CAKES & TORTES
ST. NICK'S TEA CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp Winter Wonderland, herbal tisane
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8" square pan.
In a small saucepan heat the milk and the Winter Wonderland until hot (but not boiling). Cover, remove from heat and steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the herbal blend and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix the canola oil into the flour and sugar mixture until it is like cornmeal in texture.
In another bowl, combine the egg, tea infused milk and vanilla extract.
Add to the flour mixture and stir only enough to mix, do not over blend.
In a small bowl combine the streusel ingredients.
Pour 1/2 of the mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle ½ of the streusel mix over the batter. Add the remaining batter on top, and sprinkle with the other 1/2 of the streusel mix.
Bake for 35 minutes until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.
Recipe adapted from Food.com
CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE CAKE
Recipe adapted from Cooking in the Litchfield Hills by Patricia and Kermit Adler–for the Pratt Center
1 ½ Tbsp Assam tea leaves
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9” round cake pan.
In a saucepan on the stove, melt the butter. Remove from the heat, add the tea leaves, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the tea leaves and return the melted tea butter to the saucepan. Add the chopped chocolate pieces. In top of double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Whisk in flour, approximately half the sugar and the egg yolks.
In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites until foamy (10-15 seconds). Add salt and continue beating until soft peaks form, gradually adding remaining sugar to form a meringue.
Fold meringue mixture quickly and thoroughly into the egg yolk mixture.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 30-35 minutes until the center is set.
Cool slightly in the pan, turn out onto a serving platter, decorate with berries and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
May be frozen.
Recipe from Cooking with Teaby Robert Wemischner and Diana Rosen
8 oz dark milk chocolate (41% cocoa content)
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8” springform or regular cake pan with non-flavored aerosolized spray. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
In a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. In a separate small saucepan, bring the tea leaves, water and butter to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir to melt the butter, allowing the tea leaves to infuse in the water-butter mixture for about 3 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into the chocolate. Stir to blend. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a perfectly clean, fat-free bowl of an electric mixer and the yolks into the chocolate mixture. Beat whites until soft peaks form. Sift flour and malted milk powder together and then fold in the egg whites. Fold this flour-malted milk powder mixture gently but thoroughly into the chocolate base. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the cake appears firm, but not dry. This cake is very moist inside and will fall as it cools. Make the ganache.
Assam Ganache Ingredients:
7 oz. heavy cream
In a heavy 1 quart saucepan, bring the cream and tea leaves to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse further for 3 minutes. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Slowly add the chocolate and gently stir to blend, without aerating. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the cake on a cooling rack, then place the rack on the cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake, using a spatula to spread the ganache evenly as needed. Allow to set. Scrape up any ganache that drips off the cake and pour to cover the cake a second time. (Reheat slightly over a pot of simmering water, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.) Cool at room temperature. Makes 1 torte that serves 6 – 8.
Note: If your kitchen is hot, place the cake in the refrigerator just until the ganache sets and feels dry to the touch. Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving and allow it to adjust to room temperature.
¾ cup boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a rectangular baking dish (10 ½” x 5” x 3”).
Pour boiling water over tea leaves and steep, covered, for 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, cream together sugar and butter in an electric mixer. Reduce speed and add molasses, cinnamon and cloves.
Strain the tea using a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and add baking soda to the tea water. Add alternately with flour to the molasses mixture. Add salt and lemon extract. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Cream together the sugar, butter, and cocoa. Add milk, one Tbsp at a time. Blend. Add vanilla and salt. Beat until mixed and smooth. Frost the top of the cake.
HOT MILK SPONGE CAKE WITH APRICOT FROSTING
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Heat milk and butter till butter melts: keep hot. Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes on high speed. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly at medium speed for 4-5 minutes. Add sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture; stir just until blended. Stir in hot milk mixture and vanilla; blend well. Turn batter into greased and floured round 9” pan. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes. Don’t invert; cool in pan.
4 oz cream cheese
When cake is cool, invert onto a cake plate and spread the frosting.
Recipe from Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker
3 cups cake flour
2 Tbs. honey
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Grease and flour a fleur-de-lis cake pan or a 10-cup Bundt pan; tap out excess flour.
To make the cake, over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and lavender and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the lemon extract.
Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition until just incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the lemon zest.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are higher than the center. Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the honey until runny. Place the 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in a small bowl, add the honey and lemon juice and stir to blend.
Set the rack over a sheet of waxed paper, invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake with the glaze. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours, before serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving.
Recipe from The Common Ground Dessert Cookbook*
1/4 cup Bensdorp Cocoa
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 10 1/ x 15 ½” pan.
Mix cocoa, sifted flour and baking powder
Beat egg yolks until they are very thick and creamy – about 10-15 minutes. Add honey, 1 tsp vanilla and rum slowly while beating.
Gradually add dry ingredients and beat until smooth.
Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold them into batter.
Spread batter into the oiled pan. It will be very thin.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Cool cake for a few minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife. Place a towel over the cake and with two spatulas placed under one end of the cake roll it up into the towel.
Chill cake rolled up in the towel in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Whip cream until stiff, then beat in maple syrup and vanilla or Kirsch.
Unroll the cake, remove the towel, and spread whipped cream over the cake.
Re-roll the cake, placing seam side down.
Chill for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
*The Common Ground was an amazing restaurant in Brattleboro, VT. It was a co-operative, community restaurant that opened in 1971. It was my favorite place to eat and I would make sure that any trip northward always included a detour and stop there. Sadly they closed a few years ago. This cookbook was published in 1983.
½ cup flour
Combine the flour and baking powder and then set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat egg yolks and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar, beating on high until sugar is nearly dissolved.
Thoroughly wash beaters. In another bowl beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add the ½ cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold yolk mixture into beaten egg white mixture. Sprinkle flour mixture over the egg mixture & fold gently until combined.
Spread batter evenly into a greased and floured 15x10x1" jelly roll pan. Bake in a 375° oven for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched near center.
Immediately loosen edges of cake from the pan and turn out onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Roll up the towel and cake, jelly roll style, starting from one of the cake's short sides. Cool on a rack.
Unroll the cake and remove the towel. Spread the cake with Apricot spread to within 1" of the edge. Roll up the cake and dust with powdered sugar.