Saveur Magazine Classic Recipe No. 83 – Elvis Presley’s Pound Cake

Elvis Presley's Pound Cake

Hello my friends, I am very sorry for not posting in a week…..I have been bombarded at work, staying up until 5 am to watch the US elections, and then, my fantastic computer (not) decided it needed a break too and wouldn’t work.

Finally, after many restarts and uninstalls and installs, it decided to be nice and let me post!

This dish was a petition from my daughter,  as I mentioned before, we each get to choose a recipe to be done for the week.  My daughter was intrigued, thinking this would be more of a bread, obviously from the aspect.  I was very wary, because I remember pound cakes being these incredibly moist, buttery things you got in a white box that read Entenmann’s.  I remember getting that said box, tearing it open with my grandmother, and having her cut the middle slice, where the loaf separates, and gobbling it down with a glass of milk.  Other pound cakes I had tried didn’t come close in comparison.

Except for now, I can proudly say, this recipe is a MILLION times better than those pre-prepared confections.  Spongy, moist, dense without being dry.  All in all, this is one pretty amazing pound cake!

Imagine, 3/4 of the loaf was promptly eaten straight out of the oven.  And the next day, after resting in the fridge, it was even better.

I hope you get your mojo on and make this cake.  Fairly easy to make, no rocket science involved.  And my daughter gladly lent me a hand in preparing it.

Overall taste points: 8.7 / 10

Difficulty: Easy, but you need a stand up or hand-held mixer

Availability of ingredients: Super easy

16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

3 cups cake flour, sifted, plus more for pans

3 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp kosher salt

7 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

 

Heat oven to 350F (180C).  Grease and flour two 9″ x 5″ x 2″ loaf pans; set aside.  Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a bowl on medium – high-speed of a hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 6 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each, until smooth.  Add flour and cream alternately, beginning and ending with flour, beating until smooth.  Increase speed to high;  beat batter until smooth and light, about 5 minutes.  Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth tops with a rubber spatula; bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a couple of crumbs adhering to it, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes, and then unmold onto a cooling rack; let cool completely before slicing and serving.  Serves 10.

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Malteser Cake

Malteser Cake

Phew.  I made it out alive, barely, but I did!  This was my daughter’s 16th birthday party, and she had a blast.  But I felt like a hired hand most of the time.  That’s ok though, birthday’s are only once a year.  Thank God.

I am actually very happy, because normally she asks me to make her a cake from Milk Bar….chocolate malted something or other, which we just call the “Monster Cake”.  Why?  Because it takes about 3 days to make it and it has a whopping billion calories per slice.

This year, she wanted something different, she loves Maltesers (Whoppers in the States) and so I made her a cake that showcased her favorite malted milk balls.

As far as cakes go, this was a cinch.  It took me about 3 hours to make, and it was delicious!  Crunchy, moist, creamy…..all those things in one.  So for your next party why not try it?  Guaranteed to have some happy faces and full bellies!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

For the yellow cake

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

2 round cake tins

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into squares plus more for tin

3 cups cake flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1 packet crushed maltesers

Malted Chocolate Buttercream frosting (recipe follows)

10 packets maltesers (approximately)

Multi colored sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter the two round cake tins and dust with flour.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on low-speed to soften, increase speed to medium, and cream until light and fluffy.  Keep beating while gradually adding sugar; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla.

Gradually drizzle in the beaten eggs, beating between additions until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer on low, alternate adding flour and milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Scrape sides of the bowl and mix 10 seconds longer.  Fold in the crushed maltesers.

Divide evenly between the pans, and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, a knife should come out clean.  Let cool before frosting.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on a platter and frost with the buttercream about an inch thick.  Place a layer of maltesers on the top.

Top with the second layer of cake, and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream, and then top with Maltesers in 3 rows, as shown above, tightly packed.  Leave a round space in the center for the candles and sprinkles.

Tilt the cake in the platter and sprinkle  with the sprinkles, and add some in the center, if using.

Malted Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Baked Explorations by  Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

5 large egg whites, at room temperature

1.5 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1/4 cup malted milk powder

12 maltesers, crushed

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are just warm to the touch.  Return the bowl to the mixer, and with the whisk attachment beat in the vanilla and eggs on high-speed until firm and glossy, about 3-5 minutes.  With the machine running, whisk in the butter a few tbsp at a time.  If the mixture begins to look curdled, continue to beat until it is smooth before adding more butter.

Dissolve the malt powder in 2 tbsp hot water, then beat it in to the buttercream, then whisk in the melted chocolate.  Fold in the crushed maltesers.  Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Layered Crepe “Cake” with Nutella, Pastry Cream and Summer Berries

Again, my inspiration was from Girl in a Food Frenzy’s post on Crepes.  But this time, I decided to make them without the buckwheat flour.  I wanted them more sweet, less savoury, and have more of a cakey quality.  So I decided to look through my The Beautiful Cookbook: France, which had a recipe for Crepes Suzette.

I think someone somewhere has done the same thing that I’ve done, but I totally wanted a tasty, easy and ridiculously yummy cake to serve on Olympics Opening night…which just happened to be an impromptu celebration of another friends’ birthday.

So, I knew I wanted berries, I knew I wanted Nutella, and I knew I wanted Pastry Cream.  So, all three were combined.  And it was to die for my friends.  Truly, to die for.

