Monday, March 28, 2011

Orange Glow Chiffon Layer Cake


If there was but one reason to buy Rose's Heavenly Cakes, this would be it.  This cake is perfect.  Lightly flavored with sweet oranges, the chiffon crumb is exquisite.  It takes me back to being five years old and cajoling my mom into splurging on a Twinkie.  The texture and main flavor minus the orange tone reminds me of my absolute favorite childhood treat.

Sunday is not the best day to go shopping around for a flower nail.  I first went to William Sonoma but they didn't carry flower nails.  So we stayed for the technique class on cooking cannellini beans in a pressure cooker with Israeli couscous.  Delicious as well as informative.  I always learn something in their classes, especially the unbelievable depth of flavor simple pepper has when a mix of peppercorns are pan roasted then ground.   The lady sitting next to me said to try Michaels    which nearly gave me a panic attack.  I try to avoid Michaels at any cost because it completely overloads my nervous system.  I love all the stuff but haven't a clue what to do with any of it.  Plus, and this is a BIG plus, it is NOT the place to take a grandchild, which I did.  Michaels has turned itself into a bigger version of the Chuckie Cheese toy counter.  Still, they indeed had one; along with the cutest selection of cupcake papers I have ever seen.

A quick stop into Whole Foods unearthed Sicilian orange Marmalade, which may now be my new favorite Marmalade.  Very mild and sweet.   The cake mixed up quite easily and I popped it straight into the oven forgetting the flower nail.  Five minutes into baking and more than five swear words later, I shoved it into the batter hoping the whole thing wouldn't deflate.  It didn't seem to suffer too badly and came out of the oven nicely puffed.

I opted to leave out the grated rind in the whipped cream because I knew the grandkids would protest mightily.  They preferred the whipped cream sweetened without the Marmalade or powdered sugar sprinkled over the cake.  On the adult's I  used a bit of the candied Marmalade rind leftover from the whipped cream.   Either way, this cake is amazing.  I see it as the perfect summer cake, perhaps split and layered with fresh berries.  It's truly another lovely cake.  Well done, Rose.  And for the biggest fan of all....


The littlest granddaughter, who will turn one year old in a few weeks,  positively loved this cake!

Monday, March 21, 2011

They All Love Me Now Cake


Roses' She Loves Me Now cake is a winner.  It is simple, light and packed with buttery vanilla flavor.  It's gone straight to the top of the Make Again list.  Sliced and layered with lemon curd and blueberries then topped with sweetened whipped cream, it is delightful.  For fun, I turned it into mini cupcakes and had just enough left over batter to make this mini cake. The trusty Fun Gun filled the cupcakes with lemon curd.  Everyone loved it and gave me loads of compliments, which is so funny as it is one of the easiest cakes in the book.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DUI Chocolate Midnight Cake

This is one potent cake.  The dried cherries soaked up the cognac and turned into plump little boozy things.  It all works with the dark chocolate but my heavens!

I made two single layers and sliced both.  On one I spread strawberry jam for the kids, the other cherry/cognac elixir.  I then slathered on ganache.  The frosting was over powering so I opted to frost only the tops.  The cherries were too big after sitting overnight in the cognac.  A spin in the mini food processor fixed that.  I spooned the cherries over the top of the cake.   They immediately sank into the ganache.

This cake  is quite decadent.  It's the kind of cake to wow dinner party guests.

I would like to say the batter before adding the chocolate was amazing.  And the ganache before adding the cocoa powder and water mixture was spectacular.  If it's possible to use these flavors as a cake and anyone knows how to adjust the recipe, please let me know!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moist Chocolate Raspberry Genoise Frizzby


It started out so well and twelve hours later I had to accept the dismal fact that once again, Genoise bested me.  The Raspberry Ganache turned out perfectly even though I mistakenly melted the chocolate.  What was I thinking?   The Chocolate syrup~no problem.  Mis en place for the Genoise?  Measured, weighed and waiting.  I read Mathew's instructions over and over. Having the desired temperatures listed filled me with confidence. The whipped eggs nearly spilled out of the KitchenAid.  For the first time there was not one flour pellet to be found.

And then it happened.  It was that "slide the chocolate into the egg" part and "beat for one minute".  When I poured the batter into the pans unmixed chocolate made it's presence known.  I tried to mix it into the batter in the cake pan but knew it was futile.  Still, I didn't think it would turn the entire cake into a dense, rubbery mass.  Pulled out of the oven it looked deceptively normal.  Only when it was sliced in half for the syrup brushing did it begin to resemble a frizzby.  I persevered.  For I am nothing if not committed to chocolate.

And this is the sad result.  My daughter remarked that the Raspberry Chocolate Ganache tasted like Godiva raspberry filled seashell chocolates.  In an attempt to disguise it's Mad Hatter appearance, I used the left over chocolate syrup to sweeten whipped cream, which I might add, was rather tasty.  Too bad it didn't help the flubbed genoise.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding


Sticky Toffee Pudding, even the name sounds fun.  And it was fun to make.  Who ever boils beer then throws in a bit of baking soda to make it fizz?  The stench was terrible.  Guinness may be beloved to beer drinkers since before the Revolutionary war, but the aroma was horrific.  Next time Dr Pepper is going in the pot.  I truly had my doubts pouring this double, double toil and trouble concoction over the lovely dates, then pureeing them into a puddle. The batter, on the other hand, filled the kitchen with spicy aroma.  Put together with the date puree, there was the faintest lingering aroma of Guinness.  By the time it came out of the oven, the smell of Guinness disappeared.  Dressed in the toffee sauce with vanilla ice cream and toasted pecans, this was one spectacular dessert.  I had just enough light and dark brown sugar for the sauce and it turned out a little lighter than the picture in Rose's book.  Everyone, including the grandchildren, loved this pudding cake.  Next time I think I'll poke holes in the warm cake and pour the sauce over it.  We really liked that sauce!