Raspberry Chiffon Cake


Certain cakes put me in a nostalgic state of mind. The Chiffon cake is one that transports me to my idea of the 1950's(No I was not alive and baking cakes in the 1950's! gah!) A time when you could drop by your neighbors house and have coffee and homemade cake any day of the week. Beehive hairdos, horned rim glasses and of course Chiffon cakes.

And now class, a little history lesson... According to General Mills, Chiffon Cake is the first really new cake in 100 years. It used vegetable oil in place of conventional shortening. 

1927 - Harry Baker, a Los Angeles insurance agent, is said to have invented the original chiffon cake in 1927. As word spread of this wonderful airy cake, he was continually asked for the recipe. But for two decades he carefully guarded his secret recipe, making his special cake only for the reigning royalty of the silver screen. Baker sold the cake to Hollywood stars and made it for the famous Brown Derby Restaurant. The secret to Baker's light and airy chiffon cake was vegetable oil. He had replaced the usual butter or shortening with vegetable oil.


1947 - In 1947, General Mills bought the recipe from Harry Baker. He agreed to sell the recipe to General Mills so "Betty Crocker could give the secret to the women of the America.:" 

1948 -General Mills released the secret recipe in the May 1948 Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and it became a nationwide sensation. The secret ingredient, vegetable oil, was then revealed. Better Homes and Garden Magazine advertised the cake as "The first really new cake in 100 years." In the 1950s, General Mills sponsored chiffon cake contests. People came up with all flavors of this cake during that time.

The thing I really love about making Chiffon Cakes are the endless choices for flavor! I have made citrus, green tea, earl gray tea, and pandan to name a few. This cake lends itself to any flavor. We are only limited by our imaginations! (or ingredient availability) How about a Pomegranit Chiffon cake!

I have an old stand by recipe I have been using with good success. It relies on patience and technique. So like and Cake Obssessed Baker I searched high and low for a new recipe to get me to the next level in my search for the lightest fluffiest moistest chiffon! I am happy to report SUCCESS! 

So put on some lipstick, adorn you favorite vintage apron, and get ready to fall in love with this very retro  cake!

This recipe is from the Egglands Best website and was a first place winner.

NOTES:

I only made minor changes such as cake flour in place of AP flour ( 1 Cup and 1 Table spoon of Cake Flour to 1 Cup AP) and since I could not find Raspberry extract at any of the 4 stores I went to... Eventually I found and  used raspberry flavor. I used 3 8x2 round cake pans. 

Ingredients
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups White Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 small pkg. Sugar-Free Raspberry Gelatin (Jell-O)
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
8 Large Eggland's Best Eggs, separated
1 cup Cold Water
1 tablespoon Raspberry Extract
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar


---ICING---
1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream
2/3 cup White Sugar*
1/2 tablespoon Raspberry Extract
Vegetarian
Ready in 3 hours, recipe by Lynette Shenk, Chiffon Cake Contest Winner 

Preparation
Adjust rack to lower middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325°. 
Wash a 10” angel food tube pan in hot soapy water to ensure it is grease free. 
Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and gelatin into a deep mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. Make a well and add oil, egg yolks, water and raspberry extract in order given. Don’t beat yet. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. 
Now beat egg yolk batter until smooth and light, then pour over egg whites. Fold in with a rubber spatula (try not to stir, using only a folding technique until well combined). Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, or until done (it will feel solid when tapped and a pick should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs). Cover loosely with foil should the top darken. Remove from oven and hang upside down on a bottle until cool-about 1 ½ hrs. 
To make the icing, place icing ingredients in a chilled deep mixing bowl and beat with chilled beaters until smooth peaks form. Brush crumbs from cake, spread on a smooth coating layer and refrigerate along with the bowl of whipped cream. After ten minutes, frost top and sides of cake. Place some whipped cream in a zip-top bag, clip off the corner (or use a pastry bag and tip) and pipe around the bottom, top edge and hole edge. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if available and mint leaves. Keep refrigerated. *Taste to see if less sugar suits you.

Result:

WOOT! My cake was HUGH-AMONGUS!! It is so tall it does not fit in my carrying case! A whopping 6inches tall!

A very light, tender, spongey cake with a light raspberry flavor. The light pink color of the sponge with the white cream frosting is very stunning.  I will definitely be making this again! 



BYOB Anadama Bread


Here is one of those posts that totally slipped my mind until I saw this bread popping up on other food blogs. I baked this bread back in March but, due to a hectic work schedule, forgot all about posting it. So..... I bring you Anadama Bread!

