Sunday, January 31, 2010

Heavenly Cake Baker- Pineapple Upside Down

What a fun day to be making a cake with tropical fruit!! The 12 inches did stop me from going to the store to get the ingredients for the glaze, so we ate it without.

When explaining to my friend that I was afraid of cutting a pineapple's core, she explained that she had the perfect tool for me to borrow! Look at this, a tool that cores and slices pineapple.

Look at this beauty. Now what could I do with that?

I used my mini bundt pan.
The cakes came out looking beautiful.

My husband and I had a late night snack of chicken salad because I didn't want to waste the beauty that is the pineapple.

JT watching my little beauties until they cooled. Although, I did like them warm best..mmmm.

My children did not care for the pineapple cake. I prefer my cornbread pineapple cake-southern style. I did have a huge epiphany with this cake. I have been on a cake quest for some time now. Trying to find "the cake". I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to eating, I do not care for cake. I am a pie, pudding, and custard kind of gal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pistachio Chicken Pick Me Up

First things first: the recipe. I have added to my pantry the following items because of this recipe-it better be good! Black bean sauce, Thai red chile paste, chili garlic sauce, and Grapeseed oil. The recipe is on line just see Oprah
I suggest purchasing the cookbook, Back to the Family by Art Smith It has two amazing pancake recipes in it!!
Brine for chicken...interesting. Overnight in the fridge.

Then we dredge and dunk and crust. Over to the stove to fry then bake. All the while making the wonderful sauce. I thought the red chili paste would be too hot...because of the little flame picture on the bottle warning this food is HOT! So I only added half of it. Wimpy, I know.

I wanted to pamper my girl friend (and husband) with a fancy meal and served the chicken with arroz verde and Martha's roasted broccoli. The reviews: Too Salty!! Wow, taste that brine! and This is yummy. It was yummy if you could get past the salt.

So, this is my reminder to myself:
  • Don't brine just soak in buttermilk
  • Have the Grapeseed oil very hot before frying
  • Enjoy, because the sauce and crust is YUMMY!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

HCB Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake

The thing that I am learning while taking the journey of cake, is that I am really a lazy baker. I would like mouthwatering, mind blowing results with no time or energy! So I giggled when I found myself measuring my tube pan!! I will have you know it is a perfect 16 cup capacity tube.

The wonder of eggs and their ability to fluff!! This part was mesmerizing and a bit scary-I was doubting my Bosch's ability to handle the expanding ingredients. Never fear in the end there was no need for worry.

Making my sides smooth and beautiful. This batter was the most wonderfully smelling. I found myself whispering and treading softly in the house while it was baking and telling my husband of the memories of my Nana, who would bake angel food cake. We could not talk or slam doors while the cake was baking! I did search for Wondra cake flour but Swans Down is all I could find.

This proved to be a fun challenge. I took the directions of "immediately" to heart and had trouble flipping without burning myself. What a delightful upside down mystery this provided when the kids came home from school.
Chocolate throwing has never been more fun, as my girls and I pelted the cake. I did have difficulty splitting the cake for the interior layers of frosting. In fact, I didn't do two layers inside. I did one and that turned out to be a mistake. The cake was tasty but over the top mouth watering with the frosting. Having the layers made it wonderful-so the lack of one layer was too much cake without frosting. The perfect balance of cake and frosting, sweet and texture.
Everyone loved it! I am hording the last piece for a late night snack.
The recipe for this one was posted on NPR!!! Check it out-for the others buy this book! It is great.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heavenly Dreams Tonight

There is one thing that I miss about being a Heavenly Cake Baker and that is the creation of things I would not normally attempt. I keep up with many of my HCB friends (Mendy, Vicki, Lois, and Butteryum) and found myself in awe of their recent spun sugar grandeur. So, I wanted to challenge myself this week to try something new! My personal chocolate challenge...chocolate peanut butter cups and chocolate curls. This recipe has been on the backburner of my mind since receiving this book as a gift from my wonderful sister, Dawn. I too am "Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas".




Peanut Butter Mousse
Ingredients:
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tea vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chips ( I didn't use)
Directions:

Beat cheese, peanut butter, and sugar for 1 min on medium. Scrap and beat until very smooth. Set aside. Beat cream and vanilla until stick peaks. Fold in whipped cream mixture into peanut butter.
Lattice Cups
Melt chocolate and put into a ziplock baggie.

Always taste test chocolate!

Pipe design on strip of wax paper.

Tape wax paper onto glass and put in fridge till hardened.

Gently remove the wax paper.

Chocolate Cups
Line cups with foil being careful not to have puckers in the foil.

Add a spoonful of chocolate to each cup.

Spread with the back of a spoon. Place in fridge till hardened. Unwrap gently..keep them in fridge and take one out at a time. They melt quickly in your fingers.

Chocolate Curls
Melt chocolate. I had a bunch of little pieces left over so I mixed them all together. It was great.

I followed the directions that I found on youtube.

My first attempt created a slab of chocolate.

Second attempt...chocolate goo.

Third attempt..the video makes it look so easy but it has to be the perfect temperature!

I made chocolate curls!!!
And here was our final product..peanut butter mousse in a lattice cup with chocolate curls. I made one for Wendy and one for Elizabeth. My family got the mini chocolate cups (first picture)..they were very rich but oh so good.

Heavenly Cake Bakers- Welcome to my kitchen

I was so excited to make wonderful brownies! And to top it off the author of my new cookbook emailed me an answer to my question! I am a food geek that is keeping it forever. It is like royalty has spoken to me. My new cookbook is: Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Much to my foodie surprise I discovered a group of cooks that also own this book and are cooking their way through it! I just love fun people like that.
It seems that more and more I have failures in the kitchen. Luckily, with good ingredients they can fail and still taste good. Reasons for mishaps: my three children? Perhaps..or my oven that is erratic and bakes 130-150 degrees hotter than it says. The first thing to go wrong-in my attempt to not overcook these beauties, I undercooked them causing them to sink. Then because I forgot to start the ganache when I was suppose to it was way to runny for a plug. So I filled up the sunken part with the "glaze". I also wanted to weigh everything-my scale is not great so who knows if the measurement were correct. My guess is NO!
Tied a bow on it and it became the cake for my 1 year old's first birthday.


The comments: Everyone loved it. Especially the baby. I will make them again now that I know what I am doing.

The Challenger

Still on my funny quest for the best chocolate cake I find a recipe on my lasagne ricotta this everning claiming the be the "Best Chocolate Cake Ever!" So I had to make it. One word: Yuck. By the way, for those who have had it: Earthquake Cake still has the number one position.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Heavenly Cake Baker- Barcelona Brownies

I was so excited to make wonderful brownies! And to top it off the author of my new cookbook emailed me an answer to my question! I am a food geek that is keeping it forever. It is like royalty has spoken to me. My new cookbook is: Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Much to my foodie surprise I discovered a group of cooks that also own this book and are cooking their way through it! I just love fun people like that.
It seems that more and more I have failures in the kitchen. Luckily, with good ingredients they can fail and still taste good. Reasons for mishaps: my three children? Perhaps..or my oven that is erratic and bakes 130-150 degrees hotter than it says. The first thing to go wrong-in my attempt to not overcook these beauties, I undercooked them causing them to sink. Then because I forgot to start the ganache when I was suppose to it was way to runny for a plug. So I filled up the sunken part with the "glaze". I also wanted to weigh everything-my scale is not great so who knows if the measurement were correct. My guess is NO!
Tied a bow on it and it became the cake for my 1 year old's first birthday.


The comments: Everyone loved it. Especially the baby. I will make them again now that I know what I am doing.