Almond Chiffon Cake

June 6, 2012

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 3- 7″ cake pans

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of pure almond extract

6 ounces cake flour

3 ounces almond meal

7 ounces granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

Sift together the flour, the baking powder, salt, 2 ounces of the sugar and set aside.  Add the almond meal to the flour mixture and blend well.

Separate the eggs.  Whip the whites to the soft peak stage and add in a thin stream 5 ounces of granulated sugar.  Whip to stiff peak.

Put the yolks into a bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer with a whip attachment.  Add the water, oil, vanilla and almond extract.  Whip until well incorporated.

Add the flour mixture all at once to the yolk mixture.  Blend well and then scrape down the bowl.  Blend for about a minute more and then fold in the whites.  Make sure there are no lumps of whites visible to the eye.

Pour into prepared cake pans.   Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool in the pans 15 minutes before depanning.  Chill thoroughly before filling.

This cake is particularly wonderful when brushed with a soaking syrup of:

`1 cup of simple syrup

1/2 cup Amaretto di Sorano liquor

Make the simple syrup by boiling 1 cup of sugar with 2 cups water for 10 minutes.  Cool and add the liquor.

Build the cake with various fillings:

You can spread a thin coat of chocolate glaze on the layers of the moistened cake and then fill with vanilla Bavarian cream.

A nice layer of Creme Parisian would be nice.  ( see recipe under fillings)

A thin layer of Cherry Preserves would be nice.

Chocolate mousse is good as well.

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Dark Chocolate Cake

May 28, 2012

One of the most sought after chocolate cake recipes is one that is moist and rich.  The following formula will give you such a chocolate cake and you will want to keep this recipe in your collection.  Trust me..!  It is exceptionally good.  Try this cake  filled with Bavarian Cream, Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry or Strawberry Mousse or Peanut Butter Mousse.

Double the recipe for 3-10″ cake pans, 3-7″ cake pans, and 3-4″ cake pans for a small tiered cake.  All of my cake recipes can be turned into tiered cake recipes by simply doubling the recipes without the need for any special manipulations of ingredients.  It is when the recipes get into large quantities that the baking powder can be reduced and there is a special formulation for that process.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare 3- 10″ cake pans by spraying pan release on the pan bottoms and walls and lining the cake pans with rounds of parchment.

You will need to sift together and set aside:

2 2/3 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cups Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Whisk together:

1 1/2 cup  strong coffee

6 ounces buttermilk

6 ounces sour cream

Cream together:

6 ounces unsalted butter softened to room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

then add to the butter/sugar:

5 whole eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Process:

Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs one at a time.  Add the vanilla and make sure the bowl is well scraped down.

Alternate the dry ingredients with the coffee/sour cream/buttermilk mixture in thirds starting with the dry then ending with the dry ingredients.  Again, scrape down the bowl well.  Make sure there are no lumps of flour or butter in the batter.

Divide among the cake pans evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and cool in the pans.   Remove from the pans and chill completely before filling.

A note about Hershey Special Dark Cocoa:

I have tried many different types of cocoa.   My supplier, Peterson Cheese supplied great imported cocoa but I found them to be rather grainy.  One day, I tried Hershey Special Dark Cocoa and I haven’t looked back.  This cocoa is a soft powder that absorbs into the cake batter.  This recipe used to yield a thin liquid batter, but with the Hershey Special Dark, the batter has more heft and is oh so dark!  There is nothing more lovely that a rich dark almost black cake and that is what you will get by using Hershey Special Dark Cocoa.

Tres Leches Cake can be stacked. You treat it as if it were any other layered, filled and iced cake.  There is very little fat in this recipe. The crumb is open and meant to absorb liquid. This is the finest formula you will find for Tres Leches Cake. I flavor the soaking milk with dulce de leche which is made by blending about 1/2 cup of Dulce de Leche with evaporated milk either in a blender or with an immersion stick blender. This cake likes to be soaked with the milk about 5-10 minutes out of the oven as the warm cake will really soak up that liquid quite well.

