I’m pretty positive there is no better pairing in the world than wine and chocolate. Except for maybe wine, chocolate AND cake. I mean my head can’t even wrap itself around that combination (#isthisreallife). And then there’s this cake…..are you ready for your mind to be blown? Because it will be. Because this cake is made with wine and chocolate. Like as in wine, chocolate and cake all together in one delicious masterpiece. Game. Over. Basically, way back, when I was a wee little thing, my Mom would make this yellow cake on a frequent basis. While I wish I could say I was a smart little tyke whose flavor palette begged for me to sneak some of the wine, I was only after the chocolate frosting. Wine cake? Forget about it! Ever since Luci posted her wine cake, though, I haven’t been able to get my Mom’s favorite cake out of my mind and I knew I was long overdue for a Great Yellow Cake fix (also, I came to my senses and realized “What idiot doesn’t like wine and cake together?! Or just plain wine for that matter?!”). Now, the only difference between me making this cake and my Mom making this cake, is that I’m sneaking samples of both frosting AND wine!
Great Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
A moist yellow cake made with white wine and frosted in rich chocolate frosting
To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed for 30 minutes. Next, add in the oil and wine and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and vanilla, and beat until mixed, about 1 minute.
Divide the batter between the two pans. Place the pans on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them onto cooling racks and let them cool for at least 2 hours before frosting.
To make the frosting: Combine chocolate and butter in small saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat then stir in the milk and vanilla and transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar gradually, beating the mixture on medium speed until it's smooth (it will be runny).
Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, beating it every 15 minutes (the icing will stiffen). If you won't be around to beat it every 15 minutes, simply refrigerate it, then when you're ready to beat the mixture, remove the bowl from the fridge, let it sit out for 15 minutes and then beat the mixture.
To assemble the cake: After the cake has cooled, place the first layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread on about 1/3 of the frosting. Place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining frosting.
To store the cake: Cover with plastic wrap. The cake will keep well for 2 days out of the fridge and 5 days in the fridge.
When Mr. RC requested pineapple upside down cake for his birthday, I of course had to oblige (wifely duties call). It’s one of our favorite cakes, what with the moist dough and the crunchy, caramel topping. But, per usual, I can never let a good recipe just be (whoever said “Don’t mess with a good thing!” clearly hadn’t met me) so this time I was determined to find a few ways to switch up the old pineapple upside down cake recipe and make it into something just a little more special. So I added lots of coconut flavors (because have you been to a tropical island?! Pineapple and coconut were just meant to be together.. obvs!) and I baked it in a skillet (because everything tastes better in a skillet, double obvs). The results? One happy birthday boy and one clean cake pan. I knew there was a method to my recipe changing madness…
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
A light and moist cake with a crispy, caramelized topping and hints of tropical coconut, making it perfect for summer
20-ounce can pineapple rings in juice, drained (reserve juice for the cake)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the rings)
For the coconut cream
1 can of full-fat coconut milk, chilled
Sugar, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Next, you will prepare the topping. In a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet set over a burner on medium heat, add all of the topping ingredients, minus the pineapple rings (butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices). Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted, everything has combined and the mixture begins to bubble, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the burner off. Lay the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar mixture (7 rings fit in the pan I used), then set the pan aside.
To make the cake, begin by creaming together the butter and sugars in the bowl of stand mixer. Next, beat in the egg, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Lastly, alternate adding in the flour with the liquids (pineapple juice and coconut milk), making sure to not over mix.
Pour the cake batter over the pineapple rings. The batter is really thick so you will definitely need a spatula to help spread it around. Also, don't be worried if the pineapple is showing through the batter or if it barely covers the pan. It will spread out and rise as it bakes.
Bake the cake for 18-30 minutes (depends on your oven and the size of the pan you used....mine was a 12 inch skillet so it only took 18 minutes to bake), or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the edge, place a serving plate on top, grasp the plate and the pan with both hands and flip it over. Gently tap the bottom of the pan all over, then slowly lift the pan off, using your knife to help loosen anything that might be stuck.
To make the coconut whipped cream, open your can of coconut milk and separate the thick cream part from the watery liquid. Place the thick cream in a mixing bowl and begin beating it on medium-high speed. Add in as little or as much sugar as you would like. I don't like thinks overly sweet so I only used about 2 tablespoons. Continue whipping for a few minutes, until soft peaks form. Please note: unlike traditional whipped cream, this doesn't stay stiff forever. As it warms up, it will begin to thin slightly, but simply placing it back in the fridge will get it nice and thick again. It also tastes great thinned out, so if you don't feel like re-whipping it, don't worry!
Serve the cake warm with a dollop of coconut cream. Store remaining coconut cream in an airtight container in the fridge. The cake should be tightly wrapped with plastic wrap and will last about 2 days on the counter, or about 4-5 days if stored in the fridge.
