Friday, March 31, 2017

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cake

Alice’s Tea Cup, which is owned by the sisters Haley Fox and Lauren Fox, is known for its scones, but the chainlet of teahouses in New York also makes pastries, cakes and other treats. This recipe is an adaptation of a chocolate chip cake with mocha frosting that originated with the Fox sisters’ mother. The cake has a tender crumb, and the frosting is silky and rich.

113 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) salted butter, softened, more for pans
250 grams (2 1/4 cups) sifted unbleached all-purpose flour, more for pans
300 grams (1 1/3 cups) turbinado sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk (2 percent or whole)
¾ cup to 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, roughly chopped; or mini chocolate chips
360 grams (3 cups) confectioners’ sugar
226 grams (1 cup) salted butter, softened
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso
2 tablespoons boiling water
¾ cup to 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, for decorating

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans, and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper cut to fit.
Using an electric mixer or by hand, in a bowl, mix the butter and turbinado sugar until evenly blended. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix again until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add half the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, mix well, then add half the milk and mix again. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk. Add the chocolate chips and mix well. The batter may look curdled.
Pour the batter into the pans and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing cakes from pans to a rack to cool completely. If the cakes are domed, use a long, serrated knife to level the tops.
Make the frosting: Using an electric mixer or by hand, mix the confectioners’ sugar with the butter, salt and vanilla, until well blended. In a small bowl, mix the espresso powder with the boiling water to dissolve; add it to the frosting, blending well.
Place one cake layer on a serving platter and spread about one-third of the frosting over the top in an even layer. Top with the second cake layer and use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread frosting over top and, optionally, sides of the cake. Decorate with the chocolate chips.

Lemon Butter Cookies

Summer is the best time of the year, and during these cold winter days, sometimes it can seem like summer will never get here!  Citrus fruits are at their seasonal peak during the darkest and coldest part of the year (now), and these Lemon Butter Cookies are just the ticket to remind me that summer, okay spring, is okay weeks away.

Lemon Butter Cookies


For the Cookies:
1 cup & 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon Lemon Zest, finely grated
7 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 Egg Yolk

For the Glaze:
1 cup Powdered Sugar
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice, fresh

For the Cookies:
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and lemon zest. Add the chilled butter and cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Add in the egg yolk and using a fork, stir until blended. Using your hands, gently knead the bough until it comes together and forms a ball. (Note: If the dough looks too dry add some ice water 1 teaspoon at a time until the mixture comes together.)

Once the dough has been formed into a ball, cut the dough in half and roll each half into a log about 1-inch in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and allow them to chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. (Note: You can freeze the dough for up to a month if you do not want to bake all of the cookies immediately!)

Once you are ready to bake the cookies pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the logs from the freezer, unwrap and slice into 1/4-inch think rounds using a serrated knife. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and back for 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to completely cool before glazing them.

For the Glaze:
Place the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl and add the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture is syrupy. Glaze the cookies using a pastry brush, the back of a spoon, or place the glaze into a piping bag and pipe onto the cookie. Allow the cookies to sit until the glaze is set.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

California Lemon Pound Cake Recipe

Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I'm always looking for new recipes which use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me. :)

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 70 min. + cooling

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon peel and extract. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat just until combined.
Pour into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine the frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Spread over top of cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.