Saturday, March 22, 2014

Not so Espresso Chocolate Cake with Hot Kahlua Syrup

Have you ever noticed that the older you get, the faster time goes? I swear, when I was little time seemed to pass so slooooowly. Now, I'm shocked when I realize that, oh, it's the end of March already!

I had a friend message me recently and tell me that I needed to update my blog because she's been stalking it and needs a new recipe to drool over. Unfortunately, she had a baby on Monday and I don't think she will be able to get on my blog and see this cake any time soon. Either way, I made this cake on Monday so this one is dedicated to baby Jameson who was born healthy and is lucky to have such an incredible mommy!

This cake is the Cake Slice Bakers top voted cake for March. I made the cake a bit late so I was able to read the comments from other bakers in our Facebook group before I made it. The recipe calls for 3 Tablespoons of espresso powder. Some feedback from the group indicated that the espresso was the dominant flavor in the cake and was overwhelming. I decided that instead of espresso, I would just brew half a cup of strong coffee and call it good. I also increased the ONE Tablespoon of cocoa powder to two. Duh! One isn't enough! 

After baking, the hot cake is soaked in a hot kahlua syrup that is sweetened with honey. The syrup was a great flavor addition to the cake and made the crumb more moist. I made a chocolate ganache to go on top but for some reason it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I don't think I heated the cream enough. Oh well. It still tasted good! 

I'm quite happy with the way the cake turned out (besides the look). I took it with me to my internship for our weekly PACT meeting and no one complained so I guess it was pretty good. 

In other news, I'm still plugging away at school. I absolutely love the program I'm in. It feels so...right. Like I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. My internship in the homeless clinic at the VA hospital is so fulfilling. I love working with the Veterans. I have met some characters for sure! My supervisor is so knowledgeable and is teaching me so much. I also found out I get to shadow for a day next week in the Polytrauma Rehab clinic. I'm crazy excited about that since working with that population is my ultimate goal. 

The Hubble is scheduled for an evasive driving course. Needless to say, he will no longer be driving the kids and me anywhere when he gets back. He's giddy about the experience though. He has so much fun with these trainings. It's neat to witness and be a part of his career and journey. I'm glad I have the opportunity to be on my own journey and career path as well. 

My India trip is just 45 days away!!! To say that I'm excited is an understatement. I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've been awarded lately. I look around sometimes and am in awe that this is my life. If you are interested in donating and helping me fund this experience, you can do so at my Go Fund Me site

And finally, the Cake Slice Bakers has decided to open the group for new members for a mid-year opportunity. If you are interested in joining us, just let me know and I will link you up with the right person. Until then, make this cake and enjoy every bite!! And don't forget to check out all the other Cake Slice Bakers' cakes at the end of this post!

Not so Espresso Chocolate Cake with Hot Kahlua Syrup


  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 1/4 cup sifted cake flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Hot Kahlua Syrup:
  • 2/3 cup Kahlua
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
Chocolate Ganache:
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Position rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray (or butter and dust with flour, tapping out excess flour).
  2. To make the cake: Brew the coffee and set aside to cool.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to fully combine.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium high speed until smooth and light in color, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, at 1-minute intervals, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Blend in the vanilla and sour cream, mixture may look somewhat curdled at this point.
  7. Reduce mixer to low speed. Add dry ingredients, alternating with the coffee, dividing the dry ingredients into 3 parts and the coffee in 2 parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  9. Center the pan on the rack and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry and the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes while you make the syrup.
  11. To make the syrup: In a small saucepan combine the Kahlua, water, and honey. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  12. Pierce cake with a wooden skewer and slowly pour the hot syrup over the top of the hot cake. Let stand in the pan for at least 1 hour to allow the cake to absorb all the syrup, then invert onto a rack and remove the pan.
  13. To make the ganache: place the finely chopped chocolate and the butter into a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter and allow to stand for 60 seconds. Whisk the mixture until smooth and well combined. Pour over the cake allowing the ganache to spill over the edges of the cake. Let stand to cool and set.
  14. Slice and enjoy!

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Maple Pecan Pound Cake

Happy New Year! I know the first month of the new year is almost over but I haven't yet acknowledged that we are in 2014. Shouldn't we all have flying cars by now?? No? Hmmm...

Well, the new semester has started for me. I've been in school for 3 weeks now and I'm having trouble finding my motivation. What better way to procrastinate than to talk about cake?!?!?

This cake is the January pick for the Cake Slice Bakers. I ended up making this cake twice. The original recipe is for an old fashioned pound cake and the author, Carole Walter, suggests different options for changing the cake up. The first time I made the cake I went with the "nutty pound cake" option which calls for nuts and a hot liquor-based syrup to be poured over the warm cake. Sounds good right?? Unfortunately, I found the texture to be all wrong. The syrup didn't seep all the way to the bottom of the cake making some parts soggy and others dry. I was really disappointed.

