March 12, 2022

Hidden Rainbow Cake

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day I present to you a Hidden Rainbow Cake by way of Buttermilk by Sam.  Don't you just love how the vibrant colors look against the white cake?  There was definitely some trepidation on my part when I cut that first slice as I wondered if the hidden design would actually come through.  Although it did, I wish the rainbow itself would have been suspended more in the middle of the cake.  Oh well, something to strive for the next time I make this cake!

The cake itself is a real winner too, with a tender crumb and the most delicious vanilla flavor.  Never one to need an excuse to buy another cake pan I baked the cake in this ring mold, per the recommendation of the recipe's creator.   My theory is that the rainbow didn't bake in the center of the cake because I didn't put enough of the white batter in the bottom of the mold, which meant too much batter was leftover at the bottom.  As I re-read the previous sentence it sounds totally confusing, but if you just remember that the top of the baked cake is actually the bottom of the ring mold it will start to make some sense.  

I can envision many variations of this hidden design cake; don't limit yourself to just a rainbow.  You could tint the design using one color, but make it with an ombrĂ© effect, from lighter to darker tones.  Whatever colors you end up choosing I can guarantee that it will impress whoever eats this cake!

March 8, 2022

Goose Feet Cookies


Baking has always been a place of solace and comfort for me. I often joke that it's cheaper than seeing a therapist, but it's really true!  During those times where I need to find a sense of calm and peace baking is what I inevitably end up doing.  Dorie Greenspan recently posted a recipe for Goose Feet Cookies, a cookie with Russian-Ukranian origins.  Given the tragedy that's currently unfolding in Eastern Europe right now I felt especially compelled to make these.    

I'd never heard of goose feet cookies before but I'm so glad I know of them now because they are incredibly delicious.  Even better, they are the simplest cookies to make by hand.   The one ingredient that you may have to do some searching for is farmer's cheese, a fresh curd cheese.  Luckily I live close to a Russian market and had no trouble procuring some, but if it's not so easy for you try using drained cottage cheese.

The dough reminded me of pie crust and was very easy to work with.  To get the super flaky, buttery and crispy layers I highly recommend rolling out the dough as thinly as possible, and I mean VERY thin!  The only sugar in the cookie is what is used to coat the dough rounds.  

I'm not joking when I say I easily polished off a dozen of the cookies in one sitting.   They are so moreish that you can't stop yourself from eating just one or two.  

March 5, 2022

Toasted Almond Cake


I saw a picture of this Toasted Almond Cake on Cook's Country's Instagram account a few weeks ago and immediately saved it because I knew I wanted to make it.  What drew me in was the caramelized almond exterior.  Plus, the idea of fluffy cake layers filled with almond flavored pastry cream sounded fantastic too.
Instead of the white cake layers that were called for in the original recipe I used CI's Yellow Sheet Cake recipe, baked in three 8" cake rounds.  Pastry cream is used for the filling and the exterior of the cake is frosted with a German buttercream (butter and pastry cream whipped together).  I found the German buttercream to be a bit too fussy so the next time I make this cake I'll use my favorite Swiss meringue buttercream instead.  The toasted and caramelized almonds are the final decoration and really complete the cake.    

Think this might be a new favorite of mine.  The tender, fluffy cake combined with the pastry cream filling and nutty exterior is a real winner.

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