Dobos Torte

Every birthday for years I made my three sons a Dobos Torte for their birthdays. My middle son really did not like chocolate as he grew older, so we changed his to a white cake with fresh strawberries. I had not made one in years and saw a six-layered Dobos Torte in Bake Magazine. It looks a lot more complicated than it is. I could not find the recipe online so I photographed it out of the magazine and hope you can read it.

This is my oldest son, now 41 cutting the Dobos Torte I made for family on Mother’s Day 2021. I think everyone enjoyed it. I sure did.

Dobos Torte

Summer Peach Cake

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So easy and SO yummy.  I was looking through one of my America’s Test Kitchen books and saw this.  The peaches in the store looked so inviting, I added Peach Schnapps to my pantry and with the help of Claire, my granddaughter peeled the peaches.  it was so worth the work.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

To achieve the right texture for our Peach Cake, we sprinkled the peach slices with sugar and baked them in a very hot oven until they lost most of their moisture. Tossing the cooled peaches with crushed panko bread crumbs sopped up the gooey, viscous film that the peaches had acquired in the oven. (The panko gets incorporated into the cake as the peach cake cooks.) Adding some peach schnapps to the batter boosted the peach flavor and gave us a peach cake recipe that could be made even with not-so-perfect peaches.

5 tablespoons peach schnapps
4 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
cup panko bread crumbs, finely crushed

INSTRUCTIONS

SERVES 8 TO 10

To crush the panko bread crumbs, place them in a zipper-lock bag and smash them with a rolling pin. If you can’t find panko, 1/4 cup of plain, unseasoned bread crumbs can be substituted. Orange liqueur can be substituted for the peach schnapps. If using peak-of-season, farm-fresh peaches, omit the peach schnapps.

 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Gently toss 24 peach wedges with 2 tablespoons schnapps, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar in bowl; set aside.

2. Cut remaining peach wedges crosswise into thirds. Gently toss chunks with remaining 3 tablespoons schnapps, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in bowl. Spread peach chunks in single layer on prepared sheet and bake until exuded juices begin to thicken and caramelize at edges of sheet, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let peaches cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

3. Spray 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in bowl. Whisk brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and eggs together in second bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in butter until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Transfer half of batter to prepared pan; using offset spatula, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle crushed bread crumbs evenly over cooled peach chunks and gently toss to coat. Arrange peach chunks on batter in even layer, gently pressing peaches into batter. Gently spread remaining batter over peach chunks and smooth top. Arrange reserved peach wedges, slightly overlapped, in ring over surface of cake, placing smaller wedges in center. Stir together remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and remaining 1/8 teaspoon almond extract in small bowl until sugar is moistened. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over top of cake.

5. Bake until center of cake is set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely, 2 to 3 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

STEP-BY-STEP

Peach Cake Run Amuck

Things aren’t always that peachy with most peach cakes.

PROBLEM: Fruit that isn’t fruity
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Macerate peaches Unless you’re working with the best farm-stand fruit, peaches are notoriously bland. To boost fruity taste, we macerate the peach wedges we’ve reserved for shingling on top of the cake in peach schnapps and a little sugar and lemon juice.

PROBLEM: Soggy fruit sinks to bottom
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Roast peaches Roasting the peach chunks destined for the batter concentrates their flavor and drives off moisture, so there’s not as much to weigh them down or to flood the cake.
PROBLEM: Wet, gummy crumb
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Toss peaches with panko Tossing the roasted peach chunks with bread crumbs helps absorb any remaining sticky juices, ensuring a cake that’s moist, not soggy.

RECIPE TESTING

Keep Your Peaches Out of the Cold

Keeping peaches in the fridge might seem like a good way to prolong their shelf life, but unless the fruit is ripe, the cold temperatures can turn their flesh mealy. Storing the fruit at or below 40 degrees deactivates an enzyme that breaks down its pectin during ripening. If this happens before the flesh is ripe, the pectin will remain intact and the flesh texture will be mealy. The lesson: Store peaches on the counter.

Summer Peach Cake

Rhubarb is still growing!

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Rhubarb in the garden is beautiful.  When I first added it to my yard, before I had raised bed gardens, I just thought it was pretty.  Now I actually harvest it and make things with it.  Last year I made nothing fresh, but this year, so far I made a Rhubarb Custard Pie and today I added a Rhubarb-Almond Cake and Rhubarb Oatmeal Cookies.

