RED VELVET CAKE (RECIPE 1) / KITKAT & M&M CAKE (FAIL)

 

 

So my gal Soraya had her birthday last weekend a few colleagues and I thought it would be good idea to do a small party for her. As we were talking about this I was “bright” enough to offer to bake the cake for the birthday as I had been wanting to try two things of late 1. A red velvet cake 2. A kit kat cake. This was overly ambitious of me I think seeing as for one I had made neither before and secondly offering to “decorate” a cake that will be viewed in public is quite a challenge to ones ego. I regretted having offered several times but what else was I do to with time ticking there was not much to do as I couldn’t just pull out and it was a bit late to order for cake from Nairobi so I decided to go on and keep my offer. Since I did not have the kitkats and M&Ms to go with the kitkat cake we called our colleague Allan and asked him to go to the supermarket to get us the chocolates and this proved to be quite a challenge, Allan, being the man he is, called me like 3 times trying to figure out what exactly I wanted and this was quite the task, it was like trying to explain to a man the difference between pink and fuschia!!! (no pun intended 🙂 ) even after we talked he still managed to bring me the smaller sized kit kats (which I did appreciate coz it was the effort that counted) in a panic my gal Mona and I begun to wonder what we would do but we decided to ask another male colleague who did not even know what kit kats were and he this time brought us the chunky ones!!! I was doomed and frustrated. All in all I still got complements because we were in the desert and anything goes here  but i feel that this (kitkat cake)  project was an utter fail and I will have to redo it again.

For the cake I actually  enjoyed it. Every one who ate it was quite happy with the out come. I tried two different recipes, I will post the other next week.  I think people equally liked both.

My pal who is not a fun of chocolate cakes actually liked this one because it was not that rich, the chocolate flavour is present but very distant and the cake is very moist because of the oil used. However, because of the amount of cocoa used the red in this cake is not as rich and it turns out to be more maroonish. So if your after color next weeks recipe might be the one to go for. Or try both see what tickles your fancy. HAPPY BAKING!

Makes: 2-3 cake layers (depending on how big you want each individual cake, i made 2)

·        1 tablespoon unsalted butter

·        3 1/2 cups cake flour

·        1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

·        1 1/2 teaspoons salt

·        2 cups oil (vegetable will do)

·        2 cups granulated sugar

·        3 large eggs

·        6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red powder food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water

·        1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

·        1 1/4 cup buttermilk

·        2 teaspoons baking soda

·     2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar.

 

KitKat cake

·        you will need 36 Kitkat sticks to fill up this cake and not end up with the disaster I had, i should have crossed checked this

·        about 1-1 ½ cups of M&MS

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners  sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons milk

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended.

4. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting

1.      Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

2.      Frost the 1st cake layer. Set the 2nd layer on top of the first. Frost the 2nd layer and along the sides of the cake too.

3.      Stick Kit Kat’s to the sides of the cake, leaving a very small space in between each Kit Kat (1/4-inch).

4.       Wrap a bow around the cake, securing the Kit Kat’s. Fill the top of the cake with M&M’s.

5.      If you refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours or so, it will be much easier to cut and serve.

6. HAPPY EATING!!!

 

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BANANA BREAD

Bananas are one of my favourite fruits or even food, what I like most about this recipe is that it helps us use up over ripe banana’s that you would normally throw out. If you do not have time to bake just before they go bad. Peel them and freeze them, when your ready to bake bring them to room temperature before using them. I do not remember where I got my first recipe for banana bread but I adopted this one from Crafty Café  HAPPY BAKING!!

Makes 1 loaf.

INGREDIENTS

·        3 very ripe medium sized bananas

·        1/2 cup butter or margarine (preferably unsalted)

·        1 ½  cup flour

·        ½  cup sugar

·        2 eggs

·        ¼ cup buttermilk (to make your own go to this link)

·        1 teaspoon baking soda

·        ½ teaspoon salt

·        teaspoon of ground cinnamon

METHOD

1.      Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease your loaf pan

2.      Chop up the bananas and butter

3.      Out in a bowl and using an electric beater mix up till they are all chopped up and mushy

4.      Next add all the other ingredients one at a time, ensure it well combined

5.      you can add walnuts or chocolate chip cookies if you want (about a ½ cup)

6.      pulse till just combines

7.      Put batter into prepared tin

8.      Bake for 55-60mins until a toothpick comes out clean

9.      Cool, serve

10.  HOW EASY IS THAT!!

11. HAPPY EATING!!

pulse 10 seconds- just until incorporated

Optional- add in 1/2 cup walnut pieces or 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Pulse 2-3 times.
Turn batter out into the prepared pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cooked throughout and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I saw this recipe last week on the Goddess of Baking the recipe was quite straight forward and I thought, why not try it. Its probably been over 8 years since I baked my last cookies/ biscuits so….. These cookies are more of quick cakes. The texture is very cake like. I think they would make a nice packed snack for kids for maybe for a party. ENJOY!!

Makes  24

INGREDIENTS

     whoopies

·        1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

·        2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

·        1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

·        9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (decided not to use shortening and it turned out perfect!)

