Mar 29, 2010

cake wrecks

sometimes in the kitchen, you gotta make a few disasters before you appreciate a product that comes out gorgeous.
that is the story of my week this week. in fact, i got so frustrated i didn't hardly take pictures of my recipes. at all. but i will thrill you guys with the written word this week... :)

first recipe - made for my little sister who is allergic to practically EVERYTHING. she just got allergy tested again and discovered a few more things she needs to cut from her diet (namely: sesame seed, cinnamon, ALL grains + oats, and most nuts). she's actually the reason i started cooking (shoutout to my girl rach!), so i owe her thanks. her only request after ten years of eating as a nut-free celiac?  PIZZA!
p.s. - this was the ONE recipe this week that didn't fail.. but i've made it before! (cheating? nahhhh)

(used as pizza crusts, i got 16 small crusts)

Whisk together the dry ingredients:
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour (i used brown rice because i was out... oops)
1/2 cup arrowroot or tapioca starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (i doubled this because we're garlic addicts)
1 teaspoon thyme
(i also added in a few spoonfuls of flax to bump up nutrition... maybe 3 tbsp?)

Add in:
3 tablespoons olive oil (i used two)
1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon light tasting vinegar (i used apple cider vinegar)
Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs whisked with 4 tablespoons hot water (i just used 2 eggs)
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup hemp milk (or non-dairy milk) (i used regular milk because she can have dairy just fine)

directions: beat the wet ingredients into the dry mix until the batter is smooth. It should look and feel like a thick pancake batter (though it appears strange and goopy at first, keep beating).

rebekah's directions: i heated up our pancake griddle and made these just like pancakes. the batter was reaaaaaally thick, but i wanted them to be to make a heartier crust. to make her pizza, i headed up our pizza stone, topped the "crusts" with her favorites, and baked them for about 10 more minutes. she loved them, and they are flexible enough to use as pitas for sammies!

second recipe - last weekend was my nephew's 4th birthday party! isn't he adorable?

my sister requested a mickey mouse cake for his party, so naturally i stepped in. i picked out a recipe i KNEW could never fail me... one from Smitten Kitchen! she's pretty much a baked-goods god, so how could i go wrong? i had made this SAME EXACT cake probably 938409324 times before, so i thought it would be fine. WELLLLLLL i had a hard time figuring out how many times i needed to double the recipe to have enough batter for mickey's two layers. as well as the two layers for BOTH ears... 6 cakes in all. seems like simple math, but with the different size cake pans... it wasn't so simple (at least, not to this nutrition major!). after multiple hours of getting pissed off at lava-cake, i ended up just making one big layer cake with mickey candles (with mom's LIFESAVING help! thanks mom!). my frustration aside, it tasted great, and logan was thrilled. so this is a half-fail.

(bastardized by storebought frosting)

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

(the fail-lava cake part was no fault of deb's! love her! and logan handled the chocolate frosting juuuust fine)

happy 4th, lolo!

third recipe - once again, this was for my lovely little sister. she goes to swim practice in the mornings before school, so she needs a quick boost of energy she can cram in her mouth on the way out the door (at 5am!). i adapted this recipe a lot because of all her food allergies, but it would be delicious as-is (elena uses almonds, coconut oil, and tops it with chocolate (!!!)) the texture when i make them is similar to a larabar. the recipe wasn't a fail, but it took me about 65 times as long as it should have because my brain apparently decided to VACATE my head and i kept forgetting where i put things, measuring wrong, etc. so really i was the fail!

(original recipe from elena, adapted by yours truly)

2 cups trader joe's salted cashews
2 tbsp hemp seed
2 tbsp chia seed
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup cashew butter
½ cup almond oil (i wish i had coconut oil!)
1 packet stevia
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. process cashews, seeds, shredded coconut, and cashew butter in a food processor for 10 seconds
2. gently melt almond oil in microwave, then mix with stevia, honey, and vanilla
3. add melted oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste
4. chill in refrigerator for hour, until mixture hardens up some
5. spoon heaping tablespoons into plastic wrap, portion, and freeze until snackin' time :)

elena suggests it makes 20 bars, but i got 14 good portions out of this. gluten-free, nutritious, tastes like cookie dough, and around 200 calories. perfect in the mornings with a banana out the door.
in the end... this was NOT a fail! :)

after a LONG recipe recap and blogger absence, i present to you: the EATS!

kashi bar - eaten on the run to logan's party. i bought these for my sugar-junkie dad a while ago in an attempt to help him manage his blood sugar. i think he thought they were ok, but not sweet enough.
i kinda thought the opposite - they just tasted like nuts and oats glued together with sugar to me. but i'm not a big bar fan. other than larabar = love.

mama and i at the party, after cutting the DRAMATIC FAIL cake (see above).
we're both pretty wiped out.

and now,
i have a confession to make. i have an obsession. it's a healthy one! sorta. but when is an obsession ever healthy? isn't that the definition of obsession is that it's not a healthy relationship!?!
ah, i digress.

y'all, i'm obsessed with egg wraps. like, no joke. i cannot get enough. i eat one everyday! i would eat more than one if i could affort to buy all those cartons of egg whites from costco.
love love love.

here's one...

with my new peach and mango salsa! more on that tomorrow.

and with avocado... omg.

with salt, pepper, and laughing cow garlic and herb flavor.

as the lovely miss katie would say... the money shot.
prob with laughing cow and garlic powder.
why not!?

and another obsession/habit/love of mine:

cottage cheese, stevia, and annie's graham bunnies.
my version of cookies and cream ice cream (my absolute fave when i ate sugar)
love them.

and a really REALLY dumb question:
what the heck is this???

i bought it at whole foods SOLELY because i had no idea what it was. it rang up "mango" on the receipt, but i've never seen a yellow mango? the only one i've ever seen here in va is the green/reddish mangoes, but i may just be an ignorant fool.
that's highly likely, actually....
the only thing i know is that it tasted incredible. like i-wanna-snack-my-face-off incredible. fruit from heaven!

phew! and lastly:
when you make a recipe and it fails, what do you do? quit? try again? revamp/modify the recipe? pick a different recipe!?
- r

1 comment:

  1. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits! Actually, when I was in the Philippines, I never ate any type of mango except yellow ones. I don't really get mangoes anymore, though. :-(


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