But I refused to give up! I was talking with a friend and she sent me pictures of her husband and his family making pure cane syrup. That gave me an idea! Instead of the milk the original recipe called for, I decided to substitute maple syrup and add some pecans (because maple and pecan just goes together, duh!). Boy am I glad that I tried this cake again! It was fluffy, flavorful, and delicious! 

I'm used to pound cakes being super dense but this one wasn't. It was crumbly and soft. Sadly, my pictures aren't great. I ended up taking the cake to a friend's house for a party and had to snatch up a piece and take some quick pictures before the cake was devoured. 

All in all, I am very happy with how my second rendition of this cake turned out. I suggest making it! I wish I still had some. I would heat up a slice and slab a little butter on that bad boy. Mmmmmm....

Okay. Back to work! And don't forget to jump to the bottom of this post to see how the other Cake Slice Bakers fared with this cake!

Maple Pecan Pound Cake
recipe adapted from Great Cakes via Baking and Creating with Avril


2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray loaf pan (9x5) with baking spray and set aside.

2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside flour mixture.

3. Cream together butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, until light and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes.

4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals.  Add in vanilla and blend well. At this point the batter may appear curdled.  Not to worry as the addition of the dry ingredients will remedy this.

5. On low speed add in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 the maple syrup.  Then again another 1/3 of the flour and the remaining maple syrup, ending with the last of the flour. Mix only until incorporated after each addition.  Scrap the sides of bowl to make sure all ingredients have been included.

6. Gently fold in chopped pecans until blended.

7. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake in middle of the oven centered on the rack for 60-70 minutes.  If cake appears to be getting dark too fast cover lightly with tin foil. Cake will be done with toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

8. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes before inverting onto a platter to serve. Enjoy!!

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Streusel Squares

I was supposed to post this cake 8 days ago. What's funny is that I made this cake a month ago but I'm barely posting it today. I had fully intended to get this posted on time. Obviously that didn't happen. Best laid plans and all that. 

I don't have much of an excuse for the delay. I could say it was because I was finishing up my first semester of grad school. But that finished on the 6th of this month. I'm happy to say my first semester was a great success! I received 3 A+, 2 A's, and 1 A-. I think not too shabby for someone who hasn't been in a traditional classroom setting for 11 years, had an 8 hour internship, 10 hours of Graduate Assistantship work, 2 small kids, and no husband or family in town. I'm happy with my results! However, that means I've been lazy since school got out for winter break.

I did read a book though! For fun! Donna Tartt's Golfinch was a healthy undertaking at 771 pages but I finished it yesterday and the beauty of the novel did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I need to get back to the reality of Grad school around the 1st so I can start prepping for the new semester. Spring will consist of 4 courses, 20 hours of internship, and 10 hours of Graduate Assistantship work. But this time The Hubble will be home to help. 

But that's enough about me and my school shenanigans. Now for the cake! I made this cake for The Cake Slice Bakers group. This streusel cake is MY first cake from our new book. I skipped November. The group voted and chose the book Great Cakes by Carole Walters. I wasn't thrilled with the selection for November nor did I have any time whatsoever to go get the ingredients so I skipped the first cake. However, I'm glad I jumped in for December's cake. This streusel cake was delicious! It was light and flaky with a topping to kill for! I took the cake to class (since I made it so long ago) and it was devoured within an hour. The next time I make the cake, I would add nuts (probably pecans) to the topping; I love texture. But other than that I thought the cake was perfect! 

Since I'm WAY late posting this cake, the linky tool thing to the other Cake Slice Bakers is closed but you should still try to pop over to the blogroll and see what everyone else thought of the cake. And don't forget to make the cake yourself so you can form your own opinion too! Enjoy!

Streusel Squares
Recipe from Great Cakes by Carole Waltervia Lick the Bowl Good


Streusel Topping:
  • ⅓ cup (⅔ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 large egg white


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350⁰F. Butter a 9 x 13 x 2” pan.
To Make The Streusel Topping: Melt the butter, then cool slightly.

Add the flour, sugar and cinnamon all at once and stir with a fork until the mixture forms small crumbs. Take a handful of the crumbs and make a fist to press the mixture into a large clump, and then separate into smaller clusters, at least two or three times the size of the original crumbs.

Repeat until all of the crumbs have been reshaped, then set aside.

To Make The Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to soften on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1½ to 2 minutes.

Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 6 to 8 minutes to blend it in well, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the eggs and additional yolk, 1 at a time at 1-minute intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.Blend in the vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, dividing the flour mixture into three parts and the milk into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with the back of a tablespoon.

Beat the egg white lightly with a fork, and using a pastry brush, spread about half of the beaten egg white over the top of the cake batter. Discard the remainder - the egg white helps the streusel adhere to the top of the cake.

Sprinkle the entire surface of the batter generously with the streusel, gently patting the crumbs into the batter with the palm of your hand; do not press hard.

Center the pan on the rack and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, begins to come away from the sides of the pan, and the streusel is crisp. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out dry.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a cake rack to cool. When ready to serve, dust the top with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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