Author Archives: Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

About Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

I'm a blogger, freelance baker, and recipe developer in South Brooklyn.

Friday Favorites: Ice Cream

If it’s not already scorching hot everyday where you are, it probably will be soon. NYC rarely hits triple digits, but the sun, concrete and humidity can somehow transform relatively mild 85 degree temperatures into a sweaty hellscape nightmare.

This doesn’t keep me from baking in the summer, but it means I try to delve into cooler territory, namely ice cream. Whether you’re looking for an ice cream cake to serve on the Fourth of July or the perfect topping for a homemade sundae any day of the year, I’ve got you covered! Here are a few of my favorites from the archives.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamHot Fudge

There is no ice cream concoction more iconic than the hot fudge sundae. While you can top it with sprinkles or nuts, or skip the cherry if you really want to, quality hot fudge is non-negotiable. For me, that mean homemade. Not too sweet and made with dark chocolate and cocoa, mine is better than anything you’ll find in stores.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamPeanut Butter Caramel Sauce

Want a more non-traditional ice cream topping? Go for this rich Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce. Sticky and buttery in all the best ways, this is guaranteed to become a new favorite.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamButterscotch Sauce

The simplest recipes always require the most testing! The key to this Butterscotch Sauce is to do nothing. Put all the ingredients in a pot, turn on the heat and do nothing. Really. I promise you’ll be rewarded for your lack of effort.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamFresh Strawberry Malts

I love a malted milkshake! Chocolate is my usual preference, but this version made with fresh seasonal strawberries gives it a run for its money.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamNo-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

This was my first ice cream post and it’s still my favorite. A combination of two of my favorites, mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough, it’s smooth and minty with bite-sized pieces of edible mint chocolate chip cookie dough. I’ve made lots of no-churn ice creams since, but this one is still my favorite.Friday Favorites: Ice CreamMint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

And speaking of mint chocolate chip…sandwich a quart and a half of it between two thin rounds of chocolate cake, then top it with some whipped cream, homemade magic shell and mint baking chips. And then slice it and serve it to all your friends, or keep it all to yourself. Either way.

Have you made these or any of my other ice cream recipes? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeThere is just something about bundt cakes. They’re one of my absolute favorite things to bake—they’re low-maintenance crowd pleasers *and* I get to feel like the queen of the universe every time I get one to release cleanly from the pan. That kind of glory is hard to come by these days.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeThis Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake is utterly spectacular, if I do say so myself. Lemon-scented and studded with a bevy of blueberries, it’s the perfect summertime cake. Oh, and it’s gorgeous too.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeThe base is a sour cream spin on my favorite bundt cake formula. While that cake batter is rich and delicious, it’s not quite thick enough to suspend whole blueberries, leaving them all to sink to the bottom of the pan/top of the baked cake. The final product still tastes right, but if you’re going to make a blueberry cake, you want the blueberries strewn throughout, ya know?

By swapping the usual milk for sour cream, the batter becomes just thick enough to support the blueberries, and you also get a super velvety crumb out of the deal. #score The blueberries are also given support via a light dusting of dry ingredients before being folded into the batter. This “trick” allows a little bit of the leavener to react directly against the blueberries, helping them to stay buoyant instead of sinking.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeAs for the lemon portion of this Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake, it’s as simple as rubbing zest into sugar to release those good lemony oils and finishing the cake with a simple lemon icing. Easy peasy.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeBlueberry Lemon Bundt Cake is perfect for any summer occasion, including the Fourth of July. There’s no melting frosting or chocolate to worry about, and just about everyone loves the combination of blueberries and lemon.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeI know a lot of us aren’t having or attending gatherings large enough to finish this cake in one go, so feel free to halve it and put it in a loaf pan. I, however, have never seen leftover cake as a problem.Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake
makes one 10-cup capacity bundt

Cake:
2 cups granulated sugar
zest of 1 medium lemon
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 pint fresh blueberries (about 12 ounces)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 16 pieces
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature

Icing:
1 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 325F. Heavily grease a bundt pan with softened butter (or shortening) and dust with flour. Set aside.

Make the cake. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and use your fingertips to rub them together. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to mix on the lowest setting for 20 seconds.

Remove 1/4 cup of the flour mixture to a small mixing bowl. Add blueberries and toss together. Set aside.

