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Dec 30, 2013

Chocolate Stout Cake

chocolate bundt cake with Guinness and a whiskey + Baileys Irish Cream glaze. Happy New Year!

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet Tags chocolate bundt cake cake Guinness whiskey Baileys Irish Cream

Jul 25, 2013

Betty's Buttermilk Pound Cake

Hi internet, I'm still here and baking, just not as frequently as before as you can probably tell. As a result of using my iPhone and Instagram 99% of the time my poor dslr has collected quite a layer of dust. I decided to remedy that today when I made this cake. It's good but with 3 sticks of butter, 8 eggs, and 3 cups of sugar (and that's not counting what's in the buttercream frosting), it's best reserved for special occasions. There's a subtle hint of lemon thanks to fresh lemon juice and lemon extract. I might add lemon zest for a little more zing next time. I don't know Betty but I like her and this recipe from the Brown Betty Cookbook. I've made the cheesecake, too, and swear that I've not had anything better before or since.

I'm halfway in my training for a half marathon and despite some nagging issues (my feet and shins/calves are NOT agreeing with all this pounding the pavement), I'm on schedule with renewed energy and a monster appetite. I'm tackling my first double digit mileage run this weekend. Wish me luck, I'll surely need it.

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet Tags buttermilk pound cake buttermilk pound cake cake lemon brown betty cookbook

Mar 7, 2013

Red Velvet Roulade

This lovely cake is from the new book, Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home. I have a couple of the earlier Hummingbird books but never felt compelled to make something out of them as much as I do from this one. And not just one 'something' but a few... the doughtnut cupcakes and cookies and cream cake come to mind. If you're like me and are a visual person and fan of beautiful photography this book won't disappoint -- there's a photo of the finished product for every single recipe. While my roulade doesn't quite look like theirs (with the perfect swirl in the middle), I'm fairly certain this is not the last time I make this cake.

If you're not caked out yet, head over to A Subtle Revelry and take a peek at easy checkerboard cake I made for Victoria's Creative Cakes series.

CommentsCategories adventures adventures in california baked sunday mornings baking digital iPhone people personal portraits recipe savory sweet travel tuesdays with dorie Tags red velvet roulade Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home cookbook cake

Dec 5, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

I'm grateful for Tuesdays with Dorie for keeping me in line with baking and photographing at least once a month. This gingerbread cake is a reminder of the season. While not one I'd make again, it was a good reason to break out the mini springform pans. Recipe and beautiful pics can be found on Karen's blog, and wander to the TWD site to click on links from other bakers.

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet tuesdays with dorie Tags gingerbread cake

Sep 5, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie: Nectarine Upside-Down Chiffon Cake

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Yesterday I was a bit under the weather. I suddenly came down with a mysterious fever (with severe chills!) late Sunday night and spent most of the next day on the couch. No beach or BBQing for me. Today I went in for my yearly check-up and ended up walking out with a suspicious-sounding lung, a prescription for Zithromax and a shot in the butt because my doctor diagnosed me with pneumonia. Did not expect that. But it would probably explain the fever, not to mention why I've been feeling generally crappy lately.

While the discovery of a potentially serious infection during a routine check-up is not exactly serendipitous I'm certainly glad it was caught before things got worse. Let's see how long I can milk this for the family's sympathy...

So back to this cake. I was able to muster some energy to spend a few hours in the kitchen yesterday to bake this recipe with the Tuesdays with Dorie group... I couldn't let them down! It wasn't a particularly difficult recipe, just a lot of steps. After reading through the recipe several times I still messed up (see next paragraph).

In place of a 10" springform that I don't own, I used a 9" springform pan. I melted the butter for the topping in a glass measuring cup instead of in the pan directly on the stovetop (this made me nervous for some reason, and apparently some other TWDers felt the same way). I accidentally poured all 1.5 cups of sugar in with the egg yolks, instead of reserving half a cup to whisk with the egg whites. Doh. So I put a scant 1/4 cup of sugar during the egg white whipping stage, hoping that everything was not ruined at this point. Fortunately, I got a gorgeous meringue and was able to continue.

I baked my cake for 45 minutes, checked it, left it in for 5 minutes more, then removed it from the oven. But a nagging feeling and a peek at the reviews over at TWD that questioned the baking time made me double back. I stuck the cake back in the oven for 20 more minutes. I'm glad I did. Though the top was dark brown, the center of the cake was finally done, albeit sunken in after some time cooling.

