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Posts Tagged ‘cake’

Orchid and Pearl

Orchid and Pearl

Cake is not just dessert. Cake is a nostalgic treat of joy. Cake celebrates childhood, family, and fertility. An anniversary, a birth, a marriage (and sometimes divorce), they’re all special occasions that we celebrate with cake. My early attempts at baking cake were abysmal and Duncan Hines strawberry frosting rescued an under-baked cake, sagging under the weight of its rawness, on more occasions than I’m willing to admit. Still, I loved baking cakes because I created a joyful experience, limited only by my imagination, and it’s still the reason why I bake today.

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Raindrop Cake

Raindrop Cake (Tim Ireland)

I don’t see the appeal of the “Raindrop Cake”.  Pretty presentation aside, the dessert tastes like barely sweetened spring water. It is pleasantly refreshing, but I take umbrage with calling it a ‘cake’. (And that $8 price tag.) When I reminisce about the best cake I ever ate, a tepid watery blob that jiggles like a breast implant does not come to mind. How did such a misnomer come to be?

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Corn Flour

Corn Flour

I’ve been on a mad tear with the corn flour lately: corn flour biscuits, corn flour pancake, corn flour bread. Corn flour, which is super-fine ground cornmeal, adds a subtle corn flavor and stunning yellow hue to baked goods—all of the corn flavor with none of the grit. Although corn flour is gluten-free, I tend to use it for flavor rather than a flour substitute because when used in large amounts, the texture of cakes and breads become dry and crumbly. By far, my favorite corn flour treat has been this blueberry-corn flour poundcake. One taste of this poundcake and you’ll understand why blueberry and corn is a refreshing food pairing that offers respite from the humid haze of summer months.

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Olive Oil-Polenta Cake

Polenta Cake

Olive-Oil Polenta Cake

With the brisk chill of autumn approaching, our appetites crave hearty comfort food. It’s an awkward time for pastry as summer fruits drift slowly out of season but fall crops have yet to come to fruition. The nights may be chilly but the days are still too long for the cinnamon-scented warmth of pumpkin pie and apple strudel. So I turn to cake. Sadly, I’m not a fan of sponge cakes. Sponge cakes make great dance partners but they should not be left to tango alone. They pair well with mousses and fresh fruit but when eaten alone, I find them to be a little blah–eggy, a bit dry and lacking in substance. A good cake is one that can be eaten plain and unadorned. The icing and filling should almost feel like an intrusion on a cake that is rich enough to satisfy with a few bites. And of course, a good cake should pair well with coffee. This olive oil-polenta cake fits the bill on all counts.

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