A few weeks ago, as I was standing in the checkout line with my groceries, I spotted a special issue of Cook’s Illustrated in the magazine stands: Cook’s Illustrated Make-Ahead Desserts. I put it in my basket immediately, further thought not required. I eagerly poured through each page when I got back home, delighted by everything I saw, but there was one recipe in particular that captured my attention.
Despite the delay in posting this, I have not, in fact, forgotten about the cake project. I baked a second cake a couple of weeks ago, and cake #3 is just out of the oven.
My first practice cake of the “Conquering Cake” project was baked on Friday, and eaten over the course of the weekend.
While it went well over all, there were definitely some points that could be improved:
I have a confession to make: I’m not a very good baker. I just like baking.
I’m obsessed with the idea of making perfect macarons, but at this point, they’re still always a gamble for me. For example, I spent much of today making macarons for a party.
Macarons really should not take that long to make , but I’m still getting the hang of it. It was a new recipe for me, using an Italian meringue instead of French. The Italian meringue requires boiling sugar and water together and then adding that to the egg whites, and I had to throw away my first attempt entirely when the sugar turned into caramel. I think I will stick to French meringue in the future.
As I may have mentioned before, I cohost a brunch devotional every other week with some friends. Among other things, it provides a great opportunity for trying new recipes.
I almost always try to bake something gluten free for these gatherings, since so many of my friends have gluten sensitivities, and this week, with some local apples on hand, I knew I wanted to make apple muffins.
What happens when you’ve already exceeded your grocery budget for the month and there’s still a week left?
Time to bake bread!
I’m sorry; that title’s a terrible pun. And not even that appropriate, since these occurrences took place not yesterday but, rather, a week ago.
I had never tried my hand and bread making before. The idea of working with yeast, waiting for the bread to rise, etc., always seemed too complicated. I avoided it for years.
But my interest (bordering on obsession) with making things myself prompted a steadily growing curiosity in bread, and when I finally did decide to give it a whirl, I jumped in headfirst, with three projects in two days: pizza dough, pita bread, and bagels.
Things don’t always go the way you expect.
For example, I expected that my next blog post would be about the cream cheese apricot scones I made last Sunday (which you may have seen if you’re following me on Twitter). But after the scones were baked and eaten, I found I had nothing to say about them. They were ok. Pretty good, but not amazing. A little dry — I haven’t figured out why yet, so there’s no lesson to glean. And aside from the flour explosion (above), no funny anecdotes to share.
So, moving on to Thursday, which I had off from work due to it being the 4th of July.
I’d originally planned on getting lunch with my boyfriend, but when an unexpected ant infestation in his apartment delayed him, I was still hungry. No problem, I had some local veggies sitting in my pantry waiting to be made into curry.
Except curry seemed like so much work. Wouldn’t donuts be easier?