The Newbie Cook
- 19,839 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
I came up with this when I was thinking of recipes for our company’s Health Food Cookbook. Chocolate lava cake doesn’t exactly strike one as being healthy but what is a cookbook without at least one chocolate recipe?
I did try to make this as low calorie as possible. Also, even if its calorie content is about the same as regular vegetable oil, canola oil is low in saturated fat and has high-level cholesterol-lowering fats.
This is husband approved and is a nice not-so-guilty snack for me.
This is based on a brilliant recipe I found on Chocolate Covered Katie.
This is not a new recipe but it’s a combination of two posts. I was looking back at my posts when I realized that the cake and the frosting had separate entries when my family almost always serves them as one. There are gazillions of chocolate moist cake and frosting recipes around but I guarantee that this is the BEST chocolate moist cake that you will EVER have in your whole life. *insert Rocky theme*
The best part about this cake is that the frosting is cooked and will never melt. You can just keep it on the table the whole day without worrying about the the room’s temperature compromising its shape so you can entertain your guests and have a couple of drinks.
I made this for my husband’s 38th birthday. I halved the recipe since we didn’t have guests and two people can only eat so much. He loved it. 🙂
On another non-food related note, Chris looks a lot younger than 38. Isn’t my hubby cute?
Now this one is special. I got this brilliant recipe from The Beeroness. I made this on my 30th birthday last November 2013 and invited a handful of people to have dinner in our tiny little home.
The dripping lemon curd just looks soooo yummy. My husband also loves IPA (Indian pale ale) so we almost always have that type of beer at home.
I followed the recipe exactly except for the top frosting. I used regular buttercream for that instead.
I like the idea of tomboy cakes. The contrasting color of the cake and frosting is visible since only the tops of the layered cakes are frosted. It looks pretty and easygoing. Like a cake dressed for casual Friday.
For my 29th birthday in 2012, I chose to make a lime green jell-o cake based on a recipe I found in The Kitchn. Instead of red/pink raspberry, I chose lime green because, well… green is a nice, calming color. And I don’t remember ever making a green cake.
For this cake, I used a light-colored cream cheese frosting similar to what I used for my applesauce cake.
We had a surplus of fruits in the house and I didn’t think that I could eat everything within two days. I initially wanted to make a rerun of the plum cake since my first effort crashed and burned so spectacularly. But we didn’t just have plums, we also had gobs of blueberries.
So what can I make that would accommodate a variety of fruits? Hmmm… cobbler?
What’s ironic is that I’ve never eaten cobbler before so I cannot compare my end product to others. I have to rely solely on taste and the opinions of those who eat it. I’ve also heard of peach blueberry cobbler but I don’t remember seeing a recipe with plums in it. But since this blog is all about experimentation, then why not try?
I did the cardinal sin of tweaking a recipe of a dish that I’ve never made before, which is why I was quite anxious while it was in the oven. What if it turns out badly? Then I would have wasted a boatload of fruits. This is the last thing I want to do since my mom made sure that we would be forever cautious of wasting food considering all the starving children in third world countries.
Luckily, it seems to have turned out well. Just according to my taste, I think I’ve done a pretty good job for a maiden effort. 🙂 Can it be improved? Probably. I want to make it healthier and experiment with wheat flour, maybe use other fruits. But for now, I’m quite pleased with the results.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
My mother perfected brownies. She managed to create a brownie recipe made of six simple ingredients. And this isn’t just any brownie, she produces incredibly moist, flavorful brownies with a very very thin crispy crust that contrasts with the gooey insides.
Now, I’m good with the basic brownies. I’m extremely happy whenever I manage to do it right because that means I won’t disappoint the people I have to feed. But, sometimes, I have the urge to add some oomph that appeals to my raging sweet tooth.
Enter my sister’s marshmallows of choice. Plus oats. Plus chunks of semi-sweet chocolate. All that results in extreme gooiness that will block your arteries and will require a half-hour horizontal rest after downing a hot cup of tea.
This isn’t exactly a cheesecake. Which is why I said “cheese cake.” Harhar. The cake itself is a chocolate moist cake, the frosting is made of peanut butter and cheese, and a drippy dark chocolate ganache covers it all. The strongest flavors are chocolate and peanut butter and fans of Cone Zone’s peanut butter choco ice cream would surely appreciate this.
I think that is the most times I’ve written peanut butter in one paragraph. *wipes brow*
I made this cake for Tita Edith’s birthday, not knowing that she’s a big peanut butter fan. And then I made a second cake for my family, knowing that my siblings would feel jealous if I didn’t make one for them. This is also one of the most complicated cakes I’ve ever baked. It took a lot for the batter to turn into the pretty cake on a plate.
For the first time, I used flash freezing (freezing a cake for a short time to firm it up) to make a decent layer cake. When the two cakes come out of the oven, flatten the surfaces a bit with a spatula or a potato masher like what I used here.
