleeting, it’s better just to focus on the taste.

Cherry and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Cherry and Cream Cheese Cake

For the cake
  • 250 g of butter
  • 300 g sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1.25 tsp baking soda
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 350 g flour
  • 300 ml sour cream
For the cherry and cream cheese filling
  • 200 g softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp morello cherry conserve 

For the Almond Topping

  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70 g sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and butter a ring cake pan (bundt pan) of 25 cm diameter.
Prepare the vanilla sugar almond topping by thoroughly combining the sugar and vanilla and then stirring in the sliced almonds.
For the cake batter: cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Next add the combined and sifted baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour and finally the sour cream. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are well incorporated, but don’t overbeat.
To make the cream cheese filling: beat cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until creamy.
To assemble: place half of the batter in the tin, followed by some cherry jam and the cream cheese on top (careful to leave a couple of cm on each edge so that the fillings do not touch the tin sides) . Cover with the remaining cake batter, tap the pan to remove trapped air and sprinkle the vanilla sugar almonds to finish it up.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 1 hour before remoulding.  To do so, run a thin palette knife carefully around the edge and center to loosen it, and invert it gently on a cooling rack.
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Whisky and Stout Chocolate Cake

I will soon no longer be living in the source country of the finest whisky. In such a context, a liquor themed party seemed to make sense. My contribution came out quite strong, perfect for the occasion.

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Whisky and Stout Chocolate Cake

 Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.

For the Stout Chocolate Cake

  • 250 ml stout beer (I used Belhaven, but Guinness will be easier to find)
  • 140 g butter
  • 70 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 480 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g plain yogurt
  • 340 g flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 160 °C fan and butter and line two 20 cm cake tins.

Place beer and butter over medium heat in a large saucepan, you will make the final batter here. When the butter is melted, remove from heat and add cocoa powder and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Next add eggs, one at a time, whisking until incorporated. Finally add the extract.

Combine and sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add 1/3 of the dry mixture to the saucepan, and whisk until just combined, follow by 1/2 of the yogurt,  whisk until combined. Repeat and finish with the final 1/3 of dry ingredients.

Divide the batter between the two tins and level the surface.

Bake for around 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the tin for 10 minutes, unmold, place on a wire rack and wait until completely cold.

For the Whisky Syrup

  • 50 ml water
  • 12 g sugar
  • 50 ml whisky

To make the thin syrup, bring to boil the water and sugar placed in a high-sided saucepan, turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear and there are no more sugar crystals (3 minutes).

Mix in the whisky when the syrup is cold.

For the Whisky Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 400 g cream cheese
  • 150 g softened butter
  • 40 g dark brown sugar
  • 260 g sifted powder sugar
  • 30 ml whisky

Beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the butter. Next mix brown sugar and sifted powder sugar on slow speed until smooth. Finally add whisky and beat until incorporated. Chill until the cake is cold. If it is too liquid (maybe because you want to increase the whisky), add more powder sugar to firm it up.

To assemble the cake

Slice each cake into two even layers. Place the first layer and lightly (or not) soak it with the whisky syrup using a pastry brush.

[You should put a few strips of parchment paper under your cake whilst you frost it if you are assembling directly on the cake stand; also, dollop some frosting directly on the stand to help stabilise the first layer.]

Cover the first layer with whisky cream cheese frosting. Continue in the same order until you place the last cake layer.

Crumb coat the exterior of cake with a little frosting and let it set in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Now  frost the outside and top of the cake with more cream cheese frosting. Keep it in the fridge for now.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 110 g dark chocolate
  • 125 ml heavy cream

Be careful to always pour the hot cream on top of the chocolate placed in a cold container, if you add the chocolate to the cream, it will burn.

 Final touch

Remove cake from fridge and pour slightly thicken chocolate glaze over the top allowing it to drip over the sides. This ganache is quite thick, so help it drip on the sides with a spatula and then blend the chocolate with the frosting on the sides for a marbled effect.

The writing is done with melted white chocolate.

Keep the cake chilled until ready to eat.

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

Also known as Marie’s cake with apple and yogurt. This is my mum’s version of a typical baked good from the east of Spain.

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

  • 125 g natural yogurt
  • 230 g sugar
  • 60 ml sunflower oil
  • 150 g flour
  • 12 g baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of a lemon
  • 2 small apples in slices

Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan and line a 20 cm round tin.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and keep beating whilst slowly adding the sugar.

Combine together egg yolks, lemon zest and yogurt, then beat in the oil. Finally beat in the sifted flour, baking powder and cinnamon until just combined.

Now carefully fold in the egg whites and pour the mixture into the tin. Cover the batter with apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).

Dust with powder sugar before serving.

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

 

And it goes great with a big cup of thick dark hot chocolate (Valor of course…).

Hot chocolate