September 19, 2014

I Love You, I Love You, I Love You (Nutella Cream Puffs)

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My head rests upon a soft pillow my body cradled by my warm sleeping bag. A low rumbling slowly turns into loud thunder. It wakes me. I stare up at the sky from my wall less tent. Pouring rain, the bright flashes of lightning and the low murmur of thunder. I count until I hear the thunder again waging how close the lightning is. The water trickles down through the oak tree branches and splatters against the tent. I stare up at the vast sky filled with lightning and angry clouds. I love you I love you I love you; I say.
My feet hit against the asphalt road. Contentiously one in front of the other. The air is cool, the sun trickles through the trees overhead. A family of deer is startled and run out across the road in front of me. My breathing gets heavier, I feel the pressure on my lungs. I keep pushing. Silence and my feet smacking the pavement, my breaths in and out, the rustling of squirrels and the voice in my head that says: I love you I love you I love you.
The sun sets and the waves gently roll in onto the pebble filled beach. The hum of far off boats and crashing waves somehow jive with the way my body sways with the cold crisp salty water that encompasses my body. Little shrimp nibble on my toes and water swims in and out of my ears, giving me a sensational feeling of being limitless and free. Floating with everything; yet nothing all around me. I love you I love you I love you; I say.
Dusk one of my favorite times of the day. The sky is orange and darkening by the minute. Fireflies appear and disappear, crickets having loud musical conversations. Staring out into the horizon the warm sand squashing between my toes, feeling internally warm from the days experiences, interactions, and warm sun that bathed my skin all day. I love you, I love you, I love you; I say.

The light of the fire flickers and puts off that perfect aroma that makes a million memories flash by. The loud crashing waves are all that can be heard. I lay in the cold sand making sand angels, staring up at the dark night sky with the sprinkling of stars. I turn my head to look out at sea to see the small orange glowing light bobbing up and down in the rough ocean. A ship out to see, expansive and never ending. I stare back up at the dreamy night sky and squeeze sand between my fingers: I love you I love you I love you; I say.
As my post a few months before this one referenced I stated it had been a year of highs and lows for me. I had no
idea when writing that post that I hadn’t yet experienced something so truthfully scary and life changing. I have never been so scared for my life and it’s sad that we all seem to have to go through something so scary that we truly appreciate things after it. I wake up everyday now blessed to be alive. I catch myself watching a bird fly overhead and under my breath I say I love you I love you I love you. Not directed at anyone or anything in particular, just this life that I get to live. Don’t get me wrong I still have days where I’m grumpy and I’m not always murmuring those words but I do catch myself a lot more reminding myself the privilege I have to be alive.
This summer I got to spend my days at a great camp. I got to spend my days on the private beach and sleep in a wall less tent in the forest where I could stare up at the night sky and fall asleep counting the twinkling stars. My tent mates were amazing. One was from Scotland, one from Whales, and the other from New York. The conversations late at night when we were delirious had us laughing like I have never laughed before. I was the business manger but it is like no other office job. I got to wear wacky outfits for different themes yet still having major responsibilities. I got to be me. I’m more me than I have ever been in my life. I love this place, I love this life, I love it all and I just want to soak it all in.

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These cream puffs are my classic recipe I always make but with a Nutella cream that I could eat on it’s own. This is super quick and easy and so worth it!

Pate a choux
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
Directions
1.Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
2.Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.
Nutella Filling
1 Jar of Nutella
1 cup of whipping cream

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1.Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick baking mats, such as Silpats. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip and pipe puffs to fit in flour circles. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Freeze pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.
3.Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
4.Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into nutella. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cream puffs are best eaten within a few hours; refrigerate in an airtight container.

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February 5, 2014

What I’ve learned so far.

