domingo, 30 de março de 2008


My first Daring Baker's challenge!
This month was pretty busy with school and stuf, so I hadn't much time for baking. I started to think that I wasn't going to able to complete the challenge, but I really wanted to, specially because it was my first one! Then, I remembered Easter was coming and I could use that as an excuse to leave the books for a while and bake the cake! I'm so glad I did... I had the most fun!
I'd never baked a layer cake like, this was the first one and I'm very pleased with result! My sister joined me in the kitchen an we spent like 3 hours around the cake, but we both enjoyed it very much.
We served it as dessert for dinner and everyone enjoyed it! Thank you for this recipe, it's definitely a keeper!

Courtesy of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from "My Home to Yours"

For the Cake

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For Finishing
2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
About 1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready
Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light.
Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.
Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean
Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Buttercream
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.
The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.
During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

To Assemble the Cake
Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half.
Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
Spread it with one third of the preserves.
Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream.
Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover).
Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top.
Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

domingo, 17 de fevereiro de 2008

Carrots and Walnuts

If you have carrots and walnuts at home and don't know what to do with them, here's a great recipe that my best friend gave me! It's moist, not too sweet and somewhat healthy, I guess... It's yummy!


2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups grated carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts


Mix the sugar, oil and eggs together. 
Separately mix the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and then add this mixture to the first. 
Finally, add the carrot and walnuts. 
Bake in a preheated oven (180ºC) for about 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Hope you enjoy it!

P.S.- tastes better than it looks.

sábado, 16 de fevereiro de 2008


Hi everyone! Welcome to my first blog! 
This is my first attempt as a blogger, so I'll do my best to keep you interested and I hope you enjoy it!