Fairly easy to make, even better to eat, here’s the recipe for this simply exquisite “cake”:

For the crepes:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 eggs

1 tsp sugar

3 drops vanilla extract

1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the pastry cream:

1 1/4 cups whole milk (or 2%)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 tbsp liqueur (grand marnier, kirsch etc)

1 cup Nutella or melted milk chocolate

3 cups mixed berries, such as strawberries (sliced), raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants

Powdered Sugar, for dusting

To make the crepes:

Mix all the ingredients and whisk vigorously, let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  In a medium, thick bottomed sauce pan, heat the milk and vanilla bean until just boiling.  In a large heat proof bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch.  When the milk is hot and just about to boil, pour into your egg mix and whisk continuously so that the eggs don’t curdle.  Pour all the milk in a slow stream and keep whisking until done.  Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat until it boils, always mixing, until it thickens.  When it has thickened, take off heat and keep whisking for another minute or so.  Add the liqueur.  Take out the vanilla pod and reserve covered with plastic wrap until using.

If you are using milk chocolate, melt in a double boiler.

Separate about 1/3 cup of pastry cream.

Mix the Nutella (or melted chocolate) into the large bowl of  pastry cream.

In a large sauté pan, heat a good knob of butter until it melts, then wipe away with some kitchen paper.  Add a ladle of crêpe batter, and swirl it around so it covers the whole pan.  Cook for about 40 seconds, and with a spatula lift off and cook the underside, 30 seconds more.  Continue to do this with all the batter.

To make the cake:

Layer nutella pastry cream and strawberries on a crêpe, top with another crêpe, and continue to do so until you don’t have any crepes left.  On the last crêpe, top with the 1/3 cup of pastry cream (without chocolate) top with the mixed berries and currants.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, and just before serving, dust with powdered sugar.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Coconut

Pinterest.  I find it to be one of the most addictive things, when I am on it that is.  I actually don’t spend so much time on it, but if I did….oh dear.  I would be as big as a heffalump.  There are all these cake recipes!  I am a sucker for cake.  And I love love love baking them.  But there are so many cakes, and brownie’s and goodies….I am literally pinning and pinning and who knows when I will actually get to them.  But, I managed to make one.  I came across one for this recipe, and I thought the idea was delicious.  I love banana bread, but I’ve never had a cake.  The original recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com calls for nuts instead of chocolate chips, but the pinner added chocolate chips.  And who doesn’t love the combination of bananas and chocolate?

I added the toasted coconut, and also some shaved dark chocolate on top.  To the batter I also added some vanilla extract and lemon rind.

It is divine.  Pure indulgence.  Super moist, light and fluffy.  Try it.  And give some away because it is addictive!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

2.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 pinch of salt

115 g butter

1 tbsp corn syrup

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp grated lemon rind

3 extra ripe bananas, mashed

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted

1/4 cup dark chocolate, shaved

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 2 nine-inch round cake pans, set aside.  Sift flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Trust me on this, makes the cake super airy and light).  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and lemon rind.

Set the speed to low, and alternatively add the flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips.

Bake for 30 minutes, approximately, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  Cream the butter and cream cheese until creamy.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until fluffy.  Refrigerate until using.

Cut the cakes in half, so you have four thin layers.  Frost the layers and dust with a little coconut.  Then frost the top and outside of the cake.  Dust the middle with chocolate, and the outer ring with coconut.  If you want, also the sides.

Enjoy with a really tall cold glass of milk!  Yumm yumm.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Grenoblois: Grenoble Caramel Walnut Cake

Today was sort of a baking fiasco.  I love my kitchen, the huge amount of space, my wonderful marble countertops (great for kneading), and the funky color scheme ( mint green ceiling, yellow tiled walls, and terracotta mexican tiling).  But I HATE MY OVEN.  I think the last time this kitchen was updated was in 1986, when kitsch was cool.  I mean, it’s still cool, in a retro sort of way, but an oven that is from that year…..well, do I have to say anything more?

I have a hard time baking in this oven.  It’s either too hot, or not hot enough.  The times that I know I need for certain cakes/brownies/cookies etc. are all out of whack, and it frustrates me to no end.

But, I persevered, and through blind faith and luck, the cake came out great, albeit a little denser than I would have wanted.  I baked it in a bundt mold, a large one, but it looks like it was made in a miniature one.  But, no despair, the most important part is the taste right?

I decided to make this because I hadn’t since I was at culinary school, and I had a surplus of walnuts in my pantry.

This cake is really wonderful as an alternative dessert, instead of flour you use bread crumbs, and that is why it is so moist and dense.  The beaten egg whites help to make it a little fluffier, but when you take it out of the oven, it will sink.  That’s ok though.  Taste is not compromised!

It’s lovely with coffee, even better with a brandy.  Your choice!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

300g butter, melted

250g walnuts

6 eggs, separated

200g sugar

3 tbsp rum (I used Frangelico, hazelnut liqueur)

1 tsp instant coffee dissolved with 1 tsp water

3/4 cups breadcrumbs

For the caramel:

6 tbsp sugar

6 tbsp water, at room temperature

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp frangelico or rum

walnuts

Preheat oven to 200C (400F).  Butter your cake pan and set aside.  Finely chop the walnuts in a food processor.

Combine egg yolks with 2/3 cup (150g) of the sugar in the bowl of a stand up mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat until pale and fluffy, and doubled in volume, 10 minutes.  Fold in the butter, your liqueur, and coffee, then the bread crumbs and walnuts.

Wash out your bowl, or if you have another one, beat the egg whites, fitted with the whisk, until soft peaks form.  Add the remaining sugar, and beat until smooth and shiny.  Gently fold the egg whites into the walnut mixture.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until browned, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the 6 tbsp sugar, water, lemon juice and liqueur in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook until a dark caramel forms, then add the walnuts.

Turn the cake out onto a serving platter.  Pour the caramel over.  Let cool completely before serving.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla