Thursday, April 25, 2013

White Russian Cake

Once upon a time there was a very special food blogger with a very special dad whose birthday was separated from hers by only one day. As the years passed and it became 2013, he was now exactly twice her age.

Growing up, this meant that the young fiery-haired little food blogging girl and her fiery-haired dad were required by the Evil Queen of the Household to share a birthday cake. As luck would have it, the little girl was none too happy with this arrangement as the years passed. She would stomp down her foot, demand a cake and be sent away to the lonely tower to think about what she had done.

Seasons passed, suns went up & down and the little girl was not so little any more. She followed her dreams, moved across the land to a magical place called “Seattle” and had no more shared birthday cakes with her fiery-haired dad. To her surprise, this made the grown up food blogger incredibly sad!

But as luck would have it, the girl fell in love with her prince and his white steed name “UHaul” took them back to Midwestia. Not Michigania, but Wisconsonia. This made the girl squeal with glee as now she would be able to share her birthday cake again with her birthday partner in crime.

She baked and baked and baked (and drank a beer) and baked trying to make the best possible cake for their fateful reunion. Taking inspiration from The Dude himself, she made it a bit boozy to celebrate the reunion. Or because she just likes the White Russian cocktail.

Cake was eaten. Smiles were had. And the little food blogging girl and the fiery-haired dad were celebrating in style together.


Folks. That is a true story. The vegan White Russian (as I make it with almond milk, not cream) is hands down my favorite drink – it tastes like a milkshake! For our birthdays this year, my family, “A” and I all met up in Chicago to celebrate.

The recipe below is for a full-sized cake but I halved it to make my cake a bit more mini. If you’re more in the mood for cupcakes – full-sized or mini – this recipe works perfectly! The Evil Queen of the Household, erm, my wonderful, lovely & perfect mother can attest, she forced my evil Full-Blood Sister to bake a batch for her ladies night gathering. Need proof? See below!

White Russian Cake

  • 14.5 oz cake flour (To "make your own" cake flour, do this, it's what I did:
  • 8.75 oz confectioner’s sugar
  • 0.5 oz baking powder
  • 6.75 oz almond milk
  • 6 oz canola oil
  • 3.25 oz eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 13 oz egg whites
  • 9.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
  • 1/2 cup vodka

  1. Oven 375°F. Prep pan by butter bottom and sides. Place parchment in pan and butter the parchment.
  2. Sift dry ingredients (except granulated sugar) into a large bowl. 
  3. Mix all ingredients (except the 13 oz of egg whites and granulated sugar) in the large bowl until combined. Whip whites and granulated sugar to medium peaks. Fold into batter gently. 
  4. Bake until set, about 20-25 minutes (do the toothpick test – no goop on toothpick… 30 minutes for me).
  5. Remove from oven and remove from pan. Let cool on a rack. 
  6. You can get 3 layers from one cake, or four layers from two cakes… it all depends on how tall you want your cake and how many layers of cake you want.
  7. Mix the coffee liqueur and vodka together.

For the Dude-worthy buttercream frosting:
  • 1 cup goat butter, room temperature
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ⅓ cup coffee liqueur (Kahlua)

  1. To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium high until light and fluffy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in coffee liqueur until smooth. Add more if necessary until frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired and enjoy!

  1. Place a base layer, bottom-side-down on your serving plate. Pour a quarter of the booze evenly over the cake layer. 
  2. Spread a layer of the frosting over the cake. Set a second layer of cake on the frosted layer. Repeat until the last layer (should be the other base). 
  3. Soak the cut side of that layer with the remaining booze and carefully flip that onto the top of the cake. Frost the sides (crumb coat first, then frost) and the top of the cake. 
  4. Decorate as desired. Serves 12. Consume immediately or refrigerate for a few days.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spicy Ginger Pickled Carrots

This is a quick n' dirty blogpost for a quick n' easy recipe. These carrots had bigger dreams and ultimately ended up in some homemade Bahn Mi (100% homemade to toot my own horn). That "recipe" will be coming soon but I already apologize in advance for the quality of the photos. Night isn't always the best time for lighting, as one would assume, but now that we're past daylight savings time, things are on the upswing! Unfortunately, I'm pretty backlogged with recipes that were taken after sundown. 

These picked carrots are less of a "recipe" than the Bahn Mi. It's more of making due with what you have on hand. I don't often keep fancy Mason jars on hand (a girl can dream), but I have mild hoarding tendencies and feel the need to save any decent glass jars. Perfect for bulk spices and leftovers alike, I can't ever bring myself to throw them out! So why are these carrots is a former fermented black bean jar you ask? Because I recycle (read: hoard) and because that's what I had on hand.

Back to the food. Basically, just take as many carrots as you can fit in the jar… then make them fit in the jar. Then top with pickling liquid and spices, or what will fit in the jar. Wait. Then… WHAM! Delicious easy, make-your-friends-jealous food!

Spicy Ginger Pickled Carrots

  • Carrots, peeled
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon powered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  1. Cut the carrots into matchsticks. Bring a medium-sized pot of lightly-salted water to a boil. (Use a non-reactive pot.)
  2. When the water boils, drop the carrots in and simmer for one minute. Pour into a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain thoroughly and place in jar.
  3. In the same pot, heat the remaining ingredients. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Once cool, pour liquid over carrots in car and chill. The carrots will be ready in about 3 hours but it's best to wait for at least a day.


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