Tag Archives: cake

Honey Glazed Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

I am not a morning person.  I need a few quiet moments (more like 60 quiet moments) to myself, with a steaming cup of coffee, to clear out the cob webs and figure out how I’m going to tackle the day.  I trudge to the kitchen, in the darkness, one eye open, hair all askew, heading directly for the coffee maker.  Even the dog knows it’s best not to approach.  Truly, I admit it, I’m an ogre.   On the flip side, if you want to stay up all night and party like it’s 1999, I’m most certainly your gal.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

Weekends thankfully, are different.  I can wake on my own time and head to the kitchen to make something a little more decadent for everyone.   Often it’s buttermilk pancakes, scones or cinnamon rolls, sometimes fresh doughnuts (the best!).  Sometimes, it’s cake!  Like this super moist, cardamom spiced cake, topped with fresh figs, fresh dates, sliced almonds, pepita’s and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.  Just to make it more indulgent, I poke holes in it when it comes out of the oven and pour a sweet honey glaze on top.  This is how I redeem myself for my grumpiness from Monday to Friday.  Glazed breakfast items.  Works every time.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

This is a brunch worthy, company worthy, breakfast cake.  The cake itself is very fast and simple to throw together.  It’s also pretty versatile, so you can play around with your toppings and spices and add what appeals to you.  A simple dusting of powdered sugar works too, if you want to exclude the honey glaze.  But seriously, why would you?  I mean truly, honey glaze should never be excluded.

I’m curious to know, are you a morning person or a night owl like me?

Happy week-end everyone,

Renee

xo

Honey Glazed Fresh Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

*adapted from Joy The Baker

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 8 fresh figs, sliced in half
  • 3-4 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. pepitas
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp. hot water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 10-inch cake pan.

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla and almond extract.  Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined, careful not to over mix.
  2. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Top batter with fresh figs and dates, gently pressing them into the top of the batter.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds, pepitas and coconut  and then sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
  3. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze (keep it in the pan).  Whisk the powdered sugar and honey in a small bowl, adding 1-2 tbsp. of hot water to make a smooth, thin glaze.  Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake, to allow the glaze to seep through.  Pour the glaze over the warm cake.  Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.  The cake will keep well for a few days at room temperature.

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Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake

Guys, I’m really feeling sun deprived.  We’ve had some cold, damp, icy weather these days.  Followed by more snow.  And more rain.  And bone chilling cold.  You get the idea.  I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.  Desperate for it in fact!  I’ve decided that since it isn’t coming fast enough, I’m going to start welcoming spring in early myself!  So I’ve been posting all things sunny and bright on my Facebook page, and pouring over springtime posts from blogs that I follow, and scouring Instagram for some energizing inspiration.  I’ve even been literally stocking up on cheerful, sun-kissed things for the house.  I’ve got some serious colour cravings happening.

Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake via SweetRevelations

All the more reason to bake this outstanding Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake.  You might say I’ve gone a bit overboard with Meyer lemon purchases lately, but their bright golden yellow colour just screams happiness to me.   They’re tart and definitely sweeter than a regular lemon, and they have an almost exotic floral scent.  I knew that I would be using some to make a flourless lemon cake, as I’ve always been completely smitten with Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake.  The idea is similar, in that the whole fruit is included in the recipe.  That means the whole Meyer lemon is pureed right into the cake.  Four of them in fact.

Well, that’s a lot of happiness in there if you ask me.

lemon cake 1

The best news here friends, is that this cake simply gets better with age.  It’s incredibly moist and bakes up as if it’s been drizzled with a lemony syrup or something.   You can top it with a dreamy meringue, like I’ve done here, or you can serve it with a simple dusting of powdered sugar or a lemon glaze at tea time, all  are just as good.  Either way, the cake is a snap to make, and the lemon flavour is like a sweet kiss from the sun.  Your friends will never believe that it doesn’t contain any flour what-so-ever.

Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake via SweetRevelations

Honest to goodness, as I was baking this the other night (for the second time in a week!), the sun came out for just a brief moment.  It was shining so brightly through my kitchen window that I couldn’t help but feel like Mother Nature was hearing my plea.  It felt, for just a few minutes, that spring might soon be on its way.

I hope the sun is shining bright wherever you are!

Renee

xo

Flourless Lemon Meringue Cake

  • 5 Meyer Lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Meringue Topping:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups of sugar

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9 inch springform pan with non stick spray and line the bottom with parchment.

