Portland

                             I drove around this wild country looking for my new home.

Looking for a place to ‘hang my hat’ as they say. A place that I could call mine with an address where you can send me mail. A little spot where I could watch things grow, and eat my meals, and keep my things in drawers. I searched high and low, from the  peaks of Colorado to the Promenade in Santa Monica. Up the Coast though small beach towns … Up more mountains, to a Big Lake, through Northern Cali…. landing myself in Portland, Oregon.

I do not know what made me choose this place.

There is no beach.

It rains a lot.

Boys drink a lot of beer.

The economy is bad . (Don’t tell my dad that)

But, if this city could speak, and I’m sure it can, it say’s to me;

“ you will be okay here.”

I guess I am just looking for a place to be okay in . .

So I am going to start at the end.

I woke up in my new princess bed , yes I bought a princess bed, ladies will know what that looks like, men you will just have to imagine. After sleeping on the floor for two nights. Ikea came to my rescue and delivered me a BED. I woke up smiling simply to be sleeping on a mattress. I rolled over and felt the crash, this pounding headache.

The.. “You ate two pieces of chocolate cake for dinner” headache.

Yea, I did , and yes, it was worth it.

 

I baked in my own kitchen. Not someone else’s. MINE. all mine. I made you the messiest, sweetest and saltiest cake known to man … I listened to music loud, and spilled all over the counters and floor, because it was in my kitchen.

Advertisements

Lenox…again

I know I’ve crashed this town before.. seriously I grew up here, enough already!

But, I haven’t crashed this particular kitchen. Seeing as I am back on the East Coast. In the midst of gathering up all my belongings, and driving back West to my NEW found home :

Portland, Oregon.

I just had to make a cake … with my mother.

We made only what I can describe to you as a mixture of the smells of the tropics,and  pictures of fluffy clouds of marshmallow frosting : Coconut Cake.

I picked this, because I was baking with my mother, and being in a current state of constant nostalgia. I am reminded of being a child and of her loving anything coconut, and me (as a kid at least) not being as fond. So the self-less choice was her favorite cake, not mine.

This cake is elegance.

. . . although quite sticky . . .

…but oh so delicious.

Ingredients

            Cake:

    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for frosting)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup whole milk
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment-paper rounds; butter paper. Dust paper and sides of pans with flour, tapping out excess.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, alternately with milk in two, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined.
    3. Divide evenly between prepared pans. Place pans next to each other in oven (without touching); cook until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through.
    Frosting :

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/3 cup cold water
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer.
    2. In a large heatproof mixing bowl, combine reserved egg whites, light corn syrup, cream of tartar, water, and sugar.
    3. Place bowl over simmering water (it should not touch water); with a handheld mixer, beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.
    4. Remove bowl from heat; beat 3 to 5 minutes more to cool. Use immediately.

Seattle

Sweetness.

Seattle has just been ultimate sweetness, mostly because we are staying with the sweetest two people on the Pacific NW, and we wanted to thank them with Caramel Cake.

Have you ever tried to make Caramel Syrup? It’s freaking hard. It will be mastered, but not this weekend. Randi vows to master it once we have our own kitchen, she is willing to sacrifice future  evenings to mastering the art of carmal making, she plans to write a book on it.

We tried Martha’s recipe… We tried Ina’s….We used all the sugar in the house…. We used an inappropriate amount of cream… We threw in the towel around 10pm and just bought the carmel syrup.

I love this cake, it tastes like a honeymoon breakfast in bed. It is total comfort cake.

Cake :

Nonstick cooking spray with flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup Caramel Syrup, plus more for serving

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line each with a parchment paper round, and spray again. Set pans aside.

Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue to beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in syrup.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Beat eggs until foamy in another bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir into cake batter until well combined.

Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes spring back when gently touched in the center, about 25-30 minutes. Take out cool and frost.

 

Frosting :

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter

1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if needed

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat until nut-brown in color, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a bowl, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. With the mixer on low, slowly add cream; beat until smooth. If frosting seems too thick, stir another tablespoon cream into the mixture.

 

We started baking around 8, which is pretty late … we were eating arounds 11.30 .. warm and gooey … perfectly moist, totally worth the wait.

Lake Tahoe

This week we went to Wanderlust, a 4-day Yoga Festival in Northern Cali. We volunteered to get into the festival  We worked recycling aggressively with a group called Zero Hero. We camped near Lake Tahoe a couple miles from the festival, yes… we camped… and this is a baking blog… WE baked on the campfire!

Ladies & Gentlemen it happened. Believe this !

Two bad ass girls baked a CAKE on a campfire!

It took only two tries the first one  shown above a little too well done, shown below

the perfectly cooked cake.

It went from Pinapple Upside Down Cake to Peach Upside Down Cake because the 7-Eleven only had canned peaches. Hey, we’re in Tahoe practicing yoga all day, going with the flow…

This is where we went wrong the first time. We cooked the cake on the fire pit in a dutch oven , you gotta let the fire get super hot so give it a good hour before putting the cake in. The first time we cooked the cake according to the recipe, but way too long, obviously.

It made a good frisbee.

Coconut and Fresh Pinapple (or Peach) Upside Down Cake:

Cake :

1  1/3 cups of flour

¼ cups of sugar

1 ¼ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup of sweetened flaked coconut

2 large eggs

Topping:

1/3 cup of butter

¼ cup of sugar

2 cups fresh pinapple chunks

1. Make batter. Whisk dry ingediants

then add the wet and mix.

2. Prepare the fire .

3. Make the topping : Line a 4 QT. Dutch oven with aluminum foil up the sides. Melt the butter in a dutch oven rotating to coat the sides sprinkle sugar on the bottom and scatter pinapple or peaches on the bottom of the pan then top with the batter.

4. Cook the cake rotating the pan every 5 minutes. Cook about 10 minutes take out to test with a knife.

After eating half of it ourselves. We brought the rest to the Girl Talk Concert we were volunteering at that night to share with all our new volunteer friends. They were pretty impressed.

I mean we were all kinda speechless.