Guinness Black Magic Cake

March 15, 2016

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Woohoo! Only two more days until St. Patrick’s Day and my oh my do I have a phenomenal sweet and boozy recipe for you today…Guinness Black Magic Cake! And magic it certainly is! The rich, dark Guinness cake layers are unbelievable moist and chocolatey and blanketed with an enchantingly delicious Ermine Buttercream frosting which is drizzled with a Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce. I’m telling you, this cake will leave you spellbound to say the least!

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The most surprising thing about this cake for me was that Ermine Frosting. Ermine frosting is an old-fashioned recipe for buttercream. It is also known as Boiled Milk Frosting, Flour Buttercream or Butter Roux frosting. Apparently it was the original frosting for the Red Velvet Cake before Cream Cheese frosting became all the rage. And don’t get me wrong, cream cheese frosting is tasty, but in my humble opinion it can not hold a candle to Ermine Frosting. It was ahhhhh-mazing. So velvety and silky smooth, very light, fluffy and sweet but not toothachingly so. My favorite frosting is Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but Ermine frosting in a very close second. I can’t believe I had no idea it existed before making this cake. Now that I’m “in the know”, I’m sure it will be making appearances here frequently!

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This cake was pretty easy to make all in all. The most difficult step for me was the Caramel Sauce. Yup, Caramel sauce and I have a very tempestuous relationship to put it mildly. I tried to make it as Super Golden Bakes indicated in her blog, however I must admit, I failed in my first attempt. So I went back and made a slight adaptation to my Perfect Salted Caramel Sauce, by adding some Irish whiskey and achieved perfection on my first attempt. That is the caramel recipe that works for me, so that is the one I’ve included here.

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So go ahead and cast a spell over your St. Patrick’s Day crowd this year with this alluring Guinness Black Magic Cake. I promise you, folks will be completely entranced!

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Guinness Black Magic Cake

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: moderate - mostly because of that tricky Salted Whiskey Caramel Sauce
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recipe slightly adapted from: Super Golden Bakes

Ingredients:

For the cake: (This recipe will make 2 – 9″ cake layers or 3 – 8″ cake layers)

  • 200 g (7 oz) plain flour
  • 350 g  (12 oz ) caster sugar
  • 75 g (3 oz )cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225 ml  (8 oz) Guinness
  • 225 ml (8 oz) buttermilk or milk soured with 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) coconut oil (can substitute vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe of Ermine Frosting (to follow)
  • 1 recipe of Salted Whiskey Caramel (to follow)
 Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Prepare 3x20cm (8″) pans or 2x23cm (9″) pans – grease and line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl.

Put the eggs, Guinness, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract into the bowl of your stand mixer and whisk together on low speed until combined.

Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. The batter will be fairly thin.

Pour into the cake tins filling only halfway. Bake the 20cm cake layers for about 20-25 minutes (the 23cm cakes take 30-35 minutes) or until the top of the cake is firm and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Pipe or spread the frosting over the layers drizzling caramel over each layer before sandwiching together. Pipe frosting over the top layer and drizzle with caramel. Serve at room temperature (the frosting will harden in the fridge).

Ermine Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 200 g  (7 0z) unsalted butter
  • 200 g  (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 235 ml  (1 cup) milk
  • 5 Tablespoons plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod
 Directions:

Put the milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a trail. Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film, pressing it on the surface to prevent a skin forming. Cool completely before using (speed up the process by putting the bowl in the fridge or freezer).

Whisk the butter and sugar together for about minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go. Make sure that the sugar has completely melted before proceeding. Unmelted sugar is what leads to a grainy buttercream, and no one likes that! Once the butter/sugar mixture is smooth and fluffy, then add the vanilla and salt.

Start adding the milk roux, one tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is completely smooth and has the consistency of whipped cream.

Salted Whiskey Caramel

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 tablespoon fleur de sel
 Directions:

Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan, with a capacity of at least 2 or 3 quarts. Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.

Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It should look almost a reddish-brown, and have a slight toasted aroma. This is the point where caramel can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds, so keep a close eye. If you are using an instant-read thermometer, cook the sugar until it reaches 350° F.

As soon as the caramel reaches 350°F, add the butter all at once. Be careful, as the caramel will bubble up when the butter is added. Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted.

