Simple Recipe: Black Forest Mini Cakes

Frock Files: Black Forest Mini Cakes

One summer a few years back, I was in Florence for a wedding, and each morning of my week-long stay, I bought a brown paper bag of cherries from a little fruit shop. It was the highlight of a pretty miserable trip — I had the flu and the heat soared above 100 degrees every day — but that small ritual is the one thing I remember fondly. Since that trip, I always have cherries on hand throughout the summer.

Cherries and chocolate are one of my favorite flavor combinations, so when I found this recipe on sweetsugarbean I could hardly contain myself. It’s a lovely, from-scratch chocolate cake with baked in cherries, topped with caramelized bits of brown sugar. And while it sounds heavy, it’s actually a pretty light cake and the perfect companion to a tall, handsome glass of iced coffee.

Frock Files: Black Forest Mini Cakes

Ingredients

Cake
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups pitted sour cherries (or 6 cups frozen cherries; thawed and drained)

Brown Sugar Topping
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened

Cool Whip or fresh whipped cream

Instructions

1. To make the brown sugar topping, combine the brown sugar and flour in a food processor. Cut in the butter by pulsing, until crumbly. Set aside.

2. To make the cake, whip the butter and brown sugar until fluffy then add the eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients, then add them to the wet ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk.

3. Spread the cake batter into your greased pans. I used four mini springform pans and one 8″ cake pan. It also works for two 8″ cakes or one 9″ x 13″ cake. Bake at 350-degrees. Mini cakes: 20-25 minutes; 8″ round cakes: 35-40 minutes; 9″ x 13″ cakes: 40-45 minutes — or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Fill the springform pans only about 1/3 full. This cake does a lot of rising in the oven!)

4. Top with whipped cream.

*Adapted with minor changes from sweetsugarbean.

Frock Files: Black Forest Mini Cakes

By the way, we got a cherry pitter for this recipe and I’m totally smitten with it. It’s like hole punching in the kitchen. What could be better than that? I also love that pitted cherries make it easy for kids to enjoy cherries too!

Frock Files | More Simple Recipes

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Simple Recipe: No Bake Boston Creme Cupcakes

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

To end this month’s theme, home, while also kicking of May’s theme (to be revealed tomorrow!), I created a recipe for Boston creme cupcakes. These ice box cupcakes are delicious, cool, and easy. I’m also going to include a few ideas here to make it even simpler!

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

Ingredients

“Cake”:
Nilla wafers or other vanilla cookies

Custard:
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
(Simpler Idea: use pudding!)

Whipped Cream:
2 cups whipping cream
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
(Simpler Idea: Two words – cool whip)

Chocolate bar for shavings

Instructions

1. Before placing on the stove, whisk cornstarch, sugar, milk, eggs, cream, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth in a medium saucepan. (If using pudding and Cool Whip, cook according to package instructions prepare pudding and skip to step five.)

2. Place saucepan on stove and heat on medium until boiling, whisking constantly. Once boiling, continue whisking for two minutes before removing from heat.

3. Remove from heat and place in a cool bowl. Whisk in butter and allow to cool.

4. Combine ingredients for whipped cream in a mixing bowl. Beat until soft white peaks form.

5. Line cupcake tins, and layer each with a cookie, one tablespoon of custard, cookie, one tablespoon of whipped cream, cookie, and a teaspoon of whipped cream.

6. Place the chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for 20 seconds. Use your vegetable peeler to make shavings to top each cupcake.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. The cookies will soak up the whipped cream and custard to get soft, cakey, and oh-so-scrumptious.

Frock Files | Boston Creme Ice Box Cupcakes

These last for about 48 hours and are completely crave-worthy. Have you ever tried ice box cakes before? I’m a little obsessed with them now.

Check back tomorrow to find out about May’s theme!

Simple Recipe: Super Soft Mochi

Frock Files | Easy Mochi

Every Girls’ Day when I was growing up, my grandma brought over a plate full of mochi. I’d ration it out over a week because I knew I’d have to wait months until having it again. As I got older, I’d buy mochi from shops and farmer’s market stands, but none of them ever compared to my grandma’s. After all that searching, I eventually broke down and decided to make it myself. That’s when the real secret was revealed to me: it’s really easy to make. All you do is mix the ingredients and bake them on low heat.

If you’ve never had mochi, the closest thing I can compare it to is Turkish delight. Of course, perhaps you’ve never had Turkish delight either, so I’ll say that it’s a bit like a chewy marshmallow. The ingredients — rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla — speak for themselves. And speaking of ingredients, mochi is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Double hooray!

Frock Files | Easy Mochi

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. mochiko (aka Sweet Rice Flour by Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Potato starch (or corn starch)
  • Food coloring
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the mochiko, sugar, and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, water, and coconut together. Then, blend the wet and dry ingredients, using your hands. Add food coloring, if desired.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Cover tightly and bake for 90 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and allow to cool completely. Once fully cooled, my grandma re-covers the mochi with foil and allows it to sit for 10-12 hours. I don’t have that kind of patience, but if you do, your mochi will probably be even softer!
  5. Using a plastic knife, cut into small pieces and roll in potato starch until lightly coated. Wrap in wax paper, if desired.

1 lb. mochiko 2 ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder   Mix well: 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups water 1 (12 ounce) can coconut milk

Aside from the fact that this recipe makes delicious mochi, it’s also really pretty once it’s finished. This would be an excellent dessert for St. Patrick’s day, since you can use any food coloring you want (it only requires a few drops). I love sealing them in glass jars and making deliveries to friends, since this recipe makes so many pieces.

P.S. More mochi recipes (including mochi ice cream, butter mochi, and pumpkin mochi)!

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