Out with the Vintage, in with the Rustic: #1 Pear Sauce Bundt cake with Pear Brandy Butter Glaze

I am continuing 2014 with Julie Richardson’s first book, “Rustic Fruit Desserts”. Some of the men who have been enjoying cake in our group were excited for a change to things more like pies. However, there are still many cake-like things in this book. Buckles, pandowdies, and others of that nature (I don’t know what a buckle or pandowdy is to be honest). But there are also pies, cobblers, crisps, and tarts.

One of the things I am most excited about is that each recipe is categorized by season so you can make sure each fruit is freshly in season. Something “Vintage Cakes” did not do, which meant that I had to research when each fruit that was used was in season, and then schedule out which cake I was going to do which week.  Having it pre-organized by season makes it a lot easier for me to just flip through and decide which one to make.

I decided to start out with the very first winter recipe, “Pear Sauce Bundt cake with Pear Brandy Butter Glaze”. This one was a bit involved, you have to start by making a pear sauce (akin to applesauce) which took about an hour on it’s own, and is listed as it’s own recipe.

Ingredients for pear sauce

Ingredients for pear sauce

Cider sugar and spices being brought to a simmer

Cider sugar and spices being brought to a simmer

After the pears simmered and put through the food mill, a beautiful pear sauce

After the pears simmered and put through the food mill, a beautiful pear sauce

The cake portion was very much like many of the Vintage Cakes I have made so it was very straightforward for me.

Cake ingredients

Cake ingredients

Sifted dry ingredients

Sifted dry ingredients

butter and sugar

butter and sugar

creamed

creamed

After the eggs were added

After the eggs were added

Some flour mixture and pear sauce added

Some flour mixture and pear sauce added

The chopped nuts added

The chopped nuts and last bit of dry ingredients added

Pan-ready

Pan-ready

Into the pan

Into the pan

Baked

Baked

Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cream, and brandy (I didn't have pear brandy though I did have brandy so it's really just a brandy butter glaze) - heating up

Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cream, and brandy (I didn’t have pear brandy though I did have brandy so it’s really just a brandy butter glaze) – heating up

Glazed cake

Glazed cake

This cake was delightful. Very rustic tasting, the 3 flavors of pear, cocoa, and walnuts blending well together. I happened to serve this one at my birthday party alongside my Double Dip Caramel cake, but there was quite a bit of the caramel cake leftover and by the time this one was ready everyone was stuffed to the brim. So we had a community slice to taste it. Not quite chocolatey enough for my husband’s taste, but still a lovely homey cake.

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The Grande Finale

I highly encourage anyone interested in baking and/or caking to purchase this book. It’d be a great addition to anyone’s shelf of cookbooks. She has all the great tips and there is quite a range of difficulty so you could start at any level, while eating so many wonderful tasting cakes.

So here it is, the grande finale; each cake, in the order it appears in the book, by category. Some are prettier than others, but all of them were delicious!

Enjoy.

Hasty Cakes:

#31 Berry-Long cake with Ginger Crumb

#31 Berry-Long cake with Ginger Crumb

#14 Rhubarb Pudding cake

#14 Rhubarb Pudding cake

#42 Shoo-fly Cake

#42 Shoo-fly Cake

#18 Grammy Cake

#18 Grammy Cake

#38 Wacky Cake

#38 Wacky Cake

#13 Texas Sheet Cake

#13 Texas Sheet Cake

#26 Lazy Daisy Oatmeal cake

#26 Lazy Daisy Oatmeal cake

#34 Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet cake

#34 Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet cake

#49 Ozark Pudding Cake

#49 Ozark Pudding Cake

Everyday Cakes:

#48 Honey Bee cake

#48 Honey Bee cake

#8 Pearl's Chocolate Macaroon cake

#8 Pearl’s Chocolate Macaroon cake

#9 Lemon Almond Streamliner cake

#9 Lemon Almond Streamliner cake

#29 Blackberry Chocolate Cream Icebox cake

#29 Blackberry Chocolate Cream Icebox cake

#51 Not-for-children Gingerbread Bundt cake

#51 Not-for-children Gingerbread Bundt cake

#7 Kentucky Bourbon cake

#7 Kentucky Bourbon cake

#2 The Harvey Wallbanger

#2 The Harvey Wallbanger

Little Cakes and Light Cakes:

#21 Lemon Queen cakes with Meringue Frosting

#21 Lemon Queen cakes with Meringue Frosting

#43 Boston Cream Pie-lets

#43 Boston Cream Pie-lets

#15 Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

#15 Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

#36 Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

#36 Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

#41 Tropicups

#41 Tropicups

#32 Daffodil Cake

#32 Daffodil Cake

#40 Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing

#40 Maple Pecan Chiffon Cake with Brown Butter Icing

#5 Angel cake with Chocolate and Orange Freckles

#5 Angel cake with Chocolate and Orange Freckles

Flips and Rolls:

