>Simple Berry Layer Cake

On Wednesday it was my 19th Birthday. It was a great day I had my Ice cream, Custards, and soft desserts class for 5 hours and then came home to family and friends where we went out to dinner and then ate this terrific cake my mum made. It was perfect, the past few weeks I have been making many different cakes for orders, most with different fillings and complexity so this was such a great change. Simple. Delicious. Perfect. Something else great is it has fresh berries in it. I think this cake and California weather is messing with my mind I feel like it’s summer(I already have a severe sunburn). So this is a great cake to make for a Sunday dinner or for a summer barbecue.
Simple Berry Layer Cake
1 C a.p. flour
1/4 C cornstarch
6 large eggs, plus 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C vegetable oil
4 C heavy cream
1/2 C confectioner sugar
1 pint of strawberries sliced in half
1/2 pint blackberries
1/2 pint red raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, put parchment paper cut out of the size of the bottom of the pan in. Into a large bowl sift together flour and cornstarch, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the whole eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, salt, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Beat on high until thick and pale about 5 min, scrape down the bowl as needed.
Add flour mixture to the egg mixture. With mixer on low speed until just combined, then steadily add the oil until combined.

Divide batter between the two pans and put in oven. Rotate half way through. Take out when cake tester comes out clean about 30 minutes. Immediately invert onto a wire rack to cool.
In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine cream, confectioners sugar, and remaining tsp of vanilla. Starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium high, whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 Min’s.
Using a serrated knife, trim the top of the cakes to make level. Slice each cake in half horizontally into two layers.Place one of the bottom layers on a serving plate. Spread a quarter of the whipped cream over the layer; arrange a quarter of the mixed berries on top. Repeat with remaining cake layers, cream, and berries. Serve!


>Black and White Cookies

I’m Done with one major cake order for the week which is a relief, Wednesday is my birthday and my mum has agreed to give me a break and make my cake for me. I made these cookies in honor of some exciting news I have. These cookies are a New York classic, and when I was there in January I went to a bakery that had these and had to perfect them myself, these cookies defiantly fulfilled that void. The good news is that I’m heading back to New York the 1st of July and wont be back until the end of august, because…..I got a job there! It’s for the summer and I’m gonna be at a sleep away camp in the Hampton’s teaching kids how to cook, how sick is that? I think it’s the perfect job for a college student, and I’m very excited! I get out of school on May 20Th so the next few weeks will be hectic with finals and such but I’m sure I’m gonna get new baking gear, So I will be blogging a lot.

3 C a.p. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 sticks(10 tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C vegetable shortening
1 C plus 3 tbs. sugar
2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
1 tbs. vanilla
1/4 C heavy cream
4 C confectioner sugar
2 tbs. plus 2 tsp corn syrup
1 tbs. plus 2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbs. cocoa powder
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flours, baking powder,baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter,shortening,sugar together until fluffy. beat in the eggs and egg yolks until smooth.Add vanilla. Add milk and flour mixture, alternating between the two, ending with flour. Cover, and chill for 1 hour.
2.Line baking pans with Silpat nonstick baking mats. Using a 2-ounce scoop, drop five cookies per pan, 3 inches apart. Bake until edges are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool.
3.In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, 3 tablespoons hot water,vanilla, lemon and corn syrup. Whisk until smooth. Using a small offset spatula, ice half of each cookie. Return cookies to rack to drip, if necessary.
4.Add chocolate to remaining icing. Stir until smooth. Add additional corn syrup to thin to desired consistency, if necessary. Spread chocolate icing over second half of each cookie. Allow cookies to set, about 10 minutes.


>Chewy Peanut Butter Blondies

Since my mum can’t have chocolate I’m continuously looking for yummy desserts without chocolate, and ones that a lot of the time mock chocolate desserts,that’s what I found with these, just like the snickerdoodle blondies, their just like a brownie with out the chocolate.
Chewy Peanut Butter Blondies
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain / all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
Melt the butter over low heat. Whisk in the peanut butter and brown sugar. Leave aside to cool for a minute.
Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in the flour and baking powder. Stir in the peanut butter chips.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 – 25Min’s, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

On a side note these are some of the Easter cupcakes I did for some people around Easter.