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The Rhubarb-Almond cake smelled heavenly while baking and tasting a tiny bit of it, I think it is a winner.  I used the following recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine.  They said to use either a 8″ X 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom, or a 9″ round tart pan.  I had the 9″ round and a little bigger one.  After thought, use the larger pan.  This went over the edges and I think would be better a little thinner.

Rhubarb-Almond Cake

It might feel like you’re beating the batter for a long time, but that’s what gives this cake an airy lift. Stay with it!

Ingredients

8 SERVINGS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for pan
  • 1 pound rhubarb stalks, trimmed
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup blanched almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

Special Equipment

  • One 11×8″ tart pan or one 9″-diameter tart pan with removable bottom

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter tart pan and sprinkle with sugar, tapping out excess. Slice rhubarb in half lengthwise (quarter if very large). Set 8 of the prettiest pieces aside for the top of the cake; chop remaining rhubarb into ½” pieces.

Pulse flour, almonds, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until almonds are finely ground (texture should be sandy).

Place 1 cup butter and ¾ cup sugar in a large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; reserve pod for another use. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend first egg before adding second. Beat until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, followed by yogurt. Beat, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, just to combine (batter will be thick). Fold in chopped rhubarb and scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter and arrange reserved rhubarb over top; sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar.

Place tart pan on a large rimmed baking sheet (to catch any rogue juices) and bake, rotating once, until cake is golden brown and rhubarb on top is soft and beginning to brown, 70–80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool before removing from pan.

Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 3 days ahead. Keep tightly wrapped at room temperature.

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My husband really liked these, but in all honesty they are not my favorite, but I am not a big cookie eater.  This recipe was on a blog called  Half Her Size.

Rhubarb Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time  –  20 mins
Cook time  –  12 mins
Total time  –  32 mins
Rhubarb recipes often pour on the sugar overwhelming its natural flavors. In this recipe fresh ginger and lemon zest add a bright flavor without overpowering the rhubarb’s signature tang. These soft rhubarb oatmeal cookies are perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon. They would make a lightly sweet addition to an afternoon shower or garden party menu.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup (5 ounces) finely diced fresh rhubarb, 3-4 medium stalks
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • ¾ cup rolled oats (not quick cook)
  • ⅓ cup (75g.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (I used Lime juice, as I did not have a lemon)
Method
  1. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Toss the rhubarb pieces with 1 tablespoon of sugar and let set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl — Sift together flour, baking soda and all spice. Whisk in the oats.
  4. In a larger bowl — Use a fork to whip the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. When fluffy mix in egg until combined then add the vanilla, ginger, and lemon zest.
  5. Gently mix the flour into the batter until just combined. Once all dry ingredients have been blended, fold in the rhubarb pieces and any juice.
  6. Spoon the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets using a small, leveled, cookie scoop or by the rounded teaspoonfuls. Bake the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the pan before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cookie Calories: 83 Fat: 3.6g Carbohydrates: 13g Sugar: 5.5g Sodium: 38mg Fiber: .5g Protein: 1gWeight Watchers Points Plus: 2
It is always fun to try new recipes.  Let me know what you think?
Rhubarb is still growing!

The Inconsistent Chef

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Started the day by making this Flourless Chocolate Cake, which is simple and simply delicious with a little Vanilla Ice Cream.  I collected a list of the ten best Chocolate Cakes from a site, and decided I would try them all.  This one is quite wonderful and SO easy to make.  My kind of cake.  IMG_4986.jpg

As I melted chocolate I decided to try Focaccia Bread from Paul Hollywood’s “How to Bake” cookbook.  It was easy, rose nicely and tasted so yummy.  Will make this again when friends are coming to dinner.

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So dinner came next with two recipes from America’s Test Kitchen, my new favorite cookbook of the moment.  Smothered Pork Chops with Lemon-Caper cauliflower.  Both were quite wonderful and went nicely with the freshly baked Focaccia Bread.

To me, it is the process of cooking and baking that makes it enjoyable.  The bread kneading for ten minutes is very relaxing and almost zen.  Other than I walked out of room for a minute and the first batch of bacon caught on fire and all the fire alarms went off, it was a fairly uneventful day.

I call myself the Inconsistent Chef, because I never know what I might bake or cook when I start.  Sometimes it is using what I have in the freezer or the refrigerator and sometimes I see a recipe and it sings to me:  “Make Me – Make Me”.  Cook what makes you happy and hope that those you share it with enjoy it as much as you enjoying preparing it.

