Year of Cakes
Blog Collection

There's a top shelf in our pantry, loaded with the detritus of kitchen experiments past.  After several years of baking explorations (Year of Cakes through the current Year of Muffins), there's Agave Nectar, French sea salt, Calvados, Cream of Coconut, meringue powder, and more, just waiting for the next recipe.  It seems like when you buy these random ingredients, you only need to use a teaspoon and then you've got the whole rest of the container to use...


My new project is to find recipes that use these ingredients and go for it!



Photos (1)
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 5 (Last: MaryB · 5/13/11 5:54 AM)
Baking is therapy.  And attempting Martha recipes (yes, they have their own category) is extreme therapy.  So I decided to take up Martha's challenge this year.  In the January issue of Living magazine, she said "why not make each of these twelve cakes this year?"

It's been maddening (icing petit fours), enlightening (how to reconstitute buttercream frosting), interesting (my first time trying cardamom), somewhat expensive (vanilla beans???), and tasty (triple mousse cakes).  I have documented my attempts with photos of each completed cake.  Trophies like a row of deer heads, I guess.

Some cakes I'd never make again (ew peach ice cream cake), and some I can't wait to make again (need I say triple mousse).  My whole family has been on board with the project, allowing me time to painstakingly sift things, frost things, and toast things...all in exchange for the occasional lick bowl.  My brother and sister in law even gifted me with some adorable pink spatulas that say "2006 Year of Cakes".  I always smile when I use them.

This month's "cakes" are a series of three cupcakes...chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin.  So far, very very yummy.

Anyone else ever do a crazy challenge just for the sheer heck of it?

October cake: the crepes were a challenge...good thing Tina was here to suggest using no butter in the crepe pan.  I wasted half the batter with my terrible flipping technique, but the "wasteage" was yummy.  The resulting cake was half the height of Martha's, but still impressive!

November cake #1: very delicious cheesecake with a spicy swirl of butternut squash ("pumpkin") flavor.  First time I ever grated fresh nutmeg!  It tasted great, but cracked in the center despite cooking it in a water bath and leaving it in the oven with the door cracked for one hour.  Egad.

November cake #2: smoked up the entire house because it overflowed the pan!  Alarms went off, children screamed, cats went nuts, general pandemonium ensued.  However, even after turning the oven off and letting the cake sit in the smoky oven, it tasted pretty good.  Note to self: use deep pan when making this one again!

December cake: When this one was in the oven, I was crossing my fingers that the power would stay on, and it did...until 2 am...and then stayed off for a week.  I had the chance to have a heavenly slice before we abandoned the house, and then my poor cake languished in the dark house, by itself, for the week.  We tried to bring it to Seattle to share with Bob (who said he loves fruitcake), but it only made it as far as the hotel when the whole family came down with Ebola virus and we couldn't see anyone.  Bob, I owe you one fruitcake next year!  Thanks for locating the dried pears for me!;id=channel2520051
Blog Entry CommentsComments: 23 (Last: Guest · 12/26/06 9:38 AM)
Powered By