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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snap Thursday : The ring of power

 Not exactly true. But when the Lord of the Rings came out, my friends and I had a lot of fun quoting those 4 words. We also had a great time imitating Gollum's voice saying "my precious," which in our silly context referred to a lot of other things such as "book, cd, cup, plateful of food." You get the idea.

I took this photo when I just got my camera. The ring, which is my wedding ring, is my ring of power. It makes me happy when I wear it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

Something new for Last Cake, Next Cake. It always bug me that LC NC looks so bare, no photos. So I thought I would include a photo that I took for the cake, photo that didn't make it to the post. This one was taken the next morning. As you can see, the cheesecake slice is not a puddle of mess!

I did a double-take when I saw the first photo ECL posted of this cheesecake, because the first thing I saw on the photo was bacon. Confused, thinking to myself, "is this the correct photo/post?" Then I quickly realized that there is a cheesecake in that photo and the bacon is there because, as you might have guessed, ECL had the cake for breakfast. The bacon is not the only thing different in ECL's post. She made the cake in the morning before going to work, a decision she later on regretted. "I need to remember NOT to bake when there is a time constraint, as the project which may seem uncomplicated will become complicated and stress me out." The hard work paid off, with her saying "this cheesecake was a wonderful way to start the day."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

HCB: No Bake Whipped Cream Cheesecake

I must not be in the right mind on Friday when I went grocery shopping. The reason why I said that is because this morning, when I look at recipe and what I had bought, I realized I forgot both the creme fraiche and the graham crackers.

Not wanting to make a trip to the store and lose an hour just for those 2 items, I decided to use sour cream to replace the creme fraiche and make my own graham crackers.

I didn't know how to make graham crackers from scratch, but a quick search on the internet lead me to a recipe on Smitten Kitchen's website. It looks fabulous and easy. Yes it might actually takes longer than the amount of time it would take me to run to the store to get the crackers, but it would be more fun. At least that's what my brain is telling me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snap Thursday: Sunflower

I took a walk the other day and brought my camera with me. There was tons of sunflowers and they all look so pretty. It was a windy day so it was hard to take clear photos of them. The first photo is my favorite, I love the darker background against the bright yellow. I'm posting the second one because there's a bug in the photo :).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

I think this is the 1st week where no one (except myself) made the cake on the schedule.

ECL decided to make the Tres Leches, a cake that she "faced with trepidation." Counting how many types of milky substance is in the cake (there's 5), she was relieved to find out that the cake is not terrible. Definitely not "a big soggy mess" but instead "retains its texture and toothsomeness."

Faithy is back!!! Just moved to a new apartment and been busy, hence the lack of postings, she said. She's making up for it though, having made Marble Velvet Cake, Apple-Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake, and Rose Red Velvet cake recently. "All 3 cakes are equally delicious" is the verdict.

Vicki made the Tiramisu for her son's 30th birthday. "It was easier than I thought.  I have only attempted to make it once and it was a dismal failure.  It resembled more of a brick than a light dessert.  Rose's recipe surprised me with the addition of Marsala instead of rum but I liked the flavor very much.  I also like how it's added to the egg yolks while cooking so the alcohol cooks out"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Portabella Mushroom Fajitas

I love trying new recipes. At least once a week I try something new. So for a recipe to come into a rotation, it has to be really good. This Portabella Mushroom Fajitas is one of them.

Ever since I saw it on Katie's Good Life Eats back in January, I've made it 6 times (counting this one).

If you haven't been to Katie's website, you should go check it out. She has awesome recipes and mouthwatering photos of them. Not only that, she also has cool tips, like her Eat Well, Spend Less series that are really informative.

And no, I'm not just saying all this because Katie has given me permission to share the fajita recipe with you (thanks Katie!) Or that she's an awesome and gracious person.

Back to the fajitas, it is so good, healthy, and super easy to make. I'd say that's a win!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HCB: Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

This cake turned out better than I expect. Which is not hard, considering I have very low expectations (sorry, Rose!) But I just could not bring myself to think or imagine that a cake made with tomato soup would turn out edible. If I were not so determined to bake everything from the book, I would have skip this cake in a heartbeat.

For the sake of scratching off one more cake off the list, I made 1/4 recipe, which yield 8 cupcakes, 50 grams each.

