Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pies.

too tired.

made pies.

pumpkin.

apple.

both gluten free.

important to remember GF dough doesn't stretch. make more than called for.

try teff.

apple had great crust. tender. flaky.

pumpkin crust didn't brown; bummer. can't put foil on at beginning of bake; need to put it on halfway through.

annmarie thinks we added more spices to the pumpkin pie last year. more cinnamon, some cardamom. i can only vaguely remember.

more later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Love Butter, But Not This Much

So yesterday I baked up a birthday cake for the sassy doula in our group. Today is officially her 40th birthday, but since we had a meeting yesterday, we decided to start celebrating early. I mean, 40 is a biggie, don't you think?

October 9, 2007
Name of cake: Doulas Never Say No To Chocolate
Occasion: Sassy Turns 40! (name changed to protect the innocent)
Constituents: Dark Chocolate Butter Cake filled and frosted with Classic Egg White Chocolate Buttercream

The cake baking itself was fine and dandy, after running out to get more vanilla extract because I was 2 grams short.

I highly recommend you all use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder next time you have a recipe that calls for dutched cocoa powder. I don't like Hershey's Special Dark chocolate for eating, but for baking, the cocoa powder is da bomb. I mean, take a look at this photo (of a cake I baked last year...still no camera)--that is what your chocolate cakes will look like, and believe me, they will taste AWESOME!

german chocolate cake
see, told you

This post is really about my adventures in frosting, because the Egg White Chocolate Buttercream was my emergency second choice.

What I really wanted to fill and frost with, was the White Chocolate Ganache. I thought the contrast in color and flavor would be really nice, and it would tone down that seriously chocolately cake. Also, White Chocolate Ganache is really just whip cream with a cocoa buttery tang to it, so I thought the frosting would also be a bit lighter than a buttercream.

It should be a really easy frosting to make. You take your good quality white chocolate and melt it with 1/4 cup heavy cream in a double boiler. Once melted, you set it aside and you whip the rest of the cream just until you see streaks from the beaters. Then you add in the chocolate and beat until soft peaks form or it's all blended or it looks like whip cream. Then, frost!

Somehow I am overzealous with the beating, because I looked down into my mixer after adding the chocolate and all I saw was curdling.

look ma, i churned white chocolate butter!
it looked like this, but much worse

I have come to the conclusion that I am like a deer in the headlights when weird stuff goes on around me. I just kept staring at that curdly mess and watched it get more and more curdly as the beater kept beating it. I finally had to admit that what I had made was not White Chocolate Ganache, but White Chocolate Butter.

Wow, how Little House on the Prairie of me!

By this time the meeting had begun and I was still at home with a bowl of White Chocolate Butter and two cake layers that were unfilled and unfrosted. I grumpily searched The Book for a quick frosting that wouldn't require 6 egg yolks (I only had 5 eggs) or some other crazy outlandish ingredient. I settled on the Egg White Chocolate Buttercream which is one of my favorite chocolate buttercreams in the book. It is quick, super easy, and there is no chance of accidentally churning butter.

I arrived at our meeting one hour late with a chocolate-chocolate cake in hand, and the prego doula sitting next to me asked if it was a chocolate cake inside all that chocolate frosting. When she heard my affirmation of a chocolate-chocolate cake, she leaned in and said, "bless you!"

Nice. Who knew that churning butter would lead to my benefaction?