  1.  Mix the almond meal, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.  Place 4 of the lemons in a pot and cover with cold water.  Bring water to a boil and continue boiling the lemons for 25 minutes.  Remove from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Once cool, cut the lemons in half, remove the seeds and puree the whole lemons until smooth.  You will need 1 cup of puree.  Set aside.
  2. Zest the remaining lemon and place in a medium bowl with the sugar.  Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat for at least 5 minutes until mixture is pale and increased in volume.  Slowly add the almond meal and mix just until combined.  Pour into prepared springform pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until center is slightly springy when touched.  Allow cake to fully cool.  Remove from pan and place on serving platter.
  3. For the meringue, you will need a stand mixer.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.  Use immediately to ice the cake.  Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.  The cake will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.  Enjoy!

 

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Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake (No Bake!}

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had an amazing dinner with friends.  It was a gorgeous home cooked meal, with all of the fixings, great wine and even better company.  When dessert rolled around, my girlfriend brought out a simple trifle, layered with raspberry swiss rolls, fresh berries and pudding.  She kind of apologized for its simplicity and stated it was one of her husbands favourites.  It was so good!  Very simple, but light tasting, fresh and so moist.   I enjoyed it so much, and couldn’t quite put a finger on why it was such a familiar, and happy, taste to me.

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Driving home from errands a few days later it dawned on me.  It was the swiss rolls!   It was that spongy cake and sweet raspberry center that brought a flood of memories back.   I remember staying at my grandmothers, my Mémé’s, as a teenager.  My Pépé had passed, and I was staying with her to keep her company.  We discovered at that time, that we both had the terrible habit of waking in the night to eat something sweet.   I’m not sure that it’s hereditary, but what a coincidence to discover that we both would end up in the kitchen in the night to nibble on something sweet with a glass of tea or milk.   I remember our surprise, “you do this too?!” and our pleasure at sharing this naughty habit (something it took me years to break).   I can still hear her, as she giggled about it.  At Mémé’s, when I was there, the midnight offering was a slice or two of raspberry swiss rolls.  She always put the slices on little saucers, and often, we would snack without much talking, and then both of us would head straight back to bed.

It’s funny how some foods can trigger such amazing memories and feelings sometimes.  Just thinking about those sleepovers made me feel so happy and nostalgic for the time she was here.  My grandmother was a tiny woman, with a gigantic heart, who was immensely proud of her family.  When I was newly married, she moved back to her home town to live in a retirement home, over 2000 kilometers away.  I mourned her absence and visited and wrote to her often.  I was lucky enough to fly down and sit with her, many years later, as she drew her very last breath.  She was probably one of the most influential women in my life, and still is very much with me in spirit today, especially as I have recently become a Mémé myself.

Swiss Roll Layer Cake via SweetRevelations

Just a few days ago I decided to track down those swiss rolls and use them to make a simple and fresh dessert of my own.  I layered slices of them in a springform pan with vanilla pudding.  The cake was left in the fridge overnight, and just before serving I piled it high with whipped topping and fresh berries.   I was so pleased with the results.  It was super moist, slightly sweet from the swiss rolls and bursting with fresh fruit.  Kind of like trifle, but in cake form.  It was an ideal make ahead dessert too, and something easily prepped the night before.  The hardest part of the dessert was finding the swiss rolls.  Having never purchased them myself, I finally found them in the bakery department of my local grocery store.  And oh boy was I excited about those rolls!  I bought every package they had on the shelf!

I’m completely okay with using instant pudding and store-bought layers for this cake.  There’s a time for beautiful, scratch made layer cakes and there’s a time for easy, family style desserts with memories and stories behind them.  Even though Mémé never made this cake, it’s my twist on one of her favourite treats and it certainly reminds me of the love of sweets we shared.  Who knew a no bake layer cake could be so easy and so tasty!

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Have you got a food, smell or taste that triggers happy memories for you?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake {No Bake}

  • 2 400 gram packages of Raspberry Swiss Roll, sliced in 1″ pieces
  • 3 packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 5 cups of half and half cream
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • fresh fruit for garnish

 

  1. Line an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with parchment, as best you can, by cutting a circle for the bottom and a long rectangle for the side.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes and half and half cream, for about 2 minutes, set aside.
  2. Layer the slices of Swiss Roll in the bottom of the pan, being sure to tuck pieces close together for a snug fit.  Spread 1 1/2 cups of pudding on top of the layer.  Repeat two more times.  Add a final layer of Swiss Roll on top ( I sliced the top layer about 1/2″ only).  Refrigerate overnight.   Keep any unused pudding for serving.
  3. Before serving, carefully remove from the springform pan and set the cake on a platter.  Use a spatula to spread any remaining pudding on the sides.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit.  The cake will keep, covered, for a few days in the refrigerator.

 

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Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

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Reese Krantz Cake

It’s officially fall now, which means I start baking all of the glorious recipes that signify autumn (think pumpkin everything!) and I get back into the routine of baking different kinds of bread every week-end.  It’s something I’ve done for years, and a process that I get so much satisfaction from.   There are so many amazing yeasted bread and cake recipes out there to try, and literally nothing makes the house smell better!

