Saint-Honoré Dessert

This creation was a lot of fun to put together! It is a little extra work because you have to make the pastry cream, the pastry dough, the Choux dough, whipped cream AND caramel. And you have to assemble it! But if you have the time and you want to impress some people, it turns out delicious and everyone thinks you are amazing! You could actually make the pastry cream and the pastry dough ahead of time and chill them until you are ready to start. Just make sure you take out the pastry dough about a half hour before you start so it is workable. Otherwise, you probably need about 2.5-3 hours total from start to end (and then about an hour to chill before serving). And if you don’t feel like going crazy and making the whole thing, just make the cream puffs and fill them with pastry cream!

St Honore Cake

Saint-Honoré Dessert

From Good Housekeepings Best Loved Desserts – will serve about 16 people and maybe leave you with a few cream puffs left over! All the recipes for the individual parts are listed below and this is just the assembly part of the recipe! Have fun making this creation! It really is kind of fun! There are pictures following the assembly instructions (I thought I would have the words easier to follow without pics interrupting!)

  1. Start by making the pastry cream and put it in the fridge to chill.
  2. Make the pastry dough. On a lightly floured surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Trim the edges to make it circular and ‘clean edged’ and then transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and then place the whole thing in the fridge to chill.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Prepare a second baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease it)
  4. Make the Choux Pastry. Fill a pastry/piping bag (fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip – #1 in the Wilton line) with the batter. Pipe the batter around the edge of the pastry dough circle. Then pipe about 16 “puff’s” or mounds (1 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch high) on the prepared baking sheet. Dip your fingertip into water and then smooth out any peaks in the puffs.
  5. Bake the pastry circle about 25 minutes and the puffs 35-40 minutes. Everything should end up a nice golden colour. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the two sheets between the  upper and lower racks after 20 minutes. Transfer the puffs to wire rack to cool. Leave the pastry circle on the sheet to cool.
  6. Beat your whipped cream. Fold about half of the pastry cream into the whipped cream and refrigerate.
  7. Spoon the remaining half of the pastry cream into a large pastry bag with a 1/4 inch tip or a “filling” tip (#230 from Wilton). When the cream puffs are cool (this doesn’t actually take that long). Insert the tip into the side of each puff and fill with pastry cream. I tried to get as much as I could into each one! If you have some cream left over, just add it to the pastry cream/whipped cream mixture.
  8. Make the caramel – be prepared to work quickly once it is ready!
  9. Dip the bottom of each puff into the caramel and attach to the ‘puff’ rim around the edge of the pastry. Place as close to the outside edge as possible and put the puffs as close together as you can. Drizzle more of the caramel over the top of the puffs.
  10. Spread the pastry cream/whipped cream mixture evenly in the centre of the circle. Drizzle a little more caramel over the top. Don’t be like me: DO NOT put any leftover cream puffs in the centre. It makes it SO awkward to cut. Just eat them and enjoy!
  11. Refrigerate minimum 1 hour before serving. I put mine in the fridge overnight but that wasn’t the best – the caramel lost its ‘crunch’ and just sort of melted into the pastry cream. You definitely can make it a day ahead, but just don’t put any caramel over the cream, and be prepared that it won’t be quite as good. It is better to make this in the afternoon for an evening event.
Pastry circle & Choux Pastry edge PLUS piped creamed puffs

Pastry circle & Choux Pastry edge PLUS piped creamed puffs

Baked Pastry Circle with Choux Pastry edge

Baked Pastry Circle with Choux Pastry edge

Baked Choux Pastry Puffs

Baked Choux Pastry Puffs

Whipping cream and pastry cream

Whipped cream and pastry cream – mix half of the pastry cream with the whipped cream.

Filled cream puffs! They really are great just like that!

Filled cream puffs! They really are great just like that!

Saint Honore Cake assembled with caramel

Saint Honore Cake assembled with caramel

Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 2 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge. While it is heating, beat egg yolks, sugar and last 1/4 cup of milk together. Whisk in cornstarch and flour.
  2. When the milk is hot, slowly whisk it into the egg yolk mixture.
  3. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened and boils. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into a shallow dish and press plastic wrap to the surface of the pastry cream to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate.

    Pastry Circle

    Pastry Circle

Pastry Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tb cold butter
  • 3-4 Tb ice water
  1. Whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Sprinkle ice water over (1 Tb at a time) and mix lightly with the blender or a fork. Just add enough water that the mixture holds together.

