salted caramel drippy cake

Oh hey friends!  I conquered one of my great baking fears!  I made it out alive!  Three cheers for that!

But seriously...I've had a serious fear of trying to drip anything onto cakes for a long time.  I kept seeing drippy cakes pop up on instagram and pinterest (*cough cough I'm looking at you Tessa!), and they looked so gorgeous, but I was sure that I would fail.  Ha!  (Also maybe was still traumatized by amy and kelsey's great cake disaster of 2016....where we tried to channel our inner Katherine Sabbath).

So, drippy cakes tend to have 1 of 2 problems.  Your chocolate/caramel/etc is either too thin, and you end up with puddles at the bottom of your cake, and possibly transparent drip lines...ugh.  Or, your chocolate/caramel/etc is too thick, and you get giant chunky drips, and a lot of lines wherever it starts to harden before you've smoothed it out.  Honestly, it all tastes amazing, but I knew that I was going to be super anal about it...so I decided just to put it off, potentially forever.  Ha!

Anyhow....I sucked it up, made delicious salted caramel, and gave it a go!  My number one tip is: practice on the back of the cake, or on a practice cupcake or something to test your drip speed.  It's pretty obvious once you start whether or not your sauce is too thick or thin.  In my opinion it's better to start on the thick side, and then slowly warm up your sauce a little and try again!  My first few drips were a bit thick, so I warmed my caramel up and voila!  I had nearly perfect consistency.  And if you go to far when warming up your sauce, just place it back in the fridge for a few minutes, and let it firm up again.

Honestly, even if your drips don't turn out, everyone will still love you because this cake is delicious.  True story.


Chocolate Cake

(adapted from Our Treasured Recipes by Central Heights MB Church)

Ingredients:

3 cups Flour

2 cups Sugar

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Cocoa

1 TBSP Vanilla

2 TBSP Vinegar

3/4 cup butter, melted (can be subbed with oil)

2 cups Warm Water

Instructions:

1) Mix together all dry ingredients; then pour all wet ingredients over top and mix until moist.

2) Pour batter into three, greased, 6-inch cake pans.

3) Bake at 350: for 35-40 minutes for cake [or until a toothpick comes out clean].

*Note: This cake freezes extremely well, so I like to make it ahead of time occasionally, and pop it in the freezer.  It's best to level the cakes once they're cool, then wrap in plastic wrap, place in an airtight container, and place in the freezer.  A cold cake is also easier to decorate as the crumb doesn't come off as easily!


Salted Caramel

ingredients:

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, roughly chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt

directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat.  Stir sugar constantly using a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula (don't use a whisk! the sugar will melt onto each tine and make it such a pain to clean!).  The sugar will start to clump together, so keep stirring.  It will then begin to melt into a light amber liquid.  Continue cooking until all sugar is melted, and the liquid is a dark amber (but careful not to burn it!).  Add in butter and stir rapidly.  When butter is completely melted and incorporated, stir in heavy cream.  The mixture will bubble up quite a bit, so be careful!  Keep stirring and allow mixture to cook for a minute or two.  Remove from heat and stir in the salt.  Allow to cool, and the caramel will thicken.  Let it cool to room temperature, and then place in the fridge in an airtight container. 


Assembly

Once your caramel is made, and cakes are baked, you'll want to make your frosting.  I used leftover mascarpone icing for this cake, but I would perhaps recommend a good swiss meringue butter cream instead!

Use a large serrated knife to carefully level the tops of your cakes.  Place the first layer onto a cake plate or cake stand, dollop a generous amount of icing onto it, spread evenly, place the next layer on top, and repeat.  Spread a thin layer of icing over the entire cake (using a cake makes this nice and easy!), and then place the cake in the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes to allow the icing to set.  Finally, do a final coat of icing over the whole cake.  I recommend keeping it fairly smooth (don't go crazy with any rustic swoops here), as you'll want the caramel to have an easy path to drip down.  

