Friday, October 29, 2010
Akheela at Torviewtoronto made this Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Jam. Check out the fancy plating!
I made this Yellow Cake with Amaretto Mocha Buttercream Frosting.
Barbara at Modern Comfort Food made this Carrot Cake with Pecan Coconut Frosting.
Valerie at Une Gamine dans la Cuisine made this Chocolate Sweet & Salty Cake from Baked.
Corina at Searching for Spice made this Chocolate and Macademia Cake.
Sunmi at A Heap of Lemon Zest made this Deep Dark Chocolate Cake.
Katie at Level2Mommy made this Lemon Coconut Cake.
Carolyn at All Day I Dream About Food made this Sugar High Chocolate Cake (fitting name or what?).
Melissa at Cute Kitty Punk in the Kitchen made this Sugary Sweet Spumoni Cake. Love the Italian theme!
Mihaela at De prin lume adunate made this Amandina Cake, a Romanian layered cake.
Alex at For the Love of Sucrose made two cakes:
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
and Four Layer Coconut, Lemon, Raspberry Cake
Dawn (no blog) made this Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Nuts.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Don't forget, time is running out to submit your cakes for this month's Sugar High Friday - Layer Cakes Edition! Click here for more info. The deadline is tomorrow, October 26th.
Last week, I took the first of three week-long cake decorating classes from Toba Garrett at the Institute for Culinary Education in NYC. It was a basic skills class which I had to take to take the more advances courses, but it was definitely worth it. The chocolate rose alone was worth the cost of tuition. And it was so much fun. First you make modelling chocolate from chocolate and corn syrup. After it rests for 24 hours, you can mold the chocolate. The rose above is a small chocolate rose or if you keep it a little tighter, the first step of the full chocolate rose, below. It took about 2 hours to make the large rose for the first time, but it was great!
We made this cake at the end of the week. Because the rose took so long, that left very little time to actually level, frost, fill, and decorate the cake. The recipes can be found in Toba's book The Well Decorated Cake. The cake was good, though I'm still a devotee of Shirley Corriher's yellow cake. The buttercream is great if you like a very buttery buttercream; if you want a lighter frosting, try this swiss meringue recipe, and add the coffee & Amaretto mixture instead of the vanilla and jam.
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F, and spray 2 8" pans with baking spray. Line with parchment paper, and spray again.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Cut the butter up into small pieces, and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes until light and creamy, scraping the bowl occasionally if you don't have a beater blade. Gradually add the sugar, scraping the bowl occasionally.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating until each one is just combined.
Stir the vanilla into the buttermilk.
Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Divide the batter between the two pans, and smooth the batter with a knife or spatula. Drop the pans on the counter from a height of 3" or 4" to burst any air bubbles. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans.
Double wrap the cake in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 2 months.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Welcome to October's Sugar High Friday!
Sugar High Friday is a blogging event started by Jennifer at the Domestic Goddess. Each month, the host chooses a theme, and you all get to make a dessert showcasing that idea. At the end of the month, I'll post a round-up of all your delicious concoctions!
This month's theme: Layer Cakes! I love layer cakes, and with the weather getting colder out there, it's a perfect time to spend an afternoon in the kitchen. You won't even need to worry about your buttercream melting! Be creative with your flavor combinations -anything goes: peanut buttter, chocolate, carrot, almond, pistachio, lemon, pumpkin, ....
Anyone can participate. Here are the details.
* Make a layer cake between now and October 26th.
* Post your cake on your blog (if you have one), with pictures, and a link to this announcement.
* Send me an email with the following info by Monday October 26th: your name, your blog's name, the name of your cake, the link to your cake post, and a 250 x 250 pixel jpg of your cake.
* If you don't have a blog, send me an email with your name, the name of your cake, and a 250 x 250 pixel jpg of your cake by Monday October 26th.
*Check back here on Friday October 30th to see everyone's cakes!
Here are some more cakes, just to start your creative juices flowing.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
It's about time I had an "About" section on this blog, so here it is.
I'm Allie, and I live in the Berkshires in northwest MA. For my day job, I'm a math professor. But I also run a home-based bakery called Zucchero Dolce. And, oh yeah, I teach fitness classes as well.
I bake all sorts of things (typically sweet), including lots of French desserts. But I have a very big Italian family on my father's side, and consider myself more Italian than anything else, hence the name Zucchero Dolce, which means "Sweet Sugar."
I'm also a vegetarian, and I'm a lover of healthy foods (except for dessert of course!): fruits, vegetables, and whole grains make me swoon. I blog more about dessert, but you'll find some savory vegetarian recipes here as well. You'll find some baked goods just for your lovable furry companions soon as well!
Oh, and here's my dog Tsuki and me:
Click here to become a fan of Zucchero Dolce on Facebook!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This would have made a great cake for the 4th of July. But berries are still in season, and it'll taste just as good on the 4th of September, or the 21st of August; well, you get the idea. As far as layer cakes go, this is on the lower end of the difficulty level - the filling and frosting are the same, and you can whip the cream in just a few minutes. The white cream is a great backdrop for all sorts of berry decorations, so have fun!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I've done a reasonable amount of vegan baking and sampling, and unfortunately, many vegan desserts taste vegan - that doesn't mean they're not yummy, but sometimes they just taste a little... different. I don't think that's the case with these cupcakes though, especially if you eat the cake and frosting simultaneously. Go ahead, invite your friends over and have a taste test!
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
Vegan Vanilla Frosting