This is another tasty cake courtesy of From Away, my latest, go-to food blog. The combination of olive oil, rosemary, and chocolate is intriguing and surprisingly good. The cake comes together quickly making it a perfect ending to a weeknight dinner where dessert is a necessity. The ingredients are also staples in my kitchen and combined with our rosemary bushes in the garden, I will never have an excuse for not making the cake. I cautiously served the cake at our dinner last night—I am always hesitant to try out a new recipe on guests— but it was a hit. Even the children ate it; it probably helped that they ate it so quickly that they didn’t have time to see the little green flecks in the cake!
ROSEMARY OLIVE OIL CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Pre heat an oven to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer thoroughly beat the eggs, add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Fold in the rosemary with a spatula.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir until just combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake, 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate over medium heat.
- In a small saucepan, warm the cream over medium low heat. Stir the cream into the melted chocolate until the mixture is thick and shiny.
- When the cake is completely cooled, pour the ganache over the cake and smooth with a spatula.
The warm and spicy flavors of gingerbread are one of my favorite flavors and smells of this time of year. The combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and of course ginger immediately take me back to my childhood when a warm slice of cake topped with real whipped cream made a regular appearance on our dessert table.
This recipe, from King Arthur Flour, puts one of my favorite cakes in a new shape and tops it with a very adult icing. I personally love the flavor of rum in the icing. However, if rum isn’t your thing, feel free to substitute water or even a mixture of rum and water when making the icing. Or you could skip the icing and serve the cake topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup water
For the glaze:
1/3 cup rum or water
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10- to 12-cup bundt-style pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the molasses.
- Add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the water, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the glaze by stirring together the water, spices and sugar in a small sauce pan set over low heat.
- Stir occasionally until the sugar as completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Remove the cake from the oven, cool it in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack.
- Brush the cake with the glaze, and allow it to cool completely before serving.
Yields: 12-16 slices
October is pumpkin season. Actually, I’m a fan of pumpkin treats year around but once fall hits, my cooking with pumpkin goes into overdrive. I simply can’t get enough of it. Fresh cooked pumpkin puree is the best but when the season isn’t right or you don’t have the time, canned puree will do. I always have a stash in my pantry since you never know when the inspiration to cook with pumpkin will hit.
My favorite way to use pumpkin is in baked treats and this this delicious cake adapted from Cooking Light magazine has quickly become a new fall favorite in my house. The cake is moist and dense and filled with spicy goodness. And as if that isn’t enough, it is flecked with chocolate chips. As an added bonus, the cake comes together quickly so it the perfect last minute dessert to add to your dinner table.
PUMPKING CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE w/ BUTTERMILK GLAZE
FOR THE CAKE:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
2 cups miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 10 inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray then set aside.
- Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar and the butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes or until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.
- Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and the salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Fold in the chocolate chips making sure that they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan.
- Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
- To prepare glaze, combine the buttermilk, sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
- Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
- Drizzle cake with glaze.
Autumn is here and my thoughts have turned to baking. The temperatures have cooled down and it is now safe to turn on the oven. Apples are the quintessential fall fruit and nothing is more comforting than a moist apple cake. This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour. The abundance of apples means the cake is moist and has a true apple flavor. Kids of all ages love this cake and I’ve discovered that it is a hit a bake sales. If you are serving the cake to people with nut allergies, you can omit the walnuts. The original recipe calls for the cake to be topped with a brown sugar frosting. I find this to be too sweet so use a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar to complete the bars.
APPLE SPICE CAKE
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup toasted walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325. Liberally coat a 9″ x 13″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Mix all of the ingredients except the apples, walnuts, and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl.
- Beat until well combined. The mixture will be very stiff and may even be crumbly.
- Add the apples and walnuts and mix until the apples release some of their juice and the stiff mixture becomes a thick batter.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan, smoothing it with a rubber spatula.
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool completely.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, cut into 24 even squares.
- Dust with the confectioner’s sugar and serve.
