Monday, September 30, 2013

Baked Carrot Cake Donuts with Cream Cheese Glaze

You would think I would learn and maybe go to the doctor, but its that time of year again where my allergies kick-in.  Literally in less than 12 hours, I got back from Chicago on a Friday around 2 a.m., went to bed and woke up with a stuffy nose.  This is seriously a yearly occurrence, but instead of going to the doctor I just deal with it, drink some tea, and do things in my free time that make me feel making donuts. Donuts I have been dreaming about since I made these chocolate ones back in August.  Plus, these are my first attempt to step my toe into the fall...I am not fully ready to pull my boots out of the closet or the pumpkin out of the pantry, but I am ready for the warm flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  

These donuts came out exactly like I had literally hoped and dreamed they would.  They have the great warm flavors of cinnamon and ginger with the nutmeg and cloves leaving you wondering what the extra spices are.  I took James advice and tried out coconut on some, but topped other with my preference, toasted pecans to go along with the cream cheese glaze.  So you choose, but either way I would definitely recommend giving these a dry. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Late Summer Vegetable Tart

This has been a crazy month with things really starting to pick up at work.  The month started with a Sunday watching triathletes and wishing I was one, when I in fact was only there to run the 10K portion of the race.

Then the following weekend I was off to Chicago for work.  Since we finished up early on Saturday, Amy and I played tourist and went for a bike ride around the city.  The only problem was, I somehow ended up with a men's bike that was WAY to big for me.  Oh and I totally tried to poorly ride my the hybrid bike I was on through sand...which almost resulted in me falling with the bike into the lake.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Deconstructed Turtle Cake

One of my simple joys in life is getting to bake for people, especially new people.  I love seeing their reactions when they try a dessert, because I like to view them as "semi-unbiased" taste testers. Last weekend I had the honor of baking a birthday cake as a surprise for the former CEO of a large health system in the northwest and a long time member of the company I work for.  I wanted to make something he would really enjoy, so I did a little baking detective work. I began by first asking his daughter what she thought I should make...something "turtle" or a hula pie was her response.  Then to get a second opinion I asked his about a chocolate mousse cake?  Since they ended up giving me very differing ideas, I called his admin who decided I should go for the "turtle" cake.

The result was this cake.  I thick single layer devils food cake, frosted just on the top with salted caramel frosting.  Then a layer of toasted chopped pecans drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate and salted caramel sauce.  This came out perfect moist, with fluffy frosting, crunchy pecans and the drizzle of chocolate and caramel on top, really make this a sort of deconstructed turtle cake.  This cake is very rich and full of flavor, but I knew it would be and that is why I left this cake naked on the sides.  This is the perfect cake for any one who likes chocolate, salted caramel and pecans...aka turtle candies.  Also, if cupcakes are more your thing, you could definitely turn these into cupcakes.  Either way, cake or cupcakes, both are delicious.  Enjoy!

This recipe required two types of caramel...both salted but slightly different.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cinnamon Mocha Cupcakes...a request from my dad

There is something going on here.  I don't mean here like in this blog, let's be real these are really just my wandering random thoughts for the day including this one.  What I mean is here in the world...Going south sometimes I realize how much inequality there still is between races, genders and even sexual orientation.  Somehow living in D.C. I sometimes forget this because of simply how many different people there are.  Living here, well any big city I guess, you meet so many different people, and make friends that are literally from all over the world.  True, people do clump together in groups, I just hung out with a group of people the other night and 95% of them went to Florida State, but those groups will always at times run into other groups like different puddles converging.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Do you ever have the days where you feel like doing nothing?  You somehow manage to drag yourself out of bed and get ready for work when it happens to be a weekday.  Its the weekends where its harder though, because sometimes, you have no real plans other than cleaning the house and laying by the pool.  Which at that point why can't you just stay in bed an extra hour.  Isn't your body maybe trying to tell you that you need to rest a little?  That was completely 100% this morning.  When I did finally get up, I realized after making my to do list that I might be trying to be a little to ambitious with my plans for the day, when I could barely pull myself out of bed by 10 o'clock.  I really think I needed the sleep and the break from reality though.  With everything ramping up at work, and trying not to slow down here, sometimes you just have to take a moment or maybe just a morning.  Last week when I wasn't sleeping in though I was getting up early before morning to bake the cake and the following morning to frost the cake...I was just a little to tired when I got home from work to frost the cake.  What can I say, it seems lately there is more baking in the morning because I am down for the count once I hit the sofa to eat dinner.

This cake though turned out truly delicious.  It was Molly's choice for her birthday cake and I am glad she chose it.  I myself would never have probably chosen to make a lemon cake.  It is just not one of those things I am drawn to in a flavor for desserts.  The cake came out light and fluffy with just the right hint of lemon.  The frosting though is what made this cake, creamy and sweet with a bit a tang from the cream cheese and a bright lemon flavor.  This cake is kind of perfect for the summer, so give it a try and enjoy!

Also cheers to the last days of summer...

to the final peaches...