Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oops. And a new room!

Oops. I am incapable of counting apparently.
When I posted the giveaway last week, I wrote that you had until Tuesday, Aug. 3 to enter. And then in my head, I thought that was yesterday. And so on Twitter I told everyone that it was yesterday. And then I realized that I was so confused it would be easier to travel back in time to fix this.
So! I will keep the giveaway's dates as stated, and you can continue to enter until midnight on Tuesday. Please enter in the original post if you haven't yet. Still only one entry per person!

Anyway, since I don't want to only bring bad news (or good news - another week to enter?) - here's something I promised you months ago.

If you remember, a few months ago I had quite an eventful week when a tree crashed through my bedroom. Good times. After being homeless for a week, I moved into the basement until the construction, painting, carpeting, etc. could be finished.

And now, a trip in photos:

March 15, 2010:

Two days post tree. My room was a mess, and I was a mess. It took another two days to remove the trunk from the house.
April 27, 2010:

After many delays, construction finally began 6 weeks post-treepocalypse.
First order of business: repair giant hole.
Mid-May 2010:

Construction just about finished. Missing: window, light fittings, radiator, floor.
Minor details.
June 2, 2010:
Painting finished, carpet installed. I was out of the country. Coincidence?

Today:
Furniture returned, curtains hung, mess accumulated, neverending pile of books.

The end.

Well, moral of the story: you can still enter the giveaway! And don't worry, I'll be back with umm...food next time. Right, food. This isn't a home decorating blog. Yet.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Chocolate Cream Tart

With all the fruit that's been going on around Baking and Mistaking, it's time to get back down to real business. Chocolate business. And does that mean a chocolate tart shell with a rich chocolate custard filling? Yes, it does.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Giveaway!

Ok I lied. I told you that the giveaway would be on Thursday, and, it's Friday. Oops. Things happen. Like me being lazy and tired from walking around in 95 degree New York. But here we go!
The wait was worth it because you could win a $40 gift certificate to CSN stores. Now, if you're like me, you're thinking what is that? Well CSN has over 200 online stores and great prices on everything from Le Creuset to Nordicware and so much more.
I have my eye on a few things, like this...Or this...
...but you could get whatever you wanted from CSNstores.com - shoes, luggage, furniture, toys and more.

Note: CSN Stores only ships to the US and Canada. Sorry international readers!

Here's how to enter:
1 - Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite dessert.
2 - No entries accepted after midnight on Tuesday, August 3.
3 - The winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, August 4.
4 - Only one entry per person, please.

Good luck!


This giveaway is sponsored by CSN Stores.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peach Pie

It's summer time and the weather is fine. Which means the fruit is beyond fine, and nothing showcases fruit better than a fabulous pie. With a lattice top no less. And you can do it too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread men are never my first choice cookie. I like the cute shape and icing decoration, but I'm just not a huge ginger fan. So why did I spent hours making the dough, cutting the cookies, baking and decorating them? Ah, a story.

Well, a certain someone - perhaps a member of my immediate family - was at the house of a friend. And since he has few social graces (see why I didn't name him?) he spotted a gingerbread cookie in their kitchen and ate it. This caused great distress to the rightful owner of said gingerbread cookie. Ever since, I have been begged to create a replacement. I finally acquiesced.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Party All The Time

Ah here I am, back in control, just the way it should be. After temporarily (and partially) seceding the controls last week, I've once again regained power. On to the food!

Today I'm going to tell you about a party I held a couple weeks ago in my backyard. You see, after oh so many celebrations, Shaya and Racheli got married. And, in Jewish tradition, the partying continues every night for a week after the wedding.

Welcome to the barbecue.
We went with the standards - hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken; rice, potato salad, and a host of other salads - and lest you think I tackled this all by my lonesome, I had plenty of help.

But, back to what you're really here for - dessert. The requisite watermelon, of course, plus other fruit, pink-tinted rice krispie treats and mini peach cobblers provided by someone else, plus I made my classic chocolate chip cookies (though with some minor, but still edible screw-ups).