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel. Again, be careful because the mixture will once again bubble up ferociously. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the whiskey and fleur de sel and whisk to incorporate.

Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into your favorite glass jar and let cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks

Enjoy!

Guinness Black Magic Cake brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Guinness Black Magic Cake:

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Thermoworks Super-Fast Thermapen Cooking Thermometer

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Sauce Pan

Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 8 – inch round cake pan


Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries & Whipped Cream

August 12, 2015

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There’s no cake that is quite as summer-y as a slice of light and spongy Angel Food cake topped with fresh sliced berries and a big ole dollop of whipped cream. That cake is so tender and moist and the berries so sweet and refreshing, it raises your mood to a more transcendental level and could almost make you forget how utterly swampy it is outside. I had never attempted to make one at home, always being somewhat intimidated for unknown reasons. Not to mention that I knew, come every May, the local grocer would have Angel Food cakes stacked nearly up to the celestial host they were named after. I rationalized my fear away by thinking -Why should I bother – it would be silly to spend all that time at home making one when I could just pick one up at the store and be done with it. Those store-bought cakes always taste pretty good right? Hmmmmm…..I thought so, until I went ahead and made one at home and found that I was definitely mistaken. Once I took a bite of a homemade Angle Food cake I realized that the store-bought ones were a bit more akin to sweetened styrofoam than I had ever known. Yup….homemade is entirely superior. And I found out that it really was not nearly as difficult to make this classic summer cake as I had previous imagined.

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Now that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind. This cake is mostly egg whites with a little flour added in to help set the structure. So you want to make sure those egg whites whip up fully. To ensure this, your mixing bowl must be clean and free from any oils and not one little bit of egg yolk can be allowed to sneak into your separated egg whites. Once the cake batter is all whipped together, you want to spoon it into a tube pan which has not been greased. The batter will cling and climb up the sides allowing it to rise higher. Once the cake has finished baking, here is the part that completely freaked me out – you have to turn it upside down and leave it inverted to cool. You see, the egg whites are the things that give this cake the rise and until they cool down, the structure is not set and could collapse under the weight of itself. Once I removed what seemed to be a perfect cake from the oven, I just stood there staring at it. I had horrible visions that the second I inverted it, it would crash out onto the counter into a big heap of crumbs. But finally I took a deep breath and just flipped it right on over. All was fine. It just hung upside down there for about 2 hours. The result was this lovely spongy texture. Moist and airy and not too sweet. Perfectly complemented by the sweet fresh berries and cream. Quite heavenly indeed! So if you find yourself with a bunch of extra egg whites this summer, like maybe after you’ve made a big old batch of ice cream, try your hand at a homemade Angel Food Cake. Dare I say you’ll find it…well, divine!

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Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries & Whipped Cream

  • Servings: one 10 inch cake
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: Completely Delicious 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cake flour (113 grams)
  • 1 2/3 cup (333 grams) superfine sugar, divided (can substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have superfine)
  • 1 3/4 cup egg whites (will take 12 -13 eggs depending on their size)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can substitute vanilla extract)
  • confectioners sugar for dusting
  • Fresh sliced berries – whatever is in season – for serving
  • Whipped Cream for topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Sift the flour three times, then add 2/3 cup of the sugar and sift again.

Beat the egg whites on low-speed until frothy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and continue to beat until they just begin to form soft peaks. Slowly add the remaining sugar – only adding 2 tablespoons at a time – and beat until the egg white /sugar mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in the vanilla paste.

Here you want to work quickly, but with a gentle hand. Sift the flour mixture over the whipped egg white mixture in 4 additions, gently folding in each addition by hand until it is just incorporated before adding the next.

Spoon into an ungreased 10×4″ tube pan. Rap the pan on the counter a few times to release any bubble and smooth the top before popping it into the oven

Bake cake for approximately 1 1/4 hours, or until it is spongy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Here comes the scary part….If your pan is a true angel food cake pan and has little feet around the top edges, flip the pan upside down onto a flat surface and let it cool undisturbed for 2 hours. If your pan does not have feet, simply invert it over the neck of a bottle.

Once cool, use a thing knife to gently cut around the edges of the pan to release the cake.

Dust top of cake with confectioners sugar.