#33 Nectarine-Oat Upside Down cake

#33 Nectarine-Oat Upside Down cake

#1 Butterscotch Cream Roll-up

#1 Butterscotch Cream Roll-up

#16 German Chocolate Roll

#16 German Chocolate Roll

#44 Coffee Crunch Spiral

#44 Coffee Crunch Spiral

#23 Chocolate Apricot Upside Down cake

#23 Chocolate Apricot Upside Down cake

#10 White Chocolate Rhubarb Downside-Up cake

#10 White Chocolate Rhubarb Downside-Up cake

Layer Cakes:

#27 Lovelight Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

#27 Lovelight Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

#45 Shinny Cake

#45 Shinny Cake

#30 Stack Cake

#30 Stack Cake

#3 Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream Frosting

#3 Banana Cake with Coffee Walnut Buttercream Frosting

#11 Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

#11 Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Decorated Carrot Cake

Decorated Carrot Cake

#6 Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

#6 Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

#6 Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

#6 Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting

#37 Watergate Cake with Impeachment Frosting

#37 Watergate Cake with Impeachment Frosting

#4 Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache

#4 Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache

#19 Italian Cream Cake

#19 Italian Cream Cake

#17 Cassata Cake

#17 Cassata Cake

#25 Goober Cake

#25 Goober Cake

#35 Blitz Torte

#35 Blitz Torte

Party Cakes:

#22 The Classic

#22 The Classic

#12 The Pink Cake

#12 The Pink Cake

#46 Black & White cake

#46 Black & White cake

#47 Old Vermont Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

#47 Old Vermont Burnt Sugar Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

#39 Double-Dip Caramel Cake

#39 Double-Dip Caramel Cake

#52 Champagne Cake

#52 Champagne Cake

#28 Cherry Chip Cake with Cherry Buttercream

#28 Cherry Chip Cake with Cherry Buttercream

#20 Blackout Cake

#20 Blackout Cake

Blackout Cake (take 2)

Blackout Cake (take 2)

#50 Gingerbread Icebox cake with Mascarpone Mousse

#50 Gingerbread Icebox cake with Mascarpone Mousse

#24 Flourless Peppermint Patty cake

#24 Flourless Peppermint Patty cake

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My Favorite cakes from Vintage Cakes

I have chosen a favorite cake from each section of the book, totaling 6 favorite cakes. This is probably the hardest decision I have thus made regarding cakes, but the hardest was choosing only ONE to make for my birthday (January 2nd). But I ended up choosing the Double Dip Caramel cake. 🙂

Hasty Cakes:

My husband liked this section because there were quite a few chocolate cakes. But I think my favorite of these would be something besides chocolate. It’s a toss up but I decided on Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake:

#26 Lazy Daisy Oatmeal cake

#26 Lazy Daisy Oatmeal cake

It doesn’t look all that exciting, but it was so delicious, I could eat it for breakfast every day.

Everyday Cakes:

My favorite was definitely the Blackberry Chocolate Cream Icebox Cake:

#29 Blackberry Chocolate Cream Icebox cake

#29 Blackberry Chocolate Cream Icebox cake

Fun and surprisingly easy to make and so incredibly delicious to eat.

Little Cakes and Light Cakes:

This one is also a toss-up between the Boston Cream Pie-lets and Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting, but the Mississippi Mud wins. 🙂

#15 Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

#15 Mississippi Mud Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Flips and Rolls:

This is one of the harder ones. I think I loved every single cake in this section. But I will choose Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up, my very first cake from this book. It definitely set me on a positive track. 🙂

#1 Butterscotch Cream Roll-up

#1 Butterscotch Cream Roll-up

Layer Cakes:

There a ton of cakes in this section and every single one of them is good. All of the classic recipes were amazing but I decided to choose one of the more unique cakes; Lovelight Chocolate Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream:

#27 Lovelight Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

#27 Lovelight Chiffon Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream

Party Cakes:

All of these (again) were fantastic, but I think this cake was designed for my taste buds: Double Dip Caramel Cake:

#39 Double-Dip Caramel Cake

#39 Double-Dip Caramel Cake

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#52 (The final cake!) Champagne Cake

I had planned all year long to make this cake for New Year’s Eve. What could be more perfect than to end it all off with a Champagne Cake? The cake itself containing champagne, and a champagne custard as the filling and flavoring to the outer whipped cream frosting. It was perfect.

By this time the word “custard” was familiar, and not so daunting as the first few times I saw it. The rest of it was a breeze, and was simply the perfect cake to end on, in all aspects.

Cake Ingredients

Cake Ingredients

This is my 2nd jar of baking powder. I made more than 52 cakes this year and only went through 2 cans of baking powder. You'd think they would start making those little containers even smaller since they take so long to get through.

This is my 2nd jar of baking powder. I made more than 52 cakes this year and only went through 2 cans of baking powder. You’d think they would start making those little containers even smaller since they take so long to get through.