>Chocolate ice cream

So I have had alot of cake orders recently and have been using the cooked meringue recipe for all the frosting, which has left me with many egg yolks so I decided to make some creamy chocolate ice cream to use up the yolks and this is truly one of the best ice creams I have ever made. To tell the truth I’m not really an ice cream kind of gal but I think if my dad hadn’t been eating it I would have eaten the whole container.
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
2 C half-and-half
2 C heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.


>Easter Egg Challah

Easter is this Sunday, and this is a really fun and tasty bread you can do for Easter or after. The key is to use raw eggs, if you use already hard boiled they will explode in the oven, usually this is called Greek Christmas bread or Easter bread but I used a challah recipe for it and it’s more commonly know as challah with Easter eggs in it.
1 C warm water
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1/2 C sugar
3 eggs
4 1/2 C flour
2 tsps. salt
4 oz butter
1 egg for glazing

2-3 raw eggs
gel dye
2 tsp vinegar
olive oil
Put yeast in warm water for a few minutes. Then add all ingredients together in a mixer bowl with a dough hook. Until tacky but not sticky. Then either put the dough the fridge over night or let sit in your oven(not on) for about an hour. Take dough out and shape. The easiest is 3 ropes and its just like braiding hair then you can go on from their. Put the dough back in the oven( not on again) for another hour. While the dough is rising dye your eggs,2 to 3 eggs can be used. Just put you favorite gel food coloring in a cup with 2 tsp vinegar and the rest water. Put eggs in for the color you would like. Then let the eggs dry. Take dough out when done and turn oven on to 350 degrees. Dip half of the egg in olive oil and press into crevice of braid continue with the rest of eggs. Brush with egg and then put in oven for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.


>Hot Cross Buns

Today is good Friday so I made some Hot Cross buns, usually my grandfather make these each year and I’m sure he will for Easter but I wanted to try these out and the buns are terrific.
• 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons whole milk
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 ounce (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
• 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl and baking sheet
• Salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
• 51/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
• 4 ounces (3/4 cup) dried cherries, coarsely chopped
• 4 ounces (3/4 cup) golden raisins, coarsely chopped
• 1 large egg white
• 1 tablespoon water
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it registers 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into a mixer bowl, and fit mixer with a dough hook. With mixer on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the nutmeg, cinnamon, and eggs. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and knead until mixture comes together in a soft, sticky dough. Continue kneading, scraping down hook as needed, until dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.
2. Add cherries and raisins, and knead to incorporate. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead to distribute dried fruit. Coat a large bowl with butter. Shape dough into a ball, and place in prepared bowl. Cover with a piece of plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Generously butter a rimmed baking sheet. Turn dough onto a surface, knead briefly, then divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, divide each third into 10 pieces, and shape each into a tight ball. (Keep dough covered with plastic.) Place on prepared sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm spot until buns have doubled in size and are touching, about 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together egg white and water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg-white wash. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheet on wire rack for 30 minutes.
5. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spoon icing into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/4-inch round tip, and pipe icing on buns in the shape of a cross. Serve immediately(hence HOT cross buns).


>Panettone French Toast

So the last two weeks I had bread baking class and I have had a lot of bread laying around the house not knowing what to do with it. So the other morning I decided to make French Toast using some Panettone I had left over. It made the richest french toast I have ever had, I could only eat one slice, but It was delicious.
2/3 C Milk
1 1/2 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 C flour
2 Tbs. dark rum
6 eggs
4 C flour
3/4 C diced candied orange peel
3/4 C dark raisins
3/4 C golden raisins

Heat the milk to luke warm, whisk in the yeast, and stir the yeast mixture into the flour. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
6 oz butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsps. vanilla
For dough beat the butter with the salt and sugar until light. Add the flavorings, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, 2 at a time, alternately adding the flour in thirds until all the flour and eggs are mixed in. Beat in the sponge until dough is smooth. Mix in candied peels and raisins, just until incorporated. Place the dough in a buttered bowl and let ferment at room temperature for 2 hours. Divide dough in half and roll each piece a long roll, put each roll into a bundt pan. Cover and let proof for about 2 hours. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes and let cool.

French toast:
2 eggs
1/2 C milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
4-6 slices of panettone
Once the dough is cool cut into slices. Mix eggs,milk, and cinnamon together. Put 1 tbs. butter on a frying pan and turn on heat. Soak the slices of bread in egg mixture and put on heat. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with syrup and or powder sugar.