Wednesday, March 31, 2010


We have new neighbors, and last weekend I whipped up a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (a la Annie's Eats) to bring over as they worked on repairing the house.

It turned out okay, but a major complaint was the cooking time and temp. The thing just cooked way too fast, leaving the chocolate chips a bit burnt and the entire cake a little dry. I saved it, though, by pulling off the worst of the chips and suggesting they enjoy a piece with a glass of milk or, of course, some coffee. I think part of the problem was my stove (it's old and I really don't think holds temperatures like it should) and using milk chocolate chips instead of something like bittersweet. I'm going to make it again with the changes.

And speaking of baking, I'm trying to decide on what to make for Easter Sunday dessert. Annie's Eats is my new fav food blog, and I know I'll be making her Cappuccino Cheesecake and maybe the Tropical Carrot Cake. There is going to be a couple guests who cannot have sugar and a couple others trying to stick to a diet, so I might make some sugar-free lemon tarts with fresh whipped cream and berries... still not the best diet food, but definitely better than a chocolate and liquor soaked cheesecake!

I picked up meringue because I want to test out this Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (another recipe, of course, from Annie's Eats). It looks so delicious and I've been wanting to experiment with buttercreams for a while now. I adjusted my own buttercream recipe last week when making cupcakes for some local first graders, and I think it's undoubtedly improved.

Yes, they were Mardi Gras cupcakes for six-year-olds in March. Don't ask me - that's what was ordered.

I also want to start reading up on baking and pastry. I think I'm going to pick up some biography type books on chefs and also some with theory and the mechanics of things - I want to start finding out what stuff is and how things work and I don't want to wait until September! Now, to figure out which books to pick up...

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