Mango Almond Chiffon Cake

When I moved back to Minnesota, one of the things that I was dreading most was it long, long, long and COLD, COLD, COLD winters. I’m not sure how to articulate to you just how cold -30 Fahrenheit feels like, but maybe the best way to describe it would be to confess that I wore two pairs of pants, a long-sleeve, a sweatshirt and a vest, plus fuzzy socks — indoors (yep.).

But, you know, I am back, and for the most part, thrilled to be close to my family, literally down the street from some of my friends, and happily employed. Even though I’ve lived in Minnesota for the majority of my life, the transition back from New York hasn’t been easy. It’s sometimes a little lonely to look out the window and not see a single soul, and can we talk about how I’m pretty sure I forgot how to drive, period. Learning to get back on the road again when I’ve always been an anxious driver has definitely been a challenge. For now, I’m taking it slow and counting driving safely to my local Trader Joe’s a win.

One of the things that I have forgotten about Minnesota (and leaves me breathless every time), are the beautiful fall colors. The swirling leaves of red, pink, orange, gold and yellow surrounded by pockets of green are for me, one of the best parts of fall and best parts of living in Minnesota. The golden-y hue of fall color is what inspired this Almond Mango Chiffon Cake. What is chiffon cake you ask? Well, it’s probably the lightest, fluffiest cake you’ll ever taste and it’s got nothing but eggs helping it rise. In my recipe, there’s a slight hint of almond, and a fruity aftertaste. Basically, fall and summer all in one.

I like to make them in 6 oversized muffin tins, but there’s nothing stopping you from turning this into an 8″ or 9″ cake either. In fact, there’s definitely nothing stopping you from making this cake and a cream cheese frosting or whipped cream topping to finish it off. The best part of this cake is that it’s dairy-free and good for breakfast, dessert or a snack.

Mango Almond Chiffon Cake (adapted from Epicurious) | Makes 6-8 slices (depending on how you cut)

Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried mango slices
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cold water mixed with 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp granulated white sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup cake flour*

*If you don’t have cake flour, you can always make your own using all-purpose flour and cornstarch, potato starch or tapioca starch. Just measure out a cup of all-purpose flour, remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add in 2 tablespoons of your starch.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350(F) and line either cake tin or muffin tin with parchment paper.
  2. Combine honey water and chopped mango slices – let soak to re-hydrate the dried mango.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine egg whites and salt. Using a electric mixer, start on the lowest speed, beating for a minute on each speed until you have reached medium speed. Then, gradually add in 1/4 cup sugar and continue mixing. Once sugar has been fully added, beat on high speed until you get peaks that just barely hold their shape (not stiff, but not soft either).
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine your egg yolks and remaining sugar (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp). Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture turns fluffy and pale yellow.
  5. With the electric mixer on medium speed, gradually pour olive oil into the egg yolk mixture and mix until incorporated thoroughly.
  6. Then mix in honey water+mangoes and almond extract.
  7. Sift cake flour into egg yolk mixture (the sifting is crucial! this will make sure your cake isn’t dense), and combine using a wooden spoon (not electric mixer).
  8. Fold whipped egg whites into egg yolk mixture in three batches, make sure to using a folding motion so you don’t deflate the egg whites.
  9. Pour mixture into prepped muffin tins or cake tin. Sprinkle top with sugar.
  10. Place into oven and bake for 25 (if using muffin tins) or 45 minutes (if using cake tins), until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Enjoy!

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Not quite sure that there’s anything better than chocolate in this world.  I mean, chocolate is up there along with surprise snow days, long walks on the beach and lazy Sundays. Anyone that said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend clearly never had these double chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache.  Yep, I said it, the “g” word, gasp! Laden with butter, it used to be one of my favorite things to eat before I became lactose intolerant.  These days, I make do with dark chocolate squares after dinner, close my eyes and pretend like I’m licking the chocolate ganache off a spoon.

This chocolate cupcake and ganache recipe stems back to my bakery days, when I worked at one bakery in Minnesota. They served the best cupcakes, and this recipe is inspired by the light and fluffy, but still intensely chocolate-y cupcakes I would make. The key to these chocolate cupcakes is fresh baking soda.  I’m not even joking, one time, I had baking soda left over from who knows when, and my cupcakes ended up flatter than Flat Stanley. It was a sad day for all of us in the Chung household craving cupcakes. Lesson learned: always use fresh baking soda!


