Monday, December 6, 2010

Another episode in recaking...

...for my mother's birthday. I recaked the 2nd cake from All Cakes Considered, the Brown Sugar Pound Cake. I baked it on 11.11.2010 and it came out really good. Of course my decorating skills still need major work!

The Great Pumpkin Escapade

The Great Pumpkin, grown by my mother. It was baked to harvest it's flesh on 11.20.2010.

I got tons of pumpkin without really trying hard!

The first thing I made was a pumpkin maple pecan cheesecake, 11.21.2010. It had issues...I didn't realize how difficult cheesecake really was! It was over-mixed and over-baked but it still tasted pretty good and the topping was AMAZING!

My next attempt was a regular pumpkin cheesecake, 11.22.2010. This was mixed better and baked better. I included a pan with water in it below the cheesecake for hydration. It wasn't cracked when it came out but it did crack a little after cooling. I don't think I'll try a cheesecake again until I get a food processor.

Pumpkin pies baked for Thanksgiving on 11.24.2010. These were awesome! It was a Paula Dean recipe where I accidently bought heavy cream rather than half & half and not so accidently added the addition of 1/4 of teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin cake with streusal and glaze baked for Thanksgiving but was actually eaten for breakfast on the Friday after, 11.24.2010. I wanted to use my special Thanksgiving pan and it came out really well the streusal would be better in a regular tube pan which I'll use next time. I would totally make this cake again as it was exceptionally good.

Wow, I've been out of touch with my 4 followers ;-)

Cake #29, 10.31.2010, Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! This cake was super moist and delicous although it did not taste much like peaches.

Cake #30, 11.7.2010, is Faux Fruitcake made with candy orange slices with dates, coconut and pecans. It is very sweet but I loved it.

I haven't done any cakes from All Cakes Considered because I've been in a period of holiday craziness, vacation and pumpkin baking...see next post.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cake #28, Paula Dean's Apple Cake

Cake #28 is Paula Dean's Apple Cake which I baked with macoun apples like the last apple cake. In addition to apples it had pecans and coconut along with an awesome buttermilk sauce.

This cake is delicious!!! It isn't the prettiest cake but it makes up for it's looks with it's amazing taste.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cakes # 26 & 27

Cake #26 was Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting (10.10.2010). I love just about any cake with frosting but I have found that making frosting the right consistency is a challenge for has been hit or miss with mostly misses. The same goes for this cake although it wasn't as bad as my first attempt with frosting so at least there is an improvement. I thought perhaps I baked it a tiny bit too long (like maybe 2 minutes) but mostly I am pleased with this cake.

Cake #27 was Apple Cake, 10.16.2010 and it was delicious! I made it with Macoun apples even though the recipe called for Granny Smith. I was afraid that it was going to be an oily cake based on another review of this recipe but it proved to be not at all the case. My main complaint is that the baking time was off. It said to bake the cake for 1 hour but it took more like 1 hour and 15 minutes. Also it said I could bake it in an 8 inch square or 9 inch round. I chose the square and I had a bit of overflow problems during baking. But the flavors of this cake...Mmmmmmm!!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October Have the Cake Challenge

This is only my 2nd ever layer cake and my first try at dividing the layers. The request for this cake was chocolate, vanilla with mocha frosting for a birthday. All the recipes come from the fantastic cookbook All Cakes Considered by Melissa Grey.

With 3 of the 4 layers and their base mocha frosting. My dividing skills need work although the toothpick and string trick worked really well.
All fully frosting and ready for candles. If I eventually get really into layer cakes I am thinking a frosting and decorating class might be a good idea...right now I'm just happy to cover the cake completely with frosting.
It was a very tasty main issue is the fact that my cake building and frosting skills needs work. But it's taste that ultimately matters right? :-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September Have the Cake Challenge

Here are the beasties post-boiling water bath.

After the bake and not looking too horrible all things considered.

The two best formed pretzels.

I used Alton Brown's recipe for Soft Pretzels found on the These are extremely tasty but I think I did something wrong as the dough was extremely sticky and difficult to roll out without the assistance of flour which wasn't called for in the recipe. Anyway I am very glad I managed to get the challenge done this month as August seemed to have run away with me and didn't make the galette.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cake Catch-Up

Cake #22 is called Honey Spice Cake with Rum Glaze and it was made on 8.22.2010. This cake is delicious, moist and has a strong honey taste. I would totally make this cake again!

Cake #23 was the Araby Spice Cake made 8.29.2010. While it was a very tasty cake and the frosting went perfectly with it, it did not excite me. Of course the frosting wasn't perfect b/c of the order I mixed the ingrediants but I would make the frosting again before I'd make the cake. It was closer to a coffee cake which I have discovered is not my thing.

Cake #24, Holiday Honey Cake made 9.6.2010 made for the Rosh Hashanah holiday. It was a good cake with just about every spice in the cabinet but it was boring for me. No glaze or frosting...another cake that would be really good with coffee but not as a dessert for moi.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spanish Meringue Cake, #21, 8.15.2010

Due to the meringue topping on this cake the recipe called for it to be baked on the bottom rack setting. My oven likes to bake fast even with knowing the actual temp so I baked the cake for 35 minutes instead of the 40-45 called for by the recipe. It would appear that my oven bakes mostly normal when the rack is lowered but I didn't find this out until when we sliced into the cake. I did a test at 35 and baked it an additional 5 more minutes. Total time baked was 40 minutes but it would have needed at least 5 more or possible more. I did test the cake and thought that the goo that I saw was just very warm meringue since the recipe did warn you of that. However it was the cake itself which now had a gooey center. The parts that were cooked completely were very good however the meringue was a bit on the spongey side which may have been the underbaking or something else I did wrong with the whipping of the eggs. I am going to blame the underbaking for now though!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Coffee Spice Cake, #20

Yummy Coffee Spice Cake cooked in my new castle cake pan, 8.1.2010. The recipe for the drizzle made a ton so I have a chocolate moat around the castle. This was cake #20 and I can't believe I've made that many after so many years of avoiding the kitchen. I guess I am making up for lost time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Have the Cake Challenge!