Reese Krantz Cake

I do especially love to make yeasted coffee cakes, or sweet breads, for friends and company.  Krantz Cake is one such treat; a stunning, chocolate-y swirled, sweet yeasted cake that is rolled and twisted into a beautiful decadent loaf.  Once baked, it is brushed generously with a simple syrup that creates a shiny loaf that’s almost too pretty to eat!  I decided to make a Reese version, and bake it in a springform pan instead of a loaf pan, which created this gorgeous twisty cake.  The folks at Hershey’s Canada kindly sent me some Reese Spread to try, and I knew as soon as I licked that first spoonful, it was destined to be in a yeasted cake.

The process couldn’t be simpler, and I easily adapted my homemade white bread recipe to include more eggs and butter.  I left this rich egg-y dough to rise and then spread it with 2 gloriously chocolate-y, peanut-y, cups of Reese Spread and sprinkled it with chopped peanuts before baking.  Once out of the oven, I brushed it with a simple syrup and left it to cool.  I had to guard this warm, delicious cake with my life as others were eager to dig in!  Once cool, the flavor was just as I suspected, a sweet, soft yeasted cake full of little pockets of Reese peanut butter decadence.  Reese swirls everybody! Reese swirls!

Reese Krantz

Don’t be intimidated by working with yeast.  I used a rapid rise version, which requires no proofing and is simply added to the flour at the beginning of mixing.  Most Krantz recipes call for refrigerating the dough overnight, but I’ve opted to skip that step with outstanding results.   A stand mixer makes this process ridiculously easy and there is very little hands on time.  The dough has two rise times before baking, which leaves plenty of time to do other things in between.

Reese Krantz Cake

I’ve made this a few times already.  The last time I promptly divided the cake into thirds and delivered it to friends.  Honestly, something this good is meant to be shared.

Happy peanut-y, chocolate-y, finger licking Reese baking friends,

Renee

Reese Krantz Cake

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour (up to 5 cups if needed)
  • 2 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 110°
  • 1/2 cup soft butter cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups Reese Spread
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. chopped peanuts
  • 2/3 c water
  • 12 tbsp. sugar
  1. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add two cups of flour, the yeast and honey.  Stir for about one minute.  Add another cup of flour, the milk, and salt.  Mix until dough starts to combine.  Add another cup of flour, the eggs (one at a time) and slowly add the butter.  Add the last 1/2 cup of flour and knead the dough for 3 minutes, adding an additional 1/2 cup if needed, just until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl.  It will be tacky to touch.  Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draft free area for 2 hours.  The dough will rise very little.
  2. After the first rise, roll the dough out, onto a floured surface, into a rectangle that is approximately 15″ x 20″, with the longest side facing you.  Spread the dough with the Reese Spread (right to the edges) and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts.  Roll the dough up into a long tight log and use both hands to even out the long piece.  Using a sharp knife slice the entire log in half (lengthwise), exposing the gorgeous layers of Reese Spread and dividing the log into two long halves.  With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lift the left half over the right, to create a simple, two-pronged twisted plait, keeping those Reese layers at the top.  Gently place this twisted dough into a well sprayed 10″ springform pan, winding it as best you can, to make it fit. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Cover again with the tea towel and leave to rest for an hour.
  3. Bake at 375° for approx. 27 minutes.  While the cake is in the oven, make the simple syrup.  In a small saucepan bring the water and 12 tbsp. of sugar just to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Once cake is removed from the oven, brush all over with most of the simple syrup while it’s still hot.  I didn’t use it all, there were a few teaspoons of syrup left when I was done.  Release the pan once the cake is cool.  This cake kept very well in a covered cake carrier for a few days.  It never lasted longer than that!

Notes:

  1.  This cake can easily be made in two 9″ loaf pans.  Once the dough is twisted, cut it in half and place each piece in a well sprayed loaf pan.  Cover with a tea towel for an hour and bake as directed above.

 

*This post has been sponsored by Hershey’s Canada and I have been compensated both monetarily and with product.  All opinions here are my own.  I wouldn’t endorse any product unless I thought it was fantastic and I’m happy to share it with you!

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Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

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Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

cake

If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

cake top

I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

slice

I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

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Filed under Cake, Ice Cream

Chocolate Love

I have to tell you right off that I think I may have discovered the best chocolate frosting ever this week-end….

***squeal!!***

Like, if I could marry a frosting this would be the one.

If I could bathe in a frosting this would be the one.

Don`t judge me… this stuff is so darn chocolatey and rich and delicious.  Ruffled on top of a moist dark chocolate cake.   With a fresh and sweet strawberries on top?

You know you want it….