Okay, maybe I lied, the frosting is more of a buttercream frosting with an identity crisis.  It tastes just like a chocolate ganache, but way easier to make than ganache.  The problem with ganache is that you can so easily burn the chocolate, or overcook the cream, or even worse, the ganache might not even come together after all the effort you spent perfectly heating up that cream and chopping your chocolate into slivers. This one just requires room temperature butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and an arm looking for a good workout.


For my cupcakes, I chose to pipe the frosting on, but you can dip, whip, or spoon the frosting on in any way you would like.  Heck, you could probably skip the frosting altogether and just eat a bite of cupcake and lick the spoon you used to make the frosting.  This is really a whatever-you-want type of recipe.  Since baking is always such a precise measurement, I think that there’s a sort of beauty in decorating something that suits your taste and style.  There’s nothing better than taking a step back from your finished masterpiece and feeling utterly accomplished and satisfied.


As I’m nearing the completion of my first month of work, I can tell you its been an uphill battle the whole way.  Some days, all I can do is relish in the small victories of the day, and secretly wish I had a time machine to make time pass faster. Once I’m in the kitchen though, the stress and worries of the day melt away.  I guess the whole point that I’m making is, don’t forget to take some time for yourself! And also, eat a chocolate cupcake or two 🙂

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES | Makes 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp baking soda (FRESH)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil, or any other neutral tasting oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot coffee (instant is fine)

frosting:

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Whisk together.
  3. Add egg, sugar, vegetable oil and buttermilk together into another large mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Alternate adding hot coffee and dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, starting first with the dry ingredients.
  5. Line cupcake tins with liners and fill each tin 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked in the center of a cupcake.
  7. Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

frosting:

  1. Beat butter until creamy (usually 5-8 minutes for me by hand).
  2. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Alternate adding in powdered sugar and milk and whisk until a fluffy frosting is achieved.  If mixture looks try, at additional milk 1/2 tsp at a time. If mixture looks wet, add additional 1 tbsp powdered sugar at a time.
  4. Either spoon chocolate frosting on, or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  5. Frosted cupcakes will stay fresh for up to 5 days covered a room temperature.

Happy Eating!

Summer Strawberry Pavlova

 Pavolva is a f***ing beautiful dessert and I spent 22 years of my life not knowing it existed.  In addition to being gluten-free and dairy-free, the crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth exterior gives way to a fluffy, marshmallow-y filling that manages to be both life and fluffy by decadently rich.  To be one hundred percent honest, I only tried my hand at making pavlova because I had way (and i mean wayyyy) to many leftover egg whites from making tiramisu for a going–away party and because I needed another dessert to bring to the bf’s parents’ house since they were throwing me a going-away party as well (sssssssssshh!)


With two hours to spare until the party, I was literally peeing in my pants because I still hadn’t put  together a dessert and the house was covered in a layer of flour and cocoa dust.  I was seriously contemplating my dad’s suggestion of of getting a Whole Foods cake and then just putting in onto a nice plate to make it look “homemade”, when I had a #greatbritishbaking moment.  For those of you that don’t know, Great British Baking is literally my jam (pun intended).  I love it.  I’ve seen every episode, having favorite bakers and follow them on Instagram.  Needless to say, I’m pretty much devastated that the show isn’t going to be the same anymore.


Anyway, months ago, I stumbled along Mary Berry’s (one of the hosts of GBB) pavlova recipe.  I bookmarked it on my laptop intending to return to it, but never got a chance.  This pavlova recipe was inspired by her recipe, but I’ve made a couple tweaks here and there to customize it to what I needed (mainly making a smaller and more easily manageable pavlova).
I’m not kidding you, if you have a electric mixer of any kind, this dessert will come together in under 10 minutes and you’ll be free to go about your day like the amazing pastry chef you are. Since I’m a nerdy food scientist at heart, I’m always astounded that egg whites and sugar will whip up into such an amazing dessert with multiple different textures. What you should be careful with (and what I forgot) is that egg whites brown super easily! That’s why they say to brush pastries or pies with egg white so you get that nice brown color.  But for a pavlova, you want it to be as white as snow….SO, don’t forget to monitor the oven temperature and turn it down if it’s starting to brown you pavlova. Don’t worry, if it turns golden, it’ll still be just as delicious (same with if the pavlova cracks…in my opinion, the cracks just mean better nooks and crannies for additional whipped cream!)
So here’s to the end of summer, when you’re left wanting the days to go a little slower and the weather to stay a little warmer.  This strawberry pavlova is just what you need for a perfect end to summer (and just what I need to help jump start my school year).

