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Friday, December 20, 2013

Baking... a cheap therapy!

Hello everybody! It's time for us, The Cake Slice Bakers, to reveal our cake of the month... This month's selection was delicious ... unfortunately I didn't have much opportunity to enjoy the "eating part" of it...

So... on Thursday 5th my dad had a heart attack... he was rushed to the hospital and I, living far away from my parents, felt the anxiousness of not being able to do anything and long hours of waiting since the heart attack was really major and we wouldn't know if my dad would make it... I found about this on the 5th almost at midnight...

So, on the 6th, while not knowing what was going to happen I baked... I hadn't planned yet to bake the cake that day... but ... to avoid eating my already non-existent fingernails I started to bake... I know I should've prayed more... but even praying made me feel a knot in my stomach and throat... and would cause lots of intense sobbing and having two little ones at home with me... I still had to try to make things "normal" for them... So... I baked... I went ahead and grabbed the ingredients for this cake which is thankfully very easy to make and I even followed the advice of our fellow baker Anabel from Oven Delights and used some almond extract in the batter of this cake which I think was really "the" thing that made it extra special.

On Friday night we had friends over who enjoyed the cake with us and stayed until 1 in the morning just being supportive and talking with us (as I avoided to have time to think because I felt like I wouldn't take it) and on Saturday morning I took the rest of the cake to a friend's house for her and her family to enjoy as we left to see my dad in the hospital, which unfortunately didn't happen because he couldn't have any strong emotions due to his state...

Today... as I type this... he's been released from the hospital after two weeks being there... he is recovering and I am so thankful for it! He will continue to recover at home and I pray that the next cake I bake will be in a celebratory atmosphere!

So... Thank you for reading... I wish you all Merry Christmas and highly suggest you try this cake... Unfortunately, given the circumstances I didn't even take pics of the process of making it and just managed to get a picture of one of the squares... this cake is better while still slightly warm ... Remember: We are baking from "Great Cakes" book by Carole Walter. Hopefully you'll get the book and try this recipe!

So... here's my pic:

© Paloma K.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Cake - New Book! Applesauce Spice Cake

Hello everybody! Today I am excited to make some revelations...

We are now baking from a New Book at "The Cake Slice" (like us on facebook here) ... it wasn't easy to let go of the amazing book Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson but it had to be done... We choose a different book every year and then we vote on a cake each month... so... I am about to reveal our new book that we'll be using from now until October 2014... ready? - Drumroll -

We all vote each year for a different book and this one was a winner based on the reviews, etc.... When I (and some of my fellow bakers) received it ... I must say we were a bit disappointed to see that it doesn't have many pictures, the whole "look" of the book, especially the way the recipes are put together seems very old fasioned... BUT... we are not giving up on it... I think there must be a reason why this book has pleased so many people for so long and Carole Walter is definitely known for her desserts and wonderful cakes... So.. our first Cake is the "Applesauce Spice Cake" and here's my experience with it:
  1. Making this cake was a delight, the batter was rich and fluffy, the aroma of the spices and the apples flooded my kitchen! I couldn't wait to have a taste of it!
  2. The book specifies that the baking time for this cake is from 55-60 minutes. Thankfully I was in a hurry so I kept checking on the cake, which was ready at about 34 minutes (and actually looking a bit too browned)
  3. I got scared it could be overbaked (nothing better to ruin a cake than overbaking it!) so I didn't want to leave it in the pan for the recommended time to cool off because I knew it would continue "cooking" with the heat IN the pan so I forced it out of the bundt pan right away which resulted on big (BIG) pieces of cake getting stuck to the pan! I wanted to ... CRY!
    Doesn't look as bad as it could've looked -sigh-
  4. I managed to get the pieces unstuck and kind of put them back on the cake, making it look as "good as possible" it still didn't look pretty but the delicious Brown Sugar Glaze on top of it definitely helped things. 
  5. We loved the cake! Just loved it... Especially hubby! I decided to go for cubed granny Smith apples which I think was key to add some freshness/tartness to this cake, the grated lemon rind also helped brighten the rest of the flavors.
 Want a slice?

