Decorated Strawberry Roulade!

Hello everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I have last posted anything. It's been a busy summer, far too warm, and far too smoky! I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a blue sky (so sad). Anyway i'm here, praying for rain, and wanted to let everyone know I have finally conquered a Strawberry Roulade. Even though this bake has been such a pain in the tuckus, I have to admit it was worth it. I mean just look at this thing, it's so cute!

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Now that it is complete, I can happily share the recipe.  It's weird how easy this recipes seem now that I know what I was doing wrong. The folding of the flour, and freezing the decoration is really the trickiest part. So don't let this recipe scare you, all the mistakes have been made. Thanks for sticking with me! Good luck

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Try, Fail, and Repeat!

Oh Genoise, why did you have to be so difficult?

This bake was such a struggle, it fell into the try, fail and repeat category of baking. Sadly, I couldn't seem to stop failing. I was supposed to release this post at the beginning of this month, but since it took me seven different attempts to create something that could barely pass for a sponge cake, i’m sulking to the finish line at the end of July. I still haven’t got it quite right, but defeated as I may be, I still wanted to post something. Like ceramics, baking doesn’t always go as planned. Around 40 percent of the time it turns out something like this.

This is where a decision needs to be made. You can either give up and try something else, or you sweep up the remnants of your pride that fell on the floor and try it again. Giving up has never been an option for me. In fact not being able to do something makes me want to do it even more (reverse psychology works really well on me). Actually, this drive is how I fell in love with ceramics in the first place.

I was taking my first throwing class in college, and I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was honest with his students, and most importantly expected hard work. Unfortunately, I suffered a serious fall at work half way through the course. Leaving me with a severe concussion and a tailbone injury. The wheel was no longer my friend, I was dizzy and in some serious pain. I managed through, but there was this one assignment at the end of the class that I couldn’t get the hang of. We were supposed to throw a set of four 4 X 8 cylinders with a 2 lb ball of clay. I just couldn’t get it. Actually almost all the forms I created in the class were pretty sloppy. Not doing the best I could struck a chord with the perfectionist in me.

After the class was finished I thought I would never have a chance to try it again, since that was the only ceramics class I needed for my art ed degree. But every once in awhile those cylinders would pop into my head. In fact, they kind of started to haunt me. I decided it was in my best interest to purchase a wheel. That way I could finish what I started. Once I finally got the hang of those cylinders the cycle just kept on going. There always seems to be something new to try, fail, and repeat at.

Sadly, I have not conquered this bake. There are still quite a few things that I am somehow doing wrong. So until I get it figured out I don’t think I can post a recipe. However, to help keep my morale up I decided to post as many process shots as I could; it makes me seem like i'm not a complete failure. If anyone has any tips for making a Genoise Sponge I would greatly appreciate it.

Here's to my next (hopefully final) attempt!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

A good friend of mine, Marion Bowler recently posted on facespace, “In Bozeman, people wait in line for breakfast like people in L.A. wait in line for top clubs.”

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I couldn’t agree more. Waking up early is imperative when going out to breakfast here in Bozeman Montana. If you aren’t there within 30 minutes of the restaurant opening, you better have around 40 minutes to spare to wait in line. So when my sister came to visit over spring break I forced everyone to wake up early each morning, just so I could take her to a new breakfast place everyday.

Exhausted is an understatement.


It wouldn’t have been so bad if we actually went to bed on time, but we were of course up past twelve almost every night. I officially feel old. It has been about two weeks since she left, and I am still trying to catch up on sleep. Honestly, I think I need to come to terms with the fact that this is my life now. I’m old and tired, and it takes me a half a month to recover from four days of late nights and early mornings.

Even if I gained an extra few pounds and had no energy for a week it was still worth it.  Hands down, Bozeman has the best breakfast.  The list below is everywhere we ate while she was here.

The breakfast list:

1.) The Nova Cafe (It's fun. It's quirky. You should probably try the Eggs Benedict with avocados!)

2.) Jam (They have breakfast appetizers! Very progressive, and wonderfully fresh.)

3.) Wild Crumb (All the pastries!! Your eyes will trick you into thinking you can eat everything, but sadly you can't. Just start with a croissant, and then pick something to go for later.)

4.) The Storm Castle (Get the french toast, it is the best french toast in the world. They also give everyone a different mug, as a potter it's just fun to see which one you get.)

5.) The Inn on the Gallatin (The biscuits are the size of your head, which is not a bad thing. Since all the jam is homemade and delicious the taste will have you wishing the biscuit was even bigger! )

 

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Anyway, while she was here we got around to making a Bundt cake, in my handmade Bundt pan. We fought over what kind of flavor to make (in proper sister fashion), and then compromised on a lemon poppyseed. For never having made a Bundt cake before I was super impressed. It was incredibly easy. I nervously anticipated it not coming out of the pan, but luckily I was wrong, it plopped right out. It was also a good thing I was diligent on the taking pictures because we devoured it quickly after, and then went back to eating all breakfast. haha


Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

Serving Size: One Bundt Cake


INGREDIENTS:

CAKE:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • finely grated rind of 2 medium lemons (about two Tablespoons)

GLAZE:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

ICING:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Spray Bundt pan with non-stick spray or generously lather in butter. In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Make the cake: Cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine buttermilk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture. Start and end with the flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it and smoothing the top with a spatula.

Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (I totally rushed my cake, and took it out at 45 minutes just because I had things to do. Mine didn't get that lovely brown color, if you can give it the time it needs.)  

Make the glaze: Stir together the lemon juice and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.    The cake should drop out of the pan once it has cooled, but if it doesn't, give it a good wiggle and entice it out with a rubber spatula. Once it's out brush the glaze over the top and sides of the warm cake. Let it sink in, then continue brushing until all the glaze is used up. Allow the cake to completely cool before adding icing.

Make the icing: Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to create a thick glaze. Add more depending on the thickness needed. ( I found that a thicker glaze drips nicer than a thinner one does)

Sparkler Cake

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I have had a bit of a baking extravaganza at my house over the past three days. My person, Bob is recovering from knee surgery, and since I felt slightly helpless. I decided to use my days off to create 4th of July themed bakes.  That way I could feel productive, and stay busy, I don't do well when I worry.  I also could watch him from the kitchen while he slipped in and out of a medicinal coma on the couch.   

He is doing a lot better now by the way, he was even awake enough to watch me struggle, as I lit sparkler after sparkler, trying to get the right picture. He definitely heard a bit of whining as well, since I don't quite have the finesse I would like to have with a digital camera. A slow shutter and fireworks definitely made for an interesting evening. These 4th of July themed cakes ( yes, I made cupcakes too) have been a dream of mine for quite a while. I am quite happy with the outcome if I do say so myself, I hope you enjoy them too.

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