Currently viewing the tag: "cake"

cheesecakea

Hello! I have another exciting giveaway for you. Three more pieces of kitchen equipment that I absolutely love: Emile Henry mixing bowls, Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan, and a Lékué springform mold. The mixing bowls are pretty much a necessity in any kitchen, and this set is lovely, with three different sized nesting bowls. I use them all the time – for mixing, of course, but also for holding fruit and filling with chips at parties, among other things. The sugar saucepan is beautiful (I included it on my gift guide as well), and I find it to be a fantastic tool for making Italian buttercream. And the springform mold has been a game changer for me. I will admit I was skeptical about silicone molds when I was first introduced to them, but I have fallen in love with them after never having to worry about messy cheesecake sides. The mold peels away from the cheesecake every time, leaving perfect sides. Extra bonus: the cheesecake bakes on a white ceramic plate that is perfect for serving on as well, and I never have to have the stress of sliding a cheesecake on to a serving plate ever again.

TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
1 winner will receive 1 Emile Henry Mixing Bowl Set + 1 Mauviel Copper Sugar Saucepan + 1 Lékué Springform Mold + a copy of The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer. Participants who complete*** this form*** will be entered for a chance to win. Contest is open through 12/13 to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  The winner will be randomly selected through random.org and notified via e-mail no later than 12/16. The winner’s name and address will be shared with Emile Henry, Mauviel, and Lékué for the sole purpose of mailing out the prize. Thank you! (Also: don’t forget to enter my Minted giveaway as well!)

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#bakeamericacakeagain
Today is the day! The Vanilla Bean Baking Book is now available! I’m so excited to share it with you. To celebrate, I have a new recipe and these #bakeamericacakeagain tattoos that I am giving away. The lovely FauxMartha and my husband helped me come up with this hashtag to celebrate both my book and the **Election** (remember to vote today, fellow Americans!) Details for the giveaway is below.
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#BakeAmericaCakeAgain Tattoo Giveaway

Ways To Enter For A Chance To Win
1. Comment on this post below.
2. On my Instagram post tag a friend and use #bakeamericacakeagain in your comment.
3. You can also use both method #1 and #2 to increase your chances of winning. I will select 8 winners from the site and 5 winners on Instagram to receive the tattoos.
***No purchase necessary. Open to the U.S. and Canada only.***
cake
(This chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream pictured is a recipe from the new book; I made it for segment on WCCO-TV. You can watch the episode here.)

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parsnip cupcakes
Parsnips are often overlooked when it comes to baking. I’ll admit I’ve walked straight past them in the produce section, their pale white exterior ignored for other, flashier vegetables. The bold-colored flesh and feathery tops of the parsnip’s neighbor is more familiar, and the root that one associates with muffins and quick bread. So it’s the carrot that is placed in my shopping cart, and then ends up in my cake.

But Martha Stewart changed my mind. Her lovely book Vegetables showed up at my front door, and after thumbing through so many amazing recipes (Skillet Pizza with Greens and Eggplant! Corn and Scallion Chilaquiles! Beet Risotto with Beet Greens! Broccoli Rabe and Ham Croque Monsieurs! Squash Blossom Frittata! Frisee and Roasted Pear Salad!), I (of course) found my way to one of the few desserts in the book, and decided to start there. I’m glad I did.
cupcakesa

Martha Stewart
A few things:

It’s not too late to enter my giveaway! If you’ve pre-ordered my cookbook, you can enter to win a Vanilla Bean Baking Book apron and tea towel set. See this post for details.

Last week my site was down for a little bit, and I lost three posts. I was able to get them back, but sadly all the comments were deleted. So if you left me a question and I didn’t get back to you, please try again! Sorry about that.

It’s less than a week from Election Day, which is also the release of my cookbook. The lovely FauxMartha and my husband helped me come up with the perfect hashtag to celebrate both events: #bakeamericacakeagain. I think we could all use a little extra love while we move closer to Tuesday, and baking cake and sharing some is the perfect way to do just that. Tag your cakes on Instagram to play along! 

Although I thought we were terribly clever, there are already a bunch of fun cake/bake hashtags playing on ‘Make America Great Again’ on Instagram. NPR has a post on the history of Election Cakes that you can read about here.

