Peach Upside-down Pound Cake

Peach Pound Cake

I found this recipe at the back of a recent issue of Southern Living. Well, sort of this recipe, they actually call it an Upside-Down Bourbon Bundt Cake, but I didn’t use any bourbon and I used some ginger sugar and called it a peach pound cake because alliteration is never a bad thing. Anyhow, I knew I had to try it when peach season came along. And I did try it, but the recipe had some questionable parts and the end result was okay but could use some work.

So I made it again, and boy howdy! What a cake! Worthy of daydreams, it’s the sort of cake that will inspire a multitude of variations.

To bring this dense moist hunk of goodness into your life this is what you need:

For the peachy upside-down bit:

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 peaches. peeled and cut into eighths

For the cake:

1 ~ 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

3/4 cups Ginger Sugar (optional, you could use all plain old sugar but the hint of ginger you get from the sugar is really quite fun)

3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

6 eggs

1 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour, sifted

1 ounce warm water

1 ounce honey

Heavily* grease a 15 cup (10.5 inch) bundt pan. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325°F. Melt butter and brown sugar for topping in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until sugar and butter become one and mixture begins to bubble. Pour this thick sticky mess into the bottom of your pre-greased pan. Place your peach slices in an even layer on top of this.

Now on to the cake! Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy, a minute or so. Add all the sugars: ginger, plain, and brown. Beat on medium until light and fluffy, roughly 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until the yolk just disappears before you add the next one. Add vanilla extract.

Combine honey and warm H2O ~ stir until honey dissolves in sugar. Combine sifted flour and salt. Add these alternatively, starting and ending with the flour mix. Blend until just mixed. Spoon batter out onto your peaches layer.

Bake for 1 hour and 25 or 30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle but still hot. Turn the cake out onto the wire rack and let cool completely.

Serve with coffee and good conversation.

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Peach Pound Cake

*Yeah, you heard me, bold AND italic, the caramelized sticky sugar peach topping is exactly that, sticky, it will stick to your pan so make sure you grease it properly.

Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake

You only live once, so do it.

That’s the only thing the author of the original recipe has to say before launching into the ingredient list. And what more do you need?

Forget everything you’ve heard about making cheesecake. Put your fears aside, you are a champion, and you can make cheesecake. Sure, it may look hard and people will tell you you can’t do it, but you CAN and you WILL do amazing things with this recipe!
Chocolate Cheesecake

Be a winner:

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 pounds soft cream cheese, room temp

3 eggs, room temp

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate

3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 cups sour cream

1/4 cup Cannonborough Bev. Co. Ginger Beer

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix graham crackers and melted butter with 3 tablespoons sugar. Work them together with your fingers until they are well blended. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 10-inch springform cake pan.

Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then gradually beat in the remaining 2 cups of sugar and the eggs. Continue beating until the mixture is perfectly smooth.

In a small saucepan melt the chocolate with the heavy cream, beat this in with the cream cheese mixture and 1 cup of sour cream. Add the ginger beer, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and beat a few minutes more.

Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes to an hour. The sides will most likely rise higher than the center so don’t panic! If you want an even top carefully remove the sides of the pan once the cake is cool and with a sharp knife slice the uneven bits right off!

Beat together the remaining 1 cup of sour cream and the confectioners’ sugar and pour over top of cake. At this point you can decorate the cake with fresh fruit and/or flowers! We decided to overachieve and pile on some chocolate covered strawberries! Chill the cake before serving, at least 1 1/2 hours, and enjoy!! Chocolate Cheesecake

Stay sweet!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Spice Cake

Spice Cake

The other day I was overcome by an intense desire to make carrot cake. I did some casual internet searching and found the recipe for this delicious cake on this blog, The Faux Martha.

But boy, this is not Carrot Cake. This is what Carrot Cake wants to be when it grows up. It’s elegant and understated, sophisticated and subtle.

Spice Cake

It’s all kinds of fine. The perfect cake for teatime or after brunch or dinner or lunch. It’s not cloyingly sweet, it’s simply delicious.

I baked the cake in two 8×8 pans with every intention of making a two layer cake. When it came down to it, I was seized by a wild hair, and decided to cut one of the layers into quarters and then I sliced three of those quarters in half, making a 6 layered tower of spice cake.

Here’s what ya need:

For the spice cake:

1 pound carrots, finely grated

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups of sugar

1 1/2 cups canola oil

1/3 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Poudre Douce

For buttercream frosting:

16 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 cup of confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8 pans with parchment paper. In an electric mix combine carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and Poudre Douce. Add this to carrot mixture, mixing until combined.

Distribute batter evenly into your baking pans. Bake 30 to 40 mins or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove pans and let cake cool completely before icing.

For the frosting: In your electric mixer cream cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add in butter gradually. Add in confectioners sugar and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. And then you’re ready to go as soon as your cakes are cooled.

Spice Cake

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Dos Tres Leches

Tres Leches

This is what it looks like when a cake oozes with sex appeal and Irish cream.

In honor of St. Paddy’s Day I decided to make a Pastel borracho de tres leches!! That’s right, I replaced one of the three milks with Irish cream liqueur.

