Because sometimes you want just the damn recipe.

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Olive Oil Cake with Browned Butter Buttercream

For the cake

Prep:
Preheat oven to 350°
Grease an 8” round cake pan and line with parchment paper

Dry:
1 1/2 c (188 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt

Wet:
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 c (150 g) sugar
1/2 c (112 g) olive oil (use your favorite but make sure it’s one that taste nice on its own!)
1/2 c (120 g) whole milk
1 t vanilla extract

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
3. With the mixer running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
4. Mix in the milk and the vanilla extract.
5. On low speed, add in the dry ingredients stopping when you still see streaks of dry. Finish mixing by hand.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30–34 minutes until the top springs back lightly when pressed and the sides pull away from the pan.
7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
8. If the cake has a domed top, trip off to make a level layer, then frost with the Browned Butter Buttercream.

For the buttercream

2 sticks (1 c; 227 g) salted butter, at room temperature
1/4 c (60 g) heavy cream, at room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t fine sea salt
1 1/4 c (150 g) confectioners sugar, well-sifted

1. To make the browned butter, melt one stick of the salted butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the stick is entirely melted, start watching the pot closely. You will begin to see brown specs on the bottom of the pan. Gently stir with a heat-proof spatula and keep watching. The foaming will subside and the butter will begin to darken in color. As soon as it turns a medium gold shade immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir again. Pour the browned butter in a small heat-proof container and let cool for 10 minutes before moving to the refrigerator to cool completely. This will take anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour. You will know it is ready when the butter is an even color. Note that you still want the butter soft, just not liquid.
2. Once the browned butter is ready, spoon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the other stick of butter and beat on medium speed for two minutes. Beat in the vanilla, salt, and heavy cream. Add the confectioners sugar and beat, beginning on low speed, increasing to medium as the sugar is incorporated into the butter mixture, for 7 minutes. Turn down to low speed and beat for 30 seconds to burst big air bubbles. Taste and add more salt as desired.

The frosted cake will last, kept at room temperature and in an air-tight container, for three days.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Pickled Fruit and Whipped Cream

For the cake.
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Prep:

Preheat oven to 325°
Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with a parchment paper sling

Ingredients:

2 c (250 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 (8 oz; tk g) package cream cheese, at room temperature (VERY IMPORTANT that it is soft-textured)
1 1/2 sticks (tk g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c (300 g) granulated sugar
2 t vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for two minutes then add in the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about another three minutes.
3. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between eggs, then beat in the vanilla.
4. On slow speed, mix in the dry ingredients stopping when you still see streaks of flour. Finish mixing by hand.
5. Spoon into the prepared loaf pan. This makes a lot of batter which will fill the pan nearly to the top. I’ve had success baking as-is but as a precaution I’d make sure there is a good inch (at least) left between the top of the batter and the pan. I can attest that what is left is addictively spoonable.
6. Bake for 30 minutes then rotate the pan and bake and additional 30–35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. If the top is getting too dark too quickly more the cake to an upper rack.
7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sling out onto a rack to cool.

For the pickled fruit, I follow THIS recipe in this instance using a 1 lb mix of cherries and plums plus the zest of one lemon and a 1” piece of ginger, roughly chopped and half Apple Cider, half Cane Vinegar. I kept the strained fruit for use on this cake but it’s also amazing served with soft cheeses and crusty bread (so good). Store any leftovers in a clean jar with some of the shrub liquid. Keeps for two weeks in the refrigerator.

For serving, top with whipped cream (I didn’t add any sweetener but might add a touch the second time around). A little pickled fruit goes a long way so start with a tentative spoonful or two and adjust to your liking.

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Beat the Blues Chocolate Loaf Cake (chocolate = happiness; cinnamon = healing; yogurt = anti-depression)

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350°
Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with a parchment paper sling

Dry:

1 1/4 c (150 g) whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c (64 g) dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t kosher salt

Wet:

1 c (210 g) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c (120 g) whole milk yogurt
1/4 c (56 g) neutral oil
1 t vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
3. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet just until you no longer see streaks of dry.
4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan.
5. Bake 35-38 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs.
6. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool. The texture and flavor improved the following day.

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Bergamot & Thyme Olive Oil Cake (A Cake for Courage (Thyme) and Success (Bergamot)

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350°
1 T unsalted butter, soft
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3” to 4” long

Dry:

1 c (125 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t fine sea salt

Wet:

1/2 c (100 g) sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c (120 g) whole milk yogurt
1/4 c (56 g) olive oil
4 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil (I use Aura Cacia Pure)

1. Liberally butter a 6” round springform pan. Remove the Thyme leaves from their stalks and sprinkle all over the bottom the pan.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, yogurt, olive oil, and essential oil.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan keeping in mind the leaves. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula or back of a spoon.
6. Bake 18–22 minutes until the top springs back lightly when pressed and the sides pull away from the pan.
7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool, thyme side up.
8. Decorate as you wish. I used tape to cover lengths of the cake and then dusted liberally with confectioners sugar.

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Honey Bombs
Adapted from COPENHAGEN FOOD

Wet:

1/2 cup (150 g) honey
3/4 c (150 g) brown sugar
2/3 c (150 g) unsalted butter

Dry:

2 1/4 c (300 g) all-purpose flour
2 t baking soda
4 t cinnamon
3 t ground cloves

3 large eggs

7 ounces (200 g) mixed peel or dried fruits )optional); such as apricots, cherries, currants; chopped if necessary

1. Line two muffin tins with paper liners—I needed 16—and preheat oven to 350°
2. In a saucepan melt together the honey, brown sugar, and butter. Once all cohesive, pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool to blood warm.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients while the butter mix cools.
4. Once blood warm, whisk in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. Fold in the mixed fruits.
5. Bake 18-22 minutes until the top springs back when gently pressed.
6. Remove to a rack to let cool for a few minutes.
7. Best served warm and smeared with salty butter.

For extra credit, serve with hot coffee or black tea and cardamon milk (1/2 tsp per cup of milk).


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Dry:

1 1/4 c (156 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 c (64 g) dutch process cocoa power (I used 40 g Valrhona and 24 g black cocoa)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t ground cloves
1 t cinnamon

Wet:

3/4 c (150 g) maple sugar
1/4 c (50 g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
112 g walnut oil
240 g whole milk yogurt
2 t coffee extract

1. Prepare a 9” round cake pan and preheat your oven to 350°
2. In a medium bowl, sift (please do sift) together the dry ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 28 to 32 minutes until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, the top springs back lightly when pressed in the middle, and, if you need extra reassurance, a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean or with just a few crumbs attached.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar as desired, stencil or not. I hope your troubled times end soon.

The absolute best lemon dessert ever. EVER.


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Pumpkin Spice Cake with Whipped Chocolate Ganache

Prep a 9” round cake pan and pre-heat your oven to 350°

Ingredients:

Dry
125 g all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t each ground nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger

Wet
120 g walnut oil
1 large egg
110 g brown sugar
25 g granulated sugar
1/2 of a 15 oz can of pure pumpkin puree
1 t vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a medium-sized bowl sift together all of the Dry ingredients. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the Wet ingredients. Fold the dry into the wet. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake 23-25 minutes until the cake starts pulling away from the sides of the pan, the center spring back lightly when pressed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes back with just a few clinging crumbs.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a rack to cool completely. Frost the top liberally with whipped ganache made from your desired chocolate. Top with pumpkin seeds mussed up in olive oil, cinnamon, and sugar and toasted.