Tuesday, March 31, 2009

TWD: Coconut Butter Thins

This weeks recipe for Tuesday with Dorie was chosen by Jayne over at the The Barefoot Kitchen Witch. If you clickity click on over to her site you will find the recipe but more importantly a masterful play by play by her little munchkin of when they made the cookies.

Just look at the toasty coconut bits in these buttery cookies..... so very tasty! I didn't put any lime or that spice they asked for because I didn't have them. I'm sure those ingredients gave these a little something extra but even without they were just plain awesome.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bake Along: Root Beer Bundt Cake

Ha! it's already Sunday and I almost forgot to post! I'm so focused on our quest to find a house that I completely forgot to tell you guys how my bundt cake came out.

Most definitely.
Root beerish? Nope...boo!

Any discernible flavor of root beer had left the building. I had my slice without ice cream so I could savor the root beery flavor but was left wanting. The chocolate overload pictured here was for my honey, I honestly don't know how he ate that... I guess its sorta like having a glass of milk...

I think the trouble was in the root beer choice. There are two at Trader Joe's and I went for the Virgil's Root Beer. My honey had a bottle later in the week and said that the root beer didn't even taste like root beer by itself... ahh well, this recipe is certainly a keeper, I will have to try a more commercial root beerier root beer next time.

You can check out Megan's site for her results and the recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I gotta go search to see if anyone else joined in this time!

Update: I found Leanne from Enjoying My Favorite Things' post and she didn't get a root beer flavor either....hmmm maybe the comment about extract from Mermaid Sweets is the way to go.

Natalie from Whats for Supper posted hers as well and man does it look super chocolaty, but again no root beer flavor!

Kim from Stirring the Pot had time to join in and we finally have someone that could taste the root beer! Woot! She thinks the root beery flavor came from the extra splash she had to add to her icing to thin it out a bit.

Looks like Stephanie from Confessions of a City Eater, Margot from Effort to Deliciousness and Jenny from All Things Edible all got their bundt on as well. Gawking at all that glossy, luscious frosting so early on a Monday morning sure makes me happy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Get Baked...

Since Megan and I decided to branch out for the bake-alongs and use other books besides the original focus of our impromptu bake-fests I decided to take it a step further this time by doing something non-cookie. This is mostly due to the fact that I caved to my obsession (I was being such a good girl too!) and ordered the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I received it the other day and cracked open its beautifully photographed pages and quickly fell in love with the whole idea of Root Beer Bundt Cake on page 87.

If you have the book join us and let us know how yours came out. We are posting by Sunday, March 29th.


I was perusing some blogs and I came upon a tip about buying Vanilla Beans on ebay. I had to check it out because I thought my days of using real vanilla beans were gone along with my days at CSCA. That (cheap arse) school may have made us share muffin pans but they didn't skimp on ingredients (most of the time) so we usually had plump lovely vanilla beans at our disposal.

After Pastry school (snicker).... I quickly found out that being a regular consumer of vanilla is the pits when all you can find are beans so shriveled and dry that even the crypt keeper starts to look obese next to them. And the cost... lets not even talk about it.

Thanks to my fellow blogger (wish I knew who so I could properly thank them) I did a quick search on ebay and found The Organic Vanilla Bean Company LLC. Today I got a nice package of these beauties... aww they made me soooo very happy! If you too are jealous at the very sight of this bundle of joy, head over and check out the pricing (I got the 1/2 lb Tahitians), its so reasonable you will wonder why you didn't do this before... and no they aren't paying me to say this.

TWD: [Blueberry] Crumbcake

My honey isn't a berry man because he hates the seeds....always the seeds. (How big is a damn seed in a blueberry anways?) So I knew from the get go that I would make this without and I wish I had made him eat the damn seed filled blueberries because it really needed them to liven up the bottom cakey bit.
I was far too lazy to bust out the Cuisinart so I just did the crumble by hand and it came out fantastic. So good in fact that I shed a little tear when a big chunk of the crumb feel to the floor as I was cutting it. I suspected that I would later walk into the kitchen and find the rest of the cake void of all its luscious buttery crumb goodness but but we both managed a little restraint.

The recipe this week was chosen by Lee Sihan over at Fundamentally-flawed you can find the recipe there if your so inclined.....but make sure you add the berries.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TWD: French Yogurt Cake

Of course since it's St Patrick's Day today I had to throw a little green on the Tuesday with Dorie recipe chosen by Lilianna over at My Cookbook Addiction. She picked a great recipe, French Yogurt Cake. I made mine into cupcakes that I scooped out and filled with macerated strawberries & topped with a meringue butter cream.

This is probably blasphemy but I think the butter cream ruined things :( I never thought I would ever utter those words but there it is.... It was too sweet and didn't balance well with the sweet cake. I would have been better off with some Chantilly cream to go with the strawberries. I ate the left over pieces I plucked out of the top of the cakes with the left over strawberries and it was delish!

Ah well sometimes you futz with things a little too much eh. My honey didn't seem to mind as he just scarfed down two of them as I was writing this. With no strawberries, cuz he's weird like that.

Side note: My honey is watching a little 24 on the ol' Tivo. I hear the breaking news, that Barack Obama will be sworn in as President... hahaha... I guess he hasn't watched this show in awhile.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

YWP: Sage Cheddar & Goat Cheese Tart

The Herbs & Spices challenge picked by Elizabeth at Cake or Death had my head spinning. I knew I had some sage cheddar in the fridge that I wanted to integrate into something. Then I thought maybe something with an Indian spice twist... then I thought something fruity and spicy.....