This is the recipe I followed (for the most part). I ended up baking two 8″x 8″ cakes instead of one 9″ x 13″ cake, thus the title of this post Dos Tres Leches. I figured I needed to provide a sweet treat for those who didn’t want to drink and eat their dessert at the same time.

Here’s how to make your moist cakey dreams come true:

For the cakes:

2 8″x 8″ pans, buttered and floured

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

5 eggs

For borracho milk mixture:

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (we used La Lechera)

1/2 can evaporated milk (we used Carnation)

1/2 cup of your favorite Irish cream liqueur

For plain milk mixture:

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (we used La Lechera)

1/2 can evaporated milk ( we used Carnation)

1/2 cup heavy cream

For frosting:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

4 Tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F with the oven rack in the middle. Grease and flour your two pans.

Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set to the side.

In your electric mixer beat the eggs adding in one at a time. Slowly add sugar and mix until incorporated, the mix should be fluffy and light yellow. Turning the mixer to low slowly add in the flour. Mix until combined, but don’t over do it!!

Split the batter between your two baking pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown.

Remove the pans from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Poke holes in the top of both cakes with a fork or toothpick.

Once cakes have cooled, pour the milk mixtures over them. At this point it might be a good idea to place a toothpick in one or the other to remember which one has the alcohol. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

To make the frosting combine all the ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer and mix them together on medium until lovely soft peaks begin to form! I actually made the frosting in two batches, one plain and one for the borracho cake with Irish whiskey instead of vanilla, I mean, it’s St. Paddy’s Day, go big or go home…

Lather that frosting on top of your cakes and serve!!

Tres Leches

As a side note, we found that the cake was even better on the second day. Yeah, we were able to control ourselves and not eat it all on the first day, don’t ask how, we don’t even know, the cake is that good.

Stay sweet, friends.

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These cookies are pretty darn tasty.

If I had to describe them in the most succinct and accurate way, I’d say they are the love child of a sugar cookie and the crispy edge of a brownie.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

And they come out so perfectly smooth and delightful!! Each cookie was just flawless. I found the recipe here, and the author has some great tips for baking, I highly recommend you check out her blog!

The cookies looked like a blank canvas to me, so I added some Chipotle Royal Icing. YUP. 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder + 3 cups confectioners sugar + just enough H2O to make a thick icing.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Here’s the recipe for these lovely cookies:

6 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups cocoa nib powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

3 eggs, cold

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa nib powder, salt.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until fluffy and pale (about 5 mins). Beat in eggs until just combined.

On low speed, add flour mixture and blend until completely combined. Make two discs with the dough. Wrap separately and chill for at least 45 minutes.

Roll out the dough on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This cookie recipe is where I found the fun tip about using dowels to make lovely cookies that are all the same thickness – if you place a dowel on either side of the dough and roll it out until you are right up on the dowels you will be on your way to cookie perfection. Once dough is rolled out, transfer to a baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Cut out your cookies and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (wrap scraps back up and chill before rolling out again). Place in your freezer for another 15 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes, or longer depending on the thickness of your cookie.

Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to continue cooling. Will last a few days in an airtight container.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate pound cake with dark chocolate ganache

Chocolate Pound Cake

This pound cake.

Mmmmm.

Words, it’s hard to put them together to do this cake justice. I keep thinking, so this is love, so this is what makes life divine and by thinking I mean humming because this cake makes me want to sing it’s so pretty.

Chocolate Pound Cake

And it’s delicious.

This pound cake is what dreams are made of, it’s a Sunday kinda love, it’s a too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you, make me feel some type of way kinda cake.

I found the recipe here on Bisous À Toi and I think the author would agree that this is an all-star cake.

Here’s how to make dreams come true:

For cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 cup cacao nib powder

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon double strength vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons regular vanilla extract)

1 cup sour cream

For ganache:

12 oz dark chocolate (choose one you love the taste of!)

14 oz heavy cream

make the cake:

Place rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 325 F.

Sift flours, cacao nib powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter at medium speed until very creamy (about 2 mins). Gradually beat in sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until well blended and light (about 4 mins). At medium speed beat in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each one and scrapping down the sides if necessary.

In a small bowl stir together vanilla extract and sour cream.

With the mixer on low add dry ingredients in 3 waves with 2 doses of the sour cream mixture in between. Mix until just blended, pour into a bundt pan, and smooth the top. (The original recipe said to oil and flour the bundt pan, I took a gamble and didn’t, the choice is yours.)

Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a tester comes out clean from the center.

Let cool in the bundt pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes then flop the cake out and let it cool all by itself on the rack.

make the ganache:

Hammer out 12 oz of dark chocolate so that you have small to medium chunks (the smaller the chunks, the faster it’ll all melt). Warm up the heavy cream using a double boiler. Once cream is moderately warm remove from heat. Pour in the chocolate and let sit for 15 minutes then stir gently. Pour over cake and enjoy! (We went a little wild and filled up the inner hole with ganache and boy howdy, that sure was great.)

Chocolate Pound Cake

If you have the time, make this pound cake a day ahead. We thought it was delightful the first day but absolutely to die for the second day.

Stay sweet, friends!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Pound Cake