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Favorite Cakes

Showstopping Recipes for Every Occasion

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Cakes—perhaps one of the most special and versatile desserts—are the perfect way to mark an occasion or sweeten an ordinary day. From sheet cakes to tea cakes, mini cakes and “naked” cakes, to cakes with over-the-top decorations for special events, this inspiring and exquisite collection includes cakes for any day of the year. Whether you’re looking for a multi-tiered cake to impress a crowd, a simple and fruity cake to serve with tea, or a decorative holiday cake, Favorite Cakes includes all these and more. 

Simple, easy-to-follow directions, ideas for customizing, decorating tips and techniques, and common baking mistake solutions will help bakers of every level make the most of this book. Organized by basic recipes, modern, and specialty cakes, and including 40 recipes and full-color photography, there’s a cake for every occasion.

You’ll find essential frostings, meringue, and other cake toppers. Discover reinvented classics, such as Champagne and Raspberry Mini Layer Cake, Rose and Vanilla Bean Mini Tea Cakes, Coconut and Lime Curd Layer Cake, Blood Orange Chiffon Cake, Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake, and Brown Butter and Plum Upside Down Cake. And when it comes to celebrations and parties, this book has you covered with recipes like Vanilla and Berry Ombre Layer Cake, Chocolate, Coconut and Caramel Sheet Cake, and 8-Layer Honey Pistachio Cake.

This beautiful and giftable collection of classic and new favorites, developed by the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen, is fit for occasions year-round. 

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE & HAZELNUT FALLEN CAKE
 
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
¾ cup (6 oz/185 g) granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
10 oz (315 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Frangelico
2 tablespoons unsweetened
cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (2¾ oz/75 g) finely ground hazelnuts
1 recipe Frangelico Whipped Cream (page 91)
Chopped toasted hazelnuts, for garnish
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Serves 8–10
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. Dust with granulated sugar, then tap out any excess.
 
Combine the butter, chocolate, and oil in a large heatproof bowl and set over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 4 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat.
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup (4 oz/125 g) of the granulated sugar and beat until stiff
peaks form, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, Frangelico, the remaining ¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) granulated sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add the egg yolk mixture to the
chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated, about 1 minute. Fold one-fourth of the egg whites and all of the ground hazelnuts into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until uniformly combined.
 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the cake has risen above the rim of the pan and is set on top, 35–40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. The cake will fall slightly and crack on top as it cools.
 
Make the Frangelico whipped cream: Remove the outer ring of the pan. Mound the whipped cream in the center of the cake and garnish with chopped hazelnuts and shaved chocolate.
 
CLASSIC WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) granulated
sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
VARIATION | To make Frangelico Whipped Cream, add 2 tablespoons Frangelico in place of the vanilla extract.
 
Makes about 2 cups (310 g)
 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the mascarpone, cream, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
 

More books from this author: Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen