This Pave d’Amour or Cake of Love is truly a celebration cake made for all the highlights of life. It is one of those recipes that looks daunting but actually isn’t. It just requires a schedule and can be done over a number of days or even weeks as desired. While not as fast as some cakes, its complexity is what makes it so special. Since May and June are such celebration months, I’m reintroducing this cake as one of my all time favorites because I think everyone should know about it. Continue reading
Many, many years ago when I first opened my bakery, the challenge was finding recipes for cake layers that worked and could be scaled up. It seemed like all I did was test
Then I discovered, as did everyone, “The Cake Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It was a game changer for anyone interested in baking and cakes. The explanations of what was going on and why in each recipe helped us understand baking better. At that point in time (1988) there was not a lot of information on the science of baking which made this book all the more valuable.
I found the recipes in her book for cake layers to be the recipes I was looking for. Although I used recipes from many sources, including those I came up with, “The Cake Bible” was always my back up. Continue reading
Last week I promised you the Pina Colada cake and here it is. I designed this cake for a class I taught and if any of my students are reading this, I have changed the Coconut Sauce for an easier, tastier sauce.
After cleaning and cutting a fresh pineapple, I thought it might be easier if you bought a whole pineapple already cleaned and cored. Sometimes it’s possible to take “from scratch” too far! In any case make sure the pineapple is ripe for maximum flavor.
The coconut sauce for this Pina Colada Cake is a breeze to make and tastes just like a pina colada, a favorite drink in my youth. It’s also great for ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Many components of this cake can be done ahead of time. The rum syrup, the coconut sauce and the toasted coconut can be made days ahead. The pineapple can be prepared up to the point where it is glazed. Continue reading
I was working on too many things at once when I was working on this cake. At the end of the day I went to release the cake and ended up cutting across one side of it because I wasn’t focusing on what I was doing. My husband offered the opinion that if we turned it a certain way, it probably wouldn’t matter. I was very tempted because I was tired. I had learned not to made decisions when tired, so I put it off for a day.
That proved to be a lucky decision. When I looked closely at the cake, the texture seemed to be a bit coarse. While it probably wouldn’t matter to most people, I am always trying to make my work better. I decided to switch the all purpose flour for cake flour – but by weight. So the 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour became 2 cups of cake flour since they both weighed 250 grams or 9 ounces. It proved to be a good idea. Continue reading
This Lamington Torte is an adaptation of Australia’s much loved snack, Lamington Squares. Traditionally, they are made of sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and rolled in desiccated coconut. The sponge can also be split and filled with whipped cream or jam.
However, in researching this treat, I found that here in the states the cake usually runs to a butter cake. The recipes did stay true to the original powdered sugar icing.
I liked the idea, but I am not a fan of sponge cake except in a few instances where nothing else will do. My Lamington Torte consists of four layers of yellow butter cake, raspberry jam filling and a rich chocolate ganache rather than the powdered sugar based icing.
I also use sweetened coconut that is toasted then flattened with a rolling pin so it lies flatter than regular coconut. Toasting coconut is one of those things in baking where you need to be around, as it has to be stirred every few minutes to achieve a luscious deep golden brown. Unless, of course, you go to have lunch in the den with your husband and leave the timer in the kitchen. When you do that this is what your coconut will look like. Continue reading