When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Happy 31st Anniversary Mom and Dad July 28, 2010

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Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake July 27, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s world – life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Okay, I procrastinated a little on this one, but I got it completed just in time.   The mandatory areas of this challenge were that we needed to make Swiss rolls, a filing, two ice cream, a fudge sauce from scratch, and stack it according to directions.  We were given leeway to change the flavor components, along with the shape and size.

What did I end up doing, well first off I made it into a square instead of a dome, I deconstructed the Swiss roll into layers and not a roll, and used different recipes…well except for the cake part of the Swiss roll.  Everything else was a free for all. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Chewy, Chunky Blondies

Filed under: Baking,Cookies,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 1:00 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is brought to you by…

Nicole of Cookies on Friday.  She picked Dorie’s Chewy, Chunk Blondies which are located on page 109 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I actually baked these little rectangles of awesomeness a few months back.  We liked them so much that I ended up making two batches.  I was extremely surprised how much Mike liked these since they had sweetened shredded coconut and nuts in them.  It is the crazy coconut mess again, texture verses taste.  Well taste won on this one and Mike couldn’t get enough of these.  At the time I had a bag of butterscotch chips that I needed to get rid of and only a partial bag of chocolate chips.  So I did what anyone would do that loves butterscotch and just substituted mostly butterscotch chips for the chocolate….nom nom nom 🙂

I think I might have baked these a little too long, but they still tasting great 🙂


Happy 50th Anniversary Nanny and PaPa July 26, 2010

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This is what I was doing the past week.

We had a surprise 50th Anniversary Celebration for my Nanny and PaPa and I was hired to make the cakes and deliver them (1 hr away).

Everything came together pretty well, and I only had a few problems.  My major one being procrastination.  I ended up having to work a closing shift the night before the party.  I got home at 11pm and then stayed up until 530am finishing the gumpaste roses, crumb coating 2 cakes, and then finishing one cake.  It wasn’t too bad.  I sleep for 6 hours and then got up and covered two cakes in fondant.  The fondant was being a little bit of a jerk, so it wasn’t as smooth as I wanted it.  I figure I might just not use that medium anymore since I can ice a cake more evenly and with less lumps 🙂

The other random incidents that happened are the night before, on my way to work, my drivers side window decided to die and not want to roll up.  I could literally hear the parts breaking and falling off into the door while I was driving to work.  I ended up getting to work, finding a roll of packing tape and taping my window up until I could get it fixed (which happens to be today).  Then while packing the cakes up on Saturday we realized that the bottom tier of the cake was too big to fit into the cooler.  By that time, nothing was really bothering me so we just pack some ice bags in the box with the cake, and then drove an hour in the heat with a broken window.

Everything workout in the end, no cake tragedies.

However, I did get a kick out of my husband driving my car up to the toll plaza and having to open the door to pay the toll 🙂

All it all everything was great.  My Nanny and PaPa were very surprised with the 56 people that showed up to celebrate with them, and they loved their cakes.  PaPa ended up taking his whole cake home with him and the rest of the cake was sliced and given to guests to take home.

With that….Happy 50th Anniversary Nanny and PaPa!!!!!


Tuesdays with Dorie: Lot’s of Ways of Banana Cake July 22, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Cake,Icings,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 12:30 am
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It is procrastination station at my house this week.

Granted, I did bake this cake Tuesday night, but it wasn’t finished so I didn’t want to post anything.

I am currently behind on a few things because I have been working on these, along with a royal icing piece.

This is a secret project so I won’t tell you exactly what I am doing until after the fact and then there will be pretty pictures.  As you can see from the current picture I only have 2/5 of the flowers completed, and I “planned” to start these 4 days ago.  But like I said before, this is procrastination station 🙂  I am sure that I will have everything completed on time but I will be spreading myself pretty thin until this is complete.

I realized that I probably should have taken off an extra day of work as back up, but I waited too long to request off and I work in the retail/food service industries so Fridays off are hard to come by.

So I guess you want to hear something about Tuesdays with Dorie.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunitie

She picked Dorie’s Lot’s of Ways of Banana Cake, which is located on pages 204-205.  I was very lucky this week to have a few bananas on my counter that were past their eating time (well for me…I like bananas to be yellow with a little green), and perfect for banana bread/cake.  I chose to only make half a recipe, which fit perfectly into a loaf pan.  I also used whole milk instead of coconut milk, but I did use sweetened shredded coconut in the bread.  Even though I know that there was some objections from Mike.  Its the whole texture not taste thing all over again 🙂

For the icing I had some left over Brown Sugar Rum Cream Cheese Icing, from a recipe that I was testing….shhhh, secrets 🙂

Overall, the cake was very simple to make and turned out very moist.  The tasters verdict will come tomorrow via Mike’s co-workers.


Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Nut Butters July 15, 2010

The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

I ended up choosing to make an un-toasted walnut butter because those are the nuts that I had on hand.  Granted, I didn’t blend them all them way because the description that Margie and Natashya gave for the Walnut butter was “Walnuts: form a very soft, oily, pourable butter in 1 or 2 minutes; the skins give walnut butter a slightly tannic and bitter flavor.” But I like my nut butters to be chunky so I was perfectly okay with this. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Brrrr-ownies July 13, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 10:47 am
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Karen of Welcome to our Crazy Blessed Life.  She picked Dorie’s Brrrr-ownies, which are located on page 103 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

If you haven’t figured out what Brrrr-ownies might be then let me enlighten you 🙂  They are a very yummy, fudgey, dark chocolaty brownie with bits of York Peppermint Patty throughout.  In one word FANTASTIC 🙂

What is there not to like, fudgey brownie goodness and the minty after hit.  I think I have now used my quota for words either made up or real ending in Y 🙂

I made these to take to my in-laws on Sunday.  They were actually a hit and we saved a few so that I could take some pictures, but the lighting outside has been horrible because it has rained the past two days and then Mike thought I took the picture already, the brownies were placed all pretty on a plate, and I come downstairs to 3 pretty brownies missing.  Bad Monkey!!!

Oh well, I guess you can’t control yourself with Brrr-ownies 🙂  With a few brownies left and light peaking out from behind the clouds, I went out on the deck and took the picture and it actually turned out pretty good 🙂