Sunday, March 21, 2010

3/21/10 baking action

I managed to make my youngest sister's cake and apparently it was acceptable. I haven't heard any complaining about it (yet;)). I still have bread left over from what I made Wednesday, so I won't make any for dinner tonight.
So far I have made brownies, big surprise. I put some orange flavoring in them. I considered putting icing on them because I have icing left over from my sister's cake, but I didn't. I might end up eating the icing by itself;) Or maybe saving it for another cake down the road.
The cake this week follows the orange theme, the infamous "Cheeto cake". Although I did not find an an orange cake mix to begin with, I did add orange juice for the liquid in the cake. I also baked 3 layers, I don't usually do that. I still have to frost it using the buttercream frosting. That will be orange, also. It won't be as dramatic looking as the "Cheeto cake" but it should be good.
I should (and I might) make some small egg cakes and freeze them for Easter. I have the pan, it has 9 egg shaped cavities for cake. I tried doing the milky way cake in it, but it doesn't work out so well. The little bits of milky way that doean't completely melt stick to the pan no matter what I have tried.
I don't have too much to add to this. I am trying to think of a suitable dessert for Easter dinner, bit so far only came up with lemon cake. There's nothing wrong with lemon cake, but I love chocolate and I don't believe lemon and chocolate work well together. It gives me something to ponder...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brownies this week

A great cook knows what ingredients she/he has on hand and makes sure to plan the cooking around it. She/he knows pretty much to the ounce how much flour, sugar, yeast and all that stuff is in the pantry.
A good cook knows what's in the pantry, He/she might not be able to tell you if it's a 14.5 ounce box of currants or a 15 ounce box, but he/she knows that the ingredients needed are at hand.
Than there's me. I thought I had plenty of granulated sugar. At least, it seemed I had a five pound bad tucked away somewhere. But, as it turns out I didn't. And I had already melted the butter and threw about a half a cup of semisweet chocolate chips in the melting butter as my experiment this week.
What to do, what to do? I went to my favorite cookbook "The Joy of Cooking". I knew that if anybody could save this recipe, it would be the Rombauers. And I was right. The advice was to substitute one cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of white sugar. I wasn't quite sure how it would work, but much to my surprise, it did work.
The brownies came out a nice cross between cakey and fudgey. I would say it was a success - at least to me. The food critic hasn't tried it yet;)
As to other baking, I have my fovorite yeast dough rolls rising so I can pop them in the oven. I also baked my honey a strawberry swirl cake, using the basic "Cheeto cake" method. I used a yellow cake mix instead of a strawberry one. I also took some frozen strawberries and cooked them down to a sort of strawberry paste. Part of this I used to flavor the buttercream frosting and part I used as the "icing" between the two layers of cake. He hasn't tried it yet, but he won't complain. He's afraid if he does, I'll never cook for him again.
My older son's birthday was yesterday and he requested his favorite, ice cream cake. Yes, the Carvel kind. Hey, that's what he wanted. I would have noticed the lack of sugar sooner if I had to bake a cake for him.
I was hoping to wait until next grocery shopping day to get more sugar, but I can't. My youngest sister's birthday is Tuesday and she will not settle for a Carvel ice cream cake - it has to be chocolate with chocolate frosting. And don't mess with any of the ingredients. I can't change the way the frosting is made and I can't change the cake recipe. She's very picky when it comes to that.
Anyway, that's it for me this week.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Yeah, it's been a very long time. I figure I lost about 14 days just to the process of having 48 inches of snow outside of my house. When you are stuck in the house and not sure when you will get out to buy groceries, it makes you a little conservative as to what you bake - or at least it makes _me_ conservative in what I bake.
But there's only small piles of snow in our yard now. There are parking lots spots that are still blocked by snow, but mostly it's clear in MD.
I baked brownies last week, I used one half a cup of applesauce in the batter. This made for a more cake like brownie. I didn't add any extra chocolate (I had been melting some chocolate and adding it in) because I wanted to see how it would be without it.
I did like the cakelike texture. But I also like the fudgey texture. Now to figure out how to make a brownie that combines the best aspects of fudgey and cakey. Sounds like I need the Keebler Elves for that;)
I also made a lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. I used a cup of lemonade in place of the water in the directions on the back of the Duncan Hines box. I also used a box of lemon Jello to make a swirl cake, but it is not as dramatic as the Cheeto cake. Still tasted good o or so my beloved says.
I made a spice cake, not particularly thrilled with it. My grandmother would make the best spice cake. I hated the frosting, way too thick and sweet, but my older sister loved it. so we'd swap icing for cake. It was a cooked frosting. I never tried to duplicate it because I didn't particularly care for it. But my aunts and uncles still talk about it.
My older son's birthday is next week and he wants - ice cream cake. Yes, you heard me. That is his traditional cake. Last year he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and I was stunned. But usually he gets the ice cream cake (Carvel's). But don't worry, I will be making a chocolate cake for my youngest sister's birthday later that week. so I won't get out of practice.
That's it, that's all I got...