I also want to mention real quick that we have new members in our group (and even 2 returns)! We accepted people that would join and I am so excited to see how they enjoyed this first cake! If you'd like to join us stay tuned! We'll be opening another window of opportunity in the middle of our baking year around February/March and then another one at the end (around September).

© Paloma K.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stewed Sausage with Onions, Garlic and Peppers

Ah! Talk about comfort food! This weekend I decided to make it "extra special" when it comes to food! I just felt industrious and wanted to make something that would be extra warming and inviting... perfect to enjoy in a rainy day... but different from what I usually make...  at the same time I knew I would have busy days so I wanted to make something delicious, yes... but also practical and not too time consuming...

so... when I went to the store I decided to buy "Italian Sausage". I never buy that kind of thing so I knew it would definitely be a "twist" and something different from what I always cook... and ah! I am so happy I did... I also had some cookbooks from the library and I used them for inspiration to put this together... I hope you will try it and let me know how you liked it... This is something I am definitely going to be making again!

Stewed Sausage with Onions, Garlic and Peppers

  • 1 lb. raw sweet Italian sausage (in its casing)
  • 3/4  lb. raw mild Italian sausage (in its casing) -you can buy the whole package with one pound and just leave one sausage out)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper (seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • roughly chopped fresh basil for garnish


In a big bowl mix the onions, green/yellow pepper and garlic. Set aside

  • Using a very large skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sausages and turn occasionally making sure all sides are browned (this will take about 10-12 minutes). Stir in the oregano and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for a minute or two. Add the diced tomatoes with the juices, the water and the 1/4 tsp. salt; simmer for 3 minutes.
  • In the bottom of a slow cooker arrange ONLY half of the onion-pepper mixture and then cover with half of the sausages and their sauce, cover with the rest of the onion-pepper mixture to form another layer and top it all with the rest of the sausage/sauce. Cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Serve and garnish with fresh basil. You can serve this with pasta or buttered egg-noodles with grated parmesan or just serve it in a bowl and enjoy with some delicious artisan bread. 
 Honestly... you will love me after you eat this! ;)

© Paloma K.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bittersweet! - Last cake of the year

Hello everybody! It's once again time to share the "Cake of the Month". In The Cake Slice Bakers we are closing our baking year. During 2012-2013 we baked from Vintage Cakes Book by Julie Richardson and it was just a total and absolute delight. The recipes we tried were amazing and we all truly recommend this book! It is definitely a MUST HAVE.

 Because it is our last cake from the book and our last official month of our baking year we each had the opportunity and freedom to pick any cake from the book! I almost immediately knew which cake I would bake and when I asked hubby to pick a cake for me to bake I was delighted to see he picked the one I wanted to bake!

Here it is:

Watergate Cake with Impeachment Frosting
According to the author of the book this cake is from the early 70's and it is a pistachio cake with pistachio frosting.

Cake batter mixed with pistachio pudding, yes, all from scratch

I loved the beautiful golden color of the cake layers, the luscious cream was infused with pistachio pudding as well.

Caramelized pistachios for garnish
Because this cake had to stay refrigerated I couldn't garnish it to make it look prettier otherwise the caramelized pistachios would've gotten soggy and just not good to enjoy. 

Sliced and garnished!

Each slice could be garnished with the caramelized pistachios although I gave my guests the option to have them on the side instead since hubby didn't like the pistachios on the cake. My friends said they loved the caramelized pistachios AND the cake (I loved this cake!!!) but most of them preferred them separately... I am glad I offered the caramelized pistachios as an option. This cake was super moist and flavorful and the pistachio just adds a subtle flavor that is not overpowering or overwhelming, just really delicious, buttery, nutty, PERFECT!

