This is a coffee cake with a layer of streusel in the middle. It is based on Martha Stewart's Coffee Cake Muffins recipe. I had made this several time as muffins, and got rave reviews every time. The problem with the muffins is that thy are extremely time consuming to make (but always worth it). For the cake, I just followed the same process using a bunt pan instead of muffin tins. It takes a lot less time when you don't have to divide the batter and streusel into 24 parts. There was exactly the right amount of batter for a cake this size, and was just as moist and delicious as the muffin size. The only hard part here was getting the cake out of the pan and turning it right side up without ruining the streusel topping.
This is an apple torte from the family cookbook lovingly put together by Sam's mom. The crust layer is baked first, and then topped with a thin layer of cheesecake and plenty of sliced apples with cinnamon and almonds. Just to give you an idea of how popular this cake was, I should point out that the one in the photo disappeared completely in about 20 minutes between four people. I made this cake three times in 2011, twice with apples, and once as a plain cheesecake with with raspberry coulis for my dad's birthday. The youngest of my brothers remarked that "the crust doesn't suck" like the graham cracker crust in most cheesecakes, and coming from a fourteen year old boy, I'll take that as high praise!
This is a chocolate cake made with beer using Smitten Kitchen's Chocolate Stout Cake recipe. It's not that I'm completely cat obsessed or anything, but it seems worth mentioning that Sigmund went completely crazy for this cake. He usually ignores baked goods, but stole a large piece of this cake from my plate. Iit was gone before I could take it away, as well as any crumbs he was able to find afterwards. We chose Young's Double Chocolate Stout for baking, and bought a few extra to drink. The cake was very very moist and not overly sweet. We really enjoyed the slight coffee taste of the ganache as well. The leftovers stayed moist until we finished the cake a few days later.
So all in all, it was a good year for cakes at my place. There will no doubt be more cake experimentation in 2012