Posted on 1 September 2009 by fruittart
I’m finally here with the Daring Baker Challenge for August, the Dobos Torta. It has an interesting history as a cake invented for keeping longer than other pastries of its era. The recipe was k ept secret until it’s inventor, Jozsef C. Dobos, retired and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, provided every member of the chamber could use it freely. I’ll bet he would have a food blog if he hadn’t retired in 1906.
I had intended to make this as a birthday cake for my MIL who just arrived this weekend, but it didn’t quite work out that way. Still, we enjoyed the cake together.
The sponge cake and the buttercream are just sort of ‘meh’ in my opinion. We’ve had buttercream similar to this before, and while I understand their utility and place in the realm of desserts, it’s just not my personal favorite. The cake layers were very easy to make and baked quickly as they were so thin.
I think the thin layers look just fabulous with the thin layers of buttercream. I really like the way the buttercream holds its shape and firms up in the fridge, making for easy cutting. The real highlight of this challenge for me was the caramel. I think I didn’t get it as hot as I was supposed to, because mine came out softer than I had expected it to. Still, this was greater success than I have managed before with sugar play and I was able to make a few interesting shapes with it and twist some to drape around the cake. It drooped easily if it warmed at all, but it was cute while it lasted. I wish I would have had some hazelnuts to prop up the caramel cake wedges on the top, because I love that look.
Thanks to Lorraine and Angela for a fun challenge!
The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.
Filed under: Cake, Chocolate, Daring Bakers | 6 Comments »
Posted on 18 August 2009 by fruittart
Yesterday I took one of my girls to school for the first time. I was not one of the parents with a video recorder, a camera that looked like what you might expect from a National Geographic photojournalist, or even a point-and-shoot camera snapping up photos of every step she took to the front door. I was in the car, dropping her off at the door with a wave and ‘have a good day!’. Tartlet 2 started 4th grade with Ms. Sabin. The rest of the tartlets and I started a new school year at home. With the new territory of a brick and mortar school comes the backpack, the gym shoes, and packing a lunch. I’m not likely to be as cute and creative as Jennifer’s Vegan Lunch Box, but hopefully we can get nutritious lunches ready for the kid before it’s time to head out the door each day. Unfortunately, I bought the lunch box one day and found the little boxes another . . . it doesn’t hold three of them at one time, no matter how you rearrange them. So the pretzels ended up in a little bag in the front pouch.
Another lesson learned last week was about salmonella. I think I gave myself a case of that last week after licking my cake batter spoon. I should know better, as Tartlet 1 pointed out, because I won’t let the kids do such a stupid thing. If you do the math and figure that salmonella is in 1 out of every 10-20,000 eggs and I tend to go through 3 dozen eggs each week, sometimes more, then I use roughly 2000 eggs each year and the chances are that every 5-10 years I will lick a spoon with a contaminated raw egg. Unfortunately, despite the violence with which I was sick last week, I’m fairly certain the odds that I’ll lick a spoon in the future are probably greater than 1 in 10,000. I don’t learn all that quickly, I suppose.
Filed under: Kids, Lunch | 1 Comment »
Posted on 17 July 2009 by fruittart
Well, I don’t suppose that was truly the line, but we unfortunately missed that particular part of Richard III last night. Yesterday 9 of us got together in Bloomington, IL to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Ky, you should turn 30 more often ;-)
It was a lovely evening with everyone contributing something for a picnic dinner of bread and wine and cheese, spinach salad, pasta salad, a giant sandwich, and of course I brought mini-tarts for dessert.
The grounds of the Ewing Manor are simply fabulous and it was a perfect evening for a picnic.
I had tucked some Off! in my bag, but didn’t even need to pull it out. There were wandering minstrels and a group stopped to sing Happy Birthday to K.
