Happy Birthday to Me!

Maybe that sounded a bit self-absorbed.

As much as I love celebrating birthdays, and even my own, I actually don’t like being the center of attention when it is my birthday.  Which seems contradictory.

Contradictory like how I like making birthday cakes, but dislike being sung to when it’s time to eat my own.

Strange, huh?  Oh well.  I love a good party, but find it awkward being in the limelight.

Anyhow, what you really want to know about is the cake that I baked for my birthday.

I know I know.  My birthday should be the day that I shouldn’t have to bake a cake.  But, the husband got me the cutest cake cookbook ever for, well, my birthday!  I knew that I had to bake something out of that book and I figured my birthday was a good enough excuse to do so.

Earlier this week I saw a sale for blackberries.  I decided to buy a couple boxes to make blackberry jam.  Not that I really eat jam, but I thought that instead of hiding my fruit inside a baked good, I’d let the fruit itself shine.  But then I saw a recipe for jam cake.. and that original idea went out of the window.  🙂

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I don’t particularly like the taste of blackberries.  I find them a bit sour.  But in a jam (with lots of sugar, of course), they taste just wonderful!

Oh yes, I should tell you what I made.  Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  🙂

First off!  Making Caramel Chocolate GanacheP1170579P1170584.

Warm buttery caramel poured over semi-sweet chocolate chips = Amazing ganache.  Lemme tell you.  The kitchen smelled wonderful.  Beautiful glossy and rich ganache.  I could probably eat it drizzled over everything.  🙂

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Aren’t those layers wonderful?  I’ve started to notice this 3-layer cake trend.  Or maybe it was always there and I was just oblivious.  I only have 2 8-inch pans.  And then I decide to bake a beautiful cake that is… 3 layers.  This always causes me to shake my fist that I still haven’t gone and gotten that darn 3rd 8-inch cake pan.  SIGH.   But anyways, that’s my pretty blackberry jam cake with ganache fillings.  I was supposed to also put toasted almonds inbetween…but I forgot.  😦

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Beautiful, right?  Gah.  I painstakingly put every toasted almond on there.  hahaha.  I didn’t want to just like mash/throw the almonds on there.  Yeah, I can be particular like that.  My first batch of almonds burned too.  But that’s okay.  The husband likes to eat burnt things (including my burnt baked goods).

It was a beautiful cake that tasted amazing as well.

And if you were wondering… no one sang happy birthday to me.  🙂

Just the way I like it.

Cherries, My New Favorite Fruits!

Hello! Hello!

I am back!  Well… for the time being.  I’m going to try really hard to start posting again.   And come to think of it.. I haven’t baked for a couple months either.   Wow.  That’s probably the longest I’ve ever gone without baking.  Whew.

Anyways,  I digress.

And the reason why cherries are my new favorite fruit?

Well, a couple months ago I got married in a cherry orchard!  hehe.  And then a few weeks later, I returned to that same orchard to pick cherries!  🙂

Picking cherries was super easy and super fun.  You should all try it some time. I think Mr. Angry Baker and I will make it a yearly event.  Wouldn’t it be so cute to bring our kids (in the far far future) to pick yummy cherries at the place where we got married?!  hehe.

So with the very delicious cherries we picked (about 5 lbs worth!), we ate about 2 lbs of it and I used another 2 lbs to make jam!  😀

It was totally easy, but very messy.  I don’t know what I was thinking, but I wore a white shirt.  VERY bad move.  haha.

All the recipe required was sugar, cherries, and lemon juice!  Pitting the cherries was a pain in the butt, because I didn’t have a pitter.  But overall, it took me under 30 minutes to create 1 pint of cherry jams.

Since making this jam, I’ve eaten it over waffles, on pancakes, and as a filling for a yellow cake with chocolate frosting.  🙂

If it weren’t so hot in my apartment, I would totally make all sorts of jams.  Peach, apple, blueberry!  But the added heat from the stove (or oven, which is why I’ve been baking less and less) is just too much for me.  haha.  But hopefully when the weather cools down.. I’ll be able to bake some more!

So please, stay tuned!  🙂

Blue Blue Blueberries!

Blue blue blueberries!  A bountiful bunch of bright blue blueberries!

Considering how I made about 3 different wonderfully delicious blueberry treats… I actually don’t like blueberries all that much.  haha.  Strange, huh?

But when there’s a sale on blueberries… 🙂

You can make… BLUEBERRY PIE!

Let’s not forget… BLUEBERRY LEMON MUFFINS!  🙂

And last but not least… BLUEBERRY BOY BAIT.  🙂

Delicious, right?!  It’s called a boy bait.. because apparently,  it’s all you need to snag a boy. HAHA.  Though… I hear cookies work just as well.  😉

Blueberries are wonderful to bake with–fresh or frozen!  I do have some more blueberries in my freezer… I wonder what I will make next!  🙂

When Life Gives You Lemons (or Egg Yolks)…

Make lemon curd!  🙂

I recently had the problem of having wayyy too many egg yolks.  Having too many lemons is never a problem for me.  I very much do love citrus flavors.  🙂  I had about 6 egg yolks left over from a cake I made (which I will post about in a couple days or two).  I didn’t want them to go to waste (which unfortunately happened to the other 10 egg yolks left over from the frosting I made for the aforementioned cake that is yet to be posted about).  I searched desperately online for a solution.