Every ending is bittersweet... There's the sadness to end a chapter and the excitement to start another one! I can't wait to start baking from our new book! (sorry I still can't reveal the name!). I have been honored to be leading such a wonderful group of ladies at The Cake Slice (Like Us on Faceboook) and I hope we'll continue to bake for many more years together! If you'd like to join our secret group (we never reveal what we're baking until the 20th of every month) let me know... I'll be happy to share with you how you can join us (it's very simple! The main requirements are: love baking, have a blog and want to eat cake).

So... now... let me invite you to some other blogs. My friends and fellow bakers baked great and beautiful cakes too... make sure you do some blog hopping to see what they picked!

© Paloma K.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Potato and Corn Chowder with Fresh Avocado

 Hello! Here I am just real quick, like always, because I just can't find the time to blog consistently... Maybe some day ... when my girlies are older... we'll see... but I refuse to give up my blogging and sharing about cooking and baking... it's just part of what I love! So... today I am just wanting to share this delicious recipe that I recently stumbled upon.... see, I've been getting cookbooks from the library for inspiration... I can't afford to buy too many cookbooks neither I have the space to store them or have them around our apartment... So... I thought I could use the wonderful resource of the library to get cookbooks and get inspired... and it's great! If you're not doing it yet, I encourage you to do so!

So, I got this book called "Chicken for Dinner" by Williams-Sonoma, since chicken is definitely a staple, nothing could go wrong... except that the book constantly calls for wine in the recipes... and that was a turn off for me... We don't drink and I am not going to be buying wine just for cooking... right? especially because you do want good wine if you're going to cook with it and.... the fact that the book is called "chicken for dinner" for some reason gave me this idea that all ingredients would be pretty basic... maybe wine should be a basic? I don't know... I just know I am not buying wine... LOL! But... I was pleasantly surprised with simple, comforting, inexpensive and yummy recipes like the one I am sharing right now... ready? Here it goes...

Potato, Corn and Avocado Chowder
Adapted from "Williams-Sonoma: Chicken For Dinner"

Serves 6-8

2 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 large white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlice, minced
8 medium-large red potatoes peeled and cubed
1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
8 cups of chicken stock (or hot water mixed with about 3 tbsp. of chicken bouillion)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste (if you used chicken bouillion be really careful when adding salt as the chicken bouillion is salty by itself)
2 cups corn kernels (you can use frozen)
1 cup half and half
1 avocado (pit, peel and chop right before serving)

In a sauce pan over med-high heat, warm the olive oil. Once the oil is hotadd the onion and sautee until translucent (about 5 mins). Stir in the garlic and potatoes/sweet potato. Saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour stock or hot water and add half of the chopped cilantro. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 22 mins. Taste and season with some salt and pepper.

Add corn and half and half. Simmer for an additional 5 mins. and mash some of the potatoes if you want to thicken the soup a little bit more.

Ladle the chowder into soup bowls. Top with the avocado and remaining fresh cilantro (dividing it all evenly).


© Paloma K.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Back to the roots!

So... Yesterday was officially our first day home after our long family vacation... We enjoyed 7 days with family in Wisconsin... going back to hubby's roots and also to our own family's foundation... where "it all started" for us!

It was wonderful!

And because of that ... I thought I would take a few snap shots of some of the food we enjoyed there... I thought it would be good to take my blog back to its very roots as well... back to when everything was just about "taking pictures of food... a cup of coffee or a coffee shop"

I hope you enjoy!

Are there better cookies than grandma's? Doubt it!
Date with hubby, this is what he had: Stuffed crepes. Delish!

This is what I had... Tuna melt with alfalfa sprouts and side of Indian rice. Really fragrant

Our coffee at our favorite coffee shop, they sold their name "Alterra" and they're now Colectivo... I guess it will eventually grow in us.

Cafe "Cortado" half espresso half steamed milk

The coffee sign :)

Of course we ate a lot more than just this... But these were shots of very special "food moments"

© Paloma K.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up

Hello friends, this time I bring to you the "Cake of the Month" we, The Cake Slice Bakers, so joyfully baked for September!