Now, the moment of truth!  Place your caramel into a large piping bag with either a round tip, or snip off the tip of the bag.  Try piping a test drip onto your cake to test the consistency.  You want the caramel to run down the cake, but not too quickly.  The goal is for it to stop without puddling at the bottom, but not be too stiff that it doesn't drip at all.  Warm up your caramel or place back in the fridge as needed.  Work your way around the cake, creating drips of varying lengths by pipping more or less caramel on.  Finally, fill in the rest of the top of the cake with caramel.  Sprinkle with flaked salt if desired.  Serve and enjoy!


Moral of the story:  Go out and conquer one of your baking fears!  You never know, you might just surprise yourself!

-Kelsey

apple cranberry braided lattice pie

Happy pi/pie/3.14 day everyone!

While I truly believe that every day is pie day....I won't say no to celebrating it a little extra today.  I'm pretty bummed that our rhubarb is only two inches tall at the moment, so I wasn't able to make my favourite rhubarb pie, but that'll come yet!  Other options include: classic apple pie, or the incredibly cute apple hand pies.  Or pecan pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, or even cherry pie!  And if you're craving something savoury...these mini chicken pot pies should do the trick!

Phew!  That's a lot of pie!  And today we're talking about one more...an apple cranberry pie!

I wanted to do a Winter-y pie since we just keep getting snow here!  So unusual, and I hope it's gone for good this time!  I used the last of our tart Elstar apples that we had stored up, and threw in a few cranberries as well.  I loved the little pops of flavour from the cranberries, and it was such a fun spin on your regular old apple pie.  


apple cranberry pie

ingredients:

1 pie crust - find my recipe for pastry dough here

5ish medium Elstar apples (or any tart apple of your choice)

1 cup cranberries (I used frozen since I couldn't find any fresh)

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 cup Flour

1/2 cup Sugar

directions:

1)  Once your pie dough is ready, you can peel and chop apples (the exact number will depend on the size of your apples, and how full you want to make your pie).  We used Elstar apples, which are nice and tart, and are wonderful for baking with!

2)  Mix all ingredients in with your diced apples and cranberries, stir, and let sit for a few minutes.

3)  Roll your pie dough into a circle and drape over your pie plate.  You want your dough circle to be big enough to cover the bottom of your pie plate, and to cover the outside edge at least a half an inch.

4)  Add your apple cranberry mixture to the pie plate and roll out another dough circle for the top.  Alternatively, roll out dough and use a pizza cutter to cut thin strips of dough, and then braid together.  Repeat until you have 6 braids that will form a lattice, and a long braid to go around the edge.  Weave the lattice, trim excess, and attach the edge braid by wetting the crust slightly and pressing down firmly.

5)  Brush the top with a bit of milk or beaten egg to help it brown and have a nice shine, and sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar.

6)  Bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until nice and bubbly.  Cover with tin foil if you notice certain parts are browning more quickly.

Pie is best served warm and fresh, but will last several days.


Hope you have a lovely day celebrating pi in some way!

-Kels

chocolate cake with strawberries and mascarpone frosting x nineteenten

Hey there!  I am so excited to share this epic chocolate layer cake with you today!  

Some of you may know that I lived in Vancouver for 5 years while completing my BSc at UBC, and my time was often spent exploring new neighbourhoods and trying new foods.  Main Street was always a favourite of mine, and I loved browsing through all of the antique shops, consignment stores, and more. 

Nineteen Ten was always a "must-stop-in" shop, and is one of those places where you walk inside and instantly wish it was what your house looked like.  They feature a ton of locally made items, and always have something new to see. 

I was so excited when I reached out to them asking if we could collab...and they said YES!  So, nearly everything you see in this post is from their shop (you can find all the names and links at the bottom of this post).

nineteenten_thefarmersdaughter_collab-39.jpg

If I had to choose a favourite item, I would have to say the gorgeous sandwich slab that the cake is sitting on would be it!  It's made of burnt fir, and is a special collaboration with a local Vancouver company Pacific Design Lab.  (And yes...I do have a serving/cutting board obsession, and I'm not sorry!)

