I’ve finished the second week of school…and am just about to begin the third week. On Friday, one of my third graders gave me three pears from a tree in her backyard. Such a nice gift! So, I made this chocolate and pear cake over the weekend and it is delicious! My pictures can’t do it enough justice, so you’ll have to go check out the original for yourself, from Smitten Kitchen.
Archive for the 'Cakes' Category
Rich, dark, dense, delicious.
This was a chocolate-almond-ginger cake for a good friend’s birthday. Everyone enjoyed it, and it seemed like the kind of cake that would still taste great a few days later…if it possibly lasted that long! The recipe was from here, and here’s how I adapted it:
I used half regular cocoa powder, and half black cocoa powder (purchased from a specialty baking supply store).
I put a thin layer of marzipan in between the two cake layers, along with the chocolate frosting slathered on and small pieces of crystallized ginger sprinkled on top of that.
*As you may have noticed, I’m not using a fancy camera anymore — Just my plain ol’ iPhone camera. One day I’ll get myself a nice new digital camera that takes quality pictures and this blog will be reinvigorated. For now, we’ll all just have to deal with silly phone features (which are kind of fun to use, but maybe not as appealing food-wise)
Bria and Dave’s wedding was fantastic and fun – the perfect mix of serious, thoughtful, goofy and joyous. I was honored to bake them their wedding cake and cupcakes! In three flavors, no less! I’m sorry I don’t have the recipes right now as links but you can look them up in my blog archives.
There were three flavors of cupcakes:
1. Chocolate Raspberry (chocolate-raspberry cake with a homemade raspberry filling and chocolate cream cheese frosting)
2. Lemon Almond (gluten-free almond cake with a homemade vegan lemon curd filling and a lemon cream cheese frosting)
3. Champagne (vanilla champagne cake with a white choclate filling and fluffy champagne frosting)
We made at least 200 cupcakes (some didn’t quite make it to the wedding…oops). And they were seriously enjoyed! Just take a look at the happy couple:
The birds are back! And, so am I!
I can’t believe my last post was in February! I know there are some dedicated readers and bakers out there who have checked in with my blog a zillion times a day and have missed my posts terribly (cough, cough, Gina, cough). I’ll try to bake more this school year, and even better, I’ll try to post about them. In the meantime, I’ll let you know that I went to 7 weddings this summer, and I’ve still got one more to attend in October. I’ve baked two wedding cakes (well, one was a set of cupcakes). I simply HAVE to post about these desserts, especially since I have amazing professionally taken photographs!
This cake was for my friends Rachel and Zach, who had a lovely August wedding. I used the same recipe for this cake as I did for my wedding cake last summer, except I left out the fresh ginger. It was a great fluffy yellow cake, with homemade raspberry jam and toasted slivered almonds in between the layers, and slathered with vegan cream cheese frosting. I piped a dark chocolate ganache swirl around the outside and voila! The cake was ready for the love bird toppers, and for the love bird bride and groom to cut into it! Just look at these cuties:
I’ve gone to so many weddings recently; I’ve eaten a lot of cake and cried a lot of tears (of joy). It was really nice to be a part of some of the weddings and get to bake the desserts. Tune in soon for my wedding cupcakes!
Rachel and Zach, it was a pleasure to bake your wedding cake, and celebrate you both together with so many other people who love you!
Here are some in-process pictures:
I know it’s hard right now, but it’s best for the both of us. Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day.
The title and first line of this post come from an email I received from a friend, who sent me this picture he took of my heart-shaped cake. For a friendly Valentine’s Day potluck, I baked this almond cake with raspberry filling, with a buttercream icing. In the shape of a heart, of course, with no less than pink piping on top. It was whole until we decided to cut into it, and the very creative cutting job was done by the friend…
The cake was enjoyed by all and devoured immediately. I guess that’s what tends to happen when pieces are cut as large as eighths of the cake being slid onto each person’s plate!
I haven’t updated my blog in forever. I’m so sorry dear readers! Teaching has consumed so much of my time/life/energy/thoughts/dreams/being. When I do leave school, I may still have inspiration for baking but I have few daylight hours to take pictures and sometimes I just can’t bare to be on the computer any longer than I have to, as I crave adult contact and outside adventures! Over winter vacation though, I have had ample time to relax and recuperate, and be outside to my heart’s content. I have baked up a storm, although it wouldn’t seem like it from the small number of pictures I’ve taken. I did capture these delicious Orange Pumpkin Gingerbread Loaves, and I’m happy to share them with you. My lovely housemate gave me these mini loaf pans for the holidays, but the recipe is versatile and you can bake the batter into a larger loaf pan or a cake pan if you want. The orange juice gives a nice spicy flavor, and really highlights the ginger.
Bake these delicious treats to ring in a sweet new year! Have a happy holiday, everyone!
Gingerbread Ingredients and Recipe:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup dark molasses
1 cup orange juice
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use plain white flour, or do as I did: Easily make it gluten-free by using Bob’s Red Mill brand Gluten-Free Baking Mix)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger (optional)
1 Tbsp. orange zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Mix pumpkin and molasses. Add orange juice.
Sift together the dry ingredients and combine everything together.
Pour into a non-stick 8×8 inch baking pan, or a loaf pan. Bake 60 minutes. Bake the mini loaves for only about 18 minutes. If you stick a knife into the middle, it should come out nearly clean but not quite – you want it to be a little sticky.