Monday, July 7, 2014

A Small Lesson in Baking

Just listen to Julia.

When speaking to people or simply browsing food blogs, it's easy to see there are generally two types of people: the cooks and the bakers. Whether you do both at times doesn't really matter; it's a matter of where your heart truly lies. Me? I'm all about cooking. I do bake, but it's because, I mean, I love dessert. Plus, I tweak recipes to make them just a tad healthier, just so I don't feel as bad about eating them - i.e. replacing AP flour with whole wheat, oil for butter, etc.

...what I neglected to see was the ever so critical alert: 
you will need to make five 9-inch cakes. 

But because I'm not much of a baker, I tend to....screw things up from time to time. I have Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and one of the first things she says is to read the entire recipe before beginning anything. See, I'm more of a skimmer. So when I went to the grocery store and hurriedly checked off my ingredients list then set out to start baking on Friday morning, I was kicking myself for not reading this recipe from Food52 more thoroughly. I got all the ingredients, but what I neglected to see was the ever so critical notice: you will need to make five 9-inch cakes. F&#K! In my own defense, this little caveat was included in the "Author's Notes" section, which I mean... cmon! Who reads those?!
It being the morning of the Fourth, I knew the grocery store would be too crowded and hectic for me to sanely tolerate so I made do with whatever I had substitution-wise. Almond milk to replace at least some of the buttermilk? yeah, ok. Oil to tap in for some butter so I'd have enough for the buttercream? Yep. Not enough raspberries? I'll just make "stripes" like a flag... (Ok, so the berries weren't even part of the recipe but my cake decorator alter ego went a little rogue.)
All in all, the cake turned out pretty well. Sorry I couldn't get a better picture of the inside. I took the thing to a party and was too afraid I'd ruin it if I attempted to cut it before the big reveal. I couldn't risk three hours of hard work! I just couldn't!


Oh yeah, I also made this pull-apart bread for an appetizer. Talk about CHEESY. The thing is, the store didn't have a bread loaf big enough for the recipe, but I stuck to the rest of the recipe. Basically, there was twice as much cheese than there should've been. But no one complained. I sure as hell didn't. Oh, and bacon. BACON.
Cheese AND bacon!

I really wish it was still the weekend. Can we just extend the Fourth of July or something? 

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xo - Christine from The Lion's Den