So let's talk about cake!  This is my classic chocolate cake recipe with a mascarpone frosting in between each layer.  Real talk: I had so much leftover from making tiramisu from last week, so I decided to try it out with cake.  It's a winner for sure!  I love that the mascarpone cheese gives the whipping cream a bit more substance, but it's still fluffy and not overly sweet like butter cream can sometimes be.  Heck yeah!


chocolate cake with mascarpone frosting

yields: one 6-inch layer cake

ingredients:

3 cups Flour

2 cups Sugar

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Cocoa

1 TBSP Vanilla

2 TBSP Vinegar

3/4 cup butter, melted (can also substitute 3/4 cup vegetable oil here)

2 cups Warm Water

directions:

Mix together all dry ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients over top and mix together.

Divide mixture evenly between three greased 6-inch cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
 

Mascarpone Frosting

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream

125 grams mascarpone

1/2 tsp vanilla 

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whip together whipping cream, mascarpone, vanilla and sugar, until soft peaks form.  Careful not to overmix or your frosting may start to separate.  Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
 

Assembly

To assemble cake, first allow cake layers to cool completely.  Then level each cake layer carefully with a long serrated knife.

Fill a large piping bag with the frosting, and cut a hole in the end to start piping.  Pipe large circles around the edge of each layer and then fill in the center with frosting.  Top with strawberries, the fruit of your choice, or even flowers.  Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Keep cake in the fridge before serving, and store in an airtight container.


Sources: Burnt Fir Sandwich Slab: Pacific Design Lab // Sharing Bowl: Barter BC //
Safi Stoneware Pitcher: Roost // Linen Tea Towel: Le Fil Rouge // Olive Wood Serving Utensil: Roost // Gold Condiment Spoon: Roost

Thank you so much to Nineteen Ten for providing all of the gorgeous items for this collab!  I love working with and supporting local companies!

Happy Baking!

-Kels

mini tiramisu with baileys

Oh hi there!  Yes, I realize that it happens to be Valentine's Day.  Also, yes, I realize that perhaps tiramisu is a romantic dessert.  Ha!  That is pure coincidence, and not clever planning on my part....although maybe I should have just pretended that I was incredibly on top of things.

Anywho.....I love making desserts mini.  Mostly due to the fact that I get to eat the entire thing, and not feel as guilty (or as sick) as when I do this with an entire dessert.  (Pull-apart bread I'm looking at you....*side-eye).  They get bonus points for being so darn cute too!

Ironically, I accidentally bought GIANT lady fingers for this post.  Instead of normal sized lady fingers.  Or even mini lady fingers (not sure if this even exists?).  So ya, maybe a little bit of a fail on that part....but they were hilarious to work with!

Fact of the matter is: it doesn't matter what kind of lady fingers you buy.  More importantly, there is baileys in here....huzzah!  My sister Jordyn helped me put these together, and photographed the shots I'm in.  Yay for a human tripod!  It's a lot easier to nail that focus when you're not using a self-timer.

Moving on.  Make these for your Valentine.  Make these for your family.  Make these for yourself.  


mini tiramisu with baileys

recipe adapted from: Olive Magazine
yields: 6-8 servings (depending on the size of your mini serving dishes) - alternatively, make one large tiramisu using a 20cm serving dish

ingredients:

2 cups whipping cream

250 grams mascarpone

1 tsp vanilla 

3 tablespoons sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (optional)

1 cup very strong coffee or espresso

1/2 tsp almond extract (or 2 tablespoons of amaretto)

175 grams lady fingers (also called sponge fingers)

2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder for dusting on top

directions:

In a large bowl, whip together whipping cream, mascarpone, vanilla, baileys, and sugar until soft peaks form.  Careful not to overmix this, as the cheese may separate a bit.  Carefully spoon into a large piping bag, and use a round nozzle, or simply cut the tip of the bag off to pipe.  (*It's always to start small when cutting the bag, and adjust if necessary)

Mix together coffee and almond extract (or amaretto) in a small bowl.

Dip each lady finger into the coffee mixture and quickly remove.  You don't want them to start falling apart, so don't linger in the coffee too long.  Line your serving dish with lady fingers, then pipe whipped cream mixture on top, and repeat.

