Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to my husband

I think this is the best cake I ever made! It is a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. It was easy and delicious. My husband requested a vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream and strawberry filling. This recipe made two very tall 8" layers so I sliced them in half to make four layers. I thought I had more strawberries but I guess we ate more that I realized. It would have been nice to have more for the filling, oh well, it was still great.
Here's the hard part; I have always wanted to make a french meringue butter cream. I had a Martha Stewart recipe filed away for future use and this was the moment. Martha said to beat the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler until they reached 160 degrees. I fould it very difficult to beat this and take its temp at the same time. While beating, the pot kept moving off the burner and I was afraid it would fall off the stove causing serious injury to the beater, namely, me. I also got a blister on my hand which is a sign I need a new whisk.The mixture kept getting stiffer and stiffer but the temp was rising soooo slowly. At 140 degrees I gave up and removed the bowl from the double boiler and place it under the kitchen aid whisk. The whole thing had to get thrown out, it was so thick and chunky. I definitely have to find another recipe which doesn't require 160 degrees. Could that have been a misprint? I made regular butter cream instead which was, as always, wonderful!
Everyone loved the cake and I could not have been prouder. Even the birthday boy, who typically does not eat cake, ate some!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Baileys Irish Cream Cake

It's time again for the "Wearin' of the Green". It's time to celebrate all things Irish. What could be better than Baileys Irish Cream Cake. I found this recipe on the "Too Many Chefs" website. It sounded delicious and it is delicious!
I made these mini filled cupcakes for my husband to bring to work. They were gone in the blink of the eye. It is a good thing he got them out of the house because I would have been snacking on them all day today. Even now I wish I had stashed a few of them for my own personal enjoyment.

The luck of the Irish

Once again, my favorite cookies dressed up for St. Patrick's Day. Hence the title.

As you may have noticed in my pictures, my icing has been discoloring. Patches of a lighter shade appear after the icing sets. Perplexing to say the least, ugly to say the most. I called my sister-in-law Joanne, whose recipe, I use and asked her about it's cause. She suggested that perhaps I am getting water in the icing. Ahh Haaa! That is a possibility because I started painting the icing on the cookie and my brush may not have been entirely dry before I used a new color. Also, I have taken to sprinkling a little water in the icing while trying to get the right consistency. And maybe when I pipe on,the icing the tips are not completely dry. I have to exercise diligence to make sure that no water gets in the mix. We'll see how it comes out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Promise of Spring

The winter has been harsh but the promise of spring is here. Some of the trees have buds, crocuses have bloomed, lawns are appearing from under the layers of snow and my heart turns to.....COOKIES.
I made this sunny batch of cookies for a friend who is recovering from surgery. Do you know the healing power of cookies??? Especially when they look like spring.