Tag Archives: Cake

Dim Sum: Law Bahk Go (Turnip Cake)

Jade Garden – Seattle, WA – 11/27/2009

Name: Law Bahk Go
Primary Ingredient(s): Turnip
Type of Dish: Cake
Method of Preparation: Pan Fried

Turnip cake is an unassuming dish, I think. It’s neither exotic, like chicken feet, nor pedestrian, like shrimp rolls. It is simply mashed turnips mixed with a bit of rice flour added, along with some sausage, pork belly, shrimp, or mushroom (again, depending upon your dim sum restaurant of choice). I like to think of turnip cake as dim sum’s version of potato pancakes. It’s a starch course with meat added for flavoring.

This is not a criticism. In fact, it is a compliment of the highest order. These types of dishes offer just enough savory flavor to be interesting, while at the same time fulfilling our biological need for complex carbohydrates. This is food a la homo sapien, a type of dish we humans are thoroughly familiar. It is, quite plainly, the essence of comfort food.

One word of note about the Turnip Cake had at Ocean City (pictured below). It was re-heated on mobile grill that went from table to table. I had never seen a mobile grill before, and found it quite novel.

Ocean City – Seattle, WA – 11/29/2009

Carrot Cake

It should come to no surprise to any regular reader that my first choice of a carrot recipe would be the ever popular carrot cake.

I have a love/hate relationship with carrot cake, in that I love the cake itself, but if I see it on a menu at a restaurant, I become suspicious. If I see it pared with a chocolate cake, a tiramisu, a fruit cobbler of some sort and a creme brulee or flan, then I tend to dismiss the place as having little creativity in regard to their dessert menu. So I find myself rarely ordering the cake when I am out. I either have to make it myself, or have to seek it from a bakery.

  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup walnut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, and salt.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the oil and add the eggs one at a time. Mix well, and add to the flour mixture. Add the carrots, walnuts and pineapple and integrate thoroughly.

Pour the batter into two 8″ round cake pans that have been buttered and floured.

Place into the oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan, on a rack, for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on the rack for another 20 minutes. Frost with your favorite topping, cream cheese icing being my favorite.

tags technorati : recipes, carrot cake

And now, part two of: Kristen Bakes a Birthday Cake.

For those of you just joining us, I wanted to bake a cake for my kid’s birthday, but not having done so before, I started with a test cake last week.

Throughout the week, I vacillated over what sort of frosting to make. My kid didn’t really seem to care what the frosting was, so long as it was pink. I had just decided on making a cream cheese frosting, when suddenly the birthday girl announced she really wanted lemon frosting. Lemon cream cheese? No thanks.

Okay. Real frosting. How hard could it be?

Well, here’s my disclaimer: I may be a housewife, but when things go wrong, I’ve got a mouth like a trucker. I’m going to put the rest of this post behind this link, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.


A Question for the Ages- How to Classify a Brownie?

O n the way home from Canada I put forth the following question to Tara: Is the delicious chocolate brownie that we all know and love a cookie or a cake?

What followed that question was a half hour discussion on what constitutes a cookie, a cake and even a bar. Like many of our discussions surrounding food, nothing was fully resolved, aside from the fact that we both have fairly strong opinions on fairly trivial matters.

However, we’ve both done some canvassing of various co-workers and friends via e-mail and conversations. Here are some of the comments.

  • “Cake! It’s definitely not a cookie…. I’m pretty strict about what is called a cookie vs. what isn’t – a cookie is a shape, not the ingredients that make the shape. So if it’s not in the shape of a cookie – it ain’t a cookie.”
  • “It’s a cake isn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t have icing and it’s denser than a cake, but it’s still a cake. It’s cake-ish.”
  • “Now that is a perplexing questions re the brownie’s. I think they are pretty much something to put ice cream on and as a result in a category all their own.”
  • “I don’t think brownies are a cake. But I can see why some people think that they can be. But I don’t think they’re cookies either, but I can also see why other people believe that they are. They are offered on cookie tables at Christmas after all”.
  • “A brownie is not a cookie, nor would I say it is a cake. My Midwest upbringing classifies brownies, rice krispie treats, and related ilk as bars. Are bars not a common culinary-accepted term or ‘genre?’ So rigid. If forced to choose, to me, a cookie is more ‘wafer-ish,’ as in thin, therefore a brownie in particular would be more cake than cookie – it is not thin, but has ‘loft’ and a cakey texture (and frosting).”

My response to the “A brownie is a bar” argument…aren’t bars a cookie variant? It’s is socially acceptable to have more than one bar in one sitting, much like it’s socially acceptable to eat more than one cookie at one sitting. But it’s socially unacceptable to have more than one slice of cake at one sitting.

