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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

Recipes with vanilla extract

11Apr 12

Caramel Cake with Butter Cream Icing

Caramel Cake with Butter Cream IcingCaramel is a wonderful flavour. I love it with fruit such as in this Caramel Peach recipe. I am also partial to this caramel cake with butter cream icing. It is a bit tricky to make and takes a bit of time, but the result is absolutely fantastic, so grab your apron and let’s get baking!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 290g sifted flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 3 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten

For the caramel syrup:

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 125ml boiling water

For the butter cream icing:

  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 565g icing sugar
  • 90ml single cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsps caramel syrup (see above)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Gradually add the sugar to the butter, then mix with an electric mixer at high speed until it’s light and fluffy.
  5. Blend in the egg yolks at medium speed.
  6. Beat well.
  7. Alternately blend in the sifted dry ingredients and the water, about a quarter at a time, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Make sure you blend very well after each addition.
  8. To make the caramel syrup, melt the sugar in a heavy saucepan over low heat until it turns golden brown.
  9. Remove from heat and gradually add the boiling water, just a few drops at a time at first, then about a tablespoon at a time.  Stir constantly to dissolve the caramel.
  10. Add all but 2 tablespoons of this syrup to the batter and blend well.
  11. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  12. Pour the batter into two 20cm non-stick layer-cake pans.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the centre of the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  14. Cool the layers on a wire rack.
  15. To make the icing, beat the butter until fluffy.
  16. Gradually beat the sugar into the butter, alternately with the cream, until the sugar is absorbed.
  17. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  18. Beat in the 2 tablespoons of caramel syrup you set aside earlier.
  19. The icing should be of spreading consistency. If it’s not, add more sugar to thicken or cream to thin.
  20. Frost the cooled layers with the icing and stack.
  21. Slice and serve.

Prep Time:  60 minutes

Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:  Difficult

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30Mar 12

Spectacular Strawberry and Cream Cake

Strawberry and Cream Cake

This spectacular strawberry and cream cake makes a great summertime dessert, but since these days strawberries can be found year-round, why should you wait?!  Get yourself some fresh strawberries and get baking; I guarantee you won’t regret it! (For an extra fruity flavour, try this strawberry and raspberry tart.)

Ingredients:

  • 240g sifted cake flour
  • 330g granulated sugar
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 115g butter
  • 315ml milk
  • 1tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 litre fresh strawberries
  • 500ml double cream, whipped with 50g granulated sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 175ml redcurrant jelly

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Butter two 23cm layer-cake pans and line with baking parchment.
  3. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the butter and half of the milk.
  5. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  6. Add the rest of the milk, the lemon extract, the vanilla extract and the egg yolks.
  7. Beat with the electric mixer for another 2 minutes.
  8. Pour the batter into the two 23cm buttered cake pans lined with the baking parchment.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10.  Cool the layers in their pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto wire cooling racks.
  11.  Wash and hull the strawberries.
  12.  Chop enough of the strawberries to make 250ml and set aside the rest.
  13.  Fold the chopped strawberries into 250ml of the whipped cream.
  14.  Place one of the cake layers top side down on a serving plate.
  15.  Spread on the strawberry and cream filling.
  16.  Place the second cake layer on top with the top side up.
  17.  Slice the rest of the strawberries lengthwise and arrange them on top of the cake with the pointed ends facing towards the outer edge.
  18.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  19.   Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small pan over low heat, stirring constantly.
  20.  Spoon the melted jelly over the strawberries.
  21.  Spoon the remaining whipped cream in small puffs over the top of the cake in a decorative pattern.
  22.  Refrigerate the cake until you’re ready to serve it.

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  40 minutes

Serves:  8-10

Difficulty:  Medium

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25Mar 12

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate RollThis rich and creamy chocolate roll, similar to a chocolate roulade, is a bit labour-intensive, but I guarantee that the result is worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 150g of semi-sweet milk chocolate
  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 30ml (¼ cup) of water
  • 6 eggs with the yolks separated from the whites and the whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 356ml (1 ½ cups) of double cream
  • 2 tbsp. of icing sugar
  • ½ a tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Kirsch (or neat cherry brandy)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a jelly-roll pan with buttered and floured parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan over simmering water.
  3. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for two more minutes over medium heat.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a bowl in the meantime.
  5. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks and beat vigorously with a whisk for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is light, smooth and pale yellow in colour.
  6. Mix in the coffee and the melted chocolate.
  7. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until well mixed.
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula.  Mix them just enough to combine the ingredients, but take care not to overwork it.
  9.  pour in the batter.  It should be about ½ inch thick.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, until the cake springs back when you press on it.
  11. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic film and let it cool for at least 2 hours more.
  12. Start whipping the cream until it is thick but not stiff yet.
  13. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and Kirsch and keep beating until the cream is firm.

Now for the hard part – rolling the cake:

  1. Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
  2. Spread the whipped cream on the cake.
  3. Start at one end and begin rolling up the cake with the paper still on.
  4. Peel off the paper as you go a little at a time with each roll.  Try not to press down so that the cream doesn’t get squeezed out.
  5. Continue rolling and removing the plastic until the roll is completed.
  6. Using two spatulas, slide the cake onto a serving platter with the end on the bottom so that the top looks smooth.
  7. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top with a sieve to garnish, then refrigerate.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty: Difficult

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14Feb 12

White Birthday Cake with Nutella Frosting

White Birthday Cake with Nutella FrostingBirthdays! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they come around every year!  And although I adore cheesecake, there is just no better way to celebrate than with my white birthday cake with Nutella frosting!  I admit it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but that’s why birthdays are only once a year.

This hearty and delicious white birthday cake recipe was a staple around my house at birthday time when I was growing up.  It was handed down to me by my mother, who got it from my grandma, who got it from her mother, who supposedly invented it – although I make no claims as to the authenticity of this fact!  Either way, the cake is absolutely scrumptious and the Nutella frosting (my own addition) provides a great nutty/chocolaty contrast to the spongy white cake base.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try cutting the cake into two layers (after cooking and cooling, of course).  You can fill the middle layer with more Nutella, or strawberry jam, or any other flavour of jam, or whatever else tickles your fancy.  You could also garnish it with sliced almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, or whatever other nut you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • ½ cup of whole milk
  • 2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 400g jar of Nutella

Instructions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy.
  2. Add the boiling water and the milk a little at a time, stirring continuously.
  3. Add the vanilla and stir well.
  4. Add the baking powder and stir it in to the mix.
  5. Add 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, mixing vigorously.
  6. Repeat step 5 until all the flour and eggs have been added.
  7. Pour the mixture into an approx. 23cm round tube cake pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 160ºC for one hour or until a toothpick inserted at the top comes out clean.
  9. Turn out onto a cake rack and let it cool.
  10. Spread the Nutella over the outside of the cake and serve.

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serves:  10

Difficulty:  Medium

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