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The last few months have been the most whirlwind months of my life. I hit my highest and lowest points. I have pushed my self past limits that I held myself within all my life. It’s amazing to see what I have accomplished. The last 6 months I worked for an awesome non-profit writing their weekly blog and other forms of social media. It taught me a lot. I also took a full load of classes. That also taught me a lot. I also was in a long distance relationship. That taught me the most about myself. I learned that I’m very smart and a great student something I never really thought I possessed. I learned that I’m a beautiful person inside and out. I learned to have confidence in myself and to put myself out there. I learned how to say goodbye to someone very dear to me. I learned how to forgive even if a reason wasn’t given to. I learned that I’m human and that I’m allowed to have breakdowns, but just don’t unpack there. I learned how awesome my family and framily is. I learned how to enjoy the little things. To say the least these past few months have been molding me in the best ways possible. I am finally becoming exactly who I want to be. I have gained a drive in me to do better, and work harder unlike anything I have ever experienced. I’m more thirsty for life then I ever thought I would be. For the first time ever I’m really appreciating those little things in between the big things, because those little things are what make life great. So this post will be the only post with no recipe in it. I haven’t had much time to bake with 21 units and trying to really experience life but I promise I will post something soon. In the meantime you should really try my famous corn pop brownies….just saying.

September 5, 2013

Rediscovering (Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Ice Cream)

The dark night sky had a sprinkling of twinkling stars. In the distance a star shoots across the somber sky. A white owl hoots on a nearby fence post, while a jack rabbit scampers across the curvy road. The thick smell of manure wafts through the heater of the car as I gulp down hot tea.
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Every year growing up I connected fall to Halloween. I would have a huge Halloween party every year with an awesome haunted house. Our house was that Halloween house. Since starting college though most friends had moved away and I to moved away from that tradition. I just all together stopped celebrating the holiday, it was too disappointing. Each Halloween night I would get an uneasy feeling as I saw posts of old friends going out on the town or partying it up. I would pass out candy to the little kids but in all honesty eat more of it. Halloween had gone from being the most anticipated holiday to can’t waiting for it to be over.

This Year though I too have moved away from home where all those traditions once happened. I have moved about 3 hours away from my hometown to attend college. It’s very much a college town. The college is right next to the downtown which makes it easy to get around on bike. Transitioning to a new life here in this town was strange for me not just because it’s a whole new place but because all my friends are moving home at this point. This year though all my friends that have moved home from college are coming to stay with and visit me for Halloween. It’s the first time I get to host a Halloween in my own home as an adult”. The concept is exciting and strange. I’m starting to turn around the idea of what Halloween is and I hope to make new traditions this year and rediscover Halloween.
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One of my favorite seasons is fall. When the leaves on the vineyards turn to a robust orange, yellow, and red. When all the animals start to gather food for the winter ahead and go into hibernation and the only creatures on the early morning roads are owls. When I can start wearing knit sweaters and boots. When crisp leaves are lying on every street, ready to be stepped on. When Starbucks gets in their seasonal drinks. When I get to create delicious fall desserts. Like this easy Pumpkin Ice Cream. To be honest it’s still 90 degrees where I live now and probably will be in the mid 80’s when Halloween comes.
Update: I started this post in October a few years ago and I just didn’t have time to get back to it until now. I was going to scarp it and put a new recipe up with a new story but I love this recipe and the story with it. I feel the post of Rediscovering really goes for the last few months for me; in that I’m rediscovering life from a new vantage point. It’s been a long road but I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Thanks for waiting for me to post.
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Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Ice Cream
1 pt. whipping cream
1/2 c. milk
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 c of pumpkin puree
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c cinnamon chips

1. whisk all ingredients except cinnamon chips in a bowl to blend. Strain into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufactures directions.
2. Scrape ice cream into a bowl and stir in cinnamon chips. Freeze, covered until scoopable. Enjoy!

September 25, 2011

Ride the wave out(Peach Infused Cream Puffs)


Our bodies bobbed up and down in the crisp cold water. seaweed tickled our toes as it was pushed by the coming waves. The noise of lapping water on the hard sand and kids in the distance laughing was all that could be heard. We glanced out into the expansive ocean, no words were spoken, just a quick glance at each other confirming this was the one. Theres the short amount of confusion in whether we should get closer or sit tight and wait for the wave to sweep us up. The moment was coming, the moment of riding the wave, we gripped our boards and turned our backs to the oceans and threw our bodies down. In a quick few seconds we were lifted in the air, being pushed forward, by a foaming cool mass. The water gathered around our bodies moving us forward; toward the quiet beach. Before we knew it we were beached on the hard sand, the water had retreated leaving us still. Our laughter was now the only thing that could be heard. We dove back into the salty clear water. The silky water greeting us like an old friend. We repeated that experience all day. The rough voice of my teacher awoke me from my day-dream. I was in my math, weeks had gone by since I had been at the beach submerged it’s refreshing bliss. I sat up straiter and tried to focus on what he was trying to teach us.