Additionally, aren’t Fig Newtons bar-like? Aren’t they considered cookies? Or are fig newtons the ‘missing link’ between cookies and bars?

Feel free to add your opinion to this completely trivial matter in the comments below.

Technorati Tags: Brownies, Cookies, Cakes

Pound Cake

Pound Cake

Here’s another rationalization to use the Brand Spankin’ new Mixer. My rationalization is pretty good when I think about it, for if I don’t use it, then the cost of the mixer would be built into the one or two recipes already completed.

And trust me on this, there’s nothing more difficult than explaining to your partner why your biscuits cost $150 to make. But I digress…

Speaking of said partner, it was her discovery that pumpkin butter tastes pretty damn good on pound cake.

There’s no reason why I should praise the pound cake, correct? It’s butter and eggs and butter and sugar and butter and flour and butter…It’s not the type of recipe that one makes if one is worried about fat intake.

But damn it’s good. Especially with pumpkin butter.

  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Using a a hand mixer, mix on low speed until a batter is formed. Increase the mixer speed to high, and beat for one more minute. Add the rest of the egg mixture and beat for 30 more seconds

Scrape the batter into an 8″x 4″ x 2 1/2″ loaf pan (4 cups). Place in the oven for 55 minutes, covering with aluminum foil at 30 minutes (It prevents overbrowning).

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

Serves 8

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Cake, Pound Cake

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake

I’m now of the belief that cooking and all of its iterations are a far more effective anti-depressant than any pharmaceuticals. Whilst cooking, your mind is occupied enough to not given extra attention to those ideas and events that may be bringing you down. After cooking there’s the end result of your endeavor. And if you make cake…well, it’s hard to be too depressed when eating cake.

This was my first attempt at a red velvet cake, being so inclined from reading Saveur’s article on Raven Patrick De’Sean Dennis III in this month’s issue (March 2006).

I was surprised that the red in red velvet cake comes from food coloring. Tara has told me that this is only partially true, as she has had cake made with wine or cherries that help give it the red hue. It doesn’t matter to me. The red cake helped take away the blues.

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 12 Tbsp Cake Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar

Icing Ingredients

  • 12 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 12 oz. butter softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp/ vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease three 8″ cake tins with butter or shortening. Dust each tin with 2 tablespoons of flour. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, sift the remaining flour, along with the sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Mix together.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk, red food coloring, vanilla and vinegar until fully emulsified.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet and beat together well (the batter should have a smooth consistency). Divide the batter equally between the 3 flour-dusted pans. Place in the oven and bake between 25-30 minutes (rotating each pan 180 degress halfway through baking). Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Allow cakes to cool for 20-30 minutes before icing.

For the icing, mix together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.

Put 1 cake layer on a plate and spread 1/4 of the icing on top. Place second layer ontop and repeat the frosting task. Set the final layer ontop and use the remaining icing to coat the top and the sides of the cake. Press the pecans onto the side of the cake.

Serves 8-10

Technorati Tags: Food, Recipes, Cake, Red Velvet Cake

Avocado Cake

Avocado Cake

Typically when I look at ingredients, I like to do three different recipes to fully explore its depths and opportunities. I do one recipe that everyone has heard of, one recipe that I happen to like, and one that…well…just seems a bit off. Sometimes I miss the mark for the third recipe and end up doing another dish that I happen to like, but sometimes I’m able to find a recipe that makes me go “What the…?”

Such is the case with this here recipe, an avocado cake. I’ve never heard of the recipe before, and since I typically think that avocados go best with chile peppers or corn chips, to see it in use in a cake was something I was not expecting.

One may think that the idea of an avocado cake may be a bit on the risque side, but I’m here to allay your fears. Done correctly, it’s a cake that can sit with pride next to your zucchini bread or pumpkin cake. It’s that kind of cake. It’s still very good though, and I was able to get a confirmed avocado hater that this recipe was, in fact, quite the tasty morsel.

  • 1 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 2 Eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup Pureed avocado(about 2-3 avocados)
  • 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup Golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and softened butter. Add the eggs, and fold in thoroughly. Add avocado puree and buttermilk, and mix well by hand.

In a smaller bowl, combine the spices, salt, baking soda and flour. Mix well.

Gradually, add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating well. Fold in the dates, raisins and walnuts.

Pour into a greased 9×9 inch baking dish or your favorite bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

(Serves 8-10)

Technorati Tags: Food and Drink, Recipes, Cake, Avocado, Avocado Cake