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Entries tagged with food.baking.cake 
rosefox: Me blowing out a birthday candle. (birthday)
Ever since I was a wee child, my mother's traditional cake for my birthday has been a vanilla or marble cake with chocolate ganache and "roses" made from raspberries and sugar-frosted mint leaves. I have so many memories of coming upstairs on my birthday morning to see her hovering over wire racks covered with mint leaves, fretting about whether it's too humid and hoping they'll dry in time. (Of course they always do.) There have been variations--square cakes and round cakes, semicircle cakes for my half-birthday, cupcakes the year I had a picnic party, dairy-free cakes (with dairy-free ganache!) after my pernicious allergy developed--but the soul of the cake has always been the same.

This year we're upstate visiting J's mom, so I made sure to buy raspberries while we were shopping for the weekend, and then tonight after dinner I mixed up a vanilla mug cake and dropped in chocolate chips and decorated it with a raspberry and two fresh leaves from the mint plant on the windowsill.



It was exactly as good as it should be: delicious and satisfying, while manifestly not a patch on the original. It'll last me the weekend. Maybe next week she'll make me the real thing. :)

Also, I got the BEST birthday present: getting to watch our proto-baby squirm and flail around on the 11-week ultrasound yesterday. "This one will play sports," the ultrasound tech said as she patiently waited for the wriggler to wriggle around in the correct way so measurements could be taken. X has been superstitiously waiting to use our chosen name for the proto-baby until it felt right (we've been calling them "Kiddo" in the meantime), and apparently seeing them so magnificently manifestly indubitably alive was sufficient to flip the "it felt right" switch. So now I get to call them by their name and that is making me very happy. (We haven't decided how to handle name stuff online yet, so for now they're still FutureKid in tweets and blog posts and so on. Hopefully we'll figure that out before FutureKid becomes ActualKid. :) )

If anyone wants to do anything in honor of my birthday, I ask that you do what you can to make the world safer and kinder for my child and everyone's children. Every little bit helps.
23 November 2012 22:53 - "Eat your cake and have it too"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (baking)
We're upstate for Thanksgiving, which is splendid. I got a whim to bake a vanilla chocolate chip cake tonight, but I didn't want to fuss with the hand mixer. As usual, I rambled about this to Twitter, and [twitter.com profile] muppetk said, "What about a mug cake?"

And I exclaimed "GENIUS!" because the upstate house has a working microwave! (And soon, very soon, our apartment will too... in theory... only eight nine ten months after we moved in...) So off I went a-Googling and found this recipe, which I herewith present modified to my tastes.

4 Tbsp flour
5 tsp sugar
.5 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt (or omit entirely)
4 Tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk (or use vanilla-flavored for LOTS of vanillaness)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients in your microwave-safe mug with a fork, add wet ingredients, mix well until smooth (making sure to get in all the flour around the bottom edge), add add-ins. I dropped 2 tsp of really good raspberry jam into the middle and semi-sweet chocolate chips around the edge (about twice as many chips as shown in that photo because I wanted to be thorough), just covering them all with batter before I stuck it in the microwave for 60 seconds at level 9. It probably could have used another 10 seconds but I was impatient.

I used the original amount of sugar, which of course made it too sweet. I should know by now not to trust most people's cake recipes regarding sweetness levels. The raspberry jam and chocolate chips were perfect. I might start prepping dry ingredients for this as well as my chocolate mug cake to make at work.

(crossposted to [community profile] omnomnom and [livejournal.com profile] vegancooking)
12 November 2012 02:36 - "Tasty tasty monster"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
Recipes, as promised!

