Can't believe I missed this in January - a must-try for next festive season!
This New Orleans-style cake, a cousin of Hungary's Dobos torte, came to the United States in the 1930s and was transformed into doberge (pronounced DOH-bash) cake. Many countries now associate this bake with Epiphany in January, the end of the Christmas season.
It's an American recipe, so dig out your measuring cups for this recipe (serves 12-14). There's a lot of ingredients, and it takes a while to make, but it's worth it.
For the Chocolate Filling, Lemon Curd, and German Buttercream
1 1⁄4 cups plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
2 tbsp. plus 2 1⁄2 tsp. constarch, divided
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
5 large eggs, divided, plus 5 large egg yolks, divided
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
1 3⁄4 cups whole milk, divided
1 vanilla bean, halved, each half split and seeds scraped
4 oz. (70 percent) dark chocolate, finely chopped
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided, cubed, plus 1 lb. (4 sticks) softened
1⁄4 cup lemon zest
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
For the Cake, Simple Syrup, and Chocolate Ganache
3 1⁄2 cups (1 lb. 1⁄4 oz.) cake flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups sugar, divided
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, separated
12 oz. (70 percent) dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
Make the chocolate filling: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk 1⁄4 cup sugar with 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch, cocoa powder, and 1 tsp. salt.
Whisk in 1 egg until smooth, then whisk in the cream, 3⁄4 cup milk, and seeds from 1⁄2 the vanilla bean. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the filling thickens to the consistency of loose pudding, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate and 2 tbsp. cubed butter until smooth. Scrape the filling through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 4 hours.
Make the lemon curd filling: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk 1⁄2 cup sugar with 1⁄2 tsp. salt, 3 whole eggs, and 4 egg yolks until smooth, then whisk in the lemon zest and juice. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the filling thickens to the consistency of loose pudding, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 4 tbsp. cubed butter until smooth. Scrape the filling through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 4 hours.
Make the German buttercream: In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk 1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar with 1 tbsp. plus 1 1⁄2 tsp. cornstarch, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, and remaining vanilla seeds until smooth, then whisk in the milk. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of loose pudding, 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the pudding through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 2 hours.
Scrape the vanilla pudding into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and turn the mixer on to medium speed. Add 1 tablespoon of the softened butter and let the butter disappear into the pudding before adding another tablespoon. Repeat adding butter in this manner until the buttercream is smooth, pale, and fluffy, about 8 minutes from start to finish. (The buttercream will look curdled at first, but will smooth out by the time the last of the softened butter is added.)
Scrape the buttercream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. If not using right away, refrigerate the buttercream for up to 5 days. Allow it to return to room temperature and beat it again in the stand mixer until fluffy before using.
Make the cake layers: Heat the oven to 180°. Line three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper circles and spray with nonstick baking spray. Sift the cake flour into a large bowl, then whisk in the baking powder. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk with the sour cream and vanilla until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream 2 cups sugar with the butter and 3⁄4 tsp. salt on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the lemon zest followed by the egg yolks, adding one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and the wet ingredients in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and beat until the batter just comes together.
Using a rubber spatula, stir the batter again until smooth then scrape it into a large bowl. Clean and dry the bowl, return to the stand mixer, and fit with a whisk. Add the egg whites to the bowl and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Scrape the egg whites into the cake batter and gently fold until combined and smooth.
Divide the cake batter among the prepared cake pans and, using a small offset spatula, spread the batter evenly in each pan. Bake the cakes, rotating the pans halfway through cooking, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer the pans to a rack and let the cakes cool completely, then invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the parchment paper.
Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated knife to halve each horizontally to produce 6 cake layers total. While the cakes cool, make the simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the syrup for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool completely.
Assemble the cake: Using a pastry brush, brush each cake layer with some of the simple syrup, discarding any leftover syrup. Using a small offset spatula, spread 3 cake layers each with one-third of the chocolate filling. Spread 2 cake layers each with half the lemon filling.
Place 1 chocolate-covered cake layer on a cake stand, then quickly stack the remaining cake layers, alternating the lemon and chocolate fillings, and ending with the final, plain cake layer. Refrigerate the stacked cakes for 30 minutes. Using a small offset spatula spread the top and sides with the German buttercream until smooth. Place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While the cake is in the freezer, make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and 1⁄2 tsp. salt over medium until it begins to bubble at the edges.
Remove the pan from the heat, pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and let stand, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Whisk the chocolate and cream from the center until the ganache is smooth and shiny.
Remove the cake from the freezer and slowly pour the ganache over the top of the cake, using the offset spatula to guide and spread it over the side, until the cake is completely coated in the ganache. (You can also let the ganache drip down the side of the cake and set naturally, if you like.)
Let the cake stand for about 10 minutes to allow the ganache to set before serving. Store the cake, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (allow it to return to room temperature before serving).
The Team @ 280 Bakes
We're becoming experts in sugar free baking, so we thought you'd like to hear our top tips for trying it at home!
