Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday WITK!

That's right, it's my birthday!

Actually, to be precise, it's Wilde in the Kitchen's birthday!  Or it was last week.  I'm so terrible with dates.

It's been three whole years since I first put my fingers to the keyboard and typed up my very first post.  It's amazing how many things have changed since June 2010.

In three years I have...

- had four different home addresses
- completed two natural product syntheses
- started and ended my first job in industry
- finally moved in with my long term love
- visited 14 different countries

My cooking and baking skills have improved dramatically since I first decided to join the ranks of the food blogger.  Some things I thought I would never make, but have, include...

- sponge candy
- coconut milk
- Greek yogurt, from scratch
- potato gnocchi
- my own ketchup & mustard

There were so many side effects of starting WITK that I never expected.  Of course I planned on trying my recipes and stretching my culinary skills.  I had hoped my photography skills would improve (something I'm still working on!).  I never thought I would come to know so many great people, make new friends and become part of a larger community.

Thanks so much to everyone out there in the world that has made WITK as fun as it is, for supporting me in my crazy kitchen endeavors and giving me a reason to keep on going.

Have a slice of cake to celebrate WITK turning 3.  I wonder what the next few years will bring?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Celebration Cake


It's my one month unemployment anniversary!  I'm not sure if that's reason for celebration and cake, but why not, I had all sorts of time to bake this past month.  Time is totally necessary if you are looking to make a Milkbar cake.  I'm also trying to be positive about my situation and cake helps to cheer things up.

Making this cake is quite the process.  Though it is one of the easier cakes to make from the Milkbar cookbook.  It requires you to make the cake, frosting and a birthday cake crumb.  I was able to make this cake over the course of two days, though you can finish it in one if you have all of the ingredients and tools on hand day one.  (I was waiting on to deliver my cake collars)

There is a lot of down time when making this cake too.  I used that down time to apply for jobs and do some LinkedIn networking.  Speaking of which...  anyone out there work at a pharmaceutical company and need a medicinal chemist?  Just checking...  By now I have my resume and research summary all updated, I even have a few interviews.  Here's hoping I hear from a few more companies and that I find a place that feels like a good place to work.

Getting back to the cake (that is what this post is supposed to be about, right?), I really enjoyed the look of this cake once it was finished.  It's so cute and clean looking once you peel of the cake collars.  Who says you need frosting all over the outside of the cake?  When I took a class at the Williamsburg Milk bar location a few months ago, Tosi actually made this cake for us!  She said she preferred her cakes like this because you could see what was going on inside.  Why cover up all those layers?  I have to agree.  I'm also terrible at frosting cakes...

To celebrate my one month unemployment anniversary I had a single piece of this cake.  It's good, but not one of the best cakes I've ever made.  It does taste like a classic white birthday cake from a box.  The frosting even tastes like it's straight out of the can.  And yes, that is exactly the flavor that Tosi was going for. I believe she said it was that 'fake' flavor that she wanted.

Personally, I think I might use this cake making method for another combination of ingredients.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bittersweet Celebration

I'm settling into my unemployment quite well.  Though I'm not technically unemployed, yet.  Due to Warn Act laws in New York State, companies of a certain size must give their employees 60 days notice before they can just shut down.  So technically, I'm still employed by my company.  They just don't want me to come to work.

If only I could get paid indefinitely to not come to work, I'm quite good at this not working thing.  The house is clean, the dishes are done and all the laundry is folded.  Yesterday I got to sleep in, I headed to my 9am Crossfit class and did some grocery shopping.  I even got a pedicure, something my running weary feet loved.

It's not all fun and games though.  As much as I want to imagine this will last, I realize I only have a few months before they won't be paying me to sit at home.  I've been dusting off my resume and contacting all my friends and former advisers.  I am so thankful for all my friends and colleagues that have reached out to me.  I have had the privledge to work with some amazing people over the years, including those that I have just parted with at OSI.

I know that all my friends will come out of these sad times even stronger.  While I don't want to say that it was a good thing, the site closure, but I'm sure there are opportunities out there for all of us.  The world of pharmaceuticals is strangely tiny, I know it isn't the last time I see my friends.

