Black Forest Cake

Silverspoon Events Black Forest Cake

Black forest cake is a favourite in my family. When I was growing up my mom used to buy this cake for birthdays or special events. At that time I didn’t have a very big sweet-tooth but I loved the cherry and chocolate combination. I wasn’t too keen on the whipped cream and would usually leave it on my plate.

It then comes as no surprise that when I now bake this old classic, I keep the frosting to a minimal but generously pour lots of cherries between the layers and on top of the cake.

Silverspoon Events Black Forest Cake

This dessert has a very rustic appeal to me. It is a perfect dessert for those cold nights we’ve been having lately. With a cup of chamomile tea, a generous piece of this cake makes my evening perfect.

And as Valentine’s Day is approaching, you could consider do individual portions of this cake and serve it with a small glass of porto.

Silverspoon Events Black Forest Cake

You will need:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup of sour cream
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 ½ cup of buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup of heavy cream
4 to 5 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 can of cherry pied filling

Butter 2 8-inch round cake pans and dust with some cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the sour cream and beat.

In another bowl, sift the cocoa powder with flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat well and add the buttermilk, constantly mixing. Add the remaining dry ingredients and make sure everything is well blended.

Divide the batter in the two pans and bake at 350F for about 25 to 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, whisk the cream with icing sugar. The best way to know if you added enough icing sugar is to taste the cream as you go. Some prefer the whipped cream very sweet; I don’t.

Once the cakes are baked and cooled, trim the top of the cakes to make them even and cut each of the cakes in half.

On the first half, spread some whipped cream. Cover with the other half of the cake. Spread whipped cream and add some cherry pie filling. Cover the whole layer.

Add another half cake and spread with whipped cream. Add the last piece of cake and cover the whole cake with icing sugar. Pour the rest of the cherry pie filling on top of the cake.

Add shaved chocolate if you wish, and enjoy!

Silverspoon Events Black Forest Cake

Celebrating the end of 2014

Shortbread Cookies by Silver Spoon EventsSome of you may wonder what I have been up to for the past 2 months. Clearly, I wasn’t blogging or posting any new recipes…

The thing is that I was cheating on this blog with my new baby… SilverSpoon Events.

A year after creating Sugar Coated Baking, it was time to give the “small business” a try and I worked hard to put together a new website for my company that specialises in dessert tables for special occasions and baking in general.

So please have a look at the new website, it is quite different from this blog but I was able to include a blogging section, which is pretty cool. I hope you will like it. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. With that being said, I will still share some recipes here and keep the blog going – I just needed a small break.

Silver Spoon Events presentation of boxes of macarons

As I am looking back on 2014, I can’t help but smile thinking about all the great bloggers I had the privilege to be in contact with and all the recipes we keep sharing through our own blogs. I want to thank those of you who followed this blog over the past year and maybe even tried some of my recipes!

Baking is a passion that I share with many other bloggers and people in my life. And thanks to my partner in crime Jacob, I am able to post beautiful pictures of what I bake.

So as we are celebrating the end of a beautiful year and prepare ourselves to leave behind the bad moments, I wish you all the best for 2015. I hope you will find new recipes to share, find new awesome bloggers and that some of your dreams will come true.

I know 2014 was a good one for me, so I will be celebrating it tomorrow. I hope you will be able to do the same with your loved ones.

Happy New Year friends.

Silver Spoon Events Web Food Photos

Happy New Year!

 

Almond Streusel Coffee Cake

Almond Streusel Coffee Cake

“Why is it called a coffee cake if there is no coffee in the cake?” I asked Jacob one evening.

“I think it’s a cake you should have with a coffee,” he answered.

Then, there was a pause. “Actually I have no idea,” he admitted.

A quick search of the web would prove his instincts right. Just like we call “tea cakes”, the goodies we serve with tea, a coffee cake is known to be spiced with cinnamon or other spices and serve with coffee. It is as simple as that.

This weekend I got busy baking, taking advantage of the long weekend. This coffee cake was probably the highlight of my time at home. Inspired by a recipe I found in one of Martha Stewart’s books, I adapted it to fit with what I like in a coffee cake (which is almonds, always more almonds).

