Pauline, today’s lovely guest columnist, is teasing me with this amazing-sounding cake. Pauline, please FedEx this to Chicago. Better yet, come visit and make this for me.
My friend and new mommy Sarah Cifarelli (as of Dec 2010) made this amazing Tres Leches Cake for a potluck dinner with the Gurls. It was so delicious. Now, I truly enjoy desserts, but usually tres leches cakes are so dense and sickening sweet, I can only eat a small piece. Well, Sarah’s recipe is rich in flavor yet light in texture. Instead of weighing me or my plate down, I was truly uplifted by it. I had a huge, and I mean HUGE, slice!!!!
Tres Leches Cake Recipe
serves 12 or less depending on how big you make the servings!!!
1/2 c. butter (1 stick) melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
5 large eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
5 c. fresh fruit, optional, such as oranges or berries, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly butter a 9×12-inch baking dish. (Note: if using a metal pan, keep an eye out on the cake as it will be done in less time.)
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egs and 3/4 c. sugar on high until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. With a rubber spatula, fold in melted buttah until incorporated. Transfer batter to dish and back until top is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milks. Poke warm cake ALL over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, then pour milk mixture over the top and let it cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. The cool part is watching the milks get absorbed into the cake – like magic!
Whip cream and 1/4 c sugar to medium peak, add to the cake and add fruits and eat up!!!!
In honor of the birthdays of Matt (today) and my sister (last week)–two of my favorite people–I am posting the Baketrix’s scrumptious chocolate cupcake recipe. Matt was meh-ing around this morning about turning older and blah blah blah, and I just wanted to make it known that I, for one, am extremely grateful that the world begat both Matt and Tricia. I say, the occasions of their birth must be feted with chocolate!
Good things come in small packages…Cupcakes!!!!
The cupcake craze is still growing in popularity and more and more shops have popped up in Los Angeles–although it cannot compare with New York City. On a visit there, it seemed that there were cupcakes being sold on every corner. I think NYC should change from being referred to as the “big apple” to the “big cupcake!” But here in Los Angeles, one must seek out the cupcake, which often means getting into one’s car and driving.
I am fortunate that I live in Hollywood where there are at least six locations for cupcakes or other baked goodies within a three-mile radius. However, I am picky about my cupcakes–any baked goodie must be “worth the calories,” and some of the locations do not cut the mustard! My litmus test for any bakery is the red velvet cupcake–if a shop has a moist, tasty, and cream cheese–frosted one, it is worth going back to. None of this cream cheese with flour frosting that gives it a weird consistency! What’s up with that?
Unfortunately, my countless attempts to re-create the red velvet cupcake have been disappointing. I have given up on baking my own and will gladly hop in my car or my bike (but that makes transporting the cupcakes back a challenge) to Toast restaurant on Third Street, which has a good one. If I am really craving red velvet, by far my favorite is at Violet’s Cupcakes, which I discovered while working in Pasadena. Their cupcakes are total homestyle, hand-frosted (not put in a pastry bag with a decorating tip). The cupcakes are approachable, not fussy or pretentious.
But I stray…in place of baking my own red velvet cake, I default to chocolate cake. My partner Tom Clancey (not the writer/game developer but http://tomclancey.com/) baked an amazing cake one year for my birthday and it has become the “go-to” recipe. The cake is light and rich and well, decadent. And topped off with a cream cheese frosting, oooooohhhhh, so good!
Note: this is an amazing cake with exotic flavors, the filling is ganache with wasabi…for the cupcakes, I use only the cake recipe part. For the full recipe, please go to epicurious.com
This is for three layers of cake so it will make a LOT of cupcakes.
2 c. boiling water
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 c. all purpose flour (do not substitute with whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. sugar (I use baking sugar)
1 c. (2 sticks) buttah, unsalted at room temp
4 large eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line or butter/flour cupcake pan.
Whisk 2 cups boiling water and cocoa powder in a bowl.
Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl (I combine all in a large sieve to add directly to the wet mixture to avoid dirtying another bowl–but I end up making a huge mess all over the counter, so you may want to use the separate bowl for dry ingredients!).
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until light a fluffy, approx. 1 minute. Add eggs one a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture in four additions alternately with cocoa mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do NOT skip this part, very critical to the outcome of the cake.
Pour into the pan, put in the oven and bake…cool completely before frosting!
While baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 8 oz. boxes cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted buttah, room temp
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla then beat in powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Sample as you go! and be sure to lick the electric mixer beaters…
Spread on a GENEROUS amount of the frosting goodness once the cupcakes are cool. No one likes a thin layer of icing! Don’t be stingy! Top off with sprinkles to bring a splash of joy into everyone’s life.
Halloween has passed and that means it’s officially time to start talking turkey. Mmmmmmmmmm turkey. The Baketrix here presents you with an idea for a lovely turkey side dish–a tangy, savory twist on traditional cornbread.
Also, I hope you have voted or will vote today!
Oh Corn, sweet corn…
I have a love/hate relationship with corn–or, rather, the manufacturers of corn by-products. As a testament to a shocking article in National Geographic that found that Americans have more corn genes in their blood stream than those living in Mexico where corn is the main staple, I am drawn to corn. Especially when I’m sick, I need me some comfort food, and all I want is a bowl of chicken matzo ball soup and a huge hunk of cornbread. I used to be fan of Marie Callendar’s cornbread for it’s cake-like texture, smothered in their famous honey butter. However, I have evolved in my cornbread repertoire and have found this amazing recipe for a sweet and full-flavored cornbread.
I found it one turkey holiday celebration when I was assigned with the gigantic task of supplying the cornbread. Now, this was a huge responsibility, and if I didn’t get it right, well–it meant the ruining of a time-honored tradition of cornbread and turkey (growing up the cornbread was replaced by Japanese short grain rice = yummy). I decided to cover my bases and baked a savory and sweet bread. Here’s the recipe I found and is now a favorite.
Corn Bread with Fennel Seeds, Dried Cranberries, and Golden Raisins
Adapted from Gourmet November 2001–I made slight changes in the mixing, so for unaltered recipe look for it online.
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour (substitute white whole wheat for healthier choice)
2/3 c. yellow cornmeal (not coarse)
1/3 c. sugar (substitute evaporated cane sugar for healthier choice)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 c.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk (for the lactose intolerant, substitute with almond milk and add vinegar – for every 1/2 c. of buttermilk, use 1 1/2 tsp. distilled white vinegar)
1/2 c. golden raisins, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp. fennel seeds, coarsely crushed with mortar and pestle or pulsed in an electric coffee/spice grinder (I ran out and tried substituting with caraway seeds, which gave it a more savory and less sweet flavor)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a square baking pan with butter and lightly coat with flour or cornmeal.
Whisk together butter, eggs and buttermilk in large bowl. Using a strainer, sift and stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking power, baking soda, and salt. Add dry mix to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. Stir in raisins, cranberries and fennel seeds.
Pour into pan, bake until top is pale golden and tester comes out clean–I find 25-30 minutes to be the right amount in my oven. Cool on rack for 10 minutes then invert to cool completely…I usually can’t wait and just take a piping hot piece at that point! Someone’s got to test it to make sure it’s edible and can be shared with friends, right?!