Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pistachio Pear Cake

I kinda made this up on spur the moment. My friend said that for her mother's birthday she wanted a pistachio cake with...something...and whipped cream. Oh, and all the things I would pair with it, someone in her family either doesn't like or is allergic to. I happen to still have a couple pears left from yesterday's cupcakes, so I made a white chocolate and pistachio ganache, then I sliced and caramelized those pears, arranged everything into three layers, and built up this huge monstrosity covered in light fresh whipped cream. This cake is huge. You can't really tell from the picture, but it's about a foot high, and I do hope they like it. Me? I have a small container full of yummy pear caramel, so I have to think of something to use that on....and so the cycle continues.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Darn Figs

A few days ago, my friend's random whim, I found myself at a giant Asian supermarket at a quarter to ten, minutes before closing, running down the aisles with a box of fresh persimmons and another with fresh figs. The persimmons are for ice cream and the figs were for spice cupcakes, but due to crazy work week...okay, crazy week in general, the first day I had the strength or the inclination to actually bake was today. I'm baking a pistachio cake for my friend's mother's birthday anyways, so what's a couple of extra cupcakes? Plus I get a chance to "use" the adorable handmade cupcake stands I got from this girl I found on etsy and therefore totally justify their purchase.

Now I didn't take a picture of what the figs looked like, but you can take my word for it, you didn't want to see it if I had. They went bad and fast. It looked like a fuzzy forest or a futuristic civilization full of intricate roads and pathways, or to put it plainly: ten dollars worth of Gross! On top of all that, I didn't even look at the figs until the cake batter was already in the cupcake tins. I HAD to substitute something (you can't have plain cupcakes, that's just wrong) so sliced pears had to fill in. A quick lemon cream cheese frosting and the pictures here show what came out. Yes, I'm disappointed. It's hard to find fresh figs around here, but all in all I don't think the people at work will mind. Free food is free food :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wedding Fun

I know it's now a week later, but it's been a crazy week so I'm only now getting to post the pictures from my friend's wedding last week. The day after my Halloween party, bright and early I had to work again, but as soon as that was done I cleared my dining room table, preheated the oven and began the rolling/baking/repeat marathon that would last about 12 hours. I rolled and baked almost 400 cookies, half sugar cookies and half peanut butter. My friend and the bride came several hours later to help package them (and feed me since I had not thought of eating since I started). The box above contains about half of them and the picture below is what they looked like once they were on the table:

There were two kinds of wedding cake. I made a peanut butter cake with peanut butter buttercream and chocolate ganache filling as the main cake and two huge vanilla sheet cakes with dulce de leche buttercream. Because of work I couldn't start on them as early as I wanted to so I found myself baking until 5am the day of the wedding to get everything assembled and packed in time. A few hours of sleep and it was time to get going as the reception was over an hour away and I had to get the cake there 4 hours before the wedding, so I settled everything in and took off at a crawl to avoid unnecessary jostling. About 30 minutes into the drive I remembered...I was invited to this wedding and I didn't bring a change of clothes or anything and all I had on were jeans, a ratty shirt and sneakers. Definitely not wedding attire. I delivered the cake and got it settled in (the pics are just of the main cake since the sheet cakes were not going to be seen and were just for cutting and serving) and then took off for the nearest mall. I lucked out and was able to find a nice outfit and shoes. The nice lady at the Clinique counter did my makeup and I arrived back at the hall only 5 minutes late. Whew! All in all I think everyone liked the cake and it came out tasting great.

Quick update, the wedding pictures are now up and the photographer put up a picture of my cake on her blog here or more to the point here. Go take a look if you like.