Cereal Supreme Cake

Cereal Supreme Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

What was your favorite cereal growing up? My favorites included Kix, Life, and on special occasion Lucky Charms. Like most kids, I thoroughly enjoyed eating all marshmallows immediately and leaving the boring cereal bits to sink to the bottom; forgotten and soggy. These little freeze dried pastel bits were the inspiration for this Cereal Supreme Cake. I ordered 1lb of them and I can tell you I needed waaaaaaay less than 1lb. My 6 year old self would be very proud of my current stash of cereal mallows. The marshmallow mosaic does take patience, but is very worth it in the end. My favorite part is that a knife cuts easily through the marshmallows giving you clean slices of yummy breakfast cake. 

Genius pastry chef, Christina Tosi, inspired the cake flavor here. I replaced the milk in a classic vanilla cake recipe with her famous Cereal Milk made by steeping toasted cornflakes in milk to mimic the bottom-of-the-bowl sweetness. I figured a pink tone would be a cute nod to color milk turns when any "fruit" flavored cereal lingers too long in the bowl. This cake may or may not be part of a healthy balanced breakfast but it sure does look nice! 

Cereal Supreme Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Cereal Supreme Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Cereal Supreme Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Cereal Supreme Cake


Cereal Milk

  • 50g cornflakes
  • 413g whole milk
  • 15g light brown sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees F
  2. Spread the cornflakes on a parchment or Silpat lined sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely.
  3. Transfer the cooled cornflakes to a large pitcher. Pour the milk into the pitcher and stir vigorously. Let steep for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, collecting the milk in a medium bowl. Using the back of a ladle or spoon, wring the milk out of the cornflakes, but do not force the mushy cornflakes through the sieve.
  5. Whisk the brown sugar and salt into the milk until fully dissolved. 

Cereal Milk Cake

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 recipe cereal milk (above - or 1 cup whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-5 drops of pink food coloring
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 6-inch round pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add eggs and beat well, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined.
  6. Add milk, vanilla, and pink food coloring, and beat until just combined.
  7. Divide batter between pans and smooth tops. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 30 to 33 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1/2-cup at a time until combined
  3. Add milk, vanilla, and salt
  4. Add more or less milk/powdered sugar until correct consistency is achieved

Assembly

  • 3 layers of 6-inch Cereal Milk Cake, chilled
  • 1 recipe for Vanilla Buttercream (about 2-3 cups)
  • 2-3 cups marshmallow bits
  1. Assemble layers with a generous amount of frosting in between each
  2. Apply a "crumb coat" with a thin layer of buttercream and allow five minutes to set
  3. Apply a second thicker coat of buttercream and cover with a mosaic of marshmallow bits (yes, this takes a long time)
Cereal Supreme Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Cereal Milk recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar
Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Marshmallow Bits from Nuts.com ($3.99 for 1lb!!)
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Mocha Madeleine Cookies

Mocha Madeleine Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

It's January 6th 2015 and I have survived 23 years, 3 months, and 15 days without ever having a cup of coffee. You might not know this about me, but I am a supertaster (sounds fake, is real - check the wiki) While working at Trader Joe's and participating in a wine tasting I casually told a colleague that I don't like red wine. She paused and then followed up with- "do you like coffee?" "no." "do you like dark chocolate?" "no." before proclaiming I'm probably a supertaster and happily bouncing away with a thimble sized cup of merlot to grab a sample of our reasonably priced private labeled gouda.

Supertaster? What is that? Could there be a logical reason I don't like these universally loved items? I did my research. A supertaster experiences taste with greater intensity than most and because of this, they taste bitterness when others taste nothing. Coffee, being bitter to most to start with, is especially terrible for me and is only tolerable when cloaked in a veil of ice cream. However, with these madeleines I found a pleasant exception to my rule and coffee is a apparently quite delicious when hidden subtly in cake. Dave's Coffee Syrup is based in New England and it's some quality stuff.  it really doesn't matter if you enjoy coffee or find it super bitter like me - these cookies are seriously delicious. 

Mocha Madeleine Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Mocha Madeleine Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons Dave's Coffee Syrup
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3oz of semi-sweet chocolate (high quality is better) 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 360 F degrees and spray a madeline pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high speed for two minutes.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and mix for another minute on high speed.
  4. Add the eggs, one by one, allowing each to incorporate before you add the next.
  5. Add the vanilla, Dave's Coffee Syrup, and a pinch of salt and mix until just combined.
  6. In a separate bow, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and the baking powder.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture at a low speed in three batches. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Only mix until flour is just incorporated or the dough will get tough.
  8. Cut the chocolate to small pieces and melt down in microwave or double boiler. Allow it to cool for a few minutes and then incorporate into the dough with a spatula.
  9. Place a Tablespoon of batter into each indentation. These will rise more than you think so you only need to fill them about halfway (maybe even slightly less)
  10. Bake for 12-15 min until they rise and become springy. Let it cool. Serve with a cup of coffee! 

