Saturday, April 7, 2012
Ninety nine cakes in three hundred and sixty five days. And it's done.
General thoughts about the moment:
My feet hurt and my arms are covered in chocolate.
What on earth am I going to do with all of these cake pans and plates?
And then there's the big question that I've been asked 99 times this week: What's next?
I've never heard of a marionberry before. I went to good ole' Kroger with Marionberry on my list and didn't even ask the grocer what it was. I guarantee you that 99 out of 100 people in Jackson, Miss won't know what a marionberry is.
Well friends, I just looked. Apparently its a type of blackberry. I don't know why Rose couldn't just say blackberry. Wikipedia deems the Marionberry "the Cabernet of blackberries." I'm not really sure what that's supposed to mean either though. Cabernet is just another type of grape used when making wine. As far as I know, its not any better than a merlot grape. Maybe this is where I start sounding like I'm from Mississippi?
Nevertheless, I went for the raspberries- easy and classic.
I've actually been dreading this cake because orange cake is not exciting to me. But this one may surprise me- these cakes often do.
I've actually tried to make this cake twice before. I bought the oranges about 2 weeks ago and never got around to it. The oranges went bad and that was the end of that. Then I tried this weekend but my plans of baking got interrupted by the trampoline.
So now, I've finally completed this cake once and for all!
I am pumped about eating this one. Yum.
The cake includes the actual cake (called the biscuit roulade), Lekvar, apricot syrup, apricot ganache filling, and lacquer glaze. The apricot comes in from the apricot brandy that's used in almost everything as well as the dried apricots in the Lekvar.
But the lekvar was optional and the liquor store didn't carry apricot brandy. Basically, my chocolate apricot roll was not going to have any apricot in it.
I ended up figuring out an alternative route... hopefully it will still taste good.
I am flying through these! It's fun being at my parents house to do this because their kitchen is HUGE, I have 2 sinks, 3 ovens, and lots of natural lighting. And surround sound with the Head and the Heart pandora station playing. I feel like a rockstar.
I actually only have 2 cakes left to make now... the rest are all cooling / waiting to be composed with the other parts of the cakes. Like I said, I'm flying through them.
Friday, April 6, 2012
This is cake 2 in the weekend marathon! My original plan was to stay up tonight and do 4 but I think it might just be a Saturday marathon with 7 cakes. I'll need all the sleep I can get tonight...
I've been looking forward to Miette's Tomboy for quite awhile because apparently it's one of the best in the book. The recipe is really strange though and did not seem like typical Rose.
The cake marathon has officially begun. I went from 99 cakes in 365 days to 9 cakes in 3. Thanks to all of you for your input/encouragement over the past couple days via facebook/text/blog to tell me to keep going!
Here's the list for the next few days:
Chocolate apricot roll with lacquer glaze
True orange genoise
Torta de las tres leches
Mini vanilla bean pound cakes
Marion berry short cake
Bernachon palet d'or gateau
Back to the She Loves Me Cake-
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Time is ticking. Has anyone else noticed the clock on the right side of the page? Just in case you didn't, it says THIRTEEN DAYS! AAH!!!!!
So 9 cakes to bake in 13 days. And I'm taking 18 hours of upper level classes this semester with tests coming up in almost all of them. And believe it or not I do have a social life. Again, AAHHH!!!
So the question is, am I going to finish on time? Should I extend the deadline to remove the stress or still shoot for it?
For some reason I really want to finish on time. I've worked so hard on this all year long and I want to reach the goal that I set for myself. And honestly, it's only 9 cakes.
But then again, it's 9 whole cakes. that's 10% of the project. I really enjoy baking but I don't want these 9 cakes to be absolutely miserable because I'm trying to whip them out really quickly. I would have to have a baking marathon this weekend and Easter weekend in order to finish.
So thoughts anyone? Should I try to finish on time or extend the deadline?
Friday, March 23, 2012
The weather in Oxford has been amazing this week (minus a bit of pollen and a day of rainfall) so a bunch of friends came over to sit on the trampoline this afternoon. I brought out the banana refrigerator cake that I made last night and it was absolutely perfect for the sunny afternoon.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
When I was in kindergarten, I had a friend named Anna who had a Pocahontas birthday party. I got an invitation and was so excited because it was a dress up party and that meant that I could wear my favorite dress--my Pocahontas dress. My mom was concerned that Anna was supposed to be the only Pocahontas so of course she called Anna's mom just to check. Her mom was so sweet and assured her that it would be just fine! We're good ol' Mississippi folk down here- no one would never say no to a kid wearing a Pocahontas dress. I happily wore my Pocahontas dress and life went on just fine.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Great cake, bad timing (silly Lent).