Choux Pastry

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, water and salt over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture boils. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the flour all at once and with a wooden spoon, vigorously stir until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a nice ball.

    This is pre-egg Choux Pastry. It should form a nice ball.

    This is pre-egg Choux Pastry. It should form a nice ball.

  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each one until smooth and satiny.
The finished Choux Pastry - smooth & satiny!

The finished Choux Pastry – smooth & satiny!

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  1. In a mixer or using a hand beater, beat on high until stiff peaks form.

    Keep boiling! It needs to turn amber coloured

    Keep boiling! It needs to turn amber coloured

Caramel

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb water
  1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water to boiling over medium-high heat. Boil until the mixture turns amber in colour then IMMEDIATELY pour the hot caramel into a small bowl to stop it from cooking.

This is how it looks if you put caramel over the top and then leave it until the next day – not really pretty. Eat it fresh or do NOT put caramel over the cream. Also, do not put cream puffs in the middle if you have extra (so awkward to cut) – just eat them separately!


Cinnamon Dolce Latte Cake

I am one of those people that is annoying to be behind in Starbucks. I may sound like a high maintenance diva when I order my drink but the great thing about Starbucks is that you can order your drink exactly as you like it. And how I like it is “Tall, extra hot, soy, sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte, no foam, no whip”. It started with just getting the skinny cinnamon dolce latte and morphed from there – extra hot means I drink it slower and enjoy it longer, soy just somehow tastes better for most coffee drinks (and for awhile I wasn’t drinking milk), sugar-free to save calories for real sweets, I really hate whipped cream on drinks, and no foam means that you get more of your actual drink in the cup. For those that haven’t had the cinnamon dolce latte before, it is delicious. It is a sweet cinnamon caramel’y type taste. It really is the best drink there!

Look at those layers! Marbled Cinnamon & Latte cake, caramel, latte icing and cinnamon icing on the outside!

I made this cake for a friend’s birthday. He also is a big fan of the Cinnamon Dolce Latte (as is our mutual friend that was organizing the birthday). With the three of us loving the drink, I figured it was safe to try out this cake with them. I started with a basic white cake. Then I removed 1 cup of the batter and mixed in espresso powder dissolved in a little water. To the other half, I added cinnamon extract as well as cinnamon. After putting the cinnamon batter in the pan, I added the espresso batter and swirled them to get a marbled effect. Between the layers of cake I put either homemade caramel or latte buttercream. I covered the whole thing with a cinnamon extract flavoured buttercream. Oh, I almost forgot! Before baking the cake, I put a layer of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon mixture on the bottom of the pan. This kind of gave a bit of a cinnamon bun like texture in the middle of the cake – you know the delicious middle of the bun? I was aiming for that in the centre of the cake. It was delicious. Or at least I thought so. And by the fact that the rest of the cake was gone by the end of the night (there were only 6 of us eating it), I think everyone enjoyed it!

Cinnamon Dulce Latte Cake

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract
  • 2 tsp espresso powder mixed with as little water as needed to dissolve
  1. The cinnamon bun like base

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pans with parchment paper: either 2-8″ round pans or 1-8 or 9″ square pan (as I did).

  2. Mix together brown sugar, butter and first amount of cinnamon. Spread on the bottom of your pan (or pans) evenly.
  3. In a new bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular bowl and use your hand mixer!), cream butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat. Beat in the vanilla.
  6. Marbled Batter! Latte batter swirled into cinnamon batter

    Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour alternatively with the milk. Beat until just smooth.

  7. Remove 1 cup of the batter and mix the dissolved espresso powder into the batter.
  8. In the remaining batter, add the cinnamon and cinnamon extract.
  9. Pour the cinnamon batter into the prepared pan(s) and spread evenly. Dollop the espresso cake batter on top of the cinnamon batter using fairly large spoonfuls. Swirl with a dinner knife until there is some swirling but not blending of the batters. I like to bang the pans down on the counter to ensure the batter is spread well and there are no air bubbles.
  10. Bake for 30-45 minutes (timing depends on pan, sorry! I used an 8″ square pan and baked it about 40 minutes I think). It is done when a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and the edges haven’t started to brown much.
  11. Cool in pans about 20-25 minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the pan by placing a plate (with parchment paper on it) over the top of your pan and flipping carefully. I had trouble with the buttery/sugar/cinnamon mixture sticking to the bottom but I just greased the pan, I didn’t use parchment as I am now suggesting to you! Hopefully it will work better for you!
  12. Allow to cool completely

Homemade Caramel (the nectar of the gods!) (without a candy thermometer!)

