Monthly Archives: October 2010

Jim’s pancakes

I was on Yahoo! today and they had a link to this guy, Jim, who makes very creative pancakes for his 3-year old daughter.  I absolutely LOVE pancakes and I found his blog very fun.  He makes amazingly creative pancakes, from Pacman to a ferris wheel.  Check out his blog here.  His daughter is one lucky girl.

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Kentucky buttercake

When I ate at Gary Danko, I had their Louisiana buttercake for dessert and it was incredible.  So of course, I went on a hunt for a recipe for buttercake and I found one for Kentucky buttercake, which I hoped was similar to Louisiana buttercake.  I found the recipe on Allrecipes and it was very highly rated and reviewed.

The recipe was very simple, and actually, a bit abnormal from other cake recipes I’ve tried, in terms of technique.  You mix together all the dry ingredients and then you put all the wet ingredients in at one time, and mix again.

The problems began after the cake came out of the oven.  According to the recipe, you are supposed to poke holes into the cake right when it comes out of the oven.   So I did just that, using a fork.  Then I poured the butter sauce over the cake slowly, but I feel like the cake did not absorb the sauce very well.  Then when the cake cooled, I tried to flip it onto my cake holder.  But of course, it didn’t want to come out.  I had sprayed PAM on it and had floured it, but still it was very stubborn.  I ran a knife along the edge and it still refused to budge.  This was when I resorted to slamming the cake down to see if it would come out.  Finally it did, minus two large chunks that remained in the pan.

I thought the cake tasted kind of dry and the butter sauce was not absorbed throughout the cake, as I had hoped it would.  I’m wondering if I need to use something that would make bigger holes in the cake so the sauce gets absorbed.

 

Kentucky buttercake

 

On a side note, I found this recipe online for Tartine’s morning buns.  I was very excited to find this because the recipe is not in Tartine’s recipe book.  Enjoy!

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Almond-lemon tea cake

After visiting Tartine last week and trying their almond-lemon tea cake, I decided to try making it at home.   I tried looking for poppyseeds, which they use in the cake for appearances only, but I could not find any, even at Whole Foods.  The recipe for the cake is actually one of the more simple recipes in the Tartine recipe book, but it was a little fussy, especially the almond paste.  The recipe requires you to beat the almond paste.  However, the almond paste is pretty stiff and my mixer had a very difficult time with the almond paste.   I was almost afraid I would burn out the motor on the mixer.   The rest of the process went pretty smoothly.  At Tartine, they use a loaf pan for this cake, but I used a tube pan, which the recipe says would work as well.

When the cake was done baking, I brushed it with a citrus glaze.  I had bought a new pastry brush from Williams Sonoma because I couldn’t find mine.  However, after I finished glazing the cake, I noticed that there were all these little pastry brush hairs on the cake.  It is an OXO brand brush and usually I really like their products, but I am not a fan of having pastry brush hairs on my food.

The cake turned out well and it was very moist.  The citrus glaze also adds so much to the flavor.  I also decided that the next time I make this cake, I will have to find poppyseeds.  It would add so much to the appearance of the cake.

 

 

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Wedding favors

My parents recently went to a wedding and they brought home the best wedding favors I have seen.   One of the favors is a set of measuring spoons that are heart shaped.  The other wedding favor is a set of measuring spoons, but with very small measurements.  The measurements are labeled as a “dash”, “pinch”, “smidgen”, and “nip.”  I have now stolen the wedding favors from my parents.  😛

Heart-shaped measuring spoons

Mini-measuring spoons

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Trip to Tartine

I realized that I better get going on my 50 Treats mission, so I went to Tartine the other day when I was in San Francisco.   On 7×7’s 50 Treats list at #1 is the Lemon Cream Tart from Tartine.  I would say that it definitely deserves a spot on the list.  On top of the tart is a large dollop of whipped cream.  The whipped cream itself was pretty plain tasting so I tried to avoid eating it, since it was unnecessary calories.   However, when I started just eating the lemon tart part, it was too strong of a lemon flavor.  Thus, I decided to eat the whipped cream along with the rest of the tart, hoping that it would mellow out the lemon-tartness.  And it did!  The huge dollop of whipped cream actually turned out to be a necessary part of the tart, and not just a garnish.

Lemon cream tart

Of course, I couldn’t just get one treat from Tartine, so my mom and I also bought a few other items.  We got the double chocolate croissant, which I heard about from the Food Network show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”  The croissant was really good and the chocolate they use (I think it’s Valrhona) is incredibly strong and on the more bitter side.  People who don’t like dark chocolate probably would not be a fan of this croissant.

Double chocolate croissant

We also got the chocolate chip walnut cookie.  The cookie was good, but I did not think it was amazing.  If you are a fan of chewy, soft cookies, then this cookie is not for you.  I also did not like the walnuts so much.  I think I would have preferred pecans in them.

Chocolate chip walnut cookie

I also got the morning bun, because it is #8 on 7×7’s Top 100 foods to eat in SF.  The morning bun was incredible.  It was flaky, sweet (but not too sweet), and had the perfect amount of cinnamon flavor.  It was also sprinkled with sugar.

Morning bun

Finally, we got their lemon-almond cake.  It was delicious.  The top is sprinkled with powdered sugar and the sides have a citrus glaze.  They added in poppyseeds into the cake, which gives it a nice appearance.  The cake itself was moist and soft.  This recipe is in Tartine’s recipe book, so I will definitely have to try making it sometime soon.

Almond lemon cake

Of all the things we tried, I liked the morning bun and the almond lemon cake the most.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, we did not eat everything in one sitting.

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