When in doubt go back to your first instinct right? So I settled on a sage cheddar, Goat Cheese and roasted yellow pepper tart.

I lined two mini tart pans with puff pastry and par baked them while I roasted a big yellow pepper on the bbq, cooled and cut about 1/4 of it in a small dice. I shredded the sage cheddar and mixed it with the goat cheese, egg yolk a bit of cream, the diced yellow pepper, salt, pepper & garlic. I filled the par baked tart and baked it at 350 until it was super bubbly and golden brown. While it was baking I tossed the remainder of the pepper into the blender with plain yogurt, a little cream, garlic oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Ok holy smokes this was good. My honey doesnt like stuff like this but I hope he tries it anyway because it was delicious. The thing is, I didnt measure anything so I dont know if I could make it all again! Sadness.... oh well I will appreciate what I have made even more this way I guess.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheetah Birthday Cake

This was a last minute order for an 18th birthday celebration. The only thing I knew was that she likes pink and purple and cheetah print.

Equipped with my arsenal of laziness that resulted in utter lack of planning I came home last night to a blank slate. Five layers of vanilla butter cake iced with vanilla butter cream.

Needless to say I made this up as I went along. Not the best way to do a cake but I think the results were fun and funky and suitable for an 18 year old. You can see a few more detailed shots on my website.

They just picked it up on the way to the party. I hope her mom gives me a call and lets me know what the birthday girl thought of it.

Bake Along: Faux-Reos

These cookies are dangerously good. They were like giant oreos but so much better than any other oreo I've ever eaten. I can imagine this was maybe how they tasted before they got chemical laden and mass produced.

I've never been a huge fan of the inside of a regular oreo (It's okay you can call me a weirdo cuz I also don't get whipped cream on my Starbucks...insane I know) so I made the cappuccino version of the filling. If you could get past the odd texture when you were squishing it in the cookies it was actually pretty darn tasty.

If you'd like to try them crack open a copy of King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion if you have one or head on over to Megan's site for the recipe.

Hey Megan, I have a copy of Baked on its way to my house as we speak... I swear I NEEDED this book....

Don't forget to Pie

This month's pie palooza is slated to post tomorrow 3-14!

I still don't know what I'm going to make but I can't miss it because the theme is such a challenge. Herb's & Spices. I'm sure we'll see lots of savory stuff this time around.

If you'd like to join in on the fun, head over to You Want Pies With That? for the lowdown.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pineapple Upsidedown Cake

I was making vanilla butter cake for a customer and ended up with way too much batter for the pans I was filling.

I quickly melted some brown sugar in pineapple juice with a little shot of coconut rum and made a pineapple upside down cake. I was only using a 7 inch pan so I cut the pineapples in 1/2 and layered the corner of each one on top of the other around the edge of the pan which gave the top bumpy terrain that I really liked.

Update: This is the recipe I used for the cake above. I mixed up 1 1/2 times the recipe below and ended up with a 2x 8 inch (3 inch sided) rounds that torted into 5 layers and used for this cake. And the 7 inch (3 inch sided) cake here. So if I'd have to guess, you could 1/2 the recipe below and get about the same sort of thing going on....

Vanilla Butter Cake
  • 12 oz Unsalted Butter (room temp)
  • 13 oz Granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 tsp (.12 oz) Salt
  • 7.5 oz Whole Eggs (room temp)
  • 15 oz Cake Flour (sifted)
  • 3 3/4 tsp (.62 oz) Baking Powder (sifted into flour)
  • 15 oz Whole Milk
  • 1/4 tsp (.25 oz) Vanilla Extract or Paste (mix into the milk)

Cream together butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy. Add in eggs about 1 at a time mixing between each addition. Alternate adding flour/baking powder with milk/vanilla until everything is well combined.

Bake at 350 in a pan that has been lined with parchment on the bottom and sprayed with veg. oil. The top will get a little golden brown and a tester should come out clean when done.

Because the cake is fairly dense it doesn't spring back as much as other cakes would when its done so a tester is the best for testing doneness. It's best at room temperature and will really become pretty solid in the fridge because of all the butter.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

TWD: Espresso Cinnamon Cup Custard

This weeks Tuesday's w/Dorie recipe was chosen by Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles.

Hmmm... not much to say about this. I went for the Espresso Cinnamon variation. It was easy to make but I didn't care for it...too eggy. It reminded me a little of chocolate yogurt, two great tastes that don't taste great together....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No TWD....

.....I give you boring red purse cake instead. (aka the bowling bag)

So a friend at work, the one that ordered the Minivan cake for her MIL wanted a cake to celebrate her sisters 30th b-day. She just asked for a plain ol' chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream because she didn't get but a little slice of the minivan cake.

Since I had never tried my hand at a purse cake I asked if it was OK if I made one for her sister. She said sure and out came this boring ass cake, it looks so unfinished and needed something more but I wasn't feeling it that day. It's certainly not going in my list of favorites that's for sure because I think it looks like a bowling bag...all it needs is some gum paste bowling shoes or a bowling pin right by it. Oh well the cake inside got rave reviews and her sister loved it so it's all good. <--- a close second to "the whole nine-yards" this is worst saying ever sorry!