This is a celebration cake.  Not of the end, but of a new beginning in my life, a new chapter.  Full of sweet, early summer peaches, and covered in tangy, sharp ginger cream cheese frosting, this cake is a little bittersweet, just like this week.  Make it for yourself.  If you're having a rough week, it will totally cheer you up.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buffalo Sponge Candy Cake

Today we're celebrating Wilde in the Kitchen's second birthday!  It's hard to believe that just over two years ago I was talking with my friends, trying to decide on a name for my blog.  I had fallen for the food blogging world and wanted to join in on the fun.  I had no idea where this little place on the internet would take me.

Over the past two years I have gone through more pounds of sugar than I had in the previous twenty-eight years...

I have learned that nothing is out of reach in your home kitchen...


This past year seemed to be the year of the salad...


So much has changed in my life in the past two years as well.  The blog originated in Boulder, Colorado, in my mountainview apartment.  The kitchen was a mere two weeks away from getting packed up and shipped to New Haven, Connecticut.  The cooking tools available to me were simple and low tech, a whisk or two, a small kitchen scale and a demonic hand mixer.

When the boxes labeled "kitchen" were piled in my brand new, New Haven apartment, their contents overflowed the studios kitchen space.  With only 350 square feet to my name, the cooking and baking supplies took over every free space they could find.  The Sundays that I spent cooking there were some of the busiest times in my apartment, preparing all of my meals and treats for the week.

Around this time last year I made my most recent and most important move.  I got my first real-world job and moved to New Jersey to live with boyfriend.  With my new, much larger kitchen, normalized work hours and second human being to feed, WITK started to become more well rounded and offer more dinners and savory options, but still maintaining the occasional sweet post.

My life and this site have changed so much over the past two years, who knows where it will be in two years more!  I'm mostly grateful for everyone out there who stops by to say hi, comment on a post or try out one of my recipes.  The food-blogging community that I'm a part of is a huge reason behind why I keep going.  Of course I love writing, baking and cooking, but I seriously love the interaction with my like-minded foodies out there in the interwebs.

Thank you all for making this such a fun place for me come every week.  To celebrate WITK's two year, I made us all a cake!  Three layers of cloud-soft sponge cake, filled with sweet caramel frosting and coated in a rich chocolate glaze.  It's like a giant piece of Buffalo sponge candy.  Perfectly appropriate for WITK's birthday.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for the fun!  Here's to a fulfilling, savory, exciting and sweet next year!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Are you like me?  Can you have breakfast for any meal of the day?  Omelets for dinner.  Bagels for lunch.  Pancakes for a late night snack.  Breakfast, the best meal of the day.  Well, almost.  I don't really like eggs for breakfast.  Eggs - fried, scrambled or over-easy - are dinner fare.

I decided that this week, rather than making pancakes for dinner, I would make a true breakfast for dessert.  Cinnamon roll cupcakes!

A simple vanilla cake, with layers of cinnamon-brown sugar, topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting.  These little treats tasted just like the breakfast buns I can't keep my hands off.  Whenever I make a batch (or can if I'm in a hurry and have a big craving) of cinnamon rolls, I always have at least two.  I know they are about a million calories each, I can't help myself.

These cupcakes were just what I wanted and I was totally satisfied with just one.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tangerine Pound Cake

Hi everyone!  I'm guest posting over at the Spiffy Cookie!  Stop by and say hi to Erin and enjoy a slice of this Tangerine Pound Cake! 

Have a great Wednesday!

~ Vicki

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Fondant

Sorry for the delay in this challenge post, my kitchen was all in boxes from our move!  Believe me when I say, this was worth the wait!

Fondant is a strange concept.  When explaining what I was making to my friends and coworkers, they were all confused.  They asked "What is fondant?"  "Is it that stuff you peel off of wedding cakes?"  "Why would I want to eat solid frosting?"  Those who watch too much Food Network knew exactly what I was talking about, most were still confused until I brought in the goodies.

