I had decided to go rogue this time around so I could make the Wintermint Cake. I had already bought all the ingredients before and I really wanted to get rid of those candy canes while I still could. I decided to make Wintermint cupcakes to take to our friends’ house for New Year’s Eve.
I made them the same day and decided to skip the ganache because I didn’t have the time or the desire to both dip and frost my cupcakes, but next time I will make the recipe as a cake and will make the ganache too.
It was fun to crush up my remaining candy canes to top the cupcakes with and even though I normally don’t like mint and chocolate together, I really liked the subtle fluffy buttercream paired with the delicate chocolate cake.
I had no plans to make this week’s recipe, Hair of the Dog Cake. I just don’t dig alcohol with desserts and while this post contains two combos I usually don’t like–I’m really not that picky. There are not too many foods I don’t like: mint/chocolate, alcohol in desserts and mushrooms. That pretty much covers it.
But when one of my fellow bakers mentioned skipping the booze and making the cake as a vanilla cake I decided to give it a shot. I had most of the ingredients and I was curious about the boiled frosting. I didn’t want to run to the store to get the remaining ingredients so I tossed in some shortening a bit of sour cream to compensate for the egg and half a stick of butter I was missing and hoped for the best.
The cake baked up beautifully, but I was still a bit confused by the boiled frosting. I pulled the cake when it turned bubbly, worried that I was going to overbroil and burn the cake, but I’m not quite sure I took it out at the right time.
The finished cake was delicious, though and we really enjoyed it. I loved the rich vanilla cake and the warm brown sugar/vanilla frosting and fluffy whipped cream. I’m glad I decided to make it as well.
Go here to see how everyone else liked it! (and if they all kept or ditched the rum)
Next up: Gingersnaps with Lemon Sugar!
We had a fantastic holiday. We had stretchy pants, good friends, booze, great food, and weather mild enough to allow us to eat outside.
I am so grateful to have so many things to be thankful for. The only thing missing was my big boys, but they had a good time with the other half of their family.
I was excited to have a big holiday to bake something from the new cookbook. I chose the tart immediately and bought the ingredients.
Later I read through the whole recipe and my heart sunk. Not only would I be making a meringue for the first time (for some reason meringue has seemed intimidating and I’ve avoided making recipes that have it) but I needed a torch.
I don’t have a torch. I went to buy a torch at Bed Bath and Beyond and left empty-handed. I didn’t want to spend that much money for one recipe.
My husband went to Harbor Freight for something else and noticed that they carried very cheap mini torches. I went back and bought one ($7) and grabbed some butane from Lowe’s. ($5)
I made the crust, which was a breeze, although I always manage to extend my crust up too high which makes the edges too tall and jagged. I need to work on that.
Next up was the filling. This part was tricky because I was using a 10″ springform instead of the 9″ it called for so I wanted to make a bit more filling. I added a bit more of everything including an extra egg and crossed my fingers that it would set. (it did)
I put it in the fridge overnight and on Thanksgiving morning I made the meringue. It came together so much easier and quicker than I was anticipating. It was beautiful: bright white and glossy and it was fun to swirl it over the tart. The only thing left to do (besides unmold it) was to torch it.
I started to very tentatively brown the tops of the swirls and my husband was standing next to me trying to control the urge to grab it from me. I handed it over willingly and he perfectly browned the meringue for me.
I took it in my lap to our friend’s house and removed the springform ring there. It came off perfectly and everyone ended up loving the tart. Of course I was making mental notes about what I would do better/differently next time but that’s what happens with a self-critical baker. 🙂
The next-day leftovers (there was hardly any left!) were perfect and delicious although I don’t think I’d keep this tart any longer than that. I will happily add this to my regular holiday rotation.
What did you bake for Thanksgiving?
Beulah Pearl Tanner
This year for Thanksgiving we went to my in-law’s house in Southeast Texas. I volunteered to make the pies and this year I chose a Chocolate Ginger Chess Pie, a Roasted Pumpkin Pie and a classic Pecan Pie. The pecan pie was
right off of the Karo syrup label my Grandmother’s secret recipe. She was well-known for that pie and this is the first holiday she is not with us, so I decided to use that recipe in honor of my sweet Grandma, Beulah Pearl.
I thought they all turned out well (despite my pumpkin pie cracking on top) AND I was finally able to figure out how to prevent my pie crusts from slipping. (hint: it’s all about the crimping)
This year we are spending our Christmas at home. (for the very first time!) We are looking forward to building our family traditions and just hanging out: cooking, eating, etc. I can’t wait!
What are YOU doing for Christmas?
We had a great time celebrating Easter this weekend. We dyed eggs (we had 4 casualties during the boiling but…those became baked goods) and left out carrots for the Easter Bunny.
Moomers wrote a cute note for him and they went off to bed excited at what the not-at-all-creepy bunny might bring them. Baby G was too young to get it. He received some toys for his backyard sand box and thought searching for eggs was hilarious but aside from that he didn’t really understand.
The big littles were stoked to find Pokemon cards, Legos, and art supplies in their basket along with the requisite chocolate bunny and Pez dispensers. They played with their cards all day and had their Lego set built in five minutes flat.
I wasn’t left out of the fun:
Did the Easter Bunny visit your house?