Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cake! Scones! Oh my!

I’m worse at uploading pictures that I expected I would be. I was looking everywhere for my camera cord for a few days before I decided to check the obvious spots and found it in my computer bag. Silly me.

Note that the berry sauce looks globby because, well, it was. I don't have a strainer because I'm far too lazy to ever actually use one. So the sauce kind of looked like congealed blood. Which was highly amusing to me because my friend made blood sausage for the main course. We didn't plan this, I swear!

The cake turned out decently. The next evening it was decent, although my friend said you could tell it was gluten free (darn it!), but the day after it had an aftertaste that I disliked thoroughly. I had three people at work ask me for the recipe though so apparently it wasn’t that bad! Maybe they were just trying to flatter me, who knows.

I threw out what was leftover and made another batch of scones over the weekend (Jenna is killing me with the scones recipes – I can’t stop!). I had to double the amount of cream and they were still much drier than the strawberry ones and crumbled too much when eating. That said, they were much easier to handle and not as messy getting on to the pan. I know she said these were her best scones yet, but I like the strawberry ones better. It’s all about personal preference! Sorry about the photo, my photography skills need some help!

I also made carrot cake oatmeal via Oh She Glows over the weekend although I made some minor tweaks to her recipe due to the ingredients I do/do not have – and after two trips to the market, I wasn’t going again! I’m still trying to figure out what else I can do with all the carrots I’m getting in my CSA but I think it’ll be more carrot oatmeal, at least for the time being. I wish I could figure out a lower calorie way to make it creamy than using milk/cream, especially since I personally don’t feel like almond milk heats well (although I see people do it).

No baking coming up over the weekend – I’m cutting myself off! – but I may make a batch of chili if I have time…

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beg, Borrow, Blend

On Monday, my friend and I decided that we were going to get together and make classic cocktails one night this week. This is exciting on a number of fronts:
- I really like classic cocktails - yummy!
- He knows them better than me and has experience making them
- Cheaper than drinking them in bars

I was super excited all day long and yesterday so I did the customary, polite, thing and offered to bring something, and he says "dessert!". (Disclaimer: This could be because I may have bragged about my baking all weekend and now I have to represent.) I love dessert so this was perfect for me plus there was an extra exciting, challenge that my friend is gluten-free. I have never cooked - nor even tried - to make gluten free anything and I have to admit that I was at first confused at the idea that desserts could be make without gluten, even though I've had many. I was perhaps having a 'duh' moment.

But I got over my 'duh' moment and moved on. I debated either going to the store and buying something that easily fits the requirements or stepping up to the challenge and making something. Given that I am who I am, I decided to make something. That 'something' was Judy's flourless chocolate cake (are her pictures amazing or what?)! Minus the white chocolate, of course, because it's not really chocolate and therefore has no place in my stomach. Just fruit and chocolate cake please.

A quick trip to Whole Foods and some begging for a super small cup of coffee from my local coffee shop later and I was ready to go - measuring and pureeing up a frenzy. Trouble began when I had to borrow baking soda from my neighbor ("dear neighbor, do you have any baking soda so I can make a cake and not share it with you?") as my roommate had decided to utilize mine for the litter boxes and the store next door was sold out. Trouble continued when I got to the part about where it mentioned "whipping until light and fluffy" and I looked around my apartment, hoping a hand mixer would magically appear. Hand mixer...where art thou? Oh wait, there isn't one. Because I don't own one. In Cupcake land, apparently Le Creuset ranks higher than useful kitchen appliances. Which means I should probably change the title of this blog from "Cupcake in the Kitchen" to "Using cast iron in the kitchen".


Expletives were abundant- why do I not read recipes in advance and instead only look at pictures and ingredients? Am I the only one who does this? Anyways, half of NCIS was spent with me beating eggs with a fork. Then I got impatient. And blended (yes, you read that right) from there on out.

I have to say, the blender seems to have worked. I will know for sure when we - hopefully - devour the cake tonight with our raspberry French 75s but it looks great. I will post pictures when I get it decorated (and yes, it'll be in a Le Creuset dish)!

Tonight is going to be AWESOME!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dinner Party Baking

This weekend, I had to break out the desserts for the first time since Christmas. I was attending a pot luck dinner party Saturday night and since my friends are all amazing cooks, I had to step up my game.

Luckily, Jenna at EatLiveRun came to my rescue with her stockpile of amazingly delicious recipes. I made both her Strawberry Pop Tart Scones and her Salted Fudge Brownies. The brownies didn't last long enough for photos but I managed a camera phone shot of a scone, which looks mighty pretty, if I may say so myself!

Overall, I must say that the desserts were a big hit and stood up solidly against the chili, stuffed jalapeno peppers and vegetarian lasagna that comprised the rest of the menu. I might add that the brownies stuck to the tin foil so much that I think we all got an added dose of aluminum in our diets - even with spray - so I will be much more diligent about PAMing it up next time. Maybe use the special baking one?

I didn't manage any other cooking this weekend but did make it out to way too many places for food and drink consumption. Yey for tasty food!