"Hey, I can do that!"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Scratch It: Cold-Oven Pound Cake

"Cold-Oven Pound Cake"

Color me happy!  I'm pretty sure I knocked this recipe out of the park.  In all fairness, it was pretty simple, but still!  I followed all the directions correctly (except using 2% instead of whole milk) and didn't over-bake it.  This cake is probably the best scratch pound cake I've had so far.

This recipe uses cake flour and was baked in my Chicago Metallic Angel Food cake pan.  The trick to this recipe is not to pre-heat the oven.  While I was getting my ingredients together, I actually made the mistake of turning on the oven right away.  Felt pretty weird to have to turn it back off.

Finally, a pound cake recipe that didn't yield some weird puffy, crusty top.  

It's been over 24 hours since this cake was made and the house still smells amazing.  Nice, tight but tender crumb.  And the taste?  Pretty darn good.  Yup, this one is going in "the binder" (my collection of printed-out internet recipes that I've made successfully).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Scratch It: RLB Yellow Cakes

"Buttermilk Country Cake"
"She Loves Me Cake"
by Rose Levy Beranbaum

I'm still working on scratch baking with the help of some experts.  I've recently purchased Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum as suggested by fellow CakeCentral.com members.  Several people said it is worth it to own both her Cake Bible and Heavenly Cakes.  My most recent scratch cakes are her "Buttermilk Country Cake" and "She Loves Me Cake" (featured in photos), both of which are variations of her "All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake".

On the books' suggestion, I spun some sugar in my blender to make "super fine" sugar.  I don't recall seeing super fine sugar at the grocery store, but next shopping trip I'll take a closer look.  I can't really tell the difference in the final product, but I'm hoping experience will help me with that later.

Scratch baking is not easy.  I have yet to really follow a recipe 100% correctly.  With the "She Loves Me Cake" I poured all the milk into the liquids bowl, not reading that only 1/4 cup should have gone in.  The rest was to go with the butter into the dry ingredients.  I also over-baked it :(  That's probably why my cake came out dry.

With the "Buttermilk" cake, I didn't follow the directions on my powdered cultured buttermilk container.  If you mix the powder directly with water, it clumps up.  You're supposed to add the powder to the dry ingredients and add the water to the wet.  I tried to split this recipe into 2 6" round pans and that was wayyyy too much batter.  It overflowed in the oven and made a big, burnt, smelly mess.  The cake that I salvaged was moist but very delicate.  It crumbled when sliced.

Please don't judge these cake recipes on my failures because I'm sure I messed them up!  Instead, give me a virtual hug and know that, if you're also one who can't seem to read ahead, I'm right there with ya!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Feast of Ice & Fire

A Feast of Ice & Fire

If you haven't read any of George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice & Fire book series, drop what you're doing and go buy A Game of Thrones (the first book in the series).  Then sit back for several days for a good read.

Back already?

If you haven't visited the Inn at the Crossroads food blog inspired by the Song of Ice & Fire series, drop what you're doing and click on that link!

See?  Aren't you glad I told you?

 I have recently purchased their new official cookbook for the series.  It's pretty enjoyable to read their research on their blog or in these pages for medieval recipes.  Hits me up on many geeky levels.  I hope to make a few of these savory and sweet foods inspired by my all-time favorite book series.

Crusty White Bread

This recipe was ridiculously easy.  I was pretty skeptical on the outcome because the ingredients were so basic, and I'm such a beginner at bread making ... but hubby and I were pleasantly surprised.  We devoured all of one of the small loaves right out of the oven.

The exterior is pleasantly crisp and thick ... much like my favorite pizza crust.  The inside was soft but hearty and yeasty.

How fun!  I'm looking forward to trying the desserts listed in the book.  They often offer both a recipe for a dish old-world style and also a modern spin version.  Not much cake decorating going on here, but still an adventure!

As Seen On

As Seen On Capital Confectioners