Add butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream to the flour mixture. Use an electric mixer to mix on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. Batter will be thick.

Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold floured blueberries (including any unincorporated flour) into batter.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Tap full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around all exposed edges. Invert cake onto a cooling rack and let cake cool completely. Cake may be made up to a day in advance; it will keep double-wrapped in plastic wrap.

Make the icing. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioners sugar, lemon juice and salt. Mixture should be very thick, but pourable. If it’s too thick, add more lemon juice by the teaspoon up to 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon); if it’s too thin, add more confectioners sugar in 2 tablespoon increments. Pour over cake. Let sit for 20 minutes to set. Move cake to a serving plate before slicing and serving.

Leftover cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.Blueberry Lemon Bundt CakeBlueberry Lemon Bundt CakeBlueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}

Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}If you’re wondering where the cherries and chocolate cake are in this Black Forest Cake, well, this isn’t your average Black Forest Cake.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Ohhh no. This is my take on a hometown favorite: Black Forest Cake from Swiss Pastry Shop in Fort Worth, Texas. My mom and grandmother used to take my sister and me to lunch at Swiss Pastry Shop several times a year, and while the sausages and German potato salad were delicious, we were all really in it for the cake. In fact, I think most people who go to lunch at Swiss Pastry Shop are in it for the cake.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}There’s a reason the citizens of Fort Worth are so in love with this cake—it’s absurdly good, and unique for that part of the world. Made by layering crisp almond dacquoise (meringue with nuts) and whipped cream, and coated with thin chocolate sprinkles and shaved dark chocolate, this cake is hardly a cake at all. It’s pure bliss! Cold, crisp, super-light, creamy, nutty, chocolaty, naturally gluten-free bliss.

Full disclosure: it’s probably my all-time favorite dessert.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}I’ve thought for years that Swiss Pastry Shop’s Black Forest Cake was unique to them—I mean, I’ve never seen or heard of it anywhere else. Turns out, it’s actually a Swedish cake and unrelated to the cherry-chocolate version, only sharing a name (Schwarzvaldtårta). Who knew?!

(Cambridge Cowgirl and Wikipedia. They knew.)Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Now, I’m not going to pretend that this is a carbon copy of Swiss Pastry Shop’s cake—I cannot figure out how they get their dacquoise so thick!—but it tastes *exactly* right and hit the spot on my birthday a couple weeks ago. I made a teeny-tiny version on a whim, because if I had to turn 35 in a pandemic, there was *going* to be excellent cake. And, well, it just doesn’t get much more excellent than Black Forest Cake.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}I had no plans to put it on the blog (two home bakers have already posted their own versions), but other Black Forest Cake-deprived friends kept asking for it, so I tested and re-tested six times and here we are. Until the day that Swiss Pastry Shop figures out a way to ship, anyway.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake requires some skill and a time commitment, but is not actually difficult to make. Here are some tips for success.

-Don’t make this on a humid day and keep all your equipment squeaky clean. Whipped egg whites are temperamental.
-For the best flavor and texture in your almond dacquoise, grind your own raw almonds. I tested this recipe with both store bought almond meal and almond flour, and while they both work, they don’t hold a candle to fresh ground almonds.
-You don’t have to trim the layers after baking, but it makes them easier to stack and results in a more streamlined finished product.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}
-Use good chocolate sprinkles. The stuff in the ice cream topping section will work, but India Tree Chocolate Vermicelli or hagelslag are the very best. I promise you’ll find ways to use up the leftovers.
-Don’t wait to serve this cake—day-of is ideal. As with many whipped egg white-based things, the dacquoise will weep and degrade over time. If you have leftovers, I have included freezing instructions at the end of the recipe.
-If you want to make a tiny cake, halve the recipe and spread the dacquoise in two 4-inch circles before baking. Alternatively, make one 8-inch layer, then use a 4-inch ring to cut out two layers. Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Whew! Okay, I think that’s all. This one was a labor of love, y’all. Not for yours or mine, but for the love of cake. Really excellent cake.Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}

Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}
inspired by Fort Worth’s Swiss Pastry Shop
makes one 8-inch cake

Almond Dacquoise:
1 1/4 cups whole raw almonds*
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (granulated sugar will work)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt

Whipped Cream:
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream, very cold
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

For assembly:
1/3-1/2 cup high-quality chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shaved or finely chopped
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Read the recipe all the way through before beginning. There is a large time commitment (mostly hands-off).

