Thursday, 26 August 2010

Recipe Thursday - Cake Keeper Cakes: 100 Simple Recipes for Extraordinary Bundt Cakes, Pound Cakes, Snacking Cakes, and other Good-to-the-Last-Crumb Treats by Lauren Chattman

I love to bake and my family loves even more to eat what I bake.  Can there be a better choice that a cake cookbook to get my attention.  Cake Keeper Cakes has been a special book at my household for the past two months.  It was impossible to select just two or three cakes to sample and we ended up baking and eating six. 

Over the course of a year, author Lauren Chattman developed recipes for and baked all one hundred cakes which she proudly displayed in an antique cake keeper on her kitchen counter.  Her reason for making cakes is captured in the following quote:
"Unlike Cookies, which are baked in many carefully watched batches, a simple cake requires little attention once it is popped in the oven."

This book contains updated version of many everyday cakes, that are good enough to serve company.  There are flavours and style to match any intenational meal that you chose to serve.

What I found most interesting is that the book is organized by the type of pan that the cake is baked in: 8" square, 9" round, 9" loaf, 12 cup Bundt, springform and angel food.  My luck, I have most of those pans (mom, buy me an an angel food pan please).

The "Poppy Seed Cake" is baked in an 8" square pan.  My grandmother always made us poppy seed cake with a thick rich chocolate frosting.  This recipe almost duplicates her cake.  I will be baking it for her next week and then again for my father's birthday a week later.

There are very good reasons to read the complete recipe and the author's notes before using any recipe.  If I had properly perpared my 9" round pan as instructed the cake would have come out in one piece instead of 8 million.  In the future, line pan with greased parchment when making the "Cream of Coconut Cake with Chocolate-Coconut Glaze".  It's appearance did improve somewhat with the addition of the glaze and it really did taste fantastic.  I have already bought more ingredients for this one.

My niece helped to bake the "Chocolate-Caramel-Banana Upside-Down Cake" for her mother's birthday.  We emailed her a picture since she lives far to far away to actually send her a piece.  This one was also baked in the 9" round pan.  First picture shows the banana slices in the sugar syrup.
"Cherry-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake" was amazing.  I learned a few new flavour secrets.  I again used parchment paper on the bottom and the cake came out perfectly.  Another one that I have bought additional ingredients for.
I really like sweet potatoes and was intriqued at using it in pound cake.  The texture was so smooth that one piece was definitely not enough.  "Sweet Potato Pound Cake"
While I think that all the recipes in the book are most suitable to serve to company, I also wanted to try what I thought was the fanciest cake in the book.  I also like the fact that it was baked in a Bundt pan.  "Peanut Butter-Sour Cream Bundt Cake wtih butterfinder Ganache Glaze".  This was a show stopper when I took it to a pot-luck dinner.
This cookbook is bound to see a lot of use in my kitchen in the future.

Thanks to Tauton Press I have included the "Poppy Seed Cake" recipe for you to try.

Poppy Seed Cake

3/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
14 tbsp butter
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
icing sugar for dusting

Place the poppy seeds in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand until softened 1-3 hours.  Tranfer the seeds to a blender and blend to slightly crush.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Grease 8" square baking pan and dust with flour.

Wisk together flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.

Combine butter and sugar in large bowl and beat with electric mixer until fluffy (3 minutes).  Add poppy seed mixture and mix on medium.

Add eggs one at a time, scrapping down sides after each addition.  Stir in vanilla and almond extract.

Stir in flour mixture till smooth.

Transfer to baking Pan.  Bake 45 minutes until golden.  Let cook in pan 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack and dust with icing sugar.

I'll admit that I had a bit of trouble with the poppy seeds in the blender and would probably just mash them a bit with my mortar and pestle next time, saves on cleaning the blender.

Thanks to Tauton Press for the ebook version of Cake Keeper Cakes for review.  Cover photo from Tauton Press.

Actual cake photos by my son Andrew Pearson and myself.

Additional Reviews for this cookbook can be read at:

Like to cook or read about food, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her "Weekend Cooking" meme.  You are invited to join in the fun by adding the link to your food related post.


Linda said...

I have to have this book! Thanks for the great review.

caite said...

love the look and sound of that cherry-cornmeal upside down cake! I must have that...must I tell ya! ;-)

Beth F said...

OMG!!!!! Look at all those beautiful cakes. I love the way the book is organized and I love the look of each and every cake.

Miri said...


Peaceful Reader said...

I have a beautiful glass cake stand-no topper for it-but hey it's a beginning. I really want this book. The middle photos of the coconut cake looked like many of my baking projects. Thanks for including them. The last show stopper cake is just what I strive to bake. Great post!

Ruth said...

Your newest follower from Weekend Cooking. Blessings! This looks like a great cookbook. I have put it on my list. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

My son and I would love "Chocolate-Caramel-Banana Upside-Down Cake" and my husband the "Cherry-Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake".

I'm going to have to look for this too!

Anonymous said...

What a great book! I love the simplicity of most of those cakes, nothing too fancy with marzipan and difficult glazes.

It's nice to see that you've actually prepared a number of those cakes. They look yummy!