  • 1 cup + 2 Tb sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup whipping/heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Put sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear.
  2. Almost there! You want a little bit darker than this

    Stop stirring & cook until the syrup comes to a boil. If needed (if you see sugar crystals on the side of the pan), brush down sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

  3. Boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until the mixture turns a dark amber colour (a tiny bit darker than the picture! I had to take the picture just before it was ready since I was afraid that I would burn it while taking the picture!)
  4. Remove from heat and slowly pour in cream. Be careful – it spatters and

    Careful when you add the cream, it will spatter and boil!

    bubbles! Stir with a wooden spoon continuously until smooth. Stir in salt.

  5. Allow to cool to room temp. Store leftovers in a glass jar in the fridge. If it gets too solid for easy spreading, you can soften it by putting it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time (or just remove it from the fridge a couple hours before using it).

Latte Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • Finished Caramel

    1/2 Tb espresso powder (make it to how strong you like it!)

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp milk/cream/water to thin consistency icing
  1. Beat the butter until creamy and light (at least 3 minutes). Add in the flavourings.
  2. Add the sugar and milk & beat. Add more liquid as needed.

Cinnamon Buttercream

  • 1.5 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 6-8 tsp milk/cream/water to thin consistency icing
  1. Beat the butter until creamy and light (at least 3 minutes). Add in the flavourings.
  2. Add 4 cups of the sugar 1 cup at a time. Add a bit of liquid. Beat in the rest of the sugar. Add more liquid as needed.

The first caramel layer. Make a dam & fill!

Assembly: here is what I did – adjust based on whether you baked it in 1 square pan or 2 round pans.

  1. Torte cake – that means slice it into two layers.
  2. I used a square pan and then made it into a tall rectangle cake, so I then cut my cake in half so that I would have a total of 4, 4″x8″ layers. Keep the two layers with the cinnamon bun crusty stuff for the centre of the cake.
  3. Place bottom layer of cake on plate. Pipe a dam around the outside of the layer. Pour caramel over the layer to fill the dammed in area.
  4. Next layer - cinnamon bun type filling to the middle

    Cover with layer of cake with the cinnamon bun half facing up. Cover with latte icing and then the other layer of cake that has the cinnamon bun filling facing the latte icing.

  5. Pipe another dam around the edge and fill with caramel. Add the last layer of cake.
  6. Cover the whole thing with cinnamon icing & decorations of choice. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake again!

Layers end up: cake, caramel, cake with crusty cinnamon bun side up, latte icing, cake with crusty cinnamon bun side down, caramel, cake – all covered with cinnamon icing.


Pumpkin Snack Cake (Sugar free, wheat free & dairy free)

Pumpkin Snack Cake

Finally I am posting a pumpkin recipe! I feel so behind on the times! I love baking with pumpkin too so I had been looking forward to getting to pumpkin tasting things once fall hit but then… well this was the first one I made! Actually I made this the same day that I made pumpkin scones. I wasn’t as thrilled with the scone recipe as I previously had been though so I won’t post that recipe yet (I wouldn’t want to post an inferior recipe!)

This pumpkin snack cake was actually supposed to be pumpkin cookies. That is what the recipe said anyways! But I adapted it to something that my friend could eat – wheat free, sugar free and dairy free. So somehow in that (maybe changing the sugar to honey?), the texture was altered enough that I realized it was definitely cake batter, not cookie dough! Therefore, I poured it in a 8×8″ pan and baked it and it came out perfect! Nice and moist and excellent! I think you could probably reduce the amount of honey in it a little more but for the most part, I would say it was great!

Pumpkin Snack Cake – Sugar free, wheat free & dairy free

NOTE: I used Spelt Flour here but you can instead just use regular whole wheat and white flour

  • Wet ingredients & Dry ingredients

    2/3 cup light Spelt flour

  • 2/3 cup whole Spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  1. Pumpkin Snack Cake - wheat free, sugar free, dairy free

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8″ square pan.

  2. Whisk together all dry ingredients in one bowl (flours up to the end of the spices).
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients (eggs to molasses).
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Don’t overmix, just make sure that there is no clumps.
  5. Bake 15- 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I am not completely positive that I have the correct time on here… I forgot to make a note to myself!)
  6. Allow to cool completely in pan.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Curd and Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Fluffy Cake Batter!

