Jade’s 4th Birthday Cake

Today is Jade’s 4th birthday so, a doggie birthday cake was in order!¬†

I started by combining the egg, peanut butter, vanilla and honey in a bowl.

To the liquid mixture, I added the shredded carrots then folded in the whole wheat flour.

I poured the cake batter into the greased pan and let it bake for about 30 minutes. While the cake baked, I made the frosting because no cake is complete without frosting, even doggie cake.

The frosting was a simple mixture of plain greek yogurt and honey.

When the cake came out, it was smelling good! Jade thought so too ūüôā

Once the cake had cooled completely, I frosted it and of course, added a little topping for our special birthday girl!

I did try a piece of this cake, and for what it was, it was good! The frosting definitely added a nice touch. I’d say that Jade was a big fan too, judging from the speed at which she licked off the frosting and chowed down!

 

Happy Birthday baby girl!

Sweetly,

Simona

Chocolate Mug Cake

Fridays are for chocolate! 

If any of you are like me, you’re exhausted by Friday and the thought of dirtying a ton of dishes and waiting a long time for a dessert is daunting. That’s why I was so thrilled that this mug cake worked.

All I had to do was put the ingredients into a mug and stir them together. The ingredients were the same as they would be for a regular sized cake minus the eggs.

Nutella!!

Once combined, I microwaved it for 2 minutes. I was honestly a little skeptical about this but I was pleasantly surprised when it came out.

It was actual cake and it tasted pretty good!! This is a perfect dessert if you’re baking just for yourself or if you don’t want to exert too much energy. I will definitely be making more of these!

Sweetly,

Simona

Coconut Cake

You know that episode of Friends when Rachel tries to make a trifle but ends up making half a trifle and half a Shepherd’s Pie?

That was me this weekend… kind of. I bought all the ingredients and had intended to make a berry cake. Halfway through the recipe though, I thought to myself, “when do the berries go in?” and, “wow there’s a lot of coconut in this”. Well, turns out that the website I was on for the berry cake had switched to the following recipe, and without knowing it, I was making a coconut cake. Wow!

So, I started by separating the egg yolks and whites and beat the yolks with the butter and sugar.

 

Once the mixture was fluffy, I added coconut milk and combined.

I added the flour and then regular whole milk.

I placed that mixture aside and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks formed. I added the egg whites to the batter and gently folded it together.

I poured the batter into the cake pan and placed it into the oven to bake.

While the cake baked, I made the sauce which consisted of sweetened condensed milk (I used sweetened condensed coconut milk), whole milk, and coconut milk.

When the cake came out of the oven, it was beautifully golden brown.

I almost wanted to leave it like this and be done with it – so pretty! That being said, I wanted to try the full recipe so I went on by piercing the cake with a fork. I then poured the condensed milk mixture over it and let it seem deep into the cake and then covered it with shredded coconut.

It was very soft to the touch, which concerned me, but I assumed it must be right since it had been drenched in milk after all.

The cake was really good. Very coconut-y and sweet but in a good way. It was definitely soft… or rather, pudding like, but it didn’t seem like that much of a problem – just required a spoon to serve!

Maybe next weekend I’ll be able to actually make the berry cake – haha.

Sweetly,

Simona

This entry was posted in Cakes.

Heavenly Chocolate Cake

Chocolate!

Chocolate cake!

Chocolate birthday cake!

Not everyone knows that I’m a baker in training and when they find out, it’s a big surprise and¬†sometimes when they find out they want me to bake for them! That’s what happened when¬†Jade’s¬†dog walker’s discovered my Sweetly, Simona Instagram account.

Jade is lucky enough to have an amazing dog walker, Andrew, who’s girlfriend, Scarlett also walks dogs & has taken care of Jade many times. Scarlett discovered my baking account right around the corner from Andrew’s birthday so, she asked me to make a very chocolatey cake!

I chose the Heavenly Chocolate cake recipe from the Mary Berry cookbook.

For this cake, I decided to use a springform pan. I did this mostly because of the fact that the recipe specifically called for a deep cake dish. The springform pan was the deepest I had and I figured springform couldn’t hurt! I cut a piece of parchment paper to put at the bottom of the pan and sprayed the inside of the pan with coconut cooking spray.

