Happy 4th! Berry Pavlova!

July 4th, 2010

Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Juan and I had a cook out with some friends last night- burgers, amazing mac & cheese, caprese quinoa salad, and a berry pavlova for dessert! It was a really fun evening! Excuse me- leftover mac & cheese is calling me… Happy holiday!

Cake Holiday…

June 1st, 2010

A guest blogger… my mother…two delicious cakes… read on…

Recently, Ginny was home for a few days. So of course, I baked a cake! I have a long history of cake baking . As one of a family of twelve, it was often someone’s birthday and I loved making the cake. I even baked my own birthday cake as it ensured I got what I wanted!! Sunday dinner was always a big feast as well so a cake was usually featured.

For a number of years I would bake birthday cakes for my coworkers. Many times my children would be excited about a cake that they could smell baking only to learn it wasn’t for them. My coworkers are the one’s who dubbed many days “cake holidays” as they would even search out obscure days (e.g. Botswana Liberation Day) as a day that “needed” a cake.

So, for Ginny I baked the standard yellow cake that is my favorite. Dinette cake from Betty Crocker. I doubled the recipe and used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. The chocolate icing is the Hershey’s Lickety Split recipe. I decided to split the layers and make four layers so the icing recipe should be increased by half. My family always used hot coffee instead of milk which gives the icing a mocha flavor. You can also melt a square of baking chocolate to replace part of the cocoa which gives the icing a fudge-like consistency.

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup butter,softened

Note: If you ever visit the South and see chocolate cake featured on the menu, a yellow cake with chocolate icing is what you will get!

Resa came home for Memorial Day weekend and we baked a cake together. It is a coconut cake from Cooking Light and it was amazing!

Macaroons… Success!

May 21st, 2010

Macaroons have gained quite the following… I’ve been wanting to make them for awhile but they’ve always seemed intimidating… well, Tartelette wrote a really helpful tutorial and today I went for it…

I made Use Real Butter’s alfajores variation with David Lebovitz‘s Dulce de Leche.  I followed the recipe to a T, using two day aged egg whites and was really happy with the results. My macaroons had little feet! I would like the tops to be smoother and puffier but I just need some practice. Most importantly- they are DELICIOUS!