Who is Johnny C? Yeah, I don’t know. What’s a tres leches cake? That I do know! “Tres leches” actually refers to a soaking sauce usually made of condensed, evaporated and regular milks (sometimes coconut milk or cream gets in there, too) that soaks its way into every pore of a spongy cake. As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of fine cakes from around the globe, pastel de tres leches is truly one of my favorites.
This recipe, though…well, it wasn’t a bad one, but an old coworker, who’s from Columbia, gave me the recipe his sister makes for every family gathering, and I think it’s much better. While this cake is made using the creaming method, hers is more of a separated egg sponge, and it really takes in the soaking liquid in a different way. When you put a fork into hers, you see how spongy and it is, and the milk just barely starts to weep out…it turns almost puddingy if you keep it overnight. Johnny C’s absorbed the milk and just trapped it there…it was a little too heavy for my tastes, but I’ll admit it was much improved with a little rum whipped cream (then again, what isn’t?).
I’ll stick to my preferred version of pastel de tres leches (I’ll post it sometime, I promise!), but if you want to give Johnny C’s a go, here’s a printable link to the recipe, or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our tres leches cakes this month!
Thank you, Natalie of Oven Love, for choosing Oatmeal Breakfast Bread for TWD! I have dropped a couple of hints in the past that this is one recipe I’ve been itching to make…not only that, but I’m always happy when someone chooses a brekkie thing, as I kinda feel we ignore this section of the book.
I’m pleased to report that this oatmeal bread was everything I hoped it would be! It’s really soft and nicely spiced, and completely perfect with coffee…you can cut into slices like a bread or bigger chunks like a coffee cake. I used dried apples and pecans in mine, and baked it the night before (who wants to get up at 5am to do it, especially when it keeps so well?). I baked a half recipe, and it took a little less time to cook than Dorie indicated for a full batch. I can’t wait to make it again in cooler weather…a whole recipe next time, for sure!
I think about the two years we spent in Australia everyday, sometimes for bizarre reasons. For example, when I looked at the recipe for this week’s TWD pick, the first thing that popped into my mind was that when we first moved to Sydney, the country was just beginning to recover from a banana shortage. I let my little trip down memory lane steer me in a particular direction while making this cake…it is called “Lots of Ways Banana Cake” afterall, so I didn’t really feel like I was overstepping any bounds by adding macadamias, wattleseed and chocolate to the bananas and coconut already in the mix.
While I could have chosen to go the layered and frosted route with this cake, that wasn’t what I was in the mood for. I just wanted an unfussy snack cake, so I baked half a recipe in an 8″ square pan and left it at that. (It only took 25 minutes to bake, instead of the 45 I was expecting.) It was delicious– soft, and full of things that taste great together!
I only have a few words to say about this cake. It has a perfect crust, a perfect crumb and it’s saturated with vanilla and rum. It is simply the best poundy-type cake I’ve baked up. I would be totally happy to devour it plain, but as luck would have it, there were poached cherries in my fridge. Big, no, huge thanks to Wendy for choosing this for TWD!
Hey– Happy Father’s Day! Why not do something nice for pops and make him a Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake today?? It’s super easy, I promise. You can even make it by hand without breaking a sweat. I’d make it for my dad, but he lives clear across the county.
This cake is nothing fancy…plain, but soft and good. It reminds me of a blueberry muffin, which made it perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.
Here’s a printable link to the recipe. Or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. I made a couple of tiny tweaks…a little spelt flour in place of some of the AP, and a bit of lemon zest for extra flavor. Cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers to check out all of our blueberry cakes this month!
‘Tis the season for me to be churning out rhubarb compote by the buckful. It really turns my morning granola into something extra-special, but I’m always looking for new things to make with rhubarb, too, and this Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake is a prime example of how nice it is in baked goods. Frankly, anything that calls itself a “snack cake” has my immediate attention. Usually snack cakes are really easy to make and stay nice and moist for a solid few days. And I love the thought of snacking on cake, even if I am really desserting on it instead.
This simple cake was just what I was hoping it would be– sweet and tart all at once. The flaked almond topping is a nice touch…it gives a good crunch, but you could certainly skip it if you’d rather forgo the extra sugar. Be sure to cut the rhubarb into the nice, thin slices recommended. It cooks quickly and evenly that way, and gives the cake almost puddingy soft insides.
Almond-Rhubarb Snack Cake- makes one 9-inch round cake
adapted from Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker
Steph’s Note: A half recipe bakes up nicely in a loaf pan. Just be sure to start checking it 10-15 minutes early, as it will take less time to bake.
