Friday, May 27, 2016

Bon Appetit Desserts: Raspberry Cake with Marsala, Creme Fraiche, and Raspberries

Well,  I could not think of a better way to kick on my summer break, than with this cake.  It is tart and just sweet enough to have me dreaming of sunny days reading books and going on little adventures and late morning wake up calls.

This cake is pretty simple to pull together and the sprinkling of sugar on the top, half way through the baking process gives it a pretty sparkle.

If you are looking for a quick way to impress at your next dinner or tea party, this cake will fit the bill.

Raspberry Cake with Marsala, Creme Fraiche, and Raspberries
10 servings

1-1/2          cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1                teaspoon baking powder

1                teaspoon salt

1/4             teaspoon baking soda

1/4             teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2             cup Marsala

1/4             cup fresh orange juice

14              tablespoons (1-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1                cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar, divided

2                large eggs

1                teaspoon vanilla extract

1                teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

4                cups fresh raspberries, divided

2                cups creme fraiche or sour cream

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400ºF. Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2-3/4-inch-high sides. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg in medium bowl to blend. Combine Marsala and orange juice in small bowl. Beat 12 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and lemon peel. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with Marsala mixture in 2 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 cups raspberries; reserve remaining for serving.

Bake cake until top is gently set, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375º (I forgot to do this and my cake still turned out well). Dot top of cake with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Continue baking until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack. Release pan sides; transfer cake to platter. Cool to room temperature.

Mix creme fraiche and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl.

DO AHEAD: Cake and creme fraiche mixture can be made 8 hours ahead. Let cake stand at room temperature. Cover and chill creme fraiche mixture.

Cut cake into wedges. Top each with dollop of creme fraiche and fresh respberries and serve.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bon Appetit Desserts: Upside-Down Spiced Peach Cake With Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream

The name of this cake is quite a mouthful and that's exactly what you'll be wanting... mouthful after mouthful of this scrumptious cake!

Oh, You are definitely going to want honey-sweetened whipped cream on everything, including a plain old spoon! 

Upside-Down Spiced Peach cake with Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream 6 servings

6            tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

1/4         cup honey

1/4         cup (packed) golden brown sugar

1-1/4      cups bleached all purpose flour

1-1/2      teaspoons ground cardamom

1/2          teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4          teaspoon baking soda

1/4          teaspoon salt

3/4          cup sugar

1             large egg

1/2          cup plain whole-milk yogurt

3             small or 2 medium ripe peaches (about 1 pound total), pitted, thinly                sliced

Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream (See recipe below)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Generously butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in honey and brown sugar. Boil until mixture darkens slightly, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Immediately, pout honey mixture into prepared pan to coat bottom completely. Let stand while preparing batter.

Whisk flour, cardamom, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and remaining 4 tablespoons butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg. Mix in half of flour mixture, then all of yogurt. Add remaining flour mixture and mix until just blended.

Arrange sliced peaches decoratively over honey mixture (it will be firm), covering completely. Drop batter by spoonfuls evenly over peaches and gently spread batter over peaches to cover completely. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Run small knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter over pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders as aid, firmly grasp pan and platter together, then turn over. Gently lift off pan. Sere warm or at room temperature with Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream.

Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream

3/4          cup chilled heavy whipping cream

3             tablespoons honey

1/4          cup plain whole-milk yogurt

Using electric mixer, beat cream and honey in large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in yogurt.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.