Thursday, December 31, 2015

White Christmas Peppermint Cake

     Lest this version of Rose's cake cake's title be misleading, I should advise that it does not, like Rose's original recipe by this name, contain peppermint candy or extract [instead 1T vanilla]. A peppermint addition comes in the form of ice cream and gelato choices. Also, as accoutrement, there is a simple chocolate ganache with Kahlua from the Cuddle Cake recipe that is offered to pour over at one's leisure. All of this we hoped would please the palates of guests from children to grandparents!
This was an exceptional cake. It was all one could ask for in a feathery white cake, and lends itself for pairing with many fantasies. It was a huge hit for holidays with our family and friends.  Happy New Year to all!                                                                                  ***
For the ganache, Scharffen Berger chocolate 60-62 percentFor the white-chocolate butter cream cake frosting, I used 'Valrhona Opalys' [below] recommended by Rose - a fine white chocolate that resulted in a divine flavor.
I admired Rose's vertical frosting and used that technique
            Some golden sugar crystals added crunch on thisLight and fluffy four layer white cake
Uh oh - the three ice-creams are getting a little runny -- Chocolate Gelato; Peppermint Crunch Blue Bell: and Vanilla with Chocolate Bark had been the requests --- there wasn't very much left to melt now - 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


    Woody's T'ai Chi Sifu has certainly gifted us with something special by sharing this lovely and unique recipe, along with the idea of spicing it up to the sublime!

   Initially, I wasn't too impressed when I read the baking of the week, but was simply glad it was not a lengthy operation as I went about the business of caring for a sick kitten and putting him in the hospital under observation for fevers both before and after neutering, about which I won't belabor further here.
You all have been so wonderful and generous with your prayers for Starđź’«, and we thank you!
These small Swedish ginger cookies are an elegant gingersnap, and next time I make them I will definitely pair them with goat cheese, and fig jam, as one of us sugggested. Mmmm. For now, however, I have packaged up all but a dozen to take to Star's Feline Vet tomorrow. The only thing time-consuming about them is not to forget they are in the freezer, and if I am smart I will always have some in the freezer since it takes half hour to make them from freezer position. I know that because I baked them this evening, and ruined my dinner by eating first dough, and then baked cookies. 

                                   simple mis en place   (note the Lars Swedish Pearl Sugar for tops of cookies)

Add the spices -- ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, white pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne, together

Molasses mixing into the dry ingredients - I used Brer Rabbit Mild
Now this is where the tasting gets seriously yummy

Since I planned to make the cookies while Star was gone in the hospital, I decided to use the plastic piping and headed for Home Depot. There I met a gentleman who, somewhat mystified, agreed to cut four 3-inch lengths of the PVC. I explained my task of baking the cookies along with twenty other people at the same time all over the world, and that intrigued him, and when I shared the story of our dilemma of Star's illness and that his Feline Vet was trying to figure out what is wrong in the hospital and that these cookies were for that doctor, he really became very pleased to enjoy helping.

    Here are the little pipes. Tamping the three-inch plastic-wrapped sausage into the piping takes a minute, but turns out well. As you can see they are closely wrapped with plastic.

This is a frozen cookie roll just out of its tube.

I didn't find them that easy to cut. I used the Prince serrated 14", and then a bench scraper. There has got to be a better tool for next time. Patricia will have something on her Gear page.

I took pictures of Mr. Lopez, and also larger  pictures of the Swedish sugar that you see in mis en place. I posted it a few days ago somewhere, but all of you got it I think and found your own. Even the Belgian kind.

Tonight I took a picture of the cookies already sprinkled with their sugar, but can't locate that so will add later if it turns up, and the top pic shows how they looked.  90 % to Dr. Norsworthy. Ten percent for the girls at work without whom I couldn't survive!

Thanks for all of your immense patience with this disorganized post and your support of Star. Love you all!!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Luscious Apple Pie

Everyone admired this pie, even if we weren't all allowed to eat it -Star does look disappointed that it is not kitty food and good for him as well as for us ~~~ 

It is so much fun to be able to set up all Rose's batteries de cuisine because they have given me the confidence to make a pie crust! I was always so overwhelmed by this that I just wouldn't do it. Now I had very little problem at all. Actually, I had no problem at all.

