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Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

25 Sep

I made this cake ages ago…

I was supposed to post this at the beginning -middle of August, but I left for holidays and got lazy didn’t have any decent internet connection, so I just didn’t bother until now.

As you can see, it’s not your average plain ol’ chocolate cake. It’s more “special”. At least to me it was, as I made this for my father’s birthday. He doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, or so he says, so he is usually a bit harder to satisfy than others. I thought that you can never go wrong with chocolate and ice cream, so that’ s what I  went for.

It’s one big ice cream sandwich you could say. The cake is super moist and fluffy. The ice cream is hand made too, as I am trying to make the most of my ice cream maker, but you could always cheat with store bought.

Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

recipe from La Receta de la Felicidad

Ingredients

For the cake
200 g flour (1 and 3/4 cups)
300 g sugar (1 and 1/3 cups)
90 g unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs
200 ml buttermilk (4/5 cup)
125 g butter, melted (1 stick)
200 ml freshly brewed hot coffee (4/5 cup)

Ice cream filling:

1 lt vanilla ice cream  (33 fl oz)

Chocolate frosting:
200 ml heavy cream (4/5 cup)
50 g butter (1/2 stick)
250 g dark chocolate (9 oz)
chopped almonds to decorate

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 23cm baking pans and set aside (I used 2 disposable aluminum foil pans)
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
Add hot coffee, and mix well. The batter will be very runny (probably that is why the cake is so moist).
Distribute batter between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Wait 15 minutes before unmolding. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble cake
Take the ice cream out of the freezer a few minutes before starting to assemble the cake, to soften and make it more spreadable. Line a mold with paper parchment (the size of your cakes).Place a cake inside the mold, spread the ice cream over it, and top with the other cake. Freeze, if possible 24 hours (what I did as I made my own ice cream,  was after it was churned I poured it in a disposable aluminum foil pan and froze it there. You will need to trim it a bit on the sides when you put the cake together, but I found this method hassle-free for me).

Chocolate frosting
Next day, prepare the chocolate frosting. Pour cream on a medium saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, and add chopped chocolate and butter. Allow to rest for a few minutes, and then stir until dissolved. Place cake on a wire rack, and pour frosting over it, being careful to cover the cake completely. Drop some chopped almonds over it, and freeze again until you are going to serve it.

To serve: take the cake out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to serve it.

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Multi layer ice cream

12 Sep

I know that in my previous post I  mentioned my longing to start using the oven asap. But the weather in this country is not really helpful, so I decided to make an ice cream instead. I would get to use my ice cream attachment for one more time (probably not the last for the season though) and I would also get a lot of time left to work on my other “projects” as this is a really quick and easy recipe.

The ingredient list is really simple and it can be adapted pretty much to suit everyone’ s tastes and ingredients available (that’s what I did).  The original recipe is  from Bake at 350, and it is called “7-layer ice cream”. As I used what I already had in my pantry, mine is a 5-layer one, if one were to count the layers.

Multi layer ice cream

adapted from Bake at 350

Ingredients:
¼ cup (56g) butter, melted
1/2 cup petit beurre cookie, in crumbs
½ cup dessicated coconut
¼ cup chocolate sprinkles
¼ cup chocolate chips
2 cups whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk, chilled

Directions

Stir together the melted butter and petite beurre crumbs in a small bowl. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

In another bowl, stir together the coconut, chips and sprinkles.  Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Whisk the cream and sweetened condensed milk together until well combined.  Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 20-25 minutes.

Five minutes before the ice cream cycle is complete, add in the chilled coconut, chips and sprinkles, and continue to process for the remaining five minutes.

Scoop out the finished, soft ice cream into a freezer container, adding in bits of the petite beurre mixture, trying to keep some of it in chunks. (if you are lazy like me, you can add it in the machine, after the cycle is complete;just let it incorporate with the ice cream for like 10 secs)

Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down onto the ice cream and freeze for several hours until hardened and scoop-able.

Banana streusel snack cake

7 Sep

I really wish that while I am typing this post, I am wearing a cardigan, sweats and I am sipping warm coffee. Because autumn is here and all the leaves are brown and the air is chilling. And in my kitchen I am baking something cinnamon-y, dunno what though yet. I haven’t decided what.

Reality check…. I leave in Athens (the original one, in Greece) and it’s hot out there. Most of my friends and(sane) people I know, are still spending hours on the beach whenever they have free time and we are still semi-dressed due to the hot weather. The only thing that has come out of my kitchen the past month are mostly ice cubes, and I am lucky cause I didn’t have to make them (thanks to my fridge), so I won’t be giving you any recipe there.

In my head though, autumn is here.  My vacation time seems far away and I am back to my normal forty fifty-something- hour workweek (business as usual). I had a nice time, I can’t deny that, but now I am ready to start the new season and get back to my schedule. I’m also looking forward to doing loads of baking without instantly converting my kitchen to a sauna (it’s good for the skin, though).

I am just trying to be patient for now, and whenever I have free time I find great pleasure into going to department stores to secretly touch the new suede jackets or just feel the soft angora jumpers. I was even daring enough to use my oven the other day to make this cake.

I made it to accompany coffee, on a Sunday morning. It’s really cliché and at the same time an all time classic to make a banana bread/cake, especially now that schools are starting. But this one is not your typical banana bread. First of all it’s not a one bowl recipe, so if you were looking for a quick recipe, please come back next week. It’s more cake-y and light in texture and the streusel gives a nice crunch and feel (to me at least) and it makes it stand out (even judge G_ liked it and he always complains when he sees me making something with bananas).

Someone had cake for the first time (and from the look on his face he really liked it).

