I've been super busy in the kitchen lately. But I've also been super busy with Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas, travels, work, and other projects that seem to keep coming up. Even as I type this on New Year's Eve, my apartment is a wreck, but I've done so much baking and I'm so behind on blogging that I just have to get something up on here.
Last month, I did a major stenciling project for my pal Ed for the release party for his new book, Stencil 101. In fact, you can see a pretty cool photo on this page of some of the work I did for that event. That project took a lot of trial and error and resulted in many unused, ugly-ass cookie-stencil experiments, but in the end, it all looked really great. I was proud of my work. I'll be putting together a long, photo-intensive post on this blog about that project soon, but for now, I'm going with something a bit easier.
My pal Charlie turned 30 a few weeks ago, so I made him a cake. I was going to make him the sweet and salty cake, so I bought everything for that. Then, girl tells me she don't really like chocolate cake. What?! That's news to me. Girl wants a lemon cake. Grrrrr...
So at the last minute, and in the midst of making all the food for his party (which I love doing - don't worry Charlie), I ran out to get everything for the lemon cake. I used the recipe in the Baked book, since everything I've made from that book has worked so well. I didn't photograph the process too well because I was simultaneously making hors d-oeuvres for 25 people.
Anyway, the cake came out really well:
It looked perfect, and I was thrilled with the icing. It was lemon buttercream, but also had a bit of flour that was boiled into the cream. It was smooth and flavorful, and it spread on like spackle and held its shape PERFECTLY. I think this could be the heat-resistant buttercream icing recipe I've been looking for. It's sturdy, transports easily, and has a sculptural quality that makes it fun to work with.
I accidentally added coconut extract to the cake instead of vanilla. Oops! But it turns out that the flavors go really, really well together. I amended the recipe in the book for the next time I make this cake.
Here's a cross section:
Here's Ashton, Randy, and Eddie having a slice:
Brian likes it, I think. He always gives good "attitude face."
Brian's boyf Matt seemed to enjoy it, too.
This was a great cake, made all the more great to me because I made it in 4 hours flat and was very proud of the look and the taste of it.
I guess this is my last post of 2008. I'll get that stencil stuff up soon. To everyone who reads this inane drivel, thank you. I always get such nice compliments from people about my blog. It warms this old man's heart. Seriously, thanks for bothering to look. I really appreciate it.
Now go get the Baked cookbook. Happy New Year!!