Nothing like the last minute! I made the pavlova yesterday...I waited mostly because I was nervous about dealing with egg whites. I decided to make this recipe for the pavlova itself but liked the idea of adding more flavor to the filling so did the pastry cream recipe posted here along with the fruit sauce.

I was unable to remove the pavlova from the parchment pan without destroying it so it was served on the baking sheet. If I made this again I am not sure how I would get around the sticking. But regardless it tasted really good and was very interesting to make.
The layers on the pavlova are pastry cream filling, blueberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Paula Dean's Almond Sour Cream Pound Cake, #19

Back to baking in my tube pan...not sure I can say I missed it b/c I am liking my bundt pan an awful lot. This cake sounded super yummy to me but it didn't strike me as good as I thought it would be. I mean it was good and it has gotten really good reviews from the boyfriend and the office but I guess it is just not my favorite. I have been finding that the cakes seem a touch overcooked, even with the oven thermometer, so I shaved off 5 minutes from the suggested baking time. I think this has worked out well and I will try it again this weekend.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Naughty Senator, #18

What a fun name...the flavors represents the rich (chocolate), debauching (rum) politician (peppermint) and it was my first try at a marbled cake, 7.19.2010. I was worried about splitting the batter correctly since I screwed that up on a previous recipe but I did much better this time. I could have marbled the batter a tiny bit more with a thinner spatula but it still came out nicely swirled. Next time (b/c there will be a next time for this cake) I'll bake it for about 5 minutes less as it was a touch dry and add a chocolate glaze.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Yummy Butter Rum Cake, #17

Cake #17, Butter Rum Cake, 7.4.2010 was delicious and more fun to make than the vanilla rum cake made earlier in the cookbook. So far I've had really good luck with the bundt pan and I love how the cakes come out.

This cake was delicious all on this own but the added rum glaze was amazing!

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Tunnel of Fudge Cake, #16

The Tunnel of Fudge (Cake #16, 6.29.2010) came about as what would appear to be a kitchen mishap. Due to the amount of sugar in the cake it does something with the flour which causes the center to bake liquid or at least very fudgy. On top of a lot of sugar it has a ton of butter...
2nd time using my bundt pan, 6.29.2010.
I was happy with how the cake looked all done.

The cake was awful good but I did not get the liquid fudge in the center but you can tell by the darker spot in the cake that the center is fudgy. Even though I baked it for only 45 minutes (the recipe called for 45-50) and my oven temp was correct I think I shall have to carve off an additional few minutes and see how it turns out. The cake looked a little dry around the edges but it wasn't at all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cake #15, Cocoa Bread with Stewed Peaches

This cake was a different chocolate had cinnamon and molasses in it which gave it a different chocolate taste. Not my favorite cake but I did like it. I would not have thought to put peaches over it but they went really well.

The cake fresh out of the oven, 6.20.2010.

Peaches stewing with sugar and water, 6.20.2010.

The finished cake, 6.20.2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cake #14, Wacky Cake with 7-Minute Frosting

The cake for this recipe was super simple and kind of fun. This cake was common during WWII when certain items were short due to rationing. It requires an odd way of mixing the ingredients. One well with vanilla extract, one with vinegar and one with vegetable oil.

The 7 Minute Frosting is the first time I've attempted beat egg whites to any stage. For this I was suppose to aim for the soft peak stage and, honestly, I was nervous that I was totally going to screw this up. But as I beat the eggs, sugar and cream of tartar they started to get shiny and thicker. Soft peak it is! And this frosting tastes like fluff except better!

Cake left in the pan for less fuss and covered with frosting.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Yes, addition to All Cakes Considered and the Have the Cake Community I needed to bake more. The most I've baked in a week is 3 different items (pie, cupcakes & cake). The following is what I've done since I started my baking journey.

It started with fudge...fudge my grandmother used to make from the recipe on the Fluff jar. It was very easy and I learned what soft ball stage was, 3.30.2010.

Since the Never Fail Fudge was such a success I decided to try their Nutty Butterscotch Fudge, 4.17.2010. This was heaven!

Next I wanted to try cupcakes and do a trial run for some upcoming birthday cupcakes, 4.24.2010. I found a recipe for a chocolate/chocolate cupcake and made it with Hersey's Special Dark cocoa powder. I also filled each cupcake with Devil's Food Pudding. The cupcakes were really good but not exactly "it".

Next I wanted to see if I could find the recipe for dessert bar that I had at a party. I was successful and made some Seven Layer Magic Bars, 4.30.2010, which truly are magical!

My all time favorite cupcake is a Margarita Cupcake which I was able to find a recipe for. These were awesome, 5.4.2010.

For Mother's Day I made my mom's favorite dessert, Key Lime Pie, 5.7.2010. It was so good!!
I also made a recipe called the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes, 5.8.2010 and they really were! These were made with dark chocolate and had chocolate ganache in the center.
Earl Grey Cupcakes with a Lemon Buttercream frosting, 5.31.2010. I need to add more tea to the batter and add some to the frosting too next time, otherwise these are really good!

I made this Chocolate Cookie Cake, 6.12.2010, for my boyfriend's birthday and it came out really good. If I made it again I would make the cookie filling closer to the moment when I would actually need it and probably use more milk so that it is more spreadable.