Banana streusel snack cake

slightly adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

Streusel:
6 tablespoons (60g) all purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed (75g) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake:
1 1/3 cups (233g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (255g) mashed ripe bananas (2 medium or 3 small)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) demerara sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles or chips (optional, but you won’t regret it)

Directions:

Streusel:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon with your fingertips until the mixture is lumpy; refrigerate.

Cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour. Have all the ingredients in room temperature.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Put the mashed bananas in a medium bowl and stir in the milk and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and beat until completely incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled, but that’s OK) and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer to its lowest speed and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated (I always do this by hand, using a rubber spatula). If using chocolate, add it now.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake the cake until it springs back when gently pressed in the center and a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

Chocolate muffins

7 Jun

I’ve been seeing chocolate everywhere. I guess there are other sweets around me, but my system refuses to acknowledge anything else.

The chocolate I’ve been seeing, comes in fancy forms and shapes, unlike those simple looking (but “effective” I have to add) muffins, but since I’ve been away this long weekend (we had Monday off) and I’m working a more-than-full time job, it’s quite difficult for me to find the peace and quiet I need in order to bake something (it’s sorta my meditation time). So, the green mixer had the time off.

And no, if you are wondering, we didn’t go to the beach for the first of the year swim/sunburn/or ice cream (important milestones in ones summer, in Greece). We had a wedding to attend, in a small village, resulting coming back to an empty fridge and cupboards.

But I was not feeling good about not making and posting anything here, so I managed to make these muffins, which disappeared as quickly as it took me to make them. No one ever denies a chocolate treat, for sure (ok, I may have delivered a couple to friends personally).

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been resisting it for some time now, although I had registered a long time ago, but due to peer group pressure (yeah, I’m not 16, I know), I jumped on the pinterest wagon at last and created some boards. I wonder if I will manage to find time to follow everything.

A few words about the recipe

  • Quick and easy recipe, perfect for breakfast or/and to accompany coffee (they are made and eaten on the spot) and the muffins are not overly sweet
  • if you like nuts, feel free to add some, it will be a good idea
  • if you are not very fond of coffee or don’t have instant espresso you can omit it from the recipe Continue reading

Gâteau au yaourt

31 May

or Yoghurt cake

…or yoghurt pie (as we call it in Greece, but had no idea about it)

No, I am not really a francophile, although I did spent a few years learning French (and absolutely loved it). I just had a couple of yoghurts sitting in my fridge forever, and instead of giving them the death penalty (i.e. the bin), I remembered that I had this recipe bookmarked, at some point in this life (I have a serious case of food porn addiction), and managed to retrieve it.

Also, lately, I have been trying to persuade someone to try and eat more “clean” foods, full grains and the like, so I couldn’t just go and make another cake full of butter, sugar and white flour. So this recipe was perfect. It has olive oil, yoghurt, a relatively small quantity of sugar (which i decreased by mistake) and I substituted less than half of the AP flour for spelt flour that was also sitting in my fridge (I only told about it after everyone had eaten it, to see if they could taste anything different).

The cake is really simple, moist and not overly sweet (and somewhat healthy I guess – at least I didn’t). Simplicity is underrated. Continue reading

Strawberry cake with chocolate glaze

21 May

Mondays….

are tough….

Ever since I was little ….

 

Especially after a busy weekend, hanging out with people, cooking, baking, and all that entails. I can say that I was kinda relieved when I returned to the office today and started my weekly routine. It’s an endless loop. At least it was quite productive and I managed to finish these for my nephew’s christening (for the children’s goodie bags). They are ready, packed waiting to be eaten.

I made this cake to accompany our coffee and lollipop decorating/packaging session and even though I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t touch this cake (I am not fond of fruit, especially when inside or on top of sweets-cakes etc- no-one’s perfect), I had to restrain myself from eating too much  (I’m supposed to be on a strict diet)

A few words about the recipe:

  • It’s not an overly sweet cake and this makes it perfect for breakfast or to accompany coffee (or tea- ok I am not a big fan, but I suppose you get the picture)
  • The strawberry taste is not too strong and it offers a discreet scent and flavor and as you eat a piece, you can feel the strawberry “seeds” pop in your mouth (like poppy seeds)
  • The strawberry purée/sauce can also be used in crepes, on waffles etc. You can prepare it earlier, or the day before (that’s what I did) and keep it refrigerated. If you like to feel and see the strawberries in the cake, just cut them in half cause they are going to melt (and disappear, like in mine)
  • Although it might look like it, it doesn’t contain any whole wheat flour, it’s dark because of the strawberry (if you look closely, you’ll see it) Continue reading

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

4 May

I don’t know about you, but I am in a “spring mood”. I can’t concentrate, I want to do things but don’t know what that is, I want to fill my house and balcony with flowers and when I sit in the sun i feel like I am thawing (like an ice cube in the heat). I usually try not to admit that I am at the mercy of every weather change, but the alternative explanation is that something is really wrong with me, so I just accept my human nature.

One of the first recipes for muffins I’ve ever made was this one. Till now I had only seen poppy seeds on bread rolls but had never seen them elsewhere and had no idea where to get them. Eventually I found them in a shop with healthy/bio foods, (that are becoming very popular in Greece) packed in 250gram. Huge amount for someone who wants to use no more than two to three tablespoons . I put the rest in a nice jar and stuffed it in a kitchen cabinet. At least it takes up some of the space (I don’t like having empty cabinets, I have the urge to fill them up, even if it’s with stuff I am not going to use).

Back to the muffins. Since the jar with the poppy seed was getting my attention lately (as well as some poppies that have grown by the sidewalks and reminded me of it) I thought of making this recipe and get to use my new rectangular muffin pan too (I also happened to find some pink liners for it – yes I am one of those people who like to accessorize, even for baking).

Continue reading

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