17 August 2013

Pink Lemonade Cake

I made King Arthur Flour's Pink Lemonade Cake for today's Clandestine Cake Club event. I thought the recipe was well written but did have to adjust the baking time (the recipe read 25-35 minutes, but it was closer to 50 minutes for me). The cake had a nice crumb and was not too dense, but also not particularly light, which I was hoping for as this was a summery cake. The icing was easy to make, but I had to double the batch to make enough to properly ice and decorate the cake. I made it in two separate batches, I cut back on the lemon juice in the second batch because it was a bit intense. Overall, I think the cake was well received. I would recommend the recipe.

The event was really fun. This month's host is house sitting a mansion with beautiful views! I'll include some photographs below, as well as some photographs of the other cakes.

16 August 2013


Wow, has it been a long time since I've written an update. My apologies for that. Life has been, shall we say, overwhelming. We moved back to Arizona, my dog broke a canine tooth and needed a root canal and titanium crown, then developed pancreatitis, then I had to have two root canals retreated, all while raising a toddler, trying to settle in and search for a job! While all that was happening I organized the Phoenix chapter of the Clandestine Cake Club (read about it here: http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/).

I had read about the Clandestine Cake Club on NPR's blog in May of this year: (Why Britain Has Gone Mad About Baking). I went to the website and saw that you could create a club in your area. I contacted Lynn Hill, the woman who started it all and got the Phoenix Chapter set up. In July we had our first event with ten attendees. The theme for July was chocolate. I decided to make a recipe from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, Miette's TomboyMiette is a bakery is San Francisco. 

The cake had a nice crumb and a deep dark chocolate flavor. While I liked the flavor of the vanilla mousseline that was in the book recipe, I found making it bothersome. It ends up being just an Italian meringue icing. It is the cake with the pink icing. The icing recipe didn't make a sufficient amount for proper decorating, so I filled the layers with a raspberry filling.

Our next event is tomorrow. The theme is summer cakes, flavors and recipes that you associate with summer parties, picnics and BBQs. I've made a Pink Lemonade Cake from King Arthur Flour.  I'll do a write up on that after tomorrow's event!

01 October 2012

Adjusting to Motherhood and Triple Cinnamon Scones

I know I haven't made an update in a few months and I apologize for that. New motherhood is wonderful and overwhelming, amazing and heartbreaking... all at the same time. We gave birth to a beautiful little boy on June 12, 2012. He is incredible and beautiful. We are so in love. I can hardly bear to be away from him to go to work (that's the heartbreaking part). It's amazing to watch him grow and change.


Three months old

As you can imagine, I haven't had a lot of time to try out any new recipes. Of course, I've been whipping up my old standards because I can do those with my eyes closed... and with a newborn, many things are done with your eyes half open (it is possible to nap in the shower).

Now, our son is almost 4 months old and I was able to try out a new recipe while his grandparents were visiting. Yippee!

You're going to want to print out this recipe and make it. Trust me.

10 March 2012

Blueberry Upside-Down Muffins

 I wish this picture was scratch and sniff.

It's a snowy Saturday morning. I woke up early. Partly because Dougal wanted to go out and eat breakfast and partly because I can't get comfortable in bed in the morning.

I haven't felt much like baking most of my pregnancy (26 weeks today; we're having a boy!). I haven't had any crazy cravings, although I did go through a bagel with veggie cream cheese and a giant glass of Simply Orange orange juice phase. I also craved blueberry muffins from Dunkin' Donuts for a while. When we went to the grocery the other night, the strawberries and blueberries looked so beautiful that I placed a bunch in the cart. Last night I suddenly wanted homemade blueberry muffins.

I looked through my favorite book, The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet for Sur La Table (I know I've mentioned it before, because I love it so!) and found a recipe for Blueberry Upside-Down Muffins. I've tweaked it a little based on the ingredients I had in the kitchen this morning, so I'll put the recipe below.

I just ate one hot from the over. Oh. My. Even the molten blueberry juice couldn't stop me.
SO GOOD! Not just good, but melt in your mouth you may want to eat the whole platter of them yourself while hiding in the pantry so no one knows you made them good. I'm going to try to save some for my husband, but I may have to hide them and keep them to myself.

Blueberry Upside-Down Muffins adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking for Sur La Table by Cindy Mushet

Makes 12 muffins.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 stick of unsalted butter
1 tsp. of lemon extract
2/3 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 pint of blueberries
18 teaspoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan well. 

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter and lemon extract together in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and at the yogurt. If the mixture feels tepid, add the 2 eggs and vanilla and whisk together.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the mixture of wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir together with a rubber spatula until there are no more pools of liquid and the batter looks fairly smooth (a little lumpy is ok). Set aside.

In the muffin pan, fill each cup with 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar, sprinkled evenly over the bottom of each cup. Sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice over the brown sugar in each cup. Place an even layer of blueberries over the brown sugar/lemon juice mixture. Cover with muffin batter.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. When you remove the muffins from the oven the tops should be lightly golden and firm to the touch. Carefully place a platter over the muffin pan and flip the pan over (muffin pan will be upside down, platter right side up). Be careful because the blueberry juice will be piping hot and steamy.


Brown sugar and lemon juice.
 My blueberry picture was blurry, so here is a picture of my pup waiting for me to drop a blueberry!
 Muffin batter in and ready for the oven.
Golden tops!

01 January 2012

New Year's Day Doughnuts

I think I will start a New Year's Day tradition, homemade baked doughnuts for breakfast.

I purchased a Wilton doughnut pan at Thanksgiving and have just gotten around to trying it out. It worked out really well! The doughnuts were soft, warm and delicious! The pan comes with a simple recipe for both the batter and the glaze. I recommend using a piping bag to fill the tray.

Don't they look yummy? The recipe makes one dozen. They didn't last the day.

23 December 2011

So this is why I haven't been posting much.

Frankly, the smell of baked goods made me feel pretty nauseous for a while and I was exhausted most of the time. Now that I'm in the second trimester, I'm feeling better. Still not in the mood for sweets at all.

Happy Holidays!

04 December 2011

Cinnamon Crown Cake

A few years ago, my mother-in-law and father-in-law gave me a great recipe book (linked in my last post) and a Nordic Ware bundt pan. For some reason, I use it mostly in autumn. Autumn makes me think of cinnamon and coffee cakes, I guess.

I just started a new job in October and decided to bring a treat in for my training group. I made the Cinnamon Crown cake.