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After I was done with my cornmeal pancakes, I still had almost half a bagful of finely ground cornmeal I purchased from a Rodriguan entrepreneur some months back. Contrary to my expectation, the processed corn had a surprisingly long shelf life and I was happy to have a bowl of cornmeal porridge on my list of breakfast items for the next few weeks. When I ran a Google search for ‘cornmeal cake’, this devilishly simple cake from Elegant Meraki stood out a mile and I felt that I had saved the last of my cornmeal just for this one. Liberally soaked in orange honey syrup and topped with pistachios, it has a rich golden crumb, which goes well with an infusion of Bois Cheri’s Paul & Virginie black tea.

ORANGE HONEY CORNMEAL CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Cornmeal Cake

1 cup almond flour

1 cup finely ground cornmeal

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Zest of 1 medium orange

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon orange blossom

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Orange Glaze

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon orange blossom

1 tablespoon orange liqueur

3 tablespoons honey or golden syrup

3 tablespoons pistachios, chopped

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray or line with baking paper.

  • Sift together almond flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl, and set it aside.

  • Whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, zest, juice, orange blossom water and extract until it is just combined.

  • Slowly add flour mix and whisk only until just combined. Set aside for 20 minutes then pour into pan.

  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven, set on a wire rack to cool.

  • For the glaze, combine the fresh orange juice and honey in small sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

  • It will thicken slightly. Stir in the orange blossom water and liqueur. Poke holes in cake, 1/2 inch apart.

  • Using pastry brush to slowly brush glaze over cake. Do not rush the process as it will make cake soggy.

  • Leave the cake to cool completely, then top with toasted pistachios before serving. Makes 10 servings.

Orange & Honey Glazed Cornmeal Cake

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If you do not like the traditional fruit cake served during end of year festivities, I’m pretty sure you will not say no to this gorgeous fresh strawberry cake which does, after all, count as ‘fruit cake’. Without the heavy mixture of dried raisins, cherries and nuts soaked liberally in rum or brandy, this super simple summer dessert, from Once Upon a Chef, works well especially if you live in a tropical paradise like Mauritius. Here, we celebrate the festive season under the scorching sun lazing on the beach around a family BBQ, though many are now turning towards pre-ordered or packaged food when cooking for a crowd. While you can forget about making the starters and main dishes yourself, please do not rely on ice cream to create the illusion of dessert. It totally ruins the end of what could have been a perfect meal, so please invest some time and effort into a homemade dessert if you plan to invite guests home this weekend.

SUMMER STRAWBERRY CAKE

Ingredients:

3/4 + 2 tablespoons cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt

100g unsalted butter, softened

7 tablespoons caster sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup full cream milk

250g strawberries, hulled

1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease 9-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter.

  • Add 1 cup sugar and beat until pale and fluffy for about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla.

  • Beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture, alternating with milk.

  • Beat on low speed until it is smooth and thick, then transfer cake batter into prepared pan.

  • Smooth the cake surface with a spatula and arrange the strawberries on top, cut side down.

  • They should completely cover the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

  • Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake till the cake is lightly golden.

  • Serve the cake warm with sweetened whipped cream or plain vanilla ice cream, if desired.

  • The cake can be stored at room temperature for several days, loosely covered. Serves 4-6.

Strawberry Summer Cake

Cute and portable cheesecakes with a generous swirl of homemade blueberry jam are sure to be on your to-do list this summer. The recipe, from Evil Twin Kitchen, is easy to assemble ahead and keeps well for a week in the fridge and up to months in the freezer so that you can have cheesecake anytime you feel like without having to worry about having ingredients or time for baking one. Switch to strawberries, cherries, chocolate or any of your favorite flavors if you do not like blueberries, though it beats me how one would attempt to fiddle with such a heavenly pairing.

MINI BAKED BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKES

For the Crumb Crust

1 cup (125g) graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup (60g) melted butter

For the Cheesecake Filling

2x 227g packages full fat cream cheese

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (115g) 14% fat sour cream

1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons corn starch

6 tablespoons blueberry jam

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar.

  • Pour in melted butter and stir until well combined. Divide equally between 12 paper lined muffin cups.

  • With a glass or flat object roughly the same size as the bottom of the muffin cup, press mixture down.

  • Press firmly to form a crust and set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the filling except for the jam.

  • Mix till the filling mixture is super smooth and creamy and completely lump free for about 2 minutes.

  • Divide mixture equally between the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup almost all the way to the top.

  • Make a small well in the center of each cake with a spoon and drop in about a teaspoon blueberry jam.

  • With the help of a skewer, delicately mix the blueberry jam into the cheese filling, making little swirls.

  • Do not go all the way to the bottom with that skewer or you might end up damaging the crumb crust.

  • Bake for 20 minutes until tops start to get colored, edges start to set but centers remain a little jiggly.

  • Do not overbake, otherwise your cakes will be dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.

  • Cover the cakes loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours before serving time.

  • Serve cold, topped with an extra spoonful of blueberry jam and fresh blueberries. Makes 12 servings.

  • Leftover cakes will keep in the refrigerator for about 10 days, or in the freezer for up to a few months.

Mini {Baked} Blueberry Cheesecakes

 

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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