I recently developed a cake-crush on the naked cakes showing up on my Pinterest feed. Maybe it's because they have that beautiful balance of elegance and rustic-ness.. Or maybe I just like them because they're called 'naked cakes' and it makes me laugh. I bet all the frosted and fondant covered cakes are giving the newly popular naked cakes the side-eye. Hussy cakes stealing the show.
Since you don't have to spend time smoothing and praying to the icing-gods that your final coat of icing ends up lump and crumb free, these naked cakes are less time consuming yet they still make a big, delicious impression. I decided that I had to make one for myself.
I baked three 6 inch spice cakes for the layers using a vanilla cake recipe and just adding in some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice. The dome of each layer was trimmed off, but the sides were going to be bare so I made sure to thoroughly grease and flour my pans to ensure that the edges of the cakes came away cleanly once they were removed from the pans.
This year I hadn't planning on making anything pumpkin related. In fact, I had made a list of non-pumpkin fall desserts that I wanted to work on.. but then I opened a really really big can of pumpkin for an oatmeal recipe which only needed a little bit of pumpkin. From then on there was always pumpkin in my fridge because the recipes I would make would never use an entire can, or would require me to open up a new can to supplement the leftovers from the can before thus leaving me with fresh leftovers. It was a vicious, vicious pumpkin shaped, cinnamon scented cycle.
I'm not complaining though, there are worse fates than a kitchen full of pumpkin flavored desserts.
One of my favorites were these sweet, moist, pumpkin spice bites with buttered rum glaze.
Soup weather has only just begun, and I've already made multiple batches of chili and soups. It's like there was some soup-crazed obsession just building in me all summer long and now that it's been unleashed I don't know how to stop it (not that I'd even try).
What I've noticed is that bowls of delicious homemade soup are practically begging to be served with crispy-on-the-outside fluffy-on-the-inside scones studded with cream cheese and candied jalapenos.. and who am I to ignore their wishes?
We've been working our way through the stash of candied jalapenos and I had looong been debating baking some of them into a batch of scones. I was hesitant because the sweet and spicy slices are perfectly delicious on plain scones with a smear of cream cheese, what if folding them into the batter muted their flavor and wasted what remains of our jars?
I recently got engaged (yay!) and instead of looking for venues or a dress, I started researching quilt patterns and scrolling through quilt-related Instagram hashtags. This was stemming from the fact that a few months earlier I'd mentioned to my parents that the best wedding gifts I could image were homemade cutting boards from my dad and and a homemade quilt from my mom. So now that a wedding is on it's way, my mom wanted to pick out a pattern and some fabric..which led to my current quilt obsession. Quilting might seem old fashioned and country-ish to some, but those people just haven't seen all the gorgeous and creative modern quilts people are making these days. Look at them! Loooooook!
After my Pinterest/Instagram quilt-gawking-spree I was left wanting to do something quilt-related..except I don't know how to sew (side-note: why do so many people assume that knowing how to bake= knowing how to sew? Baking a cake has given me no insight on how one might baste a quilt or hem a skirt.) Anyways, to satisfy my desire to play around with shapes and colours, I chose a quilt pattern to use for fondant cut outs to make a quilt inspired cake
I decided I'd try using the wax-paper transfer method for the fondant pieces, and then paint the cake (instead of tinting the fondant) to give the design a little texture similar to when people chose fabrics with patterns for their quilts.
I started to project off by baking some six inch layers of my favorite no fail ultra-moist one bowl chocolate cake, then crumb coated them with a mocha-rum frosting made with Stirling's Churn84 butter. I let the whole chocolaty shebang chill in the fridge overnight before whipping up a batch of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and smoothing it over the entire cake
I'm sharing a recipe for a roasted vegetable sandwich with a spicy peanut spread over at Peanut Butter & Co's recipe blog. It's all chewy ciabatta, roasted veggies, and a rich spicy spread layered and squished together for a hearty vegetarian lunch or dinner.
So if you are looking to spice up your weekly sandwich routine (or are a peanut butter addict like me), head over to their blog to check it out.