Friday, February 26, 2010

Truffle cake ~

Truffles.  So many subtle variations, so little time.  This is an easy peasy recipe - as are most truffles.  Get out your favorite dark chocolate...find some yummy heavy whipping cream.  Got some favorite libation you feel like dripping in the mix?  Good for you!  Go!

This is a very soft truffle ~

10.5 oz. chopped chocolate
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 T. liqueur of your choice

  • Place chocolate into a glass bowl.  
  • Heat cream to almost a boil.
  • Pour over chocolate, cover with a plate.
  • Wait five minutes.
  • Stir chocolate and cream until combined.  Add liqueur.
  • Place in fridge for at least three hours, or up to over night.
  • Use a little scoop or spoon, place on parchment.   
  • Put back into the fridge for an hour. 
  • Dredge in dutch-processed cocoa.
For the cake, I dipped the truffles in chocolate, letting them harden.  Then coated them with gorgeous cocoa.  What a lovely shade, a dreamy-dusty scent that lingered in my Eskimo nose.   

Truffles ~ a nice little decoration, don't you think?  :)


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ladybug cake ~ for the sugar and spice crowd

I initiated it, I did.  "Come on, sit here.  Let's look at pictures of ladybug cakes together."  Oy.  Not a can of worms, but page after page after page...after *page* of ladybug cakes thanks to Google Image and a six year old that thinks a long period of looking is fun.  It was.  It didn't end with one session.  There were many requests for looking at cakes.  We saw pink ladybugs, flat ladybug cakes, a green ladybug cake, orange ones, even a large white wedding cake with dozens of itty bitty sugar ladybugs cascading down one side.  In the end, she picked the one she wanted, not the one I wanted.  Have you ever seen a 46 year old pout?  

 I used this cake opportunity to try out a new recipe from a new cookbook I received for Christmas.  If you collect baking books, this is a good one.  I varied the yellow cake recipe just slightly and lemon'd it up.  Sofia's request ~ lemon with cream cheese frosting.  

Later, after the party, as the night was winding down, she asked, "May I please eat an eyeball?"  Then it became a cake mutilation by two girls.  Is this the new Sugar & Spice and everything nice? 

She was absolutely tickled...with the cake, with her party...with her turning seven years old.  There is nothing like having children to know that the saying - How time flies - is so true.  Love of children is absorbed instantly, given quickly...lasting forever.   I love my babies like nothing else I've known ~ being their Mother makes me glow inside ~ as I know other mothers feel about their own...and can understand how vast the love.

How time flies.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Do you know what love is? ~


~ I believe it takes many forms ~


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine Day afterthought ~


I hope your day was full of love ~ 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14th, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Simply pictures ~




Monday, February 8, 2010

Fluffly Focaccia ~

Some doughs are just downright sexy.  This is the thought that comes to mind when I make certain breads.  The dough is supple, warm, a luscious feel to it when handling.  I love this foccocia recipe ~ when it's mixed and kneaded, I dough. 

I make this thicker than what is traditional, 'cuz I like it fluffy and soft. 

Adapted slightly from the original.  

Focaccia ~

5 tsp. yeast
2 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. oil, I use canola
1/4 c. olive oil
5 - 5 1/2 c. bread flour
  • Proof the yeast in 1 c. of the water and a pinch of sugar.  Let sit 15 minutes.
  • Pour the additional 1 c. water into a mixer or bowl depending if you use a mixer or are doing this by hand.
  • Add the sugar, salt, oil, olive oil to the water.  Mix a little until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • When the yeast is proofed, add it to the water.
  • To the wet ingredients, add three cups of water, stir and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add two cups of flour, one cup at time.  Use the extra 1/2 c. if necessary.  Keeping the dough supple and a little tacky makes for a tender result. 
  • Put into a oiled (olive oil) bowl and let rise until double. 
  • Divide dough and place into two oiled 10" cake pans, spreading out to the edges or close.  Half sheet pans lined with parchment if you don't have large cake pans.  
  • After 15 minutes, dimple the dough all over, continue to let rise until double.
  • Douse with olive oil, sprinkle on kosher salt or herbs of choice. 
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, depending on how brown you want your bread.

 Toodles ~

Friday, February 5, 2010

Something soft ~

Something soft, something sweet, something giving.  Can a cupcake be feminine?  Don't tell me otherwise, not today, pretty please.

Hummingbird cake ~ oh my, it's a sweet one.  A moist, dense, unique in flavor sweet one.   There are any number of recipes on the web to find, as there is with the frosting that covers the cake - cream cheese frosting.  I don't care for cream cheese frosting to be super sweet.  Some recipes taste more like sugar than cream cheese.  I'm jotting down one of my favorites.  I'm a baker.  I have more than one favorite sometimes.  I reserve the right to be fickle, forget, dismiss, rave about any current recipe I use.  

This is a very soft frosting, which will pipe very softly.  I would not recommend it for frosting a layer cake.

Cream cheese frosting ~

1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
5 1/4 cups powdered sugar, lightly spooned into the cup

  • Beat butter with the paddle attachment.
  • Add cream cheese a couple tablespoonfuls at a time until incorporated
  • Add vanilla
  • Add powdered sugar one cup at a time
Put in fridge for a couple hours or over night if you want this to be stiffer.  It will still pipe easily.