· Use raw cacao nibs and raw cacao powder instead of chocolate. Surprisingly, even dark 70% cocoa chocolate may contain sugar, as can cocoa powder. Raw cacao has a rich flavour and is a good source of minerals (e.g. like iron)
· Use fruit purées instead of syrups, treacle or honey. Syrups add a gooey texture to traybakes, cookies and tarts which is hard to recreate... However, fruit purées supply sweetness and moisture and can make a useful alternative.
· Use wholemeal flour instead of refined white flour, or go totally gluten free. Although it may not be a sugar itself, refined white flour is digested really quickly, which may aggravate blood sugar levels. Use wholemeal flour to slow the rate at which your body absorbs all forms of sugar. The best cake flours for gluten free purposes are almond flour coconut flour (the cheaper of the two), or a mix.
· Use vanilla pods instead of vanilla extract. They're relatively small in terms of their sugar contribution in cakes, but they're still a processed sugar you may choose to avoid. You can make the pricey pod go a little further but removing the seeds and infuse the pods in yoghurt or cream.
· Use homemade fruit jams instead of store-bought jam, compotes or conserves. Even jams and conserves with no added sugar are still a concentrated source due to their high fruit content. You have greater control over the sugar content when you make it yourself, and there are zero sugar recipes if you search online.
· Use lighter toppings in place of icing, buttercream and frosting - these little extras can more than double the calories per portion. Instead, sprinkle your cake lightly with cacao powder, cinnamon or ground ginger. Use cream cheese topping flavoured with citrus zest, or a fresh cream filling with some seasonal fruit.
And if it all gets too much, we deliver!
The Team at 280 Bakes
If Veganuary is more of a challenge Than you had anticipated, we've found some things online This week to cheer you on.
The end of Veganuary 2019 is in sight - well done for getting this far if you're trying out a vegan diet for the first time! If you're running out of inspiration, don't forget to check the Veganuary website for recipes, and to order one of our vegan cakes. We home bake and deliver in Bristol, Stroud and Portishead from just £15!
So let's look at those cheerful vegan encouragers we've found online - enjoy!
That's all, folks!
See you next time,
Christmas has come to 280 Bakes!
It's the first week of December: Mince Pies have become the choice for elevenses, festive ideas for decorating are blooming, and the Christmas music is on while we bake. Here's some of the delicious baked goods our team has been producing for events and customer deliveries in the Bristol and Stroud area.
Christmas cupcakes... Mini and full-size Christmas cakes... Mince pies... Reindeer cookies...
Which would you choose for your Christmas table?
Call us on 07835 882817 or email email@example.com before 10th December to book your order in!
Merry Christmas from the team at 280 Bakes, and thanks so much for your support this year. Here's to another successful year of baking!
Owner, 280 Bakes
Our team will be at various Christmas markets and fairs this winter - don't miss us!
UPDATE: We will no longer be attending Badminton School's event.
Find out more on the event website itself, or check out our Facebook page. We have a section with of all our forthcoming events there.
We'll also be announcing a teaser menu just before each event, so keep your eyes peeled to see if your favourite cake will be featuring. We will always have a selection of vegan and gluten free cakes too, even if it's not a 'free-from' event.
See you soon!
The Team at 280 Bakes
Today we launched our Christmas discount - don't miss out!
Vegan and gluten free available, all delivered to Stroud, Bristol and Portishead.
Contact us today!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
When I set up 280 Bakes, I never thought about the international angle of cakes... We're getting more and more orders from people living in foreign countries.
It can really suck missing out on birthdays and family occasions when you live abroad (speaking from experience), but having a cake delivered really lets your loved knows know they are in your thoughts and you'd be there if you could!
From Australia to the USA, across Europe and India, we are receiving orders from well-wishers with family and friends living in Bristol, Stroud and Portishead.
Here's a recent customer - currently living in Spain - with her feedback on our service.
Of course, we'll also take orders from Brits on holiday too. One lovely lady placed an order in a panic because she was on holiday for her son's birthday, and only remembered when she was lying on a beach! Google saved the day, and found us. We'll always offer services via Whatapp too, to save your foreign phone bill.
Recent orders include:
-- Brownies for Diwali, from parents in India
-- Birthday cake and flowers for a mum from a son in the USA - he came back for a second order for his dad later that year!
-- A 'thank you' gift for a family in Almondsbury from their friends in France
If I were you, I'd tell all your friends who live abroad about 280 Bakes - you might receive a cake from them from across the oceans for your next celebration!
Owner, 280 Bakes
We're loving 2018 Great British Bake Off, and We love a challenge!
Week One: BISCUIT WEEK
Traditionally the first week is Cake Week, but this year it went biscuity. The signature bake challenge was to bake a batch of a 'regional biscuits', so Louise baked Bristol Biscuits.
These raisin and cinnamon biscuits need cassia oil, which was ordered from Health4All if you need your own supply. Make sure you get the edible version and not the massage oil!!
