Rick Rodgers - cuisine americane
HOME    RECIPES    THE HOLIDAYS    CULINARY SERVICES    SCHEDULE    STORE    BOOKS    VIDEOS    ABOUT RICK    LINKS

Results tagged “cakes”

Lemon Meringue Cake

IMG_4029.jpgWhen winter has dug in its heels, it is time to enjoy citrus desserts.  We had a lemon tree in our backyard in California, so I didn’t buy a lemon until I moved to New York.  Now I get Florida lemons at the supermarket, although every lemon dessert I make comes with extra nostalgia on top.  Here is a cake I recently developed for a big dinner party—to say it was a hit would be a gross understatement.  


Continue reading Lemon Meringue Cake .

 

Tommy Bahama's Famous Piña Colada Cake

TOMMYB_COCONUTCAKE_25295 (2).jpgMore than baked ham, more than roast lamb, my must-have Easter dinner tradition is coconut layer cake.  Its annual appearance on our holiday table goes back to my childhood.  My mom and our neighbor Ardi thought nothing of staying up all night designing 3-D cakes, and Easter always featured a funny bunny with white jelly bean teeth and shredded coconut fur.  (Yes, the fur and frosting was often tinted with food coloring.) I'm all-grown up, and now I prefer my coconut cakes for their flavor rather than their cuteness factor.  When working on TOMMY BAHAMA'S FLAVORS OF HAWAII, I recreated the piña colada cake that is a favorite at their restaurants.  This is a truly fabulous cake, with a white chocolate mousse frosting, tender yellow cake, crushed pineapple, and a generous splash of rum.  (If serving to kids, use non-alcoholic rum-flavored beverage syrup.)  <Photo by Peden + Monk from FLAVORS OF ALOHA, available only at Tommy Bahama stores, restaurants, and www.tommybahama.com.>


Continue reading Tommy Bahama's Famous Piña Colada Cake.

 

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon_Meringue_Cupcakes_00008.jpgI am thrilled to announce the publication of my latest books, Tea and Cookies and Coffee and Cake.  They are like fraternal twins--you will see some similarities, even if they aren't identical.  Both start with lots of information about how to shop for and make your favorite caffeinated beverages, and then offer perfect pastry partners.  This recipe for Lemon Meringue Cupcakes is bound to become a favorite at your house, just as it is at ours. 


Continue reading Lemon Meringue Cupcakes .

 

Walnut Crown Cake--Babka

Makes 12 servings

Introduction

One afternoon at Prague's Café Slavia, over a glass of the infamously narcotic turquoise-green absinthe, the manager shared the recipe for this simple coffee cake, a perfect example of how Czech recipes have evolved over the years. Babka has roots in the cooking of Russia and Poland, and along with some ugly architecture, is one of the few remnants of the Russian years in Prague.

While old recipes for babka certainly used butter, this one uses vegetable oil, a reminder of the Communist era where butter was looked down on as a capitalist extravagance. It doesn't suffer from the substitution and the cake is moist and filled with chunks of nuts and raisins. Prosaic, maybe, but great with coffee or even a glass of milk (which I have never seen anyone drink in a café, even a child!).

Ingredients

  • Softened butter and flour, for the pan
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins, preferably golden raisins

Rum Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum, or more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Using a pastry brush, butter the inside of a 10-inch Gugelhupf mold or fluted cake pan. Coat with flour and tap out the excess.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest in a medium bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until well combined. Beat in half of the milk, then half of the flour; repeat with the remaining milk and flour. In a medium bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites just until they form soft peaks. Stir about one-fourth of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.

3. Combine the walnuts and raisins. Spread about one-third of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the walnut mixture, leaving about 1/2 inch of batter visible around the edges of the pan (if the walnuts and raisins touch the edge of the pan, they could burn during baking). Cover with half of the batter, then sprinkle with the remaining walnut mixture. Spread with the remaining batter.

4. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack and cool completely.

5. To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar, rum, and lemon juice until it is the consistency of heavy cream, adding more rum if needed. Place the cake on a wire rack set over a jelly roll pan. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake to coat it completely, using a metal spatula to help spread and coax the glaze. Let stand until the glaze sets.

Make-Ahead: The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.


 

Pumpkin-Currant Cake

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Introduction

When I want a spicy cake to bring to a party, I make this moist pumpkin Bundt. I like it so much, that I buy an extra few cans of pumpkin to have on hand later in the year when pumpkin may not be on the supermarket shelves.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • One 15-ounce (1 3/4 cups) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • 3/4 cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
  • Confectioner¹s sugar, for garnish

Directions

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Lightly butter a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan (preferably nonstick). Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt onto a piece of waxed paper. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and, one at a time, beat in the eggs.

4. Beat in the pumpkin. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In three additions, beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the currants and pecans. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

5. Bake until a long wooden skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour.

6. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire cake rack. Invert the cake onto the rack, unmold, and cool completely. Just before serving, dust with the confectioner¹s sugar. (The cake can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.)