Over the summer I worked at a lovely bakery, which is thankfully right next to the beach. I had taken an intensive math course over the summer while working there and didn’t have all the that much free time but when ever I had the energy I would go to the beach after work. It was my saving grace. There’s something about the beach that frees the mind, takes away stress and refreshes me. The light house in the distance making a quiet but continuous warning, the seals having conversations, and the aggressive waves hitting against the rocky cliffs.
These days I’m still working full-time at the bakery, taking a number of classes, and am an ambassador for an awesome organization. It keeps me busy, but never to busy to sit on the warm sand and enjoy the sparkling ocean view. As things get really tough this semester I tell myself this: Think of every challenge like a wave you would ride, it may seem huge and scary and you may feel like it will consume; like you won’t make it out alive, but if you just go right at it and ride it no matter how scared it will carry you to solid ground. The ride itself is always nice to, look around a bit. I hope everyone had a great summer.


Peach Infused Cream Puffs
I infused these with a peach flavored tea and it was a very subtle taste but perfect for cream puffs. Next time I think I might add pureed peach to give it a little more of the peach punch. This can also be infused with any other tea flavor the possibilities are endless.
Pate a choux
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
Directions
1.Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes.
2.Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low-speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.
Tart Dough
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons heavy cream
Directions
1.Put butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low-speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, and mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup flour, and mix just until flour is incorporated. Add remaining 3/4 cup flour, the salt, and cream; mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
2.Shape dough into a disk; wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 peach tea bags (or any flavor you want)
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Directions
1.Bring milk, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tea bags, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2.Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisking, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until it begins to bubble in center and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean.
3.Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter; beat on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low-speed or whisk by hand until smooth.

Directions
1.Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or with nonstick baking mats, such as Silpats. Dip a 2-inch round cookie cutter in flour, and mark circles 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Transfer pate a choux to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip and pipe puffs to fit in flour circles. Smooth peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Freeze pastry puffs on baking sheets until firm, about 30 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, sprinkle a clean work surface with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and place tart dough on top of sugar, patting it into a round. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup sugar over dough, and roll to a scant 1/8-inch thick, coating both sides of dough with the sugar to keep it from sticking. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out 36 rounds, and place a round on top of each frozen puff. Return to freezer until firm, at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.
3.Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.
4.Put heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk the pastry cream to soften. Working in 2 batches, fold whipped cream into pastry cream. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Insert tip into bottom of each puff, and fill. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Cream puffs are best eaten within a few hours; refrigerate in an airtight container.

June 9, 2011

Patience (Chai Cake with Honey-Ginger Cream)


My body flew up into a sitting position, scrambling to hit off the booming alarm. Through the darkness my phone read 4am. I slowly slid out of bed and started to get dressed. I made my way to the kitchen, boiled some water for tea, put my hair up, and swooped up the rest of my belongings and was out the door in no time. The fog laid thick on the street, the only light was from the moon and glistening stars. I jumped into my car, immediately turning it on to get the heater going, and docked my phone to get some music playing. Once the car was warm and toasty, I put my car into drive, and started singing to the music. I drove to the outskirts of town, and then I was free; driving out on the fogging country roads.

I just got a new job, a dream job for me. I work at a small bakery, in a very small town, where we make everything from scratch, and everything is local. I’m the morning baker for week days, and I love it. All our baking is done right out where the customers can see us; so there’s a lot of interaction. We have the locals that come hang out, tons of road bikers, and tons of tourists on the way to the beaches. Getting up early in the morning isn’t bad at all, I really enjoy it actually. It’s peaceful because no one is out, and I get to go bake. I have been working hard at staying patient for a bakery job to come along, these last few months have been hard; waiting. Finally the perfect job has come along, and I still have to remind myself to be patient, when it comes to learning everything. Patience is a virtue.
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May 30, 2011

Sweet Summer time(Rhubarb Bread)

The dull pencil colored in another bubble on the scantron. Each time I filled in one more I was a little closer. “Focus” I told myself. I continued to fill in the bubbles while tapping my foot on the floor. With one last marking my last final was done. I jumped in my car cranked the tunes, opened my window and cruzed home. The memories started flooding back. Sitting on the dirt ground, the only light from the moon and the stars, staring at a star lit lake. Looking around at cousins, my family all snuggled their gazes stuck on the lake. The warm breeze hitting our faces. The fish jumping, dancing on top of the rippling lake. All our family camping trip, eating loads of deviled ham, being burnt to a crisp, and making smores over the crackling fire. More memories kept flooding in.