My time is ticking so that means I have cake sitting around all the time with the push to get the made. As a result I halved the recipe for the devil's food cake. It was a delicious cake but I am really glad that I halved it because, like I said, I feel like I have cake pouring out of my house.
I didn't have any dried sour cherries or cognac so I decided to add some Chambord to the ganache instead of the cherry cognac. It was a good decision.
This cake, second to the Chocolate Feather Bed, is one of the most chocolatey cake in the book. it has 99% cacao chocolate as well as cocoa powder with some light brown sugar and sour cream. The cake itself is moist and thickly chocolatey while the ganache tastes like chocolate fudge. Yum!
Everyone in my life now seems to be on a diet so I ended up throwing the leftovers away this afternoon. I just realized that I should brought some to my friend Kesha (shout out to her for her faithful blog reading) but too late. Maybe next time!
I'm almost down to the single digits in the cakes! I can't believe I've made it this far. I REALLY want to finish on time but its definitely going to be a push...
Rose's Heavenly Cakes page 99
Sunday, March 4, 2012
I'm on a how-many-cakes-can-i-make-without-going-crazy kick so here's my second cake of the weekend (more to come). This actually might be one of the best cakes I've made in awhile. It was incredibly moist with the perfect amount of spice.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
I started to make these almost every day this week but it didn't actually work out until last night. It's been an incredibly busy week with midterms but I did well and now they are behind me! Hooray!
But the most exciting new is that my strawberries flowered and my tulips are about to bloom!!! No lie. I haven't killed them and so it's time to celebrate.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Out of all of the crazy things that I have done for this little baking adventure of mine, I think quail eggs makes the top ten. Usually its just me annoying the grocery store workers with some crazy request or complaining to the manager that they don't carry castor sugar, muscovado sugar, etc.
But honestly, who orders quail eggs? But then I guess another fair question is who decides to bake 99 cakes in a year? Oh yeah, that's me.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I get in these phases where I think I can do anything. One day its making 99 cakes in a year, another its cheese making, and the next its gardening.
So for I'm 1 for 2 in the cakes/cheese making ventures but hopefully this venture will up my record. I planted a few seeds about a month ago (basil, mint, and parsley) and they finally started sprouting in the past few weeks. It was incredibly exciting to discover that I didn't kill them and that they could actually grow.
Monday, February 20, 2012
This cake is the same recipe as the bostini recipe, except for the fact that it has all purpose flour and is baked in an ungreased springform pan. Rose said to put a rose nail in the middle of it so that it cooks evenly but I couldn't find mine... (note the foreshadowing).
Sunday, February 19, 2012
I feel really behind on my cakes.
After this one, I have another one that I haven't posted yet so that means I have 16 cakes to make in the next 48 days. I'm getting a little worried because I'll be gone for spring break and I have midterms coming up. But I am going to make it. I am determined. I set a goal and I am going to meet it- no extension or exceptions.
I think my problem is that I'm getting a little sick of it. I absolutely love it when I'm doing it but I think it's the planning part that I don't like- grocery store trips, prepping, mixing, baking, cooling, cleaning, photographing, blogging. Add that to 18 hours of upper level courses and my to do list gets pretty long. But i'll stop complaining... no one wants to hear that. On to the cake:
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy Valentines Day!!
Tonight, my friends and I celebrated my dear friend Anna's birthday AND Valentines Day at our favorite restaurant in Oxford, Snack Bar. We were definitely that table on Valentines night with eleven girls making all the noise. The rest of the restaurant was littered with couples so we may have stood out a little bit.
I had the Rabbit au Vin with a side of Parmesan Truffle Fries. I think if I could eat there every day I would.
To top off the night, we had the double chocolate valentine cake. I made the cake yesterday but it ended up taking forever because we were all watching the Bachelor and hating on Courtney the whole time.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Happy Super Bowl!
Honestly, I'm not a huge super bowl person. The only one I've ever watched fully was the Saints game and that rocked. I asked today who was playing and I was told that we're rooting for the Giants. Of course we go for any team with a Manning (go Rebs) so go Giants!
