Category Archives: Cakes

Turkish Yogurt Cake

 
I just joined a new group, The Cake Slice Bakers, and am so excited about participating in the upcoming baking challenges! Each month four very different cakes are chosen from the cookbook of a prominent baker – in this case, Roger Pizey’s “World Class Cakes” –  and we get to choose one of those to bake and post. The best part of this? We get to eat a different and fun cake every month!

This month’s Turkish Yogurt Cake caught my eye, as it was described as being simple, light and “a little like a cheesecake.” So off to Turkey we go.

I’m not sure about the simple part. It was a little more tricky than it looked! It was beautiful and creamy and then whipped egg whites were folded into it, making a light, fluffy batter. One of the main ingredients is strained Greek yogurt, which I surprisingly found at my local grocery store. It’s a little messy to deal with and I’m still cleaning yogurt out from under my fingernails…

Roger Pizey’s photos of the cake were just beautiful! I decided to try to duplicate them by turning the cake out onto a plate. It didn’t quite cooperate and split in a few places, so don’t look too closely at it.

The cake definitely had that yogurt tang. I’d call the cake a cross between an egg souffle and a fluffy cheesecake. It’s an unusual, but not totally unpleasant texture and besides the pungent yogurt taste, also has quite a bit of lemon flavor. If I make it again, I’ll definitely put a teaspoon or so of vanilla for a deeper flavor.

This first cake challenge with The Cake Slice Bakers was so much fun! I look forward to getting to know the other bakers and diving into the next challenge!

3.5 from 2 votes
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Turkish Yogurt Cake

A cross between an egg souffle and a light, fluffy cheesecake.  From Roger Pizey's World Class Cakes.

Servings: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs divided
  • 1/2 C superfine sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour sifted
  • 1 3/4 C strained Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon grated and juiced
  • confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and grease a 9" round cake pan.

  2. Beat together the egg yolks and the sugar.  Ad in the sifted flour, the yogurt, the zest and juice of the lemon, and mix all the ingredients thoroughly together.

  3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the yogurt batter.

  4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in a preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes until the top is brown.  It will puff up like a souffle and then subside.

  5. When completely cooled, dust with confectioner's sugar.  

Recipe Notes
Tips and Stuff:   Make sure and have all of the ingredients ready to blend together - it can get messy!   I didn't have an 9-inch cake pan, so I used a tall 8-inch and baked it until the top was golden brown - almost the full hour until a knife slid gently into the middle of it came out clean.


Ligita’s Quick Apple Cake

 
I don’t know who Ligita is, but I want to thank her from the bottom of my hungry little heart for this Quick Apple Cake recipe. When I read through it, I was a little puzzled because it’s made in a pie plate and the apple mixture is topped with a thick cake crust. So it’s a cake, baked in a pie plate that ends up rather like a cobbler!

The apples are thinly sliced and tossed in a lemon, sugar, cinnamon mixture, then topped with a lightly sweet cake batter. It ends up with a luscious apple filling and a tender cake layer, along with a slightly crunchy top. We had it warm with a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and it was oh, so tasty.

This cake (pie, cobbler) has a familiar warm apple cake flavor with a different twist. The browned butter really adds a different dimension to the cake layer, so make sure and don’t skip that step. It was easy to throw together and, besides having to wait impatiently for it to cool, it was a quick dessert. Delicious.


Ligita’s Quick Apple Cake
****Slightly adapted from Richard Sax – Classic Home Desserts

3 C. tart apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 C. plus 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
3/4 C. butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. sifted all-purposed flour
Vanilla Ice Cream (optional, but highly recommended!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie plate.

Toss the sliced apples in a bowl with the cinnamon, lemon juice and 2 tbsp. of the sugar. Spread the apples evenly in the pie plate.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until the foam is lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove immediately from the stove top and pour into a bowl, leaving any sediment and as much foam as possible in the pan.*

Stir the 3/4 cup of sugar into the butter. Slowly stream the egg into the bowl while stirring. Gently stir in the flour until blended. Spoon the batter evenly over the apples and spread into a layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.

