Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Piece of Cake! One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes

Piece of Cake!
One-Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes

Camilla V. Saulsbury
Spiral-bound hardcover, 288 pages

Okay, I know you are busy and hungry - so let me sum this up for you in one, okay two words. ONE BOWL! Yes, a whole book of delicious cakes, the batter for which you will be making in one bowl!
These recipes are easier than a mix, and healthier too - ever read the side of a cake mix box?

Piece of Cake! is a workhorse for your kitchen, it lies flat (no more balancing the coasters on the pages to keep the book open) and offers Single-Decker and Loaf Cakes, Crowd-Pleasing Sheet Cakes, Blissful Bundts (my favourite!), Luscious Layer Cakes, Perfect Pound Cakes, as well as Frostings, Icings, Glazes, and Other Extras.

It even has a section on making Homemade, All-Natural Cake Mixes. Brilliant!

Every recipe has tips, storage instructions and variation ideas. There are even tips for baking gluten-free.

Now you don't have to wait until you have the entire weekend off to bake. Camilla V. Saulsbury shows you it's a Piece of Cake!

Marmalade Cake
Makes 16 servings

I have a minor obsession with orange marmalade. I’ll spread it on just about any baked good, stir it into finishing sauces for chicken and fish, and warm it up to drizzle over pancakes and waffles. But this easy layer cake is my favorite way to enjoy it. The marmalade keeps the cake layers incredibly moist, and the orange cream cheese frosting is, well, the icing on the cake. This cake makes a perfect ending to a holiday meal — and it will remind you why, in days past, good little children often found oranges hidden in the toes of their Christmas stockings

Tip
When assembling the cake, if you’ve trimmed the layers (see page 25), place the bottom one cut side up and the top one cut side down.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
Two 9-inch (23 cm) round metal baking pans, sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour

2 cups    all-purpose flour    500 mL
1 cup    granulated sugar    250 mL
1 tsp    baking soda    5 mL
1 tsp    salt    5 mL
1 tsp    ground cinnamon    5 mL
1⁄2 tsp    ground nutmeg    2 mL
3    large eggs, at room temperature    3
1⁄2 cup    vegetable oil    125 mL
1⁄2 cup    unsalted butter, melted and    125 mL
    cooled slightly
1⁄2 cup    buttermilk    125 mL
13⁄4 cups    orange marmalade, at room    425 mL
    temperature, stirred to loosen
1 cup    chopped toasted pecans    250 mL
1 cup    golden raisins, roughly chopped    250 mL
    Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
    (variation, page 264)

1.    In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
2.    Add eggs, oil, butter and buttermilk to flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on high speed for 1 minute. Gently stir in marmalade, pecans and raisins.
3.    Spread batter evenly in prepared pans, dividing equally.
4.    Bake in preheated oven for 38 to 43 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pans, then invert cakes onto rack to cool completely.
5.    Place one cake layer, flat side up, on a cake plate or platter. Spread 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) of the frosting evenly over bottom layer. Top with the second cake layer, flat side down. Spread the remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Storage
Store the frosted cake in the refrigerator in a cake keeper, or loosely wrapped in foil or waxed paper, for up to 3 days. Alternatively, wrap the cooled, unfrosted cake layers individually in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let cake layers thaw at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours before frosting and serving.


Excerpted from Piece of Cake! By Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Perfect Chocolate Bundt
Makes 16 servings
If you think “perfect” is a bit much, I should note that I originally called this cake “Pluperfect Chocolate Bundt.” I am just that certain of its total awesomeness (so much so that I am slipping into skateboarder hyperbole as I write). I should back up and explain my goals in developing my chocolate Bundt: 1) an intense chocolate flavor; 2) a moist and tender crumb; and 3) still quick, easy and one-bowl. Done, done and done. Enjoy!

Tip
Use full-fat (not reduced-fat) sour cream. Reduced-fat sour cream will alter the taste and texture of the cake.

Variation
Mexican Chocolate Bundt

Add 11⁄2 tsp (7 mL) ground cinnamon and 1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper with the brown sugar. Omit the glaze and dust the cooled cake with 2 tbsp (30 mL) confectioners’ (icing) sugar.

10-inch (25 cm) Bundt pan, sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour
1 cup    semisweet chocolate chips    250 mL
3⁄4 cup    unsweetened cocoa powder    175 mL
    (not Dutch process)
1 tsp    instant espresso powder    5 mL
3⁄4 cup    boiling water    175 mL
2 cups    packed light brown sugar    500 mL
1 tsp    baking soda    5 mL
1 tsp    salt    5 mL
5    large eggs, at room temperature    5
1 cup    sour cream    250 mL
3⁄4 cup    unsalted butter, softened    175 mL
1 tbsp    vanilla extract    15 mL
13⁄4 cups    all-purpose flour    425 mL
    Chocolate Ganache Glaze
    (page 276)

1.    In a large bowl, combine chocolate chips, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Add boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool for 20 minutes.
2.    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
3.    Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt, eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla to cocoa mixture. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat for 2 minutes, until blended and fluffy. Add flour and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on high speed for 1 minute.
4.    Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
5.    Bake in preheated oven for about 60 minutes or until a piece of uncooked spaghetti inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto rack to cool completely. Spoon glaze over top of cooled cake, letting it drizzle down the sides.
Storage
Store the glazed cake at room temperature in a cake keeper, or loosely wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. Alternatively, wrap the cooled, unglazed cake in plastic wrap, then foil, completely enclosing cake, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let cake thaw at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours before glazing and serving.

Excerpted from Piece of Cake! By Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2011 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.