January
14
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 14-01-2009

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Today’s cake is a chocolatey mint layer cake.  My friends told me it tastes just like a girl scout thin mint cookie so that is what I’ve decided to call it!  I started with two 10 inch devils food cakes soaked with a kahlua simple syrup.  These were split and layered with a mild mint flavoured French buttercream.  To finish off I crumb coated the entire cake with the mint buttercream and then covered it with a crusting chocolate American buttercream.  Fresh mint leaves dipped in chocolate were used as decoration and I also made a rose from chocolate modeling fondant which isn’t in this photo.

I will type up the entire recipe tonight and add it to this post, promise!

chocmint

Thin mint layer cake cut by Cake Artisan

The cut cake showing the many layers of mint cream and chocolate cake!

Recipe for Thin Mint Layer Cake

Components

2 Devils food cakes – I used 10 inch
French Buttercream
American Buttercream
Fresh Mint Leaves dipped in melted chocolate or ganache.
Chocolate Modeling Fondant for Rose if you like.

Devils Food Cake
(You will need to use a digital scale for these measurements)

Ingredients

12.6 oz. Cake flour
15.12 oz. Granulate sugar
7.5 ounces Emulsified shortening
2.5 ounces Cocoa powder
0.38 ounce Salt
0.5 ounce Baking powder
0.3 ounce Baking soda
1.58 ounces Dry milk powder
0.3 fluid ounce Vanilla extract
2.5 ounces Corn syrup
11.35 fl. oz. Water, cold
10 oz Eggs

Method

1.    Mix the cake flour, sugar and emulsified shortening in a large mixer bowl on low speed for 5 minutes.

2.    Add the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, dry milk powder, vanilla, corn syrup and 1 quart (1 liter) cold water. Blend well, and then scrape down the bowl.

3.    Combine the eggs with the remaining 1 quart 8 ounces (1250 milliliters) of cold water and add to the batter in three equal parts, blending well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.

4.    After all the ingredients are incorporated, blend on low speed for 2 minutes.

5.    Divide into greased and floured pans, scaling for each sheet pan or 1round layer.

6.    Bake at 340°F (170°C) until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

French Buttercream

Ingredients

1 lb. 3 oz. Granulated sugar
3 ounces Corn syrup or glucose
6 fluid ounces Water
3 Eggs
10 Egg yolks
1 lb. 10 oz. Unsalted butter, room temperature
1 fluid ounce mint extract

Method

1.    Combine the sugar, corn syrup or glucose and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.    Meanwhile, place eggs and yolks in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment; start whipping the mixture on medium speed the moment the sugar solution begins to boil.

3.    Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 250°F (121°C). When the syrup is ready, increase the mixer speed to high and carefully pour the sugar syrup in a steady even stream down the inside of the bowl.

4.    Continue whipping until the mixture is cool and mousselike.

5.    Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the soft butter; whip until light and aerated.

6.    Add mint extract.
American Buttercream

Ingredients

1 pound Lightly salted butter, softened
2 ounces Pasteurized egg, optional
2 pounds Powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons mint extract

Method

1.    Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy.

2.    Beat in the egg if desired. Gradually add the sugar, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl.

3.    Add the mint extract and continue beating until the icing is smooth and light.

Cake Assembly

Cut both cakes into two layers.
Brush on some of the simple syrup.
Fill layers with mint french buttercream.
Crumb coat all stacked layers with mint buttercream.
Freeze until crumb coat is solid.
Remove from freezer and frost cake with chocolate buttercream.
Allow it to “crust” or dry some.  Using a Viva Brand paper towel (no pattern) place paper towel over frosting and smooth with frosting smoothing tool or hand.  Move paper towel around the cake continuing to smooth.  Decorate as you wish.  Eat and enjoy!