Bake until lightly golden and crusty, about 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve from the pan warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.

Tips and Stuff
I used Fuji apples. Granny Smith would be another good apple – make sure it’s a firm cooking apple. (Takes 3 medium or 2 large)
*When pouring the browned butter into the bowl, pour through a sieve or use a pan lid to get just the liquid out. Some of the foam will come with it – that’s OK, but make sure the sediment from the browning remains in the pan so it won’t be bitter.
Cool at least 30 minutes to let the apple mixture firm up.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (Mary Berry)

 
The Great British Bake-Off and The Great American Baking Show are two of my favorite baking shows. I love that the judges don’t yell at or deride the contestants and the contestants don’t talk dirt about each other (ahem…Top Chef…). They’re mostly home bakers, vying for the title of greatest baker and seem to have a good time. Plus, they do some incredible baking and it inspires me to pull out the cookbooks and get going!

Mary Berry is the constant between the two shows. She’s the classy, gentle judge who has a special way of telling the contestant that their baking is maybe a wee bit dry or might need 5 more minutes in the oven, without making them cry. I finally bought one of her cookbooks (I think she has over 80 published) called “Baking with Mary Berry” and have tried a couple of recipes from it, including these Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

I’ve made many chocolate frostings/icings in my life, but this was different from any of them. It’s simple, but delicious and deeply chocolate. I liked the way it set up on the cupcakes and since it was very sweet, it complemented the barely sweet cupcakes.

I found the cupcake to be a touch dry, but it seems to me that the Brits prefer a drier baked good than we colonists do. Next time I would add a bit more butter or maybe a tablespoon of oil to make them more moist. If you get a bite of frosting along with the cupcake, though, they go very well together. Don’t forget the coffee or cold milk to go along with them!


Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
***by Mary Berry, from Baking with Mary Berry; good, but a little drier than I prefer; makes 1 dozen

1/2 C. cocoa powder
about 1/4 C. boiling water
3/4 C. margarine (I used butter)
3 large eggs
2/3 C. granulated sugar
1 C. self-rising flour

Frosting:
4 tbsp. butter
1/3 C. cocoa powder
3-4 tbsp. milk
1 3/4 C. confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Sift the cocoa powder into a large bowl, pour in the boiling water, and mix into a thick paste. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix with a hand-held mixer (or beat well with a wooden spoon).

Divide the mixture equally in the muffin pan, about 3/4 up the side of the liners. Bake for 12-14 minutes (don’t overbake!) until springy to the touch. Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting (about 30 minutes).

To make the frosting, melt the butter, then pour into a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir to mix. Stir in the milk and then sift in the confectioners’ sugar a little at a time to make a glossy, spreadable frosting. Spread the frosting thickly on the cupcakes and let set.

Tips and Stuff
I will add another tablespoon of butter or so to make the cupcakes more moist next time.
I added a little more milk to make the frosting a little thinner.
There’s a lot of frosting, so slather it thickly onto the cupcakes.

Chocolate Buttercream Swiss Cake Roll – Daring Kitchen, kind of…

 
October’s challenge from The Daring Kitchen was presented by Korena of Korena in The Kitchen.  I’ve decided these bakers are wayyyyy above my level, but I’m gonna keep on plugging till I get there.

The challenge was actually supposed to be a decorated Swiss roll, which is all the rage on Japanese sites and are pretty amazing.  You create a design, freeze it on parchment paper, then bake the cake over it. Voila, it transfers to the cake. But, uh, here’s mine without the decoration:
swiss-roll-1
Looks pretty good, huh? Well, this is actually how it looked at the beginning:
swiss-roll-ugly
Funny thing…when you write letters on parchment paper to be transferred to the cake, they end up backwards after lifting out of the pan.  Duh!  Bret recommended I use the flip utility on the editing software and Bob’s-your-uncle.  One problem, though.  It ended up pretty ugly.  I had plenty of the luscious, buttery chocolate buttercream frosting and ended up covering the whole thing.  Kind of looks like one of those Christmas Yule Log cakes I’ve always wanted to make.  So, now I’ve made it.
swiss-roll-3
The cake was soft and fluffy and the buttercream complemented it wonderfully.  You have to keep it in the refrigerator because it will almost immediately melt if it’s warm in the room.

