Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

It`s Hearts In My Oven`s 3rd Blogiversary!!!!! YAYYY!! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but I`m just so excited! :D My little internet space turned 3 this past Sunday. Of course, as tradition, I baked cake to celebrate! :)

I`m always excited every year for this, because I get to dream up, bake, and eat a yummy cake until I get a food baby. Who am I kidding, I always have a food baby! Haha! This might be a baking/sweets blog and cake does show up, but not cakes that take too much time. Bundt cakes, sure. Those are 1 pan, simple glaze or frosting cakes. But, cakes with more than 1 layer and frosted all pretty...well, I don`t have too much time for those. The baking, chilling, frosting, and more chilling process is a lot of work. Also, I don`t have enough people to eat the whole cake (my parents aren`t too fond of cakes).

This year, I knew I wanted to bake a chocolate cake as I discovered that I am a chocolate cake fan, but only if the cake is actually good. No, really, Lynna? It`s because a chocolate cake from the grocery store does not cut it with my taste buds. For the past 2 blogiversaries, I`ve made a lemon cake and a berry cake. Both were lighter flavors so I wanted to change it up a little. Plus, the Brown Betty Cookbook hasn`t disappointed me yet! I`ve loved everything I baked from it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Blueberry Coffee Cake Bundts

I`m back with some blueberry coffee cakes in cute little bundt forms! I had a large box of fresh blueberries and was dreaming of sweets studded with these beauties.

There are many reasons why these coffee cakes are the bomb. For starters, they are made with brown butter. There`s also blueberry yogurt in the batter. They each have a layer of streusel running through the middle, just like regular coffee cake! Then, they`re topped with some blueberry glaze to enhance their blueberry-ness! Total win.

I`ve encountered coffee cake recipes where the streusel is in the middle, while others have the streusel as a crumb topping. I decided to go with the middle, since I add streusel on top of basically everything, without the coffee cake inspiration.

Originally, I wanted to zest some oranges into the batter, but when I went to bake these, I had none. However, the next day when I photographed them, I did! I adorned each little coffee cake bundt with blueberries and orange zest. Completely optional, but they do look pretty.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blueberry Streusel Muffin Cookies

Since Spring is swiftly approaching in a few weeks, I can finally share this recipe. I don`t know about you, but I always eat blueberry muffins with streusel toppings. The streusel topping on muffins are my favorite part about eating muffins. Why not just make cookies that taste just like those muffin tops?

Even though blueberries aren`t in season yet, don`t fret. These cookies are made with frozen wild blueberries. Fresh fruits are always favorable to many, but personally, I love baking with frozen blueberries more than I do with fresh blueberries. Wild blueberries, especially, since they are smaller (less water content) and they still have the blueberry taste.

It may not be the season for sweet, plump, fruits yet, but you can get a little sneak peak of them with these delicious cookies! I mean, streusel + cookies! Do I need to say more? Nope.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mini Sponge Cakes

Going along with my Asian-inspired sweets recipe from last week, I decided to post another popular Chinese bakery favorite: sponge cakes! I seriously grew up eating these. When I was a child, people would gift my grandma with so many of these paper-lined cakes, I was always overjoyed to get one.

These tend to be sold in a more old fashioned kind of Chinese bakeries. I`ve been to several nicer Chinese bakeries and I never see them sold. However, those small mom and pop shops in Chinatown are sure to have many. They are pretty tall, about 4 inches. And, they`re so soft and sponge-y. It`s like biting into sweet, cushy clouds. I don`t have the correct pan to get the right shape, but they look like this, in case you were wondering!

These cakes are just fantastic. You know how I know? I made them THREE times in ONE week. That`s how you know they`re good. I was sad to discover this recipe only yields 6-8 cakes, depending on the size of your pan. I wanted to gift them to my extended family and friends for Lunar New Year, but my parents kept eating them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Traditional Mini Egg Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

For those who celebrate this joyous holiday, Happy Lunar New Year!!! It`s going to be the year of the ram/sheep! It will officially start on Thursday, February 19th, this year. Growing up as a Chinese Asian American, it never occurred to me why my parents didn`t really give much thought to New Year on January 1st. I used to beg them to allow me to stay up so I can do the countdown with my sisters, but they said, it`s just another day. I guess, they`re not party people and people partayyy for New Year. Haha!!

As rich and ancient as Chinese history goes, there are a lot of Chinese New Year traditions, which varies greatly depending on the location. Did you know, in China, people get like a whole week off (probably more) to celebrate the new year? I was totally shocked when I found out! I was like, uh, in America, only the 1st is considered a holiday. Of course, people celebrate only on New Year's Eve. Well, Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days. Can you imagine all the food and festivities going on throughout these 2 weeks? It must be crazy awesome.

Okay, anyway, this mini cake has nothing to do with Chinese New Year. It`s NOT a traditional cake eaten during Chinese New Year, so don`t get confused. I leave all the traditional Chinese baking to my dad. Sometimes, I like playing around with some Chinese cake recipes, though. I made these months ago for my dad`s birthday because he loves Asian/Chinese cakes way more than the sweet "American" cakes you and I frequently eat. I thought, it`ll be a good opportunity to share an Asian recipe this week with the holiday.