PLUS - Mini-sprinkle cupcakes:

After waxing-poetic about my new mini muffin pan that I reappropriated for tartlets, I finally put it to use for adorable tiny cupcakes.
I'm sure they make mini cupcake liners, but I didn't have any, and I wasn't too worried about sticking, and I thought no liners would make them easier to eat, and I was always told to never write a run on sentence. Ha, good thing school is over for me.
I certainly have more things in store for that pan - especially after my mother, who apparently reads this thing, bought me my very own tart shaper! Speaking of, she was also the guest photographer at this event, as I ran around worrying about things. Teamwork!

Anyway, up next on the menu: individual chocolate mousse cups.
To be honest I'm not really the biggest fan of chocolate mousse - but I thought it would be cute, easy and popular. And it was. The recipe is, in the words of my least-favorite Food Network personality, "super simple" with two ingredients. Then I just divided it into little cups, and topped with whipped cream right before serving.
Tada!

Tip of the Day: Chocolate mousse is indeed easy, but there are a few tips that are crucial to it's success. One is the tempering of the yolks - if you add all the melted chocolate at once you run the risk of "cooking" the yolks - and have scrambled egg mousse. Adding a bit at first brings their temperature up before mixing in the rest. Another crucial point is the folding of the egg whites as supposed to mixing - use a spatula to cut and lift the mixture, folding it over itself over again until combined - but we careful not to stir it, you'll deflate the lightness of the whipped egg whites.

Recipes:
Mini cupcakes:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups plus 1 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating until well mixed.
Mix in the buttermilk, then gradually stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Divide among greased cupcake pans (I got about 24 mini ones and an extra 4 normal sized ones), and bake on 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tests clean. Baking time may vary so you have to keep an eye on the mini ones because they can go from just right to overdone quickly. Might be best to set for 10 minutes then start checking.

Top with frosting and sprinkles.


Chocolate Mousse:

8 eggs
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Separate all the eggs into yolks and whites.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.
Place the egg yolks in the bottom of a large bowl. Add a small amount of chocolate to the yolks, stirring to combine. Pour in the rest of the chocolate and mix well, until completely combined.
Set aside.

Beat the egg whites on high until they form stiff peaks. Dollop a couple heaping tablespoons of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Then, using a plastic spatula, fold in about a third of the egg whites at a time, being careful not to stir or deflate the whites. It helps to use a glass bowl so you can see if you've missed any parts that needs combining.

Pour into either a bowl or individual cups and cover, then refrigerate until set.

Note: This recipe can be scaled up and down as you would like. I generally average about 1 1/4 ounces of chocolate for 1 egg - but you don't have to be that exact. Follow all the instructions the same!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post! - Sort of Petit Fours

Well, as promised, you won't be hearing from me today, instead my friend Sarah will provide Baking and Mistaking with its very first guest post! I'd introduce her, but she does a pretty good job of that herself. I'll try to keep quiet, but there is a chance I may have some things to say. Especially since Sarah and I had a twenty minute argument about this very dessert. Anyway, that's enough from me for now....

Hello online world and loyal BaM readers! My name is Sarah. Maybe you know me from the cow cake, or maybe the airplane cake, or maybe even the cupcake cones? I’ve also been mentioned in various other posts and helped boost Amy’s baking ego with my failure in hamantaschen making (although I was definitely better than Laura). I also gave Amy her apron, with the help of my mother (OK, my mom did all the work. I just picked out the fabrics). I pride myself on being Amy’s most mentioned friend on her blog, the fact that I have eaten the majority of things featured here, and the fact that I have commented on many a blog post. Am I lame? Definitely. But that is why Amy and I are such good friends. That and our sarcasm.


(Sarah! I have textual proof of the time you complained to me that you feel like you never get to eat anything on here. Let the record be clear. Carry on...)


