Better late than never…

Well, my plan to make two fancy desserts totally fell through. As usual, things took a lot longer than I anticipated to make. Now these, I feel I should warn you, look a little like a cow heart.

Or so I imagine.

I say it’s not my fault, though. I was trying to make individual-sized cakes and had to do a bit of jury-rigging which resulted in these abominations. I like to think that if I were to make one in a 9-inch springform cake pan as the recipe instructed instead of 6 4-inch remekins, it would look a lot nicer.

But.

They taste really, really nice! The gelatin layer at the top is a nice texture contrast to the cake and the bavarian cream filling and the whole thing is subtly sweet and kind of refreshing. So a half success. I really need to work on my presentation skills which, at this point, are nonexistent.

…and, well, I think you get the idea…

Ooh, these are very nice. Sort of baked (not quite cakey, as implied by the name, but definitely more substantial than the rest of it) at the top and then it sort of melts into a lovely tart-sweet custard underneath. A very good use of the last of my Meyer Lemons.

And that’s it for the small things. Hopefully there’ll be two posts sometime this weekend that involve some rather complicated cakes.

Hopefully. 😉

…and continues…

I made these Bleeding Heart Cupcakes last night. Alas, they fall into the category of things that, even as I’m making them, I think ‘I’m not going to like this…why am I making it?’ It’s coconut cupcakes, filled with raspberry jam, and topped with lemon frosting. Which should be good, but I think it all ends up being a bit too sweet. Although I’m a fan of desserts, I like ones that are more subtly sweet and this one pretty much smothers you with sugar.

And it has coconut which, as far as I’m concerned is a Controversial Ingredient.

Every once in a while, I get a sort of craving for coconut and then I have it and realise that I was right to stay away. It’s not the flavor so much as the bizarre papery consistency. So I’ve tried to pawn these off on everybody I know and my parents will be finding the rest waiting in the freezer for them when they come back.

But at least they’re pretty! Next on the dessert itinerary… Meyer Lemon Custard Cakes.

A baking miscellany

Once again, I’m having a mini-holiday out in the country while my parents are off on a cruise which means I have no Stompy, unreliable internet (lame!), free laundry and groceries, and a large kitchen.

I have lots of interesting things planned, but we’ll have to see how they go. I thought I’d start things off with Mojito Cupcakes. I think the jury’s still out on this one. I think I like them, but they’re very different from things I usually make, so they’ll take a bit of getting used to.

I also started on the preliminary stages of making the Gateau Saint Honore, something I’m very excited about, mostly because it requires me to make puff pastry (yes, I know I can go and buy puff pastry, but that’s not the point!). Next month, I’m going to be part of the Daring Baker’s group, so I thought I’d get some practice in before then.

So all of that was to say that I made puff pastry today. It was suspiciously easy, but I won’t know how I’ve done until I actually try to bake some of it up. I’ll keep you updated!

That’s the butter parcel (3 1/2 sticks of butter pounded into a pliable 6×6 square and set inside the dough. You fold the butter into the dough and then go through six rounds of rolling, folding, and chilling. So time consuming, but not as difficult as I was anticipating (although, like I said, it could still end in tears!).

Holy fuck!

It’s 4:40 am and I’m pretty sure we just had an earthquake (that or Stompy’s really outdone himself)! Uh, I live in Illinois, so that’s not really supposed to happen, I think. Also, I hope it doesn’t happen again as my very old apartment building did not feel too sturdy during.

Bizarre!

ETA: Yes, I know we’re on a fault line that’s supposed to be gearing up for a California-style earthquake at some point, but still!

ETA2: It was an earthquake – a 5.3 apparently (I was guessing about a 2 – obviously my internal earthquake sensor needs to be recalibrated…)!

ETA3: Okay, so the first one was revised to a 5.2 and we’ve just had a second one (‘just’ being 10:30 am-ish) that’s a 4.5. Very exciting!

Disaster strikes!

It all started yesterday afternoon. I came home from work and went to check on my plants who were out on the balcony enjoying the lovely warm weather. What I found was my two sunflowers lying on the ground across from their containers. I don’t know if it was the squirrel or the fact that it was very windy that day. I’d like to give the squirrel the benefit of the doubt, but, while it may have been windy, the plants were on the ground and I find it hard to believe that the wind knockd them over while they were on the ground surrounded by walls.

So there was an emergency repotting. They’re on their own now because they can’t come back in if it freezes again.

But the real disaster is that everyone else seems to have just given up, particularly the pumpkin.

The cat grass is looking feeble through no fault of its own. Arthur has been very enthusastically making use of it. The thing is, he doesn’t just chew on it…he rips it out of the dirt and leaves little cat grass corpses littering the battlefield. I’ve sort of tried to mash them back into the dirt, but we’ll see how it goes…

Maybe I’ll just go have another cupcake… 😦