Original recipes courtesy of  On Baking – Labensky (slight modifications by me)

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January
11
Filed Under (General Message) by Coco on 11-01-2009

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I want to send many heartfelt congratulations to Rosie at “All about cakes” for her 100th blog post. Be sure to stop by and wish Rosie well and enter her giant giveaway!

Visit Rosie at All About Cakes!

Visit Rosie at All About Cakes!

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January
10
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 10-01-2009

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I make a LOT of cakes but don’t often feel like eating them once they are done. Of course this makes for very grateful neighbors and friends. This week I made a cake I was NOT willing to share with many!! Oh my goodness. This light sponge with a lemon curd and chantilly cream filling dotted with fresh raspberries was just out of this world. It reminded me of a warm spring day, fresh, light but slightly flirtatious. Like my favourite chiffon floral skirt, so pretty and when it lightly touches the skin it brings a smile to your face.

lemon curd raspberry cream cake

LEMON CURD CAKE

Components

Genoise Cake

Simple Syrup

Lemon Curd

Creme Chantilly

Fresh Raspberries (or blueberries if you prefer)

Powdered Sugar

________________________

Genoise

Ingredients

7 1/8 oz Eggs

4 oz Granulated Sugar

1/2 oz Corn Syrup or similar

3 1/2 oz Pastry (Patent) flour

7/8 oz Potato Starch

3/8 oz Melted Butter (I have left this out without any adverse effects)

Method

1.  Sift together the potato starch and pastry flour, and reserve.

2.  Whip the eggs, sugar and corn starch to ribbon stage.

3.  Fold in the sifted pastry flour and potato starch.

4.  Fold in the melted butter (or not).

5.  Pour into 8inch, ungreased but bottom papered cake pan.

6.  Bake at 335F (169C) in a convection oven for 25 minutes approx.

7.  Once baked, remove from pans onto wire rack only when completely cooled.

__________________________

LEMON CURD

Ingredients

13 1/4oz Sugar

6 1/2 oz Egg yolks

6 1/2 oz Lemon juice

1/2 oz Lemon zest

5 1/4 oz Butter

Method

1.  combine the sugar, yolks, lemon juics and lemon zest in a stainless steel bowl and place over a double boiler or large saucepan.  Stir occasionally.

2.  Once done, the mixture will be thick like ketchup.

3.  Remove from the heat, strain into a clean container and add the butter at 90F (25C) with an immersion blender (wand).

4.  Cover with plastic wrap pushed to the surface of the curd.  Reserve in the refrigerator.

______________________

Simple Syrup (Cake Syrup)

Ratio: 2:1

Ingredients

16 oz Sugar

8 oz Water

Method

Place water and sugar into saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool before adding flavourings.

______________________

Creme Chantilly (Make this Last)

Ingredients

18 oz Heavy Cream

3 1/2 oz Powdered Sugar

Method

Using a mixer with a whip attachment, whip the cream and sugar until desired thick but do not overbeat.

__________________

ASSEMBLY OF LEMON CURD CAKE

1.  Split the genoise into three layers.

2.  Place the bottom layer on a 9 inch (23cm) cake board.

3.  Apply a light layer of cake syrup to the cake with a pastry brush.

4.  Next, apply a thin layer of lemon curd with a small spatula.

5.  Spread a layer of Chantilly cream over the curd layer 1/4 inch (0.5cm) thick and press raspberries into the cream.

6.  Repeat the process on the next layer and then place the top layer.

7.  Mask (crumb coat) the cake with a thin layer of Chantilly, and reserve the cake in the freezer until ready to finish.

8.  To finish, transfer the cake to a final board or cake plate, ice the cake with a 1/4 inch (0.5cm) layer of Chantilly and place in the freezer for 30 mins.

9.  Apply a layer of curd on the top of the cake, leaving about a 1/2 inch border (1cm) from the edge.

10.  Dust about 8-12 fresh raspberries with powdered sugar and place them around the top of the border of curd.  Decorate further with Chantilly how you desire.