It was delicious. Definitively something I will do again in our kitchen. And, as I would find out, the perfect partner for a fresh cup of delicious coffee.

Almond Streusel Coffee Cake

For the streusel, you will need:
1 cup of unsalted butter
¼ cup of marzipan
1 ¾ cups of flour
¾ cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup of sliced almonds
A pinch of salt

For the streusel center, you will need:
¼ cup of brown sugar
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ cup of sliced almonds

For the cake, you will need:
2 cups of flour
1 ¼ teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt
½ cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of sour cream

For the glaze, you will need:
1 cup of icing sugar
2 tablespoons of milk

Make the streusel:
Mix the flour with the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Grate the cold butter in the bowl, followed by the marzipan. Add sliced almonds. Mix with your hands until you get crumbles. Set aside.

Make the streusel center:
Mix all the ingredients. Set aside.

Make the cake:
Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream in two batches. Mix well.

Spread half of the batter into a buttered 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.

Spread the streusel center.

Add the rest of the batter. Top with the streusel.

Bake at 350 for about 55 minutes. Let it cool completely before drizzling with the glaze.

Glaze: mix the icing sugar with milk. Drizzle on top of the cold cake and enjoy!

Almond Streusel Coffee Cake

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

It is officially this time of year: the leaves are falling from the trees, everything seems wet all the time, you put an extra layer of clothes on before going out, and you can’t decide which scarf you should be wearing when leaving the house. It is fall my friend.

Fall is also a season to celebrate. Growing up as a French Canadian, we didn’t really highlight Thanksgiving. I mean we would celebrate the harvest season in our own way, but it was never a big deal. Since I have been dating my Anglophone man however, I have learned to embrace this new holiday.

So since it is fall, and since it is Thanksgiving weekend starting very shortly, I thought I would share a pretty easy and tasty recipe that could be the perfect starter to any dinner, or the perfect meal on a cloudy or rainy evening.

I am a bit tonight so my post will be short. I hope you will have a chance to try this recipe and that you will enjoy it. And Happy Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

You will need:
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 big sweet potato
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh thyme
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 big tomato, shocked and peeled preferably, diced
Fresh basil
Fresh or dry oregano
Salt and pepper
Sour cream to garnish

What to do:
In a big pot, mix about 1 tablespoon of butter with the onion and garlic and stir for about a minute. Add the diced squash and sweet potato with one branch of thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Add two cups of the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, bring the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it simmer for about 8 minutes.

Add the rest of the broth, the tomato, some chopped fresh basil, some fresh thyme leaves, and a good teaspoon of oregano. Cover again and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Once the squash is cooked, puree the soup in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the garnish of your choice (sour cream or some fresh herbs). Enjoy!

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

A perfect chocolate cupcake

Chocolate Cupcakes

Growing up, chocolate was always a part of our family celebrations: Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve, birthdays … Chocolate, for me, is somehow comforting. The smell of cacao powder or melting chocolate alone makes me smile.

A couple of weeks ago, I came back home feeling a bit tired and down after my day at work. As I was looking in the cupboard for some inspiration for dinner, I was reminded of this package of Donini Chocolate, a great dark chocolate I had bought at Waupoos winery in Prince Edward County this summer – a great and creamy chocolate made in Belleville in Ontario. As I was craving integrating this chocolate in a dessert, I decided to bake something that makes me happy — cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. I love having to fill each individual paper cup that I chose carefully, smelling the small cakes baking, putting them on a cooling-rack to chill. I love making the frosting, seeing the butter change into a fluffy, creamy, perfect topping for those adorable cakes.

Putting the frosting on top of the cupcakes is my favourite part. There is something comforting about choosing the tip, filling the piping bag, deciding what shape I want to give the frosting, practicing on a couple before finding the right way to bend my wrist to make the cupcake pretty. For every single one of them, I will dedicate my full attention.

Chocolate Cupcakes

An hour can easily go by without being noticed. I put some music on, my apron gets messy, my fingers get dirty, the kitchen looks like a mess, and I love everything about this process. I picked this recipe in a great book called Butter Baked Goods, a very good recipe book. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I suggest you do.

