Yes, I’m still alive, despite all evidence to the contrary as far as this blog is concerned. I do still bake regularly, I just haven’t baked anything all that new or exciting in the last little while. Mostly, I’ve been baking carrot cakes to use up the funny shaped carrots we dug out of my garden over the last couple of months.
That changed this weekend. I’ve never been able to find blanched, shelled pistachios locally, so this weekend, when Jay decided we needed to make a trip to Toronto for some toys for his wood shop, I decided we were also going to make a trip to Tavazo, which claimed on its website (which somehow, I can’t get to right now) to carry exactly what I wanted.
I’m back! I’m not going to pretend like I haven’t been back from our trip for a while, or that I have any excuse for not baking recently, I’ve just been lazy. Well, I was sick last weekend, but aside from that, I’ve just been lazy. On Saturday, I decided to change that. This week, while the rest of the group is baking the Bernachon Palet D’or (which I baked in May 2010, but apparently never tasted), I decided to bake the black chocolate party cake, which Marie baked back in 2009, though I’m not sure when the rest of the group might have done it. I chose this one because of the cakes I have yet to bake it was the one I actually had the right ingredients on hand for.
Just a quick note with a quote and a link to my previous post. Apparently, I neglected to blog about these the first time I made them, but I remember them being really good, so I’ll have to make them again. Here’s what I posted about them the first time (last October):
By the way, I did make the chocolate soufflé/lava cakes last weekend, but neglected to blog about it. We finished up the kitchen reno on Saturday, then spent the weekend in it, cooking, baking, and prepping. Monday, we hosted my grandparents, 2 sets of aunts and uncles, and a couple of cousins for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a fantastic way to celebrate the end of the reno.
And now, off to finish up the packing. Tomorrow night, we’ve booked a car to pick us up and take us to Union Station in Toronto, where we board the train and head west to Jasper, AB, for a 5th anniversary trip, that just happens to coincide with the Jasper Dark Skies festival. I’m so excited!
Do any of you watch “How I met your Mother”? We just finished catching up on old episodes tonight, and while watching the episode from two weeks ago, I recognized a particular cake on the back of a book on the shelf at Victoria’s bakery. I got up and walked to the other room, and my husband said, “Where are you going?” and paused the show. When I came back, I pointed at the screen, which had the camera on Ted and the bookshelf in the background, and I held up my copy of Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and said “Hey, look! I knew I recognized it!” Someone in the crew has good taste in baking books. 🙂
This week, I baked the last of the ingots, since I’ve already made angel food cake. It’s my second-to-last recipe from the baby cakes chapter, since I’ve made all of the various cupcakes numerous times (just haven’t blogged about those recipes individually).
For this recipe, you start by caramelizing cocoa nibs. Luckily, when I’d ordered vanilla beans from the vanilla food company, I picked up some cocoa nibs, too, because they sounded interesting. I haven’t really had reason to pull them out until now, though.
I can’t really say I ended up with what I would call caramelized cocoa nibs. It was more some caramelized sugar and toasted cocoa nibs. For some reason the sugar didn’t seem to want to stick to the cocoa. I’m not really sure if that made much difference.
Next was the batter, which is primarily an almond meal batter, with beurre noisette slowly beaten into the mix. Then mix in a few teaspoons of the cocoa nibs, and distribute the batter in your chosen vessel. I’m still confused as to whether you’re expected to let this batter rest for an hour, because the wording in the recipe’s a bit odd, but I stashed it in the fridge anyway. After sprinkling on more cocoa nibs, you’re ready to bake.
These came out of the oven looking really weird, and I’m not sure why. My theory is either the butter wasn’t properly emulsified, and kinda sank out of the batter, or the bits of caramelized sugar that came with the nibs did something weird. My ingots were all crater-y.
I think I’ve finally figured out, now that I’ve baked all of the ingot recipes, that I’m just not a big fan. They’re almost too buttery for me. The first time I made one of these recipes, I thought it was just due to the tiny size I’d made them, and figured that the ratio of surface area to batter made my baking spray make them all greasy, which is why I decided to make them in a larger size this time. As it turns out, they’re just really full of butter. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice and moist, and the tops are kind of a neat texture, but the flavour’s underwhelming. I guess I was just expecting a bit more of a chocolate punch with these.
By the way, I’m probably going to be sitting out the next two weeks. I might bake and write something up next weekend for the 17th, but the weekend after, we’re going to be in Jasper, Alberta, for our fifth anniversary! We leave from Toronto by train next Tuesday. 🙂
Another weekend, another cake to cross off my list! This week, the Heavenly Cake Bakers group is baking the individual pineapple upside down cakes. I love pineapple upside down cake, so I was looking forward to this one. I made it Saturday, and shared it with a few friends, then shared the leftovers with my parents, when they stopped in for a visit on Sunday. I also made a carrot cake, because my garden’s overflowing with Carrots, but I don’t have pictures of that one. It looked a little like this, only without the raisins. Continue reading “Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes”→
I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve baked anything from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. Since that needs fixing, I made 2 cakes this weekend, in a failed attempt to catch back up with the group. I realized when I looked at my list of cakes that I only had one cake left in the flourless cakes chapter. Since the rest of the group is doing something from that chapter this weekend, I figured I would too. I made the Ginger Cheesecake back on June 21, 2010, and if the title of that post was anything to go by, it looks like I was playing catch up then, too. I think I tend to do that in the summer. The other one I baked this weekend was the deep chocolate rosebuds (or, in my case, cupcakes), which the rest of the group baked last weekend. Anyway, I don’t know why I put the Torta off for so long, but I’m glad I finally baked it.
I’ve finally baked every cake in one of the chapters in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes! The last one on my sponge cakes list is the white gold passion genoise. I was lucky enough to find frozen passion fruit puree at the little “Mi Tienda Latina” grocery store in downtown Kitchener by the bus depot. This cake has a lot of different components and a lot of steps to it, but none of those steps are anything we haven’t done before as part of this bake-through. I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking again this time, since there are a lot of them!
To start off with, I got out and weighed/measured all of the ingredients for all of the various components of this cake. Many of them needed to either thaw or come to room temperature, so I figured getting everything set out at once was the easiest way to do things.
Whew! That’s a lot of bowls! Time to start consolidating some of those things.
Strike out the German. I just made chocolate cake. I didn’t make The Goop, as Evil Cake Lady called it. I’m not sure if I can count it as knocking one off the list or not. Probably not. Instead of finishing up the cake, I went to see the last instalment of the Harry Potter movies with some friends tonight.
All that being said, this is a delicious chocolate cake, and because it’s made with oil instead of butter, it stays moist and soft even when cold, which makes it perfect for ice cream. I love it.
Don’t let the title fool you. The cake I made this past weekend, from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, has nothing to do with salt. In fact, there’s no salt in it. There’s a lot of egg in it, but also a lot of almond, and a lot of air! I’d been ignoring this cake for a while (the rest of the Heavenly Cake Bakers baked it back in November 2009). My reluctance to bake it can be attributed to 2 things: The name, and the lack of frosting. I shouldn’t have passed it up. It’s easy to make (though time consuming) if you let your mixer do the work.
I figured it was time I made this cake, in my quest to bake my way through Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I’m now only one cake away from completing the sponge cake chapter, and since the white gold passion génoise is on the menu for 2 weeks from now, I can finish at least one chapter this month!