Of course, I am still using the food processor technique - but I am actually doing it and loving it -  ;  )

I found it interesting that of all the wonderful, unique apples Rose listed, I was only able to find a couple in season.
Therefore, I just used Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. The red Braeburn you see in the picture wasn't on the list so we ate it. The pie was more than marvelous. Because of the tartness of the Granny Smith I added the extra 1/4 cup of sugar and was glad that I did. I found the cider on ice in the market. It was fresh-pressed, unpasteurized, so it fit the need perfectly.
For a long time on Patricia's site I have been eyeing a small gadget for peeling apples. It is from Amazon and I have been meaning to purchase it forever. Now I couldn't get it in time, but I will do it this night. I don't want to peel any more apples. And I do want to make this pie over and over again!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Woody's Black and White Brownies

Oh My!
            As Billy Crystal said, "You look maaaaaarvelous!"

Mis en Place
Favorite! Rose's double boiler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My batterie de cuisine is taking on amazing proportions. I really love my new KA glass bowl and Rose's beater blade!
A Woody brownie.
White buttercream coming up ---

Sick from licking beater -
Ganache --
Rachel, like myself and our other staff, thinks Woody's Black and White Brownies are very high-ranking on our Alpha list of make-again soon!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Perfect Peach Galette

Well, this may not make the cover of Larousse Gastronomique, but I am here to say that at 0200 when it hit the wire rack it was the "Best-tastin' Perfect Peach Galette that-wasn't " as it burnt my awaitin' mouth. I just laughed and laughed because the crust tasted really good, but of course it wasn't flaky, even after resting in the fridge. [The pan was 12 inches diameter].

    This was so good that we got some vanilla ice cream for it, and I did not bring any to work to share! 

These peaches were from Whole Food and some were replaced a couple of times while I got ready to make this galette since they ripened very quickly. I don't even know the peach variety name. I ate one in the store and it seemed interesting so I let it go at that and then got more as needed.

An easy little mis en place - Specifically, King Arthur Pastry Flour, Rumsford Baking Powder and Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese, accompanied by Land O' Lakes butter, apple cider vinegar and heavy whipping cream for the food processor crust. I made this according to the directions with my new Rose's lovely pastry ensemble, rolling pin pictured in white. I neglected to take pictures of the 'rolling out', but from the result picture you can see that the size of the circle did not make it to 16 inches - I was laughing because the size of the space itself in which I was rolling was little more than 16 inches! If I make another galette, I will have to find a larger table. . .

A dip in scalding water and the skins slipped quickly off.
Aren't they just beautiful!  A Perfect Peach.
Mmm - Sugar and lemon added, juices drawn and reduced, with cornstarch added.
Baking away. . .You can see the rudimentary, misshapen crust. 
Oh well, there is also hope springing eternal in the aroma!! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blueberry Pie - minus elderberries

                                                       Grab a fork ---  It's sooooooo yummy!!
Believe me, I had intended to make The ElderBlueberry Pie. I even found and ordered freeze-dried elderberries because no fresh ones seemed to be found here in Texas, at least not at present. I had read that red elderberries are not edible and, when picking, one must choose dark berries not red.  So, I opened one of my bags of berries to make the pie:

........and instantly decided the pie would be Blueberry sans Elderberry. I have five bags unopened.

Instead,  I thought I would use the exercise to practice baking a berry pie since I never have -

And, I had splurged on Rose's new baking ensemble -  Mmmm
Only King Arthur's Pastry Flour Would do ---
And so the crust began -

Will I ever learn if Rose's small peas are the size of Le Sueur's?
I loooove this stretchy implement! 
And the pretty white Rose's plate - [need a lot more practice with that crust! I don't do it often enough so it still scares me].
The blueberries were organic and huge. I added some lemon zest as in Rose's early recipe.

In keeping with the tradition of old weavers of Persian rugs that since only the Almighty makes perfection there would always be a flaw in the weaving - if you look verrrrry closely, you just might see it here - [not the bow]  Lol!
And, a really fun thing happened just now as I am sitting in the kitchen at work at the table typing up this blog at 4 o'clock. Suddenly my phone rang and I saw it was my husband. I answered, and listened as he said he wanted to tell me right away that he had just eaten a slice of the blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. The pie, of course, has settled and blended for a day. He waxed enthusiastic that it was now the best pie he had ever eaten, and enhanced by the vanilla ice cream. He said he just had to call and tell me! Wow! Not only a big blue berry, but a big blue ribbon!