SUMMER STRAWBERRY PAVLOVA | Serves 8-10 depending on how generous you’re feeling

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 eggs whites – room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1 tsp vinegar -any kind, you won’t be able to taste it!
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract or 2 tsp vanilla extract (almond extract is stronger so you need less)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries – hulled and halved

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 (F).
  2. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites on low speed until they begin to get frothy. Then add in salt.
  3. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer while you add in a tablespoon of sugar at a time until egg whites have been beaten into stiff shiny peaks. You’ll know if it’s done by holding the whisk upside down.  If the tip of the peaks don’t fold over, you’re good to go.
  4. Add in cornstarch, vinegar and extract, then gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
  5. On a piece of parchment paper, draw out an 8″ circle with a pencil.  Then turn the parchment paper over onto baking sheet (so the pencil won’t touch the pavlova mixture) and spoon mixture into the circle, trying not to let the mixture spill outside of the drawn circle. Try to flatten the top and smooth the sides, but it’s okay if it’s a little messy, as the swirls will make it look elegant and beautiful once baked.
  6. Place pavlova in oven and immediately reduce temperature down to 300 (F).
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, but keep pavlova inside oven with the door open until pavlova is fully cooled before handling.
  8. While pavlova is cooling, beat heavy whipping cream in mixer until soft peaks form.  Keep an eye on the whipped cream as it can quickly turn from light and fluffy to curdled.
  9. To assemble, gently tap the top of the pavlova a couple times to create an indentation for the whipped cream.  Top pavlova with whipped cream and sprinkle strawberries on top.
  10. Pavlova can be make 1-2 days beforehand and stored in an airtight container, but once you assemble, it must be eaten within the day otherwise the crunch exterior will soften.

Enjoy!

Authentic Italian Tiramisu

 Can we talk about tiramisu? So I’ve never actually been to Italy, but I love tiramisu.  It was basically love at first bite.  The coffee-soaked sponge, the Marsala spiked cream, mmmmm I could eat it for days. The thing about tiramisu is that finding a good tiramisu place is SO hard! Some places are wayyyy too alcoholy, some have way too much cream and not enough sponge, and I was basically at my wits end, so I decided to come up with my own recipe.


Most tiramisu recipes use lady fingers, which I happen to think are way too crumbly and dry, even when soaked with coffee. Even though they are easy to buy in bulk, I promise you that making this sponge is almost just as quick and painless. This sponge is so light and airy and elevates this tiramisu up to the next level. There’s no separating of egg yolks and egg whites or having to fold beaten egg whites into the egg yolks, it’s really as simple as it gets!


As for the creamy filling, I’m not going to lie, as a microbiology major, the thought of food poisoning freaks me out.  Tiramisu is traditionally made with raw egg yolks, but instead of going that route, the egg yolks are slowly cooked over a simmering water bath which still results in a rich and creamy consistency. My favorite part though?? Probably the mix of Marsala and mascarpone. I know, I know, mascarpone costs like a million dollars for a tiny tub, but it’s so darn good!!!! If you’re going to make this recipe, please, please don’t try and substitute the mascarpone with cream cheese, it just won’t be the same. I promise you, splurge on mascarpone just this once, and you won’t be disappointed.


In other news, I HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE IN NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, these past few weeks were filled with SO MUCH STRESS and chaos. The housing market here is insane, houses come on and off the market in as little as 12 hours. I toured 5 apartments one day, and by the end of the day, 4 of them were already taken. Talk about feeling defeated.  I seriously felt like I needed a whole pan of this tiramisu and probably the rest of that Marsala just to make me feel human again. Anyway, this new place is just lovely, it’s got beautiful bay windows and a brand new kitchen (my own criteria really for a place was for it have an oven….go figure) that’s just a couple stops away from lots of restaurants and stores.  Now let’s just hope that we can get all my furniture through the door!


