Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

It’s all about the Piecaken

November 25, 2012

Looking for a strange new challenge to go after for a Thanksgiving potluck and a few hours of conference calls to do reasearch, I found an interesting concept: the piecaken.  Apparently, this trend has come out of the missionary community: I’m not sure what to say on that one either theologically or politically so I’ll let each of my 12 readers decide independently.  What I found was a decided lack of directions except for a list of “nots” and the idea to use pre-made cakes.  Look, if I’m going to bake a pie in a cake, the pie is going to be from scratch.

The concept is pretty self-explanatory: bake a pie into a cake; a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.  After scouring the blogs, I decided that the one aspect made-from-scratch piecaken creators all lamented was a berry pie.  After playing with flavor profiles, I decided to do a coconut pie and chocolate cake.

The coconut pie was a breeze to make: the recipe didn’t say but I poured into an unbaked pie crust.   I made the pie the day before (tip from another blog) and cooled completely.

The next day, I made the cake.  I’ve made exactly one cake from scratch so I went with the tried and true Betty Crocker cake.  The only modification I made was to swap the 1/2c oil for 1/2c of water.  I figured the oil wouldn’t be needed based on the cake recipe and would help to figure out the baking time.  I poured roughly 1/3 of the cake batter into a well greased spring form pan (10”).  And then the tricky part: transferring the pie from the pie plate to the cake.    I removed the outer edges of the crust, flipped the pie onto a cookie sheet and flipped back.

Mine broke a bit but I was able to piece back together.  Pour the remaining cake batter over the pie and cooked until knife clean (70 minutes at 350 degrees).

I let the piecaken rest overnight (I didn’t want the cake to ball up when I frosted it).  I frosted with a simple butter cream frosting.

I hauled a cake weighing more than a newborn to a foodie potluck and viola, a piecaken for the ages.

Now, on to the next culinary adventure!

Well, there was cake involved . . . . Gluten-Free cake.

April 25, 2011
GF Ricotta Pound Cake

Cake only improves life!

I’ve been on the gluten-free bandwagon for about 2 years pretty hardcore. It’s made a ton of difference in my life (mostly a marked decrease of migraines, and not feeling sluggish and all) but *finding* GF desserts is a pain.  Making GF desserts is even harder (I’m convinced it’s in the flour!!) but Easter Sunday, I hit a home run. I’m thrilled.

Gluten Free Chocolate-Orange Pound Cake

1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
2 Tbsp Godiva chocolate liquor (or any other flavoring!) (I also use the ‘airline bottles’ for cooking – so alternatively, one ‘airline bottle’.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with butter or shortening (I use the wrappers of the butter sticks!)

2. In a bowl, add butter, ricotta and sugar. Cream until fluffy and butter is completely blended.  Add in vanilla, orange extract and flavoring of choice. Cream in baking powder.

3. Alternately add ½ c of flour and one egg until all have been added and batter is smooth and creamy (about 4 minutes)

4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan, 50-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, transfer to a rack to cool completely.

I found that for GF cakes, often the edges might be darker than non-GF.   Because of the variations ON GF flours, I do the knife test starting at minute 50 as not to over bake – and yes, GF flours have that much variation! This cake is exceptionally moist and holds the flavor of the chocolate liquor and orange well.  I’m in love with my cake. I can’t wait for the next excuse to make it! (and yes, I skip xanthum gum). :)