Monday, July 28, 2008
I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted! I'm such a bad blogger! I've been far too busy taking in the sights of the Oregon coast to bake, woe is me.
My parents came to visit from Florida and we spent a week going down the coast and saw some beautiful places. To the right is a picture of Crater Lake's Wizard Island. Crater Lake is this incredible lake that was created by volcanic eruptions like... seven thousand years ago.
A friend of ours works as a researcher there this summer and we're hoping to arrange a camping trip soon (my parents idea of roughing it is no cable tv).
Even though I grew up in Florida, I'm not a big beach girl. I blame my irrational fear of the sun and bathing suits. For my money Oregon beachs totally trump the boring sand pits that are Florida's beaches-- my parents strongly disagree... but really you can't beat this. Sure the water is too cold for swimming, but it's just absolutely gorgeous to look at, even on hazy over cast days that are prevalent on the Oregon coast.
As a thank you to our friends who took great care of our Lylah Bean & Fitzgerald while we were gone (and answered my 1.5 million phone calls to check in on them) I whipped up a cherry cake. I found some amaretto cherry pie filling at Crater Lake and I thought it would be delicious in a dark chocolate cake. I remembered my mom making some cake from a box cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling about a million years so I decided to try to replicate it without the box mix. It turned out great. I pulsed the jar (13.5 oz) of cherry pie filling in the food processor and added it to my chocolate (vegan) mayo cake recipe (which I left out the water). The batter was VERY thick so I added a dash of soy milk to thin it out and separated the batter in two cake tins. I baked the cakes for about 20 minutes until done but still moist. While the cakes were cooling, but still warm I glazed them in some black cherry preserves I had found at the co-op. Instead of using "buttercream" between the layers I used the cherry preserves. I added about 4 tablespoons of the black cherry preserves to my basic "buttercream" recipe which gave it a lovely pink color (which the Oregon lighting doesn't really capture even with two photo lights directed at the cake and my amazing camera) dotted with some cherry skins.
I was surprised that the cherry flavor was not overwhelming. It was great-- cherry isn't exactly my thing so next time I'm going to throw in some amaretto extract into the cake and frosting and decorate with some dark chocolate ganache splatters on the icing next time to give it some more flavor profiles. The amaretto flavor wasn't as pronounced as I would have liked once I added the preserves and icing.
In other news, I'm on a roller derby league thats just starting up and we're having a bad ass bake sale sometime in the near future, so I'll be sure to be baking and posting a lot more now that the summer has calmed down. So far the best derby name I've come up with is TNT (Tits N Tofu) which is a hommage to my old nickname in high school TnA (Tits N Apathy-- I used to have no ass what so ever, that has changed in my "old" age).
I leave you now with the reunited (and it feels so good) Lylah Bean & Fitzgerald.