So, I have a rather long list of things I want to try baking, and as such, I finally decided to simply let my friends online figure out what I should try each week (it has yet to dissolve into madness – yet).
This week’s winner was the idea of a cherry cordial cupcake, which I did mostly with a black forest cupcake, and using chocolate mousse as the topping instead.
I have to say, that I understand that as an American, I’m fairly used to overly-sugared desserts, so the cupcake was quite bland to me. That wasn’t so much of an issue though, as with the filling (and I’d like to add that when heated, cherry brandy will clear every sinus you have) and the mousse, there’d be enough sweetness in the finished product.
The aggravation came with the fact that, after all the effort I went through making the cupcake, it was little more than a bland, slightly eggy, sponge. Should I attempt black forest cake again, I will most likely not use the recipe above.
When everything was said and done, the cupcakes were wonderful. The slightly boozy, sweetened cherries added a burst of flavor that was enhanced by the silky mousse on top.
This week I decided I wanted to try my hand at truffles again. Specifically banana truffles. Specifically banana truffles, because I bought banana extract a month ago, and had yet to use it in anything.
The justification for my impulsive purchase ended up wonderful, though it was some trial-and-error to get them looking halfway decent. The first batch I mis-read the instructions, and thought you were supposed to let the ganache set completely prior to scooping and rolling the balls – an error that became apparent quite quickly. Not just that, but I’m used to rolling dough in-between my palms, which led to a frustrating, though delicious, mess all over my hands.
The second batch I kept a closer eye on while it was setting, and spooned round-ish lumps into a bowl of cocoa powder. Once coated, I spun it in the bowl try to get it slightly spherical (though many places online suggested against perfectly round truffles, as they’re supposed to look similar to the truffles found in the wild), and let them chill in the fridge.
Future truffles will be left to rest on the cooling rack to try and keep them from developing feet, but other than that, they came out nicely. Originally I’d intended on brushing gold dust over the cop for a splash of color, but when I went to JoAnne’s, I couldn’t help but get the stars for two reasons: one, my wife loves stars, and two, we are both fans of the Lords of Waterdeep board game, in which her favorite faction is the Silver Stars.
Once completed and cooled, they were quite good – a slight crunch, followed by a decadent, creamy center.
This year for my wife’s birthday, she asked for a simple, white cake, with chocolate icing, and orange curd filling.
The icing was applied a bit thinner than I was used to (though that was simply a difference in tastes between my wife and I), but overall, I liked how it turned out. I will admit that the idea was my wife’s, as she’d been wanting to try something like this for a while, and it turned out wonderfully.
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.
These are dark chocolate truffles with homemade orange extract. They were quite simple, and to make them stand out, I rolled them in some of the sprinkles I had in the cabinet. I found the recipe for them here, and simply substituted for the rum.