Monday, June 27, 2016

Apologies and what I've been up to...also some recipes 

Since it has been so very long since I wrote on this blog... I know MY BAD...I will try to make it up to you all in pictures and recipes that I have been working on. Along with stories of my adventures in the last year or so. I know that doesn't bring back those I lost due to lack of posts but at least it might start up interest in my blog again. I hope!
I made this beautiful cake this weekend for a sweet couple who had a home grown wedding with all the love and support of friends and family. I gave them a great deal and didn't even charge for delivery since it was at a local spot I've been to many times before. The mother provided the amazing roses for me to decorate the cake. Most of the vintage style piping the bride wanted was covered by the flowers (she really wanted them wrapping around the cake) but you still get the vintage feel. You can see the inside of the cake because I had extra batter so I made a small cake for my students to try. They loved it! I call it my "signature cake" because it seems to be the most popular flavor. Two layers of dark chocolate devils food cake (see the s'more cake blog) and my adapted Hazelnut butter cake that I will post here for your enjoyment. The filling is coffee flavored swiss meringue buttercream with tahitian vanilla buttercream on the outside. (See for the best vanilla!)

Just some inspiration...a 20th birthday
I made last year.  

Hazelnut butter cake

one 9” round cake

I adapted this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's golden almond cake in her Cake Bible... I can't seem to just let recipes be!I have tripled this recipe to make one 12” round cake and it came out great!

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sour cream (divided)

1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups sifted cake flour

2/3 cup toasted ground hazelnuts

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. Baking powder

½ tsp. Baking soda

½ tsp. Salt

12 Tbl. (1 ½ cubes ) unsalted butter room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F

Prepare your pan with either pan spray or butter and flour with a parchment on the bottom.In a bowl combine ¼ of the sour cream, the eggs and the vanilla.In your mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine. Add the butter and remaining sour cream. Mix on low until they come together and then increase to medium speed and beat for 1 ½ minutes. If you are using a hand mixer, mix on high speed.Scrape down the sides, and add 1/3 of the egg mixture, mix on medium for 20 seconds, scrap and repeat two more times scraping well between each addition.Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with your spatula.Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and it springs back when lightly pressed in the center.Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out to a wire rack to coolYou can make this cake a day ahead and wrap tightly when cooled. It is very moist and tender and quite yummy!

And then there is PIE!! This being a fresh organic peach pie. I find I just don't make pies often enough! I adore pie...especially with ice cream! So why don't I make pie more often I ask myself? Not sure really. The crust is easy peasy because I use a 1-2-3 formula with only butter and it comes out flakey and rich and everyone always asks me if I use butter. OF COURSE I use butter! 
The 1-2-3 thing is a formula using 1 times water, 2 times butter and 3 times flour. AND it works with either cups or weight. For example: It shows easier in metric, 75 g water, 150 g butter, and 255g flour and of course salt 1/2 tsp.
Or in cups it would look like: 1/3 c water, 10 1/2 T butter, and 1 1/2 + 1 Tbl. flour, 1/2 tsp salt. 
Remember if you are using this formula to keep everything icy cold! Ice water and even frozen butter works best. 
Here I used about 6 large ripe peaches and 4Tbl. flour mixed with my 3/4 cup sugar. I didn't add spice because I love the natural taste of peaches. 

and some more pies to inspire you to get BAKING!! These are from last fall. 
pumpkin, lemon meringue apple and dutch apple. 

Looking back to last fall I see my pictures of our trip to Costa Rica. I took 7 women down there to tour cacao plantations, coffee plantations, heart of palm farm, organic farm that grew so many strange and wonderful fruits and veggies and of course the natural habitat and animals of this wonderful country. We shopped at a local farmers market and cooked meals but mostly we were treated to fabulous food cooked for us by the local people who hosted the tours we took. We ate everywhere! The heart of palm was my favorite meal though. The woman owned farm was owned and run by this woman who among those talents was a chef too!!

She made heart of palm lasagne, heart of palm salad, heart of palm dip and for dessert we had heart of palm cupcakes. It was all delicious.

    At one of the places we had a private chef who was self trained and cooked us traditional Costa Rican breakfast of rice and beans, eggs, fresh fruit, juice, and fried plantains.

Each night we had lovely dishes she came up with that had a local flair.

Over all Costa Rica is an amazing country with social responsibilities that they take seriously. Like recycling, and making sure all of their working population has health care and paid vacations. Just to mention a few...
But I digress... it is food we are talking about right? Food being my life and all.
We also visited a small chocolate manufacturer who uses only Costa Rican grown cacao.
It is not far out of San Jose the capital on the way over to the east side. 
They are called Sibu. Very nice folks! OK so enough for today I just needed to get the juices flowing! I have way more to write just needed to sit down and do it!
So please don't give up on me, I will be back... famous last words eh??
If you have something in particular you want me to write about in the baking area please feel free to comment or email me and I will listen I promise!
Until next time...

1 comment:

Veronica Conrad said...

I love your blog, it is very captivating! Please write more. :) I remember spending the whole night reading your blog when I was a student at ICC (2013).