So this fall, when you’ll feel like baking something very tasty and dedicating some real time to it, bake these cupcakes and try to frost them with patience and attention. Try to bake the perfect chocolate cupcake.

Chocolate Cupcakes

For the cupcakes, you will need:
1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 eggs
330 grams of flour
125 grams of cacao
1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
A pinch of salt
1 ½ cup of milk
¾ cup of sour cream
½ cup of strong coffee, chilled
2 teaspoons of vanilla

In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add both sugars. Add the egg, one at a time, beating well between each addition.

In another bowl, mix the flour with cacao, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl mix the milk with the sour cream, coffee and vanilla.

Add about one third of the dry ingredient to the butter mixture. Add half of the liquids. Add another third of the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the rest of the liquid and finish with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into cupcake trays filled with paper line. Bake at 350F about 20 minutes. Once baked, let the cupcakes cool on a rack before frosting them.

Chocolate Cupcakes

For the frosting, you will need:
1 cup of butter
1 cup of dark chocolate, melted
2 cups of icing sugar
¾ cup of cacao
½ cup of milk

Start by sifting the icing sugar with cacao.

In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cacao ½ cup at a time, mixing between each addition. Repeat until you have no dry ingredients left.

Add the melted chocolate and beat well. Slowly add the mix and mix everything until the frosting is creamy. Turn the mixer to high speed and let it run for 10 minutes.

Frost each cupcake, and scrape some Donini Chocolate on top, and enjoy!

Falling for apples, at Mountain Orchards

Mountain Orchard Farm

About two weeks ago, while looking at my calendar, it hit me that summer was pretty much gone. Fall was slowly taking its place and I was looking forward to enjoying my favourite season. As a way of welcoming fall, Jacob and I decided to go apple picking.

I hadn’t been gone apple picking in many years so I was pretty excited. I Googled “Apple picking Ottawa”, and the first result I got was Mountain Orchards. I looked at the location, comments, noticed they were picking Lobo apples that weekend and so this is where Jacob and I would head-out that Sunday morning.

The road to get there was beautiful. I love the Ontario country; it reminds me a lot of New Brunswick, where I grew up. We passed many barns, saw some cows, many freshly cut cornfields, a beautiful landscape. We reached our destination within an hour.

Mountain Orchard Farm

At 10 am, the parking lot (which is actually a field) was half-full already. Kids were running around, dogs were happily following them, parents looked relaxed. While walking towards the little tractor that would get us to the field, I wondered how long this place had been farming apple trees…

Mountain Orchard Farm

Established in 1932, Mountain Orchards grew from a plantation of McIntosh trees to a 25 acre farm with over 10,000 trees, now offering 8 different varieties of apples from the end of August to mid-October. From the traditional Cortland, to the Spartan, you can also pick the large and crisp Lobo (one of my favourites), the Honeycrisp or the Empire. The Silken is available early in the season and the Honey Gold can be picked just at its end.

Mountain Orchard Farm

“We bought the orchard in 1974, knowing nothing about growing apples other than we knew they grew on trees. It was a lot of trial and a lot of error for many years,” explains Shelley Lyall, one of the owners. The Lyall and Hobson families have worked hard since the beginning.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time and being the good hippies we were, the “back to the land” movement was pretty prevalent in those days,” adds Shelley.

Bob Hobson and Phil Lyall grew up together in Manotick, and Shelley joined the group of friends when she was 14 years old. She would marry Phil years later and as she says, the rest is history. “The love of agriculture was more a very big sense of adventure and over the last 40 years we have overcome a challenge or two,” admits Shelley.

Mountain Orchard Farm

Mountain Orchard also offers baked goods such as butter tart, apple cider, and amazingly crispy, incredible, warm apple cider doughnuts. Jacob and I bought six of them when we were done picking and sat at a picnic table enjoying every bite. I would actually go back for the doughnuts alone!

Mountain Orchard Farm

When we got back home, I was very excited and started to bake right away. You can go through my blog to find some delicious apple recipes!!