Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gorgeous, Glorious Carrot Cake

Once again, I've failed to take a picture before we ate it!
This one was tasty. No marmalade this time - just orange zest in the cake and icing and I could eat a bowl o' icing! Yummers!
I think that's the trick - the cream cheese frosting was just too cloyingly sweet for me. This is much better, with the citrus in there.
Hmmm. What is my next challenge? I'm entering a cake decorating contest. I hope I win - $500 to spend at Williams Sonoma. That would take me about five minutes, according to Aaron. And he'd be right!
I'll post pics of my entry next week. I've got to get this trip to Seattle out of the way first.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Carrot Cake Victory - almost

I made a carrot cake on Sunday and it was delish. Why no photo? No camera! But I still need to tweak the recipe, so I'm making another one to enjoy with friends this weekend. The addition of orange zest is really what I've been looking for in a carrot cake all my life. And I don't use oil - butter, all the way baby! And after I shredded the carrots in the food processor I chopped them up really fine so there weren't these big long shreds o' carrot in there. What else? Buttermilk too!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies and Carrot Cake

My new rule is that if I'm craving something bad for me, I have to make it (and Rice Krispy treats do not count!). I also sometimes just want to make cookies but don't always want the consequences of eating them. I just got Martha Stewart's Cookie cookbook and the batches are small. Plus, if I make peanut butter cookies, I can't eat them (can't have peanuts), so my family will have to eat them instead. But the MS recipe came out crunchy and Aaron doesn't like his PB cookies crunchy - he likes them chewy. Granted, it's been over 7 years since I've made them - why make something you can't eat? So I'm trying a new recipe for these.

I'm on a Carrot Cake quest these days. I want to make one that I would want to eat. I'm gathering together recipes and I'm going to create one that is tasty. I think I've got it nailed down and I'll be baking it this week. Which means I need to have a party so I can have some help eating it. Sigh. I wish my friends were all dieting! Oh well, I can always take it to my parents' office and I just know it will get eaten there.

Happy baking!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Something to Avoid

I know silicone everything is all the rage - muffin cups, baking pans, breasts, etc. But I'm here to tell you, it is not that fabulous. First, the muffin cups. Not the muffin pans, which are nice I guess. The muffin cups are a bugger to clean. True, they are freestanding and you therefore don't need a paper liner or a muffin pan. But they are such a pain to clean. Don't bother. As for the muffin pans, I don't have one, but I will tell you that you have to put them on top of a cookie sheet to avoide dealing with the floppiness of it all.

This brings me to the cake pans. Aaron bought me one for my birthday. I'm not such a horrible human that I would trash a gift - it was thoughtful of him. But these cake pans are to be avoided! I baked a cake for my mom and used my one silicone pan and two metal pans. I sprayed all three, just to be safe. Problem one - taking the silicone pan out of the oven. If you just grab it by the sides, it folds in the middle, cracking your cake. If you grab one side and put your other hand under the bottom, you pop the middle of the cake up, cracking it. The only way to make this work is to put it on a cookie sheet, and that takes up extra room in the oven. So not only did my cake crack, but it also stuck to the pan. Not my two metal pans. Just the silicone pan, and I thoroughly sprayed all three!

For what these babies cost, they are not worth it. I can get two metal pans for as much as these silicone ones are and I don't have the inherent difficulties with those. The silicone is not any easier to care for, so I see no advantage other than it's new and different. Not always best!

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