Sunday, May 30, 2010

Eating crow

Remember how I was saying just this month I couldn't wait to be bored?  Yep I said it.  I guess I've been working night and day for too long because I don't remember nothing to do being... well, this boring in the past.

I am working on changing about 1/2 of the dessert menu in early June.  We are having a blast with it.  It's amazing how time to tweak and redo makes the creative process more fun. I am playing with fruit bruschetta right now.  I want the final product to lean more towards a sampling of flavor combinations than just one bread and one topping.   At first I was thinking, chocolate, ginger, nut something and angel food as the bases with mixed berries, stone fruit, apples and tropical fruit salsa.  The longer I play the more I'm afraid the chocolate cake just doesn't fit.  I think it is going to get replaced with a polenta pound cake?

I spend quite a bit of time on any given day looking at recipes - on the web, in cookbooks & in trade magazines.  I have a couple of fav sites but epicurious (from the editors of bon appetit & gourmet mags) has a broad range of professionally tested recipes that always capture my interest.  When I came across the recipe for lemon ginger pound cake a while back I just sorta filed it away in the back of my mind for later.  Later has arrived!! The first batch was good but that is just never enough for me...we played with it and now it is FABULOUS!
Lemon Ginger Pound Cake  Rebecca's way

  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger  
  • 1 3/4 cups  granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt    
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla       
  • 2 sticks  unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lemons zested       
  • 4 large eggs                                                      
  • 2oz fresh lemon juice  
1 - 9" X 5" loaf pan, sprayed with pan spray and lined with parchment if you have it.


Preheat oven to 325°F.
Finely grind together fresh ginger and 3/4 cup sugar in a food processor or blender (mixture will be wet).
Whisk together or sift flour, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt.
Beat together butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in ginger sugar until just combined, then lemon juice and vanilla extract. Add the flour in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown on top and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan 10 mins then carefully tip out and allow to finish cooling on a rack or flat surface.

If you want to pretty it up you can add glaze (powdered sugar and lemon juice) but the cake really doesn't need the extra sugar.

Serve with fruit, barely sweetened whip cream or ice cream.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Time for cake

U of A graduation time!

We had a rather large stack of unusual cake orders this week.  

Chocolate Cake with White Frosting.  I made white chocolate mousse just cuz I could.  U of A colors, done.  It took me a full half hour to get the stinking frosting this dark of blue.  & yeah I probably should have done the deco & then wrote on it but Congratulations takes up a lot of space.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting?  Seems odd to me why not chocolate cake with chocolate frosting?  Normally cakes with chocolate frosting don't come with instructions for decorating either.  The brown messes with the color scheme a bit but it did look pretty cool matched up to the previous cake which was for the same party.

A carrot cake for your daughter Deena who is graduating?  Sure no problem...
But this is what the cake order we got had printed on it.  Luckily it's easy to lift the chocolate right off and just smooth it out a little.  Hopefully there was only one person at that table who graduated so it was obvious who the "congrats" was for  ;-D.

We don't make flan very often at the Inn & I'm very thankful for that.  When you make them this big they take FOREVER to bake.  Of course, when I don't forget about them and get them in the oven before 8 pm it helps. Still they turned out pretty good.
Vanilla Bean
Orange (in case it wasn't immediately obvious)

The real laugh is that none of these touch the oddest cake I've made at this job.  Chef calls me to the office to listen to a voice mail about a cake order last summer.  
                "Hi this is Janet.  I'd like to order a cake for my child's 21st birthday.  If possible I would like most of the cake covered in blue and orange icing flowers.  It needs to say "Happy Birthday Phillip'. Thanks"
HUH??  Icing flowers and it's for phillip.  But wouldn't this "philip" be a son?  I call the person back thinking to myself I misunderstood the message.  Nope I understood the message perfectly, I'm just still baffled.

Poor kid.  Flowers for his 21st birthday cake.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Buffet

Last big event of the season! :)  I am so looking forward to being bored all summer.  Just have to get through the chaos of 3 graduation weekends in a row first.

The Buffet Menu
     Lemon Cupcakes
     Milk Chocolate Mousse
     Strawberry Shortcake
     Lime Cheesecake
     Fruit Tarts
     Chocolate Mousse Petit Fours
     Coconut Petit Fours

 The entire buffet

Lemon Cupcakes  
the purple frosting is at Sam's request

Milk Chocolate Mousse

Strawberry Shortcake

Lime Cheesecake

Fruit Tart on butter cake

The Main Dining Room Menu
     Creme Brulee 
     Black & White Cake
     Passionfruit Panna Cotta
     Lychee Mousse Cake
     Strawberry Shortcake
Lychee Mousse on Raspberry Soaked butter cake 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is it possible to have eyestrain from the color of something??

Whew, what a crazy weekend.  I need to sleep for a solid week to make up for it, but nope, it's work for me all week.
Brad  & Amanda's cake can be added to the success column.  I managed to get it made, transported and set-up with only a couple of snafu's.  There was an incident of epic fail but it related to somebody else's actions hours after I left and despite my best advice. 

The figurine to the right was the cake topper.  My mom added it closer to show time.
& the eyestrain you ask?  That would be from the icing color.  I HATE PINK!!!  Of course anyone who knows me at all knows this.  My stance has actually relaxed a little in the last 5 years since there was a time when I would have refused to make a cake this color. 
I did take some creative liscence with the cake design that she sent me.  Originally the cake was supposed to be covered in fondant which travels a million times better than buttercream.  The tiers are a good inch shorter than planned so they would fit in boxes to protect the frosting and that left me with less room for piping.