I’m definitely going to try this again and next time it’ll be right.  The transfer of design was fascinating – you just color some of the batter, draw your design on parchment paper in the pan you’ll cook the cake in, freeze the design for about 30 minutes, then pour the remaining batter over it and bake. Look at Korena’s and you’ll see how beautiful they can be.


Chocolate Buttercream Swiss Roll
****Tasted wonderful even if it wasn’t pretty! Cake recipe by Manali and frosting adapted from another source.

Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) softened, room temp butter
1 tbsp. cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 C. unsweetened sifted cocoa powder
2 1/4 C. powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

Cream butter till fluffy. Add the cream and mix till fluffy.  Mix in the vanilla.  Pour the melted chocolate chips into the butter mixture and combine. Lightly stir the cocoa powder into the powdered sugar and add 1/3 of it at a time into the butter mixture.  Mix until light, fluffy and almost whipped in texture.  Stir in the salt.  Store in the refrigerator while putting the cake together.

Cake:
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. water
3 tbsp. oil
1/2 C. plug 2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Batter:

Separate the eggs by yolks and whites into two bowls. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, water, and oil, and 1/4 C. plus 2 tbsp. of the sugar till the mixture turns pale. Will take 4-5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and once they start foaming, add the cream of tartar. When it starts foaming again (10 seconds or so), add the remaining 1/4 C. of sugar. Beat till the white are at medium peaks (fairly firm with a slight bend). With a spoon, fold the flour mixture slowly into the yolk mixture till you have a fairly smooth batter. Fold in the beaten egg whites, one-third at a time, to the batter with slow, gentle strokes. You will still see some egg whites after folded – that’s OK.

Design:

Place parchment paper in jelly roll pan (15×11-ish). Draw the design you want transferred onto the cake and flip the parchment paper over (or you can do it freehand later). Remove about 1 C. (or however much needed for your design) and put into a separate bowl (or bowls if different colors). Color as desired. Put the colored batter into a piping bag and create your design on the parchment paper. Remember, letters will come out backwards onto the cake! Important: freeze the design for about 30 minutes, till firm. At this point, you can preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bake and Roll:

Pour the remaining batter onto the designed parchment paper, tap the pan on the counter top to get out bubbles and bake for 8-9 minutes (watch it carefully until just brown around the edges). Meanwhile, generously sift powdered sugar onto a clean tea towel. After the cake is done, flip it out onto the tea towel (run a knife around edges before flipping if needed). Immediately remove the parchment paper (awww, look at your pretty design) and flip the cake again onto parchment paper (this way, when you roll, the design will show up on the outside of the cake). Gently roll up the cake and let cool down for about 30 minutes. Unroll the cake, gently and slowly, and fill with the buttercream frosting (if it has firmed way up in the refrigerator, add a tbsp. of cream and beat till fluffy).  Gently roll up the cake again and chill for 2-3 hours before cutting into slices.  Keep leftovers refrigerated!

Tips and Tricks
About that design – trace one from an already existing design (leaves for fall, pumpkins for Halloween, etc.) or if you’re totally talented, draw it freehand.  You saw what mine looked like freehand, though.  Ouch.
Be very slow and patient when rolling and unrolling the cake so it won’t stick to the parchment paper.
This is one of the best buttercream recipes I’ve found!