Anyway, I am here today with a guest post! This is a first for BaM! Amy has bugged me in the past to do this, and she never thought I would! She first asked me to do it when I made ebelskivers, but that was last summer, so it’s about time I prove her wrong.

Here are the ebelskivers I made with my parents!


I just moved into a new apartment and it is wonderful, mainly because I have a freezer, countertops, and an oven, none of which were in my previous apartment. So this means I have been dying to bake! And to help, for my birthday/graduation, I got a beautiful KitchenAid mixer in pistachio!


(In fact you also have a kitchen now, since I don't think the previous arrangement of sink, mini fridge and microwave really qualifies as one.)

And thus I began a mission to bake. What was first on my list? My all-time favorite, lemon petit fours! The recipe is from the back of a pan my brother and I got my mother years ago from Williams-Sonoma. (Something along the lines of this.) Now, I wasn’t about to go out and spend the money on that pan so I improvised and got a mini mini muffin pan from Kmart, so you can pretty much use any small pan.


(And here the argument begins (actually continues). Sarah! These are not petit fours! Petit fours are square! These are mini cupcakes. Very cute mini cupcakes. And no, I don't care what Williams-Sonoma says. But sorry for hijacking your guest post.)


I didn’t take any pictures along the way because I wasn’t anticipating a guest post, but the recipe is super easy!

Happy Amy? I wrote a guest post.


Tip of the Day: Never piss off a friend who bakes. You will suffer.

I have no idea what you mean....


Recipe:

Batter

1 1/3 cups flour

¾ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ tsps lemon juice

1 ½ tsps vanilla

1/3 cup milk

Glaze

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 egg whites

¼ cup milk

2 tbsps lemon juice

a few drops of yellow food coloring

Beat butter well. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.

Alternate between adding milk and flour/baking powder/salt.

Pour batter into well greased pan. Bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so. (Universal baking tip from my mother: Always underbake! You can always bake something more, but once it is overdone, there is nothing you can do. Always bake less than what a recipe says to allow for differences in ovens and then bake for 1 to 3 minutes more at a time.)

While they are baking, make the glaze, mixing all the ingredients together .

Once the cakes have finished baking let them cool. To help this process and to stop the baking, take the cakes out of the pan and let them rest on a cooling rack with a baking pan underneath. Once they are fully cooled, you can dip them in the glaze, which will drip, hence the cookie sheet underneath. Let the glaze sit and do a second round of dipping. VoilĂ !

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Meringue

About a month ago I decided I was bored of apple cakes. They're all the same, with chunks of apple and a cinnamon flavored cake batter, moist but tending toward soggy after a few days.
Well I spoke too soon. This apple cake is nothing short of a revelation - with grated apple moistening the cake batter evenly with no heavy chunks, and - oh! - a delicate brown sugar meringue topping, providing a crisp lid to the cake and a sweet counterbalance to the dish.
The cake itself is not too sweet, which is perfect for the light and sugary meringue - plus the gooey layer that forms between the two.
You could whip out the food processor if you'd like, but apples are so easy to grate (unlike those stubborn potatoes) and the recipe only calls for two so I went straight for the box grater.

Note: Come back later this week for a Baking and Mistaking first - an exciting guest post!

Tip of the Day: Opt for apples that are relatively firm for easy grating - and I would go for a sweet variety like Golden Delicious.

Recipe: (from Food52)

Topping:
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tbsps water

Cake:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 large apples, peeled and grated
1/2 cup raisins - options
2 cups flour

Topping:
Place egg whites, brown sugar and water in the bottom of a double boiler - with enough water underneath to touch the bottom of the bowl.
Over high heat, beat with an electric mixer until peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Cake:
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in egg yolks and beat until combined.
Stir in the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, grated apple and raisins if using.
Fold in the flour until just combined - don't overmix.
Spoon batter into greased 9x9 inch baking pan. Spread meringue evenly over the top.
Bake on 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes.