Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pineapple Cake Crisis and baking action this week

First, the pineapple cake crisis. Last Sunday, I made a pineapple pound cake from "The Baking Sheet" and took it to work. No special occasion, just felt like taking a cake to work. I get into work about 6:30am and put the cake on the table. Not a big production, just what I normally do when I bring a cake in.
About 8:45am, the cake was gone. Just a few crumbs remained where there once was a cake. I always believed in "first come first serve" and wasn't that concerned about it. I found out that not everyone feels the same way I do about "first come first serve".
Three of my coworkers came in after the cake had been devoured, one of which happened to be my supervisor. Well, that didn't work so well for me. She gave me the cold shoulder treatment as well as the hairy eyeball. Oh well, I've been ignored before so I wasn't impressed.
But on Tuesday night, I made 2 more pineapple pound cakes, split one onto 2 small (6 cup) Bundt pans and one went in my regular tube pan. I took them in Wednesday and guess what? My supervisor talked to me like I was her long lost best friend;) It's silly but there you are.

For baking action this week, I made the brownies with Nestle cocoa using the Hershey recipe. I cut out 1 egg and didn't replace it with any other liquid. I mixed frozen mini-marshmallows into the batter. I thought about putting icing on them but I got too lazy to do that. They taste pretty good, nice and fudgy and the marshmallows are a good touch.

For my honey, I made him a pineapple pound cake. I guess the whole house smelling like pineapples was an influence.

That's it for baking. I didn't make any bread (too humid), but maybe next week - or not...

Have a good week.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

hot & humid

That's not only the weather outside but the weather in my kitchen;)

I didn't bake too much this weekend. It was, of course, hot and humid and work kicked my butt. So I used the "usual" Hershey recipe except a couple of tweaks. I added the cocoa in with the melted butter and sugar mixture to start with instead of later with the flour. I substituted 2 tablespoons of milk for 1 egg. I also threw part of a candy bar in with the melted butter, a Ghiradelli candy bar that has orange in it. Not the whole thing, maybe about a quarter of the candy bar. The brownies have a soft but not wet texture and a good chocolate taste. I'm still using the Nestle's cocoa because I still have a lot of it left.

I made the pineapple pound cake (from "The Baking Sheet" to take to work. I don't know why I'm taking it to work, I guess it's because last week was ugly and all of us need a little cheering up. Or fattening up, I don't know which;)

I didn't make any bread this week. Just didn't feel like it. Maybe next week I will. In a few weeks, the heat and humidity will be almost over with and I might feel like baking bread then.

Take care.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

8/16/09 baking

It is hot and humid now in my part of the world, but that's the way it is usually this time of year. Here's the breakdown on all the excitement in baking this week.

It was a rough week at work, a lot of drama and of course, coming back from vacation. So Thursday night, I baked a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. Turned out pretty good.My sons came over on Saturday and ate some of the cake.

The brownies this week was the "usual" Hershey's recipe - but I browned the butter in a frying pan, than mixed the cocoa with it. It seemed to make the brownies chewier with just a slightly richer taste.

The cake this week - it's a vanilla cake that is flavored with seedless raspberry jam as well as raspberry extract. The frosting....well, that's sort of a swiss meringue type (at least that's what Martha Stewart calls it). It's a mixture between a 7 minute boiled frosting and buttercream. I added the raspberry flavoring to the frosting as well. The frosting was very runny. I don't know if it was the humidity or the heat, but it just ran off the spatula and down the counter onto the floor. I wasn't too thrilled about that, but it was easy to clean up. I put the frosted cake in the fridge so maybe the frosting will set up there. At least I hope so. I did remember to put a bigger plate under the cake so I wouldn't have to hose frosting out of my fridge. That wouldn't have made me happy.

I also made my brother a cake for his "cake of the month". It's a pineapple pound cake with pineapple glaze. I made the regular size Bundt pan as making 2 small cakes doesn't work. I end up giving one cake to the birds. So he will either have to take it to work and share it or freeze it. I will be making the traditional birthday cake for him this week - maybe. Two cakes in a week might be too much.

Poop! I forgot to get sour cream when Iwas at the grocery store. I was planning to make more puff pastry. I'll just try to remember next time I'm shopping.

Gee, I hope they make a movie of this blog;) I could use the money. I wonder is Roseanne Barr would play me?


Saturday, August 8, 2009

baking action 8/9/09

I wasn't cooking most of the week because I was on vacation, but I hate to admit that I missed it. I didn't miss not doing dishes, though.

This week in the brownie baking, I used the "standard" Hershey recipe but I melted the butter and mixed the cocoa with it. I like the taste and texture of that particular procedure. Everything else was the usual except I substituted 1 very ripe banana for 1 egg. The brownies have a slight banana taste and a fudgey texture. I also just remembered I forgot to put the vanilla extract in. Oh well, it worked anyway.

My yeast experiment this week did not go so well. I tried to make yeasted doughnuts from Favorite Breads from Rose Lane Farm but I must have done something wrong or it was just too hot. The dough smelled more like alcohol and I didn't bake with it. I think the yeast bloomed out too quick or I made a mistake in the directions. I buried it in the back yard;) I will try again next weekend to make the doughnuts. Not a good batting average on doughnuts so far - two strikes. I made the fried kind quite a few years ago. They turned out horrible looking and tasting. I was going to toss them but my younger son wasn't home yet and he knew I was making doughnuts. He saw them and thought they were chocolate covered, that's how bad they looked. My dad used to make doughnuts in a huge cast iron skillet. Our dog, King, would stay in the kitchen watching the doughnut production. Once in a while, Dad's fork (that's what he used to pick up the doughnuts) would slip and a doughnut would hit the floor. King would run over, grab the doughnut and take it back to his original spot. He'd wait patiently for the doughnut to cool off enough so he could eat it. He had more sense than my siblings and I - we'd try to eat it hot.

As for the cake this week, I had thought about making a pineapple pound cake. But there was a good price on strawberries at the grocery store, so I bought them. Now, my idea of strawberry shortcake is as follows - mashed sweetened berries, a biscuit/scone like flat piece and having the biscuit soak up the strawberry juice. Yummers.
But I was making a cake for my beloved and that's not what he's used to. So I made the vanilla cake, sliced up strawberries and put them on top. I did make a major error on that, too. I over filled the cake pan I was using. Luckily, I had enough sense to put a cookie sheet under the pan. I thought I would need the "jaws of life" to get the cake out of the pan, but it came out easily once the overflow part was cut away. Even the overflow part tasted good.

That's it for this week.I thought Iwas going to bake more, but I sort of pooped out (it is August, after all).
Have a good week.