I must start this post with a confession. I completely forgot to take a picture of the completed cake. It may have been partly due to the fact that I iced it when it was way too hot (yes, it was awhile ago that I made this and I keep blogging other things instead of catching up) and it was therefore not very pretty but I should have at least made sure to get a picture of inside the cake so you could see how pretty it looked to have the delicious raspberry curd layered between the fluffy lemon poppy seed cake. And then you could also see the fun flecks of vanilla bean in the buttercream. Instead you will have to picture it in your head! I have the pics of the building the “dam” to hold the curd in, and I have pictures of how I used the 2nd “layer” as a separate cake that I just piled high with raspberry curd & no buttercream but that is it. Oh well. This will have to do!

The important thing is actually how good it tasted anyways! The lemon was perfectly fluffy & lemony without being over powerful and the raspberry complimented it perfectly. And the buttercream had the sweetness to contrast with the sour of both the lemon and the raspberry. And more importantly, my friend’s lemon poppy seed obsession was quelled for a few days! We often have seminars at work that serve muffins and I have many coworkers that are seriously addicted to the lemon poppy seed muffin. Myself, I am quite loyal to the blueberry bran muffins but I understand that the lemon poppy seed ones are amazing. So for my friend’s birthday, I figured I had to make this cake!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

  • Beaten egg whites!

    2 1/3 cup flour

  • 2 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablepoons of lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  1. Grease cake pans: either one 13×9″ or two 8×8″ or two 9×9″ (I did one 9×9″ and one 7″ round and took them to separate parties that did not require big cakes!) Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds) in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter, sugar, lemon extract and lemon zest until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes).
  5. With the beaters on low add 1/4 cup of the milk, then half of the dry ingredients, the rest of the milk, and finally the rest of the dry ingredients.
  6. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites carefully. Next, fold in half of the remaining egg whites. And finally the rest.
  7. Bake 24-26 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack at least 15 minutes before removing from pan(s) to cooling rack.

Beautiful, delicious raspberries!

Raspberry Curd

Note: As mentioned above, I made this cake for a birthday and took the other “layer” to another party. For the second layer I made raspberry curd in the same way I made strawberry curd previously and it turned out almost as good.  Either one will work well – just depends if you want to use up those 5 yolks you just separated from the 5 egg whites above!

  • Bubblin' Curd! Let it thicken.

    8 Tablespoons of butter

  • 12 oz (1 pkg) raspberries
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add everything else while stirring.
  2. Mash the berries and continue to cook (stirring frequently) until thick, about 10 minutes.
  3. Strain into a heatproof bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Stir in 2-3 tsp of lemon juice.

Straining the raspberry curd

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons of cream or milk
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter for 5 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become pale and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer is on low. Add vanilla and then enough cream until desired consistency is reached.

    Prepping for the 2nd layer: build a dam and fill with the curd

  3. Beat on medium for 5 minutes.
Assembly:
  1. Slice cake layer in half.
  2. Pipe a “dam” of buttercream around the edge of the layer. Add the raspberry curd to the centre and spread out evenly.
  3. Cover with next layer of cake. Repeat if you are using two layers for a tall cake.
  4. Cover entire cake with the rest of the buttercream & decorate as desired.

The 2nd cake with just cake and curd! No icing...


Death by Ferraro Rocher Trifle (or should I call it Nutella Trifle?)

Ferraro Rocher Trifle

I have two friends that I bake for regularly that are frequently mentioned in this blog, not by name of course! They, like me, love food and frequently talk about it. I think that this recipe may have been a favourite for one of them – and that is saying A LOT. Every time I have seen them lately, he mentions this dessert and has a new comment about it. He has asked if he can pay me to make it for him so he can take it to potluck dinners – and of course claim that he made it! And really I didn’t even make it as well as I could have – I would have used Frangelico if there weren’t kids eating it!

Anyways, it is based on a chocolate trifle like dessert known as Death by Chocolate (I often just call it “Chocolate Mess” as it ends up looking like that once served) but it is a Chocolate-Hazelnut Trifle rather than just straight up chocolate. Basically I had a layer of my favourite chocolate cake in the freezer and wanted to use it without making anything that would take a ton of time. Also, I had Ferraro Rocher’s that someone had given me but I was afraid to open them as I have a fear that I will eat them all! So put that together with some Nutella and you have “Death by Ferraro Rocher”! Here are the layers:

Chocolate cake layer from the freezer

Chocolate Hazelnut Trifle

Chocolate Cake or Brownies, cut up in 1inch cubes
Use your favourite recipe or just buy a cake mix if you are being lazy! Although you do want a good cake, it isn’t as important to make sure it is moist since everything else in the dessert ensures lots of moisture!

