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May 20, 2011

Vanilla Sponge Cake

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Last weekend after I made the easy chocolate cake I had some more time on my hands and I made little vanilla cakes as well. I should have opted for a nap but sometimes when I start baking I just cant stop. Trying to come up with the "perfect" vanilla cake isn't as easy as I thought it would be. Some recipes are too eggy; some are too buttery. Some are too "heavy."

In this recipe, I used less sugar and upped the extract flavors. Because the egg whites are whipped and then folded into the rest of the batter, the cake comes out much lighter and fluffier.

INGREDIENTS:
5 eggs (seperated; best to do this when they're cold)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon extract
t teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Beat in sugar gradually. Add water and lemon and vanilla extracts. Beat in flour.

2. In another bowl using the whip attachment, beat egg whites until frothy. Then add cream of tartar and salt. Beat mixture until whites are stiff, but not until they are dry (about 7-8 minutes). Fold this whipped mixture into yolk mixture.

3. Pour batter into an ungreased pan. Bake at 325°F (165 degrees C) for one hour, or until done. I baked in muffin cups at 325°F for 20 minutes.


karen on Foodista
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May 16, 2011

Everyday Chocolate Cake

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I'm slowly making way back towards baking again. BabyK is 4.5 months old now and easier to take care of. Megan, age 3.5, practically takes care of herself. I was in the mood for something chocolate and came across this one bowl recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. Deb, from SK, streamlined the recipe, originally from Magnolia: Classic American Recipes, and altered the baking soda/baking powder ratios. I used Dutch-processed cocoa powder and went with the posted recipe.


My cake took a little longer to bake. I baked at 325°F for 50 minutes and then lowered it to 300°F and baked for 20 more minutes. Maybe thats why my cake developed a "crunchy crust" after it cooled. Also, my cake sank slightly. I think my baking soda/powder ratios were off. I might increase both next time by quarter teaspoon. This is definitely worth making again!



Everyday Chocolate Cake
by Smitten Kitchen

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9×5x3-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a butter-flour spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan.

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