While I was prepping all the ingredients, it occurred to me that I should have just made 1/8 recipe. But oh well, it was too late.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Snap Thursday: Kitty Cat

Having a new camera makes me want to take pictures of everything. And I mean, EVERYTHING. I literary walk around the house and take pictures of things like the bottle of soap, the foot of the bed, the kitchen stool. None are worth posting here, but I did take some nice photos of the cat, :). 
Then the idea came to start posting the pictures on a blog. At first I wanted to have another blog but wasn't sure. My friend, Anne, suggested to keep it here on Knitty Baker, for various reason. It was also Anne, who helped me with the name of the photo series: Snap Thursday.

As the name suggested, this series will launch every Thursday. It will be a picture that I find interesting and want to share with you. I hope you will like it and leave comments. I'd love to hear what you think about it.

In the meantime, this is for Anne... 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

A short LC NC today and an early one!

Mendy made She Loves Me Cake in a bundt pan. He split lobotomize the bundt horizontally in half and filled it with lemon curd topped with fresh blueberries. "This was a fabulous cake! The kind of cake that must have made Rose famous. Very classic."

I'm so proud of Hanaa. She made 1/5th recipe of the Marble Velvet Cake. The cake looks super cute and has nice little swirls in it. "Rose has every right to call this a "velvet cake". The texture is phenomenal. Soft and velvety smooth. It just melts in your mouth. The chocolate sections are intensely chocolaty which is a nice contrast against the buttery non-chocolate part."

Our FEATURED BAKER this week is someone who decided she should "start facing my sponge cake aversion. So I started with the sponge cake I have the most aversion to: the Catalan Salt Pinch Cake." That person, ladies and gentlemen, is ECL. Her aversion is mainly because the cake got mixed reviews in the taste department. I thought it's impressive that ECL decided to face the challenge head on. And it paid off too! ""This is the kind of cake that you can just pinch off a little every time you walk by it, and if you start making special trips to the kitchen in order to walk by the cake more often, well, don't say I didn't warn you."

I want to mention that Hanaa is doing a book review and a giveaway at her blog. The book is ATK's Cook's Country Blue Ribbon Dessert. The giveaway is open until midnight on Saturday July 16th (CET) and the winner will get a copy of the book, so head over there for your chance to win!

Next week we have the Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache. I've read the recipe and it is a pretty typical butter chocolate cake, except that it uses tomato soup in both the cake and the ganache. There are mixed reviews on this cake. Some said it's the best chocolate cake, others said it's good but can't get over the fact that it used tomato soup. I tend to think I will fall into the latter category, but who knows. Should be interesting to find out, :).

One note about the ganache is that Rose said it should be made several hours ahead. However, looking at Hanaa's experience,  said that her ganache was still liquid after 3 hours so she ended up using whipped ganache instead. I think I will make the ganache the night before or early in the morning before I start on the cake.

Monday, July 11, 2011

PPB: Designer Cherry Blueberry Pie

Last week my husband decided to surprised me with a new camera: Nikon D7000!!!

I can't even tell you how happy I was (jumping up and down and bouncing off the wall in excitement).

I have been coveting a new camera for a while, but thought I should wait.

Needless to say I was so surprised to come home one day to find a box in the room, with a bouquet of red roses, and a card.

To celebrate the occasion, I made pie, :)). It is, after all, his favorite type of dessert.

After much consideration, it was going to be either the nectarine raspberry pie or the cherry pie. When I got to the grocery store, the cherries were on sale. So cherry pie it is. For kicks, I thought I added blueberries to the mix too. I've seen such pie in a bakery so why not.

This pie is supposed to use sour cherries, but I've never seen such cherries in my life, so I got sweet cherries instead. I cut the sugar in the filling by 1/2 to compensate for the sweetness.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

HCB Free Choice: Apple Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake and Chocolate Apricot Roll with Lacquer Glaze

There are a couple of cakes from the book that I made last year but never blogged about. I was going to at some point but things other cakes got in the way.

This weekend I told myself that I should blog about them. No excuses! Even if the photos makes me cringe, especially the Apricot Roll one, where the sliced photo is all blurry. I took 8 photos of them and none were in focus. *@)*&)*%#_*#)!

There's not much to say about the Apple Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake as I don't remember much. Which to me means two things: the cake was easy and the taste was not bad but not super good either.

I do remember that we love the crunch of the topping on top and the slight crunch of the apple in the middle.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Heavenly Cake Bakers - the remaining cakes

Since there were some confusion about which cakes I have left, I thought I posted the remainder of the baking schedule. Hopefully this will make all of you even more excited, :).

