AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Holiday Treats: New cookbook, "Cake, I Love You"

Holiday Treats: New cookbook, "Cake, I Love You"

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Cake, I Love You - that is how we feel at News 8, but it is also the title of Jill O'Connor's new book. 

O'Connor is a food expert, recipe developer and the food columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune.

She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London and studied at the International Pastry Arts Center in New York.  

She is the author of six cookbooks, and has developed recipes for Food & Wine, Southern Living, Bon Appétit, and Fine Cooking Magazines.

The following recipes have been excerpted with permission from: Cake, I Love You, published by Chronicle Books (2017).

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake with Melted Chocolate Bar Frosting

Serves 8 to 12
 
2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour
3/4 cup [60 g] natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 cups [400 g] sugar
2 eggs
1 cup [240 g] mayonnaise
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1 1/3 cups [320 ml] boiling water
 
Melted Chocolate Bar Frosting
1 cup [180 g] semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup [180 g] milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup [110 g] unsalted butter
1 cup [240 g] sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 to 3 cups [240 to 360 g] confectioners' sugar, sifted
 
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Coat a metal 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] cake pan or two 9-in [23-cm] round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line the bottoms of the cake pans only with parchment paper.
 
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the mayonnaise and vanilla until smooth.
 
Decrease the mixer speed to its lowest speed and beat in half the dry ingredients just until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
 
In a small bowl, mix together the espresso powder and boiling water. Add half of the espresso mixture to the batter and beat on low speed just until the batter is smooth, 5 to 10 seconds. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Beat in the remaining espresso and beat just until smooth. The batter will be somewhat thin. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s).
 
Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
 
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.
 
To make the frosting: In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the semisweet and milk chocolate chips with the butter. Heat on high power for 1 minute. Stir together until the butter and chocolates are completely melted and smooth. If not completely melted after 1 minute, heat again in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth and shiny. Using a large balloon whisk or a wooden spoon, stir in the sour cream. Beat in 2 cups [240 g] of the confectioners' sugar, just until smooth and spreadable. Let the frosting set for a few minutes at room temperature, as it will firm up a little as it cools. If a thicker, sweeter, frosting is desired, beat in the remaining 1cup [120 g] confectioners' sugar.
 
For a sheet cake, leave the cake in the pan and spread the top with the frosting. Cut into squares and serve. If making a layer cake, place one layer on a cake plate or cake stand and spread with one-third of the frosting. Top with a second layer and spread the remaining frosting evenly over the top and around the sides of the cake. Cut into wedges and serve. 
 
To store, cover the sheet cake with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.  Store the layer cake in a tightly covered cake carrier. Both will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

My Pretend Irish Grandma's Black Pepper-Irish Whiskey Gingerbread

Serves 10 to 12
 
2 1/2 cups [350 g] all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
5 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp finely ground white pepper
1 cup [240 ml] ginger beer (I like Fever-Tree ginger beer)
1 1/4 cups [400 g] molasses
1 cup [220 g] unsalted cultured butter, preferably Irish butter
1 cup [200 g] firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup [150 g] granulated sugar
1 tsp instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons Irish whiskey
1/2 cup [120 ml] buttermilk
One 2-in [5-cm] chunk fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a Microplane zester
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F [180 C]. Spray a 10-or-12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
 
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and  pepper together in a large bowl.
 
In a medium 3-qt [3-L] saucepan, combine the ginger beer, molasses, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and instant espresso powder. Stir over medium heat until the butter melts, the sugars dissolve, and the mixture is very hot.
 
Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. The baking soda will fizz and bubble as it hits the warm syrup. Stir with a wooden spoon until the bubbling subsides completely. Cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the whiskey, buttermilk, and the grated fresh ginger.
 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the ginger beer-molasses mixture. Use a whisk to gently fold the ingredients into a smooth batter.
 
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
 
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold onto a serving platter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before slicing and serving.
 
Store in a covered cake carrier at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Classic Diner Crumb Cake

Serves 12
 
Crumb Topping
2 cups [400 g] firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 1/4 cups [315 g] all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup [220 g] unsalted butter, melted
 
Cake Batter
2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
3/4 cup [165 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup [200 g] granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup [220 g] sour cream
 
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Spray a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33 cm] pan with nonstick cooking spray.
 
To make the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the butter is absorbed and the mixture is crumbly. To get big, chunky pieces, grab handfuls of crumbs and compress them together. Then break these larger nuggets of streusel into slightly smaller pieces to scatter over the batter before baking. 
 
To make the cake: Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and sour cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed for a few seconds, just until combined.
 
Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, smoothing with a spatula. Using your hands, sprinkle the topping evenly over the batter, making sure some of the larger clumps remain as you go. Cover the batter completely with the crumb topping.
 
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, and the crumb topping is firm. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut into squares and serve. The cake will keep, tightly covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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