I was really excited because I got to use my baking scale!

I then had to melt chocolate with butter.¬†I didn’t have the right sized bowl to fit over the pot of boiling water so I placed a colander at the top of the pot and put the bowl of chocolate inside that. It may have been unconventional, but it worked!

 

I put the chocolate aside to cool and mixed the egg yolks and sugar until they were a light yellow color and fluffy.

Once the chocolate was cooled, I poured it into the fluffed egg and sugar mixture and carefully mixed it together. I used the gentle folding technique that I learned at my Sur La Table cooking classes and tried my best to go as slowly as possible.

Once combined, I added the flour and ground almonds and again, gently folded together.

In my stand mixer, I beat the egg whites until they were “stiff but not dry”. Honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but beat the eggs until they could form a peak but still had moisture. That seemed about right. I added it to the batter and stirred together carefully. I poured the batter into the pan and put it into the oven for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes, the cake was perfectly well done and smelled so chocolatey! The original plan had been to make this cake twice that night. I was going to make the birthday one for Scarlett & Andrew and another for Ward/the office. However, when the cake came out, it was much thinner than Mary Berry’s. So, the second cake ended up being my second layer for Scarlett & Andrew’s cake. It was meant to be!

I let the cakes cool for a long time, wrapped in Saran Wrap, in the fridge. As everyone knows, I have very little patience with cooling baked goods, so I made a point of getting these out of my sight for multiple hours while they chilled.

At some point in the cooling process I made the frosting.

I melted the butter in a pan and then added the cocoa powder and milk.

Once combined, I sifted the powdered sugar into the mixture.

Right off the bat, I knew I would have to make more frosting. There were two reasons for this. The first being that I knew right away that there wasn’t enough. Secondly though, I didn’t like how it looked and it was super thick. I decided that this first round would be my base coat on the cake and that I’d make a second bath for the top coat.

 

I didn’t have time to photograph the making of the second batch of frosting but it came out much thinner and lighter. Phew! I covered the first layer with this new frosting and then added sprinkles because…. birthday cake!

I obviously didn’t get to take a bite of this, but Scarlett & Andrew both said that it was super tasty and that they ate the whole thing in just a few days! Yes!

Sweetly,

Simona

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Before the year is over, I wanted to make sure I finished up with my Christmas desserts.

On Christmas Eve, my mom also requested that I make a mixed berry pavlova, or as we called it: the meringue thing with berries. We had first had it at Abbe’s house a week before Christmas and my mom said it would be a hit at our Christmas Eve. I was nervous, because my track records with meringues has not been stellar but I did it anyway.

I started by drawing a 9″ circle on parchment paper and then flipping it over.

I then mixed the egg whites with the salt and beat until firm peaks formed.

This happened pretty quickly. I was nervous so I watched it carefully but it only took a little over 2 minutes to form these stiff peaks. Once the egg whites got to this stage, I sifted the cornstarch over them and added the vinegar & vanilla.

Once the ingredients were all combined, I poured the mixture onto the parchment paper and then spread it out to create a cake-like round.

I put the meringue in the oven at 180 degrees for an hour and a half. In the meantime, I cut up the fruits and simultaneously worried about the meringue.

When the meringue came out, it was as close to perfect as I could imagine. It had baked & hardened around the outside.

Of course, I immediately had the problem of transferring the meringue from the parchment to a plate. I was running a little behind so I decided to deal with that when I got to my mom’s. The car ride proved to be a bit difficult though and some cracks developed in the meringue. After my mom and I had pushed and pulled to get it seamlessly off the parchment paper, the meringue had multiple deep cracks and I had sweet meringue insides all over my hands. At this point, we decided to screw it and let it break apart since it would be completely covered with whipped cream and fruit – no one would be able to tell it had cracked.

I was a little disappointed but it ended up looking alright.

It was definitely a big hit and complimented the rich Chocolate Ganache Tart very well.

The pavlova was light and crunchy on the outside with a sweet and moist inside. I will definitely be making this again!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year!

Sweetly,

Simona