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These must be the best madeleines I must have baked till date with a perfect light and airy texture and a gorgeous nutty hint of browned butter I had almost forgotten. The acquisition of a new madeleine pan for Christmas was purely accidental; I could not resist buying one after setting eyes on the matte black tray in Super U. To test my brand new bake ware, there was no more persuasive recipe than these Christmas-inspired cakes, flavored with gingerbread spices, from the Kitchy Kitchen. My first batch got hopelessly stuck to the ungreased pan though it ended up as a delicious crumb topping over vanilla flecked ice cream and crème Chantilly as my impromptu Christmas lunch dessert. The second try yielded far better results after I went a bit more cautious and coated the pan with a liberal amount of baking spray but I decided against dipping them in the molasses glaze, favoring a dusting of icing sugar for the final look.

GINGERBREAD MADELEINES

Ingredients:

9 tablespoons browned butter

2 large eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup white granulated sugar

1 large pinch kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoons ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Molasses Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon molasses

3 tablespoons whole milk

Method:

  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess.

  • Place in the fridge. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the eggs.

  • Add sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat well for 5 minutes until the mixture turns pale and thickened.

  • Whisk together the flour, spices, and baking powder and carefully fold in flour with rubber spatula.

  • Drizzle browned butter into the batter, little at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate.

  • Fold until all the butter is incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Meanwhile make the glaze by mixing all ingredients until smooth.

  • Plop enough batter in the center of each mold to fill it by three quarter full but do not spread batter.

  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until cakes just feel set, they should bounce back when pressed with finger.

  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. Cool it to room temperature.

  • When they are cool enough to handle, dip each into glaze, turning over so that both sides are coated.

  • Scrape off any excess and rest them on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the glaze firms up.

If you have a liking for sweet spices, I have a feeling you might get seriously hitched to this lightly spiced milkshake from Delicious, which blends cinnamon and ginger into a refreshing ice-cold beverage they have rightly named as ‘gingerbread milkshake’. My biscuit crumbs unfortunately did not hold up well against the glass rims as I was far too impatient to wait for the decorative edge to set in the fridge before I could fill them up with thick, creamy shake full of festive flavors. As we hit the full blast of summer heat this December, this would be my drink of choice to slurp over on a lazy afternoon as I wrap gifts and hampers for others to discover under the Christmas tree.

GINGERBREAD MILKSHAKE

10 ginger thin biscuits

1/4 cup (90g) honey

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

1L (4 cups) whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons golden syrup

Cinnamon quills, to serve

Method:

  • Whiz the ginger biscuits to fine crumbs in food processor, then transfer the crumbs to a plate.
  • Place the honey on a separate plate. Dip the rim of 4 serving glasses in honey, then in crumbs.

  • Chill to firm up. Place remaining ingredients, except cinnamon quills, in a blender and blend.
  • Blend till smooth and pour into glasses. Decorate with cinnamon quills and serve immediately.

Gingerbread Milkshake

Inspired by Delicious.com, I made this spectacular yet incredibly easy dessert cake to celebrate my brother’s birthday. It requires almost no effort but loads of patience for it takes hours for the ice cream layer to set until it is firm enough to be unmolded safely. I love the tropical combination of flavors which combines coconut flakes, fresh mango and toasted macadamia nuts in this special celebration cake to give it a vibrant summer touch. It does get a tad messy to serve, so be sure to get your cake out of the freezer only when you are ready to blow the birthday candles.

MANGO COCONUT MACADAMIA ICE CREAM CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup (90g) desiccated coconut

270ml can coconut cream

1L vanilla frozen yoghurt or ice cream

1 cup (150g) macadamia nuts

90g scotch finger biscuits

60g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

3/8 cup (80g) caster sugar

1 large lime, juiced to give 50ml

2 mangoes, sliced into long thin strips

Coconut flakes, to serve

Method:

  • Grease and line the base and sides of one 18-cm spring form cake pan with baking paper.

  • Using a stand mixer, beat the desiccated coconut and coconut cream until well combined.

  • Add the frozen yogurt or ice cream and beat the mixture on low speed until well combined.

  • Immediately cover the pan with plastic wrap, freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight till set.

  • Preheat oven to 200C. Place macadamias on baking tray and roast for 8 minutes till golden.

  • Keep aside 1/4 cup (35g) nuts to garnish the cake, place remaining nuts in a food processor.

  • Add the biscuits and pulse them to fine crumbs. Add butter and whiz until well combined.

  • Spread crumb mixture over the top of the set ice cream cake and press it into an even layer.

  • Cover cakes with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour to set or until ready to assemble.

  • To make syrup, place sugar and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in small saucepan over medium heat.

  • Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a simmer and cook, without stirring, for 8 minutes.

  • Carefully add lime juice to the golden caramel and remove from heat. Allow caramel to cool.

  • Chill until ready to serve. To assemble, remove cake from pan and peel away baking paper.

  • Top the cake with macadamias, mango and coconut flakes and drizzle it with lime caramel.

Tropical Flavours on a Birthday Cake

Ever heard of Jaffa cakes? Well, I won’t blame you if you have not. I myself had no clue as to what they actually were till I saw some pretty pictures in my BBC GoodFood cookbooks. Behind the fancy name and rich chocolate coverture lies a small, biscuit-size sponge cake topped with a good measure of orange flavored jelly. Originally produced and marketed by McVitie’s, the homemade version by Marsha’s Baking Addiction is surprisingly easy to bake and assemble, though I trust you can do a better job with the dark chocolate topping than I did here.

JAFFA CAKES

Ingredients:

For the Jaffa Sponge Cakes

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/4 cup (50g) caster/granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup (60g) plain/all-purpose flour

For the Orange Jelly Filling

1/4 cup (50g) caster/granulated sugar

1/2 cup (120ml) orange juice

1 sachet (12g) gelatin or agar agar

For the Dark Chocolate Topping

3/4 cup (130g) dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

  • For the filling, place the sugar, and orange juice into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer.

  • Once sugar has dissolved, sprinkle gelatin or agar agar on top and stir it. Do not boil the mixture.

  • Line a muffin pan with aluminum foil, then pour 1 tablespoon of the orange mixture into each hole.

  • Chill it for 1 to 2 hours until set. For the Jaffa sponge cakes, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  • In a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, add eggs and sugar, beat using a hand mixer.

  • Beat until pale and frothy for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla.

  • Fold in flour. Remove the jelly and foil from the muffin pans. Grease the pan for the cake mixture.

  • Pour batter into prepared pan, about 1 tablespoon of batter per muffin hole. Bake for 10 minutes.

  • Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes in pans before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Gently remove the orange jellies from the foil. Microwave the chocolate until melted and smooth.

  • For assembling Jaffa cakes, place one jelly round over each cake before topping it with chocolate.

  • Gently press the tines of a fork on top of the chocolate and lift up. Leave it to set. Makes 12 cakes.

Genoise Sponge+ Orange Jelly+ Dark Chocolate

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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