Cake

s’more poke cake [confessions of a cookbook queen]

Last night, I was joined by the lovely Gabby Costa in my somewhat janky house kitchen, where we attempted to recreate these beautiful squares of marshmallow-and-graham-cracker-goodness.

Let me tell you: it got messy.

But I mean in the best of ways–the kind that includes fluff stuck to fingers and far more Aaron Carter than is probably acceptable anymore.

And on the topic of fluff, can we address how terrifying the stuff is? It sticks to anything and everything except what it needs to, its shelf life is alarmingly long, and somehow, it is still delicious. Seriously, there’s something wrong with this picture.

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Nothing wrong with this picture, though. All those golden, perfectly toasted marshmallows topping a fudgy chocolate cake made even more gooey with smooth chocolate pudding.

Oh yes. That’s quite the cake.

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So this particular recipe was actually chosen by Gabby. I was instantly sold when I saw that there was chocolate pudding involved. Spouts of pudding? Inside my cake? Yes, please!

Unfortunately, as you can see from my photo (especially compared to the ones on the original recipe), the pudding never quite made it into the cake. Despite borderline destroying the cake with holes, we couldn’t get much of the pudding to actually sink into the cake. This brings up two issues:
+ Make big holes for your pudding! Either use a wooden spoon with a thicker handle, or just push the handle around to make the holes bigger. Otherwise, the pudding won’t actually fill your cake.
+ 3.4 ounces of instant pudding is a lot. Like a lot. Like way more than you actually need for this cake.

And you know what else is a lot? 13 ounces of marshmallow fluff. I ended up using just over one 7.5-oz jar of fluff, and if you look, it was enough to coat the 9×13 cake with a good, thick layer of marshmallow. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with 13 ounces of the monstrously sticky stuff, and just use less.

Lucky for us, we were baking in a dorm, and we had no trouble getting rid of things like extra chocolate pudding and fluff.

Other adjustments: I dropped the sugar from the graham cracker crust–the cake is sweet enough–and increased the baking time of the actual cake from 20 minutes to ~30, because mine was still jiggling after only 20. You want it to be just baked, so that it can still sit in the oven for a little while after the pudding and marshmallows are added.

The final product was gooey, got all over our hands/faces/clothes, and went perfectly with a tall glass of milk. The only way I could cut through it so neatly was with a heated knife (which Gabby thought of; thanks, girl!). But they really did taste like s’mores fresh off a campfire, with the golden-crusted marshmallows and everything. All in all: would definitely bake again. 😉

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That’s all for today, folks! Don’t forget to keep placing those cupcake orders! Remember that Relay for Life will be getting 50% of the proceeds from orders placed between now and May 17th 🙂
And in the meantime, enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine!

clementine cake [smitten kitchen]

A while back, a friend of mine showed me a most curious recipe over at Smitten Kitchen.

Full clementines? In a cake? Made almost entirely of almonds?

Hmmm.

I was skeptical, but my interest was piqued, and I knew I had to give it a shot.

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This cake has a soft, nutty crumble with just the right punch of citrus. It’s not too sweet, and I love having a piece of it with breakfast or cutting off a slice when I pass through the kitchen.

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I’ll tell you this doesn’t last long in my house.

There was a bit of guess-and-check with this recipe. I’ve made it twice so far, both times in a 9×13 cake pan. If you do this, 35-40 minutes at 375° will bake it just right, until the edges are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Also, make no mistake: this cake is very moist. You’ll probably want to add some flour to hold it together; I used 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, sifted.

Other useful tips for this recipe:

+ If you have a scale, use it!! Measuring the almonds, sugar, and clementines by mass will make your life easier. Trust me.
+ A quick few pulses in the blender will mush those clementines up for you, no trouble. (The Magic Bullet is your friend!)
+ Dusting the cake afterward with powdered sugar is pretty, but absolutely not necessary for the flavor of the cake.

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In other news, I’m so sorry for posting late! D: I’ve been running around on planes for a couple days. Posts will resume as normal on Fridays from here on!

Coming up soon: original recipe!

Let me know if you try this clementine cake, and if you have any other tweaks!

Happy first weekend of spring 🙂