Monday, October 31, 2011

61/99: Barcelona Brownie Bars

These little guys were quite the experience.  Here's why:

One of my friends, Betsy, is a journalism major and has a video project due for one of her classes.  I made her a cake this weekend (just wait till you see it) for a bridal shower and so she had the brilliant idea of creating a cooking show / expo for her assignment.

At 5:30, Betsy walked in and shouted hello.  A few seconds later I turned around and saw the professional Hollywood sized camera looking me in straight the eye.  I was expecting a hand held camcorder with a janky tripod but this thing was probably taller than I am.  Microphone included.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Harry Potter Cake

Disclaimer: If you can't identify all of the items represented on the cake then we may not be able to be friends anymore.

This weekend is kind of a dead weekend in Oxford because it's an away game and a lot of people left to go support our dying football team.  Elizabeth and I decided to have our own fun in Oxford.  And what can be more fun than having a Harry Potter night?

Before I go any farther though, I must give full credit to the beautiful cake above to Liz. I was a terrible friend and started slacking after the fondant was made because I couldn't keep my eyes off of Harry.  We started with the first movie while we were baking and I guess I got a little distracted.  As a result, she worked her own magic in the kitchen.  So Liz is either a muggle and a secret cake decorator who can whip out amazing cakes on command, or she is actually a Harry Potter character and has just been hiding that wand from the rest of us.  I guess none of us will ever know.

By the end of Harry Potter 1 and an NCIS episode, Liz had completed the masterpiece. It includes the snitch, Harry's broomstick (the firebolt), the gryffindor scarf, the sorting hat, Harry's wand, and the cake itself which represents the Marauder's Map.  We got the idea from google images which took us to a picture blog. We changed it up a bit though by adding a few of our own ideas.

The result was so cute that I just had to post about it and brag about Liz.  The Harry Potter cake was definitely a success. Now we're just scared to cut into it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

60/99: Marble Cake

I bought the Heritage bundt pan from William Sonoma a few weeks ago and have been dying to use it.  I just haven't had a bundt cake opportunity lately.  I used to really dislike bundt cakes because I thought they were boring and too grown up. A bundt cake is the Christmas gift from the neighbor that no one really wants.  I always think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding's quote, "there's a hole in this cake!" Honestly who can't relate? Why do we have cakes with holes in them?

But the heritage pan is just cool.  It's worth having a hole in the cake.  And totally worth making a bundt cake. I should have taken downward shot because it looks like a flying saucer.  And just so you know, flying saucer = cool.  (Note- this is not an advertisement / sponsored by Nordicware- I just really like their pan). 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

59/99: Pure Pumpkin Cheesecake

My roommates and I have been in a pumpkin phase for the past couple weeks.  It's that time of year where when you eat a dessert (or anything really) you want it to taste like fall.  We've had pumpkin cake, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin lattes, and there are even quite a few carved pumpkins sitting outside my door.  I love it.

So since we're on the pumpkin kick, pumpkin cheesecake was the lucky choice for a dinner party.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

58/99: Chocolate Molten Soufflee and Lava Cakes

When I was going into 11th grade, my parents and I went to New York so that I could get on a plane to go to a conference in Vienna.  The night before I left, my dad and I went to Morton's Steak House to have a goodbye steak dinner. Since the meal was celebratory in nature, we vouched for dessert to compliment our meal.  The choice: Chocolate molten lava cake. We actually had to order the dessert before we ordered the meal so that it could cook while we were eating to be ready in time. It was that special.

The Morton's molten lava cake completely lived up to it's expectations.  I enjoyed every bite of it and ever since then, I have considered chocolate molten lava cake to be only for special occasions.

You can see my excitement around making this cake.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paula Deen Day


A few weeks ago, I went to this adorable, locally owned book store called Square Books to study.  I bought a book and as I was checking out I signed up for the bookstore newsletter.  Lo and behold, as soon as I turned it over, I discovered that PAULA DEEN was coming to Oxford in 3 weeks! I started to freak out a little bit.  I tweeted about it, made it my facebook status, added it to my calendar, and then proceeded to tell all of my friends about the wonderful news that I had heard.

It was my midterm happy.  These past few weeks have been really stressful with papers and midterms so I kept telling myself that If I could just get through them then I would get to meet Paula Deen.

Well, Ladies and Gents, today was the day.  Paula Deen was scheduled to be at Square Books at 11.  You had to buy a copy of her new cookbook, the Southern Cooking Bible, from the bookstore and then you could get it signed.  I got up early this morning (skipped my bible study at 9:30) so that I could get to the bookstore a little after 10. I was absolutely elated.  I even straightened my hair all the way.

I got there around 10:30 (I left my camera at home so I had to go back and get it) and the line was already wrapped around the outside of the bookstore. It was moving pretty quickly though so I wasn't too worried.  I estimated that I'd be out of there within an hour- heck maybe even 30 minutes if it kept moving this fast.

About 10 minutes into the line I learned that this wasn't actually the line to see Paula.  This was the line to get a number to see Paula.  Paula was actually at the other part of the bookstore which was down the street. No wonder it was moving so fast.

I finally was able to move through the doorway and was about 5th in line. I could see the register and even hear the cash drawer opening and closing.  I don't know who still uses cash but then I realized that everyone in line around me could probably get the senior citizen discount at Piccadilly.

The drawer closed and I was ready to be number 4.  Then the cashier looked up at all of us crazed women in line and announced that all of the numbers had been sold out.  Only those who had pre-ordered a book could pick up their number.  We were welcome to buy a copy of the book but only those who actually had a number could see Paula.

You don't even want to know what kind of words were going through my head.  I started talking with the other women standing in line beside me.  What should we do? Sneak in? Buy a book anyway and just leave? Yell? Complain? Revolt? Cry?

Like it or not, the last idea seemed to be the only option.  I'm so passive aggressive.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

57/99: Spice Cake with Peanut Buttercream

Well, guys, it's been awhile. I don't know if you've been hungry for another post but I sure have.  This past week has been absolutely insane. One word: midterm.  But it's OK. They are all done and A or not, I don't have to worry about them again.

So this weekend my plan was to celebrate with a bit of baking and wine. Of course Ole Miss played (some might argue that they didn't actually play) Alabama this weekend and so there was no time for that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

56/99: Karmel Cake

Rose describes her Karmel Cake as "soft textured and deeply flavorful." Seeing that it's caramel flavored, it sounds divine.
But I was not looking forward to this cake for two reasons:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

55/99: Angel Food Cake Base Recipe (Petit Fours)

The angel food cake base left room for creativity.  I don't have an angel food cake pan so the classic angel food cake was out of the question for me.  Then I discovered that the recipe is truly a base and makes only 1 cup of batter.  Since I didn't read ahead, I could only make 3 cups (I only had 3 eggs) of batter.

So with three cups of angel food cake and a sheet pan, I decided that petit fours were the only way to go.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

54/99: Chocolate Ingots (Financiers au Chocolat)

A few days ago, I planned out my recipes for the week and then made my grocery list.  The chocolate ingots called for a very unique ingredient that I had never used before: Cacao Nibs (the base ingredient in chocolate).  Cacao nibs are roasted cacoa beans that are split in half.  It's not really a typical wal-mart item which makes it a bit difficult.  The cacao nibs were completely optional but I'm in a go big or go home phase so I wasn't going to bake the ingots without them.  Since my grocery store manager thought I was crazy trying to buy cacao nibs locally, I turned to Amazon to help me out.