Coffee Chocolate Cake with Mocha Cocoa Frosting

Coffee Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

This was a pretty easy recipe, as most of the ingredients were in my pantry, but most of all, it was a one bowl cake mixture.  No fuss!!!  I found some almond slices and threw it into my toaster oven for a little burnt taste.  The last time I made this for my office, there were people that didn’t like the liqueur, so I substituted that with a shot of espresso from the local coffee shop.

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brewed coffee

Frosting Ingredients:
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. Cocoa
4 tbsp. warm water
1 tbsp. espresso (more if desired)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 8″ or 9″ round pans.  Line the bottom of your round pans with parchment paper for easy release.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, then stir in the coffee mixture.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip them out on a wire rack and let completely cool before frosting and top with sliced almonds.  (I toasted my almond slices, for a little burnt taste)

For the frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat.  Stir in cocoa, water and espresso.  Remove from heat.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating slowly, until it get to your desired consistency.  Add additional water if it gets too thick.



Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Seems to be that the easy recipes have been the trend on my blog lately.  Not that I don’t want to try things out, but there have been recipes that ask for things that I have to go out of my way to get, so I was just trying recipes, and changing it up with things that I can just make an adjustment with a substitute.

Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Lightly grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk and oil.  Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.  DO NOT OVERMIX!!!!

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle half the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter.  Pour the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon mixture and top with the rest of the cinnamon mixture.

Swirl the batter with a knife for a marble effect.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, before removing from pan.  For best tasting, cut into slices the next day.

Large Chocolate Chip Muffins

This was a good recipe to try, as I never had the patience for small cookies and small cupcakes.  As you can see, from the rest of my blog, I don’t have much of the artistic talent for decorating and making it look pretty.  More so, I have always been the person who like desserts and snacks for the taste and not with all the fancy sugar embellishments.  There was no buttermilk in this recipe either, so I wasn’t too sure if they would be too dense.  So, I decided to try this extra-large muffin recipe, but also worried that it may be too dry.  To my surprise, it turned out waaaaay better than I expected.

1 cup milk
1/4 cup vinegar
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare a 6 large muffin tins with liners.

In a small bowl, pour the milk and vinegar together and let it rest while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

In a larger bowl, mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla, and the milk/vinegar mixture. Stir JUST until a batter with lumps forms.  DO NOT OVERMIX!!!

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup in the muffin tin to be completely full (about 1/4 cup each).

Bake at 425ºF for 5 minutes. Then decrease the heat to 375ºF and bake for another 13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin and serving.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Blissful Lemon Bundt Cake

This is my first project with my brand new oven.  I was quite excited to have a new toy in my kitchen, and my new toy is a true convection too.  So I decided to find something easy to start off, so I can have a feel of how my oven truly feels.

The outcome of this cake, came out a tad dense.  However, I don’t think it’s because it’s my oven, I think it’s because I mixed it to long after I added the flour mixture.  So, just a friendly reminder, stop mixing after the flour have just incorporated with the mixture.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups cake flour
1 cup milk
Zest of 2-3 lemons

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

Spray large bundt pan (12 cups) with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter until it is light in color.  Add in the sugar until combined.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once all the eggs have been added, and beat until well combined.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

Add the flour mixture to the batter in three parts alternately with the milk (flour mixture/milk/flour mixture/milk/flour mixture). Mix until everything is well combined; the batter will look a bit rough, but shouldn’t have any large lumps.

Stir in the grated lemon rind.

Pour entire mixture into the prepared bundt pan.  Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. A pan with a dark interior will bake cake more quickly; start checking at 40 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from pan.

Nutella Cake

I have always wondered if there are people that would actually not like Nutella.  Well, it turns out that there have been controversial posts about how harmful that Nutella can ruin your health and blah, blah, blah.

I’m a baker and I try my best to think outside the box.  Yes, I am not a very artistic person, so I can’t make things beautiful, but I try my best to fill my brain with knowledge of how I can combine raw ingredients, stick in the oven and hope for the best.

I had tuned this recipe for what I have in fridge, but I think it turned out okay.  Also, it was quite moist, compared the the original one that I made.  Although this recipe asks for 1 cup of Nutella, I was a tad generous and put in a cup with a heavy hand.

2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350oF

Spray large bundt pan (12 cups) with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth and white in color.  Add the sugar gradually, and beat until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Then beat in the Nutella.

Alternately, add in the flour mixture and buttermilk (start and end with flour mixture).  Beat until the batter is smooth.

Pour entire mixture into the prepared bundt pan.  Bake for approximately 60-65 minutes until cake tester comes out clean for the bundt cake.

Let the cake cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.


Mantou (Chinese Steam Buns)

Yes, I understand that this is a baking blog, but I have explored a little further when I was trying out recipes with yeast.  As I was trying to find new recipes as I work off the fresh yeast in my fridge, I have decided on extending on the possibilities.

As I have been exploring the different techniques of kneading dough, I found that this was one of the simpler ones.  Also, vegan friendly, so not a whole lot of ingredients.

