Special Cakes and Bakes; This is all it takes

There are only so many ways to make cakes, or so I thought. I’d like to clear up a small detail though; I have no pastry making training nor am I am authority. Also, I am not big on sweet pastry, I tend more towards the savory end of the spectrum. Having said that there a few cakes that have stood out; by now I think half the planet is conversant with my lemon poppy seed cake obssession.

During a recent internet trawl, I found two recipes that literally called out to me. Helped by the fact that I had all the ingredients to hand I could not rest until I made them. And thus began my night time baking sessions.

Both recipes were so simple that I wondered why they weren’t more popular……or maybe I move in the wrong cake circles. The first was a recipe for a blueberry lemon poke cake, From my post, “When life throws You a Lemon” you will quickly realise that I approve of anything that has lemons in it and even more so when paired with blueberries but on this occasion, I didn’t have blueberries. However, I had a freezer full of raspberries and in the spirit of giving things a twist, I decided to make it a two berry cake! So I filled it with raspberry coulis and topped it with fresh strawberries.

Here’s what you will need. 

Ingredients For the White Cake 

2¼ cups cake flour 

1 Tablespoon baking powder 

½ tsp salt 

1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature 

4 extra large egg whites, at room temperature 

1½ cups granulated sugar 

8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence 

 For the coulis
Please read my post on how to make a raspberry coulis. And for the Frosting
I used store bought cream cheese frosting. 1 carton strawberries was sufficient for the garnish 

 The “How To”

Preheat the oven to180 degrees Celcius. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg whites.
In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until they are light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and add it in; scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue beating. 

Add flour mixture in portions still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk-egg mixture, beating continuously to get an even mix, then add the rest of the dry ingredients.
Beat batter for a couple of minutes to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack, at least one hour.

Here’s why it s called a poke cake; using a fork poke holes in the cake (the cake should have plenty of poked holes).

Carefully pour your cooled raspberry coulis into the holes; it helps if you use a cup that had a spout. Then spread the cream cheese topping evenly over cake and place fresh strawberries on top for garnish. 

 Store this cake covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

This delightsome treat did not make it back to the refrigerator it all but disappeared on the table. There just seemed to be something magical about the raspberry soaked cake and the black flecks of vanilla that made us want to eat more of it.

IMG_2720.JPG

IMG_2728.JPG

IMG_2731.JPG

Note: if you don’t have came flour don’t panic, you can make your own. All you need is all purpose flour and corn flour. Measure out a cup of all purpose flour then take out two table spoons (put them back in the flour pack) and replace with two tablespoons of corn flour. Do this until you have the desired quantity for the recipe. The sift the flour mix in a large bowl and sift again into another bowl, do this 4 – 5 times. This helps to mix the flour through properly and to aerate the mix. There! Cake flour!

A day later, barely over the guilt of eating so much cake, I found another amazing recipe on David Lebovitz site.

When I read his recipe, there was no doubt in my mind that I would make it. Not only did it sound decadent, I just happened to have every single ingredient in my kitchen! I didn’t have to scamper off to find one ingredient or the other. In fact, I had a big jar of orange syrup idling away in my refrigerator!

I did not attempt to tweak or personalise this recipe, I followed it to the letter and I had no regrets! It turned out perfectly! My husband and I dubbed it “Burst if Sunshine” because that is exactly what it was.

We shared it with friends, hubby took a huge chunk to work and everyone who ate it was mesmerized. You absolutely must try it!

You an find the recipe here

Well, now that I think of it, I made a tiny adjustment to the recipe. Since I already had orange syrup, I did not go through the process of candying my oranges and opted to use fresh slices instead as a garnish.

IMG_2769-0.JPG

IMG_2772.JPG

IMG_2768.JPG

To be frank, nothing stops you from trying something new. These cakes are amazing but yet so easy to put together. Surprise yourself and your friends today. All it takes is a little effort. 

FFF Tip of the Day: Reasons to make fruit Sauces and Syrup 

1. Fruit sauces or coulis and syrups are wonderful to make ahead and can save so much time if you do. 

 2. They are also a great way to preserve fruits especially when they are in season and you have tonnes! 

 3. They make an excellent addition most desserts and even breakfast meals. 

4. They are easy to make and require no great technical ability. 

 Need I say more? 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s