A handful of birthday's have already passed so naturally, their present from me is some form of sugary baked goods. So far, my friends Lora and Shane got brownies and my brother's friend Melissa got herself a cake. Is your birthday coming up?? Let me know what you would like :)
Chocolate Caramel Brownies with Walnuts
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese/Marscapone Frosting
"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter."
Happy Warm and Fuzzy October!! :)
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup caramel, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray or melted butter.
Use a warmer or a double boiler to melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. (Make sure not to seize the chocolate)
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for five minutes until light in color and forming clumps.
Scrape down sides of the bowl and add the caramel and incorporate.
Crack eggs into a separate bowl and combine together with a fork. Add the egg in four batches allowing to completely incorporate before adding more. Beat in vanilla extract and scrape bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the caramel mixture all at once, then blend on the lowest speed just until you no longer see streaks of flour and the batter is smooth. Scrape down and make sure its completely incorporated.
Spread half of the batter into the bottom of your baking pan.
With the remaining half of the batter, incorporate the melted chocolate. Mix together and then lay the chocolate batter on top of the caramel batter in the pan.
Use a knife to swirl and spread the batter so it lays evenly in the pan (it is okay for them to blend into each other).
Sprinkle the walnut pieces across the top and lightly press into the batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For an extra kick, drizzle caramel over the top of the warm brownies and serve with ice cream!
Red Velvet Cake:
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream (contains 36-40% butterfat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
Red Velvet Cake: In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.
In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.
Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least an hour (or overnight). (This is done to make filling and frosting
the cakes easier.)
Cream Cheese Frosting: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Using the whisk attachment, gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to pipe. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm.