Skip to main content

Stretching My Cake-Baking Skills #FoodieReads


When I first met my husband, I told him that I didn't bake. I could cook, certainly, but baking was far out of my comfort zone because baking requires measuring. Cooking can be fast and loose.  You can be imprecise and still create delicious savories. Imprecision in baking can result in disastrous textures or horrible tastes.

Over the years, however, I have grown to not just enjoy baking but thoroughly love it. Whipping, whisking, measuring. I fall into a relaxing rhythm when I bake. And, when I'm going for truly precise baking, I even pull out my digital kitchen scale. So, I've come a long way from my measurement-eschewing days!

A few months ago, I joined a blogging group called 'The Cake Slice Bakers.' I was excited that they planned to spend the year baking through The European Cake Cookbook by Tatyana Nesteruk.* I relish year-long projects that allow me to explore an author or a subject and theme in depth. And baking cakes, I knew, would be a challenge for me.

While I do bake, my cake-baking skills are moderate and my cake-decorating skills leave much to be desired. Here are a few cakes I've made in the past. They tasted great, but they weren't very pretty. Case in point...




Enter the world after Nesteruk's book entered my kitchen. I didn't want to write a review of the book until I had a few months under my cake-making belt.  For these #TheCakeSliceBakers reveals, I've made...



And this one hasn't posted yet, so mum's the word! But this is the easiest buttercream I have ever made and it was both delicious and pretty. I've made it twice since learning the method.


What has me completely enamored with this book: the recipes are interesting, the flavors inviting, and the techniques challenging. And, of the four cakes that I've made, I have already adopted processes for making mousse and buttercream that surpass anything I've previously created. When I continue to go back to a cookbook, I call that a winner.

If you're interested in stretching your cake-baking skills, I highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to the selections for the rest of the year. By December I should be a much better cake-maker!

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Click to see what everyone else read in May 2019: here.

Comments

  1. I am making my first cake with this group this month. Can't wait to join in the fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an