I thought I would give this recipe a whirl because my usual chocolate frosting just isn’t fudgey and chocolatey enough for me sometimes.  This is melted Belgian chocolate and cocoa whipped together with icing sugar and butter.

You had me at melted Belgian chocolate…..

I swirled some on top of my cupcakes and used some to make little tiny trifle cups.  These are just plastic wine cups that I layered with a cupcake, some icing and some diced berries.  Perfect to bring out to the patio after dinner.

Make it.  Then e-mail me right away and tell me that without a doubt this is the best chocolate and cupcake combo you have ever had.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

*adapted from What The Fruitcake?

Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup strong hot coffee

3/4 cup dark cocoa

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp mayonnaise, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners

1.  Whisk together coffee and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside.  Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in another small bowl and set aside.  Measure out buttermilk and mix with vanilla extract and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly and scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next egg.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined.  Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined.  Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture.  Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in mayonnaise.

3.  Divide equally into prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 16-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  •                                         1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  •                                         2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •                                         3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •                                         1/4 teaspoon salt
  •                                         1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Callebaut Bittersweet)

 1.   Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.   Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

This icing can be stored in the fridge for about a week.  Bring to room temperature and beat until smooth again.

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Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Mini Wild Blueberry and Cream Cheese Trifles

May seems to be flying by and I can’t believe I missed my one year blog anniversary!   One year ago on Mother’s Day I started this crazy adventure and somehow wrangled my husband into doing the pictures for me.

I had no idea what blogging would entail.   No really, I had NO idea what I was doing.  Photography?  Food styling? I’m just a girl who loves to bake yummy things and share them with others.  And I still have a lot to learn.

The world is such a small place for bloggers and foodies alike.  I can’t believe the mail I’ve received from people who live in some pretty amazing places.  I love to hear from you!  I love to receive all of your questions and comments.   There are actually more people than just me who think frosting should be added as the 5th food group.

Who knew!

I have learned so much from you too.  I am constantly amazed by the other sites I visit.  Some of you have been a real inspiration to me!  Let’s see where this road takes us, shall we?  I’m excited to see what the next year brings.

Mini Wild Blueberry and Cream Cheese Trifles

*make these in disposable cups for easy clean-up!

*recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

  •  5 slices of ready made pound cake cut into small cubes
  • 250 g cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • wild blueberry sauce – I used about 1 1/2 cups of my homemade Wild Blueberry and Lemon Preserves (here)

1.  Whip cream cheese, vanilla, cream, lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl until soft peaks form.

2.  I layered the cream cheese whip, pound cake and blueberry sauce in disposable plastic wine cups.  Yield 7 dessert cups.

Enjoy!

121 Comments

Filed under Cake

Hot Milk Cupcakes

I’m almost embarrassed to be telling you what kind of cupcakes I made.  I looked back on my previous posts and realized the last few have all been lemon flavoured.

Must be spring.  Must be related to my hopes for some warm sunny weather and spring blossoms.  I’m ready for it.

It seems to be taking its sweet time.

It really doesn’t matter what the flavour of icing is for these cupcakes, the cake is the real star here.   This is a recipe for old-fashioned Hot Milk Cake.    The texture is similar to a sponge cake, but not quite as dense and much more moist.  Just as it sounds, it’s the addition of a hot milk mixture right at the end of the recipe that makes these  so wonderful.  I added a vanilla bean to the milk as it was heating.  It gives it a little extra sweetness.

Can you see my cake looking on in the distance?  It has a creamy lemon curd filling and just a swirl of lemon buttercream on top.  I had enough batter for 20 cupcakes and a 6 inch cake.

I couldn’t resist the sugar dogwood for decoration.  This cupcake here, is the one I have received the most emails and comments about.  Ever.  It’s just gorgeous.  These are a smaller version of the dogwood that I purchased on-line.   The simple addition of a blossom can take a little cake to a whole new level.

Wouldn’t these be gorgeous in a big beautiful bakery box for mom on Mother’s Day?

Hot Milk Cupcakes

*adapted from Taste of Home

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • one vanilla bean split and scraped
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cubed

1.  In a large bowl, beat eggs on high-speed for 5 minutes (don’t skimp on this step!) until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture is light and fluffy and increased in volume. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to batter just until combined.

2. In a small saucepan, heat milk, vanilla bean, seeds and butter just until butter is melted and mixture begins to bubble slightly at the side of the pan. Remove vanilla bean.  Gradually add milk to batter, a few tablespoons at a time; beat just until combined

3.  Pour into greased and floured 6 inch pan and 20 lined muffin cups.  You can also use a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until cake springs back when touched.   For the 6 inch pan approx 30 minutes, cupcakes approx 17 minutes and 9 x 13 pan approx 40 minutes.

4.  Top with icing, berries and cream or dust lightly with powdered sugar.  Enjoy.

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Filed under Cup Cakes