This week I made an almond biscotti , something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time now. Of course, the first thing I had to do was cut the recipe in half, as there’s only so much that’ll be eaten, between me, my friends, and the neighborhood raccoons that hide in the dumpsters. In doing so, it made me realize another reason why many recipes call for grams or ounces, rather than cups – it’s far easier to cut grams in half than 1 and 3/4 cups.
It was easy enough to mix together, though I was frustrated once I reached the kneading section. Rather than a firm dough, it was akin to a cookie dough, and my wife ended up suggesting adding a bit of gluten to the mix. It firmed up quickly after that, but I still switched to a dough hook on the mixer, rather than my hands.
The biscotti puffed up in the middle nicely during the back. I’d been worried when I was shaping the loaves that it’d end up more of a rectangle. After letting it cool for about 20 minutes, it was simple enough to slice up, and let toast in the oven for a bit longer. It was particularly nice the next morning with coffee, as I’m rather indecisive during breakfast. Being able to simply open a bag was far preferable to the usual “coffee with coffee” I have on my days off.
This was just a chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday – with cookie dough frosting, rather than the usual, with semi-sweet chips all over. The big thing I learned from this, was to weigh my flour, rather than simply measure it. Before that, the icing had come out far too thick (which was used for the filling, in the end). In the future, I’ll stick to mini-chips as well. Though it was well-loved, my wife pointed out that the larger chips would be more likely to simply fall off the cake when cut, and not everyone would be OK with gulping handfuls of chocolate chips after a slice of cake.
This is a hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting I ended up making after trying a hummingbird cupcake at the Fairy Cakes Cupcakery here in town. It was topped with toasted coconut in the end, though I’d originally intended to garnish with macadamia nuts. Unfortunately, the package of Diamond brand nuts I bought were quite foul – they tasted spoiled, and had a nasty, chemical/attic-dust taste to them, and smelled bad to boot. Thankfully I found that out before tossing them on the cake, and substituted coconut my wife had toasted.
This was a triple-layer marble cake I made for a friend’s birthday not too long ago. I dyed the white cake purple (his favorite color), and used caramel sauce for the filling. The icing was a caramel-flavored buttercream, made with caramel candy flavoring. I was pleased to see how vibrant the color was when the cake was cut – after it’d come out, the top had been a rather uniform brown, from the chocolate.
The most frustrating part of all this though, were the flowers. I’ve done them before, but at the time, even with the AC going full-blast, the apartment was rather toasty. What I ended up doing was making the flowers on tiny pieces of parchment paper, and setting them on a plate in the fridge.