Slice cake with a serrated knife, using a gently sawing motion (this cake is delicate and will smoosh easily) and serve with sliced fresh berries and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Angel Food Cake with Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake

March 15, 2015

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Ummmm…did someone say Baileys and Chocolate? Sign me up! Oh how I love that combination…which you might have noticed back when I told you about those sinfully delicious Baileys & Coffee Pots de Crème.

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Well, here’s another great recipe in which Baileys and Chocolate have the starring roles, Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake.

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You might be wondering what a “mud cake” is. A mud cake is a cake that has a dense tight crumb. These cakes are usually made by melting the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan and then adding the eggs and dry ingredients to the wet ones in that same pan. A mud cake has a bit of a brownie vibe to it but still is quite definitely a cake.

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A moist, rich, decadent cake which in this case is covered with a silky smooth Baileys Chocolate ganache. Chocoholic’s bliss! Oh my….it is quite possibly a cake that could tempt St. Patrick himself!

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Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: Citrus and Candy

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 150 grams unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100 grams caster sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 50 grams Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
  • 180ml Baileys Irish Cream Whiskey
  • 170 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

For the Baileys Ganache

  • 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 200ml Baileys Irish Cream (you can do 100ml cream and 100ml Baileys if you’d rather not have some much Baileys…but I gotta ask…”What are you like?!! Of course you want it to be all Baileys!)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C). In a pan over low heat, add the butter, chocolate, sugars, cocoa powder and Baileys. When chocolate and butter has melted, whisk together to combine making sure to get rid of any lumps of sugar or cocoa powder. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease and line an 8″ (20-21cm) round cake tin.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Add the eggs to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gently fold in the sifted flour mix until free of lumps.

Scrape into cake tin then bake for about 30 -35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (ideally you want to see some moist crumbs stuck to it. This is one cake you don’t want to over-bake so better to be a little under than over). The top of the cake will be a little cracked but no worries, this is normal for a mud cake and you will be covering it with a lovely and oh so concealing ganache.

Remove from oven and cool in tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding and cooling completely on wire rack. Trim the tops of the cake to level (if you wish – I did not).

For the Baileys Ganache:

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring the cream, Baileys and the salt to a simmer in a pan. Pour over the chocolate and sit for a minute. Gently stir to combine then beat in the butter.

Set aside at room temperature and cool until it is thick enough to spread over your cooled cake. Gently stir the ganache occasionally as it cools to keep the temperature even and the ganache smooth. You can just add the ganache on the top of your cake or spread it over the sides as well. Your choice.

Enjoy!

Baileys Mud Cake Brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 

 


Banana Yellowman Bundt Cake

March 4, 2015

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Banana Yellowman Cake…Wow! The recipes have great eye-catching names this year. Chicken Skink yesterday and now Banana Yellowman. So what is a Banana Yellowman Cake? Well, it is a delicious moist banana cake that is shot through with little sticky nuggets of Yellowman and glazed with a caramel frosting. But what is Yellowman? Oh, right, unless you’re from Ireland, the term is probably not one you are familiar with. Yellowman is what Honeycomb is called in Ireland. It is also known as Cinder Toffee in Britain and Hokey Pokey in New Zealand and Cornwall. (I was tempted to call this cake a Hokey Pokey Cake because after I took one bite I was fairly certain that this cake could be “what it’s all about”, but since I’m including it in the St. Patrick’s Day countdown, I decided to go with “yellowman”). So, Yellowman is that yellow or golden sugary toffee with a crunchy sponge-like texture. You’ve maybe seen it in the middle of a Crunchie candy bar.

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I’m not sure if you can just go out and buy it in a shop, but the good news is that it is very easy and fun to make. And if you have kids, they can help out and get a quick chemistry lesson as well. You see the reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas, which gives the Yellowman its bubbly, crunchy consistency.

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The reaction is quite dramatic  once that baking soda is added. Seriously it foams up to about 4x its original size, so make sure you are using a deep pan. And do exercise caution because you have to heat it to 300°F (150°C) before you add that baking soda, so there is potential there for some serious burns. Once you have a batch of Yellowman made up, you can use some of it in this cake, of course, but you can also dip it in chocolate for a great treat all on its own, or crumble it over ice cream.

