I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . . a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place.
B is for Bundt, that's good enough for me.
One of my hobbies is baking elaborate cakes. Cakes that take upwards of 3 hours to make, destroy the kitchen (anger the wife), and have at least a pound and a half of butter in them.
Our friend Kristin was asking me some general pointers. I came up with:
- Always measure ingredients by weight, not volume.
- Use a modest-amount less flour then recommended, and add just a little bit of potato or corn starch.
- Don’t use cake flour. Just general purpose white.
- Always sift.
- Cream the butter and sugar as slowly as possible.
- It’s done when a tooth-pick comes out clean.
- Don’t refrigerate your cake.
- Don’t do low-fat.
- Ice with buttercream.
I feel like I get how a good cake comes together, and I know what different stages are supposed to look like, smell like; if the ingredients are playing nice like they should at a given point. I know how, and I know what.
But I’ve never really known why.
Here’s why: The science of cake
when I was young I would always ask for coconut cake for my birthday. that only slightly explains why I have included this song in my post…
James and I had our small group over for a dinner party last night. James is an amazing cook and whipped up one of his (many) delicious specialties. Thanks, friends for coming over last night. We had a blast!
Brie and baguette paired with an olive mix plus plenty of red wine
Dinner: Gnocchi with classic mornay sauce, blanched asparagus, sautéed onions and garlic, plus niçoise olives
Salad: Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocados with a raspberry vinaigrette
Dessert: Amazing ABC chocolate bombs and cookies with champagne!
Y U M.
Getting ready in the morning for work and looking at my awesome new framed poster in our bathroom:
Getting a big cup of Shenandoah Joe’s from the Blue Ridge Country Store for $1.00
Going home and making white bean dip with fresh rosemary from our garden and eating James’s delicious swiss chard cooked in butter with garlic, onion and salt and pepper.
Hanging out with The Gum’s and The Moore’s!
Or, The Other Alliums
Shallots look like oval-shape, copper onions; the flesh is white and purple, but with a milder and sweeter flavor with a hint of garlic. There are usually 2 ‘cloves’ to a bulb. A staple of French cooking. A substitute for a shallot might be a combination of sweetish onion and garlic, approximately 2/3 onion and 1/3 garlic. A scallion is not acceptable when the recipe says shallot.
Scallions and green onions generally refer to exactly the same vegetable. They’re also sometimes called spring onions (Technically, there is a difference between the three, but this relates merely the size of the bulb). These are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks; just a immature yellow onions actually. They’re much milder in flavor than ordinary onions, but a bit stronger than shallots. The greens are often used to add a sharp-sweet flavor and color to a dish. Popular in Asian cooking. If you need to substitute for the white bulb part, use a regular onion. For the greens, use chives.
Chives are the smaller, more grass-like versions which are snipped finely and have a sharper taste than green onions. Don’t cook chives.
Leeks look like large green onions, and they have a more complex onion flavor. Much, much milder though. Must be washed thoroughly, as there is almost always dirt and sand between the layers.