The Inconsistent Chef

It’s more than just a cake

Claire and the Cake

Sometimes it is more than just making a cake. It is joy; it is pleasure, is the happiness of sharing time together and the fun of putting the fun decorations on a simple chocolate cake.  It is the pleasure of knowing young people at the office where my son works got to have a piece.  Actually the half that we sent into Nokia disappeared before 10 AM with email announcement or notice.  Guess they liked, but there is the notion that it is difficult not to like chocolate.

Claire, my four year old granddaughter has such a good time sticking the chocolate rolls into the frosting and sharing with dad, my son, when he came home.  For me, it her working so hard to mix the cake by hand, working the ingredients together and laughing throughout the entire process.

Joy is where you least expect it.   Baking a cake with a good friend is right up with the best things to do.  And I don’t even eat cake, but I do steal a little of the frosting…..

It’s more than just a cake

Why is baking a cake Relaxing

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Sometimes I wonder why stopping to bake a cake for no really good reason is calming and enjoyable.  In the middle of learning systems for real estate, learning lead systems and trying to respond to every email I received, it is just nice to take a little time and make a cake.

I eat Gluten-free, so I won’t even eat the cake, but I know my husband will like a little and now I can take the rest to my real estate office.  It is so much like summer it just seemed an Angel Food Cake with a little chocolate ganache and strawberries might be good for the soul.

Enjoy!

Why is baking a cake Relaxing

Happy Easter Cake

Happy Easter Cake

Taking Cake Decorating Classes is just another art form, so today I decided to practice a couple of my new skills on a three layer Easter Matterhorn cake, filled with caramel creme and frosted with Hershey’s chocolate frosting. I would have done a white buttercream, but wanted to show off my first attempt at fondant decorating. Since I am having a Bridal Shower and a Rehearsal dinner at y home this summer, thought I should get some practice in before the event.

I found the recipe under Savory Experiments and will share it with you here:
The only two ingredients you might not have in your cabinet already are clear vanilla and cake flour. Clear vanilla is used for the purpose of color alone and is actually vanilla flavored, not pure vanilla. If keeping the frosting a snowy white is not a priority for you, then by all means use regular vanilla. Cake flour has a higher starch content and is finer than all-purpose flour, resulting in tender, fluffier layers. Softasilk is the primary brand found in chain grocery stores.

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Makes: One gigantic, 3 layer, 9 inch round cake

Three Layer (Maybe) Matterhorn Cake:
Cooking spray with flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup unsweetened coca powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Buttermilk Frosting
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 teaspoons clear vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
8-9 tablespoons milk (2% or whole)
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 9-inch round cake pan(s) with cooking spray with flour. If you only have one or two cake pans, no worries, just cook them all separately. If you are using plain or butter flavored cooking spray, add a tablespoon of flour to each pan, roll it around to coat and tap our the excess.

2. Beat sugar, butter, clear vanilla and almond extract in a larger mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy then add eggs, one at a time.

3. Mix cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Alternate mixing in buttermilk and flour mixture until all ingredients are combined. Then continue to mix for one minute. Pour into prepared pan(s).

4. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. Cool for 15 minutes, remove from pan(s) to wire rack. Cool completely. Cake will be fragile and moist, so be gently with them.

5. Assemble frosting by beating butter until fluffy. Add clear vanilla and almond extract, mix until creamy. Alternate adding buttermilk and powdered sugar. Add additional buttermilk or powdered sugar to achieve spreading consistency.

6. To achieve a perfectly clean serving platter, line with wax or parchment paper. Place first layer of cake down. Spread a generous amount of frosting on top, approximately 1/4 inch. Top with second layer, repeat the smearing of frosting and finalize with the third layer of cake. Frost a light layer around the top and sides. Allow to set for 5 minutes. This seals in any crumbs that might loosen during the assembly process. After frosting is set, evenly frost the remainder of the cake. Finally, gently remove wax or parchment paper from underneath the cake (like a magician removing a tablecloth… viola!).

7. Garnish with chocolate shavings or other desired garnishes. Cover and allow to set in a cool, dry place.

8. Cut yourself a sliver with a tall glass of milk cause this rich cake needs a chaser. Enjoy your Three Layer Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting, also known as the Matterhorn Cake!

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