1/2 cup Frangelico, Kahlua, Chocolate Hazelnut Tea (for the kid friendly version!), or any liquid that has a little sweetness/flavour to add

Nutella Cream Cheese Mousse

Nutella Mousse
3/4 cup Nutella
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
4-8 Tb milk/cream
Beat all together until smooth. Add enough milk to ensure a pudding like consistency.

Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and beat a little more but not too much!

 6 Ferraro Rocher’s, chopped roughly

Cake, mousse, whipped cream, Ferraro Rochers, Repeat!

Assembly:

  1. Arrange half of the chocolate cake pieces in the bottom of your bowl (I like using my trifle bowl but any deep bowl will do – it is nice to use a clear one so you can see the pretty layers!).
  2. Drizzle 4 Tb of Frangelico/whatever you are using over the top of the cake pieces.
  3. Spread half of the Nutella mousse over the cake evenly. I tend to put it in ‘glops’ and then spread it out evenly.
  4. Spread half of the whipped cream over the mousse.
  5. Sprinkle half of the chopped Ferraro Rocher’s over the whipped cream.
  6. Repeat all layers.
  7. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight too.

Look at those lovely layers of deliciousness!


Vanilla Bean Strawberry Filled Cake

I made fondant strawberries for the top!

I was paid for my first cake recently! It was very exciting really. A friend from my gym was going to buy her daughter’s cake from the grocery store or something but realized instead she could buy it from me! I think she was almost as excited about the idea as I was! Her only real request was to decorate with strawberries – although not necessarily real. But it didn’t have to be strawberry flavoured. Well to me, it did have to have some strawberry flavour because I couldn’t just put strawberries on the outside and then make a chocolate cake or something! Anyways, I decided on trying one of the vanilla cakes from Sweetapolita that she keeps raving on about, pair it with a strawberry curd filling and cover it with fluffy vanilla buttercream.

My mini cake - and inside to see the layers!

Unfortunately I couldn’t actually take a picture of the inside of the cake so I made a mini one for me! (I needed to taste test it too!) I ran out of vanilla icing so I iced it with chocolate fudge icing that I had left from something else. It is one layer short of the real one but the picture still shows the inside. It was pretty tasty although next time I would make thicker cake layers rather than such thin ones as I did this time. I think this is an excellent vanilla cake but I don’t know if it is THE best as has been posted on Sweetapolita… I think I need to try a few others!

Fluffy Vanilla Cake (adapted from Sweetapolita) with Strawberry Curd and Whipped Vanilla Frosting
makes  one 2-layer, 8 inch round cake

  • 6 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped (or increase vanilla to 2 1/4tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tb + 1tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp & cut into cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & line with parchment paper two 8″ cake pans
  2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, and the vanilla.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or regular & use a hand mixer), combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of milk and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 90 seconds.
  5. Scrape down the bowl if needed. Add the egg mixture in 3 batches and beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each.
  6. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Straining the Strawberry Curd

Strawberry Curd (this works perfect for Raspberry Curd as well)

  • ~15oz fresh strawberries, stems removed  (or ~12oz raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 TB lime juice
  • 5 tsp cornstarch
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice and cornstarch until mostly smooth.
  2. In a food processor or magic bullet, puree the berries with the sugar. Add the cornstarch/lime juice and puree again.
  3. Strain into a medium saucepan through a mesh seive.
  4. Cook over medium until it comes to a boil. Stir constantly and cook for another minute until somewhat thickened.
  5. Strain again into a heatproof contained and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill slightly to make sure it is thick before using in the cake.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 2tsp clear vanilla
  • 3-5 Tb cream/milk
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become pale and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer is on low. Add vanilla and cream until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Beat on medium for 6 minutes.

Assembly:

  • I actually made this a 6 layer cake and made 3 9″ layers (I did an extra ‘half’ recipe on top of what is written. I think if I did it again, I would actually double the recipe for 3 thicker 9″ layers) and sliced each of the layers in half. I also used 2 cups of butter & 8 cups of sugar for this size of cake.
  • I layered it as such: cake, vanilla frosting, cake, strawberry curd, cake, vanilla frosting, cake, strawberry curd, cake, vanilla frosting, cake. Cover the entire cake with frosting.
  • When it comes to the layers with the curd, pipe a good “dam” around the outside of the cake prior to adding the curd. This will ensure that the curd doesn’t leak out.