For the Cake
1 ¾ cup (7 oz/200g) cake flour
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
1/8 t baking powder
4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (7 oz/200g) granulated sugar
½ t pure almond extract
½ t pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup (6 fl oz/180ml) well-shaken buttermilk
4 ½ oz narrow rhubarb stalks (about 3), trimmed and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices, to yield 1 cup packed
½ cup natural or blanched sliced almonds
For the Almond Topping
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T all-purpose flour
1 T heavy cream
½ cup (2 ¼ oz/65g) granulated sugar
½ cup (1 oz/30g) natural or blanched sliced almonds
-Before baking, centre a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan with 2 3/4- or 3-inch sides. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
-To make the cake: Have all ingredients at room temperature. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Add sugar in steady stream, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium speed until mixture is very light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add the extracts during the final moments of mixing.
-With mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, about 3 T at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When mixture is fluffy, reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of the bowl after each addition. Fold in the rhubarb slices and almonds with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread evenly with the spatula.
-Bake the cake until a round wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out free of cake batter, 40-45 minutes.
-About 15 minutes before the cake is ready, begin making the Almond Topping: In a small saucepan, mix together the butter, flour, cream, and sugar and stir over low heat just until blended.
-About 10 minutes before the cake is ready, remove the cake from the oven, pour the topping mixture over it and sprinkle the almonds over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping spreads over the cake and just begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
-Slowly release the springform clasp and carefully remove the pan sides. Let the cake cool on its base on the rack for 10 minutes longer. Then invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and carefully lift off the base. Slowly peel off the parchment liner, turn it over so that the sticky side faces up, and reposition it on top of the cake. Invert another rack on top, invert the cake so it is right side up, and remove the original rack. Let cool completely.
-Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Cover any leftover cake with aluminum foil and store at cool room temperature for up to 2 days.
A couple of years before I got married (when going on vacation with friends was still “allowed”), my friend Fani and I visited Denmark and Norway. We had a great time, but I probably would have added Sweden to the list if I’d known there would be cake!
Nancy of The Dogs Eat the Crumbs picked Swedish Visiting Cake for TWD this week. This cake has been calling my name since I got BFMHTY. It comes together so easily by hand…I probably should have just gone ahead and made it ages ago, but no, I waited.
I followed Julia’s lead and swapped out the almond extract for a sprinkling of cardamom. The cardamom, the lemon zest and the almonds on top gave it great flavor. It’s a sturdy little cake but not at all heavy. I was fascinated by the instruction to remove it from the oven while it’s still “damp.” My cake tester was noticeably wet, but the cake really did finish cooking as it cooled.
Two bundts in a row– I am a lucky girl! I made this Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake for our Easter dinner. Last week’s Coconut Tea Cake went unadorned, but for this one, I stirred up a quick chocolate sour cream frosting (thinned out with a little coffee leftover from making the cake batter), so my springtime pastel hundreds and thousands would have something to stick to.
I have jury duty today. Perhaps a little snack-sized piece of this will find its way into my tote…
Between the time I wrote this and now, I’ve left my job, gone to Florida and back and gone to Seattle and back. Whew! I just got home last night, hence the delay in posting (and my poor showing in the comments department over the last couple weeks).
I’m really glad that Carmen of Carmen Cooks picked this Coconut Tea cake for TWD– it’s been on my “would someone hurry up and choose it?” list like forever! I couldn’t resist doing one of Dorie’s “playing around” variations, so I added black sesame seeds to mine…I just know that when my husband sees it, he is going to ask me if I baked a cake with fleas!
I also used rum, in addition to vanilla, and toasted, unsweetened coconut (I get this at the healthfood store, and I think it helped to temper the sweetness of the cake…there’s a lot of sugar in the batter, afterall!). I made half the recipe in a six-cup bundt pan, and it was done in 35-40 minutes. This is just the type of cake I love: easy-peasy to make, in bundt form, moist and tastes like coconut! I haven’t tried it with tea yet…that’ll be tomorrow, when I sit down with a cuppa to watch episodes of The Ricky Gervais show on HBO On demand. Yes, I have a lot going on now that I’m not working…
The Cake Slice Bakers are flipping out some Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes this month. Sounds good, right? Looks good, too, I think. The taste…ehh. I used fresh pineapple and dried cherries in my topping, and boy was that yummy, all baked up in buttery brown sugar. But the cakey bit seemed heavy and doughy. It was a relatively lean cake, with only four tablespoons of butter and just one egg…maybe that had something to do with it. I dunno, but I think I’ll stick with this recipe, which I remember liking quite a bit.
If you do want to give it a shot, here’s a printable link to this month’s recipe. Or get your hands on a copy of Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. To see if anyone else had setter success with this recipe, cruise through the list of The Cake Slice Bakers!