The most stressful thing about baking for a blog is trying to make everything look pretty.
I mean, I always want the end product to look pretty, but I don’t want to have to worry about how the shine of the cherries look in the sunlight and how many crumbs are on my white plate.
Everything takes longer when you’re worried about what angle the whisk is sitting at in your bowl.
But I do it. I do it for your guys.
But sometimes, you can’t even get the final beauty shot.
Exhibit A, above.
See the lady to my right/on the left side of the picture? That’s Tanya.
She’s one of those girls that you want to hate because she’s way classier/prettier/more put together than you, but you just can’t because she’s so darned sweet.
Seriously though, her classiness intimidates me.
While I barely know what I’m doing in photography (hellooo straight up copying the setups of my favourite food bloggers without understanding it!) Tanya’s camera is epic and her post-processing skills make my head spin. Her flickr makes my photos look like Sears Family Portrait Studio. She took and edited all the photos in this post! There’s a photo of fondant gears below that I can’t stop staring at. For serious.
Oh, also, in her spare time she’s a ballerina.
While she’s perfecting her pas de basque, I’m looking up ballet terms like “pas de basque” to include in a blog post.
But with the being sweet, when she asks where to find a great bakery that sells specialty cakes for her boyfriend, Gerry, and his 30th birthday, you come up with a crazy idea.
WE will make this cake.
It’s Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary!
No it’s not, I’m lying.
It was Amandeleine’s 1st anniversary over a month ago. On June 8th. But for some reason I thought the anniversary was sometime in July, and when I looked it up a few days ago, I learned I was wrong.
Happy Canada Day everybody!
Canada Day was yesterday, so I’m a day late. But this actually a recipe more so for a red, white & blue July 4th, so I thought I’d compromise and post between the two, making me too late for Canada Day and too early for Independence Day. It works… sort of.
We’ve already discussed some of the things I miss from Canada. I guess I miss Canada Day too. I love that country and having a day to celebrate it is nice. But it’s okay living here on Canada Day, because I still get my favourite part, just 3 days late.
Bliss is chocolate cake.
Moist, tender, chocolatey cake layers enrobed in ganche. Stick to the fork/tongue/ribs rich ganache.
The only thing that makes it better is a tall, icy cold glass of milk waiting on standby.
And maybe a little raspberry jam.
Many will ask me, who bakes for the baker on their birthday? Does the baker do it for herself because she knows just how she likes things? Is a cake purchased from a fancy bakery to give her a new project to strive for?
If you have an adorable husband, sometimes it’s him.
(Is it just me, or is there something particularly attractive about a man wielding a frosting covered offset spatula?)
With a number of Trevor birthday cakes under my belt, he felt it was time to return the favour.
Please note that in the 7 years I have known him, 6 of them on a very personal level, I have witnessed him bake once. Maybe twice, but I’m kind of hazy on that one. With this in mind, I tried to give him an easy out, giving him a general flavour category to follow so that he could pick something easy to make that still fell under the specs.
He didn’t let me get away with that.
Demanding to know what my favourite cake would be for my birthday this year, I confessed.
Red Velvet Cake.
Joe is probably the person I see most in the world other than my husband. We’re neighbours at work and at home. That’s right, he’s in the office next door at work, and lives in the condo below mine. If we ever have an epic rivalry where I decide I can’t stand him, I will have major problems avoiding him.
Luckily, he’s a pretty cool guy. And even better, his wife Erin is even cooler. So when she asked me to make Joe a birthday cake for his surprise party, I was completely on board. Now it was just a matter of figuring out what he’d like.
Because of my weekly baking at work, it wasn’t too hard to find out what Joe’s opinion was without giving away the surprise. I just told him I’d be customizing the weekly baked good to his preferences for his birthday. His response was quick.
Joe is a huge fan of cream soda. However, neither of us were entirely sure how to apply cream soda to a baked good. Joe gave a few more ideas, but the cream soda idea stuck with me. After a few internet searches, I discovered that cream soda in a baked good was relatively uncommon, with one exception. Cream Soda Cake.
Each month when I get my new issue of Bon Appetit in the mail, I get rather excited. It always comes safely tucked away in plastic wrap and tearing it open, exposing the pages within is not unlike christmas morning.
I’m pretty sure that on average I spend more time each day on the computer than not on the computer. So keep that in mind when I say that I prefer reading the magazine in my hands for a subscription fee instead of on my screen for free. The glossy pictures, the small joy in each new page turned, I’m hooked. To a food magazine.
So my update is a little late this week, but I have a good reason. It was Marta’s birthday!
I’m originally from Canada, but I moved to the Seattle area about 2 years ago. I love it here, but there’s a lot I miss about Canada. The thing I miss the most? The people. People like Marta. She’s been one of my best friends since we were 12 years old, she was one of my bridesmaids when I got married, and before this weekend, I hadn’t seen her for over 2 years.
So I hope you can understand the blog update delay.
(That’s me on the left and Marta on the right.)
Last weekend when I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes I used my favourite Chocolate Frosting recipe. What I’ve always loved about it was that it was made from melted bittersweet chocolate. I know the differences between types of chocolates, cocoas, etc, and how using cocoa vs. using melted chocolate will be just as creamy in a frosting as long as you have the right amount of butter and sugar. So maybe it’s a mental thing, but a frosting made of melted bittersweet chocolate tastes so much creamier, so much more chocolately to me than any other chocolate frosting I have made.
Maybe I’m just doing the cocoa type wrong.
Either way, I love that frosting. I discovered it in Bon Appetit Magazine as part of their Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake Recipe. Yup, chocolate mayonnaise.
I remember the face Trevor made the first time he heard of such a thing. Trevor hates mayonnaise. He hates the thought of mayonnaise. He describes it as “Ew. Oily. Gross.” He was thoroughly disturbed and asked me to make sure I never made him eat it. I told him I would make sure I did. Due to an endearing amount of trust he has for me and the baked goods I produce, he was cautiously accepting of this fate. Luckily for both of us, I did not fail him.