Vegan gruyère )

Vegan béchamel sauce )

Greek meatballs in olive tomato sauce )

Chocolate mug cake )

Tonight I started a batch of fresh mozzarella and a half-batch of sharp cheddar. (Note to self: half-batches do not have enough mass for the blender to work.) Wednesday my lovely nearby natural grocery will get in unsweetened unflavored soy yogurt and then I can make meltable mozzarella! I was never this excited about cheese back when I could have dairy, but right now it seems like the most exciting thing in the world. That croque monsieur made my week.
1 November 2012 18:12 - "Shouldn't you be baking?"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (baking)
We're on day 4 of working from home, which makes me all fidgety. Today that meant baking a cake, based on this vegan gluten-free Earl Grey tea cake recipe. I don't have Earl Grey, but I do have lapsang souchong, and I think smoky + maple is one of the more awesome flavor combinations in the world (I sweeten lapsang tea with maple syrup), so I gave it a shot. My version produced what my mother would call a "noble failure", but I think it can still be modified to make a great cake.

Here's what I did (which was not entirely successful, so see below for future adjustments):

3.25 C all-purpose flour (for GF flour types and quantities, see original recipe)
1.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp sea salt

.67 C canola oil
1.5 C lapsang souchong (boil 1.5 C water, let sit 3 minutes, steep with 1 level tsp loose tea leaves for 5 minutes--brewed to drinking strength, in other words)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 C maple syrup

Mix dry, mix wet, add wet to dry, mix until just combined. Bake in parchment-lined loaf pan at 375F to internal temp of 212F.

Results and modifications:

* The original recipe calls for an 8.5" loaf pan. I filled mine and it looked ready to overflow, so I transferred the batter into my 9.25" pan to be on the safe side.

* It needed to bake for 1.5 hours, way longer than I was expecting--especially given that I used a larger pan than the one called for--and the top and bottom scorched a bit. I blame the guesswork of converting between wheat and GF flours. The batter also seemed quite wet to me. Possible ways to try to get around this:

-- use only one cup of tea (brewed with the same amount of tea leaves)
-- bake it at 350F forever for 2 hours or until thermometer says it's done
-- divide the batter between two smaller loaf pans
-- use a square or round cake pan

For the next iteration I'll probably break out my lovely 9" round springform pan. The batter could even be divided into two square or round pans, baked, and then layered with an appropriate filling; I'd suggest orange marmalade for the original Earl Grey recipe, or if you want to be really daring, a sea salt and black pepper vegan buttercream for the lapsang souchong version. (Has anyone tried the buttercream recipes in Quick and Easy Vegan Bake Sale or VCTOTW? I'm skeptical of anything that calls for shortening but would love to find one that really works, especially since I cannot find salt-free vegan butter anywhere.)

* Regardless of modifications, USE THE THERMOMETER. Going by my nose, I would have taken the cake out of the oven nearly half an hour before it was actually baked through. Going by the thermometer, the outside is slightly scorched (bah), but the middle is perfect.

* The cake is quite dense, almost heavy. I suspect the lapsang isn't as acidic as the Earl Grey, so I might change to 1 tsp baking powder and .5 tsp baking soda, and/or add a splash of cider vinegar.

* Once I get the burnt crust out of the way and dig into the middle of the cake, I can really taste both the maple and the lapsang! Delicious. I don't think it needs to be smokier, but you could go up to 1.5 tsp tea leaves (or one heaping teaspoon) if you want more intense flavor. It is quite sweet, but not cloying.

Time to buy more maple syrup and see if I can make a version that works!
10 January 2009 19:41 - "Piece of cake!"
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (baking)
The third quadruple batch of vegan chocolate cakes is in the oven. I am AWESOME.

Vegan chocolate cakes, four at a time )

This cake has a nice crust on top, almost brownie-like, and is fairly fluffy and very chocolatey. To my taste it's quite sweet; cutting the sugar by a third would do it no harm. It goes brilliantly with raspberry jam or other tangy fruit.

I suppose I should have something other than cake for dinner.

Doing four pans at once makes this super-quick! Managing a dozen batches of brownies tomorrow should be no problem. I heart my lovely DeLonghi mixer, I do. Now off to write up an ingredient list.
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