Spending many warm summer days out at the beach. We would pack up our rickety minivan like there was no tomorrow. Once we arrived at the beach we would run straight towards the waves. The hot sand wedged between our little toes, gobs of sun block not properly rubbed in, and the sun beams greeting us like old friends. Little waves would lap over our feet with us squealing in delight from the icy water our feet were submerged in. After hours of my sisters, cousins and I swimming, sand castle building, and burying each other to our hearts content; we would all cram back into the van, our new sun burns being rubbed the wrong way by the scratchy seats.
These were just a few of the memories that flashed by in my mind as I drove home from my last final. When I got home, I immediately went to the kitchen pulled out some butter, sugar and eggs. As I started to toss ingredients into bowls I thought of the memories I will make this summer.

The recipes:
At the market behind my house they sell fruits and vegetable that are about to go bad, I have mentioned how I bought a huge bag of Key limes for $2, well also bought a huge bag of rhubarb for 79 cents. I couldn’t pass it up! The bread was moist, sweet and little tangy from the Rhubarb. The Key Lime curd was a complimentary to that tangyness. I think I will plan on making it again with some strawberries in the bread to add a bit more sweetness. Rhubarb Bread
Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, rinse, chop
Directions
1. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
2. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Carefully fold in strawberries. Dough mixture will be thick.
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Lime Curd
3 large eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup (63g to 96g) of sugar (I used 1/2 cup (96g) in recipe above)
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup (0.118L) of fresh lime juice
6 tablespoons (3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in saucepan until a light lemony color. Alternatively this can be done in a stand mixer and then added to the saucepan. This will take a minute or two in the mixer and more if doing by hand. Add in the zest, lime juice and pieces of butter.
2. Place saucepan over medium heat and constantly whisk mixture until it starts to thicken. Allow it to come to a simmer for a couple of seconds and remove from heat. Add vanilla here if you choose to. Cool to room temperature and then place in a container in the frig. It will thicken more as it cools down.

May 21, 2011

Sweet and Sour(Key Lime Drop Cookies)

I sat silently on a train fully realizing what I had done. My eyes darted around the train to find a familiar face, but there was no such luck. I gingerly untangled my iPod headphones and for the 2 hour train ride sat uncomfortable and starving. A few months earlier I had decided on working at a camp in New York. It sounded like a great new adventure, and what better way to spend the summer. Now though sitting on this cold train all the way across the country from what I knew, was quite scary. I knew there was no turning back.
Once the train arrived at my stop, I dragged my luggage through the crowds of people. I was a bit shaky from being in this new place, but also because I was starving. As I pushed my way off the train, I looked through the people at the station, and finally a familiar face. My body relaxed a little as I walked over to Kristen. My sister had worked with her at this camp, and she had visited California and stayed with us. I hugged her and immediately felt better.
She helped me get settled in to camp, but once it all started I branched out and made new friends. She was there for me throughout camp whenever I needed her, and was always down for a Starbucks run. We picked our days off accordingly so that we could hang out. She brought me to the most amazing sandwich place, that I dream about today. She made fun of my slang I used and always kept it real. She truly made my camp experience ten times better than what it would have been. I was so glad I got to spend the summer with her. As the summer came to an end, I knew I would have to say goodbye.
The last night of each session we would have a campfire on our beach. Each unit would sing and song and then the counselors would get up and make a tunnel with our hands up against each others. One unit at a time would come through and we would sing this as we swayed back and forth:
Mm, mm, I’d like to linger
Mm, mm, a little longer
Mm, mm, a little longer here with you
Mm, mm, its such a perfect night
Mm, mm, it doesn’t seem quite right
Mm, mm, that it should be my last with you
Mm, mm, and come December
Mm, mm, I will remember
Mm, mm, our campfire bright and friendships true
Mm, mm, and as the years go by
Mm, mm, I’ll think you and sigh
Mm, mm, this is goodnight and not goodbye
So as I said goodbye to all my fellow counselors, I kept that song in mind. Hugging Kristen goodbye was hard but I knew we would meet again. She is and will forever be my New York sister.
Key Lime Drop Cookies
Kristen has been sending me different recipes that she has found at different events in New York. I thought this would be the perfect recipe to try. It was originally for Lemon Drop cookies but the local market had a huge bag of Key Limes for $2. So I decided on that instead and I’m glad I did. They were gone within the first night. Perfect with tea. Sweat and sour just like my time in New York over the summer. Thank you for the recipe Kristen!
Ingredients:
1 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp. Key Lime Juice
1 tsp. Key Lime zest
2 and 1/2 C flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl cream butter, margarine, and sugars. Add egg, key lime juice, and zest. Mix well. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until smooth. Add another half and mix well. Drop by tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and serve.

