Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Fruit Salad Sorbet

A friend brought a ton of fruit salad to my New Year's Day potluck. Knowing I couldn't finish the leftovers before they went bad and not wanting them to go to waste, I made a sorbet. All the fruit, plus sugar, plus a little kirsch. What's it taste like? Kind of... everything.

Fruit Salad Sorbet - blending Fruit Salad Sorbet - blended Fruit Salad Sorbet - into the machine Fruit Salad Sorbet

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wedding Cake Time Again!

Another sister of mine is getting married and has asked me to do the wedding cake. We haven't totally finalized the plans yet, but it's going to be something citrusy. I'll be doing some experimenting over the next few weeks with some different flavors and styles. Any volunteers for taste-testing?

Congrats, Dinah and Eli!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Honey Maple Carrot Cake

Finally, Ben actually bakes a cake. It's been a little while. Doubled up on a recipe from Dede Wilson's first wedding cake book that I'd wanted to try for a while... Honey Maple Carrot Cake. A really interesting recipe in that it used honey and maple syrup instead of granulated sugar and vegetable oil instead of butter. Almost vegan, if not for the eggs. I've never made a carrot cake before. Never used to be a fan, but the concept has grown on me over the last few years. One of these was actually commissioned from me as a birthday cake. The other I did for a friend's "welcome home" party.

The buttercream was a little freaky too; made in the Italian meringue style, but with boiling honey and maple syrup instead of melted sugar. Lent a noticeable flavor to the finished product. You can see I tried a couple different decorating looks. My piping skills still need work. Visible in the last pic is my attempt to do a pattern with this mix-and-match cake comb device that was just a mess; the little plastic pieces kept falling apart in my hands. Probably the last we'll see of that.

Honey Maple Carrot Cake - ingredients Honey Maple Carrot Cake - mixing honey, maple syrup, oil Honey Maple Carrot Cake - mixing liquids, action shot Honey Maple Carrot Cake - adding carrots, nuts, raisins Honey Maple Carrot Cake - into the oven Honey Maple Carrot Cake - out of the oven Honey Maple Carrot Cake - boiling honey and maple syrup for buttercream Honey Maple Carrot Cake - whipping honey&maple into meringue for buttercream Honey Maple Carrot Cake - starting to frost Honey Maple Carrot Cake - crumb coat Honey Maple Carrot Cake - frosted Honey Maple Carrot Cake - first cake decorated Honey Maple Carrot Cake - second cake decorated

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blueberry Buckle

Got this recipe in a Cook's Illustrated a while ago and have been waiting for an occassion to try it out. I was going through the freezer recently and noticed that I had somehow accumulated a glut of frozen blueberries. Also, was going to a Hanukkah party, mentioned this recipe to the host, and he replied that he LOVED blueberries, so there you go. A buckle is basically fruit with just enough cake batter to hold it together. This batter turned out pretty thick and I had a hard time getting the blueberries evenly distributed, but no one complained.

Blueberry Buckle - streusel ingredients Blueberry Buckle - streusel topping Blueberry Buckle - batter with blueberries Blueberry Buckle - into the oven Blueberry Buckle

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Molasses Cookies

I heard about this recipe in a story on NPR on my way into work one day. The author was talking about remembering her grandmother through her recipes. A great essay and a delicious recipe. I tried making these cookies in two slightly different ways. The first time, I followed the recipe very strictly. You can see in the pictures that the cookies really spread out a lot in the over, almost completely losing their shape. The second time, I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with high-gluten bread flour. This time, the cookies held their shape a lot better. Despite that, I think I actually preferred the original style. The flat cookies were so dense and chewy. Both tasted great; lots of cinnamon and cloves I brought them to two Thanksgiving parties and they went over well at both.

Molasses Cookies - ingredients Molasses Cookies - mixing liquids, mixing dry ingreds Molasses Cookies - batter Molasses Cookies - getting ready to bake Molasses Cookies - fresh from the oven Molasses Cookies - baking in star molds Molasses Cookies - second batch fresh from the oven Molasses Cookies - second batch Molasses Cookies - ready for thanksgiving