If there’s anything that I’ve learned in my past 22 years is that life is truly too short to not live it to the fullest and celebrate all the wonderful things that have happened to you. So I’ll make some tiramisu here in my grandma’s closet sized kitchen, and you make some in yours, okay? Let’s all celebrate life with some tiramisu 🙂

NOTE: for the sponge, I have included measurements in both weight and volume.  However, I would strongly recommend using the weighted measurements as that results in a more accurate and delicious sponge as measurements by volume can sometimes differ slightly person to person depending on how the ingredients are measured.

 AUTHENTIC ITALIAN TIRAMISU | Makes one 9×13 inch pan
(cream adapted from Anna Maria Vipoli)

INGREDIENTS
for sponge

  • 6 eggs
  • 180 grams or 1 1/2 cup cake flour*
  • 160 grams or 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 25×15 inch sheet pan (also known as a 3/4 sheet pan) lined with parchment paper

*To make cake flour from AP flour, simply replace 2tbsp of AP flour with 2 tbsp of cornstarch for every cup of AP flour

for cream

  • 4 egg yolks (make my pavlova recipe if you don’t know what to do with extra egg whites!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 lb mascarpone
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups strong coffee + 2 tsp sugar for dipping sponge
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting

DIRECTIONS

for sponge

  1. Preheat oven to 340 (F).
  2. Crack eggs into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and slowly begin to beat eggs. Beat eggs for 2 minutes on low speed and then 2 minutes on medium speed before gradually adding in the sugar.  Once sugar has all been added, increase mixer to the highest speed setting.  Beat eggs until mixture has turned a pale yellow color and has more than doubled in size (~10 min).
  3. Add flour to egg mixture in three batches, taking care to GENTLY fold the flour into the egg mixture.  When folding make sure to use a spatula and move spatula in large circular movements so you do not deflate the air that has been beaten into the eggs.
  4. Once flour has been incorporated, pour batter onto sheet pan and smooth out.
  5. Bake cake for 10-15 minutes or until sponge springs back when touched.
  6. Once sponge has cooled, cut sponge into thin rectangles ~ 1×4.5 inches.

for cream

  1. In a heat proof bowl or top bowl of double-boiler, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture becomes pale yellow and creamy. Then add in Marsala wine.
  2. Place mixture over a simmering pot of water and cook until cream has thickened, whisking constantly.  The cream will be ready to remove from heat just before it boils (small little bubbles will appear on the surface of the cream when you stop mixing it for a moment).
  3. Add mascarpone into a large mixing bowl and beat with spatula until is it a smooth and soft consistency.  Then add in cooked cream and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Place mixture into fridge to chill while you beat the whipped cream.
  5. Using stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat whipped cream until it is just beginning to form soft peaks. Do not over whip!
  6. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture and then place back in fridge to chill.

to assemble

  1. Gather together ingredients: sponge cake rectangles, mascarpone mixture, 9x13in pan and cooled coffee.
  2. Quickly dip both sides of sponge into coffee mixture and line pan to form bottom layer. 
  3. Pour half of mascarpone mixture over sponge layer and smooth out.
  4. Repeat with remaining sponge rectangles to form second layer.
  5. Pour remaining mascarpone mixture on top of second layer and smooth out.
  6. Dust top of mascarpone mixture with cocoa powder.
  7. Refrigerate until firm (~ 2 hours).
  8. Tiramisu will stay fresh up to 3 days in the fridge.

Enjoy!!!

Raspberry Frangipane Buttermilk Cake

 A layer of juicy and sweet raspberries, a layer of almond-y frangipane filling and a layer of oh-so-moist and light buttermilk cake. It is basically the best one-bowl cake (aka lazy summer dessert) that you could make with fresh berries that is still so elegant.  If you look closely, you can see that the layers separate into 3 different layers and it makes it extremely beautiful when you slice into the cake. The thing that makes this cake is that it truly highlights the flavor of the raspberries. During the summer, I try and use fresh raspberries since they are in season, and it really brings the flavor to a whole other level, but using frozen raspberries works just as well!


