** Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting **

Yes the title says it all, beets in a chocolate cake.. Verdict? My GOD I will be baking this again, but in a slightly different way. Next time, instead of actually putting the beets in a steamer, I will just put them in the oven like the original recipe. Steaming the beets made them completely soaked and after I grated them as well. Basically, I also didn’t end up using buttermilk. Using 2 tablespoons of the grated soaked beets, my cream cheese frosting ended up being too watery as well. So take it from me, let the beets cook for an hr in the oven then grate them and it will come out as a perfect recipe.But this didn’t mean my cake didn’t come out super MOIST! It didn’t even need frosting, the cake was just perfect. The chocolaty feeling in my mouth hit the spot perfectly… So if you are not willing to use milk, go ahead and steam those beets ;)

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Oh I forgot to mention, the natural pink color is just so beautiful, right? Here’s the recipe guys. Try it and let me know your feedback :D

 

Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting

* Makes 2×23 cm cake, frosting in the middle and all over ;)

* Taken from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:

- 2 medium beets, unpeeled but trimmed of their greens

- 170 grams  (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

- 3/4 cup granulated sugar

- 2 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 teaspoon salt

- OPTIONAL: 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (Substitute: add one tablespoon + 1/4 tsp of white vinegar to milk and set aside for 15 mins before use)

** since I steamed the beets, I didn’t end up using milk at all! Unless you grate them raw or grate them oven cooked, use the milk.

For the Frosting:

- 200 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

- 227 grams (1 brick) cream cheese, softened

- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

- 2 tablespoons finely grated beets, mashed with a fork (if you steamed the beets, drain it’s water properly before adding so the frosting doesn’t become soupy, it’s preferable to use oven grated beets, or raw grated beets)

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 1-2 teaspoons milk, depending on desired consistency

- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

- pinch of salt

1- Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 200 deg C.

2- OVEN WAY:Wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem.  Place clean beets in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with just a bit of vegetable oil.  Seal up foil.  Place on a baking sheet in the oven.  Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove the beets from the oven.  Open the foil and allow beets to cool completely.  Beets will be easy to peel (just using a paring knife) once completely cooled.Using a box grater, grate the peeled beets on the finest grating plane.  Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cake and 2 tablespoons for the frosting.  Set aside.

STEAMER: Place the beets in the bowl of your steamer and cook for 35 mins. Then let it cool, peel, and grate. I suggest you drain them. If you don’t, just don’t use milk or butter milk.

3- Reduce the oven temperature to 177 degrees C.  Spray two 23 cm round baking pans with oil and if you want trace a piece of parchment paper.Set pans aside while you prepare the cake.

4 – In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.  Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition.   Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until combined.

5 – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture.  Beating on low speed , slowly add the buttermilk if necessary, again you might not use the milk if you steamed the beets.  Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated.  Try not to overmix the batter.  Bowl can be removed from the mixer and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients.

6- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 25-30 mins.  Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cakes from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake.

To make the Frosting:

1- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds, until pliable and smooth.  Add the butter and beat for another 30 seconds, until well combined.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the beets.  Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice, and salt.  Beat on medium speed until smooth and silky.  Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.

2- To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or cake plate.  Top with a generous amount of pink frosting.  Spread evenly.  Place the other cake on top of the frosting.  Top with frosting.  Work frosting onto the sides of the cake.  You will have extra frosting left over.  Refrigerate for an hour or over night before serving.

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BON APPÉTIT

** Lemon Cake with a Beautiful Fuchsia Twist **

a while back i baked this gorgeous looking lemon cake and totally forgot to share it with you! but here you go…

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I tried going for a zebra style, but i ended up with a marble cake instead! don’t be fooled, the pink is just coloring, but you know you can always add raspberries to it and you will get the same thing ;) and this cake is absolutely perfect for this weather!

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Ingredients:

- 230 grams (1 cup) butter at room temperature

- 1 cup of white sugar

- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 4 eggs room temperature

- zest of one large lemon

- 2 cups of flour

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 2 tsp of baking powder

- 1/4 cup of lemon juice

- 1/4 cup of milk

Preparation:

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C and butter a 23 cm or 26 cm cake pan. i usually like to spray some oil. set aside

2- in a bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in color (3 – 5 mins). add the vanilla extract and beat. add each at a time, beating well after each addition. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and zest.

