Thursday, April 26, 2012

basic yellow cake with ginger poached fruit...


GAW! We are officially less than 24 hours away from my dreaded wisdom teeth surgery. I couldn't sleep last night...at all. My body/mind likes to really let me know when something exciting/anxious/stressful is coming up. Always has, and I suppose always will. So I just laid in bed... listening to the rain...trying to finish my latest Martha Stewart mag, until the wee hours of the night. Sounds nice right? It wasn't. Because the whole time I was thinking "ugh this time tomorrow night it'll be the morning of!" or "what if I'm like that movie where they put the guy to sleep but he's NOT and he hears and feels everything!?" and my favorite, "What if I just never wake up. Ever? Who will take care of Bill? Who will play with the kitties??" <--Thanks brain.

The funny part about last night though (speaking of playing kitties), was since I was up with my little bedside table light on, the kitties (or Mustachio to be more specific) thought it was time to be up as well. She kept jumping on my poor sleeping husband, walking across his legs, stomping on his pillow, and bringing him toys! Him!! Not me, she wanted to play with the sleeping/not moving guy! I tried not to laugh as she'd jump up on him, drop her favorite toy somewhere near him, and back away waiting patiently with HUGE eyes for him to throw it (she loves to play fetch. Go figure.) I'd then reach over ever so carefully, grab it, and try to get her to play with me on my side of the bed. She'd fetch it, run back to his side, and do the whole thing over again. She just wanted him to play. Mombi on the other hand, was snoozing away at the foot of the bed, with the occasional attack as her sister would swoop by.


So this will probably be my last blog post for a few days. My inner work-a-holic says I'll be using all this "down time" to create some pretty amazing/awesome/fun/epic blogs...but my sanity says "Yeah right." So we'll see!

Please keep me in your prayers, friends. Prayer is so powerful! :)

Now let's talk dessert while I can still eat solid foods, shall we!!??

As I said a few weeks back, we had a double-date-dinner-party-thing one weekend. Our friends are calling it "Supper Club"- where we meet once a month at one's house, and everyone brings a dish that goes with the night's theme. This dinner's theme was Indian.

I'm not going to lie. I know nothing about cooking Indian food. I LOVE to eat it. Like, L.O.V.E. but besides curry (may I brag a bit- I CAN MAKE SOME MEAN CURRY) and heating up some Naan...I'm flat in the Indian cooking department. Indian happened to be our friends' favorite food of all time, so they decided to make that the theme.

Ha. Ok. Gotcha.

Truth: After hearing what the theme was, I seriously contemplated sticking with my original idea and just bringing some red velvet cupcakes.

Truth: I almost did.

But then one afternoon I was flipping through April's Martha Stewart Living magazine and it was like Martha knew my serious dilemma, personally. Haha...I just made myself laugh, "serious dilemma"? Really? I must have a lot of spare time on my hands to have an absence in food recipe ideas as a "serious dilemma".

Anyway, at the end of the issue was a section called "Divide & Conquer"- all about the two very different roles egg whites and yolks play in making desserts. There it was: What looked so yummy (and sounded kind of Indian-food-like to me) and totally doable: their Golden Cakes with Ginger-Poached Fruit.

It was easy. It was simple in ingredients (woohoo!), it was delicious, and it was a crowd pleaser. Success!

I tweaked the recipe a tad to give it more of a flavoring I was going for, but the end result is the same. They baked their cakes in mini angel food cake pans, I baked mine in little mini bundt forms, but feel free to bake in regular sized cupcake pans- this will work JUST FINE.

The cake is a light and airy basic yellow cake, the "sauce" is a spicy (not heat-spice) sweet simple syrup type of thing. The fruit...is amazing once it sits overnight and soaks up all the syrup's flavoring. So yummy.

BASIC YELLOW CAKE with GINGER POACHED FRUIT
Makes about 12-15 mini cakes (if using a regular cupcake sized pan/form equivalent)
Adapted from this recipe.

Cake:

  • 1 stick (4oz) softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour + 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Ginger Poached Fruit:

  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 6- 1/8" slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup small-medium diced fresh mango
  • 1 cup small-medium diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon brandy


For the Ginger Poached Fruit:


1. In a small saucepot, bring vanilla sugar, water, ginger, and star anise to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally. Let simmer 1-2 minutes.



2. Next add your diced mango and pineapple and bring to a simmer again. Off the heat, add your brandy and stir. Place back on heat and bring to a simmer once more.

3. Remove from heat, and let steep and cool to room temperature- about 1 hour. Place in fridge for 2 hours (or best overnight). Then carefully remove star anise and ginger pieces before serving.



For the yellow cakes:


1. Preheat oven to 350*F. If you are using regular sized cupcake pans, add liners, or spray/coat with butter/oil. If you're using a mold, like I did, generously spray the inside of each individual mold with butter spray.

2. In a bowl, sift and then whisk together flours, baking soda and powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. With your mixer (or handheld mixer, or by hand) beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and a soft yellow color. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix again.

4. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, in three additions- starting with flour mix and ending with flour mix. Scrape down bowl, and quickly mix again. Be careful not to overmix once flour is added. Mix until just combined.

You want your batter to look something like this :)
5. I used a 2" ice cream scoop to make sure each cake would be uniform, but however you choose to do it- equally divide batter between all your cups/molds/cupcake tins.

6. Bake until cakes are golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out with little crumbs stuck to it- about 23 minutes. Turn your pan half way through baking time. Take out of oven, let cool and serve warm.


I would suggest serving your cakes the day you bake them. The ginger poached fruit is best made a day in advance. Serve your guests warm cakes with a generous pour of the fruit and syrup. You can either reheat your syrup before serving, or bring to room temp (just don't serve cold!) The warm cakes will soak up that sauce and become a gingery-moist delicious mix. Paired with the tartness of the pineapple and warmth of the mango? MMmMm! They suggested serving with a dollop of coconut sorbet...but we choose to eat just as it was. It didn't need anything more, in my opinion.

If you're traveling with your dessert to another location, keep cakes in an air-tight container, and your fruit/syrup in a separate container. Then just place your cakes on individual plates, reheat the sauce with fruit, and generously spoon over. Serve!



Wish me luck guys...and I'll see you later, with 3 less teeth!

3 comments:

  1. YUM!!! I want to eat one of those cakes! I guess I'll just have to make my own. :)

    I will definitely be praying for you tomorrow!! I know everything will go just fine! Hang in there and try not to worry... it will be over before you know it!

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  2. I hope your surgery went well and that your recovery wasn't painful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lori!!! The surgery went well, but I'm not going to lie- the recovery has been/is pretty brutal. Thank goodness I'll never have to have wisdom tooth surgery again!! ;)

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