Monday, May 7, 2012

Mmm dessert bars and cake balls

Since I moved into a much smaller place last fall my cake baking has stopped mostly because my kitchen has barely any counter space. I will finish my cake baking book someday but until then I'll be trying other things like...well just about anything else I can get my hands on. I made my first attempt at cake balls and I am very happy with how they came out. I used a cupcake recipe for margarita cupcakes for dipped them in a white chocolate shell 3/4/2012:
My most recent baking attempt was Lemon Coconut Bars which turned out amazing, 4/29/2012:
The Have the Cake challenge for May is fudge so I am thinking I might try that as well. I just have to figure out what flavor....hmmm.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Post Holiday Baking

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie made for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011

Pecan Pie also made for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2011

Peanut Butter Pie made for Christmas 2011

Congo Bars made January 2012

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Birthday cake for my stepfather, May 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

All Cakes Considered Cake Catch-Up

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake, #37

Whipped Cream Cake, #38, which was a bit of a failure both in looks and taste.

Honey Buttercream with Apricot Jam, #39, which was awesome!

Alma's Italian Cream Cake, #40

Sour Cream with Orange Buttercream, #41

Devil's Food Cake with Raspberry Jam & Quick Fudge Frosting, #42

Dark Chocolate Red Velvet Cake, #43, which was delicious!

Triple Chocolate Orange Passion Cake, #44

October Have the Cake Challenge - Carbonated Cake

Since the soda of choice in my house is Dr. Pepper I decided to see if I could find a recipe. I found a few different ones but settled on this one because it included Dr. Pepper in the cake and frosting. I would totally make the cake portion again but found the frosting a little a short on taste. The cake is super moist and delicious but I can't say I could tell there was Dr. Pepper in it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June Have the Cake challenge - Boston Cream Pie

For this challenge I used the recipe found on the Food Network. The ganache made enough to drown a small city!

I made the pastry cream first and let it cool in the fridge for 2 hrs. You need to be very careful with this as it can burn easily. I think it really needs to be removed from the heat as soon as it starts to come to a boil in the last part. After it's removed from the heat it will probably still finish coming to it's thickened stage. I used vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans (1/2 tablespoon) and it seems to have worked just fine.

Next came the cake which was fairly straight forward but I wonder if my not liking to use cake flour caused the cake to not rise as much. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract just for a little added flavor which I was very happy with. Next time I think I would be better off using an 8 inch pan instead of a 9 inch in order to make the cake layers a little bit thicker. My oven bakes pretty hot so the cake was done at about 22 and 1/2 minutes. I very carefully cut the big layer in half, smoothed on the pastry cream, slapped the top on and made my ganache. The recipe says to boil the heavy cream and mix that in with the chocolate morsels causing them to melt. It doesn't say anything about letting the ganache cool a little before drenching the cake but looking back on it I think it's probably a good idea as it would thicken some. Anyway, the cake is NOT pretty but it sure is good.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My least favorite cake to date...

Cake #36, Martha Washington's Great Cake, baked 1.31.2011, was my biggest disappointment to date. Apparently I took too much cake baking time off (over the holidays) plus my cake journeys restarted with a more difficult cake. Overall I wasn't happy with this appears to be baked fine but the taste is off...a little too much mace or maybe I measured badly. My (mis)adventure began by forgetting to prepare the pan correctly...I totally blanked on putting parchment paper in the bottom of the pan but I sprayed it liberally with the flour baking spray. Next was my lack of a scale in order to properly weigh the fruits and nuts called for in the recipe. I did my best conversion over to cups as I could but the cake lacked the flavor I was expecting. I had lemon for the zest but my lemons were not giving me a whole lot so I am not sure I had a full was close. This recipe called for 10 eggs (yup, you read that right) seperated and the whites beat to soft peak. After that you start folding them into your creamed butter. I had done what I was suppose to in letting my butter come to room temperature...the problem was that room temp was still pretty cool since I don't blast the heat in the house. So the eggs and butter had issues coming together. After the creaming everything was folded into the batter and I am folding challenged at best. I did manage to get everything incorporated and the batter looked like it was suppose to. I poured it into the pan and put it in the oven, only to immediately realize that I had forgotten the raisins. So out it came and the raisins hastily added and poorly mixed. The recipe called for it to be baked 1 hr 15 minutes but because I was really concerned about this one getting overcooked and my oven runs hot I took it out at 1 hr 5 minutes. After it was removed from the pan (thank goodness!) I started worrying that it was still overcooked because it is such a dense cake. After it had cooled I beat up the frosting (more egg whites) but it never reached a stiff stage. I did manage to get it all over the cake and it back in the oven to bake at 200 for a hour for the merignue to harden. After an hour I took it out and it wasn't fully hardened but I didn't dare keep baking not knowing what it would do to the cake. I let it cool again before partaking. It is edible but it definitely isn't my favorite cake. There are so many areas I could have made a critical mistake but I think it was more a lot of little issues that made this cake disappointing. I don't think I'd recake this one either because the recipe itself is a pain in the neck.