Let them cool a bit before inverting onto plates and popping them in the freezer. Ideally, the cakes should be wrapped in cling film but I made do with foil, having run out of the plastic wrap. Thirty minutes later, they’re ready for layering.
I put tons of frosting for the middle layer, around one third of what I made. Just work quickly so the cakes won’t warm up especially if you have a warm kitchen like mine. Because the cakes are firmed up in the freezer, it’s really easy to place the other cake on top of the frosted one without breaking the cake. Just remember to put the straight (or bottom) sides together to avoid having a wobbly cake.
I also learned how to crumb mask. Because the cake is darker than the frosting, it’s advisable to put a very thin layer of frosting over the whole cake and pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before applying the final layer of frosting. This tip will avoid brown cake crumbs from mixing with your frosting as you spread it around the cake.
The finale is the dark chocolate ganache. It makes the simple cake look elegant and avant-garde at the same time, aside from providing it with a richer taste. Between the moist cake, the rich frosting and the sweet chocolate, serving a sliver would be more advisable instead of a hefty slice to prevent blocked arteries and trips to the ER.
Oh, and if you’re wondering if it’s better to leave the cake in room temperature or refrigerate it, it depends on the room itself. If you’re in a cool, air-conditioned room or if the weather is naturally cool, you can leave it out of the fridge. But if it’s hot enough to fry eggs on your car, it’s much better to refrigerate it. It won’t affect the taste. Besides, a firm cake is always better than a wilting one.
Yum! Trust me, this looks much better in real life than in the photos. Tastes much better, too.
And as I receive my self-presented award for having passed another baking hurdle, I would like to thank Smitten Kitchen for being such a dependable baker’s bible filled with wonderful recipes and tips.
I can’t believe it’s been six weeks since I posted. It must be my lazy gene at work. I’ve tried a lot of new recipes since the last post but, being Ms. Forgetful, didn’t always have my camera with me so I was only able to document a few. And one of those precious few is the apple cinnamon cake. 🙂
It’s Smitten Kitchen’s mom’s apple cake. But I added a lot of cinnamon and lessened the sugar to suit my taste. I also used yellowish-red gala apples because by the time I realized that there were small green apples that’s probably excellent for baking, I already had the gala apples weighed and priced. Another example of the lazy gene at work.
I left the apples unpeeled so I just washed them thoroughly. My aunts always told me that the nutrients are close to the peeling. And it tastes sweeter the way it is.
Instead of sifting the dry ingredients, which would take forever and a day, I used a whisk to mix them all together. I got that tip from Serious Eats. Besides, I don’t have a sifter. 😉
One creates four layers: dough, apples, dough, then apples. Please use a tube pan for this cake, just like Smitten Kitchen did. It’s actually the second time for me to make this and I used a regular square pan the first time when I made it for my girlfriends. It took a long time to bake and, even when the sides were already crunchy, the center was still uncooked. It was then that the usefulness of a tube pan dawned on me.
It hasn’t even been baked but it already looks beautiful. I did use too many apples for my cake. I also had a smallish tube pan and the dough ran over as it was baking. Put a baking tray under the pan like I did to prevent messing up your oven. (Chewing on the crunchy, fallen bits was also fun.)
I brought this cake home to Apartment #1 where my parents and siblings are currently staying. The kids liked it, so did the adults. I set aside a few slices to bring to work before The Terminator (aka Jiko, the younger brother) finishes everything. Luckily, Tita Edith and Layali both liked it. I guess this is one cake that I am going to make again.
Be careful with slicing and serving because the cake can get crumbly. It’s also a bit heavy for dessert and is probably more suited as a snack with your favorite coffee or tea.
Last week, we held Ina’s surprise bridal shower just a few days before her wedding. Being the forgetful friend that I am, I completely forgot about it until Jovett texted me that morning as a reminder. (See, my friends know me very well.)
It was a potluck dinner and I didn’t know what to bring! I expected that most guests would probably bring dishes so I opted to bring the dessert. And who else do I turn to for dessert-related emergencies like this? Dear old Smitten Kitchen. ♥
I chose the recipe based on Ina’s love for the wholewheat apple cinnamon muffins I used to make for her. Of course, I didn’t have applesauce on hand. I don’t think I’ve ever bought applesauce in my life. After a panicky mini-shopping spree in my company’s tiny Safeway, I finally had what I needed.
The cake and the frosting were relatively easy to make. The only hitch was that I was strapped for time, having only 1.5 hours to make the cake. Since there was no time to properly cool the cake, I was afraid the frosting would melt and be absorbed by the cake and I’d end up with a mess. I popped the cake in the freezer and hoped for the best.
Though the cake was still warm when I left, the frosting didn’t melt. (Not too much anyway.) And we were still able to enjoy the gooey, moist cake on our white plastic plates. 🙂