Thursday, July 21, 2011

Seen in Harlem

We went to a really sweet cake cafe in Harlem last night called "Make My Cake". The slogan below makes a lot of sense, I'm sure you all agree.

and they had a very cute logo too...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cake for Breakfast

Today, after a very proper early breakfast of organic oats + soy milk, I cut myself a thin slice of the birthday cake I'd baked for my boss and coworker (two birthdays two days apart = happy serendipity for this baker) -- and then went back for seconds.  It was hard not to: think four layers of fluffy vanilla cake sandwiching thick, fudgey chocolate ganache and enrobed in a not-too-sweet coffee buttercream.  Miam miam.  

I ate my cake with a steaming hot cup of Blue Bottle coffee made by my Italians who run the Jackson Place Cafe from the alley-way next door -- but of course.  And in fact, because the sun has finally made an appearance in San Francisco (no minor occurrence in July), I'm soon going back to treat myself to a soy latte + roasted vegetable panini for lunch.  And I'm bringing them a hefty slice of this cake.  Those who make my coffee -- and perfectly, I might add -- deserve a treat, too.

After, I might have a third piece of cake.  It's Wednesday, after all -- though in truth you needn't an excuse to bake this cake any old day.  It's simply good.

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Coffee Buttercream Frosting


4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 cups cake flour (sift and then measure)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsweetened butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch baking pans and line the bottom of each with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. Stir baking powder and salt into cake flour.

3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the four egg yolks one at a time. Add the vanilla to the mixture.

4. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with one third of the flour. Stir just until the flour is incorporated.

5. In another bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Stir one third of the egg whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.


1 1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups chocolate chips

Place the chocolate in a bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just before boiling.  Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for a few minutes, then whisk to melt all of the chocolate and to combine well.  Let the ganache cool on the counter or in the fridge until thick and spreadable.


1 stick (1/4 pound) butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons espresso or coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, cream the butter.  Add the powdered sugar and combine well.  Add the coffee and the vanilla.  Add more sugar for consistency if desired.  Add more coffee for consistency or to taste.

To assemble: cut each cake layer in half and fill with the ganache (you will divide the ganache into thirds when filling).  Frost with the buttercream.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Remains of the Day

We were a little late in photographing our cake feast at Tick Tock. But better late than never.

As the ice cream float was out of stock, Tic Toc's Red Velvet Cake... this wonderful All-American cake... was perfect to celebrate the 4th of July with.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies... second try

  • Yesterday I made the oatmeal cookies a second time with just a few amendments to the same recipe. Our friend Sandy gave us these good tips: the butter was (mostly) replaced with crunchy peanut butter and the flour replaced with oatmeal flour. I was also quite generous with the raisins. I made this batch at 'Crafternoon', a local get-together at my friend Naomi's place, where people bring their craft projects or baking projects, awesome idea.

  • 3/4 cup butter (or peanut butter)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (or vegan egg replacer)
  • 1 cup flour (oatmeal)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

  • 1. Cream butter and sugars together until light.
  • 2. Add egg and mix well.
  • 3. Mix together flour, oats, coconut, baking powder and baking soda.
  • 4. Add to butter-sugar mixture and mix well.
  • 5. Stir in raisins.
  • 6. Drop by spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets.
  • 7. Flatten slightly with a fork.
  • 8. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until light golden.