Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Oreo Cream Cake

I made this cake for my birthday in early July.  People always react with surprise when they learn that I am baking my own birthday cake, but I actually enjoy making my own cake because I know it will be delicious and I know I will get exactly what I want.  I've seen slight variations on this cake all over the internet, and while I only shared this cake with my husband, I can guess that it would be a crowd pleaser as well.


2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups Cool Whip
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely crushed

1 cup butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup Hershey's Special Dark baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

1. For the cake - preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three 9-inch pans with parchment paper and spray pans with cooking spray. Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 22-25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to wire racks. Cool cakes completely.

2. For the filling - beat the cream cheese and sugar together until well blended.  Fold in the Cool Whip until almost blended, then fold in the crushed Oreos.

3. For the frosting - in a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

4. To assemble, place one cake round on a cake board or serving platter. Spread filling evenly over the cake, then top with the remaining cake layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting. Store cake in the refrigerator.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies

One of my friends was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy, but I didn't want to let that keep me from bringing a home-baked treat when I visited.  This is an easy gluten-free recipe, as it does not call for any special flours or techniques.  Plus, the recipe yielded a rich, decadent brownie that any brownie lover would enjoy.  I really liked these brownies, and you would not suspect that they are gluten free when you taste them.  They are thick, fudgy, and the texture is fantastic.

Adapted slightly from David Lebovitz

6 tablespoons (85g) butter, unsalted
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons (30g) corn starch
1 cup (135g) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

1. Line the inside of an 8-inch square pan with foil so that it goes up the sides to the rim. Lightly grease the foil with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Melt the butter, salt, and chocolate in a medium saucepan over very low heat on the stove top, stirring constantly until smooth. Take caution not to burn the chocolate

3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs, one at a time.

4. Sift together the cocoa powder and corn starch in a small bowl then stir them into the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter vigorously for at least one minute, until the batter is no longer grainy and nearly smooth. It will pull away from the sides of the pan a bit. This step is critical to ensure that you do not end up with crumbly brownies.

5. Add the nuts, if using, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies feel just set in the center. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from the pan and slicing.

This post is linked to Sweets for a Saturday.