12 April 2010

Three Great Cakes

Lately I've been trying new cake recipes and lucked across a few really good ones. So, I thought I'd share. Warning: I tend to prefer cakes that are intensely flavored and moist. If your favorite cake is angelfood, these recipes are not for you.

CHOCOLATE BANANA CAKE (from Brisbane News)
150 g plain flour
25 g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
115 g unsalted butter
200 g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium-sized bananas, mashed
120 g sour cream
115 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
250 ml cream, softly whipped

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease a 23 cm round cake tin, dust with flour and line with baking paper. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 1 minute until pale. Add sugar and beat until creamy and light. Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time until combined. Add vanilla and banana, mixing on speed 1. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream. Stir in chocolate, and pour batter into tin. Bake for 1 hour. The cake should be firm to the touch and an inserted skewer should come out clean. Cool in the tin on a rack. Once cool, top the cake with the whipped cream. (Also nice with ice cream.)

PUMPKIN CITRUS SYRUP CAKE (from Womens Weekly cakes cookbook)
250 g butter
2 Tbs orange rind
2 Tbs lemon rind
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup mashed pumpkin

Preheat oven to 190C. Cream together butter, orange & lemon rind & sugar. Add eggs, flour & mashed pumpkin. (To make 1 cup, boil 350 g cubed pumpkin until tender.) Pour into 23 cm round cake tin and bake for 1 hour. The cake should be firm to the touch and an inserted skewer should come out clean. When the cake is ready, combine 2 Tbs ea. orange & lemon juice with ¾ cup sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to medium heat and allow to thicken (approx 1 minute). Pierce cake all over the top with a fork or skewer, and pour the hot syrup over the cake while it is still hot (in the tin). Stand at least 10 min. This cake lasts four days (if you don’t eat it all right away!) and tastes best the second day.

PUMPKIN SWIRL BREAD (from allrecipes.com)
224 g cream cheese
¼ cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup water

1. Blend cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 beaten egg. Set aside.
2. Combine flour, 1½ cups white sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
3. Combine pumpkin, butter or margarine, beaten egg, and water. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, mixing just until moistened. Reserve 2 cups of the pumpkin batter. Pour the remaining batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Pour cream cheese mixture over pumpkin batter, and top with reserved pumpkin batter. Cut through batter several times with a knife for a swirl effect.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 70 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. [Note: as muffins/cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes.] Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then remove from pan to cool completely.

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