Archive for March, 2010

Coconut Tea Cake

Looks moist in the middle, doesn't it?

This week Carmen of Carmen Cooks selected Dorie’s Coconut Tea Cake for the TWD Bakers to bake. Visit Carmen Cooks – her food photos are brilliant! Her Dulce de Leche Duos look fabulous! If mine turned out like hers, I’d bake them again for sure!
I was dubious about baking the Coconut Tea Cake. I’m not a fan of coconut but lately don’t seem to mind it as much. It calls for unsweetened coconut milk and amazingly, coconut milk can be found at your local grocery store!
I decided to try the Coconut Lime Tea Cake in the Playing Around section of Dorie’s book. While I was slowly pouring the coconut milk/butter mixture into the batter I remembered that I had bought 2 limes for this cake. Argh! I wasn’t able to blend the lime zest with the sugar obviously but I was able to squeeze the juice out of one of the limes and add it to the batter just in time. Yeesh. No rum to be had in the house so an alcohol-free cake this time.

It sure looks nice, maybe a little too golden?

Can you spot the crack? I hid it pretty well!

I set the timer for 60 minutes, at the end of which the knife came out clean. After cooling 10 minutes on the rack, flipped the bundt pan over and chaos! The pan slipped from my hand, crashed onto the counter and cracked the cake (and scared Marshall who ran into the bedroom upon hearing the crash)! Rats! I was so mad at myself, but naturally I ended up blaming the cake. HAH! I wasn’t going to glaze the cake, that’ll teach it to slip out of my hands. The Beau didn’t think that was such a good idea, although he wasn’t disagreeing with me since I was still mad at that point. After I had cooled down for 10 minutes, I decided to make a glaze to try to cover the crack. I mixed some of the leftover coconut milk and some lime juice with powdered sugar and glazed the cake. It looked soo pretty, how could I hold a grudge against the cake?

The coconut milk/lime juice glaze was soo tasty!

But then I tried to slice a piece of cake and had some misgivings. It was kind of hard to slice the cake and that’s not a good sign is it? The crust was a bit crusty although the inside wasn’t. I sliced thecracked part for the Beau and I to try and we both thought it was a bit dry. We both liked the flavor though. He’s taking it to work today for his co-workers to have with their morning coffee instead of their afternoon tea. I sliced the whole cake and the other pieces, while still crusty on the outside, felt more moist on the inside. I’m hoping that the piece we ate was more dry because of the crack in the cake, at least that’s the reason I keep telling myself…
Check out the other TWD Bakers to see how their Coconut Tea Cakes turned out! Seems like some came out dry and others came out moist. Some used cardamom too! And for heaven’s sake already, buy the book!
UPDATE: The Beau’s co-workers ate it all up! They also thought it was moist too! Phew! I saved another piece for the Beau and I to have for dessert last night and it was moister than our first piece! I’d make this again, only this time I’d remember to rub the lime zest with the sugar and add some to the glaze as well!

Last Week: Dulce de Leche Duos
Next Week: Mocha-Walnut Marbled Bundt Cake


Dulce de Leche Duos

Hmmm, kinda skimpy on the dulce de leche filling...

Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake selected Dulce de Leche Duos for the TWD Bakers to bake for Tuesday, March 23. What? Today is Monday, March 29? Well, so it is. As it happened, on Tuesday, March 23, I made the dulce de leche to be used in the recipe. I tried the David Lebovitz method and the recipe said to bake it for 1 to 1.25 hours. HAH! I had to turn the oven off after 1.25 hours because it was past 6pm at that point and Marshall really needed to poo. It turned out to be a late night trying to make the dulce de leche and cool it to room temp before putting it in the refrigerator.

Dulce de Leche - Before...

Dulce de Leche - During...

Dulce de Leche - After! (much after...)

