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Recent Baking Projects
Posted: 12 January 2009 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The pink cake was an experiment, very loosely based on a black forest cake.  It was quite tasty, we chose the buttercream instead of the traditional whipped cream base because my daughter isn’t fond of whipped cream.  The frosting is sour cherry mousseline, made with a jar of American Spoon sour cherries (pureed).  The cake is moist chocolate genoise, with syrup made from sour cherry juice and Amaretto.

The chocolate cake started out as Rose’s “La Brioche” cake, which I was planning to bring to a potluck.  Normally at a potluck there are lots of chocolate desserts, so I thought a rum cake might vary the choices nicely.  The day before, the host called and said no one was bringing chocolate, could I help her out?  So, I put the brioche layer in the freezer and paired the praline silk meringue buttercream with genoise au chocolate (Frangelico syrup).  The crunchies on the side are chopped hazelnuts coated in caramelized sugar.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Ahh, brioche!

The rolls are made with the chocolate filling from Rose’s chocolate sticky buns or Rose’s apricot lekvar, and baked in cupcake pans. I wanted something less messy than a sticky bun for a meeting where people would be munching while taking notes and looking at papers.

The cake is a torted brioche layered with oven roasted peaches (from my friend’s tree) and Amaretto pastry cream. The brioche is syruped with Amaretto.  My daughter, being a cake/pie bible fan herself, came up with the idea of arranging the peaches in a flower and did the arranging herself!

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Posted: 12 January 2009 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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These were not my prettiest cakes, but they sure were delicious!  They are Rose’s pumpkin cake, with chocolate walnut drizzle glaze.  I also made a white chocolate walnut drizzle glaze, wonderful with the pumpkin.  The “Jackson Pollack” style was decorated by my 7 year old after a visit to MOMA. 

I loved the walnut oil in this cake and these glazes, even though walnuts are not my favorite nut.  I also stir it into nonfat greek yogurt and use it for dipping ciabatta with dark chocolate chunks. 

I didn’t have a baby bundt pan and decided to use my savarin ring instead, next time I may go for the bundt.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Julie, all your cakes look absolutely delicious and what great flavour combinations! Tell your daughter she did a wonderful job with the “peach flower”.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wow! Everything looks absolutely yummy! If my piping rosettes looked halfway as neat as yours I’d be a happy camper.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Rozannne, thanks!  And I will tell my daughter, it’ll make her smile.  She seems to have a knack for the decorating side of things, which is nice because it’s clearly my shortfall, I’m more of an eater…

Shimi, you’re very kind!  Those rosettes seemed so irregular when I was doing them, but once they are all on the cake, everyone seems to think they’re great.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 12:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I love the “black forest” cake—gorgeous!

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Posted: 13 January 2009 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m captivated by the cherry-amaretto cake. It looks so delicious! Actually, all the cakes look wonderful. Peaches and amaretto pastry cream is a clever combination.

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Posted: 13 January 2009 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Julie, your desserts are in line with my taste and your daughter takes the cake!
Out of curiosity, where in the world do you live?  I notice your desserts can be enjoyed in France!

I am now working on a Cake Bible cake for this Saturday for a very special ocassion, will post later later later.  It is a small cake but honoring 3 countries.  I spent weeks choosing this project, it is actually a simple cake and its purpose is to please the 5 people eating it!!!

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Posted: 13 January 2009 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Matthew, thanks so much!  The “black forest cake” was my first attempt at chocolate curls- the darker ones were the ones that had the perfect temperature for curling, it did take some practice to get them smooth and even-colored.

Christine, thanks, it means a lot coming from one as knowledgable and skilled as you are!

Hector, I live in the Berkshires, small mountains about a three hour drive north of NYC (New England).  But yes, my tastes do seem aligned with yours.  When I first got my Cake Bible, I tried the butter cakes and fruit/vegetable cakes first, and thought they were very good.  But when I ventured into genoise, and then later into brioche, I discovered a real passion for these styles.  Looking forward to seeing your next creation, sounds like you put a lot of thought into it!

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Posted: 13 January 2009 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Julie, you will all receive the same thought and treatment when you come to say hello to Hawaii!!  I really can’t wait to unwond and unplug this weekend, going to Hilo.

Once again, fantastic desserts!

I grew up in Peru and my family is used to genoise and biscuit and never a heavy buttercream or buttercake.  Moving to the USA, and in fact for everyone that moves to another country, the first 20 years you spend comparing and missing your foods!  Too heavy, too sweet, too buttery.  Or not enough of this, of that.  Those were my toughest baking judges!

Large part of my family and social circle where I live now are foreign inmigrants like myself:  China, Peru, Italy, and Germany!  Very easy that everyday I have to bake and half of the eaters are USA and the other half foreign.  You are guessing right that there is NO single cake that will satisfy the range of countries, so often need to give it so much thought and bake more than one cake!

Just started the Preserved Pineapple Puree with my $1.99 Maui Gold pineapple.  My favorite way to enjoy this fruit.  I use my dog to judge how sweet the pineapple is!!!  If she makes the effort to get up from her bed from just smelling the fruit as I cut it and comes begging for a piece, then it is great pineapple.  The same for mangoes and bananas!

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Posted: 13 January 2009 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Your cakes are absolutely beautiful and look delicious.  I love your ideas for flavor combinations.  Bravo!

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Posted: 14 January 2009 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Hector, so glad to hear you are escaping for the weekend, it is well-deserved!  It does seem as though everyone wants the cakes (and food) of their childhood and/or home country.  The cake that won me over to genoise was Rose’s Strawberry Maria- I made it for my birthday last year, and I’m planning to make it again this year.

Love the story about your dog, he’s a foodie, too!  The pineapple sounds great, produce in New England isn’t at its best this time of year!

Bill, thanks for the kind words!  I do feel like I’m better at flavors than decorating.  You and your perfect piping, as well as so many others on this site, have inspired me to pick up a parchment bag.  I’m still learning, but I hope someday to turn out a beautiful basketweave!

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Posted: 16 January 2009 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Julie:
thanks so much, but my piping is far from perfect.  If you could see the cakes close up, you would see that…I took a one week course in NYC with Toba Garrett.  It was very informative, and I got out of it exactly what I wanted (Shell borders, basket weave, roses, and a little bit with modeling chocolate and marzipan).  I don’t really want to spend too much energy learning fancy decorating techniques because I feel that the flavors are really far far far more important.  I’ve never worked with fondant, and I don’t plan on learning because, well, I’m not a professional, I don’t really do this for clients, and…well…fondant?  YUK! One of the things I learned from Toba is that if you look carefully at cakes in bake shops…really carefully, you will see that they really aren’t that even or beautifully piped, and yet the over-all effect can be amazing.  (By the way,  if you want to see truly amazing cake decorating, take a look at her book.).

Thanks for the compliment but your cakes are truly beautiful

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Posted: 17 January 2009 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Bill, thanks for the encouragement!  I have been so inspried by everyone here, from Hector’s roses, caramel, and pinecones, to Patrincia’s perfectly smooth buttercreams and elegant wedding cakes, to your basketweaves.  And of course, there’s Rose and all her beautiful creations.  What a great online community!

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Posted: 17 January 2009 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Julie - why have you been keeping these photos to yourself all this time???  Fantastic work!!!!  The first two are particularly appetizing - I can taste them both right now!

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