The schedule is not 100% set, meaning that I'm open to schedule swap (I try to space out the 5 remaining chocolate cakes and the 3 cheesecakes.) I do want to end with the Bernachon Pale d'Or as the last one. It's the cake on the cover of the book, I thought it fitting that it'd be the culmination :). 

Jul 11: Free Choice
Jul 18: Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache (p.87)
Jul 25: No-Bake Whipped Cream Cheesecake (p.257)
Aug 1: Plum Round Ingots (p.319)
Aug 8: Free Choice
Aug 15: German Chocolate Cake (p.137)
Aug 22: White Gold Passion Genoise (p.173)
Aug 29: Coffee Chiffonlets w/ Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream (p.334)
Sep 5: Free Choice
Sep 12: Deep Chocolate Rosebuds (p.355)
Sep 19: Ginger Cheesecake with Gingerbread Crust (p.252)
Sep 26: Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cakes (p.339)
Oct 3: Free Choice
Oct 10: Angel Food Cake (p.154)
Oct 17: Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cakes (p.359)
Oct 24: Peanut Butter Ingots (p.317)
Oct 31: Free Choice
Nov 7: Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake (p.247)
Nov 14: English Gingerbread Cake (p.75)
Nov 21: Bernachon Pale d'Or Gateau (p.107)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

As I'm writing this post, I am slowly eating my small slice of the cake, savoring every bite, :))).

There are not many people who makes this week's cake, but we have a great group regardless as many of you took this opportunity to play catch up.

ECL brought her cake to a summer BBQ where it was a hit. "Its like a lemon cloud, one person exclaimed. The cake got the thumbs up from all the peeps. It is light and creamy, and very lemony. The ladyfinger shell looks amazing but the delicate flavor gets lost against all the creamy lemon." ECL made her own ladyfingers, and a lot of it from the looks in the photo. Her broiler is broken so she used her fancy torch to toast the meringue, making it look really grand!

Vicki made her last genoise on her list: White Gold Passion Genoise. The genoise turned out really well, with her saying "it took the entire book but finally I no longer fear genoise." She used passion fruit concentrate and unfortunately the curd and syrup came out too strong. Quick thinking, she turned the whole cake into what she called a "fruit basket with bananas, peaches, nectarines,strawberries and mango sorbet, cutting the highly acidic flavor of the passion fruit." For the frosting, Vicki used whipped cream instead of buttercream. " It turned out to be the best fruit basket cake any of us have ever had."

Monday, July 4, 2011

HCB: Lemon Canadian Crown

I have been looking forward to this cake for a while. I love lemon curd and ladyfingers and the combination sounded so yummy.

I made the ladyfingers on Sunday before going to the farmer's market. It came together pretty easily. I made 1/2 recipe and it took me about 1/2 hour to prep and mix everything. They finished baking in 8 minutes, giving me just enough time to wash the dishes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

ABC: Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake

Hanaa asked me to participate as a guest blogger for her ABC baking club. It took me about 2 minutes to decide. The menu for this month is Butterscotch Spiral Coffee Cake from Flo Baker's Baking for All Occasions.

The recipe for this cake reminds me so much of cinnamon rolls, which I love. I am not a big fan of cardamon so I opted out of it.

I do not want to make the full portion of the recipe, so I made split the recipe into 5. It is not very challenging because most of the measurement is in grams. The biggest challenge is to figure out where to bake it in as the original recipe calls for a 9 inch pan.

Fortunately I do have a 4 inch pan, that I bought on a whim last year. Going off the appendix section in Rose's Heavenly Cakes, it said that 4 inch pan is 1 3/4 cups  and a 9 inch pan is 8 2/3 cups. Dividing that up 1.75/8.67 = 0.20.

But then looking at the recipe it used 2 eggs. Would be hard to split it into 5 and I don't want to waste eggs. The recipe used some water in the dough, so I decided to replace some of the water with the remainder egg.

Friday, July 1, 2011

HCB: 4th of July Cake

I made a really cool cake the other day. It's called "Flag Cake."


Not my original idea. Inspired Glory at Glorious Treats, who was inspired by Elissa at 17 and Baking. Noticed a trend here?

The cake looks complicated but it really isn't that hard. I love Glory's post because she does a photo tutorial, which makes it easier for me as I'm a visual learner.

I did something a little differently than her though. She used a box mix. I considered doing the same (it would totally cut my time) but I prefer homemade cakes. And I thought it would be totally cool to actually made everything from scratch.

And that' what I did!

And it is so fun!