Wednesday, March 24 I made the cookie dough. It was fairly easy so not a late night. It tasted delicious! I added some cinnamon and it smelled yummy too. I had high hopes for these cookies since the dulce de leche was semi-homemade (unintentional reference to Sandra Lee) and the dough was soo good, I wanted to keep on eating it!
I ended up baking the cookies on Friday, March 26. It made a lot of cookies but then you need a lot since you have to sandwich two cookies with the leftover dulce de leche. Ahem, what leftover dulce de leche? I had barely enough to make 4 sandwiches. I think I could scrape the bowl and make a couple more but all the cookies had a thin coating of the dulce de leche. They tasted okay. Maybe I needed more dulce de leche filling… or chocolate.
The next day I tried a cookie and it didn’t taste so good. It was chewy and I want to say it was stale but how could it be stale one day later? I like my cookies either soft or crunchy. I don’t like them chewy that much at all, especially if they’re stale-chewy. I’m not sure what happened, maybe the container I had the cookies in wasn’t air-tight? I don’t think I’ll bake these cookies again.

Duos in dire need of dulce de leche...

But do go and check out Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake to see how her cookies turned out. And lucky you, you can also find the recipe there if you’d like to try your hand at these cookies. You can also get a peek at a few of the cakes she’s been turning out lately – soo cute! Don’t forget to browse through the TWD Bakers and see how their cookies turned out! I’m sure a lot of them were much more successful than I was with these cookies.

Last Week: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart
Next Week: Coconut Tea Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Looks like ooey, gooey, deliciousness!

This month’s cake selection for The Cake Slice Bakers was Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. And I have to say, I was not thrilled to make this. I like my fruit raw and unadulterated. (Except for bananas, lemon, and lime…) I have to be in the mood to eat apple pie. I considered skipping this month but since we just went through spring cleaning, I didn’t think that would be fair. Plus the Beau loves pineapples.
One good thing about the Southern Cakes cookbook, the ease in baking some of the cakes! Like last month, Pineapple Upside-Down cake was super easy to put together. The recipe only calls for 10 maraschino cherries, but since I bought a small bottle of them, I went to town adding them to the cake. You should put a cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring. Here’s mine:

Cherries taking over the pineapple rings...

I’m not sure how adding too many cherries will affect the taste of the cake, we’re having it for dessert tonight, so I’ll let you know.
The one thing I do tend to have problems with in recipes is when the direction is ‘Spread evenly’. HAH! I try, but usually one side tends to be taller than the other. I don’t think it matters in this cake, plus with the pineapple rings and cherries, it’s hard to tell if it’s lopsided or not!

'Evenly' spread...

This is my very first Pineapple Upside Down cake, not only baking but tasting. I hope it tastes as good as it looks and smells!
Stop by next month when 2 of my favorite flavors are combined in one! Go browse the other Cake Slice Bakers to see their Pineapple Upside-Down cakes! Then go to the book store and buy the book so you can try this easy cake too!

Soo pretty and colorful!

Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

Is it a Tart? Is it a Pudding?

I’ve got 23 minutes before I have to go to bed, but I am determined to get a post done on time by golly!
Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry! picked this week’s TWD selection. I just went to her blog and her tart looks fantastic! Go check it out! And she’ll kindly offer the recipe so you can try this tart out too!
I didn’t have good luck with the sweet tart dough this time around. It got a little browned on top and kind of crumbled off. But it was still quite tasty!

Raspberries waiting for their chocolate bath...

Seeing as how I don’t like fruit with my chocolate, I only let a few of those raspberries come over and play with the chocolate.

I could use a nice chocolate bath myself...

It took an extra 10 minutes to bake fully. We tried it as soon as it cooled and we both thought it needed a little something more. We both thought it needed more chocolate, and more chocolate. Perhaps I should have let more raspberries into the playground… The Beau has a meeting at work tomorrow so he’s releasing the tart there.

My tart has innies not outies! Look at the first photo!

Well, four minutes to spare. Good night all and see you next week!

