Monday, May 21, 2007

Catching Up and Some Old Favorites

I can't believe it has been ten days since my last post. (That sounds very much like the start of a trip to the confessional.) I ran into a bit of technical difficulty with my digital camera, which froze up with cupcake photos on it and a consequent inability to take new photos. I'm happy to report, however, that the camera is functional again.

In the meantime, I made an apple pie last week for Lost Lunch Thursday. Apples: very out of season, but the pie was delicious.

Today, I made a couple of things that I've made before for two different work-based events. From time to time, we have potluck lunches at work, for those who are interested in participating, and today, we had one. The theme was appetizers, and perhaps not too surprisingly, we managed to make a pretty good meal of hors d'oeuvres. I made hot spinach and artichoke dip, which has a lot more to do with various cheeses than it does with vegetables. Among the other tasty offerings: chicken satay, shrimp dip and vegetable crudite, crab-stuffed deviled eggs, ceviche, gently seared tuna, crab rangoons, and more. It was all very tasty. We lucked out with two desserts, too. My colleague Krysta brought some very nice, simple brownies, and I brought a batch of my new favorite blondies.

Over the weekend, my colleague Chuck celebrated his birthday. Usually for work birthdays, we gather in the breakroom for some sort of cake or dessert. Today was slightly overrun with meetings, though, so I had to slice and deliver pieces of Milky Way Cake. It was fun making people guess what was in the cake. But what was even more fun was actually tasting the cake. Despite having made this cake several times, I'd never tasted it before today, and it's absolutely amazing. Incredibly moist, and not at all as sweet as I was afraid it was going to be.

I'm not sure what went slightly awry here, but the cake was reluctant to leave the Bundt pan after baking. So I decided to slather the cake with icing. Taking a shot in the dark, I opted for a Caramel Frosting from Allysa Torey's More from Magnolia, thinking that would be a good complement for the caramel-and-nougat Milky Way Cake. In fact, I'd have to say it was perfect.

I also have to confess to one other small thing. While suffering from both being overtired and overconfident when baking this cake yesterday, I muddled up the baking instructions. I was supposed to melt one stick of butter with four chopped-up candy bars, then save a second stick to cream with granulated sugar. I melted all the butter with the candy bars. To make up for that error, I beat the eggs with the sugar until it was thick and creamy-yellow, dropping from the beater in a nice, thick ribbon. Then I continued on with the recipe, incorporating the butter-candy mixture at the end. I don't know what sort of difference that made from the regular directions, but it certainly didn't make the cake inedible.


Spingoddess said...

This blog is dangerous. Every time I've read it I've ended up spending the next 2 or 3 hours going through cake and pastry recipes, though I have no occasion for which to bake something. And yes, I need an occasion, or I would eat the whole thing myself!

The Milky Way cake sounds absolutely divine. If you know a good source for NON-no stick (any kind of no stick) bundt pans, please share. Teflon and other non-stick coatings are hazardous to my 2 parrots, so I cannot bake with it. However, I can't find attractive bakeware that is not non-stick. Any ideas?

Thanks, Aubrey

Ryan said...

Caramel frosting. Definitely a good direction to head. Excellent idea.

Chris H said...


You might check Nordic Ware's products. They're heavyweight baking pans, and they're available nonstick, I believe. For what it's worth, I've had pretty good luck finding good deals on good Bundt pans in different styles at HomeGoods stores. You also can find good nonstick cookware at Williams-Sonoma. I bet there's probably a restaurant-supply warehouse near you, too, and that type of store generally carries good nonstick bakeware.

Ryan said...

I believe that Aubrey wants traditional (or "stick") bakeware.

I know it doesn't get good reviews, but Aubrey, you might check out silicon bakeware. Things don't stick to it. On the other hand, things don't necessarily brown as well. Maybe get one piece to see if you like it.

But, checking a restaurant supply store is a good idea.

Chris H said...

Thanks, Ryan. I totally mistyped nonstick. Duh!