Tea & Coffee Wedding Cake – My first one!

The Finished Cake

I have done it: made my first wedding cake. It went reasonably well too. I mean, I would have liked the fondant to be smoother and I would have liked to have the confidence to make it more exciting but overall, it looked pretty nice. And the taste! Well, that was more important to me than the look and oh did it taste good! The bride told me that her mom is quite picky about desserts and had been trying to get the bride to tell me to “not make it too sweet” and stuff like that (my friend didn’t pass along anything of the sort – she put a lot of trust in me actually!) but the mother-of-the-bride was extremely happy with it and was thrilled there was some left for them to take home!

So here was the process (sorry that this post may be long – it was a long process!):

  1. Make the cakes!I made three tiers with the bottom being mocha flavoured (14″ round) and the top two tiers being chai tea. Now do you get why I called it my Tea & Coffee wedding cake? I had to make a triple batch of the mocha cake for two layers of 14″ rounds and a 2.5 batch of the chai spiced cake for the other two tiers. (Note: the 14″ volume is actually larger than the two smaller layers put together). I made the cakes on the Sunday before the wedding (which was held on Saturday), allowed them to cool, and wrapped them very well (a LOT of Saran Wrap!) and froze them. I knew that I wouldn’t

    A lot of frozen cakes!

    have time to bake them all later in the week. The baking alone took about 7 hours!!

  2. Make fondant roses. This is not something I love doing. In fact, I think I would just buy real roses in the future instead. These took around 8 hours to make! Since the colours were supposed to be red & gold, I made the roses in a couple shades of red. Overall I did like the effect of the cluster of them on the top of the cake but they are too much work and I am not all that great at them.
  3. Make the icing. This was where I became exceedingly grateful for owning a KitchenAid mixer. The cappuccino icing/filling for the mocha cake was easy enough but the Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the Chai cake involved beating the egg whites for an excessively long time!

    Latte icing for the chocolate cake

  4. Ice the cakes. This wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be. I thought with a giant cake it might be a little trickier but it was fine. First though I had to make sure that all three tiers would end up the same size. So I carved down the layers that were a little too thick and made sure they were level. Also, each tier goes on a cardboard cake base (basically you then ice to the width of the board and make sure the fondant covers it). I then put a thin layer of honey on the chai cakes and piping gel on the mocha cake to make sure that the fondant stuck.

    The top tier is iced & 'honeyed'

    Honey Buttercream for the Chai Tea cake

  5. Fondant the cakes! I had bought Satin Ice fondant this time instead of the Wilton I had used in the past. It smelled delicious! I had bought the vanilla buttercream flavour and although it still had that weird fondant texture, it did taste better (Wilton is tasteless – just sweet).  This was a little

    The fondant

    frustrating as I wanted it to be perfect and I knew it wouldn’t be. Also, fondant attracts lint and hair like crazy and having two cats makes it incredibly frustrating! I did manage to keep it fur free though (I think/hope). After finishing the fondant, I covered the cakes and refridgerated them overnight (normally fondant cakes don’t need to be kept cool but it was pretty hot here and I didn’t want to take the chance). I had planned on making Royal Icing and doing some designs but I decided I could keep this first one simple and plain.

  6. Insert the dowels. Since the cakes are heavy with all of that cake, icing & fondant, you can’t just pile them on top of each other as the bottom tier will

    The tiers are ready to go! You can see where the dowels are.

    collapse and buckle. Thankfully they make dowels for cakes. You can buy wooden ones but I opted for the ones that are basically like giant, hard straws. You basically insert them into the cake and push them to the bottom. Mark the side where the top of the cake reaches to and then cut them off a little shorter than that. Push them back in. I was a little paranoid so I likely used more than I needed in the bottom tier but it didn’t collapse! After inserting the dowels, the holes are covered with a little buttercream.