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pumpkin skillet cake
‘Foreign coins,
skeleton keys,
old French primers,
small tin boxes –

any little thing
I can hold in my hand
that like a prayer says
be attentive

this is the way we live –

bits of blue glass
polished by waves
and saved
in a jar
in a drawer.’
-Richard Jones, The Blessing
pumpkin skillet cake

pumpkin skillet cake
I’m going to now admit that I’m a big fan of pumpkin, and I don’t shy away from using it once fall hits. So consider this your warning: there will be quite a few more pumpkin-themed recipes showing up here in the next couple months. Pumpkin and chocolate is one of the best combinations invented, I do believe. They are featured here in this skillet cake, which is easy to put together, and perfect for any time of day: breakfast, snacking, dessert. All bases covered.

This skillet cake is another baking recipe I’ve created as a Pulses Ambassador this year. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too. Also check out my Vanilla Lavender Cupcakes.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.

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vanilla-bourbon cake
A man who writes a story is forced to put into it the best of his knowledge and the best of his feeling. The discipline of the written word punishes both stupidity and dishonesty. A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors like butter in a refrigerator. Of course, there are dishonest writers who go on for a little while, but not for long, not for long…

A writer out of loneliness is trying to communicate like a distant star sending signals. He isn’t telling, or teaching, or ordering. Rather, he seeks to establish a relationship with meaning, of feeling, of observing. We are lonesome animals. We spend all our lives trying to be less lonesome. And one of our ancient methods is to tell a story, begging the listener to say, and to feel, ‘Yes, that’s the way it is, or at least that’s the way I feel it. You’re not as alone as you thought.’ To finish is sadness to a writer, a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn’t really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.’ John Steinbeck
vanilla-bourbon cake
I love John Steinbeck

I’m excited to share a recipe from Alanna Taylor-Tobin‘s new cookbook. It’s a gluten-free cookbook, so that makes this cake gluten-free as well. Made with a combination of sweet rice, oat, and millet flours, this vanilla cake base has a neutral taste, but more texture than all-purpose flour. I thought it was great. I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve made so far from the book: the buckwheat double chocolate cookies were so.good. with a hint of orange and intense chocolate flavor, and the vanilla chiffon cake was perfect for snacking. I made it with corn flour instead of millet, and loved the flavor of the vanilla and corn together. Even if you are not eating totally gluten-free, this book is full of inspiration.

(Unrelated, but awesome: Emile Henry has a great giveaway going on right over here. You can win an Emile Henry Bread Cloche, a Duralex USA glass bowl, a Rosle USA Kitchen Scale, a Lekue Baking Mat, a Shun Sora Bread Knife, and a bag of King Arthur All Purpose Flour all in one big package. So many good things. I have the bread cloche and use it all the time at home.)
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pumpkina
I’ve somehow convinced myself that if I only bake one layer of chocolate cake, I can still mound piles of buttercream on top, cut it into tiny pieces, and call it a snack. Which is exactly what happened here. There was pumpkin puree to use up, I was craving just the tiniest bite of chocolate cake, and then two hours later we all were nibbling on indulgent squares of pumpkin and chocolate. Not a bad scene for Tuesday afternoon.
chocolate snack cake with pumpkin buttercream
A few things:

You can now pre-order The Vanilla Bean Baking Book! I’m so excited for you to see it.

Other cookbooks just out or nearly out I highly recommend: Molly On the Range, Adventures in Chicken, Alternative Baker, and Eat My Kitchen.

Fascinating read about Pete Wells, New York Times food critic.

The foods everyone was obsessed with the most the last 40 years. A fun look back at food trends.

Don’t forget to register to vote!

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cake
‘Commonplace objects are constantly changing… The pies, for example, we now see, are not going to be around forever. We are merely used to the idea that things do not change.’ – Wayne Thiebaud

I mentioned in a previous post that Zoe Francois and I were getting together to bake the cakes from Wayne Thiebaud‘s painting, Cakes. Both of us have a print of Cakes hanging in our kitchen, and have spent time pondering what flavors and textures were represented. It only seemed natural that we should try to recreate them. We started with the pretty pink one in the first row on the bottom right-hand corner; the princess cake of the bunch. Chocolate cake was decided on. Because, chocolate.
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‘Art is not delivered like the morning paper; it has to be stolen from Mount Olympus.’ – Wayne Thiebaud

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cherry poppyseed bunt
Somehow summer is sneaking out the back door. Once again, I’m not ready for the seasons to change, and I’m hanging on to every last berry and stone fruit, every ray of warm sunlight with all my might. I’m just not ready to stop baking with seasonal summer fruit. I’ve also rediscovered my love of the Bundt – buttery cake made in a pretty pan works for me. Plus, they are acceptable at all times, as they can be used for breakfast, brunch, snacking, or dessert. I’ve made these particular Bundts with cherries and poppy seeds, a combination I fell in love with after reading Yossy’s beautiful cookbook. These mini cakes are moist, with faint lemon flavor and plenty of sweet cherries.
cherry poppyseed bunt

cherry poppyseed bunt
These Bundt cakes are also another baking recipe I’ve created as a Pulses Ambassador this year. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too. Also check out my Vanilla Lavender Cupcakes.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.
toasting yellow pea flour