 I'm sure you've all had an experience with fondant.  Generally it covers wedding cakes and has a minimal amount of flavor.  Mostly sugary, sweet, stretchy and tough, most people I see at weddings have removed the outer shell of the cake to eat the insides.  So I wondered, does fondant have to taste so gross?

I looked through several of my cake cookbooks, searched the internet and read through old baking magazines until I found two different fondant recipes.  Traditional fondant, made with gelatin and glycerin as additives, is pegged as the trickier version to make.  Marshmallow fondant, made with marshmallows and powdered sugar, is billed as the "everymans" fondant recipe.  I found this to be exactly the opposite.

I started the day with making the marshmallow fondant.  The recipe calls for melting an entire bag of mini marshmallows in the microwave.  Once the mini mallows are melted you pour in almost a whole 2 pound bag of powdered sugar and start mixing.  Then comes the messy part, you have to knead all of the sugar into the marshmallows, by hand.  Even with repeated greasing of my hands with shortening, I was a big mess.  The fondant was sticking to everything it touched.  It took a good fifteen minutes to incorporate all of the sugar into the marshmallow and form a smooth fondant.  My arms were tired.

Once the marshmallow fondant was safely in a zip-top bag, I started with the traditional recipe.  The most difficult thing required of me was to microwave some gelatin in water.  The remainder of the hard work was complete by my stand mixer.  Everything mixed together much more easily that in the marshmallow recipe and required only two minutes of hands on kneading to finish.

You might be wondering if there was a difference in the outcome of the two recipes.  First, they both rolled and shaped easily.  Other than a modest color difference (the traditional fondant was pure white, while the marshmallow fondant was slightly off-white), I found no physical difference in the recipes.  The major difference came with the taste. 

The marshmallow fondant tasted just like a marshmallow, like vanilla.  I used this fondant to cover the cookies and they were a smash hit.  People were raving about how good the fondant was and how delicious the cookies were (Click here for the cookie recipe).  The traditional fondant had the same texture, it was just almond-flavored (because I added almond extract).  I enjoyed the fact that I could flavor the fondant with whatever extract or oil that I wanted.  Imagine chocolate cake, covered in mint fondant or red velver cake covered in cheesecake flavored fondant.  So many possibilities!

In the end, I think that I preferred the traditional fondant recipe for two reasons.  1. The ease of preparation.  This fondant came together so much quicker and cleaner than the marshmallow fondant.  2. The flavor.  Being able to add different flavors to the fondant open up a whole world of possibilites. 

I don't think that I will be buying prepared fondant in the future.  Comparing all three recipes, the store-bought stuff comes out as a definite loser. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Green Velvet Cupcakes

Sorry mom, I’ve been bad this week. I haven’t eaten dinner all week. I know, I know, I’m terrible but I have some really good excuses! Let’s go through my week.

Sunday – Travelling back from New Jersey after a long weekend of unpacking boxes and moving furniture. My huge, strong, girl muscles were tired and it was all I could do not to fall asleep on the train. Making dinner was near impossible, so I decided to eat a brownie. Not even a good brownie, one that I had bought on Friday and was in my purse all weekend. I’m gross, I know.

Monday – Girls night! Okay, I actually did eat dinner Monday night, but it was not of my own doing. Recently I’ve been hanging out Monday nights with some awesome ladies from my department. We eat dinner, we gab and we watch silly girl TV. It’s excellent and a fantastic way to start the week. There are usually baked goods too, awesomeness.

Tuesday – I finally made it to the grocery store! I had big plans to leave work by six o’clock. This way I could walk home, get my car and be to the grocery store by six thirty. Thanks to a major accident on the highway, (right before my desired exit!) I didn’t make it to the store until seven thirty. Grocery shopping (plus a much needed trip to TJ Maxx!) done and I’m home by nine. Dinner was a banana. No, I’m lying; it was those rice crispy treats I showed you on Wednesday. They were delicious.

