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“You Never Make Dessert”

March 3, 2010

Tonight I am missing our usual “date night” to go to dinner with a wonderful family friend, the family friend of the Spinach and Feta Meatloaf recipe! So while I am off running around Harvard Square I will leave you with this fun I had on Sunday!

The other day I was basking in the glory of another successful meal, when Z goes to me “you never make dessert”. Horrified, I reminded him that I had, in fact, made dessert a few times over the past few months, to which he replied “you are also bad at making desserts”. What!?!

Ok, I admit that recently I have had some major fails, the Valentine’s Day brownies being one of them. But throughout my entire life I have been known to make a great dessert. I always made the desserts for my Mom’s dinner parties, all of which were met by a round of applause. I could not believe that I have never made Z a single unforgettable sweet treat.

I have said this before, but I do not have a sweet tooth. Occasionally I’ll crave some ice cream, but other than that I could go without dessert for months and never notice it. Z, on the other hand, is a sugar-holic. I have never seen anyone love sweets and chocolate like he does. So I felt even worse that I had not been making this dessert-centric guy his favorite foods. The health nut inside me went “No!” but the super girlfriend I am promised Z that from now on I would try to make him a dessert once a week.

For my first dessert I knew I had to redeem myself from what we are now dubbing “the peanut butter soap brownies”. The problem is, every dessert recipe I know (and have mastered) feeds at least 8 people. The worst part being that I know we would end up eating it all in 2 days. A little internet browsing and I discovered Small Batch Baking. Debby has mastered the art for baking for 2 people! She uses some methods I have never seen before, but they sounded so fun. Armed with my empty cans and ready for a yumventure in baking, on Sunday I gave them a try! Gluten free adapted, of course 🙂

White Chocolate and Strawberry Mini-Cakes (for 2) adapted from Small Batch Baking

For the Cake:

2 12oz cans, cleaned

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill) — you can use regular flour and omit the xanthan gum if you are not gluten free.

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 oz white chocolate

1/4 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons sour cream (at room temperature)

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Here is a picture of my 12oz cans, to get a visual of what to get. They are the cans from the chickpeas I used in Friday’s falafels!:

Preheat oven to 350*. Take the 12oz cans and grease and flour them. I sprayed the insides with Pam and wiped it around with a paper towel, then tossed in the flour and shook it a lot. Set aside. (Be careful with the edges, so you don’t cut yourself!)

Put the white chocolate in a small bowl, melt, and set aside.

Put the butter in a medium bowl and melt it. Cool the boiling water a little and add it to the butter and whisk. Next, add the sour cream, egg yolk, and vanilla and whisk until combined.

In a large bowl, blend the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the sour cream mixture and the white chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Spoon the batter evenly into the 2 cans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool for 15 minutes in the cans, then run a knife around the edges and invert them, place on a baking rack, and let them cool completely.

So cute! They didn’t turn out as tall as in Debby’s pictures, probably half a can tall. But still, cute!

For the frosting:

2 tablespoons strawberry jam

2/3 cup whipping cream

2 ounces white chocolate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put the cream in a double-boiler and heat until almost boiling. Slowly add the white chocolate and whisk until it is melted. Put in a bowl in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

When the cream has cooled, add the vanilla and whisk with an electric mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks.

To put together:

With a serrated knife, cut a thin layer off the top of the cake so you have a flat surface. Then, cut each cake in half horizontally. On the bottom half, spread 1 tablespoon of strawberry jam, and then 1 tablespoon of the cream. Put the other half on top. Ice the cake all around with the cream.

The work in progress! I was making this while watching the Canada-USA hockey game, so lots of opportunities to take progress pictures since I kept stopping to run to the TV!

Drizzle the top with some more jam. Serve immediately, or put in fridge until ready to serve.

I have to do a photo montage here. These are the cutest little cakes ever!

Of course, I made Z’s especially for him 🙂

The verdict: awesome! The cakes were dense…I’m not sure if they are supposed to be like that or if I used too much xanthan gum in my adaptation. But they still tasted great, with a hint of white chocolate.

The white chocolate cream: BEWARE! After you have mixed it you will not be able to stop eating it, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like sugar that much! But man…so good!

I decided to add the jam to the original recipe because I thought the cake would be a little white chocolate overwhelming, and I think I was right. The jam was a nice sweet and tart addition that perfected this cake. The servings are large, so I would probably recommend eating half a cake if you are able to stop yourself. We were sooo full afterwards, but it was well worth it. Score points for Sophie not failing on a dessert, adapting it to gluten free, and making Z a happy, happy man. 🙂

Have you ever used any non-conventional household items in your cooking?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 5:57 pm

    HA! I can’t believe he told you that you were bad at making desserts! Those adorable cakes clearly prove quite the opposite 🙂

  2. March 3, 2010 6:22 pm

    Those might be the cutest cakes ever! And, they look so moist and professional! Who would ever guess that you could bake cakes in a can? Not me. WOW! The things people come up with. But, I’m glad Z enjoyed his cake and you were able to prove that you are not ‘bad’ at making desserts. Nice job, Lady!

  3. March 4, 2010 12:30 am

    How cute! I’m so impressed – they look perfect!

    We have the opposite problem. I’m always wanting to bake and Apolinaras is always telling me to lighten things up!

  4. March 4, 2010 10:00 am

    I’m really yelling this: AAAHHHHH!!!! Those baby cakes are so PERFECT!! You are a genius, my friend! I love this idea and I can’t believe how talented you are! I would never have guessed the cans would work. And I’m always wishing I had mini baking pans because I want to just make one dessert, not 24 cupcakes, you know?
    My sweet tooth is now raging. I love that you added jam, quite the tasty complement!
    Sorry I’m rambling, I’m just so excited about your cake!! The cutest!
    Have a great Thursday!

  5. March 4, 2010 4:49 pm

    I love these individual cakes! I tried to do something similar once but I don’t think they turned out as pretty.

  6. March 4, 2010 5:46 pm

    What a cute idea and beautiful presentation!

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