The winner of the month was a "Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up" and I was worried about this cake being the winner for several reasons, here they are:

1. Hubby hates butterscotch candy and I am not a big fan of it, would this taste like that?
2. The "Roll-Up" method is not your usual "Swiss-Roll" style and I was afraid I would just "mess things up" -you'll soon see what I am talking about-
3. The recipe called for whiskey, we don't drink here and I wasn't going to buy a bottle of whiskey just to use a tablespoon in a recipe.
4. It seemed a "laborious" recipe and September is a very busy month for me. (My oldest turned 5 so talk about some emotional things going on here, realizing my baby is not a baby anymore!)

So... Before I tell you how I did... let me share with you a picture of my girl and her birthday cakes and cookies that mommy made for her:

Now, about The Cake Slice cake, this is one of our very last cakes of our baking year! We have been baking from "Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson" and it has been DELIGHTFUL! Almost every cake has been loved by everyone in our group! And for us, this butterscotch cream roll up has been one of the best! Made with chiffon cake, filled and frosted with whipped cream enhanced with a delicious butterscotch sauce and then drizzled with warmed butterscotch sauce, this dessert is heavenly! Honestly, we didn't miss the "whiskey" at all, I don't know of any way this cake could get any better! I only increased the amount of vanilla extract by a teaspoon but everything else I just followed the recipe exactly as it is! Please, make sure to get this amazing book! You need it in your kitchen!

Due to respect to copyright laws, the author and her work (Julie Richardson is a delight as a person, I know that just with a brief exchanged we had online) I am not sharing her recipes and only encouraging you to GET THIS BOOK as soon as possible (I am not getting paid or compensated in anyway, this is just my personal opinion) you will not regret it!

So... here go some pictures:

Chiffon cake, has to be sliced in same size stripes

Then, spread the filling and some toasted almonds

This could get tricky, although it was WAY EASIER than I thought

Once each stripe is rolled up, you frost it with the remainder whipped cream

I just used a spoon to create the "wavy effect" on the cream

I can tell you I don't think I'll ever "swiss-roll" a cake again! I loved this technique WAY BETTER!

I was worried about "how we would cut it" but we just sliced it like we would any other cake, I was happy it held up great!

An uneven slice on a paper plate, it's the only picture I took with the drizzled butterscotch sauce on top!
Now... I also have a confession to make... I burnt the butterscotch sauce in the first attempt (don't talk on the phone while trying to make this sauce, just sayin') but I am thankful my friend and fellow Cake Slice Baker, Anabel from Oven Delights, told me the sauce is delicious (it tasted really bitter, of course, the first time, the burnt one) so I gave it another try and... Oh! Was it worth it!!!

So, there you go, there's my cake of the month and my 5 yr. old! :) Two very special things for September!

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Cake Slice - Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake

Hello everybody! Here I am, right on time to reveal the cake of the month! We, The Cake Slice Bakers, bake a different cake every month. This year we have been baking from the beautiful and awesome book "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson (who, by the way, is as sweet as her cakes! she rocks!)

This month the cake that "won" with a majority of votes was a "Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake" with a Brown Butter Frosting... It was fun making this cake... and it looked beautiful when it came out of the oven... I wish I could tell you what this cake tastes like but... MY CAKE was bland and dry... and it's not the recipe's fault... I FORGOT ONE VERY IMPORTANT INGREDIENT: Brown sugar! Yes!! How could I forget? I don't know! I just know I hate myself for forgetting about it because I invested so much in this cake... time, money and hopes! LOL! ...

So... here are the pictures of my attempt... I will probably have to make it again just because I am THAT OBSESSIVE and I will have to know what it is like if I add all the ingredients the recipe calls for!

On a brighter note... it seems that hubby (and friends) didn't find it bad (wait, hubby is just telling me that the frosting grossed him out, he said it's a buttery/gelatinous disgusting thing)... and I felt the same way (and I didn't even forget any ingredient for that one)... my friends said it was a good "coffee cake" ... I am sure it would've been better with the brown sugar... Anyway... don't judge this book based on this cake... because I've loved... LOVED... the rest of the cakes from it!