And I came up with lemon curd!  Since I love having a supply of lemons on hand and finding any excuse to use lemons in my baking, I decided this was the perfect solution!

Mm.  So yummy and simple.  Lemon curd with fresh strawberries and puff pastry.  🙂

Cute, right?  🙂  And delicious.  And ridiculously easy.  Ya’ll should try it sometime!  😀

Tarts & Cobblers & Pies! Oh My!

There’s something immensely satisfying with baking.

Seeing my beautiful baked goods cooling on their respective racks bring me immense satisfaction.  🙂

I made these scrumptious delights a few weeks ago for CCAC’s Women’s Dessert Night and for the boys at Horizon (since all the girls went to the women’s thing).

I wanted to create something “classy” for the ladies, so I chose to make Caramel Cranberry Almond Tart and Cinnamon Crumb Apple Pie.  And I thought that the boys would appreciate something more home-y, like a Peach Blueberry Cobbler.

Tarts, cobblers and pies (oh my!) do require a bit more work than say muffins or cookies.  But they look so pretty in the end!  Don’t you agree? 🙂

The caramel gave me a really hard time.  I actually had to throw away the first batch and start over.  And I accidentally burnt some of the almond slivers so I had to pick through and throw those out.  Sigh.  But it came out beautifully!

I heard that the cobbler tasted wonderful!  Being that I wasn’t there to witness the cobbler’s consumption.. I’ll just have to take what I heard as the truth. haha.  But I have to say it came out really really pretty and I heard the topping was almost savory because of the cornmeal.  Quite interesting.

Apple pie.  Yum.  Crumb topping?  Yum yum. Pie are always so hard for me.  But since this wasn’t a double crust pie.. it wasn’t as hard as usual.  🙂

Hurray!  One post down and a few more to go! 🙂

Oh yes… MERRY CHRISTMAS! Enjoy family, friends, food, fellowship!  But most of all, remember why we celebrate–JESUS! 🙂

Trick or Treat!

(Yes… I realize this post is wayyyy over due.  I’ve been busy.)

Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!

Like… CARAMEL APPLES!

Ah. The nostalgia. The crunchy nuts, the sticky sweet caramel, and the crisp tart apple. 🙂

I thought about doing all these crazy flavor combos with chocolate chips and sprinkles and white chocolate.. but decided to stick with the classic. 🙂

Childhood, how I miss thee.

So, let’s settle something here. Right now.

How do you eat your caramel apples?

Off the stick with all of the sticky gory but awesome mess that comes with it?

Or like a princess, taken off the stick and cut into pieces?

Personally.. there’s just something not right about cutting them.  That’s the fun and appeal of the caramel apple!  You walk around as you gnaw on the sticky caramel and enjoy the crispness of the tart apple underneath.

You lose the essence when you take it off the stick and cut it.

Well, that’s how I see it. 🙂

I Love Crusts, Crusts, Crusts!

I have to admit.  The best part of pizza, pies, chicken pot pies, etc., etc., etc., is the crust!

Well, when done right, of course.  But the crunchy buttery flaky goodness of a good crust is something to be cherished and savored.  Hmm.. though pizza crusts don’t actually come out as crunchy and buttery nor flaky…but you get my drift!

I think it’s because I’m a CARBO-vore .  Yes.  I have coined this term for those of us out there that LOVE carbs.  I just had bread for breakfast.  I love pastas for dinner.  I love french fries (though, I haven’t had Micky D’s fries in over 6 months.  tear.) for any time of the day.  I crave rice A LOT.  I just truly do love my carbs!

Oh sorry for the tangent there.  What I meant to write about (before my self-proclaimed spiel about carbs) was the lovely pie crust-happy baked goods I made a few weeks ago.  Not having a camera has really put a damper on my baking zeal… 😦  Thank goodness for friends (like Sam Li!) who let me steal their camera to take some pictures. 🙂

So for our church picnic… I made Pecan Pie Pie Pops and Bourbon Peach Hand Pies.  Yum Yum! 🙂  I don’t remember if I mentioned this in my earlier posts.. but I made a gazillion pie crust doughs so that I could make these yummy treats.  I think I will definitely make the pie pops again, perhaps with cherry or pumpkin pie filling?!  The hand pies were really yummy, but man.  The dough is SO…needy.  haha.  It needs to be fridged, then you assemble it… then you fridge it again… and then you just fridge some more.  I admit.. I was running short on time in the end.. so I took some short cuts.  They still turned out DELICIOUS though! 🙂

My memory card died in the middle of me making these… so I only have pictures of the finished product.

Then for refreshments at church (THE VERY NEXT DAY!  Yeah.. I didn’t sleep much that weekend..) I made savory and sweet pop tarts and nectarine muffins (yeah.. those don’t have crusts). 🙂  I filled the savory pop tarts with pesto and the sweet pop tarts with nutella.  Delicious!   They were gone in like… 5 minutes.   Yay for no leftovers!

Yum yum.  I actually have a couple more pictures to post for another day!  Hurray!  🙂

I hope you’re all enjoying your LAST week of summer!  AH!  Fall is so near.. this means.. pumpkin and spices and persimmon and savory treats.  MHM!