The down side of an open air theatre, is the chance of being rained out, particularly in the Midwest. That is exactly what happened to us, not long after intermission. I must say they chose a very good time to call the play off. Just as we arrived at the car, it started to really pour and we would have gotten on a good drenching had we still been in our seats.
Nevertheless, it was a fabulous evening. KT’s car is equipped with video so A and I got to watch The Reduced Shakespeare Company perform the complete (abridged) works of Shakespeare on the way home. It was hilarious! So, thanks, Ky for turning 30 and letting us participate in the celebration. Now, if I can just figure out another excuse to go back . . .
Filed under: Dessert, Party | 4 Comments »
Posted on 27 June 2009 by fruittart
Back at the end of January, The Husband bought a barn on eBay. No, I don’t mean like a barn and some property, I mean just the barn, 5 hours from home. He finally started taking it apart and bringing home the pieces in March and has been going back up to it every nice weekend he can. The first weekend he went alone, then he took Tartlet 1, another time he took Tartlets 1 & 2, another time it was Tartlets 2, 3 & 4 (Tartlet 1 was in her glory having Mom without competition!). This weekend he has taken all four Tartlets! So I am having a wonderful quiet day alone.
I’ve done the sorts of things it seems every mom I know does when the kids are gone — clean and organize without interference. Tossing out little plastic toys that no one will miss if they don’t see them going into the trash, straightening some drawers, laundry, laundry, and more laundry. Finally it was time to take a break and find some nourishment.
Many times when The Husband is gone, I don’t really cook. Either I get some take out or I scrounge leftovers. Knowing I would be sans car (no take out) and wanting something that celebrated the adult moment of being home alone, I bought some mushrooms and asparagus before the family left. I added a sprinkling of feta, some onion, a little long sweet red pepper, and seasoned it with a little fresh garlic and dried basil and oregano and tossed it with mostaccioli. Mmmm, adult food!
Filed under: Asparagus, Lunch, Mushrooms, Pasta, Quick and Easy | 3 Comments »
Posted on 12 June 2009 by fruittart
Despite protests from Tartlet 1 that Barbie cakes are a special treat for the 7th birthday (and Only The Seventh Birthday!), Tartlet 3 requested a Barbie cake for her 6th birthday, at the end of May. I have posted earlier about the Barbie Cakes I made for Tartlets 1 & 2 for their respective 7th birthdays, and last year I made 14 Polly Pocket Princesses for Tartlet 3’s birthday. This time I made a couple of modifications to my previous method.
I baked a cake in the Pampered Chef bowl again and this time I also made a 9-inch cake for multiple reasons: 1) it allows for the Barbie’s leg length w/o the two inch frosting disaster of the last one; 2) it gives a platform for the birthday candle; and 3) more cake for a number of guests. Next time I’d like to use an 8-inch cake under the skirt and that on top of the 9-inch. As it was, Barbie’s feet still touched the cake board and the top of the skirt was not quite to the waist so it made for a slightly awkward transition and seemed a little out of proportion.
I couldn’t scrounge up a top that worked for the top of the dress and I prefer not to put the frosting on the doll, if I can avoid it, so instead I did a little late night hand sewing and made the top from wired ribbon. I cut a piece of ribbon in a trapezoid to fit her figure and the wired top and bottom allowed a little better fitting. I stitched on two straps from a narrow ribbon, also wired and easy to shape, and two snaps in the back. Then I used a length of the narrow ribbon as embellishment at the base of the dress and at the waist.
The top has the added benefit of being reversible, since I used a double sided Christmas ribbon. ;-) The kids have already requested that I make more clothes that will actually cover the dolls since the current Barbie fashions aren’t nearly modest enough for their sensibilities — e.g., when she sits, her skirts expose her rear end. Fashionable in some circles, but not ours, thank goodness!
After some fun at the pool, we enjoyed the cake in the park. Barbie seems to be saying, “Yeah, Tartlet 3! Happy Birthday!” She loved the cake.
Filed under: Cake, Kids | 2 Comments »