Goth Panda

August 31, 2014

New oven = super puffy cookies. I probably should have gotten one a long time ago.

New oven = super puffy cookies. I probably should have gotten one a long time ago.

December 3, 2013

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

This recipe is delicious. We ate it for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between. The cinnamon sugar coating turns into a sweet and crunchy outer layer for the cake. I think my rose bundt pan works well with this recipe because it maximizes the amount of exterior crumb, and that is one of the highlights of the cake.

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Adapted from Let’s Dish

2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. (7 oz.) white sugar
2 1/2 c. (10.6 oz.) flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 c. (7 oz.) white sugar
1 c. (7.5 oz.) light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. (8 oz.) sour cream

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon; mix well.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Generously spray a 9-inch Bundt pan with cooking spray. Dust the inside of the pan with about 1/3 of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

In the mixer bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the white sugar and beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the brown sugar. Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture is light brown and uniform in color.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the sour cream; beat well.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture over the top.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

June 6, 2013

Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Believe it or not, this is the first layer cake I have ever attempted to make. I have been making cupcakes up until now, never a full-on layer cake. I was surprised to find that it was not all that much harder than cupcakes. I did get the layers a little too dark for my taste, so I shaved off the sides and tops until they were uniform. I also discovered that frosting hides a lot of cake sins. I chose a chocolate buttercream that we had made not too long ago for cupcakes.

This cake tastes lovely, and it is very moist and crumbly. Homemade cakes are very different from their mix-in-a-box counterparts, and I think I might need to check out more varieties. Now that I have conquered bread – for the most part – I might need to move on to a cake challenge.

Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Yellow Layer Cake recipe via Smitten Kitchen

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (17.5 oz) cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 c (14 oz) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 c (16 oz) buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with spray oil and lightly flour.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Chocolate Buttercream via Brown Eyed Baker

2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate.

May 29, 2013

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble

I wanted a new dessert recipe for our Memorial Day party last weekend. I decided on this one because I like fruit tarts, but I am not a big fan of pastry cream. So I thought the substitution of sweetened cream cheese would be more appealing. Also three of Mike’s favorite things are tart crust, strawberries, and crumble topping, so I thought he would probably like it, too.

It turned out even better than I had hoped, crunchy, buttery, and sweet all at once. The recipe is not difficult, but you do have to prepare it in advance. I did it in two stages: made the tart dough and baked the crust and crumble on Friday, then made the filling and assembled it on Sunday.

I highly recommend it, and I think it will be my go-to fruit tart recipe in the future. I’d like to try a raspberry version next. I am pretty sure you could substitute almost any berry out there, and many other kinds of fruit, too.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart

From Nick Malgieri’s Bake! via Brown-Eyed Baker

Cookie Dough Tart Crust:
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
6 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 8 pieces
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond Crumb Topping:
1-1/4 c (150 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 c (75 g) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c (1-1/2 oz or 40 g) slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling:
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 c (115 g) powdered sugar, sifted
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
16 ounces fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and halved (quartered if large)

Make the Tart Crust: Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter and pulse again repeatedly until no visible pieces of butter remain. Add the yolk and vanilla and continue pulsing until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, shape into a thick disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften at a cool room temperature for about 20 minutes, just until it is soft enough to roll without cracking, but still firm. Unwrap it and place it on a floured surface. Use the palm of your hand to press it to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Flour the work surface and the dough and gently roll the dough into a 13-inch disk, adding pinches of flour under and on top of the dough as needed. Transfer it to a 10-inch tart pan. Evenly fit the dough into the pan, making sure it’s flat against both the bottom and side of the pan. Trim away any excess dough at the rim of the pan by rolling over with a rolling pin or scraping it away with the back of a paring knife. Slide the tart pan onto a cookie sheet, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight before baking.

When ready to bake, arrange the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil; set aside.

Make the Crumb Topping: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the chopped almonds. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the butter until all of the dry ingredients have been evenly moistened. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes, then use your fingertips to break the mixture into crumbs. Scatter the crumbs on the prepared pan.

Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Line with a piece of parchment paper and fill the pan with pie weights. Bake the tart crust in the lower third of the oven and the crumb topping in the upper third. After 10 minutes, remove the paper and pie weights from the tart shell and place it on the upper rack, and move the crumbs to the lower rack. Continue baking the tart shell until it is dry and light golden, 15 to 20 additional minutes.
Bake the crumb topping until it is deep golden and firm, 10 to 15 additional minutes. Cool the crust and the topping on wire racks.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed just until it is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until lightened, about 1 minute.

Assemble the Tart: Spread half the cream cheese filling on the bottom of the tart crust and arrange the sliced strawberries on it, cut side down. Spread the remaining filling over the strawberries. Evenly scatter the crumb topping over the filling. Right before serving, lightly dust the topping with powdered sugar and garnish with additional strawberries, if desired. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers.

April 4, 2011

Butter Rum Pound Cake

Butter Rum Pound Cake

So I don’t usually go looking for desserts in Cooking Light magazine.

Butter Rum Pound Cake

Nothing against the magazine, which I do like quite a lot for other kinds of recipes. But I don’t want my desserts lightened. From looking at the recipe, though, I didn’t think it was noticeably “lighter” than any standard pound cake recipe. And I did like the idea of adding rum to a pound cake. So I tried this recipe, and after tasting it, I can verify that it definitely doesn’t taste like a light recipe.

Butter Rum Pound Cake

I didn’t have Captain Morgan, so I used the rest of my Bacardi rum, which barely gave me enough for the cake. For the glaze, I used coconut rum, and I added a lot more than 1-1/2 tablespoons, which was not enough to thin it out to get it to the consistency I wanted. This actually turned out nice, since there is not a whole lot of rum flavor in the cake. The extra rum in the glaze added a good flavor to it.

We kept this cake in the refrigerator, which extended its life span to about a week, and carved off thin slices whenever we wanted some. So I think we ended up with many more servings than 12. You could also keep it at room temperature for about three days, and you could freeze it for up to six months, according to the source I looked this information up in, which I don’t remember now. If I were going to freeze it, I would probably do so unglazed, and then top it with the glaze after defrosting.

Butter Rum Pound Cake

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Cooking spray
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c (6.4 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (7 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 oz) spiced rum (such as Captain Morgan’s) or other rum

1 c (4 oz) powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons spiced rum (such as Captain Morgan’s)

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, coat an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour.

Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. [I weighed the flour, as always.] Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk until blended.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and 1/2 cup rum alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around edges of pan; remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and rum, stirring until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the cake.