Halloween Mini Ombre Cake

Have you noticed ombre stuff lately? It’s on T-shirts, in people’s hair, and baked goods. Ombre cake + the upcoming holiday = Halloween Mini Ombre Cakes!

A recipe I posted recently (Raspberry Mousse Cake) had a lovely white cake for layers. That is the base here, as it was easy to color varying shades. I think in the future I’d go even more heavy-handed on the coloring to get a more pronounced contrast. Continue reading “Halloween Mini Ombre Cake”

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Bake challenge last week was layers, and I’ve wanted to make this raspberry mousse cake for a long time!

The original recipe calls for white chocolate, and I discovered while making that I had none. I saw a bunch of white chocolate at our local discount grocery store weeks ago and THOUGHT I bought some. It was one of those things I probably picked one up and said to myself, ‘I should buy some of this,’ and promptly put it down for some reason. Tell me I’m not the only person who does that!

So dark chocolate it is for this bake. I really like to use up stuff I already have, and figured dark chocolate + raspberry make a good pair anyway 🙂

The layers are a fabulous vanilla cake – I would seriously use this recipe again just for the cake. Similar to sponge cake in consistency, but softer, more buttery.

Between the cake are layers of raspberry mousse plus a homemade raspberry puree. In the future I would double the puree – it would have made the raspberry flavor really pop.

BTW, if you’ve never made mousse before, it’s really easy. Think of it as a lighter, fluffier pudding. Most recipes use some sort of liquid, like a fruit puree, combined with clear, unflavored gelatin. Add that to homemade whipped cream or something similar. Chill the whole thing and it’s done!

Now that I’ve made this with dark chocolate, I’m really curious as to how it would have turned out with white chocolate instead. Probably sweeter, but I doubt I’ll bake it again just to find out – I’m 100% a dark chocolate fan!

Original recipe here.

Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread

This cinnamon apple twist bread had nothing to do with a bake challenge and everything to do with it looking fabulous!

This bake is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Both of my children were big fans of this, which is RARE. The bread is nice and soft with swirls of apple cinnamon flavor throughout. It was tasty already without the icing, but definitely tastier with it. I warmed up a few pieces the next day in our toaster oven and they were still yummy.

I’ve made a few braided breads before and each time they look a little better. The braid looks tighter, less stuff spilling out the sides. Practice makes improved, I suppose.

I appreciate the fact that this doesn’t have chunks of apple. You shred it and really don’t notice the texture in the bake, just the flavor and the moisture from the apples. This recipe makes 2 large loaves, so be prepared to share or halve your ingredients. Now that I think about it, I did neither of those things and we just ate both loaves 😉

Yet another fantastic recipe from King Arthur Flour here.

 

Green Tea Souffle

A souffle has been on my to-bake list for a while. I made one in home economics class many years ago and don’t recall it being particularly disastrous, so that’s a good sign 🙂

This green tea souffle was for a Japanese bake challenge and is supposed to be tinted a pretty green by using matcha. BUT, Target only had this green tea/matcha mix by Lipton, which didn’t leave much of a color. So for a nice green shade, go for the real deal with matcha!

If you’ve never made a souffle before, they can be sweet or savory with a fluffy/cream texture, and this one is a custard with a meringue mixed in, and baked til it puffs up over the top and is a nice golden brown.

BTW, photographing this takes planning, as it really does start to deflate the minute it is taken out of the oven. Hubby got things placed ahead of time and then ran them downstairs for picture taking.

I enjoyed the texture and flavor of this, even if the flavor of green tea didn’t really shine much. In the future I would probably try my hand at a chocolate souffle or something cheesy.

Original recipe here.

 

South African Milk Tart

Okay, so technically this milk tart is a pie and was ALMOST a baking fail, but I saved it!

My Reddit bake challenge was South Africa, hence this South African Milk Tart. It has a sweet shortcrust pastry and a vanilla custard-type filling, finished with a liberal dash of cinnamon.

The recipe went swimmingly at first – nicely thickened custard and beautiful crust. I popped it into the fridge to firm up.

Next morning I lift off the parchment to see LIQUID SOUP. No firming whatsoever overnight.

I had the thought of just pitching it, but decided to scrape it out of the pastry and re-cook the filling on the stove. Another 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in water and then added to the boiling custard totally worked!

I took it out of the fridge next day and it was nice and firm. I was able to cut it cleanly, and I’m so glad I didn’t just bag the whole thing and throw it out 🙂

Final verdict – this was a tasty bake. The filling was creamy, cold, and definitely full of vanilla flavor. The heavy dose of cinnamon put this over the top, though. I absolutely wouldn’t leave that out! The shortcrust pastry added a great crunchy texture to an otherwise very smooth pie.

Hopefully the filling will set up for you the first time! I’m going to assume I didn’t cook it long enough the first time, which is why I was able to salvage it the next day.

Original recipe here.

 

 

 

Mango Charlotte Russe

Have you ever seen a Charlotte Russe before? I saw it once on the Great British Bake Show (best baking show in the world, BTW). It’s mainly ladyfingers with mousse or something else creamy, plus gelatin layered inside sponge cake. I’m pretty sure this Mango Charlotte Russe isn’t authentic, but oh well!

Continue reading “Mango Charlotte Russe”

Baking Fail – Brazilian Carrot Cupcakes

I suppose these weren’t terrible cupcakes, but none of us were really a fan. My bake challenge was a very difficult Brazil this week, hence the Brazilian carrot cupcakes.

I had high hopes for these! Original recipe stated self-rising flour, which I completely ignored. It did have baking powder in them, but not enough apparently to get a good rise. The glaze also never set up for some reason. Glaze was still tasty, BTW, just drippy!

There’s one thing I did enjoy about cupcakes – the carrots are pureed. If you aren’t an enormous carrot cake fan because of the texture, see if you can find a recipe with pureed carrots. Carrot flavor and beautiful orange color minus the shreds 😉

Maybe you’ll have better luck then myself! Original recipe here.