These cupcakes were really good. They are really light and easy to eat (maybe that's a bad thing). They went over really well.
Note: There are two recipes in the book for white velvet butter cakes but one is a cake and one is for the cupcakes. I already made the white velvet butter cake but I made it in a cupcake pan- this is the actual cupcake recipe so that's why it counts as two different recipes.
Saturday, February 4, 2012
Belgians, Royalty, Gypsies, Hungarians, Scandal, Chocolate, Walnuts: the words that come to mind when describing this cake. I love that the cake comes with a story... and I also love that the two are equally as good.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Surprise of my day: I actually like this cake. I'm getting down to the cakes that I am not incredibly excited about (fruitcake, quail egg cake, etc) and this one was no exception. But I think I wasn't as excited about this cake because of this confession: I've never had a pistachio before this. I am a recovering picky eater so in the past, I looked at them and thought "strange looking green vegetable looking nut" and so I've never been tempted to try it. As a curious baker and an adventurous eater though, I tried one as I was shelling them and surprise surprise, they were tasty.
One of my friends commented as I was making the cake that she heard that pistachios are the most unhealthy nut that you can eat. But, thankfully, she was wrong (sorry to whoever said that but fear not, I won't name you). I looked it up and according to my extra-credible source, Shape.com (I hope that you're catching my sarcasm here), pistachios are actually one of the top five most healthy nuts that you can eat. They are high in cholesterol-lowering plant sterols (I don't know what that means but I like it) and have more potassium than most nuts. Hooray!
Friday, January 27, 2012
Yeah, so the best part of the picture is the fruit. And by fruit I mean the kind that is not in the cake.
When I started with the fruit filling my dad walked in and asked what I was making. I told him a fruit cake. This was his response (I wrote it down):
"You're making a fruitcake? That's not something someone your age would do... That's something my grandmother would do. Oh, she was a teetotaler. She didn't drink a drop in her life but we all knew there was somethin' in that fruitcake. When she died we found a big bottle of rum hidden behind a door. I guess that's why she made so much fruitcake..."
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Last night I got a bit more bold and ordered five desserts for dinner. It was an Italian themed dinner so the feature for dessert was of course the tiramisu. Sorry, Royal Caribbean, I think I’ve had better. The raspberry jelly looking thing was probably the best!
Other than trying different kinds of dessert, I’ve also been attending every wine tasting that the ship offers. Yesterday was a French tasting featuring LaFite reserve from the Bordeaux, Medoc, and Pauillac regions. We had several cheeses to try with each pairing in order to see which one we liked the best. It was appropriate for yesterday because sadly it rained all day long.
Right now we are in St. Thomas and for some reason there is a man playing the bagpipe right outside of my window…. I think that means its time for me to go somewhere else. More details on the trip later!
Monday, January 16, 2012
No, I didn't make these desserts.
But if you go on a cruise any time soon and see the sentence "One dessert per guest please" on a menu, I might be the customer who ruined it for everyone. I would say sorry about that to you but I'm really not. Here's why:
One of my new years resolutions can be summarized in the question, “why not?” It’s been a great resolution so far as its gotten me to Memphis for New Years and Chicago for a good time with friends (hence my lack of posting lately). This week, my “why not” resolution manifests itself in a different way.
Friday, January 6, 2012
I love foreign food and the fact that this recipe is Swedish made it even more exciting. Rose says that "the pear adds luscious moisture to the crumb; the almond cream imbues it with lovely flavor." I think that she very eloquently and accurately described the cake. It wasn't an overwhelming flavor nor was it bland. It was a simple, sweet taste that was enhanced by the moisture in the cake.
I don't plan ahead very well when it comes to making cakes. I just open the book, pick a recipe, and open the pantry or the groery store. This one called for almond paste. Almond paste is $15.99 from Amazon and no telling how much at the grocery store, if they even carry it. Noooo thankyou.
So with my hefty stash of nuts (whole, sliced, and slivered almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, etc) I pulled out a bag of slivered almonds and got busy making the almond paste. Since I had all the ingredients handy, I like to think that I saved 16 bucks. Totally worth it. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com so if you need some almond cream, take an extra five minutes and save yourself some cash. Here's the recipe:
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I've been looking forward to this cake and at the same time dreading this cake. I love caramel and I love dark chocolate but, as I've mentioned many many times before, I DETEST making caramel. My caramel batting average usually fits into the "third time's a charm" category. I can never get it right on the first try.