I’ve always prided myself on my Italian heritage. While I may not speak Italian and I’ve never set foot in Italy (why oh why didn’t I study abroad there when I had the chance?!), I can cook a mean Bolognese, tiramisu and cannolis are my weakness, and wine is my version of water. So anytime I stumble upon an Italian recipe I’ve never heard of, the Italian part of me cringes for not knowing it. Boccone dolce is one such dish. Except this dish caused a double cringe as it originates from the same region as my family (northern Italy). However, it wasn’t until just 2 weeks ago, when my father-in-law ordered a piece at our pre-Broadway show dinner, that I even heard the name ‘boccone dolce’ (or at least that I can remember). Eager to make up for lost time, I immediately began researching recipes and buying ingredients so that I could whip up my own boccone dolce at home. It’s not the healthiest of desserts (I promise there is fruit somewhere in all that cream!), but the airy consistency makes for a perfect summertime dessert. Oh, and bonus, it’s gluten-free! Mr. RC thinks it should be a requirement to make this dessert at least once a month, and since I have a lot of years sans boccone dolce to make up for, this Italian kind of has to agree!
P.S. This would also look really pretty topped off with a few of these!
A traditional Italian dessert that is light and fluffy. Perfect for summer, easy to adapt, and gluten-free.
Begin by preheating your oven to 250 degrees. Then, line 2 baking sheets (or 1 large sheet and 1 small sheet) with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, begin beating the egg whites on medium-high speed. Once they begin to stiffen up, add the salt and granulated sugar. Continue beating for several more minutes, until stiff peaks form.
On the baking sheet spread the egg whites out evenly into 3 circles. Each circle will be about 1/4 inch thick and about 8" in diameter, give or take. Once you have the circles spread out, place them in the oven for 45-60 minutes. They should turn a nice golden brown color and be slightly sticky yet crunchy to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool.
Back in your mixing bowl (which should be nice and clean again), begin whipping the cream. Once soft peaks begin to form, add in the sugar and Grand Marnier. Beat for just a few seconds longer, until everything is incorporated.
Once the egg white roundss have cooled, begin assembling your "cake". On a serving dish place your first round. Add on a layer of whipped cream (about 1 cup), then sprinkle with almonds and finish with a layer of sliced strawberries. Repeat with the next layer. Frost the entire cake with whipped cream.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
The original recipe does not call for Grand Marnier, so feel free to leave it out.
Although I have not tried it, I think it would be delicious to do this with Ameretto liquor in the whipped cream with peaches for the fruit, or lavender whipped cream and raspberries, and, for the Fourth of July, a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
This can also be made sans nuts (for those with nut allergies).
I have a little secret about this cake. I’d tell you….but then I’d have to kill you. Jussssst kiiiidddding! But if I tell you, you have to promise me you’ll still eat this cake. I mean there’s nothing crazy in it, no mashed potatoes, or avocado, or pureed peas, just some rotten milk, and lots of chocolate. Back up! Rotten milk?! Yup, good old (and I do mean old) milk. But don’t let the old milk fool you. This cake is so good I may have even purposely let the milk go bad a time or two (I am THAT crazy for chocolate cake). One thing’s for sure, no one cries over spilled, er rotten, milk in our household!
Never Fail Chocolate Cake Makes one 9″ square/round cake, approximately 8 slices
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup sifter all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sour milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″ square or round cake pan and set aside. Begin by beating the egg, oil and sugar together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Sift in the dry ingredients, then add the boiling water and the sour milk and mix until well-combined, about three minutes. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Cream Frosting
1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 ounces of chocolate, melted (I used dark chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of milk
In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and 1/2 a cup of the confectioners sugar. Add in the remaining sugar as well as the other ingredients and continue beating until everything is well mixed and creamy. Can be refrigerated for several weeks (if you manage to not eat it all before then!).
Since it’s my birthday today, I figured it was only right that I celebrate with as much cake as possible. Coffee cake for breakfast, cupcakes for lunch (these do include all the main food groups of protein, carbs and frosting) and a decadent cake for dinner. I might even get really wild and throw in some funfetti puppy chow for a snack, washed down by birthday cake jello shots. All after giving myself this yummy “bouquet”. Do I know how to celebrate or what?!
Blood Orange Ricotta Coffee Cake Makes 16 square pieces
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. ricotta cheese
1 blood orange, cut into pieces
4 tbsp. of unsalted butter, softend
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in ricotta cheese. Next add in the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and the flour. Beat for a few minutes, then turn of the mixer and toss in the orange slices. Continue mixing by hand until all the flour is incorporated. Spread batter in the prepared pan. To make the topping combine the butter, brown sugar, spices and 1/2 c. flour in a small bowl. Mix until well combined and crumbling. Sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. To store, keep it tightly covered and in the refrigerator.
*This cake can also be made up to 24 hours ahead. Just prepare the batter, pour into the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Make the crumb topping as well, but keep that stored and covered in a bowl. When you are ready to bake the cake, remove the pan from the fridge, toss on the topping and proceed with the above baking instructions.