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Monday, April 12, 2010

HCB: Banana Refrigerator Cake and Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream Cupcakes

I am blogging about 2 cakes, but I didn't make 2 cakes this weekend. I actually made the banana cake last October. I did, however, made Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes yesterday. I missed it on the bake-a-long so now am trying to catch up.

Back to the banana cake. I love bananas. It is one of my favorite fruit and probably is the one I ate the most. Prior to being part of HCB I used to make banana bread once a month. When I got Rose's new book I couldn't wait to make this cake. So much so that it was one of the 1st cakes I made. I hope it still qualifies as an entry as I haven't blogged about it.

This cake was very easy to make. Process the banana and creme fraiche until smooth in the food processor, add eggs,lemon zest, and vanilla. Then incorporate the flour, salt, and leavening to the banana mixture. Into the oven it goes. The cake baked up very nice with a little dome in the middle.

I read somewhere in Rose's blog that the banana cake would have a little dome because the banana fibers are so strong so it is not possible to make a flat banana cake (you would have to trim it if you want it flat).

Next is the frosting. Also very easy to make. Heat the white chocolate until almost melted, wait until it cool. Then process the cream cheese, butter, and creme fraiche until smooth and creamy. Add the white chocolate into it, and add the almond extract.

And that's it folks!

Decorating is even easier. I wanted to make it look like the book so I just spread the frosting on the cake with an offset spatula and try to make the swirls as nice as I can.

Tasting impression. I love this cake. Sort of expected as I like banana so much. However, I think I should have let the bananas ripen more so it would have more flavor. In any case, it is a very good cake. The frosting is a little rich and sweet for me, I think it's because the white chocolate is very rich. There is not a lot of frosting though so it's still okay.

Now let's talk about the lemon poppy seed-sour cream cake. Boy that is a long name for a cake. I want to make 1/2 a recipe again so I made it as cupcakes.

This cake was also easy to make. Whisk the eggs, 1/4 of the sour cream, and vanilla. Then mix all the dry ingredients in the mixer, add the butter and remaining sour cream. Then add the egg mixture in 2 parts.

I used a tip from Hector from his Hector's Takes website in filling up a cupcake pan, which is to weigh it to make sure each cupcake are the same size. This is also a good rule for me as I tend to overfill the cupcake molds, so weighing it keep me in line! LOL!

1/2 recipe of the Lemon Poppy Seed-Sour Cream cake makes 9 cupcakes, weighing about 58 grams a cupcake. I only have 1 silicone cupcake pan so I have to bake twice, but they still turn out nice. It takes about 35 minutes to bake these instead of the prescribed 45-50 minutes.

Once they are baked, I poked them all over with a skewer, then brush with the lemon syrup. Picture from the top, you can see the skewer holes!

Monday, April 5, 2010

HCB: Sybil's Pecan Cupcakes

I was going to skip this week's selection, as I don't have a 6x3 spring foam pan. Near the end of the week, I counted how many cakes I've made from HCB. I've made 15 cakes and I've missed 11 cakes. Determined not to miss anymore (well not this weekend at least :)), I decided to make Sybil's Pecan Torte as cupcakes ^_^.

This cake is pretty quick and easy. And it's even easier as I made 1/3 of the recipe. The hardest part is dividing the ingredients, and making sure I divided everything and not miss anything. Toast pecans, grind with some sugar and Starbuck's instant coffee, whip the egg yolks for 5 minutes, fold in the pecan mixture, whip the egg whites, fold these into the rest of the batter. Then onto the silicone cupcake pan it goes.

1/3 of the recipe makes perfectly 6 cupcakes. I fill them up to where the foil liner ends, and they came out tall, a little higher than the rim of the pan. Then they sunk a little in the middle, just as Rose said it would.

I left them cooling on the rack while I make the stabilized whipped cream. Making this was a breeze too. I divided the recipe into 1/4 - the math was easier this way. I also toast extra pecans and then coat them with caramelized sugar for decoration.

Tasting impressions: this is really yummy. It's moist and tender. The coffee flavor is not very strong, which is interesting as last week's Le Succes used the same amount of coffee and it taste much stronger. I suppose it's because in this recipe the coffee is in the batter and is baked in the oven, whereas in Le Succes the coffee is in the ganache. I love the toasted pecan taste on top, hm... should have put more on each cupcakes instead of one only :)).