I'm doing quite poorly at keeping this thing updated on the regular. It's not like I haven't been cooking. I've been cooking. I just have been really lazy after work. Glee and knitting > writing. Sometimes. But here I am, on yet another sick day (I know , right? At least I'm getting hit with all of this at one time. Getting it over with.) and I looked at the list of things I've made and haven't written about. Yikes.
So for some of these, I'll write out the recipe. For others, I'll just include the link, which means that I followed it verbatim. Bear with me.
Last week, I made chocolate babka, which, as you can see, is essentially cinnamon chocolate bread. And holy crap, did it deliver. I did this on my own, which I wouldn't recommend unless A. you like, nay, seek out challenges (whyyy are you pointing your fingers at me? Why?), or B. you have a humongous kitchen. By humongous, I mean anything bigger than the size of a bathtub (which is my situation, but thus the basis of the apartment's appeal. Welcome to the Lilliputian World of Leilani.) The innards of the loaf were my favorite part: moist, dangerously chocolatey, and the amount of cinnamon called for in the recipe was perfect. Not just a hint, but not a slap in the face. The recipe yielded three loaves, as promised. One of which I baked at my friend Blair's house, another which I gave to the family I nanny, and the last of which I baked with Nichole. Forrr the win.
I made pizza early last week, from scratch. I'd never attempted homemade crust but my dad worked on his for years until he was told that he could not longer eat gluten products and banished to the land of sorghum and rice flour. I followed Deb's recipe for the crust and threw on a minced garlic and olive oil sauce, crumbled goat cheese, golden beets (I just rinsed, peeled and chopped them. No further preparation needed), chopped white onions, and chopped parsley. Mmm. Yeah, by the end of that pizza, I had decided that the crust recipe was going to be my failsafe.
Until I tried this! Holy! Crap! Since the crust was on the sweeter side (not sweet enough to be a dessert pizza, but definitely fancier than the failsafe), I decided to try the golden beets again (we had a LOT in our CSA box) over goat cheese, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. I recently received The Flavor Bible in the mail and has been a blessing. Seriously. The best is that it's not a cookbook. It looks at culinary theory, flavor pairings, etc. Culinary experimenter's dream! So they told me that beets go well with nutmeg. And you know what? They do. This was a good simple, but still unique, pizza.
Halfway through this post, I realized that I wasn't going to actually write out any recipes. So just... trust me on the links I posted. They're phenomenal.
Saturday's baking endeavor was devil's food cupcakes with raspberries and ganache. Oh yes. I know. These cupcakes are sin. It, first off, took me roughly 6 hours, including letting-things-cool time, to make these. Second, I stuck with just two ganaches (raspberry ganache inside: 8 oz raspberry preserves, 8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate, 8 oz heavy whipping cream, plain ganache on top: 8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate, 10 oz heavy whipping cream), and it worked. And they are decadent. I could eat maybe one. I baked the batch for a five-person birthday (eaaaarly birthday... but I wanted to coordinate some sort of get together involving Soul Night, and Soul Night just so happens to fall two and a half weeks before my actual birthday) cupcake-champagne-dance party. Of the 18 that I made, 5 remained by the end of the night. Hurray for ganache and raspberries! As long as it took to make these, it wasn't that difficult. You rinse the raspberries, bake the devil's food cupcakes, let them cool for an hour or so, prepare the raspberry ganache, cut out the middle (this scared me the most initially, but it was actually the most fun part), scoop a tablespoon of raspberry ganache into the center, fill a raspberry with the ganache, put it opening-down into the cupcake, scoop another tablespoonful and a little more over it, close, let cool for another hour, prepare the plain ganache, decorate. Nothing too crazy. Overall, a special occasion cupcake for sure.