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I first came across this recipe on a great blog from the West of Ireland, Warm & Snug & Fat. The husband has never met a banana dessert he didn’t like, so I knew this cake would be a winner. And I am often looking for a way to use up bananas that have crossed over that thin line of ripe enough to way too ripe. This cake takes care of four of those types of casualties. After the Yellowman has been made, the cake comes together quickly and easily. And boy does it deliver on taste. Moist, tender, very notable banana flavour and when you get a bite with one of those bonus golden nuggets of goodness, it is pure bliss.

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This cake would be just fine without the frosting, but the frosting really puts it over the top and provides something to which even more of that crumbled Yellowman can cling on to. And as far as Yellowman is concerned, the more the merrier!

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Banana Yellowman Bundt Cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe from: Warm & Snug & Fat

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 225 grams (8oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaped tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 110 grams (4oz) caster sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75 grams (3oz) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 65 grams (2½ oz) yellowman/ honeycomb, smashed (recipe for yellowman/honeycomb below)
  • 4 medium-sized ripe bananas, mashed

For the caramel frosting:

  • 115 grams butter
  • 115 grams light muscovado sugar
  • 140 ml heavy cream

Directions:

 Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl and stir in the sugar.

Mix in the egg, melted butter and vanilla but do not beat.

Fold in the honeycomb and mashed bananas, using a fork. Again, do not beat.

Spoon into a buttered and floured bundt tin or lined (3½ inch x 8 inch) 900 gram/2lb loaf tin and bake in an oven preheated to 350° F ( 180° C, gas mark 4) for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and springs back when prodded gently with your finger.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool.

Once cake is completely cool, drizzle caramel frosting over the top. You can also add some extra crumbled honeycomb to garnish.

Enjoy!

Yellowman, Honeycomb, Cinder toffee, Hokey Pokey

recipe from: Nigella.com

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams caster sugar (can substitute granulated, but you should probably give it a couple of pulses in the food processor to make the sugar “superfine”)
  • tablespoons Lyle’s golden syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 25 ml water

Directions:

Put the sugar and syrup into a saucepan and stir together to mix. If you notice that sugar is clinging to the sides of the pan, you can paint the sides with a pastry brush dipped in water. Once you turn on the heat, it is very important that you do not touch it! That’s right, no stirring.

Place the pan on the heat and let the mixture first melt. Continue watching the pan closely. You will notice that it will liquefy and then turn a dark amber color. It should reach a temperature of 150°C/300°F. Or you can drop a bit of it in a small bowl of water and if it forms a hard ball when it hits the water, it is done. I think the thermometer version is easier. It will take about 3 minutes or so, depending on how high you have the heat.

Take the pan off the heat, whisk in the bicarbonate of soda. Take care because the mixture will bubble up crazily, like a volcano comes to mind. Turn this immediately onto a piece of baking parchment or greased foil. Don’t try to smooth it out. Just pour it and leave it alone.

Once it has cooled, smash it will a rolling pin or hammer so that it splinters into many pieces.

Store in a air-tight bowl.

Banana Yellow Bundt Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade

January 20, 2015

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O.k. It seems like corks were just popping on New Year’s Eve and BAM...next thing I know we’ve nearly reached the end of January! Indeed the 25th will be happening this Sunday. So what is the significance of January 25th you might ask. Well, throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, folks will be celebrating with a Burns Night Supper to mark the occasion. Robert Burns, who is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland, was born on that day in 1759. I’m quite a Burns fan myself and will certainly be raising my glass to The Bard this weekend. I have given you some great Scottish recipes in the past in case you might be planning a Burn’s Night Supper of you own. Last year it was Scotch Egg Pie, which is a type of meat pie that has spicy sausage surrounding an inner circle of hard-boiled eggs all wrapped up in a buttery flaky pie crust.

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The year before I shared Cock-a-leekie soup

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 which I served with delicious, crusty Struan. Struan, also known as Celtic Harvest Bread, is thought to have taken its name from a town in Western Scotland called Struanmoor, on the Isle of Skye. It was originally enjoyed once a year as a harvest bread, using whatever grains were available from the previous day’s harvest. This is my absolute favourite bread, so it is almost always available in my house. It toasts up particularly brilliantly.

