Well, sorry for the quiet couple of weeks! My home finally sold (YAY!), on the condition they could move in almost immediately (OOF!). The necessary process of finally combining our two households into 800 square feet took over, and food became more of a function than fun, with several photo opportunities lost in the mix, so the blog was put on the back burner. But now that the biggest challenges of the move are over, Michael and I got the chance take a mini-vacation from work and in the past 24 hours I’ve been eagerly devouring cookbooks, goggle reader, olympics, and sleep to catch up on all I’ve missed.
Here are a few things on my radar for August:
- A Tourteau de Chèvre in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.
- Julia Child’s birthday is on the same day as my Mom’s birthday (Aug 15)! How did I never know this? Will have to make some thing special to celebrate these amazing women.
- Searching for a good Peach recipe to try my hand at canning – not sure if I should try this jam or butter, both from the fantastic blog, Food in Jars, and cookbook by the same name.
One kitchen task that did make it into the craziness was another attempt to learn the art of making a cake. I had been inspired by Sweetapolita’s triple-lemon blueberry layer cake to make a variation for my niece (who LOVES blueberries) on her birthday in late September. So I’m routinely trying new cakes to master the baking and decorating techniques, for which Sweetapolita’s site has been immensely helpful.
The cake itself came out beautifully – tender and packed with flavor, and after chiling the layers they were very easy to manage. I’m not sure how Sweetapolita got the blueberries to bake throughout the batter, though, as all mine sunk to the bottom of the pan – maybe I’ll try it again when I can find some smaller, lighter berries.
Frosting, on the other hand was a bit of a challenge. The culprit was a mis-read of the the recipe, resulting in only HALF the amount of butter called for. Needless to say, it’s a bit difficult to spread something that’s more sugar than butter, so I didn’t even bother coloring the icing, and just used this cake as a test for employing the general techniques for icing a layer cake.
As you can observe from the streaks of purply-blue, a crumb coat is an excellent idea with this cake. I have no doubt that when made correctly, the frosting is a dream (was still super yummy botched).
Just a word of warning: this cake has a lot of liquid, and if you let it sit too long, as ours did during the week it sat while we worked on it piece by piece for dessert (Michael) or breakfast (me), the liquid will seep to the bottom and pool around the platter – so I’d suggest sharing it as quickly as you can with as many people as you can. So find a new friend who likes cake (be wary of those who don’t), and get baking!