Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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This has got to be the fluffiest cake I have ever made. But of course, how could it not be? I mean, have you seen all the lovely, wonderful stuff that goes into this beauty of a cake…butter (duh!), cream cheese (aaha!), and a teeny bit of sour cream (sold!). A sprinkle of powdered sugar on top, and you are good to go.

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The addition of cream cheese lightens up the pound cake and gives it an ever so slight a tang which I found extremely interesting. So if you are not a big fan of the in-your-face butteriness of pound cakes, definitely give this one a try. I have a feeling you are going to be pleasantly surprised.

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The recipe is definitely a keeper, but I had one problem with it…the amount of chocolate chips in it. It calls for a mere 1 cup of chocolate chips, which, for a chocoholic like me, is way too disappointing. If you are more of a vanilla lover than a chocolate one, follow the exact recipe, maybe add more vanilla ( if you like) and you should be very happy. Next time, I would definitely increase the chocolate chips to 11/2 cups; maybe even 2 cups.

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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Recipe source: The Whimsical Bakehouse

Ingredients:

2 sticks (I cup, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temp

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp

11/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp. sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract ( I used 2 tsp)

4 large eggs, at room temp

21/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( increase to 11/2 if you like more)

Method:

Grease and flour a Bundt pan or two 9-inch round pans. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat well at high speed.

Add the sugar and cream at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well at medium speed.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

On a piece of wax paper, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and beat on low speed until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Bundt pan: Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely.

9-inch pans: Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes on wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pans.

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Fifty Shades of Grey Cupcakes with Fondant Toppers

Everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, aren’t they? I have not read the book nor watched the movie, but I was sure excited when these cupcakes with the toppers were ordered recently for a party. The toppers are all made out of fondant mixed with a little tylose powder. I drew the templates on a piece of cardstock and used that to cut out the neck ties, masks, and handcuffs out of fondant. The book and the keys were made by hand. The toppers were painted in silver food color diluted with a bit of vodka.

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Marshmallow Flower Cupcakes

These beautiful cupcakes are decorated with marshmallows and sanding sugar…so pretty, don’t you think? Perfect for birthdays, baby showers, get togethers and in this case, the first Fiesta Friday anniversary at The Novice Gardener, co-hosted by the lovely Nancy@Feasting with Friends and Selma@Selma’s Table. Congratulations Angie, and thank you for creating this awesome platform for us bloggers where we get a chance to share and admire each other’s creations and ideas. Thank you!

Updated: You can see how to make these lovely cupcakes here. Sorry for forgetting to add the link earlier. 😦

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

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You know this is going to be good, right?…I mean, lemon and blueberries together, it just cannot go wrong.

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I always have at least two boxes of blueberries in my freezer. I buy them fresh and freeze it, and use it in everything from smoothies to muffins to pancakes and morning cereal. Same with the lemons, I always have a few lying around in the refrigerator.

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Tangy, sweet and moist, it is one perfect quick bread. It smells wonderful and looks amazing, thanks to the beautiful marbling from the blueberries. The sugar and lemon juice glaze on top gives it an extra boost of lemonyness. This time though, I chose not to glaze the bread since I wanted to keep it plain and simple.

Although the recipe specifies a 60-70 minutes baking time, start checking at 50 minutes.

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

Recipe coutesy: Taste of Home

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp. lemon juice

2 eggs

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tbsp. grated lemon peel

Glaze:

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the blueberries, nuts and lemon peel.

Transfer to a greased 8-in by 4-in loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to the rack.

Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread. Cool completely.

Note: If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloration of the batter.

Winnie the Pooh and Friends Cake

This is my first cake of the year, made for a sweet little boy who celebrated his second birthday recently. It is a two-tiered Winnie the Pooh and Friends cake covered in fondant. Every single thing on the cake was made out of fondant. I just loved those little honey pots and those mushrooms. It was a really fun cake to create and the birthday boy loved his Pooh cake.

Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!

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Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake

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Finally the Christmas Fruit Cake is ready. Remember this? And guess what? I have found THE recipe. After years of trying many many recipes ranging from “not bad” to “it’s ok” to “well, that’s it, I’m done!”, I have fallen in love with this particular recipe. And yes, it has managed to do the unthinkable — convert me from a hardcore fruit cake loather to a budding fruit cake lover…😍.

Doesn’t it look absolutely gorgeous?…so dark and perfect!

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This recipe comes from the lovely Shema George at Life Scoops. This recipe is her family’s own heirloom recipe, handed down over three generations. It has got to be good, right? And she has very generously shared with us all this awesome recipe here. Although you can find the recipe at the end of this post here, I really urge you to go visit Shema and read everything about this wonderful cake and also about her family’s Christmas traditions. She also has some very valuable tips on making this fruit cake perfect. Thank you so much Shema!

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I soaked the fruits for about 4 weeks. Then I baked it, brushed it lovingly with rum, wrapped it tenderly, first in parchment paper, then some foil and finally put it in a ziplock bag and stored it away in a secret place, away from all the hungry monkeys in my house 😀.

The recipe yields 2 9-inch cakes, but I chose to bake this in my Bundt pan. The baking time in the recipe says about 1 hour, but my cake took almost an extra 20-25 minutes. So start checking at the recommended baking time and allow more time if needed.

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Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!

Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipe source: lifescoops.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

Soaking the fruits

2/3 cup sugar

5 cups dry fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, prunes, dates)

1 cup water

1/2 cup brandy/rum

Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking Soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 3/8 cups (2 sticks and 3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

5 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp orange marmalade

1/2 tsp orange zest

3 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts)
Method:

Soaking the fruits (A few weeks, preferably a couple of months ahead of baking the cake)

Finely chop the dry fruits.

In a non-stick sauce pan, add the sugar and let it caramelize. Once the sugar caramelizes or turns into brown color, take the sauce pan off the heat and carefully add water little by little. Be careful to avoid splashes as the caramelized sugar would be extremely hot. Stir well.

Add the chopped dry fruits and reheat mixture until it starts boiling.

Take it off the heat and add brandy or rum.

Let the mixture cool completely; cover and seal in an air tight container.

Making the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Grease the cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Since I used a Bundt pan, I just greased it.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) and keep it aside.

Mix the butter and sugar together and add the egg yolk one by one until everything is incorporated.

Add the soaked dry fruits and mix.

Stir in the flour mixture in batches and mix.

Add vanilla, orange marmalade, orange zest and the chopped nuts.

In a big bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the lime juice and powdered sugar and mix again.

Folding egg whites into cake – Pour 1/2 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, and stir it in. This thins and lightens the batter, making it easier to incorporate the rest of the egg whites. Mix until there are no visible streaks of egg white in the batter.

Pour remaining egg whites into the batter – This time, instead of stirring, gently lift batter from the bottom of the bowl and gently fold it over top of the egg whites. Handle the batter gently, in order to preserve the foam as much as possible. Repeat, until the egg whites are dispersed throughout the batter but still visible.

Pour the cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Storing the cake

Let the cake cool completely

Prick holes in the cake with a toothpick and brush/drizzle brandy or rum.

Wrap and seal the cake with parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil; cling wrap it and store it in Ziploc bags.

Repeat the process of feeding the cake with rum/brandy occasionally, to keep it moist and rich.