This recipe is from my all time favorite "go to" cook book - The New Farm Cookbook. After reading the recipe from the current posts about Anadama bread from the Bread Bakers Apprentice I think this version is much, much simpler;

Anadama Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Whisk together:
2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

Stir in:
1/2 cup molasses or sorghum
2 tablespoons oil

Cool mixture to lukewarm. Combine:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons baking yeast
1 tablespoon honey or sugar

Let this foam as the cornmeal cools. Then add cornmeal mixture to the yeast and add 5 to 6 cups unbleached white flour to make a stiff dough. Knead for 10 minutes. Put dough 
in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with a damp towel and let rise double. Punch down and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Turn out on board and knead again. Oil 2 loaf pans
cover and let rise until double. Heat oven to 375 F and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake 40 to45 minutes. Remove from pans while hot and cool on wire rack.

This is a soft loaf bread with a mild flavor. As with most recipes in The New Farm Cookbook you must season to taste. You may want to add a little salt to this recipe.


The Magic of Cake


I don't know about you but, to me there is something magical about cake. You start with your basic ingredients- flour, sugar, butter, eggs- then you choose flavors, mix it all up and put it in the oven. The batter is transformed into a soft and spongy texture perfect for shaping and frosting. The chemistry of baking is magic in and of itself but then there is the personal magic that happens. Baking a cake can transform a normal day into something extra special. Since joining the cake slice bakers I have been making cakes for no occasion except a blogging deadline. No birthdays, weddings, or celebrations. A cake just for the sake of baking a cake. I love everything about it (the baking not the clean up!) I love the conceptual stage of deciding on flavor combinations, love the sound of my KA mixing up the batter, tasting the batter, popping the pans in the oven, the smell of the house as the cake bakes, decorating, and finally eating that first slice. Having a no- occasion cake around the house makes a regular day feel magical!


Mile High Devil's Food Cake


Oh boy. Where to start with this one?

I made my cake in 3 6 inch cake pans as usual but when I scaled down the recipe I miscalculated the butter and added an extra 3 ounces. No biggie what cake isn't better with more butter?

The cakes where flat and a bit greasy but still tasty. So I continued on to the frosting choices. A brown sugar butter cream with a whole pound of butter or a brown sugar 7 minute frosting? Well even though I live in Oregon the skies have been clear and the humidity low so I went with the 7 minute frosting. ( The cook book says not to make this frosting if it is humid or summer) I really wasn't to stoked on the chocolate cake and brown sugar frosting combo but, I stuck with the recipe and gave it a try. The cake is also made with brown sugar instead of white so I was hoping this might tie the frosting in with the cake.

The cake is very moist- could be all that extra butter I added! and had a deep dark chocolatey flavor very reminiscent of a devil dog snack cake. I did not care for the frosting with this cake. The molasses overtones just did not mesh with the chocolate. I would use this frosting with a banana cake or a maple cake... just not chocolate. As far as making this cake again? probably but, I think I prefer the one in the Cake Bible.

On a plus side the left over egg yolks from the frosting are the perfect amount to make an All- Occasion downy Yellow Butter Cake! Yum! Recipe?

As always thanks to Gigi for a great baking group! I cant wait to see how everyone else at the Cake Slice dished up their cakes!

Dutch Baby with Berries


What could be easier for an elegant mother's day breakfast than these oven baked Dutch Babies? You may know these as German pancakes, David Eyre’s Pancake, Swedish puffs, or Puff pancakes. They are a cross between a soufflĂ© and an omelet. They can be served with a simple squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of powdered sugar or really dressed up with fresh berries and Creme Fraiche. This "pancake" is the perfect slate to pile on your choice of toppings.

It comes together quickly. A quick zap of the ingredients in a blender and poured into 2 9inch well greased non-stick cake pans is all the effort required. Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes and you have a really lovely breakfast that looks like it took a lot more effort.

There are a lot of variations out there for the recipe. I started with this really basic one and have since added vanilla, spices, citrus etc depending on my ingredients.

Here we go!

Dutch Babies

4 eggs
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup sifted flour
2/3 cup milk
2 T soft butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 2 9-inch cake pans. Put eggs in blender, cover and process at low speed until light yellow in color.While still blending, remove cover and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 10 minutes. If your oven is like mine be sure to rotate pans during baking.

Remove from pans and plate. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Berries are a nice addition.

Other topping ideas? Send them to me!

Chocolate Caramel Crackers


I spotted this recipe on Smitten Kitchen's blog 

Then I spotted them again on David Lebovits blog.

Then I spotted saltines at the grocery store! 

These are quick, cheap, and easy- insert joke here!

Here is the recipe from Smitten kitchens blog. 

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers)
Adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Marcy Goldman who is the genius that first applied this to matzo

4 to 6 sheets matzo or approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with matzo or crackers, covering all parts. [If using matzo, you'll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. I have some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that (hopefully) makes sense.]

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the matzo or crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening. 

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)

Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crack(ers) — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week but I’ve never seen it last that long.