Sorry it’s been a minute. I was away for ten days and it’s taken me a few days to settle back. I cooked a lot but only managed to take pictures of two things I made while away. Cooking for 20+ people is super challenging! Especially in an unfamiliar kitchen without all your usual tools!
Anyway I made a couple cakes for a multi-birthday party (4 people were having birthdays) and they went over really well. I had major anxiety while making them. Likely because I hadn’t baked a cake in at least a decade. And because I was making a bunch of alterations on the fly. AND using an oven I had never baked in before. OVENS VARY. Jeepers. But it all turned out AOK! Woohoo.
So as I have yet to develop my own cake recipes. I altered some I found on ye ole trusty internet. They reminded me of cakes I baked years back at the bakery. But I had to add some pieces of flair of course to make them mine…
…and well I find plain chocolate and vanilla cake BORING. No offense if you like ’em. I just can’t be bothered to intake those kind of calories unless there is something extra special happening ;P
Also I was so surprised. I thought surely two cakes would NOT be enough for 22 people. But they were in fact! Half of each cake was left over for the following day. Everyone loved the cake don’t get me wrong – that’s not why there was so much left haha – they just all had those “just a sliver” portions. Oh Canadian politeness and/or health consciousness – you are adorable. Homer Simpson clearly was not invited to this party.
Enough babble. On to the recipes. LET THEM EAT CAKE!
Chocolate Coffee Birthday Cake with Toasted Vanilla Almonds:
First off here is the foundation recipe! If you like regular chocolate cake just go for it as per the link! If you want to make it like I made it. Then see my changes below marked (*) 😀
According to the site… this is the Best Chocolate Cake EVER
What I Did!
- 2 cups white spelt* flour
- 2 cups coconut palm* sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup half ‘n half / 10%MF creamer*
- ½ cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso* cooled or room temp
- ½ cup soft butter*
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon* vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water (*or even more fresh brewed hot coffee if you want to up the flavour)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter your favorite Bundt pan. This is not a bundt cake per se but if you want a Homer Cake roll with me here.
Put spelt flour, coconut sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. Whisk to combine .
In a separate bowl beat soft butter, eggs, and vanilla til fluffy. Then add in the creamer and cooled coffee. Mix together until well combined. Add wet mixture to dry mixture. Mix til thoroughly combined. Then add boiling water or hot coffee to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add some air.
Pour batter into buttered Bundt (alliteration aww yeah). Bake until bounces back (damn girl) to finger touch and/or a thin wooden skewer comes out clean. Original is for two smaller pans and says 35-40 mins. It takes a bit longer in a Bundt so check after that long and keep checking. I was so busy making two cakes that I did not pay attention to the time. Sorry! Next time I will.
Remove from the oven and cool fully before attempting to ice. Don’t be impatient or you will have a sloppy mess! You may need to use a knife around the edges to get cake out.
Frost cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Or augment as I did (*) for Nutty Coffee Milk Chocolate Icing:
- 1 1/4 cups butter, softened
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 cup strong coffee* or espresso, cooled
- 1/4 cup creamer*
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup almond hazelnut butter or almond or hazelnut butter* Or if you are too tired to type properly, but nutter.
Follow directions in the original but just add in my changes if you care to do so 🙂
Toasted Vanilla Almonds: (if you don’t want more sweetness just toast them plain)
- Sliced blanched almonds
- coconut sugar (or cane or brown)
- salt (optional)
Put pan with some butter on medium heat. Toss in almonds. Cook for a while til starting to get golden. Move them about. Drizzle in a little vanilla and sprinkle a little sugar. Toss in a pinch of salt if you like the salty/sweet thing. Stir around to coat and keep toasting til desired toastiness (not a word).
NOTE: Same nuts for both cakes. Don’t need the nuts on the Chai Cake but I made so many extra and they tasted great. You could totally do pistachios instead or leave them out and it would still be great.
Okay and now for the Black Tea Chai Spice Vanilla Cake:
Here is the foundation recipe. If you just want vanilla go for it. From the same site as the chocolate original. Here is, according to the site hehe, the Best Vanilla Cake EVER
If you want to go Chai Spice check for the changes (*)
What I Did!
- 1 1/2* cup (3* sticks) butter, softened
- 2 cups cane* sugar
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar*
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 3 cups white spelt flour (or 1 1/2 sprouted spelt and 1 1/2 white flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup strong Black Chai Tea*, room temperature
- ½ cup half n half/10% creamer* (with a squeeze of lemon to “buttermilk”-ify it), room temperature
- 1 tablespoon* vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cardamom*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon*
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg*
- 1 tablespoon Loose Leaf Black Chai Tea* + 1 tablespoon dried (food grade) rose petals* (optional – I got mine from a tea shop) ground fine in a spice or coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter a Bundt Pan.
Beat butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add sugars and beat til combined and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating til fluffy.
Put spelt flour, baking powder, salt, ground tea/roses and spices together in another bowl. Whisk til incorporated.
Pour cooled Chai tea, creamer and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together til combined.
Add the butter/egg mixture to the creamy tea mixture. Beat til combined. Add wet mixture to the flour mixture in portions. Mixing til combined each time and adding in a bit more til all used up.
Pour into buttered bundt pan. Bake for 40 minutes, and check. If doesn’t look firm keep baking and checking in until the top bounces back to a light finger touch and/or a thin wooden skewer comes out clean. Once that happens remove and cool completely. You may need to use a knife around the edges to get cake out.
NOTE: I don’t have an exact time for baking this one either. Again was so busy didn’t really pay attention to the time. But basically if you can smell cake and when you turn it gently it doesn’t jiggle everywhere, it is safe to do a very light finger test.
Ice once cool. I went ahead and basically made this Vanilla Icing but with few small changes (*) to make it into a Chai Spice Icing of sorts.
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon* vanilla
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons super strong Black Chai Tea*, cooled
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream*
- 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom*
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon*
Follow the instructions per the original. But I am lazy and just kind of dumped all the icing sugar in at the same time. Add the spices in when you add the vanilla. Basically whip it. Whip it good.
Once iced top with almonds. Or you could do pistachios and/or rose petals.