3- add the dry ingredients to the egg batter in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and lemon juice in 2 additions. you will then have a smooth batter.

4- take out 1/3 of the batter and add 3 – 4 drops of fuchsia food coloring. in your prepared cake pan, add 1/3 of  the lemon batter, then 1/2 the fuchsia batter, then 1/3 lemon batter, then remaining 1/2 fuchsia batter, then the remaining lemon batter. you can use a knife to move the batter around, if you want.

5- bake for 30 – 40 mins, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. start checking your cakes after 30 mins of being in the oven, sometimes it might be done at that time, and sometimes it needs a little or a lot more. just keep a watch for it, it all depends on how high your oven is.

6- after your cake has cooled down completely, flip onto your serving dish. *note you need to flip it twice to get the top part onto your serving dish

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source: joyofbaking.com 

BON APPÉTIT

** China trip July, 2014 **

Absolutely didn’t want to travel during the month of Ramadan, but it was a must to go… business!!!

anyways, it was a good trip… the food, the ppl, the work, THE FOOD, the fruits, you know everything was great, thank God!

What did i get the chance to try? First, i absolutely loved Qatar Airlines first class, the food, the presentation, the hosting and service, was all perfect:

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Ciabatta bread, bean salad, spreadable butter, salad dressing (pomegranate juice and olive oil), and a plate of different Arabic appetizers.. absolutely devoured that!!!!!!

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I so loved those mini bottles of salad dressing!!!!

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main dish: the spinach ravioli!!!!!!

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ending with a mouthwatering Tiramisu!!!!!!! YUMM!!!

Getting to China, I had to have my usual, The dragon fruit!!!!!! I am just so in love with it

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as for snacking, who can resist oreo’s with funfetti filling… i absolutely teared up when my mom took the last one :(

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oh and if there’s a Starbucks, you definitely cannot resist a Mocha Frap:

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As for our last night, we had one hell of a Chinese dinner: we started with some sliced asparagus  and baby bamboo…

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as for the rice noodles, no i didn’t have one small plate, i actually had a whole LOT

 

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also some river veggies? well that’s what they told me it was

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oh and the best part of this dinner, was the sweet purple potato and corn

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Fava beans

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and the yummiest ever, those smileys are french fries and the rings are deep fried calamari with coconut dip and ketchup

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and by the end of my trip, i had a goodbye cup of coffee with digestive wheat cookies that were not that sweet at all but good at the same time

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it was a pretty good trip!!!

 

For all of you fasting out there, i wish you a blessed fast and pleasant yummy iftar!!! i will be posting some of those yummy iftars too!!!! to keep track of my menus, don’t forget to like me on facebook ;)

BON APPÉTIT

 

** easy chocolate cake with chocolate whipped cream **

This time I went for an egg-less version, why? Well, preparing a chiffon after a hectic time at work was too much, so I decided to go for a much simpler recipe; although I couldn’t substitute the amazing chocolate cream.

This is one yummy, moist, chocolaty cake. I know I say this about almost all the recipes I try, but I am being honest. Cross my heart …

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This recipe takes up about 10 mins tops to mix all the ingredients together and about 25-30 mins in a preheated oven of 175 deg C; depending on your oven of course!

Ingredients:

- for the cake:

- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

- 1 cup white sugar

- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 3/4 tsp baking soda

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 75 grams of melted butter

- 1 cup of warm water

- 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar

- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- for the filling:

- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- 1/4 cup of sugar

- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

- 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream (not low fat)

 

Preparation: 

1- first preheat your oven at 175 deg C. Spray your cake mold (26 cm) with butter or oil and set aside. You can use a square pan or even a loaf pan.

2- in a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. in another bowl add the wet ingredients: butter, water, vanilla, and vinegar or lemon juice.

3- add the dry ingredients to the ingredients mixing with a fork, whisk, or electric mixer. just mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

4- transfer the batter onto your prepared mold, and bake for 25-30 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean. mine took 25 mins exact.

5- leave out the cake until it completely cools and flip onto your serving dish.

6- to prepare the cream: place your bowl and whisk paddles in the freezer for 15-20 mins before you start. add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of cream. mix until blended. add the remaining cream and beat until stiff peaks forms.