4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
16 grams of fresh yeast
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. baking powder

Sift together flour, sugar and salt on kneading table and create a well to hold the liquid.

Crumble the fresh yeast into the middle of the well.  Add warm water and vegetable oil.
Knead until it is smooth and a stretchy texture. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and set aside at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes, until double in size.

 Sprinkle the baking powder over the mixture and knead well into the dough.  Cover with damp dish towel again and rest for 20 minutes.

Split the dough into two and roll the dough into a rectangle shape.  Fold one third of the dough back into itself, then fold the remaining third over the top of the dough so your Mantou dough will be triple folded.

Roll out the dough into a thin layer (the thinner the dough, the prettier it will be when it is rolled) and then brush water over it.

From the long side, start rolling it up into a log.  Use sharp knife and cut the roll into small pieces.

To steam:  Place buns into a steamer and spray a small amount of water over the buns.  Put the steamers over cold water and turn on the heat on high.  Start timing the clock from boiling point (when there is steam) and steam  for about 10-15 minutes.  Turn the head off and rest for 5 minutes with lid SLIGHTLY ajar.



Blueberry Banana Muffins with walnuts

I have never been a muffin or even a cupcake kind of person.  I don’t have that kind of patience, nor do I have that kind of artistic talent for that kind of thing.  However, it seems that this is one of those recipes that if I have a bad banana, and some blueberries from the freezer AND if I’m looking for another variety of banana bread, here it is.  On top of that, the baking time is not as long.

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup very ripe bananas
1/2 cup yogurt
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup blueberries
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Prepare and line 12 muffin tins.  Preheat oven to 350oF.

In a large bowl, beat eggs for 5 minutes.  Add the sugar, oil, bananas and yogurt.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until just combined.  (Do not use mixer, it may over mix the batter and the cake will become chewy).

Add in the blueberries and walnuts.   Scoop into prepared muffin tin. 

Bake at 350oF for approximately 1 hour.  Check with cake tester.

Coconut Cake

I was looking for something similar, but different to a classic yellow cake, so I tried this one out.  It may be good to change things up a little bit, when it comes to a plain classic yellow cake, but some people (myself included), don’t like coconut.  I don’t so much mind the taste and the fragrance of the coconut, it’s the texture of the coconut that I’m not to inclined to try.  Hence, I tried this recipe and changed it up with fine unsweetened shredded coconut.  If you’re not looking for a sexy yellow cake, you can always add a scoop of ice cream and dress it up with a little bit of berries.

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1  1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1  400-mL can coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease two 9-in. round cake pans with oil. Line bottoms with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir flour with coconut, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, until fluffy and white in color, approximately 3 min. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with coconut milk (start and end with the flour mixture)

Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops. Bake in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted into centre of cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 min. Cool in pans on a rack, 10 min, then turn cakes out onto racks and let cool completely, 1 hour.

Coconut Cake

Chiffon Swiss Roll

Yes, here I am again, trying a new recipe on a swiss roll.  It wasn’t an epic fail, but it definitely wasn’t a success.  The finished product was better than the coffee and the green tea roll that I made, but it didn’t have have that fluffy and airy texture I was trying to achieve.

4 egg whites
2 tbsp. sugar (for the egg whites)

4 egg yolks
2 tbsp. sugar (for the egg yolks)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. water
9 tbsp. cake flour

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until medium peaks is reached and gradually add the sugar to the egg whites until stiff peaks forms.  (The volume of this meringue will determine how fluffy your cake will turn out)

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light colored. Add vegetable oil and water and mix again.  Add sifted cake flour to the mixture.

Gradually fold in half the meringue to the mixture and mix until combined. Then, add the second half of the mixture to the meringue bowl and mix lightly with a rubber spatula.

Pour into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and give it a couple of taps on the counter to shake out the air bubbles.  Keep in mind, the more the batter is agitated, the less volume it will have, as the volume of the meringue deflates with each movement.

Bake in a 320ºF for 15 minutes.

After it cools slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and let cool completely.  After the cake has completely cooled, remove the plastic wrap (the browned color on the cake will come off nicely with the wrap). Spread any cream filling you like, roll (I just whipped up some whipping cream and sugar), and it’s done.

Chiffon Swiss Roll


Mocha Kahlua Chocolate Sauce

This is not a baking exercise, but I used this for my ice cream cake a couple of weeks ago, and it was a hit with my co-workers.  I also saved some for my ice cream topping.  The kahlua was not cooked off, so this is not advised for minors that are not supposed to consume alcohol.

1 ½ cups dark chocolate
¼ cup milk
½ cup whipping cream
3 tbsps. of Kahlua
1 tbsp. Instant coffee
1/4 cup hot water

Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water and set aside.

Place chocolate in a mixing bowl, making sure that they are broken into small pieces for easy melting.

In a saucepan, combine milk and cream over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and then remove from heat.  Pour hot milk and cream over chocolate. Stir until smooth. Add the coffee mixture, then add the Kahlua and continue whisking until combined.

This should make about 1 ½ cups.

Mocha Kahlua Sauce