Sunday, June 27, 2010

Have your Cake...

First post are always the hardest huh. Do you say Hi There! to no one? Do you introduce yourself to people who probably already know you? I think I'll start by explaining my project. I'm a budding cake chef. I say budding because I have no formal training and I just decided one day a few months back that I wanted to try it out for a year and if after a year I love it and I'm good at it then I'll pursue a career in it. So good. Now, what type of cake you ask?

Cupcakes. Everyone loves a cupcake. Its small enough to not ruin your diet but big enough that you really "just want one, thanks". Its kid size, adult size, the perfect size. You can eat them naked (no frosting), covered (globbed icing), or all dressed up and decked out (fancy stuff). You can add fruit, candy, filling, marshmellow, veggies, whatever, and make awesome, one of a kind treats, that wont break the bank or the belt.

I picked up the book "Cupcakes" by Martha Stewart a few months ago and was intimidated at first. I wasn't exactly Betty Crocker and when I was, it was because Betty helped. I felt like maybe I needed to take a look at making things "from scratch". As I flipped though this treasure trove of cuteness I was intimidated. I couldn't even figure out how to make a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing and they want me to do lemon poppyseed with orange glaze! So I put the book away, settling to figure out how to make vanilla on vanilla. After many trials and failed internet recipes, I came across a winner and figured out how to make great tasting buttercream. Now to where we are today... I found the book again!

Now while flipping though it I thought, "Gee I can do that". And so I did. I had such a blast stepping out of my box that I decided to do the whole book, one or two a Sunday. "Why Sunday" you ask? Well, two very good yet very different reasons. I work hard all week at a job that's 8:30-5, then I workout for an hour, then I fix dinner, then I study for college that I attend part-time. You get the picture. Sunday is the only day that things such as baking and laundry can even have a chance of happening. Two, my husband takes my treats to work with him so I don't eat 24 cupcakes. Most are best just overnight.

Today I took a fan request (a guy Hub works with) and made German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Icing. Its basically the tried and true recipe that your Mom used to make. Well not my mom, she was superwoman raising three girls, working several jobs, and going to college. But somewhere I'm sure someones mom made it who has mad time on their hands. This is not one of those treats you just "whip up".

First I made the icing because my sweet darling husband decided to make a cobbler too. I guess I have to share my kitchen, its his house too. Into a sauce pan on medium went packed light brown sugar, condensed milk, butter (the real stuff) and 3 egg yokes. I did the egg separating by hand and I have to say it wasn't so hard. Once that had gotten a little thicker I strained it with a very fine strainer (which took forever) and came up with something that looked and smelled like thin caramel and was really tasty. To that I added coconut and salt and vanilla and CRAP I forgot to toast the pecans. I rushed and toasted the pecans while I carefully stirred my caramel coconut icing. If it got too cool it would be hard to mix them in. I had Hub cut the nuts into tiny pieces and added them to the icing. It was PERFECT. Someones mom would be proud!

The cake was pretty simple, just a chocolate cake with a little extra vanilla. I put them in cups 2/3rds full and popped them in the oven for 20 minutes til springy. The cake came out with a great texture, super fine. It might have been the extra sifting I did with already fine cake flour? I dunno but it was fantastic. It was a touch dry, I'll add a bit more buttermilk in the next round. All in all it got then thumbs up from hub and I enjoyed them too.

I added a few pictures. Day one, success. Next week, hard telling. Its either going to be Zucchini or Carrot Cake. Vote?

1 comment:

  1. PS- I know, copycat. But really, there are no new ideas, there are just recycled ones. So environmentally speaking, I'm just doing my part.