·        1 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light…)

·        1 egg

·        1 teaspoon vanilla

·        1 cup milk

Salty Peanut Butter Filling

·        3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or crunchy)

·        3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

·        3/4 cup confectioners sugar

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD

Whoopies

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil
  3. In a bowl, sift together, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In another bowl, beat butter, shortening and sugar with a mixer on low until just combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add egg and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk and beat on low until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour and milk and beat until combined.
  7. Using a tablespoon, drop batter on baking sheet two inches apart. Bake for about 10 minutes each or until pies spring back when pressed gently.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for about five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Filling

  1. Beat peanut butter and butter on low until creamy using a mixer.
  2. Add sugar and salt and beat on low to incorporate. Increase speed to medium and beat for about four minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.
  3. Spread filling on flat side on one cooled cake or use a pastry bag with the 1M tip to make the swirly look.  Top it with a second cake and press gently.

PULL APART LEMON BREAD

I have ALWAYS wanted to bake a loaf bread ever since I was in high school, and yes that a LOOONNG time ago. I remember when I was in form 3 (grade 11) one of my classmates had a bread cook book that I borrowed for quite a long time and I read it from cover to cover every other day for about a month and I was kind of hooked on the idea of making bread.

Well almost a decade later and I never tried to make a loaf of bread till last weekend.

I saw this recipe first on Pinterest. When I followed the link I found it on Clockwork Lemon she calls it pull apart lemon coffee cake, but I didn’t see the “coffee” part nor feel the cake part so I dropped the two tags. Any who I thought it looked sooo interesting and sooo delicious, I just had to try it.

So last weekend my gals Mo and Mona came over and as Mona drunk, I kneaded and Mo wrongly filed my recipes (the girl has no idea about file organization!!! She even punched all my recipes on the wrong side!!!!!! <3) Anyway I digress. The process was not as hard as I thought. For the first part I used my hand mixer and the kneading was not for that long BUT the waiting was excruciating. In total you have to let the dough rest and rise for about 2 hours, bake for about 40 mins and not forgetting the time it take to prepare, look for ingredients etc so you can easily get impatient. So we sat, napped drunk and 4 hours later the bread was ready and smelling amazing. Of course we all baked the bread the drunkard and the faux secretary included. The bread was so nice, it tasted as though it had marmalade on it already. I think I would use a little less sugar the next time though. This is what the original bread from Clockwork lemon looked like

I did not have cream cheese so I did not make the icing but I honestly think it it not really necessary due to the fact that the bread has a lot of sugar but could be worth the try. Because this was my first attempt on bread I did not change a thing,  But with too much sugar or not this bread is definitely worth trying out. HAPPY BAKING!!!

 

INGREDIENTS

Sweet Yeast Dough

·        2 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour (You might not use all of this)

·        1/4 cup  granulated sugar

·        2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant yeast

·        1/2 teaspoon salt

·        1/3 cup  whole milk

·        2 ounces unsalted butter

·        1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water

·        1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

·        2 large eggs, at room temperature

Lemon Sugar Filling

·        1/2 cup granulated sugar

·        Zest of three lemons

·        1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

·        2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

 

Tangy Cream Cheese Icing ( I did not use this part)

·        3 ounces cream cheese, softened

·        1/3 cup  powdered sugar

·        1 tablespoon whole milk

·        1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

METHOD:

1.      In the microwave heat the butter and the milk together until the butter melts. Set aside to cool slightly.

2.      While it is cooling Mix two cups of the flour with the yeast and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer.

3.      add the water to the milk mixture and stir in the vanilla extract

4.       Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixer and stir until combined.

5.      Turn the mixer on low speed and add the eggs one at a time, mixing each egg until it is combined. Add another ½ cup of the flour and the salt and mix till combined.

6.      Sprinkle the dough with 2 tbsp of flour and knead it with the dough hook for 3 minutes. The dough will be sticky but should become soft and smooth from the kneading.  Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place  45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Make Ahead Tip: If you want to make the dough the night before you bake it just gently deflate the dough after its first rise, place back in the bowl and cover it with plastic. Stick it in the fridge overnight (it will continue to rise, but at a much slower rate. Plus you get added flavor in the bread from the benefit of a slow, cold rise) The next day take the dough out and bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the next steps. I like to cover my dough with a damp piece of paper towel and stick it in my oven at the lowest temperature until it is room temp

7. Mix the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. It will draw out the citrus oils and make the sugar sandy and fragrant.

8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or spray it will baking spray

9. Forming the loaf: Deflate the dough with your hand. Flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 20″ by 12″ rectangle.  This part is a lot easier with a ruler on hand! Use a pastry brush to thickly coat the dough with the melted butter

10. Use a pizza cutter, pastry cutter, or a sharp knife to cut the dough crosswise in five strips, each about 12″ by 4″ (it might not be this exact size, but try to make the five strips be equal sizes).

11.Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar over the first buttered rectangle and gently press the sugar in. Top it with a second rectangle, sprinkling that one with 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon sugar as well. Continue to top with rectangles and sprinkle, so you have a stack of five 12″ by 4″ rectangles, all buttered and topped with lemon sugar.

12.  Slice this new stack crosswise, through all five layers, into 6 equal rectangles (each should be 4″ by 2″.) Carefully transfer these strips of dough into the loaf pan, cut edges up, side by side. it might be a little roomy, but the bread will rise and expand after baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place  until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 50 minutes.

13. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes and then check to make sure that top isn’t browning too quickly. If it is, just cover the top of the loaf with tinfoil and continue baking. My loaf took a little over 50 minutes to bake completely ( I think this is because I was using a microwave convention the original recipe took about 40 mins). When done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.

14. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese icing. Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the milk and lemon juice. Stir until creamy and smooth. Spread over the warm bread (you might want to put some plastic wrap or parchment paper under the bread to catch the drips)

15. HAPPY EATING!!