You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 9″ cake pans by spraying the bottom of the cake pans and lining them with rounds of parchment.

Sift and set aside:
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

Separate:

12 whole eggs ( the whites will go into the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer)

Measure:

4 cups granulated sugar

Measure:

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Process:

In the bowl of a heavy duty 5 quart mixer, whip the egg whites to a soft peak.   Slowly and gradually start adding the sugar in a thin stream.  If you add the sugar too quickly, the egg whites might collapse from the weight of the sugar so it is best to add sugar very gradually.  This egg white/sugar mixture should become quite stiff and shiny and hold a peak when the whip attachment is turned upside down.  It will take at least 15 minutes to whip the whites with the added sugar so it is best to use a stand mixer.

Add the 12 egg yolks a couple at a time making sure they are well mixed into the whites.

Alternate the addition of the all purpose flour/baking powder with the milk by starting with the flour and folding it into the whites. Then adding half of the milk, followed by a third more flour and folding those in well but not completely.  Add the other half of the milk and fold that in then add the last of the flour.  Fold all thoroughly and if need be use a whisk to allow the batter to fall through eliminating the lumps of flour if any.  Scrape the bowl well with a rubber spatula.

Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake at least 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven when golden brown.  Cool for about 5 – 10 minutes, poke holes in the cake with a bamboo skewer or other similar instrument and then brush the soaking milk over each cake in an equal amount.  Cool and then remove from the cake pans.  Chill the cakes thoroughly before filling them.

Soaking Milk:

1 can evaporated milk

1/2 cup dulce de leche

Blend well and soak cake layers with a brush or use a squeeze bottle if you prefer.

Best filled with Dulce de Leche flavored Bavarian Cream, Bavarian Cream or French Vanilla Cream.  If you are stacking the Tres Leches Cake as for a wedding cake, the French Vanilla Cream has to be stabilized with gelatin and stabilized with gelatin especially if you are adding sliced strawberries in the filling or any fresh fruit for that matter.

Dan and Elizabeth

May 26, 2012

My good friend Dan Mikosz of Decadence Custom Cakes, worked in my studio for over 2 years.  In 2010, Elizabeth was born and she often came to the studio with Dan.  From the very beginning, she enjoyed watching the cake making processes.   Elizabeth was the most observant little baby.  She loved watching how everything was done.

Dan is a wonderful cake maker.  His cakes are delicious and beautiful.  We made very similar kinds of cake, vanilla chiffon for instance was a cake recipe that we both loved.  The formula found in my chef’s book, The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg is the formula that we loved most.  The base formula is as follows:

1/3 cup vegetable oil

4 whole eggs separated

1/2 cup cold water

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste

7 ounces of cake flour

7 ounces of granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powser

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare 3 8″ cake pans by spraying the bottom of the pan and lining it with an 8″ round of parchment paper.

Sift together the flour with 2 ounces of the granulated sugar, the baking powder and the salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer with a whip attachment, place the egg yolks, the cold water, the vegetable oil and the pure vanilla extract or Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste.  Mix on medium speed for about a minute.  Add the flour mixture to the yolks all at once and mix for an additional minute.  Scrape down the bowl and continue to whip for a few seconds until you are sure there are no flour lumps in this mixture.

In the bowl of another heavy duty mixer with a whip attachment, start whipping the egg whites which you will stabilize with the remainder of the granulated sugar which is 5 ounces.  Stabilize the whites after they reach the soft peak stage to assure the greatest volume.  Do not add the sugar too quickly to egg whites that you are stabilizing because the weight of the sugar can cause the whites to collapse.

Take both bowls off their mixers, and fold the whites into the yolk mixture really well.  Make sure there are no lumps of whites that are unincorporated.

The total weight of the batter will be approximately 28 ounces so pour 9 ounces of batter into each of the cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until just golden.

Cool in the cake pan and remove..the cakes should be completely chilled before filling.

Here is a picture of Dan with Elizabeth while he is decorating a tiny anniversary cake in the studio in 2010.

Elizabeth is two months old here and she is observing the cake making process. She always loved watching the cakes being made.