Cassia oil has a lot of health benefits, apparently, including being an aid to circulation, an anti-depressant, and something which supposedly helps with diarrhoea and sickness. Essentially, it's a Chinese cinnamon oil, distilled from the steaming of the leaves and bark.
The biscuits were easy to make (recipe available here), but it was quite a wet mix, not great for shaped cookies. The biscuit fingers came out best. They are soft, not a crunchy biscuit, quite like a light shortbread. Bristol Biscuits are also called 'Easter Biscuits' so Louise made them extra Easter-like by drizzling some green icing on top.
As for the taste, they're just like a cinnamon biscuit, but without the colouration the powdered spice can bring. Louise says "I'm glad I've finally be able to bake them - living in Bristol, if felt like I really had to sometime!"
Week Two: CAKE WEEK
Our favourite week! This week saw traybakes feature as a signature challenge. Louise has baked a cherry tray bake, and made it a little fancier. They're named 'Patricia's', after her Grandma, who loved cherry cake.
Don't they look delicate?
Week Three: BREAD WEEK
Always a good week in the tent, this series saw a signature bake of Chelsea Buns. Criticism from the judges on the show were things like 'over baked', 'under proved' and 'not enough filling'... Louise says she sympathises with all of these!
Her first ever attempt at Chelsea Buns wasn't bad at all, but she rolled the dough too thick so they took longer to bake, the dough didn't rise when proving, and Louise ran out of currants - but saved it with some cherries, yay!
What do you think?
Week Five: SPICE WEEK
Spice week's signature bake was a ginger cake.
"This one was a lot of fun," says Louise, "and I love a spiced cake! My hand slipped on the cinnamon, but the cake wasn't any worse for it." She admits the photo's not great - tiredness and being sick of cleaning up sloppy buttercream to blame! - but you get the idea. The cake was moist and sticky, definitely one we're adding to our repertoire at 280 Bakes.
Bake the cake Louise did by following this recipe - with or without the extra cinnamon! Louise doubled the recipe to make a three sponge tower, and made the caramel buttercream a toffee flavour instead - warning, it was a bit sloppy. Top tip is to make the buttercream as thick as possible but still spreadable to get defined butercream filling and tidier outside decoration (butercream and crumbed ginger biscuits).
Week Six: PASTRY WEEK
Now, this was always going to be interesting. Louise has never (!!) made pastry before, and certainly not filo pastry. The veggie samosa recipe from BBC Good Food looked good, so she went with that one... Delicious, but definitely not fine filo pastry!
Batch two, Louise used shop-bought filo for apple pie samosas. Trading the raisins for super seed mix (chia, etc.), they were a great pudding last night. You can see the difference in pastry!
"I'll be much more likely to make my own shortcrust pastry in the future now, having seen how easy that type can be," says Louise, "but I'm definitely still going to buy ready-made filo!"
Week Seven: VEGAN WEEK
We've been hoping for a vegan GBBO week since we've been in business - yay! Louise said her heart sank a little when the signature bake was pastry for the second week in a row, but she rose to the challenge of baking a vegan shortcrust pie.
This is a recipe from Coconut and Berries, a "Cheesy" Leak and Broccoli Pie. "I left out the arrowroot," says Louise "as I couldn't get any in time, and added some garlic onion granules for extra flavour. It was so yum, I love the creamed cashews!".
Week Eight: DANISH WEEK
Rye Bread - that was the signature bake this week. Louise says her bread never proves properly so this was always going to be a bit of a dodgy bake! The bread tasted good, but the open sandwich could have been more posh, compared to the ones on the show... Love a bit of jam! Here's Louise having brunch in her sunny garden.
Week Nine: PATTISERIE WEEK
"I don't have a Madeline tin so this one is on hold for the time being!" ~ Louise
Week Ten: THE FINAL!!!
Mmmm… Doughnuts! Stay tuned to see how Louise got on with making doughnuts from scratch!
Did you try any of the signature bakes from this year's Bake Off? We'd love to hear about how you got on!
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Our Halloween 'early bird' offer ends tomorrow, so get in quick while you can!
From cupcakes to large party cakes, and vegan and gluten free available, we have Halloween cakes for everyone and every budget. Drop us a line to order, and save 10% if you order before 7pm tomorrow (19th Oct) with code EARLYHALLOWEEN.
The Team @ 280 Bakes
Team 280 Bakes has grown again!
This week we welcomed Triana to the team, our latest home baker recruit. She's a Bristol resident, originally from the USA. She's dab hand at gluten free baking, so if you order a gluten free cake from us, you may well have one from our new team member!
Triana says she loves the creativity of decorating cakes, so we look forward to her designs. He favourite cake is chocolate though - no contest!
Triana joining us has made us the biggest team we've ever been - how exciting! You're so welcome, Triana - let's get you baking!
Owner, 280 Bakes
Welcome to the 280 Bakes blog! Most posts are by our team, but if you fancy guest blogging, give us a shout!