Yields: 24 pieces
I love this cake from the Reluctant Entertainer. First of all, it is a one bowl cake that is so easy to make; it really comes together in a matter of minutes. If you choose to serve it as part of a brunch (as I do), simply take your butter out of the refrigerator the night before and it will be the perfect consistency for creaming in the morning. The yogurt ensures that the cake is moist and flavorful. When raspberries are in season use them and you will have the perfect summery cake. I’ve also made this cake with blueberries as well and they are just as good. You can use just about any fresh fruit, just make sure it is perfectly ripe since the fruit is center stage with this cake. Enjoy!
RASPBERRY YOGURT CAKE
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, for the berries
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups fresh raspberries, or fresh fruit of your choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray then set aside.
- Combine the butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt and almond extract in a large mixing mow. Beat with an electric mixer until just combined.
- Add in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and use a rubber spatula to fold the dry ingredient into the batter until just combined.
- In a small bowl combined the berries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Sprinkle the sugared raspberries over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cake plate.
Yields: 12 slices
I’m a huge fan of summer berries and going back to my Maine roots, blueberries are by far my favorite of all the berries. And because I am a native Mainer, when it comes to blueberries, in my opinion wild ones are far superior to cultivated ones. Smaller in size and darker in color, wild blueberries are sweeter and yield more of a “summer taste”. Unfortunately, fresh wild blueberries aren’t easy to find in many parts of the world so fresh cultivated ones will do in a pinch–because after all, fresh blueberries are better than no blueberries at all.
When you’ve had your fill of blueberry pies, pancakes and muffins and you’ve canned more jam than you can possibly eat and/or gift (can you tell what I do will all my fresh berries?), it is time to look for alternative uses for these sweet little berries. And when that time comes, look no further than this easy and flavorful tea cake from Williams Sonoma. The cake comes together quickly and with just a hint of spicy cardamom and a generous amount of fresh blueberries, it is the perfect snack or lunchbox treat. Of course, fresh wild blueberries are best but lacking them, feel free to substitute cultivated ones or even frozen berries. If you do use the frozen version, be sure to lightly dust them in flour before adding them to the batter. This will prevent them from “bleeding”.
BLUEBERRY TEA CAKE
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups fresh wild blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat an oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until thick and fluffy.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the melted butter, rum and lemon zest.
- Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the yogurt, and stir until just smooth.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with the spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely in the pan.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Yields: 1- 8 inch square cake
The story goes that pound cake got its name because each ingredient was added by the pound: butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Now a days measurements are a bit simpler making the scale unnecessary yet the basics of a pound cake remain the same. A true pound cake is dense, rich and buttery and this cake adapted from Epicurious, fits the bill. It is so simple yet rich, buttery and delicious. The cake is flecked with vanilla seeds and hints of zesty lemon. Don’t skip on the vanilla bean; while extract imparts a bit of vanilla flavor the inclusion of the beans is what makes this cake so delicious.
The cake is elegantly decadent as it is but you could dust it with a bit of confectioners sugar or do as I do and drench it in a rich Nutella ganache. The addition of creamy chocolate and hazelnuts makes takes this cake to a whole new level.
VANILLA BEAN POUND CAKE w/ NUTELLA GANACHE
For the cake:
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 1/3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
For the ganache:
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 10-inch diameter bundt cake pan.
- Place the butter and the lemon peel in large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and beat until smooth.
- Gradually beat in 2 1/3 cups sugar.
- Whisk eggs and yolks in medium bowl until just blended.
- Beat the egg mixture into the butter mixture in 4 additions.
- Beat in vanilla extract and salt. Sift flour over in 3 additions, mixing until just blended after each addition.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake the cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Cool the cake in pan on rack 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the pan, turn right side up on rack and cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling, make the ganache: place the nutella into a medium sized bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small sauce pan set over medium heat. Bring just to a boil and pour over then nutella.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth. Stir in the sea salt and vanilla extract.
- Let the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the top of the cake.