11.  Store under refrigeration.

THIS CAKE BEST SERVED AND EATEN THE DAY IT IS MADE.

Source: Wayne Gisslen’s Professional Baking (2004).

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January
08
Filed Under (General Message) by Coco on 08-01-2009

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“Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”
~Denis Diderot

Passion can be defined as a strong feeling or emotion. Passion makes your heart sing, your spirit soar and your life rich. My friend Debra was recently discussing passion and it made me want to give more thought to the word.

I have quite a few areas I think I’m passionate about. My artwork, my daughters of course, but then there is my baking passion. This was evident way back in high school home economics classes in Australia. That class each week was something I truly looked forward to. In my final year we were to decorate a Christmas cake we had baked. I won that year and still have the decorating book which was given as first prize. Australian Womens Weekly Complete Book of Cake Decorating

As an adult I have pursued my love of baking and owned my own cake shop and small restaurant.  I’ve taken many decorating classes and been to culinary school.   Family and friends have always enjoyed my sweet treats and now I am in the process of putting together another baking business. No matter what else I’ve become involved in, I’ve always had a passion to bake. Like many, I worry about putting enough money away for retirement and investing, and so have sought other occupations which I hoped might be more lucrative.

While I’ve always enjoyed a modicum of success at most things I’ve turned my hand to, there was quite often something missing. I believe it was passion. Sure, we can all adjust our attitude enough to enjoy what we are doing at the time, but truly enjoying what we do and having a reason to bound out of bed each day ready for whatever that day brings is such a great feeling!

So with a healthy amount of trepidation, I will build this cake business during 2009. Those other jobs I’ve had in the past 20 or so years since my last cake business have only prepared me to succeed. I’ve worked in state government, business, web development and real estate, all of which have given me a better understanding of the business side of making cakes and marketing them.  No longer do I dread heading to the office, meeting with people I’d rather not and repeating that pattern day in, day out.  No, I’m going to be meeting with BRIDES and their mothers!  But that my friends is a story for another day…

Whatever your passion, find a way to incorporate it into your life on a daily or weekly basis.  You will feel so much happier.  Enjoy!

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January
04
Filed Under (Product Review) by Coco on 04-01-2009

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edge brownie pan - buy it now from Amazon!Oh wow!  Look what my thoughtful husband bought me for Christmas!  HE loves brownies and I guess he hopes to be getting more of them now that I have this great new pan.

It has edges and corners everywhere as you can see so for those of you who love that in a brownie this is the pan for you!

This pan is made of very heavy duty metal and won’t get banged about in the cupboard if you have them stored like I do!  The heavy guage metal also ensures even cooking through the entire brownie.  You will of course have to adjust the cooking time to suit your oven and the level of “doneness” you like your brownies to have.

I have enjoyed using this pan so far, almost as much as Hubby has eating the brownies it produces!

Baker’s Edge Nonstick Edge Brownie Pan

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January
01
Filed Under (Not Cake) by Coco on 01-01-2009

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Ok, so it’s not cake or sugary but there are times when Red Pepper Hummuswe need to eat something else around this place.  One of my daughters is vegan and I have been researching and experimenting with new vegan & vegetarian recipes.  It’s a new year and “some” of us could stand to lose a few pounds and eat healthier in general.    I have been working on different types of hummus and so far we like the results.

The type I made didn’t have any tahini (ground sesame seeds etc)  in it.  Basically I took:

1 can of garbanzo beans/chick peas

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2-3 heaped teaspoons of roasted red pepper paste

1/2 teaspoon of cumin (add more to your own taste)

pinch of kosher salt

1 heaped teaspoon of crushed garlic

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor or use a hand blender/wand, either will work.  Blend until you reach a consistency that you like and serve with pita chips or hot naan bread cut into triangles which is how I served it.

Healthy and so quick to make. I made this batch five minutes before I left for a New Years Party and everyone loved it!

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