 

Chocolate-Orange Soufflé Cakes

Makes 2 servings
 
Perfect for a romantic Valentine's Day dinner for two, this recipe can be easily multiplied for more servings.  I prefer it with chocolate with a moderate cacao content of no more than 62 percent.
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, or orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 large navel orange, peeled, cut between membranes into individual segments, chilled
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Directions

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400° F. Butter inside of two 300ml (about l l/3 cups) custard cups and sprinkle with l tablespoon sugar, tapping out excess sugar. Place prepared custard cups on a baking sheet.

2. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Gradually whisk in milk to dissolve cornstarch. Cook, whisking often, over low heat, until thickened and simmering. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth and melted. Whisk in egg yolk, orange zest, Grand Marnier, and vanilla. (The souffle can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead of time. Place a buttered round of waxed paper directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture and let stand in a warm place. The mixture must be warm, but not hot, before proceeding. Cook very gently over low heat, stirring constantly, if necessary, to reheat.)

3. In a medium, grease-free bowl, using a hand-held mixer set at medium-high speed, beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Stir about one-fourth of the whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Transfer mixture into bowl of egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, fold until combined. Transfer to the prepared ramekins.

4. Bake until souffles are puffed and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Run a knife around insides of ramekins to release. Invert onto two dessert plates and unmold. Sift confectioner's sugar over plates and cakes to dust completely. Arrange orange segments next to each cake. Serve warm.


 

Homemade Coconut Cake with Fluffy White Frosting and Fresh Coconut

Makes 8 to 10 servings

This cake has made coconut-lovers out of coconut-haters.  Yes, you can substitute 2 cups flaked coconut (toasted, if you wish) for the fresh coconut, and about 1/4 cup coconut-flavored liqueur for the homemade coconut syrup, but... I have found that you really do need a little coconut extract to pump up the flavor.  If you find a pure extract, so much the better, although I have used imitation with success.

Cake

  • Butter and flour, for preparing pans
  • 3 cups sifted, then measured, cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Coconut and Coconut Syrup

  • 1 fresh coconut (shake to be sure it is full of juice)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut juice (not canned coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Frosting:

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (if necessary, whirl granulated sugar in a blender until very fine; don substitute confectioner's sugar)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter two 9-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with waxed paper rounds, dust with flour and shake out the excess.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together onto a piece of waxed paper. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. One at a time, beat in the egg yolks. Alternating in three additions, beat in the coconut milk and flour mixture. Beat in the vanilla and coconut extracts.

3. In a greasefree medium bowl, using very clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Stir about one-fourth of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites. Spread evenly in the prepared pans. Bake until the tops of the cakes spring back when pressed gently in the centers, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then invert onto wire cake racks. Remove the waxed paper, turn right sides up, and cool completely.

4. To make the coconut flakes and syrup, hold a coconut in one hand over a bowl. Turning the coconut in one hand like a ball, rap it around its equator with a hammer or the back of a heavy cleaver. After a few whacks (more or less), the coconut will crack open, and the juice will spill into the bowl. Strain the juice through a fine wire sieve into a small saucepan and set aside. Using a small, sturdy knife, pry out the coconut meat from the shell. It will come out in pieces, but try to keep them as large as possible. Using a swivel vegetable peeler, peel the coconut. Shred the coconut with a cheese grater (rotary or standing) or a food processor fitted with the fine shredding blade.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the shredded coconut on a baking sheet and toss with the confectioner's sugar. Bake, stirring often, until the coconut is dry and mostly toasted light brown with some white shreds, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, add the granulated sugar to the coconut juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Completely cool the toasted coconut and coconut syrup.

6. To make the frosting, combine all of the ingredients, except the extracts, in a 2-quart double boiler insert or heatproof bowl. Place over a medium saucepan of seriously simmering water. Using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat until hot and fluffy, a full 7 minutes (set a timer). Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and coconut extracts, and beat for 1 more minute to cool slightly. Use the frosting immediately, or it could crust over. Place a dab of frosting in the center of a serving plate. Place one cake layer upside down on the plate. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the coconut syrup. Spread with 1 cup of the frosting and sprinkle with 1/3 cup toasted coconut. Top with the second layer, right side up, and brush with 2 more tablespoons of coconut syrup (you will have leftover syrup). Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Press the remaining coconut on the top and sides of the cake. Serve within 8 hours.


 

Banana Gugelhupf (Banannengugelhupf)

Makes 12 servings

Banana Guglehupf is one of the newer additions to the Austro-Hungarian pastry roster. I've made countless American-style banana breads before, but this is a very special recipe, creating a beautiful fluted loaf filled with moist, banana flavor. Use fully ripened bananas freckled with brown spots with an intensely sweet aroma, and not ones that are overly ripe and blackened and smell of alcohol.
 

  • Softened butter and dried bread crumbs, for the pan
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at cool room tempera ture 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

Directions

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Using a pastry brush, butter the inside of a 10-inch Gugelhupf mold or fluted tube pan. Coat with crumbs and tap out the excess.

2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a hand-held electric mixer on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the confectioner's sugar. Return the speed to high and beat until very light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the eggs, beating well after each addition.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the bananas, brown sugar, cream, and lemon zest until the sugar is dissolved. With the mixer on low speed, one third at a time, alternately beat in the flour and banana mixtures, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until the batter is smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth the top.

4. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto the rack and cool completely.

Make-Ahead The cake can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature.


 
1