Tag Archives: Cake

Red Velvet cake

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When I think of velvet I think of fancy fat kings sitting on thrones in giant castles in England. They’re usually wearing capes or manly dresses (as manly as fancy men in the 18th century were). These garments are made of velvet, and the velvet is usually purple. Or dark green.

I don’t know why velvet conjures up that specific image in my head. It’s just what happens.

But I don’t think red.

And usually I don’t think baked goods.

So that chef in that fancy hotel that came up with red velvet cake was apparently on a whole other wavelength.

But luckily for him, he was a genius.

The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook is both of our go-to when we’re in the mood for these devilish, discolored delights. That is, in cupcake form.

But when one little cupcake just isn’t enough, and you need a whopper of red velvety joy you can use this recipe. It’s super moist and super tasty.

Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cake
From Let Them Eat Cake and Ice Cream

Who adapted it from Bakerella

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
60 ml red liquid food colouring
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa

For the frosting:

500g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 175C fan-forced. Spray two cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, gently whisk together eggs, buttermilk, oil, vinegar, vanilla and food colouring until combined.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cocoa until combined. Add wet ingredients and mix on medium speed for one minute. Pour batter into prepared pans, and thump on the counter a couple of times to release air pockets.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting:

Sift sugar and set aside.

Beat the cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.

Add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.

Frost away.

 

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Double-chocolate lamingtons

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These awesome lamingtons were made last Australia Day. It was really great to be able to celebrate Australia Day in Australia once again. Last year I was melting in the sun at Big Day Out and unfortunately didn’t really get up to very much ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi’ chanting. So this year I made sure to have a few Aussie beers, listen to Triple J’s Hottest 100 and of course buy a pack of the mandatory Australian flag temporary tattoos to plaster on my arms. Unfortunately I did have to work, which got in the way of my drinking celebrations, but only for a few hours.

When there’s celebrations, there must always be cake. So I decided to make lamingtons, something I believe to be classically Australian. Many people are unsure of Australia’s cuisine. Maybe unsure is the wrong word, but many people seem to lament the lack of purely Australian dishes. I always associated meat pies with Australia but turns out Britain seems to have claim to them. Pavlova is supposedly Australian but if there’s a Kiwi in the room when you mention it there might be a bit of a scuffle. I don’t think it matters if you have a dish that’s pure ‘Strayan. The main thing I love about Australian cuisine is just how diverse it is. We have dishes with Malaysian influences, Irish, British, Greek, Italian, you name it. Salt and pepper squid is found all over Australia, in Thai restaurants, Italian cafes, Belgian restaurants. They all do it differently and that’s what makes it great. Some might even say that these double-chocolate lamingtons aren’t pure Australian because of the extra cocoa added to make the sponge chocolatey. Some have even called it ‘sacrilegious.’ I think that’s going a little far seeing as the essence is still the same and it’s just giving it another influence, another twist. Australian cuisine is unique in the influences that have come from all over the world. In last week’s Good Food David Chang of Momofuku pretty much summed it up, “If any country can get away from asking, “What’s our tradition?” and say, “Let’s just eat good food,” it’s definitely Australia.”

Double-chocolate lamingtons
Recipe from Dan Lepard

Ingredients

300g castor sugar
50g cocoa
75ml milk
50g unsalted butter
50g dark chocolate
50ml sunflower oil
4 medium eggs
100ml low-fat natural yoghurt
3 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder

For the coating (makes 750ml)

15g cocoa
50ml cold milk
175ml boiling water
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
450g icing sugar
1-2 250g bags coconut (that is, much more than you would think)

Method

1. Line the base of a deep, 20cm square cake tin with non-stick paper and heat the oven to 170C (150C fan-forced). Put the sugar and cocoa in a bowl and beat in the milk. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepan, and add to the sugar mix along with the oil. Beat in the eggs until smooth, stir in the yoghurt and vanilla, and mix in the flour and baking powder. Pour into the tin, cover with a slightly domed sheet of foil and bake for an hour. Lift off the foil for the last 15 minutes. Remove, cool in the tin and, while warm, cover with cling film to keep them moist.

2. For the coating, mix the cocoa and milk until smooth, whisk in the boiling water, then stir in the chocolate until melted. Whisk in the icing sugar until dissolved and pour into a deep, wide jug. Cut the cake into nine, dunk each piece in the coating and fish out with two forks. Roll in coconut and leave to set.

Note: Lepard advises putting foil over the cake because it helps the cake rise more evenly. You’ll have about 250 millilitres of coating left over – just the stuff, he says, for lamington milkshakes with ice-cream and coconut.

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German Chocolate Cake

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While I was home for the holidays I was lucky enough to see a lot of my family members. And while we were all together we decided to have an impromptu surprise birthday dinner for my grandfather. We’re rarely all in the same place for his birthday so when I was asked to make the cake I wanted something decadent, something extravagant. Something that no one was going to forget for a while. And thus, I started searching for the perfect German Chocolate Cake recipe. German Chocolate Cake is one the richest desserts I’ve ever had. Whoever decided they wanted a moist, decadent chocolate cake, smothered in chocolate buttercream and topped with sweet, sticky coconut and pecans, was a genius.

Some people aren’t big fans of German Chocolate Cake, I think it may be due to the sugar overload, but somehow this recipe was loved by all, even the previous skeptics. My mouth is watering just looking at the photos and I am beyond disappointed I don’t have a slice hanging out in my fridge for me to nibble on. But, considering how much sugar is in it I think this is a once-a-year type cake.

This recipe takes some genius shortcuts, making the process a bit easier. Instead of having to splurge on those ridiculously expensive blocks of good quality chocolate this recipe calls for a box of Devil Food cake mix. I’m sure there are people out there with an aversion to cake mix but it’s really not the end of the world. And I swear no one will be able to tell there is boxed cake mix in there. In fact if I hadn’t been careless and left the empty box on the top in the trash bin, instead of cleverly concealing it, none of my family would have believed it wasn’t completely from scratch.

So next time you have a big occasion coming up, or just feel like treating your friends to some insane chocolate-y goodness, I recommend trying this recipe out.

German Chocolate Cake
Yields 1 double layer cake or 24 cupcakes
Recipe from Your Cup of Cake

For the chocolate cake:
1 box Devil’s food cake
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

For the German chocolate frosting:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

For the chocolate buttercream:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsn. milk or cream, if needed

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease and line two cake pans, set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oil, eggs and vanilla. Sift about 1/3 of the cake mix and mix until combined. Add the buttermilk and stir until combined. Add another 1/3 of the cake mix, stir to combine. Add the sour cream, then the remaining cake mix and stir until combined. Fill the cake pans and bake for 18 – 22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

To make the frosting, over medium heat in a saucepan, constantly stir the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks and butter until thickened (basically until it boils, about 15 minutes). Stir in the vanilla, pecans and coconut. Let cool. To make the chocolate buttercream, beat the cream cheese and butter for 4 minutes, add the cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla. Let beat for 3 minutes. If it is too thick, add some milk. If it is too thin, add some more powdered sugar. Place one layer of cake on a plate and cover the top with 1/2 the frosting. Place the other layer on top and frost the sides of the cake with the chocolate buttercream. Cover the top of the cake with the rest of the frosting and pipe the remaining chocolate buttercream along the edges.

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