Now... if you want to see the hopefully more successful cakes of the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers hop around through their blogs as they join the party with their cakes of the month!

© Paloma K.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to make camouflage cupcakes FROM SCRATCH

Camo Cupcakes, that's what someone from church ordered last week for our "Choir Kick-off" in church... Don't ask me why it was camo cupcakes... let me just say it was fun! LOL!

So... if your hubby is a hunter or you want to make a special batch of cupcakes for Memorial Day/Veterans Day or if you want to make a birthday boy very happy these cupcakes are perfect for the occasion!

Now... It's just really simple, you just have to be a little patient... if you look anywhere else online you will see that everybody is using cake mixes for these... I guess they say "well, they're cute enough and there's enough work involved with the elaboration, why bother making them from scratch?", plus, there's a big reason why people use cake mixes for these, think about it, you want the batter to be "the same" so that it doesn't have any problem with different textures/rising levels, etc. BUT you can still make a delicious batter from scratch that is good for this purpose and it doesn't have to be too complicated.

What I used is my easiest "go to" chocolate cupcake ingredients:

Delicious and Fluffy Chocolate Cupcakes (Yield: 12 cupcakes)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (preferably safflower)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
As you can see the recipe calls for cocoa powder and it yields 12 standard sized cupcakes. So I just recommend you to make 2 batches. 1 exactly like the recipe calls and an additional batch where you will omit the cocoa powder and just increase the amount of all purpose flour with an additional 1/3 of a cup and 2 tsp. of vanilla extract instead of only 1.

The ingredients above you just have to mix them all together, the order doesn't matter too much, but I do prefer to mix flour, salt and baking soda first (and cocoa for the chocolate batter) and then just incorporate sugar, oil, water, vinegar and vanilla.

Once you have both batters (chocolate and vanilla) you will divide each batter in half, so you will have two chocolate batters and two vanilla batters, having done this just add some black gel food coloring to 1 of the chocolate batters and some green gel food coloring to 1 of the vanilla batter (plus some extra tablespoons of chocolate batter just to create the dry hue of military green you need) and voila, you will have 4 different colors of two different batters, 1 black chocolate, 1 brown chocolate, 1 military green vanilla, 1 plain vanilla.

What you want to do at this point is preheat your oven at 350 F, line your muffin tin with baking cups (cupcake paper liners) and fill plastic bags (ziploc or piping bags will work) with each of the batters, pipe the batters into the cupcake liners starting with the plain vanilla (about 1 1/2 tbsp. or so) to cover the bottom of the cup and then just start incorporating alternately the rest of the colors (even if you have to do more than one layer). Make sure to not cover the layer of vanilla entirely with the next color, you are adding the rest of the colors in the form of "spots", let the batter make spots that take their own shape, the batter for these cupcakes is "runny enough" to blend with the rest of the batter and thick enough to not mix with it (if that makes sense?). So... when you add each color you can make your own pattern, for example:  In the left a green spot, then brown in the middle, then let some vanilla come through (or add more) and then the black, etc... Fill your cupcakes up to 3/4 but no more. Bake for about 15-16 minutes, insert a toothpick to check doneness, if the toothpick comes out clean the cupcakes are ready (do not overbake)

Here's how they will look:

 See? They turn out fluffy and beautiful! Now... for the frosting you can use your favorite vanilla buttercream recipe and just add neon orange gel food coloring (or you can even make a camo frosting if you use green, chocolate and vanilla and then just pipe it all together). But this is easier and I think way brighter as well! And people can still appreciate the "camo" part of the cupcakes!

If you want an easy buttercream recipe you can use this basic one:

1 cup of butter (room temperature)
3 cups of powdered sugar (sifted is better)
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 or 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

Cream the butter and sugar together, add the rest of the ingredients (add more or less whipping cream to reach the desired thickness/consistency) and mix on high until fluffy and airy. Ah! YUM! Easy and delicious! Then just add the food coloring and mix just until evenly blended. I piped it using a closed star tip starting in the outside and ending in the center (kind of overlapping with every turn and circle).

