May 16, 2015

Rainbow Cake

This Rainbow Cake has been a long time coming - we're talking five years!  Procrastination is not a trait I am friendly with.  I'm the type that likes to cross things off my to do list as soon as possible but for some reason I waited such a long time to make this cake.   Not anymore.

I'd first seen it featured on the blog Whisk Kid and then later on the Martha Stewart Show.   I loved how the rainbow of colorful cake layers is hidden behind a veil of unassuming white Swiss meringue buttercream.   There's just something so joyful about this surprise that it always makes me smile.

For the cake layers I used the recipe from Cook's Country's Confetti Layer Cake.  I like that it contains cake flour instead of all-purpose and uses a reverse creaming method to make the batter.    I find the crumb of the baked cake is so much more tender this way.   

I have a feeling I'll be getting many requests from family and friends to make this cake again and again.  But since it makes me so happy I don't mind!

April 12, 2015

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Could I think of a more superfluous name for this cake - Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Bundt.  I admit it doesn't roll off the tongue so easily but I couldn't help myself, the name says it all.  The naissance of this beauty came from my desire to clear out my fridge of sour cream and lemons.  A rather inauspicious beginning I admit but at least it was a noble cause! 

Luckily for me the recipe is very straight forward and comes together in no time at all.   This is the second bundt cake I've made in a week.  While I love how simple and nostalgic they are, I do confess it's the cake pan that I'm a bit more obsessed with.   My favorite is this one by Nordic Ware...a true gem in any baker's kitchen.

I will pay this cake the ultimate compliment by saying it's as if it came from the box.  What?@!  Yes, you read correctly and it's no joke!  What I mean is that the texture is amazingly moist and tender, not dense and heavy like you find most bundt cakes to be.   My only critique is that I want MORE lemon flavor so next time I think I'll brush on a lemon infused simple syrup while the cake is still warm but before it cools and is glazed.  

April 4, 2015

Hot Cross Buns

This year my friend Gracie decided she was going to give up bread for Lent.  It sounded interesting enough so I thought I would join her.  Truth be told I knew it was going to be a sacrifice but I guess that's the whole point, right?

For the most part it wasn't as hard as I would have thought EXCEPT in the morning.  I had no problems eating a hamburger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun - I just pretended I was on the Atkins diet.  But in the morning there's nothing more I love than a dark, toasted English muffin dripping with butter.   Oh it was painful I tell you.  

With Easter only one day away I'll soon be able to indulge once again in my beloved gluten.   In preparation I made these glorious hot cross buns using a recipe from Bouchon Bakery.   Their version uses a rich, butter and egg laden brioche dough for the buns, the ultimate indulgence.   I pray that I can hold off until tomorrow to taste these gems.   A few Our Fathers and Hail Marys may be in my!

Happy Easter to all!

March 15, 2015

Lemon Curd Cake

Can you feel that spring is just around the corner?  I'm loving all the sunny weather in the Bay Area right now and the promise of longer days to come.  For all my friends on the East Coast who have lived through a crazy winter I'm sure there is no season they are looking forward to more.  

I recently hosted a brunch at my house and because the main course I was serving was a little heavy, a version of eggs benedict served on buttermilk waffles with spinach and bacon, I thought dessert should be light and fresh and seasonally appropriate.  Citrus is a favorite flavor profile of mine and I thought this Lemon Curd Cake fit the bill perfectly. 

The inspiration for the cake came from one I saw on Not So Humble Pie.   I took the high ratio butter cake from the blog and filled it with Cook's Country Lemon Curd and Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream.     So delicious!   

I'm definitely reading for spring time to commence!

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