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The year before that it was Deviled Scotch Eggs.

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And I had also previously given you the traditional Scotch Egg recipe. If you don’t know what Scotch Eggs are, believe me it is time that you find out! Basically it is  a hard-boiled egg encased in sausage and then deep-fried. Good Lord Have Mercy!

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So I have already set the bar pretty high for myself when it comes to Scottish delicacies for your Burn’s Night Supper. Nevertheless, I think I’ve risen to the challenge yet again. This year I’m going to turn my attention from the savory to the sweet. I’ve got a great Scottish dessert I’d like to share with you, Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce. Now I bet that’s got you drooling huh?

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Dundee Cake is a famous traditional Scottish fruit cake which hales from…bet you guessed it already huh? Yup…Dundee. You see, there is a famous marmalade company, Keiller’s, which is located in Dundee and they are credited with developing this recipe in the 19th Century. Actually, there is a chance that although they popularized this cake at that time, the recipe is much older, dating back to the 16th century perhaps. The legend goes that Mary Queen of Scots did not like glace cherries in her cakes. I can’t say I blame her. I think those things are quite suspicious to say the least. So the classic fruit cake recipe was somewhat altered for her and a cake was made without the usual cherries, but with blanched almonds instead.

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Dundee Cake is often served at Christmas time throughout the British Isles, but definitely in Scotland. Indeed, recently the town of Dundee has put in a bid to have Dundee Cake awarded a Protected Geographical Indicator Status from the European Commission. That will prevent anyone who is not from Dundee from selling a cake labeled as Dundee Cake. You know, it is like Champagne. Champagne is only bottled in Champagne France. If it is produced in any other locale, it is not Champagne and needs to be called Sparkling wine. If the Dundee Cake is awarded PGI status, consumers will have 100% guarantee of its authenticity and confidence that they will enjoy all of the unique characteristics that have long been associated with this type of cake traditionally made in Dundee.

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So what is this cake like? Well, it is delicious of course! And don’t even start raising your eyebrows and giving me that “are you kidding me… it is a fruit cake” kind of face. Unlike many fruitcakes you might have encountered in the past that were most likely used as a door stop rather than eaten, this cake is light and buttery with a touch spice and warm citrus notes. Not to mention that it is chock full of juicy, whisky soaked fruit and festooned with circles of almonds.

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Notice I spelled whisky properly here. When referring to Scotch, there is no “e” in whisky. And speaking of whisky, don’t forget that each slice of this moist, rich cake should be served with a generous pour of Hot Whiskey Marmalade Sauce and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Yum! It will change everything you thought you knew about fruitcakes! I hope I have inspired you to host a Burns Night Supper of your own or at least to raise a wee dram and drink a toast to Scotland’s Favourite Son this Sunday.

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Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce

  • Servings: one 8 inch cake
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: Epicurious

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Scotch whisky (plus more for soaking fruit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup dark raisins
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel (I used mixed candied peel from King Arthur Flour)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Whole blanched almonds (Can’t find pre-blanched almonds in the store? No problem. See instructions below**.)

For the Hot Whisky Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons whisky
  • 4 oranges

Freshly whipped cream for serving.

Directions:

For the cake:

The night prior to baking, place the raisins and currants in a bowl. Pour enough whisky over fruit to cover it. Allow fruit to soak overnight. This is an optional step, but I believe that it not only allows the fruit to plump up a bit, but it gives it a wonderful boozy flavour!

Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter 8-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment paper. You could also use a springform pan or if your 8″ cake round does not have 2″ high sides, line the sides with parchment paper to gain the 2″ height. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and spice into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, whisky, and grated orange peel in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in dry ingredients, then all dried fruits and candied peel. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake 1 hour. Remove cake from oven. Brush top with 2 tablespoons marmalade. Arrange almonds around edge, pressing lightly to adhere. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes longer. Cool cake completely in pan on rack. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; store at room temperature.) Turn cake out of pan; peel off parchment. Place upright on plate.

For the Whisky Sauce:

Combine marmalade and whisky in medium saucepan. Cut all peel and white pith from oranges. Working over bowl to catch juices, cut between membranes, releasing orange segments. Add 2 tablespoons orange juice from bowl to saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until marmalade melts and sauce is heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to serving bowl.