Hrapocusa (Almond Cake with Candied Walnuts)

 
Another month has gone by and Jason from DailyCandor provided the Daring Kitchen’s new challenge – this time it’s Hrapocusa!  Hrapocusa (Hra-po-choo-sa) was created in the town of Dol which is on the Dalmation Island of Bra (hint: off the southern coast of Croatia).  Along with the recipe, I got a little geography lesson, too.  Who knew Croatia has a coast?
hrapocusa-daring-kitchen1
This was challenging in that it used a couple of techniques I’m not used to.  The first was creating almond meal from roasted almonds and the second was creating the sweet walnut mixture that was the topping of the cake.  You may notice the cake uses no flour or fat.  Here’s a photo of the coarse almond meal used as the base of the cake:
hrapocusa-daring-kitchen2
I finally got to use my springform pan!  I’ve had two springform pans for years just knowing that special cheesecake recipe was around the corner.  The pan is perfect for this cake and it helped hold the sweet walnut topping on top until it was cooled and released.

You really have to watch while preparing the candied walnuts.  It’s easy for them to go from gooey goodness to rock-hard grainy lumps.  Next time I’ll take it off the stovetop a little earlier.

I loved the orangey taste in the textured almond cake and the candied walnuts brought a sweet crunchiness that completed the lovely cake. Despite having to sweep up walnuts off the floor (I’m not quite up to par with the food processor yet…), it was a fun challenge and I look forward to the next one!
hrapocusa-daring-kitchen3


Hrapocusa (Almond Cake with Candied Walnuts)
**Read the entire recipe thoroughly before beginning!)

1 3/4 C. whole almonds (roasted or raw)
3 1/2 C. walnuts (halves and pieces
3 C. granulated sugar
1/2 orange
1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
6 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract, divided

Preheat the oven to 480 degrees.

Pulse the almonds in a food processor to yield a meal (30-40 pulses).  Set aside.

Add the zest and juice from the 1/2 orange, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, the cherry juice and 1 C. of the sugar to a bowl and mix gently until well combined. Separate the 6 eggs, dividing the egg whites – 4 to a small bowl and 2 to another small bowl.  Add the yolks into the sugar mixture and blend until it yields a uniform batter – just combined, not thick and creamy.

Pour the 2 egg whites into a new, clean mixing bowl.  Beat until they are somewhat stiff peaks.  Add half of those beaten egg whites and half of the almond meal to the batter.  Fold in and stir gently to blend.  Add the remaining almond meal and egg whites, folding gently until just combined.

Place a circle of parchment paper at the bottom of the springform pan and pour in the cake batter. Gently shake the pan to get rid of any bubbles. Place the pan in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 390 degrees.  Bake for 5 minutes at 390 degrees, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then again lower the temperature to 320 degrees.  After five minutes of baking at 320, check the cake with a toothpick.  Remove the cake when the toothpick comes out clean (mine was done after about 10 minutes at 320 degrees). If the center of the cake is poofed up, gently press with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten the surface.

To make the candied walnuts, place the remaining 4 egg whites, 2 cups of sugar and the walnuts into a large pot.  Turn up the burner to medium-high heat and stir aggressively and constantly for approximately 10 minutes, making sure the bottom of the pot doesn’t scorch.  Stop when the liquid takes on a beige/caramel color (do not wait too long or it will become sugary hard clumps).

Remove from heat and add the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of vanilla – stir to combine.  Quickly spoon the walnuts over the cake and smooth evenly.

Place the cake back in the oven (still at 320 degrees) and bake for about 10 minutes, until the top takes on a light golden color.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan on a rack for about 90 minutes.  Gently remove from the pan, peel off the parchment paper and present!

Cake can be stored at room temperature for 5-6 days.  If you want to freeze it, cool the cake completely, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 3 months.  Let thaw before slicing.

Tips and Tricks
This calls for a 8″ springform, but I used 10″ successfully.
When making the candied walnuts, be sure and stir constantly.  After every two minutes or so, I slid the pan off the burner while still stirring so that it definitely wouldn’t burn.  Important: remove from the heat while the mixture is still creamy or you’ll have rock-hard walnuts.
To make the circle of parchment paper for the pan, set the pan on top of a piece of parchment and trace the pan.  Then cut out with scissors and slide into the pan.
Read the entire recipe before beginning. Then read it again.