Sunday, January 30, 2011
It was my parent's 25th wedding anniversary this past Thursday, so I wanted to bake something extra special. A cake like no other, that will really fit the celebration! Luckily, I had a cake in mind. I was actually planning on making this cake for my birthday (march 12, everyone!), but this cake seemed perfect, especially since my mom is also a chocolate fanatic.
The cake is absolutely spectacular! I just love the crumbs around the cake, which create such a unique look. In between the cake layer is a wonderful thick chocolate ganache, but the best thing about the cake is the caramel. Yup that is right - the cake has caramel in between the ganache and cake layers. Sounds irresistible right?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I've been wanting to make a cinnamon swirl bread, for forever now, but never really got around to it. This week I got a little sick (you know, the usual winter flu), and funny thing is all I wanted to eat was homemade bread.
Who was going to bake if not me?
I whipped out the recipe I've been saving, and began. I changed a couple of things in the recipe - I prefer dark brown sugar for the taste and the look. I think the swirl stands out more due to the dark sugar. I also left out the raisins, they are just not really my thing! The bread was fabulous, it was exactly what I needed. You can't go wrong with a sweet cinnamon fresh bread!
oh and the smell was heaven...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
This is my first time making red velvet cupcakes (and using any kind of food coloring). I've seen a lot of different versions of red velvet cupcakes online, so I had an idea of what to expect. I thought this was the perfect time to bake these cuties, since valentine's day is coming up!
The author of the hummingbird bakery cookbook, talks about how you need to use a high quality red food coloring. Next time I will take his advise, because my cupcakes weren't as red as I thought they would be. But I do think a hint of red looks a lot better than really, really, really red cupcakes - It just seems too artificial.
Monday, January 24, 2011
"Gooey butter cake is a type of cake traditionally made in the U.S. city of St. Louis, Missouri. It is generally served as a type of coffee cake and not as a dessert cake. There are two distinct variants of the gooey butter. There is a bakers gooey butter and a cream cheese and yellow cake mix variant. It is believed to have originated in the 1930s"
That is basically the information I got when looking up this cake. I disagree with it saying this is not a dessert cake. I defiantly enjoyed the cake as my dessert!
What I loved about this cake is that the flavors are so simple. I mean, butter is used all the time, but not often is butter the actual flavoring. The cake basically has two layers, a yeast dough as the base, and then a mixture of butter, sugar and eggs which is the gooey part. The combination of the two is so good! I love how the top is still really moist and gooey (think cake batter - yum).
Friday, January 21, 2011
In my previous post I talked about my new cookbooks I ordered. I also got the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. There are a lot of great recipes that I want to try (I've bookmarked a lot!), but yesterday I was in the mood for cookies, so I had my eye on the classic oats and raisins cookies. I think oatmeal is a lovely ingredient in baked goods - it gives that extra chewiness. I'm a bit less excited about raisins, so not to overwhelm myself I divided the batter into two, and stirred in one raisins and in the other chocolate chips!
The cookies were very soft and puffy, and I loved the flavor of the dark brown sugar and cinnamon!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
About a year ago was my first attempt at making a croissant at home. It is always hard to remember one of my biggest baking failures, but reality is sometimes things don't turn out as we planned. I'm not sure what happened to my poor croissants, but the minute they were in the oven they did not rise and all the butter in the dough melted. Yup a disaster. After I calmed down I vowed to try again one day and succeed.
That moment had arrived the day I received the Tartine Cookbook in the mail. The very first recipe in the book is for a croissant. I took it as a sign. I didn't let the five page recipe intimidate me! I sat down and read the recipe before I did anything, and made sure I understood the method. The book has an interesting introduction to the recipe. It talks about how now days the quality of croissants has fallen dramatically due to mechanization and use of cheaper ingredients. A good croissant is made by laminating the leavened dough (which was hard work) and only using the finest ingredients. The recipe tries to be as traditional as possible, which would explain the 2 1/2 day process. But it is so worth it!
Monday, January 17, 2011
I've baked and tried plenty of brownie recipes - some were amazing, some were good and some just awful. So now when I choose a new recipe to try something must stand out for me. It might be the picture, an ingredient or the actual method. In this particular recipe there were a couple of things out of the ordinary:
1. The most obvious is the amount of chocolate. WOW 20 ounces of chocolate! That is intense. The most chocolate I have put in a brownie was a pound for the tartine brownies.
2. The recipe says to place the brownies in the freezer right after baking. I had no idea why this step was needed, but I was trying to be open minded!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
I love layered cakes. I love the height and how impressive it looks, but most of all I love the filling in between the cake layers. This layered cake really reminded me of a lemon meringue pie. I am not the biggest lemon fan, which means I try to avoid anything to do with lemon. But my family loves lemony desserts, so every once in a while I will make one. Unlike the lemon meringue pie this cake is not just about the lemon it has a great white cake and an outstanding frosting. I couldn't stop "tasting" the frosting!
I did however have one concern during the process of this cake. When I was preparing the batter it seemed to have a cookie batter consistency, which would be ok, if I didn't need to fold in beaten egg whites. It was quite difficult to incorporate, and I was worried I had done something wrong. Whether I did or didn't doesn't matter anymore because the cake turned out great. The cake layers were not so fluffy, but it actually balanced out the light frosting and the lemon curd.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I woke up one morning and all I could think about was fresh homemade bread. There is simply nothing like it - The smell, the taste & and the feeling of pride are just awesome! I chose this bread mainly because I wanted something simple and because it has such a unique look. The way it is folded gives the bread the risen piece of crust (and it is also the crunchiest therefore the yummiest!).
The bread has one of the chewiest crusts I've ever tasted. There are two main factors in getting a crust like that: 1. a baking stone 2. creating steam in the oven. Don't skip those two steps!
Monday, January 10, 2011
I've had this recipe laying around in my folder for a while now, so I decided it was time to whip it up quickly. Can you believe a delicious dessert can be made without butter and flour? seems unlikely, but no harm in trying. To my surprise the cake was very good. It is the kind of dessert you should serve after a heavy meal. It was light as air. seriously. That is what happens when only chocolate and eggs are involved!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Yes, you are seeing correctly. That is indeed a TRIPLE-LAYER Boston Cream Pie, Could life get any better than this?
For my dad's birthday party he requested a boston cream pie. For about a week I've been thinking about how I will be able to take the cake to another level. I came across this glorious triple-layer, and knew I had found what I was looking for! After reading a couple of reviews, the only negative comment was about the cake being a bit dry. I didn't want to take a chance, so I switched the cake recipe to my reliable fluffy layer cake recipe. The original amount makes a two layer cake so with the help of this awesome website, I increased the amount by 1.5. This is why the ingredient measurements may seem a little strange (example 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons).
The cake was so good! Probably one of the best birthday cakes I've made. A friend who doesn't even like desserts (I know, I know, who doesn't like desserts? very suspicious) devoured it!
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
This next recipe is defiantly not for the faint of heart. It has a lot of chocolate and is very intense! If you are not a chocoholic, you might only be able to eat a couple of bites. It never even occurred to me to make a brownie in anything but a 9 x 13 inch pan. Making it in the tart pan makes the brownies look very classy and fancy.
The batter was one of the thickest I've ever worked with (probably due to all the chocolate). But over time I have noticed that the thicker the batter - the fudgier the brownie. I also doubled the glaze so that I had enough to spread all over the top instead of just drizzling. The tart is best served hot with ice cream, which was out of this world.
A cake with a brownie texture, what's not to love?