May 12, 2011

Butter an Eggs

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Butter and eggs are the most common ingredients while baking, but that isn’t why I named my new blog that. I had grown out of the name Baking Monster awhile ago; I stopped baking crazy amounts of desserts and just didn’t feel the name fit anymore. I didn’t simply want to change the name of my blog but I also wanted to add something to it. I wanted the blog to be more about my life and not just about the baked goods. I have many family members and friends all over the world reading this, and I felt like I brushed past my life and focused completely on the food and to an extent that’s fine but for me I needed a change. I had two wonderful years on Baking Monster but I am fully ready to make the jump into a new direction. I will still of course post recipes once a week but will now also post a story or snippet from life with some pictures also.  
The reason I chose the name “Butter an Eggs” is because I grew up (and still live in) a town that was once known as the Chicken Capital of the world. Every year we have a Butter an Eggs day parade. Theres the cutest chick contest, where parents dress their children in itchy and uncomfortable chicken costumes. Theres the cow chip throwing contest and then the parade. 20,000 people come out each year, the whole downtown is full of beer gardens, jump houses and kettle corn booths. The history of my town and the parade itself has greatly impacted me. I thought if I’m starting a new blog that’s not just about food but life to why not name it after something that has so greatly impacted me as a person. I’m excited for this new transition, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

March 31, 2011

>Strawberry Lemon Layer Cake

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I have been in a funk. A baking funk that is. I love to bake and most of the time I have a long list of items I want to try and make. Recently though I felt so pressured to bake what other people wanted that I wasn’t baking for my own enjoyment anymore. When it comes to paid orders I’m obviously completely happy baking what the customer wants and I’m also happy doing that when it’s not a paid order, but recently it has become too much of what everyone else wants. I want to experiment with weird ingredients, new baking equipment, and challenging recipes. What everyone else wants seems to being boring traditional recipes. The other day I was out to lunch and ordered a strawberry lemonade and I thought to myself “what if I made a cake this flavor?”. So I set out to do it, and I made one heck of a cake. I may be getting out of the funk.

Cake
2 C A.P. Flour
1 1/2 C sugar
3 1/2 tsp. B.P.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
1 C milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 tsp lemon zest
Directions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking two 9″ or 8″ round pans. Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed. Scrape down sides. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool. Once cooled slice each cake in half. Put the first piece of cake on a round 9″ or 8″ cake board. Fill a pastry bag with a medium sized tip with some frosting. Pipe around the edge the edge of the cake. Then fill with lemon curd. Then repeat for the next two layers. Then put the last piece on top. Do a crumb coat and then put the cake in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then take out and put final frosting layer on and decorate.

Lemon Curd:
3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions:
Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
Strawberry Frosting:
2 C butter room temp
6 C confectioner sugar
2/3 C seedless strawberry jam
Directions:
In a mixer beat the butter and sugar together. Once combined at the jam and beat until combined.

March 6, 2011

>Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

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Since I bake so much, I usually send the majority of baked goods either with my dad to work or sometime with my mum. Recently though I have started baking for my book group that comes over to my house. It’s really fun to bake new things for a new group of people. I had a whole towering plate of these and thought that I would have too many left over but to my surprise there were only two left. I think those two were eaten by my dad that night. The light bit of cream cheese swirled into the dark chocolate cake bites was a terrific combination.
Brownie Ingredients:

1/2 cup, 2 Tbls cocoa powder
1/2 cup, 2 Tbls flour
6 oz butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Topping:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sift together cocoa powder and the flour. Melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, 2 at a time stirring after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan. In a mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, and cinnamon. Drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownies. Using  dull knife swirl the cream cheese mixture in. Bake for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Enjoy.

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