yummy good cake

lemon rosemary cake with strawberry compote

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 c turbinado sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
¼ c lemon zest
¼ c rosemary leaves, chopped
3 c all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¼ c lemon juice
¾ c buttermilk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. grease and flour a 13×9 inch pan. cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy and a pale yellow color, approximately 5 minutes. add eggs one at a time making sure they are completely incorporated before adding the next one. add zest and rosemary.

sift together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. combine lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl.
alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixtures to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until tester comes out clean.

strawberry compote

4 pints of strawberries, hulled
1 vanilla bean split and scraped of seeds

in a medium saucepan, add the strawberries, vanilla bean and seeds. cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. if the strawberries are in season and ripe, they will give up their juice very quickly. serve at room temperature.


gougères (from the tartine’s cookbook)

melt 1 1/4 cup nonfat milk, 10 T butter, 1 tsp. salt in pan, bring to boil, dump in 1 cup flour, mix vigorously til it makes a mass. about three minutes
put in another bowl, mix in 5 eggs, one at a time, then 3/4 cup shredded gouda, 1tsp. pepper, 1 T. thyme.
put in fridge, then blop on a pan, little blops, then freeze individually, then put in container.  to bake, bake at 350 with grated cheese on top.


gingerbread cake (from the oakland junior league california fresh harvest cookbook, circa 2001)

3 cups flour                                       1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda                      1 cup(2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided                  1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger                             3/4 cup dark molasses
3 eggs

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. combine the flour, baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt in a bowl and mix well. combine the pear puree and buttermilk in a bowl and mix well.

beat the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy, scraping the bowl occasionally. add the molasses and beat until blended. add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; the batter will appear curdled. add the flour mixture alternately with the pear mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl frequently to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated.

pour the batter into the prepared pan. bake for 40 to 50 minutes (less time if in a flat pan) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull from the side of the pan. cool in the pan for 10 minutes. remove to a wire rack. serve warm or at room temp.


stilton cheesecake

for shortbread crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and softened

for filling:

1/2 lb Stilton, rind discarded and cheese crumbled (1 cup)

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

for rhubarb compote (i substituted port wine poached pear topping instead):

1/2 cup port

1/2 cup sugar

24 pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed

2 pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (6 cups)

3 tablespoons sugar for caramel topping (optional)

make shortbread crust:

preheat oven to 350°F.

blend together flour and sugar with an electric mixer. add butter and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal (it will not form a dough). transfer to a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan and press evenly onto bottom. bake in middle of oven until pale golden, about 30 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.

reduce temperature to 300°F.

make filling: 
beat together crumbled stilton, cream cheese, and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. beat in flour and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. beat in sour cream and vanilla, then pour filling over cooled crust in pan.

bake cheesecake in middle of oven until puffed and pale golden around edge, about 1‚ hours. tansfer cake in pan to rack and run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. cool completely, about 2 hours. chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours. remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate.

make compote while cake is cooling: 
boil port, 1/2 cup sugar, and peppercorns in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, stirring until sugar is dissolved, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. add rhubarb and gently stir to coat. aimmer rhubarb, stirring gently once after 5 minutes, until just tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. chill compote, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours.

make optional caramel topping:
 just before serving, sprinkle tablespoons sugar evenly over cheesecake and heat with a blowtorch, moving flame back and forth just over sugar until evenly melted and caramelized.


strawberry summer cake

i am ever-so-slightly on the fence about the sweetness of this cake. i like it, but i wouldn’t hate the batter itself with 2 tablespoons less sugar (i.e. 7/8 cup sugar instead of a whole one). if that’s your inclination, go ahead and dial it back as well. leave the sugar on top. it contributes to the berries turning into jam.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (can swap 3/4 cup or 94 grams all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used). I did not test this with a standard 9-inch pie plate but looking at the margin of space leftover in my deep-dish pan after baking the cake, I suspect you’d be safe. This cake would also work in a 9- or 10-inch springform or cake pan. The 10-inch would make a thinner cake than pictured.

Whisk flour or flours, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer (though I had to overlap a few to get them all in). Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges. Serve with lightly whipped cream.

Do ahead: Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered, but good luck with that.


prune cake with buttermilk topping
c.1998, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil1 cup buttermilk1 teaspoon vanilla extract3 eggs
2 cup seedless prunes, cut in quarters
1 cup chopped walnuts


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter1/4 teaspoon baking sodajuice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the prunes and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes up clean.

Meanwhile, combine all the topping ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring for 3 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack to cool slightly. Pierce the cake all over with a wooden skewer. Pour the topping evenly over the cake. Serve warm or cool.


almond cake from tartine’s

toast almonds, put in blender and then, add confectioners sugar

mix up 3/4 cup almond paste, and 1/2 cup butter, 1 TBSP at a time, and 1/2-3/4 cups sugar

mix 5 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla

sift 3/4 cup pastry flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder, a little salt

mix in eggs, then pastry flour, then 1 tsp grated lemon peel and 1 tsp grated orange peel

bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes

invert. brush glaze of 3/4 cup sugar, 3 TBSP lemon juice and 3 TBSP orange juice while hot


chocolate beet cake

1 cup butter, softened, divided (3/4 and 1/4)
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
4 ounces dark chocolate
5 medium beets (2 cups pureed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

To make beet puree, trim stems and roots off beets and quarter them. Place in heavy sauce pan filled with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 50 minutes or until the beets are tender. Drain off remaining liquid and rinse beets in cold water. Slide skins off and place beets in blender. Process until a smooth puree forms. Let cool slightly before using in cake. You may make puree ahead and store it in the fridge, up to three days in advance.

In a mixing bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt chocolate with remaining butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Blend chocolate mixture, beets and vanilla into the creamed mixture. The batter will appear separated; don’t fret.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners’ sugar.


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