Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers November Challenge!

November's challenge was a caramel cake with caramel butter frosting. The author of the recipe is Shuna Fish Lydon ( … he-recipe/). The hostess of this month's challenge is Dolores at, where you will find the recipe for the challenge. The rules required us to bake the cake and make the frosting - size and shape of the cake and any flavor add-ins optional. I made the cake exactly according to the recipe - did not add anything in vecause the caramel seemed like a great taste on its own.

I baked it on thanksgiving day - of course - because there's LOTS of empty oven space that day :) So I ended up using the tiny oven, which meant I used a 6" round pan and a small cupcake pan. The flavor on this cake was fantastic, and I would try to make it again, but it was a bit heavy and dense - I would have liked it to be a lighter texture.

Here is the completed cake.And here is the caramel sauce - very flavorful!

A small slice.

The iced 6" cake.

The little cupcakes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ginger Scones

Oh yeah, we made Ginger Scones too! And sat with our lattes and gazed out the window for 10 minutes. These are really fantastic. I hear they're not bad as a hangover cure too :)
400° F for 12-14 minutes

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus additional for topping
1 T. baking powder
1 t. ground ginger
pinch of salt
6 T. unsalted butter
2 oz. crystallized ginger, chopped
1 egg
½ cup milk

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter until the butter is the size of small peas (it is fine to use the food processor for this), then stir in crystallized ginger. Mix egg and milk together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg and milk mixture. Mix lightly until just combined. Turn out onto a floured board, knead for 30 seconds. Pat/roll into a round, cut into 8 wedges. Place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake until golden brown.

I created this recipe after Mom and I visited Chris in Mill Valley and had something very similar at a café/espresso bar in downtown Mill Valley. I think it was called the Depot, and was located in the old train station. They used a star-shaped cookie cutter on theirs, which was nice because it makes for a lot of crunchy edge on each scone. These are interesting because they’re very delicately flavored – usually ginger comes with cloves and molasses and is very heavy and wintery, but these aren’t.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baking Day with the Girls!

Eeeeeeee! Sunday was absolutely the most fun day EVER. 60's and 70's music on the radio, and baking baking baking. We made 8 pounds of fruitcake, 6 dozen peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, the caramel pear tarts from the prior post, but in 5" shells instead of 3", and we split and filled and iced some little 6" cakes as pictured. The cookies were inspired by the discovery of tiny little peanut butter cups at Trader Joe's - they melted into the cookies instead of retaining their shape like chocolate chips, but this was not a negative! And, we did not bake the Panettone because we didn't have the secret ingredient extract at the bakery with us, but we will live to bake again another day. Recipes to be posted with pics upcoming.

Thursday, November 13, 2008