Egg whites will not whip properly if they are not treated well. Do not attempt this on a humid day. Before beginning, please ensure that all equipment used in this recipe is very clean and dry. I like to wipe down the bowl(s), whisk, and mixer attachments with vinegar before starting the recipe. There is no way to salvage this recipe if the egg whites are contaminated with oil, yolk, or even water.

Preheat oven to 250F. Using an 8-inch round pan as a template, use a pencil (or other writing implement) to trace 8-inch circles onto two pieces of parchment. Turn parchment pieces over (pencil-side down) and place on two rimmed baking sheets. Set aside.

Make the almond dacquoise. Place almonds in a food processor and process for 30-45 seconds, until finely ground. Do not over-process (it could veer toward almond butter). Measure out 1 1/2 cups of your homemade almond meal. Stir in the cornstarch. Set aside.

Stir together sugar and cream of tartar. Set aside.

Combine egg whites and salt in a very clean, dry mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with a very clean, dry whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until very foamy—the whisk should be leaving faint tracks. Turn speed up to medium-high. With the mixer running, add sugar to egg whites 3-4 teaspoons at a time. This will take a few minutes. Mixture should start to look glossy and begin stiffening up. Turn mixer speed up to high and beat continuously until stiff peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

Add half the almond meal to the egg whites and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to gently fold it in. Repeat with the remaining almond meal.

Divide mixture into the circles on the two prepared pans (you may pipe if desired). Use an offset spatula to gently spread the mixture to the drawn circle edges.

Bake dacquoise for 1 1/2 hours. It will puff and spread. Do not open the oven at any time.

Turn off oven, leaving the dacquoise inside for another 1 1/2 hours (or up to overnight). Remove layers from oven and let cool completely. At this point, layers may be gently, tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in a dry place for a few days.

To trim layers, gently place an 8-inch round cake pan on top of one layer. Use a sharp knife to slice off edges—the top will fall slightly during this process, so don’t be alarmed. Repeat with remaining layer.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the cake. Place one layer of dacquoise on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream over it and then gently place the second layer of dacquoise on top. “Frost” cake on the top and sides with remaining whipped cream (you may have some leftover). Refrigerate cake for 15 minutes.

Line a surface with a piece of parchment and place the cake (on stand) on top. Use your hand to gently apply chocolate sprinkles to the sides of the cake. Scatter shaved/chopped chocolate over the top of the cake. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top.

Refrigerate cake for a couple of hours before slicing and serving. Slices will not be perfectly clean. Holding the exposed edge with a bench scraper (or a clean hand) seems to help.

Cake may be kept in the refrigerator for up to a day. The dacquoise will deteriorate over time.

Leftover cake may be sliced, placed on a parchment-lined baking sheet and frozen. Triple-wrap frozen slices with plastic wrap and freeze for up to a month.

Note:

You may use 1 1/2 cups store bought almond meal or almond flour in place of the whole raw almonds. Stir the cornstarch into it and proceed from “Stir together sugar and cream of tartar.”

Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}Black Forest Cake {Schwarzvaldtårta}

Banana Malts

Banana MaltsRemember three months ago when everyone was making banana bread all the time? And then how we all got tired of that and decided to put our very ripe bananas in the freezer and dismantle white supremacy instead?Banana MaltsBanana MaltsWell, here’s something to do with those frozen bananas. Throw ‘em in a blender with a couple big scoops of vanilla ice cream, a hefty dose of malted milk powder and some milk and blitz until super thick and banana-y and malty and luxurious.Banana MaltsYes, luxurious–what else would you call something this rich and smooth? The creamy banana-vanilla flavor is only deepened by the addition of malted milk powder. So good.