Because you are baking this cake upside down and then flipping it right side up, the raspberries sort of become jammy and acts like a glaze for the cake, meaning that it does not need anything to top it! No frosting, no icing, no glaze, not even whipped cream.  It’s actually perfect just by itself, which I love since I’m not a huge fan of heavy frostings.  That being said, I think that this cake would also be delicious with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and sprinkle of berries.


Not going to lie, the idea for this cake actually came from a dream.  I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea for this cake in my mind and frantically scrambled around in the dark looking for a piece of paper and pen to jot down the idea before it slipped from my mind. 


So the bf works at a clinic in St. Paul and since I’ve been shoveling all my excess baked goods at the nurses and doctors that work at the clinic, I figured I should probably bake one last cake to say thank you to them for putting up with all my testing of baked goods before moving to New York City for graduate school.  Since I’ve been so busy packing, I wanted to make a cake that was a breeze to make but also looked stunning. GUYS, this is IT! I swear, it took me like 15 minutes to put everything together and then I threw it into the oven and got back to attempting to shovel my 20 pairs of shoes into one suitcase (it’s harder than it looks…). When the timer buzzed, all it took was a nice cake stand and a little cooling time to put it all together.  Did I mention that every bite feels like you’re eating summer?

Fun food science facts: The frangipane helps keep this cake extremely moist because it is mainly ground almonds which do an awesome job retaining moisture and keeps the cake from getting to dry.  Ever make volcanic eruptions in elementary school? Believe it or not, that’s what makes your cake light and fluffy! The acid in this case is the buttermilk, and just like in elementary school, the base is the baking soda. These two ingredients in the cake batter help produce lots of air to keep the cake from getting too dense.

RASPBERRY FRANGIPANE BUTTERMILK CAKE | Makes 10-12 slices
INGREDIENTS


for frangipane

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick softened unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for cake

  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • one 8″ cake pan

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F)
  2. For the frangipane, mix together almond flour, all-purpose flour and sugar in a small bowl. Then work softened butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles a soft dough.
  3. Add in eggs and vanilla extract before mixing well.  Set mixture aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together.
  5. Add in egg and whisk to combine.
  6. Add in buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Then add in flour, salt and baking soda and whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well-incorporated.
  8. Grease and line cake pan bottom and edges in parchment paper for easy removal.
  9. To assemble the cake, spread raspberries evenly on bottom of cake pan. Pour frangipane over berries and spread  it evenly. Finally pour cake mixture on top and smooth top.
  10. Bake cake for 70-75 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  If cake top looks like it’s browning too quickly, cover in aluminum foil.
  11. Let cake cool for 15 minutes before inverting cake and cooling fully.

Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Apple Cake with Streusel

NERD ALERT: Did you know that pie has roots all the way back to ancient Egyptian times, and the first recipe for pie was published by the Romans?  Also, apparently there’s an American Pie Counsel that might just be the coolest thing ever (thank you, Google).  With July 4th coming up, I really don’t think that there’s really anything more American than pie…except maybe pie in cake form?


My boyfriend’s older brother and girlfriend are headed up from St. Louis for the weekend to meet the fam (gasp!) and also celebrate Fourth of July.  As with any Korean get together, there will be lots of grilled meats, watermelon and if I have any say, cake (specifically, this cake).


I kid you not, this cake is SO good. It’s a soft and fluffy cake base loaded with apple, topped with buttery streusel and then drizzled with homemade caramel sauce.  What part of that sounds bad? And the best part? If you just make the cake portion, it’s dairy-free!! Also it can be made with or without a mixer (hooray!).  So, when you’re scratching your head at what you make for that Fourth of July party you’re going to, I hope you make this one! I promise you there won’t be a single crumb left.

IMPORTANT: When making the caramel, if you add in the heavy cream too quickly, the cold heavy cream will cause the caramel mixture to seize up and harden.

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE CAKE WITH STREUSEL | Makes one 10″ cake

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat sugar until it beings to melt.  Constantly mix sugar with spatula to evenly distribute heat. The chunks of sugar should slowly dissolve into liquid and the sugar should begin to turn an amber color. If it looks like mixture is turning dark too quickly, remove from heat  fro 10-15 seconds while stirring to prevent burning.
  2. Once sugar is melted, immediately add in butter and swirl it in. Once butter is melted, turn heat to low and slowly (thin drizzle) add in heavy cream while constantly stirring.
  3. Toss in salt and mix thoroughly.
  4. Extra caramel will keep in airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month.