Last Week: Thumbprints for Us Big Guys
Next Week: Dulce de Leche Duos

Thumb Prints for Us Big Guys


Almost a full week late. Can you believe it, I actually made the cookie dough last week Sunday. Keeping cookie dough in the refrigerator for about a week makes for a hard time making teaspoonful size balls of dough… just another thing I learned accidentally.
Mike of Ugly Food Dude selected last week’s TWD selection. I like reading his blog, he’s very succinct and I like his humor! Go visit Mike and check out his cookies, and because we’re a sharing kind of blog group, you’ll get the recipe there too!
I baked these cookies a couple Christmases ago and they were a big hit then. I don’t usually save cookies for me when I’m baking for Christmas because I’m usually trying to get them out the door ASAP. This time I sampled this cookie from the beginning to the end. I didn’t end up with 60 cookies because I ate the dough while it was sitting in the refrigerator all lonely and stuff. Not bad. I ate a naked cookie out of the oven. Lovely! I ate a cookie after sifting powdered sugar over it. YUMMY! Then I ate a few with the raspberry jam in the middle. FABULOUS! I’m a little worried that it’s Saturday and I baked these cookies. I’m not sure how many will make it to Monday when it’s time to release them to work…
I stopped by Sur La Table today and bought the red sweetheart dish for my sweetheart – the Beau. Sweets on a sweetheart dish for my very own sweetie. Yes, I’m sickeningly (I’m amazed that’s even a word, it doesn’t look right spelled that way) mushy today. The Beau totally deserves it!

Last Week: Toasted Coconut Custard Tart
Next Week: Soft Chocolate and Raspberry Tart

MTAOFC Reine de Saba

Happy Birthday Jamie, Wes, and Auntie Betty!

Unfortunately I took crappy pictures of the Reine de Saba (not of my family) so you can’t see how chocolate-y delicious it looks. My mom asked me to bake a birthday cake for Sunday’s family dinner and I wanted to try one of Julia’s cakes. It was fairly easy to bake. It was the first time I used pulverized almonds and now I have extra pulverized almonds that I’m trying very hard not to stuff down my mouth (you pulverize almonds with sugar…). The recipe cracks me up though. Julia’s pretty funny with her instructions. You whip the egg whites and gently fold them into the chocolate mixture. You actually fold the whipped egg whites a little at a time alternating with some of the dry ingredients, but while you gently fold in the egg whites you have to rapidly alternate with the dry ingredients. Rapidly but gently. HAH!
Too bad I didn’t have any rum because this cake also called for some rum to be added to the mix. I used instant espresso instead.
Well, it’s almost 8pm and I’m exhausted. I had to get these posts in tonight before I pass out because I’m trying really hard to keep up. Although I was late with the Honey-Wheat cookies… oops.
Good Night All! (Am I really going to bed before 8pm??? Yeesh)

The best picture of the bunch...

Where's my niece Chelsea with her camera??

Toasted Coconut Custard Tart

Luscious, isn't it? And a little blurry...

Next up after the Honey Wheat Cookies on Sunday, Beryl of Cinemon Girl’s Toasted Coconut Custard Tart selection this week for the TWD Bakers. Visit Beryl and see how fabulous her Toasted Coconut Custard Tart turned out! You can also get the recipe there too, lucky for you.
Tarts are always a challenge for me. I have a really hard time with Dorie’s instruction to ‘gently’ press the dough around the tart pan. I have a heavy hand so there’s no sign of gentleness while pressing the dough in the tart pan. O, well, it baked well at least!

Firmly pressed tart dough...

Then there’s the custard part. I ended up scalding the milk and had to strain it before using it for the custard. It was pretty foamy. I had a hard time trying to figure out if it was boiling until all of a sudden it turned into custard and I had to frantically take the saucepan off the heat and add the vanilla to it. No rum around unfortunately. The coconut was to be lightly toasted. I actually ended up with semi-burnt coconut. Oops, it added some color though. Not a pretty color but color nonetheless.

I can't believe it's not butter! (hee hee!)

The easiest part of this tart was whipping up the cream. YAY! Okay done with the TWD goodie for the week. Took it to the family dinner on Sunday also. It was all gone after dessert was served. I didn’t try it in it’s final form, I tried the custard and liked it even though I don’t like coconut. My sister Karole doesn’t like coconut either but ate her share and loved it!
One more post to go from the Sunday baking day and it’s not from TWD.

Last Week (post): Honey-Wheat Cookies
Next Week: Thumbprints For Us Big Guys