Serve cake with warm sauce, orange segments, and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade Sauce brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

*Don’t have pumpkin pie spice?: Pumpkin pie spice is a combination of mostly cinnamon, with some ginger, allspice and nutmeg added into the mix. This recipe only calls for 1/8 tsp. of the spice. You could just add a dash of the above spices and call it a day.

**How to blanch almonds: Take raw unsalted almonds and drop them in boiling water. Allow them to boil for 60 seconds, but no longer. Remove almonds to a colander and rinse them with cold water. Blot them dry with a paper towel. The skins can easily be removed at this point by simply squeezing the almond between your fingers. Let the almonds dry entirely. Voila! You now have blanched almonds ready to use in this recipe.


Apple Cider Donut Cake

November 7, 2014

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I warned you didn’t I? Here we go now with the first of what may prove to be a parade of Fall-time apple-y goodness…Apple Cider Donut Cake! Whaaat? Yup….Apple. Cider. Donut. Cake. Could I have crammed any more deliciousness into that recipe title? I’ve already told you how I love apples. And Apple Cider…especially the type that is a bit more medicinal…if you know what I’m saying…is exciting. Donuts! Who doesn’t love cinnamon sugar laden apple cider donuts?! Well you get all of those mouthwateringly yummy flavours all wrapped up in one gorgeous big old bundt cake.

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This cake is amazingly moist and tender, just bursting with apple flavour. It would be delicious simply unadorned, but it is completely over the top when brushed with some boozy cider glaze and dusted, quite liberally with crunchy cinnamon sugar.

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It is great anytime of the day, for breakfast, tea-time snack, dessert or even when eaten in the dark in the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping. What? Like you haven’t done that?

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And I must say, this cake is a breeze to make. I love Apple Cider Donuts, let there be no doubt. But a gotta say, they are a bit fiddly to make, what with the rising and the frying etc. Definitely a labour of love. Now, this cake will lead folks to believe you slaved away all day….when really you were outside enjoying the beautiful Fall weather. And I won’t tell them otherwise. Mum’s the word.

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Apple Cider Donut Cake

  • Servings: 15 -18 slices - depending on how you cut them
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Two In the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider *(see information below)
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (you can substitute vegetable oil – but coconut tastes better!)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste (can substitute in extract if you don’t have paste…put get some paste, you won’t regret it!)

For the Cider Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup hard cider *(see below for substitutions)

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:

  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a bundt pan with baking spray. (Recently I have had a couple of folks mention that they haven’t had much success with the baking spray saying that the cake stuck to the pan. Then I recently experienced the same thing myself. When I made the cake again the following day and greased the pan with butter & flour and the cake came out perfectly. Don’t know why this is, but just thought I’d share.)

In a medium saucepan, bring chopped apples and cider to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until apples are fork tender. About 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cool for a few minutes, then pulse in a food processor or blender until pureed. Measure out 1 cup apple mixture and stir the milk into it. Set the apple/milk mixture aside for later. (As for the remaining cider/apple puree, it is left over. I usually save it and put it over yogurt, or oatmeal. It is also fabulous heated slightly and drizzled over ice cream.)

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the oil and mix well. CAUTION: If you are planning on using coconut oil, make sure those eggs are at room temperature or slightly warmer if your house is chilly. If the eggs are cold and you add coconut oil to the mixture, the coconut oil will solidify and you will end up with a clumpy mess!

Add the flour mixture and apple/milk mixture alternatively in three additions, scraping the bowl as needed and mixing after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat once more, just to combine.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the cake in its pan on a cooling rack for ten minutes before removing the cake itself to a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.

While cake is baking, prepare Cider Glaze. Melt butter, sugar and water over medium high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and let boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add the cider, stirring to combine.

Place baking sheet under wire rack. Using a pastry brush or marinate brush, cover cake with glaze. I usually do this in several passes, letting one application of glaze sink in and then going back over the cake with another.

Prepare the Cinnamon Sugar Coating. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle the warm, glazed cake with cinnamon sugar, using fingers to rub it onto the sides of the cake. (I usually place my cinnamon sugar mixture in an empty spice bottle, or salt shaker and then sprinkle it over the cake.)

