3 Daring Bakers in Cleveland and Gracie Comes Through Again!
|Well right off the bat, I gotta tell yas.. I'm SO EXCITED! In less than 30 hours, Helene of Tartelette and Mary of The Sour Dough will be coming to The Armpit of the Midwest!! Hooray! I get another fun-filled long weekend with Helene and this time Mary is joining us as well! How flippin' lucky am I??|
This actually started out with a plan for a bunch of Mid-west/East Coast Daring Bakers to meet up for a weekend in Rochester, New York. We picked Rochester, because it seemed to be the central area from which most of the gals were coming from. Unfortunately, as much as I think everyone wanted to attend, it seemed that the October date we picked wasn't good for many. We hope to try this again in the spring - so if you are interested, lemme know! =)
But as that trip fizzled out, Mary suggested she and Helene make a trip to Cleveland! Party on! And so after much scrambling to find affordable plane tickets, many discussions on what we all wanted to do, an introduction to a website that allows you to make lists *swoon* and figuring out how much of our budgets will go to wine - we are finally at the weekend of FUN! WINE! BAKING! SHOPPING! WINE! GIGGLES! FUN! WINE! LAUGHTER! PEEING IN PANTS! WINE! and possibly VODKA! ;)
So La Mia Cucina is closed to the general public for a few days while the cook gets plastered. ;)
But I had to leave ya'll with something yummy, yes?!
I'll keep this brief.. *cough*yeah right*cough*
My Auntie's birthday was last week.. so I wanted to make her a birthday cake - something special that she probably had never had before.. something that might just stick in her memory for more than 5 minutes. :( So after a 3 hour search through every recipe site I could think of, I finally went to Gracie's blog where I always find something that screams out to me "BAKE ME DAMMIT!" As per usual, I did find something - her Pumpkin Butterscotch Cake.
The cake came out beautifully - super moist and very pumpkin-y. I decided to go with a square 9" pan as I don't think I've ever made a square layer cake before. As you can see in my photos, my mad skillz at slicing a cake in half leave a lot to be desired. I believe my first layer was about an 1/8th inch thick where the top layer was about 3/4 inch think. :P Oh well.. you'll have that. :D
I ran into a couple problems.. I used a lemon that looked as if he had a shady background - yanno, gettin' a lil smooshy in his old age? Well I found out - lemons really do go bad after they've been in your fridge for a month!! The tiny bit of lemon juice used in the butterscotch filling completely ruined it.. it was nasty. So I panicked because I was running out of time before we had to leave to go see her. I originally thought I'd just sub a cream cheese filling because I could whip that up quickly (there's a 45 min. cooling period with the butterscotch filling).
First though, I decided to get the brown sugar frosting done as that had a 1 hour cooling period. Unfortunately, as much as I beat and then whipped this stuff it would not thicken.. I don't know if 1 c. of cream was too much? My kitchen was too warm? The frosting God's were getting me back from the past monstrosities I've made? I dunno.. but right before I panicked (AGAIN) and called My Guru - I shoved the whole mixing bowl full of it into the deep freeze.
My Guru gave me some very good tips on how to thicken it up and she calmed me down in the process. Bless her. After we got off the phone, I checked the freezer and to my shock and happy surprise, the 20 minute chill thickened it right up! Even after frosting it and leaving it out for a few hours, it stayed thick and delicious! My new favorite frosting, by the way. ;)
Now, back to that filling.. as it turned out, we ended up not going. *sigh* My mom didn't feel well (she's fine now) and wasn't up to the hour long drive. I was bummed. But, that left me with the rest of the afternoon, so I decided to try that butterscotch filling again - this time leaving the lemon juice out - and it turned out perfectly. That kind of perfect that allows you to keep dipping your spoon in, while blocking out your brain telling you to leave some for the cake & your ass telling you to have some mercy. Yeah, that kinda perfect. ;)
I didn't get to do a nice fancy job in frosting this (as if I could) because my time had run out. And by my time running out, I mean - I had spent 6 hours on this cake already and my sofa & DVD player were SCREAMING at me. But looks don't count on a cake that is this good. Although a lil sweet with the brown sugar frosting and butterscotch filling, the moistness, the pumpkin-y flavor and the caramel hits from the filling was insanely good - especially the next day.
Okay.. I'm done blabbering. Check out Gracie's blog for the recipe! I will make this cake again.. but I will double the batter recipe and make it in two layer cake pans as slicing one layer in half is not my forte :P and I will try the cream cheese filling with the brown sugar frosting - my guess is, I won't want to share it with my Auntie or anyone else. Am I bad? :P
One last thing - I'm curious. What's your favorite cake flavors? You don't have to leave a recipe, if I drool over your fave, I'll hunt you down and pester the shite outta you until you give me the recipe. ;) But if there's a link you wanna share.. by all means... DO SO! heeee!