How to Bake a Custard Cake?

Spongy chiffon cake with a caramel custard topping, custard cakes are a popular treat in the Philippines where they are sold at bakeries by the slice and prepared for many special occasions. While a few variations exist, most recipes follow the same steps and have nearly identical ingredients.

Custard cake is prepared in four parts: the caramel, the custard, the cake batter, and the meringue. The caramel goes in the bottom of the pan, followed by the custard and then cake batter that has been lightened with meringue. When the cake has been baked, it is turned out upside-down so that the caramel and custard are on top and the cake is on the bottom.

Have a 13″x9″ pan ready along with a larger, lipped pan it can sit inside. Read all of the instructions before proceeding.

Caramel

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water
1 cup white, granulated sugar

1. For a dark, rich caramel, you will want to caramelize the sugar in a separate pan and monitor it.
2. Combine sugar in water in a small saucepan. Do not stir.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-high.
4. Watch carefully for the caramel to begin to brown. This should take about 8 minutes. Swirl the pan to avoid hot spots.
5. When the caramel is amber-colored, immediately remove from heat and pour it into your waiting 13″x9″ pan. Allow to cool.

Custard

Ingredients:

8 egg yolks, at room temperature
1 24oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whole or 2% milk
1/4 cup white, granulated sugar

1. When your caramel has cooled, whisk together custard ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Pour custard mixture over hardened caramel.

Cake Batter

Ingredients:

1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1 tsp. lemon juice or 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Cream egg yolks, lemon zest and sugar until light in color, 2 to 5 minutes.
2. Sift together baking powder, flour and salt.
3. Add a third of the flour mixture to the egg yolks and mix until loosely combined. Follow with half of the milk. Repeat until everything is combined, and then beat on a low speed until smooth.

Meringue

Ingredients:

6 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar

1. Use a very clean mixing bowl and a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or an electric beater.
2. Whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until soft peaks form; when you lift the whisk or beaters from the eggs and invert the beater, the batter should form a peak with a drooping top.
3. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, whisking on a high speed between additions. When all the sugar has been added, whisk until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks.

Assembly and Baking:

1. Boil at least two cups of water. Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit (180-degrees Celsius) with the rack in the center of the oven.
2. Gently fold the cake batter into the egg whites. Check out the video below to see the folding technique in action.
3. Pour the batter mixture over the custard. Do not mix.
4. Set the 13″x9″ pan inside the lipped pan, and put both pans in the oven.
5. Pour the boiling water into the outer, lipped pan. This will help the custard and cake steam.
6. Bake 1 hour. Remove both pans from the oven and let cool for half an hour. Remove the cake pan from the outer pan and cool completely.
7. Run a knife along the outside edge of the cake pan, and then invert the cake onto a platter. The easiest way to do this is put the platter on top of the pan, hold them together tightly, and then flip. Refrigerate 1-hour before serving.

How to Bake a Carrot Cake?

Carrot cake is often a favorite cake for many people. It not only has a nice dense character, but the grated carrot helps to ensure that the cake remains moist. Additionally, the idea of sneaking a few extra vegetables into the kids’ diet can be very appealing for many parents. Of course, the biggest reason that carrot cake is so popular is because it is so easy to make and is absolutely delicious. Typically, a carrot cake is topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. While this is definitely a popular cake, it is quite different than a typical cake with buttercream icing. It has body, texture, a bit of spice, and a delicious crumb. Mastering the art of baking a wonderful carrot cake is certainly not difficult and something that will ensure you always have a unique and much-sought-after dessert option for your family, guests, potluck or any other occasion.

Assemble Quality Ingredients for Your Carrot Cake

It is important to consider the ingredients you will use for your cake. While it is not essential that you always purchase the most expensive ingredients, you do want to choose the highest quality you can afford. For example, choosing a budget cream cheese that does not have the luscious creaminess and flavor of your favorite name-brand is certainly not going to enhance the quality of the frosting you use to top your carrot cake. Quality ingredients will ensure a quality finished product.

Ingredients for Cake:

4 eggs
1-1/4 c vegetable oil
2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 c grated carrots
1 c chopped pecans, optional

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Icing:

½ c softened butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped pecans, optional

Directions for Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease and flour a 9” x 13” x 2” cake pan or baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs, oil, sugar and the 2 tsp of vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine well. Stir in grated carrots and chopped pecans, if using. Pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes until carrot cake is set and a wooden toothpick or skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. When the carrot cake is done baking, place it on a wire cooling rack and let it sit for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto the wire cooling rack and let sit until completely cool.

Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting:

Combine softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat until creamy and smooth. Stir in chopped pecans, if using. Frost the cooled carrot cake.

Alternatives for Your Carrot Cake:

Stir in ½ cup raisins with the carrots to add another depth of flavor and a sweet treat. Additionally, pineapple and coconut are also popular additions for a carrot cake. Try using an eight-ounce can of crushed pineapple that has been drained or about 3 to 4 ounces of flaked coconut. This is a great cake to have fun with. Add your favorite flavors and enjoy your carrot cake the way you like it best. Some people choose to use walnuts in place of the pecans or you can even use a combination of walnuts and pecans.

If you prefer, you can bake the carrot cake in three 9” round cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Grease and flour, then add the cake batter. Bake at 350° F for 25 to 30 minutes, until cake tests done. Cool in pans for approximately 10 minutes, and then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Place about ½ cup of cream cheese frosting between each layer, and then frost the rest of the cake with the remaining frosting.

YouTube Video:

How to Bake a Wedding Cake?

Baking a wedding cake sounds simple, right? Mixing the batter, baking it in the oven, and icing it to perfection. Yet, it’s not quite that easy. For many bakers it takes years of practice to concoct the perfect cake ingredient by ingredient. Not to mention, specific baking techniques and times can greatly differ depending on oven types and other environmental factors, such as humidity and altitude. In addition, there are many different icing types, designs, and textures that can be utilized to create the perfect wedding cake.

Baking the Cake

One of the main concepts that should be remember when baking a wedding cake is to allow plenty of time for this process. Incorporate time for potential errors, cooling, and decoration beforehand. Next, bakers should determine the size of cake that is necessary based upon a pre-determined estimate of wedding guests. This estimate will help bakers figure out how much batter is necessary. After this is determined, bakers should decide on a cake type in order to gather essential ingredients. Popular wedding choices include vanilla, lemon, and coconut.

After the batter is mixed and ready to go, the next step is to select a proper sized/shape baking pan. Flouring the pan is necessary to prevent sticking. Actually baking the cake at the recommended heat for a set amount of time is the next step in the process–one that makes the biggest different in a cake’s appearance and taste. After the cake is baked, it should be taken out of the oven and allowed to completely cool before farther decoration is initiated.

Optional Add-Ins

In order to make a wedding cake special and unique, many couples choose additional cake features like fillings, layers, and icing types. Layers can create a unique look and may give the cake more depth once filling is added between each layer. Bakers can create unique flavors by alternating filling or icing amongst layers, as well.

In addition, various types of icing can give a wedding cake differing looks. While fondant offers a more smooth, polished look, it may not be as tasty as a traditional butter cream. On the same token, butter cream may be more flavorful, yet it is more difficult to manipulate when piping designs on a cake. Different tips can also be used to create unique icing designs. Whether the bride preferes floral edging or delicate beading, piping accessories area available in making baking stores to meet these expectations.

Icing on the Cake

Additional features can be added to a wedding cake to make it more significant and unique. Beading, flowers, ribbon, and monograms are popular options this season. In addition, cake stands can create a beautiful display for any bride/groom table. Oftentimes, more than one cake is made to feed larger numbers of guests. One popular wedding trend at this time includes the creation of a separate cake for the groom that includes comical or characteristic details. Some individuals even create a second, less elaborate cake, in order to accommodate all of the wedding guests.

Putting It All Together

Preparing for the big day requires much planning and efficiency. In order to gain an idea of what goes in to baking a wedding cake, the video below can help.

The general idea of baking a wedding cake is to have fun with it. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will be remembered for years to come. So have fun creating your own wedding cake, and remember to save a piece for you anniversary!

How to Bake Cupcakes in a Jar?

You may have seen cupcakes in a jar and if you have, you were probably amazed, wondering how these cupcakes could have ever been made inside of a jar. This sweet treat is definitely a unique and interesting idea, especially for adults. It basically makes childhood snacks fun for everyone, even those who are older and more mature. If you are interested in baking cupcakes in a jar, you should know that it is not nearly as difficult as it actually looks. In fact, the entire process of making cupcakes in a jar is quite simple as long as you have the right ingredients and, of course, the jars.

What Ingredients Are Needed?

There are certain ingredients that you will need to have on hand if you are making the cupcakes in a jar. Those ingredients include:

• 1 box of white cake mix
• 2 bottle food coloring (color of your choice/optional)
• 2 containers of frosting
• 10 jars (must have lids!)
• Sprinkles

As you can see, the list of ingredients needed is not long at all. A simple stop at the local grocery store will allow you to get these ingredients in just a matter of minutes so that you will be ready to create the cupcakes in a jar. If you are not sure where to get jars with lids, you can always check out arts and crafts stores, such as A.C. Moore or Michaels. These stores will usually carry jars of different sizes and sorts.