Oh, and when I say these Banana Malts are thick, I mean it. You could probably stand a spoon in one if you really wanted to. I only didn’t do that because I wanted to drink a malt more than I wanted to defy gravity.Banana MaltsBanana MaltsBanana MaltsNow, I know not everyone loves malted milk powder, but I do. This is the third malted milkshake recipe on this site and I have little doubt that there will be more to come, maybe even this summer. But again, I know not everyone is a malted milk powder fan girl like me. Feel free to leave it out, or try my Caramelized Banana Milkshakes!Banana MaltsEither way, don’t forget the whipped cream and cute straws.Banana Malts

Banana Malts
makes 2 small milkshakes

2 large very ripe bananas, frozen
1 1/3 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup malted milk powder
3/4 cup milk (I used whole), or to preference

For garnish:
whipped cream
banana slices

Slice bananas into chunks. Add to a high-powered blender along with vanilla ice cream, malted milk powder and milk. Put on the lid and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the container as necessary.

Divide between 2 small glasses and garnish with whipped cream and banana slices, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Banana MaltsBanana MaltsBanana Malts

Pecan Sandies

Pecan SandiesWhen the folks at Fisher Nuts gifted me a bag of their delicious pecan halves a few weeks ago, the first recipe that came to mind was Pecan Sandies.Pecan SandiesThere was a package of storebought Pecan Sandies in our pantry for my entire childhood, but I never cared for them. In fact, the kindest thing I can think to say about them is that they were inoffensive. These shortbread were too hard, flavorless at best, and seriously lacking in pecans for something with the word “pecan” in their name…but they’d do if there were no other desserts available.Pecan SandiesI remember going into the pantry to grab a snack and eyeing that package of cookies—who in their right mind would buy those over and over again?!

My dad. That’s who. I can’t tell you when or why he started eating Pecan Sandies, but I can’t see the packaging without thinking of him.Happy Father’s DayMy dad’s a great guy. He’s sweet, he’s smart. He looks great in a hat. He took us to a gazillion baseball games, danced with me in six of my dance recitals (once in tights), and tried to teach me to golf for years in hopes that I’d ever be good enough to play with him (I’m not). He’s the kind of guy who uses pecan halves to write your name on brownies on your 35th birthday and then sends you a video of your family singing “Happy Birthday to You” and blowing out candles in your honor, even though you are halfway across the country and unable to travel due to a pandemic.

Y’all, my dad deserves better Pecan Sandies.Pecan SandiesLucky for him, they’re easy to make and far superior to anything on store shelves. We’re talking thick, rich, buttery shortbread loaded with chopped toasted pecans. They’re crunchy with ever-so-slightly soft centers and a sort of smooth meltaway quality (sandiness?) from the addition of confectioner’s sugar. That’s a long way of saying that they’re very good.Pecan SandiesThe dough is a seven ingredient slice-and-bake situation loaded with real butter and toasted chopped pecans. It comes together quickly, but does require a two hour chill, so plan ahead. Once it’s nice and cold though, you’re just twenty minutes away from the best dang Pecan Sandies you’ve ever had.Pecan SandiesPecan SandiesThe recipe makes three dozen and they keep like a dream for days on end. If you’re a better daughter (or son or child) than I am, these would be perfect for sending to your dad on Father’s Day. Unfortunately for my dad, I’m terrible with anything involving the post office, so he’s getting something I can order online that will not make it on time. Ah, well.Pecan SandiesHappy Father’s Day to everyone celebrating, especially my sweet dad. He loves all his daughters, but I think the dog is his favorite. Pecan Sandies

Pecan Sandies
makes 36 cookies

1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 300F. Place pecans on a cutting board and use a large, sharp chef’s knife to chop them finely. Place them on a dry rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, until fragrant and toasted. Let cool completely.

Place softened butter in a medium-large mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add granulated and confectioner’s sugars and mix until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and salt. With the mixer on low, beat in flour. Dough will be crumbly looking, but should hold together very well when pinched. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in chopped pecans.

Divide dough in half. Take one half and lay it on a piece of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap and clean hands, form the dough into a log (roughly 8 1/2 x 1 1/2-inches) and wrap tightly. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Remove one log of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a cutting board. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place them 1 1/2-2 inches apart on prepared pans. Refrigerate any leftover dough between batches.

Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes minutes, rotating the pans top-to-bottom and front-to-back at the halfway point. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes before using a thin spatula (not your fingers!) to remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. Repeat slicing and baking processes with any remaining dough. Serve.

Shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.Pecan SandiesPecan SandiesPecan Sandies