Dry ingredients, sifted and whisked

Dry ingredients, sifted and whisked

Oil, sugar, and eggs, this time I used organic sugar (had to try it at least once!)

Oil, sugar, and eggs, this time I used organic sugar (had to try it at least once!)

Blended

Blended

The champagne being added, and all the bubbles fizzing.

The champagne being added, and all the bubbles fizzing.

Into the pans and oven!

Into the pans and oven!

Baked

Baked

Starting the custard (just milk here)

Starting the custard (just milk here)

Sugar, yolks, and corn starch

Sugar, yolks, and corn starch

Adding the champagne

Adding the champagne

Adding some milk to the yolk mixture

Adding some milk to the yolk mixture

All the milk mixed in

All the milk mixed in

Back in the pan, waiting for some thickening and bubbles

Back in the pan, waiting for some thickening and bubbles

Thickened and bubbling

Thickened and bubbling

Straining the custard

Straining the custard

Strained

Strained

After adding the butter and vanilla

After adding the butter and vanilla

Cooling out of the pans

Cooling out of the pans

Completely out

Completely out

Funny story here...

Funny story here…

This is my 52nd cake. Very many of these cakes were layer cakes that needed their tops cut off. Some of them needed to be sliced in half to create more layers. Some needed both. Very often I would leave cake tops on a plate on the counter for anyone to munch on. Usually me, but I’d leave it for Ian “just in case” he wanted to try it. He never tried them and I always ended up eating the tops myself or throwing them away.

This time was different. Ian decided to take a small piece out of the cake half shown, when they happened to be cake pieces that I was going to use and were NOT up for grabs. Of all the times 🙂 It worked out, I was able to cover it up with frosting and I’m sure no one noticed once it was sliced.

After adding the custard to the 2nd layer

After adding the custard to the 2nd layer

Adding some whipped cream frosting

Adding some whipped cream frosting

DSCF6251 DSCF6252 DSCF6253 DSCF6254

My slice

My slice

DSCF6258 DSCF6259 DSCF6260

Everyone loved it, and I think there was only one or two slices left. It was the perfect New Year’s cake 🙂

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#51 Not-for-children Gingerbread Bundt cake; a rushed Christmas cake

This post doesn’t get what it deserves. My aunt had called both my mom and I to let us know what time to come over for Christmas dinner. She said to come over at 3:30 and dinner would be around 4:30 but for some reason 4:30 got stuck in both our heads so we thought dinner was gonna be at 5:30…

Christmas day we sat around playing board games and card games and at about 4:00 I decided I should probably get started on my cake. 15 minutes later my aunt called my mom up and was wondering if we were on our way because they were about ready for dinner. :O We were not ready. This cake was supposed to bake for a good 45 minutes. We decided my parents and sister and brother-in-law should go ahead of us and we would be behind but that they should start dinner without us.

Since we were rushed I decided to conserve time by not taking pictures. So sad. A rushed Christmas cake! Not at all how I intended, but it sure had been fun playing games. 🙂

I made one mishap while baking as the cake plus glaze calls for a total of 1 cup of butter so I got two sticks out and put them both in the cake even though half of one should have gone into the glaze. There was more butter to work with of course, but the extra butter in the cake could have been what gave me a bit of trouble later.

So Ian, George and I waited for the cake to bake which had about 30 minutes remaining when everyone else got out the door. When the timer went off however, the cake was still very jiggly and the toothpick was supposed to come out clean when it was done. 5 more minutes I thought. Still jiggly. 10 more minutes this time….More done but wet toothpick. Another 10 minutes….still slightly wet toothpick! I decided to take it out anyway, and risk it. We were missing Christmas dinner!

The cake turned out deliciously. Everyone loved it, my aunt proudly raved over it despite it breaking a little when we flipped it out of the pan (probably due to undercooking 😛 ). She fixed it for me while Ian and I dealt with a very cranky George (he had missed  his late afternoon nap, poor baby) and tried to eat the remaining (extremely delicious) ham dinner while catching up with my cousin who has been in Ecuador for the past two years with the Peace Core. The Christmas ham dinner my aunt makes is my absolute favorite holiday meal. 🙂 Although I will say that my own pre-Christmas Christmas dinner with prime rib and Yorkshire pudding turned out the best ever this year.

Here are a couple photos I managed to take on my phone, which does not at all do it justice, especially since the glaze never got put on the entire cake (we let the measuring cup get passed around) and it was half-eaten by the time I was able to take a picture.

#51 Not-for-children Gingerbread Bundt cake

#51 Not-for-children Gingerbread Bundt cake

side view of the half-eaten cake

side view of the half-eaten cake

My little Christmas elf :)

My little Christmas elf 🙂

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George getting his toy car out of his stocking

George getting his toy car out of his stocking

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! I thank the Lord that an undocumented cake on Christmas will not spoil the celebration of the birth of Christ. Praise God for sending His Son that we might be saved. Our God is merciful and gracious, may he ever be praised!

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