Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cakes and alone-ness

Gaaah. Don is going on task force again so he is in New Orleans for two weeks. Please take pity and hang out with me, all those who read this, because I'm sadly unused to being on my own for any length of time. We seem to have become one of those couples who merge into one organism, like ameobas or something and I hate it when he's out of town. He left this morning and doesn't get back until the last of the month. Uuuurgh. So to take up my time I've decided to reallycleantheapartment - finishmyHarryPotteressay andstartanotherone - maybestartaquilttop - getlotsofsleepandexercise - spendmoretimewithotherfriends - cleanthegarage-etc-etc-etc.

I've been baking and etc a lot in the last few days; Don's birthday was Friday and I made his usual German Chocolate cake but with a few modifications. Usually there's this super-sweet pecan-coconut filling and frosting that goes all over the cake and makes it almost sickeningly sweet; this time I used it only as a filling between layers and used a semi-sweet ganache as the frosting--very thinly, like a glaze. It was a definite improvement and cut the sweetness with a more sophisticated, rich bitter-sweet taste. I also replaced the cake-layers with a better recipe--darker, moister, and more chocolatey. Easier, too; the original recipe calls for beaten egg whites and all the jazz which as far as I can tell is only because there are 4 yolks in the filling and they don't want to waste the whites. The one I use is practically a one-bowl. I took a lot of the cake to work with me where it received rave reviews, including several suggestions that I go pro and one offer of a business partnership. Much jealousy of Don was expressed (I can see why he fell in love with you; if I were him I'd be as big as a house, etc) which is really funny because I bake for my coworkers a lot more than I do for him!

Right now I'm making our traditional Father's Day Maple Fudge (Also used as Dad's Birthay Fudge and Dad's Chanukah-present Fudge--what can I say, he loves the stuff!) When you make it with the real syrup it smells just amazing during the boiling stage, where it is right now, to the point where it's making me light-headed. The whole apartment is just drenched in maple-smells. I'm also making tuxedo-strawberries just for fun, because the berries were on sale and I have the white and the dark chocolate laying around.

Food Network has been running all of these cake-decorating shows that have crazy cakes wrapped in fondant and stacked really high; shaped like suitcases, wrapped presents, etc; I'd love to try something like that someday but I think you can only get good with practice, and I can hardly afford to practice something like marzipan or fondant-decorating just for fun. I've always gone for taste alone, before, and tried for the "not-finished-by-small-children-or-special-needs-adults" look as far as finishing went. And that goal usually proves hard for me.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your cakes suck

Anonymous said...

german chocolate cake is gross. so are pecans. and coconut. your cakes taste awful. no wonder they suck.

Benjamin said...

Oh ... the pretentious co-worker speaks up. As if making anonymous comments is any disguise. How stupid can you be? Anyone who read this, knows it is you. You're not very bright.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't realize that Mara's friends were freakin' cake-eating geniuses too! You're truly amazing jackass. you have no idea who this is.

Mara said...

I don't know who it is....

I'm thinking it's nobody that I work with, though, especially as it's blatantly clear that this cake, at least, did not suck. Perhaps previous cakes have sucked, perhaps future cakes *will* suck, but this one was, by unanimous vote at both home and work, excellent.

German Chocolate isn't exactly my favorite, either, but taste in things like flavors and ingredients is subjective, which means that while you *personally* dislike pecans and coconut it doesn't render them "gross" for the general populace.

Mara said...

Besides, don't post anonymously on my blog! It makes me feel important-- I must be worthy of being watched, and in secret, too! You will give me delusions of grandeur, and then where will we be!

:-P