Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apple Cider Donuts

These were delicious hot out of the fryer. From an old Washington Post article.

Manger Douse

I made this cake in order to try a technique I'd just learned of: Frozen Buttercream Transfer. I'm interested in any non-fondant technique, because though I love how fondant looks, it tastes like butt, and cake is supposed to taste good, right? This technique requires a piece of Plexiglass and a picture. You tape the picture to one size of the glass, tape plastic wrap to the other, and trace the image with frosting. You put the whole thing in the fridge for at least a half hour, then flip the image upside down onto a frosted cake.

I used canned frosting for the outline, which was a mistake. You can see that it peeled off the edges in some places. The rest of it is homemade buttercream, slightly thinned, which worked excellently.

Have you ever wondered what you'd accidentally think of if you were told by Gozer to choose the form of your destruction? I think I have my answer here. It wouldn't be the Stay-Puft Man, it'd be Danger Mouse. I decided that since this was a practice cake, I'd do the first feasible thing that came into my mind. So, "crumbs!" Danger Mouse it was. However, I've always struggled with my spatial relations, as anyone who's asked me to read a map might know. If I'm in the car with you and I say, "the map says to turn left," you should turn right. Or go straight. Or back up. Try anything but left and you'll have a better chance of getting where you're going. Well, my spatial relations caught up with me here. I forgot that the transfer would be a mirror image, and Danger Mouse has his initials on his shirt. So he came out as "Manger Douse" instead of Danger Mouse.

Oh, and since the cake has been consumed, I feel comfortable saying that I've discovered that the cat loves butter. First I caught her licking the buttercream frosting. She won't lick ice cream, but apparently buttercream does it for her. Then, when I'd buttered and floured the pans for the cake, she licked that, too. I scooped out the part she'd licked from the frosting, but I left the pans. A little kitty spit never hurt anyone...did it?

I Don't Like Apple Pie

In an effort to release my family from the horrible duty of constant cake consumption, I've been branching out to other baked goods. Also, I'd never tried apple pie before. You'd think I'd been born in India or something, but no, I'm American through and through. However, apple pie has no chocolate, which explains why I've never had any.

The recipe for the crust and pie came from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. The crust was delicious, but the general verdict was that the filling needed more spice. I'd add my own two cents in, but it turns out that I don't like apple pie. So tart! So unchocolatey! However, I feel slightly better about my life knowing that I tried it, at least.

Not pictured but two other recipes worth sharing that I've made recently:
This is my holiday standby, and the moment it turned from September to October, I had to pull that lonely can of pumpkin from the cupboard: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.

I'd never made muffins before, but this recipe is excellent: To Die For Blueberry (or chocolate chip, if you're me) Muffins.

Mondrian Cupcakes

I made these in an effort to reproduce a major work of art in cupcake form. I got the idea from my Hello, Cupcake book, in which they loosely reproduce Van Gogh's "Starry Night". Not wanting to copy, I chose a different (and much easier) painting. Originally I'd been thinking Kandinsky, but I was simultaneously delighted and horrified by the idea of reproducing artwork made completely of straight lines on top of round cakes. Mondrian won this time, but Kandinsky, I'm coming for you soon.

Cupcake Bites

These were a request from Lauren for Ryan's 30th birthday party. They're cake balls shaped and decorated like mini cupcakes. Stolen from Bakerella again.

Fran's Cakes

These cupcakes were for a 50th birthday party luncheon, as requested by Fran. I combined buttercream flowers, candy butterflies, and candy numbers on extra-jumbo cakes. They looked good except that it was around 800 degrees the day I did these, and the frosting melted terribly.