There you have it! Camo Cupcakes with Neon Orange Frosting... FROM SCRATCH!


© Paloma K.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to The Cake Slice

Today, five years ago, a wonderful project was born: "The Cake Slice Bakers", it was a wonderful idea from the beginning, passionate bakers sharing experiences and eating cake! Nothing could go wrong! And nothing has! It hasn't all been a smooth ride but we continue to grow and get stronger as a group! The Cake Slice Bakers is now on Facebook: The Cake Slice Bakers for everyone to join and enjoy our cakes as we bake them! For such a special occasion I ended up deciding to bake two cakes... One that I had never tried (this important event deserves to get out of what I know and try something different) and one that I love and that I have made many times :

First I made:

Banana Chiffon Cake:


 And garnished it with a Brown Sugar Whipped Cream, the Banana Chiffon Cake originally called for Walnuts, these recipes (both cake and whipped cream) you can find it in The Cake Book by Tish Boyle which was my first book to bake from with The Cake Slice Bakers

And the other cake is a combination of the two books I've baked from with the group: The Devilishly Moist Chocolate cake is again from The Cake Book but the Dreamy Vanilla Buttercream to frost it is from: Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson.

Here it is:

We have enjoyed baking together so much that we love sharing our cakes, so make sure you follow us on Facebook, who knows you might want to join us to bake on our next year! We will open a window of opportunity for anyone to join soon! (very soon)

To see what everyone else has baked click here: Our Cake Slice 5th Birthday Album

© Paloma K.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Boston Cream Pie-Lets

Hello everybody, it's again time to reveal our "Cake of the Month" if you've read this blog before then you know that I am part of: The Cake Slice Bakers  , we are an online group of bakers, we choose a different book each year and vote on a different cake each month, then we keep the secret for the entire month until it's time (every 20th) to finally reveal what we baked... Of course you don't have to wait a whole month to "be part of the fun" we also now have a Facebook Page where we get to talk, share tips, ideas and even our most embarrassing disasters in the kitchen! So go ahead and like us there, please.

So, this year we have been baking from the book Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson and it has been a lot of fun, there are definitely many recipes that I will be making again! This month we baked "Boston Cream Pie-Lets" and it was sooo good! Hubby wasn't that impressed... He said it reminded him of just a "Chocolate Eclair Torte" I agree, it does remind you of that but... just improved! I loved it that instead of having a whole "Boston Cream Pie" this version makes individual mini cakes... served in pudding cups (I just bought smaller glasses, didn't have pudding cups, my presentation is not that great, sorry!) but the flavor is incredible... The original recipe calls for a vanilla bean... but being that 1 vanilla pod costs about 9 dollars I just used vanilla extract for the pudding which is also made from scratch!

When I made the cake for this "pie-lets" and I got it out of the oven (which by the way... I halved the recipe) I was enchanted by the wonderful color and aroma... I loved even the fluffy/airiness of the cake batter and the flavor was just subtle and heavenly... perfect! When I tried it I even wondered if I really wanted to "do anything else" with it!

 Interestingly I have no round cookie cutters (or anything sharp enough that was the size of the serving glasses), so I used the "glass itself" (and it wasn't pretty, did you see that?) to cut the miniature cakes for each glass... I got 4 individual desserts... I only got to try a spoonful of one... I need to watch my calories! But I soooooooooooo wanted to keep eating! Definitely a keeper recipe! Hopefully I will make it look prettier next time...

The Miniature Cakes were then sliced in half horizontally to make "bottom and top" layers of cake.

From Bottom to top: Pudding, cake, pudding, cake and then it will be covered with chocolate ganache

This time was almost an "accidental" project... I was running out of time to make my cake and then... I chose a day when I almost was in a car accident and had a ton of other things to do... But still... it's an enjoyable dessert to make... the mini cakes are adorable! Go ahead and buy this book... You will not regret it!