Wednesday - I’m now halfway through the week and you’re thinking I haven’t had a single real meal. Not true! The first two days of the week I had lunch at the food carts. Chicken and veggies over rice , it’s like having dinner for lunch. Which is good, because Wednesday I had Lettuce for dinner. The reason? I had grand plans of heading to the gym. With my gyms shoes on I get ready to head out the door and I glance at my computer. At some point in the evening I had picked up some malware and my computer was all jacked up. I spent the next two hours trying to restore my computer. Gym and dinner plans are thrown out the window.

Thursday – I decided I’m just going to start over next week with real food and I had toast for dinner. I slathered it with my own raspberry-peach jam. Then I made these, which will be quickly devoured by my coworkers. Then everyone will have green tongues. So festive!

Don’t worry mom, Friday comes with big plans! I’m taking the train to visit boyfriend and we’ll go out to dinner. I’ll have some protein and a whole lot of vegetables. I’ll even pay! I’m such a good girlfriend. Let’s not pretend that we’re going somewhere fancy though. Boyfriends new apartment is right around the corner from Panera and I’m going to get a salad.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Orange Chiffon Cupcakes & Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Can you believe that it’s been one-hundred posts already! I feel like we’ve been through so much together. Since I’m 100, does this mean that Willard Scott is going to mention me in his Smucker’s 100? Maybe make some terribly inappropriate comment about me?

I thought that we should celebrate with some cupcakes. I know some people have been on the lookout for some savory posts; that will have to wait until after the party! Savory posts later this week, after I’m all sugared up.

Every time I ask my lab mates what I should make, I get the same suggestions. There are always requests for cheesecake, chocolate and cupcakes. One lab mate even went and bought me some cupcake liners, because he really likes cupcakes. I realized that I haven’t made cupcakes in months, so I made some to celebrate this momentous occasion.

No matter what anyone says about cupcakes being “so last year,” I’m still a HUGE cupcake fan. Every time boyfriend and I go to New York, we head to different bakeries and get cupcakes. Well, we get cupcakes, then I eat them. Boyfriend isn’t much of a dessert fan. I have more cookbooks for cupcakes than anything else. Cupcakes are just that perfect single serving of dessert. They are just the right size to have two, without feeling guilty about it. Macarons might be hot right now, but they will never replace my beloved cupcakes. Especially not these cupcakes, they were delicious.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chocolate and Peanut butter Mousse Entremet

Welcome to a special Thursday in the kitchen! Why am I posting today? Because today is Daring Bakers reveal day! I have to say, when I originally read the challenge for this month, I was concerned. When I looked up ‘entremets’ on google, I found some pretty daunting looking pastries. Go ahead, Google entremets. You’ll find gorgeous looking French pastries with intricate designs and tempting fillings. Would I be able to complete this challenge successfully? Yes, I would.

Delicious layers, mmmm.  Read on, control your drooling.
The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog Accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an entremets dessert.

My life has been a little crazy over the past month and I had to spread out preparation of this dessert. It took me an entire week, a few hours here and there, to complete this challenge. I can say that I am completely satisfied with my final result. Sure, there are imperfections, but I am amazed what can be done with the right directions. You too can perform like a pastry chef, without all that training.

The first step is to bake to Biscuit Joconde Imprime. When you say it, you must do it with a really bad French accent, it will make your day. Haw, haw, haw (French laughing). The imprime is where you can get fancy and creative. I decided I would get ready for Valentine’s Day and piped pink hearts into my imprime. (Check out some of the other amazing creations in the Daring Kitchen) You’ll see my step-by-step process of creating the shell of the entremets. Now you’re seeing where those fancy patterns come from, right? It’s so simple!

The next step is to get even more creative. What do you want to put in it? I had a massive number of ideas floating around in my head. A key lime mousse with a dark chocolate glaze, an entremets filled with ice cream and topped with meringue, a blackberry cream topped with lemon whip. Oh boy, the possibilities are endless! I decided to go with a personal favorite, Chocolate and peanut butter. Delicious. My entremets is filled with a solid chocolate mousse and topped with a lighter peanut butter mousse and finished with a bittersweet chocolate hat. From the mousse that I’ve licked from the bowls, spatulas and my hands, this is one amazing dessert. I don’t want to share… So here are the directions to make your own!

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