Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' challenge: Fresh Frasiers

Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.

So technically, this was supposed to be a sponge cake with fresh berries in the pastry cream center (frasier is French for strawberries). But honestly, we all know I'm a citrus girl. And for some reason, I wasn't feeling the strawberries this challenge. So Aunt Betty and I, after visiting the City Market for the first time, made a lemon sponge cake in my new apartment's oven. Luckily, it worked perfectly, which I wasn't expecting, because the other cake we made that day failed miserably.

The pastry cream we flavored with lemon as well, and then on top is almond paste and more lemon-flavored pastry cream. Some lemon zest on top, and we had one tasty cake. The almond and lemon together was different, but super tasty. My biggest problem with cake challenges is no one to feed them to. They're hard to transport, and I have a harder time making them pretty than I do with cupcakes. So I'm hoping next month's challenge is something totally different than something I've made before. Like doughnuts. I really liked the doughnut challenge.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Butterbeer cupcakes, fruit pie and red velvet holiday cupcakes

In the last few weeks, I've been to the lake for the Fourth of July, packed up my entire house and moved. I took a couple days off of work, and with the help of my dad, stepmom, aunt and uncle, moved to a city about an hour from where I lived. My mom and her boyfriend stayed behind to clean my old house while the rest of us loaded stuff into what looked like far too small an apartment. In fact, it is not. There's lots of nice nooks and crannies for my stuff. It's not quite put together yet, but apparently this stuff takes time. And now my commute has been cut down from one hour to about five minutes! So yes, I've been absent from here for a bit, but I promise it was for a good reason!

So that means a couple of my desserts this week were for Fourth of July celebrating, like this fruit pie. I've never made it before, but Aunt Betty suggested it. It was a basic sugar cookie dough with a topping made with cream cheese, whipped cream and sugar. Pretty basic, but very tasty, and an excellent way to use fresh fruit from the summer.

For the Fourth, I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes, but lemme tell you, these were not easy cupcakes. The thing about camp is that it's relaxed, and you don't stay there full time, so you don't have all the ingredients needed for things. We have a neighbor, Eddie Mae, who cooks a lot, and thank goodness for her. I think I went to her house three separate times for these cupcakes. I needed a cupcake tin, and then buttermilk and corn starch (to make my own cake flour!), and then more vegetable oil. Luckily, after all that, they turned out quite well!

These I made as my first cupcakes in my new apartment! I'm still learning the oven, so it's going to take lots of practice. They're butterbeer cupcakes, in honor of Harry Potter. No, I haven't seen the new movie yet. I'm rereading the whole series so I can remember the story better first, and I'm on book three. So just give me some time :) These cupcakes were wonderful, and even the non-butterscotch lovers liked them! The cake was a mix of cream soda (mmmmmm!) with vanilla and butter flavoring, and a nice butterscotch icing and butterscotch ganache.

(Posting these cupcakes on Cupcake Tuesday!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy 100!

So, this is my 100th blog post. I'm sorry it's anticlimactic. It's just that I've been busy. Very busy. For starters, I was at the lake. A nice camera delivers one hell of a firework picture, doesn't it? And I've been packing up my whole house and moving. Yeah, that's right, I'm no longer a Lawrence girl. Kansas City for me! I haven't baked in a while, because for a while I didn't have my stuff unpacked, and this whole week I've been adjusting to my new apartment.

Never fear. New sweets soon!
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