7- spread onto the cool cake and place it in your fridge for at least 4 hrs or preferably over night before you serve.

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Resources: Joy of Baking

BON APPÉTIT

 

** boston cream cupcakes **

Just imagine yourself savoring this — vanilla moist cupcakes filled with rich pastry cream topped with excellent melted chocolate.

I can’t seem to forget it

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what i love about my baking addiction, is when i spend my money on baking stuff. i finally got disposable icing bags and genuine stainless steel pippin tips. God it’s so hard to find those in Lebanon and it turns out this guy is actually my neighbor; say good bye to my paycheck ;) but what i love more about baking, is when the people you love most get a chance in sharing what you made, especially when the entire recipe was dedicated to one special person <3

anyhew there’s the recipe, it’s one perfect recipe ;)

Vanilla Cupcakes:

- 1 1/2 cups of flour

- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 113 grams of butter at room temperature

- 1 cup white sugar

- 2 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Pastry Cream 

- 2 large egg yolks

- 3 tbsp white sugar

- 2 tbsp of cornstarch

- 1/8 tsp salt

- 1 cup of full fat milk

- 6 grams of butter room temperature

- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

- 120 grams of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (i used hershey’s chocolate chips)

- 42 grams of butter

- 1 1/2 tbps of light corn syrup (substitute: honey or maple syrup) this helps the chocolate to keep its shine 

Preparation: 

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C and butter your muffin mold with butter or vegetable spray oil. we won’t be using paper cups for this recipe.

2- sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside

3- in a bowl, beat the butter until soft. add the sugar and beat fluffy. add one egg at a time and beat well after each addition. add the vanilla extract. add the flour and the milk in 3 additions, starting with the flour and ending with it. scoop the batter in the buttered molds and place in the oven for 15-20 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean — some of my muffins came out weird and did not rise properly, but that’s not an excuse for not assembling and eating them ;) once they are done, set them aside to cool to room temperature

4-  for the pastry cream, heat the milk until it starts to bubble; keep stirring the milk because it tends to burn fast. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until you get a whitish color. whisk in the corn flour. once the milk start to bubble, add a bit of the milk to the egg mixture and whisk fast to avoid the eggs from curdling. add the egg mixture to the milk and back to the heat. stir with a whisk until the cream starts to thicken. remove from heat, and transfer to a heat proof bowl. add the butter and the vanilla and mix until the butter melts. set aside and cover with a clean towel.

5- for the chocolate, melt the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. once they have melted properly, place in a bowl and set aside until it thickens a bit, not too much.

Assembling:  once the cupcakes have cooled down, it’s time to assemble them. place the pastry cream in a pipping bag. insert the pastry tip into the cupcake and squeeze in the cream until the cupcakes fill. you can do it from the top and/or bottom. doing it from both sides will assure more and more pastry cream. when the cupcakes crack a bit, u can stop filling them. glaze with some chocolate, about 2 tablespoons so they can fall of the sides. you can eat them right away or keep them at room temperature for later. place leftovers in the fridge and thaw them before eating (about 5-10 mins).

source: Joy of Baking

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BON APPÉTIT

** peanut butter cake **

i love being around my mixer, even it’s loud rotating sound makes me happy! i mean it’s my stand mixer, every passionate baker’s dream. but what i love even more, is peanut butter. ever try grabbing a spoon and just eating from that jar?? i do the same with nutella ;) … i know i know bad PHATIMA!

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my mistake was that i just threw that cake in the fridge, like i do with almost everything i bake.. also BAD ME! it should have stayed warm outside and eaten warm as well, but hey even after it thawed from the fridge that cake was something!!!!

what do you think about the watermark?? left, right, center??? i like it more to the right side, that’s where it should be from now on!

RECIPE:
Cake
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 100 grams butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 150 grams butter, cut into pieces
  • handful of chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan, or any pan you prefer using.
  2. Make the cake. In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, water, and butter over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together sugars, flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. Add the peanut butter mixture to it and mix. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Transfer into the buttered pan and bake for 20-25 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Make the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine butter, milk, chocolate chips, and peanut butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add vanilla. Stir in confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until the frosting has thickened considerably but is still quite runny. Pour over the warm cake. Best served warm– that’s very important trust me!

Recipe from: piesandplots.net 

BON APPÉTIT