*Since I originally posted this recipe, I have had quite a few questions about hard cider vs. fresh cider. So let me just start out by saying fresh cider is the juice from pressed apples. It is unfiltered and often appears cloudy. Unless you buy it directly from an orchard it has likely also been pasteurized. Hard Cider occurs when unpasteurized fresh cider is allowed to ferment. It becomes carbonated and alcoholic. This cider can be found wherever beer is sold. Now as far as substitutions: If you do not wish to use hard cider in the glaze, you can substitute in fresh cider. However, fresh cider is often sweeter than hard cider and the glaze will be a bit sweeter, but still delicious I’m sure. You can also just leave the cider out of the glaze, which would then just be a sweet buttery glaze, but lack apple flavor. Another possibility for a substitution that lacks alcohol, but still gives you an intense apple flavor is boiled cider. Boiled Cider is fresh cider which has been boiled down to produce an intensely flavored apple cider syrup. I have provided a link below if you wish to try that ingredient. I always use hard cider for my glaze, so I’m not sure how much boiled cider you should use as a substitution. I would start with 1/2 Tablespoon and taste it until it reaches your desired level of apple-y goodness.

Enjoy!

Apple Cider Donut Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Apple Cider Donut Cake:

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

Microplane Grate & Shake Nutmeg Grater

Oxo Silicone Pastry Brush

Nordic Ware Bundt Cake Pan

Oxo Dusting Wand for Sugar

Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste

Boiled Cider

 

 

 


Boozy Banana Crumb Cake

October 3, 2014

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You know, it is true what they say, that sometimes less is more. I mean, I’ve definitely told you how I love to make fancy pants birthday cakes for folks. And I think you might have seen some of the cupcakes I’ve fussed over in the past. Well, sometimes it is just not necessary to go through all that. Sometimes folks just want a simple little bit of crumb cake to quietly enjoy with their morning cup of tea (or coffee as the case might be…) And I think I’ve found the perfect recipe for that in this Boozy Banana Crumb Cake.

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Now when I said “simple” bit of crumb cake, you didn’t think that I meant that it wouldn’t be flavourful and delicious did you? This crumb cake has all of the usual moist buttery goodness of your traditional crumb cake, but also has the fabulous addition of banana flavour added into the mix.

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And not just plain old mashed up bananas, which don’t get me wrong, those are great. But to really enhance the flavour of the bananas and just put them way over the top, they have been caramelized under the broiler with brown sugar and rum. Yup…RUM. Rum on the bananas and rum in the cake! Just the thing to give you that extra little something to get you going in the morning huh? And being a crumb cake, this cake is topped with big buttery crumbles of cinnamon and brown sugar topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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So there you have it, no layers, no fluffy frosting, no fancy candy toppers. Quick and easy to make. Perfect for breakfast, mid morning snacks or with a scoop of ice cream added, a pleasing dessert. Simple home baking at its best!

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Boozy Banana Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12 pieces - depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Ambrosia

Ingredients:

For the Bananas:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons rum (or more, if you want… and you know you do!)

For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum

For the Crumb Topping

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Line a small baking sheet or dish with aluminum foil (for the sake of easy cleanup). Peel your bananas and arrange them on the baking sheet.  Prick them a couple of times all over with a fork. Brush the bananas with 2 tablespoons of rum (or more…), and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar on top.  Turn your broiler on high, and broil the bananas until the sugar begins to bubble and the bananas begin to burn slightly, about 7 minutes.  Keep an eye on them! Remove the bananas from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.  Dump the bananas into a bowl, making sure to scrape all that burnt sugary rum mixture into the bowl as well.  Mash the bananas with a fork.  

Preheat the oven to 325ºF, and position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Spray a 9×13″ pan with baking spray.

In a bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 cups of  flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, egg, milk, vanilla extract, and rum. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until the batter comes together.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and set aside.  To prepare the crumb topping, in a bowl, combine the 2 1/2 cups of flour with the brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter to the flour mixture, and stir the mixture together until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the prepared cake batter.  Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  

Rotate the pan at least once during the baking time.  Remove the cake from the oven, and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before dusting the cake with powdered sugar, and cutting it into squares.

Enjoy!

Boozy Banana Crumb Cake brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )


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