I heard that the amount of pudding was very abundant but I think I overestimated it and miscalculated the size of the glass

Edited to Add: After one whole day in the fridge, hubby had another one and LOVED IT! He devoured it! So I guess this is one of those desserts that are better the next day... I am so happy it was that successful! :) Loved it!

  © Paloma K.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Black and White never tasted better!

Hello friends... and patient readers... patient because I don't blog often anymore but those of you who remain faithful to "The Coffee Shop" wow... THANK YOU! I appreciate it! I continue to bake and enjoy cooking... I just don't find the time to blog as much as I used to... But... here I am ... at least once a month to share about my baking experiences with "The Cake Slice Bakers"  and by the way... we are now On Facebook TOO so you can join us there to see what we're baking and learn from our own experiences as we experiment in the kitchen, we'll share our successes and our fails as well!

We are currently baking from the "Vintage Cakes" book by Julie Richardson... most cakes in this book have been a great success for all of us! We have unanimously raved about some outstanding cakes from that book, so please make sure you get it...

I must say that the "Black and White" seems to be everyone's favorite so far... We had friends over who enjoyed it with us... Hubby was just in some other "dimension" while eating it! He ate so much he gave himself a stomachache... and my friend Laurie said she "never wanted it to end" it was THAT GOOD!

This cake is formed by 2 chocolate layers of cake, the batter calls for some warm coffee, then once the cakes are baked, and cooled off, you cover the first layer with a sumptuous chocolate ganache, then add some of the AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS vanilla bean buttercream, place the other layer, spread the rest of the ganache on top and then entirely frost it with the rest of the buttercream... It was a bit tricky for me to not get the ganache and frosting mixed... the top layer was easier because I left it longer in the fridge before completely frosting, the frosting by the way was amazing, this buttercream required you to make a "meringue kind of thing" it has almost a "marshmallow" texture to it ...and then, after all those egg whites have been whipped with the melted sugar, you start adding butter and more butter... for some of our bakers this proved to be a little bit challenging.... maybe I just "got lucky" and it turned out just FANTASTIC! I am definitely keeping this recipe close by so I can make it again and again!

If you want to know exactly how this cake tasted... remember you can make it too... Get this amazing book! You will not regret it!

Now... some pictures of my cake:

A lot of stuff going on in the background, lol! Here you can see the ganache both in the middle and on the top layer

Here I am ready to completely frost it, the crumbs have been sealed with a thin layer of white frosting

 I hope you will take some time to check out our Facebook Page and our Blogroll so you can see how the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers did as they reveal their cakes!

© Paloma K.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Craisins/Chocolate Chips Oatmeal Cookies

Hello everybody! You might be surprised with this post... It's been a while since I last wrote "out of the blue" I am usually just publishing something once a month (when it's time to reveal the "Cake of the Month" that I bake with my friends from "The Cake Slice Bakers" but two days ago I made a batch of absolutely delicious oatmeal cookies with craisins and chocolate chips and I thought I couldn't just keep this recipe to myself so I am sharing it today!

These cookies are absolutely fabulous, not overly sweet and just with a delicate hint of cinnamon which gives them a spicy background note, it's just very mild, you might not even be able to tell "it's cinnamon" but it's just perfect to blend with the rest of the flavors, so you can enjoy them all!

So... Here's my Recipe (which I adapted from the original Quaker Recipe for "Raisins Oatmeal Cookies")

Craisins and Chocolate Chips Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: Makes about 50 cookies

  • 1/2  cup of butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup granulated sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 3  cups of quick or old fashioned, uncooked oats
  • 1  cup chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup craisins

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, whisk it all together until it's all incorporated. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium/high speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well (do not over-mix). Add oats mix well.Then using a spatula fold in the chocolate chips and craisins until it's all incorporated.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (you can use a small ice cream scoop) onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.


© Paloma K.