For the top layer, pipe small circles.  Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.  Use a small sieve to dust with cocoa powder just before serving. 


Final note: can someone teach me to say mascarpone?  99% sure that I'm putting the R in the wrong spot.  Ha!

Happy tiramisu-ing!

-Kelsey

butter chicken

Oh hey there!  Two recipes in one week!  Heck yeah!

Today is all about butter chicken.  Such a delicious, warm and cozy dinner idea, made even better when served with naan!  When we're feeling super hardcore (and have the time!) we'll even make our own from scratch.  

This is such an easy dish to whip up, and is easily doubled if you're making it for a crowd of people!  Cook up some rice, and you've got yourself a meal.

I love that this dish can all be made in one pan as well! (Not including the rice of course!)  I used this gorgeous cast aluminum pan from American KitchenAmerican Kitchen Cookware, and it cooked beautifully. I love that they handcraft their cookware in small batches in Wisconsin, and they obviously care about creating quality cookware. I'm hooked!

Now this recipe comes from my mom, who has slowly melded several different recipes into one recipe to rule them all!  There's a ton of flavour in the sauce, so if you don't have one of the more obscure spices, don't sweat it! 

You might also notice that there's no butter in this recipe!  Ha!  We're using greek yogurt and coconut milk instead, which is a bit healthier, and makes the sauce so dreamy.


butter chicken

recipe: Cheryl Siemens (my momma!)

ingredients:

2 tbsp butter, 1 for cooking chicken, 1 for sauteeing onion

4 chicken breasts

1 medium white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons cury powder

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ginger

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp corrinader

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

680ml can of tomato sauce

1 tin of tomato paste

1 cup greek yogurt

1 can coconut milk

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

directions:

First, cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes, and cook in a saute pan with butter for about 5 minutes.  It's fine if they're not quite all cooked through, as they'll be cooked in the sauce as well.  Set chicken aside.

Add a butter to your saute pan, and slowly saute your onions on a low temperature until tender and light brown.  Try not to rush this step!

Add in your minced garlic, and all other spices.  Stir together and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, greek yogurt, and coconut milk.  Add chicken pack in, and bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with rice and naan.

Top with a bit of fresh cilantro if you like!

 


This post was created in partnership with American Kitchen Cookware All opinions are my own, as always. Thanks so much for supporting brands that help keep me cooking <3

Happy butter chicken making!

-Kelsey

4 cakes + 2 girls = a friendiversary

One year ago, I got in my car to go visit a stranger in Vancouver.  We baked.  We ate crepes.  We became friends.  (In case you missed any of our collabs: Earl grey lavender cake & macarons // Carnival cake // Orchard adventures

I'm talking about Amy of Constellation Inspiration of course. 

It's hard to believe that we've only known each other for a year, as Amy has become such a dear friend to me!  We now get together more often to just eat crepes and catch up instead of baking together, and that's just fine with me.  A spring shoot is being planned already, and I can't wait!

Also, we were so so sad that Victor wasn't able to meet us for this shoot!  We missed his artistic eye so much...and I'm pretty sure that Amy and I took 3x as long to shoot it ourselves without him there.  Ha!

SO.  LET'S TALK CAKE.

We went a little crazy....and made 4 cakes.  I brought an angel food cake with 7-minute icing (recipe here), as well as my classic chocolate cake (recipe here).  Pop over to Amy's blog for her cake recipes!  She made a four-layer chamomile cake with bumbleberry jam and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and a three-layer coconut cake with coconut white miso buttercream. #dead

So, I baked and decorated my cakes and macarons (WHY?  they make me so nervous still!!) the night before, and then drove everything into Vancouver.  Talk about STRESS.  I'm shocked that the cakes arrived (mostly) intact.  Pretty sure that drive took a couple years off my life.  Ha!  I arrived at Amy's house, we started setting things up, and basically wept when Victor broke the news that he wouldn't be able to come over to shoot!

After a million hours of styling and shooting, Amy and I went out for tacos at a new taco place (where we analyzed each tacos like the food critics we like to pretend to be), and then stuffed our faces with cake for dessert back at her place.  Pretty much a perfect day in my opinion!