I debated whether to make the streusel because some of the TWDers left it out. I decided to go ahead with it but left the top of the cake streusel-free, enjoying my slice with whipped cream instead.

I'm relieved the cake turned out fine even with the extra sugar. I think peaches would work just as well in place of nectarines; it did for Susan (one of the hosts this month). I'm looking forward to having a piece for breakfast with a cup of joe in the morning. Head over to Marlise's blog The Double Trouble Kitchen and Susan's blog The Little French Bakery for the recipe and beautiful photos, and to the links page if you'd like to check out everyone else's posts.

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet Tags tuesdays with dorie nectarines cake

Sep 2, 2012

an abundance of cake

This time of year cake and ice cream are frequently spotted in our house due to the spacing of birthdays a few weeks apart. No cute cheeseburger cake or funky, tall cake this year, though. These cakes are more subtle, less showy, yet still fit for a birthday or two.

I'm realizing how piping-challenged I really am. The roses kicked my butt as did the application of the dye. I was going for a gradient effect but clearly failed. Once you see past that and get to the red velvet cheesecake, it will make you forget about sucky dyed flower decorations.

The ice cream, a roasted strawberry and buttermilk recipe from Jeni's Splendid ice cream book, was worth getting seconds. 

Flare... I love capturing it because it means there's sun. In Monterey! 

checkerboard cake (lead photo): vanilla cake recipe from Joy the Baker's cookbook; cocoa-buttermilk cake recipe (just the cake) by Dorie Greenspan; pastel swirl effect inspired by Sweetapolita. I bought Wilton's checkerboard cake pan set from Michael's.

red velvet cheesecake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. the layers were frosted with cream cheese frosting (I halved the recipe, which can be found on the same page as the red velvet cheesecake recipe). the roses were made using Wilton's buttercream icing recipe; inspired by i am baker's rose cake.

Jeni's roasted strawberry and buttermilk ice cream recipe.

I'm getting ready to make the first recipe of the month for Tuesdays with Dorie -- another cake. Plus I'm searching my baking books again for my own bday cake this week. I predict we'll be sick of cakes after this. Be safe this weekend.

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet Tags cake birthday cake checkerboard cake red velvet cheesecake

Aug 5, 2012

Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up Cake and meeting Julie

I instagrammed this collage the day I got Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson. I pre-ordered it months ago and when previews and recipes from the book started popping up, I found the recipe for the Lemon and Almond Streamliner cake and made it. Two thumbs up.

Yesterday I baked the Butterscotch Cream Roll-Up cake... the photo on the lower right up there convinced me. Or maybe it was the word "butterscotch." And when I finally made it, I couldn't decide whether my tastebuds loved the butterscotch sauce or frosting more. I'm not ashamed to say I ate both out of the container/mixer bowl, in large quantities. I'll be baking more from the book for sure. Maybe I'll end up baking the whole book and blogging about it. You know, à la Julie and Julia and in the same vein as Tuesdays with Dorie and Me-ette. A project to motivate me to continue blogging? Sounds good I guess.

Last week I needed to get out of the house so my girl and I took a little road trip up to Napa to visit a couple of bakeries and meet Julie of Always With Butter. We had coffee at Model Bakery in St. Helena.

I've been a fan of Julie's work forever; hers is one of the few blogs I follow these days. She was sweet to consider meeting up after work, a shift she started before most of us on the coast were even awake. We talked film cameras and photography, food, and blogging -- I gave her butter from France and she gave me baked treats that she'd made that day at work. Lucky me :) (thanks, Julie!)

My daughter and I stopped at Bouchon Bakery on the way home. We ordered Thomas Keller Oreos (TKOs) and peaches n' cream macarons. Eating these made me excited for the book coming out in the fall. I seem to have a thing for going to places that have cookbooks on the market. I think visiting Tartine and Bi-Rite Creamery in SF will make my Bay Area list complete. 

Had a couple slices of pain au levain from Model Bakery the next morning. Yeah, an overall great couple of days of pigging out on breads and sweets.

CommentsCategories baking digital sweet Tags vintage cakes bakeries cookbooks cake