Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm So Glad....

I am a big fan of Gesina Bullock Prado! I have read her book "Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker" twice and am constantly referencing it. I have been wanting to try her recipe for carrot cake and was "So Glad" when a friend asked me to make one for her daughters birthday. I tried it out first on another friend who invited us over for dinner. I said, "I will bring dessert", giving them no choice about it.
I confess that I had a lot of trouble with the cream cheese icing. The recipe called for 16 oz. cream cheese and 4oz. butter. I usually use 8 oz. of butter and 8 oz. cream cheese. I wanted to follow Gesina's recipe but added more sugar hoping to firm it up a bit. Oh, I remember what I did. The first cake I made, I used low fat cream cheese and realized afterwards  that must have been the problem. The cake did get rave reviews form my friends though. When I made it the second time, I used regular cream cheese and it was firmer but not as firm as I would have liked. It had to be put in the refrigerator constantly in order to work with it. I wonder if this is typical.
All in all though,  I must say, this is by far the BEST carrot cake I have ever had!

What Was I Thinking????

I am in the process of  kitchen remodel hell! This began on June 13th and it is still going on! In the middle of this, we went on vacation (it had already been booked way before I decided to do the kitchen), and I had already committed to do a cake for an event that was being held on July 5th, the Thursday after we got back. Now you know why I titled this "What Was I Thinking?". I still have no kitchen sink so I am bending over the bathtub to wash dishes. Thankfully my appliances were delivered on Monday! My dear friend Joanne offered me the use of her kitchen and I really considered it. In the end I decided it was better to tough it out here, there is no place like home.
It was insane and exhausting! All my equipment was dispersed among my daughters empty bedrooms so I spent half my time looking for stuff. My husband rigged up a temporary counter for me, small but it was a clean flat surface to work on. I never realized how many times I washed my hands while baking until I had to run back and forth to the bathroom sink.

         The end result was fabulous! The event was a wedding rehearsal dinner. They wanted to have a frog on top of the cake representing the groom and a girl figure sitting down next to it representing the bride. The frog was made from rice krispie  and marshmallow, covered in fondant. I have never made a human figure before but, of course, I said "Sure, I can do that for you!" The girl figure was made of just fondant. In retrospect, I should have used the rice krispie mix on her body. The fondant was soft and kept slumping so I had to keep working it. The cake was vanilla with strawberry filling.  I dyed the butter cream with the colors of pond water in mind and applied it to the cake in a way that would  show texture and movement.
          My husband delivered the cake yesterday. It was not assembled because I was concerned about it not surviving the car trip. Therefore, I only have pictures of it in pieces. I asked if they could send me a picture of it after it was all put together. When I get the picture,  I will post it.