Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for CAKE, MADELEINES, AND "PIES"!!

Wow, it's actually been a month since the last time I wrote! There's just been so much stuff going on! Moving in to a room I'm renting out for school, actually going to school, and doing homework and what not. My oh my, it's been hectic. And grad school is definitely INTENSE! It's almost kind of ridiculous how much Art History I'm thinking about these days...well IT IS the only thing I'm learning about right now. The first few weeks of school haven't been too bad, I haven't gotten terribly lost and I'm learning to deal with the mass amounts of reading I have to do plus presentations (which I hate btw). The only things I haven't gotten over yet is how much older my peers are and that I feel like a college freshman again!! UGH!

Anywho, let's talk cake! Who doesn't love a gorgeous moist two-layer chocolate cake with fluffs of shiny 7-minute frosting and cute little sprinkles? I dare you to resist! I made this cake as a birthday present for my friend who turned 23 a few weeks back. I've actually known Hasel for about 9 years now and I've never made her a cake! Kind of ridiculous isn't it? I got the recipe from awesome possum Deb at Smitten Kitchen who just had a baby boy! This cake has got the goods! Intense chocolate flavor from the chocolate, cocoa powder, and coffee. However, the only problem I had was with the frosting. It seemed like the recipe was just barely enough to frost the cake and to put some between the layers. Which leads me to the bigger problem, I'm not sure if it was too hot that day or something, but all the frosting I put in between the layers managed to get pushed out to the sides. You can't really tell in this picture, but once the cake was cut it just looked like one big fat piece of chocolate cake with no frosting in between!! I was kind of sad, but the taste made up for it.

I made these mini cupcakes with the same recipe, except subbing honey
for corn syrup in the frosting because I had none left.

Even though I've been busy the past month, I've also been busy baking and trying out random recipes. I tried making some lemon glazed madeleines since I finally got a tray! They didn't come out too great the first time I made them though...recipe via David Lebovitz

I'm pretty sure I over mixed the batter...they were pretty dry :(

I tried making them again with a different recipe from 101 Cookbooks these came out WONDERFUL, so wonderful I don't have any pictures...maybe next time!

Yesterday I tried making Pan Dulce or actually Conchas from a recipe on Joy the Baker. I probably should have waited to have the proper ingredients when I made these, but I couldn't help it, I was craving some sweet bread! I ran out of unsalted butter and shortening when I made these so I substituted with salted butter and margarine...boy was that a big mistake!! The salted butter and margarine went into the topping, to this, flour and powdered sugar are added. I knew salted butter was going to be pretty salty for something that's supposed to have a sweet topping, but I just thought to myself, what the heck? Let's just add more sugar than what the recipe calls for to cut the saltiness away. Really bad move on my part because the bread came out beautifully and tasted wonderful! So let's go with some cute before-they-went-into-the-oven-and-came-out-horribly-shots.

Topped with chocolate and cinnamon sugar paste.

The plain one, and yes, the design is supposed to resemble a shell :)

I should have noticed the signs that they were going to come out wrong when the topping started sliding off as the bread was doing it's last rising. I tried to fix it as much as I could, but they just ended up coming off anyways in the oven. So are you ready for it?

They look a bit sad, but they still tasted great...except for the topping (on the first day). The topping was really crunchy, instead of being soft, probably because of all the extra sugar, no shortening, and maybe because the topping was too thick? I kept these sealed in plastic bags over night and to my surprise this morning, the topping had softened, closer to resembling the kind you get at Vallarta or other Mexican markets.

And last but not least...I know you've heard of Luxirare's lollipop-pies , the first time I saw them I was amazed, and kind of wondering why no one thought about it before. Then I came up with an mom has been making what I like to call Pineapple Pinwheels for as long as I could remember. They have a fond place in my childhood. These pinwheels are kind of like pies, they're made with a flaky pie crust that enclose a fruity pineapple filling. I know some of you might be wondering if you've ever had a pineapple pie before, if you haven't it's totally A-OK. These pineapple pies are more of a Thai thing. In Thailand you'll find different incarnations of these. Some have the pineapple filling in between two crackers or cookies in varying shapes and sizes.

Aren't they adorable?

The "pie" filling isn't like the traditional apple, cherry, or blueberry. Crushed pineapple is drained of it's juices and then it's gently cooked with plenty of sugar until it gets brown and sticky...almost like a pineapple jam? But it's much more dry. The pie crust is made with shortening to ensure it's flakiness. The dough is rolled out pretty thin, possibly about 1/8 of an inch. 1 3/4 in. squares are cut along the dough along with 4 cuts at the corners of each square so the pinwheel can take shape. The filling is rolled into small balls and placed in the middle of each square. An end from each of the 4 cuts is pulled to the top of the pineapple ball. And then it bakes. I put toothpicks in them after just so they could look more like the pinwheels of our childhood. If anyone is interested in the recipe, just let me know and I could get it from my mom.

Hopefully I'll be able to update more that once a month, but we'll see how much work I'll be buried in. And if you're free tomorrow and you're in L.A., the 17th Annual Thai Cultural Day is going to be held at Barnsdall Park on Hollywood Blvd. Go have some Thai food, check out Thai traditional dress, Thai entertainment, and the Hollyhock House for all you Frank Lloyd Wright fans! Admission is free and starts at 11am til 5pm.


  1. WOW! Now I can make conchas!!!! I have no clue why I never thought about googling it!!

  2. never had conchas...the choc cupcakes look great.