Sunday, March 21, 2010

The last oranges

  • Spring has finally hit here so we've been taking advantage of the warmer weather. My friend Meg had some people over last night to grill and I brought along this orange cake. I've been wanting to make it for a while and this seemed like a good excuse, since oranges are going out of season and a large group of people assures that I won't eat the whole thing by myself. 
It is basically an upside down cake. The original recipe calls for blood oranges, but they are not to be found around these parts right now so I substituted cara cara oranges. Not quite as delicious, but a good alternative. The cake base is polenta, which made it pretty hearty and a little different. The entire cake is made in a cast iron skillet so its very crisp. 

For the recipe click here

In other news, Joe started obedience school yesterday. He did pretty well, but he has a ways to go. They used chopped up hot dogs and he really like those (not surprisingly). 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cake Pops, Round One

In my quest to concoct the perfect dessert bar, I'm experimenting with all sorts of personal-sized, one-bite desserts. These cake pops are one of my first experiments. All in all, they were a success. I know a few things that I need/want to change, but I've got the basic technique down. Plus, if you've ever lived in Texas or been to a rodeo, you know that everything is better on a stick (think, pizza on a stick).

To fill you in, cake pops are basically little pieces of cake mixed with icing, shaped into a ball, dipped in coating and put on a stick. Its like one bit of a cake. If you visit Bakerella you will see her many different shapes of cake pops, but I'm sticking with round ones. They are simultaneously perfect--being one bite of cake--and horrible since you can eat bite after bite after bite before realizing that you've actually ingested half of a cake in one sitting!

I'm going to play around with some different cake recipes and icings and mess with the coating to make a little less heavy, but I think these will be a keeper. These were chocolate fudge cake with a chocolate icing on the inside, coated with chocolate/white chocolate candy coating.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

mmmm, chocolate...

For my big return to the baking world during spring break I started with a classic: chocolate cupcakes. how can you really go wrong with these? I must confess, and please do not judge me, that part of the reason I like baking is because I really like cake batter (and brownie batter and cookie dough) and I know that lots of people think this is gross and unhealthy because of uncooked eggs, but I don't really care. I mean, I feel like if the most dangerous thing I do in my life is eat cake batter, then I'm probably okay (knock on wood).

The only problem with this love is that I have a tendency to sometimes underfill my pans or leave just a little extra in the bowl so that I can eat it. Sometimes, once the cake is finished I don't even want to eat it because I'm so full of cake batter. oh my, the troubles.....

anyway, these cakes were pretty basic. I found the recipe in the New York Times Dessert Cookbook and the icing is a chocolate buttercream from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Its extra light because it uses melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Break Here I Come

This morning I submitted the official first draft of my thesis to my advisor and my two other faculty readers. Now, they get to tear it apart and tell me that it needs to be completely rewritten--but I won't have to worry about it until after spring break! I am actually pretty happy with it considering it is only a draft. Almost immediately after I printed all three copies out and turned them in, I found some errors and thought of things I wanted to change, but I have a feeling that is an ongoing saga. For now, I am going to relax, enjoy some separation from Roman painting and watch some TV (oh, and bake!).

Also, here is a pretty funny video.  I showed it to my students in class today and they actually laughed. They never laugh at anything I do.

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.