Friday, July 17, 2015

blackberry oreo cake

i made cake.
i have no photo of cake innards.
but i like the top enough that i don't care!

it's a blackberry oreo cake - 3 layers of dark chocolate cake, filled with stabilized whipped cream laced with chunks of oreo, and covered with blackberry swiss meringue buttercream.

i've been quite into decorating cakes lately. it's fun to start with no decoration plan and just go after it, and keep on adding random shit until i like it. i was walking to the 99cent store to see what kind of birthday candle situation they had, and i spotted bougainvillea poufs laying on the sidewalk, all purple and pretty.

sometimes i feel like i live for those moments when inspiration really does just fall into your lap. (or sidewalk.)

i'm also currently 'job hunting' and it sucks. what's up with you?

Blackberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

150g egg whites (about 5 egg whites)
1 1/4 cups sugar (250g) 
3 sticks + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cool but not cold
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup blackberry puree
pinch salt

to make blackberry puree: throw a thing or two of blackberries in a blender or food processor (i always do more than what i need so that i can freeze some extra puree for whatever next kind of blackberry thing i feel like making, so my measurements on this one are not so helpful. i believe i pureed two 6oz containers of berries.) then pass through a fine mesh strainer to separate the juices from the finicky seeds. 

put egg whites and sugar in a pan or bowl set over simmering water. (double boiler situation) whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 160 degreesF, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved. 
transfer the whites/sugar concoction to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the meringue is glossy and thick, and the bowl is cool to the touch (about 9-10 minutes.) Once the bowl is totally cool, switch to the paddle attachment and on low speed, begin to add the butter, a tablespoon at a time. until each is incorporated. if the mixture begins to look weird and curdle-y, don't worry! this is good, just keep it going and it will eventually come together. 
we are essentially forcing fat into a mixture that isn't typically used to so much fat, so it acts weird at first, but eventually everything will emulsify. also, if the mixture seems too runny, refrigerate it for 10 minutes and then continue. sometimes temperature can be a huge factor with buttercreams. 
once it comes together, add in the vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and then the puree, a bit at a time. 

yay done. frost yo stuff. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ricotta pound cake with cherries

this feels hard.
like that awkward small talk you cannot avoid when you make eye contact with an old high school acquaintance at jamba juice.
except that it's only awkward on my end.

i don't think many of you come by these internet parts anymore, and understandably, i did that annoying thing of dropping off the internet planet, leaving my poor site lonely and unloved.

i used to be so bothered when a blog i loved to read on the reg suddenly started posting less and less and then ...  gone.
that is such a bummer and i so don't wanna do that.

because i still cherish you, site! you've been here for me in many difficult times, smiley times, and why-can't-i-fucking-sleep-again times.

i won't apologize, because this is overall a site for me and also because i'm definitely writing to no one but internet bots.

the truth is i haven't been baking or cooking much of anything. and i know that most of the people who used to stop by this here site were in it for the goods, the recipes and gooey close-ups.

this ricotta pound cake is as good of a place to pick up as any.
because i love it, and it's a quick mix.

it's got the wet crumb vibe going on, which is something i'm way into. and also i have a hardcore thing for things flavored with almond paste or extract. so, i win!

if you don't have a cherry pitter, than don't make it with cherries. that'd be a little annoying. no fretting though, because it'd be good with a slew of other fruits - any berry, plums, nectarine, apricots..
or make it with no fruit at all. it'll still be tasty as yo mama

Ricotta Pound Cake with Cherries
slightly adapted from Gina DePalma's Dolce Italiano

1 1/2 c cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 stick butter (6 oz)
1 1/2 c whole-milk ricotta
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest (or citrus zest)
1 tsp almond extract
cherries, pitted and quartered

preheat oven to 350 degreesF and place rack in center. grease and flour a 9 inch loaf pan. 
in a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. 
in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand beaters) cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until smooth and light. beat in eggs one at a time, scraping sides of bowl, then add the vanilla and almond extracts. on low speed, beat in dry ingredients til just combined, scraping sides of bowl again. gently fold in the cherries (or whatever fruit) 
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula. tap the pan on the counter to knock out some of the air bubbles. put the cake in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan for even browning. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degreesF and bake until cake springs back when lightly touched, and the sides have pulled away from the pan a bit, about 25-35 more minutes. 
allow cake to cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 
(the flavor is best the next day!)