Sunday, May 13, 2012

My new weekend habit - baking

This has been going on for a few months. It started with trying to get the right cheesecake. That took four cakes and a lot of ingredients to actually taste like cheese, have the texture I wanted, and not be burnt. I should probably mention that I am not a cook for I lack the culinary techniques for making something that does not: 1) Taste completely bland, 2) End up overcooked or, more often than not, 3) Look ugly unappetising.

Then I tried making a cream cheese pound cake since I had the extra cheese (thinking that I had much more cakes to try before I got that one right) and an itch for making something. That one took FOREVER to bake, no joke. I swear that was raised and the top cracked an hour before the centre cooked. It was delicious.

I tried making cupcakes. Over the Christmas break I made cupcakes that I am exceedingly proud of, and some that I threw away. The set that I loved were regular sponge with either cream cheese or chocolate icing. I even put sprinkles or shaved Hershey's kisses on them. They were divine. I also made eggless gluten-free cupcakes that tasted like dirt. I'm not trying that again. It was so bad. So, so bad.

I tried potato pies with wanton skins (so good OMG) and with a floured dough (still so good albeit a bit greasy), then I tried seasoning the floured dough and using chicken (the chicken was dry but the shell was really good). I made biscuits and cresents from Pillsbury but I don't know if it's the dough or the cookie sheet, but something tasted distinctly plastic every. single. time.

I tried hot-crossed buns over the Easter break that I absolutely had to throw away because I added too many spices and not enough goodness. They were quite bad, though they looked nice enough. I made it up with cupcakes with vanilla cream filling and cream cheese icing. I finally got the icing to be super light. They were a hit.

I coloured cupcake batter to make a rainbow minis and then changed my mind and made a big cake instead. Well, the batter was too much like liquid and the centre of the cake rose so I had a pretty swirly thing instead of a neat rainbow.
I also made two layered cakes. First it was an orange cake divided in two at the last minute and I used the extra vanilla cream I had frozen to stick them together. It turned out pretty good.

I also tried making a chocolate cake using a recipe my mom uses from Carribean Cookery and I made a 1, 2, 3, 4 cake from the Naparima Girls' Cookbook. I made more cream and layered them. It was absolutely fantastic.

My latest exploits have included cake donuts (I need to add more sugar since I had to add a two cups of extra flour to get the consistency right - the recipe is flawed), cranberry scones which turned out really really good, and tiramasu. My mom wanted the tiramasu for their anniversary on Monday so I got the recipe and we all got the ingredients. I should have put a bit more coffee in it (at the time I was afraid it would taste like coffee and nothing else since I made it concentrated) and I over-whipped the cream just a tad. It still tastes fantastic and looks like what it is supposed to which is an achievement in and of itself. I'd take a picture to show my efforts but the lens cover in my camera broke in Hogwarts last year and I can't find my sister's camera right now.

I have extra lady fingers, so my Mom was suggesting parfaits to use some cream we have in the pantry (I wanted to make crème brûlée before I realised that each ramekin would require a whole can of cream). I also have six egg whites in the freezer that I figure with another go at the tiramasu (to get it right) will give me enough (twelve) for an angel food cake.

I like baking and my mom encourages me and lets me know what to do whenever I get stumped. It's quite nice every time something turns out good and my dad (the biggest critic EVER omg) eats it.

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