STREUSEL

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with dry ingredients.  With hands, work butter into dry mixture until large, moist clumps form.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

CAKE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup neutral tasting vegetable oil
  • 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 apple (ambrosia, fuji, or any other crisp apple)
  • Either one 10 inch cake pan, or one 10 inch oven-safe skillet
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (F). Oil and line cake pan with parchment paper  If using skillet, simply oil pan.
  2. Beat oil and sugar together in a large bowl until well-mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until mixture is thick and creamy.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. Then add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until well-incorporated. The batter should be very thick.
  4. Add in apple cubes and mix until pieces are distributed thoroughly. Then pour batter into cake pan, drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel sauce and top with streusel.
  5. Bake cake for 50-60 minutes until top is brown and cake tester comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Tres Leches Cake

If you know someone who is gluten-free, then you probably know all the pains that accompany a gluten-free lifestyle (including how difficult it is to find a decent cake that is gluten-free!). At a friend’s house the other week, I learned that it was going to be her little sister’s birthday soon and that she so dearly wanted a tres leches cake from Cafe Latte (a neighborhood bakery). Unfortunately, Cafe Latte’s tres leches cake wasn’t gluten-free. I jumped at the chance to bake her a birthday cake and try my hand at some gluten-free baking. I wanted to bake her the perfect birthday cake – exactly identical to Cafe Latte’s, but just gluten-free!


Well, ladies and gents, here is the final product taken by her wonderful father! He was so kind and wonderful to take some professional photos for me 🙂 While I never got to taste it, her family ended up loving it. The recipe is fairly simple and can be adapted to fit any sort of sponge cake that you may want to bake for your gluten-free friends (or just ALL your friends!). I stumbled upon this recipe from one of my favorite websites, Food 52 and I’ve adapted it for my own uses.


The key to light and fluffy sponge cake is to make sure your eggs are at room-temperature. Room-temperature eggs end up holding more air when you beat it, leading to a lighter and fluffier cake. I hope your adventures in gluten-free baking bring you as much joy as mind did!


TRES LECHES CAKE (SPONGE ADAPTED FROM EMIKO’S FOOD 52 RECIPE)
INGREDIENTSfor the Cake (makes two 8inch cake layers)

  • 150g (~1 cup) Potato starch
  • 150g (~2/3 cup) Sugar
  • 6 Eggs (at room temperature)

for the Tres leches syrup

  • 1 can Evaporated milk
  • 1 can Condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy cream

for the Whipped cream

  • 3 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 cup Powdered sugar
  • Box of raspberries
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS for the Cake 

  1. Sift potato starch in a bowl and set aside
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and mix 1/3cup of the sugar in with the egg yolks
  3. Using an electric mixer, mix all 6 egg whites on low speed for 2 minutes, medium speed for 2 minutes and then add in the remaining sugar. Then beat on high until the peaks formed are stiff (check by taking the whisk off the mixer and inverting. If the point on the egg whites don’t droop or fold over, then stiff peaks have formed).
  4. Beat the yolks and the sugar together for about 10 minutes, or until the yolks are lightened in color and the mixture has become creamy
  5. Alternate folding in the potato starch and the egg whites into the egg yolks until you have a well-combined batter (do not over mix!)
  6. Pour batter into lined cake pans and bake at 350 ºF for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  7. Invert and cool cakes

for the Tres leches syrup

  1. Mix together entire can of evaporated milk, entire can of condensed milk and 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (I find it is easiest pouring this all into a large water bottle and shaking well)
  2. Once cakes are cooled, divide syrup mixture evenly between cake layers and soak (the cakes will absorb more liquid than you think they will!)

for the whipped cream

  1. Mix heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer
  2. Beat until cream has reached your desired consistency (I usually beat it for about 4-5 minutes, or until cream is medium-stiff).
  3. When cake layers have soaked in all the syrup, assemble the cake layers and outline the edge of the cake in raspberries cut a big slice and enjoy!