Also, this dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream is my new favourite icing recipe, hands down.  It's so incredibly velvety, not too sweet, and packed with dark chocolatey goodness.  I used this to decorate my chocolate cake, as well as to pipe between the macarons!


Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

ingredients:

3 egg whites

1 cup white sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

3.25 oz of dark chocolate, melted

4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup butter, cubed

 

 

directions:

Place the egg whites and sugar into a double boiler (this could be a metal bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water), and whisk together continuously.  Keep mixing until the sugar is totally dissolved, and the temperature hits 140F for a few minutes.

Remove from heat, and mix in the salt, vanilla, melted chocolate, and cocoa powder.

Slowly add cubes of butter, and mix well after each addition.  If your icing starts to look soupy or like it's curdling, just place it in the fridge for 10 minutes and try mixing again.  Repeat if necessary.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge if you're not using it right away!  Let it sit on the counter to soften up before icing a cake with it.  Enjoy


Hope you enjoyed this epic spread!

pistachio ice cream

Helloooooo ice cream!  It's been far too long!!  My sister and I went on a bit of an ice cream rampage when she first bought her new ice cream maker last Spring....and we decided to chill out a bit.

But, we're back!  And this time we're talking about pistachio ice cream.  So fluffy, so delicious.  Best served with a chocolate dipped, pistachio encrusted cone.  Duh.

So for this recipe, my sister, Jordyn, used pistachio pudding for this ice cream recipe.  (I know a few of you pistachio purists are groaning right now...but there are other ice cream recipes out there that I'm sure you'll love. ) Anyhow...using pudding is easier, way cheaper, and resulted in a beautifully fluffy ice cream.  Heck to the yes.


Pistachio Ice Cream

recipe by: Jordyn Siemens

ingredients:

2 cups milk (any kind, we used 1%)

2 cups cream

4 egg

1 package (100g) of pistachio pudding

 

directions:

In a medium saucepan, place milk, cream and egg yolks.

Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat until the mixtures thickens slightly, and the temperature reaches 160 degrees F (so that your yolk is tempered).

Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.  Sift the pistachio pudding mixture to get any lumps out (you don't want to clog your ice cream maker).  Stir pudding mixture into the milk mixture, and allow to cool to at least room temperature before adding to your ice cream maker.

Follow the directions for your ice cream maker.  Stir in a few chopped pistachios, and then place in an airtight container and freeze for several hours before serving.  


Happy ice cream making!

-Kelsey

peppermint mocha bundt cake (in tree form!)

Blogging friends are wonderful.  They encourage you to buy ridiculous, you-can-only-use-me-once-a-year loaf pans/cake pans/food styling props.....and they also share their own with you so that you don't have to buy them yourself.  Ha!  So a big thanks to Amy for letting me use this fun, tree bundt pan!

It's so fun for the holidays (which YES...I do realize they're over already!), but it's also perfect to use throughout Winter.  And with all of the snow sticking around our place these past few weeks...it seems very appropriate!

I used my favourite mocha cake, with a peppermint twist, and dusted the top with icing sugar and ground up candy canes.


peppermint mocha bundt cake

yields: 1 bundt cake (and a few cupcakes depending on the size of your bundt pan)

ingredients:

 

3 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2/3 cup of espresso (or very strong brewed coffee)

1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup hot water

directions:

1) In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

2) Add in eggs, vanilla, peppermint extract, coffee and oil, and mix until batter is smooth.

3) Slowly add in hot water, until well mixed.

4) Fill a greased bundt pan 3/4 full, and if there is any leftover batter, divide into a cupcake tin.

5)  Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes.

6)  Remove your bundt cake from the oven when done, and cool for 10 minutes.  Then very gently invert the pan over a cooling rack, shaking sides to remove from pan.  Allow to cool completely.

7)  Dust with icing sugar right before serving (don't do this too much beforehand or the cake will soak it up).  I ground up a few candy canes as well.  Alternatively, you could serve with a glaze or ice cream.  Enjoy!