Friday, May 11, 2012

My birthday cake

I LOVE Almond Joy candies.  I love the combination of the sweet coconut filling covered in chocolate and the crunch of the almond.

Not sure where that big air bubble came from.

So as my birthday approached, I knew I wanted to make my own cake.  See I have control issues and this is the only way I knew I'd get the cake I wanted.  And I wanted the cake to taste like an Almond Joy.  I scoured my cookbooks in search of the magic combination.   The chocolate almond cake from Confetti Cakes was an easy choice.  I searched and finally found a cream cheese coconut filling.  Then figured I'd add chopped almonds, a chocolate buttercream and top the entire thing off with chocolate ganache.  It sounded perfect as I was planning.  But...

The filling wasn't the taste I was looking for...See the filling was essentially a cream cheese frosting with a cup of coconut tossed in for texture.  And that's exactly what it tasted like.  It picked up some of the coconut flavor but not what I was looking for.  The cake was good.  All the parts worked together but it wasn't the Almond Joy I was hoping for.

Oh well, I guess that just means I'll have to try again.  And I realized it wasn't going to taste like how I wanted it too as I was putting it together so I was a little disappointed while I was finishing it off...And maybe I was little down cause I was aging...But either way I didn't even bother to decorated it.  After I put the ganache on I stuck it straight in the fridge and that's when the big ugly air bubble formed.

But it did taste good...Even if it wasn't my Almond Joy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Martha's Going Away Cake

Martha recently landed her dream job in California...But she lives in New York.  So that means she had to say goodbye to all her friends and family, to make a new life across the country.  And what better way to say goodbye and good luck, then cake?

So cake is what I made.  She'll be moving to Wine country, so we went with a wine and grapes theme. The cake is chocolate almond with chocolate buttercream.  i piped the vines and grapes in Royal icing and made the Martha figurine of fondant and gumpaste.

There's a drop of blue berry jelly in her glass.  Good Luck Martha in your new life!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Happy Birthday Paul.

I asked my husband what he wanted for his birthday cake and it was an immediate "cheesecake" response....But then it took him several more requests to get a more specific flavor.

Finally he decided on pumpkin.  Possibly in no small part because he is SOO practical and noticed the 15 frozen containers of pumpkin puree while digging around in our freezer.  You may remember that our garden produced a healthy supply last summer.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Origin: Unknown

9 oz Oreos, finely crushed
6 T. butter, melted*
10oz pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
5 oz Half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 ground cloves
dash of salt
3 (8oz) cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix cookie crumbs and butter.  Press mixture firmly onto the bottom and of 9-inch spring-form pan.  Bake until crust is set, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugars, cornstarch and spices until smooth.  Add eggs and beat on low until combined.  Add pumpkin, milk and vanilla and stir to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Wrap spring-form pan with foil and place on rimmed baking sheet to catch dips.  Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust.  Bake at 350 deg F for 50-60 minutes or until the center is just set.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 30 minutes.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or over night.  Remove sides of spring-form pan to serve.

I poured a layer of ganache over the top of this one for an added hit of chocolate, cause that's how I roll.  It's still very tasty without it.

*Note:  I would decrease the amount of butter slightly as it was quite difficult to get the crust off the bottom of the pan...Maybe the butter had something to do with that.

Sorry I don't have any photos...We ate it THAT fast.