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wayne theibaud
I first discovered Wayne Thiebaud’s painting Cakes at Zoe’s house. She has a small print hanging in her kitchen, and I find myself drawn to it each time I go visit her. It’s simple but beautiful, and I’m often questioning the cakes as I study them. Are you all just chocolate and vanilla, or is there a carrot cake in there, too? Maybe even pumpkin? Is that lemon curd on top down front, or did someone get crazy with the food coloring? What kind are you, little cake peeking out from the side? Why is only one cake cut into way in the back row? Zoe and I have chatted about the piece over the years, and finally came up with a project that has been starring us in the face: baking through Thiebaud’s Cakes. We’ll be starting the series later this summer, so stay tuned.
wayne thiebaud

honey cake with caramel buttercream

honey cake with caramel buttercream

honey cake with caramel buttercream

wayne thiebaud

crafted honey
I finally purchased a print of Cakes for myself (details below), and it is now hanging proudly in my kitchen. I still find myself questioning each and every cake on a weekly basis, and it’s spurred on some delicious conversation between friends and family alike.

But! I have a non-Thiebaud dessert for you today, however: Honey Cake with Caramel Buttercream. Crafted Honey, a small batch, family-run company sent me some samples a few weeks ago, and I thought adding it to a layer cake would be a good idea. Turns out it was. The honey flavor really shines through, and kept the cake moist a little longer than a butter cake normally does. I used the Wildflower Honey in the cake, but also highly recommend the Sourwood Honey, which I want to pour on everything and I daily eat directly off my spoon.
honey cake with caramel buttercream

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Blackberry Basil Buttercream
‘Tolkien once remarked to me that the feeling about home must have been quite different in the days when a family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps this was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the wood – they were not mistaken for there was in a sense a real (not metaphorical) connection between them and the countryside. What had been earth and air & later corn, and later still bread, really was in them. We of course who live on a standardized international diet (you may have had Canadian flour, English meat, Scotch oatmeal, African oranges, & Australian wine today) are really artificial beings and have no connection (save in sentiment) with any place on earth. We are synthetic men, uprooted. The strength of the hills is not ours.’ -CS Lewis The Collected Letters of CS Lewis, Vol. 1
Blackberry Basil Buttercream
I’ve slowly been working my way through CS Lewis’ letters (Vol. 1 and 2 are currently in my possession, while Vol. 3 seems to be out of print and unattainable, alas, as I can’t quite justify spending over $400 for it). The above paragraph stuck out to me a few nights ago while reading; first, Lewis casually mentions having conversations with Tolkien like it’s a totally normal event (which it was), and second, the concept of ‘Home’ has been on my mind frequently, as I’m working out what it means to be part of a family.

Home, to me, is this small unit of four I reside with daily, although, it is also the dwelling we sleep and eat and nest in. The dwelling can and does change, and while I care about the walls that keep out the rain and snow, that part isn’t the most important.

Well, usually. Sometimes hard wood floors and paint color and kitchen back splashes and throw pillows and bed spreads and shower curtains and coveting marble counter tops and redoing the patio seem more like home then things like eating dinner together and snuggling during a movie and talking through our day and learning to compromise and laughing and family hikes and working things out and holding hands and reading books in bed.

I wonder sometimes if I am so concerned with the appearance of our dwelling and the materials that make up our home because I don’t have such rich history? I hardly know those that came before. I haven’t walked the winding paths my ancestors did; the small lot my house sits upon was owned by strangers. Most my history is lost, scattered in attics and basements I never knew. My great-grandchildren may never set foot here. Sometimes I forget to look ahead to them, focused on leaving this place, this earth better than I found it. The focus shifts to things, and not people, because the connection between generations has slowly been chewed away.

We have been uprooted, we are wanderers.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Blackberry Basil Buttercream

I worked with a man years ago at a small cafe who offered up this quote to me: ‘People aren’t a means to an end; people are the end.’ It has always stuck with me, and when I find myself getting wrapped up in things, forgetting that relationships are the heart of this whole experiment called life, those words find me every time. I’m still learning.

‘There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.’ – Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

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Purchase my cookbook!

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