  7. Make the “topper”. Since the couple didn’t have a topper, I figured I would use the fondant roses on the top. I took some of the cake that was carved off the top of a layer that was too thick and made a mound of cake/icing. I wrapped this in fondant. Since the roses are made on toothpicks, I used these to hold the roses in place in my ‘mound of cake & icing & fondant’. It worked like a charm. Sadly I realized I needed more roses at the last minute…

    Here's the topper I made with red fondant roses

  8. Stack the tiers. In the afternoon before the evening reception, I went to the reception hall early and set up my cake. There was no way I was going to try to move the cake already stacked! I used a large angled cake spatula to help me out here. It worked well.
  9. Wrap in Ribbon. For the gold, in case you are wondering, I wrapped the tiers in the same ribbon that the couple used on their invitations. I looked around for awhile looking for the perfect ribbon and was suddenly inspired to ask if they had any left over as it was the perfect ribbon for the cake. I measured it out and figured I needed a minimum of 250 cm. Well, the bride has about 270 cm left! It really was the absolute perfect length – I cut the three lengths I needed and had none leftover (but enough to perfectly wrap around)! I think it was meant to be 🙂 The best thing about putting ribbon around the base of the tiers was that it hides all the flaws in the fondant at the bottom! Best idea ever!
  10. Add the topper & other decorations! I put the topper on top and other people brought some rose petals and tealights to decorate the table. Step back so you don’t look at the imperfections so closely. And dim the lights – that helps too!

    It was done... although it looked nicer in the evening when the daylight didn't show the imperfections. Plus the decorations for the table helped!

Ok, so here are the recipes. I am putting the recipe for a normal sized cake rather than the giant ones I did. I ended up doing 2.5 times of each recipe for the amount that I made. (I had to make them in 2 batches as 2.5 didn’t fit in the bowl!)

The chocolate batter: I almost maxed out my mixer!

Rich, moist Mocha Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • salt
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cappuccino flavour (or another tsp of espresso powder)
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cake pans and line with parchment paper. This should make a 2 deep or 3 thinner 9″ layers.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, espresso powder & salt.

    Whisk together dry ingredients (if the cocoa is lumpy sift it first!)

  3. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together buttermilk, cappuccino flavour and vanilla.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar until blended. Beat about 3 minutes on high until creamy.
  5. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time.
  6. Beat in flour mixture alternatively with buttermilk/vanilla mixture. Start and end with the flour mix.
  7. Pour into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean about 25-28 minutes (check it at 20 minutes).
  8. Cool in pans 15-20 minutes before removing to cool on racks.

Latte Icing - I added more espresso powder after the picture.

Latte Icing

  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cappuccino flavour
  • 1-2 Tb espresso powder (make it to how strong you like it! The flavour will mellow a bit once it is mixed with the cake so make it a little stronger than you would think)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2-4 tsp milk/cream/water to thin consistency icing
  1. Beat the butter until creamy and light (at least 3 minutes). Add in the flavourings.
  2. Add 2-3 cups of the sugar 1 cup at a time. Add a bit of liquid. Beat in the rest of the sugar. Add more liquid as needed.

Chai Tea Cake (adapted from Sky-High Cakes as posted on this blog)

The chai cake batter - again almost too high in the bowl!

I like it pretty spicy and although I adapted this to make it spicier, I could still use more in my opinion!

  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 chai tea bags
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chai flavouring (I bought this at a random tea store in Seattle… it is optional!)
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease pans and line with parchment paper (2 or 3 9″ pans would work great! Of course the 3 pans would make for thin layers while the 2 pans would make for deep layers)
  2. In a saucepan, bring milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow to steep (stir it around some) for about 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and squeeze out the remaining milk. Allow to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine eggs, yolks, vanilla, chai flavour if using, and 1/3 cup of chai milk.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, whisk together all dry ingredients. Beat in the butter and the remaining milk. Mix on medium until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg mixture in three additions.
  6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Honey swiss meringue buttercream

  • Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

    4 egg whites

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, heat the sugar and egg whites. Whisk while heating until 140°F. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
  2. Whip the meringue by beating on low to start, until foamy, and then increasing the speed. Beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and the mixture is cooled completely (test by touching the outside of the metal bowl). This takes about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. Beat between each addition until the butter is fully incorporated.
  4. Don’t worry if it looks kind of curdled during the process, keep beating as it will come together at the end.
  5. Slowly pour in the honey while continuing to beat. Add the vanilla. Beat for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. To finish, switch to the paddle attachment and beat a few extra minutes to reduce air bubbles.
There you have it! A delicious coffee & tea cake (or you could just make one or the other!)

The couple (bad picture quality - sorry)

The cut up pieces! Pure Loveliness!