Photos by:  Zac Wolf Photography

Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Cookies are my favorite part of the holiday season and this year I went old school (like, 13th century old school) with a classic gingerbread recipe. As I methodically rolled out the spiced dough, stamped out the individual stars, delicately placed each singular cookie on the baking sheet, I eventually realized I would have roughly 8,000 cookies to give away. Oh boy. Luckily these little stars are bite sized and can be bundled in a festive gift bag or box to pass out to your family, friends and co-workers. The royal icing hardens so don't worry about contact with other cookies messing up your lovely designs. Bonus: your house will smell amazing as the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove heat up in your oven. 

Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Classic Holiday Gingerbread Cookies | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

For the Gingerbread Cookies

  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 3/4 cups Butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Molasses
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

For the Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted

Directions:

For the Gingerbread Cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
  3. Drizzle in the molasses, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl a couple of times to make sure it's evenly combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until just combined after each addition.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 4 days. 
  6. When you're ready to bake the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350 F.
  7. divide it in half and roll out each half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Cut out shapes of your choosing (I used stars!) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size of cutters used, until the cookies are baked through but still soft. Remove with a spatula and allow to cool completely.

For the Royal Icing:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the egg white with the lemon juice until combined
  2. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and beat on a low speed until combined and smooth
  3. Transfer icing to a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe small decorations on the cookies
  4. Royal icing will harden when exposed to air, speed up this process by placing cookies in fridge to set. 

Recipe Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Several weeks ago, I was talking with one of my friends, a talented pastry chef, and we were mulling over the concept of her future dream bakery. We were discussing a baker's individual brand and how that would effect the bakery aesthetic and baked goods. To me, having a clear understanding of exactly who you are is what makes for the best dining establishments because the experience is so cohesive. When the idea of "New England Style" came up, I loved the idea and then quickly realized I did not have a grasp on what that really meant. Ask me about Florida style baking and I can easily relate to an array of citrus and tropical fueled treats; but New England style drew a blank for me. Considering New England is my home now, I felt it was important to understand what stemmed from this region and how these dishes have impacted culture and tradition since.

I was approached by the Harvard Common Press to take part in their Boston Blogger Cookbook Tour by selecting a cookbook from a list and writing a recipe to share. When I got the list of cookbooks it was difficult to choose but New England Home Cooking stood out to me immediately. At 672 pages, this thing is the bible of New England fare. The best way to understand what food was really like during the 20th century isn't to read published cookbooks by chef's and restaurants; it's to look at the recipe curation booklets from church groups, industry wives, and neighborhoods. That's what New England Home Cooking reads like - honest and uncomplicated - like each recipe could've been made by my own mom growing up. I learned a ton about lobster,oysters, and chowder but of course skipped directly to dessert!

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

A large portion of the dessert section in this cookbook is dedicated pie and I have a lot of American pride for pie since we were the very first to make it sweet rather than savory. USA! Alas, pie has dispersed it's popularity across the country and I wanted something more uniquely and currently New England. Instead, I went with a chocolate cake recipe, seemingly boring until you realize the secret ingredient - mashed potatoes! Not growing up with this technique made me skeptical, but luckily previously mentioned pastry chef friend had introduced me to The Holy Donut in Portland, ME which makes incredible mashed potato based donuts. I decided to go for it. The cake was light on cocoa, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with roughly a quarter-inch layer of powered sugar. When complete, it looked stunning, rustic, and tasted great too! I'm proud of my first adventure into New England baking and am really excited to continue learning from The New England Cookbook and discovering this region's food for myself.  

Leave a comment on this post
with your favorite
New England dessert
for a chance to win a copy of New England Home Cooking!!
*winner will be chosen Friday 11/21 at random!*

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)
Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake | Becca Bakes (www.becca-bakes.com)

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1+1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4oz unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole or lowfat milk
  • confectioners sugar

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tub or bundt pan.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or in a bowl over simmering water.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with 2 cups of sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat in the mashed potatoes and the cooled chocolate until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, mixing just until no specks of flour remain. 
  5. Beat the egg whites until frothy in a clean bowl. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until smooth and glossy.
  6. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the shape of the pan, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Begin checking at the minimum baking time and do not overbake.
  8. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, turn the cake out of the pan and cool completely on wire rack.
  9. To serve, sift confectioners sugar over the top of the cake. 

Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography
Recipe from: New England Home Cooking