Directions for Making Cupcakes in a Jar

The first thing you will need to do is mix up the cake mix. It is easy to mix the cake mix, as the directions are listed on the box. You will likely need to take the cake mix ingredient and mix together with eggs and vegetable oil. After you have followed the directions on the cake mix box, you can place the batter into two different bowls. In the first bowl, you can add one type of food coloring and, in the second bowl you can add the other color food coloring that you have. Of course, this is optional but having colorful cake in a jar is a whole lot more appealing than just leaving the cake plain.

After you have added some color to the batter in each bowl, you will need a cupcake pan. Cupcake liners should be added to the cupcake pan to ensure that everything cooks correctly. Pour the cake batter into the liners and do not mix the colors. This means some of the cupcakes should be all one color while some of the cupcakes should be all of the other color. Bake the cupcakes as directed on the box of cake mix, which is usually anywhere from 18-22 minutes long. Once the cupcakes are baked completely, you can set them out and allow them to cool off completely before you get started with the rest of the process.

Once the cupcakes have cooled off completely, you will need to remove them from both the pan and the liner. You will need to take a knife and slice the cupcakes in a horizontal line, directly in half. Do this for all of the cupcakes. Next you will take your jars and a bottom of a cupcake in one color with a top of cupcake in the other color. Once the cupcakes are in the jar, you can add some frosting to the top of them and then finish it off with some decorative sprinkles. When you are finished with the decorations, your finishing result will be a tasty and delicious treat that is also different and unique. People will likely rave over the unique look and taste of your cupcakes in a jar. And, you will proudly be able to say that you are the one who created them.

How to Bake Cinnamon Apples?

Apples baked with cinnamon are a delicious fall staple. Sweet, spicy and wonderfully aromatic, this treat is healthy, tasty, easy to make and will warm you up on a chilly day.

Choosing Apples

Great baking apples do not break down in the oven and have the perfect balance of tartness and sweetness. Cortland apples are perfect for baking with lots of juice and a slightly tart flavor. The snowy white flesh does not break down quickly and can withstand the high heat of baking.

Other great baking apples include firm-textured Empires, crisp, yellow-green Mutsu apples, mellow and rich Golden Delicious apples, tart Granny Smiths, juicy Honeycrisps, tangy Ida Reds and slightly spicy Jonathans.

For a complex flavor, mix and match apple varieties. Pair Cortlands and Empires with McIntosh apples for a combination of crisp and softer textures, or mix Idareds and Northern Spies for a tangy yet sweet combination.

Easy Baked Cinnamon Apples

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cut your favorite baking apple in half. Core it, then slice the halves very thinly. One apple yields about 40 slices.

Next, place the apple slices in the middle of a large piece of foil. The foil should be big enough to rap around the pile of apples completely. Sprinkle the apple slices with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Gather the corners of the foil and pinch them together over the apples to keep the cinnamon and brown sugar sauce from dripping onto the pan and oven. Place the foil bundles on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

Stuffed Baked Cinnamon Apples

This recipe has even more flavor thanks to the addition of pecans and raisins and is especially delicious when served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, then wash four baking apples. Use an apple corer or sharp paring knife to carve out the cores of the apples, leaving about ½ inch of the core at the bottom. Remove the seeds with a spoon and make the hole about one inch wide.

Next, combine ¼ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ cup of chopped raisins and ¼ cup of chopped pecans in a large bowl. Mix together well, then stuff this mixture into each one of the apples. Top each apple with a pad of butter.

Place the stuffed apples in a baking pan, then add ¾ cups of boiling water to the pan. Bake the apples for 30 minutes until they are tender. Remove the pan from the oven, then baste the apples with the juices from the pan and serve warm.

Stuffed Cinnamon Apples with Mint

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, then combine 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with ½ cup of white sugar and ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg in a small bowl.

Core six apples without piercing the apples’ bottoms. Peel away the skin from the top ½ inch of the apples, then fill the holes with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Top each apple with a pad of butter, then place them in a casserole dish. Pour 1 cup of apple juice around the stuffed fruits.

Cover the dish with foil, then bake for about 1 hour. Top the baked apples with sprigs of fresh minut and serve warm.

Healthy Baked Apples with Cream Cheese

This video shows you how to make stuffed baked cinnamon apples with cream cheese and adds nutmeg for a hint of spicy flavor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8s5bmrhZZQ

YouTube: Healthy Baked Apples by HeartSafeCooking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8s5bmrhZZQ